The 80s and 90s was a wicked time for gamers when it came to new original ideas, experiments and such. Coktel was one of those companies/developers which decided to go the experimental way with games like Fascination, Gobliiins, and Ween just to mention a few.
Today i decided to take a little look at the Goblins series, or maybe it is the Gobliiins series?, or maybe it is the Gobliins series?. It is safe to say that Coktel did a great job with giving the series such an original name of a trilogy.
I have no idea if the series was planned to be a trilogy from the start or not, but most likely it was meant to be a trilogy…
The first game in the series was Gobliiins, the idea of the name was that there were 3 of the goblins, at least that’s what i have thought for all these years. It seems that i was wrong because when i checked Wikipedia it says it is down to the number of abilities them goblins have. I decided to check up on this and contacted a few persons around the interwebs who knew or worked on the projects, and by the look of things, it was all about the unique abilities “and” the number of goblins. The first game set this and while Gobliins 2 strayed away from some of the formula it still holds the concept of the first game.
The first game started off with a very funny voodoo scene, and i must admit that this scene was the main reason why i even tried the game for more than a few minutes.
The game can be very hard sometimes and very far from being logical in terms of puzzles. You had to think out of the box a lot and when you pulled off a puzzle then the accomplishment was very rewarding.
Back in the day when we had no easy access to walkthroughs, guides and so on was when these type of games really shined, being stuck at a level for more than a week. This made the game fun and challenging and while the solution was very strange it still made me wanted to continue to the next level, many times just because of the wicked humor.
My box of the first game shows a lot of wear and tear and the manual is gone. I guess the manual might be in another box as i know a friend of mine returned the manual much later than the actual box/floppies. We will see when i am finished taking pictures of all my Amiga games (will start after my PS3 collection, which is about halfway now).
Note to self, do not loan games to anyone.
Standard looking box i guess, floppy disks have different stickers and fonts, on purpose? yes of course.
I do not remember when i got the game but what i do remember is that i bought it after i had played the cracked version.
The sequel, start off with a quite funny animation with a fly, while it was not as good as the one from the first game it still made it clear from the start that this game was in the same style as the first one.
There are only 2 Gobliins in this game and that makes some of the puzzles even harder than in the first game, due to logical thinking anyway, but as i told earlier – Gobliiins series was never all about being logical.
Gobliins 2 can be quite hilarious at times, sometimes it can be very annoying too due to unresponsiveness/bad mouse pointer detection, many have given up while playing this game for sure.
The box art of the second game is quite good, i do remember when i bought the game and much like with the first one i bought this one after i had played the cracked version.
Funnily enough, i bought this game several years after i bought the 3rd game in the series.
The reason i bought it was because of the “hole” in my collection and that i found it really cheap at an Amiga games shop that was closing down.
The box is complete, everything is mint too.
The floppy disks don’t have that strange labelling system from the first game.
The color code card for the copy protection is the same as between all 3 games if i remember correctly, unresponsive menu while typing the codes meant that i played the cracked versions instead of the originals…
A fine game, a gem in my collection and certainly one i enjoy today, even with youtube walkthroughs etc.
In Goblins 3 you only get to control 1 of the nutty Goblins, although you do get various creatures involved sometimes, the puzzles work better than in the two other games although the puzzles ain’t all that crazy this time around.
This is definitely the best game of the three in my opinion, funny as hell, wicked locations and over the top idiotic on purpose to make the player look like a fool for not thinking like a Goblin.
The graphics in this game is better than the two earlier ones, oddly enough there was never made an AGA version of the game, the series had sold a lot on the Amiga up till this release and why this game was down prioritized on the Amiga i will never understand.
The PC had already gone 256 color and full voice chats on the CD release(s), from what i remember there was never planned a CD32 version for the Amiga.
Goblins 3 was released for the Amiga 500 right after the CD32 was released so there was no good reason for ignoring either the CD32 or the AGA chipsets.
Do not misunderstand me, the game does look great and it never struggles technically, but when you see the PC version then you will wonder why on earth the Amiga version ain’t identical in terms of graphics, sound and even the intros and various story screens/videos.
Goblins 3 came on 6 floppies, 3 more than the other two games and yes you can spot that in a heartbeat why it is on that many floppies.
I also found this game to be longer than the two others, maybe it is just me.
Goblins 3 came in a big box rather than the small and medium ones that the first two games came in.
Don’t want to read my story?, well, everything in Italic is the story so just skip that.
There is actually an interesting story behind how i got this game, i actually bought this game used from a guy at the demoscene party The Gathering 1994, he was playing the game and had the box lying on his desk throughout the event.
At the last day i asked him if he had completed the game, he said yes and that he loved it but would never play it again as he was fed up with it and never played through a game twice.
A few seconds later i asked if he wanted to sell it to me?, yup you can have it for 100,- Nok (or cheaper, i do not remember the sum 100%), i was broke but i still just had to buy it and i did.
I didn’t have the money to buy anything at that point but i will never regret doing what i did as i got a good story to tell because of it, the bus ride home was a beast as it lasted 12 hours or so due to bad weather.
I found my car looking like a glacier when i arrived at the bus terminal, it had been very rainy and it had turned cold very quickly and by the look of things my car was one of the colde items in all of Norway at that time.
When i had finally managed to remove the ice from the windows, doors and roof was when i realized that i had very little time because i had to get to the damn ferry in time, i must admit that i broke a shitload of laws on the way to the ferry.
The ferry was about to leave when i arrived at the key side, i was the last car to drive aboard and it was the last ferry of the day, i was very happy.
A few seconds later i realized that i had no money to pay for the ferry ticket, you know, the money i spent on Goblins 3 was supposed to be for the ferry ticket.
Ups, i didn’t know what to do, i was too scared to try and trick my way through it by pretending that i had paid for it etc, and i was not so sure if i should tell them my stupid problem either.
Luckily i went the honest way and went up to the conductor and told him my story and how i felt. The guy ( an oldtimer) believed my story and said it was my lucky day, and that i got a free ticket because of my honesty and an entertaining story.
I offered to drive back to the ferry the day after to pay for this free ticket, he said it wasn’t necessary and that i shouldn’t think more about it.
So there you go, a small tale of how i managed to buy a game with no money and not being put in jail for both speeding and having no money for the ferry ticket.
And now, a huge surprise (to me at least),
Yes, Gobliiins had an 4th game, Gobliiins 4 was released in 2009 and hold and beware, it is a 3D game, i have looked at some videos on Youtube and i can safely say that i am glad that i didn’t know of this game before now, it looks so wrong and so dull!.
The naming of the game breaks all the fun of the other games, what on earth?
The game might be awesome for all i know, i should try it before i comment it i guess as videos might not do it any justice.
I am all for remakes and new titles in series if they’re done right, some games should have been amazing no matter what, but as seen with Gobliiins 4, Simon the Sorcerer 3D, Kings Quest 8 etc it ain’t so.
iPhone, Ipad etc (iOS) saw a release of the two first games in 2011, both touched up and refined, i have not tried them as i hate playing on such devices, but i am happy to see them being re-released and i am in hope of a console version eventually.
Back to the Amiga and the original trilogy releases then…
The series has been a huge part of my early point and click/puzzle days, which is a type of games i thought i would never enjoy back in the day.
The series opened up a doorway to games i had skipped in the past and even more so in the future, it might have been because of the Coktel logo too because i really liked the game Fascination which came out around the time the first Gobliiins game came out.
Thanks for your time, the reason why this post is a mess is simply that of the time it took to write, i started in Januar, picked it up again in April and then i found out about Gobliiins 4 and i aborted it again, now the post is finally finished.
Screenshots come from various places around the internet, Amiga screenshots come from Hall Of Light as always…