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

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 9.5K 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

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.

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


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


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-

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!

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.

Which he promptly does.

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.)

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?


The guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?


This... THING from Star Wars?


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

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?

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.)

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.


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!



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.

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.


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.

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


...I wish.

252 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Cheers guys.

    OK, so now we have our sprite-in-a-lantern, let's go show it to the guy at the Wizard Academy or whatever.


    Now all that remains is for Simon to take the TEST (yes, that's how it's spelt).


    You and me both.

    The hall then fades away and is replaced with this:


    It's animated so the lines move away from the camera, like we're in a tunnel or something. It's possibly the most impressive visual effect the game's done so far.

    And it's a rip-off from TRON.



    Another typo. "for the what"? Oops.


    Oh, right. Let's hear it then.


    ...and Simon's just farted. Because the game's run out of 'dark' humour and decided to go for 'toilet' instead. Charming.


    Oh you're KIDDING. Simon's farting screwed up the magic test? Sweet heavenly maker...


    I think that was supposed to be subversive or something. Ugh.


    Oh, fucking FINALLY. It's only been three sodding games before we actually get to do some proper magic (unless you count the god-awful Hush Puppies puzzle from the second game).

    So, what do we get to do? Fire magic? Ice magic?


    Fashion magic.

    Fucking FASHION magic.

    Just... great.


    Yes. ME.

    So, we can now cast Fashion Magic. What spells does it have?



    OK. Let me explain how this works then.

    Basically, when we cast a spell, we can choose to say three different words, each one for a different colour. We can choose between Red, Yellow and Blue. When we cast magic, we can say any combination of these words - say, Red and Blue - and then the end result is...


    Yep, we can now change the colour of our clothes. Whoop-de-fucking-do.

    So, naturally, I do this:

    LP-C2-139_zps405ffe49.pngBLACK LIKE HIS SOUL.

    (Also it's by far the best looking colour)

    Anyway. We're a Wizard Harry so let's get into that Wizards-Only club and find the guy who can forge us some papers.


    Oh, right - it's still night. Oops.


    That's better. NOW let's get in there.


    And here we are.

    I'm not going to show you the puzzle here, but I will describe it, since it's rather fiddly and I'd like you all to hear about it.

    So obviously the Wizard isn't here. If we talk to that face just to the right of Simon's hat, it tells us that Porkins (the name of the Wizard) is in the room.

    In order to get to the room, we need to light up the appropriate colours on the buttons Simon's almost standing on, and then enter the tube on the left. The room's exactly the same as this one, only it's got a different coloured light on.

    When we get to the room though, Porkins isn't there either. If we talk to the face on the wall, it says Porkins just left for the white room (which is the one shown in the image).

    We can go back and forth between the two rooms and never catch Porkins (he always goes to the same colour room), so the solution is to simply go to the same coloured room as the one you're in.

    In this case, Porkins kept going between the blue room and the white one. So, while in the blue room, we just try to go to the blue room again and...



    Oh wait - it's THAT GUY! Oh, I do hope he makes Simon suffer some more!



    Wait - normally wouldn't be a problem?


    OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Isn't ANYTHING simple in this game?


    Yes, it is rather.

    So we need to go find his sodding quill. Fantastic.

    Now there's one area of the map I haven't shown yet (well, three technically, but only one's relevant right now), and that's the 'bad' part of town.


    It's basically just a back alley with slightly less desirable types in it.

    (Also, check out the robes. You can actually see them properly now and everything. Man, black is coooool.)

    Anyway. First up is getting in.


    Oh, and picking up a black cat. Because, y'know, why the hell not.

    You can also look at the cat and Simon will do a terrible Cartman 'NO KITTY IS A BAD KITTY' bit. I could do it better, to be frank, though it is a bit more timely a joke than the fucking Pizzarina.

    Right. Now our actual entrance into the alley proper is blocked by this thing:


    It's a dog with wheels instead of rear legs., whatever.

    If we look in the dumpster just to the left of him, however, we find...

    LP-C2-149_zps5c4b7da9.png old shoe! Which we can promptly give to the dog.


    We're left with just the shoelace after that, which I'm sure will in no way be needed at all.

    Anyway. We now have access to the path beyond. Oh, what wonders await?

  • You seem to be hardened to him doing stuff like putting a disabled dog in a bin.

  • It's one of his lesser crimes, to be honest. I was more surprised I didn't have to lace the shoe with poison or something, since that seems to be more the games style. Guess I lucked out.

  • ...and we're back.


    So beyond the dog is these two kids. They actually have quite a bit of background dialogue - it lasts for a good 4 minutes before it starts looping.

    They don't really have anything useful to say to Simon though, beyond calling him a girl.

    Y'know, 'cause of the robe.


    Let's check out the other path.


    The only thing of interest is this manhole. We might as well go down it.

    (Note the clipping issue in Simon's back!)


    That plank is incredibly fiddly to walk across, for the record.

    But anyway. We have ourselves a door. For some bizarre reason, Simon decides to knock rather than just barge in like he normally does.

    Anyway. We knock on the door.


    Ah, balls.

    And right on cue, the fairy godmother appears to tell us how to knock.

    It's not hitting ACTION, is it?


    Huh. Apparently I'm psychic now.

    Let me try this out.


    I predict that once I find out the password it's going to be impossible to enter because the game is so poorly coded.

    Let's see if I'm right.


    Predictably enough, the street urchins know the password, and they'll only tell us if we provide them a better game to play than football (or, if you're American and WRONG: Soccer). The only condition is it has to use the ball they've got.

    The answer is actually fairly clever. What other sports are there that use a football (an ENGLISH football) sized ball?




    Hmm... I wonder...


    I'd like to point out that at this point my inventory has over 30 items in it, which stretches out to four pages. It makes the 'cycle inventory' key rather useless.


    Strange how the hole seems to have moved somewhat to form an almost perfect basketball hoop, isn't it?

    Anyway, that's enough for the kids, and they give Simon the password.


    For those not in the know, it's basically this football(!) chant, familiar to all football(!) fans.

    Let's go and knock that on the door then!


    Oh look. I WAS RIGHT.

    The problem here is that you have to be VERY quick with this. If you're not perfect with your entry, or you wait a split-second too long, Simon will declare that you've entered the wrong password.

    Here's the problem. The urchin's delivery of the password was slower than the one you heard in the video, so naturally you think to imitate him.

    Turns out that's the wrong thing to do. You have to imitate the speed of the chant that was in the video. You have to hit ACTION once, then wait a fraction of a second, then hit it again, fraction of a second, then hit it three times extremely quickly, fraction of a second, four times quickly, fraction of a second, and finally hit it twice more.

    It took me a good damn while to realize this, and even then it was hard to get the timing just right. Bear in mind that I didn't have the video to use as a reference, just the urchin's interpretation (which, again, was about half the speed of the one you heard in the video).

    Not the first time the game's screwed me over by not properly explaining things, and it won't be the last either.

    Seriously - I got so frustrated I thought the game was bugged!


    Anyway. When we get it right we're magically transported (via a sudden cut) to inside the room. The only thing of interest is these two who are playing conkers.

    The kid on the right (the one in the dorky outfit) is the one with the quill we need, and we can only get it back by challenging and beating him at a game of conkers. One problem - we don't have any conkers. let's go find some.


    This is a tree in the church, which is one of the locations I've skipped over 'til now. We can't enter the church (though we can get onto its roof later), but for now we just need the tree.

    As you can (just about) see, it's got conkers growing in it. Well, horse chestnuts actually, but eh, same thing. Sort of.

    Since Simon's far too lazy to just reach up and grab some, we'll have to knock some down. This sounds like a job...


    ...for HAMMOR!


    Surprisingly, the animation for this wasn't as terrible as the time we whacked the bell with the gnome in it. Heaven preserve us.

    Anyway. We now have some horse chestnuts.

    We can't just go back and use one yet though, oh no. We have to put a string in one of them. And for that, we need something pointy to make a hole in them.


    ...a dart?


    Yup, that'd do the job nicely. Only problem is, the goblin won't let us have one. So we're gonna have to steal one.

    First, we head up to our room and climb out onto the roof.


    Ah yes, there's that chimney. Maybe if we put something over it?


    Like, say, the blanket from Simon's bed that I never mentioned we had because I didn't even realize Simon had picked it up until about an hour afterwards?


    Yes, apparently.


    And since the room's so foggy, the goblin opens the window. Time to be a dick again.


    We challenge the goblin to a game of darts and aim well above the dartboard so the dart flies through the now open window.


    As a result, the dart's now stuck in the wall outside the inn. We can go and pick it up now.

    Once we do that, we use it with the chestnuts to put a hole in all of them. And just in case you don't know the best way of making a good 'conker' (which I didn't, and I'm willing to bet you didn't either), the game thoughtfully provides the methods in the item's description.


    Like so. If your memory's good, you can probably remember where we can do two of those three, but the third... that'll be another new place.

    Next time on Game Grumps Simon the Sorcerer 3D: We play conkers. Badly.

  • Sorry, Marsbar, but everything Simon does you're just as accountable for. I have called the authorities and they will be by to collect your carcass shortly.

  • But... it's not my fault! The game made me do it! I PLEAD THE FIFTH!

  • @Darth Marsden said: But... it's not my fault! The game made me do it! I PLEAD THE FIFTH!

    It's too late to plead the fifth because you've already confessed!

  • ...well, bugger. Will you guys visit me in prison?

  • We'll bring you a computer so you can finish Simon the Sorcerer.

  • @Darth Marsden said: ...well, bugger. Will you guys visit me in prison?

    Every day.

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