The Lab has launched the latest in their series of adventures for residents as a further demonstration of Experience Keys / Tools. Entitled PaleoQuest, it can be accessed from the Portal Parks, and following the announcement, I trotted along to give it a try, along with a few friends and some of the folk from the Lab and the LDPW.
As the title suggests, the adventure revolves around dinosaurs and parks … but also features time portals, moles, Magellan Linden and … Doctor Talpa! The adventure comes with a back story, which I’m not going to explain; I’m going to leave that to the official video:
Once you’ve reached a Portal Park, follow the PaleoQuest footpath to the portal itself. Here, you must explicitly join the adventure and assign certain permissions to it (displayed in a dialogue box). These permissions allow the adventure to act on your avatar (teleporting you, proving you with items, etc.) without you constantly having to accept them via further dialogue boxes.
When you have agreed to join the adventure, walk into the light and you’ll be transported to the Visitor Centre, your starting point. As you do so, a game HUD will be attached to your screen – don’t remove it, as you’ll need it to proceed. It will automatically be removed from your screen when you leave PaleoQuest (and all the permissions you have granted will be automatically revoked as well – all part of the Experience Keys system).
The HUD is a combination communications unit – you’ll receive text instructions through it, and hear them on occasion from Magellan -, progress indicator and score keeper. How to it is explained in a tutorial video. Both it and the back story video can be watched at the Visitor Centre as well as on You Tube directly. As well as providing you with instructions (also available in note card form), the Visitor Centre is also the place where you can redeem the goodies you’ve collected along the way for prizes.
Beyond the Visitor Centre are the 5 individual quest zones, reached via the monorail system. Each of these zones involves you in two activities; the first is to undertake a specific task which must be completed in order to help thwart Dr. Talpa. These must be completed in order – you cannot do one, then skip one and go to the next. The second activity involves you collecting “common and rare items” for Magellan (he’s always been one to get others to do the work for him!). These are the aforementioned goodies which can be redeemed for your rewards.
The five main tasks are fiendish, while the secondary task of collecting items Magellan will name for you isn’t easy either. There may well be rewards to be had when you’ve gathered them and got them back to the Visitor Centre, but as with the main task, there’s also a fair amount of death to be found along the way. Well, lots of death, actually, and in a variety of ways, all of them coupled with the chance of losing the goodies you’ve accrued.
This being SL, however, none of the deaths you may (that’s spelt w-i-l-l) suffer are permanent. Should rocks, darts, toxic water, evil creatures or other Unpleasantness get you, like Doctor Who, you will regenerate in a flash.
I’m not going to spoil the adventure by going into specifics of any of the quests; suffice it to say that this being a time mix-up, dinos won’t be the only things you encounter. There’s ancient Egyptians, pirates and more. What I will is that PaleoQuest is a lot of fun. Oodles of it, in fact.
Congrats to Patch, Shaman, Michael, the moles and all who worked on the project; it’s been worth the wait ever since Patch mentioned it at the SL12B “Meet the Lindens” event, and it really does deliver up fun by the bucket load. Or have I already said that?
Don’t take my word for it, however – go see for yourself. You’ll probably come across Whirly still trying to get across Nessie’s rocks ;). (Me? I took a leaf from Magellan’s book. I sat down had a drink or six and watched everyone else!)
Oh, and do make sure you have the music stream enabled when visiting. Someone did a pretty awesome job there as well.