Need hint re car

First, I’ve just joined this community, and I’ve never posted on these boards, so pleaes forgive me if I make any mistakes about what is allowed to be posted in this messages and format and stuff.

Second, and to the point, I’ve been playing Counterfeit Monkey, and I’m stuck. I need some help with the following: I’ve played along without any real problems up to the point that I have left my meeting with Slango, gotten in the car, and driven into the Roundabout. At that point, the game forces me to stop the car to help some protesters. Fine. But, I seem to be frozen. The ony indication from the game is that I need to conceal the car so the inspectors won’t find it. BUT, I can’t get out of the car to try anything. It seems totally ridiculous that just exiting the car would, in the story’s universe, cause the car to be detected. Why can’t I get out the car and try something from the outside like using the gel on it? I’m getting frazzled and feel like I’m fighting with the parser more than playing the game. Am I missing something obvious about concealing the car before even getting out of it?

[Note: Is there any convention on these boards about disclosing the identity of a puzzle without putting it in spoiler tags? I tried scrolling through postings looking for help about this first, but all of discussion that would help me identify a useful posting was hidden in spoiler tags. I didn’t want to open every spoilered Q&A lest I reveal unwanted hints about future problems, but I couldn’t otherwise see how to identify just the right Q&As. I thought describing the problem I need help with as Concealing Car in the unhidden body of the post would both be helpful to others who want help about that and yet not reveal anything to someone who hasn’t gotten to that part of the game. But, I didn’t see anyone else doing that.]

You’ve just been introduced to the variety of manipulation that’s needed to solve this puzzle.

You’re about to do something risky, so you need to draw as little attention to yourself as possible.

The police are checking for transformed objects. But there’s a way to prevent them from noticing transformed objects.

Use the Origin Paste on the car.

I had the same issue as you; I think we’re butting heads against the limits of the typical world model of IF here.

Ordinarily IF doesn’t distinguish between different places within the same broad location. So here, once you’re out of the car, there’s no way to tell the game “I want to stand next to the car, close enough to apply the restoration gel, and then move into the crowd.” As far as the game is concerned, once you’ve left the car, you’ve moved away from it.

You’re about to run into a similar issue, possibly:

In the next puzzle, you have to keep track of what’s close enough within the location that you can touch it and what’s far enough away that you have to try to manipulate it from a distance.

On the question of how much you’re allowed to state unspoilered, I don’t know that there’s a convention. I think it’s good to say a bit about the puzzle outside the spoiler for the reasons you said – if there isn’t enough unspoilered stuff to identify what the spoiler’s about, you don’t know what spoilers to open. No one seemed to be annoyed when I put up a little more unspoilered stuff when answering a question, though perhaps that was because everyone else had finished.

You could still add to the end of the “Counterfeit Monkey” thread if you want, by the way; I think a new post on the thread will bump it so people can see it.

The general sentiment is about right - IF is not generally great at relative position - but the facts aren’t. A very standard IF world-model thing is the nested room, for things like furniture and cars; indeed, that’s how this particular car is modeled. The car is always within range of the player. So the issue isn’t the world model; it’s the way that’s understood in terms of the action.

What’s going on is a bit more… well:

[spoiler]See Volume 2, Book 2, Part 2, Section 1 - Direct Disobedience for some exposition about the point of this scene. It’s playing off Andra’s bravery against Alex’s cowardice; Alex wants to be sure of a safe getaway route before leaving the safety of the car and sticking his neck out. This seems a bit dumb on the face of it, but put yourself in his shoes: if you were in the middle of a riot, you’d probably be kind of freaked out about getting out of your car too, even if you had a great plan for what you were going to do next.

Which is, perhaps, another narrative problem with IF; the player tends to approach the PC as a calm, level-headed, rational agent under all circumstances, even when it’s totally out-of-character for them to do so.[/spoiler]
But it’s a little more awkward than might be desired, I agree.

Thanks for the replies. The text of the game, I think, is just poorly phrased now that I have seen what the answer is. Not exactly wrong or unfair, just weak. When the text tells you that you have to “conceal the car,” I don’t really that is fairly understood as a challenge to conceal the NATURE of the car. I appreciate that the boilerplate text refers to the cops’ checking fake cars, but the switch to a warning about the resulting need to conceal the car I think is not exactly what you are being asked to do at all.

Well, that’s the problem I had with the model, or at least with the way the model was communicated to me.

If the car is always within range of the player, then there’s no reason to prohibit the player from getting out of the car before applying the gel/paste. (And in fact, the first time I went through this scene, the message I got on typing “exit car” made me think that I had exited the car and was standing next to it, so I needed to do something to it before taking any other action. This had unpleasant consequences.) So the issue, the way I see it at least, is that since the world model doesn’t distinguish between “outside the car but near it” and “outside the car and in the crowd,” it can’t let you solve this puzzle from outside the car at all – since if it did, it would have to let you solve it while you were also

the next part contains spoilers for the next puzzle

messing with the officer’s rifle and the like. Unless it restricted your action temporally rather than spatially – that is, once you exit the car the game prohibits all actions until you’ve concealed the car.

The next part doesn’t contain spoilers for the next puzzle.

I suppose it might be that Alex feared that as soon as you stepped out of the car the crowd would sweep you away; that didn’t come across to me in the prose but I might not have been reading closely enough.