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AG Community Playthrough #30: Discworld

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Welcome all to the Discworld AG Community playthrough!!

After many failed voting attempts and many discussions about the game’s suitability for a community playthrough, it was finally its time!

Before continue discussing the game, let’s have a small talk about the creators and the world of Disc in general.
The game is based on more than 40 comic fanasy Discworld novels, written by the famous British author Sir Terry Pratchet. The first Discworld novel was written in 1983 (The Colour of Magic) while the more recent one just last year (Raising Steam). Needless to say, I am a great fan and I heavily recommend each and every one of them. Hilarious is an extremely subtle word to describe them. Unfortunately, Pratchet was diagnosed with a rare case of Alzheimer disease and it is still quite a miracle that he is able to write in such rate (almost one novel every 2 years) and quality.

The game was created in 1995 by Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions and is mostly influenced by the novels Guards Guards, The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and Moving Pictures, though it borrows some minor details from other Discworld novels as well. It had such huge success, that Terry Pratchet had to write another 5 novels with the same protagonist of the game (Rincewind. We will talk about him in a minute) until he was finally got sick of him. Grin It is a pure p&c game, where left clicking on an object picks it up while right clicking gives some useful info by looking at it.

The world: The world of Discworld is actully a a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin (obvious parody on Indian folklore). The books frequently parody, or take inspiration from, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, folklore and fairy tales, etc. The place where the game locates us is the city of Ankh Morpork, one of the biggest free cities.

Let us meet some of the characters!!

Rincewind: The main character. Voiced by Eric Idle himself!! Rincewind is a wizard with no skill, no wizardly qualifications and no interest in heroics. He is the archetypal coward, but is constantly thrust into extremely dangerous adventures. And a very lucky one if I might say so. He saved the world in more than 3 occasions in the books…

The Luggage: The Luggage is a large chest that follows Rincewind literally wherever he goes – even onto Roundworld, which Rincewind initially only visited virtually. It is made of sapient pearwood (a magical, intelligent plant that is nearly extinct, impervious to magic, and only grows in a few places outside the Agatean Empire, generally on sites of very old magic). It can produce hundreds of little legs protruding from its underside and can move very fast if the need arises. It has been described as “half suitcase, half homicidal maniac”.

Its function is to act as both a luggage carrier and bodyguard for its owner, against whom no threatening motion should be made. The Luggage is fiercely defensive of its owner, and is generally homicidal in nature, killing or eating several people and monsters and destroying various ships, walls, doors, geographic features, and other obstacles throughout the series. Yes, it is probably the most powerful being presented in the entire Disc…” The inside area of The Luggage does not appear to be constrained by its external dimensions, and contains many conveniences: It is, as you guess, your inventory (though Rincewind can have a small number of items in his robes. However, its use in some riddles is necessary.

Death: A seven-foot-tall skeleton in a black robe who sits astride a white horse (named Binky). As the anthropomorphic personification of death, Death has the job of guiding souls onward from this world into the next. HE ALWAYS TALKS LIKE THIS. Since he possesses the living hourglass of every living being, he is famous of being very punctual on his work, never misses any appointment. Except Rincewind, whose hourglass has many strange curves leading the sand upwards when it should have gone backwards…Well, everyone needs a hobby. Rincewind is Death’s…

The Librarian: Is probably the oldest wizard in the Unseen University. When a magical experiment turned him into an Orang-utang, he insisted on staying that way because it made his job easier and he didn’t had to wear pants in public. The other wizards have gradually become used to the situation, to the extent that “if someone ever reported that there was an orang-utan in the Library, the wizards would probably go and ask the Librarian if he’d seen it”.‘Remember! Never, never call him the “m” word!!

The Patrician: The sole ruler of Ankh Morpork. Cynical, methodical and extremely smart, he put order and balance to the chaos he found in the city. In comparison to the previous rulers of the city, there was never any assassination attempts from any city guild against him because he worths much more alive than dead. And he knows it.

The Dibbler: The archetypical salesman who (when not selling hot dogs), will try to sell you any kind of unworthy thing possible. The only thing that matters to him is $

Nanny Ogg: She originally lives in the Ramtop Mountains, but in the game her hut is in a dark forest. Probably the most powerful witch on Disc, and smart enough not to reveal so. She is jolly and personable with the “common touch” who enjoys a smoke, a pint of beer, and a kiss or two often leading to her singing several folk songs including the notorious “Hedgehog Song” (which alas, we never hear her sing in the game). She has more children and grandchildren than she can remember. She possesses many strange magical recipies.

There are many more, like the Watch, the Unseen University wizards and the Gods themselves, but you will see more of them in game.

     
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Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. While the game is indeed really humorous, it is also notorious for its difficulty and illogical inventory puzzles (almost all puzzles in the game are inventory ones).Hearing Rincewind telling “That doesn’t work” 10000 times can really hurt the experience of the game. To avoid such incidents, at least to some extent, I propose a general plan that all participants should follow on each chapter.

The game is divided on 4 chapters. Actually only 3, since the last one is really small. There is a similar pattern that is followed in each chapter. At the beginning of each chapter, you have to do a number of actions where you solve riddles that result in a “main quest”. In each chapter’s “main quest”, there are a number of goals have to be reached. And when I talk about “goals that need to be reached” I actually mean “items need to be obtained”. In this playthrough, we will call them “main items”.

The following steps should be followed in every chapter by all participants for your shake and the playthrough’s.

1. Explore.  The tactic of “explore first – solve later”, should be used.  Before trying to solve any riddles, explore the city. And on later chapters, some locations outside Ankh Morpork. A detailed map of Ankh Morpork will be given to you before we start playing. Try to talk to everyone!! Some dialogues could be tiresome, but the truth is that most voice acting is excellent (starting with Eric Idle’s performance on Rincewind’s voice) and funny. Also, try to grab any item available for “looting”.

2. While we explore the city, we should clearly identify the main goals and main items. What are they? Where is each one of them located? There are some cases where the item is really well-hidden and (most importantly) illogically. In such cases, subtle pushes from the playthrough leader (that’s me) will be given to the right direction. I‘ll be the one to tell you which main item(s) we will hunt each time.

3. Of course it would have been too easy to find the main items and just pick them up. There is always a reason why you can’t do so. And that’s the most difficult step that I call Problem Identification. Why I can’t take the item? In the area’s I searched in the (1) step, was there anything that could help me solve that problem? That’s the most important part, the one that needs to be done each time, not only for the main items, but also for items you believe they would have been helpful but are not available due to some kind of needed actions or some other item use. Identify each problem separately until the main item is obtained. Don’t worry. We are all together on this. Again, whenever anyone gets stucked, gentle tips from the rest of us will get him/her to the right direction.

General tips:

i) Looking an object is extremely important to do in all inventory items, since it will give very important info! Some things turn to be much different than what you expect them to be! There are cases where items can be combined. And also cases where you could have never guessed that combination. No, random guesses don’t work that much, since at some point you will have more than 40 items in the Luggage. As I promised, there will be help in every obscure combination (there are not that many, really…)

ii) When you explore, re-entering in an area, sometimes subtly changes some situations there (the psychiatrist’s office waiting room is such an example)

What I don’t want to see is people get despaired by the game’s difficulty. It is indeed VERY difficult, but throughout planning AND cooperation, all problems can be solved. There is no need to consult to walkthroughs or something similar. Believe me, solving a riddle in Discworld on your own is a victory, many times followed by laughs because of the humorous quotes/results/performance.

We will start at the 19th of October, giving everyone the needed time to obtain the game and solve any technical difficulties. Works like a charm in SCUMM btw. Please confirm if you have the game and you are ready to go.

Finally, the usual but must request to all participants: Remain on-topic in their posts here, use spoiler tags when necessary and generally join with a kind-heart spirit. And never, never give up!!

EDIT: Pin the thread please!

EDIT 2: This will be a long playthrough. I propose 7 days for each “prologue quest” (the riddles and actions you need to solve for activating each chapter’s main quest) and 5 days time for each main item, which in general means around 32-37 days for each chapter. Whoever gets behind due to his/her schedule, will find it easy to catch up with the rest of us.

EDIT 3: By far the longest introductory post I ever wrote in a CP.

EDIT 4:
The street can be entered either from the N or the S.

     
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And be prepared for a HELL LOTTA “THAT DOESN’T WORK.”

Stupid Discworld...

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Sefir - 15 October 2014 02:50 AM

Hearing Rincewind telling “That doesn’t work” 10000 times can really hurt the experience of the game.

zobraks - 15 October 2014 03:36 AM

And be prepared for a HELL LOTTA “THAT DOESN’T WORK.”

Stupid Discworld…

You didn’t read the (introductory) post, did you?

Anyway, I also don’t want to start this playthrough with negativity. Especially from people who won’t participate.

It will be a difficult playthrough anyway and we all know that.

On the contrary, what I want is to play this all together in a good spirit.
And we WILL beat it!  Naughty

     
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Sefir - 15 October 2014 03:38 AM

You didn’t read the (introductory) post, did you?

Of course not, look at the size of it.
Besides one can never exagerate in warning people about Discworld’s main feature.

     

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Tony Clifton

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Sefir - 15 October 2014 03:38 AM

Anyway, I also don’t want to start this playthrough with negativity.

You made it sound like Discworld is the hardest game ever made and only someone with an IQ of 180 can finish it.

Sealed Lips

     
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Zifnab - 15 October 2014 03:45 AM

You made it sound like Discworld is the hardest game ever made and only someone with an IQ of 180 can finish it.
Sealed Lips

Sefir - 15 October 2014 02:50 AM

What I don’t want to see is people get despaired by the game’s difficulty. Throughout planning AND cooperation, all problems can be solved. There is no need to consult to walkthroughs or something similar.

The last time I joined a playthrough with high difficulty (also humorous btw), was The Space Bar. Only 4 people finished it. Me, TimovieMan, Harald and Fien (leader). Disc is much, much less difficult than that. However, I don’t want to see people get discouraged by being stuck to some kind of illogical puzzle (think of the use of the monkey in LeChuck’s Revenge for example). This is exactly what this playthrough is for. What you should care about is when we start, so that you can enjoy the game’s humour (THAT is its main feature zobraks). So, no worries here. Wink

     

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Zobraks, Discworld is a GREAT game and I know I’m going to enjoy this playthrough. It’s been ages since I visited the world that turtles all the way down. Who cares about a few thatdoesntworks, I can’t think of other games where every door has two descriptions: going in and going out.  Thumbs Up

     
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Karlok - 15 October 2014 04:34 AM

Zobraks, Discworld is a GREAT game and I know I’m going to enjoy this playthrough. It’s been ages since I visited the world that turtles all the way down. Who cares about a few thatdoesntworks, I can’t think of other games where every door has two descriptions: going in and going out.  Thumbs Up

That’s the spirit! Smile

     
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I am also a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and have read all the Discworld novels.

Let me just add that the he also likes to sneak in a lot of science into his books, of course disguised as gibberish and magic but nevertheless actual real science. For example in (I believe it was) Thief of Time he makes a description that sound like complete gibberish and something he just made up while on a acid trip, but in reality it is actually a very accurate, good and easily understandable description of one of the elements of quantum mechanics.

He has also co-written four “The Science of Discworld” books with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, which covers many different areas of science in a fairly easily understandable way, and is certainly worth a read if you have any interest in science at all.

Sefir - 15 October 2014 02:49 AM

Nanny Ogg: She originally lives in the Ramtop Mountains, but in the game her hut is in a dark forest. Probably the most powerful witch on Disc, and smart enough not to reveal so…

Isn’t it Granny Weatherwax who is the most powerful witch on the disc?
Whereas Nanny Ogg fits the rest of your description.
Where they made into one person in the games?


And btw, game installed with Scummvm and ready to start.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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Iznogood - 15 October 2014 05:40 AM
Sefir - 15 October 2014 02:49 AM

Nanny Ogg: She originally lives in the Ramtop Mountains, but in the game her hut is in a dark forest. Probably the most powerful witch on Disc, and smart enough not to reveal so…

Isn’t it Granny Weatherwax who is the most powerful witch on the disc?
Whereas Nanny Ogg fits the rest of your description.
Where they made into one person in the games?

No, it’s Nanny Ogg alright!
The quote that she is indeed the most powerful witch and smart enough not to reveal it to Granny Weatherwax was from Terry Pratchet himself, though I don’t remember where I read it exactly…
(she is also probably my favorite regular main character in the novels)

Iznogood - 15 October 2014 05:40 AM

I have read all the Discworld novels.

You beat me by one book then. Still haven’t read Raising Steam.

     
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Just found this:

In the “Art of Discworld,” Terry Pratchett notes that he has always believed that Nanny Ogg is the most powerful of the witches, but that she is far too clever to let it be known.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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Iznogood - 15 October 2014 05:51 AM

Just found this:

In the “Art of Discworld,” Terry Pratchett notes that he has always believed that Nanny Ogg is the most powerful of the witches, but that she is far too clever to let it be known.

That’s where I read it.

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Sefir - 15 October 2014 05:45 AM

You beat me by one book then. Still haven’t read Raising Steam.

Pan  Pan  Pan

It is quite good, though his latest books aren’t quite up to the standard of the earlier ones imo.

     

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Everyone be sure to read the EDIT 2 that I just put in the introductory post. It is quite important….

Iznogood - 15 October 2014 05:56 AM

His latest books aren’t quite up to the standard of the earlier ones imo.

I disagree of course. Unseen Academicals and I Shall Wear Midnight may not be as funny as the earlier ones, but they are far better in character development (Nut, etc) and emotional feelings.

 

     

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It’s confession time. After I’d played Discworld, I promised myself I’d read a Terry Pratchett novel. Still haven’t read a single one.  Shifty Eyed

     

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