Palace in Thunderland: Shocked   2 comments

I’ve been mopping up a fair number of easy puzzles, but I’m still stumped by the overarching puzzle of the thunderstorm.

From an old eBay auction.

For the easy puzzles, I’ve found

a.) some jugs of strange liquid which substitute for the valuable wine, so I can bring the carpenter to the walrus without blowing one of my treasures; I’m still not sure what to do with the oysters I get as a result.

b.) a pink globe, pink drumsticks, a pink featherduster, and a pink prybar can be inserted into a MINGO MENDER to form a flamingo, who is presumably used to play croquet with the Queen of Hearts; I’m still lacking a substitute ball

c.) that I can just KILL JABBERWOCKY with the sword (I was apparently doing every verb but the right one) and the singing sword does short work of it

d.) the boots with the Jabberwocky are rubber and allow surviving the blast of thunder, but I’m still missing something in that respect.

Let me give the exact sequence:

20 turns: IT IS GETTING VERY DARK OUTSIDE!

40 turns: IT IS NOW PITCH DARK OUTSIDE!

When this happens, the “outdoor” areas — the garden and the start place — are “lit by huge floodlights”.

60 turns: A NOISY THUNDERSTORM RAGES OUTSIDE!

This is sufficient to kill an NPC: Bill, the maintenance man, who was previously fiddling with wires near a fuse box. The box is rusted shut and there’s no way that I can find at the moment to open it.

80 turns: CRAAACK! LIGHTNING HITS THE PALACE!

If you’re indoors when this happens, and you are not wearing the boots, you die. Either way, the power goes out, and the only way to see is with a flashlight, but the flashlight has a very short life (6 turns). Also, the 80-turn mark is when the metal fuse box gets entirely melted.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to save Bill before the lightning strike somehow, or do something in between turns 60 or 80, or do something after the full strike happens. My suspicion as that the melted box is a “loss state”, but I’m lacking in gear to do much else. I can’t give the boots to Bill (unless I’m missing some verb wrangling) The only items I haven’t used are some pink medicine, two treasures (an ermine robe and a family “hairloom”), and the oysters. I also haven’t wrangled the rattle from Tweedledum and Tweedledee yet (I suspect it might be round enough for croquet but I’m uncertain based on the description), or made the dormouse happy (the dormouse wants butter, and there’s a churn, but I haven’t found a way of using it).

I do find the lightning storm fascinating in a structural way. As I said in my last post, the game starts wide-open; it feels like one of the typical “simulationist” games like Zork or Adventure, but by having a full scripted event that the player can’t control, there’s an imposed plot point overlaid the freeform puzzle-solving at the same time it is happening. This allows for having both simulationist and cinematic ideas running parallel to each other in the same game.

I’d be happier being past the puzzle, of course. I still feel like I’m making forward progress, at least.

Posted February 14, 2021 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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2 responses to “Palace in Thunderland: Shocked

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  1. Can you weave hair with the hair loom? If so, do you need to cut it first? If the sword isn’t suitable for cutting your own hair, can you cut it off Bill’s corpse?

    • WEAVE doesn’t work there, but I’m certainly still suspicious of that spelling (I might not be if this were your typical TRS-80 game, but Mad Venture had enough wordplay it’s good to be on the alert).

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