Friday, 28 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - No Fandom for Random

Marc-Henri Journal Entry 3: “I now have three of the erotic statues in my possession! I have travelled to Manaus and Iguacu, discovering a statuette underneath the waterfall in the former and on the Opera House stage in the latter. Having them makes me feel like I have a much greater chance of capturing the heart (and body) of Emmanuelle, but I’m still not entirely certain how they work or where I’m supposed to use them. I do have a plan though, and it begins with me getting down and dirty with that blonde helicopter pilot at the Iguacu Hotel. I'm not sure why, but that just feels like the right thing to do?!”

Previously on Emmanuelle...A handsome gambler rewards our hero for giving him an aphrodisiac by giving him an erotic statuette. Is there love in the air?

The main problem with blogging through this game is the lack of a save game function. Every time I start the game again I have to play through to where I was last up to, and the random aspects of the game can sometimes make that a fairly different experience. That being said, it took me no more than two minutes to go purchase all the items from the favellas, collect the aphrodisiac from the sailor at the beach, and then retrieve the first statue from the gambler at the casino. The difference in this instance is that when I arrived back at the hotel, the barman was nowhere to be seen and Xica, the local woman, was there instead. I know from previous experience that there are only two bar hanging hussies that are worth seducing, and Xica is one of them.

These erotic statues are really ugly!

When I bribed the barman to tell me about any women that visit the bar, he’d told me that “We have a singer who comes here; Xica. She likes luxury but don’t worry, she’s not greedy!” I used this information to choose the correct (or least incorrect) pickup lines to use, and once I’d impressed her she offered me a special cocktail, as well as her body. “This is a cocktail I invented myself! Try it! It’s full of energy...” I accepted the cocktail, which refreshes my energy level by about 20 percent! I’ve found out since that if I reject her offers of sex, I can go back to her time and time again to keep my energy levels topped up. Since the only ways to lose energy are to have sex, fight with men, or try opening doors on various levels of the hotels, and I’ve not attempted any of those tasks so far in this particular playthrough, the cocktail was of no assistance.

Finally my powers of seduction pay off in a positive way!

After rejecting Xica’s offer of sex, I focussed my attention on the concierge. There are two questions you can ask the concierges in each of the hotels. The first is basically a request for information on the local area, and the second is regarding the whereabouts of Emmanuelle. I imagine the whereabouts of Emmanuelle will only really become valuable once I have all three statuettes, but I asked anyway. The response was “she was staying here, but she checked out and I don’t know where she went.” Well that’s not very helpful! So what else is there to do in Rio de Janeiro? I’ve explored all the levels of the hotel previously without finding anything of interest. Since I don’t want to go back to the favellas, the beach, or the casino at this point, I guess it’s time to check out another area.

Thanks for your help...NOT!

There are three ways to leave Rio de Janeiro; by boat, by helicopter, or by plane. I can only go by helicopter if it appears on the rooftop, but in this instance it wasn’t there. Taking the boat would force me to have sex with the sailing slut, but that would waste valuable energy and erotic potential for no return. Going to the airport would allow me to travel to any of the areas, but that would cost money. Erotic potential is the real currency of the game, so I chose to take a plane. When I clicked on the porter to get a taxi to the airport, he remarked “Oh! You’ve found Old Silvinho’s “pandiero”. His address is secret, but, if your price is high enough, I can find someone who will take you there. He is a wise and learned man. He may be very grateful to you...”

Apparently the fact that he was missing a pandiero was secret as well

After I accepted the offer, I was apparently transported to Old Silvinho’s house, but all I could see was a portrait of the man. Throughout the four or five hours I’ve spent playing the game, I’ve not seen anything that suggests I could know Old Silvinho was missing his pandiero, nor have I seen any mention of his name anywhere. I have discovered that it doesn’t matter which porter I talk to. As long as I have the pandiero in my possession, I have the option of returning it. “Cowboy, your gesture has done me the world of good! In return, drink this potion, which will help you stay the fight...” was all he had to say, and I honestly have no idea what this potion did for me. It doesn’t increase any of my counters and isn’t available for use anywhere else that I can see. At this stage it’s simply a mystery!

I'll give CAPs to anyone that can tell me what this potion does!

The airport gave me yet another opportunity to chat up a willing woman, but I’ve not found any reason to do so. Interestingly, the interface is slightly different when choosing a destination to travel to. Instead of the options flicking by one by one until you press enter, at airports you can press enter with the cursor outside the speech bubble to flick through the options, then press enter with the cursor inside the speech bubble to make a selection. It works a lot better than the normal selection interface, so I have to wonder why they didn’t do that for all parts of the game. The destinations available to me were Paris, Salvador, Manaus and Iguacu. I knew for certain that I didn’t want to go to Paris, as that would end my game, so I selected Iguacu because I knew there was a second statuette there.

I'd love to know why they changed the interface for the airports only

How did I know there was a statuette in Iguacu? Because the helicopter pilot told me so! During one of my earlier attempts at the game when the helicopter pilot was actually on the rooftop (or at least a rooftop in one of the cities), I managed to seduce her. As usual, she offered to bonk my brains out, but she also gave me some very useful information. “Did you know that there is a precious erotic statuette at the foot of the falls? Take this harness, you’ll need it!” Well it turns out that you don’t need a harness at all to get the statuette, meaning there’s absolutely no requirement to track down and seduce the helicopter pilot. The harness doesn’t show up as an item in the inventory either, so for all intents and purposes, there isn’t one. Anyway, I bought a ticket to Iguacu, and arrived shortly afterwards.

From an Earlier Screenshot: The harness that I definitely did not need!

Strangely, I didn’t appear in the hotel lobby after my flight. Instead, I appeared at the waterfall where the statuette is situated. Unsurprisingly, there was a half naked woman at the falls as well, but it didn’t seem to matter what I clicked on, I would then witness my character diving from the cliff into the water, then swimming (if it can be called that with such jerky animation) to the bottom to collect the statuette. Only then did I appear at the hotel, with the two statuettes now very suggestively displayed in my inventory. Speaking of suggestively displayed, the local woman was also there on my arrival. Previous barman bribing had informed me that her name was Sam, and that she was actually a helicopter pilot. He also told me that she was “A real ice-block! You’ll never melt her!” It goes without saying that she slept with me!

One of the only lengthy animated scenes in the game, which is just as well given the quality

I’d received nothing from any of my previous flings with Sam, so I ignored her this time around. There’s nothing else to do in Iguacu, so I caught a cab to the airport and chose another destination. Manaus! There’s not much to do in Manaus either, apart from visiting the opera house, so that’s exactly what I did. Given I had the opera glasses in my possession, I was pretty confident that something was going to happen there. Strangely, when I arrived, I stared at an entirely vacant stage, with no cursor to control at all. I waited, but nothing happened! All I could do was press enter, after which I received a message telling me “The performance is over. You return to your hotel.” Did I have to go there at a precise time? Given there’s no clock in the game, how am I supposed to do that? I decided to spend some time looking through each of the levels of the hotel. On opening the lift, I got a bit of a surprise!

Seriously, this man must be James Bond and Edward Cullen combined to pull every chick he meets!

Out stepped a red haired woman, whom I immediately began flirting with. After I chose the option of “Which button should I press?”, she responded with “Do whatever you want; your destination is mine! Would you mind if I asked you to accompany me to the town governor’s garden party tonight?” What could I possibly do but accept, and I soon found myself at the party. There were two women just waiting for me to pounce on them, so I started testing pickup lines with the older looking one on the left. She wanted me to get something from the buffet for her, so I selected a drink and clicked on her. That seemed to do the trick, and I was then able seduce her into sleeping with me. Just before that happened though, she made a comment that caught my attention. “I’d love to. But wouldn’t our absence set her tongue wagging?” Whose tongue? Emmanuelle’s? The girl next to her? Hang on a second...I suddenly recognised the girl next to her!

Well, there will definitely be tongue wagging!

It was Sam the helicopter pilot that hangs out at the Manaus hotel! It dawned on me that this could be my opportunity to sleep with the same woman twice, which would satisfy The Law of Number: You must have multiple relations with the same partner. However, since I’d slept with the other older woman at the party and then been transferred back to the hotel, I’d missed my opportunity to sleep with Sam. The red haired woman in the lift wouldn’t reappear meaning I was facing a possible dead end. Since I was certain I was on the right track though, I restarted. It’s worth pointing out that I’ve probably restarted the game no less than twenty times so far. Maybe even thirty! Making even the slightest mistake puts an end to my progress, most of which I can't possibly know are mistakes until beforehand, time and time again. Choose the wrong pickup line with the woman in the lift and it’s all over. Sleep with the wrong woman at any point and find your erotic potential dropping dramatically, with no chance of recovery. Select the wrong option using the shitty interface and you're done for! Not having a save game feature takes this game from mildly frustrating to tear your hair out and scream in hateful anger levels of irritation!

From an Earlier Screenshot: Sam only has one pose apparently, which is fortunate for me.

I played all the way through the game right back to the exact stage I was at when I reached Manaus, only this time when I tried to visit the opera house, something different happened! The porter told me that “The opera house is closed, Sir. However, if you are prepared to pay well, I can get permission for you to visit it...” I accepted of course, and once again was transported to the empty stage. This time I had a cursor though, and clicking it anywhere resulted in me discovering the third and final erotic statuette! I can only assume that I used the opera glasses to search the stage and find the statuette, although there was no suggestion that this is what occurred. Why I wasn't able to do this the first time I visited the opera house, I have no idea! Anyway, with all three statuettes in my possession, it was damn time I put them to use!

With these three statuettes, I could be...a superhero!!!

Sam will be the first woman I go after once I've finished this post. Looking over the other two laws, I’ve got a fair idea which part of the game The Law of Unusual (You must never see your partner’s face) might relate to (it's in Salvador, which I haven’t written about yet). As for the other one (The Law of Asymmetry: There must be an odd number of partners), it remains a mystery to me! Don’t I always have an odd number of partners (ie. one)? Is it just a matter of sleeping with an odd number of partners in the game at a particular point for the statuette to kick in? I seriously can’t wait for this game to be done with! A number of games on the list so far have been far from great, but at least I was able to save my progress. I haven’t quite reached my limit of perseverance yet, mostly because I feel like I’m not too far from a serious breakthrough, but I could be well and truly tested in the days to come.

Of course now Sam won't show up...*sigh*

Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 00 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - The Laws of Eroticism

Marc-Henri Journal Entry 2: “I have discovered a strange statuette that I’m certain will help me acquire the erotic skills I need to lure Emmanuelle into my arms (and hopefully my bed). I don’t fully understand its power or purpose yet, but I’m quite sure I’m on the right track. I delivered the aphrodisiac that the man on the boat gave me to a gambler I came across in the casino. It turns out he leads a gang called the Death Squadron, and it was he that gave me the statuette in return for my efforts. I wonder if there are any more of these statuettes around her???”

The last thing I saw before a C prompt

If you read my last post, you’ll be aware that my first five minute session of Emmanuelle was pretty laughable. After it was over, I had a couple of decisions to make. Firstly, I was going to need to try to resolve the technical issues I was facing while playing the game, and secondly, I was going to have to figure out how best to attack the game itself. The main technical issues I was facing were speed (the game runs way too fast, making it next to impossible to choose conversation options) and sound (apart from the occasionally bleep, I wasn’t getting any). I knew that I could start playing around with DOSBox settings to try to get the speed right, but I was hoping someone out there had found a way that wouldn’t involve me adjusting things every time I play.

Here's a review from back in the day that gave the game an NA for sound, so I can only assume it never had any! (Xasthur fits my mood)

After reading the responses I got on the blog and anything I could find out there on the net, I’m now resigned to using Ctrl F11 and Ctrl F12 to slow the game down and then speed it back up as I play. Unfortunately there’s no speed that suits the whole game, as what is perfect for one section could be mind numbingly slow for another. On the sound side of things, I’ve found nothing to suggest that there’s any sound in this game at all (apart from those aforementioned bleeps that pop out occasionally). The credits suggest that Francois Peirano produced the music for Emmanuelle, so I can only assume that it didn’t make it to the DOS version of the game. Either that or it’s just not coming through using DOSBox. Anyone know for sure? Either way, it looks like I can just listen to my own choice of music while I play this game.

I'm going to wear out my F11 and F12 keys by the time this is over.

Before I get into how I’ve decided to approach the game, there are a couple of things that I’ve discovered that I should mention. There are four distinct areas that I can visit, being Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Iguacu and Manaus. Each of these areas contains locations of their own to visit, and all of them have a hotel with barman, reception and porter. While things at first looked pretty random while visiting each location, it turns out it’s merely the people that are present, not the puzzles or solutions that differ. That means, from what I can tell, that each item that I need and each person I need to visit will always be found in the exact same place. With this in mind, I decided to fully investigate each of the four main areas one by one and report my findings. At the end of that process I hope to be able to look over everything I’ve learnt and do the necessary, whatever that might be.

Rio de Janeiro: Seems a logical place to start

Since the game begins in Rio de Janeiro, that seems like a logical place to begin this process. There are three areas that I can click on to get going, which are the “favelas” (the poor area of town), the beach, and the hotel. There only seems to be two things to do at the favelas. Fight the guys at the table or buy stuff from the woman at the market (I’m sure I could have sex with her, but that probably goes without saying). I can buy stuff by simply selecting the item, but then only three of them appear to be for sale (choosing any of the others results in her telling me I’m a bad customer and disappearing!). I purchased the pandiero (a sort of drum apparently), the opera glasses, and the toucan for a total of 4500. Interestingly only the pandiero and the opera glasses appeared in my inventory, so I have no idea what happened with the toucan.

Nice jugs you have there!

The next location is the beachfront, which is where two boats can be found sporadically. The first time I visit the location, there is usually only the one boat there, which is the one where I got into a fight during my first session. This time I was more prepared however, and adjusted the speed of my game so I had a chance to answer the aggressive bastard’s question. When he asked me whether I was looking for trouble, this time I successfully answered “No! I’m looking for adventure...” His response was “Well, that’s just fine! I have a very important mission for you. This is a bottle of synthetic aphrodisiac. It’s worth a fortune! The only thing is that the police are onto me. If I do anything, I’ll be in prison. I need you. Wear it so that everyone can see it; someone will contact you. And you’ll be in trouble if you mess it up!” There’s no doubt that this is a really, really, stupid plan that no-one in their right mind would agree to, but I of course did.

So you don't want to be seen anywhere with it, but you want me to display it at all times?!

This resulted in me having a third item in my visible inventory, and given how little room that left for more, I began wondering just how many items there were to collect in the game. Regardless, there’s something else that can be done, and in fact needs to be done, from the beachfront. The only way to access the casino that is mentioned in the manual is to click on a rather indistinct building in the background on this screen. It’s safe to say that I never would have discovered this if the manual didn’t blatantly state “The entrance to the Casino in Rio de Janeiro is on the beach.” I found the right building through trial and error, and immediately appeared at the roulette table with another couple. Before I even considered making a bet, I took a look around the room, noticing a woman at the bar and another selling cigars and whiskey. This seems a good time to explain the purpose, or indeed lack of purpose, of women in the game, and how I’ve been forced to converse with them.

Some of these pickup lines are more offensive than seductive

There are women spread out (literally) all over Emmanuelle, and all of them appear to be willing to sleep with me if I can just pull the right pickup line out of the bag at the right time. I’ve discovered that each woman appears in the same location (and nowhere else), and for each of them I am given a limited amount of apparently sexy pickup lines. I started keeping a list of all the available lines I could choose from with each woman, as well as their response to each, whether it’s in the positive or the negative. If I ever choose the wrong pickup line, I’m rejected and the woman simply disappears (but can reappear later). If I choose the correct pickup line, then I’m given another three lines to choose from. Get that one right and I get the opportunity to bed the woman, but if I get it wrong, I get one last shot. Choosing the correct pickup lines is pretty much guesswork, since they’re all terrible, but in the case of the women in the hotels, I’ve been able to pay the barmen for hints on the ladies' likes and dislikes.

I imagine there are quite a few men that have learnt your "secret"

I’m not going to give you a rundown of every experience I’ve had with every woman, but I will give you an example of how it works. There’s a woman that hangs out at the bar in Bahia called Nancy. When I bribed the barman, he told me: “There's always Nancy...but she's not nothing like romantic. And apparently she's not at all interested in Brazil...” So, if any of the available pickup lines are either romantic or about Brazil, I should avoid them. When I spoke to Nancy, my first options were “A woman of your class is made for happiness. I’m offering it to you!”, “I want to submit myself to all your whims and vices”, and “Let’s go to it, baby!” If I choose either of the first two options, Nancy rejects me with “You can't stay in this bar for one minute without some over-confident butch coming up and pestering you!”, but choosing “Let’s go to it, baby!” results in “At least you know how to talk to women!”, after which she is willing to continue the conversation and eventually sleep with me.

Nancy isn't interested in niceties. She just wants sex! The rougher the better I imagine!

So that’s how conversing with woman works in the world of Emmanuelle, but it’s not a recipe for success! As I hinted at in my first post, sleeping with women seems to do nothing more than waste valuable energy and erotic potential, raising the question of whether or not it’s worth even attempting. The answer is that there are correct times to sleep with women and at least one instance where the player is rewarded for successful seduction. I won’t give anymore away than that at this stage, but I will say that sleeping with the woman in the casino has by far the worst result that I’ve come across so far. Not only did I get nothing in return for sharing my much desired body with her, when I reappeared in the hotel afterwards, I’d lost both the pandiero and the aphrodisiac! The bitch stole my stuff! An example of how little sense the whole game makes is the fact I was then able to go back and recollect those items as though I never had them in the first place. Right, let’s move on!

Damn bitch stole my pandiero! Hey, where's my toucan!!!???

Ignoring the klepto at the bar, I focussed my attention on the woman selling cigars and whiskey. “I sell cigars and whisky. Take whatever you want!” is all she had to say. I eventually figured out that I could do exactly that, and clicking on exactly the right spot resulted in an image of a cigar appearing on the screen, which I could then drag around. The obvious thing to do, given that I couldn’t move it into my inventory, was to drag and drop it onto the gambling gentleman in front of me. He thanked me for my generosity, and then said “I see you have something for me. Come with me! Let’s go somewhere quieter...” I have no idea at this stage whether the same thing would have happened if I’d given it to the woman, or given the whiskey to the man instead of the cigar. I also haven’t spent any time gambling, as I’m hoping the only purpose to that is monetary. If the rest of the game is anything to go by, the purpose of the casino is to make contact with the man, and that’s all I’ve done.

Powers of observation increase dramatically after the receiving of cigars

The quieter place that the gambler spoke of turned out to be the favelas, and the men that seemed to like a good fight there were his goons. “These are my men. They have a flawless reputation. Do you have the goods? Ah! Here’s the precious bottle! Drink the Cachaca with us, cowboy. The Death Squadron always rewards a favour. Hey, there’s a statuette which should be worth quite a bit in Europe... come on, I’ll take you back to your hotel...” With that, I appeared back in the Rio hotel; although this time I had one of the statuettes mentioned in the manual in my possession. Apparently there are three Laws of Eroticism, and each law is symbolised by a statuette. If I have them in my possession, then they will automatically work when required, and each one relates to a precise character in the game. The laws are as follows:

The Law of Asymmetry: There must be an odd number of partners
The Law of Unusual: You must never see your partner’s face
The Law of Number: You must have multiple relations with the same partner

Death Squadron!!?? Mwahahahahaha

These laws don’t seem to make a lot of sense, but I assume circumstances will arise where each does. The question I had was which of the three statuettes did I have? How do I know whether it’s the one that relates to Asymmetry, Unusual or Number?! I guess the safest thing to do would be to find all three statuettes, then start sleeping with women where the above laws seem to fit. I haven’t yet finished describing my exploration of Rio de Janeiro, but I’m long past my 2000 word post limit. I have to admit that Emmanuelle has some strange allure that makes me want to play it through to completion, despite being an incontrovertibly terrible game. There are so many badly implemented aspects that I can’t possibly fit them all into my posts (I hope I’m at least getting across some of them), and I have a feeling that’s once I know how to complete the game, that it could probably be done in a matter of minutes. I've already spent over four hours playing it though, half of which was uselessly conversing with women, so I'll mark this session down as two.

First Statuette: Asymmetry, Unusual or Number? It's anyone's guess!

Session Time: 1 hours 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 00 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - When Kavorka Strikes

Marc-Henri Journal Entry 1: “I have arrived in Brazil in search of Emmanuelle. I’m not entirely certain why I’ve set out on this journey, but I do know that I simply must have that woman. This is a strange place! The women all seem to want to have sex with me and the men all pick fights with me (despite being terrible fighters). Unfortunately, wandering around conquering all and sundry is making me awful tired, and I fear if I keep this up for long I will simply not be in any state to give Emmanuelle the ravishing she deserves. I’m going to need to settle down, and raise my game to the pinacle of performance before I track her down. I wonder if there’s anything or anyone around here that can help me to do that!?”

The game begins with a celebration. I fear that may be the last one there is!

Five weeks! That’s how long I now have off work, with a fair portion of that time no doubt being devoted to playing and blogging about adventure games. I’ve worked harder this year than I have in any previous year, so I really feel like I’ve earned this break. It’s therefore pretty unfortunate that I have to spend the first part of it playing a really, really shitty game. I’m not going to ruin the fun by revealing all the reasons why Emmanuelle is awful up front though. I’m going to savour the chance of exposing just how terrible it is, hopefully in a way that is more entertaining for the readers than the game itself could ever be. It’s worth stating upfront though that my posts about Emmanuelle are not going to follow the blueprint I’ve formulated over the past year and a bit for one simple reason. There’s no save game!

Yes, it's true. I'm running very low on suitable screenshots and am now recycling.

Having no save game feature may bring into question whether Emmanuelle should really be considered an adventure game, but I’m afraid it is. The game is all about exploring locations, collecting information from various characters, and using items to solve puzzles, placing it very clearly within the genre. I can only assume that no save game feature was included to make what appears to be a very short game take a lot longer to complete, which is cheap to say the least. It doesn’t help that many aspects of the game seem to be random; meaning what you did last time you played won’t necessarily play out that way the next time. My first attempt lasted about five minutes, and I’d like to share that experience with you in this post to give you an idea of what we’re all in for. From there I should be able to ignore the technical aspects of the game and merely discuss progress without narrating every start and finish.

Programming: Inference. More like "Interference"!

After watching the intro, where fireworks explode across the screen and the word Emmanuelle appears at the bottom, I was faced with an anti-piracy screen. It asked me to “consult the colour chart enclosed with the software and select the colour required.” Thankfully I discovered a text file in my Emmanuelle game folder that contains the colour chart. I was being asked to click on the colour that matched the code A102, which the chart informed me was black. I saw a cursor on the screen, in the shape of cupid, yet very quickly discovered that I wasn’t able to move it using the mouse. I began moving it around with the arrow keys, which seemed fine until I tried to click on the word Black. The cursor moved very quickly around the screen, with one single arrow press moving it about a centimetre, which made it difficult to place the cursor exactly where I wanted it to be. Even worse though, pressing the enter key when the cursor was directly over the word Black didn’t do anything.

No wonder true love is such a tough thing to find. Cupid is a terrible shot!

I eventually discovered that I had to press enter when the cursor was a not insignificant distance above the word Black for it to register. As mentioned above, getting the cursor exactly where it needs to be is damn hard, and that combined with the fact I am forced to restart and go through the colour chart over and over again (I have to find two colours every time to be allowed to play), makes things quite frustrating. Unfortunately, the horrible cursor position issue isn’t restricted to the copy protection screen, and shows up in the game proper. After getting the two colours correct, I was given a view of Rio de Janeiro, with the low quality graphics not really giving me any real clear details to look at.  There were three interface icons on the left hand side of the screen though, which were obviously going to be important to playing the game, but were just as difficult to click on.

My erotic potential begins at half mast

The three icons represent my three “personal score counters”. The first is a bag of money, which starts off at 25000. I can’t see any mention in the game or manual for what the currency is (perhaps Brazilian real?). The second icon is a champagne glass, which is used to display the player’s energy level with a scale of 1 to 100 (starting at 100). The manual tells me that I’m allowed three full glasses, although it’s not clear whether it refills by itself three times or needs to be refilled by me somehow. The third icon is lipstick, which represents erotic potential, whatever that means. This counter also has a scale of 1 to 100, but this one starts at 50. The manual suggests that to win the game I must meet Emmanuelle when I’m on my “best erotic form”, so I can only assume I need to get my erotic potential to 100 prior to meeting Emmanuelle.

25000...somethings! That should allow me to buy lots of...things.

It’s time to lead you through my first five minutes of play. Be aware that those five minutes contained much head scratching and capturing of screenshots, so it was probably more like two or three. I moved the cursor down to the boat at the bottom left corner of the screen (since that was something I could actually make out), and pressed enter. I was taken to the beach, where the boat I’d seen from a distance was sitting on the water in front of me. I clicked on it again, and was confronted by a man at the wheel, who was asking me whether I was looking for trouble. When I clicked enter I was given three options that I could respond with, being “No! I’m looking for a fight!”, “Sorry. I came to find a friend.” and “No! I’m looking for adventure...”. Unfortunately, these three options were flashing at me so fast that it was difficult just to read them, let alone press enter when the correct one was presented.

No! I am trouble! You gotta problem with that?

I decided that I definitely didn’t want to fight the man! The adventure answer seemed to be the most likely, so I tried to time my pressing of enter with that conversation option. Clearly I failed, because next thing I knew, I was facing off in hand to hand combat with the owner of the boat. The fact that I was already finding myself in a scuffle after less than a minute of playing wasn’t the only disconcerting thing. The fight screen seemed to switch the game from dodgy EGA graphics to even dodgier CGA. Washed out pinks and blues temporarily took over, and before I could get over the shock of the visual alteration, my opponent was beating the shit out of me! I began madly pressing the arrow keys, hoping I could miraculously learn the nuances of the fighting mechanics before my inevitable defeat. Within about two seconds I’d figured out that repeatedly hitting the right arrow key causes my character to repeatedly punch the guy in the face until I raised my arms in victory. Mortal Kombat this game is not!


Feeling proud of my conquest yet concerned that I may have punched out one of the game’s main characters, I was taken back to the more colourful beach view. Now there were two boats in the water, and there was also a bikini clad woman strolling very awkwardly along the beach. She proceeded to expose her breasts and lie back on the beach, assumedly to get some sun. I tried clicking on her, but as soon as I did, she got up, covered herself back up, and wandered off. After briefly wondering what else I might have tried doing, I decided to focus on the second boat that had arrived out of nowhere. After clicking on it, I was confronted by a woman stating “You were sent by heaven! I was just looking for a crew-man as strong and handsome as you...” She then said “I’m off to Bahia...want a lift?” Before I was given any chance to say yes or no, the boat set sail, apparently with me on it. All of a sudden I witnessed my character and the sailing woman having sex!

More like a captive! This is considered kidnap and rape in most countries!

That’s right! Less than four minutes into the game and I’d already scored! It took me years to get laid as a teenager! Perhaps I should have spent more time saving up to go to Brazil?! Oddly, despite triumph after triumph, winning fist fights and getting raunchy with chicks had done nothing positive for my personal score counters. I’d actually lost a considerable amount of energy and erotic potential while fighting and fucking, making me ponder whether Emmanuelle might have been developed my religious fundamentalists. If the game was going to punish me for living the dream, I was going to have to refrain from such awesomeness! Jokes aside, I was feeling a bit disorientated by this stage, particularly as my geographical retardation meant I had no idea whether my new destination, Bahia, was even still in Brazil. My friend Google quickly told me that it was.


So, I’d travelled from Rio to Bahia by boat with a rather demanding woman, and now found myself on a beach that looked identical to the one I left. The only differences were that now there was only one boat in the water (the one I came on, so to speak), and that there was a fine looking blonde kneeling in front of me half naked, very seductively exposing herself for my viewing pleasure. Seriously!? Was this game really designed by a woman!? Not even Al Lowe would dare objectify women in such a way, nor would he suggest that the whole female half of the population are complete sluts. The woman said nothing to me, but I had three choices as to what I could say to her. 1. “How I envy the Brazilian sun which can caress such beautiful skin at its leisure!” 2. “I'd love to submit your body to the demands of my passions.” 3. “How would you feel about some fun and games in the sand?”

Now that's just not fair!!! I'm trying to be monogomous!

I couldn’t imagine that any of those three pickup lines would work on any woman alive, but I also had no idea why I would want to try to have sex with every woman that I came across in the game. Wasn’t the idea to be with Emmanuelle? Was the game going to punish me for every other temptation I fell for on the way? So far it seemed to be all there was to do! I decided the third option seemed the least offensive, so I tried to choose it. I can’t even tell you whether I was successful or not, as the options were coming at me so fast, but the woman totally rejected me with “The Beach is open to everybody. Nobody's forcing you to stay right here!” That response doesn’t really make sense, no matter which option I selected, but even stranger was the fact I suddenly found myself away from the beach and in a bar.

I've been in Brazil for just a few minutes, and I'm already scared of the women!

The picture on the wall suggested I was still in Bahia, and from the look of things I was in a hotel. There was yet another woman looking at me suggestively, but this time I decided I wanted nothing to do with her until I figured out what my motives in this game really were.  I instead spoke to the doorman, who asked me if I wanted to go to Lower Town, the Airport, or the Town on the Hill. The options came at me so fast that I had next to no chance of actually selecting one intentionally. Apparently I selected the Airport, as that’s where I appeared next. Unsurprisingly, there was a woman there to assist me, and while one of the options available to me was to buy a ticket, the others were all flirtatious pickup lines. I accidentally chose “I’d be all yours, for just one kiss...”, which she surprisingly ignored and instead directed my attention to the destination board.

I dare anyone to try this in reality!

I decided to go to Paris, for no reason in particular. After buying my ticket, an endgame screen popped up telling me “Your impulses are fleeting! You are WISE.” What the hell does that mean? I could understand if the game was hinting that not playing anymore was a very wise decision, but I figure it was trying to tell me something about my style of play. Regardless, my first session of Emmanuelle was over, and I was feeling pretty damn confused about the whole thing. After reading through the manual, I now know that I’m not supposed to travel to Paris until I’ve met Emmanuelle, and since I’m not supposed to meet Emmanuelle until I’ve reached full erotic potential, it seems my quest is to figure out how to get that lipstick score to increase rather than decrease. I’ve now put another couple of hours into the game and have a better understanding of how things work (including how to control the speed of it). That’s not to say that the game actually gets any better though, which you’ll hear all about in the next couple of days.

I'd be wise to delete this game and move onto the next one, but my wisdom has always submitted to my OCD.

Session Time: 0 hours 05 minutes
Total Time: 0 hours 05 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What's Your Story? - Jean-Jacques

While I prepare myself (mentally that is) for Emmanuelle, it seems an opportune time to highlight another one of our adventure game loving readers. This time it's the globe trotting Jean-Jacques, which is apt really given his French origins.

Hmmm...I recognise you Jean-Jacques, but I can't quite put my finger on it...

My home country is… France, but currently in Cameroon..after Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia

My age is… 36

The first adventure game I played was… The Colonel's Bequest (Sierra). I've spent days and nights exploring the different areas, talking to everybody..  I just fell in love with Sierra-on-line. It was just wonderful, even in CGA color and with the internal buzzer as "music". I was living in Nigeria at that time with no shops and few peopple interested in adventure games. An ---expensive--- Sierra game had to last six months between each round trip to France.

The Colonel's Bequest: There's been a lot of talk about this game recently. It's not far away on the list!

My favourite adventure game is… Hero's Quest - So you want to be a Hero? The 2nd Sierra game after Colonel's Bequest. I always remember the 1st sequence when the hero "me!" enters Spielburg. "The colors, the music, RPG!!!!". I played this game over and over again. The VGA version is well done, but the EGA is better!

When I’m not playing games I like to… I travel a lot, but always with books!  Sci Fi and Fantasy. A least 1 book per week.

The one TV show I never miss is… Dexter

This show is amazing. Not entirely convincing, but amazing nonetheless!

I like my games in (a box, digital format)… Now, I'd say Digital..but when I was younger, the boxes (Sierra, LucasFilm Games) were just impossible to miss in my room. "You see?? I've got Space Quest IV !!!"

The thing I miss about old games is… Plenty of colors, jokes,  story, hint books, small size (no need to insert any DVD each time you wish to play). And "Fun" above all..There was also some kind of close relationship with the game designers: The Guys from Andromeda, the Coles, Al Lowe, Roberta Williams, Ron Gilbert, Chris Roberts, Lord British etc..

If I could see any band live it would be… P!nk...I'm not a teenage girl but..I just like her shows

It wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm sure P!nk's shows are pretty entertaining

The best thing about modern games is… ...advanced graphics? I don't know. The new games I play are old fashion "point and click": Resonance etc..

My favourite movie is… A L I E N S

One interesting thing about me is… That I look like Roger Wilco

Is that self proclaimed or did someone stop you in the street one day and say " look like that guy from Space Quest! What's his name?"

If anyone else wants to send their answers and get 20 CAPs, please send them to

Monday, 17 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - Introduction

I had approximately .0047 seconds to get this screenshot. Fortunately I built my luck attribute up during Hero's Quest!

What better way to follow up Hero’s Quest, by far the best game I’ve played for the blog so far, than to continue on to a little known French game called Emmanuelle: A Game of Eroticism. I mean, how bad can that possibly be!? Apparently pretty bad! I’m going to do what I always do though, which is to give every game a fair chance to impress me, no matter how disastrous the general opinion is out there on the interwebz. Even if it does turn out to be utter shit, at least the research involved in bringing you this introduction post has been educational. To get to the origin of the game, I’ve had to go all the way back to 1959!

The Book: Emmanuelle's parents were a little concerned at the craft she brought home for the fridge

That was the year a book called Emmanuelle was published in France. It had no author listed, and was covertly distributed due to the very sexual nature of its contents. Despite this underground treatment, Emmanuelle was popular enough to gain further releases, and these editions did have an author splashed across the front. Emmanuelle Arsan! This turned out to be nothing more than a non-de-plume, and by the time the book was translated into English in 1971, it was revealed that a woman by the name of Marayat Rollet-Andriane was the kinky mind behind it all. Finally, as if all of that secrecy and misinformation wasn’t enough, it was later revealed that it was in fact Marayat’s husband Louis-Jacques Rollet-Andriane that wrote the whole thing!!!

The Film: "X was never like this": was much bigger and quite readable before.

What made Emmanuelle so controversial that no-one dared put their name to it? Well, the story follows a sexually adventurous woman that has a series of erotic affairs with men and women. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, Emmanuelle clearly scratched an itch for many women of the day, so much so that it was turned into a film in 1974. The film starred Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel in the title role, and really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on screen at the time. The movie contains many “sex scenes, skinny dipping, masturbation, the Mile High Club, rape, and a scene in which a dancer lights a cigarette and puffs it with her vagina”. It remains one of the most successful French movies of all time, with around 300 million people having watched it!

Hmmmm...tell me you're not tempted to watch this now!

We now move forward fifteen years to another French woman named Muriel Tramis. After obtaining a scientific baccalaureate at the age of 16, Muriel decided to follow her passion for games and try her hand at making them. She followed a training course at Coktel Vision and immediately began designing her own games for the company, including Méwilo (an adventure game) and Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness (an action strategy hybrid). Eventually Muriel would be known as the French Roberta Williams, and her early adventure games would have very distinct themes and features, including the use of female protagonists and mildly erotic scenes (Geisha, Fascination and Emmanuelle). She would go on to design very successful adventure games that I’ll eventually get to on the playlist, including the first three Gobliiins games, Lost in Time and The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble.

Now here's a game that I'm actually looking forward to. Maybe Muriel's not all that bad!

But I’m getting ahead of myself there. It’s Emmanuelle that I’ll be playing over the next few days! It was originally released in 1989 for Amiga, Atari ST and DOS, with the latter supporting EGA, CGA and monochrome graphics. I’ve downloaded a copy and will be playing the EGA version, which apparently has no mouse support. I’ve also found a copy of the manual, although it’s a text only version (if anyone can find a PDF copy or any with images, I’ll pay CAPs for it). The manual does give some advice on how to play the game, but I’ll cover that off as I get going. In the meantime, I will leave you with the manual’s introduction, which should give you a feel for what we’re all in for!

“Rio, its beaches, its women, its carnival, its potent eroticism! Now I've landed here, I have to find Emmanuelle. I have to get on the plane with her when she flies back to Europe. I don't have much choice; to attract her to me, I must increase my "erotic potential" by applying the rules of the "three laws of eroticism" which Mario will dictate to me. When I've found out where he is, in this vast country of Brazil.... Here we go! This sweet languishing which is travelling up my spine will make my brain boil if I don't get myself organised right now. Let's get a few things settled before this ambient eroticism starts taking me over.”

Sadly, I'm certain this cover would have sold heaps of copies!
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've recently written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 points (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle unassisted (see below for an example). If you get it right I will reward you with 60 points in return (it's going to keep going up until someone beats me)! It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game.

From now on voters should pick whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw, which I'm yet to figure out the form of (we'll cross that bridge when we get there).

Example Bet:
Nf n puvyq V ybfg zl zhz
Zl grrantr lrnef ner zhpu zber sha
Fbyivat zlfgrevrf, pncghevat pebbxf
Va nqiragher tnzrf naq fgnpxf bs obbxf

Jub nz V? 20 PNCf sbe gur svefg pbeerpg nafjre.

Extra Note: Once again, Lars-Erik will gift the next readily available game on the list to the reader that correctly predicts what score I will give this game. So, if you predict the right score (or are closest), you will get 10 CAPs and a copy of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade from Steam! Good luck!