Ulysses and the Golden Fleece: The Island of Storms   6 comments

Two puzzles down, five billion to go. Or something like that. Maybe more like five billion rooms.

From Mobygames.

I landed at the Island of Storms to find a jungle. Let me linger on the map a moment:

There really seems to be an effort in featuring the map (here and in other parts of the game) as being “graphics” locations where the text is unimportant. In a modern 3D-environment world, it’s not implausible to have scenery for scenery’s sake. To modern eyes, the graphics just aren’t that great, so the effect is more drudgery. The jungle only serves two purposes: to have a “bridle” in one location…

…and some magic dust in another. The tree’s hole in the picture indicates you can LOOK HOLE (I admit my willingness to check this came directly from the same puzzle appearing in Wizard and the Princess).

Time Zone (allegedly, as I haven’t played it yet) goes ridiculously far in having large maps with only one or two important rooms, so this is likely a preview of 1982. I should note King’s Quest 1 through 4 have something of the same style, but a lot more density to “interesting” aspects of the scenery, and the presence of a third-person avatar adds a weight to locations that are merely there to look good.

North of the jungle is a cave.

Lots of the rooms are “fluff”. I found a spring where I could fill my empty bottle with water — I haven’t managed to use it yet — and a giant wall of fire.

Interestingly enough, while I can’t POUR WATER anywhere else, I can at the wall of fire, but the game still tells me NOTHING HAPPENS and going inside just fries my player character.

Out of the giant lump of items from the store back at the starting town, I had noticed I could TIE STRAPS (leather straps) and further specify WITH ROPE. The resulting item was not well described, but I reached a fjord I couldn’t pass, so I gave THROW STRAPS a try:

This is a one-way journey, since the straps break when you cross.

The cave gets even more boring here…

But there is a dragon. I was able to THROW DUST and scare it off.

I finally encountered a GREAT CANYON. I suspect I might summon some flying critter and use the bridle on it, but I haven’t had any luck with summoning a griffin or Pegasus or whatnot (the game’s cover at the top of this post might be a hint).

I was able to MAKE FIRE as long as I had the wood and flint from back at the store. You may remember I passed on the wood the first time around; to test this theory I had to restart the entire game and pick another item to leave off my shopping list (I went with the LANTERN for now — really no idea). Unfortunately the fire doesn’t attract anyone’s attention, so I’m stuck here (and at the earlier wall of fire, which may not even be really a puzzle).

Posted November 9, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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6 responses to “Ulysses and the Golden Fleece: The Island of Storms

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  1. What’s your current inventory?

    • jeweled bridle
      full bottle
      3 skins of wine
      bag of gems
      giant condor
      gold coin

    • OK, I have the solution, and ARGH. Update might not be until tomorrow. Theoretically solvable off the object list, so here’s a hint in rot13

      ol tvnag pbaqbe vg zrnaf tvtnagvp, jnl ynetre guna gur cvpgher tvira va gur tnzr

      • Not having seen the cvpgher va gur tnzr, I was reading down your inventory list and like “wait a minute….”

  2. $99.95??? I am constantly floored by the price tags on these old games. That’s over $280 today.

    • That’s a “3” with some scratching, I think.

      Time Zone went for that much, though. Accounting for inflation it may be the most expensive computer game ever made. (Neo-Geo games have them beat, though — early 90s console, each game sold for about $200.)

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