Part 6: In which Alice has her identity questioned multiple times.
Since someone asked, according to my resources, "Alice in Wonderland" was released in 1985, the year after "Below the Root". I've also decided that, since the penalty for making a wrong conversation choice isn't gripping gaming (you have to come back some game hours later), I'll just show the results of a wrong conversation choice, if any, then pull a Prince of Persia and do it the right way. Thanks for your input!
When last we left our heroine, she was about to take the plunge into a conveniently labeled Pool of Tears.
I've only just gotten dry from the last time!
That wasn't so bad, actually. It was certainly warmer than the Thames. I'm glad this island is here, though; my tiny arms are tired.
That cave looks eminently explorable.
If you say so.
Oooh, a secret seashell!
There's no way I'll be able to reach that.
Fortunately, you have a solution in hand, or rather in pocket.
Let me get closer to it first, so I have the room to grow...
...and then I can eat some cake. Ah, it's still out of reach!
You see a large seashell rather like a whelk.
I love collecting seashells on the shore. You can put them to your ear and hear the sea!
If you liked this game, you'll love 'Below the Root.'
Or a shameless plug. I wasted two cakes on this?
And an elixir so you can get out again. But it's not a waste; you'll need that seashell later. (Incidentally, the seashell actually plays a rendition of the 'Below the Root' theme when used.)
Of course I will. At least I can crawl out and don't have to get small again.
And it'll be easier going swimming at this size.
Ah, land! Fairly substantial land, at that. Hopefully I won't have to go swimming again for some time.
Oh! It's the White King!
Are you sure? He looks white.
Everyone looks white. Trust me on this.
Well, I suppose he is sleeping. But he's in the wrong book! What's he doing here?
You could ask him...
Uh, excuse me, but are you the Red King?
Hello? I was wondering if you could tell me--
Hey, wake up!
Curious. He won't wake, no matter how loud I am.
It's probably for the best. (Incidentally, there's an amusing glitch here; he gives the same generic responses to singing or offering that all NPCs do. A limitation of the engine, I think.)
I suppose I'll just move on. Ah, a poster!
Come to the caucus!!! Hear the Dodo say two clever things. Also mermaids, firewalkers, and tax refunds.
As one of your countrymen said, multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.
I wonder if he wrote it himself?
Well, here's your chance to ask.
Harumph. As the Lord High Mayor of this fair beach, I can tell you that a vote for me is... um... a vote for me.
Hello there. Are you the one who wrote the poster I just saw?
Pleased to meet you. I'm his Honor, the Lord High Mayor Dodo.
My name's Alice. Where am I, anyway? I've gotten a bit lost.
That's a very good question. I'll give it to a blue-ribbon panel so they can come up with an answer.
You don't even know where you are? What kind of mayor are you?
Then vote for the Lory, but you'll be sorry. I'll be back at eight o'clock.
Wait, that's not what happened.
(Whoa, deja vu.) Um, what are you doing on that podium, if you don't mind my asking?
I'm running for re-election.
(What election? He's got no constituents.) You seem kind of tense. Is winning the, uh, election worth this kind of stress? Maybe you should take a break.
Why? We're all creatures in the Red King's dream. When he wakes up, we'll all disappear. Yes, even you.
I will not! He's part of my dream, if anything!
That's not a very nice way to treat a potential voter!
According to the polls, fifty per cent think that I am nice. I don't have to do anything for you.
Now now, Alice, we need to get something from him. Let's try a gentler tack.
If you insist. Ahem. Excuse me, Mister Dodo, but is there anything I can do to help your campaign?
Harumph. My throat's a bit dry. I could use something sweet to soothe it.
I have just the thing. It's a tin of comfits. Don't worry, the tin's kept the salt water out.
Take this campaign souvenir.
You see a stout stick of oak with a golden dodo at the top.
Um, thank you, I... think. (What a curious souvenir. But I imagine I'll need it later.)
I believe in good government and full employment for dodos.
(I can't imagine why.) Moving on...
I'm sorry, dear. I don't think we look a bit alike. I'm the pretty one.
Who are you supposed to be?
The brighter Alice.
What a thing to say! I'm Alice! You're just some... frightful Wonderland facsimile!
My hair is your hair so if it's a fright, it's your fault.
Of course my hair is a fright after all that swim... what am I saying? You're not me!
You heard the dodo. We can't dillydally.
The dodo's an idiot, and so are you for believing him!
Alice! You're not supposed to use words like that. I'll be back at eight o'clock.
...aren't you going to rewind time again?
Nah, you don't get anything useful out of her. Let's keep moving.
All right. (Goodness, my temper's gotten frayed today.)
Egad, how awful. How catastrophic. I've lost my gloves. Oh, it's you, Mary Ann. Fetch me another pair.
(I'd best try to keep it under control.) Excuse me, Mister Rabbit, but I'm not Mary Ann, whoever that is.
Is your union putting you up to this? I'll be back at eight o'clock.
And now he's vanished! They're all so easily offended!
Let me start over.
Um, hello. Who are you?
Your employer. Have you been practicing tumbling down the stairs again?
I don't think so, but things have been so strange lately. Why are you dancing around like that?
I shouldn't have to do everything myself.
I'm very sorry, Mister Rabbit. Can I help you with that, er, glove problem?
And I shall want the teacup too. The Mad Hatter may be there and I can return it then.
Now, the first time I played this game, I somehow missed the appropriate action here-- I don't know how, exactly-- and got something like 90 percent of the way through the game before getting stuck on a puzzle I just could not solve, because the solution was the item he gives you here. When I played through the game again to get a fresh perspective and try to find what I'd missed, getting this item was a bit of an 'aha' moment combined with a 'd'oh' moment. At any rate, the correct action to take here is to tease the rabbit.
Are you sure? That's what made the Dodo so cross...
I'm sure. Go for it.
All right... um, excuse me, mister Rabbit, but... uh... (now that I want to be rude, I'm choking!)
Hey, Rabbit! Is your pocket watch running? Then you should catch it!
Is it really that time? The Queen's going to have my head.
He vanished again! And this time he didn't even say when he'd be back!
But look, he dropped something! When people don't say they're coming back, it's a good thing they've left.
It is a large ivory and silk fan with a picture of picnicking rabbits painted on its surface.
It's so pretty! Oh, and I could use this right now.
The breeze feels pleasant, but nothing else happened.
Be sure to hang onto that; you don't want to repeat my mistake.
Don't worry, I will. My pockets seem to have grown quite large of late.
This must be the White Rabbit's house. I wonder why he didn't just get his gloves himself?
I have a theory about that.
I need to take a break. Is it all right if I just sit down here for a moment?
Sure, you do that. Next time on 'Alice in Wonderland', Alice raids a giant rabbit's lair for fat loot!
I have no idea what you're talking about.