Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Alone in the Dark: The Basement

Starting this up again, I had some apprehension at going into the basement. I don't really want to do that until every other option is exhausted. Well, at the end I forgot I had found another key. Which will no doubt delay my descend into the cellar by anywhere from 5 second to a full minute. The only untouched door was the locked door in the cigar lounge. Let's check it out.
Ah, what is this? Something with a sword in the corner? Will I have to go back to get the statue? No, its just something on the wall. Mercy, for once. It has a mechanism, and using it again does nothing. Aha! This is where I put the broken saber! Imagine how terrible this would have been if I hadn't kept every single item like a kleptomaniac!
Gee, this is what we call railroading. I still have a little unfinished business up here. There's another record in this room and it might even be the one I need. Another book too. Is this the Necronomicon?
Nope, but it is the story about a yankee officer dealing with a mysterious slave owner in this place. It explains why the cigars damaged me earlier, apparently some strange magic. The slaves also come off as zombies in this, the old-fashioned voodoo kind. Very interesting. Back in the dance hall, I first check my book in order to see which of these weapons will be useless to me now.
Yes, yes, you stereotypical ghosts. I feel like this puzzle is unnecessarily complex despite essentially very easy. I get a key, its weird-looking. Very thick. Now there's no more excuse for not going in the basement. First we'll go in the normal basement. This is probably how it was intended, seeing as I've had the key for about half the game. Fortunately, I have a full revolver, rifle and two arrows for the bow, plus 27 hit points. I've held onto the sword and the magic dagger, in case another vagabond comes by.
Rats? No, not fighting rats. An ambient track kicks in, mostly with dripping water. At least the rats don't seem to be enemies. Nothing much in the front half of this room, nothing in the wine racks or the crates. Some bullets on the counter, which I can load into my revolver for it to hold 12 bullets. I don't think they anticipated someone being so miserly with their ammo.
A scream...and eventually a rat shows up. He nibbles on me a bit and I start brutalizing the fella. Blood spilling out, flipping him around. This goes on for a minute. I check my book, no mention. Doesn't even mention this area until the end game. I look up a walkthrough online, and find out that this rat is invincible. Here's an idea, show that. Chopping up a rat with a sword that weighs as much as it does, of course I can flip that. Blood makes me think I'm doing damage. This is some proper garbage. Fine reload, rush through the damn thing. Get bullets, find a book take a wedge that moves some barrels. Yes, I saw those two parts. I don't care. This will be reflected in the overall rating.
The book? The Trial of Captain Pregzt...which is the name of the demonic entity in this game...so the entire game has been about a cosmic horror pirate. Also, Elie Hell? Say that out loud. You screwed me, Alone in the Dark. I liked you, I really liked you. His ship, Astarte, found by a H. Hartwood. Pregzt says he will never die. Naturally the comrades in favor of his death die. The rest get their fair share of the booty. Elie Hell gets his ship, but not before being told by a dark man to forget about what Pregzt said about getting treasures better than gold. It is spooky, but this is still a wide turn I don't like. This also really puts the quality issues with AitD 2 in perspective, that game is supposed terrible for having lots of glitches and pirates, yet here we are, defeating a pirate turned god in Louisana.
Now, the true basement. The last section of the game.
I like the stepping sound effects. Different sounds for stepping on the cavern floor than on wood.
Well, I hope I didn't leave anything important behind. Good thing I have a save beforehand. And a little delay, admiring the scenery before carrying on. Sound effects for the cavern floor are damped by this strange looking substance being the same as stone. I guess that's possible, but it still sounds strange.
I thought worms made the dirt softer? I mean...AAAAAAAH! The worm is presumably invincible, but that's of little consequence as you can run faster than him. An obviously blocked off passage next to an open passage at the end of this tunnel makes me suspect this is a puzzle.
Another one of the "dog" monsters. With the added range of the sword, he's no real problem. Its my own fault I get hit. The worm zooms by as we fight, taking out the blocked passage.
Okay, run back, then after he's back at the start, go through the newly opened passage. Reasonable enough.
One hit kill. I am not even upset at this. After a reloaded save I do that...and discover he doesn't follow me. So I go back to where he spawned, which leads to the regular cellar. So I then finally just go through the tunnel he chewed through and find myself...
In front of some water. Do I just jump down? This isn't Tomb Raider we're talking about. Despite flippy McPirate earlier, the rules of this game have been fairly realistic. Yep, Tomb Raider now, no damage too. Nice falling animation. Combat music starts, then quickly ends. Something is here. Well, I have a gun and more ammo than I know what to do with. Let's use some of it.
Oh, watching this guy flail at me is just...adorable. That's not something you want to hear about your horror video game. Emily flails just as much trying to shoot him. Apparently its really hard to aim your gun down a few ticks. Sword again. Honestly, this fight is really pathetic. Water lizard here seems to think he has a lot more reach than he actually has, which resulted in the two of us flailing around wildly for a little bit. I feel bad for killing him, you know, if he wasn't a pirate's pet.
What, another one? Nevermind I don't feel bad for killing the last one. That bridge you see here will collapse if you walk on it, and Raynal felt it was important enough to make falling into water with a lamp and bullets realistic. I reloaded, of course, because if I saved it until now, I'm going to use it on something. At some point I obtained the ability to jump. I don't think I had it before at least. Let's see that in action.
Oh, wow, that's really bad. Huh, the only way out jump up. Do I have to do that or is it automatic?
I'm surprised Emily never put Lara Croft out of business. That is some wonderful climbing. Oh, and standing in the air after climbing, even better! She'll even do it at an awkward angle that doesn't make any sense unless she's literally climbing the 2D background as it appears, not something that makes any sense in an imitation of 3D space. Okay, enough mocking.
The music changes and a big spider monster appears. I guess this is the cute baby spiders mama. Two shots with the pump-action rifle. Make your own joke here. The spider's model looks really questionable and appears to have a...uh...something in the back. The passage further down shows something flying in the distance. Glad I still have an almost full rifle.
Oh, wow, a jumping puzzle in a game like this. Why would you do this? I have some experience with platforming in these kinds of games. If I make it to 1997 in 3rd person shooters, you'll understand my distaste for this. With enemies...go...od thing I have a gun. Only takes me two tries. Another water lizard in the water. Not that I'd ever fight it. What awful creature is next?
Don't tell me there's another worm.
There's not, at least, I didn't find one. There is a spider, but it didn't look like I needed to fight it, so I didn't. Couldn't hit him with a gun, and I didn't feel like cutting up another enemy.
Oh, good, monsters out of reach of my guns. Pirate swords everywhere. Is this game going to end on some stupid "you got the pirate treasure" bull? Because of the way perspective is set up, I didn't know he was circling a higher area. Takes a few more shots than I'd like, but I get him.
Also, guys, when you're perched atop a high area where a fall will damage you and ruin all your items, you should maybe pick a better camera angle.
A chest. Well, I know what unlocks it. I hope. It has a gem and a book. I knew it.
Pregzt's maniac ramblings in book form. Apparently the good yankee captain from the civil war did the world a favor, resulting in Pregzt's voice actor saying "Damned Yankees!" The slave owner in the earlier story? Pregzt. The game throws a kitchen sink of occult at us: "Witchcraft, voodoo and the Cthulhu cult". Yadda, yadda, yadda, the Hartwoods may have escaped, but you will die. I have implored the stones. Only the Chtonian resists me, must be the worm. He hears and smells you. He defeated death, built Derceto, Cthulhu helps him, he roars and rends the night.
It also explains the death screen, the player is cast upon some stone. Pregzt needs your body to regenerate. He needs Emily's body to regenerate. Yeah, that could cause some awkward fan art and creepy statements by some people. This doesn't cause anything to move, no, you have to move the rock out yourself. Finally, before I advance, the read book has the name "A Pirate's Log book". Yeah, I buy that.
A few screens of walking around, before I come to a locked passageway. The gem, being the only item I can think of that would do something, does nothing. I'm guessing I need something else.
A maze. In the dark. Today's French word is rembourrage. It means padding. Actual padding. If you want to know how to pronounce it, I don't know. This is about making fun of the French, not learning French. There's nothing wrong with putting a maze in your game, or even putting a lot of mazes in your game. Anyone who thinks otherwise either has navigational issues* or plays too many mind-numbing pieces of crap. In the former case, please feel free to continue to use maps regardless of who insults.
I mean, the maze isn't that hard even with the handicap. For some reason the lamp doesn't drain during this time. Which leaves the question, why? Why? Why?
Okay, this is a spooky shot. Nothing scary shows up, although jumping across the water is mildly terrifying. Navigation in this room is a pain.
Uh...what? Is this the point where I'm supposed to throw the lantern?
Check out that throw. The last time I saw someone get a throw like that it was also in a video game, but with a knife. It hits the wall and falls in the water. So I reload and try again. Several times. Apparently the puzzle is something else. This looks like the place at the game over screen, so it must be Pregzt. Pregzt the tree. Maybe I'm supposed to run closer. Naturally there are monsters in the water. And Pregzt throws fireballs at the player. Emily sure will be a good vessel when she's cooked crispier than fried chicken.
So, I run, throw the lamp, take a hook and run away. I haven't hit anything but a wall with the lamp, but you can exit this room just the same. Won't do you any good, but you can do it. I did not get a shot of it, but aiming the lamp wrong will cause it to bounce off as if both the lamp and the tree are rubber. I check my book and yes, I'm doing it right. So I check an online walkthrough. I'm supposed to use the talisman on the altar.
Nice work here, that's just some amazing 2D work. You put the talisman down and then throw a lantern at it. Then you run. Someone says "Get Out of Here", who is saying that? Why would Pregzt tell you that? He's the only one who has the ability to say that to you. Are you saying that to yourself? Why?
Anyway, the walk out involves using the hook you find on the altar on a couple of stone doors, then going out the way you came.
Eventually, I make it out the door. Triumphant music plays. Birds are singing, the dawn is breaking. Emily hitchhikes on a car that looks suspiciously like the one she had and...
...There weren't any sequels at all. After skeleton face drives off with Emily, the screen just hangs on a shot while saying "The End". Well, that was an adventure. That's that, the end of the first Alone in the Dark game. I can't say I'm that disappointed, but I wasn't completely blown away.

No comments:

Post a Comment