FISH! by Stefan Posthuma
After some heavy Saturday-nightlife, I barely made it to Sunday,
I was so exhausted that I generated a kwik-time envelope around
my room. The 8 hours I spent in my bed were actually three weeks,
so I am fit again. About this nightlife, it usually involves lots
of humans in a very noisy and smoky environment trying to make
rhythmic movements to the extremely loud and rhythmic music being
played. In my case the two rhythms clash so violently that they
completely annihilate each other so other people, especially the
girl I'm with (whose movements are a lot more gracious) don't
notice my insane behaviour. The social structure of the typical
Earth disco is pretty complicated. It evolves around males trying
to buy females drinks, and females trying not to get involved in
any post-nightlife activities usually based on the human repro-
duction. Also, the males are trying their utmost best to have a
conversation with the females, and at a certain point, they have
run out of things to say which results in both the male and the
female starting to eye other interesting species of the opposite
sex which will eventually result in another exchange of drinks
and smalltalk. Also, the aforementioned rhythmic movements are
important because they give the humans an opportunity to really
get rid of all their frustrations by subtly stepping on other
people's toes or bumping elbows into people's chests and apologi-
zing with a sick grin. When the night progresses, the loud music,
the smoke and extreme quantities of alcoholic fluids will
intoxicate the participants in such a way that they will have
brain-mangling hangovers the next day and will not be able to
perform any post-nightlife activities with that interesting
person who finally decided to have a go at it.
On such Sundays, warping can be lethal and is not recommended.
After years of dedicated training, long lunchbreaks and painful
semi-warps, you finally made it to Inter-Dimensional Agent. After
successfully completing some tough missions, you have finally
deserved the ultimate Voluntary Vacation and you have warped
yourself into a body of a goldfish. Just when you got the hang of
swimming upside down, somebody got the crazy idea to dump a
plastic castle in your bowl, upsetting the neat piles of ant-eggs
you reserved for dinner. Too bad, must be Panchax's work. This
can only mean one thing: Trouble.
After carefully entering the castle, you are contacted by Panchax
and he tells you that the Seven Deadly Fins are at large again.
This time, they invaded a planet full of fish and it is your job
to stop them. After apologizing for interrupting your vacation,
Panchax projects four warps into the castle. Each warp contains a
different mission, and you have to complete the three small warps
before you can enter the final, big warp.
For those of you not really familiar with the term 'warp', a
quick explanation will be given. For full details, refer to a
book like 'Warping along with Blowtorch'.
Warping is a technique in which you project your mind into a
being of another dimension. A host-parasite interface will be set
up and you control the being. This means that you can become
anything you want, but a humanoid host is the most familiar and
efficient. Once the host-parasite interface has been set up,
there are three ways you can get back to your previous shape:
- the body of the host becomes too damaged for you to fulfil
- relaxation of the host, sleep will do it.
- flashing lights, loud noise and other psychically disturbing
experiences will certainly warp you back.
(so stay away from Earth disco's or a Seven Deadly Fins
The first warp, the small one will warp you into the body of a
record-company associate and the first thing you'll be faced with
is a very irritating producer who demands coffee. Your colleague,
Rod, can help you out with that. Find the combination to the
producer's filing cabinet and you'll find what you are looking
The second warp, the smooth one will warp you into a rainy forest
in which you'll meet Micky Blowtorch, once a famous agent, now a
half-crazed warp-junkie. The object is to find the smithy, and
create some gold object. Watch out for the exploding parrot
The third warp will bring you to a deserted van, into the body of
a band-member, close to some old ruins. You'll have to find a
gargoyle, bring it to an altar room in the catacombs under the
ruin and find a grommet. Put the sarcophagus lid in the doorway
if the hippies keep messing you up. That's all the advice I can
give you about this one.
After completing the three warps, you can enter the big one, and
face the Seven Deadly Fins. Nothing is known about that.
As you will have noticed, the latest Mangetic Scrolls adventure
is crazy. It is absurd. In fact, I love it, because it is totally
Douglas Adams' style. The prose in this adventure contains some
very dry and absurd humor, and those who apreciate this will be
delighted by it. Only the fact that you start out as a goldfish
and have to tackle an exploding parrot are enough to indicate the
kind of humor used here. Clearly, this the most funny adventure
that Magnetic Scrolls have conceived uptill now. It is almost as
crazy as Infocom's Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy, and is
certainly as good.
About the quality, I can be short. It is up to the usual high
standards, with an intelligent parser, brilliant graphics and
some nifty puzzles. It has some faults though, for example, the
parser doesn't know the word 'key', the most basic word in any
adventure! Now I know that you don't need a key in this
adventure, but I was kind of blinking my eyes when I got "I don't
understand key" on my screen.
But I shouldn't be picking on details, it is an excellent
adventure. As said before, the prose is very entertaining and
humorous, sometimes even a little sarcastic. "You bump your nose
into a door. You'll have to open it first. (The door or the nose?
- the door, idiot!)" I like that a lot.
The puzzles in this one are not too tough in the beginning. In
two days I managed to solve the first two mini-adventures, but
then I got stuck with the exploding parrot. Also, I haven't seen
anything of the real stuff, behind the glass warp, but I'll let
Math Claessens solve that.
The package is again very extensive. It comes with a fish-
recognition poster, a little leaflet telling you how to take care
of your goldfish, a credit card and a very humorous manual,
entirely in the Douglas Adams style, complete with references to
the most crazy books. It also has details on the Seven Deadly
Fins and chapters like 'Can I go to the bathroom now?' and 'How
to avoid becoming a warp-junkie'. Great stuff.
Again, Mangetic Scrolls have delivered a good adventure, and I
personally think this is their best 'till now, but that has
something to do with the excellent humour and a great manual.
Sound: None (limited to key bleeps)
Hookability: 9 (if you like Douglas Adams)
Value for money: 8.5
Overall rating: 9+
Remark: Fiendishly funny
Hardware: No special requirements
Many thanks have to go to Ania Makowska for sending the review
(Beta?) copy of this new and quite excellent Magnetic Scrolls
achievement. May your husband/boyfriend never become involved
with wearing digital, and may your towel never become greasy so
it slips off your head when facing the ravenous Bugblatter Beast
For info, contact:
64-76 Oxford Street
London WC1A 1PS