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Old 05-18-2018, 04:51 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 07:03 AM. Reason: Whew, all fixed
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:56 AM
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I am... so thrilled to see this, finally!
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:10 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, 07:18 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, 10:19 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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Old 05-18-2018, 10:31 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, 10:33 AM
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Those beautiful CGA graphics!
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:35 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 05-18-2018, 10:35 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 05-18-2018, 10:43 AM
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It's only recently that I looked at the lyrics and found it contains the words "Ain't no monster clown."

Which sounds like insanity, but is also untrue.

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Old 05-18-2018, 11:22 AM
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Thatís a robot clown, not a monster clown.

With one notable exception, a robot can not be a monster.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:26 AM
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Except it's not a robot clown, it's a monster described as a robot clown.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:29 AM
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Mechano is the Doctor, not the monster.

Wait, is he juggling a seal too?

I mean, I suppose a full grown seal is pretty heavy, and hard to juggle, but heís also got a horse and elephant up in the air too. A seal just feels unnecessary.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:31 AM
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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, 11:32 AM
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He probably started with the seal, then moved to bigger animals. Meaning for a few moments, the show involved a monster robot clown throwing and catching a single seal in the air.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:24 PM
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So. I wrote an entire chapter of this with the text, but JBear got me a copy of the game with graphics. So I'm going to post that on Sunday, then will restart with the graphics version. Think of it as a special edition where I die fewer times.
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