Saturday, October 26, 2019

Alone in the Dark: 2nd Floor

Previously, I left at the end of the second floor*. One puzzle left, although realistically, this is the first puzzle in the game. I don't count "do what the game told you to do" and "I wonder what this vase does" as puzzles. Those would be puzzles if I had way more options. This isn't Legacy: Realm of Terror or anything. Nothing as of yet is useless.
The reload produces some jamming ambient music. Its ambient, but its clearly going for a melody. Accidental darkwave?
The room downstairs has a pair of gargoyles. Clearly, they're meant to do something, as the music suddenly changes and they're 3D. I think I can figure out this puzzle. This isn't rocket science. Presumably I use the mirrors on the statues and they do...something. This puzzle only makes sense as a puzzle in a computer game without further input. I slowly inch across the northern wall, who knows what'll set these guys off. I put the mirror in place and...
Please, ignore that this is the opposite of how its written
The gargoyle starts going crazy. He's not moving, but he's writhering around, like he's in pain or he's about to slaughter me. Okay, carefully inch back, across the door. Gargoyle number 2 doesn't do anything yet.
Mirror put into place, gargoyle number 2 dies. Number 1 writhers in pain, but when I walk back dies. This doesn't really make sense as anything but computer logic. They probably built the engine in such a way that you can't touch things on the wrong part of the screen. Whatever, down the stairs. They're automatic when you get down them, and...
Door closing as you advance on it. Spooky. A laugh that sounds like Bela Lugosi's redneck cousin. Hilarious. I laughed. Out loud. That's more than I can say for some comedy games. Good job...kind of.
Walking around, I accidentally activate a suit of armor into fighting me. He's really dumb and overestimates his reach. I accidentally back up and then start just pounding him non-stop. For a good amount of time. While mysterious ambient music goes on in the background. I start to suspect that this suit is immune to a broken cavalry saber. Checking my book of walkthroughs**, I discover that I need something. I don't know what yet, but something. Fine, I reload. The combat music starts up for some reason after that. Armor-man isn't alert or anything.
The door that closed on itself is locked, and the armor is protecting the right area...I guess that means the area to the left then? Two paths there, one with a door and one further left that's a mysterious hole.
Uh, what? Am I downstairs now? I hate these kinds of stairs. Standing still for a while and nothing advances. I don't know if something is going to pop out or not.
A kitchen. On the first floor. Now, I'm no architect, but I would think you would put the kitchen on the ground floor. Or is this some weird British thing? Like one thing Americans and Brits agree on is kitchen on the first floor and they're fans of football. There's some weird ball of light on the table that I at first thought was a loaf of bread. I also discover that there's no water here, matches and a knife. Two knives. My first thought is, what kind of puzzle needs two knives? I guess they're weapons. Might as well try them out.
A groaning sound occurs as I walk toward a door. This is effective, not some hohoho level laugh.
There's a storage cupboard that has a key for some reason. A biscuit box. I'm starting to think the game is screwing with me now. Until I realize that's a health item.
Door no. 2, some kind of hidden area like corridor. I guess we'll try this door.
Oh...darn...The zombies aren't awake right away and I get the perfect shot at one right next to me. Okay, they won't awaken until I do something here, maybe I can hit them? So I hit the zombie next to me, he awakes, but hey, one-on-one isn't that hard. Boom, done. I go after zombie no. 2, door closes behind me, a zombie far away awakens just as I hit zombie no. 2. Reload!
I manage to get defeat them all, eventually. They awaken one by one in a way that doesn't screw me over too much. I feel like this game has a real problem with how the melee combat works. You have poor reach and thus have to pick the right moment to attack. The zombies at least, telegraph their attacks so you know the right time to attack. Most of the time. The problem is that the zombies have better reach that most of my weapons so far, are much more capable of spamming their attacks and can quite easily put you in a death spiral. Thus, what is arguably less of a problem in its inspirations is a big problem here. In Resident Evil, at least, the zombies may have a rare pain cycle, but its a long one and you know what you have to do to activate it.
As to the room itself, its a dining hall. Apparently abandoned during a dinner party. Yet the kitchen doesn't have a fire going or anything. The door out unlocked itself after the zombies died, leading me to three exits. Is one of these a bathroom? There's got to be more than one bathroom here. The double doors lead me back to the stairs. Okay, then, the hidden area looking corridor must be the middle area. What's door no. 3 lead to?
I guess I'm going to die now. No? Its just smoke? What? What? But it hurts me. Is this an incense room? Is this an opium den? Its possible, it is supposed to be the 1920s and the guy was old. There's a lighter in here, but I want to conserve my health for fighting the undead again.
Wait, isn't this where I came in? What? I'm confused by the layout of the house now. I mean, I shouldn't be, they showed me to here when I walked in.
What? Is the outside Cthulu now? I'm afraid I can't show the hilarious tumbling motion our heroine makes as she gets sucked into her doom. Is the ground floor a weird metaphor for the basement or something? Why can't survival horror games just lock the front door? I don't understand this at all. Right, picking the door on the right and hey music's changed. I guess there something-
Gun. Gun. Gun doesn't work. Yeah, I'm going to win with a knife against this guy. Who is he even? What, is he a servant of Cthulu? Or is he here for kicks and he figures no one cares if he murders me too. I don't bother, he'll kill me for sure. The guy has a freaking sword, he has reach. If I wanted to sound pretentious, I'd say this is a metaphor for women in the corporate world, even if they have a gun, the other guy won't die. That puts me in a position to figure out how to kill two enemies. Somehow I don't think the solution is to find Uncle Jeremy's stash of rifle rounds. That'd be an interesting survival horror game. Trapped in the mansion of your dead NRA supporting relative, trying to find the key to his gun safe before the forces of the ancient ones get you.
Back to the kitchen, let's try that last area.
Spooky music and...ants...? Oh, there's a zombie behind me. He traps me in the cabinet. Right, reload. He's tied to the entering of the water closet. Why is anyone's guess, but it must be related to that door in the kitchen I can't close. Let's see what's in here, some oil, a barrel of water...
...Shoes? Why? The sequels are supposed to be inferior, what kind of god-awful puzzles are there going to be? I half expect the next couple of items to be a tuba and a box of pins. On my way back out I discover I can take the pot of soup...for some reason. I don't know if this is a joke. Hey, wait, I can search the shoes. I wonder-
Oh, that's a badly rendered model. Although the previous 3D games would probably have it be a literal box revolver. Maybe Uncle Jeremy should've had a M1911. You don't need a lot to low-polygon model a M1911. People 25 years from now wouldn't mock a M1911...maybe they would.
Okay, these are the doors I have left at this point. Left one, I don't know where that'll lead. Right one might lead back to the pirate. Left one is locked. I have a key, and after using it I discover its a key to the Cellar. Huh. Let's wait on that. Right door it is.
Despite being in mostly 2d, I feel like this is superior graphically to a lot of games after it, minus my issues with Emily's face. I do a little searching around and notice that the statue doesn't say "nothing important" like the other areas. Hmm, I search a little more and arrows. This must be for the bow I picked up earlier.
Something, something, why would spiders wait for me to do that? Something, something, cosmic horror. Dead, reload, let's check that other door upstairs a little first.
Is that a ghost or a bloodstain?
Hey, its a Star Trek alien! Right, reload, don't touch the ghosts. Ghosts don't like to be touched. I'm guessing there's a puzzle here somewhere. Ammo, which will be useful soon enough. A grammophone, which I can carry, but lack the inventory space for it. Well, let's give the pirate another shot with all these bullets I'm carrying. Maybe throw some things at him if I need to.
What's French for "this is a puzzle, you stupid American?" I do find out that the pirate can't cross the door. Ah, technical limitations. Hmm, does this mean I can just leave the door open when I grab the arrows?
Yes! Yes! Muahahaha! Hmm, I don't know if this is the plan or not. I don't know if I'm exploiting the rules in a way the developers intended or if I'm just exploiting the rules. Well, let's keep a save before this event just in case. Does pirate fall to arrow? And hang on a minute, I just now realized that these spiders were reused for the game Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time. I don't have a screenshot handy, but they have the same coloration and general style to them. The ones in Bugs Bunny are far bigger and more deformed, but there's a definite family lineage.
What? No. I'm shocked. I probably need to use the hot glue gun on the saber or something.

So, that leaves me with a handful of problems and only one solution:
1)Ghost is guarding a box of something. Possibly I can get by him without activating him.
2)Armor is guarding a corridor. I don't think I have anything that can kill him.
3)Pirate is guarding another corridor. He probably needs some kind of melee weapon.
4)Another door is locked and I don't have the key.
5)Spiders drop when I take the arrows. Is running out of the room the right answer?
6)A room with smoke it in. Is tanking the damage the right solution?
7)I missed something somewhere and I have to go back and get it.
Solution: Go to the cellar.
I think I'll stop here before this goes any further. This basement thing's gonna be a real problem. Goosebumps might have told us not to go into the basement, but Fighting Fantasy showed us why you really shouldn't go into the basement.

*The real floor number is 3rd, since this is presumably in America. But because some Frenchman didn't do his research its the 2nd floor and I got confused like any big dumb American.
**Hey, its not really cheating. I'm just confirming my suspicions about an enemy. If you want to read about someone futzing about with the suit of armor for an hour...I don't know who to direct you to. That sounds like a really bad LP.

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