The Return of Talking Time

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Old 09-05-2016, 10:12 PM
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Default Let's Play The Dig - Spielburg Really Has a Thing for ET, doesn't he?

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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The Dig is a point-and-click adventure game developed by LucasArts and released in 1995 as a CD-ROM for PC and Macintosh computers. Like other LucasArts adventure games, it uses the SCUMM video game engine. It also features a full voice-acting cast, including notable voice actors Robert Patrick and Steven Blum, and a digital orchestral score. The game uses a combination of drawn two-dimensional artwork and limited, pre-rendered three-dimensional movies, with the latter created by Industrial Light & Magic.

The game is inspired by an idea originally created for Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories series. Unlike other LucasArts adventure games, which typically included a good deal of humor, The Dig took a somber approach to its science fiction motif. In the game, the player takes the role of Commander Boston Low, part of a five-man team planting explosives on an asteroid in order to avert its collision course with Earth. Discovering the asteroid is hollow, Low and two of his team are suddenly transported to a long-abandoned complex, filled with advanced technology, on a strange alien world. Low and his companions must utilize xenoarchaeology to learn how the technology works, discover the fate of the alien race that built it, and solve other mysteries to find a way to return home.

The Dig received mixed-to-positive reviews, with critics primarily praising its atmosphere and soundtrack. Multiple reviewers said the game's puzzles were too difficult, and other aspects of the game, such as its graphics, voice acting, and dialogue, received mixed receptions. A novelization of the game was written by science fiction author Alan Dean Foster in conjunction with the game's development.
On the Development:

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The Dig was originally conceived by Steven Spielberg as an episode of Amazing Stories, and later as a movie. However, it was concluded the concept would be prohibitively expensive to film. As a result, the idea was temporarily shelved. Eventually, it was decided the story could be adapted into the adventure game format. The initial video game design meeting was held in 1989 at Skywalker Ranch; it included Spielberg, George Lucas, Ron Gilbert, and Noah Falstein, the latter two of whom had created a video game based on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that had impressed Spielberg. Writing is credited to Spielberg, author Orson Scott Card, who wrote the dialogue, and interactive fiction author Brian Moriarty, whose previous LucasArts engagement was with Loom. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) created some of the CG imagery.

The Dig had by far the longest development time of all LucasArts adventure games. The game's design team met for the first time at the Skywalker Ranch on the day the 1989 San Francisco earthquake struck, but the game was not released until 1995.[6] During its development there were four successive project leaders, starting with Falstein, followed by Moriarty, then Dave Grossman. The Dig's final project leader was LucasArts' Sean Clark.

The original production involved a story that took place in the distant future. In this story, a crew of explorers in a spaceship visit an abandoned planet, discovering signs of an extraterrestrial civilization that left behind technological artifacts. The explorers initially assume that the occupants of the planet had died off, seeing no sign of them, but as the story progresses, the player was meant to discover something very different. This premise is similar to the finished game's story, but contains clear differences.

When Moriarty took over, he decided to start again from scratch. This version of the production was even more similar to the released game. However, it contained one extra character: a Japanese business tycoon and science-hobbyist named Toshi Olema, who uses his money to buy his way onto the Attila project crew. Toshi would have met a gruesome death when he stumbled into a cavern with acid dripping from the ceiling, and the other astronauts would have been unable to safely retrieve his body and bring him back with life crystals. He was later completely removed from the story. This version of the game was also very bloody and adult. Initially, Spielberg thought this feel was very fitting. However, after the release of Jurassic Park in 1993, Spielberg received numerous complaints from parents who had ignored the PG-13 rating and brought their young children to see the movie, only to discover that it contained some sequences of horror, blood, and violence. Thus, worrying that parents would make a similar mistake and purchase The Dig for their kids, Spielberg requested the violence be toned down. Other notable design ideas which were dropped during the game's production include a survival angle, which forced the player to keep water and food supplies for life support, and exploration of entire cities on the planet.
Front of Box:


Inside Flaps (left & right):





Back of Box:



Opening Cinema:

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  #2  
Old 09-06-2016, 07:30 AM
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Other notable design ideas which were dropped during the game's production include a survival angle, which forced the player to keep water and food supplies for life support
Man, thank goodness they turfed that. I recall spending quite a lot of time stuck and wandering around as a kid. Other than that, I remember almost nothing about this game except that I hated that snooty German scientist sooo much. Looking forward to it!
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:14 PM
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Never played the game, but I definitely remember lusting after that shiny multicolored box in Wal-Mart for months, if not years. Very interested to see if the gameplay also keeps its "shine," at least as well as a twenty-year-old adventure game can be expected to hold up.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:04 AM
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I love this game but never managed to complete it. I was defeated by the turtle skeleton as a tiny child.

Wow the animation in this game really doesn't hold up though, does it?
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
I love this game but never managed to complete it. I was defeated by the turtle skeleton as a tiny child.
INTEREST: RISING
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2016, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
I was defeated by the turtle skeleton as a tiny child.
I don't actually remember the puzzle, but I think that I can remember what it looked like, so I think I got stuck there for quite some time too.

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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
Wow the animation in this game really doesn't hold up though, does it?
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. This looks much better in my memory.

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INTEREST: RISING
Quiet, you're dead.
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2016, 10:18 AM
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I recall the voice acting being stellar though (Robert Patrick!) so I hope we find out that it's still good twenty years later.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:25 AM
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Looking forward to this! The best part of these Lucasarts games is having someone else play them!

- Eddie
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2016, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I don't actually remember the puzzle, but I think that I can remember what it looked like, so I think I got stuck there for quite some time too.
I still vividly remember this puzzle, even all these years later. Assembling the skeleton wasn't impossible, just time consuming; but needing to place the explosive device in the skeleton before reanimating it didn't occur to me at all. I eventually broke down and asked a friend who I knew had finished the game what I needed to do.

I also remember I had to play this on an older computer with a compatible CD-ROM and sound card as my families newer Windows 98 machine just refused to run it even from a DOS shell. Same for Sam and Max Hit the Road.

I also recall reading the novelization of the game, which I remember being... good? Or at least I thought so at the time, I'm sure it doesn't hold up now. Though it was probably leagues better than other video game novelizations at the time, which probably only included the Worlds of Power series.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
INTEREST: RISING
SAME.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2016, 11:06 PM
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Sorry! Update in-bound!
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2016, 11:45 PM
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Default Space the Final... Last Place, I mean.

The game begins exactly where the introduction cutscene ends, with our three characters (Commander Boston Low, Dr. Ludger Brink, and Maggie Robbins) floating in space outside the space shuttle's bay. We'll be taking direct control of Low, though I am led to understand that at some point we will be playing as the other two protagonists at some point.



Looking, moving, and interacting are done with a left-click. Right-clicking will open your inventory. Clicking on another character will bring up a small submenu that allows you to ask a question, say something "deep" or comment baout the items on screen (this sort of works like a built in hint system it seems.)

Below is an example of the communication menu:



Low asks a question:



Low says something deep:



Low starts by examining the only other thing that's highlightable, this tool chest in the shuttle's cargo bay:



Well, that's somewhat descriptive.

Opening his inventory:



What explosives?



Using the examine command found in the inventory screen (this is a dumb idea, requiring the opening of a submenu whenever you want to examine something...) Low looks at "the pig"



That's a little better. Next Low pulls out his PDA, the Pen Ultimate:



And we do exactly what the game told us we needed to do:





It's really early in the game but I think Low and and Cora are into each other...
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2016, 11:46 PM
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Default Just like Bruce Willis Would

I can't believe no one said "Jinx!" Anyway, after Low is done flirting with Cora we ask her to unload the Flying Pig:









With the Pig deployed Low moves out towards the asteroid, Atilla:





Well, Low is definitely into Cora at least...



Well, here the team is at Quadrant 1 of Atilla, the rock is divided into four of them, before we can do anything though Low needs to get equipped with Astronaut Gear:



We have two of those Alpha and Beta



A jackhammer and a shovel too. Low grabs everything before moving into Quadrant 2:

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  #14  
Old 10-13-2016, 11:47 PM
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Default Someone has to be the One to Set Up the Bomb

(yes, I should be punished for that title...)


With tools and explosives in hand, or on jetpack, Low begins planting the first charge:











With the Alpha device set Low arms it with the key in his inventory:



With the first charge set the team moves out to Quadrant 3 to plant Beta:



Tune in next time to see giant explosions and startling revelations, maybe.
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2016, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
I love this game but never managed to complete it. I was defeated by the turtle skeleton as a tiny child.

Wow the animation in this game really doesn't hold up though, does it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
INTEREST: RISING
aTurtleDoesBEAT.
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Old 10-18-2016, 02:30 PM
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As a kid who always got super-envious whenever the contestants on Double Dare won a trip to Space Camp, this is awesome. The premise of playing as an astronaut was enough to sell me on the game back when it was new, even though I never had the chance to play it.

I'm guessing the actual astronaut stuff you're allowed to do in this game is pretty limited!
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  #17  
Old 10-23-2016, 06:19 PM
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Default I Don't Want to Close My Eyes

When last we saw our intrepid astronauts they'd already planted one of the nuclear devices on Atilla and were about to plant the second.





That seems like something they should have covered during those 100s of hours of training. I mean they packed it into the toolchest that would only be used in zero G...







There it goes...







Yeah, and the shit they're saying about you on the closed channel... Oh boy...
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  #18  
Old 10-23-2016, 06:20 PM
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Default Go Boom

With the rock out of the way Low can plant the device:





Who wrote all this material...

With the nuke's planted the team returns to the shuttle:









Let's blow this popsicle stand!





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Old 10-23-2016, 06:20 PM
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Default Was That Supposed to Happen?









My understanding is that in space even the small stuff can be a very, very bad thing.







Wait, now I'm confused about what the point of blowing it up was. They could have done a walk before detonating two nuclear devices on the thing!



With that Low, Brink, and Robbins return to Attila



Oh was that the point? Were the devices intended to slow the asteroids speead enough for it to be captured in a stable Earth orbit?
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2016, 06:21 PM
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Default When you Look into the Abyss





Said the Actress to the Bishop!





This is an idea that could have no possible downsides!







What does Brink see?! What is it?! I want to know!

Sorry, we'll have to wait for the next update.

Also, this game sure is chatty. I think I've done like 5 actions in total but have played over 45 minutes...
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:48 AM
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Oh was that the point? Were the devices intended to slow the asteroids speead enough for it to be captured in a stable Earth orbit?
More or less, yes. The purpose of the mission was to push the asteroid out of a collision course with Earth and stabilize it in Earth's orbit.

There's a second phase of the mission that Low will explain in the next update.
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2016, 04:23 AM
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Even if playing this is like barely interacting with it so far, I gotta say, this is a pretty gripping LP. Yeah, the intro animation aged poorly, but the rest of it has me pretty excited to see what comes next.

I like these kind of sci-fi stories a lot, though.
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  #23  
Old 11-05-2016, 08:32 PM
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Default Dig In

Brink left us all in suspense last time with the claim that he'd seen somehting but then not telling us! We rejoin our intrepid astronuats as the explore the interior of Attila:



That's some really good sciencing consdiering he is in low light, no gravity, and trapped in a spacesuit!





Well, thanks for being mysterious and completely unhelpful Brink! Next time try to be useful!



And with that Brink and Maggie leave Low alone in the trench...








ALIENS! Ufos!



Indigo Children! ... No?



A giant asteroid hurling towards your planet that could only be stopped by detonating multiple nuclear devices on it is not exactly like Voyager...

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Old 11-05-2016, 08:33 PM
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Default Maybe if I just Hit This?

If you can't tell me what it means then what are you even doing on this mission?!



So much for freedom of information and freedom of the press! It's just like the internet has been telling us for years!



ILLUMINATI IS REAL!



Shocker the German is good at taking orders...



And with that the conspiracy to keep the truth from the world begins!





Subtle.





Hiding things from the dutifully elected representatives of the People is fun!

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  #25  
Old 11-05-2016, 08:33 PM
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Default Intergalactic Puzzlery

So now that we've put the kibosh on anyone ever learning of what really happened up here. Commander Low can get back to exploring!



I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, probably nothing if nukes didn't already wreck whatever the aliens left here than nothing probably will.



Ominous...





Why don't you push it? That's been your answer for everything else!





Garbage? Really Brink? An advanced intelligence is going to go through the trouble of constructing this giant fucking probe and then send it racing through the void of space and they're just going to live excess weight on it? Really?!



Maybe if I just dig at it



Oh, another metallic plate.





I too wish that these mysteri Ufos had gone through the trouble of putting inscriptions we can't read on their enigmatic asteroid puzzle box.
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  #26  
Old 11-05-2016, 08:34 PM
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Default Going Down

Low using the shovel to clear off another projection and revealing... Wait for it.

Another metallic plate!



And another.















Just like the Earth!

What will they find inside this giant, hollow asteroid? Find out next week!
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  #27  
Old 11-18-2016, 07:48 PM
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Default Interior Dialogue

Last time we saw Low, Brink, and Maggie they'd just penetrated into the hollow center of the Asteroid Atilla:





I'm going to go out on a limb and say that any actual protocal for exploring the surface and interior of an extrasolar asteroid would require near constant radio contact with Ground Control, but if not that at least the shuttle... But IANAA (I am not an astronaut.)

The only thing of note in the interior appears to be that angled dark patch in the upper right corner of the screen:





Okay, so the plates appear to be the ones that Low pushed earlier up near the surface of Atilla. He gathers them up:





Alright. We have a pedestal with a shallow indention in it and a number of plates in various shapes... We don't have a lot of options here, do we?



Okay! My best guess was that the plates fit into the indention and that appears to be correct. I just have to fit them all in correctly.

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  #28  
Old 11-18-2016, 07:48 PM
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Default We're Not in Kansas Anymore

As soon as the last piece is placed things start to happen. Strange things:





I don't think matter is supposed to be able to fold in on itself like that...















I'm sure Low meant to do that...
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  #29  
Old 11-18-2016, 07:48 PM
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Default Alien Landscapes





I feel like I'm not quite sure what happened there. Did Atilla just disappear whilst transporting our astronauts across the cosmos?



Yes, okay, but WHERE is it?



That's a neat trick. Does anyone know if this is a thing current spacesuits do? Is this a thing they COULD do?



That seems a needless dig at the United States second largest metropolitan center.





That seems unrealistically optimistic Commander Low, don't you think?



There we go.





Is that the difference between a spaceship and a starship? TIL!
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:49 PM
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Default Getting Oriented

Low continues Mansplaining:





Somemore of that optimism! He just finished telling the crew that they were in another solar system entirely. Even if his little PDA there had the power to transmit such distances the closest he could possibly be to earth is Alpha Centauri (a three star system, so probably not the one Low, Brinks, and May are located in going from the tiny bit of the sky we've seen so far.) a mere 4.24 light years away.







Yeah, looks like it Low.

Next time, exploring an alien world! Hopefully not dying!
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