July 2nd, 2006

Moa: The King of Destruction

MEEP! =^.^=

I still vaguely remember my earliest impressions of the Quest for Glory series. The very first I heard about it was from a friend in Yanbu who had Quest for Glory 2. If you had the map that came with the game, it wasn't too hard to find your way around the city, but without that, you needed to use the in-game map. Which required buying the in-game map. Which required getting your money changed to the local currency. Which required finding the money changer, who lived in a random alley in the middle of nowhere. Which was really hard to do without a map. It was possible... Alichica (played by Chico Marx) would give directions if you asked him, but if you can imagine Chico Marx giving directions... "You go that-a-way until you see a way to go left. You take-a the left until you see a way to go left again. You no go that-a-way. You find a way to go to the right, and you go to-a the right. Then you keep going until you see another way to go right. You go left. Then you keep going until you no can go any further, and take-a the left." This was made even harder by the fact that the streets and alleys turned corners, and those weren't counted in the directions. (If you understood that up front, it was a lot easier.) I remember my friend describing the guard outside the city and asking directions to places like the oasis, which was five skareen lengths south and three skareen lengths east. ("A skareen length? It be the distance from here to there.") Many years later, I finally got my hands on the Quest for Glory Anthology, and the second game was definitely the peak of the series. Later games had more interesting fight interfaces, but lost most of the depth of puzzle-solving. Has anyone ever found a point to being a thief in the third game? At all? The fifth game sort of pulled everything together, but then they tried to add a multiplayer aspect that was never going to pan out. And the fighting... ugh. Just ugh, with a side of ugh. Now, the first two games weren't pretty (by today's standards... they looked great in their own time), but you really had to think, and almost every puzzle had a different solution depending on your character type. And sidequests commensurate with your abilities. And the option to add abilities and complete additional quests. It was worth going through the game three or four times to do and see everything. And there were always more puzzles to solve and more ways to get the maximum score. And humor. When I got past the Three Stooges in the first one, it was by screwing up at every step and reading the game over message that explained what I should have done. Oh, and we can't forget good old Erasmus. But the exploration in the first game was what really made it for me. There was no map, so I just walked around, fighting monsters as necessary, and tried to learn where things were in relation to other things. Figuring out what to do with the things I encountered wasn't of much help if I couldn't find them later. And the first puzzle of any appreciable merit that I solved had to do with the Meeps, little fuzzy creatures that lived under rocks and occasionally popped up to say "Meep!" The important thing to get there was fur from the green one, and he'd give it to you if you asked, but you also needed to ask about magic spells if you had the ability, because he'd give you the Detect Magic scroll, and that could come in handy later (although I think there were only two spots where it really did any good, and I had the ability to circumvent at least one of them). I still think my biggest moment was probably discovering that, during the magic trial in the second game, instead of using three Force Bolts (for 6 MP each) to break through the iceberg, I could cast Open (2MP) on the crack in the iceberg to accomplish the same thing. And that I could break into a house full of half-asleep people and get everything I needed without Stealth, as long as I typed in everything I needed to do and never used the arrow keys to move around. My most embarrassing moment was finally discovering that there was a griffon feather under the rock, since I couldn't get up to the nest as a Fighter and the griffon never dropped a feather when I killed it. And of course, the completely worthless throwing contest in the third game... you didn't actually have to hit the target to win. I think it was purely based on your Throwing skill whether you'd win or lose. But the Meeps never showed up again.

The Antwerp still rules.
Moa: The King of Destruction

(no subject)

I got a few things done today. I read Red River 12 (;_;), Hunter x Hunter 9, and Fruits Basket 10 (probably ;_;). I did the laundry and threw out a bunch of the garbage from the apartment. I watched At the Circus and two episodes of Monk. I collected all the Synthesis materials I needed and beat the Paradox Titan Cup, leaving only Paradox Hades to finish every sidequest in the game. (I'm sorry, but having to fight two bosses on the same 500 point supply... not cool, Squenix. Not cool.) And I now have the halogen lamp set up in the bookroom. I'm surprised at how thoroughly it lights the room - I was expecting parts to be in deep shadow, but everything's pretty visible. Now I don't have to wait for daylight to put books away and take new ones out.

I didn't get my hair cut or install Excel and update my manga list. Oh well.

CHICO: How much to send this telegram.
CLERK: *reads*
CHICO: Hey, what's the idea of reading my telegram?
CLERK: Well, I have to count the words to figure out the cost. Now, 10 words will be 55 cents.
CHICO: 55 cents? I really need to hire this lawyer. Can't you give me something cheaper?
CLERK: We only do form congratulation telegrams for 25 cents.
CHICO: Okay, I congratulate him on taking our case.

Monk is cracking me up more, though.