Creature Venture: The Battle with Satan   5 comments

OH OH IT’S LUCIFER HIMSELF

By some miracle, I still have avoided hints. I even technically “won” but there’s a master section I’ll explain at the end.

My first breakthrough was in regard to magic words. I had worked out SAY SESAME in an empty shed by the starting location opened a secret passage with a dagger, but I was stumped on BEEZ, from a diary in a bookcase.

SAY BEEZ did cause the bookcase to vibrate but nothing to happen. I knew (from my RES shenanigans, and an explicit message in the instructions) that the game supposedly only understood the first few letters of a word … but that turns out to be untrue in this case. On a whim (due to the paper being torn) I tried SAY BEEZLEBUB and was told by the game

YOUR SPELLING IS AS BAD AS MINE DAVE

Wait, what? Did the magical invoking diary misspell the word? A brief poke at the Internet yielded Beelzebub, and SAY BEELZEBUB caused the bookcase to move to the side and reveal a secret passage. This was bizarre-meta in both the defying the first characters of text rule on top of the computer … gamemaster? … acknowledging their own bad spelling, and how it somehow is reflected in the diary as well.

Past the passage was a maze.

Not much to say this time — only north/south/east/west directions but I also ran out of items for mapping, so I had to do the thing where I test an exit on a blank room to see if that behavior matches any of the blank rooms currently on my map. I didn’t even get to short-circuit my mapping, as I found the destination last.

This led to the long-awaited shovel.

You can KILL the creature as long as you have the dagger. This helpfully makes the dagger disappear.

The shovel I would normally then take back to the marked spot from the painting I’ve already mentioned, but it turned out to be too big to take back through the crack in the wall. The only thing I could do is hand it to the elf to through it to the room with the oozlybub.

I was horribly stuck and tried all the different improbable things I’m used to trying from adventure games, and by a miracle I came across

>YELL BOO

which caused the monster to disappear. I’m sure in other circumstances I would look it up and say “how could anyone solve that?” By dumb luck, apparently.

Shovel in hand, I could then finally find my long-awaited magic lamp.

If you rub more than 3 times, the lamp vaporizes you. This will be important later.

Now, I was still stuck, so I went back carefully over any game instructions I might have missed, and noticed that the text very specifically says PUNCHOUT BOOGEYMAN as one of its sample phrases. If you try to PUNCHOUT in the second half of the game (but not the first, it’s different BASIC source code so the responses to verbs are slightly different) the game says

RULE 3.2.1 STATES THAT YOU MAY ONLY PUNCHOUT BOOGEYMEN AND THE NEIGHBORS DOG

(If you try it in part 1, the game just says NO.) Even more meta, this command is also mentioned on the cover of the game (I quoted it on my first post, if you go back and check)! So I was able to PUNCH BOOGEY guarding the cage and pick it up.

I could then grab a BAT nearby, and try releasing it in every room, finding it not very useful yet.

I also discovered that rubbing the lamp near the mimic _was_ safe … the first time. It needed a magic wand.

I had previously tested this when I didn’t even know RES was restoring a saved game. The player had apparently found the wand already, but it wasn’t obvious from the inventory display that there was a wand there, because is big enough it overlaps the wand picture. Another pitfall of the pictorial inventory.

With the magic wand I could open the cave-in at the fireflies. The fireflies turn out to be an unlimited light source, meaning you can drop the flashlight and batteries. (Also: technically optional, I’m fairly sure.)

I had finally chipped away all the puzzles I could find and was stuck on hidden puzzles again. The only remarkable-looking place I hadn’t fiddled yet with was a stump.

Trying to break the stump led to a custom message about needing a more delicate approach. I ended up ramming through my verb list and finding RUB worked as a teleporter (since the bark has been “rubbed off” due to people using the magic, aha).

The snake is easily defeatable via bat, so I was then able to go north, and run into our pal Lucifer, as shown at the screenshot at the start of this post. Fortunately, he doesn’t attack right away, he just blocks your passage.

After some thought, and realizing I didn’t have many items left to try anyway, I tried RUB LAMP (the genie wasn’t able to help). Going with an alternate approach of dropping everything, I typed DROP LAMP.

I wish I could say I was clever and thought of this — leveraging the don’t-rub-more-than-3-times rule to vaporize Satan, and I guess if anyone can do it, a genie can — but this was another accidental solve. Still, I’ll take it as a win.

(It also looks like it does this even if you haven’t used up the wishes, so I think the mechanic backstory may be more along the lines that demons aren’t allowed to use genies.)

And I really do mean a win — the game lets you quit out at this point if you want, but if you want to go for even bigger treasure, you can do the bonus master quest. It’s essentially a contained short story — you get reunited with the dagger, flashlight, and batteries, and have a short number of turns to win. I’m still not through that section so you’ll see my flawless(-ish) victory, or rampant use of hints, for my finale next time.

Sneak preview.

Posted May 29, 2021 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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5 responses to “Creature Venture: The Battle with Satan

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  1. Congrats on getting through. I’m not sure why, but this game seemed one of the most amazing to read about in this blog so far (in a sense of it evoking punishing bafflement). Certainly makes me feel like my WIP is at wuss level difficulty, but then I remember it has a zillion other things in it instead that this game isn’t even trying to include!

    • I very much prefer “wuss level” that, you know, makes sense, to *waves hands vaguely* whatever THIS is.

  2. I admire your patience!

  3. Reviewing a walkthrough, I gather there are a pair of “glasses” found by looking at a table early in the game’s house, which let you (1) read “LEBUB” on the key – the other half of the misspelled Beezlebub; and (2) read “BOO” on the knife – which, combined with a hint in the oven “if you can’t killem, scareem,” is ostensibly how to solve the oozlyblub problem.

    Also, the jar of fireflies (and keeping them safe from being eaten by the bat) is apparently required, because the teleportation stump arbitrarily won’t let you rub it if you are carrying the flashlight.

    …that sure is a sentence I just wrote.

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