And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

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And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:27 am

Split from the Manhunter Fan Site thread - tawmis
viewtopic.php?p=56324#p56324


And so it begins...

Finally decided to give "Codename: Iceman" a go.

Wish me luck!

Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:Tandy 1000 SX memories...

:) These pictures are great. And I have that dust cover!


Had to make sure no dust got in these powerful machines! :lol:

notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:That picture of the Tandy 1000 SX just brought a tear to my eye... :cry: :lol: <br abp="780"><br abp="781">And I agree - I understand that the "core" Quest games were the popular ones - but, as you said, it is an untapped market. Whoever gets it first, will probably make some good money. It'd be nice to see Manhunter, Conquest, Laura Bow, Heart of China, Codename: Iceman (mostly because I want to read people's reviews who purchase it! :lol: ), among others, that - again, like you said - have not seen the light of day. Heck, it'd be nice to even see Blue Force (speaking of Codename Iceman, made me think of that)...

I got Codename:Iceman off of eBay a few years ago, but haven't gotten around to it. I keep hearing bad things about it. Without giving too much away, what exactly am I in for?
And speaking of Blue Force, who owns the Tsunami titles?


For Tsunami, they went under... so I don't think anyone owns any of their titles?

And Codename: Iceman... The game is... ruthless for dead ends. And there's even segments, where it's pretty much all "chance" - but during that (the "dice game") - you can only save/restore so many times, before the game calls you a cheater, essentially. And the sub sequences can be utterly brutal (as they're also a lot on chance/random)... I recently just got around to beating this game last year, and I have owned it since day of release... I can't count how many times I'd try it, dead end, and give up... way too many times to count... because the game, graphically (for back then) was pretty amazing, lots of great detail... but you pay for it with the brutality of dead ends/chance events... I only beat it last year, using the walk thru on here, but even that had some errors, which I rewrote and fixed, and knowing this game is so brutal, every time a directory was "full" of saves, I made a new directory (remember, when you could only save so many games in a single directory in Sierra games?) so that anyone who got stuck could use my save games.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:09 pm

Grrr. Seems I'm at a bit of an impasse. I'm a bit stuck in Tunisia (caterer). I don't think I'm missing anything from the sub. All of my inventory vanished when I got to Tunisia, anyway. I still have the microfilm. I never did figure out how to use it, but I don't think that's the problem. No hints, please. Not yet. I'm just venting a little. While I'm at it, some impressions so far:

I see where people can find it frustrating. More so than other text-based Sierra games, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought. I did notice a few places where you could dead-end the game, but I managed to get past them. I hope, anyway. The game's vocabulary seems very picky where I struggled to find the word that it wants. Even the CPR scene in the beginning gave me trouble and the instructions are IN THE MANUAL. It wanted everything phrased just-so. I also wasted a bunch of time on the briefcase where the game lies to your face ("The briefcase is empty." "NO IT'S NOT!") and then it would only accept one word for the object: "envelope". Not "orders" or "papers". The submarine sequences could be frustrating at times. Nearly running out of ammo during the second encounter was not fun. It took a little bit to get used to the rules of the dice game. My problem at first was thinking of it like poker when it's kind of different. I had better luck when I changed my strategy.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:38 am

notbobsmith wrote:Grrr. Seems I'm at a bit of an impasse. I'm a bit stuck in Tunisia (caterer). I don't think I'm missing anything from the sub. All of my inventory vanished when I got to Tunisia, anyway. I still have the microfilm. I never did figure out how to use it, but I don't think that's the problem. No hints, please. Not yet. I'm just venting a little. While I'm at it, some impressions so far:
I see where people can find it frustrating. More so than other text-based Sierra games, but it hasn't been as bad as I thought. I did notice a few places where you could dead-end the game, but I managed to get past them. I hope, anyway. The game's vocabulary seems very picky where I struggled to find the word that it wants. Even the CPR scene in the beginning gave me trouble and the instructions are IN THE MANUAL. It wanted everything phrased just-so. I also wasted a bunch of time on the briefcase where the game lies to your face ("The briefcase is empty." "NO IT'S NOT!") and then it would only accept one word for the object: "envelope". Not "orders" or "papers". The submarine sequences could be frustrating at times. Nearly running out of ammo during the second encounter was not fun. It took a little bit to get used to the rules of the dice game. My problem at first was thinking of it like poker when it's kind of different. I had better luck when I changed my strategy.


Heh - the dead ends are everywhere in Codename: Iceman. If you're not hitting many, then you're getting very lucky.

And I agree - the thing with the dialogue being insanely picky. That envelope scenario you mentioned is also something I can into. I've considered updating that part of the game with the SCI editor, to accept more words (say like orders, or papers, etc.)... and somehow just releasing it, and explaining how folks can download and import it into their game. But I am not sure it'd be worth the trouble.

As for Tunisia - so you're done with the sub sequence and swam to land right?
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:14 pm

Tawmis wrote:
As for Tunisia - so you're done with the sub sequence and swam to land right?


Yep. Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the caterer.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:41 am

notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
As for Tunisia - so you're done with the sub sequence and swam to land right?


Yep. Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the caterer.


I won't give clues unless you ask - but what do you have for your inventory?

If you have nothing (as you said above) - you're clearly missing something you definitely need or else you are not going to be able to proceed.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:20 am

I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:09 pm

notbobsmith wrote:I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.


I will only say, you have what you need then.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:12 pm

Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.


I will only say, you have what you need then.


That's good to know. I'll try toughing it out some more. I just know that the solution is something obvious that I'm just not getting.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:43 pm

notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.

I will only say, you have what you need then.

That's good to know. I'll try toughing it out some more. I just know that the solution is something obvious that I'm just not getting.


When you're feeling the pressure, sometimes you feel under the ________. <--- does not give you the exact thing to do, it just a nudge in the right direction, if you're where I think you are.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:50 pm

Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.

I will only say, you have what you need then.

That's good to know. I'll try toughing it out some more. I just know that the solution is something obvious that I'm just not getting.


When you're feeling the pressure, sometimes you feel under the ________. <--- does not give you the exact thing to do, it just a nudge in the right direction, if you're where I think you are.


I finally caved and looked up a hint. It turns out I was missing an item. I had used the gun and got him to remove his uniform, but I got stuck there. I was missing the tape, which, of course, the game makes no mention of even when you are looking at the icebox. You have to figure that out from the two gray pixels on top of the same colored icebox and then look *on top* of the ice box. :roll:

Moving forward again.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:32 am

notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
notbobsmith wrote:I still have the microfilm from Tahiti. I got the key and ID from Stacy. I returned the map to her (figured that one out later). I found the gun, the note and the business card in the apartment.

I will only say, you have what you need then.

That's good to know. I'll try toughing it out some more. I just know that the solution is something obvious that I'm just not getting.

When you're feeling the pressure, sometimes you feel under the ________. <--- does not give you the exact thing to do, it just a nudge in the right direction, if you're where I think you are.

I finally caved and looked up a hint. It turns out I was missing an item. I had used the gun and got him to remove his uniform, but I got stuck there. I was missing the tape, which, of course, the game makes no mention of even when you are looking at the icebox. You have to figure that out from the two gray pixels on top of the same colored icebox and then look *on top* of the ice box. :roll:
Moving forward again.


Oh! So you'd already done the gunpart... I totally forgot about the tape. :|
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:04 pm

So I just finished “Iceman”. And… yeah. I see why it has this reputation. It’s like the game goes through great pains to try to confound you. “Think you have it solved? Just wait!” I did end up using a few hints to get past the guards at the end. I needed to make a phone call first, which I tried doing but I was being too specific with what I was trying to say. “Talk man” That was all I needed. I also tried to see if the problem I was having was information that I was missing from the microfilm so I ended up looking up hints for that and wow. Just wow. I mean it's not a critical part of the game, but still. I’ll put my little rant in spoiler text:

So you have to get the combination to the safe from the captain, which you can only do at only one point in the game. Get the phrasing right. I made that mistake: ask FOR combination. So I’m good. I get the briefcase and insert my ID card… and it doesn’t work. So I look up what is wrong. It seems the guard in the Pentagon returned the wrong ID to me. (And I was so proud of myself for remembering to ask for it back.) Seriously!? From a plot stand point, it makes the guy an idiot. He has this *one* job. But from a gameplay standpoint, what purpose does this serve? It’s a cheap trick to frustrate the player. It’s nearly impossible to notice that you have the wrong card. The inventory text still says that it is yours. You have to notice that the picture is wrong. And who would think that the game would do this to you? You try to open the briefcase and encounter another roadblock. “Think you have it solved? Just wait!” Speaking of plot, why was the guard even taking your ID? It doesn’t make any sense for security. If you run into another guard, what do you tell him when you don’t have any ID? Isn’t that why people wear them on their clothes? So everyone can see that you belong there? I thought it was a little odd. Maybe that was the clue. A “Chekhov’s gun” of sorts. Then there’s the whole issue with the microfilm. It’s a mission critical item. Why was it in Stacy’s earring? Did she intend to lose it for you to find, like a dead drop? If not, it’s really lucky that you ended up finding it. If you don’t have this miraculously found microfilm, does this mean that you were going to be sent on a mission without the ability to decode half of your transmissions? No one thought of this? Then there’s Stacy. Was your encounter… um, planned? I mean was finding you and sleeping with you (and losing her earring) part of her mission. If yes, that’s really not cool. If no, then this was one huge coincidence.

End rant. So aside from that there was the picky vocabulary which I mentioned before, some frustrating arcade sequences in the sub and the diving unit (took a while to figure out how to navigate), and a bunch of ways to get stuck in a dead end. It just seems like there were a lot of places where a few minor changes could have made the game much more forgiving. Instead you end up feeling like the game was cheating. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how far I got without any help. I feel like I just climbed the Sierra Adventure version of Everest.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby Tawmis » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:27 am

notbobsmith wrote:So I just finished “Iceman”. And… yeah. I see why it has this reputation. It’s like the game goes through great pains to try to confound you. “Think you have it solved? Just wait!” I did end up using a few hints to get past the guards at the end. I needed to make a phone call first, which I tried doing but I was being too specific with what I was trying to say. “Talk man” That was all I needed. I also tried to see if the problem I was having was information that I was missing from the microfilm so I ended up looking up hints for that and wow. Just wow. I mean it's not a critical part of the game, but still. I’ll put my little rant in spoiler text:

So you have to get the combination to the safe from the captain, which you can only do at only one point in the game. Get the phrasing right. I made that mistake: ask FOR combination. So I’m good. I get the briefcase and insert my ID card… and it doesn’t work. So I look up what is wrong. It seems the guard in the Pentagon returned the wrong ID to me. (And I was so proud of myself for remembering to ask for it back.) Seriously!? From a plot stand point, it makes the guy an idiot. He has this *one* job. But from a gameplay standpoint, what purpose does this serve? It’s a cheap trick to frustrate the player. It’s nearly impossible to notice that you have the wrong card. The inventory text still says that it is yours. You have to notice that the picture is wrong. And who would think that the game would do this to you? You try to open the briefcase and encounter another roadblock. “Think you have it solved? Just wait!” Speaking of plot, why was the guard even taking your ID? It doesn’t make any sense for security. If you run into another guard, what do you tell him when you don’t have any ID? Isn’t that why people wear them on their clothes? So everyone can see that you belong there? I thought it was a little odd. Maybe that was the clue. A “Chekhov’s gun” of sorts. Then there’s the whole issue with the microfilm. It’s a mission critical item. Why was it in Stacy’s earring? Did she intend to lose it for you to find, like a dead drop? If not, it’s really lucky that you ended up finding it. If you don’t have this miraculously found microfilm, does this mean that you were going to be sent on a mission without the ability to decode half of your transmissions? No one thought of this? Then there’s Stacy. Was your encounter… um, planned? I mean was finding you and sleeping with you (and losing her earring) part of her mission. If yes, that’s really not cool. If no, then this was one huge coincidence.

End rant. So aside from that there was the picky vocabulary which I mentioned before, some frustrating arcade sequences in the sub and the diving unit (took a while to figure out how to navigate), and a bunch of ways to get stuck in a dead end. It just seems like there were a lot of places where a few minor changes could have made the game much more forgiving. Instead you end up feeling like the game was cheating. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how far I got without any help. I feel like I just climbed the Sierra Adventure version of Everest.


Make no mistake, you did. There's never been a Sierra game that's defeated me. Codename: Iceman had me defeated for like 20+ years? I had only recently beaten it (there's a thread in here about my climb to the top, as you would put it). I had made the same exact mistake you did with the ID Card - I discovered the error before you did - but it was already too late. I couldn't go back and get my ID card, because the guard downstairs (even though HE JUST SAW ME) would not let me back upstairs. So rest assured, if you walk out and go downstairs - it's already too late. As for Stacy, if I am not mistaken - isn't she an operative - that's supposed to pass the plans to you? But ends up losing the ear ring? I can't remember if the game mentions somewhere that she was supposed to get that info to you?
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby notbobsmith » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:05 pm

Tawmis wrote:So rest assured, if you walk out and go downstairs - it's already too late.


This pretty much sums up a lot of the game.

Tawmis wrote:As for Stacy, if I am not mistaken - isn't she an operative - that's supposed to pass the plans to you? But ends up losing the ear ring? I can't remember if the game mentions somewhere that she was supposed to get that info to you?


In the beginning, when you find the earring it says something like "A Secret Agent!? But for which side?" So you didn't know anything about her beforehand. Then you encounter her on your mission, without you knowing until you meet her. So it's not clear what she was doing in Tahiti. Maybe she was just on vacation too, but that still leaves lots of questions that I mentioned above. Unless there was something that I missed during my playthrough. I'm going through again with a guide to get all of the points.

I also just read through your playthrough thread. My feelings exactly throughout the game. I think I just got lucky with the combat sequences. Reading through the hintbook, I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to figure out the best approach. Trial and error don't help since there are so many variables you can't tell what you are doing wrong.
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Re: And so it begins - CODENAME: ICEMAN

Postby adeyke » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:59 pm

There just isn't any in-universe way for the earring thing to make any sense. I can see that they wanted to add gameplay of the pixel-hunt variety, and they wanted to add drama. However, the chain of events that led up to Stacy losing or dropping that earring would need to be utterly ridiculous.
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