Hint request: Varicella (1999): Coffers Minister

I’m a late comer, but Varicella has become one of my favorite text adventure games. Surely there must be a way to kill Coffers Minister Rico without using Charlotte?

Charlotte can be used to kill any rival except Modo, but every walkthrough I’ve found advises to use her against Rico, claiming there is no other way to overcome Rico.

But there must be something here? The guard outside Rico’s door has text that focuses on his styrofoam cooler and the food he eats as time passes… but I can’t seem to do anything relevant with them. If you get the bottle of malt liquor, the guard is very interested in it, and he thanks you for giving it to him… but nothing happens, and the bottle is still in my inventory. It’s a plastic bottle with unique text when dropped. I can’t get it open. There’s also in Modo’s lair a plastic cap to some toxic gas… I wonder if I could open the bottle and use the toxic cap, to trick the guard unconscious? Because Rico seems like he could be beaten to death with your bare hands, if the guard would ignore you.

But I don’t know. The bottle might only exist as a way to kill Louis. The cap might only exist as a way to break down Sierra… even though there seems no benefit to doing so.

Any insights? If not, is there an available text dump? Thanks!

EDIT: I’ve tried to find food or bottle openers in the kitchen. I’ve ordered a pizza, but the front guards chase the delivery off when it arrives. I’ve even gassed Sierra’s room at exactly the time Rico is scheduled to be inside with her. But the jerk uses magic to not be there when it happens. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I found a text dump using glulx-strings

The only other death for Rico in there I can see is somehow driving the car to smash his head just like you can do with Louis


Okay, that’s a HUGE hint. Thank you!

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Using that very helpful hint, I’d like to post what I found for future reference. It seems despite that wonderful article about this game and Charlotte, you can in fact use Charlotte on any applicable rival - or avoid using her - while still getting the full ending.

Two key factors that I haven’t seen online yet: the remote car will kill Rico if he is in the Courtyard, and Sierra will kill Bonfleche for footage of beating the prince at 1:38 rather than the near-molest at 2:00. This gives you time to dispatch Bonfleche and Rico without using Charlotte for either.

Relevant Schedule:

1:38 - Bonfleche beats Charles.
1:54 - Rico leaves his room, allowing you to get a toy.
2:00 - Bonfleche begins to molest Charles.
2:15 - Rico enters Courtyard.
2:17 - Rico leaves Courtyard

The deaths I now know of:
Wehrkeit: Venice sabotage with Charlotte, Venice sabotage alone, Modo’s explosives
Bonfleche: Charlotte, Sierra from 1:38 footage, Sierra from 2:00 footage
Rico: Charlotte, car
Louis: Charlotte, bottle, car
Modo: Find lair

Perhaps it’s just a red herring that Rico’s guard keeps pulling food from a cooler and is very interested in the bottle. But regardless, I’m pleased there are multiple options to keep Charlotte’s role a flexible one. Thank you, guys!