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Adventure Gamers Challenge! #13: Torin’s Passage

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Oscar - 20 June 2016 10:05 AM
Advie - 20 June 2016 09:59 AM

i give back the hand to Oscar to choose what is next.

I’m pretty sure that isn’t within the rules.

I quote section 9 paragraph 32 of the Adventure Gamers Challenge Statute of 2016:
  Whosoever hands a Challenge to a person deemed to be a Challenger within the definition provided by the Act, the Challenger may not thereafter on completion of the Challenge hand back the Challenge to the original Challenger. If the Challenger however does this, the Challenger deserves a big smack on the bottom.

Pan

I’m not sure if the “original Challenger” is Advie, or myself, and who deserves a big smack on the bottom, but I’m pretty sure I can change the Statute as I wish. Grin

Whenever I feel shitty and depressed like now, I turn to fairy tales. After all, adventure games are most similar to fairy tales of all games (blame Roberta Williams for that), and it was fairy tales that led me to our beloved genre. That said, Torin’s Passage is quite a unique title (not only in the Sierra catalogue) because it’s family-friendly and fairytalish, but since Al Lowe of Leisure Suit Larry glory is in question, adults can certainly enjoy it, too. I feel it’s slightly underrated and underplayed on the forums, so here’s a chance to change that. Smile I remember very little of the game, so even though this will be my second playthrough it will most probably feel like the first one and I’m looking forward for others to join it, too.


The Story:

The world of the game is quite interesting - the planet is called Strata (trivia: strata is plural of stratum, a layer of sedimentary rock), and it’s a nested world. In order to free his parents that were captured by sorceress Lycentia, in the Jules Verne-sque plot Torin needs to go deep down through colossus crystal columns called phenocrysts, which transfer sunlight to the lands bellow. Except some surprises along the way.

The Game: It’s a traditional point and click, with few twists: there’re some logic puzzles along the way, and it has one of the most unique sidekicks, Boogle, reminiscent of Spot in the The Whispered World - which is a shapeshifting cat-like creature, essential for some of the puzzles. It also has an in-game hint system, so it will feel like a fresh new game. Smile

Where to get it:

It’s available on GOG. It’s also supported by DOSBox (get Dosbox installer here). It’s still not officially supported by ScummVM as far as I know.

The Challenge:

Let’s do a 10 days challenge, starting - NOW!

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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I’ve played a little bit the first chapter “The Lands Above” and collected 26 points so far. What strikes me is how comfortable the interface is, everything is here - skipping line of a dialogue, skipping movies, fast travel to next location via the right click (even the feature not often seen where you can right click anywhere on the screen and Torin will instantly go there), the hint system, subtitles and even the right combination highlighter!

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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There’s also a neat Dosbox game installer here - http://www.sierrahelp.com/Games/TorinsPassageHelp.html It will create an icon on your desktop.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Torin’s Passage was obviously a huge inspiration to The Whispered World team - not only because of the shapeshifting sidekick, but the rockbros from TWW are quite similar to two slugs in TP!:

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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I’ve always thought it was a bummer Torin’s Passage never did get the planned sequels. It’s one of those games which feel better today than they did when they were originally done and I do think that it’s overall pretty modern in what comes to design.

Al Lowe was always willing to change his design sensibilities and with Torin and Larry 7 he definetly was getting closer to what I think is durable design pratice.

If memory serves, the end game is relatively bugged though. You have to do certain things in order, otherwise the game gets in an unintented dead end, as you can’t proceed despite you’ve done all you need to do.

     
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What is the difficulty level like on this?

     
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Oscar - 08 September 2016 04:07 AM

What is the difficulty level like on this?

Thanks for the question, I was just getting prepared to talk about this as I finished the first chapter. This is a very interesting question - you will often see in reviews of the game that the game is “easy”, and while that can be true if you constantly use the hint system (which has its timer), I certainly wouldn’t call the game “easy” even in the first chapter (I got stuck 1-2 times). Hint system is rather good (the usage will also reduce your overall points), it will nudge you progressively in the right direction, but without it, I would call the game an average to medium difficulty. You also don’t get classic hotspot names when hovering over with your mouse, though the cursor does indicate that it’s an active spot.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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diego - 08 September 2016 04:26 AM
Oscar - 08 September 2016 04:07 AM

What is the difficulty level like on this?

Thanks for the question, I was just getting prepared to talk about this as I finished the first chapter. This is a very interesting question - you will often see in reviews of the game that the game is “easy”, and while that can be true if you constantly use the hint system (which has its timer), I certainly wouldn’t call the game “easy” even in the first chapter (I got stuck 1-2 times). Hint system is rather good (the usage will also reduce your overall points), it will nudge you progressively in the right direction, but without it, I would call the game an average to medium difficulty. You also don’t get classic hotspot names when hovering over with your mouse, though the cursor does indicate that it’s an active spot.

the game is not easy and tho its kinda directed for children (as Al really had avoided his vulgar and bathroom humor) but its quite challenging especially with the Machirium/Myst kind of puzzles, the other wing of puzzles are the sierra normal inventory ones (still intense)..

the game looks great! it came after KQ7 and they were the only sierra ags that used Disney’s Aladdin inspiration model.. i liked much.

Al has mentioned that it was understood wrong about it being for children “I think many people misunderstood Torin’s Passage, however. It was designed for a parent to share with a child, because I wanted a game that Megan and I could play together.”

Al states on his official website that he wrote Torin’s Passage in 1994 after seeing the film Mrs. Doubtfire with his daughter.  .. and it was intended to be the 1st of five games but no sequels were made due to market conditions and the departure of Ken Williams.

     
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Thanx Advie, this is a nice trivia! And yes, you can’t get much more Disney-esque than KQ7 and Torin’s Passage!

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Thanks guys. Installed and ready to play. I enjoyed KQ7 so hopefully will enjoy this too.

     
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Oscar - 09 September 2016 06:26 AM

Thanks guys. Installed and ready to play. I enjoyed KQ7 so hopefully will enjoy this too.

Great! Knowing your preference, don’t use hints, unless you really, really, really need to, and I think you’ll like it! Wink I’m in the second chapter called Escarpa. I love some of the death scenes:

(the game always automatically loads just before you died)

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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The game, like earlier Phantasmagoria and KQ7 has one of the most bizarre options in the history of gaming - the fact that you can choose which game Chapter to play. I suspect they aimied for players who finished the game and wanted to replay parts of it without the need to start from the beginning, but the fact that the saving system works just fine at any place in the game makes it a bit redundant.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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Advie - 08 September 2016 09:32 AM

the game looks great!

Not that I would ever question your expertise on all things Sierra, but that brown mass of pixels on the bottom left is a slug? Hmm.

I do however like the book where you can view past dialogue. That is a very nice function.

     
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If only the backgrounds didn’t have as much dithering compared to the main character…

That’s KQ7 all over again…

     

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TimovieMan - 09 September 2016 09:51 AM

If only the backgrounds didn’t have as much dithering compared to the main character…

Second world is much nicer in the graphics department, though something is weird with that Oscar’s picture, it looks likes this:

and one from the Escarpa:

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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You’re right, that looks different. I’m using the GOG version, maybe they have different filters or something.

Okay, I’m on chapter 2. Quite enjoyable so far, although I had trouble seeing the hotspot next to father’s chair. I ended up solving the block puzzle by luck, but they made it hard to see the position of the blocks from both angles that I don’t know if I could have done it any other way.

     
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