Riddle me this Puzzle

I am quite enjoying the IF games I have been playing so far. But one my most favorite past times in interactive games is the implementation of mind-bending idea invoking interactions, e.g. riddles. i.e. I used to love the riddles found in dungeons and dragons rpg games, like baldur’s gate 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5. Kind of like those riddles you find in the movie the labyrinth where one door tells the truth the other always lies, or in Monty python’s holy grail – when they must answer the three riddles to pass the bridge. Do any of you IF knowledgeable fellows have some recommended games that include this awesome aspect of gaming?

There are quite a few riddles poking around in IF. The ones I know are mainly from the old commercial era (my very favorite riddle is the least favorite of some: the Sultan’s Riddle in Leather Goddesses of Phobos … but to describe why it’s my favorite, and why others hate it, would spoil it in either case). Beyond Zork had a nice, basic riddle acting as a doorway to an area … Zork Zero has a lot of riddles, though they’re seldom woven into the game experience; just sort of tossed in there (Zork Zero is kind of the Professor Layton of the Zorks, where there are just puzzles lying around, just because).*

I’m sure there are probably liar/truthteller puzzles somewhere too (or riffs on same, since that body of puzzles is a hoary old set of classics), but nothing’s coming to mind. Of course, I’ve been indexing for a few hours and playing lots of Robo-Rally before that, so my brain is a little scraped thin right now :slight_smile:

You might want to start a poll at IFDB. Polls there are excellent for this sort of question. Also, I don’t think it was necessary to post this in “general and off-topic,” it would be right at home in one of the more gameplay-related categories.


  • Given Meretsky’s role in each, it might be fairer to call it the Hodj & Podj of the Zorks, but that’s also needlessly obscure unless you’re a Meretzsky fanboy (raises hand).

Thank you, and thank you, and thank you. I think that covers all the pieces that I appreciate. If I missed one feel free to imagine another. I will (if the moderators agree feel free to move these questions elsewhere, but as so far as I can see it works out great) you gave me some great advice and isn’t that what an unfascist forum is for =) curing the curious? =) Anyways. I will check out that poll situation you told me about. If only I could describe my meaning of a riddle to the world. Thanks for everything and anyoen else is welcome to begin being benefactors to my boisterously benign cause 'cuase benevolence dost breed bolts of banal beauty. Smiles =)

The riddle in Zork 2 bugged me a lot, but not because I couldn’t figure it out (although it was poorly phrased, I had a bit of outside help); the problem was phrasing it so the game would understand my response. I had to fiddle around with “say ‘xyzzy’”, “answer xyzzy,” etc. etc. with and without quotes, until the parser got it.

So, that one boiled down to a “guess the verb” obstacle. But I’m sure a more clever program wouldn’t have that problem…

The Zork 2 manual gave the ANSWER syntax specifically, because of that.

Oh … well, no wonder I didn’t know, then. I never got to read the manual, because I was introduced to Zork about 6 or 8 years ago and I played the versions downloadable from the Infocom website, which I’m fairly sure did not include manuals (or if they did, I was too computer-impaired to notice).

I guess the fault’s on my end, then. Or somebody’s end, anyway.

I certainly always read documentation that comes with stuff I purchase nowadays.

Yes. Absolutely.

Once I’ve exhausted all other possibilities, anyway.

Oh, I’m not saying the manual was a perfect solution, even back in the 80s. (We’ve certainly all gotten more impatient since then.)

As a side note, infodoc.plover.net/ has scans of the Infocom manuals.

Not specifically works of IF, but if you’re interested in riddles and truth/liar puzzles I recommend two things:

“Twisty Little Passages” by Nick Montfort.

The puzzle books of Raymond Smullyan. My first was “What is the name of this book?”

Also, Nick’s Riddle & Bind might be of interest.