Sunday, 27 January 2013

X-COM: The Martian Solution

With the Brazilian base destroyed, it was time to interrogate the captured leaders and find out a way to end this once and for all. I kicked the research team into overdrive, and began to build more power armour and base facilities. I knew I'd be needing some more heavy weapons, and some base defences in case the aliens came knocking.

My interrogation turned up something very important. It appears that the local base of operations for the alien invasion is Mars. The base is well hidden, and must surely contain all the equipment required to control the numerous attacks on Earth. Finding this base, and destroying it, is the only hope for mankind. At the core of this hive-like alien society, must be a "queen bee". This is our final target.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Last Crusade: All This For A Magic Cup?

So here we stood, near the entrance of the Temple of the Grail, in the Valley of the Crescent Moon. As I was about to admire a nearby sign, up popped Marcus. Where he had been, he wouldn't say, but I'm sure he would serve some sort of purpose. The sign made a grave warning: Though I might treat this as a game, beyond this point I would not be saved! (Or indeed be able to save, although that is more annoyance than hindrance).
On second thoughts, let's not go for the Grail

The temple itself was impressive, and we made our way inside, only to see a the mildly disturbing sight of a decapitated head rolling past. Advancing further, we saw the treacherous Donovan and his aide, Dr. Schneider. Working with the Nazis in order to get his hands on the Grail, he then shot Henry in order to force me to help him. Of course I was going to go in there anyway, but I guess I had no choice now.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Last Crusade: Up In The Air and On The Road

Leaving the castle by motorcycle was the easy part - now I needed to get to Iskenderun. The first port of call was the nearest airport, to get as far away from Germany as possible. Arriving at the airport, I realised I needed to buy tickets, but was short on cash. There seemed like nothing I could do, but I did notice another person waiting. The guy wouldn't give me any information, except a list of his grandchildren. It was then (too late) I noticed some papers in his jacket pocket.

I admit it, I stole this gentleman's tickets

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Last Crusade: Junior and Senior

So while Marcus Brody goes to sunnier climes, Elsa and I make our way to meet my father. He's being kept in Brunwald Castle, on the Austrian-German border. The Nazi flag next to Berlin lets us know exactly what danger we are getting ourselves into, and upon reaching the castle it certainly looks quite foreboding.

A little too close to Nazi Germany for my liking

Elsa stays in the car, and I optimistically say I'll be a few minutes. On my first attempt through, I decided to let my fists do the talking. I took out the butler who greeted me, and then proceeded to punch my way through the castle. Four fights in, I failed. Knocked unconscious, it was all over, but thankfully I had saved... back in the catacombs. I had made the fatal error of assuming a Lucasarts game wouldn't allow me to lose!

The Last Crusade: Catacombs and Crypts

In my previous posting, I mentioned arriving in some hidden catacombs. These creepy passages are beneath the city of Venice, and although they should probably be flooded, they form an annoyingly long maze instead. The top-down maze is periodically interrupted by rooms with puzzles or items in them, often with rather oblique solutions (after all, this is an adventure game, and they do have their own logic).
The room with the torch

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1990)

To break up all the X-COM posts, and to give me a little rest from killing aliens, I've decided to play along with The Adventure Gamer at the next game on his list: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The game was made originally in 1989 in EGA (16 colours), but I'll be playing the more eye-pleasing VGA version (256 colours).

The game itself follows the film pretty closely, but adds in a lot of extra puzzles and alternative solutions to problems that Indy finds himself in. There's even a little action, with a little fighting mini-game. The game opens after the credits at Barnett College, where Indy occasionally teaches archaeology, when he's not having adventures. After a brief chat with old pal Marcus Brody, you get changed into your suit in the gym.

Friday, 18 January 2013

X-COM: Alien Base Assault

I guess I couldn't wait any longer. They had been taunting me for months, knowing I was scared to send my squad into their South American base. Their secret pact caused Brazil to withdraw funding for the X-COM project, and since I wasn't feeling a huge amount of threat from them I decided to leave it until I was more prepared.

I still don't feel prepared, but I'm going for it anyway! Alien base assaults are a tricky proposition, full of dark forbidding rooms and awkward corridors. It can be too easy for them to overwhelm you, especially if you are ill-equipped. There's also a slight chance that I might walk into a Sectoid base, in which case there would be psionic aliens present. Psi-attacks can cripple any force, and I have yet to do the appropriate research in order to find out which of my soldiers are vulnerable.

Friday, 4 January 2013

X-COM: The Alien Menace

Finally saved up enough money to build another base (called Shapeir of course!) and put it in North America. This should mean I get good coverage of all the highest funding countries. I've also managed to research the stun launcher, so I should be able to research all of the aliens I come across. In my workshops, I'm beginning construction of a Firestorm, which should hopefully boost my ability to shoot down larger and faster UFOs (or at least it will once I get Plasma Cannons researched too).

It's apparent I'm in the third phase of the alien invasion now, it began with grey Sectoids, moved to purple Floaters, and now the Snakemen have arrived. There's nothing particularly remarkable about the snakemen themselves, they are just generally better armed and armoured than most of the other races.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Kickstarting: Hero-U

Here's a kickstarter that just sneaked over the target, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. By the legendary creators of the Quest for Glory series, Hero-U borrows from their previous games whilst taking a slightly different direction. Rogue to Redemption will be a 2D RPG, with adventure-game puzzles and offering a story that will change as you play.

The Hero of Hero-U: Shawn O'Conner (all pictures from

As soon as I saw this project, I had to back it. As I've mentioned in my earlier posts, the Quest for Glory games were a defining moment in my game-playing history. I loved the blend of RPG and adventure game, the way they crafted the setting using various folk-tales and myths, and of course their sense of humour. If they can capture half of that magic for Hero-U, then I'm sure they'll have another classic on their hands.