Ween : The Prophecy - WON! (No More Strawberries)

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

At last, I have vanquished Ween! It took me long enough, not because it’s a particularly long game but especially because I have had a few extremely busy months, and very little time to play or write about it. I apologize for my fellow readers (and to the ones who were playing along and have probably finished the game by last October). But we are closing in on KRAAL and the REVUSS! Last time we stopped, we were entering the heart of the Volcano and been greeted by a menacing gargoyle resembling a Ghostbusters demon dog.

Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!

Let’s look at this new room. A drawbridge blocking my path with some letters above it, a bowl (that I take) and five alcoves, one lit and four dark. In the lit hideaway, I find a lever. If I pull it, a stone rises from the ground. Pulling it again makes the stone get back in the ground and some of the letters light up. In the statue itself, a greyish spot attracts my attention. Clicking on it brings me a close-up of an ornament stuck into the stone skin of the statue. Not one to use violence to solve my problems, I turn my cauldron into a sword and hit the statue. It works and the ornament is freed from its stone grasp.

Yeah, we’ll ask KRAAL to send us the bill.

Picking up the jewel tells me it’s missing a piece, so it didn’t really solve anything. I realise that I can use the sword again to make the hole in the statue bigger so I hit it three times and the hole reveals a ruby. And we know what to do with rubies, don’t we? I turn my sword back into a cauldron and mix a Luciferys potion. I light the ruby up because the place is probably not hot enough already with the lava river. The ruby consumes itself and reveals… another jewel. This one seems intact however. It’s shaped as an insect of sorts. Not knowing what to do with my insect jewels, I search the dark hideaways. Three of them don’t do anything but the fourth hides a weird looking monster.

Yes. With teeth.

Trying to use the jewel on the monster doesn’t work and clicking around doesn’t seem to reveal a lot. It’s time to ask old man PETROY for some clues. When asked about the letters, PETROY tells me to “never lose sight of your enemy”. Asking him about the different hideaways, he tells me numbers, one to five. More interesting, asking him about the jewel tells me that “the sculpture is so good that the animal seems real”. Facepalm moment! Of course, a stone sculpture of an animal may as well be a real animal turned to stone. I make some Vitalys potion and use it on the jewel. It works! And now I have… errr… some kind of little firefly thingy flying around. Yay. Considering it’s flying around the letters, I try my bow to shoot it and realise I can actually shoot arrows at the letters!

Yes, I’m confident enough about my archery abilities to try and shoot a firefly 50 feet away.

As PETROY has told me not to lose sight of my enemy, I shoot the letters KRAAL in order but nothing happens. I guess I have to light all the letters before trying again, so I have to find a way to light up these hideaways. Pixel-hunting the whole place, I find a hotspot hidden in the lower-left corner of the screen labeled “crack”. Clicking on it tells me that I can hear a bubbling noise behind it. I turn the cauldron back into the sword (grr again) and smash the crack. Some lava starts flowing out of it. More interestingly, the firefly stops flapping around and lands near the lava, allowing me to catch it!

No fireflies were harmed in the making of this game.

I try using the firefly in one of the dark hideaways and the little wretch flies away. However, I think I’m on the right track because in the close up it looks remarkably like the light in the lit alcove. I have to find a way to make the little bugger stay. I try to mix another Vitalys potion but it doesn’t work in reverse. I spend quite a lot of time trying different things to no avail. After that, I go back to the monster in the fifth alcove and bug it several more times until it vomits something onto me! Turns out it’s glue... I get some with the help of the bowl, trying very hard not to think about the way this game looks quite centered about different types of monster vomits.

Yeah because the first thing you want to do when a monster vomits on you is keep a sample. (Maybe it’s another Ghostbusters reference?)

Putting the glue on the firefly (because putting the firefly on the glue doesn’t work for some reason), I can make it stick! I go to the first hideaway on the right and glue the little bugger into it. It reveals another lever and another piece of broken jewel. I put glue on the part of broken jewel and stick it to the other part. I now have to turn back my sword into a cauldron, make another Vitalys potion and turn the jewel back into a firefly. Then I have to turn the cauldron into a sword in order to hit the crack (because the lava seals it back every time) and catch the firefly. Considering I’ll probably have to do it four times, it’s gonna be a long screen.

I think I have seen this animation a million times now.

I also try to pull the lever in the alcove that was labelled as “one” by PETROY. This time, the rock lifts and the letters light up simultaneously. I’m guessing that the number is the number of times you have to pull the lever for the letter to light up, but maybe I have to make all the stones rise at the same time? We’ll see about that once we have lit all the alcoves.

Too bad the bad guy isn’t called LEVATT or VATELT...

Putting my new firefly in the third alcove, I reveal another lever and another jewel falls from the ceiling. Sigh. At least I can verify my theory by pulling the lever three times and lighting up more letters. Now I turn back the sword into the cauldron and bla bla bla until I have another firefly-with-glue-on-it to light up another alcove. In order to break the monotony, I light up the fifth alcove instead of the fourth one (ain’t we crazy?), which is the alcove where the vomiting monster was hiding.

The fabulous invisible vomiting monster!

No monster here but another lever (which I pull 4 times to make the letters ORT appear) and a twig. The monster statue is holding a vial of sorts with which I tried several things before but wasn’t able to achieve anything with it. But the twig is the perfect item to try again. I use the twig in the vial and I get… another jewel! Oh joy! Oh variety! I do the whole ordeal again to get another glued firefly and light up the fourth and final alcove! But there… no lever!

No! Just when I thought I was on a roll!

Nothing but a hole in it. I try several things on the hole (mainly the sword and the pipe) but nothing works. Considering I only have the NIA letters to light up, maybe I don’t need them after all. I may use the letter A for the upper left twice? But no, it doesn’t work (as it was somewhat expected, I may have found the empty alcove way earlier if I had chosen another order for my fireflies). But what to do now? I try everything. Pouring the glue in the hole, calling URM (only to hear that without any kind of fruit, I can get lost. Ingrateful flying rodent). I spend a lot of time there. Finally, a bit by accident during an umpteenth transformation of cauldron-sword-pipe, I use the copper ball in the hole and it works!!!

Facepalm moment #237

I admit I had completely forgotten the copper ball at this point despite transforming it every five minutes. This is the first time I actually use it as an item since the very beginning of the game and at no point it occurred to me I could use it as is. Well I did do it eventually but I spent a lot of time on this screen and I kinda stumbled upon the answer. Anyway, pressing the ball in the hole reveals another lever and another jewel (confirming the fact that you could do the alcoves in any order and not that the alcoves would change depending on the order you light them). I pull the lever 5 times and light the remaining letters. We’re getting close! I shoot the letters KRAAL and the drawbridge lowers… revealing… KRAAL himself!

I had literally a bow and arrows in my hands… how exactly did he get the upper hand?

KRAAL thanks me for bringing him the three grains of sand and he tells me he will put them himself in the REVUSS, so the prophecy won’t be fulfilled and he’ll gain more powers. However, he tells me he has designed a mechanism for the grains of sand to be automatically put inside the REVUSS while he is getting married with OPALE. Why he doesn’t put them now in the REVUSS is anyone’s guess, but I think this is a James Bond villain thing : design an overly-complicated Rube Goldberg device in order to let the hero win in the end. OPALE appears to me and confirms I still have one chance. However, I’m now locked inside KRAAL’s jail.

Is that Djel or Azeulisse in the lower left corner?

Graffiti on the wall says “None will leave here without the help of the blazing star”. There is also another carving. A D and an A with a heart-shaped hole in the middle, telling that Djel and Azeulisse have also spent some time in KRAAL’s cells. The question is whose skeleton is this? Anyway, searching the skeleton in the corner brings me a heart of stone, which I can insert inside the heart-shaped hole but it doesn’t do anything. Another carving on the left shows me two suns, with an arrow in the middle and I can reach the lock through the bars.

Miracle or very bad prison design?

Fiddling with the locks, I can make the needle spin around but it doesn’t do anything. Pixel-hunting thoroughly the walls, I find a nail stuck between two cinderblocks. I rip it out with several clickings (despite WEEN whining “it’s impossible to rip it out” twice which is a fine example of a protagonist trying to lure the player away from the right solution) and can use it to play with the locks. Putting the nail inside any hole on the two clock-like diagrams lift one bar and one bar only. If you remove the nail, the needle goes back into the up position. Whatever you do, even if you wait a few seconds, the bar goes down again and blocks the exit.

The only clue available.

Following the clue, I try to put the needle in the 9 of the second lock, then remove it and put it in the 3 of the first lock but it doesn’t work. It’s becoming pretty obvious that I need a second nail to make any progress but no amount of pixel-hunting gives me anything. I try lifting several different bars in order to make something happen but nothing works. Everytime a bar lifts, there is a hole in the ground that becomes atteignable. Considering it’s not a hotspot of any kind, I dismiss it quite quickly because it’s tedious to try every clock position… but after a while I eventually go back there and test every hole under every bar, and what do you know?

It was a hard clue to pin down.

Considering you have to randomly try to look under every bar, this puzzle is quite infuriating, but once the second pin in my possession, the rest was quite easy. Following the clue, I put the nail in the western position of the right clock and the pin in the eastern position of the left clock and tadaaa. The door opens!

Good thing KRAAL didn’t think to put the lock three feet further from the door.

Leaving the cell behind me, I go up the stairs and finally discover the REVUSS! And the overly-complicated contraption designed to put three grains of sand inside an hourglass in the most ridiculously complex way possible.

I think this deathtrap lacks a shark or two…

So what do we have here? The REVUSS itself appears to be locked under some kind of glass tube, while the three grains of sand are suspended above it in some kind of container, held in place by a rope that’s getting slowly cut by a blade on a pendulum going back and forth (19,95$ at Villains’r’Us). Beneath the hourglass, three levers above an engraving representing three snakes. Finally, two stone slabs, probably hiding some caches. Under the left slab is an engraving with letters I can click on : DEUS, J*LL, Z. In place of the * is a hole where a letter is obviously missing. My first instinct is to spell DJEL on the letters but it doesn’t work at first. Turns out you have to exit the close up view of the letters then go back in and spell DJEL for it to work if you’ve fiddled with the letters before that. Done properly, the word DJEL reveals a cache containing a statue behind it.

I’ve spent long enough on this caption then decided I couldn’t write anything that’s family-friendly

The statue is holding a knife and putting the heart into the chest orifice does… well absolutely nothing. I think this will be useful at some point but not right now. Not finding anything else to do, I sweep the place to find what I had missed and I find a bamboo stick behind the REVUSS. This is perfect to make another flute to call URM, even if I can’t find any strawberries, I hope he will be useful at something… I use the knife to carve the bamboo but blowing it doesn’t work. I have to use the knife a second time to finish the carving.

Good thing I remember my boy scout training.

URM arrives and makes a stone fall from the ceiling while flying around. He tells me KRAAL has put a spell on him and he can’t help me because it would make the three grains of sand fall immediately inside the REVUSS (again : why didn’t KRAAL simply put the grains of sand inside the REVUSS?). Anyway, I look at the stone URM dropped and it shows the letter A! Now I know what to do. I go back to the carving with the missing letter and put the A inside the hole. Now I can spell Azeulisse! Good thing I paid attention during the game because if you’re at that point and don’t remember how it’s spelled, well it’s reload time for you.

Ahzelis? Aseullise?

So I spell correctly AZEULISSE and the second stone slab opens! And… time’s up. The rope finally gives way and the grains of sand fall in the REVUSS! What? A real-time puzzle?

You mean “you can still reload a save”

So there is a Game Over screen after all!

No problem at all, I told myself, naively. I spent quite some time looking around, so I just have to be faster and to the point. I reloaded a save, I did everything much faster and… well no idea why but this time, the rope gave way even faster. I first thought that I needed to mess with the internal clock revolutions of my computer or whatever magic mumbo-jumbo (yes I’m very fluent in technical lingo) like in the old Sierra games when suddenly a puzzle was unwinnable because my computer was way faster than it was supposed to be. (I have moving souvenirs from the beginning sequence of Space Quest IV notably) However, I noticed something on my third try. I just clicked a few times on the levers beneath the REVUSS to see if they did anything and it made the blade go notably faster.

Snake centipede?

If the blade could be accelerated by the levers, it could be slowed as well. However, I didn’t find any clue whatsoever other than the three snakes drawing under the levers. I thought that if it was the only clue, I should try the first thing that came to mind just looking at the drawing. So I pulled the levers all the way down then all the way up, one by one, from right to left, following the wave pattern of the snakes. It visibly slowed down the blade! Well, to be honest, I had to try it once again from the start because you have to do the lever action immediately when you enter the room or you’re doomed from the start.

Oh and when you try this four or five times in a row, the part when you talk with URM is sooooo slow under a strict time limit

So once you’ve entered AZEULISSE in the carving, the second niche opens and reveals a woman statue. You have to take it and use it on the first statue. The two merge and a fairy appears.

I thought I was the one born of the love between DJEL and AZEULISSE?

The fairy flies to the receptacle and gets back the three grains of sand. She gives them to me, allowing me to put them myself inside the REVUSS and finally fulfill the prophecy and destroy KRAAL!!!

Now THAT’s what I call a rushed ending!

Three screens, one of pure text and the exact same screen than the game over screen only with letters of different colors. Earlier in the game, there used to be a cutscene every five minutes or so because a worm had stomach ache or because UKI and ORBI had some little dance moves to show. I can’t help but think the whole ending was seriously rushed. That’s weird considering the rest of the production values in the game seemed pretty high until now...

But anyway, here it is, we vanquished KRAAL the sinister wizard and fulfilled the prophecy! This was a pretty nice ride, even if an inconsistent one in some ways, but overall, I really enjoyed my time with the game! Join us next time as we explore the alternative paths to see what we missed in this playthrough and then apply a PISSED rating to the game. Hopefully, the stupid twins won’t cost too many points to the rating!

Session time : 2 hours
Final Total time : 9 hours
Final Inventory : Flute
Companions : PETROY, URM (after their stunt with the grains of sand, the twins were never seen again)
Number of times the fast travel option was available : Zero

Post a Comment