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Let's Play... Simon the Sorcerer 3D

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 6.6K users

So I'm doing a run through that most infamous of bad adventure games, Simon the Sorcerer 3D. This is so I can do a Madisun's Arc review of it, and like all my video game reviews I'm playing through the whole thing and recording it so that I essentially have a complete video run of the game.

The thing is, doing this is long. And boring. And requires me to convert a LOT of videos from massive avi files (3.95GBs each) into smaller wmv ones that don't take up every bit of free space on my hard drive. And while the videos are converting, I can't actually play the game. Well, maybe I could, I dunno, but I don't really want to be converting video files AND recording footage from a game at the same time. I think my motherboard might melt.

So, during this down time, I figured I'd do something. Going back to the videos I've already converted to wmv files, I'm grabbing screenshots from them and I'm going to do a picture based storytelling exercise... thing.

So here we go!

Let's Play... Simon the Sorcerer 3D

SimonTitle_zps3d37150d.pngIntro01_zpsbd9bfe1e.png
The game opens up with a blatant rip-off from Star Wars. Because that was topical. (Actually, it was - the game came out around the same time The Phantom Menace was released on DVD. So this comment is probably a bit redundant and I should therefore probably stop talking.)

This text basically sums up the events of the first two games. I'll explain most of it as we go along, so I won't bother telling you exactly what it says here.

Intro02_zps4f643a13.png
This is Runt. No, seriously. That's his name.

RUNT.

He's the 'apprentice' for the main villain of the series...

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AHH! MY PARENTS LIED! THERE ARE MONSTERS IN MY CLOSET!!

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Oh no, it's just the titular SIMON THE SORCERER.

Oddly enough, you actually play as the bad guy in this series. It's a refreshing change from the norm, and makes the franchise a lot more interesting as a resul-

Intro05_zpsbea6581f.png
Oh, right. This isn't actually Simon. It's the warlock Sordid, who's spirit possessed Simon's body at the end of the previous game. Sorry. As you'll see later on, Simon's so vicious to people it's hard to tell the difference between him and the villain sometimes!

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Sordid's been taking Simon's body on a funky little joy-ride, and while he's been away, Runt (god I feel so stupid every time I say that) has built him a nice new body to inhabit.

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Which he promptly does.

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Because let's be honest, if you had the chance to take on the form of a giant ED-209-like monster machine, you would to.

(How he'll ever get laid again is a question for the ages, but I guess we're not supposed to think about that.)

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Runt (ugh) tells Sordid (actually, that sounds dirty as well. I think I'll need a shower after I'm done with this) about his plan for finding 'The Ancient One'.

He'll have to be more specific than that though, since there's around a thousand 'Ancient Ones', most of which aren't going to be particularly inclined to help a pair of Sordid Runts.

I mean, do they mean the guy who taught Doctor Strange?

LP-Ancient1_zpscd35cb22.jpg

The guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

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This... THING from Star Wars?

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Be a little more specific people, that's all I'm asking!

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Then they both have a good laugh over a dirty joke. I think. I kinda zoned out there trying to decide which Ancient One they were talking about.

Uh, where were we?

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Oh. Right. We're... somewhere else now. In the rain, apparently.
(You can't tell because it's just pictures, but there's no sound effects whatsoever here. It's really very weird seeing the rain but not actually hearing it. Odd disconnect.)

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And we get a glorious ass shot (or at least it would be a glorious ass shot if the graphics weren't so awful) of some chick who must be absolutely freezing as she carries Simon's body to the top of a... wait.

HOW DID SHE GET SIMON'S BODY OUT OF SORDID'S LAIR?

No, seriously - How. Did. She. Do. That? You can't just brush something like that under the rug, game! It's a pretty big thing to skip over! Explain, dammit! EXPLAIN!

LP-EXPLAIN_zps5ca47a52.gif

...sorry.

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So the chick just leaves Simon's body at the top of the stairs as she does a dramatic pose in front of three old guys, which diminishes the effect somewhat, but I guess she takes what she can get.

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Fortunately the old guys can make Simon's body float over to them, which just begs the question of why the hell they didn't do that in the first place instead of making Lara McNotCroft drag him all the way to the top of the pyramid.

Jerks.

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And so they lower Simon's body into the pit of sharp pointy things coated with horribly nasty poison, and he was never heard from again.

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Everyone toasts to a job well done and the game is over.

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...I wish.

252 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Darth Marsden said: Too many images, check. I'll try and cut back a bit.

    Overall I think you've found a good balance, but it was a bit much with the hidden path and those death scenes.

    I'm enjoying this immensely, but seeing this makes me glad I never actually played the game. Teen me must have had pretty good taste for not picking this up back then, even with the limited number of games I had any interest in at the time and despite being a big fan of the two first installments in the series.

    EDIT: Wait, this came out two years after Escape from Monkey Island!? EfMI might not hold up too well graphics wise, but it still looks a lot better than this atrocity.

  • Are you sure you're not playing as the bad guy in this game?

    Ah well, this latest installment does a better job of only showing the interesting/important images, thanks!

  • @flesk said:
    EDIT: Wait, this came out two years after Escape from Monkey Island!? EfMI might not hold up too well graphics wise, but it still looks a lot better than this atrocity.

    Hell, Escape looks positively gorgeous compared to this.

    monkeyisland4010-193332_320w.jpgEFMI04.jpg

  • Oh god, you're right. After staring at a series of Simon 3D screenshots, Escape looks fucking beautiful.

  • I think it's because of all the detail. There were no truly barren scenes in Escape. Maybe you couldn't interact with all the stuff, but there was always tons of things in the background to look at. It's one of the things that I don't think got enough credit in the game.

    By today's standards, it hasn't aged well, but I remember starting up the game after playing those early 3D Harry Potter games and being completely blown away by how pretty it was in comparison.

  • Time to completely and utterly blow your minds.

    Simon the Sorcerer 3D is made with the NDL NetImmerse 3D engine.

    Would you like to see some other games that used the NDL NetImmerse engine?

    Freedom Force vs the Third Reich:
    freedom-force-vs-the-third-reich-2004121

    Oddworld: Munch's Odyssey:
    2.jpg

    Call of Cthulhu - Dark Corners of the Earth:
    928237_20050518_screen001.jpg

    ...and my personal favourite, and the one that's really makes everyone go "WHAT?", fucking Morrowind:
    morro1.jpg

    And for comparison's sake, here's Simon 3D again:
    LP-C1-149_zpse7351e61.png

    ...doesn't quite hold up, does it?

  • dafuq?

    You really weren't kidding about the programmers being lazy.

  • Yeah... Normally I don't really complain about graphics, but this is definitely a case of not going the full mile.

  • It's a combination of the developers' lack of experience with 3D and the fact that the game apparently went gold two years before it actually came out in 2002. Had it come out in 2000...

    ...well, it would still look awful.

  • User Avatar Image
    Jennifer Moderator

    @Darth Marsden said: [QUOTE=der_ketzer;754816]The demo is in German, of course.


    Oh well. Us English speakers still get the gist of it at least.

    Basically the opening cutscene from the demo takes about a fifth as long as the actual game, which takes almost 8 minutes from hitting New Game to actually being able to first control Simon. When I said I was getting Daikatana flashbacks, I wasn't kidding (I did say I was getting Daikatana flashbacks, right?).[/QUOTE]
    I found a site that still has the demo in English here. It's too bad Adventuresoft was forced to go 3D for this, as it seems like it might be at least a decent game in 2D.

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