Thursday, 13 July 2017

Leather Goddesses of Phobos - WON! and Final Rating

When last we met, Trent had almost died for the fourth? time in Cleveland. A circle in Cleveland took us back to Phobos, and from there on to Venus and Mars.

South Pole

EDUTAINMENT WARNING < While Mars' north pole is made from water ice, the south pole in Mars is made from CO2 ice. >EDUTAINMENT WARNING

While hanging out near the Sultan's palace last post, I found that one of the teleportation circles takes me to the barge. With that information I (eventually) work out that I can get to the south pole without going past the brain exploding machine.

I get into the barge, put the raft (the one we picked up in the catacombs) into the canal, turn the barge on and then Trent and I jump into the raft before the barge gets too far.

We can now use the raft to travel the canals as needed, picking it up again when we're at a dock.

We make our way back to the royal well, jump in and end up back on the barge – now at the south pole – success!

As we exit the barge Trent falls into the frigid water, and prompty dies... again.

I once again get the robot gypsy baby and give the penguins 9 marsmids – this time I work out that I can stop the baby crying by wrapping it in a blanket. But knocking on the orphanage door still has the same result of the matron throwing me out.

After trying lots of things, I had to turn to the trusty hint book again to pass this part.

It turns out that I have to wrap the baby robot in a blanket to stop it crying, and I have to leave the baby here, but I can't DROP BABY. What I need to do is first, PUT BABY IN BASKET (which required lots of dropping seeing as I'd been keeping a lot of items in the basket since the start of the game) then PUT BASKET ON DOORSTEP, at which point I automatically hide behind a nearby snowdrift. After waiting a few turns the matron takes the baby. Apparently, the matron forgot to lock the door (although the game didn't mention this), and I can now open it. Inside are some cotton balls, which I grab.

ITEMS FOUND: 7 of 8 – cotton balls, headlight, Cleveland phone book, 82 degree angle, mouse, blender, rubber hose

As I go back via the black circle in the Allusion Room, I find Trent popping out of the Oasis “Good thing I'm so good at holding my breath”


Spaceship

One of the black circles in Venus goes to the hold of a spaceship, specifically a Phobosian battlecruiser. It contains a sword, but as I arrive a radium-powered grenade hits and I die if I'm alone. If Trent is with me, he hurls himself on the grenade in my stead. Thanks, Trent. I'm near the end of the game so I'm not sure if this is really the end for poor Trent. I grieve for him again, then move on.

There is also a stallion that I can ride to the other side of the spaceship, where I find a therma suit (which I wear) and a hatch (which I open and leave)

I'm now in space, between the Phobosian battlecruiser and a small space yacht, while a figure in black, who is Thorbast, Chief Assassin for the Leather Goddesses of Phobos, leaves the young woman he's assaulting to attack me with his sword.

I HIT THORBAST WITH SWORD, while a bug-eyed monster attacks the tied-up woman

We go blow to blow for a while while I try other verbs, like STAB, THROW and DECAPITATE.

Like this, but in spa...oh

At one point Thorbast loses his sword and I end up with it.. I try attacking him with both swords, or with his own sword, but he just dodges and gets it back the next turn.

I try telling him to give up or leave. I try giving my sword to him or giving his own sword back to him...

As I give him his own sword, he realises that this gesture is proof that I'm the good guy, and therefore he has no chance of winning. Thorbast kills himself to save us both a lot of time.

The monster, who's been continuing to undress the woman for many turns, flees as I hit it with my sword.

As I untie the woman, she invites me to her space yacht, where she writes her father's address on the back of an old photo, and promises he'll handsomely reward me if I see him on Ganymede.

Looking at the photo, I see it's a photo of Jean Harlow. I take it, then enter her cabin for a bit of rumpy-pumpy. Eventually I go back to Mars

ITEMS FOUND: 8 of 8 – photo of Jean Harlow, cotton balls, headlight, Cleveland phone book, 82 degree angle, mouse, blender, rubber hose

I go back to the battleship, pick up the reconstituted Trent, and hop on a circle to Mars.


Exit to Endgame

With my 1 marsmid coin, I buy an Exit from the Exit shop proprietor, then jump into the black circle he sold me.

I end up in a boudoir next to someone else. I smell (scratch 'n' sniff spot 6) – LEATHER!!!

One of the Leather Goddesses of Phobos calls for guards, and I end up falling through a trapdoor into a plaza.

As a grenade explodes nearby, Trent mentions it's time to start building that Super-Duper Anti-Leather-Goddesses of Phobos Attack Machine! and starts asking for items.

Each turn Trent asks for another of the items. The first time I came here I didn't have all the items I needed.

Oh shit indeed

But this time I have all the items I need so I'll live... I hope.

As I give Trent the blender, the guards are joined by tanks. They are subsequently joined by giant berserk robotic sumo wrestlers, the entire main attack fleet, a massive dematerialization ray (I wonder if it used to be a tray), fifty phobosian chompers, ion bombs and a death ray.

Trent's machine must look something like this

Finally, Trent turns on the machine, we smell scratch 'n' sniff spot 7, and...

Perhaps coming sooner than you think...

Session time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Total time: 13 hrs
Beings slept with: 4.5 - Female gorilla, Wife #137, Frog princess (½), Elysia of Ganymede, Leather Goddess


THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF TRENT

Trent, hero of the people, faced certain death many times. Here they are, in all their glory...




I grew to love Trent after I lost him for a while


LEWD, SUGGESTIVE OR TAME, OH MY!

I didn't mention the lewdness settings earlier. The fact is, I played the entire game in LEWD mode - it asks for your age when you try to play lewd mode - no quiz, no proof, just type a number. When I did a test of the modes earlier, I didn't see any reason to try the other modes

If you were really LEWD, you'd tell me exactly what the yak was doing with the lubricants.


Final Rating

Puzzles and Solvability

My biggest problem with the puzzles is that there is no indication of why I'm doing things.

I'm kissing a frog because it's an adventure game – there's no way of me even guessing that the frog will give me a blender if I kiss it.

Giving the robot baby to the orphanage so I can get in and get some cotton balls is another example. For a while I was actually convinced the cotton balls would somehow come from the rabbit, purely because it was the only thing that was white and fluffy in the game. That would have at least made me attempt to solve a puzzle with a definite result in mind rather than solving them purely because they're there. As a solution the game could have the matron that throws me out have a bunch of cotton balls in her hand - let me know what I'll get for solving the puzzle and I'll have more motivation!

I did mention during my playthrough that I enjoyed solving the 'untangling cream' puzzle. If more puzzles were like this I'd be giving this game a higher score.

As it is, puzzles were acceptable but largely unspectacular - My score: 4

Interface and Inventory

The interface is standard 80s parser fare, with nothing special - it caused me periods of frustration, but much of that can be put down to my current lack of patience with the old technology. The fact that the potential number of inventory items was so large but space is limited is extremely annoying. Particularly when you take into account the number of items I never used, I can't call this decent design. - My score: 3

Story and Setting

The story is deliberately schlocky, and it works for what it is. The settings aren't terribly fleshed out – Mars could have easily (and more believably) been a future Earth, Phobos could have been any place, and Cleveland could have been any house in any suburb in America (or Australia, or Britain for that matter.) For a game that advertises, or at least heavily implies, that it's about sex, there was very little sex in the game. I didn't mind that, as I feel most games that go that way generally suffer in the comedy department by going for 'cheap' sex jokes. This game is much more Space Quest than Leisure Suit Larry.

Nothing special here - My score: 4

Sound and Graphics


My score: 0

Environment and Atmosphere

The atmosphere of this game, largely due to the dialogue that we'll get into next, worked. Each location description threw at least one joke at us and the game as a whole successfully maintained a feeling of light-heartedness throughout - My score: 6

Dialogue and Acting

The dialogue was certainly good. Like any attempt at comedy, some of it worked for me and some of it I found groan-inducing. Like a good Zucker/Abrahams movie, the jokes come fast enough that the ones that miss can be ignored as a hit will come soon enough.

Some of the writing brought thoughts of Douglas Adams to me – the 'tits' joke I mentioned in the last post being one of the best examples. Coming a few years after Steve Meretzky worked with Adams on the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy game has me thinking writing in the Adams style was something Meretzky had become comfortable with.

I'm still wondering if the TEE-remover's existence implied it had been used on Arthur Dent's inventory before the Hitch-Hikers game itself – Arthur starting the game with 'no tea' in his inventory.

Anyway, this is the best part of the game - My score: 7

Final Rating

Final Score: =4+3+4+0+6+7/.6 = 40


A PISSED rating of 40 puts this game behind Dungeon, Zork III, Witness, Deadline and Planetfall, and ahead of Zork I and II and Starcross.

The winner of the score guessing game is... well, nobody got 40 but we have a 39 and a 41. Two winners - Alex Romanov and Alex. 10 CAPs per Alex! Congrats!

Since finishing the game, I've done some more reading on it. If you have an interest in what goes on behind the scenes of making a game, I found some fascinating information  in the Infocom Cabinet - info such as design notes, news articles, maps, beta test feedback (a lot of people mentioned the tedious nature of the catacombs) and more.

So, that's it for my first foray into text games. You'll be getting another one soon when Joe Pranevich takes on Enchanter. But for me, I'll soon be tackling the sequel - now with graphics, and a mouse cursor, and a pulsating inconvenience!


6 years later for Infocom, but only a few weeks for Adventure Gamer Blog readers!

3 comments:

  1. This seems like a game that was too crazy for its own good. Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 is seen as a pretty "bad" game, but one that will be entertaining to blog about, I'm sure.

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  2. Hilarious review, befitting a bizarre game...though it seems enjoyable!

    ReplyDelete