Two-thirds of the conferences are down, and then the evening chats will begin and... wait, I'm talking about E3, aren't I? We don't do that here. This is an E3-free zone. Welcome to part three of this year's "Alternative to E3" series, which wanders back into the hazy past before E3 was even a twinkle in the industry's eye. At least, I'd like to purport that, but considering
was released in 1996, the second year of E3, I was a little off. Marvelous: Mouhitotsu no Takarajima
No matter! If we're not staring intently at a steamy convention center in LA, we can instead stare intently at a trio of boy scouts (but not, like, in a weird way) as they run around a pirate island looking for treasures and swashbuckling adventure. Last time, we'd completed our task of gathering firewood for the big camp cook-out when a familiar monkey made our acquaintance and beckoned us towards a mysterious hole in the ground. Goonies never say die, I suppose.
Part 03: Does E3 Have Pirates? Didn't Think S- Oh, it Does? "Lots," You Say? I've made the executive decision that camp sucks, so we're going to go chase after that monkey instead. The cave leads to here. A few points of interest that I almost managed to jam inside a single screenshot: there are items on ledges, but I can't reach them and the fishing hook doesn't do different vertical levels. The big post reminds me of the hammer posts in A Link to the Past, so I wonder if I'll get a mallet at some point. Outside the cave, we find this. The world map seems... kinda small? Maybe it's bigger underground. I also like that it's off in a closed-off area of the island that hasn't seen a human being for decades, but still includes our tents. That's uncanny. We also find this twirly lever thing in the ground. We can't do anything to it yet, but there does appear to be a panel at the top left. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser. Clearly, we'll need to find this key to continue. The monkey didn't go this way, so I suppose we can put a pin in it for now. I forget if that was supposed to be a lockpick joke. The trio register some shock at an intact pirate ship sitting in a dry dock, despite seeing it clearly on the map sign a little while ago. Maybe they figured the map was metaphorical? There's still luck stones, sorry, "luck rocks" lying around. Still haven't found a use for them yet. Also suspicious: these white circles on the wall near the boat. There's one on the opposite side too. We're told that there's "wind behind them", so I'm wondering when these youngsters will finally get their hands on some explosives. It's not an adventure until someone loses some fingers. The monkey's waiting for us down here, though there's plenty of ship to explore first. First room has this luck rock on a crate - I tried kicking it, but Max didn't appreciate the outcome - and a mysterious red chest. I mean, if the developers went to the trouble of putting a locked chest here, then sure. Probably, right? Also scattered around the walls of the ship, though fairly hard to spot, are various numerical combination clues. This one's a little more challenging than the rest, but only a little more. DJ Marvelous "Push It to Move It" (Club Cut Mix). The 90s sure were a decade. (We're rescuing a pack of monkeys that were captured by pushing the box out of the way. Sorry to walk all over my "90s electro" goof.) Oh, I... kinda thought there'd be like, three separate dungeons that we'd... it's just those three particular colors and with the Zelda look and everything and... you know what? Never mind. Thanks for the free stuff. Each kid has an associated key now, which means they can open chests of that same color. The first is the blue chest found inside the impromptu monkey prison. Jack's now a Jumping Jack with this pair of shoes, giving them all the platforming puzzles to deal with. Congratulations, sorta. Meanwhile, revisiting that red chest from before gives Deon his first item: the Dash Shoes. It does seem like we're getting all these power-ups pretty quickly one after the other, huh? And with little effort, also. I might suggest this game is a little *too* streamlined... The Dash Shoes are enough to dislodge this Luck Stone and... that's all from the Dash Shoes for this update. Thanks Deon! Back to your corner, now. The Jump Shoes, however, do have an immediate use: by climbing up the ramp to the top right, Jack can make his away around to that small white thing: written on it is another combination. All these combinations, and there's about four, are needed to get past this locked gate here. Gotta say, for as much as I like A Link to the Past, this is a better locking mechanism than having to pull that one lever that drops snakes on you. The top (bottom?) floor of the pirate ship is the engine. There's also the green chest for Max down here, but it's currently inaccessible. That means another teamwork puzzle. I'm glad it gave me a D-pad to show which direction to push, I was all ready to try non-stop circular motions. We find a key and it... excites Max a little. I figured he'd be more excited by an item he can use rather than just another key, but this isn't a place for kink shaming. Dude is sexually attracted to keys, and that's that. I guess this means he's into "open relationships"...? The key, of course, fits into that locked panel we found a while back near the turning lever. It raises the lever and gives us this cryptic hint, because this key can't just open the door for us. If pirates appreciate anything, it's circuitous routes to their treasure and impressive feats of engineering. So the deal here is that the lever has a "default" position, and each rotation left increases the white number by one and each rotation right increases the black number by one. With the combination above, which took way too long for me to figure out, we get the same numbers and colors on the sign. Instead of the big obvious door to the south, a cave suddenly opens up towards the north instead. So, wait, what opens the door? Another combination? We'd better keep our eyes peeled. Looks like you're up Ben. I mean, Jack. Jack has the two items right now: the Jump Shoes and the Fishing Rod. There are actual fish levers in here that need the rod to activate, so it's a good thing someone brought one along on the camping trip. I suppose learning how to make your own rod is essential on the high seas. Leaping on and over some crumbling platforms leads to this remote control, Jack's fourth item (if you include his Blue Key). And a little while later, we find what is connected to the remote control: this pirate robot. Wait, pirate robot? You can use the remote control to direct the robot, creating a path from the bottom left to the cave he was standing near. Of course, all these hidden rocks aren't helping. The robot can only make so many "moves" before shutting down, but another one immediately appears so no big deal I guess. How many pirate robots are down here...? Its task complete, the robot blows itself up with the fatalistic acceptance of a creature who knows its sole purpose for existing has been fulfilled. Robots really are a bummer sometimes. The statue gives us a hint for how to reach the skull switches in the back. Only one of these switches actually seemed to do anything after a bit of effort to shove it into place - the others dropped me into a pit after the ground beneath me gave way. Our treasure secured, we decide to take it back to Miss Gina, that teacher that we treated very respectfully during Part One. So now all we need to do is... wait, who did this? Where did the lever go? Why is the door open? I mean, I guess I shouldn't look a gift shortcut in the mouth, but... "Hey, I dunno what you heard about what went on in that statue room, but all we did was mount each other and then kept pushing until the Earth moved. That's it."
So I think that's probably a good place to stop, for a number of reasons. Next time: We reconnect with our schoolchums in the camp before adventure calls again. Will we find any items besides footwear? Will Deon get any respect from the item gods, despite being "the handsome one"? Will I continue to push up against the boundaries of decorum with these salacious captions? Tune in tomorrow to find out. Or just click the next part, if you're in the future. Hey futureman.