Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fancy hats and knife wielding lunatics

TIME FOR SOMETHING UNPRECEDENTED. Today, for the SPOOKATHON, there will be FOUR games in ONE POST. The entire spooky Joe Defoe quadrilogy/Chzo mythos in one post for you to sink your teeth/fangs into. YOU THINK YOU CAN HANDLE ALL THIS FEAR? I DON'T THINK YOU CAN.
He doesn't think you can take it either
Each game in the series was made by that "Yahtzee" guy aka Ben Croshaw, the guy who does the Zero Punctuation series, apparently when he isn't talking very fast and calling games garbage he makes good games in his off time. Each game (except for one example that I will mention when I get to it) in the series is a point and click adventure game, made in Adventure Game Studio. Each game in the series has also won awards, the total for every game combined being thirteen won, and thirty six nominations. So it looks like this Croshaw guy knows what he's doing. The series jumps around chronologically, so I will post the games in order of release (which is also the order they are meant to be played)
Why would he choose to be nicknamed after a kind of hat?
First up is 5 Days A Stranger, the first the series released way back in September of 2003. In it you play Trilby, a skilled thief who finds himself trapped in the Defoe mansion he had planned to rob by some invisible force. Along with four others stuck in the mansion with you, you must find a way to escape. The game takes place over five days, with the story progressing over each day with weird dream sequences in between. This being a series of adventure game it's hard to talk about what makes the games good without spoiling stuff, so I wont be able to talk too much about the plots and such, you should just dive into them.
Cabin fever only gets worse in space
After 5 Days A Stranger comes 7 Days a Skeptic, released back in July of 2004. Set nearly four hundred years after the events of the first game, you play as a psychiatrist named Johnathan Somerset stationed on the ship Mephistopheles, which is out on assignment mapping the Caracas Galaxy. The mission is uneventful until the ship finds an ancient metal locker floating out in deep space, with a message to not open it, marked with a familiar Trilby hat. Playing in the same fashion as 5 Days, 7 Days has a distinct claustrophobic Alien feeling to it.
If you don't know anything about the series this looks like the start of a regular detective game
After/before that comes Trilby's Notes, released in June of 2006. Notes takes place four years after 5 Days A Stranger. After learning that the evil at the Defoe mansion wasn't destroyed for good, Trilby sets off to an isolated island in Wales, following a lead to find the cause of the Defoe incident so he can end it once and for all, involving cults and parallel worlds following similar themes to the Silent Hill series. What sets Notes apart from the other games is that it's the most violent of the four games, and its controls are unique in that how instead of the typical point and click format, you move Trilby with the keyboard, and you type in commands.
Why are circle's always the spooky shapes? Why not squares?
The final released game in the series is 6 Days A Sacrifice, taking place exactly between 5 Days A Stranger and 7 Days A Skeptic, 196 years after and before, to be specific. Following a survey officer named Theo Dacabe, what was going to be a routine Health and Safety inspection turned out to be something far more sinister, as he finds himself swept up in a sinister plot involving hateful ghosts, cults, and other worlds.
The art gets noticeably better as the series progresses 
Each game in the quadrilogy/mythos has a fancy pants special edition that used to require a five dollar donation in order to download it, but now they're all available for free, so if this post convinced you to give the series a shot, have at them, they're the best versions of the game after all. If you're a fan of point and click adventures then this series is definately worth your time.
Who's the son of a bitch who smashed the arcade machine and threw ketchup everywhere?
 You can snag 5 Days A Stranger here
7 Days A Skeptic here
Trilby's Notes here
6 Days A Sacrifice here
and there were three text adventures that came out before the final game in the series as a sort of countdown, you can get them here, here, and here

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