Since the last 2 discs I tried were kind of a bust, I moved swiftly on to another recent procurement: Scooby-Doo: Phantom of the Knight. This is part of a series of 3 mystery adventure games published by The Learning Company circa 2001. The other 2 are Showdown in Ghost Town and Jinx at the Sphinx (I bought the latter at the same time as Phantom but carelessly forgot to verify that a CD-ROM was in the sleeve; missing media is a real problem at this thrift store).
The game begins when the Mystery Van has an encounter with a fireball. Deciding to pull over and assess any heat damage, the gang takes refuge in an old castle nearby. The castle is named Joust For Fun and is sort of a medieval theme park. They quickly learn that the place is being haunted by the Black Knight, believed to be the spirit of the castle’s original owner (which, BTW, was originally built in Scotland and later disassembled and reassembled over here, where “here” is presumably the U.S. or possibly Canada).
Anyway, the player meets a colorful cast of characters including the owner, one Jane McHaggis who, surprisingly, is not a crude Scottish stereotype despite her name. It seems that Pizza Palace is very aggressively trying to buy up the property but Old Lady McHaggis is holding firm in her choice not to sell. I’m sure that’s just a red herring regarding the true motivation behind the Black Knight.
So the game has the player wandering around the castle, interacting with random objects during the traditional adventure game pixel-hunt, and engaging in various minigame puzzles. This is the first such puzzle, necessary to gain entry into the castle:
It just entails clicking on the flags down below in order to cycle through the flag patterns so that they match the patterns on top of the drawbridge. Pretty straightforward. Night quite as odd as the minigame that requires solving when first meeting Sir Lacksalot, a surfer-accented actor who is just trying to make ends meet with this knight acting gig:
You have to move all the armor that has fallen on the klutz, but the armor is an entangled mess. You have to tug at various pieces with the mouse cursor until something finally gives. At various junctures, Lacksalot has the temerity to address me as “dude” with the utmost incredulity. That made it all the more satisfying to exit the room with the whole gang and leave him trapped. However, I had to come back later and give it another shot when I realized the game wasn’t going anywhere until I dug him out.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed when I finally got the armor off because it meant that I had to continue playing the game. But it wasn’t much longer before I was very, unequivocally stuck and thus had an excuse to put the game down and start on this post and my first new MobyGames entry in months.