Touché: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer


Release:  1995 on DOS.
Developer:  Clipper Software.
Publisher:  U.S. Gold Ltd., U.S. Gold, Inc.
Platform:  PC.
Genre:  3rd-Person Adventure Game.
Gameplay:  Puzzle elements.

Touché: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer is a humorous, inventory-based point and click adventure game. By right-clicking on a hotspot a context-sensitive action interface pops up, showing the relevant actions. The game is a full talkie with captions, music and sound effects. It features a progressive traveling map, which allows to visit new locations after having solved various puzzles.

Geoffroi Le Brun, ensign in His Majesty’s musketeers, arrives in the middle of the night in 16th century Rouen, France, to start his new posting at the musketeer headquarters. At the moment he arrives, the unfortunate Comte d’Itee, William de Peuple, is attacked by bandits and his precious will is stolen. Geoffroi offers him, just before he dies, his assistance to find his will. Of course, getting it back will not be easy, and he must travel back and forth across France to accomplish his quest, visiting the cities of Amiens, St Quentin, Le Mans, Paris, and Le Havre. However, he is assisted by a clever manservant, called Henri, who will be a great help, without any doubt. With some luck, he will hunt the murderer(s) down and find the will. And who knows, maybe he will meet a beautiful lady or find a fortune on the way.

The interface is similar to the one eventually used in the third Monkey Island game, where holding the right button on a hot spot will bring up a bunch of contextually sensitive commands. It works well enough, although the hot spot indicator is more than a bit touchy, and makes some solutions more obtuse than they need to be. There’s not much in the way of structure, and you can accomplish many minor goals in any order.

The dialogue is only occasionally chuckle worthy, but it’s well sold by the surprisingly talented voice acting in the CD-ROM version. Geoffroi sounds a bit like Cary Elwes circa The Princess Bride, announcing his every heroic intention with a forceful amount of pomposity, while remarking to Henri with an appropriately exasperated tone. Henri sounds stupidly amusing enough that his character remains likeable without becoming too annoying, despite the repetitive chatter, and the rest of the cast, however bland, sells their roles well. It is rather funny that most of them avoid French accents in favor of British ones, a bit silly considering the Musketeers are actively fighting English invaders, and when you confront them, they really don’t sound any different.

The puzzles aren’t particularly remarkable nor overwhelmingly stupid, despite some occasionally headscratchers. (How do we distract some soldiers in front a tavern? Why, just throw a melon in the water, obviously.) They’re in line with the experience as a whole – Touché is slightly funny, slightly charming little game, one that aspires to greatness but ultimately lacks the polish that would put it in the bigger leagues. When it was initially released back in 1995, it came and went without notice – perhaps because the publisher, US Gold, wasn’t exactly known for adventure games – so it’s pretty difficult to find.

Old Video Games Anthology

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