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(Auric Vision/Zes't Studio, 1997)
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This extremely rare two-disk game had very little exposure outside of its native Russia. It was apparently released in Germany and the Netherlands, and fortunately for me was in English. It is a humorous, sexy, and outrageous adventure that, at times, reminded me of Zork Nemesis, Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh, Myst, and Frankenstein. It does feature some adult-oriented material but is not pornographic. The game is a first-person, inventory-driven adventure that features quirky cutscenes. Many of the graphics are beautiful, in the vein of Zork Nemesis. The story, although unusual, is easy to follow despite being created in Eastern Europe. Some of the puzzles are quite creative, and I guarantee they will not be seen in another adventure. On the negative side, there are four arcade sequences in the game, one of which is challenging (an adult version of Tetris). The other ones are more amusing than annoying. Perseverance will get you there in the end. The sound effects and voice acting are great, though naturally, they were not originally recorded in English so the mouths are not synchronized with the speech. By 2001 standards, some of the graphics are grainy, particularly in the cutscenes. I became stuck on several puzzles, but again, multiple attempts and lateral thinking should get you through. There were two notable bugs: the Gagboy arcade (Tetris) needs to be completed early in the game. Otherwise, you can become dead-ended where the game will not allow you to complete the puzzle (an essential one). The other bug was with changing CDs. If you don't have multiple CD-ROM drives, be very careful because the game returned me to the desktop several times when it needed the other disk. If you have two CD-ROM drives, I recommend having both disks in at once. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and it is a shame it wasn't released more widely. I believe the firm folded, so it will be extremely difficult to find. But if possible, I encourage you to get a copy ...
The introductory video sets the scene (as a dream). The Dark Brothers have identified one person who is eligible to be given the responsibility for the book--the Marquise de la Bourbon. You are Gary Tusker, Special Agent for the Prevention of Sexual and Religious Perversions, a man impotent because of an intimate bite from a penguin while studying at the Antarctic Academy. Gary wakes up in his apartment.
You are woken by the phone ringing. Look at the coffee table. Open the wallet. Take the money. This reveals Grandpa Lao's phone number. Click on the beer for an amusing animation. Click on the cigarettes--Gary enjoys "second-hand" smoke. Examine the Spanish Fly. Look at the poster on the wall and the bed-nail next to it. Turn right.
Look at the bed. Play with the bed controls. Look through the telescope. Be sure to look at the building for a reference to Voyeur I and II. Click on the top of the cabinet. Click on the hook, magazine, and wind-up toys. Turn right.
Click on the table. Play the fly game until you get a handful of flies. Click on the ketchup. Turn right.
Use the microwave. Weird! Use the flies in the microwave. Now they are "well done." Pick up the damaged videotape. Look at your secret agent diploma. Look at the hazardous waste container. Turn right.
Click on the poster. Click on the picture of your boss (and love of your life), Lucy. Phone her by clicking "BOSS" on the fax machine. She tells you about the Dark Brothers being back in town. Pick up and read the faxes about the Marquis and Marquise de la Bourbon. If you phone Lucy again, you get a definite "not interested in talking" message. Phone Grandpa Lao by clicking the money on the numbers on the fax. He faxes you a list of five items (all seemingly useless) that he will give you in exchange for adult entertainment. Open the door at left to go into the bathroom.
Open the laundry dumbwaiter. You can send the worn-out videotape down to Lao. He sends it back with a "no thanks," but it has piqued his interest. Open the toilet seat (Myst, anyone?). Get a close-up of the base of the toilet--a nut holds the toilet to the floor. Turn around.
Click on the sink. Pick up the Gagboy--no game to play in it at this stage. Return to the main room.
Get the cable, five blank videotapes, and deltoid expander. Look at the magazines, book, and mirror. Take the gun. Look at the mirror four times for some Phantasmagoria references. Watch the two news reports on TV. Watch the worn-out video. Put a blank video in the video recorder. Return to the video camera.
Hook the cable into the base of the video camera. Look through the camera. Find the woman. Record her dressing (automatic). Return to the video recorder. Take the tape out. Send it down to Lao. He returns it--not fleshy enough for him. Put the video in the video recorder again. Return to the bookshelf.
Use the deltoid expander on the hook twice (first time misses). Pull on it. When it is at its maximal point, click on the expander. You are propelled to the top of the bookcase. Take the Flyboy magazine. "From here I see much better." Look through the telescope. There are four separate voyeur scenes: a man blowing up a doll, a penguin protecting a woman in shadow's decency, wind up toys boxing, and a near-naked woman cleverly positioned. Ensure you look at the woman last (the last scene is what will be recorded on tape). On Laos's list, choose one of the items. Return to the laundry dumbwaiter.
Put the tape in the dumbwaiter. The dumbwaiter returns without what you chose. In its place is a gynecologist ID.
Place another tape in the video recorder. Get back on the bookshelf. This time, record the man with the doll. Choose another item on the list. Return to the laundry dumbwaiter. Place the second tape in. Again, with apologies, he does not give what you asked him for. Instead, he sends up some house keys. He will accept no more tapes.
Go to the mirror. In close-up, use the magazine on the mirror. Keep turning the pages until you find Gary's old photo. Take the photo and combine it with the gynecologist ID. Now you can choose another item off Lao's list and send the magazine down in exchange for it. As always, he does not send the thing you asked for (but thankfully something better). This time you get a wrench.
Time to leave. Exit through the door. Enter your car. You are shown an animation. You arrive at Castle de la Bourbon.
Castle de la Bourbon
Turn immediately left. Go down the stairs to the docks.
Click on the U-boat "U2." Turn left. Go through the teleport hole to the Hermit's base (reference to news story).
Go to the building. Try the door--it's locked. Open the letterbox. Get the Gagboy cartridge. Combine it with the Gagboy. Play it as soon as possible. This is merely a Tetris-derivative with an adult theme--instead of matching colors, you have to couple people. This is the hardest puzzle in the game. You must get 66 points to win a "suppa" [sic] prize. Keep trying until you do; there's no way around it. There's a bug that doesn't allow you to play the Gagboy later in the game, so try to beat the game sooner rather than later. When you achieve the high score of 66, you are given a telephone number and code to collect your prize. These go into inventory. Use the keys you got from Lao on the door.
Go in the house. Examine the coffee table. Pick up the iberium. Leave the house and return through the teleport hole to the docks.
Turn right. Click on the clouds above the castle. Turn right. Go up the stairs to the castle.
Castle de la Bourbon--Courtyard
Click on the smoldering aircraft. Turn around. Approach the castle gate.
You are barred by a portcullis. Pull the rope at left three times to fully raise it. Attempt to enter the castle. You are blocked by the arrival of the mad Marquis in a war machine on two legs. He asks you which branch of the armed forces you are in. Reply "Army Corps of Gynecologists." When he asks for your papers, show him your ID. He welcomes you to the castle but takes your pistol. Enter the castle courtyard. Change disks when requested.
Turn immediately right. Approach the storeroom door. Open it and take the gas can. Exit back. Turn left. Examine the Red Baron's plane. Pick up the hose. Proceed to the minefield.
Déjà vu? Is it just me, or does the music sound like the music out of Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh? Click on the ground. A creature runs across the minefield but is shot down. Turn around. Watch a crow fly away. Go forward once. Turn right.
Go straight ahead. Look at the cannon. Turn left. Click on the plane. Turn back to the right. Go straight ahead twice into the castle to the pool.
Examine the diving board. Click on it and the chain leading to a plug at the bottom of the pool. Return back. Go up to the table at left. Take the home-brew. At the right of the pool, examine the alcove. Take the bottle. Return to the pool. Turn left. Turn left and around to go down the corridor. Turn immediately right. Take the film cartridge. Turn left and head down the corridor. Look at the colorful door up high-not accessible to you. Turn right. Go to the balloon.
Turn around. Look down. Put the home-brew can in the slot, and connect the hose, gas can, and bottle. Click on the controls--it still needs some more parts. Turn around and exit the balloon.
Look at the deck chair. Take the camera. Combine the film with the camera. It still needs a battery to be operational. Look at the pool. Beware the hammerhead shark! Go left to see the switch that raises the plug from the pool. It's well-protected by a security system. Turn left to see the camera that keeps watch on switch access. Go up the stairs.
Examine the portrait. Turn left. Go forward twice to the door. Open it and walk forward. You meet the Marquis again. He offers you a drink but has no liquor (a la the Mad Hatter in reverse). Walk through another doorway. Turn around. Pick up the comb for "a bald guy" and look at the monster. Turn back around and proceed until you reach a door with an electronic lock. Three symbols must be pressed correctly. A green light comes on if the symbol is correct. A red light indicates an error. My three symbols were the first, fifth, and seventh. The door opens to the bedroom.
Turn left twice. Look at the bookcase. Examine the star lock. Look at the books--comics only. Back away. Approach the table.
Look at the French window--locked. At timed intervals, the Marquis turns up demanding a drink. Back away. Turn right. Examine the bed.
Go up to the bed. Take the bra. Look up. Look at the alligator mutant. Examine the pentagram. Back away. Turn right. Go up to the dressing table.
Look at the parchment. It curls up to reveal a safe locked with three padlocks. Back up again. Go to a close-up of the dressing table. Pick up the malachite egg and lipstick. Look in the mirror--an image of the Marquise appears. Back away twice. Approach the fireplace.
Pick up the book of spells (for some reason the voice-over was in German). Look at the hourglass, skull, and grille. Put the egg in the grille. It splits in two. Examine one hemisphere. Take the needle. Back away twice, then turn right.
Take the broom. Approach the cabinet. Examine the liquor. Return to the alligator mutant.
Use the broom on the alligator twice to make it fart(!) and once more to cough up a key. Use the broom again to get a second key. Return to the safe.
Use the two keys on the safe. Only one to go. Go to the pentagram.
Use the needle on the center cup. Use the spell book. The needle becomes a vibrator. Use the vibrator on the cup. Use the spell book. The vibrator become a pen. Repeat this one more time--it becomes a "crummy" crowbar. Go to the safe.
Use the crowbar on the third lock. The safe opens. Take the good crowbar inside. Go to the bookshelf.
Use the crowbar on the lock in the base of the bookshelf. The shelves slide open to reveal a passage. Follow the passage to the crypt.
You are literally in front of a bloodbath. Pick up the trap at right. Go straight ahead. Look at the spare part on the ground. Continue forward into the crypt sublevel.
You are treated to a "tasteful" Easter Island statue fountain. A snake appears from behind the left statue. Set the trap and put the flies in it (I didn't know snakes ate flies!). Look at the fountain. Turn left to a wine cellar.
Click on the fourth cask along on the first row. The Marquis appears and drinks his victory wine. Examine the barrel. Take the quarter. Exit back to the crypt.
As you enter the crypt, there is a brief tribute to The 7th Guest/The 11th Hour. Go past the figure from the bath. Examine the toilets that flank the doorway. Return to the bedroom.
A short video sequence plays of the Marquise meeting with a Dark Brother. He gives her a book and a computer designed by Dr. Gill Bates, which includes access to the EvilNET. She allows him to exit through the back door (no jokes, please). When she leaves, enter the room and approach the table.
Examine the book. Click on the book several times for some interesting reflections ... The Marquis arrives and mistakenly thinks the book is a pilot manual so he takes it. Try to exit the room. You can't because the door is locked. The electronic lock will not recognize any code. Look down and pick up the mat for a pointed message. Return to the table.
Examine the anatomy sculpture in the glass case. Look at the base. Push where it says to. A drawer opens. Put the quarter in the drawer. Back away. The heart and eyes begin a danse macabre. Turn your eyes to the computer.
Examine the computer to find it is running Doors 97 operating system. Where it says to, enter password (i.e., enter the word "PASSWORD"). From the menu, choose Vroom 666, giving Gary a chance for some penguin revenge. Grab the chainsaw. You are suddenly shown the device next to the computer--a chainsaw materializes. Take it. Next, click on XXX pics. Provided you are 36 or older, click "Enter." Take the bra off the skeleton--a similar thing to the chainsaw happens. Repeat with each picture until you have several bras and several pairs of panties. When complete, attempt to go on to EvilNET. You don't have a disk, so you aren't allowed access. Back away and approach the French door.
Use the chainsaw on the door. Exit to the balcony.
Look down. Click on the motorboat. Use the lingerie on the area below to make a bungee cord. You have to calculate how many bras and panties to use to reach the motorboat without overshooting it. It has an instant do-over if you fail, so don't worry about experimenting. You are given a drawing board schematic. There are three combinations that work: 3 bras and 5 panties, 4 bras and 3 panties, or 5 bras and 1 panty. Click on the man when ready. Do not jump if you have not completed the Gagboy puzzle and won the prize. There is a bug that will not allow you to complete the puzzle after this point.
A brief cutscene where you bungee down to the boat. When you reach the boat, click on the steering wheel to grab it. Your first attempt pulls the steering wheel off. Bungee again and grab the upholstery. You are safe in the boat. Turn around. Go forward. Another brief cutscene plays ending in a schematic of you crashing into the dock (and you must change disks here).
Head up to the castle courtyard.
Attempt to enter the castle. The Marquis is asleep. Wake him up. He says he's waiting for his wife and won't allow you in until tomorrow. He doesn't remember where he put the spell book--only that it's in a safe place. You'll have to find another way into the castle. Turn around and leave. Return to your apartment.
Phone your boss, Lucy, again. You fill her in about your investigation. She tells you the significance of the spell book--it's linked to summoning the Antichrist! Use the Gagboy prize phone number on the fax machine and claim your prize. You arrange for it to be sent to Lao. For some amusement, hang the remaining bra up on your bed nail. Choose "wet dream" and you will have a different dream. Go into the bathroom.
Collect the sewer plans (sent up by Lao in response to your generous gift--the Gagboy prize). Choose the last item on Lao's list and send down the Gagboy. As before, he doesn't have the item but sends a diver's helmet up.
Examine the area below the toilet. Use the wrench on the nut. Open the toilet seat. A 3x3 area of tiles on the floor at left is highlighted. This reminds Gary of tic-tac-toe. Use the lipstick on the tiles to play. This is tic-tac-toe with a difference, however: the goal is to lose! Trial and error, ensuring you make no winning moves, shouldn't take long. When you win, the ship rises out of the toilet. Flush the toilet. The toilet moves back into the wall, uncovering a ladder leading to the sewers below.
Use the helmet on the entrance of the sewer.
When you get to the bottom of the ladder, click on your map to see where you are (indicated by a flashing cursor). In addition to using this as a way of accessing Castle de la Bourbon, you must find a slingshot and stones in the sewer. There are sewer monsters that you must dispel by picking up flotsam and throwing it at them (an easy task). From your starting position, this is the shortest route to do everything you need to.
Turn left. Go forward twice. Turn left. Pick up the flotsam and throw it at the monster. Go forward four times. Look up. Climb up the ladder. Take the slingshot. Touch the woman outside the grate(!). Climb back down (notice anything funny about the climb down?). Go down. Go forward twice. Turn right. Go forward seven times. Pick up the stones (they are automatically combined in inventory). Turn around. Go forward seven times. Turn left. Throw flotsam at sewer creature. Go forward twice. Turn left. Go forward six times. Look up. Notice the rat? Use the slingshot and stones with the rat. A slingshot arcade ensues.
Trial and error is needed to judge how long to hold the left mouse button down to propel the stone the distance you want. When you've hit ten rats, the others flee, and you can climb up the ladder. You end up next to the pool in Castle de la Bourbon.
Go up the stairs. Turn right. Enter the room at the end of the hall. Go through a long room to another room, the battery storage room.
Battery Storage Room
Pick up the battery and combine it with the camera. Exit back to the portrait at the top of the stairs.
Use the camera with the portrait. Click on the little dog to take a photo of the Marquis's "best friend." Go downstairs to the balloon.
Use the comb with the controls. Click on the switch at bottom left. The power starts. Look up. Click forward to go up to the colorful door on the second floor. Enter the door. Follow the corridor down to go in the communication room.
Turn immediately left. Use the computer. Try to turn the computer off. It doesn't recognize you. Use the picture of the Marquis's "best friend" on the camera lens (top right of computer). The retina scan is a success, and you can switch off the security cameras. Return to the pool plug switch.
Pull down the switch. A groaning of chains is heard, and the pool drains. Go into the pool. Love that hammerhead (reminded me of the sharks in Resident Evil). Pick up the bomb. Try to pick up the sight for the anti-aircraft gun on the edge of the plughole. It falls down the drain. Drop the bomb down the drain. The sight flies back up. Pick it up. Go upstairs to the bedroom.
Head over to the computer. Attempt to make some lingerie again. Immediately as you attempt to pick up the lingerie, the Marquis and Marquise arrive and kick you out of the room. Go back up the balloon to the communication room.
Just before entering the room, take the mine detector off the suit of armor at right of the door. Go in. Click on the airplane model. The Marquis used the spell book as a base for his model jet! You need something sharp and heavy to free it. Go outside to the minefield.
Use the mine detector on the minefield. It eats the mines. Walk into the safe minefield. Cross to the turret.
Climb up the ladder. Look at the anti-aircraft gun. Use the sight with the gun. Go to the gun. Shoot down a plane. Take the sharp aircraft shrapnel when it crashes. Descend and exit the turret to the minefield.
Cross the minefield, examining the aircraft debris. Go back to the communication room.
Use the shrapnel with the airplane model. Oh $%@#!--it's the wrong book! Turn around and exit the communication room. In the corridor right outside, pick up the spell book. A cutscene plays, and you return to your apartment.
You enter your apartment, and Lucy is there, facing away from you. Talk to her--no reply. Give her the spell book. Suddenly she changes--it's not Lucy but a demon! She (it) sprays you with something and knocks you out. You groggily find yourself being taken far below the earth.
Bowels of the Earth
When you wake up, you are facing a guillotine and only have your iberium in inventory. Quickly look down at your feet--you notice a candle burning the rope that holds the guillotine up. You now must spit accurately to dampen the candle. When you have success, you are taken a little closer to it. Trial and error will get you there. Finally, you reach out and put out the flame between your finger. You then realize you weren't even tied up! Turn right.
Take the spear. Turn around. Go forward. Talk to the alligator mutant. Poke him with the spear. He wakens. Use the spear on him to ride him. Look up. It's very ... red.
Up and away on the wind of an alligator mutant! An arcade sequence plays where you have to use the spear to protect yourself from creatures as you return to the real world. Watch your toes! Eventually you end up at the castle.
Castle de la Bourbon Courtyard
Go up to the bedroom.
All is dark. Turn left. Go forward onto the balcony. Beautiful scene. Return inside. Approach the bed. Examine the pot on the side table. It has Koolade in it but needs cosmic energy. Put the iberium in the pot. Drink the Koolade. Your impotence is cured! A chain reaction is unleashed. The spell book lands on the mantel above the fireplace.
Pick up the spell book. The Marquise appears, ready to do you in. Quickly throw the spell book in the fire. The evil is banished, the castle and the Marquise destroyed. This leads to the first end sequence cutscene of a war machine hoedown(!).
You return to your car, head back to your apartment, and phone Lucy. You tell her you have something to show her ... Life is good again for Gary.
Flash forward an undisclosed amount of time. Lucy is pregnant. How could this be? The game is left open for a sequel as Gary has his revenge on the offending penguin.
THE END ... ?