Archive for the ‘curse-of-the-sasquatch’ Tag

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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Curse of the Sasquatch: If It Weren’t for You Meddling Kids   Leave a comment

I have finished the game, and there is a genuine Plot Twist™, so spoilers ahoy.

Image from the 1975 movie Curse of Bigfoot. It may be where Greg Hassett got the title for this game. As of this writing it is ranked 1.9 out of 10 stars on IMDB.

I managed to unstick myself from last time by using the old “well, this object LOOKS like it ought to be useful, and so I will try it on every spot on the map” trick.

Specifically, dropping at a ladder just outside the maze from last time let me get to a new area.

Yes, it’s spelled “Padio” in the game.

I had an AXE and was in a FOREST, so CHOP TREES yielded some firewood … and a warning.

Past this was a building filled with pools of oil (the kind you drill for, not the kind you put in cooking). This was the moment it hit me this was not a hunt for Bigfoot at all, but a Scooby-Doo plot.

For those unfamiliar with Scooby-Doo, it is a TV show that has various iterations and reboots for 50 years. According to the Scoobypedia:

The show follows the iconic mystery solving detectives, know as Mystery Inc., as they set out to solve crime and unmask criminals, bent on revenge or committing criminal acts for their own personal gain.

Titular character, Scooby, is followed by his best pal Shaggy as both vie for Scooby Snacks on their adventures! Velma brings her extra intellect and initiative to them, setting out plans to catch criminals. Fred is the team’s leader while Daphne is bold and takes risks all to keep society safe.

More importantly, the prototypical Scooby-Doo plot has the gang discover some mysterious goings-on that appear to be monsters or ghosts or whatnot, but by the end discover it was Old Mr. Crumpet the whole time and somehow he managed to get a hold of both holograms and teleportation technology. He meant to drive people away from the old amusement park so he could buy up the land when it went bankrupt and he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling kids. (Why he didn’t bypass illegality altogether and just profit off his obviously hyper-advanced hologram technology is unknown.)

Turning a knob in the building led to an underground area. This seemed to be a one-way trip.

The underground area included a “wine bottle” (which actually had oil in it) and an oil barrel, just to emphasize the point made earlier: there’s a lot of oil here. There was also an elevator which led down to a “closet” and eventually to a “control room”.

Here I was very, very, stuck. I maybe shouldn’t have been, but as a partial excuse, the game a.) doesn’t have a save game feature b.) has a brutally stringent inventory limit and c.) locks the player into the closet-control room area once arriving. So it was very annoying to test out different possibilities and I eventually resorted to checking Dale Dobson’s playthrough at Gaming After 40. (He got stuck in the same place, and had to check source code.)

I had missed that I could take the firewood I chopped in the forest back to the fireplace in the shack at the very beginning of the game, then type MAKE FIRE followed by LIGHT FIRE. (It sounds logical enough, and there’s even a hint near the beginning about lighting a fire, but at the time I processed it just as a reference to things being cold and didn’t have making a fire on my mental “to do” list. Oops.)

As the screenshot indicates, this opened a secret area on top of the shack, where I found a TRAP and a note to “DROP THIS TRAP AND YOUR BAIT (NOT INCLUDED) WHERE YOU SUSPECT THE SASQUATCH FREQUENTS.”

I took the LIFE-SIZED BIGFOOT DOLL I had and the TRAP over to the control room (crossing my fingers I had this right, since again, no saved game), and…

…victory! I don’t know if any Scooby-Doo villains worked with the Russians, but trying to frighten people off land in order to claim valuable oil is definitely their speed.

I did appreciate the minor twist, and especially that it was heavily signaled early on yet I missed the first signals due to the vague standard way objects in adventure games often are delivered on a convenient platter. For example, I had found a GROWLING TAPE RECORDER which I assumed was needed to be used to attract an actual Bigfoot; it did not occur to me “wait, this is the device the villain used to scare people” even though that’s a more logical conclusion. Essentially, I was tricked by the form of the text adventure itself. (See, comparably, the puzzle that stumped me on The Great Pyramid.)

So, kind of a fun plot finesse, but why would a “life-sized bigfoot doll” (which I assume the villain earlier used as part of the con) be the right bait? Wouldn’t that bait only make sense for an actual Bigfoot?

Also, why were the trap and note on top of the shack in the first place? My best guess it was left by the mysterious person who rescued us and brought us to the shack in the first place. (We never learn who that person is.) Were they trying to conceal the trap from the villain, maybe? I probably am trying a little too hard to find the logic here.

I never worked out the deal with this statue while playing, but I found out later from the Gaming After 40 post that the statue is supposed to be the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz saying “OIL ME”. If you manage to do so he gives a hint about getting into the control room, but I didn’t need the hint to finish the game.

Posted November 5, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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