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Inquisitive Dave


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Rating: 4.5/5 (190 votes)
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inquisitivedave.gifMs.45What is freedom? Much greater minds than ours have wrestled with this concept (and much lesser, as a quick Google search will painfully demonstrate). Are you free to smoke, especially once the neural pathways have been nicely concreted? Are you free to not pay taxes (not in my jurisdiction, buddy)? What about freedom from intimidation, repression, people who wear white shoes after Labor Day?

Inquisitive Dave is one of those "breaking-the-fourth-wall" games wherein you're aware that you're playing a game. You know, the ones with the witty dialogue where you press "Talk" because the game suggests an interaction with a chair, only to be told "This is a chair...You could sit in the chair, but you have a world to save." Well, duh! I'm sitting in my freezing apartment wearing uncomfortable shoes and you think I don't know I'm playing a freakin' game?

The game is controlled with the [WASD]/[arrow] keys to move and jump along with [Ctrl] or [Space] to interact with the environment. A balloon appears above Dave's head when there's something to look at or someone to talk to, and even though every balloon doesn't necessarily progress the game, many offer clues you'll need later on, and some are just plain amusing.

So if the philosophy and plot behind this adventure game is so predictable, why a full review? Well, the artwork is reminiscent of Commander Keen in all its pixelated glory, and the animation is hilarious (I like to get Dave to jump around a lot just because he looks so overjoyed to be doing it). It's almost worth it to get killed because it's so funny. The puzzles sort of make sense (not a lot of sense, to be sure, but in theory you could use flour and cake mix to... er, never mind), and there's a nifty sense of achievement in working out how to beat the final boss. Be warned, though; if you're the sort of player who finds Daymare Town offensively easy, you're going to want the 10 minutes of your life spent on this game back. This is a game for players who really don't want to think too hard.

The only real point of criticism for this game would be its old-school nature. Retro gaming isn't for everybody, and the often mindless wandering combined with fairly straightforward puzzles, linear gameplay, and frequent pauses to read text won't appeal to everyone. Even still, the delicious mix of adventuring and platforming is hard to resist. Give it a whirl for yourself and see if you enjoy Dave's shenanigans as much as we did.

Play Inquisitive Dave

Cheers to Bob, Ace1217, Ted, DJ, Rodentmaster, Eddy, and Neonaxus for suggesting this one! =)

82 Comments

Corvidae Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 12:54 AM

Huh, cute (and surprisingly deep) ending.

Not tough at all, but the end boss requires... lateral thinking.

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It sort of bothers me that I'm immediately faced with music ripped off from Final Fantasy games. I thought this was supposed to be an original adventure?

Hopefully there won't be quite so many ripoffs for the rest of the experience...

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Wonderful game, and as the initial review said, the last boss was quite rewarding.

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Anonymous July 28, 2008 1:18 AM

Be careful..

I somehow ended up in the wizard's castle too soon, and there's no way out, except to restart :/

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waycooler Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 1:41 AM

arg i don't understand the last boss. lateral thinking is not my forte. i beat the first part fine, but i can't do the second part.

good game though

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Neonaxus Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 2:15 AM

Cool, I suggested this game a few days ago!

Yes, wonderful game, and the final boss scenario was very intriguingly, very good all around.

P.S: Play the game all the way through, the end is worth it even if you dislike the game.

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I got into the sewer, and I can't get back up!

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This game is really buggy, I got into the sewer and I can't get back up! I jumped 3 times on the platform the that note said, but the guard wouldn't go away.

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That was an interesting little jaunt. I'll put the rest of my thoughts in spoiler tags, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has completed the game.

While I enjoyed the first part of the game for its silly, retro feel, the end game was way too talky for my tastes. I just sat there hitting the space bar over and over again just to get the guy to shut up.

At first I thought it was the concepts presented that bothered me--that the game was a tired retread of ideas explored in films like The Matrix and The Truman Show. But then I realized that what bothered me was not the concepts, but the way in which they are presented. Put simply, I am reminded of the Creative Writing 101 mantra: show, don't tell.

I understand that some explanation is necessary, but I felt that there was way too much telling going on here. Hinting at something is often far more effective than leading the reader/audience by the hand through a long-winded explanation. Drop a few hints and let the player figure it out for themselves, and they will feel much more rewarded.

I hope that's not too harsh. I did think that the game was well made, I just think it could have been a lot more effective toward the end.

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I need help near the very end of the game.

When fighting the 2nd stage of the wizard , after hearing his speech I thought that maybe I need to go to the main menu and then he would appear and I would continue from there.

It did not seem to work. Can anyone give me a hint on how to pass this?

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 3:32 AM

What is this creative thinking? You just had to do nothing. I'd wish at universtiy they would perceive me doing nothing as creative thinking. :)

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does anyone know where i can find the

3rd slice

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I beat the game without finding any bugs.

But I have some questions:

Is there a use for the deflated football, the bicycle pump, and the cake mix?

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The boss walkthrough

Alligator:

once you face the alligator, go one screen back, cross the puddle, turn on the switch to electrify the water, wait till the alligator touches the water and see how it fries him.
WARNING: don't forget to turn off the switch again to prevent getting electrified yourself too.

The shooting guard:

Go stand on the platform at the right side of the screen and jump three times, that will scare him away.

The evil ghost:

at some point in the game you will find yourself a cross in the chest just outside the castle past the chicken farm, place that cross on the table in the room where the ghost is coming after you and bingo!

Evil wizard 1:

go stand in front of a random mirror, when the wizard shoots at you, you should press the "USE" button to turn the mirror up for like 3 seconds, this will return the energy ball back to the wizard and damage him.
to defeat him do the above for like....10 times or so?

Evil wizard 2:

this may just be the most easy ones of them all. first turn the switch to find out that it doesn't do anything, and finally just hide behind the wall and don't move a mussel, that will do it

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@JonMW

Nope there is no use for the football and the bicycle pump.

however:

you're gonna need the cake mix to get past something

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So, a victory for control...? Time to skip the predictable credits by suicide ;)

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SonicLover Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 5:51 AM

I've beaten this four times on other websites. The "final solution" I discovered by accident; I'm pretty lame at thinking outside the box.

I want to write a narrative walkthrough, but due to the nature of the game's presentation that wouldn't exactly work. What else could I do...?

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Loved it. One of the only games of this type i liked. :0

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I'm working on a walkthrough now.... (I know it doesn't need one except for maybe the end bit - but I'm bored and have always wanted to do a walkthrough :D

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@JonMW

Cake mix - yeah. You need that and the flour to 'thicken the water' to the far west to get across and get the handle for the water control.

Other two no.

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This reminded me a lot of a simpler Dizzy game. With a human named 'Dave' instead of an egg with feet and eyes and gloves hands called 'Dizzy' and 'Daisy' and stuff.

I liked it :)

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Walkthrough! Loved the game, a nice distraction for the morning.


1.

Nothing of use in this first scene yet, go to the right and pick up some paper from the large pile. Go back to the table and use the pen to write on the paper

2.

Now that you have a note you can go right and put it through the door to the guard on the other side. He doesn't seem too nice - but at least you gave you some vinegar

3.

Go back to the table and pour the vinegar into the beaker. Oh no! Run!

4.

So you should have heard a big bang - go back and see the damage. Why, now there's a hole in the wall! How handy. Go through the hole. Hmm I guess the eye saves your game...

5.

Now don't go falling in the water unless you want to die instantly. Continue up the spikes until you reach the next level then go right. Hmm these guards aren't too friendly, are they? Well he's hungry - guess you should find him an apple. Or something similar

6.

Time to head left. Don't leave the castle just yet - go up and search the box to get the cake mix and the key (cake mix is useful?! When did he think he was going to be baking!?) You can go right if you like - there's just a locked door and an eye. Anyway - head back down and go outside


7.

Watch out for the antlions! Wonder what that means.......
Okay just don't step on (or jump over) the ground when there's dirt flying out of it. You'll get eaten (not a pretty sight). So keep going left and ta-da! An apple! But you can't reach it. Oh well, keep on going.

8.

Past the eye and up to the next floor. Go right and open the chest to find a skeleton key. You should be able to open the door with the key you got earlier. Hey look! We're outside in a perfect position for jumping into the tree. Let's do it.


9.

So now that you have the apple, go and give it to the guard so he can er...go dancing. Go into the kitchen and pick up the flour from one of the cupboards. Now you could go on - but we'll leave that for later. For the moment, go back to your left and climb up to where the box and locked door are.

10.

Well now you have a key! Go in, past the bed with the crispy pillow, all the way to the right and read the sign. "Jump three times on the platform to get past the guard in the west". Remember that.


11.

Go up if you want but there's nothing to get right at this moment. Go back down to the apple tree, go left and climb up. But this time go left at the top. Oh look - it's a guard in the west standing near a platform! You know what to do.
Jump. 3 times. He couldn't possible hurt someone with moves like that


12.

So go into the next room and talk to the weird looking guy by the lift. Sorry I mean Door of Urg. 3 Golden Key Slices? Guess we better start looking. Before you leave, pick up the key on the floor beside him. Then leave.


13.

Okay, so go back to the bottom of the stairs (or the random planks of wood on the wall. Whatever you want to call them) and go left. Now it looks impossible to cross as you can't jump that far but.....just go right up next to it and press space. Who knew the cake mix and flour would come in handy?!


14.

Cross the errr...lake and pick up the brown thing on the grass. It's a handle. Well that's all you can do over here. Go all the way back to the kitchen

15.

Keep going left but don't go out of the castle just yet - first drop into the hole by the table and look at the machine thing. Put your handle on it and watch as the water disappears! Now go back up, go outside and keep going left - past the chickens. Go down and open the chest with your key. A cross! And a note in the bottom.....Jesus pwns!?


16.

Now continue left until you get to the end, then climb up. Jump across the clouds (a fence on a cloud?!) until you get onto the roof. There's a chimney that you can't reach down. You need something to poke down there. All this way for nothing! Oh well, keep going left. Hey look - it's something long and pokey. Pick it up and go poke the chimney. A North Key Slice! 1 of 3 collected :D Yay.

17.

Now just drop back down from the roof and you'll find yourself back at the castle. Go right until you reach the stairs that lead to the box with the cake mix. Go up into the bedroom, go up the stairs in there and go left. Argh! A ghost! Quickly - put the cross on the table before the ghost gets you. That should deal with him.

18.

Now that he's gone - open the chest to reveal........the Eastern Key Slice! 2 of 3 collected :D Yay. Now where to go.....well you did turn off the water earlier. And when you first started, after you blew a hole in the wall, there was a big body of water that almost killed you. Wonder if that's gone.....

19.

It has. In case you can't remember how to get there, just come down from the ghost room and the bedroom to the ground floor, go right and fall down the first hole you see. Now go down to where the water was and continue along until you reach a puddle. If you turn on the electricity you can't go across (you'll die) so leave it off for now.

20.

Oh my god it's an alligator! Move towards it and it will start chasing you! Arrrgh. Well there is one solution. Run back and turn on the electricity and the alligator will die. So now it's safe to continue (although you should probably remember to turn off the electricity again). Keep going past the red herrings until you reach a shovel. In the next scene there's a mound. Perfect for digging with a shovel.


21.

It's the 3rd Key Slice! Now we can open the Door of Urg. Jump up and run along left until you reach the stairs with the mouse hole. Go up and to the right and enter the Door of Urg!


22.

Oh no - looked like our plan backfired. Now run as fast as you can to the end of the land. Down the stairs and then just go right for as far as possible


23.

Phew! Made it. Now it's time to beat the boss. Climb to the top. And there he is. Now, he's going to shoot stars at you and you have to press the mirrors in order to reflect them back to him. My advice is to stand on the right side of the middle mirror and everytime he shoots one at you while moving left, if you reflect it it'll hit him. It takes quite a few shots to kill him (7, I think. But I'm not sure).


24.

Hooray! You beat him! Now the games over....right? Unfortunately not. Climb up and be prepared to encounter a lot of text. He'll just keep talking. It's interesting enough. Anyway, when you finish, climb up (more text...) until you reach the top.

25,

Now - probably the only spoiler you'll actually need! How to beat the final boss battle. He'll come out and tell you he's not playing by the rules but he's going to try and kill you anyway. Nice guy. So when he starts shooting at you, go up to the top and press the button. Yay! He's slain!
Damn. He doesn't care. Well since there's no way to kill him you might as well give up. Just stand there on the bottom where his stars can't hit you. He'll start to get a little angry. And then anxious. Then he'll start pleading with you. Just stand there.
And (after a few more hours of text) he's gone! Hop on the cloud and watch the credits. Congrats for finishing Inquisitive Dave!

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You can jump over the electric puddle, if you so choose. However, it's easier and safer to just turn it on after luring the crocodile to the puddle.

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You can literally get your brains blown out,blood and all,I don't think this game is kidsafe...

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I figured out to just stand behind the broken wall at the final boss battle when i just waned to hide. (and look for a walkthrough or something)

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I've found something else hilarious with the game, try other keys during the main menu to hear some funny audio clips. They stack if you press multiple in a row. And some are very hard to hear.

Some keys I have found:

5, 9, ', O, R, Q, H, Z, C, /

I love H.

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Tobberian Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 11:49 AM

Nice game and graphics but i found a SERIOUS BUGG!

To skip right to the last part (the wizard tower) all you need to do is get passed the apple guard(in regular way) then go all the way to the tower and start jumping up the wall holding right key pressed. When you get to the 3rd screen he walks (glitches) right through the wall and enters the base tower screen (the part just after the countdown).

Oh and I really didn't like

all the wizard talk while climbing I just started Spacing them away after a while.

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Spoiler, simple way to do the game:

you don't need to mess with the cake mix, the flour, the keys, none of that. You can just go straight right and up to meet the boss & do the lengthy "endgame.'

I thought the game was cute- I liked the visuals, except the blood & gore. I thought the

existential ramblings

was pretty tedious, though.

I'm curious- I never did get one part of the key to see what happened when you opened that Door of Urg. Could someone tell me in a spoiler, please? Thanks!

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A very profound ending. A little rambling though.

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WooHooII Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 12:33 PM

waycooler: Stop and think for a while, and you should figure it out

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I tried following the walkthrough and I had trouble with number 16.

when I go all the way left I hit a wall and can't get up there unless I go through the sewer. When I went all of the way to the other side, I climbed up and it took me where you climb to fight the wizard and I couldn't get out.

Am i missing something?

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Amusing. I enjoyed it overall, however:

(last boss)

I was looking for a much more clever solution when I found the real one. Was trying things the game told me not to do (like use the mouse, or keys other than the arrows/wasd/space/ctrl) as well as clicking outside of the game and losing focus. Bit disappointing when I found it, and just annoying when it turned out that I had to go through about 10 screens of his rambling with some waiting in between to get there.

But other than that, I had fun. The ease of it made it a nice experience.

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I finished the game once, but I didn't find any of the keys. Is the ending any different?

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@anelson:

No, the ending isn't any difference.

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All I get when I go to the link is an Bandwidth Limit Exceeded error. Looks like jig killed it. Anyone got a mirror?

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Kongregate has the game.

http://www.kongregate.com/games/EddyParanoia/inquisitive-dave

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The fact that a game called Inquisitive Dave requires far more patience than thought just strikes me as.. wrong.

That jumping sprite is cute, though.

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thanks rkr7, it looks great

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I also had the problem of encountering the last boss way too early. :/

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Site down :(

This game looks fun... I wish I could play it :((((

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I changed the links above to Kongregate. That should fix the site down issue.

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ganondorfchampion July 28, 2008 7:23 PM

I have attempted to see every death but I'm too lazy to get back to the point with the countdown so if any dies there tell me what happens.

Good game. I wonder what Dave does with his freedom.

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ThemePark Author Profile Page July 28, 2008 7:40 PM

ganondorfchampion, I tried the countdown death myself.

If I recall correctly, you're shown with static (the kind you see on TV), then turn red and then vapourize.

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A big bug in the game:

You don't need to get the three slices -- if you go all the way left and as you climb to the clouds hold left -- you will enter the castle ~2 screens up -- I did this accidentally the first time, and was trying to figure out why I had so many items in my inventory -- i didn't fight any of the bosses.

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Is there anything to do with the prisoner cell that's besides de water control machine?

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I'd always hoped for a back story to those simple room escapey adventure games, or more of a motivation behind villains other than "Well, they're just evil". Still, I also got an impression that the game was trying to pick a fight with cosmology or similar.

"Have any of you asked why you asked why you were guiding our friend here to collect so many items?"

Wasn't it because you had thought up a delightful little adventure with a main character that's easy to relate to? If someone was to write a book that described how the characters became real and attacked the reader, well, it would make for a pretty trippy experience is all.

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RedTomato July 29, 2008 5:05 AM

I finished the game. Nice. I felt it didn't really achieve its aims, (too much running about) and the endgame ran on rails, which didn't really match its aim of challenging you to think about your beliefs and actions.

I do support that aim, but it wasn't implemented all that well in this game. Some more flexiblity and user led-action in the endgame would have helped.

Also ran into the early endgame bug, but wasn't sure if it was part of the game or not. Went back to menu, then returned to game, and I was back outside the tower and could continue the game.

PS Voodoo Smile, that cell with the guard next to it is your own cell!

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Gar, I think that you should read the Thursday Next series of novels. The first one is called The Eyre Affair.
Man, I seriously need to track fown the fourth book. They were good fun, way better than Harry Potter.

Anyhow, about my question earlier: my bad, I didn't notice that my cake mix was consumed at that particular point. I just thought that I had some items left over when I entered the last area, and I can't remember what they were.

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CapsDeej Author Profile Page July 29, 2008 12:04 PM

Great game. Loved the ending!

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jfinglish July 29, 2008 2:26 PM

You mean the ending before the credits, or the one after them? ;)

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Jack Tan July 29, 2008 4:25 PM

You can win by

skipping all the steps in the walkthough in the comments by running into the castle jumping in attack the 1st wizurd boss then jump down from the all left side then slowly go back up Skip all the things he said if you want and hit red switch from the second wizard then hide behind the wall till the cloud comes down and the wizard dies and you win!

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Am I the only one having this problem?

Occasionally I'm in the middle of walking or something and my character just heads in one direction randomly and can't be stopped. I've died a few times this way. It's happened quite a few times but I don't want to restart the game or refresh the page in case that does restart the game.

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auroraB Author Profile Page July 29, 2008 8:20 PM

What chickens??

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Jasper Fforde is amazing. [/$.02]

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Ainegue Author Profile Page July 30, 2008 1:55 PM

I'll admit that while this game is fun, it's a bit too short and a bit too easy. I didn't like that you couldn't do anything that did not kill you or help you on your quest, which made it extra easy, since you didn't have to figure out that that thing in the background has nothing to do with the game, or that there really is no way to break open that crate, or that there really is no way to stick your hand into the hole in the wall. I much prefer those other games. Like that funny one where you try to slay the dragon? I don't remember the name, but it's a text adventure with pixel graphics. Where you can hug the trees and pick berries even though you don't need them.

I know what Dave does with his freedom.

Well, all of us that played the game are Dave, so Dave does whatever we do. We are free from the game, free from the addiction. We stopped playing, and we defeated the game. We sabotaged it's purpose, by not playing it. Well, not playing it again... and again...and again.

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I got to the very end like i won! I went to jump on the cloud and I died! Could someone please tell me in a spoiler what happens after you jump on the cloud? Thanks. :)

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@ Ainegue: the game you're thinking of is Peasant's Quest, by the Homestarr Runner people.

I liked this game precisely because it reminded me of Peasant's Quest, but the existential rambling was a little off the mark. Maybe if they had just kept it for the very end.

I only figured out the last boss when

I hid behind the wall so I could finish my fudgcicle without pausing. Just as I finished, the wizard started talking. LOL.

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Disappointed August 1, 2008 12:49 AM

At first, I thought it was a sort of Knytt-lite, but all the self-consciously useless objects in the game tipped me off. When the Dark Wizard explained the watered-down existential pseudophilosophy, I only kept playing because I hate leaving anything unfinished. THE WORLD IS AN ILLUSION, GUYS, NO ONE'S REALLY FREE FIGHT THE SYSTEM, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE ROCKS.

Not fun, not challenging, not deep.

Ugh. Now I just want to play Knytt.

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beyondterror101 August 2, 2008 8:10 PM

Spoiler alert!

To beat the very last boss, all you have to do is sit in the spot behind the wall where you enter and do nothing. Slowly he will lose his powers and die.

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I found a glitch, I think. I should have had to use the cake mix and flour before fighting the dark wizard, right? There are a bunch of places I didn't go, also. I found the door that said the archmage needed to release his power before I could go in, and I jumped up and was suddenly inside.

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Everyone says you need to go all the way left and past some

chickens to open a chest.

There are no chickens. I hit a wall instead that's too high to jump up that I know leads to the sewer. There's no chest! Help!

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Aurora... try going to the right. (it's a mistake in the walkthrough)

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thanks zxo,I'll try that,but I don't remember seeing any chickens anywhere...

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Anonymous August 14, 2008 5:53 PM

Hmm... I finished the game, but the final boss battle reminded me of the strangely coloured wall in the middle. It mentioned that i would never get through it in this game... Seemed odd. Can you get past?

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This game is pretty amusing. I like the old school look but the first time I played I went straight to the final battle without having to get all the keys first. All those darn flashes of previous stuff I was supposed to do but hadn't while the wizard was talking sure spoiled the surprise when I decided to play again and collect all the keys.

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tildzybopz x September 14, 2008 12:13 PM

I can't defeat the wizard, arg! Will someone help, I walk around flipping the mirrors and I keep getting killed! Help, help, help!!!!!!!!!!!

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@tildzybopz x:

You don't want to stray far from the middle mirror. Just keep dodging to either side of it as the wizard goes back and forth above you, and whichever side of the mirror his star is going to land on, be on the other side, but close enough to tilt the mirror to reflect the shot back at him. I got killed a handful of times before I got the hang of it and shot him with enough of his own stars to kill him, and I'm not good at this kind of game. So you should be able to get it after a while.

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Hey guys, (and girls)

Don't know how to pass the guard with the gun once he said "stop right there" but all the other times he didn't. I don't understand. He just shoots when I land as well.

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Skull Face72 Author Profile Page October 13, 2008 11:04 AM

Aleshia-

You have to stand on the little step thingy and jump three times. The guard will say something like 'Wow! I can't mess with a guy who has that kind of moves! I'm out of here!' and run away. That easy.

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R is another key that makes sounds and so is 7 on the number pad at the far right of the keyboard. Those and the others listed above are all of them.

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daniellespar Author Profile Page December 11, 2008 9:39 PM

im having trouble with this game...

it looks like a fun game to play to get your mind off things, but i cant play it.

The character just stays in the first spot that you start in and keeps changing and spazzing :(

what do i do to fix it??

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Seriously I can't beat the wizard with the stupid mirror trick. Its so frustrating. Is there any way to just go to the last boss without all this useless walking around and just beating him?

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adam Gunderloy June 29, 2009 11:41 AM

this game ROCKS! if only it had more bosses though, i like a LOT of bosses in my games. anyone know a flash game with a lot of bosses in it on here i can play?

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adam Gunderloy June 29, 2009 12:07 PM

and also unique ones from enemies, so... not stick ranger.

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what are these wizards??? i cant get past the evil door guy with 45 seconds... what do i do???

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adam Gunderloy June 30, 2009 2:42 PM

run as far to the right as you can, and do. not. stop. then you shall soon fight TEH WIZARD!!1!!!

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How do you interact with things?!

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Bethany March 6, 2010 5:13 PM

Oh, space. My bad.

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Anonymous March 7, 2010 10:20 AM

When you are going up to the clouds, push against the walls in the crazy monkey version and you will skip to the boss without doing anything else.

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LameGuest March 16, 2011 8:10 PM

@Caya

when you open the door of urg, the dark voice says stuff like "I will now finish the destruction of this world that I started years ago." he just keeps rambling on and on

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soraguy599 Author Profile Page September 2, 2011 5:18 PM

I am having trouble with the music. When I start the game, the music keeps starting and overlapping, but it's too annoying to play! D=

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Matan Arie Author Profile Page December 8, 2011 4:52 AM

I enjoyed the game. Did anyone else notice the unintended(?) play on words at the end of the credits:

Voyeur, It's time you got off.

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