Friday, 25 January 2013

Amnesia - Am-(better than)-Neilisyeah?

...And Ben. I'm better than him too. Although only because I knew what was coming because of his runthrough.

And did I mention my name is Brigadier Camembert? Because it is!

Let's do this.

No wonder I'm not scared with a name like that

This lunchbreak runthrough is a little short but I got to a critical point, so I'll go through it in some detail. After getting the acid I needed to melt the fleshy door I head out of the laboratory and immediately get stuck. I'm in a room with no unobstructed doors and the stairs are broken. I've been here before, it's how I got in, but the stairs were fine then. Got to love needless progress obstructions.
I'm actually stumped for quite a long time. I try to leap up the stairs onto a sticky-out plank but as I'm doing it I know it won't work. It's not really that kind of a game. There must be a physics-y solution or another route.
I explore everywhere for another route and as I clear away some pallets a hint appears letting me know that objects can be used to get across gaps. I WONDER WHAT IT COULD MEAN?
I pick up the pallet and lean it over the gap in the stairs and up I go.

OK I'm off to the Refinery now and I know I'll meet my first monster here, because it's Neil's best friend Simon - the bringer of freedom. I enter with no trepidation whatsoever because I'm in a brightly lit office next to several colleagues who will laugh at me if I leap out of my chair. Also I'm Brigadier Camembert, who fears nothing but being rolled in breadcrumbs and baked, which seems unlikely in this particular situation.
The refinery is a dark room full of barrels with four other dark rooms coming off it. When I enter a monster appears (the surprise of which would have been diminished anyway because the game says 'try running away from monsters' just before you see him, somewhat spoiling the tension). He walks off to the side and then is never seen again. I wander around the rooms occasionally stopping to gibber on the floor because I'm not bothering to use my lamp or any candles unless I'm looking for something specific.

Time for a quick gibber rest
I can't find the way out.

This is annoying. There's one door that's blocked from the other side, but I can't work out how to get past it. I'm going to have burn loads of lamp fuel now...
Ah! There's a hole in the wall with some crates in front of it. OK I toss those aside and now I'm in the other room. It has a pulley which will lift a trapdoor but it's jammed. I have to pull a stick out of the pulley.
I open the trapdoor and realise where I am. I'm at the enforced death point where you drop down into some water and then get killed and it says 'stay out of the water' like an annoying school bully who's played a trick on you.
Looks fine to me
Steeling myself for a mad dash to high ground I drop down the trapdoor. No splash. Everything's fine. That bit must be later then.
I walk on a few feet and then briefly black out. When control is restored I'm knee deep in water. I leap on to a crate and see footprints splashing through the water towards me. It seems this invisible (and also, as it turns out, completely collisionless ) monster can hear me and will follow my footsteps if I enter the water. Alright, that's something I can get on board with. Luckily the monster isn't clever enough to wildly thrash about with it's claws after it's reached the last splash it heard or I would have been killed in seconds. Stupid monster.
This is it, I'm the furthest out of the three of us. I AM A WINNER!
I jump from crate to crate into a small sideroom and find a lever. After pushing the lever I hear a clanking sound that continues for a while. Anyone who's played any adventure game knows what a clanking sound following a lever press heralds...A door slowly closing which you have to get to in time...


This is my least favourite puzzle type by far, mainly because getting back to the lever is so tedious. It is 'fun' to do when you get it right, but there's too many opportunities for a simple misclick to undo your hard work. I firmly believe that working out the solution to a puzzle should be hard, but once you have the solution it should be easy to do. Working out the solution and then having to attempt it over and over until you get it right is just a ballache. My colleagues would have seen me with my head in my hands had they turned round at this moment.

Anyway I explore the corridors, leaping from box to box, and also realise that falling in the water isn't actually the end of the world. Monster guy might bash you a bit but there's always a crate. You can also throw books in the water and he'll go off after them which is a nice touch. At one point I jump right through where the monster should be and realise that he's both invisible and non-corporeal which makes me wonder how he's making those splashes?
I find the door which I have to go through (which is of course closed) and then make two runs at the lever-press speed-jump course. The first time I fail and actually my heart is racing a little bit. I'm starting to get used to the weight of my character and can time jumps nicely so I do feel like I'm racing along with a beast on my tail. When I make it through on the second attempt I'm actually pretty chuffed and stick two metaphorical fingers up at the water monster. Suck it, you killed Ben but you didn't kill me.
then I realise I'm in a room with another water monster, and this one has less crates...

I'm on a box surveying the room and decide to throw something into the water to distract water monster 2 and figure out where he is. When he reaches the splash of my tossed object he stays there and the water starts to go red and horrible chomping noises ring out.

Turning on my lamp I realise that what I threw was a body part... Once he finishes chomping he's back to his usual behaviour, but I've legged it up to the other end of the room by now. There's a wheel I need to turn to open this door, but I have to stand in the water to do it. Tossing water monster 2 a torso to munch I get to work, and just get the door open as the chomping stops.
I hear his footsteps getting closer and as I enter the next room and jump on to a crate I turn and see his footsteps splash through the still open door. I also realise that I'm grinning and that that last room with the jumping and the torso eating was MEGA.
I'm finally enjoying myself, and it's not because of the fear, it's because I flew through that room solving puzzles and being a bad-ass, and I didn't stop to have a gibber once.
It turns out there might be a game under all these sound effects and screen distortions after all!

I pick the next door's lock with a hollow tube and head into unexplored territory. No more learning from Neil and Ben's mistakes now!

Onward Brigadier Camembert!


  1. Best. Headline. Pun. EVER.

    I love the way you have to make your face hurt to help it work

    1. I knew you'd appreciate it! It's the CB5 Left 4 Dead server image of puns! So wrong but so right!