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

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 9.9K 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.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Darth Marsden said: Current murder count: 4

    Oh Simon, you little rascal.

    There's probably more if you count the people who were seriously wounded and most likely died from their injuries later.

  • ...and we're back.

    When we last left our hero PROTAGONIST, he'd just killed Sir Squeaksalot. Nice one, Simon.

    Just beyond where Sir Squeaksalot was found, there's a large building of sorts.


    Nice and inconspicuous. Let's see what it is.


    Well, it's a bit hard to make out, so I'll explain. On top of the tower just to the left of Simon is a giant mirror that's reflecting what little sunlight penetrates the swamp into a greenhouse full of... medicinal herbs, shall we say.

    In short, it's a dope factory. Y'know - for kids!

    If we try to climb the tower, this happens:


    It's not as clear in this static image, but Simon's getting electrocuted. Not to death sadly, but it still brings a smile to my face.

    The old guy who owns the enclosure then appears to tell us off.


    Oh dear god, that may be the most horrific image I've seen all year.


    Anyway. We get to talking to the guy. Turns out he's a retired wizard who's spending his days drinking moonshine and getting high.

    Again - for kids!

    We ask for a sip of his drink (despite Simon supposedly being underage - why do I have to keep bringing that up?) and the guy says no.

    Unless... we get him three flowers growing in the swamp. Then he'll happily let us take a sip.

    To aid us in our quest, he gives us this:


    It's a book that lets us identify plants. I try it out on the (perfectly legal) garden he's got next to his house.



    Anyway. That electric tower gives me an idea. What if we...


    (Once again, note the rim of his hat)


    Again - looks better in motion. Barely.


    But hey! It worked! No beheadings today!

    Before we go give him back to the princess though, we're going to go nick some stuff from the old drunk's house. He can't stop us - he's too wasted to move, apparently.

    (Despite coming up to us after Simon shocked himself on the tower. Hmm.)


    The only things worth taking are a mortar & pestle and a stick. So we take both of them.

    OK, back to the princess!


    Did I mention she has an incredibly irritating faux-lisp?

    Because she does. And it's incredibly irritating.

    Now, uh, was there a reward, per chance?


    Y'know what? Forget the reward. Don't need one. We'll... we'll just be off...



    Now on this little island where the princess is (we'll ignore the question of how the hell she got onto this island in the first place), there's also a large-ish rock we can climb onto. Climbing onto ledges and such isn't generally something the game makes us do, so I didn't really think I could actually get up there at first, but I gave it a go anyway and surprise!


    And we're up. Now the main point of interest up here is a flower we can see through a hole in the top:


    If we use the book to identify it, Simon recognises it as one of the flowers the old man needed. Unfortunately we can't reach it through the hole.

    Now, if we head back down and check the side of the rock, we find this:


    If we use Sir Squeaksalot with this hole, he runs inside, grabs the flower and brings it back to us. Huzzah! Two more to go.

    We can actually place the little guy into that hole BEFORE we identify the flower, but he doesn't do anything but run around for a second.

    Anyway. With the flower in our possession, let's see if we can give Sir Squeaksalot back to the princess.


    Yes, you're seeing that right. They placed the camera in the same spot where the princess is standing.


    Anyway. As thanks, she gives us some earmuffs.

    ...well of COURSE she does. What else would she give us?

    Right. Next up, we're going to get some tar.


    This stuff.

    First we pick up a bunch of it in the sacred bell (does the word 'sacred' mean NOTHING to Simon?).

    Then, having first stuck the stick from the old man's house into the axe blade, we dip it into the tar to make sure it's stuck together and won't come apart if we use it.

    End result: we have a bunch of tar and an axe. Stellar.

    Now we're going to head across the bridge you see in that shot. Which leads us to:


    Me? I'm Chris Madisun. Why, what's it to you?



    Jesus game, you can't just spring something like that on us! Christ!


    OK. Summarizing again. This is a lawyer trying to get Swampy (also known in previous games as the Swampling) to leave. Swampy's on a small island we can't get to, and he's got his bomb ready to blow.

    While we talk to the lawyer, he keeps spraying himself with insect repellent, and during the conversation we also find out that he's deathly allergic to bee stings.

    So you know what that means!


    We vacuum up the bees from the beehive...


    ...and then sic 'em on the lawyer.

    Unfortunately, because of all the insect repellent, they don't actually sting him. Hmm. We'll have to come back to this later.

    In the meantime, we'll go around him to find a tree. Well, with out newly repaired axe, we can totally cut that down!


    Oh! It talks! Oops.

    Naturally, at discovering that the tree is a sentient being, Simon immediately stops and has a chat with it.

    This is a big mistake, as the tree is immensely annoying.

    Not even kidding. It's got a very fey voice, composes truly terrible poetry (though it's about on par with the rest of the writing in this game, to be honest) and he never shuts the hell up.

    The only thing it has going for it is an origin story of how it came to talk - it got bored of doing nothing but photosynthesising so it grew a complete vocal communication system over a few hundred years.

    Solely to deliver some absolutely awful poetry.

    Ugh. Yeah, it needs to die. Let's try cutting it down again.







    FUCK. YOU.


    Wait - we have some earmuffs, don't we?


    And that's the murder count up to five.

    Oh, and we have a path across to Swampy now. All it took was the killing of a semi-living creature. Whoop-de-doo.

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    The Simon series has been a host to not-entirely-kid-friendly humor since the very beginning. I recall two separate marijuana-related jokes in the first Simon game, but they were at least decent enough to be worth a chuckle, and hearing them read out by Simon's original VA instead of that guy probably helped too.

    Also, this is related to back when Simon got certified as a wizard and gained "fashion magic", but I do think that Simon got to use magic once in the first game, albeit briefly and not terribly effectively, during the duel with the witch. (One pretty big annoyance with Simon 1 was that you spent a good 80% of the game working on becoming a wizard, which was obviously a rip-off of influenced by Guybrush's pirate trials, then you barely get to do any magic at all. There was basically no payoff to that incredibly long and overly complicated quest.)

  • So... he's totally fine killing a sentient being that he can't hear begging him not to?

    That... makes sense I guess. Please, Darth, kill this man. Put him out of our misery.

  • Two good points, Syd. Let me address them.

    @Syd said: The Simon series has been a host to not-entirely-kid-friendly humor since the very beginning. I recall two separate marijuana-related jokes in the first Simon game, but they were at least decent enough to be worth a chuckle, and hearing them read out by Simon's original VA instead of that guy probably helped too.

    I don't recall the original games too well (it's been years since I played them) but a quick glance at walkthroughs for the pair reminds me that Simon's only gotten less and less kid-friendly as the series has gone on, and it wasn't particularly great for kids in the first place. Even so, these games didn't get any rated M or anything, so...

    @Syd said: Also, this is related to back when Simon got certified as a wizard and gained "fashion magic", but I do think that Simon got to use magic once in the first game, albeit briefly and not terribly effectively, during the duel with the witch. (One pretty big annoyance with Simon 1 was that you spent a good 80% of the game working on becoming a wizard, which was obviously a rip-off of influenced by Guybrush's pirate trials, then you barely get to do any magic at all. There was basically no payoff to that incredibly long and overly complicated quest.)

    Oh yeah, I remember that. Vaguely.

    The problem is, Simon's supposed to be a sorcerer (it's kind of implied by the title) but he hardly ever does any magic over the first three games. The witch duel in the first game is one, and there's an appallingly awful puzzle in the second game where Simon has to, completely unprompted by the player, turn a pair of dogs into 'hush puppies' in order to sneak past some guards. The dude hardly does anything befitting the name 'sorcerer'.

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    I played through the first Simon game a few months ago, so most of it is still pretty fresh in my mind. I played through about half of Simon 2 afterwards until I got tired of Simon's character and dropped it to go play something with a less irritating protagonist.

    And yeah, I think that as the writing quality had degraded over the series, they went for more suggestive humor in an increasingly failed attempt to be funny.

  • ...and we're back.

    OK, so having walked across the now deceased carcass of a living tree, we can now finally talk to Swampy.


    Ah. He doesn't recognise us. Fantastic.

    ...well, I suppose we are wearing different coloured robes...

    (No, changing them back to red doesn't change anything)

    Swampy claims that he doesn't believe Simon's actually Simon because, and I quote, Simon's "always being nasty to me".

    Case in point:


    Yeah. Simon's never been particularly nice to Swampy, but being reminded of what a dick he was to the guy in the second game just emphasizes how badly written he's become.

    Anyway. Swampy won't believe Simon's on his side unless he becomes an honorary Swampling. The first step to doing so is to consume an entire bowl of Swamp Stew, and if you've played the previous games, you know exactly where this is headed.


    Yes, it's something Simon doesn't want to do. Boo freakin' hoo. Rather wonderfully though, the game makes him do it anyway.


    Does it work? Did it go down?


    Nope - it made Simon vomit. Thankfully the game cuts away so we don't actually see him being sick, but we do get to hear it.

    Oddly enough, the sounds of Simon being violently ill are somewhat relaxing.

    Anyway. If we want to consume this Swamp Stew, we need to find some way for Simon to become oblivious to its taste. Getting roaring drunk seems like a good idea - so we need to find those other flowers for the old guy!


    Not far from the tar is this giant plant. If the giant 'DANGER' sign didn't give it away, it's a tad dangerous. Here's what happens if you walk close to it:


    Yep - Simon gets eaten alive.


    After doing this a few dozen times, I eventually tire of it. We'll have to come back later to get past this thing.

    So let's hop back on the croc and find something else to interact with.


    Behind this waterfall was one of the plants we needed, just resting on that little island.

    I, uh... forgot to record me getting it.

    But it was there! Honest!

    Well, we've only one plant left to get, and it's probably beyond that plant. Let's head past the waterfall and see what's there.

    On the left is a bird table.
    On the right is a giant boulder.
    We can do something with one of these.
    Guess which one.


    Remember the sesame seeds from the burger we made the fat wizard back in MucSwampys?


    Ah, whatever. Here's where we put them.


    And a bird lands to eat them. Simon can't grab it though, since it flies away too quickly.

    But wait! Remember that we filled the sacred bell full of tar?


    Oh, we are cruel, cruel people.


    Yep, it's stuck.

    Not so stuck that we can't pick it up though. Oh no.


    So we're now carrying a cat (from the back alley), a frog (Prince Valient) AND a bird. At the same time.

    Bear in mind we could, theoretically, also be carrying a hamster as well.



    Anyway. Let's go feed that poor defenceless bird to that plant.


    ...christ. What's the kill count now? Six?

    But hey, while the plant's distracted, let's head around the back of it.


    Very, very slowly. There's 45 seconds of my life I'm never getting back.

    Anyway. This path leads to:


    That's the last plant we need. Huzzah. So we grab it and head out the convenient other path leading from this little room.


    ...that's the entrance to the plant. The 'DANGER' sign is just off to the right of this shot.




    Gah! Screw it! We've got the plants. Let's go give 'em to that goddamn old guy.


    Dude. It can't be THAT bad.


    Oh. Apparently it is, since it's made Simon invisible.

    OK, it's actually meant to be a first-person perspective, but it's blatantly obvious that all they've done is made the model for Simon invisible.

    Whatever the case, we make our way back over to Swampy...


    Oh, only good things will come of this.






    ...yeah, I think we'll leave these two alone.


  • @Darth Marsden said: LP-C3-074_zpsb10c936b.png

    ...yeah, I think we'll leave these two alone.


    Swamp rape scene? I hope not.

  • No, Simon's eyes are still open, so he can't be unconscious. He must be...


  • @Alcoremortis said: No, Simon's eyes are still open, so he can't be unconscious. He must be...


    Sadly not.


    Can't say I blame Simon here - I'd probably have the same reaction if that... thing tried to use CPR on me.

    But hey, apparently passing out doesn't count against us, since Swampy counts us as having passed the first requirement to being an honorary Swampling.

    What's the second requirement?


    Memorise the Swampy Song.


    ...which Simon memorises within seconds, despite (supposedly) being hung over.


    Now we can ask Swampy to come back to Poliganis and meet with Melissa McMassiveMelons.



    He won't go anywhere unless we can get the lawyer to sign a (poorly spelled) contract Swampy's written for him pledging to leave the swamp alone. Great.

    (Simon also has a rant here about identical allotments being built everywhere, but it's poorly written and [as usual] badly delivered, so I'll spare you)

    There's nowhere else we can really go besides that big boulder where eagle eyed viewers may have spotted a giant 'KEEP OWT' sign.


    Like so. Signs like that are written by Swampy (due to his poor literacy skills), so it stands to reason that the boulder leads to Swampy's lair.

    We can't move it, but we can try to sing the Swampy Song...


    *sigh again*

    Well, because I'm somewhat competent, I guide Simon through the multiple choices and sing the correct song.



    There's not a whole lot inside, to be honest.

    ...well, I SAY that. What I mean is that there's not a whole lot we can interact with.


    If we use the blueprints at the back (the only thing we can actually do anything with), Simon finds a turkey baster and a pair of oven gloves.

    Which is a bit random, but there you go.

    Anyway. We take both, and I use the turkey baster to pick up some honey from the fallen beehive (and pick up the bees in the vacuum cleaner again).


    Like so.

    We then spray the honey onto the lawyer...


    Uh... what's going on with his hands? Is there... Are there two models in the same spot?

    Well, I would expect nothing less.

    Anyway. NOW if we spray him with the bees...


    ...they SHOULD actually sting him this time.





    ...well, great. Now I feel like a total asshole. Are we 100% sure Simon's supposed to be a hero? I've long since stopped thinking he is, but this is just horrible.


    Oh, and now we're blackmailing him into signing that contract before we help him.

    I hate this game. I really do.

    Right. Now, do you remember when we first got the book about plants? I told you to remember something.


    Yeah. That.

    Well, we could probably do with some of that now, couldn't we?

    Now since it only grow in direct sunlight, we'll need to move the mirror at the top of the electricuted tower onto that particular patch.

    But we can't get up on top of that tower, since it's electricuted and all.


    Oh right. The oven gloves. Yeah, that'll work.


    Not that it pleases the old guy. Eh, whatever. Screw him.


    So we move the beam over to the flower patch and...



    We pick that up, mash it with the mortar & pestle and then feed it to the lawyer using the turkey baster.


    What was your kill count so far? Six? Yeah, not buying that for a second, Simon, you comtemptible little prick.


    Oh well, let's hope it works.


    It does. So not quite murder, but it's attempted murder at the very least.

    Oh - and blackmail. There's another felony for the rap sheet.

    So with the contract signed (and the lawyer running off and swearing vengeance I dearly hope he actually gets at some point), we can take it over to Swampy.


    Don't... don't do that again.


    Oh, hello. What are you doing here? We were about to bring Swampy over to you.

    (Also, Simon is expressing disgust over Swampy hugging him. It's rare for me to sympathise with the evil little bit of dog dirt, but here's one of those times)


    Uh, what?




    Yes, Melissa LargeLoveLumps has, in fact, been Runt all this time.

    This... this is actually a really good plot twist.

    I know, I'm as shocked as you are!

    It also explains how 'Melissa' got Simon's body out of Sordid's lair. It was all part of a plot to have Simon track down Swampy for the bad guys.

    Quite why they NEED Swampy isn't explained, but they have him now, and it's all thanks to us.



    Yeah, focus on THAT, why don't you. Because that's clearly the important part of this whole mess.

    So Runt teleports Swampy away and, because Simon's completely and utterly useless, uses his magic to drop the kid on top of the plunger for the bomb.


    The resulting explosion is so powerful it knocks the new colour out of Simon's robe.


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