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Old 05-18-2018, 05:51 AM
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Default Ain't He Unglamorous: Let's Play Questprobe Featuring the Hulk

Questprobe Featuring the Hulk #0

A New Hulk-ginning
Questprobe featuring The Hulk



So here's the deal. I'm not really into Let's Plays. But I kind of wanted to have an excuse to play the Marvel Questprobe series of games. And it feels like it would be fun to write about the experience. Mostly, I loved the idea of a text adventure starring the Hulk, a character who is much more visual than most. He's not really a detective and most problems he faces he solves by beatings, beatings with an object or throwing them into space. It will be interesting to see what kind of adventures Hulk has in a genre focused around collecting junk and problem solving. So if there are any unwritten rules I'm breaking in writing this, please let me know. I hope my ignorance of the form and format of Let's Plays and my ignorance of the genre in general (I've only completed three text adventure games and they were all Thy Dungeonman) aren't too much of a hindrance to enjoying this. Or maybe they won't be and it will just come down to my own basic writing ability. Hmm... in that case, maybe blame it on those first things. You know, to spare my feelings.

I should point out that there is supposed to be a visual component to this game, but I don't know how to find that version of the game (or activate the graphics or whatever is supposed to happen for pictures) so if anyone else knows please let me know. Otherwise, your going to have to use that stupid jerk known as your imagination.

Now onto context. Feel free to skip this part, as it isn't too much about the game itself but about the Hulk character and the creator of this game Scott Adams. No, not that one, thank God.

Let's start with ol' Jade Jaws. Now most of your get the whole thing: He's a science nerd who turns into a monster when angry, stressed, scared and/or generally upset. First appearing in May, 1962, co-creator Stan Lee noticed the popularity of the Fantastic Four's the Thing since he was introduced and realized that a monster superhero could headline his own book. At the time, Marvel was just starting to publish superhero comics again after a decade of finding success in sci-fi monster comics (in fact, supposedly the Fantastic Four was conceived in such a way that if the superhero angle didn't succeed, they could always backslide it back into a monster book, what with the Thing being on the team), so a second monster superhero just made sense. He and Jack Kirby made the character a mix of Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde and we're off to the races.

The series didn't last long though, with the book getting cancelled with issue six, being relegated to guest star status in other comics. However, after some time Marvel realized the character might have more of an audience than they suspected when they learned that a college made the Hulk their official mascot. Embolden with older readership, the Huk became a regular feature in Tales to Astonish, then got his own book again, which has had ever since.

The story of the character is as follows: scientist Bruce Banner and the army are testing a new gamma radiation-powered bomb when Banner notices that a young man has wandered onto the field. The youth is Rick Jones, who would go onto be a Marvel mainstay, bestie to many superheroes and, from time-to-time, a superhero himself. He also was a member of the Teen Brigade, a team of kids who... liked HAM radio. Really.


Reet, indeed!

Anyway, Banner rushes out to save the kid, unaware that there is a Russky spy in the base, who activates the bomb. Banner is able to get Rick out of harms way but ends up receiving a massive dose of gamma radiation. Because this is the 60's, instead of microwaving Banner or riddling him with super cancer, Banner found that he would turn into the Hulk... whenever the moon was full. Yeah, the character as we know him wasn't set in stone yet. He was grey and instead of talking like a Frankenstein, he spoke like a gangster (part of me things this aspect his attributable to the popularity of the Thing's gruff way of speaking and Marvel wanting lightning to strike twice.) But the basics were there: an angry super strong monster who would save the day despite his belligerent nature. He was powerful, could knock over foes by clapping his hands together, could leap long distances in a single bound and had the temperament (and later mind) of a child and demanded that everyone leave him alone.

The Hulk, for a while, actually had a secret identity, with no one knowing that he and Hulk were the same. Similarly, he even had a secret base in the desert, but instead of using it as a crime lab, it was a lab where Banner tried to find a cure for himself. Eventually, the secret identity was dropped and the world learned that Bruce and the Hulk were the same. Sort of. His friends and frenemies knew, but it seems like though there's no overt secret, people just don't seem to know that the Hulk sometimes turns into a guy named Bruce Banner.

The Hulk/Bruce went onto be somewhat nomadic. Sometimes he'd hang around with the army searching for a cure or looking to help them with some problem, but often when a villain or monster would attack, he'd become the Hulk again and would do stuff that would put he and the army at odds again. But most of the time, he was traveling the planet, occasionally getting shot into other planets, dimensions and the microverse, where he had a girlfriend (who tragically died). And that's about where the Hulk is at the time of the release of this game in 1984.

Scott Adams is a respected games designer who has made some notable text adventure games such as Adventureland and Pirate Adventure before his company, Adventure International, went defunct in the mid-80's. 3 Marvel comics text adventure games were released with a fourth (X-Men) cancelled when the company went belly up.

OK, that's enough of my hot air! Face front, true believers! This is were the adventure begins!

Here's the first image... but don't look if you want which heroes and villains will guest star in this adventure. Maybe you want to be surprised.


One of these characters is a new one on me...



Better be honest about this, like a real hero would.



200 words, huh? I certainly hope Smash is in there.



Wow, Romita, Gruenwald, Shooter... that's some real pedigree right there (even if Shooter was a bit of a tyrant as the editor in chief, by all accounts). I must confess I'm not familiar with Kem McNair but if he's the same guy as this (and he might be) he's a some sort of surfboard artist of renown. PLEASE let this mean that the Hulk goes surfing. Supposedly there's a comic tie-in AND an instruction manual with some good art in it, but I don't have access to those.

Anyway, we begin with our hero, Bruce Banner, presumably in human form tied to a chair.

You know what, good enough cliffhanger to me. Will Bruce Banner get out of a chair? Who put him there? Are the ropes made of manila hemp or sisal?

To Be Hulktinued...

NEXT ISSUE!: The Hulk appears and dies. A lot. I'm not good at this.


Last edited by Johnny Unusual; 05-18-2018 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Whew, all fixed
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:56 AM
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I am... so thrilled to see this, finally!
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:10 AM
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Huh. Of all the characters that you might adapt to a text adventure, Hulk has to be one of the worst fits.

So this should be amazing incredible.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:18 AM
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YES. Very excited about this.

One of the names in the "series outline" credits jumped out at me - Bob Budiansky. This was the guy who created nearly all of the names and personalities of the original Transformers, and penned the first 50-something issues of the Marvel comic.

And that connection is all the more interesting to me, because of my only connection to the Quest Probe comics. I've previously told the story of how I first discovered Transformers via an old Marvel back issue at my library - but there were other things in that stack of comics, too. One was "Quest Probe Featuring Spider-Man."

I read and re-read that issue just about as much as I did the TF comic, giving me unreasonably large nostalgia for Mysterio and just the general way Spider-Man was drawn in the mid-80s. However I didn't learn what Quest Probe actually was until I was an adult!

So yeah, I'm really looking forward to this unexplored quadrant of my childhood nostalgia.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:19 AM
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So is this IF or a graphic adventure? It says there is art but that just looks like an IF screen.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:31 AM
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The version I'm playing seems to be a text adventure, but I also see this around the net.

(warning, contains spoilers for the first part of my adventure).



The version I'm playing seems to have no such colorful (the colours in question being white and purple) imagery, unfortunately. If someone can find the version with pics, I'm down for that.
EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post

One of the names in the "series outline" credits jumped out at me - Bob Budiansky. This was the guy who created nearly all of the names and personalities of the original Transformers, and penned the first 50-something issues of the Marvel comic.
He also created Sleepwalker, a comic character I have a ton of affection for. But who has had a hard time making a comeback of note.

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Old 05-18-2018, 11:33 AM
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Those beautiful CGA graphics!
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:35 AM
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Wait, Hulk is unglamorous? I thought he was an unglamorate.

Which isnít a word, granted, but thatís what I always heard.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Those beautiful CGA graphics!
they are beautiful dont hate
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
The version I'm playing seems to have no such colorful (the colours in question being white and purple) imagery, unfortunately. If someone can find the version with pics, I'm down for that.
FYI folks, JBear is on the case, if Johnny would care to check his Steam messages.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Unusual View Post
I hope you found an armchair to play this without leaving.

"DON'T COPY OR ACCEPT A PIRATED COPY OF ADVENTURE!"

Words to live by.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:38 PM
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My only previous exposures to Questprobe were the Chief Examiner's Official Handbook entry (featuring bonus OHOTMU Redux redesign by Justin McElroy) and some articles in my dad's old issues of Marvel Age. I had never played a text adventure, so I had no idea what the heck it was supposed to be. Even then, though, I could tell it was kind of a weird idea for an Incredible Hulk game.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:52 PM
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Surely Not the same Justin McElroy?
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:27 PM
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I wouldn't know!

I was kinda hoping someone else would...
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:33 PM
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Looking at his DA page, I'm guessing not, and Juice doesn't strike me as the draw-y type.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:08 PM
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I choose to believe this was created by Dilbert-guy Scott Adams because it's funnier to me that way.

I like how when Hulk gets dosed with the Anti-Hulk Gas, his immediate response is to say "GAS". A very literal creature.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerad View Post
I like how when Hulk gets dosed with the Anti-Hulk Gas, his immediate response is to say "GAS". A very literal creature.
I was noting elsewhere that it seems like law that if characters are being exposed to harmful gas, one of them needs to exclaim "GAS!" or "IT'S GAS!" before the action begins. This especially holds true in comic books and comic book media.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
I was noting elsewhere that it seems like law that if characters are being exposed to harmful gas, one of them needs to exclaim "GAS!" or "IT'S GAS!" before the action begins. This especially holds true in comic books and comic book media.
Makes sense! It's cool that his game is being consistent with the original medium like that!
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:35 PM
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I agree that Hulk advertising his album of songs from before he was a mainstream success is pretty great, but it's got a ways to go before it hits the heights of my favorite image in this game;



The inter-dimensional being of vast intellect petulantly sitting at a desk
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:19 PM
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This game just got even more awesome.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:02 PM
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IF they remade this game for the modern day I feel like they'd be obligated to, while in Hulk mode, echo successful typed commands in all caps prefaced with "HULK"

Like, with some text adventures you get confirmation like
">Take Lamp
You take the lamp. The lamp is warm, as though it had been used recently, but based on its dulled exterior, seems to have not been well-cared for"

whereas here it would be
"HULK TAKE LAMP
HULK LIKE WARM FEELING. WHY LAMP NOT SHINY?"
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:10 AM
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Questprobe featuring The Hulk

Issue #2
Journey into Misery!



Last issue, the Hulk found himself in a Fuzzy Area and because he always does what a sign he reads tells him, the Hulk drops the gems he's collected thus far. After checking his score (my favourite part of the Hulk comics), he decides to move on in the Northern direction, only to find.



I... I was not expecting this. I have to check five or six times that Steve Gerber had nothing to do with this game, because this is totally a development I'd expect from Howard the Duck, the Defenders or Man-Thing. So, Hulk is in an office and some cosmic entity named the Chief Examiner is doing work on his computer. I decide to check out the program he's working on.



Raargh! Self-promotion make Hulk ANGRY! SMASH SCOTT ADAMS' APPARENT AUTHOR SURROGATE!

The Chief Examiner doesn't give me a chance to fight and claims that he isn't ready for me yet and that he still needs to work on some stuff. He sends me back to the field. I wander in a direction until I end up in a strange room.



There's a "Natter Energy Egg" and a "Bio-gem". Also, a gas has just turned me back into Bruce Banner. I better be careful. I decide to carefully look at the egg.



The egg explodes. I am dead. Wow. Didn't even give me a fucking chance to do anything, did you, game? OK, so I end up in Limbo. I once again bite my tongue and start again. This time, I choose a different direction and end up in a place with a big hill, covered in tiny holes and a gem.



I pick up the gem.



Oh. Alien ants. I better take a look at them before doing anything rash.



Yep, that's an ant. And they are swaming.



What a grotesque way to die. I mean, they went for my friggin' eyes. That's horrifying. Turns out looking at an alien ant farm is as bad as listening to them, but are also far less bland and toothless. Take that, band I'm only vaguely familiar with. Well, I go back to the ants and decide to smash them. That'll show them what's what.



Well, that didn't help. LEAVE HULK'S EYES ALONE! Shit, thank's for robbing me of my fantasy of being an unstoppable clobber machine, Scott Adams. Do you seriously not know who the Hulk is and how he solves problems? Because it isn't by digging a hole in the ground. Which I end up doing.





Not sure what I accomplished with this, but it's done. Since they bothered making pictures, this is probably important. I wander around for a bit again only to discover that I'm trapped in that room with the egg and the gem again, but none of them are there!



Also, the room is slowly filling up with gas. I've turned into Bruce Banner! And there's no exit. I examine the walls and find only scratch marks! Is there a way out? Tune in next time to find out! (I might need help here...)

To Be Hulktinued...

NEXT ISSUE!: Bruce Banner escapes the room! I hope.

'Nuff Said!

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Old 05-23-2018, 12:07 PM
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Oh my god...

Nothing could have prepared me for the sight of the Chief Inquisitor sitting at his desk.

Thatís just... I...

Yes. Yes please.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:33 PM
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I'm sorry for your pain but I love seeing you bang your head against Scott Adams adventure logic.

Good luck!(?)
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:57 PM
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It gets worse/better. So much worse/better.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:53 PM
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Great stuff Johnny. This was a baffling experience from start to end.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
This was a baffling experience from start to end.
This comment also works as a description of my life and a Yelp review of Hulk Hogan's Pasta-Mania.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:36 AM
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By the way, I want to thank everyone for their comments and everyone who read this for reading it. I hope you enjoyed it in some capacity.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:37 AM
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And most of all, thank you Scott Adams.

For proving that no joy can come from anyone with your name.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:18 PM
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Octopus Prime indirectly states no joy can be derived from paralymic skier Scott Adams.
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