Wonderquest: Enter Cahill

Level 15 — the final one! (Until I try Dreams, anyway.) I still don’t know what “Master Orion” refers to. Maybe it’s a person, or maybe Orion is a collective name of the puzzles, which we’re expected to master. There’s certainly an emphasis on mastery at this point, anyway, as the puzzles and the secrets reach a fevered pitch of complexity. Every level, it seems, consists of a core 5×5 area with optional secret rooms outside its periphery. Here on level 15, there are nearly as many secret rooms as core — albeit a lot of that is a big multi-room maze, like the infamous level 13 in King Dugan’s Dungeon. At least Wonderquest is kind enough to keep its big maze optional.

The star of this level is the newly-acquired character, Cahill the Australian Aborigine. We’ve seen what this game does with a female character, so how does it handle a Black one? The answer is that it doesn’t even try. Cahill doesn’t even get an intro dialogue like all the other characters. Possibly an oversight on the creator’s part, or maybe he was tired of writing intro dialogues by the time he got to this level. Regardless, Cahill is more a collection of mechanics than a character. He’s the only character who can move through forest, which I’ve found confusing at times, as the game has taught the player pretty well by this point that forest equals wall. Just like when Chen swims through water, he loses access to his weapon when forestwalking. This is a pretty big limitation, because his weapon is his superpower. It’s a boomerang, although its capabilities are more that of a batarang, not just hitting enemies on both the way out and the way back, but striking orbs and setting off bombs. And explosions make it go out farther before returning, so there are puzzles all about setting up complicated combo moves. So whatever his shortcomings as a character (in a story that hasn’t been all that good with characters generally), he’s a humdinger of a puzzle element.

3 Comments so far

  1. matt w on 13 Feb 2022

    What is the DROD community view on level 13? I played a Flash version of DROD through the level that’s all about red doors, and level 13 was my favorite part by far.

  2. Jacob on 14 Feb 2022

    I did a whole new level 13 for the FlashDROD iteration (which had a set of intersecting puzzles rather than a maze alone). I think a version with the original maze was also included.

    So it kind of depends which one you are referring to.

  3. matt w on 15 Feb 2022

    …oh, I played a version with intersecting puzzles.

    Well you did a great job! I loved that version1

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