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

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 23.3K 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.
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  • User Avatar Image
    Vainamoinen Moderator
    Why... are you doing this... to yourself?! :eek:

    It's like I decided to play "The Fall - Last Days of Gaya" again.
  • I thought about doing something like this too at some point. Davies does such a great job with his, though. Not sure I'd have the patience.

    I've always wondered about Simon 3D.
  • I called it:
    flesk wrote: »
    If it's graphics that makes the characters look like cardboard boxes it could be Simon the Sorcerer 3.

    Also, nice review. :) I love these kinds of Let's Plays. They're a lot easier for me to follow since they require less concentration and dedicated time than video reviews.
  • Aha! Bet you weren't expecting another part so soon! Well, I have to wait for a video of me collecting butterflies to convert, so here we are.

    ...yes, butterflies. Let's... let's not go there just yet. *shudder*

    Anyway. Where were we? Oh, right.
    That's not alcohol, sadly, that's Simon's soul. Which just raises another question of exactly how the good guys got hold of it, but whatever, let's just get this over with.

    They remove the seal and...

    ...start chanting. It's really rather dull. Next time I need to get off to sleep, I know what I'LL be listening to.

    Not quite sure why they've got the guard there. Maybe he was just tired of being left out. I dunno.

    Whatever the case, Simon's clearly had enough of it, as he legs it down the hole to try and get away from the constant droning noise that's suddenly started up. Because there's none of THAT in an ancient tomb, oh no.

    The old guys suddenly start waving their arms around, as if their pacemakers have just kicked in or something. Or maybe it's "the wave".


    ...yeah, doesn't quite work when there's only three of you, guys (I'm going to assume Amazonia Le HotPants isn't taking part).

    God clearly agrees, and sends bolts of... snowballs? Eh, whatever. They miss the old guys completely and smack Simon straight in the face. Trust me, he deserves far, far more than this.

    One of the old guys proclaims that "seven days and nights must pass" before Simon awakens. I'd complain, but since this cutscene's been dragging on for so long it already FEELS like a week's passed, I'll take that and run with it.

    The Pigtailed Princess here immediately makes herself out to be the most likeable character seen so far by claiming that they've wasted enough time on Simon already, that she's had enough the foul weather and that if the stories are true then Simon can make his own damn way out. I hereby proclaim this chick the best character in the entire game.

    This guy then says "oh dear". Clearly he knows something we don't.


    Time for a brilliant showcase of just how terrible the graphics are.



    ...and there's Simon. Still dead. Yay!


    And yes, those really are the textures they're going with. Hard to believe this came out the same year as Zelda: Wind Waker, isn't it?
    (Wind Waker came out in 2002 in Japan, so it bloody well counts, dammit!)

    Oh, and then he had to go open his mouth and start talking.

    Yes, one of the many, many, MANY benefits of only doing a Picture Playthrough of this is that you're spared the teeth-grinding, fingers-down-chalkboard, nails-in-eardrums pain of the primary voice actor. He's clearly a man in his late thirties desperately trying to sound like a teenage boy... and failing miserably.

    He's also trying to sound likeable, which is a frankly insulting thing for him to do given the actions Simon takes throughout the game. But we'll get to those. Oh yes we will.

    Oh, why are they focusing on that shot? It was bad enough the first time we saw it! Whatever. We've now established that Simon's trapped in this room.

    Gee, I wonder how we solve this 'puzzle'.

    "Now what" indeed, Simon. The Quit button's looking awfully tempting right about now, but that'd just be the easy way out.

    And so begins the first playable section. Christ, that only took 10 minutes. Reminds me of Daikatana, and the less I'm reminded of THAT bloated mess, the better.

    The first problem is with the controls. They're all over the place. We'll start with the movement controls, which are probably the least crippled. It's the arrow keys. Left and Right to turn...

    ...and Up and Down to move forwards and backwards. It's like driving a tank.

    Sort of.

    Let's head over to that blatantly obvious switch we saw earlier.

    ...after turning subtitles on, obviously. I'll be lowering the voices so I can avoid the terrible voicework from Simon, and you should be eternally grateful you don't have to listen to him at all.

    Right. Now, to the switch!

    LP-C1-011_zpsa9805ab2.png, if I could just remember which button I press to use stu-




    A fairy godmother. A Fairy. Fucking. Godmother.

    ...actually, you know what she reminds me of?


    Yes, I've played Magne Cum Laude.

    No, I am not proud of this fact.

    Simon is clearly on the same wavelength as every single person on the planet here. I suspect my take on the line would involve a lot more swearing though.

    ...oh. She's a bloody walking tutorial.

    FLYING. FLYING tutorial. Whatever.

    And she's god-damn useless as well. "Press ACTION"? Yeah? Well, what key's that then?

    ...tell you what. I'll let YOU guess what the ACTION key is. Go on, have a guess. I'll wait.




    ...not just scrolling down because you can't be bothered?

    ...OK then. Here's what, by default, the ACTION button is.

    ...100% sure you actually made a guess? OK.


    Yeah. Control. Because, y'know, that make PERFECT sense.

    (Oh, all right. You can use Enter as well. But they don't actually tell you that!)

    So let's use this bloomin' switch then.

    Oh wonderful. Because I'd never have figured out to do that on my own. All hail the great and powerful Godmother.

    And with that, she buggers off. Thank Christ.

    I'd like to point out I only found that funny because the Fairy Godmother is a right royal pain in the arse.

    So, what lies beyond the gate? What mystical treasures are there to be plundered? What crimes commited? What people insulted? Well I know, but you'll just have to wait and see.
  • I didn't know Minecraft had a Simon the Sorcerer mod. That's amazing!
  • User Avatar Image
    I agree with you on Simon's voice actor. I liked his VA in the talkie version of the first Simon game, but then (for some reason) they swapped VAs for the sequel, and also decided to change Simon from a likeable jerk to.. well, just a jerk. Simon 2 is a pretty good game as far as gameplay goes, but I have difficulty playing through it since there's quite a few moments when I'd rather punch Simon in the face than help him along on his quest.

    As for Simon 3D... yeah, I'm not going to touch that game, but I applaud you for having the bravery to play through it. Maybe if they had gotten Chris Barrie back in to voice Simon it would have been slightly more bearable, but no, they had to stick with that guy from the second game.
  • Syd wrote: »
    Simon 2 is a pretty good game as far as gameplay goes, but I have difficulty playing through it since there's quite a few moments when I'd rather punch Simon in the face than help him along on his quest.
    Oh, it gets worse. It gets so, SO much worse.

    Glad you guys are enjoying this. Not entirely sure how long I'll keep it going, but I'm hoping all the way through. We'll see.

    Quick question - are the pictures too big? That was my main concern when doing this, but if I try to resize them then the subtitles become harder to read. Thoughts?
  • User Avatar Image
    Quick question - are the pictures too big? That was my main concern when doing this, but if I try to resize them then the subtitles become harder to read. Thoughts?

    It's fine for me. It doesn't stretch the posts out or anything like that.

    Anyway, if the pictures were too small, we wouldn't be able to bask in the radiant glory of Simon 3D's stunning graphics.
  • Cool.

    Anyway, surprise! Mini-update!

    One thing I forgot to mention is this blatant bit of dickery from the Fairy Godmother.




    OK, so, yeah, this game came out in the golden age when manuals not only existed, but also actually contained useful information, including a nice list of all the controls right in the middle of the manual so that it's more than likely to be the first page you see when you open the booklet.

    Odd, then, that the game feels the need to explicitely tell you to refer to the manual while it's in the middle of its tutorial section. Y'know, that thing which is EXPLICITELY DESIGNED TO TEACH YOU HOW TO ACTUALLY PLAY THE GAME.


    The sad thing is, I did refer to the manual several times until I'd gotten the hang of the controls, and even then I had to keep going back to it whenever I had to combine inventory items, which is horrifically complicated and I'll show you in more detail when we get to it. Ugh.

    Anyway. Hope you enjoyed this little bonus segment, and hopefully a proper installment will be up soon.

    (For the record, the T-Shirt is the Game Grumps 'TenOuttaTen' one - thanks to Coolsome for telling me where to get it [and sharing the code for free postage, woo])
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