Let's Play Fantasy Quest: old school puzzle adventure on the Apple Macintosh

  • Let's talk about World Builder software using the context of the game so far...

    Here's a link for the instruction manual for world builder, if you want to thumb through what using this software was like.

    World Builder manual, scenes

    World Builder manual, characters

    The way World Builder works, the only "entities" in the game are characters (player, monsters) and objects (things you find on the ground and which generally go into your inventory when clicked). All graphics come from these entities together with the background painting for the current room. The background is completely fixed, so to get any kind of animation -- like at 15:45 for the Elven Plate armor chest rising out of the ground -- you have to add and remove dummy objects to the scene using code. Objects like these are marked as immovable and non-interactable by the player, so they don't wind up in the player's inventory.

    On the title screen (the first image of the thread), even the little dot that shows your menu selection is an inventory object. I think it is actually two separate objects, because the dot can move between two possible menu selections and I'm pretty sure an object's graphic doesn't have an (x,y) position. (Such a simple menu screen is actually very advanced for World Builder.)

    If a game wants an object to be oriented or "posed" differently when you find it laying on the ground and then later, say, stick the object somewhere special as a puzzle solution, it has to create multiple versions of that object and juggle them around properly. It's also probably why objects we find in chests/coffins/etc. aren't visible, but you can drop most of them once they are in your inventory.

    I'd speculate the 3D maze was accomplished by making the background a painting of just the floor and ceiling, essentially a blank canvas, and then creating a dozen or so objects for every possible "rasterization" of a wall section or scenery object. Then the code would have to place/hide the right combination of wall objects depending on what each room is supposed to look like from the direction you entered.

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 6! Expect statues to not be very talkative, walking through a cryptography challenge, and we decide against taking the pants off a dead guy. Featuring a powerhouse enemy that we simply throw ourselves against.

    Enjoy Shiren the Wanderer music in this one. I think this is my favorite episode actually, owing to the sequence of realizations that occur. I can appreciate that for other viewers, though, this episode does have less visual variety.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 6, Map Drawing and Getting Lost in the 3D Maze
    Youtube Video

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 7! Expect a recheck of the game world, grabbing a much needed shield, musing why we can't aim properly, and being dismayed that we are both overweight and cursed.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 7, Stone of Stability & The Hidden Passage in the Maze
    Youtube Video

  • I really wanted to see something happen with those spooks.

  • @sazime Me too. After completing the LP, my best guess is that the player is supposed to avoid them, probably using the offer mechanic as the intended strategy.

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 8! Expect voice acting out of nowhere, defeating a conspicuous assailant, and wondering "why are deserted cities always in deserts?"

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 8, Main Game Clear
    Youtube Video

    The next episodes (ep 9-12) will be tackling the random game scenario, if you want to check those out. Beating this game was a big trip down memory lane. I think it was more satisfying bringing myself back in time than the more overt goal of completing this "white whale".

    I also have a good amount of respect for the game itself after playing through it. I don't think there were any puzzles that were illogical or fiendishly difficult. The art looks exceptional and the game has a natural flow to where you should be exploring next, things I would not expect from other world builder games. The unpleasant parts just have to do with the (primitive) parser itself and having to have the map directions for the mine maze.

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 9! Expect discoveries of several changed rooms, unpleasant excursions into dimly lit water, and the unmistakable memory of a 2nd quest skull.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 9, Random Game Scenario With A Brand New Riddle
    Youtube Video

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 10! Expect musings on how the random scenario displays conventions of modern randomizers, making progress by discovering a dead end, and working on the new mine tunnel puzzle. Featuring a couple punks who shouldn't be getting the better of us.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 10, Underwater Skeleton and Exploring Crydal
    Youtube Video

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 11! Expect delight when our solutions work first try, the long lost Brendan Fraser movie, and getting caught off guard by the new version of the maze.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 11, Crossing the Boardwalk and 3D Maze Curveballs
    Youtube Video

  • Let's Play Fantasy Quest ep 12! In this last episode we can't be sure who exactly cut the rope bridge, and we find that the wizard sure is a happy fellow.

    Let's Play Fantasy Quest episode 12, Crown of Wisdom and Finale
    Youtube Video

    Thanks to everyone who watched the whole thing. If revisiting old mac stuff interests you, here is the youtube channel "YYsMG" mentioned in this episode. I'll catch you next time!