View Full Version : You call this Archeology? Lets Play: Tombs & Treasure

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 11:03 AM

Welcome back everyone. For this Let’s Play I’ve decided to Let Us play Tombs & Treasures, a tremendously obscure, and monolithically excellent Point and Click adventure game with light (incredibly light) RPG elements released by Infocom. Moreover, it was designed by everybody’s favorite Shmup developer, Compile and Falcom.

But first a little bit of background information:
Tombs & Treasure is (in Japan at least) a sequel to a far older PC-88/98 text adventure, Asteka. Asteka was a graphical text-based adventure game with an Aztec motif. It was never released outside Japan. This is all the information that I can glean from the Internet.

Tombs & Treasure is also an adventure game with an Aztec (or rather, Mayan) motif. The NES version (which I shall play imminently) is the only game in the series to be released on this side of the pond, and has more in common with, say, Shadowgate than Zork. I shall naturally go into further detail as I play the game.

Other then a few remakes of Tombs & Treasure in Japan, this is all there is to the series.

For more information on the Asteka series, consult your local library. Or, more likely, consult Hardcore Gaming 101 (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/asteka/asteka.htm), since your local library probably won’t have a single word in it about the Asteka games, and it’s where I learned that there’s a series at all.

As the game opens, we are treated to a series of still photo’s while exposition happens, telling us of the games plot.

In short:
Anthropologist Prof. Imes sets out with 7 men to explore the various nearby ruins looking for the legendary Sun Key. Within a couple of weeks, all of them end up either dead or missing, and only their guide, Jose, returns. A few days later, some of the Professors notes and artifacts are found in a sacrificial well.
YOU (well, me) and The Professors Daughter go to Mexico to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Maybe we’ll find that Sun Key, and maybe, just maybe, battle an extra-dimensional horror from beyond the depths of time.

As is my want, the Male Protagonist is “The Dude”, and the Female Protagonist is “Notta”, since she is not a dude. I did this before seeing the intro and was thus under the impression that she was The Dude’s sister, not his girlfriend.

Let’s Treasure Us some Tombs, Yah?

Chapter One: The Missing Professor!

Since our adventure is one of the Point and Click variety, and it’s on the NES, that means that we have a bunch of helpful Icons in lieu of typing in endless requests like some sort of cave-man. This is really handy. Most of their uses are pretty obvious, and just about each verb you could think of is employed. In brief:

Fight, Change, Go, Look, Take, Put, Use, Move, Push, Pull, Smash, Join, Wash and Wait.

Some seem to be redundant, but we’ll be using each of these individually. Yes, even Wash.

We begin our investigation in Professor Imes’ lab, and find his Secretary, Anne, and a table full of The Professors personal effects. When we LOOK at the Desk, the secretary speaks to us:

She basically restates what the opening crawl told us: Imes went missing, all his stuff was found in the Well of Sacrifice. She also suggests we talk to Jose for more information, and he should be along shortly.

The recovered items consist of a Lighter, a Sword with a few notches in the hilt, The Professors Notebook and a silver Key. The Note Book is in tatters, but partially readable.

…I must have the Sun Necklace to continue. I found it in the Warrior’s Temple, but it was too dirty to show the suns position…
…who would have guessed that there was a trick like that in El Castillo Pyramid. There’s a mountain of treasure…
…There are demons in the ruins, three men have already been killed…
…the demons, I must get the sword of…
…lost another man. We seem to have accidentally released demons that were sealed here by the ancient Mayans. My only chance is to defeat the demon Tentacula, but first I must find the Sun Key…

Oh Science, always tampering with forces man wasn’t meant to know of. At least we have an idea of what happened to the Professors expedition. Also, we learn of two things which set The Dude’s heart a flutter: Mountains of treasure and monsters to kill. We’re also told the name of Tentacula, which seems to be important.

Having gathered all the information we can from simply looking at the desk, we decide to take the next step and Take everything on the Desk. The Book is welded there or something, because we can’t take it.


As you can see, the Inventory Screen now includes a Sword, Silver Key, Lighter and a Bandage. You start with the Bandage, so that’s why you didn’t see me pick it up.


As we Go to leave, we see the oft mentioned Jose. Despite what Anne said, Jose has little useful to say. He’s sorry that Notta’s father is missing, and likely dead. He does confirm that the Sun Necklace was found in the Warriors Temple. This is useful information since it seems like those demons The Professor released, besides killing everybody, replaced everything the archeologists took, and undid all of the digging that had happened.

What a bunch of jerks.

Jose mentions that if you’re going to the Temple, you’ll need to visit the High Priests Tomb to find the Mosaic Tile to unlock a Treasure Room. Also, he suggests visiting the Nunnery to get the Ixmol Jewel.

The Jewel is for getting a password to save your game, so it’s not exactly pivotal, but we’ll pick it up anyway, there may be some other use for it. You never know.

And so, with Jose in tow (which is odd, since I don’t really recall inviting him) you set off to thwart those demons before they do something particularly bad. You know, besides cause more then half a dozen murders and reverse thousands of dollars worth of archaeological work.


Going from Ruin to Ruin is done via a top-down view point. All the Ruins are open for exploration right from the beginning of the game. However, most of them are guarded by demons which would kill our party quite dead should they attack.

Lacking any better ideas, the group heads to The Nunnery, since it is right outside the starting point.


The Nunnery contains three Statues, depicting a little girl, a old man and a soldier. The Soldier looks like it used to carry something in its hands, and the Girl currently does hold something. Specifically that Ixmol Jewel that Jose mentioned.

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 11:04 AM
We Pick the Jewel up and the light inside it goes out.

It doesn’t look like there’s anything else to do in the Nunnery at the moment, so we leave.

Exploring around a little, we discover the ruins of El Coracol. This ruin consists of nothing more then a pedestal and a small window. The Pedestal looks to be able to fit the Ixmol jewel quite nicely, since that’s how games like this work; we PUT the Jewel on it…

And promptly summon our first monster: Snake Master. The Dude is currently Level 1, and Looking at the demon informs us that “He’s too tough to Beat”. Luckily, like all the demons, you can simply run away from him and he won’t follow you. Since Snake Master is way, way, WAY too tough to fight at this point, The Dude beats a hasty retreat.

This is as good a place as any to mention the games combat. It’s exceedingly simply, since it consists entirely of USE-ing the Sword and selecting FIGHT until either the monster, or you, dies. This actually works to the games advantage, though, as the ONLY way to gain experience or upgrade your sword is by solving the games puzzles. So when you find a monster you can’t beat, that means you missed something important. Also, Demons only appear when you’re doing something right. We’ll make a note that Snake Master appeared when we put the Jewel on the Pedestal, and come back when it looks like we might be able to fight him proper.

Exploring the region a little farther, we discover the Tomb of the High Priest.

It’s surprisingly desolate. I thought those demons were putting things back? The Dude takes a LOOK around, and is promptly set upon by Skorper.
I’m… honestly unsure of what, exactly Skorper is supposed to be, but by LOOKing at it The Dude seems somewhat confident of being able to beat it to death.

Good enough for me.

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 11:07 AM
Another cluster of blows finally defeats the insect-esque creature. Way to go, The Dude, Momma didn’t raise no wuss!

Examining the Wall indicates that it’s anything but ordinary. The Dude isn’t strong enough to move it, but Jose is.
Based on how delighted he was to be able to move that wall, I think Jose was starting to get an inferiority complex.

In the newly opened passage we find a coffin, adorned with odd hieroglyphics and a Mosaic Tile. It’s been mentioned that Mosaic is a key to a treasure trove in El Castillo Pyramid, so let’s grab that sumvabitch.

…Which also causes the coffin to open. That’s… weird. The coffin is occupied by a skeleton wearing a mask with one eye. Our group clearly isn’t averse to any grave robbing and takes the Mask as well.

Well, it’s not like Bonesy there is going to miss it.
Looking in the Coffin a bit further we decide to desecrate the dead a little further and move the skull. Naturally this reveals a Keyhole. Well, we’ve got a Key, but it doesn’t seem to fit. We’ll come back later.

Dadgum Roi
07-28-2008, 11:10 AM
Tombs & Treasure is also an adventure game with an Aztec (or rather, Mayan) motif.

Definitely Maya- the big pyramid looks exactly like Kukulcán's temple at Chichén Itzá, and the Nunnery is a real building at CI, too.

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 11:12 AM
Fun Fact: Everything in this game is based on real locations.

Despite being based on the Mayan civilization, it's still called Azteca in Japan.

07-28-2008, 11:27 AM
Kurt Kalata actually wrote an article on HG101 on this game and its sequel (http://hg101.classicgaming.gamespy.com/asteka/asteka.htm). Apparently the original text adventure was a Falcom game?

EDIT: Crap, you already mentioned that at the beginning, that's what I get for looking at the pictures first, and skimming the intro. Well, I look forward to seeing someone play through this.

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 11:32 AM
I had thought I included a link to that article in the first post. JOKES ON ME!

It's there now though.

Red Hedgehog
07-28-2008, 11:36 AM
I have never gotten around to playing this game. And you have made me want to.

Curse you, Let's Plays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

07-28-2008, 12:22 PM
Definitely Maya- the big pyramid looks exactly like Kukulcán's temple at Chichén Itzá, and the Nunnery is a real building at CI, too.

Also, the El Caracol is very similar to its real-life counterpart, which is much wider. If any stargazing takes place in it, it'll clinch the relationship.

Also, Chichen-Itzá means "pit of snakes" in the Mayan tongue. There's already a Snake Master here, but will it have any further significance in the puzzles/plot? If a Chac Mool or the Thousand Warriors show up, I'll squee like a fangirl.

07-28-2008, 12:33 PM
Nice to see my vague memories of this game being validated finally. I know I beat it, but I can't remeber anything past a certain point in the game. I'm almost positive there was a (partial) walkthrough published in an issue of Nintendo power at some point, but I don't have any of my old back issues anymore.

07-28-2008, 01:13 PM
Let's hope OP doesn't accidentally break the game like I did the first time. Somehow I just couldn't get to Level 20...

Octopus Prime
07-28-2008, 01:24 PM
It's entirely possible I might!

This is the first time I've played the game in about a decade, and have been doing the write-ups as I play, so I'm literally flying by the seat of my pants with this.

When I say something like "I bet that might come in handy later", it's because I genuinely don't know!

Incidentally, monsters appear when you do anything, not when you do something right. See, I learned something!

Octopus Prime
07-29-2008, 02:53 AM
Chapter 2: The Hidden Treasure of the Mummy Cave!

When we last left our adventuring… adventurers, we learned that Notta Imes’s father is missing and presumed mutilated thanks to his accidental summoning of a para-dimensional demonic army. After meeting with the Professors former guard, Jose, we set forth, robbed several graves and got a mosaic tile that acts as a key to unlock a vast treasure trove. Plus we killed a supposedly chitinous, bug… thing?

Wandering about a bit, trying to find the El Castillo Pyramid, we come across a heap of pillars. They are fairly nice pillars through, I wonder what they LOOK like…

Oh… that’s… nice?

El Slug it should be noted, looks “Too Tough to Beat”. He also looks nothing at all like a slug. Both of these are good reasons to leave and not come back. Or at least not come back until I am capable of dispatching him.

Hey, I found it. Awesome.

The Dude is also quick to point out that this is the home of Kukulan. This is likely a mistranslation, since it should be Kukulcán. Still… the game is at least somewhat educational. We'll forgive them for a spelling error.

As often happens whenever I try to go anywhere or do anything, as soon as I look at the wall a two headed bird (cleverly named Two-Beak) appears and tries to kill me dead. The Dude thinks “I can win, somehow”. With boundless optimism like that, how can I lose?
That’s a good sign.

That too, is a good sign.

Luckily I had a clever strategy in place of selecting “Fight” until he died. No bird could hope to outsmart one such as I.

There’s a hole in the floor about 1’’ by 2’’ wide and deep. I have nothing that fits that description so we advance into that door, being mindful not to get any emu-meat on our shoes.

Octopus Prime
07-29-2008, 02:55 AM
It looked a lot more narrow in here then it did outside the door. I guess the Castillo Pyramid is like a reverse TARDIS? There’s nothing interesting in here except for a hole, either.


Luckily, Notta is full of handy advice. Let’s cram that hole full of whatever will fit inside it.

Oh… now the room gets significantly more spacious and full of items. Though based on previous descriptions I’m a little let down. I mean, sure all this multi-colored crap is nice, but we were promised treasure. Not broken pots and pocket mirrors. Friggin’ Jose, misleading me like that. Not that it really matters, since you can’t take anything with any actual monetary value (such as a pile of gold which is almost entirely off-screen).

Well, let’s get looting. We take:
A Silver Globe (About 4’’ in diameter, called The Globe of Light, which belongs in Coracol)
A Gold Mirror (which is filthy and needs to be cleaned)
A Gold Stand (which holds something about 4’’ across)
A Shallow Bowl (which has a pin in the middle of it)

Not a bad haul, financially speaking. But, of course, these are probably going to end up being the solutions to puzzles somewhere down the line, so we can’t pawn them off.

While that’s everything we can ste- reclaim from the pyramid, I don’t think we’re done here. For example, that stone box, I bet there’s something nice inside that.

All right, it contains three tablets which have pictures The Dude cannot see.

All this wasted effort makes me want to hit something. Luckily, I have a SMASH command, and there’s a bunch of old pots in here. I think I’ll just smash this one here in back!


Oh… well… good? The smashed pot contains a ring that fits nicely on Nottas finger. Jose explains that it’s the Ring of Itza, which has the power to defeat evil in grand, unspecific ways. He also points out that he has no idea how it works, but to be careful not to lose it.

This is most likely foreshadowing.

Incidentally, if you try to break anything else in this room, it’s either indestructible or the game chastises you for trying to ruin a priceless artifact. I don’t see anything else worthwhile in here, though, so let us leave.


Jeez, bit greedy there, aren’t you Notta?

Just to shut her up, we sift through the gold pile there in the corner, and find a curiously out of place jewel. Fulfilling his newly found duty as Mr. Exposition, Jose explains that it’s a Legendary Jewel that The Professor was searching for. Notta chimes in that it’s supposed to go in that One-Eyed mask we picked up earlier, and it would make secrets visible, and it powers up the Sword.

Well, gee, I wonder what I’m supposed to do with all this great stuff?

Octopus Prime
07-29-2008, 02:57 AM
First, we JOIN the Red Jewel with the One-eye Mask, and now, USE-ing the Mask lets us look at those pictures I dug up a few screen shots ago.

Men digging up a Censer at Dusk
A jaguar turning to stone when a trumpet is played at noon
Men turning tiny when drinking a potion at night

I can see why you’d need a magic jewel crammed into an equally magic mask to make sense of those pictures. Odds are that this will all have SOME significance at some point in the future.


That done, we jam that jewel into a notch on the Sword, thereby making it stronger, and the Jewel “even redder then before”, we also take one more look around in case there was anything we missed. One more pot contains a metal rod with iron filings stuck to it.

Why yes, Notta, I think it might be.

This is everything, so we can finally leave the Pyramid. That Globe was described as belonging in Coracol, so we might as well try there next. Maybe this Globe won’t result in me summoning a deadly snake monster to kill me?

Or maybe not. Well, let’s see if we can kill it this time?
Hell Yeah.

Octopus Prime
07-29-2008, 02:59 AM
Take that, you snaky son-of-a-jerk!

The Dude seems completely dumbfound that he can put the globe on the pedestal. Not really a whole lot else to do here at the moment.
Looking out the window gives us a good view of the Court of Columns. That could possibly be a hint of where to go next.

LOOKing around also tells me that “It is said that Beautiful Sound will awaken the Globe”. This is the first I’ve heard of this, so I don’t know who said it.

I’m also given this bit of advice. That’s nice... I don't have to worry about the floor.

07-29-2008, 06:14 AM
Tentacula? No doubt Dracula with tentacles. This is going to be the best final boss ever.

This game reminds me of Sweet Home. Is anyone planning to Let's Play that?

07-29-2008, 10:52 AM
I believe some one is actually, if you check the master list forum. I think I had this game at one time... Bought it for 50 cents after the SNES came out and everyone was unloading their nes materials... I don't think I even got past the first few screens. Thanks for the LP OP, Now I won't have to ever go back to it

Octopus Prime
07-29-2008, 11:00 AM
Just doing my part to ensure that nobody has to play video games but me.

Tentacula? No doubt Dracula with tentacles. This is going to be the best final boss ever.

As I recall from an ancient copy of "Game Players Guide to Nintendo Games: Volume 3", you are not too far off.

...I should try to see if I still have that book.

Octopus Prime
07-30-2008, 02:30 PM
On our Previous Episode, our intrepid heroes found the El Castillo Pyramid and discovered a heap of treasure inside. While most of it was general Puzzle-Game type crap, they did find a magic jewel which strengthened The Dudes sword, and El Coracol’s Silver Globe. Lacking any other leads, our group heads to the Court of Columns.

Chapter 3: The Endless Wandering and the Living Undead

You know, as much as I love this game, moving from one ruin to another is a pain in the arse. The map is massive, and mostly full of featureless plains and woods, and the ruins themselves aren’t always obvious.

Case in point, I just stumbled across the Well of Paradise here trying to find the Courtyard again. Well, we’re here anyway, might as well see if there’s anything we can do here.


“We came here for a reason?” I wandered here by accident! I’m seriously beginning to wonder why we brought her along.

Though since we’re here anyway, let’s wash that filthy, filthy mirror of ours.


Inexplicably, washing the mirror causes a set of Pan Pipes to appear. I love Adventure Game Logic, don’t you?

Said pipes are dunn borked, though. Luckily, I remember this part from The Game Players Guide to Nintendo Games: Volume 3:
The Flute is stuck on Band-Aid Brand, because Band-Aid’s stuck on a Flute.

I guess aimless wandering paid off in the long run. I’m sorry I snapped at you Notta. Well, back to hunting down that Courtyard.
Hey, here it is. And we’re strong enough to fight us what may be a Gastropod!

Take that, Snails! That’ll teach you to have a sub-par name which may-or-may-not-be a terrible pun!

Looking around reveals nothing at all, however. But, we’ve got a working musical instrument, and, as “they” say that “Beautiful Sound will awaken the Globe”. Lets us head back to El Coracol, I guess.

After too much wandering, I find my way back.

Seriously, why do we need her along? It’s not like The Dude is the one who probably slaughtered her father. Save some spite for Tentacula.

As previously alluded to, each member of the party has some kind of unique skill. Jose can move large walls and boulders with his big muscles, Notta is an accomplished flutist (as shown here) and The Dude… doesn’t mind slaughtering demons and touching dead people? I’m guessing on that last bit. I think The Dude is to Tombs & Treasure as Dave was to Maniac Mansion.

Anyhow, playing the Flute causes the Silver Globe to shoot a beam of light out the window, most likely pointing where we need to go next, not unlike Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course, I can’t look where the light is pointing from here since it is “bright like a Laser”. Luckily, I looked earlier, so I already know.

Octopus Prime
07-30-2008, 02:32 PM
Back to the Court I guess!
This time one of the columns is shining like crazy. Looking at it reveals “ordinary ground, but…”

Ordinary Ground must be punished for its crimes. Let us give it Smashes! (Jose wasn’t actually required for this, I don’t think, but I switched to him anyway).

I could make a terrible joke here, but I choose to take the higher path and let you submit your own.
The Golden Globe, much like the Silver Globe, apparently responds to music. Let’s give those pipes a toot, again.
Oh Come on Notta, you could flute up the joint like nobodies business, 10 minutes ago. Looks like we might have to go back to Coracol.


On the way, however, I find the Temple of Warriors. Which, I seem to recall, being mentioned back in the good Doctors journal. Lets see if we can get us any treasures.


Oh, hello Necklace, I bet you’re important.

Aaaaah! Monster!

Octopus Prime
07-30-2008, 02:33 PM
Not Invincible Monster!

Go, Dude, Fight with Violence! For Ever Lasting Peace!

Uhh… this thing is pretty tough.

I had 90 HP left. This was about the closest any fight has been since Skorper. But The Dude killed the crap out of that… already dead… thing.

God I love the text in this game. Really, I do. <3

Oh. Oh this is probably good. The Red Jewel made my sword way stronger, presumably the Blue one would work even better!

HOLY SWEET MAJIMBO! Apparently the statues around here don’t take kindly to having their eyes removed. One of the tablets from Castillo mentioned turning a jaguar back into a statue. I don’t know if Pipes are the same as a trumpet, or whether or not it’s noon… But whatever works.

Play that funky music, white-girl!

Crap. Lets run away quickly.

Meanwhile: Several minutes and no screen-shots later

I take the Silver Globe off the pedestal and put the Golden Globe on it.


It never ceases to amaze the dude how round objects can fit into round holes. That’s why we love him.


Playing the Flute causes the Globe to turn transparent and shoot a beam out again. It’s likely headed back to the Courtyard. But we’ll have to wait and see, until next time, braves readers.

Until, next time.

07-30-2008, 05:11 PM
So, do you heal fully between fights? Seems like you must.

Octopus Prime
07-30-2008, 07:09 PM
So, do you heal fully between fights? Seems like you must.

You fully heal as soon as a monster is not trying to claw your eye's out. As previously noted, the games RPG elements are really very light.

Also, I was sadly unable to find my copy of The Game Players Guide to Nintendo Games: Volume 3, as I would have tried to include scans, and then all the world would have seen how awesome that book was.

07-30-2008, 11:46 PM
You fully heal as soon as a monster is not trying to claw your eye's out. As previously noted, the games RPG elements are really very light.

Also, if the game says that you can win a fight, you CAN'T lose it. If you always fight, you win. You never die, the game only forces tenseness upon you by bringing your HP down to near death. Then you win.

Octopus Prime
07-31-2008, 05:15 AM
Really? Well, I learned something new then.

I just thought I was getting lucky up until now.

07-31-2008, 09:31 AM
Was this mentioned? That the fighting elements were added just for the NES version of the game? I read that over at Hardcore Gaming. Though they also seem to serve as a rough guide to where you should be going, if you're at a place where you can beat the monster you probably belong there at that point in the game?

OP have you found that to be the case?

Octopus Prime
07-31-2008, 10:23 AM
Was this mentioned? That the fighting elements were added just for the NES version of the game? I read that over at Hardcore Gaming. Though they also seem to serve as a rough guide to where you should be going, if you're at a place where you can beat the monster you probably belong there at that point in the game?

OP have you found that to be the case?

This is how I know I'm doing it right.

Octopus Prime
07-31-2008, 05:22 PM
On our previous chapter, our heroes managed to find the fabled Golden Globe and the Pipes needed to activate the El Coracol Temple’s pedestal. Or perhaps just activate the globes when they’re on the Pedestal, that part is a bit vague, to be honest. They also found the Sun Necklace, but were set upon by a Jaguar, who frightened them off.

Chapter Four:

Working on a faint hunch that maybe we don’t have to actually deal with the Jaguar to examine the ruins, we return to the Temple of Warriors. The Jaguar Statue which is also an actual Jaguar is missing.

This worries me more then having the live Jaguar hanging around.

There’s a hole in the wall, where the Jaguar statue once was, however, so lets take us a glance at that, why don’t we?

Ooh, a key, a small, rusty key, to be specific. Let’s us take it!


Nerts. We need something small, and capable of grasping objects that can rust, possibly with a magnetic field. But what?

In case it wasn’t obvious, we use the magnetic rod I picked up a few days ago. The Dude is really, really pleased with himself.

We also take the Sun Necklace, since Professor Imes mentioned it being a key to the suns location. And that is likely to be really useful information.

And looking at the Sun Necklace to get a screen shot of it causes that crazy jaguar to come back and scare the willies out of us. We retreat.

It should be noted that the Sun Necklace is filthy. I’m going to take it to the Well and clean it…

…Which worked spectacularly. You can’t really tell from a lone screenshot, but that circle on the top of the screen went nuts and was blinking like crazy as soon as I washed the necklace.

After being washed, the Sun Necklace will let me tell what time of the day it is by what color its glowing. Like a mood ring, except based on time instead of body heat. First order of business is to see if we can deal with that pesky jaguar.

Incidentally, The Dude can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Notta, however, can. Now we’ve re-petrified the Jaguar, so we can gouge out its precious eye-mineral safely.


The Blue Jewel is now safely inside my sword and the Red one is removed. That’s a bit unexpected, really. I thought both were going in there. Well, I’m sure there’s a reason for it.

Octopus Prime
07-31-2008, 05:24 PM
On a whim and a lark, we head back to the Tomb of the High Priest, to see if we can do anything with that keyhole behind the mummy’s skull.

Not completely surprisingly, the newly found Iron Key fits in the hole and causes the coffin to shift aside, revealing a stair case.

So we’ve uncovered a staircase leading down, under the body of an undisturbed mummy, in a crypt which may be at the center of a demonic invasion from Xiabala.

Let’s go down, why don’t we?


Wow… this is a fair bit more spacious then the rest of the ruins. We’ve just entered an underground maze, and the entrance sealed up behind us. This keeps getting better all the time.

Well, it looks like I can go in three directions, and I’ve honestly never gotten this far before. So I submit to ye, Talking Time: Which way does I go?


Actually… it doesn’t matter what you say, I need a compass to go anywhere. Luckily, I have a magnet, and I have something on which to put a magnet. We JOIN the Metal Rod to the Bowl and BAM cheap, ancient, Mayan navigation tool.


Also, using the Compass automatically leads you to the end of the maze. I… I was hoping for some audience participation for once. Darn.


What’s less of a “Darn” though is that jewel in the center of the room. It’s the Akbal Jewel, which has the power to rob demons of their power. That sounds promising.

Unfortunately, taking the Akbal Jewel causes the only exit to close. This isn’t very good news.

Will our heroes escape from the maze under the High-Priests Tomb? Will they ever find out what happened to Professor Imes? Will Notta stop emasculating The Dude?

Stay Tuned!

Octopus Prime
07-31-2008, 06:16 PM
Hey, so... it looks like I saved after hitting a point where I really shouldn't have.

It's going to be a few days for the next update.

08-01-2008, 12:58 AM
Damn, had I read about it earlier, I would have told you that if you go down there too early in the game, you are seriously boned and might as well restart.

This place is a bad place, go there when you've gone everywhere else or just don't know where to turn next.

And save-state before you enter.

Octopus Prime
08-02-2008, 03:31 PM
Hey, I think I may have screwed up again and re-petrified the Jaguar before taking the Key.

It may be another little while.

Octopus Prime
08-05-2008, 05:06 AM

The Dude and his companions managed to turn a jaguar back into a statue, find the lost Sun Necklace and unlocked the keyhole behind the mummy form the start of their adventure. They found the legendary Akbal Jewel, but were sealed inside the labyrinth beneath the High Priests Tomb!

Chapter Five: The Hidden Stairway to Treasure!


It… it looks like we’re stuck here. Game over man. GAME OVER! The Dude and friends probably run out of air before they starve to death… so yeah.

Meanwhile: In a totally different Universe, The Dude and his companions didn’t go to the High-Priests temple after dealing with the Jaguar. They went to the Court of Columns instead.

Incidentally, along their way, they discovered that you CAN lose fights that you’re assured you can win…

…and found the secret Nunnery where you can speak with Kukulan. He says to heed his words. But that’s all he says. He doesn’t really specify what needs to be heeded.

Back in the Court, there is apparently a different column shining then before, even though the exact same graphic is used. I take the games word for it and set about bashing the ground again.

And we find a head. A genderless head. I don’t know what to say. There are no words. We take that noggin and get going.

We don’t have any real destination, but The Dude noted another ruin just outside the Warriors Temple, so we enter… The Ball Court!

The Ball Court is guarded by Hornskull, who you may recognize as being Cadaver, except colored differently.
Of course, as powerful as a palette-swap of an existing monster is, he’s no match for a Level 15 The Dude armed with a Blue Jewel in his sword.

Octopus Prime
08-05-2008, 05:07 AM

The fight goes as to be expected, with ol’ grey bones being a chump. Now, lets take a look around here.

Looks like there’s a mechanism built into the wall there, but it’s missing some pieces and can’t be used. Working with adventure game logic, this means I’m either going to find a gear at some point, or fashion a gear out of something I already have.


However, nothing I currently have is… geared for the task.

OH GOD THE WIT! I shall have to lie down until the giggling ceases.

That’s better. The Ball Court seems a lot bigger then other ruins, since this is the second screen and it still seems to keep going. There’s a blue block on the wall of this second room, which is described as being blue and glowing.


The dude confirms that the Blue, Glowing Block is, indeed, a Block, which is glowing blue. This is weird, but it doesn’t look like I can do anything with it at present, so we leave the block alone.


We continue into another uninteresting corridor. But Looking at a wall causes Jose to comment that you should look at it with a mask. How does he know things like this? Well, regardless, I can’t use my One-Eyed Mask on it, perhaps Jose is talking about a different Mask. We can’t continue, either, since the path is too dark. Alas.

We decide to head back to El Castillo, since that’s the only place The Dude remembers encountering a headless statue, and this thing is heavy.


Success! Re-capitating the statue causes a new path to open up under the Treasure Room! I love you, headless, gender-neutral statue!

Nice lighting in this secret basement. And look! More treasure! There’s a bag of Incense (inside the box) and two flasks. We Get Ye Flask!

At the suggestion of the Intenet (since I seriously had no idea what I was supposed to do next at this point), We return to El Coracol and take back the Golden Globe, as well.

I also hit the wrong button (see above note, re: being stuck) and end up switching to Jose, who informs me that he can help. Heck, I’m not complaining. He pushes the pedestal which opens up a new staircase.

Octopus Prime
08-05-2008, 05:08 AM
The second floor doesn’t look particularly different from the first. But there are two windows now. The windows, incidentally, point to the West and Southern forests.

The Silver Globe doesn’t fit on the pedestal, but the gold does, so we place it on there and let Notta Toot like the wind!


Which… I guess doesn’t work this time? I guess the Pedestal isn’t musically inclined. Oh right, right, the jewel is black, so it’s midnight. I guess we have to wait.

After hours that seem like seconds, it is noon, and the light bursts out the window, hits the globe and is redirected back into a brick in the wall.
Said brick is quite frail, possibly as a result of having a laser shine on it, and quickly crumbles into dust. Inside, we find a Crystal Key. Score! Jose assumes that this is the key to the Mummys coffin!

This is as good a spot as any to leave our heroes for the day…

…Stay Tuned! Adventure Lovers!

08-05-2008, 11:11 AM
I do like how the game tells you that you're essentially screwed, which is kind of nice. On the other hand, the fact that you can screw up that badly is a pretty glaring game design problem. The puzzles seem a little... obtuse though, is that because we're not seeing all the text, or is it because it really is just wander around, try to find stuff and attempt not to encounter any points of no return?

08-05-2008, 12:15 PM
OH! I remember now!

DON'T do something with the gears on the wall unless you're properly outfitted, or else you will be boned again.

Octopus Prime
08-05-2008, 03:31 PM
I do like how the game tells you that you're essentially screwed, which is kind of nice. On the other hand, the fact that you can screw up that badly is a pretty glaring game design problem. The puzzles seem a little... obtuse though, is that because we're not seeing all the text, or is it because it really is just wander around, try to find stuff and attempt not to encounter any points of no return?

Yeah... yeah it's pretty obtuse a lot of the time. I'm transcribing damn near everything. This is why Save States are important before you enter any ruins. Luckily, unlike most point and clicks, they list everything you can interact with, so there's no actual pixel hunting.

And thanks for the hint, danowar. I will keep it in mind.

Ample Vigour
08-05-2008, 03:50 PM
Dead ends and obtuse puzzling! I'm shocked that this wasn't the hottest title of the NES's history.

Octopus Prime
08-05-2008, 03:52 PM
Dead ends and obtuse puzzling! I'm shocked that this wasn't the hottest title of the NES's history.

That is a pretty rare combination for an adventure game.

Octopus Prime
08-06-2008, 03:42 AM
On our Previous Thrilling Adventure!
The group discovered a set of secret rooms in the Castillo and Coracol ruins, ultimate leading to a Crystal Key, which Jose thinks might fit under that skeletons head. Of course, Now-Dead-Parallel-Universe The Dude knows that the Rusty Key will also fit in there, but we’ll trust Jose on this. He hasn’t steered us wrong yet.

Chapter 6: The Return of the Mystery in the Mummys Maze

We take the Golden Globe back, in case we need it for something else later. I’ve noticed that when the game gives you this option, it’s usually a good idea to take it up on it.

Apparently Jose is full of crap. The Crystal Key doesn’t fit in there, unless, of course, Jose is talking about a different Mummy which we haven’t encountered yet. Honestly, I wouldn’t put past him. He has a tendency to not tell me things that I need to know.

Incidentally, the Crystal Key doesn’t let you get the Jewel under here either. You still end up trapped and dead. But this time I saved before going in, so we’re fine.

After copious amounts of running around the map, we learn that the lake that The Dude had ran around so many times is, in fact, another ruin. Specicially, it’s the Well of Sacrifice that Professor Imes’ stuff was found in. This seems like as good a place as any to investigate.

Looking at the murky water causes Jose to give us a happy little tidbit that the Mayans used to sacrifice young girls like Notta here for purposes of summoning rain, and those who survived the drowning were able to talk to Kukulan.

He also mentions that the Professor found a secret chamber underneath the lake. This is somewhat more useful information, albeit less educational.

I’d also like to note that the game mentions that there’s a Cliffside nearby, even though the lake is the middle of a field.

Well, I can’t wash anything in the pool, Jose isn’t saying how the Professor found any secret rooms, there are no left-over items from the expedition, and odds are that Notta isn’t keen on drowning herself to see if Kukulan will help us, so here we are.

On a hunch, we return to Caracol.


I was wondering if we were ever going to use that stand. This raises the Golden Globe ever so slightly. Now lets wait and see where the miracle of light refraction leads us.

All right, now we’re cooking. The beam shines out to the window! Go west Young Man, and… older man… and anime girl.

Of course, on further inspection, the light is coming FROM the window, not going out through it. That complicates things.

Another quick analysis around reveals that music still works on the Globe! I really wish the game would make up its mind about that. Anyhow, music makes the globe reflect the light onto another brick in the wall (all in all).
That looks more pink then red to me. One wall-ass-kicking later…

We gets a Censer! I guess that’s what the stone tablet from Castillo meant about digging it up at dusk. This Censer, incidentally, is supposed to be able to wake the dead. Neat.

We head back to the Ball Court, mostly on a whim and a prayer. While that blue block was immune to the effects of smashing it, it was not immune to the effects of taking it. This time, at least. Adventure Game Logic kicks in again, and removing that block causes a new door to pop open. This is at least more sensible then other bits of Adventure Game Logic, so we’ll let it slide.

Octopus Prime
08-06-2008, 03:45 AM
Oh… the Ball Court leads directly under the Tomb of the High Priest. That’s pretty unlikely. However, it makes it pretty obvious how to get that crazy-ass jewel! Back to the outside!

All right, doubling back and entering the Akbal Chamber properly means that there are now two doors to enter and exit by. Lets finally get us a Demon-Weakening piece of jewelry!

HA! Take THAT Ancient Mayan Deathtrap! Taking the Jewel only closes one entrance, so we’re still free to leave by the Ball Court. Life is GOOD!

Now we have the Akbal Jewel, which I’m sure will come in handy in the near future, and we have a large square block. And as I recall, El Castillo had a large square hole roughly the same size.


As should not be surprising at this point of the game, putting an object into a hole opens a new door. Jeez, El Castillo is loaded with treasure. I wonder what is down those stairs.

Oh… I was kind of expecting another mountain of treasure. A bunch of gears is nice and all, but I’m a bit let down.

Now, I recall the advice of another saying not to put those gears in the Ball Court, so I guess I’ll just give it a crank.

Jose proves to be mighty enough to move the crank, but it is damaged and quickly returns to its original state as soon as he lets go. Now, I COULD ask Jose to just stay here and hold that crank in place for the rest of the game, but then who would provide exposition?

No, no I think we’ll need to solve this puzzle.

Taking the handle causes it to break, rendering it useless forever.

Wait… no, no, no. That’s not what happened, let me start over.

We leave El Castillo and head back to The Ball Court. Again. We take the Pawl from the gear mechanism, which also seals up the rest of the ruin forever. Man, I hope there wasn’t anything else important in there.

All right, we put the Pawl in the Castillo gear assembly, which lets us move the gear properly.

Turning the crank causes water to rush out of somewhere. Since we’ve been everywhere we can go, and only found two bodies of water, it shouldn’t be too difficult to puzzle out which it was.

Got it in one. The Sacrificial Well is now dry, so I guess we can descend into the unknown depths!

What mysteries lurk within? Treasure? Horror? Love?

We’ll find out… soon!

08-07-2008, 02:12 AM
Oh my god, I think you broke the game again. :-/

If I remember correctly, in the path where the blue block is, there is something at the end of the path...I think.

I think you had to
1. take the blue block
2. take the pawl
3. use pawl somewhere else
4. go down from other side to the Akbar jewel.
5. go behind the now closed path.
6. there is something now???

EDIT: A quick glance at an FAQ proves me WRONG.

Octopus Prime
08-07-2008, 03:12 AM
In our last episode the intrepid adventurers finally got that stupid Akbal Jewel, repaired a gear assembly and completely drained a lake, probably causing irreparable environmental damage in doing so. Under the lake, however, was another ruin. Which is where we find them now.
Chapter 7: The Betrayal?


As we attempt to descend into the bottom of the lake, Jose once again pipes up with some helpful advice at the last possible second. Specifically, everyone who tried to reach the bottom of the lake is imprisoned in crystal by a golden light. He suggests not going down unless we have a golden mirror, the crystal key, the Jewel of Akbal and the Blue Jewel. Of course, he knows we have all those things, he helped us get them.

Oh Jose.


He also suggests that Notta stay behind. I’m sure that’s going to work out well for everyone involved.


Notta objects so Jose stays behind as well, leaving The Dude to enter the ruin at the bottom of a sacrificial well alone. That… that may be much worse.


Notta, as usual, is quite concerned for your well being.


Nice place, a bit cramped, though. And damp... and Skeletony.


…and demonic-snake infested.

Venum is the first monster to have any sort of description beyond “He’s too strong” or “We’ll have to win, somehow”. Specifically it mentions that he’s vulnerable to green light (?). Well, lets show him some him some.


I… don’t really know how much using the Akbal Jewel helped, but Venum went down pretty easily. Taking a look around, it doesn’t look like there’s anything particularly exciting. There is nothing but a sealed door, a few scattered bones and statues of a happy old Woman and angry old man.


Also, trying to escape from the pit reveals that nobody is answering. FORSHADOWING!


After using every command on every thing in this room, The Dude moves the head of the statue and the door opens. Hm. He also moves the other head, but that didn’t have as noticeable and effect.

Octopus Prime
08-07-2008, 03:14 AM

The new chamber consists of a coffin, a single ray of light shining down and a crystal notch in the wall. Looking at the coffin shows us its contents, but first things first, I know a Mirror Puzzle when I see one.


Using the Mirror causes the light to reflect and opens a new door. Awesome, but first, lets take a look at that coffin.


Ewww. Well… he’s well preserved. This… fella is wearing a mask with two eye slots. Hey, we only have one slot in our mask. His is better! Lets take it! Of course, he’s cocooned in a crystal coffin, so taking it will be difficult. There’s a notch in the side of the coffin, however. Lets try fitting our Crystal Key in the side of it.


Bingo. The Crystal Key opens the coffin of THIS Mummy, not the other one. Jose WAS holding out on me afterall. We take the Mask, causing the light vanish, but the door is still open. We exit the tomb.


And find ourselves back in El Castillo. Are all the ruins here connected or something? Anyway, the Dude is feeling lonely without his friends, and heads back to the Well.


You can’t tell (especially from a screen shot), but the overworld music has changed. It’s a bit more menacing then before. FORSHADOWING!


Oh, Jose, taking a nap on the job. What would Notta say if she saw that? Erm… where IS Notta, anyway?

Oh… I see. It seems that “They” beat the hell out of Jose, kidnapped Notta and headed off to the Ball Court, which, as previously noted, is now sealed forever. So it shouldn’t be too hard to catch them then. Come, Jose, The Game is afoot!

Hmm, the door is still sealed and no sign of any demonic hoard. Well, we COULD try reassembling THIS Gear assembly, I guess.

Octopus Prime
08-07-2008, 03:16 AM
There we go, we take the Pawl and the Crank form the Castillo assembly, put them in here, and reopen the Ball Court. Lets us away, Jose!

This room had an inscription that required the Two-Eyed Mask to read. After jamming both crystals in the eyeholes a white block appears.


Said White Block is a button, this time. And, of course, pushing it causes another door to open nearby.

Well, this room looks a bit different from the rest of the court.

What the hell is that thing? Well… it’s Tezcat, apparently, but that doesn’t really answer my question.

Whatever it is, Tezcat doesn’t share Venums disdain for the Akbal Jewel, so it looks like we’re fighting it the old fashioned way. With swords.

Durable jerk, but he went down all the same. Now that we’re not under attack from a multi-limbed red… cat(?) we’re free to look around. The wall and ceiling are made of a “Rare mineral”, which isn’t particularly helpful information, but the little pyramid is another matter.


There’s key inside the temple. Not just any key, but the Sun Key! The hunt for this thing is what started this whole mess! But the Temple is teeny-tiny and The Dude can’t get it. There must be some hint at some point in the game about dealing with tiny, tiny openings.

Men turning tiny when drinking a potion at night

Oh right. There was.

Now, there are two bottles of potion I found, one bottle is quite large, the other is small. Now… what was it that the Dormouse said? We back up, and take a swig of the Large flask.

Octopus Prime
08-07-2008, 03:17 AM
WHAT! Jose was a demon all along? That’s… genuinely unexpected. He goes on to explain that he helped kidnap Notta, stole that ring she had, is now borderline invincible, will soon rule the world forever, will overthrow Tentacula and demands we give him Ye Flask.

I Am. Not. Giving. Up. This. Flask.


And so, we charge into battle with Jose ne Scareface. Like Venum, he is vulnerable to the power of the Akbal Jewel.

And so, Jose is dead. Not before ripping out about 5000 HP from The Dude, mind. If Tentacula is more powerful then this guy…

We retrieve the Ring of Itza from Scareface’s shredded remains and resume swigging down that potion.

But what happens next? Did The Dude pick a healthy potion, or a foul poison? Is Jose really dead? What are the repercussions of an anime girl being kidnapped by a monster named Tentacula?

Stay Tuned, true believers!

08-07-2008, 04:04 AM
I'm actually surprised that Jose was a demon, it's kind of a neat little plot twist.

I think my favorite thing about the game is Notta's line "You're no good, The Dude, here". Mainly because it sounds like she's insulting you, and then trying to cover it up by adding here at the end.

Octopus Prime
08-07-2008, 04:25 AM
I think my favorite thing about the game is Notta's line "You're no good, The Dude, here". Mainly because it sounds like she's insulting you, and then trying to cover it up by adding here at the end.

I love the delightfully banal descriptions.

"Just an everyday ceiling" indeed!

Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 03:07 AM
On our previous adventure, The Dude entered the dank, smelly depths of the Well of Sacrifice alone, upon returning, he discovered Jose unconscious and Notta missing. Jose and The Dude tracked the kidnapping monsters to The Ball Court and uncovered a secret entrance. Just then, Jose reveals himself to be Scareface, Tentacula’s second-in-command. The Dude is forced to kill his old friend, but he finds the legendary Sun Key. Bravely, The Dude takes a drink from a flask of potion to try to shrink.

Chapter 8: An Audience with the King


Luckily, drinking the large flask is exactly the thing to do. Now that we’ve shrunk down, The Dude can easily enter the temple and open it up to take the key.


Wow, that Key is quite large, now. Conversely, the Temple of the Sun is quite small indeed. Not really a whole lot is in here though. There is, however, a keyhole which is significantly smaller then the Sun Key, and I do have a Silver Key which hasn’t been used up until now.


Luckily all the items in my inventory didn’t shrink with me, as then I wouldn’t be able to unlock the temple. Which of course begs the question of how I managed to get any of the items in there in the first place.

A quick quaff of the Small Flash returns us to our former size, with a now open Sun Temple. We shove the temple aside and take the Key.


Taking the key then causes the Temple to close up. Forever, presumably. All right! We found the Sun Key! Now we have avenged the horrific deaths of every single person associated with this expedition (possibly except for Jose) and can go off to become rich and famous!


Then the Ball Court starts shaking and The Dude cries like a little girl.

It seems that the Temple of the Sun (and by extension, the Ball Court) was built on top of Tentacula’s Shrine. And taking the Sun Key causes the whole shebang to collapse? Anyhow, we appear in a small cell with a green haired girl. Is that?


Before we can check to see if Notta’s all right, we ar met by the man of the hour himself. The Dark Dread King, Tentacula: God of the Underworld. He kind of looks like one of those “Yop-Yop” Martians from Sesame Street.

“I am Tentacula, King of the Underworld. You are very brave to come here alone, but foolish. You and Notta will now become sacrifices in my honor!!”

Honestly, being killed and sacrificed is a hell of a lot better then what I would think would happen with a monster named Tentacula.

And so, we fight the devil incarnate.


As per usual, we make sure the Blue Crystal is fitted in the Sword, we use the Akbal Jewel, and just for good measure, we use the Ring of Itza too. Now lets punch a god from a time long dead!

Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 03:10 AM

Take that, squiddles!


Ha! Can’t perform unspeakable acts on someone you can’t catch.


After a downright ludicrous number instances of Badly Damaging Tentacula, we successfully kill a God. Good for us. And now to check on Notta, to see how alive and undefiled she is.


Looking at the stand shows us that Notta is resting peacefully after her ordeal. Surprising that the battle against a timeless horror from the mists of prehistory didn’t wake her. Also, who changed her clothes?

I’m not sure if it’s denial on The Dudes part, or poor and bizarre censorship on Nintendos, but we’re quite assured that Notta is alive. But we should use that Censer that can raise the dead on her, just to be on the safe side.


We Put the Senser on the Floor, put the Incense in the Censer, and use our Lighter to Light the Incense. I was starting to think we were never going to use that lighter.


All right, we managed to break the… “spell”.

Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 03:11 AM

Well, yes we did.


All right then, one Key Thrust coming up.
Did… did she know that Jose was a demon and is now dead? Did she even ask?


Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 03:12 AM

And so, Tentacula’s shrine collapses in a shower of pixels.


It seems that we are now in the Mayan Civilization as a result of using the Sun Key? I guess there’s time travel involved?

And Professor Imes is also alive and well, and a high priest in New Mayaland.

And we are treated to the wedding (possibly) of The Dude and Notta, as they are the conquering heroes what killed Tentacula.


And so, everything turned out the best for everyone involved. Except for Jose, who is dead, and Tentacula, who is also dead.

Ultimately the whole experience left me with a single question:
How the heck did anyone beat this game without some kind of a hint guide? Seriously?

08-08-2008, 07:18 AM
Everyone seems proud that The Dude, Sr. is now a Mayan High Priest, but isn't he performing live sacrifice and eating hearts?

Or was that just the Aztecs?

Octopus Prime
08-08-2008, 08:17 AM
You can't really tell in the screens, but that thing in the middle of the altar is spurting a lot of red stuff. So maybe he just finished?

Also, I think that was the Aztecs.

Or, at the very least, the Thugee.

Kali-Ma, Kali-Ma

08-08-2008, 08:31 AM
Modderam Suggeram...Modderam Suggeram...*chant*

08-08-2008, 10:37 PM
Good god, better you than me. I'm glad I didn't run into this game as a kid. I was annoyed enough by Goonies 2.

08-09-2008, 10:06 AM
Great LP! I looked forward to your updates. Thanks!

Pajaro Pete
08-10-2008, 03:00 PM
It's gonna suck when they realize that the Mayans didn't have things like tampons or deodorant. Or indoor plumbing. Or air conditioning. Etc, etc, etc.

Octopus Prime
08-10-2008, 03:16 PM
Yeah, well, when life gives you Mayans you make... mayonaisse.

08-11-2008, 12:43 AM
Yeah, well, when life gives you Mayans you make... mayonaisse.

Ba Dumm - DISSSSH!!!

Pajaro Pete
08-11-2008, 02:42 AM
Also it's going to suck when their white people diseases wipe out all the Mayans. Because then they'll have... spoiled mayonnaise.

08-11-2008, 06:26 PM
can't say these puzzles are anymore obscure than the ones you find in shadowgate, deja vu, and that other game... man I hate those games... damn torches... damn... just damn... People think PC adventures games are hard.

Good show though, awesome LP!

Octopus Prime
08-11-2008, 06:29 PM
can't say these puzzles are anymore obscure than the ones you find in shadowgate, deja vu, and that other game... man I hate those games... damn torches... damn... just damn... People think PC adventures games are hard.

Good show though, awesome LP!

A good chunk of the time you can't manipulate objects if you're looking right at them.

That part is irritating.