Thursday, February 20, 2020

Isle of the Dead: Zombie Ritual

At this point I had a map, I knew roughly what I had to do. There were a few obvious items I needed to get yet, and I had no idea how to activate the oracle. The sun is down and I have a nasty feeling that's a bad thing. What did I do to solve this problem?
With a complete map of the game and knowledge of what to do to win, more or less, I started over. These first few paragraphs are a walkthrough of the isle part of the game. After that I don't really walk away from explaining the way to win, but I'm not going back and writing it the way I actually need.
I probably should have illustrated this with a picture of some of that
So, to start off, get everything from the plane, go to the northeast section. Enter the bunker, use wire cutters on the wire in the bunker, get everything in here. Use oil on rag, then rag on rifle. Go to the northwest section clear up as much of this area as you want, enter smiley cave, get crystal, go up hole in ground. After getting the flower go west until you reach the area with a cave. In the cave, make sure to get one of the wolf corpses.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
That's right, in order to win, you have to get a corpse of one of the wolves. Is it any wonder I never finished this before? Then, you make it to the first village. After talking to the guards and then the chief via the use of the book, you give the chief the cigarettes. Talk to him again and take the bolt cutters.
Something, something, cyberspace. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Go to the other village, north, kill the bongo player. Talk to this chief, go back to the other village, get his medallion. Go to the temple, its at the top side of the little ball in the map to the west. Use the wolf corpse and then talk to the oracle. You get an uzi, which uses a different kind of ammo. Ammo 1...ammo 2...yeah, somebody didn't think this through. The oracle tells you to starve the humming box. I.E., power supply box. Why a mad scientist brought along one of those, I don't understand. You have to talk to the oracle too, you can't just figure this out on your own. That's actually something I wouldn't have thought. Glad to see they did something right.
Its actually weaker per shot, but stronger in ROF
Here's where things get annoying, so far the game has told the player nothing they couldn't figure out themselves. A player who already knows this stuff could just use the smokes on the guy in the first village, then find the power box. Its in that little fenced off area in the southwest. Then you go to the upper right corner and find through scores of zombies. You use the bolt cutters on the chain wrapped around the fence door. If you use the insulated wire cutters, you die of electrocution. Why? I'm going to assume because the developers don't understand how insulation works.
Jesus Christ. The area behind it isn't even needed.
So the interior is rather calm. Deceptively so? Yes and no, the area where all the dead are is where the power box is.
I gotta get better at taking screenshots.
The left building contains some lab equipment. A syringe and a beaker. I find I can use the flower in the beaker but nothing else seems to be useful here. What a load of crap. You can touch a live wire.
At first I thought he was outside looking in...
In the other building, its a full-blown interior. The music changes to something out of Nitemare 3D. You can blow up a TV, or see how many paintings the good doctor has of himself.
Further in, there are a swarm of nurses. They're the strongest enemy, taking four shotgun blasts. How a mad scientist got this many people to agree with him, I'll never know. This has got to be a Manson-level cult of personality here or something. The "uzi" is a weak weapon, but makes up for it by having a firing rate of less than ten years per shot.
One room, hidden away deep in the house, has a red syringe. This not entirely necessary.
I didn't take a picture of that, so here's her inside you
Door three down, the rightmost of the three doors, has the native girl. She looks nothing like a native in cutscenes, but does look okay-ish in the inventory. You use the lower right button, the others are gags. When you free her, she mentions she knows an escape route in the basement. Okay. I don't know why...
If you examine her, you'll note it says she looks sick. Using the red serum will "calm her down", but the second you switch weapons or change screens she'll kill you instantly. Its not that she's okay, she'll still do that if you can't cure her, but the red serum must be the zombie drug.
If your arm looks like that, consult a doctor immediately. Not this one though.
In the middle of the three doors is the mad scientist. As you enter he hulks out. He's fought with a few nurses, which only serve as a distraction. The man himself is only a damage sponge and seems like he might not even be necessary to win the game. Killing him causes the isle to start self-destructing. In fifteen minutes.
Once again, I fail to capture a shot of the interesting part
He drops chemicals, which is the last ingredient for the antidote. You need to put the flower, then chemicals, then crystal into the beaker, followed by putting it into a syringe. Then you have to go to the oracle to inject it. Not the bathroom, not either village, not anywhere that's safe enough, no, I have to go all the way around the isle again in order to inject it.
How do you even know what flying is?
In order to actually escape, you can go by plane or by raft. With the plane, you need to disable the SAM. Its green wire, red wire, blue wire. How someone got a SAM down here is a feat in of itself. With the raft, you just need to cure her. You better have saved that flare gun. If you want to win that is, instead of sitting in a blue void for all eternity.
She just looks like she needs a good thousand year rest
With a little further testing, the good doctor IS necessary to win the game. In order to reach the plane you need to go into the basement. In order to open a perfectly visible door, you need the girl. Which is odd, because there's an option to get off the island on a plane which seems to be impossible with this framework. The girl is afraid of flying. Since she's a native, how would she know? The red serum turns out to be a sedative, thus meaning using it on her while she's infected speeds up the infection. Clever, if obvious.
I'd also like to point out that pausing the game does nothing to the in-game timers, as I had paused while the native girl was in my inventory, and unpaused to die.
Wow, I had no idea.
Couldn't there be a better way to do this?
So, what are the endings? There's little difference between the two. In each case you leave the island as "THE END - ?" appears at the top and bottom of the isle respectively. The plane ending involves us dumping green chemicals into the ocean. In both cases it is technically the end. The only other game made by people related to this was Nerves of Steel, a game that is much less amusing. Figuratively, this could be the prequel to any number of titles, depending on whether or not you want to make it so and the zombies can infect other zombies. Otherwise, there's just going to be some bad seafood for a while...
How is this not the end?
This screen moves really fast, so this is the only way you'd ever see it
Now, I'll close it off with a list of differences on the CD in comparison to the floppy version:
The rest of it isn't too bad...I guess
  • Movement in the adventure sections is too fast when using the keyboard.
  • The machete has had its graphics replaced with a stick of bamboo.
  • The CD's trees look worse, but are more distinguishable from the exits.
  • The sprite trees are garishly obnoxious.
  • The shotgun is on the starting screen.
  • Most of the death cutscenes have been removed, except for the snare. The scientist's HAHAHA seems to be all that remains.
  • None of the gore unrelated to the player dying has been removed, nor have the scenes of you perving on the natives.
  • The sounds are cleaned up and the guns seem to have different ones. They sound much better.
  • The inventory seized up on me.
  • The shotgun feels faster.
  • The music is now pretty sweet.
  • The save menu is much worse and even more unusable without a mouse.
  • The save/load menu seems to not block inputs from screwing with your movement in the game.
  • You get less ammo from the crate, but more when you get the uzi.
  • If you get killed in such a way that would cause a game-over that doesn't feature the scientist, the game will just restart with no explaination.
In short, its unplayable. Not in the sense that you can't win, you can, but in the sense that if you don't know what you're doing you'll give up. The censorship is questionable at best. The gameplay improvements don't seem to fix anything.

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