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Author Topic: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]  (Read 38092 times)

xorxif

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #80 on: April 29, 2015, 10:18:26 pm »
Well I got to the end of quest 1, but couldn't bring myself to walk into the last room yet because I didn't find all the Iowa pieces yet. I think I have 7 left to go (under the assumption of 16 life being the final total.) That last battle was freakin hilarious.

I am enjoying the hack a lot, and very impressed with a lot of the little tricks you did that I've seen thus far. I liked that you took creative remix of the mechanics farther than Zelda Challenge Outlands did.

So you say this was supposed to be released in 2009? What caused the delay? I'm the type of person that, when I see a hack this extensive, I want to know as much as possible about it. Would you consider writing a "director's notes" section of the readme? Things like the why, the how, etc. Is it possible you were inspired by the "God Hates You!" hack of Spiritual Warfare by Jomb, for the Genesis?

On a more technical note, do you happen to have the notes on how and why you expanded the ROM, and how much data / program code you added? I would assume the rom expansion to be to allow for more data space for screen flags, dungeon rooms, etc. and of course for more routines. With regards to that sanity check, I think the details of that would greatly interest TCRF.net, as that would be a great addition to the article on there regarding Zelda 1.

Did you see / play The Legend of Link by infidelity? What did you think?

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« Reply #81 on: April 30, 2015, 12:34:29 am »
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« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:02:23 am by Chpexo »

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #82 on: April 30, 2015, 12:55:55 am »
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...I didn't find all the Iowa pieces yet. I think I have 7 left to go (under the assumption of 16 life being the final total.)
Bingo! And once you've found them all, you can seek out...  :-X ...absolutely nothing of interest.  :-X

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I am enjoying the hack a lot, and very impressed with a lot of the little tricks you did that I've seen thus far. I liked that you took creative remix of the mechanics farther than Zelda Challenge Outlands did.
Thank you for noticing! Yeah, I had a whole list of mechanics-related questions to evaluate back in 2009. Stuff like "Can I push a block into lava?, "Can I push a block while laddering over lava?", "What if the block is perpendicular to my line of motion?", etc.

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So you say this was supposed to be released in 2009? What caused the delay?
I began studying 6502 ASM in December 2008, about halfway through the original LOI production timeline. I figured I could learn just enough to make small tweaks in areas where my ideas were 95% feasible within the original confines, "earn" that extra 5% so to speak. To wit, the very first code snippets I studied were those pertaining to the Overworld Raft: I figured out how to (a) change the screens it's active on, (b) change the X/Y "tripwires" that activate it, and (c) prevent the game from automatically triggering an upward scroll when Link/Bob sails northward.

My first attempt/success at introducing new ASM code came in the first weekend of February 2009, when I added a "selective repeat" functionality to the Pulse-1 and Pulse-2 music channels. Since the soundtrack was going to be dance/rave/techno, and such songs are by nature highly-repetitive, it would be both time- and space-saving to have a special way of putting "Play this next bit X times in a row!" flags in the music data. The original game only had such an option for the Triangle channel, and I studied it fervently in order to design functional adaptations for the others.

I anticipated eventual success, but what I didn't anticipate was the sudden sensation of raw power. I had/have no other programming experience; I can sort of make Excel spreadsheets work if I swear at them long enough. And here I'd bumbled my way through enough 6502 ASM to (1) alter a major game routine and (2) introduce new routines based upon an existing one. This begged the challenge: could I create a functional routine of my very own design? The rest of 2009 was basically me doing just that. Beyond the 00's, most of the delays were due to endless IRL drama. I did take an official break from LOI to help out with Donner Party when one of the principals went M.I.A. (It was one of those occasions where the stars had all aligned properly to allow for such a thing to be feasible, and I didn't want the other hackers' efforts to be for naught. Plus, I'd just quit my job and had a cool idea for the Level in question; in a situation like that, one doesn't second-guess the heavens.)

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I'm the type of person that, when I see a hack this extensive, I want to know as much as possible about it. Would you consider writing a "director's notes" section of the readme? Things like the why, the how, etc. Is it possible you were inspired by the "God Hates You!" hack of Spiritual Warfare by Jomb, for the Genesis?
That "Director's Commentary" is an interesting idea, and I'm quite inclined to do it. As for the why/how, the general concept has its roots in 2005 when Meth Panic™ was the Dragon du Jour among Midwestern white people. Iowa was one of the first states to enact those ridiculous Sudafed™ registries, and it was a clear case of people letting their panic get the best of them (and politicians wasting absolutely no time in legislating a retarded Knight to slay the nonexistent Dragon). In war-gaming just all the different ways it could go wrong, I came up with the general plotline of LOI. "G-d Hates You!" didn't come out for another year or two (although I was in contact with Jomb at that point and got to be a beta-tester).

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On a more technical note, do you happen to have the notes on how and why you expanded the ROM, and how much data / program code you added? I would assume the rom expansion to be to allow for more data space for screen flags, dungeon rooms, etc. and of course for more routines.
I've got literal piles of notes, manila folders full of more notes, and piles of boxes and crates containing archaic notes from 7+ years ago! The ROM expansion was incidental; initially I just wanted to switch from CHR-RAM to CHR-ROM, as I hated all the shifting required to properly view the tiles in Tile Layer Pro. SNROM only allows for 8kB of CHR-ROM, which simply isn't enough for a game like Zelda. I went with SKROM because it had the most CHR-ROM support available, plus battery-backed SRAM. And since SKROM also supports 256kB of PRG-ROM, I said, "Sure, why not?"

Surprisingly, most of the stuff I did with all the extra routines, screen flags and dungeon rooms is within the confines of the original eight banks! The supplemental eight are mostly used for Overworld stuff: row-specific macro and block definitions, screen-specific attribute layouts, screen-specific BG/Sprite palettes, etc. The screen-specific Dungeon attribute layouts are all stored in the new Bank 7, with the general handling routine in Bank 5. I'll document the layer-flags in a subsequent post.

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With regards to that sanity check, I think the details of that would greatly interest TCRF.net, as that would be a great addition to the article on there regarding Zelda 1.
And to think, the only reason I stumbled upon THAT twisted mess is because I opted to retask the Death Counter with keeping track of Iowa Pieces!

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Did you see / play The Legend of Link by infidelity? What did you think?
The morning after I played it, I woke up thinking, "Phew, it was just a dream!" And then I remembered that it wasn't!

Psychoanalyst-bait aside, I have a lot of respect for that hack. Naturally, I had fears of being upstaged at the last minute by another full-fledged hack of Zelda 1, but having played it I can't really say that there's much room for professional jealousy. The two hacks (LoL & LoI) aren't even attempting to do the same things, so there's not a lot of ground for them to compete upon. Infidelity gets points for introducing a lot of later franchise elements into the NES format. I get points for saying "What franchise?" I do think either hack is worthy of claiming the "Best Z1 Hack Evar!!!" mantle from Outlands (which after fifteen years is still one of the best hacks out there).

I offered to share my method of converting the Fairy into an achiral 16x16 sprite, which is something I know Infidelity wanted to do. Alas, he seems to have quit the scene which I think is unfortunate.


Rotwang

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2015, 06:02:34 am »
I anticipated eventual success, but what I didn't anticipate was the sudden sensation of raw power.

Fuck yeah, getting bit by that power trip is like shooting heroin for the first time (so I assume...)

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #84 on: May 03, 2015, 10:23:00 pm »
Okay, I'm 80% confident that I've got all the kinks worked-out of the Death Counter --> Iowa Piece Counter conversion, along with the required meta-acrobatics with respect to those damned Sanity Checks. Failure to pass all of them results in entire files being blanked, which is something I'm simply not going to allow. (Anyone who enjoys testing these sorts of things can email or PM me.)

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I'll document the layer-flags in a subsequent post.

Overworld

Layer 1: HHHH ZRxx
H = Horizontal Position upon emerging from grotto/meth lab.
Z = Zora Aquacow active?
R = Alternate Monster Roster active?
x = Unused

Layer 2: GGGG GGxx
G = Grotto Types
x = Unused

Layer 3: NNMM MMMM
N = Quantity Offset
M = Monster ID

Layer 4: ARRR RRRR
A = Alternate Form? (certain bridges & obstacles only appear in 2nd Quest)
R = "Room" Type (screen layout)

Layer 5: N/A for Overworld

Layer 6: QQEH HVVV
Q = Quest-specific secret activation
E = Monster Entry (1 = come in from perimeter)
H = Movable Haybale type (must be arranged to drawn plain ground where it already exists on non-haybale screens)
V = Vertical Position upon emerging from grotto/meth lab.


Underworld

Layer 1: NNNS SSRP
N = North Door
S = South Door
R = Monster Roster (1 = alternate)
P = Pushblock Active? (1 = yes)

Layer 2: WWWE EEAA
W = West Door
E = East Door
A = Attribute-type for inner 12x7 region (0 = default, 1-3 = alternates) [indexed by Room#]

Layer 3: NNMM MMMM
N = Quantity Offset (level-specific)
M = Monster ID

Layer 4: RRRR RRRR
R = Room Type (Only goes up to #9F)*

Layer 5: RSSI IIII
R = Rave Room? (1 = yes)
S = Spritesheet ID#
I = Floor Item ID#

Layer 6: WWWC CHHH
W = SPR-Palette 3 Wildcard value (each dungeon has 8 unique layouts for the final sprite palette)
C = Item Coordinate offset (level-specific)
H = Special Handling (reprogrammed a few)

* I might've added #A0 & #A1 towards the end of production. Most of March '15 is a blur.

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #85 on: May 13, 2015, 01:46:56 pm »
Cool game so far. Been playing for a  few days got 5 Labs down, 10 "Iowa" containers+1 piece, vest, ladder, steroids, soda bottles, bow'n'arrows, and what I think are a glow stick and lighter? I've been lost and wandered the landscape 3 times over. Finally decided I needed to make a screenshot map.

One thing I've noticed (wizzrobes?) shoot the normal zelda projectiles up or down but the altered ones left and right.

Another thing if the ghost farmers hit the bottom of the screen they freeze there.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 01:37:53 am by Mayorofunkytown »

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #86 on: May 14, 2015, 07:21:20 am »
Finally decided I needed to make a screenshot map.

If you view the final product in-aggregate, you'll see what I did there!

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One thing I've noticed (wizzrobes?) shoot the normal zelda projectiles up or down but the altered ones left and right. Another thing if the ghost farmers hit the bottom of the screen they freeze there.

Yeah, that Methromancer thing bothers me too. I should probably make it so it's the "snowflake" energy burst in both cases.

As for the Pharmers- I could lie and say that their behavior is intentional: they're lost souls who float about aimlessly until happening upon scenery that reminds them of their former life, and this revelation (and the implications thereof) just gobsmacks them into paralysis.

Yes, I most certainly could do that!  ;)

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.12 Released!!!]
« Reply #87 on: May 14, 2015, 06:17:56 pm »
If you view the final product in-aggregate, you'll see what I did there!

Yeah, that Methromancer thing bothers me too. I should probably make it so it's the "snowflake" energy burst in both cases.

As for the Pharmers- I could lie and say that their behavior is intentional: they're lost souls who float about aimlessly until happening upon scenery that reminds them of their former life, and this revelation (and the implications thereof) just gobsmacks them into paralysis.

Yes, I most certainly could do that!  ;)
Works for me. Unless they're more prevalent in the corners I haven't uncovered it's not a huge problem. I only noticed when I stopped to fight them thinking they might yield some reward.

Also I think I see what you mean the main colorful area is Iowa and the black areas are the surrounding states South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Illinois which I'm apparently not ill enough to get into, I need E.

Also Methromancer is a great name and I like their twitchiness. I would like to know if the prescription is that well hidden or I'm just really overlooking it?


Hmmm I made this happen...

That haystack was not there but appeared as I walked up the side and opened a door.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 03:21:47 am by Mayorofunkytown »

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #88 on: May 15, 2015, 01:34:46 am »
I would like to know if the prescription is that well hidden or I'm just really overlooking it?

It's a semi-hidden item in Meth Lab #7. More specifically, it's
Spoiler:
hidden in plain site in one of the rooms shown on the map.

Even MORE specifically,
Spoiler:
it's two screens up and one right from the entrance.


Quote

This greatly intrigues me...

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #89 on: May 15, 2015, 03:51:08 pm »
I'm gonna avoid those spoilers for now, but I do feel like I started needing that prescription around or in lab 4 if that means anything. I may be missing an armor upgrade too assuming they're in here which would also help. Also I haven't even found lab 7. This game is chock full of secrets and hidden stuff. I do enjoy your trick with the hit detection on the doors and the the sneaky raft platforms confused me for a bit.

I thought the ammonia bag bosses zelda equivalent was digdogger and hoped the weakness would've been bleach which when used causes a fight with mini clouds of poison gas. Lab 6 was much easier to deal with once I got the cola bomb upgrade I'd hoped the E that the boss gave me was suitable for raver girl but no. Also hoped I'd have enough for the final pitchfork but no again. So now I'm stuck as to where to go next there's still one square on the left side of the map that I've tried to access several times over to no avail, and one house a little over that has a door right onto a river that I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be able to access.

Oh and that weird haystack thing happened after I'd exited lab 4 through the hidden exit if that means anything. It doesn't seem to appear otherwise. Another weird thing here the tree below me if walked into from above is a door which leads to an empty room. I say empty assuming I didn't go into it before and get the item without remembering.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 03:16:37 am by Mayorofunkytown »

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #90 on: May 16, 2015, 05:44:04 am »
Both armor upgrades are included in this hack; like the original game, the final upgrade is hidden in the final dungeon/lab.
The other upgrade is technically available from the moment you get an offensive weapon.

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I thought the ammonia bag bosses zelda equivalent was digdogger and hoped the weakness would've been bleach which when used causes a fight with mini clouds of poison gas... Also hoped I'd have enough for the final pitchfork but no again.

Cantankerous is Gohma's new manifestation, and I'll admit to phoning him in. You'll meet Digdogger's new incarnation in Meth Lab #8.
The pitchfork upgrades are available at six, twelve and sixteen Life Containers.

Quote
Another weird thing here the tree below me if walked into from above is a door which leads to an empty room. I say empty assuming I didn't go into it before and get the item without remembering.

The patch of darkness above the tree is a hidden door. You must've already collected the Iowa Piece therein.
Incidentally, you'll find something else via a similar hidden doorway somewhere to the North.

Quote
So now I'm stuck as to where to go next there's still one square on the left side of the map that I've tried to access several times over to no avail, and one house a little over that has a door right onto a river that I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be able to access.

That square on the center-left is a very special secret for those going for 100% Completion. Your familiarity with the door-detection trick will serve you well in that respect.
As for the Barn by the River, it's just there for decoration.

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #91 on: May 17, 2015, 01:24:02 am »
Both armor upgrades are included in this hack; like the original game, the final upgrade is hidden in the final dungeon/lab.
The other upgrade is technically available from the moment you get an offensive weapon.

Cantankerous is Gohma's new manifestation, and I'll admit to phoning him in. You'll meet Digdogger's new incarnation in Meth Lab #8.
The pitchfork upgrades are available at six, twelve and sixteen Life Containers.

The patch of darkness above the tree is a hidden door. You must've already collected the Iowa Piece therein.
Incidentally, you'll find something else via a similar hidden doorway somewhere to the North.

That square on the center-left is a very special secret for those going for 100% Completion. Your familiarity with the door-detection trick will serve you well in that respect.
As for the Barn by the River, it's just there for decoration.
So I got the purple clothes after I beat lab 6 assuming from the boss but I totally did not see where/when I picked them up. Speaking of you should change the top left text from LEVEL to level to LAB.

Oooh a fourth sword errr pitchfork that is.

Totally missed that hidden door somehow I went up there and tried burning everything but just did not step on that sweet spot. Lab 7 was so much easier than the previous 3 even with going around trying to get the multitude of hidden things, finding the exit was actually the hardest part. Personally I'd make it lab 4 and move the 4-6 up. Any significance to the bird head boss?

So something I experienced in there, and when doing my hack, was moving enemies coupled with limited range due to being blocked off. If they drop a XTC/clock you can potentially be permanently stuck not being able to kill those enemies out of range. Thankfully this time the methromancer was just in range but it's something you may want to tweak.

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #92 on: May 17, 2015, 09:07:28 am »
Quote
So I got the purple clothes after I beat lab 6 assuming from the boss but I totally did not see where/when I picked them up.

This is rather impressive.

Quote
Any significance to the bird head boss?

That's Herky!

Quote
So something I experienced in there, and when doing my hack, was moving enemies coupled with limited range due to being blocked off. If they drop a XTC/clock you can potentially be permanently stuck not being able to kill those enemies out of range. Thankfully this time the methromancer was just in range but it's something you may want to tweak.

I wrestled with that for the longest time! I think I finally reasoned that, since that part's an optional sidequest, making sure one doesn't grab an XTC can be considered part of the challenge.

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #93 on: May 18, 2015, 12:24:56 am »
This is rather impressive.
Was that not supposed to happen?

That's Herky!
HERKY I love him! I see now he's a football mascot but still, that name.

I wrestled with that for the longest time! I think I finally reasoned that, since that part's an optional sidequest, making sure one doesn't grab an XTC can be considered part of the challenge.
Fair enough I suppose.

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #94 on: May 18, 2015, 06:56:45 am »
Was that not supposed to happen?

The first armor upgrade is attained by
Spoiler:
killing 255 enemies without being hit.
That such a thing would happen in Level 6 says a lot about your skill as a player!

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #95 on: May 18, 2015, 12:59:27 pm »
The first armor upgrade is attained by
Spoiler:
killing 255 enemies without being hit.
That such a thing would happen in Level 6 says a lot about your skill as a player!
Holy hell that is cool! Considering I've been playing one incarnation or another of Zelda on and off for about 2 years now I guess I would eventually get pretty good at it.

This is the frustrating part of the game where I'm basically running into/bombing/setting fire to corn/trees to no avail. The hint man says something about a platform outside of the world my guess was that means off the edge of the map, have to look into that more. I have concluded despite what you said that that one map square is impregnable. Unless I need to trigger or get an item I haven't yet. There's also one door a few screens up from that with a UFO just below it that I can't seem to access. Then there's that extra large barn with trees blocking it. I'm assuming lab 9 is in the lower right but is lab 8 as well or perhaps one of them is that barn?

Dr. Floppy

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #96 on: May 18, 2015, 04:09:58 pm »
Quote
This is the frustrating part of the game where I'm basically running into/bombing/setting fire to corn/trees to no avail. The hint man says something about a platform outside of the world my guess was that means off the edge of the map, have to look into that more. I have concluded despite what you said that that one map square is impregnable. Unless I need to trigger or get an item I haven't yet. There's also one door a few screens up from that with a UFO just below it that I can't seem to access. Then there's that extra large barn with trees blocking it. I'm assuming lab 9 is in the lower right but is lab 8 as well or perhaps one of them is that barn?

You're doing pretty well at this point! All of the stuff you mention involves the Cornet, or stuff that can only be attained via Cornet playing. You'll find this oddly-named instrument in Meth Lab #8, which is located in the very lower-right corner of the map. After bribing Molly with her precious "E", you'll make your way down the west coast of Illinois. The "Eye of Illinois" is this hack's version of the Lost Woods, and that's the puzzle to which the "platform" riddle applies.

Think: what other sorts of "platforms" are there?

Level 9 is disturbingly close to home. Someone in Meth Lab #8 is sure to know something of its precise whereabouts...

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #97 on: May 18, 2015, 07:35:39 pm »
You're doing pretty well at this point! All of the stuff you mention involves the Cornet, or stuff that can only be attained via Cornet playing. You'll find this oddly-named instrument in Meth Lab #8, which is located in the very lower-right corner of the map. After bribing Molly with her precious "E", you'll make your way down the west coast of Illinois. The "Eye of Illinois" is this hack's version of the Lost Woods, and that's the puzzle to which the "platform" riddle applies.

Think: what other sorts of "platforms" are there?

Level 9 is disturbingly close to home. Someone in Meth Lab #8 is sure to know something of its precise whereabouts...
Oh snap the pharmacist dude sells E I just assumed it was the clock-like pick up but now I'm guessing that's the item for her. I shall have to research this after work tonight.


Ok I was right now to figure out this platform thing...the screen looks like the windows logo

Welp I'll refrain from posting the answer but I looked at a compass eliminated north and west as exits and of course west as a start. Then went blindly while trying to think of platforms. Got it on my second try I wrote the solution down in short hand and oh shit! that kind of platform occurred to me but I was just thinking too hard.

Lab 8 fell pretty quick Cy actually seemed easier than digdogger. Found the hint men or whatever you call them. That one ladder bugs cause I can't get to it. The crossover with the previous level was cool though.

Just need 8 Iowa pieces and whatever the books equivalent is, and still trying to figure out how to get to those 2 places on the map I've mentioned in the previous post.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 02:46:40 am by Mayorofunkytown »

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2015, 08:28:19 am »
Quote
Just need 8 Iowa pieces and whatever the books equivalent is, and still trying to figure out how to get to those 2 places on the map I've mentioned in the previous post.

I hear Spirit Lake is a good place to meditate... clear one's mind of all distractions. Alas, some of the locals might try to sell you on stories of UFO's in the area. A few complete whackjobs even claim that aliens have discovered an endless fuel supply. "Infinitane", what a joke!

But, such a thing would be nice... Especially when combined with knowledge of the door-detection trick!

Mayorofunkytown

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Re: The Legend of Iowa [UPDATE: Version 1.13 Released!!!]
« Reply #99 on: May 19, 2015, 02:37:33 pm »
I hear Spirit Lake is a good place to meditate... clear one's mind of all distractions. Alas, some of the locals might try to sell you on stories of UFO's in the area. A few complete whackjobs even claim that aliens have discovered an endless fuel supply. "Infinitane", what a joke!

But, such a thing would be nice... Especially when combined with knowledge of the door-detection trick!
Speaking of UFOs I like that their glitch of hitting you from the bottom kind of makes sense now, what with the thruster fire, not sure if that was intentional but it works well enough.

The only lake I see is the purple one near the top. I can drain and get the door but nothing beyond that yet. Made it through the larger part of lab 9 found the arrow, armor, and some people but haven't deciphered any hints from them yet.

Also what's the Patra replacement looks like a shield with a line through it? Thought it might be a  sports thing again but nothing I looked up seemed to fit.