Monday, October 04, 2010

[IF Comp] The 12:54 to Asgard - help needed

Okay, this is not a review, it is a call for help. It does contain some spoilers, so only read it if you have played this game.

Which means that I do have to put some spoiler space here, I guess. Which means that I do have to put some spoiler space here, I guess. Which means that I do have to put some spoiler space here, I guess. Which means that I do have to put some spoiler space here, I guess.

I haven't timed it very exactly, but I suspect that I am already nearing the two-hour time limit for this game. I played through the first part at my leisure. I understood it. I enjoyed it, especially once I figured out that I could just fool around, try some things, and then have it all escalate.

But after that -- WTF? I have absolutely no idea what I am supposed to be doing. I get into a couple of weird worlds where I cannot really do anything. I escaped from the world with the grain, but I seem to have lost Polly on the way. The quizmaster gave me a list of objects to look for, but I don't seem to have that list anywhere physically, so I have no idea what it was he wanted. Also, he started to ask me yes-or-no questions, but when I tried to answer them, the game told me that nobody had asked me a question? I went to the snow world, died, went to the snow world again, and -- what are you supposed to do there? I looked at the walkthrough, which said:

e
give blanket to beggar
give coins to beggar
s
enter turnstile

But there's no beggar anywhere, and going east and south from the farm doesn't bring me to a turnstile. I couldn't find any way to escape from the snow world again, so I restored a save.

The final turnstile brings me back to the beginning of the game. That doesn't seem to help either.

Summarising: I am utterly confused, have no idea what I ought to be doing, and am running out of time to play this game, given the 2-hour time limit. The walkthrough makes no sense to me (and I don't want to just type it in from the beginning), and there are no hints. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious.

5 comments:

  1. I hit the two hour limit and gave up after putting the game in what seemed like an unwinnable state. I went in thinking that this would be JRW's competition to lose and left completely bewildered.

    I suspect that the game is meant to be an exceptionally cruel interlocking puzzle along the lines of Varicella or Broken Legs. But there are no notes to this effect anywhere, and the omnipresent bugs trashed my confidence.

    I had the same encounter as you in the ruby turnstile and was equally baffled. I went to the snow world and died, then went through the purple turnstile and found myself back in the original scenario. With all of the items missing, and no apparent way to kill myself a second time.

    I think the key is the suitcase; the tag suggests that you can put stuff inside that will travel with you after death. So you get the bleach, pumpernickel, brass key, and the other things and make sure they're in the suitcase.

    Then hit each of the turnstile scenes in the right order, solve them properly, and finish with the ruby turnstile. Or perhaps finish back in the original scene, with some way to repair the roof and survive the attempt?

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  2. Victor, after reading your review, I think you got further than I did in the two hour time limit. I had to play a second time to get past the bottleneck, and several more times to figure out how to take my stuff with me into the afterlife.

    The first time I got past the bottleneck, I jumped out of the boat into the River, and ended up in a completely different section of game world. That game ended when I passed through Heaven's gate.

    The last time I played, I entered the ruby turnstile into the gameshow.

    I presume this is a huge puzzle game which can't possibly be finished in two hours. I enjoyed the puzzles I had solved so far and was amused by the writing. The only bug I found came after drinking the bleach in the studio. You can carry the bleach with you into the afterlife, but if you try to use it there, it generates errors.

    Thanks for posting a comment on my blog. http://mobwar2000.blogspot.com/

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  3. Cup of Joe, thanks for the information. Jumping in the river is at least one thing I can try. :)

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  4. So wait, everything in the movie set is just a big red herring, designed to get you to kill yourself? I sort of find that admirable, but not in practice. (Specifically, when I go to the walkthrough in order to find out what on earth I'm supposed to do with the tarpaper, which obviously goes on the roof tile but sticks to my hands even though I'm wearing gloves). I may have to reconsider my idea for a game that consists entirely of a giant set of not-quite-interlocking puzzles, not all solvable at once, with a one in five-hundred chance every turn that a gate will unlock that lets you bypass them all.

    Actually the moral may be that hints are better than a walkthrough.

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  5. Oh, I'm confused; the walkthrough isn't designed to kill you after ten turns or so. I died when taking the screwdriver because I'd taken off the work gloves, in order to see if that had any effect on the tar paper. So I suppose that going around and gathering every loose object before you somehow kill yourself is probably quite important.

    I remain mystified as to how I'm expected to play this game in practice, though. I'm given one goal at the beginning, the obvious actions that I can take toward this goal fail for unilluminating reasons, the walkthrough starts with a command that seems to yield a useless default message, and at a glance a lot of the rest of the commands seem utterly impossible to figure out. (I wouldn't have even been able to guess that you had to use "u" to get back from the rigging.) Is this an escapee from Walkthrough Comp?

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