Celine Kalante (kjorteo) wrote in videogame_tales,
Celine Kalante

The Dagger of Amon Ra, Part 14: Hurry up! (Part 2)

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Act 5 is a very fast-paced act, so I wanted to hold off on making these updates until I had the entire act completed and could post them all at once. This is not the place to leave you hanging for literal years as I've unfortunately done before (sorry about that.)

Last time, we hid in a sarcophagus and threw Mr. X off our trail. Now what?

In his unsuccessful search for Laura, Mr. X helpfully cleared the way into the employee-only room. Now, I know what you're thinking: following him sounds like about the worst idea in the world, compared to, say, getting the hell out of the museum. Or going literally any direction except toward him. Unfortunately, 1) even if we got to the rotunda, the front door is still locked, remember? And 2) you don't really have any way of knowing this, but Mr. X already finished his search of the employee-only area and moved on, and is currently in the Life Mask room. Going south from this screen is an automatic death, since come up from there and catch you.

Therefore, the employee room it is!

And inside is... crates.

We can set up another obstacle if Mr. X comes back by clicking on the suspended crate to swing it over in front of the door, then cutting the cable with either the wire cutters or the Dagger of Amon Ra. I'm not counting this in the unwinnable score, though, because cutting the cable is optional. In fact, according to the walkthroughs, it does nothing at all. If you run out of time, Mr. X will just smash his way through the crate like it's, well, a video game crate. Therefore, I actually might have wasted a few seconds doing this. Oh, well, I have enough of a lead to afford it and it's neat to see.

Back to business. Clicking on the far crate reveals a secret passage.

Behind the secret passage is a secret elevator. Throwing the switch makes it descend. At this point, it plays a very happy and victorious fanfare, like we already won. We did it! We escaped Mr. X! Hooray! Thank you for watching and reading this pl--

OH GOD NO. Okay, you can't hear this, but the music turned back to the first theme, the scary intense one. Why is it playing the scary intense one? Furthermore, why did the elevator leave me here and rise up again on its own as soon as I got out? That's... oh. Those are probably related.


Well, I guess we have some more barricades to throw up, like, right now.

Close the door, first. Obviously. We need to block it, though. Is there anything lying around... the mummy. Wait, no, that's terrible. We're not going to... really, walkthrough? Okay, I guess we really are going to prop a mummy against this door.



I... okay.

So, uh, that's a thing that happened. What now? This room is a dead end.

Wait, that sarcophagus on the left wall, the only one close enough for Laura to reach...

A snake, huh? Then we just need... the snake catcher. That's intuitive, right? Using a snake catcher on a sarcophagus because it has a snake? Shut up, if I wasn't just getting all my answers from the walkthroughs then I never would have made it even this far.

Look, Laura just put a full-sized actual mummy in her purse and then immediately took it out again when she needed to block a door. Just roll with it, okay?

(Also, I'm not counting this in the unwinnable score because I don't think it's even possible to enter Act 5 without the snake catcher. You need it to subdue Barney in Act 4.)

The sarcophagus houses a secret door, which the snake catcher just opened. And through there...

Oh, right. Yvette did say something about letting Rameses Najeer run his Amon Ra cult in the museum basement, didn't she.

For no reason whatsoever other than even the designers themselves have no idea whether they want any given scene to be tense or silly, the meat-carrying beetles and Daisy the ferret both randomly walk by (marching drum beat and everything!) at the same time the cultists walk up to capture Laura and lead her to certain death. Sierra, everybody.

You know, for being a random NPC who isn't enough of an actual character to have a face, attaining the Keeper of the Seven Keys look probably took a lot more work than Rameses just not even bothering with his hood. And yet Rameses is the important one? I don't know about this cult.

Speaking of trying to set a scary mood and then immediately ruining it, Rameses' speech.

Okay, that was a properly chilling line, though.

I realize that complaining about cultural sensitivity in this game now is like complaining about voice acting in this game now; it's not exactly a new problem. Still, this bothers me. Rameses (along with Dr. Smith) were up in arms about Dr. Carter stealing the Dagger from Egypt even before it was stolen from the museum. Western countries looting Egypt dry after Egyptology became a fad was and still is a very real problem; to this day, many of the Cairo museum's exhibits are replicas and photographs because the real stuff is scattered throughout various museums in Europe. Rameses and Dr. Smith were each set up to have a perfectly valid point about a legitimate injustice... but nah, turns out Rameses is just bitchy because he's quite literally an insane cultist. Whew! That was close. For a minute, there, I was worried I might have to start feeling bad about keeping the sacred artifact his entire country wants back in my purse.

Of course, the cult is such an obvious cartoon caricature that even Laura sees through it, which earns her a chance to talk her way out of this, because anyone who actually knows about Egyptology can't be all bad, right? I was going to say the turn/segue/overall flow of the dialogue was at least well done, which it is, but at the same time I'm not sure I like the implications of outsmarting the cultists by knowing Egypt better than they do.

(No, I'm kidding. The game doesn't actually do that. It's just that the setup was too good and I couldn't resist.)

No, but seriously,

It's the womb/tomb riddle Ziggy alluded to in Act 1, with you having to spell out the answers in the heiroglyphics which of course you remembered to transcribe into your notebook back in Act 3.

Unwinnable count: 4 (I'm counting this twice since you need to have found and examined both halves of the Rosetta Stone.)

Not only are their ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics a convenient straightforward English alphabet cypher, thus putting their entire language about on par with, say, Wingdings, but they're used in a two-part riddle with rhyming wordplay that's also clearly English. This isn't a language; it's a secret decoder ring instructing us to be sure to drink our Ovaltine. No wonder Laura is better at Egypt than these Egyptians. I'm better Egypt than these Egyptians, and I'm as white as Dr. Carter.

Pro tip: When forging a tense and tentative agreement with a murderous cult to let you leave as long as you swear to keep their location a secret, be sure to mention there's another person who's probably coming right behind you.

You know, the Dagger of Amon Ra that's currently... uh... still missing? No, I haven't seen it around anywhere, why do you ask?

"They will NOT leave thith room alive. Unleth they too are good at bathic children'th riddleth. I mean, you never know."

Well, that sure was a thing. Onward, to the next section!

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