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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

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
  • I admit, it does work (somewhat) better in motion. Lemme go back and fix that. GIF NINJA - AWAY!

    EDIT: This should be a bit clearer.


    Also, for the record - yes, he DID used to be an adventurer.

  • It's a bit fast though. I think I saw it loop through a dozen times until I realized what was going on in that gif.

  • Quit your whining. I'm not doing it again.

    Besides, that's kinda how it was in the game, so at least I'm being faithful in its awkwardness.

  • @Darth Marsden said: Also, for the record - yes, he DID used to be an adventurer.

    Should've hit him in the knee, then.

  • @WarpSpeed said: Should've hit him in the knee, then.

    Yes, that... that was what I was alluding to. Thanks for spelling it out for the slow ones at the back.

    Bored of editing videos now, let's grab some screenshots from 'em instead.

    Right. As I said, finding Melissa is a two part quest. Finding her, and reaching her. Finding her's easy - she's here.


    That is a 'mysterious island' in the open fields from WAY back in the game. We can't reach it by any means, though if you look closely at it from another angle you can see a path under the water.


    No, seriously. That's all we get. An easily missed visual clue that isn't signposted, commented on or even given a description. That's all we get.

    Words fail me on how stupid this is. All it'd take is one character saying how the water used to be lower before the dwarves ruined it, because that would clue us in on what we have to do, but nope. We get NOTHING.

    I feel a well-placed animated GIF is required at this point.


    Ah. That's better.

    So, as you probably figured out, we have to lower the water level here.

    How do we do this?

    ...the stupidest and most ludicrously insane method possible.


    We need to lower the level by doing two things in particular. We'll start with the one in town, because I've already sort-of laid the foundations for it.

    Now. You remember that Cheese truck from earlier?


    Yeah, that one. Well, we're gonna have to make use of him now.

    One last thing to remember - the Lead that Goldilocks was trying to steal from the Church roof.


    That'd be it.

    The Cheese van actually drives right past it, but earlier we couldn't really do with it.


    Now, for absolutely no reason, this... THING is here:


    This is another recurring character from the second game - some stupid hedgehog kid who we're, naturally, going to abuse.

    First we stand in just the right spot so that the Cheese van stops right next to the Church, like so:


    Then we shoot the kid down with the Pea-Shooter.


    Oh, wait - I lied. Sorry. We won a peashooter from the fair, remember?

    Anyway. You shoot his balloons and make him land in the open-topped van.





    (The game actually counted this, by the way)

    Anyway. All that's left is to let the Cheese van past.


    We now need to follow it all the way back to the warehouse are-DAMMIT, sorry.

    As you'd expect, the warehouse owner is not happy that the Cheese has all been eaten.


    And so the driver walks off, leaving his van free for us to drive.

    Oh, and the kid just walked into the warehouse. End result:


    Heh. Fat kids are funny.

    Anyway, now that we have the van, we can drive it back round to the Church and tip the Lead into it.

    So I just do that.


    1) The van drives really slowly and handles like Simon would if he were 500 Lbs.

    2) Simon's hand has turned white while pushing off the lead.

    3) The lead's clearly landing on the wrong side of the hedge and not inside the van at all.

    So, pretty much just a good ol' fashioned failure all round. And yet:



    Anyway. We get back into the van and drive it back towards the bridge.

    Only now it moves even slower.

    And I'm not even kidding. We're talking snail's pace here. I could walk on my hands faster than this thing now.

    We're only going to be driving the thing around the corner, but it takes almost an entire minute to get there - and I could do it in under 10 on foot. Christ.

    Anyway. The in-game reasoning is that we're going to take this lead to the Inn where Goldilocks will sell it and split the proceeds with us. Of course we never see her there, and indeed will not see her again until Simon the Sorcerer 4 (where she mysteriously loses the cockney accent!), but whatever.

    The only reason I mention this is because it gives us a reason to drive this way:


    Across a very rickity old bridge with a 2-Ton weight limit.

    Oddly enough, the lead we're carrying is supposed to be around 2 Tons. I wonder...


    OK, so in case you didn't get that - Simon drove a heavy van over the bridge, it collapsed and is basically acting as a dam now, which has lowered the water level in the great open fields.


    Seriously - the only way you'd know is if you go and check for yourselves, and you've got absolutely no impetus to do so. It's not even remotely hinted that this is what you need to do!

    Where's that bloody meme...


    That'll do it.

    Anyway. That's one half of this nonsense down. We'll tackle the OTHER lowering of the water next time.

  • Oh. Right. I was supposed to be doing this, wasn't I. Oops.

    Tell you what - let me make it up to you guys with a MONSTER update. How's that sound?

    Hope your internet's ready for this!

    Right, let's finish lowering the water of this lake thing then. Quite why Simon can't just swim across is best described as 'stupid'. And 'hard to program'.

    Anyway. Here's the end result of us breaking the bridge:


    We've lowered the water level enough for us to create a (completely pointless) path across the lake, but it's not enough to let us reach Melissa Leg. We have to lower it further.



    Once again, I'd like to emphasize that there has been absolutely no indication that we need to do any of this. NONE.

    Anyway. We need to head back to where the tree fell on... Jar Nin? Nin Jar? Whatever.

    Let me show you why.


    Remember this? Well, if you look in the top left, then you'll see a building. I know it's a tad hard to make out, but it's there next to the phone box.

    THAT'S where we need to go. Why? Damned if I know, but we gotta go there anyway.

    Unfortunately, it's locked. Now, see that sign in front of it?


    That's our only hint as to what we need to do. So let's go back to the dwarves!

    If we talk to the one still alive, he says that one of the others (who got eaten) had some keys. Hmm.


    I beg to differ, Simon. I beg to differ.


    So how do we get it out?


    *evil grin*


    Considering all the horrible things he's done to other people, I had absolutely zero problems making him do this.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work.


    Yes. Simon needs lubrication so he can reach into a dragon's arse.


    Ok, so he's not actually sticking his hand up the Dragon's arse, he sticking that magnet he stole from the fair up it. Only we've stuck the magnet to a stick with the chewing gum we got from the kid who's teeth we broke.


    Like so.

    Still, funny to look at, wasn't it.

    Anyway, lets rub some butter on this device so we can smoothly insert it into the Dragon's rectum.


    No Simon, that would still be you, because I've just made you make an anal toy. You sick, sick man.

    Hang on - wouldn't that make ME a sick man?

    ...NO. That would make the DEVELOPERS sick men (and women, one sort-of hopes). Yeah, let's blame them. Ahem.

    Alright, let's stick this lubricated shaft up the rear end of a Drag- I'm really not helping matters, am I?


    Uh, you might want to give that a bit of a wash before you put it in your pocket. Just sayin'.

    Anyway, we can now get back to that hut, which is a mere phonebooth teleport (or sprint, whatever takes your fancy) away.

    (If you guessed that these phone booths were supposed to be a parody of the TARDIS, then congratulations, you win a non-existent cookie. You also get to slap the developers in the face, because when this game was made DOCTOR WHO WAS OFF THE AIR AND NO-ONE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE JOKE)

    Inside the building we find...


    ...stuff. I guess. Those leaflets Simon's standing in front of are just background decoration and you can't do anything with them, by the way.

    On the left is a pulley system which naturally we're going to break. And on the right...


    ...a trap-door in the ceiling. That you have to go into first-person mode to even see because otherwise you'd never even know it was there.

    Well, OK. That's not TECHNICALLY true. Let me just unlock the trap-door with my Kite and I'll show you why.


    OK. Now if we head back... wait.




    Don't care, it's mine now!

    Ahem. Right. Back outside.


    As you can see, there's a ladder we can climb, which leads to the roof of the building.


    And on this roof is...


    So yeah, it's not completely unexplained, but even so, the trap-door's really hard to see from indoors and I'm still not particularly pleased with it.

    But anyway. We may have unlocked the trap-door, but apparently it's stuck. So let's open it.


    Y'know what? I think we need a GIF of that.


    Ah, that was nice.


    Yes, but it also brings me a great amount of pleasure, so SHUT UP.

    Anyway. Here's the room now that we've opened the trap-door.


    No prizes for guessing what we do now.


    Well, duh.


    Aw man, and I really wanted to use that gasoline for something cool. Not burning a rope. WHICH IS A FLAMMABLE OBJECT.


    Oh my god, that's just terrible. And not just because it looks awful. Look how he's wasting it! Gah, you only needed a little bit! Augh, you useless piece of crap!

    ...whatever. Let's just burn this rope and get this stupid puzzle over with.


    Yes, yes. Fire is awesome. We know.


    Did that confuse you? Good, because I have no idea what it was either. Seriously, this game explains NOTHING about this puzzle.

    Anyway, let me look it up and find out what that was. Bear with me.


    OK. Apparently that was a dam gate, and we've just released it, allowing water to siphon away from the main area into some unseen reservoir.

    I THINK.

    Either way, the water level's dropped, so we can now get to that mysterious island. Let's go, shall we?


    Huzzah. Will Simon climb up that rope, or will we need to find some other elaborate way up?


    Well, will wonders never cease.

    What's up here then?


    Ruins! Lovely. And is that... On the left there?

    Why, I think that's actually Melissa Leg! The real one! We've found her at last!

    Let's go say hello.


    Nice shot of her arse there. keep it classy, Simon3D.





    Well, let's go see the damage.


    ...she's not dead? Well, that's the first bit of good luck we've had all sodding game.


    Oh shut up. Just... just shut up.


    She's talking about her arm, so stop that sniggering.


    I sympathise entirely.

    Anyway, she throws a rope up and asks Simon to tie it off on something.


    I like her. Can we make the game about her instead? She seems way more interesting than our douchebag of a protagonist.


    This may look suggestive, but trust me - it's nothing compared to seeing it in action, because not only is Simon pulling the rope like this, but Melissa's making grunting noises at the same time. It's... well, just watch.

    Anyway, long story short, she climbs up the rope with only one functional arm.


    Uh... blatant fan-service?


    Oh right, that too. I guess.


    You'll have to imagine the loud CRACK here, since it doesn't come across in picture form.


    That does though. Fucking pansy.

    (Also, what the hell kind of pattern is that on the soles of his shoes? And why am I focusing on that?)


    Yeah yeah, you big girl's blouse. Get back to Calypso and the others. After you've found your purse and put your lipstick on and inserted your tampon and bought some shoes and asked if your outfit makes your arse look fat and put a thousand pillows on the bed and failed at parallel parking and cleaned the entire house and purged and acted like a drama queen and bought more shoes and spent hours chatting to your friends and done your nails and acted jealous for no reason and failed to make your mind up about anything and put a thousand cushions on the sofa and talked about your sex life with your friends and acted all clingy and bought even more shoes.


    ...ahem. Let's just jump back to the basement, shall we?


    Right. So now that everyone's here, let's make a plan to stop Sordid.


    Oh. They're already doing that. I guess they just felt that Simon was completely extraneous.

    Have I mentioned how much I like these guys?


    "Who's there? Who dares to disturb us?" (since it's a bit hard to make out)





    Oh, hi Runt. That joke was old even when you did it, and you've not done a great job of animating it, so your attempt at humour has completely failed. But hi!


    Now THAT is funny. Just not intentionally.


    I never want to be that close to Coneman's thighs ever again.

    OK Runt, you've had your not-at-all-funny entrance. What else you got?


    I have absolutely no idea what he just did to Coneman. And I have absolutely no interest in finding out.


    What? Fat lot of good you lot are then!


    I repeat my previous statement about Coneman.


    Bwuh? Why wouldn't you bring enough in the first place? You're dealing with the greatest heroes in the world! YOUR PLAN IS FULL OF HOLES!


    This is distinctly underwhelming.


    Oh for fuck's sake, this is the least active group of heroes I've ever seen! Useless, the lot of you!

    And before you ask, no, there's no point in talking to any of them - except one. And we'll get to him last.

    If we talk to the Ninja guy, we get a bad joke about him being poorly translated:


    If we talk to Prince Charming, we get an equally unfunny conversation about him being gay and it being a problem when your standard reward for heroic deeds is a Princess' hand in marriage:


    And if we talk to Melissa Leg, we get a STAGGERINGLY unfunny conversation about how you need to kill bad guys in unconventional ways for them to really stay dead:


    Seriously, there's no point in talking to ANY of these people.


    If we talk to Coneman...


    "One more word! Just one more and I'll tear you into little pieces and feed you to my horse!"



    And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the single greatest moment in the entirety of the game.

    So great, in fact, that we need another GIF for it. Apologies for the large size of it, but i promise you - it's worth it.


    Oh yes. I could watch that all day.

    And I think that's a good note to end on. Don't you?

  • You know, just looking at this game, it makes me wonder why people thought ESCAPE FROM MONKEY ISLAND had bad graphics. In comparison, Escape had beautiful backgrounds and much better character models. From now on, every time I consider criticizing that games graphics, I will come here to remind myself that it could be worse...much, much worse.

    PS. I should probably play the first 2 Simon the Sorcerer games at some point.

  • You forgot what popped up after you got the item from the dragon:

  • Great stuff as always, Marsden. My eyes too were drawn towards the frankly bizarre shoe texture on Simon! The sound of Melissa climbing the rope is really dodgy. There's no way that wasn't done on purpose.

    By the way, one of the image links is broken (due to a missing ']' after '[IMG'). It's the one above the following text...

    "And if we talk to Melissa Leg, we get a STAGGERINGLY unfunny conversation about how you need to kill bad guys in unconventional ways for them to really stay dead"

  • EMI has pretty nice graphics for the time. Didn't age well compared to some others, but I remember being blown away when I saw them back in the day.

    Then again, my basis for comparison were the first two Harry Potter games.




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