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

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 10.2K 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

    Sorry this took so long to get back to. I got distracted by... Well, let's just say that if I'm working on something big and then I get distracted, it takes me a while to get back to it.

    But I'm here now, so let's get on with it!

    So... where were we?


    Oh, right. Coneman.


    Using the jack with the cart should be enough to get him out.


    Ah. Yes. Well, that may count against us.


    Oh, yeah. That too. Heh.

    So we're gonna have to find some way of fixing his back, and then convince him to not rip us limb from limb (heh - you don't know how funny that comment is yet).

    Basically, we'll have to leave him for now.


    So while running around town, I notice something odd about the church. If you look above the door in the texture that's supposed to represent a hedge, you can see something on the roof of the church.

    Let's go see what that is.

    But how to get up there?


    A rope. Right. So, do we climb it?


    Actually, no.

    It's a little hard to explain using pictures, but I'll do my best.

    Basically, we pull the rope down and when it goes back up, we grab on to it and let it carry us up. As you can imagine, this doesn't get us all the way up on the first try, so when we land we have to let the rope go further down before we grab on to it and let it carry us up again.

    We need to repeat this about 4 times before we have enough height to reach the actual roof.

    And does the game bother to tell us how to do this?


    This took me about 5 minutes of experimentation before I managed to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.

    God this game sucks. It sucks so bad.

    So anyway. The roof.


    Oh hai Goldilocks!

    [/Tommy Wiseau Impression]

    Another summary. She's basically trying to steal the lead from the Church roof, but she didn't realize it'd be so heavy, so she offers to split the cash she gets for it with Simon if we figure out a way of getting it down from the roof and to the inn.

    This is another puzzle we'll have to come back to later, so we'll do just that.

    OK. So we can't do anything with Coneman yet, and we can't do anything with Jar Nin yet. Since we don't know where Melissa Leg is, we'll have to focus on Prince Charming (or whatever his name is).

    Now since he's a frog, he probably needs to kiss a princess to be changed back. And Calypso mentioned meeting someone to get into a tournament she's at, so let's go see him.


    This is back where we got the Varnish for our Conker, if you recall.


    Oh, those graphics. I'd forgotten how atrocious they were. This guy in particular - it looks like he's been stretched on a rack for about 3 years.

    Anyway. This guy will get us in, but only if we help him with the fireworks display that'll start the tournament. We have to come back at night to do so.


    Yes, I remembered to take a picture with the right outfit this time. Go me.

    (And I know I keep going on about this, but notice the rim of his hat? It should be white, but it switches to yellow every time a cutscene takes place where Simon actually performs an action. I honestly don't know why, but it's incredibly distracting)


    And here we are.

    OK. So you know how Guitar Hero works, with the colors scrolling down the screen and you having to press the right button when it reaches the bottom?

    This works very much like that. Only it's not scrolling from top to bottom, it's scrolling from left to right.



    This is all we get. And I know this seems like a perfectly fine explanation, but bear in mind we only get told this once, and when the actual minigame starts...


    ...this is what we get. So... what do I press for yellow?

    Since this is a bunch of screenshots, you can look at the last-but-one image, read that Left is for a Roman Candle and then look back at the other image and see that Candle is Yellow, and so deduce that I have to press Left when the Yellow icon hits the green area.

    Now, what's Red? And what's Purple?

    Can you deduce all those in about 5 seconds? Can you remember them under pressure? Hell, can you remember what key Use Item was?

    Unless you're some sort of genius, you won't remember any of it. And that's why this minigame is so awful.

    We're not given any time to practice, which would have been immensely helpful, we're just thrown into this and expected to do well.

    Which, naturally, I don't. I completely balls it up, to be perfectly frank.

    Thankfully you're given an infinite number of tries to get this right, but here's the thing - you're never retold what the controls are. So as time goes on, you won't even remember that.

    Combined with the panic that you'll no doubt be facing each time you try this, you're not going to get better. If anything, you're going to get worse.

    Eventually I had to pause the game, minimise it, consult a walkthough to find out which buttons do what, write them down on a bit of paper and then try again, AND I STILL DIDN'T GET IT RIGHT UNTIL THREE TRIES LATER.

    This is far from the worst minigame we'll have to go through in this game. In fact it's actually not all that bad. But because it's so poorly explained, it's the one I'll despise the most whenever I think back on this game.


    So eventually, after 20 MINUTES OF TRYING (no, I'm not exaggerating, I literally spent 20 minutes on this one stupid minigame), I got it right. Hoo-fucking-ray.


    And as a result, the tournament (or, let's call it what it is, the fair) will be open in the morning.

    But we'll have to tackle that next time, because I need another break. Ugh.

  • "Is that a sign the tournament is starting?"

    "Can't be. The fireworks are in the wrong sequence."

    "Oh, just someone playing around with expensive pyrotechnics for no reason, then. Never mind."

  • I believe I failed that challenge around 15-20 times before I got it right. Decent fireworks are NOT cheap, so think of how expensive my fuck-ups must have been. Well, that's what you get for not explaining shit correctly!

    Right. Let's check out that fair then, shall we?


    In the morning, obviously.

    Now, if we head through what I like the call the 'Magic Square' (since it's got all the magic-related buildings in it), we should find...


    A gate. Now up until now, this has been locked, but since the tournament's started, it's been unlocked.

    Not that it's particularly easy to tell, since it looks exactly the same and is therefore easily overlooked.


    Anyway, we use it and a new map loads. And in this new map...



    But before we can go and actually explore the fair, these two show up.


    It's a pair of demons who run the fair. They've encountered Simon in a previous game where he screwed them over or something (I'm guessing it was the second game, since Simon wasn't a complete douche in the first one).

    They CLAIM that they've given up on revenge and are just here to entertain people. Naturally they almost immediately confirm that that's a complete and utter lie, and all the attractions are rigged in their favour. how's that different from any other funfair?

    There's a nice dig at Hollyoaks (a truly terrible British soap aimed at teenagers), but otherwise this conversation serves absolutely no further point.



    The whole fair's basically set up on a circle, with this in the middle. Might as well get this one out of the way first.

    It's VERY hard to see due to the poor texture resolution, but the text on the side of the caravan (that's obscured by the Lens Flare in this shot, sorry) reads 'MADAM SPANGLES ACTUPUNCTURE'.

    Acupuncture could come in handy for Coneman, so we'll check it out.


    If you guessed the joke is that these guys run everything to a very questionable degree, you win a no-prize.

    Anyway. They don't make house street calls, but they CAN deal with Coneman's back problem. So we'll have to find a way to make use of that later.



    A shooting gallery. SWEET.


    Aw. No guns for me. :(

    Either way, I ace this on the first go, because I'm just that awesome. And my prize?



    It's not a very nice teddy bear either.



    Anyway, as soon as I finish this game, I immediately bump into this annoying little brat who's wandering around the place.


    Blah blah blah, he wants a gobstopper. A RED gobstopper. Fine, whatever, NEXT!


    An arcade machine. I wonder if they'll actually let me play thi-


    ...huh. OK game, whaddya got?


    Space Invaders.

    It's a Space Invaders clone.

    And it's actually not bad.


    I honestly do not know what to say.

    Anyway. At one point for each ship I destroy, I manages to make it to 112 before dying, which is more than enough to get... something.

    To find out what it is, I had to open the inventory screen and see what I'd just picked up.


    Sunglasses. Of course.



    Ah, the Wonder Wheel.

    Unfortunately, the game is currently rigged so that you always lose, so let's leave it for now and move on.

    If we head down the path next to the Wonder Wheel, we can see this:


    Naturally, this leads to a bit of a tunnel maze. Not a very complicated one mind, but remember that the clipping sucks and... yeah.

    Anyway. Said maze leads us to...


    ...behind the Wonder Wheel.

    See that giant magnet? That's what's causing us to lose whenever we play it.


    Well, it WAS, anyway.

    So let's go and give the Wonder Wheel a go and see what happens now.



    And as you might have guessed, our prize is the pea shooter that Simon was admiring earlier. Awesome.

    ...we'll continue the fun next time. Come back for more fun at the fair!

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    Nice to see you updating this LP again.

    Those two demons first show up near the end of the first game. Simon actually helps them out in the first game, since they want to go back to hell for some reason or another, but due to demon rules or something like that, they can't tell Simon their real names, which is required in the whole sending-them-back-to-hell ritual thingy. After utilizing the old tried and true method of using items on other items, Simon eventually discovers their real names and sends them on their way.

    If Simon did something that they now hate him for, it must be from the second game, and that doesn't surprise me since Simon is a complete douche to everyone he encounters in Simon 2.

  • ...and we're back.

    OK, we're heading back to that open area with the hedge tunnel maze.


    See, in this area, there's a snake statue we can use (it's on the right of this image). And when we do...


    ...this appears. Right smack in the middle of this area.

    It's actually done via a cluncky fade-to-black-then-fade-back-to-new-map effect.

    Whatever. Let's head inside and see what's what.


    Oh, and now they're Voodoo Priests. Yeah. Of course. Makes perfect sense.

    In short, they can make a voodoo doll of someone, but they need the doll and some children's teeth.

    Children's teeth. Hmm. I sense some child abuse just around the corner.


    Actually, THIS is what's just around the corner (d'ya see what I did there? God I'm witty).

    On the left, a cotton candy stall GIMME GIMME GIMME!


    Yays! OM-NOM-NOM!


    ...wait, what? Why won't you eat it now? IT'S CANDY FLOSS! Y'know, ON-NOM-NOM?


    Oh, it's rock hard.


    ...I'd still eat it.

    Anyway. Inside that giant tent:


    An actual flea circus! With real fleas for once!

    ...let's nick 'em.


    So now we have a flea-infested teddy bear and a very unhappy demon.


    Well, he WOULD be unhappy if he couldn't just turn on the machine that moves the trapeze stuff.


    NOW it's a real carnival!

    Anyway. We're going to take a quick break from the carnival so we can return to the pub.

    Remember that pool table we shoved a cat into?


    Yep, we're giving the cat fleas. Let's see what that does.


    Well, it's not the most evil thing we've done in this game, but still pretty douchey.

    But with the cat gone, we can reach inside the table and fetch out two snooker balls - one red, one yellow.

    I know what we can do with the red one. Do you?


    Well, it's gonna have to wait, 'cause we're going to the pub garden first.


    That lady right there is a wig trader.


    Yes. Yes it is.

    I'll skip the not-at-all-funny conversation with her and skip to the chase. We give her the candy floss (NO! I WAS TOTALLY GOING TO EAT THAT!) and she gives us her wig in return.


    ...let's go get some kid's teeth, shall we? Yeah, that sounds reasonably sane.


    Add Child Abuse to the list of crimes this game's made us commit.


    Right, so we have our teeth. Our bloody, sticky teeth.


    I most certainly hope so, you little cock-bite.

    The rest of the fair next time. Hope we don't have to viciously hurt anyone else (though we probably will).

  • ...and we're back.

    Right. Up next is the Test Your Strength game.


    Looks like someone's already there.


    Ah, the guy who gave us HAMMOR.

    Blah blah blah his clan was all wiped out by the dragon, he needs a symbol to restart it, blah blah blah.

    Well, the obvious answer is to give back HAMMOR. Symbol found, problem solved.

    Oh, but now he wants to win this Test Your Strength game.



    Naturally though, he's not allowed to HAMMOR on the game.


    Like so.

    The answer to this actually uses the 3D aspect of the game in an intelligent way.


    If you can't tell, what we have to do is stand the other side of the demon and talk to him so that he turns to face us and isn't looking at the game, allowing the dwarf to use HAMMOR on it and win.




    Yeah, the prize was a black T-Shirt, which we promptly take off his hands (well, it wouldn't fit him anyway).

    We actually have all we need to go and save the Frog Prince now, but we'll finish going through the fair first.


    This one's a ball toss. Could it possibly be rigged?


    No idea, but it's turned Simon's sleeve back to red, so that's probably not a good sign.


    Well, that should fit...


    ...oh. Yeah, it's rigged. The ball's too big to actually fit in the hole.


    Well, he's got me there.

    The solution to this might not come to you immediately, but if you recall, we got two snooker balls. We've used the red one, which leaves us with the yellow one.

    Maybe if we swap it with one of the yellow balls the demons give us?



    And our prize is...


    So now we have what we need to fix Coneman as well.

    But the last fairground attraction awaits!


    It's a little hard to tell, but this is a water squirting game, or Aqua Derby, as the game calls it.

    But before we can actually play it, the demons show up and remind us of everything we've put them through.


    This explains SO MUCH.

    Ayway. We say we want to play, and since it's a race we need someone to play against.

    Fortunately, we've made several evemies over the course of this game, and one such person challenges us.


    The Conkers Kid! (The lesser-known relative of the Milky Bar Kid. His outfit may have had something to do with his failure)

    After some utterly unfunny banter between him and Simon, the game is on.


    ...and here it is.

    This isn't all that awful, to be honest. We just need to spray whichever of the three holes happens to be open at the time (they open anti-clockwise).

    It's not too difficult, and is easily won.


    Is... is the Conkers Kid going to the toilet?

    Anyway. Our prize for THIS game?


    A tub of Toy Soldiers, like what was in the first Toy Story or *shudder* Army Men.

    And now we 'technically' have all we need to fix the dead guy as well. Jar Nin, wasn't it? Eh, whatever.

    Since we're done with the fair, I need a break to calm down. We'll fix everyone up next time.

    Can I get some people posting in this thread please? We're over 100 pictures on this page alone. Thanks.

  • Maybe for your next picture Let's Play you should do Doctor Who The Eternity Clock:D

  • The fairground bit is one of the better parts of the game. Too bad it's over pretty quickly.

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    I eagerly await Simon's next atrocity.

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