Monday, 16 May 2011

Mixed-Up Fairy Tales (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

And now, mecha-neko is going to play a point and click adventure game.


I'm mecha-neko, and I'm going to play a point and click adventure game.

I don't like point and click adventure games.

Who Do I Want To Be?

Not 'Who are you?' or 'Which character do you want to be?', but 'Who do you want to be?'. I honestly don't want to be any of them.

The top middle kid looks like some kinda scary freakin' automaton, so I pick him.

Wah!

Immediately upon starting the adventure, I'm yelled at! The librarian doesn't specifically say what awaits me if I exceed the alloted time to pick out a book, but that only makes the situation more tense.

Five minutes. That's all the time I have to spend in this library, looking for a book. I think I'll pick the very first book I see just to get the hell out of here before anything bad happens.

My character stumbles around like a prat, completely ignoring my mouse clicks. The librarian who issued the ultimatum is nowhere to be seen.

A book loudly flops off the shelf and onto the floor behind my character, but he cares not.

It takes a full five seconds of whizz-bangs, flashing lights and a cavalcade of magical fireworks to get my character's attention. I think the poor chap is deaf.

Oh my gosh, a real dragon!

Wearing a blue jacket, purple scarf and a purple fez.

My character puts up his dukes.

CAN I HELP YOU?

Do you want directions or something!? Do you want to get back in the book? Would you like a different book to go into? Maybe the librarian can help you? Please don't eat me.

The robot child is all smiles. He's probably relieved that the dragon has opened negotations instead of going straight for the eating or cooking alive as dragons are often wont to do.

This is another unusual turn. The dragon actually wants to get to know me. His name is a pun.

"I was getting quite hungry, trapped within that book."

Your book? Sounds like you do need the librarian after all, though I'm not sure that this library does bookbinding services. If they do, they're almost certainly going to be extortionate. If you go to a local bookbinders, I'm sure they can fix your book for you, and you'd probably get a much better finish.

That's a good answer. Why is the young boy's answer good, class?

That's right. Stay in a safe place near adults. Never go off with strangers, especially dragons.

I thought he had to leave the library in a little under five minutes though... it's possible that he works there, I guess.

Gulp. Can't argue with those teeth. Let's take a look at this book.

Bookwyrm returns to the book he sprang out of. Is this the book he wants me to fix? Is his book inside this book? If that's the case, I'm not exactly sure that it counts as being 'inside the library'.

How exactly am I supposed to follow Bookwyrm anyway? Do I just 'go inside the book'?

Apparently so.

We arrive in Bookwyrm's cottage. This is a very cosy and comfortable looking house, especially for a dragon.

Bookwyrm gives us the lowdown. According to him, we're supposed to wander around The Land of Fairy Tales until we find someone, then we talk to them, we find out what they want, then we wander around until we find the item that they want, then we give it to them, then we wait until they want something else, then we get that and give that to them as well. We will do this over and over again because 'almost everyone needs my help'.

Bookwyrm says he has to stay there and look after the book. Was he taking a massive risk going to the real world and finding me? I suppose if he left the house, he'd be hunted by dashing knights and the like. Of course, if anybody caught him in the library, they'd call the cops, the cops would call the army, the army would open fire and a massive fracas would ensue. Probably for the best this way. It must be tough being a dragon. (Where do you get clothes that fit?)

Who's this Bookend character? If he's dangerous, can't I be more prepared? I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Bookwyrm's given me a shopping list of the fairy tales he would like me to repair: Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and The Bremen Town Musicians. I can't say I've ever heard of that last one.

Bookwyrm's also given me a very nice and colourful map. Guess what you can't do with it? That's right, we're walking from place to place.

I bet he is.

I leave Bookwyrm to his book guarding duties and prepare myself for some truly epic wandering.

I think we're letting ourselves in for a whole world of trouble.

Before long, I've found my first client.

Okay, find the father, gotcha. I stride yonderwards.

As I leave, she accosts me. How could I possibly consider leaving until I tell her the name of the fairy tale she's in? Apparently, I'm supposed to whip out Bookwyrm's shopping list after talking to each person and tell them outright that they're characters in a story and that they're not real.

Frankly, I'd say that's a bit rude. Wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, can you guess the fairy tale?

I couldn't. At first, I said Snow White. Then I said Cinderella. Nope, she's Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Luckily, my incorrect guesses don't earn me so much as an admonition from Bookwyrm. I select the correct title and we're away!

And by that, I mean that the music changes a bit and nothing else. I think I'm free to walk off and find her father now.

Hey, I know you! You're Cinderella! And the Fairy Godmother!

Like all the cutscenes in this game, this one is incredibly long. I wanted to include screenshots of the whole thing, but Ray says he needs his audience alive. For now.

Wouldn't you believe it, the Fairy Godmother's only gone and bloody lost the pumpkin. We're tasked with finding it so we can send Cinderella off to the ball. I know we're already on a case, but I think I can handle more than one case at a time. Game on.

Hey, I know you! You're Jack! You've sold the family cow for a bag of magic beans! You've ruined your family!

Also you're not real.

Okay, looks like I'm helping Jack find his beans, too. Good grief.

I check his yard to make sure that he hasn't stolen Cinderella's pumpkin.

She's drinking again.

I wander. And wander. And wander. And wander. And wander.

The game world of Mixed-Up Fairy Tales is only four screens across by four screens down, I'm told. It certainly feels like a lot bigger when you have to have to watch the character walk across the screen, then wait for the next screen to load, look for a pumpkin and then try and figure out which objects constitute exits so you can continue the search. All the while, you're still waylaid by the other fairy tale characters, asking you very politely if you can find their magic underpants or what-have-you.

I'm not a fan of point-and-click adventure games.

Regardless:

Andrew Hussie would be proud (external link).

I return to rapturous applause.

The pumpkin is transformed into a carriage, and Cinderella is able to go to the ball. Robot child stares at the carriage in awe. It seems the ball is being held RIGHT NOW so Cinderella takes her leave.

Wait! Don't go! You're the Fairy Godmother! If anybody can help me un-mix up these fairy tales, it's you! Can you help me?

Nope. She's gone.

I guess that just about wraps things up. Let's report the good news to the boss.

What the hell is this?!

Bookwyrm is lounging around in the sun, reading a book while wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt!

Does that mean we're not quite done with Cinderella yet? Good grief.

Meanwhile there's a commotion at Prince Charming's castle. (Which is looking a lot more evil than when we last left it.)

Cinderella has left just before the stroke of midnight and left behind her slipper. The Prince resolves to find the mystery girl and return her slipper. Shocking, isn't it?

But not before a troll picks up the slipper and absconds with it.

"Mecha Neko, will you find that slipper for me?" Sure, since you asked so nicely. But HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME. You just met me! Am I wearing a name tag or something? I might be, you know, and that's why I had to stay in the library. I could be a trainee librarian, and the senior librarian was just about to show me how to check a book out.

I decide to check the most obvious place first.

THE SLIPPER IS NOT IN THE CASTLE.

That's very assertive of you, Prince. We're dealing with a troll in a fairy tale here. He could be anywhere, especially a spooky dark castle.

Looks like we're chasing Bookend after all.

My character walks very slowly. I chase him across many screens. My character walks very slowly.

Eventually, Bookend gets tired of the chase and decides to bury the slipper where nobody would ever find it.

In plain view.

At this point, I'd already found Jack's beans. For some reason, our guy can't carry more than one item at a time, so I have to leave the beans here and take the slipper instead.

This screen is an unfathomable distance away from Jack, by the way.

I return the slipper. She puts it on. Both Prince Charming And Cinderella Thank Mecha Neko Using Lots Of Capital Letters At The Beginning Of Words.

And They Lived Happily Ever After.

I skulk off while the skulking's good. There's one last loose end before I'm quitting this game.

Jack gets his beans. And off he goes, clambering over the wall to plant 'em.

"I can't wait to see where this is going!"

Chased around by a giant? Locked in a cage? I'm sure you're gonna love it, Jack.

Whatever happened to Jack's mother, anyway?

I'm pretty sure she killed herself.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Until the next game.

2 comments:

  1. aww I used to have this game in my first comp

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the prequel to this called Mixed Up Mother Goose.

    My 8 year old brain managed to work out the puzzles (obviously intended for children and probably little more than glorified fetch quests) until the game got to an inescapable screen where it asked Insert Disk 2 and my copy only had one disk.

    I cried.

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