IF Comp ’11 – Anssi Raisanen’s Ted Paladin and the Case of the Abandoned House!

October 18, 2011

Known for your text adventure skills, you have been called in for help to reveal the secrets of a locked, abandoned house scheduled to be demolished soon.
I enjoy the notion that my character is a gifted text-adventure protagonist.  Anssi Raisanen entered an odd, short, vivid puzzler to the competition three years ago back when people cared more about umlauts, and I am interested to see what he’s done now.  I am even interested enough to shut up and start playing the game.

[spoilers begin here]

Important Fricking Note:  I am not being shy here about including puzzle solutions, so if you haven’t solved these for yourself and want to, go do that before you read this.  This is true of all my reviews but of this one in particular.

They couldn’t have picked a better man for the job; after all, you’re Ted Paladin, a seasoned text adventurer, an intruder into the most impossibly implemented houses and an exposer of their darkest secrets. You’re ready for another mission.
Fuckin’ A I am.

White bedroom
— — — — — —

For a while you look around, somewhat perplexed. Then the inevitable question pops into your mind: where the heck is the location description? It looks as if you have to figure it out yourself, and that’s what you will definitely do – until each of those dotted lines is replaced by a sentence. You have the feeling that the house is playing tricks on you in its attempts to resist being torn down.

This one was shot by Mr Joseph O’Toole. You could have told that from his name, too.
“Can this one laugh or cry?” asked little Moll while the month turned into a day.
The opposite of Levon can be appreciated in Reading.
Looking at it she saw a young lass. Only the beginning and the end count.
“Black, 33, 12,” Sir Lionel Peasley, a lyric vendor, described one of his sales articles.
Did the late Lady D. (what was her last name again?) use one of these to spice her food?
Instructions for use: handle with c. and drop your h’s. Should be burnt at one end only.
Man.  It is some cryptic crossword bidniss on up in here.  I never do these.  (The last one is “candle,” though.  Hooray, I figured out the easiest one!)  Oh, third one is “novel.”  Hmm, these all seem to have a color, and I am supposed to pick three of them based on who even knows.  Blugh.

Number four:  looking glass (or hand mirror, says the object name).  Number one is a photo.  Number five is, go figure, an old King Crimson LP.   Oh, number two is a doll.  I am not sure what these clues are; there is not much in the way of consistent logic to them.  They don’t all have a color, either, I was being premature.  (No time for a sex joke, I’m still thinking about what Lady D. might use to spice her food.)


X RAGDOLL should work, if the printed name is “A ragdoll.”

Oh, I see, red-haired doll, King Crimson LP, whatever this lousy Lady D. thing is should be the missing third one.  Gaaaah.

Meanwhile, though, I’ve figured out that “DEB” is “BED” backwards, which is probably a hint for the white bedroom.  Yes!  And there’s a piano!
Having pushed the D, E and B notes, nothing happens. Hmm. You were sure this would work. Could the fact that the piano is two steps out of tune have something to do with the sound detector not identifying the notes?
Oh fer cryin’ out loud.

FGB gets me a bottle of lubricating oil.  My hope is that this will turn into a puzzle-heavy adult game.  Oh, man, I played a sort of awesomely dumb Flash porno game the other day called Meet & Fuck:  Secret Agent.  Before you got to play any of the (really boring) sex minigames, the girls (of various European nationalities) you were angling to sleep with gave you a little quiz about their countries to determine your worth as a genetic materials donor.  Did you know Oktoberfest is in September?  I sure didn’t!  (I knew when Bastille Day was, though, somehow.)  They also had Meet & Fuck:  Street Racing, but I was like, “man, I gotta play these Comp games first.”

Freaking awesome, in-game hints for each room.  Oh, huh, we’re talking about Lady Diana?

…dispenser.  Man.  That’s a load off.

Wait, do I put the objects that aren’t red on the scale?  Hints!  Hiiiiints!

I would argue that purple is not a subset of red!  I’ll shut up and take my free handsaw, though.

Hmm. Whats’ up with the double location description, of both the living-room and the kitchen?
I don’t know!  Wanna bet it’s got something to do with a puzzle?

You slowly deduce what’s going on. Here your every command is carried out first in the living-room and immediately afterwards in the kitchen, as if you were present in the two locations simultaneously. It’s also quite obvious that trying to do something unsuccessfully in the living-room will stop the action, and the command won’t be carried out in the kitchen. You’ll have to be careful.

Aw, cute ending.  That was diverting, if I’m allowed to use words like “diverting.”  (I think I am.  I do read Jane Austen.)  Would have liked more of a story and/or emotional hook, but that was a perfectly serviceable puzzler with a clever enough premise.  (I still wouldn’t classify purple as a subset of red, though.  I would have been screaming my tits off about that in 2008 before I evolved into the kinder gentler creature who blogs before you today.)

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