Part 8: Wherein Malcolm Sails to Kyrandia, and Falls off the Ends of the EarthChapter 5: Wherein Malcolm Sails to Kyrandia, and Falls off the Ends of the Earth
Last time, we collected the Crystal Mouse from the mouse altar and convinced captain Jean-Claude Barbecue to take us back to Kyrandia so we can exact our revenge. Time to set sail!
Faster, boys! We're almost there! Let the attack on Kyrandia begin!
We're back! We haven't actually seen this location before - it's a screen or two to the left of the Bluff. We'll explore it in more detail later, don't worry. For now, let's get this invasion underway, shall we?
Not so fast, Malcolm.
When did Herman learn to cast petrification magic? This is so unfair. And where the heck are our pirates?
We have no choice but to banish you to the Ends of the Earth!
I can see you standing off to the side there, Barbecue! Do something!
... to take you there on his ship. Herman, pay Mister Barbecue his fee, please!
It will be my pleasure to rid your country of this scoundrel!
Jean-Claude, how could you? You're tarnishing the reputation of pirates everywhere with your backstabbing and lust for money.
You'll get this line regardless of how you escaped Kyrandia. It is possible, although unlikely, to come here without ever having met Rowena or spending any time in prison.
No, it sure didn't. Curse that traitorous seafarer! Did we at least get to keep the crystal mouse?
Nope. All we've got to our name is three Kyrandian pennies.
They don't pay much in prison.
Moreover, what is up with this crazy place?
(Music: Ends of the Earth)
Looks like "the ends of the earth" is rather literal, and the world of Kyrandia is flat. Or maybe the pirates just dumped us at some random waterfall.
Okay, so this is one of the most confusing areas in the game, and where it really starts going full moon logic on you. I'm going to go slow through this area - see if you can figure out what the heck the game expects of us before I show off the solutions.
We can't leave this location the normal way, but let's have a look at those barrels.
The only way to go is down, and we have two barrels to choose from. Let's try one!
I'm not afraid of barrel-riding!
We've landed further down the waterfall, but we lost the barrel and seem to be stuck. There are two mysterious signs.
"No cleats. No umbrellas."
There's also a mysterious cave to the left of the signs. Perhaps that way progress lies? Speaking of cleats, there's a pair just sitting behind us on the rock there.
Using the cleats on Malcolm makes him wear them, and exchanges the item itself for a shoehorn. Using the shoehorn on Malcolm removes the cleats again. He seems to think we might be able to use them for climbing, so why don't we try that? The signs warn us not to, but we didn't get this far by being chicken.
Amazing! You actually did it!
We sure did, although the usefulness of doing it is dubious. Now we're just trapped on a different outcrop.
Hmm. A hook.
There is indeed a hook sticking out of the middle of the waterfall, but we have no good way of interacting with it. Another two weird signs on the other side, too.
"No umbrellas. No swim fins."
We don't have either of those things, so that's fine. Only one thing left to try: swimming!
You were never much of a swimmer, were you?
Well, that didn't work. Okay, you know what, this whole thing just got started off wrong. Let's try that other barrel.
Okay, this time we ended up somewhere completely different. There's another mysterious sign - no flotation devices, by the looks of it - and what looks like another cave. However, we still have the same problem we had before: no obvious way across the waterfall.
Clearly we're missing something.
Let's reload and go back to the top of the waterfall. There are two interesting articles on the right that we need to have a closer look at.
"Deposit one coin please."
It seems those are vending machines. Lucky for us, we have three coins to play with. It's not entirely clear what the one on the left contains, but the one on the right is showing a picture of a swim fin.
Clicking the buttons changes the display. The second button makes the machine show us a picture of a cleat.
The third shows an umbrella.
And the fourth a flotation device. It seems we can get exchange a coin for one of those four items. What about the machine on the left?
The paper scroll (sprite taken directly from one of the earlier games, by the look of it) shows up as an "Insurance policy" in our inventory.
Hmm. Valid for this date only.
The purpose of the insurance policy is not entirely clear, but it sounds useful, so let's hang on to it. We have two more coins to spend, but no indication what's going to be useful or indeed even what we're supposed to be doing.
I decided to buy some swim fins and an umbrella. There was a pair of cleats just downstream, as you'll remember. Maybe we can use the cleats to climb up the rock wall, then make it across to the other side somehow.
... however, they seem to have vanished. Nuts! (Actually, the cleats spawning in this room is just a safety feature to prevent you from getting completely stuck. Not that it matters, though, since you can't beat the puzzle with just the cleats.)
Okay, so let's ditch the insurance policy and spend that third penny on some cleats instead.
Double nuts! Putting the third coin into the machine will cause it to jam, swallow the coin, and fail to produce the item you wanted. There is a way to get three items out of the machine, though...
We just have to buy the cleats first, then put them on. Why?
With the shoehorn, we can screw with the machine and get it to produce an additional item, free of charge! We still can't get all four though - the shoehorn trick will only work once - but we can get three items out of the machine (provided one of them is the cleats) and also buy the insurance policy if we want it.
With all three items in hand, you can climb up here again. With the umbrella in hand, we can finally try making it across the waterfall.
All right, cool. We're on the other side. Only problem is... now what? We still can't leave this room.
As you might have figured by now, the signs are actually clues to what items will have some useful effect in that room. The room with the "no cleats" sign could be exited by wearing the cleats and climbing up. The "no umbrella" sign hinted that we could use the umbrella to swing across. Following that logic, perhaps the swim fins can help us out next?
What do you know, it actually worked! We made it up to that cave we saw earlier, and we're on the right side of the waterfall, to boot! Let's waste no time in going inside.
That... was something that happened. I think. Aside from being the most 90s CGI thing imaginable, I have no clue what any of that was supposed to mean.
After witnessing that little... cutscene... you get booted right back outside the cave. Entering the cave again will do nothing but show the same cutscene again. Let's go check out that other cave instead. All we need to do is go down a few rooms.
It's not entirely clear how to do that, though. Maybe we can float down with the umbrella?
This umbrella should help me float down over the rocks...
Especially for a klutz like you!
Whoops! What happened? Actually, we died. This would've been a death, but since we were carrying the life insurance policy, the game saved us from sudden death and returned us to the top of the falls. Not that it matters much anyway, given that this game is more forgiving than the previous ones, and we can just reload if things go real sour.
Astute readers may have already realized this wasn't going to work. The sign on the right has a flotation device on it, but there's no umbrella sign, and thus the umbrella won't work in this location. Unfortunately for us, we didn't bring a flotation device with us, and so we're forced to reload.
What if we went down from this room instead of up? There's an umbrella sign, so this ought to work.
And work it did. We're back in the room where the second barrel drops you off, except we're on the side with the cave. How about we have a look inside?
Okay, that was the same video again. What's going on here? What's the deal with these caves? We're not likely to find out by just standing around. This room has another umbrella sign, so we should be able to pull the same trick again.
Yet another room, with yet another cave. This is the lowest we can go at the ends of the Earth, and the signs are implying the swimfins or cleats are useful here if we want to go back up. But first, let's check out this cave.
That... well, it's different, at least. We still have no idea what's going on, but at least the cutscene was different this time. Why, though?
Because it's the second cave we'd visited without reloading.
With any luck, the general shape of this puzzle should be getting clearer, if still utterly predicated on moon logic. There are three caves, and non-obvious means of transport between them. We can get three items from the vending machine that facilitate that movement, and choose between two starting points. The caves seem to be showing us strange... for lack of a better word, strange visions.
Really, the logic behind this puzzle is still mysterious to me, and I really can't explain why, but in order to progress, we need to visit each of the three caves, in any order. There are no real hints that this is what you need to do... I guess the game just expects you to futz around with whatever tools you have available until something vaguely resembling progress manifests itself.
There are a number of routes that work, but this is the shortest one. You don't actually need the cleats, so the shoehorn trick is kind of pointless, but I picked them up here, anyway. The flotation device and the umbrella is all you need.
Then, using the leftmost barrel, drop down to here. Now that we have the flotation device, we can make our way across.
Actually, what we need isn't the pool toy itself, but the air pump (equivalent to the shoehorn) that you get for equipping it. See that little pumpkin on the side there?
Let's give it some air...
Pumpkin. Get it? Ahem. Either way, with the plant inflated, we can get across to the first cave.
After having a quick peek inside the cave to trigger the Mandelbrot ball cutscene, we now need a way to get down to the next one. The umbrella didn't work, but the sign does imply that the flotation device will...
Here we go with the pool toy...
I have no idea why this works when the umbrella doesn't. All Malcolm did was put the pool toy around his waist. Whatever - from here, we can use the umbrella to swing across to the left side again, then use it once more to fall gently down to the second cave.
Once again, we get the planet-and-clocks cutscene. Finally, we can drop down using the umbrella again.
Let's have a look inside the third cave.
I have no idea what's going on. I'm sorry, but I can't explain any of this. The Ends of the Earth is a weird place, and it just sort of happens, and I don't know what the designers were thinking. Next time, we'll try to figure out where the hell we are now, and how to get out of there.