Questprobe Featuring The Human Torch And The Thing

Just like the first Questprobe title featuring the Incredible Hulk, I had a difficult time finding the third entry in the series. I eventually stumbled upon it at my local K-Mart, just like the Hulk title, and soon I was ready to Flame on as the Human Torch and invest in some quality Clobberin’ Time as the Thing.

First up, I want to give a huge thank you once again to the fantastic Gaming After 40 Blog for not only most of the screencaps you see posted below but for reminding me of this great game series from my youth.

I will come right out and say I think this is possibly the hardest of the three Questprobe titles. I’ve mentioned in the Hulk and Spider-Man posts that there were some puzzles that really stumped me, and thankfully my Grandmother was by my side to help me with a few of them. Well, if you thought the Hulk transformation puzzle was tough wait until you see what the Chief Examiner (Actually the great programmer Scott Adams as Gaming After 40 pointed out) starts you out on in this title!

Questprobe #3 allows you to switch between the two members of the Fantastic Four team at will, something different at the time and honestly quite refreshing. The Gaming After 40 site does point out that this was merely part 1 of the Fantastic Four Questprobe series, that the second title would have surely featured Reed Richards and Susan Richards. The next Questprobe game in line was to be the X-men (I wonder what team members you would have played?), though sadly Adventure International went bankrupt in 1985 before it could be completed.

At the start of the game you learn that the Thing is stuck and sinking in a tarpit, which means you have to find a way as the Human Torch to free him…or so I thought when I first started playing. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent on this first puzzle and how many times I watched poor Benjamin J. Grimm sink to his death. Considering how much I loved the Thing, he is still one of my favorite of the Marvel characters…this was a tough thing to endure over and over again. So what could I do? Well, as the Human Torch I certainly could flame on and try to burn the tar…which sadly killed the Thing…I could fly, so I tried to grab the Thing while flying.

That worked, sort of. I could hold on to him but not pull him out of the tar. Next to the pit there was a shack, I could enter it and find a candle or when I was getting frustrated over watching the animated Thing drowning in the tar pit I could burn the shack to the ground in a fit of despair. That didn’t exactly help though.

Thankfully my Father who to be honest doesn’t have any love for gaming asked what I could do as the Thing, well typing ‘Switch’ I was now the Thing, stuck in tar. The obvious choices of Swim or when the Torch burned the shack down to reveal a chimney ‘Grab chimney’ didn’t work. My Father was the one who said the obvious, ‘Hold Breath’. Bingo. It all clicked at that moment. The Human Torch obviously doesn’t need a candle so I typed ‘Switch’ and gave the candle to the Thing, switched back and held my breath. Sure enough I went under the tar and received a message that states, “I’m being sucked down by something!”, but eventually that message stopped. Feeling around I was told that the Thing is feeling machinery…so it was obviously…Clobberin’ Time!

While you are still in the dark, you can now move about freely and eventually find a source of light, a wall of fire that can be used to light your candle and allow you explore the underground more easily.

There are a couple of guest appearances in the way of villains like in the previous Questprobe titles, this time you get to meet the Circus of Crime (Boy, Ringmaster really gets around a lot in these games.), Xandu, the Blob, and Doctor Doom…well, sort of Doctor Doom.

Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man (1985)

This Z-Machine Wednesday we are keeping with the fantastic Questprobe series by Scott Adams and I want to give a very big thanks to the Gaming After 40 blog for most of the images below as well as for jogging my memory concerning these Marvel Comic early text/graphic adventures!

I did far better at finding the second title in the Questprobe series than I had with the Hulk, almost as soon as I was done with the the Ol’ Jade Jaws adventure I found the Spider-Man game at my local Sears. No need this time to have to resort to my Grandmother, I was able to walk out of the store with a minimum of fuss, and less than an hour later I was back home in front of my C-64 and I was ready for my spider-sense to tingle!

I also found myself doing far better at the game than I had with the first Questprobe game. Of course by reading the copyright credits I learned I was going to be facing a pretty impressive roster of Spidey villains. With the likes of the Ringmaster, Electro, Hydro-Man, Sandman, Mysterio (Yay!), Doctor Octopus, and the Lizard. There was also a mention of the Chief Examiner and Madame Web, I had to run and go get my Marvel Universe comics to do some quick research on her, glad to read that she wasn’t a villain but a type of seer when you get down to it.

Yet again you are tasked by the Chief Examiner (Scott Adams) to collect the available gems that are hidden and protected throughout the building by various traps and dastardly villains. The game takes place in the Daily Bugle and while I did get stuck on some of the puzzles it seems like there was an upgrade in the parser recognition because it certainly seemed easier to use than on the Hulk, as Gaming After 40 points out on his site as well. It allowed for easier commands to get your tasks done.

I really enjoyed this title, I felt like I was actually helping Spider-Man in one of his comic book adventures. I did enjoy the Hulk but I guess I just feel that Spidey is better suited for a text/graphic puzzle game. Make sure to follow the link to the Gaming After 40 blog when you get the time, it is full of a bunch of entertaining items, like other classic text adventure reviews and even incredible things like Q*bert Merchandise!