Skullduggery

Games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Amiga, Apple ][ and the rest of the 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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Alex
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Skullduggery

#1 Post by Alex » Sun May 12, 2019 9:50 pm

I started playing Skullduggery. I've made a map and I found a parchment with some clues:
skull_000.png
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I solved some problems, but I still have a lot of questions. Anyone likes to join in?

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Garry
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Re: Skullduggery

#2 Post by Garry » Mon May 13, 2019 3:58 pm

This sounds pretty interesting. I don't normally play MS-DOS games, but I've downloaded this one and started playing it using DOSBox. It's well written and has the feel of a more modern game written using TADS or Inform or similar. The character graphics are neat, but provide spoilers for what's to come.

I'm afraid I won't be much help. I've only explored 25 rooms so far and there's obviously much more to explore. I don't get the "chapters" concept and haven't worked out the seemingly random ways of getting killed and reappearing at the River Styx. Nor have I worked out the logic behind some of the exits where you may either get killed or end up in a new part of the map. Perhaps something to do with night and day?

I actually found a solution before I found the download, but I'll try not to peek at that unless I get desperate. I'll get back to it in a couple of days.

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Alex
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Re: Skullduggery

#3 Post by Alex » Mon May 13, 2019 7:54 pm

Hello, nice that you give it a try. I only found the solution on the internet today. I haven't read it yet. I only noticed by a quick glance that it was rather long and complicated.

Because I don't have a lot of spare time, I made the map before I started playing the game by looking at the hexcode. The game has 125 rooms, but it seems several of them (16) can't be accessed by playing the game. After that I started playing the game and solved various puzzles and found some of the objects.

The chapters are the points you can obtain. I did manage to return from the underworld. If it becomes dark or you enter a dark place you will get killed by spirits. I will try to finish my map by locating all the objects, but I'm not sure I'll have the time to finish this game, but I'll keep playing it for a while.

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Garry
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Re: Skullduggery

#4 Post by Garry » Tue May 14, 2019 3:50 pm

This is a really creepy game. I played for another hour or so, did some more mapping and found a few more useful objects, including hints of things that need to be done later in the game. I haven't found the parchment yet, but I've still got lots more to explore. I think the parchment contains hints to the ingredients needed for the magic potion needed to sedate the vindictive spirit so that you can return it to its grave.

More play time tomorrow...hopefully.

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Garry
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Re: Skullduggery

#5 Post by Garry » Thu May 16, 2019 3:45 pm

I'm making slow progress and have mapped over 70 rooms. I get killed far too often for my liking. I map a bit, get killed, restart, map a bit, get killed, restart, map a bit, get killed, restart...

I need to find a light source so that I don't get killed in dark rooms or when night falls. I've found several flammable objects such as hay, candle, torch, logs and various paper products, but I haven't worked out how to light them. I've found the flint and iron and can strike them to create sparks, but that's about it. I think it's a guess-the-verb problem. I'm sure I'll work it out, but it's annoying.

I've also found lots of locked doors, but haven't found a way to open any of them yet. I've found the wooden key, the crowbar and one or two other potentially useful items that may help with the doors, but I keep getting killed before I have the opportunity to try them. I think I've also found a maze in the dark forest and got trapped in the animal pit. I know I need the item in the pit, but I can't get out of the pit.

I'm pretty sure I've found some of the items needed for the potion, but I still haven't found the parchment yet. I think I know where it is, but I need that damned light source to see it in the dark.

Let's see if I can get any further tomorrow.

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Re: Skullduggery

#6 Post by Alex » Thu May 16, 2019 9:09 pm

Garry wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:45 pm
I need to find a light source so that I don't get killed in dark rooms or when night falls. I've found several flammable objects such as hay, candle, torch, logs and various paper products, but I haven't worked out how to light them. I've found the flint and iron and can strike them to create sparks, but that's about it. I think it's a guess-the-verb problem
Actually it is a very realistic way of making fire. which was actually quite easy to solve for me being a boy-scout leader :) you have to make a fire in a certain location (more spots are possible). You need the right place, the right material and the right tools to ignite the fire. After you've made a fire you can light the candle.

There is a maze which is not random but difficult because the exits change in a certain pattern.

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Garry
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Re: Skullduggery

#7 Post by Garry » Fri May 17, 2019 1:22 pm

Alex wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:09 pm
Actually it is a very realistic way of making fire. which was actually quite easy to solve for me being a boy-scout leader.
That was my thinking too, which is why I mentioned the flammable materials. Newspaper, hay, sticks (which I haven't found), then logs. (I was also a boy scout.) I just haven't had them all together before getting killed and haven't worked out how to use the "tools" correctly other than to get a spark. I think I'm close. There are plenty of fireplaces, but I reckon the one in the kitchen is the ideal spot and I'm guessing I need to light a fire under that kettle anyway. Don't tell me whether I'm right or wrong just yet, as I'm just about to get back into it.

Incidentally, the ouija board and planchette have me puzzled. Is there a way to get them to spell out a clue? I've only got the first letter 'H'.

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Re: Skullduggery

#8 Post by Garry » Fri May 17, 2019 1:46 pm

My hunch was right. I have a lit fireplace and a lit candle. Now I'm off to explore some dark places. I might need to light the torch first...

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Re: Skullduggery

#9 Post by Garry » Fri May 17, 2019 4:02 pm

I'm making steady progress now. I've mapped about 90 rooms, found the parchment, can get out of the animal trap and have found a number of items that are almost certainly related to the "recipe" on the parchment. However, I'm still getting killed in new situations and need to restart every so often.

I'm having trouble staying awake (in the real world), so I need to head off to bed. More tomorrow.

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Re: Skullduggery

#10 Post by Garry » Sat May 18, 2019 5:25 pm

Progress report...

What started out to be a promising game has turned out to be very frustrating (because of the random factors and obscure hints) and very tedious (because of all the repetition, restarts and long distances to travel). I was getting very annoyed at one point and decided to take a peak at the walkthrough. I searched for a couple of key words and my problems weren't answered, but I did notice that I needed to find 9 ingredients for the potion. I have now found 4 of those and have a fair idea where to get most of the others, so I think I'm on the home stretch.

My map has expanded to 100 rooms, not counting that damned random maze that I still haven't worked out. I've found a second ouija board and worked out that the animal trap is completely random. There are too many dead bodies and corpses and skeletons in this game and I never know which one to use for a given problem. It seems to be mostly guess work. And you have to use nouns that are never mentioned anywhere in the text. Sheesh!

Is anyone else playing this?

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Garry
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Re: Skullduggery

#11 Post by Garry » Sun May 19, 2019 2:06 pm

Damn, I hate this game. After spending all day mapping that bloody maze and spending untold hours travelling backwards and forwards with various bodies and skeletons, I've eventually made the potion. Hooray! And then, out of the blue, for no reason whatsoever, I get killed by some bloody ghost or flying table or something and the game finishes and returns to the DOS prompt. Aaaarrgghh! Apparently there's no more visits to the underworld after you've finished up there.

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Re: Skullduggery

#12 Post by Garry » Sun May 19, 2019 2:52 pm

Finished!

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Alex
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Re: Skullduggery

#13 Post by Alex » Sun May 19, 2019 8:39 pm

Congratulations!! I didn't have time at all to play it the last few days. The maze is not random as you will be able to see on my map (I''ll try to upload it his week).

As I understood from my map, the game does not end in the underworld, but when you find the treasure (it is not a good ending).

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Re: Skullduggery

#14 Post by Garry » Mon May 20, 2019 1:43 pm

I'll be interested to see how you treat the maze. As you said, the maze is not exactly random, but it took me a while to work out what was going on. Once I'd worked it out, I could work out the connections, but it's very difficult to draw. It's similar to one of the mazes in ADVENT, except that there are, in effect, two mazes in different "dimensions". The event that causes the teleporting between dimensions is random and if you lose track of the parity, you'll get lost very quickly. Even though I've mapped it, I'm not convinced that it's 100% correct, so I need to go back and check everything very carefully. That's not something that I'm looking forward to, as it's very slow, tedious work and you have to be very careful not to make a mistake.

Incidentally, I've mapped everything else in Trizbort, except for the maze.

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