Leeet's Plaaay the Gobliiins Serieees

That ending was honestly kind of unsatisfying? Like two screens of “hey it’s better again and literally everyone has joined into a heterosexual marriage okay bye” feels like it skips the part where the plot threads were actually resolved.

There wasn’t really a very strong plot thread as it was. Blount sets out to meet the king and queen, then (sort of) discovers the spring dividing the kingdoms, then solves the maze, which turns out to lead to uniting the kingdoms.

Well that was an experience! For a final screen it was a lot more straightforward than I was expecting, which is kind of a relief after some of the other parts of the maze. If there was just something else to the ending, such as actually showing more of the Divinity and not only their musicians or even mentioning how the divide happened, I’d actually be more or less okay with it!

Barring the lady Ouya, whose existence makes me uncomfortable.

Did the marketing or overall presentation of this game mean to have Blount’s identity a big reveal, or was it just a thing they did as a way to tie it back to the previous games? Him having some amount of princely authority does explain why he was able to interview the royals so easily. And him having survived Gobliins 2 explains why he’s not too put off by the weirdness in the maze.

I can’t imagine that they meant Blount’s identity to still be a surprise at the very end. But that was the last part of the final newspaper at the very end of the game, and I didn’t find any of the clues along the way because I was pretty much just following the Jokers at that point and wasn’t paying attention to anything that happened, so it surprised me. There seems to be a bit of a theme in Coktel games (the ones that I’ve played, anyway) where the ending leaves a lot of gaps. I still haven’t figured out quite what happens at the end of Woodruff. I’ve always just put it down to a culture difference - I figure French stories probably just don’t spell everything out. But it might just be the writers at this company.

Kind of a conjecture here, I always wondered why the last screen in run by the wolf instead of Blount or both of them as previous in the macro map screen. I -think- the idea is that the two personalities of Blount (himself and the wolf) have to divide to unify the poles and all of the stuff with the heady-memory stuff is reuniting Blount with himself, which leaves no place for the wolf. Blount mends his ugly past and attractive future in the mirror and the wolf stay behind to mend the divinities and that’s why we don’t see the wolf in the ending. Also it’s almost 3 AM and I’m having trouble sleeping and my brain probably no work right.

Yeah, Coktel always seemed to be a fan of nonendings. Both INCAs spring to mind. Never really sure if something in their games was lost in translation or if it was an intentional thing to have everything be distinctly odd as they always were.

The delay on this video is equal parts me taking forever to get around to making it and me purposefully holding off so I can spread the early Gobliiins 4 videos across the holiday season to keep things moving. There’s really not much to this final screen, and while it has a connection to the pre-labyrinth story, a lot of what connects the disparate parts of the game together is loose and nonsensical. There’s a main plot about Blount trying to interview the king and queen (which is only evident if you bother to read the newspaper), which transitions rather abruptly into trying to solve the maze by way of crashing into the tail end of the subplot where Wynnona is trying to get the key back from Fourbalus. The manual (which I don’t remember having in my physical copy) explains how she came to have the key in the first place, but the entire maze portion of the game is so abstract that I can’t make heads or tails of it. I get that fixing the spring reconnects the kingdoms, but how they became divided in the first place isn’t entirely clear. It can’t be due to the fighting over which kingdom’s champion will conquer the Labyrinth, since the spring was the end of the maze to begin with. Oh well. This is the end of a very confusing game.

Part 9: Hate to spring this ending on you Polsy Youtube

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Here it is: The final game in the series, which came out 16 years later. The creators have learned from their mistakes, and have found a whole host of new, inventive mistakes to make in their place. The graphics are… different, the puzzles are… also different but similar in all the wrong ways, the sound is…, and the game mechanics are a significant improvement over the first game while maintaining that vital selection of minor annoyances that make you wish you were playing almost anything else after a while. As for the story, we won’t be getting to that for a good while, but I’m sure it will disappoint. Oh, and the technology has somehow become even worse. Poor The Splash is playing in a tiny window centered in a tiny window. I’ll hopefully find a way to fix that for the next session, but for now, everything is made of tiny pickles. I apologize to everyone for the parts that are my fault and leave it to all of you to determine what those are.

Part 1-1: “Please don’t make me take the gherkin out of the bird.” Polsy Youtube

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There is one thing I can say for Gobliiins 4: I don’t recall it ever being entirely unclear what general objective you’re trying to accomplish. Whether it’s “feed the herbivorous plant” or “reach the far end of the tunnel” or “don’t be eaten by the giant monster” or “just give the computer the three-finger salute and quit playing the game”, you have a clear goal, and it’s only the specifics that boggle the mind. Moving house, for example, is an ordeal because there’s no inventory of what items, precisely, you’re being asked to move. It’s not too hard to puzzle out, since there are only two doors and two characters, but we’re still early in the game yet. For now, the problem remains that some things are too small to be seen. We will be wishing for that problem soon, possibly by the end of the next session.

Part 1-2: “Take that, game! I’ve solved your second-screen mystery puzzle!” Polsy Youtube

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We finally have our full cast, so the puzzles will involve more complicated interactions between the characters. So far, the most interaction we’ve had has been Tchoup placing an object somewhere for Stucco to punch or jump on - the stepladder is a persistent example of this, but with magic in the mix, there will be many more opportunities for one character to set up something for another character to do. Not only that, but thanks to the ability to have multiple characters active at once, we have timing puzzles! As befits a linear game, we’ll start out with simple versions of everything, then build on it as the game proceeds. We’re not far now from getting to the beginning of the game’s actual plot!

Part 1-3: “Man, I love that this level is just making skeletons vomit. That’s the whole level.” Polsy Youtube

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We recorded more of the game last night. There were several opportunities over the course of that time when I could reasonably have called an end to the enterprise and had plenty to work with. I elected not to utilize any of them. Meanwhile, I’ve also begun my solo odyssey through the game, and it’s considerably shorter. Possibly too short, but I tried to cover as many of the offhand things you can do as possible. and make sense of the puzzles where sense is to be made. I think we can all be glad there’s no health bar in this game.

Part 1: Detective Tchoup gathers his friends Polsy Youtube

In any sensible world, a king who has asked for a favor would let the guards know that honored guests are coming and tell them to be prepared. He would certainly try to make it easier for the people who will be performing that favor to get into the castle. In the world of Gobliiins 4, however, sense takes a back seat to more opportunities for puzzles. Frankly, I think this scene is too simple. While it can be annoying to shuttle characters back and forth across the moat, there’s a lot more that could be done with requiring specific pairs of characters at once. Instead, you just need to push a rock, set up the ladder, and then show the letter to each guard, finally having whichever two characters are convenient rouse both guards at once. I don’t think you even need to pick up the stick along the way, although the game will undoubtedly stop you from leaving without it.

Part 2-1: “So the one thing we haven’t figured out is how to also get Stucco to the other side. And also everything else.” Polsy Youtube

Finally, we’ve reached the beginning of the game. We’ve gone to great lengths to round up our entire party and respond to the king’s summons, and he can finally tell us what the actual objective of the game is. That is, once he cheers up enough to say anything at all. Kings in this series just don’t seem to be in control of their mental states. Or their libraries.

Part 2-2: “I apologize to any feet people that may be watching this video.” Polsy Youtube

So, now that we have a quest, we need to start gathering information, beginning in Riri’s bedroom. The problem is that there’s a lot of information to gather, and it’s not entirely clear what any of it means or how to find it. Also unclear is why any of this information exists to be found in the first place. Basically, Riri left on a journey and doesn’t seem to want to be followed, but he’s left clues to how to follow him scattered around the room. It’s like he’s saying “Ha ha, Batman! You’ll never find my secret passage out of this room! But, if you WERE to happen to look for it, the first digit of the combination is seven.” That, or maybe “Dear Mom and Dad: I’m running away from home because you don’t love me. If you really do love me, then you’ll be able to solve the puzzles to find where I’m hiding. The answers are all the things I’ve told you I did at school.” It doesn’t help that some of the things you have to do in this room are complete nonsense.

Part 2-3: “Use stick plus bear’s navel is probably the way that somebody has died in the past.” Polsy Youtube

Part of me wants to apologize for how long this room drags on. But that’s this game. There’s a lot to do, and some of it is really counterintuitive. There are several elements that are used for their own puzzles, but then have to be combined in different ways to solve other puzzles. At least the clues are numbered and their use is fairly obvious once you get all the pieces. It’s just poking at everything, with every character, and with every item, over and over until it all falls into place.

Part 2-4: “Don’t worry. At this pace, we’ll have this done… probably by about four in the morning.” Polsy Youtube

There are times when, even if you know the solutions to all of the puzzles and can plot out the shortest route to complete them, you still have to do the same thing multiple times. There are a few of those here, but I also haven’t bothered to plot out a shortest route. I’m considerably less familiar with this game than the preceding ones, so I get confused and forget things. I don’t think that slows things down particularly, but it’s probably annoying. It’s also a much more authentic Gobliiins 4 experience.

Part 2: Riri ranran Polsy Youtube

We’re now hot on the trail of the escaped aardvark, a trail which begins in his secret escape tunnel. It’s pretty elaborate for a structure that one might expect to be more functional, and it seems a bit too complicated to navigate to be useful in an emergency. But he may have set things up this way to throw his pursuers off his trail. Or he may want them to follow him. We still don’t know what his intentions are.

Part 3-1: “There’s something wrong with this old man. I’m sending him back. Get a new one.” Polsy Youtube

We’ve made it to the Transworm Express station, which could probably be seen as a statement about the state of modern public transportation if anything in this game appeared to have any meaning beyond fitting into a puzzle. The only employee doesn’t seem interested in doing his job, everything is in disrepair, and the worm himself is in a sorry state. Riri must have been REALLY unhappy at the palace if he braved this route.

Part 3-2: “Get in there. Get in your hell pit.” Polsy Youtube

At last, we have a means of transportation! Is what I would love to say, but our worm has already broken down and stranded us on a mechanical chameleon that doesn’t even work, in the middle of the sea of mud. We’re going to have to catch some evil carrots to get to the lettuce we need to proceed. Have I mentioned that this game ramps up the weirdness quite a bit from even the standard set by the earlier games?

Part 3-3: “All right, let’s do it! Let’s put - let’s just… pea everywhere.” Polsy Youtube

I will say this for Shadwin’s cave in the first game - while you had to repeat the process of loading the cannon and firing it many, many, many, many times, at least you were accomplishing different things each time, and there was no need to restock the matchbox - true, you could only carry one cannonball at a time, but that was the inherent limitation of the game. There is no reason to make the player catch three carrots. There is absolutely no reason to limit the number of peas that fit in a bucket, especially when there’s no additional puzzle to solve to get more peas. The hairs ran out in Goblins 3, but at least you had to solve a puzzle to find more!

At least Vern is a cute worm.

Part 3: Hey, Vern! It’s Gobliiins! Polsy Youtube