Dropsy: Dog and Mouse

I’ve mentioned that Dropsy features a dog, which follows the clown around. Yes, you can pet it. You can also switch control to it, if you need to do something that the dog can do but the clown cannot, such as digging up some dirt or fitting through a doggie door. But it also functions as a hint device. The dog frequently leaves your side to go sniff something, and in so doing, draws attention to some of the game’s more difficult-to-notice clickables.

In my last post, I mentioned being stuck trying to deal with a man in a chicken costume. I’ve gotten through that part, and it’s all thanks to the dog. First, I noticed that the dog wasn’t just sniffing at this man, but enthusiastically barking at him. I had heard this barking before, but I didn’t notice it until I started paying more attention to the dog’s behavior in general. I was pretty sure that the chicken man was the key to my current mission, so hearing the dog bark made me realize that it was barking at him because he was important at that moment. This inspired me to take a walk through all the other rooms to see if there was anything else that the dog thought was important. And… there wasn’t. Which, as in The Adventure of Silver Blaze, was crucial to figuring things out! Knowing that there wasn’t anything directly relevant anywhere else, I focused my attention on the chicken man, and realized that I had been misinterpreting an ambiguous speech icon — I thought he had just been saying “I don’t like you”, but the clown icon wasn’t the one everyone else used to express similar sentiments. What he was really saying was specifically “Don’t hug me.”

Anyway, I’m significantly further along now. The clown’s partner has fallen ill, and lies on his cot, inert and miserable. Obtaining health care in the screwed-up corporatized system of this game is a big task for such a simple clown. But at the same time, I’ve befriended a mouse. Like the dog, the mouse follows me around and can be controlled directly to sneak through little holes. I have to say, the emphasis in this game is shifting more and more toward traditional adventurey mechanical puzzles instead of figure-out-what-will-make-people-happy puzzles. Obtaining the mouse required fiddling with a crane in a junkyard, and the puzzles requiring the mouse have mostly been about circumventing security systems. There are still a number of sad people who need cheering up, but they seem to be off the critical path.

Before I got the mouse, there was an empty slot for its icon in the verb menu, a silhouette of a mouse’s head right next to the icon for controlling the dog. There’s still one more empty slot next to that. I wonder what it is? A bird, maybe? That would solve some problems I have with objects too high to reach.

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