What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

Screenshot from King's Quest III
This is the only description you get for the closet. It actually has an important key on top.

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

For Honor

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 10%
Didn't get around to playing this.

Stardew Valley

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 20%
On hold while I'm playing other games. 😊

Battlefield V

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 100%
Still enjoying this game although I still have occasional performance issues and there's still a good chance that the game will stuff up during loading screens (requiring an Alt+F4). I'd actually like to reformat my computer at some stage and start from a clean slate, but that's not going to happen for some time, at least not until I've got rid of more games from my Pile of Shame. I've also yet to give the most recent War Story a go which is really the only thing left to do before I start a review.

Urban Empire

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 75%
I didn't get a chance to play Urban Empire this week, although I did play another game picked by me which was Battlefield V 😊.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 54%
I didn't get a chance to play Black Flag this week. I really should get back into it.

King's Quest III

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 16%
So, I downloaded the game's manual and it contains a bunch of spells I can use. I'm guessing that the spell that turns people into cats will be useful against the evil wizard Manannan (this is apparently common knowledge amongst Sierra fans) however, every time I pick up magical ingredients I'm screwed: Manannan will teleport from somewhere, chuck a tantrum, and then vapourise me into dust as punishment (somebody's got anger management issues). I also can't seem to leave the house since the wizard will always teleport you back if you try. The only spell I might have a chance of actually performing is one that transforms me into a fly since I have fly wings and rose petal essence.

[A few minutes later]

Okay, after using the good ol' Universal Hints System (UHS) I discovered that if you make a beeline to your quarters, you can stash ingredients under the bed without Manannan noticing. Eventually, after collecting a few ingredients, he'll announce to you that he's going on a trip which means you then get a bit more breathing space when it comes to exploring the house. However, I eventually needed to get access to a magic wand and I had a good feeling it was locked up in the cabinet in the wizard's study but where was the key? Well, apparently the key is hidden on top of a cabinet in the wizard's bedroom. Now, what's so infuriating about this is that there's no way to tell the key is on the cabinet just looking at the screen; the game's resolution is too low for that and there's nothing that sparkles on the screen either, which means you have to view objects using the good ol' "look" command. However, if you use the "look" command on the cabinet, it doesn't give you any indication that there is a key anywhere. The only way of finding the key is to type "look on top of cabinet" and then the problem is solved.

How on Earth are you supposed to know it was on top of the cabinet? Are you meant to go around the entire game looking on top of things just in case something is stashed up there? Or maybe you're meant to look under every item too? Or maybe to the left and to the right? It's hard enough to know what actual items you see on the screen thanks to the primitive graphics (e.g. is there a giant bell or sombrero hanging from the kitchen roof?). I can now almost believe the rumours that Sierra purposefully made the puzzles almost impossible to solve in order to boost the number of calls to their (paid) hint lines.

[ The Pile of Shame ]