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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Runescape: Some Like it Cold Quest

Runescape has had a lot of new content to play through recently, from the Olympics, to Social Slayer, to the Combat Beta weekends.  This week saw the release of Some Like It Cold, the latest installment in the penguin quest series. 
To be honest, I've never been a big follower of the penguin quests (Cold War, and Hunt for Red Raktuber).  Some Like It Cold changed that.  This was a fun quest, with a couple of minor hiccups.  When Chuck the Polar Bear asks for my help again, I can't help wondering what's in store this time.  Having to rescue Teddy from the Walrus sounds pretty straightforward, but with a penguin quest, I knew it wouldn't stay that way.  Especially after reading the ransom note he sent Chuck.

Chuck made it easy to get to the docks the first time, but don't expect him to teleport you again.  It's a one-time teleport.  Once there, the sleeping seal must be convinced to carry your character to the prison island where Teddy is being held.  After entertaining him with the jump for joy emote, he's willing to talk, but not to help.  He turns out to be a big fan of Ping and Pong, the laid-back penguin musicians.  Maybe they can help?

Back at the dock, Larry's old boat waits to take us to penguin territory.  I was expecting to have to search for Ping and Pong, and not really looking forward to going back into the Penguin stronghold.  Luckily, they are right there on the frozen shoreline when the boat arrives. 
Ping and Pong are willing to help, but have requests of their own.  But first, they blow my cover.  Well, actually they gently inform me they know I'm not a penguin.  You'll need to make costumes for them both (and extremely cool costumes, at that!), then get them a 'gig'. 

Both jobs are pretty easy.  They've got the supplies for the costumes, but no opposable thumbs.  I went to my Player Owned House and made costumes at the Crafting Table.  It has to be a level 4 Crafting Table.  If you don't have one, there's a more complicated way to make the costumes.  Wiki has a good description of the process.
Get Ping and Pong into their suits, and the next part is easy.  They want a gig;  you want into the prison compound;  seals like entertainment, and they like Ping and Pong.  Introducing the sleeping seal to Ping and Pong activates a show, after which the seals are willing to take you all to the prison camp to put the show on there.

At this point, you're supposed to have an empty inventory, and nothing worn.  According to the Wiki guide, you'll have a chance here to bank your stuff.  Never happened.  I showed up at the island without getting a bank option.  On the other hand, the only item in my inventory was the ransom letter from the Walrus.  It's possible I wasn't given the bank option because the letter was an acceptable item.  The prison is a bit different from what I envisioned.  No cells to escape.  Everybody wanders reasonably freely.  It's built on an icy island, and there's no easy way off.  Teddy was pretty easy to find.  He's the polar bear wearing the clown outfit, complete with rubber nose.  (He's also the ONLY bear in the compound.)  He told me Larry is right there in the prison island, but can't be rescued because he's a little... unhinged.

Larry's been brainwashed.  He thinks he's a penguin.  He thinks it's his duty to raise more loyal penguins, and wants an egg of his own.  Since he can't be shaken out of his delusions, the only way to proceed is to play along.  So the first order of business:  Get Larry an egg.

Here's the first hiccup I ran into.  The only egg available is on the Walrus' dining table.  You'll have to distract the Walrus, sneak into his room, and steal the egg from the table.  To distract the Walrus is a bit of a circus act.  You'll need to convince Bouncer the Seal to bounce a ball on his nose.  Get Ping and Pong to sing and party.  And make Teddy juggle.  All three of these (Ping and Pong can be treated as one being during this stage) must be constantly encouraged.  Once the noise bars are all maxed out, they have to continue for a couple of minutes.

Monique and I didn't realize how this worked, and had several missteps until I got the cutscene.  But all you have to do is continue the noise level.  Everything else is done for you, until the cutscene.  After the Walrus runs outside to lay down the law, you can sneak into his room and get the egg.

Once Larry has his egg (which he names... if you're a fan of Big Bang Theory, you'll get a laugh from the name) you can convince him this isn't a good place to raise a child.  Now he's willing to escape with you.

Coming up with an escape plan is comical, and can be annoying.  You have to speak with each of the unnamed penguins, and they wander around enough to be confusing.  It's helpful to note they wear different fish hats, and don't wander too far.  The hardest one for me to find was the one fishing in the northeast corner.  None of the penguins have the brightest plan, but Ping and Pong volunteered to stage a huge show, which serves as a cover to repairing the wrecked submarine from Hunt for Red Raktuber.

To fix it, you'll need help from Plaza, the older penguin that originally built the submarine.  He won't help until you make a Battlefish (Battleship) board game.  At this point, there are a number of conversational options.  As far as I can tell, they're not critical to the quest, but if you read them, you learn a lot about the penguins, and what made them so militant.  I liked this part, because it finally made the penguins sympathetic characters for me.  I can actually empathize with their plight, and what drove them to their current world-domineering paranoid status.

Now it's time to collect a few items.  The items are scattered around, and the process of assembling the board is pretty much step by step.  If you need some assistance.... yep, check the Wiki.  Good guide there.

Give the board to Plaza, get the blueprint, take it to Teddy.  Teddy will take over from there, until he gets to the engine.  It needs several pieces to repair, and you'll need to be creative to figure it out.  Eventually, it takes a game of Battlefish with Astoria the Seal.  If you win the game, she'll give out the key to the store-room.  All the parts needed are in the store-room.  Take them back to Teddy, figure out which parts go where on the engine schematic, and it's time to stage the show.

Ping and Pong put on a rockin' concert, until someone blows up the compound.  In the confusion, you all escape into the submarine, where you have to play a 'live' game of battlefish with enemy craft as they're trying to find and destroy you.  Teddy will explain the rules, but it involves assigning repair tasks to your fellow escapees, while trying to find and destroy the enemy fleet. 

I got pretty frustrated with this part, until Monique beat it...  she told me you don't actually have to assign and maintain the repair tasks.  And she noticed the battleships stay in the same place each time you die.  So after a couple of deaths, she had the locations memorized, and killed them in one quick sweep.  To make it even easier, while watching over my shoulder, she noticed my opponents were in the same location hers were. 

Winning the game pretty much ended the quest.  Larry, Ping, Pong, and myself showed up at Chuck's cage in the Ardougne Zoo.  Larry got his mind back, his egg hatched into a cute baby penguin, and Ping and Pong are granted amnesty by Chuck.  Teddy winds up at Balthazar's Big Top to 'keep an eye on a penguin there.'  Larry is taken to polar bear headquarters for debriefing.  Ping and Pong go on tour.

The rewards include 1 Quest Point, a new event in Balthazar's Circus, 40k Crafting, 10k Construction, 40k Fishing, and 10k Thieving.  That's 100k total experience, and it's doubled if you do the quest during the early bird period.  Plus you get 2 spins on the Squeal of Fortune.  You can also recreate Ping and Pong's costumes for yourself, but they only work while in Penguin Time.  I haven't bothered, but the option is there.

There's one final reward, and it's not mentioned in the quest - If you like to hunt penguins weekly, there's a new penguin.  He can only be seen while wearing the Ring of Visibility (get it from Rasolo after a certain point in the Desert Treasure quest), and he's worth 3 penguin points.  The hard part... he teleports all over Runescape randomly, every few minutes.  Monique tells me there's a friend chat dedicated to finding him, but we haven't tried it yet.  We both like doing the Penguin Hunt, it's kind of a 'date night' for us.  So adding 3 more points to the search is a big plus.  I'm really looking forward to finding the new penguin. 

Some Like It Cold was a fun quest.  It had plenty of humor, added to the penguin story, and actually made me like the penguins.  Great rewards, and I especially like having an extra penguin worth 3 points.

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