Tim’s back and I think we’ve found his thing (no, not that), covering game series’ with captioned screenshots in his own inimitable style. This week he’s covered all three Gobliiins games from the legendary Coktel Vision dev house. Dabon dabon!
– How many “I’s” in that? (I think you’ve got a few too many, mate – Ed)
Is the game ever as good- or bad as you remember? Nostalgia always seems to the defiant foe!
Thirsty for another point and click adventure game. Another Amiga coverdisk flew my way- Gobliins 2 – The Prince buffoon. This time, not from my mum, but from my piano teacher. GoblIIns?! You get to play with two characters, hence spelling the game with two I’s.
We first crossed paths at a friend’s place. A dodgy copy for the Amiga 500… Them graphics had personality, but where was the music? It felt like a demo. Tried it. Hard pass. Smacked me again with Deja vu when bought the PC double-pack. Passy McPass! (I think I’ve met her – Ed)
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago when my daughter wanted to experience another Point&Click adventure game. We’ve been through most of the LucasArts classics. – Now is the time that I could finally give the original a good seeing to. Living room! Raspberry Pi! ScummVM! BRING IT!
We are introduced to a delightful animation, where a king gets harassed by some guy with a voodoo doll.
…That same… Dead… Feeling…
You are thrown into a location with control over three “gobliiins”. The mage can use magic, the fighter can physically attack things and the “item” user- who can use any item he finds. Much like any standard “point and click” adventure title, you need to click things. Punch arch, horn falls, pick up horn… Annoy guy in home with horn…
Similar titles of this era had verbs that you could interact with. Perhaps Cocktel Vision were ahead of the curve? – If they were, not by much! Why? Each character has HP! When it gets too low- restart! – well, at least we have a “Password system”.
…Then … The lack of logic required to solve some of these puzzles.
The first screen I barely managed, but it wasn’t long until trusty GameFAQs was loaded up to guide me. Not since Kings Quest 2 have I needed this.
The art is well drawn. Pierre Gilhodes provides the concept to the game, as well as the artwork and OHHHH the characters. “Mad nuts donkey balls” is the only say when describing any of his creations… They’re SO fun!
Sound is limited, and if you can’t get the CD-Audio running, well- no music for you, buster! Luckily I managed to rip the…Uh… CD tr… For Scu…. WTF? You call this MUSIC? Only birds tweeting!? (hands sink into face)
So, that’s it. This title to me, is a showcase for Pierre’s work, much like how Beast was a tech-demo for the Amiga. At least this laid down groundwork needed to set things in motion for…
GOBLIINS 2 – THE PRINCE BUFFOON (1992)
Once again, we are thrown into an animation. A wizard explains that the prince has been kidnapped and only these two brave heroes can save him.
Straight from the get-go, the characters have a focus. Fingus, a pink, medallion wearing, ladies guy- and Winkle, a purple insane punk! Select Fingus, click flower (He raises one, looks at it, then puts it back). Try the same thing with Winkle- He picks it up, stuffs his face with it, then laughs about it. Gone are the specialist classes, and we are given unique personalities that are used to solve puzzles.
What we have is a rollercoaster Laugh-Out-Loud journey with two colourful underdogs. It becomes a game you genuinely feel for the characters and wish to help save the poor prince.
The upside-down logic and difficulty have thankfully taken a breather for this title. Puzzles, for the most part – make FAR more sense comparably to the original, they also added a save feature, and the “joker” system. Limited use, of an in-game guide! Very generous! (no expensive phone-calls, eh?)
Pierre is back with yet more of his great work, refined and a great iteration on the previous title. More care and work has gone into the animation, providing honest LOL moments from the viewers.
Then there’s the music. At times, I cannot help to hum along. I loved every second of it!
Sound! The grunty laughter of Winkle is going through my mind right now… Ughuh, Ughuh! The voices! Cute chatter of Fingus, the throaty grind of Winkle! Yipee! YES! Laughter! LARFFTTER!
I’m unsure if it’s the additional members of the team that propelled this title into an instant classic- as all the issues I had with the original were fixed- and DAMN, what an accessible game this is!
Can we look forward to more tweaks with this fine formula?
GOBLINS QUEST 3 (1993)
We greet the hero, “Blount” on a falling airship, avast! no crew?!? You’ve been deserted! The antagonist seems to be human, rather than the usual “Goblin” style character we are much used to.
Upon closer inspection of the ship, you meet a small parrot “Chump”, without an inventory, has his own set of “skills”. Throughout the story, other playable characters are introduced- each as compelling as the last.
We now have wider levels, with no restriction to the size of the screen.
Other puzzle sections are also introduced, where a “first-person” perspective section attempts to shake things up. The inventory is led out on the stage, and you can use your “hands”. It’s an interesting take on the point and click genre.
Comedy is ensured, played yet again by powerfully expressive animation. Sounds- and great timing- not dissimilar to Monty Python’s work.
Music, follows in the vein of those Gob 2 earwigs!!!!
So what we have, is essentially an enhanced amalgamation of both previous titles. The guide system has returned. However, with two steps forward, we get one step back. The upside-down logic returns, not just for the puzzles, but also for the story. Were the creators were on an intense acid trip? The game leaves us with a nonsensical journey. Everything seems… Just… So… Random!
Was it fatigue from the Goblins franchise? From half-way, the puzzles began to feel like a chore. Solve a puzzle, get an item. Cool. Now what? to continue, needed to REPEAT a prior solution to find more items.
This infuriated me enough to play out the rest of the game with assistance from Gamefaqs (PLEASE don’t hate me!)