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

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 8.7K 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

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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.

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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-

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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?

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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!

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...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
  • Dear god...how does one get from this to Simon the Sorcerer 5, which is actually a half-way decent adventure game with a funny plot?

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @HelloCthulhu said: Dear god...how does one get from this to Simon the Sorcerer 5, which is actually a half-way decent adventure game with a funny plot?

    Simon 4 and 5 were made by a different developer.

  • Really? Never got round to playing the new ones. Surprised to hear that they're actually half-decent.

  • As am I. I really do miss the pixel art of the originals, though. They were pretty detailed, especially in animation. Are Simon 4 and 5 in English?

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    Syd

    Simon mysteriously became an American in Simon 4 and 5, but I have heard that they're an improvement over Simon 3.

    Though just about anything is an improvement over Simon 3, except for maybe Limbo of the Lost. Now that's an abomination of a game.

  • ...and we're back.

    When we last left our main character, he was being blown into the next chapter.

    LP-C3-101_zpsf479c949.pngLP-C4-000_zpsb977c633.png

    I've just realized that I haven't been showing you the loading screens, so there you go.

    The levels barely take any time to load at all, but at every single one of these loading screens, we're forced to sit and wait until a little jingle finishes playing. The jingle lasts 7 seconds. And it SUCKS.

    Anyway, as you can tell, we're now on chapter four. Chapter One was getting out of the pyramid and completing the joining process, Chapter Two was getting into Poliganis, and Chapter Three was finding Swampy.

    ...sorry. Got distracted. Where were we?

    Right. The explosion manages to propel Simon ALL THE WAY back to the room where Calypso is.

    LP-C4-001_zps65255327.png

    But naturally, he's fine.

    Actually, make note of the fact that he crashed through a skylight in the roof of this room. The game doesn't really highlight this, but it'll come into play later.

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    I'm going to skip over an INCREDIBLY long conversation here and summarise it for you. AGAIN.

    Seriously, this cutscene is like 6 minutes long.

    So it turns out that Calypso has a book of prophecies (by Nostramades - GEDDIT) and already knew Melissa was actually Runt. Calypso completely and utterly fails to explain why he didn't tell Simon sooner, pissing both him and me off.

    Calypso has also learned that Sordid (remember him? The big bad guy from the beginning of the game?) is trying to oepn a doorway to the Nexus, the control center of the Universe.

    According to the prophecies, he'll need some Magical Boots. The book has a picture of it, which he shows Simon.

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    It's a CD. Simon explains what they are to Calypso, and says that they're running on one right now, which, given I'm running the GOG version that doesn't USE CDs, renders the line hilarious in hindsight.

    Calypso then explains that the 'seedy' we need will be in a Dragon's Horde. He sends us after the dragon Sodinhell (Oh, my sides).

    Simon comments that he remembers the dwarf who gave us HAMMOR saying something about a dragon they were fighting. It could well be the same one.

    And with all that explained, we FINALLY get control of Simon back.

    And the first thing I do?

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    Back in Black. Obviously.

    At this point in the game, no doubt due to the chapter change, a few things have changed around the world. After grabbing an empty pint glass from the bar, we'll go to the closest one - it's in the Games Room.

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    Yep, it's a pool table. That we can't use, because there's a gold coin jammed in the coin slot.

    We FINALLY make use of the BBQ tongs (of all things) to get it out of the slot and into our inventory, and then we can try and use the table.

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    If we take a look...

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    HA!

    It turns out to be a rat.

    ...

    Hey, remember that cat from the back alley?

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    Yeah, that one. In it goes!

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    And that's the rat taken care of. Now, let's get that cat out of there...

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    DOUBLE HA!

    Well we can't do anything else here, so we'll have to come back later.

    The other changes to the world all take place in the large open fields, so we'll head over there.

    Now, you remember that video I made where I ran all over the place for 8 minutes?

    In particular, do you remember the bit where I ran into a dead end?

    Well, it's dead no more!

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    Yep, here's where the dwarves have set up camp for their attack on the dragon.

    And their great plan of attack?

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    Get drunk...

    (notice that horrendous texture underneath the fire!)

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    ...hop into a catapult...

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    ...and fling themselves at the dragon.

    Which promptly eats them.

    ...

    There's not a lot we can do here at the moment - but we'll be back. We'll need to take out the dragon so the Rainbird won't get scared away when we try to land at its lair.

    One of the other changes in the world is back with the treasure hunter we stole the metal detector from.

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    He's gone and trained himself a mole, who's been bringing him food while he's been trapped inside the hole he could EASILY CLIMB OUT OF.

    Unfortunately, he then tried to train it to find gold, and he hasn't seen it since.

    So guess what we're going to do.

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    Yep. We're gonna marry steal the mole.

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    Unfortunately I can't show you Simon actually grabbing the mole, because both times I did this (the game crashed shortly after I did this the first time, so I had to load a savegame) the game seemed to skip over the grabbing animation, going right to the 'tucking thing into satchel' animation.

    Glitch? Lazy animators? Who can say?

    Anyway. Near to where the Butterfly catcher was are some sleeping flowers.

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    Yep, these are the ones. And when I said they were sleeping flowers, I meant it. THEY SNORE.

    We couldn't do anything with them before, but hey, we've got that book for identifying plants now! Let's see what they are.

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    That'll be useful. We'll have some of that.

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    And we'll immediately put it into the dwarves drink. Let's see what happens.

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    Hey - if it's not voiced by Sean Connery, it's going DOWN.

    Anyway, the path's now clear for us to take the Rainbird to the Dragon's Lai- OH I SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE.

    Before we go though, we're gonna grab some of their EXTREMELY strong alcohol in the glass we took from the pub. Why? I dunno. I'm sure it'll come in handy though.

    So it's off to the Dragon's L...

    ...it's off to the LAIR THAT BELONGS TO THE DRAGON. >:-(

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    Wow. We'll never find the CD in all THAT.

    ...wait. We still have that fourth-wall-braking copy of the Feeble Files, don't we?

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    And by way of rubbing a CD on its nose, our mole is now trained to find them. So let's throw him into the pile and see what he turns up.

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    Is it technically possible to dig through gold? I'd have thought no, but...

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    ...apparently I'd be wrong.

    So the CD's in a locked chest, apparently. And of course we don't have the key.

    What we DO have is a pint of dwarven ale.

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    Anyone else getting Monkey Island flashbacks?

    No?

    OK then. Let's see what's inside!

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    It's the CD! And it's encased in a block of glass. Bugger.

    We can't just smash it on the ground or whatever, oh no. That might damage it.

    Hmm. There's a gong in here, isn't there? Maybe if we ring that with HAMMOR, it'll shatter the glass (which'd probably damage the CD as well, but SHUT UP, it's adventure game logic!).

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    Nope. Just broke the gong. Bugger.

    ...

    Wait, we still have that Sacred Bell, don't we? Maybe we could try that instead?

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    Well it FITS, but does it do the job?

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    Yes. Yes it does. Huzzah.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all we need to do for Chapter 4. I know, I was surprised too, but nope. That's it.

    Well, we could do other stuff as well, but it makes more sense for us to do them in the next chapter (which begins as soon as we take the CD back to Calypso), so we'll do it then.

  • Or he could have just waited for AOL to mail him one.

    Yes, I know that's a useless comment, but it does get us to the next page!

  • Mountains can't be friends.

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