1 The Muppet Mindset: The Epic CD-ROM Family Adventure: Part 5

Jul 30, 2010

The Epic CD-ROM Family Adventure: Part 5

Lisa Alexander - Hello again, Adventure Readers! When we left off, we had just found a key and a creepy message-in-a-bottle from Captain Flint outside of the Benbow Inn. The chest in Billy Bones’ room is still locked, so we should probably head there.

Another good reason to head there is that there really isn’t anything else we can possibly do. I mean, we can keep clicking around outside, but nothing there is changing. So we go inside to the first floor of the Benbow Inn, where we can still click around, but nothing has changed since the last time we were here. We go upstairs to the hallway, where nothing has changed. And we go back into Billy’s room, where—surprise!—nothing has changed. And then we re-approach the chest.

“Hey, Hawkins! Try this,” Stevenson says (before actually appearing on screen), and the key we just found slides to a stop on the floor by the chest. (Had we found the key before we approached the chest the first time, this would have happened immediately after Rizzo and Gonzo decided to look for a key and a sledgehammer.)

We can click on the lock, which does the same odd gapey thing I tried to describe before. Or we can click on Stevenson, who says, “Key in the lock! Key in the lock!” before he makes his parroty noise and whistles on his way out. Clicking on him a second time results in yet another encore of, “Boy, it’s really messy in here! And I’m allergic to dah—da-HA—daCHOO!” and him wiping his beak on his wing and saying, “Let—Let’s get out of here. But first, we really need to find the map.”
 
Or, we can click on the key. Now, if you just click on the key, you will pick it up and immediately drop it again. What we really need to do is click and hold, so we can drag the key to the lock. We pick it up sideways, but don’t worry—it automatically turns to go into the lock. Release it when it’s turned for the lock, and the key not only goes into the lock, but turns, complete with sound effect and pixie dust, before the chest opens and Stevenson makes what I can only assume is a celebratory parrot noise.

Gonzo and Rizzo once again lean into the frame to examine the now-open chest. “Ah, the smell of adventure!” Gonzo says.

“Rotting wood, mold, mildew—yup, that’s adventure alright!” Rizzo says, and they make some agreeable grunts that sound a little like “Uh-huh” when you put them together before they leave the screen and Stevenson perches on the open lid.

Click on Stevenson, and he—still very congested—sniffs and says, “Now. Dig around in there until you find the map. And while you’re at it… I’m gonna go get a tissue.” He dramatically sneezes his way off the screen and returns to his perch, so I guess he wasn’t terribly interested in the tissue, after all.

There are several items in Billy’s chest, all stacked on top of each other. For years, I thought you had to click and drag each one out of the chest, much like we did with the key, but guess what? You can just click on each of them, and they jump right out of the chest for you!

I have to hand it to the makers of this game—most of the items in this chest are fantastic. First we have a broken oar, which I suppose isn’t terribly funny unless you take the time to wonder why on earth Billy saved it. The second thing is definitely the best, though. Did you know Billy Bones had a teddy bear? And did you know that said teddy bear bore a striking resemblance to Fozzie Bear, particularly in his Pook-a-Looz form?

Once the Fozzie Teddy is out of the way, we see what looks like an odd pile of fabric. Click on it, and it turns into what I think is supposed to be long underwear. I’m hesitant to call it that for multiple reasons, one of which being that Billy’s long underwear appears to be the exact same size as his teddy bear.

Next we have a standard-issue mysterious bottle of poison, followed immediately by a familiar pair of funny glasses. Allow me to be a complete Muppet nerd and point out that these Groucho glasses bear more resemblance to the ones many a Muppet donned in The Great Muppet Caper than they do to the ones Rizzo found in Billy’s chest in Muppet Treasure Island, because the ones Rizzo found had completely filled-in eyes, and these do not. That bit of nerdiness aside, I love the fact that the game included the glasses.

Next is the second reason I’m hesitant to call that early item “long underwear”: a lovely pair of cannon-print boxers. Really? Double-underwear? So if anyone else knows what that other thing is, please let me know. Next we have a pair of old socks that have been mended multiple times, and then we have a pack of dynamite. And that’s where we get into trouble.

Unlike the other items, the dynamite actually makes noise as it drops onto the floor. Stevenson zooms off his perch and is apparently behind us with the dynamite. “YIKES! Dynamite!” he says. “Looks like Billy’s sea chest is BOOBY-trapped! We must be getting warmer.”

“Yeah!” Rizzo’s voice nervously agrees, and then we hear the fuse light and start to burn. “Now it’s lit!” Rizzo panics.

Which of our genius sidekicks had the brilliant idea to light the dynamite? I don’t know. Hawkins is apparently too fascinated staring at the map in the bottom of the chest to turn around and say, “No don’t LIGHT that!” But if I were to make an educated guess, I’d say it was Gonzo who lit the dynamite. That, or it mysteriously lit itself… At any rate, we can still hear the fuse burning. At this point, we have two choices: we can click on Stevenson, who still wants us to dig around in the chest until we find the map, or we can click absolutely anywhere else on the screen to pick up and open the map.

There’s a change of music as the map is suddenly open across the screen, and we watch as a dashed line appears, crossing the island until it stops at a red X, which briefly glows. I have no idea how to describe the music, but we don’t pay much attention to it for long as we suddenly hear Flint’s voice again. First there’s some piratey, kind of disgusting-sounding laughter I can’t begin to transcribe, and then he talks.

“Hawkins… This be the ghost of Cap’n Flint speakin’! If ye want to find me buried treasure, you’ll need more than a map, to Treasure Island!”

(At this point, we hear some fanfare for “Treasure Island” before he continues.)

“You’ll need to find the four diamond-shaped rocks, I left behind. Now THESE four rocks, could be the KEY to the treasure—or, your GRAVE! HAHAHAHARGH HaHARGH haHARGH.”

Well, now we finally know what that “E” rock we kept finding was. The music keeps playing, but no matter where we move our cursor, it remains a “back up” arrow. Before we put the map away, there’s one thing I want to comment on. The date in the bottom-right corner says the map was made August 1, 1750. That’s consistent with the book, but if the Benbow Inn was established in 1875, as the signs downstairs read, and Billy Bones is in both places, he must be over 125 years old—especially since he was Flint’s first mate on the voyage when the map was made. Slight oversight there.

Anyway, click anywhere, and the map vanishes. “Open up!” we hear Blind Pew say, and there are three loud knocks on the door behind us. “We know you’re in zere…” And once again, we can hear the fuse burning on the dynamite, but we’re still staring into the now-empty sea chest.

Stevenson resumes his perch on the open lid of the sea chest. Clicking on him reveals his panic. “Hawkins I checked—and the pirates aren’t gettin' any friendlier!”

On the second click, he seems less panicked but no more patient. “Ya know, just between you and me? The fuse isn’t getting' any longer!” And he makes a parrot noise before he goes. (Not all of his parrot noises sound the same. In fact, he has quite the wide array of parrot noises… but how else am I supposed to describe them?) Stevenson has nothing else to say, and the only other thing we can do is back away from the chest—leaving the key there, since we don’t need it and Stevenson’s already got a rock to carry in his wing.

Looking at Billy’s room, we once again hear Blind Pew telling us to open up, and this time we can see the door bulging in every time he knocks. The window is open, and we can see a vegetable cart, complete with horse and driver, below. Gonzo and Rizzo pop up behind the bed.

“Looks like we’ve got two choices,” Gonzo says. “A, we jump two stories into the vegetable cart below, or B, we stay here and face the deadly, angry, and very well armed pirates!”

“And C?” Rizzo demands.

“There isn’t a C!” Gonzo says.

Rizzo is outraged. “There’s always a C! What kind of a game is this without a C?” (Since we can also see the ocean through the window, I’ve always thought it was a lovely pun about the sea.) Gonzo laughs, and they duck back down behind the bed, leaving us with the same music we’ve had at the sea chest and the sound of the burning fuse (which we can now see, by the way). Every ten seconds or so, either Blind Pew knocks again, “Open up!” knock knock knock, “We know you’re in zere!” or Gonzo and Rizzo pop up behind the bed and Rizzo says, “Come on, Hawkins!” before they duck back down.

Suspenseful enough for you? Make sure to tune in for the next article. I guarantee it will be dynamite.



























The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

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