Disco Driscoll

Point and click, retro, music, meh...

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Trilby's Notes

The third, and most accomplished of the Chzo Mythos, Trilby's Notes places itself inbetween 5 Days and 7 Days in the timeline. Once again, we take control of the gentleman cat-burglar Trilby as he attempts to locate the poisonous idol at the Clanbronwyn Hotel in deepest Wales.

As we should expect by now, all is not what it originally seems, and far from being an idyllic country retreat, the Hotel turns into a living nightmare for our avaricious friend as it starts to shift between parallel worlds. Unfortunately for Trilby, one of these worlds is home to the Tall Man, a demonic apparition at the heart of the Chzo Mythos series, and one whose raison d'etre is causing pain. Oh dear.

Armed with tranquilisers and coffee to enable him to shift between the two worlds, Trilby sets off about the hotel in search of the idol which he knows is being held there by an exhibitor who is intending to display the item at a local fair, not knowing its full power.

The game differs from other Chzo games insofar as we use the cursor keys to manoeuvre Trilby and a text parser to get him to perform actions. At first I was sceptical on the parser, but it works well and there were no instances when I was playing through that I felt it was holding me back (ie., that I knew what I wanted but just couldn't express it). Usually, it's just a case of 'open door' and 'take pills', so it's suited to the game.

I say that the game is accomplished as it fleshes out the ideas and storylines from the 5 Days and 7 Days games, and it cannot have been easy for the author to slot the game inbetween the two existing games.

The sub-plot of the main game involves acting out scenes from the back-story of the idol, from its inception in a forest, through to its transportation on a slave ship. These are done brilliantly, and the sepia-tinted artworks add an eerie quality to the atmosphere of the game.

As with previous Chzo games, it's not for kids. The graphical style may not be particularly lucid, but some of the scenes are decidedly lurid. However, when you're telling a story about a pain elemental and summoning up witchcraft and torture themes, it's important that you can express this graphically.

Therefore, if you've played the other two games in the series, then Notes is a must. If you have yet to play any of the Chzo Mythos, then best not to start here as you may be somewhat confused by the storyline.


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