Voodoo Castle: Mystery box   8 comments

I compared Voodoo Castle earlier to a mystery box, and the analogy seems to be holding up. I’m finding snippets of a ritual for waking Count Cristo, a little at a time. I’m still missing part but I think I might need to just use some guesswork or induction to finish the game. The feeling of peeling back layers of enigma is much stronger as implicit plot than greedily snatching up treasures.

Sometimes, writing these things is simply of matter of me playing terrible old things so you don’t have to, extracting design lessons and maybe some interesting quotes. I can gleefully spoil every plot element and puzzle without the feeling like I’m ruining it for everyone.

Then there’s games like Voodoo Castle, which are enjoyable enough that I actually want to recommend them. If you feel like you’d have any interest, you might want to just stop reading and go play. To make it easy, here is a link to play online.

From Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia.

First I had an odd sequence where I found a chimney sweep stuck high in the chimney. There was some anticipation built up for this with moaning sounds which suggest a zombie attack or the like, but it just turned out to be the unlucky guy we rescue in the screenshot below. He gives a paper explaining how the command ZAP turns stone things to life.


One ju-ju man statue and a ZAP later, I awoke a ju-ju man in the same room as a ju-ju bag (which I previously could not access because it was “stuck to the floor”) and for some reason this lets us make off with the bag and grab the things within. I think the ju-ju man would be upset, but maybe he’s just thankful we revived him? It’s like the pirate from Pirate Adventure who just wanted to get drunk and didn’t care about what we stole.


Based on the hint from the medium last time I took the ju-ju bag to a crack that was too tiny to enter (this is different from the tiny door) and did >WAVE BAG, leading me to a secret room.


The room contains a torn page from the recently found book. Putting the pages together:

With knife in hand you take a stand. Circle coffin and…

…wave the stick and hold the lamp and don’t forget to yell “CHANT”! Oh yes, to help it succeed, a doll you’ll need…

I don’t know if I’m close to the end and I just need to guess the rest of the ritual, or if I still have some things to collect including the final instructions. The only things I haven’t worked with are a.) a shovel, which hasn’t gotten a useful response to DIG anywhere I’ve tried, b.) a kettle of soup and c.) a witch’s brew that turns my character into a broom if I try it. Hopefully this will roll to the finish by the next post?

Posted January 29, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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8 responses to “Voodoo Castle: Mystery box

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  1. Say, can you actually save and restore games in the emulator?

  2. Oof, I did not get along with the chimney sweep puzzle. I think I knew that you had to cel fghss bhg jvgu gur unzzre but the exact command for it was beyond me. This is something where the modern “implement a couple layers of examining” style would’ve helped. And then the idea that you had to gnxr gur obneqf naq fnj gur tengvat, vafgrnq bs fnjvat gur jbbqra obneqf was something I wouldn’t have got without the walkthrough.

    Anyway, you’re surely there by now, but: vg ybbxf yvxr lbh’er qbar. Whfg qb rirelguvat gung gur obbx fnlf. V thrff rirelguvat lbh qvqa’g hfr vf n erq ureevat (jryy, gur oerj vf n qrngu genc, naq gur xrggyr vf gurer gb or zbirq… gung jnf nabgure pnfr jurer V unq gb uvg n jnyxguebhtu qhr gb snvyher gb thrff gur ireo).

  3. Pingback: Voodoo Castle: Finished! | Renga in Blue

  4. I think you missed one message. When you save The Ju-Ju man, he thanks you explicitely and grants permission to take his bag.

    • Actually, saying the magic word that frees the Ju-Ju man doesn’t result in any message (at least in the TRS-80 version I was playing) other than basically “I think you’re in trouble.” After that there is also mumbling. I tried to do all the regular “talk man”, “speak man”, “give bag”, etc. The key is to just LISTEN to the mumbling, and the missing message occurs. Kinda weird… if I hear mumbling, I’m usually listening already? And mumbling seems to indicate that no words are actually being formed. Thankfully, the game doesn’t wait for the explicit permission to be given.

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