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Let's Play... Simon the Sorcerer 3D

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 22.6K users
So I'm doing a run through that most infamous of bad adventure games, Simon the Sorcerer 3D. This is so I can do a Madisun's Arc review of it, and like all my video game reviews I'm playing through the whole thing and recording it so that I essentially have a complete video run of the game.

The thing is, doing this is long. And boring. And requires me to convert a LOT of videos from massive avi files (3.95GBs each) into smaller wmv ones that don't take up every bit of free space on my hard drive. And while the videos are converting, I can't actually play the game. Well, maybe I could, I dunno, but I don't really want to be converting video files AND recording footage from a game at the same time. I think my motherboard might melt.

So, during this down time, I figured I'd do something. Going back to the videos I've already converted to wmv files, I'm grabbing screenshots from them and I'm going to do a picture based storytelling exercise... thing.

So here we go!

Let's Play... Simon the Sorcerer 3D

The game opens up with a blatant rip-off from Star Wars. Because that was topical. (Actually, it was - the game came out around the same time The Phantom Menace was released on DVD. So this comment is probably a bit redundant and I should therefore probably stop talking.)

This text basically sums up the events of the first two games. I'll explain most of it as we go along, so I won't bother telling you exactly what it says here.

This is Runt. No, seriously. That's his name.


He's the 'apprentice' for the main villain of the series...


Oh no, it's just the titular SIMON THE SORCERER.

Oddly enough, you actually play as the bad guy in this series. It's a refreshing change from the norm, and makes the franchise a lot more interesting as a resul-

Oh, right. This isn't actually Simon. It's the warlock Sordid, who's spirit possessed Simon's body at the end of the previous game. Sorry. As you'll see later on, Simon's so vicious to people it's hard to tell the difference between him and the villain sometimes!

Sordid's been taking Simon's body on a funky little joy-ride, and while he's been away, Runt (god I feel so stupid every time I say that) has built him a nice new body to inhabit.

Which he promptly does.

Because let's be honest, if you had the chance to take on the form of a giant ED-209-like monster machine, you would to.

(How he'll ever get laid again is a question for the ages, but I guess we're not supposed to think about that.)

Runt (ugh) tells Sordid (actually, that sounds dirty as well. I think I'll need a shower after I'm done with this) about his plan for finding 'The Ancient One'.

He'll have to be more specific than that though, since there's around a thousand 'Ancient Ones', most of which aren't going to be particularly inclined to help a pair of Sordid Runts.

I mean, do they mean the guy who taught Doctor Strange?


The guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?


This... THING from Star Wars?


Be a little more specific people, that's all I'm asking!

Then they both have a good laugh over a dirty joke. I think. I kinda zoned out there trying to decide which Ancient One they were talking about.

Uh, where were we?

Oh. Right. We're... somewhere else now. In the rain, apparently.
(You can't tell because it's just pictures, but there's no sound effects whatsoever here. It's really very weird seeing the rain but not actually hearing it. Odd disconnect.)

And we get a glorious ass shot (or at least it would be a glorious ass shot if the graphics weren't so awful) of some chick who must be absolutely freezing as she carries Simon's body to the top of a... wait.


No, seriously - How. Did. She. Do. That? You can't just brush something like that under the rug, game! It's a pretty big thing to skip over! Explain, dammit! EXPLAIN!



So the chick just leaves Simon's body at the top of the stairs as she does a dramatic pose in front of three old guys, which diminishes the effect somewhat, but I guess she takes what she can get.

Fortunately the old guys can make Simon's body float over to them, which just begs the question of why the hell they didn't do that in the first place instead of making Lara McNotCroft drag him all the way to the top of the pyramid.


And so they lower Simon's body into the pit of sharp pointy things coated with horribly nasty poison, and he was never heard from again.

Everyone toasts to a job well done and the game is over.


...I wish.
252 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • ...and we're back.

    OK, so we were at the Gingerbread house. Let's head inside and see what atrocities the game will have us commit this time.



    Anybody home?


    Aw man, but stealing stuff's the whole point of adventure games! Weak!

    Wait a second... where IS the witch? Maybe we can reason with her? Do a trade perhaps?


    Oh. I can't help but feel a little let down by that.

    Never mind - let's go rummage around and see what's here. We might not be able to nick anything but that doesn't mean we can't still...


    ...hmm. It might limit our actions here somewhat, I guess. Oh well. Let's have a look round anyway.


    Ah. Now that book could be useful. Might it teach us an actual spell, so that Simon can live up to the name of Sorcerer?


    Is that IT? Lame...

    ...oh, wait - we needed magic beans, didn't we? Or, rather, that inbred yokel (don't look at me, that's what the game calls him) needed. OK, let's go for it then.

    The recipe says that we need kidney beans, water, sugar and vegetable extracts, and we mix those with the sweat of a frog.

    ...well, OK then.

    Now we have kidney beans, from that chilli. So we might as well throw that into the cauldron behind us.


    It's a little hard to see, but the small red things by Simon's fingers are the beans.

    As for the water, sugar and vegetable extracts... well, your average carbonated beverage has all of those, so let's see if that's what the game wants.



    (Actually, I had to go and get a new can, since, if you recall, we used the last one on the washers. I skipped showing me doing that - you're welcome)

    As for the frog sweat... we'll have to come back to that, I think. Let's get back to exploring the house.


    A spinning wheel, eh?

    Hang on - lemme try and remember my Disney films. Didn't Princess... was it Aurora? Whatever - didn't she prick her finger on this and fall asleep?

    That could be useful. Let's see if we can use it or somethin-


    Oh, Simon. You IDIOT.


    There, you see. You're dead now. You're dead because you're stupid. You're stupid, and you're dead.

    We then get a minute of nothing but a blank screen, punctuated only by a very foppish sounding man saying things like this:

    LP-C1-229_zps4c1a6bc5.png can probably guess where this is going, can't you.




    Oh you big prude.

    (Fun fact - Simon kisses more men than women in this game)


    Oh, it's the running joke that never gets old. Mostly because it died on the second go, and you don't age when you're already dead.

    Anyway. This is Prince Valiant. He's a Hero, he does incredibly noble things, and is far superior to Simon in every single way because he doesn't do horrible, vicious things to people in order to save the day.

    So naturally we're going to do something horribly vicious to him.


    Like, say, give him the needle to repair his torn shirt.

    And the second he walks out of the door with it...



    Yeah, it's pretty much just a sound effect, which is rather hard to get across in a series of screenshots.

    Imagine the sound of a boulder rolling down a hill and then smacking into a pile of dirt. That's pretty much the sound we get. It's not particularly magical at all.

    Oh well. Let's go and see what's happened to him then.


    Yes, we've turned the greatest hero of the land into a fucking FROG.


    So we pick him up, as well as the needle he took with him. It's still got enough poison on it to send one more person to sleep, according to what Prince Valiant said before we conned him into becoming an amphibian.

    ...wait. Didn't the recipe for magic beans call for frog's sweat?

    Oh, I think the game's going to make me do another horrible thing, isn't it.


    Are... are you shitting me? You're going to make me put the froggified Prince Valiant into a fucking furnace?


    ...this... this isn't funny.

    This is SICK.


    ...I think this officially makes Simon the most despicable video game character I've ever controlled. AND I'VE PLAYED EVIL GENIUS.



    Look, let's just get him out and never speak of this again.


    I thoroughly despise you for this. Do us all a favour and shut yourself in the damn furnace.


    Let's get the sweat in the cauldron then.


    Oh for Christ's sake, you're not even being gentle, you tosser!

    At least I ASSUME you're not. It's hard to tell, what with your hands being massive boxes with lines painted on them. Jesus, these graphics are AWFUL.


    You 'sort of' feel responsible?


    ...I really can't take much more of this, guys. I am officially playing the most unlikeable, unpleasant cockbite in the history of video games.


    Right. Magic beans. OK. Let's go give 'em to the yokel. I hope they were bloody worth it.


    ...OK, that's faintly amusing.

    The cow then runs off to the building next to the Chamber of Rebirth (or, rather, next to the guy in the pool), so let's head over there.


    Remember how I skipped over a building? Yep, this is it. Impressive, isn't it.

    Daisy the cow's on the left there. We use the machine she's on, and we get some butter. Fantastic. Quite frankly I'm amazed nobody got hurt in the process.

    ...oh. I just had a horrible, horrible idea.


    Remember this guy? I mentioned he was tired and basically running on caffeine. Let's try pricking him with the needle and letting him doze off.


    JESUS CHRIST! That wasn't a prick, that was a full-on STAB ATTACK! Oh god, the sound effect...


    Oh god... oh no... tell me he's not-



    Did I... did I just kill him?


    Oh god, I did! Oh dear god! I didn't want this! I just meant to knock him out!


    I don't even want to take the bell now! I don't even want to play any more!
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    Oh Simon, you heartless bastard. Murdering people with that ever-present smirk on your face.

    It's easy to see that they were attempting to write Simon as a likable jerk, but for some reason they completely left out the "likable" part, and that's pretty important. They could have just continued writing him with the personality he had in the first game, and it would have been fine. Sure, his original incarnation was a bit bland, but it was infinitely better than this.

    Also, love all those closeups that are shoving the horrible graphics into the player's face. Giant cube hands!
  • I thought I was going to have something funny to say about all of this, but I've got nothing.
  • Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. A funny Adventure game. For kids!
  • ...and we're back.

    I'm gonna try and limit the number of screenshots in each part to around 25. Just for the record.

    So after we caused the death of the Keeper of the Bell (the game never actually explicitly says he's dead, but let's be honest - he is) we promptly stole said bell. Well, it's not as if the dude's going to be needing it any more. Although since the point of the bell is to guide souls who have untimely died to the Sacred Tree, he really DOES need it now. Oh well.

    We now have almost everything we need for the gnome flinging contest... except an actual gnome to fling. So let's go get one.


    Now you may recall this place. It's where I was distracted by the sweets. This is the gnome village of, and I kid you not, Dungnomin' Village. Oh, my sides.

    Let's head in and see if we can't find us a willing gnome.


    Here's another thing you probably wouldn't figure out on your own. If you try and use the door while standing up, Simon won't do it, claiming it's too small. You have to crouch, THEN use the door.



    Your mere appearance in the village causes everyone to run away and hide. Honestly, I can't say I blame them. I'd hide too if I saw Simon coming my way, nightmarish hellspawn that he is.

    We do still need a gnome though, so let's see if we can tempt one out.


    Yes, I know this image is pointless, I just wanted to point out the graphical glitch. :)

    The only house we can reach is on the right, so let's head that way.


    Yeah, this is the one. Now apparently gnomes have a love of shiny things (although how you're supposed to figure this out I don't know, since the game gives you NO hints about this), so let's try using the washers here.


    Aha! (Look by Simon's left hand - these screenshots are a lot darker than I remember the game being)

    Now we can't just grab the guy, since he'll fight back, biting Simon's hand and escaping. All actions I approve of. But dammit, we need that gnome, so we have to do something typically awful to it. Like, say, trap it under the bell.


    Well, actually, that wasn't so bad.

    Of course, we still can't take the gnome, since he'll just fight back again. So what do we do now?


    Well of COURSE we whack the bell with HAMMOR, likely making the poor little guy deaf in the process. What else did you expect?


    This doesn't come across too well in screenshots, sorry. Mind you, it doesn't look particularly good in motion either, so it's a moot point either way.




    Again, it doesn't come across in screenshots, but the guy's VIBRATING. No wonder he feels weird.

    Well, we have all we need to take part in the gnome flinging contest. I hope you're ready for this.


    OK. So we head back to the contest and load up our... dynamite powered telescope tube. Yes, he was serious when he said that.

    First, we pop some dynamite into the telescope (the game doesn't show you doing this, it's all done on the inventory screen).

    Next we try and put the gnome into the telescope.



    Hmm. Maybe we can grease him up with someth-


    BUTTER. Naturally.


    And now he slides in nicely.

    Time to do something else horribly evil.


    ...can we go one puzzle that doesn't end with Simon killing something? Please?


    Anyway. We got the trophy.


    I'm not a particularly happy winner, either.
  • ...and we're back.

    Right. So now that we've got the trophy, we can give it to the man at the (former) bridge.


    Simon throws it across, and in return, the guy on the other side provides us with...

    Wait, what the hell is that?


    Oh, you prick.

    Well, it's all we've got, so we may as well give it a go.


    And so begins another 'action sequence'.

    The problem with these is that the game simply doesn't explain what you're supposed to do or how the controls work. So we've essentially got to walk across a tightrope to cross this ravine, but we don't know how.

    So chances are, this'll happen.


    ...couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.

    What you're actually supposed to do is press left and right alternately when you're on the rope to very slowly step across it. No need to worry about balancing or whatever, you just need to make Simon step forwards.

    Once you realize that, it becomes fairly simple, pressing left, waiting half a second, then pressing right, then half a second, left, half a second, right, etc.

    The problem then becomes the fact that this takes AGES. It's a good minute and a half of pressing left, then right, then left. It's very boring.


    Eventually I make it across, and will never have to do it again because by the next time I need to get across someone's rebuilt the bridge proper. Thank the maker.

    After heading down the path that follows, we get to...



    And just to kick you in the teeth, the first minute or so has no voices. Yes, it's the bug from earlier in the game, come back to haunt me. The problem is, the cutscene was pretty dull as is, and having no voices just makes it nigh intolerable.


    I'll summarise for you. Melissa Leg, as her name turns out to be, needs to find the Swampling, a character from a previous game who proved to be inexplicably popular, probably because he has a voice like someone doing a bad impression of Bluebottle from the Goon Show.

    In return for finding the Swampling, Melissa will provide Simon with fuel for his wardrobe, which is how he was transferred to this world in the first second place.

    Boom. Done. That took me all of 30 seconds. The game? 5 MINUTES.


    It's worth pointing out that Calypso, the wizard who wanted to see us, tells us absolutely nothing important. In fact, his only contribution is to give us a map to McSwampies, the fast food restaurant that Swampling had established prior to the second game.

    But enough of this boring conversation. We're in a new location! Let's explore.






    Yes, apparently. For ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, this room is located beyond a flight of stairs and a long twisty corridor. This is completely and utterly pointless. The ONLY reason I can think of for doing this is to disuade people from going down here, and that just makes no goddamn sense whatsoever!

    Anyway. After spending a minute and a half going through the padding corridor, we emerge into the main room of the pub.


    (The door we just came out of is on the very right edge of the picture there)

    The man at the bar is a vacuum cleaner salesman, and he gives us a (frankly pointless) leaflet about them if we talk to him. We can also remind him of the wife who's just left him, which will cause him to down the drink he's got and demand another from the barman, who pours him one from the pump.

    The barman, on the other hand, is useless at this point. He does tell us about a ghost that's just taken up residence in the place, but we can't do anything about that for another couple of chapters, so we'll leave it be.

    There's also a bottle of whiskey to the right of the barman. Remember that - we'll come back to it soon enough.

    Further to the right is another door. We'll go that way.


    It leads to another corridor. There's two doors here - we'll go in the one marked 'Beer Garden' (if you can make out the lo-res image, that is).


    There's some BBQ tongs next to, of all things, a BBQ. We'll take the tongs and make a mental note of the BBQ.

    That's it for the garden. Let's head back inside to the Games Room.


    Not a whole bunch in here we can interact with. There's a goblin playing darts we can bet with - it's not too hard to win, and if you do, you win 5 groats. Since I still have 300 by this point, I can safely skip this.

    Only other things of note are the fireplace, which means there's a chimney above us somewhere, and the window, which the goblin won't let us open. I sense a contrived puzzle here!

    So, with that said and done, let's go outside!


    And here's the map, which (again) only shows when you enter a phone box. Everything's still spaced out, but nowhere near as much as the fields, so I'm more willing to forgive it. It's also fairly linear, which helps immensely.

    Anyway. That black dot north-east of where we are now is...


    Let me explain what's going on here, since the visuals are so terrible it's hard to tell. This is a cart that's broken, so there's a man underneath trying to fix it.

    The cart's held up with a jack, and since Simon takes special notice of it, I guess we're going to have to do something awful again, aren't we?


    For added points, we later find out that as a result of this, the guy under there has broken his back.




    I'm actually willing him on.



    Whatever. Moving on.


    As I run around town, I inadvertantly run in front of a van. I wasn't even paying attention at the time, I genuinely did it by accident.

    LP-C2-017_zps78d25532.png naturally the guy stops, we have a conversation and I walk away with a free piece of cheese as a result. How? Why? I DON'T KNOW.


    Next up is the warehouse section. Absolutely nothing interesting here - except this:


    Yes, that is a box full of copies of The Feeble Files. Simon's actually pretty scathing about it, which is extremely odd. Especially since whatever problems Feeble may have had, at least his game was better than this one.


    He takes a disc anyway. Hey, free's free, am I right?

    Up next, I aid and abet a known fugitive. Woo!
  • The Feeble Files has only one problem and that's the mini game section, which is Simon The Sorcerer related.
  • I dunno, I thought some of the puzzles were absurdly hard to figure out. And the voices were... eh.

    It's still miles better than this though. Light years.
  • Never played it in English. The German version is excellent.
  • I have no reason to doubt you.
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