Weekend Download №103

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Weekend Download

JohnBThree truly heavy-hitting games on this edition of Weekend Download, two of them weighing in as unofficial sequels to commercially released games. Don't let that keep you from trying Journey to the Center of the Earth, however, as it packs even more punch than the name brands!

journeytothecenter.gifJourney to the Center of the Earth (Windows, 12.8MB, free) - Your surprise addiction for the weekend, this unassuming little game is all about hunting for treasure on a tiny map. Your tools include an unlimited supply of bombs along with the ability to both run and jump. You have a map that shows hints for all 40 pieces of treasure, but getting to the locations and making the boxes appear is the real puzzle. The website and game are in Japanese, but there's no text or speech to worry about, so click the yellow button and download away!

asciiportal.gifASCIIpOrtal (Mac/Win/Linux, ~9MB, free) - You've played the game that spawned Portal, Narbacular Drop. You've played the Flash version of Portal. Heck, maybe you've even played the real Portal. Now, friends, it's time for ASCIIpOrtal. This 2D reimagining once again puts the familiar portal gun in your hands, granting you the ability to pass from one to the other to reach previously inaccessible areas. Use it to do the seemingly impossible, such as move through small areas, gain access to high ledges, and slingshot yourself across wide expanses by transferring downward momentum. The controls and mechanics are a bit odd to get used to, but if you press onward, you'll find a surprisingly rewarding puzzle platform game.

gianasreturn.gifGIana's Return (Windows, 7.1MB, free) - Real old-school gamers will recall the Commodore 64 platformer made in the image of Super Mario Bros. titled The Great Giana Sisters. This faithfully-done fan sequel preserves everything you would want from the original and provides better visuals and completely new levels to play. No gimmicks here, just tricky jumps, enemies to stomp, bricks to bust, and a power-up or two to help you along the way.

Note: All games have been confirmed to run under Windows Vista and are virus-free. Mac users should try Boot Camp, Parallels, or CrossOver Games to play Windows titles, Linux users can use Wine. If you know of a great game we should feature, use the Submit link above to send it in!


For Journey to the Center of the Earth, here are the keys I've discovered (QWERTY keyboard):

Arrow keys - move/duck
X - jump
D - throw bomb
A - show treasure (mouse click to exit)
Space - tent (?) (X to exit)

Esc - leave game

Haven't yet found the dash button. Hope that helps.


Syntax, the key combination for dashing is shown on one of the signs, but you dash by holding down D and then the arrow key in whichever direction you want to go.


Journey to the center of the earth appears to mimic SNES-like controls. Check out the settings menu, keyboard settings.

There you will find that:
A-Button = x
B-Button = d
and so on.

On the signs, it then tells you what Button you need to throw and so on.



Ok, but I completely fail at doing the

bomb-jump. I lay a bomb via duck+b and jump when it explodes, but I don't go any higher?


By now Japanese game development companies should learn to put the proper DLLs in their games if they require them... (journey to the center of the earth needs dx_d39.dll error)


HELP! I can't get treasure 18! HELP! I see it but I can't find the door to the button!


...WHOA! Two endings! I got good!

I think to get the bad one you have to NOT blow up your jeep.

[edit: spoiler tags added. -eileen]


Journey to the Center of the Earth is really delightful. My only complaint is that

when the letter you receive toward the end tells you to jump in your jeep, there's no way to know that it'll end your game, if you were planning to go back and collect the rest of the treasures


That said, I ended up playing twice in a row and *still* got the 'bad' ending, despite collecting everything. Do you need to do it without dying once? Or

do you have control over the jeep at the end?


Yeah, good end for Center of the Earth seems to be determined by

blowing up the jeep

although I have no clue why.


Seems like if you jump just as the explosion starts, it won't work, but any time while the explosion is actually going will work - even for a second after it fades.


I can't seem to get the 28th treasure in Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The one with

the three control panels you have to walk past. Each panel is only lit up for a short amount of time, and I can't get to all 3 before time runs out.

Any tips?


Getting the 28th treasure.

This one is manageable if you know that bombs can trigger those control panels too.

I find it best to work from right to left as it has me jumping less.

So: throw a bomb(make sure it's a thrown bomb. If you lay a bomb it'll go off faster, costing you precious time) and run to your left immediately. Try to jump as less as possible(they slow you down) using the heads of the statues to hop as quickly as possible to the left most control panel. It's a bit tricky, but you should be able to do it in a few tries.

Flamincookie September 26, 2009 6:00 PM

Can somebody just post a video of the bad end please?


Concerning Journey to the Center of the Earth:

Um, when i start the game, it's just a black window. It plays music and all, but I can't see anything...any suggestions?


I'm impressed, that is the most confusing portal clone yet.


I like Journey but the end movie couldn't open, lame, also the controls aren't meant for a computer really. The x and y keys aren't used, another minus. I did like the idea though, especially the door opening.


ASCIIpOrtal is pretty good, but the translation to 2d is somewhat confusing. Also, I'm stuck on level 41, can someone point me in the right direction?

ReverendTed September 26, 2009 10:50 PM

Experienced an unpleasant bug in Journey:

A bat fell on me after I bombed it (which I did not expect would kill me), and my dead body fell through one of those "switched" doors that I hadn't unlocked yet. When I pressed "A" to continue, I started there and could never exit. Frustrating.


I cannot find the 33rd treasure, can anybody assist me in doing so? Thank you in advance.


Can anybody help me on the

last treasure in Journey?


33rd treasure:

The hint is playing a trick, it's one of the other 2 step sequences which have extra "up only" tiles over them (can't remember which).


Anyone get the good ending yet? Am I assuming correctly that I need to

jump out of the jeep at the right time?

Also went back to get all 40 of the treasures, to no avail.


Sigh. Is anyone else having trouble opening up the file for Journey to the Center of the Earth after you download? It says a component was not found. Tried downloading again. Nope. Not workin'. It downloads as dondon.zip. Is that right?


To get Good End:

Read message prompting you to enter jeep.
Don't enter Jeep and blow it up. (I did this on accident)
Collect all 40 treasures.
Read new message.

Of course, it may be because I finished in under 30 minutes, but I doubt it.


Well, I got the DLL to work, but when the game starts, it says a texture file is missing. :/


Ah, thanks, xelkelvos.

I think better game design would have been to have the letter you receive after clearing the bottom level show

your jeep blowing up, or your jeep with an x marked through it, as though someone were warning you that it had been sabotaged. Unless I misread it the first time, the letter you receive simply suggests you get in your jeep now, no?


@UberLoser: I'm getting the same error with Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is annoying because it looks really fun (and the music I can hear sounds cool). Are you on XP too?


All I get it audio, and a black window. DirectX is up to date... can't seem to get it to work.


Am I missing something? How do I go underground in Journey?


I found the problem to be the game window which is sized too small and the right side is cut off from view. What can I do to fix this?


Darn those Japanese with their brilliant but buggy games and impenetrable language based tech support!


41 is hard to describe... you just have to do things in the right order.
I'd gladly make a video walk-through (only 1-12 and level 48? are available on youtube), if I knew the right software to capture video. I imagine video walkthroughs would be very useful.

Does anyone know what obtainable software I can use on my Mac to do video screen captures?


Looks like a cool game, but I can't climb ladders, grab onto ropes, or bomb jump. Is anybody else having the same problems?


I played Giana Sisters years before ever coming across Mario. What a game!



It's because you can't climb ladders or grab ropes (at least I tried and was unable to). For bomb jumping, you have to wait for the bomb to have exploded already, you DON'T have to time the jump just as it explodes, you actually jump after it explodes.


John I had the same problem, press F4 (because I think it's done in GameMaker) to go to full screen.

(although then I got an out of range error from my monitor, but luckily I have a dual monitor setup and my 2nd monitor was happier with the required resolution)


Did anyone manage to solve that texture failed to load error on the first game? At least I get a popup now lol

Journey Planner October 1, 2009 5:04 AM

Any suggestions how to pick up the treasure chest in the top right hand corner?


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