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My Year of Gust - March: The Adventures of Robin Lloyd

Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited March 2014 in Staff Review Blogs
Originally I was planning on getting out one of my portable Atelier games for this month, but I don't have anything that can play the GBC carts properly at the moment, and I've decided to save the GBA game for August, when I'm hoping to take a nice vacation. So I decided to try something different.

The Adventures of Robin Lloyd is perhaps the oddest game to come out of Gust in the 90s, at least in relation to the rest of the Gust library. It's a 3D game, for one, and the 3D isn't half bad. It's still a PSX game, but it's far from the worst I've seen for that console. The titular character is a famous detective who lives in London circa 1926. He's calm, suave, carries a gun and drives a fast car (looks like a red Studebaker or old model Benz -- with a front mounted cannon when necessary).

For the first case, Ms. Alicia Garfield of the London Garfields hired Robin to find her fiance, who disappeared while trying to track down a stolen ruby called the Morning Rose. I investigated the museum where he was last seen, only to uncover an art forgery ring and black market auction house. Then this crazy man named Colonel Doyle busted in and things get crazy.

The first half of the case is pure adventure game, with Robin running around and examining stuff, using what he finds to figure out puzzles and advance the story. Once I got into the museum's double-secret basement (already visited the secret forgery basement), the ACTION! segments started up. These are set events that play like a not particularly well designed action game. The controls really aren't too good, so if any shooting's involved, you might as well just spam the shoot button and hope for the best.

ACTION! #1 had Robin being savaged by exactly 18 Nile crocodiles who were living in the sewers beneath the museum. There was a half-scale reproduction of the Sphinx and a quarter-scale model of the Great Pyramid a little farther on, so they weren't THAT out of place... It took me several tries before I learned to forget about aiming and just blast away.

ACTION! #2 was inside the Sphinx, and involved actual boulders rolling down corridors to try and crush Robin. This came well after I read a book by Robin's friend the archeologist that was in the library, which actually referenced several elements of the opening sequence from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

ACTION! #3 was a little farther on, when Robin was ambushed by a squad of Col. Doyle's flunkies. Again, firing like crazy saved the day.

ACTION! #4 was outside the pyramid replica, when Col. Doyle busted in with a tank. It looked for a moment that Robin had brought a gun to a tank fight, but then his trusty dog (yes, dog) drove his car in through the hole left by the tank, and we had a car-on-tank duel. I do not know why Robin's car has front mounted cannons, but I am thankful for it.

I saved and turned it off not long after that. The ruby turned out to have been a fake all along, having been switched out some 150 years early by pirates. Case #2 has Robin, Alicia, and Lyle the archeologist going in search of the pirate ship.

So basically I'm playing someone's Tintin fanfic adventure game. It's a fun change of pace.


  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2014
    For the second (and final) chapter, I get to explore the pirate ship! It's in curiously good condition for something that was apparently submerged for much of the last century, and the ghosts of the crew are chatty in their own special ways. I got to hack lots of barnacles off things with an axe, which is always fun. For the action segments, I had to fend off more of Colonel Doyle's goons, then a gorilla-sized steam-mech, then finally Colonel Doyle's submarine (because the Robin Car is apparently amphibious). For the puzzles, there was one good music tone puzzle, a few more put-em-together puzzles, and an annoyingly hard to find key (because the item it was hidden in was hard to distinguish from the surrounding items without rotating the camera, so I didn't even notice it at first).

    And so, at the very end, we have a bookend scene that plays out almost exactly like the beginning. Lyle has once again been tasked with finding a missing stone in order to get permission to marry Alicia (because apparently the last adventure wasn't Herculean enough), and has gone missing in the jungles of Wherever. It's off to the rescue.... if the game didn't end right then. Darnit, I was wanting more!

    Random trivia:
    The music in the pirate area includes a bit of chanting towards the end of the track loop. You can clearly hear "Ooga-chakka, ooga-chakka, ooga ooga ooga-chakka," but no "Ay-ya-ya-ya-ya" following it.
    Also in the pirate area, there is a barrel. Examining it will make Robin say "Barrel?" Yup, this is a Gust game...
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