Hezarin: Seen Only Once by Gilgamesh, Who Saw All Things   8 comments

THE SCORPION-MEN OF THE MOUNTAINS OF MÂSHU. Source. Stopped on his quest to find immortality, Gilgamesh must first plead his case to the scorpion-men that guard the mountain, then pass through in darkness for a day.

Last I left off on sort of a riddle.

As you take the torch it suddenly flares bright green, and you see a face solidify
in the flame. The face turns to look at you, and pronounces in a solemn chant:
THE WAY TO LIGHT
IS THROUGH THE DARK
THE WAY THROUGH DARK
COMES FROM THE DARK
THAT WHICH IS NOW DARK
WAS NOT ALWAYS SO
The face then turns away from you, and as it fades so the colour of the flame returns to normal.

I’ve only half-resolved it. Immediately after this room is the Fountain Room that the SKCITSHOOP magic word leads to, and any items that fall in the river also land here. This means you can go to the main Poohsticks bridge and toss most of your inventory, and then find it again upon reaching the Fountain Room.

To the southeast of the Fountain Room, there’s a small bag. It seems to be the “destination room” for any treasures; you can FILL BAG and the only thing that will go in are treasures, and your score goes up once they’re placed in the bag. I’m still unclear if finding them is optional.

A bit east of where the bag is there’s a long stretch of dark smoke-filled rooms — 13 rooms worth. This is what the WAY TO LIGHT/IS THROUGH THE DARK refers to. Additionally, THAT WHICH IS NOW DARK/WAS NOT ALWAYS SO seems to refer to the broken lantern; I had already discovered if you open it there’s a map.

So there’s two pits in the dark hall; if you just try to keep plunging ahead you’ll eventually fall, but if you stop at the right points and JUMP you will leap over the pits instead. At the end there is a Brimstone Cavern.

You are in a long tunnel filled with choking black smoke. It is impossible even to see your hand in front of your face.

>E

You are in a small subterranean cavern, whose only exit is to the west. A large pit filled with bubbling magma casts and eerie red glow over the surroundings, providing sufficient light for you to make out a small word etched at your feet.
There is a small vial here, with decorative (but unreadable) runes etched over the entire surface. The vial is filled with clear water, which shimmers and sparkles in the light.

>READ WORD
The word says ‘WOZX’.

Getting back is a problem, though — the pits seem to move so that there are two in a row at the far west end. This makes them impossible to jump over. I’m guessing the way out is entirely different than the way in (and no, WOZX doesn’t work).

I should add I discovered a very nasty bit of meta-game business (before entering the dark hall the first time) involving the save-game feature. If you save nearby there’s a sound of the earth being swallowed up, and the pits move, potentially in such a way it is impossible to jump through them. Again, this is before getting through the first time via jumping; it’s almost comically evil for a game that lets you undo other mistakes.

I was severely stuck enough I went back to previous puzzles. In particular, with the crystals and orcs section…

You creep past the monster, and reach for the crystal, but as you touch it, it emits a bell-like chime, waking the orc. You whirl around just in time to counter its wild leap for your throat, and the orc impales himself on your sword, the blade sinking deep into his soft underbelly. Sword, monster and chain vanish with a loud crack.

…I had killed three out of four orcs, but the last one refused to let me sneak in. The cabinet where I originally got the vorpal sword had another item, even though it looked like it had nothing.

>GET ALL
Invisbility cloak taken

Wrr. I admit only being on the alert to this from seeing a reference in the big list of potential hints in the manual to invisibility. (There’s a list of questions with numbers, and you can type HELP (number) to look up a particular hint. I have yet to use them other than this indirect hint I just mentioned.)

This invisibility cloak is enough to defeat the last orc (who tears away the cloak in the process, so you can’t use it elsewhere). From the four orcs I got four crystals that merged into a crystal key. I was then able to unlock the box I’d been toting around (remember it was the first thing I found underground) and was confronted by some serious plot:

>UNLOCK BOX

You take hold of the crystal key and turn it once. There is a quiet click and the box begins to hum gently. As you turn the key again there is a loud “CRACK” and brilliant shafts of light flash and fade. When your eyes and ears recover, you realise that you are listening to some unearthly voice telling of great feats of bravery from a forgotten past.
“…….and so the casket was lost, and the panels spread around the globe. Your task now, as the opener of the cask, is to find the four panels of light and restore the cask which by its power will aid you in your final struggle with the Darkness which controls the world.
You must journey to lands beyond the ken of living folk. To Mashu, the mountain of the setting of the sun, seen only once by Gilgamesh, who saw all things. You must journey to places far: from wild wood to evil moor, from chilling marsh to unseen sanctum. Fare well, be strong, let not your heart quail. For with the working of your deeds will your quest succeed or fail. With this the voice fades and dies, and you are left in silence, the box open in your trembling hands.

,,,

From here I got stuck again until I realized in a room to the west of the Fountain with some grey doors…

You are in a small square room with a polished floor. A pair of featureless grey doors, with no visible handles or keyholes, are set back into the western wall, and are closed firmly together. There is a word written in coloured lights above the doors. The only other exit is to the east.

>READ WORD

The word is “G 1 2 3”

…that while efforts to OPEN DOOR and the like are rejected, I could just GO ELEVATOR.

The doors slide open revealing a darkened room. You step gingerly through. You are in the lift.
There is a bottle of vintage wine nearby!

I haven’t mapped the other levels, but I’m guessing there’s a lot more open now for me to work on, in addition to a lot more ways to die.

You are in a large chamber whose walls glow bright pink. Passages lead north, south, northeast, southeast, and southwest.
A large dragon is napping in the centre of the chamber.
The dragon opens a beady eye and snarls “How am I meant to get any beauty sleep with all these Adventurers traipsing around?!”
He then incinerates you with a short burst of flame, but if it’s any consolation he had to count 8,000,036 sheep before he managed to fall asleep again!

Posted January 18, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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8 responses to “Hezarin: Seen Only Once by Gilgamesh, Who Saw All Things

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  1. On one level I’m amused that the invisibility cloak is itself invisible; has a certain logic. In a metagame sense, arg, although not as much as if it hadn’t been mentioned in the manual at all.

    • To be fair to the game, there is another clue about the invisibility cloak: every time you kill an orc, the vorpal sword disappears – and reappears in the cabinet where it originally BANGED into existence. So you have to keep going back to the cabinet to retrieve it for orcs 2 and 3. You need it again for orc 4 as well, but this time when you leave with the sword, you hear another BANG behind you. Like something else was just added to the cabinet; something besides the sword. Go back and nothing’s visible… because what was added is the invisibility cloak.

      I may have also had a bit of advantage figuring this out because (mild spoiler) gur pybnx vf npghnyyl gur *frpbaq* vaivfvoyr vgrz V’ir fb sne sbhaq.

  2. This is just a guess because I’ve not played the game myself, but jbmk hcfvqr-qbja vf kmbz. What happens if you try saying that instead?

    • I had tried backwards but not upside down. Nice catch!

      The vial starts to glow faintly, then as if it had won some unseen combat against the laws of nature it suddenly bursts forth with a brilliant light, temporarly dazzling you.

      It’s a light source (which I do need, there’s a dark place where the torch doesn’t get through) but that doesn’t resolve the pits problem unfortunately.

  3. Is the DOS port of Hezarin the only version of a Phoenix game that understand EXAMINE? I’ve just gone back in after twenty odd years and that twig is still there! DIVINE decadence as Sally Bowles used to say. It is just as overwhelmingly large as I remember it, although having wrestled with Warp for so long I should be prepared. I am playing catch up to you at the moment.

    • I doubt it is just the dos port (I do have the risc os one but I need the energy to fuss with an Acorn Archimedes emulator) but I think it might be the only Phoenix game with EXAMINE.

  4. I see that you can type RATING to receive a sarcastic comment and to learn how many points you need for the next level. If it followed the words “higher rating” with “of insult” it could be another large game of our recent acquaintance.

  5. Pingback: Hezarin: The Crowd Are Delirious, the Judges Can’t Believe It | Renga in Blue

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