Save/Restore Puzzles

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WAk a duK

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Feb 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/20/99
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[message below contains no spoilers for Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but
does identify one of the puzzles.]

[scroll down]

What do you guys in RAIF generally think of gentle Save/Restore puzzles, which
are timed not giving you enough time to explore so that it is necessary to
restore and go back and do *only* the actions that are necessary? (like in the
Babel Fish puzzle, in which you don't have enough time to perform each
neccessary action and press the button each time.)
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V X | --------------
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"The mouse emits an unhappy, querulous 'beep'."

Den

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Feb 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/23/99
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On 20 Feb 1999, WAk a duK wrote:

> [message below contains no spoilers for Hitch Hiker's Guide to the
> Galaxy, but does identify one of the puzzles.]

Which, I think, doesn't constitute a spoiler.

> What do you guys in RAIF generally think of gentle Save/Restore
> puzzles, which are timed not giving you enough time to explore so that
> it is necessary to restore and go back and do *only* the actions that
> are necessary?

I'm not overly fond of time limits - in _any_ game at all. I like to be
able to take my time. There's no doubt that a puzzle in HHGTTG needs some
save/restore work to get past the time limit, partly because it's quite
convoluted, but once you know what you're supposed to be doing, you've
actually got ample time to deal with the problem, so it doesn't grate too
much. In that particular case, it's no worse than a problem which you can
get into an insoluble state by other means (in this case, it isn't just
the time limit that makes it eventually insoluble, there are item
requirements).

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> (like in the Babel Fish puzzle, in which you don't have enough time to

> perform each necessary action and press the button each time).

However saying that the Babel Fish puzzle _requires_ save and restore may
constitute a spoiler, however mild, so I'll leave that space intact.

If it's true, of course. I thought you had enough time do perform each
action in turn, pressing buttons between turns (darn, someone's going to
have to check that now, probably me). Assuming of course that you can work
it out straight away. Which isn't straightforward, given that a couple of
the items aren't interchangeable for the purposes of the puzzle, even
though I would have thought they would have been in 'real life'.

--
Den


Iain Merrick

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Feb 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/23/99
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Den wrote:

> On 20 Feb 1999, WAk a duK wrote:

[... Babel fish puzzle ...]

>
> .
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> .
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> .
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> .
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> > (like in the Babel Fish puzzle, in which you don't have enough time to
> > perform each necessary action and press the button each time).
>
> However saying that the Babel Fish puzzle _requires_ save and restore may
> constitute a spoiler, however mild, so I'll leave that space intact.
>
> If it's true, of course. I thought you had enough time do perform each
> action in turn, pressing buttons between turns (darn, someone's going to
> have to check that now, probably me). Assuming of course that you can work
> it out straight away. Which isn't straightforward, given that a couple of
> the items aren't interchangeable for the purposes of the puzzle, even
> though I would have thought they would have been in 'real life'.

IIRC, the real difficulty with the Babel fish puzzle wasn't the time
limit, but the limited number of fish.

The obvious approach is to press the button for a fish, do something to
stop it vanishing, press the button again, do something else to stop it
being stolen, press the button again... an incredibly smart first-time
player might manage to do all this within the time limit, but I'm pretty
sure that the dispenser runs out of fish before you can complete the
puzzle.

In other words, you need to remove some of the obstacles before pressing
the button, and pressing the button is the only way to discover the
obstacles in the first place. Therefore you can't solve the puzzle
without saving and restoring.

But maybe IDRC after all. And the time limit in that section of the game
is certainly much too tight for a non-genius to solve the puzzle without
restoring.

--
Iain Merrick

Matthew Murray

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Feb 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/23/99
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On Tue, 23 Feb 1999, Iain Merrick wrote:

> The obvious approach is to press the button for a fish, do something to
> stop it vanishing, press the button again, do something else to stop it
> being stolen, press the button again... an incredibly smart first-time
> player might manage to do all this within the time limit, but I'm pretty
> sure that the dispenser runs out of fish before you can complete the
> puzzle.

No... What happens is that you run out of time. The Vogons come
and take you away, but the dispenser only runs out of fish after you get
the first onel. (And, with regards to the previous point, you >do< have
time to press after every addition you make to the device to catch the
fish.)

> In other words, you need to remove some of the obstacles before pressing
> the button, and pressing the button is the only way to discover the
> obstacles in the first place. Therefore you can't solve the puzzle
> without saving and restoring.

That's not correct. You >can< solve the puzzle without saving and
restoring. The idea is that you push the button once, see what happens,
fix it, then push it again. The puzzle, while annoying, is completely
fair.

> But maybe IDRC after all. And the time limit in that section of the game
> is certainly much too tight for a non-genius to solve the puzzle without
> restoring.

I don't think so... I was able to solve it myself without having
to save and restore. It's just a matter of knowing your inventory and
paying close attention to what happens.

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Stephen Granade

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Feb 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/23/99
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Matthew Murray <mmu...@cc.wwu.edu> writes:

> That's not correct. You >can< solve the [Babelfish] puzzle


> without saving and restoring. The idea is that you push the button
> once, see what happens, fix it, then push it again. The puzzle,
> while annoying, is completely fair.

Possible to complete without saving and restoring, yes. Completely
fair? I'm not sure I'd agree with you. The fact that you have exactly
the amount of time required to experiment *in a specific way* and the
requirement of an apparently-useless item from a closed-off earlier
section of the game make the puzzle unfair in my opinion.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Visit Mining Co.'s IF Page
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com

Joe Merical

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Feb 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/25/99
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If you remember, Zork was a big save/restore puzzle.

Spoiler:

The main idea in Zork was to find the torch then turn off the lamp until you
needed it again or else you had to restart. ( didn't know if this
constituted spoiler space, just making a comment).

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