My LBA Experiences
June 5, 2022 at 6:29 pm #6103
So first it was Quake month, and now it’s LBA!! In the span of 3 months you’ve covered two games which are special for me, but for completely different reasons 🙂
It seems only fitting that I share my experiences of this game also, together with some of my background story.
So as I mentioned last time, I got my first PC in the autumn of 1996.
Gaming was only a minor part of the reason I wanted the PC at all at that time. I was much more into office software, programming, DTP, and exploring multimedia. I was however exposed to some 3D games at school, like Doom and Descent, and I liked the idea of having these at home to play at my leisure. Despite this, Little Big Adventure was the first game that was gifted to me, making it the first full version PC game that I owned.
My initial impression of it was one of disappointment. The game starts you off in a prison, which I felt was a rather negative setting from the outset. Trying to escape from the prison is both tedious and punishing.
Trying to jump on the bed and over the glass walls, but it doesn’t work… waiting but nothing happens… change action mode… oh here’s a transporter… but it not descending because i’m stood where it’s supposed to land, so it goes away… waiting for the transporter to return, and then getting beaten unconscious by the guard… the game restarts.
Aggressive mode and sluggish controls fighting with the guard… oh the transporter left without me… waiting for the transporter… successfully escape my cell, but zapped unconscious by the elephant and the game restarts.
Go through all that again… but this time the transporter catches my head as it passes me on the stairs and the game restarts. ugh… 🙁
I mean honestly, at the time this stuff felt more tedious than sitting in school. The only reason I was persevering with it was because it was a gift, and it was the only full-version game that I owned, so I felt some sort of obligation to suffer onward.
In that first play session, I didn’t even manage to escape the prison. It was a few days later before I could stomach trying the game again. In my second session did I manage it, but it was just more of the same thing which followed, only with a bigger world, which made it only slightly less tedious, and there was a bit of exploring to enjoy there.
The whole game consists of fumbling around due to a distinct lack of guidance, clumsy unresponsive controls leading to annoying setbacks, then making negligible progress and boring repetition.
There were a few positives for me however. For one, the game music is especially lovely. It’s one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a game. I would sometimes insert the CD just to play to the CD music. Secondly, the visual design of the game is very pleasant. A lot of love has clearly gone into the design of the characters, the look of the environment and the buildings. It’s a real shame that the gameplay let’s it all down.
Patchy play over the weeks which followed, but I struggled on, upto the white leaf desert island. I had so much trouble jumping over the rocks from the fishing boat that I abandoned the game soon after. I didn’t feel I was making any real progress by that point either. The CD was stored away hopefully never to be touched again, and the game was soon forgotten. In retrospect I had only completed about 25% of it.
LBA left me with this strange nostalgia. I got little enjoyment out of it, yet it has remained special to me. This was the first game I played out of a sense of obligation.
In 2016 (before dosgameclub was even a thing), Tijn mentioned this game to me on IRC, and a lot of these memories resurfaced. It had been almost 20 years since I had played it, or even thought about it… Maybe it was time to take another look at the game, to see if my opinion of it had changed at all.
For better or worse, I found my opinions hadn’t changed. Playing it was just as much of an unsatisfying struggle for me now as it was all those years ago. I didn’t play very much of it.
Meanwhile, our friend rnlf was busy at this time restoring 90s PC hardware, and collecting 90s boxed games. In early 2017 he acquired his own a boxed copy of LBA, and he recorded a series of playthroughs for our entertainment. His experiences and frustrations with the game were similar to my own, and he gave up playing only slightly further on than the point where I quit back in the 1990s.
Later in 2017, inspired by rnlf’s effort, I found a source port called WinLBA, and a walkthrough, and I tried to charge through the game as hard as I could. The walkthrough took a lot of the fumbling out of the game, giving me clear tasks and a definite sense of progress. It allowed me to focus on the physical aspects of the game: running around, combat, and interacting with things. I found it was a lot more enjoyable playing with the walkthrough.
I still didn’t manage to complete the game, but I got about 90% of the way there. I think there was some sewer I got stuck in, and the walkthrough wasn’t clear, or didn’t match with what I was seeing… I’m not sure now.
So yeah, I still haven’t finished it. Part of me would very much like closure :p
TijnKeymasterPodcasterJune 5, 2022 at 11:01 pm #6105
Sounds like you made it quite far in the end. There’s a sort of sewer section near the end with a rock concert, maybe that’s where you stranded. After that there’s only one location I believe, which isn’t overly difficult compared to what came before. So yeah, pretty close!
This game is definitely tedious and vague. It’s filled with bad mechanics and also expects you to remember every little detail that is mentioned if you want some idea of where to go next.
But that being said, I think there’s also a lot of charm there. As you say the music is spectacular. I just love being in this world, even though the controls are awkward and the gameplay is overly punishing. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome honestly lol
f2bnpParticipantJune 6, 2022 at 8:31 am #6112
I think a lot of the more frustrating elements of LBA were ironed out to a degree with LBA2, which is IMO a far superior game with just as much charm. It also helps that I played it first :p
TijnKeymasterPodcasterJune 6, 2022 at 11:43 am #6117
LBA2 is definitely a lot less frustrating. Also the fact it has a free camera in some outside sections and allows you to drive around in a little buggy is really cool.
Sadly I never enjoyed LBA2 quite as much as I did the first game, mostly because I feel the story is a lot weaker. As with so many sequels, it feels like “Twinsen goes on another adventure for no reason”, while the first game was filled with purpose.June 6, 2022 at 6:29 pm #6118
I found my save game, and I can explain how I’m stuck.
I’m in a sewer called “Tippet Island”. There is a funky rabbibunny on a raised platform who sells information.
There is also a fisherman to the left who is supposed to drop a key when spoken to, except he does not, so I cannot progress.
It’s possible he did drop a key at some point back in 2017 \_o_/ but it is not in my inventory, nor is there a key in my status screen.
Might I have left this room without opening the gate, lost the key from my status screen, and the event cannot be triggered again? That’s all I can think might have happened.
This is the gate I believe I must open, just up from the funky rabbibunny:
ShatteredParticipantPodcasterJune 6, 2022 at 10:36 pm #6129
Oh no! You are so far along too 🙁
Apparently you aren’t the only person to have experienced this. There might be some tips in this thread and the linked one to magicball.net
If you’d like I could also hunt for a save around that part of the game, I’ve made a ton of save copies along the way. I’m playing the GoG version.June 25, 2022 at 8:12 pm #6222
So, I decided to start a new game and play through the whole thing.
I FINALLY completed the game! That’s a 25 year weight off my shoulders!
I took some screenshots along this week’s journey, which I’ll share with you now 🙂
Home Sweet Home
No Fuel Crisis Here
Fixing The Water Tower
Unlocking Desert Isle
On Our Holidays
Going To Barbados
Moving The First Statue
Opening The Cave
Got Myself A Hovercraft
Clear Water Lake
Fixed His Kidney Stone
To Tippett Island
Storm The Castle
Freeing The Forger
Got Myself A Saber
The Teleportation Center
P-P-P-Pick Up A Penguin
RoboDamsel In Distress
Weird Twinsen Clone
Lol, The Dozer Fell Off The Wall
The Final Showdown
Drinks All Round
Band In My Honour
See you all in the next game o/
GrandpaGamerParticipantJune 26, 2022 at 7:42 pm #6227
I joined DGC about a week ago but want to share my experience with LBA. I never heard of this game before I saw it listed as the game of the month. It is no wonder because very few games were sold in the USA compared to the rest of the world so it probably didn’t get much publicity here. At any rate, I budgeted 5 hours to give this game a try. The game manual provides enough information to get started. I found the controls rather klunky, but I was able to play. I died over and over but after 3 GAME OVER messages, I was able to get out of the asylum with my ID card and Holomap wearing a nurse outfit. Several more GAME OVER messages, but I discretely got a ride from the garbage truck. The soldiers in the next section don’t like my attire and they gave me a few more GAME OVER messages. In the meantime, I stumbled upon the sewer and got a GAME OVER message in there then discovered that you can climb some metal rungs in NORMAL mode to get out. I just used my ATHLETIC skill to run like mad to the left and found my home receiving a few more GAME OVER messages. I didn’t do a very good job of hiding and the next thing I knew, I was back in the asylum. Fortunately the saved game got me closer to my house where I was supposed to somehow go down my chimney, but I never figured out how. With my budged 5 hours now up, I figured it was time to cheat and see what others have done. I watched Tijn’s first video for his playthrough to learn that I made it to a point 20 minutes into his 8 hours of game play. At this rate, it should take me another 115 hours to complete the game. So… I am not impressed with this game. Interaction with the characters and other environment tells what needs to be done, but I had to die trying to figure out how to do it and that cost me a lot of time. But don’t use my opinion as you make your own assessment of the game as I only got about 5% of the way through the game.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.