Sunday, 20 October 2013

Game 37: Loom - Introduction


 We're finally there!

It has been almost two years since I started The Adventure Gamer. I had no idea at the time that it would attract a small community (I hoped it would of course), but figured it would be an enjoyable journey regardless of its “success”. One of the things that got me particularly excited at the time was that playing through the list would result in me experiencing classic adventure games that I simply missed when they first came out. For whatever reason, I’d never played any of the Gabriel Knight, Broken Sword, Tex Murphy or Myst games, which was something I was very keen to remedy (still am). There was another game I was just as excited about though. It was one that I’d first read about at the impressionable age of 13, and had been fascinated by ever since. That game of course was Loom! The reason I didn’t get to play it in the early nineties had more to do with distribution than choice. As much as I feel ashamed of it today, the vast majority of games I played at that time of my life came from a small pirating community at my school, and Loom managed to avoid the otherwise comprehensive library of floppies that resulted. Now that I’m finally going to play it, I do wonder whether the built up expectations can possibly be met. I guess we’ll know soon enough.


 The Dig is another game I can't believe I never played

Loom was the fourth game created by Lucasfilm Games that made use of the SCUMM engine (the previous three were Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and Indiana Jones). It was released in January 1990, and was the first game to follow Lucasfilm’s “Game Design Philosophy”. The philosophy stated that the player should never be killed or forced to restart a game, and was applied to all future adventure games that the company created. The lead designer on Loom was Brian Moriarty, who was already well known in the industry for having authored three of the original Infocom interactive fiction games (Wishbringer, Trinity and Beyond Zork). There were various influences that led to Loom’s creation, not least of all the word itself. To Moriarty, the word “loom suggested weaving, but also looming in the sense of towering over something, evoking mountains, power and menace”. It also shared the sound of other words “that bring to mind feelings of darkness and secrecy, such as gloom, womb and tomb”. From this starting point Moriarty created the Weavers, an ancient craft guild that secretly manage the fabric of reality, and the story unfolded from there. Many sites reference author Orson Scott Card (the Ender’s Game series) as having helped Moriarty write the story, but this is not true. Card’s involvement would only really have an impact a couple of years later, when he helped Sara Reeder revise the dialogue for the CD-ROM release (space limitations meant it wasn’t possible to keep all the original dialogue now that voice actors were involved).


Brian Moriarty: A very intelligent man

As a general rule I try not to read anything regarding the plot of a game prior to playing the game, but I have no hesitation in checking out everything that was originally included in box. In the case of Loom, the packaging contained a treasure trove of valuable bits and pieces. There was a manual of course, and a typical quick reference card, but there was also a document called the Book of Patterns (more on this later) and an audio cassette containing a thirty minute prologue to the game. This prologue gave the player some background to the events they would soon take part in, including the history of the weavers and the circumstances surrounding Bobbin’s birth (Bobbin is the protagonist). This recording was directed by John Reiger and included original music composed by Jerry Gerber (you can find out more on him here). Each of the characters involved were portrayed by voice actors, with many of them doing the voices for the same characters in the CD version a couple of years later. I listened to the prologue today on YouTube, and was really impressed. Not only is the acting for the most part adequate, the whole production is strong and the story itself really enthralling. I highly recommend giving it a listen if you intend to play the game (or have played it previously without knowing the full backstory). There’s a purely audio version here and one that includes images straight from the game here.


I may be sold on digital, but only because they don't make them like this anymore

I’ll summarise the prologue for those of you that don’t have a spare thirty minutes. It’s not clear whether the story of Loom is based on Earth, but the year 8021 may suggest it is set in the distant future. The world has become completely industrialised, with humans dominating nature and valuing skilled labour above all else. The common trades formed professional societies to protect their knowledge and to increase their power. Thus began the Age of the Great Guilds. The Guild of Weavers cared nothing for the politics and wars created by the greed of the larger guilds, and instead wished only to peacefully weave their fabrics in solitude. Weavers were not allowed to marry outsiders, so their numbers were controlled, and they soon became so skilled at creating fabrics that the rest of the world could no longer ignore them. Certain weaves could heal the wearer of the fabric, or even protect them from harm. They learnt to weave subtle patterns of influence into the very fabric of reality, eventually discarding flax and dies to instead weave with light and with music. The weavers were persecuted for what others considered to be witchcraft, and were forced to relocate to an island which they called Loom. Unfortunately, while they remained safe in their new homeland, they began to have trouble reproducing. A female weaver named Lady Cygna Threadbare decided something must be done.


Does anyone here actually own one of these?

Cygna had lost yet another child (either prior to or just post-birth), and approached the Guild Elders (who are named Atropos, Clothos and Lachesis after Greek mythology’s three Fates) to request they use the power of the Loom to change their fate. The Elders refused, stating that their purpose is the fulfillment of the pattern, and not to play God. They sent her away, threatening that if she were to make such demands in future or attempt to take things into her own hands, she would suffer the ultimate penalty. Cygna defied them, and returned to the Loom when the Elders were absent. She placed one gray thread in the Loom and began to weave, creating a child in the process. The Elders returned and caught her, and she was forced to surrender the child to a serving woman named Dame Hetchel. The Elders cast the “Transcendence” draft on Cygna, turning her into a swan and banished her from the pattern altogether. Hetchel named the child Bobbin and raised him as her own. Bobbin is now seventeen years old, and the Elders fear him as his existence throws the pattern into chaos. He is forbidden to learn the ways of the Guild, yet unbeknownst to them, Hetchel has taught Bobbin how to weave basic drafts. The prologue ends with Bobbin climbing the mountain he ascends every year on his birthday to watch the beautiful swan that passes by annually. He is unaware that the swan is the very woman that created him.


A really beautiful cover that conveys magic, mystery and wonder while putting the player in control before they've even purchased the game.

Other games on the list so far have had back-stories (Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess for one), but nothing as complex or comprehensive as this one. It has me chomping at the bit to join Bobbin on Loom, and to learn to weave as he does. I haven’t even started to play, but I already feel saddened to learn that Loom was intended to be the first game of a trilogy that never eventuated. The other two games were to be titled Forge and The Fold, and while I’ve chosen not to read their intended plots for fear of spoilers, it does seem they were pretty well formed in Moriarty’s mind from the outset. They were abandoned for the simple reason that Moriarty decided to move onto other projects, and no-one else at LucasFilm felt strongly enough about them to take up the reigns. All of the above information might make it sound like Loom was a one man show, when nothing could be further from the truth. After Moriarty had come up with the basic idea, he approached Gary Winnick (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken) and Mark Ferrari (Zak McKracken), and the three of them came up with the look and feel of the characters and the environment. Moriarty has stated that they were very influenced by Eyvand Earle’s work on Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty when designing Loom. Ferrari would go on to illustrate the majority of the game’s visuals while Winnick would be responsible for the animation alongside Steve Purcell (Indiana Jones) and Ken Macklin (first timer).


 I guess it's not terribly hard to see the influence.

As important as the unique visual element of Loom is, the music is just as vital. In fact, the game foregoes traditional inventory based puzzles, instead requiring the player to learn the sound based drafts that can influence the pattern around them. Moriarty was a huge fan of the music that accompanies Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, and thought its majestic and melancholic atmosphere would be perfect for his game. Tchaikovsky also composed The Nutcracker (the main theme of Tetris) and, probably not coincidentally, Sleeping Beauty. Moriarty asked George Allister Sanger and Gary Hammond to transcribe selected movements of Swan Lake note by note from Tchaikovsky’s score, and then had David Hayes and David Warhol (both of whom had created the music for all three previous SCUMM games), along with Eric Hammond and Sanger, produce the games arrangements. Additional programming was handled by Kalani Streicher who had also played a role in programming Indiana Jones. Once it was finished, Loom was published for DOS on floppy disk with EGA graphics. It was later ported to Amiga, Atari ST, Macintosh and TurboGrafx-16, and then eventually re-released on CD-ROM for the FM Towns computer in 1991 with VGA graphics and a new digital soundtrack. Finally, the aforementioned CD-ROM for DOS version was released in 1992, with 256 colour VGA graphics similar to the FM-Towns version the year prior. The main difference for this version was an entirely re-recorded musical soundtrack and full voice over, making Loom the first “talkie” SCUMM game.


The music wasn't the only thing Moriarty took from Tchaikovsky. Swans play a major role in the game too.

As discussed during the 1990 Year Ahead post, it wouldn’t be fair for me to play the 1992 version of the game, as tempting as that may be. I’ll be playing the original EGA version, and will be doing so using SCUMMVM unless someone gives me a good reason why I shouldn’t (Laukku?). Whether or not I play the VGA version when we reach 1992 is a discussion for another time. The only remaining decision is which difficulty level I should select when starting the game, as I will have the option of Standard, Practice and Expert. Each mode is described in the manual as such: “In Standard mode, a distinct segment of the distaff will glow whenever you hear or spin a musical thread. A musical staff beneath the distaff helps you to identify the threads you hear.” “In Practice mode, a small box appears beneath the musical staff whenever a thread is heard or spun. This box records up to four notes and displays their corresponding letters for your convenience. If you click on the box, the notes displayed will be spun sequentially, exactly as if you had spun them on the distaff yourself.” “In Expert mode, the distaff does not glow in response to the musical threads. Also there is no musical staff to help you identify the threads you hear. You literally have to play the game by ear!”


 Does anyone have any advice before I make my selection?

Expert mode scares me! I love music and spent years reviewing it before starting this blog, but I couldn’t differentiate an E from a B, and would certainly struggle to remember numerous different “drafts” over the course of the game. I think I'm going to start in Standard mode and see how I go, despite there being a graphic sequence that only appears for gamers that play in Expert mode. I’ve downloaded copies of the manual and the reference card, and also have the Book or Patterns. This is a notebook of sorts that describes the history and purpose of many known drafts, and has spaces for the player to note down the drafts that they learn during the game (they are different each time you play the game so need to be learnt afresh with each play through). So, I think I’m ready to go! I know a lot of readers would have already played the game before, but from what I know it’s not particularly lengthy, so perhaps they’ll choose to give it another run through? My next post will not be a gameplay post, as I will be trying out an idea I’ve had for a while. Let’s just say that something arrived in my inbox at precisely the right time, and while I don’t believe in fate, it’s an opportunity I can’t let pass me by. For now though, I’m off to Loom. Wish me luck!


Um...high...low...um...highest...middle-ish??? I should have paid attention in music class.

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no CAPs will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 CAPs (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle without putting in an official Request for Assistance (see below for an example bet). If you get it right I will reward you with 20 CAPs in return (Laukku cleaned up the 150 CAP jackpot last game so we're starting again). It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw.

Example Bet:
Gur rivy bar, fur ehyrf gur ynaq
Jvgu abg n pner sbe crbcyr'f urnygu
V jvyy svtug sbe serrqbz'f fnxr
Ohg svefg V arrq gb serr zlfrys

Jung vf zl anzr sbe 20 PNCf?

Extra Note: Once again, Lars-Erik will gift the next readily available game on the list to the reader that correctly predicts what score I will give this game. So, if you predict the right score (or are closest), you will get 10 CAPs and a copy of Roberta Williams' King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown (the King's Quest 1 remake) from Steam! Good luck!

80 comments:

  1. I would totally recommend Expert mode. It is more fun, feels more realistic and involving and it's not that hard (even less so if you love music... i am pretty sure you will be able to distinguish the different tones)

    BTW: What a great game! I loved the box and its contents, the audio tape, the music, the story, everything... such a pitty that the two sequels were not produced...

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  2. Yes it is Charles! Well that was disappointingly easy. :(

    Well done though! That's 20 CAPs.

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    1. Yay! I was lucky to get to it first... the perks of being up at 2 AM. :-D

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  3. Good Luck! I actually never played Loom, can't wait to see what awaits us! :-)

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  4. I think there is a chance you'll finish Loom wondering what the fuss was all about from a strict adventuring perspective. It is, after all, a rather straightforward and brief experience. But as you've surely noticed while collecting the info for this post, the game is the result of a very personal vision dripping in whimsy and charm. Of all the titles you've played so far, I can only think of Quest for Glory coming close to this "ingredient X" that makes a game truly memorable beyond a clinical analysis of merits and flaws.

    I think one of the reasons is that although both games have their fair share of gloom and dark humor and are certainly enjoyable for adults, underneath all that beats the genuine, unadulterated heart of a child. A heart that is not self-referential, condescending or too clever (nor too cutesy) for its own good; and that integrity is part of what keeps it ticking two decades later, IMO.

    Well that and, in the case of Loom, Tchaikovsky.

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    1. Forgot to vote! Going with 62.

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    2. Charles, you are getting poetic! (And that was meant as a compliment and not as sarcasm.) I completely agree with you: this is one of the first, if not the first graphic adventure games that truly deserves to be called a piece of art.

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    3. Lol! Thanks. Yes I've always associated Loom with poetry. Back then you couldn't simply log online to live-blog, dissect or -good grief- tweet your every thought or feeling about the game. So if you felt something special you just sat and reflected on it. There was this personal rapport going on.

      Then of course Internet came and you learned that it wasn't just you in your little South American corner that felt that way. :-D

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    4. Here's another one feeling that way, half a world apart. You really got the point, Charles. Loom has something that transcends the sheer sum of its parts and results in an adventure game masterpiece, despite not being very challenging.

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  5. Loom is one of the greats of the adventure genre, and probably of video games in general.

    I played all the way through the EGA version a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. I've got a copy of the "talkie" version that I haven't played very far into, but I noticed that some of the dialogue was indeed different (thanks for mentioning the reason; it was bothering me!).

    I feel like I should play this game through again at some point (probably the talkie version) since I'm not sure I had my MT-32 at the time that I played the EGA version. This game is all about music, so it's really worth at least setting up MT-32 emulation to hear the soundtrack closer to the way the composers intended.

    I would probably recommend the standard difficulty, since that's what most people probably experienced, and since you're evaluating the game with a point system and such.

    The main advice I have is to take notes on the "actions" you learn. You have to perform them in a unique way that the game teaches you but doesn't keep track of for you (something unheard of in modern games).

    Interesting to hear that it was planned as part of a trilogy. This would probably be a good time for the creator to do a Kickstarter and/or collaboration with someone like Telltale to get those sequels made.

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    1. According to the writer, the idea for a trilogy came after Loom was finished: http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/212/

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    2. I read differing opinions on this. In fact, I read two different interviews with Brian Moriarty where he gave conflicting answers. I'm not suggesting he was lying. I'm just not sure even Brian remembers when he came up with the trilogy idea.

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    3. Not sure. Should we trust a later interview as one he was able to reflect on the question longer, or one where his memory of events are less sharp?

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  6. LOOM will be a challenging game to rate. I'm going to guess 60. LOOM is an excellent game, but Trickster will probably have to deduct points for the short play time, linearity, and straightforwardness of the puzzles. I've only played the game once, and might pick up a copy to play in, er, um, my copious free time? :-)

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    1. Yeah... I'll bet... and a second Adventure game?! You guys are machines, I tell you! XD

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  7. Yeah! I think this is the first game on here that I am really interested in reading about that I haven't played or seen be played. Looks like I'll get it and start playing it myself tomorrow. I have plenty of free time and the game seems to be short so I suspect I'll just take the time to beat it since I'm not doing much else. I'll report my thoughts on the first game post.

    Unless I get horribly stuck and have to ask for help first.

    Once again I have no idea what score to guess so I'll just go with...56. One point above Space Quest 3.

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    1. You may have missed the comment where I offered the game to you for free Schide. If you email me at theadventuregamer@gmail.com, I'll send you a Steam code.

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    2. Oh really? Haha, must have been in a comment thread I didn't go back and read.

      Unfortunately for me I just went and bought it right after I commented. No biggie though, and thanks for the offer!

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  8. Isn't the tetris theme the Korobeiniki?
    Or did not all tetris versions have the same music?

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    1. Part of the current Tetris licensing policy is that the presence of Korobeiniki as the main theme music is as mandatory as eg. the width of the play field. It does look like music from Swan Lake turns up in the soundtrack to the recent 3DS Tetris Axis, but I don't know about other versions.

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    2. After short research the NES-Version hat the Nutcracker part as theme song
      I only had the Gameboy-Version which has Korobeiniki as theme

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  9. Loom is one of the few LucasArts adventures I've never played, but always wanted to. I decided to go ahead and try Expert mode right off the bat, both due to the apparently short length of the game and the extra scene you get as a reward in the original version.

    And I totally agree with you Trickster, the half hour audio drama really do add to the atmosphere of the game. It's too bad gamers nowadays generally don't have the patience to experience things like this anymore.

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    1. I forgot; I'll guess 63 on this. I've never played it, but have high hopes!

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  10. I'll guess 67 for the score, the same for QfG1 without the extra point. I'll also be playing along with the Steam version, which is a Windows port of the 1992 CD version.

    Anybody wanting MT-32 support for the game should get and install this update from lucasarts.com. (Yes, they still provide support to their old classics, even after their death!) The patch should be run in DOSBox to unpack the files. You then start the game with "loom r" command.

    In MT-32 mode, the game plays an overture at the beginning of the game, a feature missing in any other version or sound mode. (I don't know how ScummVM handles this.) For anyone lazy enough, here is a Let's Play I found that demonstrates the overture (thankfully the speaker is silent during it.)

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  11. I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I saw someone in the AGS (adventure game studio) forums working on the sequel (Forge). Didn't read the post, just remember seeing some good looking screens. So with any luck, there might be a sequel one day. With even more luck, it might be enjoyable.

    And oh. I'm guessing 69!

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    1. Must be this: http://forgegame.com/

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    2. And they are supposed to release it this December!

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  12. "It was the first game to follow Lucasfilm’s “Game Design Philosophy”. The philosophy stated that the player should never be killed or forced to restart a game, and was applied to all future adventure games that the company created"

    That's not entirely true, Secret of Monkey Island had one point where the PC could die.

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    1. Actually I think I've been dead-ended (sort of.) I'm not sure if I'm missing something but I've had to reload an old game as V guvax n qensg jnf tvira va n phgfprar naq zl ynpx bs zhfvp fxvyyf pbzovarq jvgu gur snpg V qba'g frrz gb rire or noyr gb frr gur qensg ntnva, hayvxr gur bgure qensgf va gur tnzr gung V pna ercrng nf zhpu nf V arrq gb or noyr gb jevgr gurz qbja.

      I could be wrong and didn't have to reload an old game in which case I'm wrong and there are no dead-ends in the game.

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    2. Everything I read suggested that you can't be dead ended in Loom. Can anyone confirm? I'd hate to play the game thinking that if I'm wrong. It might stop me from restoring when I clearly should!

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    3. Pretty sure you can't. You can usually get drafts by clicking on items that repeat them. I'm not 100% sure, but I've played the game a few times and never ran into issues or even potential issues. I'm pretty sure there's no draft that you can only get in a cut scene.

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    4. I should point out that when I say I think I'm dead-ended, I mean that I likely received a clue at some point (and I think I know where) but didn't notice and therefore didn't write it down. Seeing as this game is reliant on writing down the info you get instead of traditional inventory puzzles, I'm not technically dead-ended as I can randomly try all possible combinations until one of them works.

      Of course it is possible I've just missed something and assumed incorrectly. I'll let everyone know on here once I realise exactly what I've missed and if I was actually dead-ended or just not noticing the obvious, which happens to me often in adventure games. :)

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    5. I think TBD has a point. It's not a conventional dead-end, meaning you can't get yourself stuck by doing or failing to do something in-game. But I seem to remember one specific instance where I'm not sure you could go back and recheck the clue if you hadn't written it down (I may be wrong, but I'm thinking of the furcureqf).

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    6. I was wrong! I found out almost accidentally but it wasn't a dead end - I just clearly hadn't tried something I was sure I'd already tried.

      Also, Charles, I reloaded some old saved games and checked, that doesn't result in a dead-end either - Lbh arrq gb hfr gur furcureq'f vaivfvovyvgl fcryy gb trg gur pyhr gung trgf evq bs gur furcureqf, naq gurl xrrc tvivat lbh gur pyhr vs lbh tb onpx gb gurz.

      So, Trickster and all others playing, you can relax, there don't seem to be any dead-ends.

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    7. Good to know! I guess I never did go back and check myself.

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    8. There are some drafts that you *can* miss, but their puzzles have alternate solutions. So no dead ends.

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    9. I'd love to hear these alternate solutions during the post Trickster blogs about it.

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  13. I think this is probably going to be the best game we have found yet (sorry, Corey). So, I'm going with 68 (well... I think it is better, but not that much better :p). And I'll be playing along, I never get tired of playing it :D

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  14. I'm going to say 61 for innovation. (It's really a great game, though as previously stated, quite short and linear.)

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  15. I'm going with 70 for this one. I'm counting on atmosphere and story to carry the day here, as well as how unique and innovative it is. Hero's Quest is a lot more fun and complex, but there's always been something really special about LOOM for me. It's not quite Monkey Island, but it's getting there.

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  16. I'm going a 66. I think it will score particularly highly on environment and atmosphere.

    For anyone who's wondering, the Steam version can't be played in ScummVM, not that there's much advantage seeing as the Steam version works fine just by clicking on the icon.

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  17. I'll guess 62. Personally I'd rate it higher (Brian Moriarty is a divine gamecrafter, I adore Wishbringer and Beyond Zork, I love Loom and Trinity, and it is a pity he hasn't made more games), but I suspect Trick will be a bit disappointed after all the high expectations and hyping. I've played Loom quite recently, so I don't have the itch to start it again so soon.

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  18. I love Loom (and have played through it numerous time) as it is a really atmospheric and beautiful game but I'm afraid its lack of real difficulty and quantity of puzzles along with its short length will actually bring it down lower than what I remember it or would have liked. While most of the people here go for something in the sixties, my guess is a fully worthy 59 ! :D

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  19. I've played this one a few times over the years. I always enjoy it. I'll say 63. I may play this one too; I got it as part of the LucasArts bundle for Steam.

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  20. This is probably my favourite adventure game and one off the games that made me a gamer. I got it when I was about 10 for the Amiga and it's magical world had a really big effect on me. For example, there's a place near my parents house where I grew up that resembles the first scene of loom. I spent lots of time there just sitting the view and also thinking about the game. After all these years I still go there when I visit my parents and still call the place"loom".

    Years after I tried all the versions and I still think the Amiga one is the definite one. The EGA version it's much uglier and the VGA is very garish. The sound is also much better in the Amiga.

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  21. I shall join in the playing of Loom! I shall also go with a score of 58. The game's short and easy, and doesn't really push the genre's into new bold directions. Though story, setting, mood and such should counter balance those to some degree. So.. 58, it seems low to me, but we've seen a trend of the lowest score being correct lately. Also if you do expert setting Trickster.. then so shall I!

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  22. 65. This is a game I particularly love. Short, but sweet.

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  23. Never played it, will have to get the game from Steam to play along...

    I'm going for a 57 for the score. If people are right that it's linear and short, I guess that the score shouldn't threaten the top of the leaderboard but should still do well.

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    1. OK, so I've played it for a bit (20mins?). Steam version, which I assume is the "best" version (VGA, talkie, etc. from 1992)

      It's certainly interesting, not sure I'm sold on the interface at the moment though. I also think I've missed something (stuck on a puzzle) but really not sure what else I should do. Will try a bit more exploration tomorrow.

      Vaguely reminded of The Legend Of Kyrandia, but we will see if that comparison holds up over time.

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    2. Fans of the game don't necessarily consider the talkie version the best. Mainly because the writing was abridged so they could fit all the voices on one CD and the VGA version misses many of the closeups for the same reason.

      The FM-towns version has the VGA graphics and keeps the full text and closeups but doesn't have the voices.

      See Laukku's link a few posts down for a good visual comparison.

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    3. Well, I played the Steam version last weekend and I am not satisfied at all. The dialogue often ends abruptly, some scenes have been heavily censored, they removed scenes from the ending (some of them quite important, ex. jura lbh oernx gur ybbz, lbh pna frr gur ragver vfynaq fcyvg va gjb) and even removed some of the close ups... I think I'll try and play the Amiga version to truly remember the game as it was intended (besides, the voices don't bring anything noteworthy to the table...)

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    4. Really? I actually find it kind of funny that the super-special CD-ROM version is actually one of the worst ones. Voice acting really does ruin games I guess!

      This is a little bit disappointing. Not sure if I should continue or try and get the FM-Towns version.

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    5. I'm generally a big fan of voice acting and think it adds significantly to my immersion. But I also don't like missing out on dialogue.

      This case is a strange example - other talkies didn't edit the dialogue to fit the voices in, I think they just used lower quality compression for dialogue so it took up much less space. Loom's problem was that the voice acting was (I think) on the CD as an actual CD track, which takes up a lot more space than 'normal' voiced dialogue.

      I played the CD version years ago and the FM-towns version this time. In this case I couldn't tell you which version I find better as my playthroughs were too far apart for me to notice.

      Seeing as I didn't play Loom back in the day I don't have nostalgia factoring into my preference, so maybe I'll play through part of the Steam version now just to see if I notice the dialogue differences.

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  24. I'll go with 61, since people seem to rave about how good it is.

    I'm glad you aren't playing the version OSR worked on, and I hope Lucasarts managed to rip him off and subject him to very harsh working conditions.

    The is some *really* nice box art. I miss those old painted boxes, now you just get screenshots most of the time, or digital art at the best. I also like the woodcut art in the manual.

    That said, did anyone else notice that the start of the plot is 'we are too inbred, and are dying out'? I think this is the first (and hopefully only) adventure game to use inbreeding as a plot point!

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  25. Annoyingly, I seem unable to add Kickstarter projects to my list on the blog. I can remove lines, but I can't add any. I've tried using IE, Firefix and Chrome, but it doesn't work in any of them.

    I'm finding there are quite a few Blogger features that are not working very well lately. I can't use IE at all anymore, as it won't let me add any images. Frustrating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, both Wordpress and Blogger seem to be getting worse as of late. Wordpress used to have a great UI, but man, it is painful to work with as of late. Blogger used to be a pleasure to browse, but they seem to be changing things and making it harder to use.

      I've been keeping an eye on self-hosting, but most of those platforms seem much harder to use, and I keep reading about people who have there accounts hacked; wordpress seems a very common target for that.

      Delete
  26. I got this game in the recent Steam sale Lucas Arts Pack. Have been putting it off until Trickster was up to it, so now is the time. Very much looking forward to it. I'm going to go with 56 as from what I've read I don't know if PISSED will be particularly high scoring to it and may bring the score down no matter how much Trickster enjoys it. Haven't played yet though, so I could be wrong. Plus I think 57 is the lowest score predicted and that seems to be the recent scoring theme.

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  27. Loom is one of my favourite adventure games. I'll be looking forward to reading along (It's been a few years since I had my last runthrough).

    I'll guess the game gets a 73.

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  28. I'm going with 65!

    Geez... sorry for my absence! Just came back from a long overseas trip and I was stuck with a company laptop that does not allow me to download Chrome. IE has a funny way of swallowing blogspot posts...

    Anyway, this is one of my favorite games too. I propose playing in Standard. Practice is too simple and Expert removes the magical tune-resonating ability of the distaff (which, I feel, adds a lot of important flavor to the game).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woops! Joseph already guess 65. I'll just take 66 instead. XD

      Delete
    2. There are still Firefox Portable versions around. You could set it up on a USB key for future use.

      Delete
    3. Didn't know about that. But Firefox is pretty unfriendly for IE-supported sites though.

      Delete
  29. 64 seems to be missing. I'm going to play through this some time this week.

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  30. For anyone interested, there's a comparison of changes (censored and missing content) made in the 1992 CD version at movie-censorship.com (spoilers obviously):

    http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=802320

    I don't like how they seem to be critical of the game itself, assuming that everybody hates and makes fun of it, but anyway.

    Here's also a comparison between the FM-Towns and EGA versions - they're much more minor. They mistakenly describe the missing overture as a bug - it's just that it only plays when MT-32 is selected as the music device, by design. Also spoily.

    http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=378995

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    Replies
    1. I don't want to be spoiled, but part of me wants to hear that OSC ruined the game, causing him to have a great black mark beside his name in the adventure game community. (Has everyone figured out that I don't like this guy by now?)

      Delete
    2. Yes, although I'm not sure why. Is there some controversy I'm missing?

      Delete
    3. Who the heck is OSC?

      *after mad searching, eventually finds Orson Scott Card listed in Loom credits in Mobygames*

      Ok, I think I understand now! ...Um, who the heck is Orson Scott Card? Some sci-fi novelist apparently?

      Delete
    4. Oh, and he was also mentioned in the introduction post above. *facepalm*

      Delete
    5. Orson Scott Card is the writer of Ender's Game (there's a film coming out soon).

      I've heard he has a lot of repellent views, which he likes to talk about a lot. Homophobia and suchlike I think.

      Delete
    6. Oh. Ok, right, not talking to a bunch of SF geeks.

      Orson Scott Card is a famous SF writer, most famous for his book "Ender's Game". He is also famous for his rather his rather extreme political views, which include advocating armed revolution if the US allows gay marriage. I've read his works three times; Two short stories in Wasteland: Stories of the Apocalypse and Asimov's Magazine, both of which weren't bad, but not particularly good either, and I attempted to read one of his lesser known novels Heart's Hope. I stopped reading it after, well, I'll quote Wikipedia here, and ROT13 it due to possible triggers: It opens with "Nyvpebiby xvyyf gur xvat naq, gb przrag uvf arj ehyr, zneevrf naq choyvpyl encrf gur gjryir-lrne-byq Nfvargu."
      Yeah. Oh, and in high-fancy 2nd person prose.

      Delete
    7. Well, you can't really expect progressive views from a mormon. But Ender's Game and its first sequel, Speaker for the Dead, are quite decent books and work as a nice statement against xenophobia.

      Delete
    8. Cool, didn't know he's a Mormon. At least they allow polygamy, which I'd totally support... if my wife doesn't kill me, that is.

      Delete
  31. Adventure game sales on Steam:

    Post Mortem 75% off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/46550
    The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav 66 off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/203830/?snr=1_4_4__106_2
    Still Life Bundle 75% off: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/8342/?snr=1_4_4__106_7
    Scratches: Directors Cut 75% off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/46460/?snr=1_4_4__106_8
    Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals 75% off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/11370/?snr=1_4_4__106_8

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  32. Why don't you play the Amiga version on WinUAE? It's by far the best in terms of look and sound, and it was released in 1990 as well. Just a suggestion.
    By the way, thanks for the cassette drama link. I bought Loom in 1990 (still have it on my shelf) but my english skills weren't good enough to fully comprehend that tape. Have fun playing this great game!

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  33. Sounds like this one's going to be fun. I'd be interested in playing along, too. I rather liked most of the music/sound puzzles in the Myst games. Is there still an extra copy of Loom floating around?

    I'll guess 64 for the score, not because I know much about the game, but because the concept sounds so interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes there is Reiko. Would you like a copy of Loom?

      Delete
  34. Well, I played through LOOM tonight on Expert mode. Clearly my knowledge of intervals sucks, as a number of the drafts I had to play by trial and error until they sounded like the original pattern. I resorted to a walkthrough three times, once for a puzzle I knew I could solve, but was a little too frustrating because of the interface. I missed one draft somehow, but was able to complete the game without it - There are a few places where more than one solution works.

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  35. I will risk 20 CAPs to wager that: Gevpxfgre jvyy arrq uryc ng gur Oynpxfzvgu nern.

    And let's make it another 20 CAPs that: Gevpxfgre jvyy arrq uryc va gur raqtnzr ng gur ybbz. Vg vfa'g gung guvf vf fb uneq nf gung (gb zr, ng yrnfg) vg jnfa'g irel ybtvpny.

    ReplyDelete