Part 9: Not a Very Pleasant Stick-in-the-MudIX - Not a Very Pleasant Stick-in-the-Mud
Hello everyone and welcome back. Before we run off to (checks notes) steal a teacup, we need to change out the nightingale from the pawn shop.
Hakim says this every time we enter after giving him our signet ring.
He's surprisingly okay with Alex trading out old items for new ones. But if I'm being honest, it's probably because there's nothing else to do. With no travel to and from the islands, to say that the Land of the Green Isles is economically depressed would be an understatement.
We need the flute for this update and this update only.
I'll take the flute.
The flute? Very good, Prince Alex. May its music always be sweet. Feel free to trade it back at any time.
I decide to fly out from the ferry dock and see the second scene between Belle and Tremaine. I belive I covered it about 6 updates ago, so no need to retread old ground. But I did want to point out that it exists!
And, yes, it actually does work taking the map out here. It's actually over top of the sea, so there's no reason it shouldn't work!
Now that we've seen many of the major locations, I'm not gonna bother giving directions back to them. New areas? Sure. But individual screens look so different in this game that there's no chance of getting lost like there was in earlier titles. KQ3 didn't really have this problem either.
And KQ7 will not as well! Say what you will about the way the series went, but having visually distinct areas and memorable setpieces on those screens really helps a game. Note that I still have never touched KQ8 and don't really plan to.
And the more recent King's Quest games aren't exactly, um, good. I bought them on steep discount from a bundle earlier this calendar year and got into chapter 2 and decided that I was quiiiite good and wouldn't need to continue. Gwendolyn is adorable and Christopher Lloyd does a pretty alright job as aged Graham, but that's about it.
Anyway, scroll back up past my ramblings to get a good look at the image again. You might see a small teacup on the chair. We'll be needing that for our spellcasting!
A delicate china teacup is occupying the chair at the moment.
And now it's ours. This item is actually the possible cause of one of the very few DMW scenarios in the game. If I'm not mistaken, they're all contained in the long path that we're taking, so I'll be able to point out most of them. But they're also a very long ways off from where we are.
This is update #9 right now. I just checked the archive, and the equivalent update in KQ5 was the start of the mountain which was where a lot of the game's DMW scenarios came to roost. So I think we can forgive Sierra for having only a few compared to what came before...
We're gonna need this hole-in-the-wall, but it's not as easy as just picking him up. He'll let us look THROUGH him, but...
Alexander decides to pick up the hole on the wall. A hole-in-the-wall could be a very useful thing.
Alexander's startled the poor thing! It's run off to hide behind the wallflowers!
The wallflowers, overcome with shyness at Alexander's approach, cluster together and cover the hole-in-the-wall. Alexander can't get it.
Well then, let's try to force the issue.
May I have this dance?
Wallflowers: Oh, my! Tee hee!
Wall Flower Dance
Alexander stops playing the flute, but the wallflowers and snapdragons continue to dance, caught up in the music and oblivious to everything around them. And while they continue to dance, Alexander snatches the hole-in-the-wall!
While we're not done on this screen yet, this is all the new items we'll be getting in this update. So let's look at what we've gotten recently.
Alexander is carrying an old, battered hunter's lamp. The lamp is empty.
Alexander rubs the lamp but nothing happens.
Small speckles of sand stand out against the otherwise gray brick.
The brick feels very heavy and solid in Alexander's hand.
The little china teacup is made of fine porcelain. The teacup is empty.
The teacup feels delicate and fragile.
Alexander is carrying a message from his beloved Cassima.
Alexander reads Cassima's note again, searching for any sign of her true feelings for him... (and then it just replays the letter we saw last time)
The hole-in-the-wall has four legs and a curly tail. He's all limbs with only a hole for a body, but that doesn't make him any less "whole."
The hole-in-the-wall squirms slightly in Alexander's palm.
Looking at the baby's tears gives me an idea...
Alexander gives one of the baby's tears a bottle of milk. The other baby's tears seem to resent Alexander's gift, for some reason.
There's a very loud and very annoying stock crying sound effect playing now. So let's just do what we came to do an get the hell out. Tears are salty, right? This is kinda fucked up but...
Alexander collects some of the baby's tears' tears in the old hunter's lamp.
Much better. Much quieter. Now, I believe the magic spell said we need some swamp ooze in our teacup. I guess the stuff near the path is oozy enough for our purposes!
The swampy bog sinks beneath Alexander's weight. He feels himself being sucked slowly but firmly down into the muck!
As the marshy water fills Alexander's mouth, he thinks that, although he'd always wanted to try a mud bath, this is hardly what he had in mind.
Let's try that again!
A stick is talking to Alexander. Welp.
You startled me! I was just getting some swamp ooze.
Well, you certainly won't get it THERE
He's right, you know. But he COULD be a little nicer about telling you. He's not a very pleasant stick-in-the-mud.
Nobody asked you! Be quiet!
<sigh> Oh, the trials of being a mere bump-on-a-log.
Who are you?
I'm Bump-on-a-log, and that's my brother, Stick-in-the-mud. We've had this thing about each other ever since our childhood. Mom always liked me best.
SHE DID NOT! That is absolutely NOT TRUE!
He's a bit lazy, you see. He's got the only swamp ooze in the swamp right next to him. But do you think he'd move a finger to help get you some? Hardly. He'd try to brain you with it, more likely. His temper's about the only thing that ever gets a workout--and that on yours truly.
Oh, like YOU'VE moved at all in the last century! Like YOU'RE Mr. Physical Activity!
<sniff> Just because I can't reach anything, he thinks he can throw gushy swamp matter at me and just say whatever he likes. If only I could turn the tables on that heckler, he might learn some respect. But, as you see, I am a mere bump-on-a-log and must be content with my lot.
Oh, SHUT UP! You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn even if you HAD something to throw! Just SHUT UP!
You see how he is.
Is there anything I can do for you, Bump-on-a-log?
There's no changing my lot in life <sigh>. A bump-on-a-log is a defenseless creature, alas, and must put up with whatever cruelty Fate dishes out!
Is there anything I can do to make peace between you two? You are brothers, after all.
He needs a good thrashing, I expect. However, since YOU cannot go into the swamp, nor can I fight back, he will simply have to be borne. Such is the life of a bump-on-a-log.
I have an idea. A mean, terrible idea that might just get us what we need. You can already see it highlighted in the image.
I thought this might come in handy the next time your brother starts picking on you.
Ah, ha! Finally, old Bump-on-the-log's not so defenseless, is he?
Hey! Hey! Whaddya you doin' there? Watch the pulp, would ya?
Now, Bumpie! Remember all I've given you!
The only thing you've ever given me is mud! Take this!
NO! NOT INTO THE SWAMP!
Okay! Okay! I give up! Geez, SORRY!
<sniff> Well, I guess it's not very pleasant having things thrown at you. I'm sorry.
You mean it? Really? Brother!
Stick-in-the-mud and Bump-on-a-log, exhausted from the battle, immediately doze off into naps. Rotten Tomato, being equally lazy, decides to join them.
We got our swamp ooze, Bump got revenge on Stick, and we got rid of rotten tomato. Everything's coming up Alexander!
I also want to point out that you need to do things that way. If you try throwing rotten tomato into the swamp yourself, all you accomplish is dedicating yourself to the short ending path. You can do this at pretty much any point before the endgame, but if you do it after a certain point, you've engineered your own DMW scenario. So be sure to give the tomato to the log!
Not that I've, y'know, done that exact thing before.
Anyway, that's enough for now.
NEXT TIME: C O P Y P R O T E C T I O N
List of Points
+1 - A fine china teacup
+2 - Danced with the wallflowers
+1 - Kidnapped a hole
+2 - Determined that babies understand fairness
+1 - Collected the tears of baby's tears
+3 - Got rid of rotten tomato
+1 - Swamp ooze, not much
Total Points: 90/231
Register of Deaths
Sinking into the swamp.