Philosopher’s Quest: Preparing for battle   12 comments

I finally had a session of Philosopher’s Quest where I got nothing accomplished whatsoever.

Such events lead to the downward spiral of hints and eventual clinging to a walkthrough. So I’m going to put my best effort and compiling my ideas and making a plan.

From the manual of the 1987 version of Philosopher's Quest.

From the manual of the 1987 version of Philosopher’s Quest.

I’m going to list puzzles and places I’m stuck on, although in an abbreviated style; check my prior posts for my details.

Bees: Trying to swim in the ocean results in a swarm of the bees forcing a dive in the ocean. This is ok with the aqualung but I suspect it might be possible to also get by the bees.
Dropped bucket: The giant bucket used in the plank puzzle blocks the way to an entrance I need to get into to deliver a shaggy dog.
Danger room: While I can pass through all the riddle rooms, I haven’t got anything to happen as a result.
Dog cave (& kennel): One room involves a cave where a dog obviously was staying, and another involves a kennel. I haven’t been able to use either.
Albatross: At one point you get an albatross on your neck. It seems like it maybe is a treasure, except it is impossible to get off.
Whale escape: I still get dissolved by acid here.
Tower of Babel: This location leads to my character being confused and not able to go anywhere or say anything.
Brown paint: There’s a room that dumps brown paint on you that flakes off. I haven’t found any effect.
Stars: There are three rooms with painted stars, but responses to magic words or waving items are so random I suspect these might be red herrings.

While it’s possible there’s item reuse (the keys have been used twice already), here are the items I haven’t used yet:

Explosive case: This case will blow up all the items in a room but I haven’t made it useful yet.
Driftwood: I can set it on fire but it burns away immediately and doesn’t seem to be of use.

I also have the magic word “BLACH” which hasn’t done anything and I suspect might also be a red herring.

Plan (?):

* I can try blowing up various things with the case. My main suspicion is it was helpful with the plank, and I managed to time it in a way that it went off in the bucket as I was stepping off the plank, but unfortunately the bucket survives intact. I could see it being useful in the whale but it goes off if you attempt to take it underwater (and it’s too large to wrap up in something helpful like oilskin). It blows up at the Tower of Babel but nothing useful seems to happen (and the player dies). Covering it with brown paint does nothing.

* It is vaguely possible completing all the riddle rooms unlocked something elsewhere, and I haven’t checked thoroughly enough to figure it out.

* There’s a hint probably about the Tower of Babel

You are in a smooth corridor hacked out of the living granite (whatever that means… I mean, whoever heard of living granite anyway? Oh, sorry…). There is a hole up, and round passages lead east and west. There are some words hacked out of the living (ahem), which read “WORDS IN TOWERS HAVE OTHER POWERS”.

and I suspect escaping the tower takes a single word or phrase.

* Lighting a match at the right part in the whale results in it coughing. It seems like the best thing would be to force a really big cough, but I am unsure how.

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Posted February 29, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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12 responses to “Philosopher’s Quest: Preparing for battle

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  1. “* Lighting a match at the right part in the whale results in it coughing. It seems like the best thing would be to force a really big cough, but I am unsure how.”

    I assume you don’t have the means to build a bigger fire?

    • Or create more smoke?

      • (I do wish I could edit previous comments) Oh, you have driftwood. Could that help in getting a bigger cough? Also, I don’t suppose BLACH does anything in the tower, does it?

    • Yeah, the driftwood was the first thing to occur to me. Part of the issue there isn’t a way to get it into the whale dry (I have plastic I can wrap the lamp in, and oilskin I can wrap the matches in, but I don’t have anything else).

      That still doesn’t eliminate it entirely. I thought of maybe somehow it pairs with the brown paint (although I’m honestly not sure what the paint does) but maybe the coating somehow helps.

      BLACH doesn’t work in the tower, no. I might do a post specifically on the tower in the future, it’s really an odd segment.

  2. The brown paint that drops on you and flakes off. Does it flake away immediately or over time? It sounds like it could be a puzzle to get somewhere specific before it flakes off.

  3. For the albatross, have you tried looking through Coleridge for a magic word? Xanadu? In light of a previous post, “Coleridge” itself, possibly at a location where there are other references to Coleridge’s work, like a river in a cavern? (Looks at poem.) What about trying to pray, or finding some slimy things to bless?

    • > Coleridge
      Nothing happens. Perhaps you’ve got the wrong author.

      (with the albatross, and in all the associated rooms)

      It still might work in the right place, though.

      • Hmmm, my guess is that that’s an allusion to Steinbeck. (Have you tried some other random authors? Wordsworth?)

        Did “pray” do anything?

      • “Pray” is not recognized unfortunately.

        I am suspecting the albatross might mash together with another problem (the whale, maybe?) and get resolved there.

        By the way, I appreciate having everyone comment! Even with the things that don’t work it’s useful to have people to brainstorm with.

      • Hey, I got it!

        It’s in the sliding maze.

        > e
        Wheeeeeeeee…. Ooof!

        As you slide, one of your possessions tumbles away from you. You can hear it falling into the distance.

        As you drop into the room, you catch sight of a burly workman carrying three “Caution” signs over his shoulder. “I say,” you begin, “I’ve got this frightfully interesting story about an albatross. You simply must hear it!” So saying, you pour forth your tale. The workman is fascinated and thoughtfully suggests you switch your lamp off while you continue. This you do, and the two of you sit in the darkness for a while. After a while you come to the end of your story. The workman, visibly moved, shakes you by the hand as you relight your lamp, and then moves off carrying his warning signs. The load around your neck feels much lighter.

  4. I have some hints:

    Bees: You can’t do anything. Ignore them. Either you have the aqualung and survived or you don’t and you drown.

    Whale: You’re in the right track, here, with the wood.

    Tower: This is a solid guess-the-verb (or rather: guess-the-word) moment. Try every word you know if you have to. You don’t need any magic words here.

    Danger Room, Kennel, Dog Cave: You need to figure out how to get beyond the bucket after it drops first to be able to do anything in these places.

    Paint: This is related to a puzzle you haven’t reached yet.

    Bucket: The dog is your friend here. If a dog can sniff a treat, it will try its best to get to it. Have you found anything that could serve as a treat? (Given where you’ve been, I suspect you have.)

    Stars: Red herrings. The effects are amusing but not relevant to the adventure.

    Also, remember that not all cases are bombs – some are containers. That’s all I’ll tell you, you’re on your own for now. *the author laughs as Jason feudally tries things*

    Hope these help – these games are extremely hard. I wonder if anyone managed to complete it back in the day without a walkthrough or hints (not they were terribly accessible at that time.)

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