The Lord High Executioner's Reviews: Part Three, or Miscellany

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Quentin.D.Thompson

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
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[This time, I'm reviewing a group of games that don't fit into any
particular genre - hence the term "miscellany".]

THE HeBGB HORROR!: All right, folks, it's confession time. A few weeks after
I started playing I-F in earnest, it occured to me to write my own game,
using a QBASIC homebrew parser I had designed. The plot of this game was
absolutely laughable: you're Dave Bennett, roadie with grunge band The Putrid
Pumpkins, and you're on the verge of having an ordinary day when you run into
a mysterious organ grinder, who wants you to find the barrel, organ and
monkey he needs to ply his trade - and, more curiously, a missing lead
vocalist. From here on, things degenerated into mock-horror, with a hold-up,
Marilyn Manson jokes, and an underground crypt. Then I got to Inform and
Halothane, and down went the idea. How glad I am that I desisted, because
Eric Mayer's The HeBGB Horror! handles the rock/supernatural mix much more
skilfully than my own writing did, besides working in a bit of punk
nostalgia. The ALAN parser still has a few fleas, but it's at least 50 times
better than my homebrew equivalent. Using my C.E.Forman objectified scale,
this got a 7: my Organ Grinder Wildcard pushes it up to 8. And this is the
first full-length ALAN game. (I'm not counting all those cheezy graphic/text
ALAN games written by Michael Zerbo.) Nice going.

FOUR SECONDS: This really grabbed me. It really did. The beginning was really
scary (I typed 'examine me' and got an error message), but the scene where I
entered Gray's mind, and failed to save Carrie's life, really had me thinking
that Delusions had competition. Unfortunately, it rather fell apart at that
point, with the NPCs behaving rather ridiculously. (Example: I was in a
shower - ostensibly with all my clothes on - with two of my colleagues
disrobed and flirting, and neither of them even bothered to notice me. Was I
in a nudist colony?) Too many bugs, but it really got me at that point. I'm
sort of looking forward to Release Two.

SKYRANCH: I didn't play this in the conventional sense. I tried it in DOS,
DOS without EMM, DOS without HIMEM, an older DOS I had on disk, and DOS under
windows, and the number of crashes was a whopping 4 out of 4. I did read the
game text, though (it's possible to do so with most MS-DOS executables: set
your text editor to binary mode and pray your eyes don't give out..) and a
lot of it seemed to be a rather overwritten, "Eye Of Argon" style fight
scene. (There's a fantabulous MiSTing of Argon on Adam Cadre's page,
http://adamcadre.ac/hiwriting.html, by the way - check it out if you need a
laugh). The rest of the text wasn't too encouraging, but then I hardly had a
chance to see it in its natural environment, so I'll reserve further
comments. Apparently, though, most Comp judges shared my opinion.

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT: In this game, you suck. Blood, that is. Red gold. All
right, end of Beverly Hillbillies imitation. This wasn't a bad little game,
but I fail to understand one thing: why did 'eat NPC' tell me I wasn't
interested in sexual pleasures? (I thought eating people was cannibalism, not
oralism.) Also, a lot of the scenery and NPC interactions were a bit clumsy,
reminding me of my earlier AGT efforts. If this had been an AGT game, I
would've scored it at seven or so: as it is, it got a five.

PASS THE BANANA: Great. An ifMUD in-joke game without cork nuts. I think this
would've been more suitable as a mini-Comp or SpeedIF game than as a full
Comp entry: one of the Comp's points is to increase IF's body of approachable
works, and most beginners will barf on something as in-jokey as this. Also,
it relies too much on Varicella for its Easter Eggs. And a query: why does
'spank monkey' bring up a reference to I-0? (I typed the command because I
had a vague memory of there being a movie of that name.....was it an I-0
style movie? I don't remember.)

REMEMBERANCE: Like the PC of A Moment Of Hope, I use Lynx on-line, so I got
the source code and played/hacked my way through it offline. The writing was
good. I have a soft corner for IF war stories (I also rate _Persistence Of
Memory_ rather high, and it's odd that both Comp war games have similar
titles.) The interaction, though, left much to be desired, and I still think
this could've done wonders in Inform or TADS. (Or AGX.) Oh well......


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Before you buy.

Craxton

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
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> This wasn't a bad little game,
> but I fail to understand one thing: why did 'eat NPC' tell me I wasn't
> interested in sexual pleasures? (I thought eating people was cannibalism,
not
> oralism.)

"Eating someone out" is a term for oral sex.

> And a query: why does
> 'spank monkey' bring up a reference to I-0? (I typed the command because I
> had a vague memory of there being a movie of that name.....was it an I-0
> style movie? I don't remember.)

Hehehe. "Spanking the Monkey" is a well-known slang term for masturbation.
Someone's been leading a sheltered life. >:===8)


-Craxton
--
"All men are sexual. You'd better get used to it." -May Club
Long Live the Hentai Game!

Corky

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Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
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Craxton <cra...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:81seoc$7v5$1...@autumn.news.rcn.net...

> "Eating someone out" is a term for oral sex.

I never heard this before!!

> Hehehe. "Spanking the Monkey" is a well-known slang term for masturbation.
> Someone's been leading a sheltered life. >:===8)

Nor this!!!

I must have lived under a rock for the last xxxx years!@


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