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crowgnarly

[Feedback] End of Vella Chapter

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I've only played through Vella's storyline so far, but the last scene with Mog Chothra was a bit confusing. The first thing I tried was zapping it in the glowing red eye and watching its mouth open. I knew instantly that was the target. Once I was grabbed, I picked up on the "need my hand free" bit pretty quickly and zapping the other tentacles, but shooting it in the red eye made the mouth open for an extended period of time. This led me to believe it was a timing puzzle, where I had to shoot it in the eye right before being picked up, so I could then shoot it in the mouth.

After many attempts at this without success, I randomly started using inventory items and finally hit on the ladder. It wasn't 100% obvious what I had to do, or that I could interact with the mouth or Mog Chothra in any other way than the death ray.

Suggestion: Perhaps during the scene and after a few failed attempts to zap Chothra in the mouth, have Vella say something about "I need to find a way to keep that mouth open."

Maybe there was some hint that I missed, but if so, I'd like to know what it was so I can replay that area and see my own ignorance at work.

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No need to change it. Sounds like you worked through the puzzle exactly as you were supposed to.

Firing at the body of Mog Chothra results in dialogue that the skin is too hard. Firing at the eyes results in dialogue that the eyes are shielded. There is also dialogue that says there must be something softer, so you picked up on the mouth straight away. Getting caught gives you the dialogue about needing to get an arm free, which is the cue to shoot the tentacles. Also, why do you need to have your arm free? Must be because you need to use an object on Mog Chothra. The extendable ladder props open the mouth, and then you fire the laser.

I thought this was one of the better puzzles in the game, reminiscent of using Root Beer on Le Chuck, and sounds like you figured it out without too much hassle. I remember back when I was about 12 years old and my friends and I were so stuck on Day of the Tentacle that we considered calling up the help line.

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That's all mostly true in retrospect, but I didn't figure it out because I was led to believe I had to use the ladder, I did that out of frustration, taking away the satisfaction of solving the puzzle for the right reason.

Also, my assumption was that I needed to free my hand to fire the death ray, not necessarily use an item. I also did not assume that Mog Chothra's mouth was flappy enough to just shove any old object in there, I figured it would be a tighter-lipped beast. There was dialog about the mouth being closed, but given the other 'clue' that shooting it in the eye would open the mouth for an extended period of time, it was misleading. Perhaps it was designed that way on purpose, but I still felt no motivation behind using the ladder.

I think another way to do it would be to allow Mog Chothra to pick you up with its mouth open, but not be able to fire because the death ray had to recharge, cueing a need to keep the mouth open for a bit longer so that you could fire the death ray. THEN I would have been like "Oh, right! I know what to do! Just prop the mouth open with the ladder. Duh!"

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I ended up doing the same thing as crowgnarly, and tried random inventory items until I hit upon the ladder. Certainly not my favourite part of the game so far and perhaps needs some more love?

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I agree, it was a bit confusing for me too. The confusing thing for me was the inconsistency in the behaviour of item usage.

Usually, when you can use an item on something, that something glows. Mog Chothra's mouth didn't glow at all when I held an item over it. Hence, I thought that you couldn't use an item on it. That stuffed me up for a long time! Very much a source of frustration, until I used the ladder anyway out of sheer desperation.

I'd like to say I was pleasantly surprised when it worked, but I wasn't. The inconsistency in item usage behaviour made that scene a source of near eternal anguish.

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I had the same problem. When Mog Chothra grabs you with both arms it opens its mouth to put you in. But when it grabs you with one arm, it doesn't. This confused me, I could not understand why only holding me with one arm made Mog Chothra refuse to try and eat me. This stopped me from thinking I needed to use items to get its mouth open. So like Crowgnarly I only found the solution by randomly trying items, and it would've been much more satisfying if I knew what I was supposed to do and then figured out the solution. Some changes in animation or dialogue to make it clear what the puzzle is would help a lot.

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I had basically the same problem - since the Mog opened its mouth before, I assumed that it was a timing-based puzzle. Maybe it would help if it opened its mouth only slightly when it grabs you with its last tentacle? That might require an additional dialog line though to inform the player that you can't aim at such a small target or something similar.

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The only problem I had with this scene was that me doing trial and error for minutes and hanging there, waiting for the monster to eat me only to find that it'd rather drop me made it plainly obvious that I was in no real danger whatsoever.

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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! We have a couple lines related to keeping the mouth open. I will look into making sure they are triggering correctly when I get a chance. I think they may not be wired up to play when you are in the closeup with Mog, which may be when they are most helpful.

And the mouth not glowing is a good bug, I'll definitely fix that, thanks!

Re: using the recharge time of the laser to reinforce the player needing to find a way to keep the mouth open: That's what we were going for actually! If you shoot Mog in the mouth, he opens his mouth, but by the time the laser is charged again, his mouth is closed. I think playing a hint line about needing to keep mouth to stay open on the 2nd or 3rd time you attempt to shoot his mouth after it has closed might be a good idea. I can't make any promises though, this may make things too easy, etc. But I will definitely give it a look!

Thanks!

Ben

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Re: using the recharge time of the laser to reinforce the player needing to find a way to keep the mouth open: That's what we were going for actually! If you shoot Mog in the mouth, he opens his mouth, but by the time the laser is charged again, his mouth is closed. I think playing a hint line about needing to keep mouth to stay open on the 2nd or 3rd time you attempt to shoot his mouth after it has closed might be a good idea. I can't make any promises though, this may make things too easy, etc. But I will definitely give it a look!

Yeah, don't dumb it down too much. After all, everybody here seems to have had no real problem solving the puzzle and it is the climax of Vella's story in Act I.

If you could find a way to make the hanging seem less passive, that'd be great already. Might be a bit late but just adding some struggling between Vella and Mog Chothra (it shaking her around or something) would go a long way IMHO. Just hanging there feels like "huh, what am I afraid of exactly?"

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And the mouth not glowing is a good bug, I'll definitely fix that, thanks!

Awesome! That pretty much resolves my concern about the last puzzle.

Bring on Act 2! ;)

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I never thought that ladder could open Mog Chothra's mouth... I was kind of desperate and started spamming items.

I think that's actually my only "complain" about the game.

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