Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bucked! Rogered! Cubed!...ummm...

Yep, Matrix Cubed is complete, and what did I get for my endeavours? A black screen and a DOS prompt. Thanks, SSI! Anyway, stepping back a bit, after my last post, I realised that the base I was looking for was on the planet I was already orbiting, I just had to fiddle through the areas I didn't have a passcard for to find the one area that I did. After that, I was hurtling toward the endgame. Well, maybe hurtling is the wrong word, but I passed the point of no return to the NEO base. I jumped on a living ship (with a hint of Spelljammer about it) and flew off to Jupiter where amongst other things I found 'Jovian Dragons', which looked like a straight palette swap from one of the D&D gold box games. Felt a bit jarring in a sci-fi setting, but hey. I went through the massive living ship, uniting pirates and stormriders (who I later learned are GIANTS - see pic for one doing a lovely dance), and then on to the stormriders' university. I had to beat back an invasion here, which was quite fun, but then came the slightly unsavoury penultimate mission. The stormriders had been created as genetic slaves, and their 'owners' were the ones who raided them earlier. So, fair enough, the two didn't get along. However, the stormriders' (ostensibly the good guys) solution to this was to create a plague (the game's own term for it) to wipe out their masters. They were bad guys, yes, but the genocide of an entire race doesn't feel like a particularly 'good' solution. But my guys didn't bat an eyelid (and there was no in-game way for me to refuse). If I wanted to get the last scientist on my side and complete the game, then I needed to go ahead and release the plague. I'm beginning to understand now why the rest of the galaxy don't like us NEO guys...we're a bunch of evil &$%*s! Anyway, I did it. What choice did I have? (I hope I'm not judged on that decision when my time comes.) We then proceeded to the last area of the game where we spent way, way too long defending a ship from waves of bad guys so the scientists could do their work. Then, when it was over, Buck and Wilma sailed in, congratulated us, and quit to DOS. I barely had a chance to read the congratulations screen  - there was no prompt to acknowledge the message like normal, it just flashed on the screen and then C:\. I checked some other people's Let's Play videos to see if I was missing an ending sequence, but they were all the same. Ah well, a disappointing ending, but I enjoyed the majority of the game more than Countdown. It felt more balanced and more varied in its environments and quests, good stuff.

Next up on the series list is Spellcasting - 101, 201, and 301. It's a series of text adventure games similar to Eric the Unready (same author, same publisher, same engine). One of their big selling points (well, it was for me at the time whenever I saw them advertised) was that they were a mix of racy humour and fantasy - perfect for teenage geeks! I've always fancied playing them, so it's going to be interesting to see what they're really like. Eric came after these games, so I'm guessing these are going to be a bit rougher than that one, but we'll see. I'll also try and do a bit more Black & White.

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