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The Mulldoon Legacy

by Jon Ingold profile

Episode 1 of Mulldoon
Fantasy/Time Travel
1999

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(23)
4 star:
(8)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 34
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- Cory Roush (Ohio), July 10, 2017

- Denk, September 14, 2016

- miren, July 25, 2016

Puzzle intensive and absorbing, June 9, 2016

This game is huge and took me 24 days to solve. For the beginner? Definitely not. Admittedly, I had to consult a walkthrough, and on at least one occasion, I had to start over--but as I always say, that's par for the course in games worth playing. As with another game I reviewed, Curses!, this game is full of puzzles and conundrums on many fronts, and I would recommend it to any seasoned veteran who is looking for such challenges. I would recommend a thorough and accurate map, objects list, and list of problems/obstacles--which you will definitely need, because this game is so sprawling and hither-and-yon, that while working in one area, it's easy to forget what obstacles you found in another a while back. There are also a number of games-within-a-game 'vignettes'--one consolation here is that some are well self-contained(=with solutions near-to-hand), and even give you chances to 'try again'.
I think I do need to mention that even if you are very observant, some things in this game are easy to miss. You will need to move some things or do some actions that you might not think you would be allowed to move or do. Plus, remember that EVERY object that you find in this game is crucial to your completing it. And there is at least one object that will totally stump you as to its use--but when you realize what its use is, you will be very amused--which I thought was a stroke of genuine genius by the author.
I did not give this game 5 stars, but I would give it an additional 1/2 star if this were possible. I say not 5 stars, because of the above mentioned situations where things are not made obvious or details not made clear, also because in some places, the grammar and syntax in the descriptions are somewhat 'off'(at least in the release that I played). Words are unnecessarily repeated, there are typos, high school mistakes(of the type 'where is he at?' or 'an object which you don't know where it is', etc). And what are called 'Britishisms'--which can put off the already awkward-feeling beginner. However, I am a frequent watcher of British television, and am thoroughly amused by Monty Python, so this did not put me off, in fact I felt entertained by it, but others may not. But when you consider that Mr. Ingold wrote this game while also burdened by student work, he still did an excellent job. An A- from me.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Big, puzzle-filled game with deep backstory somewhat spoiled by bottlenecks, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 10+ hours
Muldoon Legacy is an enormous game, one of the largest I have ever seen. It has a wide variety of interesting puzzles, with a sci-if/fantasy backstory.

I fully expected to deeply enjoy this game, having loved Curses and Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina, and having just come off the similar game Theatre. However, I just couldn't get into the game.

I played without a walkthrough for a few days, getting only around 11 points. I am not the greatest puzzle solver, and I don't mind using walkthroughs when I'm stuck, but the game gets stuck too frequently.

Case in point: after the intro (which required some, to me, unintuitive commands), you begin at the museum's steps. As you are immediately told, getting in requires not one, but two keys. And the second key requires (Spoiler - click to show)a seemingly random sequence of button presses on a keypad). There is virtually nothing to do while waiting to solve this puzzle.

Compare this to other games with early bottlenecks, like Zork. There, if you can't get in the house, you can always explore the forest. And if you do stay to solve the puzzle, putting yourself in the mindset of the character gives you the answer almost immediately. (Spoiler - click to show) Door locked? Try the window . The beginnings of other games such as Curses, Ballerina, and Theatre all give you more options or a more gentle beginning, and giving you a pile of smaller puzzles that aren't that hard to work through while digesting the big ones.

One bottleneck would be fine, but they occur over and over again. It is as if ALL puzzles require "two keys" (for instance, another early puzzle requires (Spoiler - click to show) lighting a match with a brick you had to search for outside, then using the match to light a branch you found in another room. And the brick can't be found by using "examine"). This is compounded by my least favorite way of creating fake difficulty, which is giving rooms exits that are not in the description (although you are given hints in other areas about these exits).

I suppose that this game resembles Jigsaw more than anything else, with similar fake difficulty and bottlenecks. Both games, however, are still fun to play through, but don't expect to get far without a walkthrough.

As a final note, Jon Ingold writes some great games. I especially enjoyed the short game "Failsafe", and many people have enjoyed "All Roads".

Revised comments:
I decided to at least see the rest of the game. The nozzle room was one of the best things I had seen in all of interactive fiction. But I stand bh my original review. What makes this game not click if it has great puzzles and enormous amounts of locations, and a developed plot?

Pacing.

J.R.R. Tolkien had the same issue. He developed a massive world, and coalesced it into the Silmarillion, which had great, well-written, detailed stories. It flopped. I like it, but it flopped. He then learned to trim his work down and focus on likable characters, a well-developed plotline and beautiful location descriptions.

This work is like the Silmarillion. It is 2-4 times the length od the massive curses, which Graham Nelson wisely trimmed down in size from his first draft. Puzzles are dense, and detailed. People say they like hard puzzles, but what they really want are puzzles that make them feel smart for solving them, but can be solved after a reasonable time. And, like the Silmarillion, no characters are especially likable. Everyone seems somewhat elitist. One finak issue is the prevalence of guews-the-verb issues.

I would recommend glancing at a walkthrough after each area to see if you did everything necessary. This game is enjoyable, but don't stress out about getting hints.

- namekuseijin (anywhere but home), January 7, 2016

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- <blank>, April 20, 2015

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), January 12, 2015

- Alaya, September 21, 2013

- ptkw, March 11, 2013

- kala (Finland), November 12, 2012

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Mulldoon Legacy, November 4, 2012
Wonderful, simply wonderful. Okay, I admit (and this has already been said):
-It has A LOT of puzzles
-There is a HUGE object list to carry around
-It is almost impossible to complete without consulting the walkthrough (or is it just me?)

But so what? It had me immersed in it for days, despite the fact I didn't have a clue what I was doing most of the time, like a monkey fiddling with a Rubik's cube. Minor quibbles, and I feel awful for even saying this, as I cannot praise this game highly enough, would be the size of the object list (could some spent objects have been conveniently disposed of in the similar way that used keys are left in locks in the game?), and that the sheer size and complexity of the game (did he really write this when he was doing his A-levels?) means the player could do with a bit more guidance about what to tackle and when. Unless you are an incredibly patient, organised, observant, methodical lateral thinker and hyper-intelligent pragmatist (I am none of these), you could spend days of your life wandering around the museum in blissful ignorance (and I did).

Anyway, I am increasingly amazed, and incredibly grateful, that people like Jon put years of their lives into creating these things, despite the fact the only reward they get is the joy of creating them in the first place and (presumably) the vicarious enjoyment of others playing them. A big thank you to everyone out there who creates IF. The main reason for posting this is not an in-depth review, as you have probably noticed (I did type one but got timed out and sent back to the IFDB log-in page!): this laziness is the main reason (apart from a lack of the scary levels of intelligence, technical ability and imagination which Mr Ingold possesses) I can't create masterpieces like this. I just want to see if anyone is out there reads this and who shares my love for this medium. Whenever I try to explain the premise of games like this, which is increasingly less often, to one of my friends, who are increasingly less in number as I lock myself away to play these games, they look at me like I'm mad. Perhaps I am. Mr Ingold, I salute you!

- troels, August 8, 2011

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Hard to complete without a walkthrough., February 3, 2011
First of all, this game is incredible. I started playing it and was hooked after five minutes (excluding the opening scene, which I couldn't get into at first). Entering the museum, exploring the first rooms, speaking with the first NPC, beginning the transition from the tangible to magical realms. This was very exciting for me.

I had read the author's notes about playing the game without a walkthrough, and I was very excited to attempt this. I made a determination that no matter how long it took, I would not consult any solutions guide. But, of course, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak right? So after days of being at a standstill at one particular puzzle, having exhausting all my efforts and resources to try and solve it, I finally gave in and looked at a walkthrough. And I was completely and utterly disappointed. I still have not figured out how I was supposed to reach that particular conclusion without guidance. Nothing in the game up to that point (Spoiler - click to show)(how on earth was I supposed to know I needed to point at the sign and get the monkey to look at it? I mean, huh?!) seemed to have given a clue as to encouraging that particular action in that particular circumstance. It felt like such an unfair situation that, in spite of having the answer I needed, I found myself half-heartedly playing the game after that (continuing to use a walkthrough), before finally giving up and moving on.

Now, would I still recommend this game to others? ABSOLUTELY! It is a great piece of work, and it deserves every bit of praise it receives. (In fact, I personally think Jon Ingold is a genious). But I do wish that I had been able to play without a walkthrough, particularly since this was the author's own advice.

- Bernie (Fredericksburg, VA), December 23, 2010

- Shigosei, August 21, 2010

- jahilia, August 1, 2009

- googoogjoob, February 25, 2009

- Linnau (Tel-Aviv, Israel), October 31, 2008

- Nathan (Utah), October 26, 2008

- Steve West, October 13, 2008

- Anders Hellerup Madsen (Copenhagen, Denmark), July 21, 2008

- LisariaUS, July 17, 2008


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