Curse of the Sasquatch (1980)   6 comments

My first post on Greg Hassett was 4 years ago so there’s a definite feeling of tension/bittersweetness to be on his last two games. (I’ll be playing game #10 — Devil’s Palace — immediately after this one.)

In a previous news article Mr. Hassett explains he comes up with the titles of his games first, which explains some of his quirks like House of the Seven Gables having no real gables. With this game, I’m not sure where the “curse” comes in, but at least there’s Bigfoot.

IN THIS ADVENTURE, YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO THE FROZEN WASTELANDS OF ALASKA IN SEARCH OF THE LEGENDARY BIGFOOT. ALL OTHER ATTEMPTS TO FIND AND TRAP BIGFOOT HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL, SO BE PREPARED TO RISK YOUR (AND MY) LIFE ON THIS ADVENTURE.

Regarding the I love the “RISK YOUR (AND MY) LIFE” part: is the computer literally a character in the game, part of a collaboration with the player? Is it really a symbiosis where the computer embodies the player but is still the same entity, somehow? Or is the computer more of a gamemaster intermediary, intended for the player themselves to be in the world (in which case, how does the computer narrator die)? We’ve seen exotic variants of this, like in CIA Adventure which gives the player a “partner” who is not exactly the same as the computer narrator, or the inclusion of an actual extra player intended as a gamemaster of sorts in Spelunker.

The occasional theorist has hacked at the player-narrator-avatar triad before but it never seems like every permutation gets covered. So any aspiring PhDs with a yen for dodgy TRS-80 games and who are on the hunt for a thesis: here you go.

“Obviously carried to this shack by someone or something” gives the game the same mysterious in media res vibe as The Count. My guess would be Bigfoot Himself is responsible.

After some minor puzzle shenanigans, I was able to get in the fireplace and use a key to enter a secret area.

Most of the puzzles so far have been the Greg Hassett standard; find an item, apply it in the right location (no complex timing, and very little in the way of objects used in combination). Play a flute for a cobra, then use the tranquilizer gun from that room and use it on a tiger.

However, I have mapped what seems to be everything and don’t know where to go!

I’ve found a “lifesize bigfoot doll” (that is described as female) suggesting I might want to make a mock-Bigfoot to attract the shaggy behemoth. In addition, to the flute and tranquilizer gun I already mentioned, I have a “growling tape recorder”, a lighter, a candle, an axe, and a ladder.

There’s also this room, which I think is intended as a joke but I’m not certain; if you try to take any of the items a wizard says you can’t take anything and zaps you dead.

There’s different kinds of Stuck; this is the Not Even Sure What The Obstacle Is kind of Stuck, which is pretty unusual both for games of this era and Greg Hassett games in particular. (Unable to Get By An Obstacle is the most popular, followed by Unable to Get an Item to Do Anything and the occasionally related Unable to Collect the Last Missing Treasures.) Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Posted November 1, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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6 responses to “Curse of the Sasquatch (1980)

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  1. Have you tried following the footprints? Also, maybe you need to use the doll with the tape recorder (that is, put them in the same place)–and maybe the place with the footprints is a good place to do so?

    I had figured that if you were somewhere snowy it would be a Yeti rather than a Sasquatch but I guess the Yeti is specifically Himalayan and Sasquatch is Pacific Northwest, which could stretch to Alaska, especially if you’re around Excursion Inlet (he says confidently, having looked up “what’s vaguely around Jueneau?” on a map).

    • >FOLLOW FOOTPRINTS
      THEY ONLY GO FOR A FEW YARDS… THEN THEY STOP.

      I’ve tried dropping the two items at the location, and doing INSERT RECORDER and the like, no dice.

      I did find I could try to PLAY TAPE at the programmer room but it says I need to be holding the tape, and holding the tape means I get zapped.

      If somehow I can get the tape out of there, and play tape has the desired Sasquatch-y sound effect, I do think the footprints are the most likely place for it to work.

      • Just to give the specific message when trying to get the tape:

        A TALL WIZARD APPEARS OUT OF A WISP OF SMOKE, SAY: MORTALS CANNOT RETRIEVE ITEMS FROM THE WORKROOM! WITH A PASS OF HIS BONEY HANDS I VANISH INTO THIN AIR.

      • After some research (that is, I looked up gamingafter40’s walkthrough), I have some hints about the cassettes, which honestly I would not give you if I did not live on the other side of the continent, free from retribution.

        Gurer vf n pyhr ba guvf irel cntr, jurer lbh yrnfg rkcrpg vg.

        Gur pyhr pbapreaf gur vqragvgl bs gur jvmneq.

        Ur’f gnyy.

        Gurer’f fbzrbar ryfr ba gur cntr jub vf xvaqn gnyy, znlor.

        …Tert Unffrgg.

        V’z cerggl fher gur jvmneq vf fhccbfrq gb or Unffrgg uvzfrys.

        Naq gur nqiragher jbexebbz, shyy bs oebxra crapvyf, pnffrggrf, naq zbhaqf bs cncre, vf jurer ur znxrf uvf nqiragherf.

        Naq gung gur ebbz vf n gbgny erq ureevat/rnfgre rtt, juvpu pbagevohgrf abguvat gb gur fbyhgvba ng nyy.

        Fbeel!

        More pertinently:

        Vg ybbxf yvxr gurer’f nabgure cbegvba bs gur znc lbh unira’g svtherq bhg ubj gb ernpu.

      • Made progress by spamming the ladder everywhere.

        Looks like the plot might be … Scooby Doo-ish?

  2. And that the tape recorder is n uvag gb jung’f hygvzngryl tbvat ba engure guna n chmmyr fbyhgvba.

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