Six Silver Bullets was nominated for two XYZZY awards (Setting, and Individual PC). I tried it during last year’s IFComp and bounced off of it pretty hard. I’d like to give it another try.
No walkthrough is available (naturally, because the game is heavily randomized), but the author did provide a hint file. This hint file contains very gentle hints, telling you very little about how to play/win the game, despite its claim to offer “significant spoiler potential.”
Can I ask someone to write something more spoilerrific about how to begin to engage this game? I guess it must have some puzzles with comprehensible solutions, but I have no idea what any of the game’s puzzles actually are (as opposed to randomized variables that can’t be deduced logically).
For example, I wonder if one of the earliest puzzles might be to figure out whether to
trust the first agent you meet, right outside the first room. But I think you can’t possibly “solve” that puzzle, right? The right answer is random, so there’s literally no way of knowing whether to trust any agent, right? But then again there must be some way to figure this out, or the game would have no solvable puzzles at all.
What am I missing here?
Are you referring to Green, or Purple?
You can always trust Green. Purple is random, but you can evade him fairly easily anyway.
There is, as far as I know, no concrete way to tell who to trust before you do it. However, this game is kind of like Rematch or similar in that death is not a failure, just another part of experimentation. Others’ experience might be different but I think half the time I spent with it was throwing myself at things that would kill me to get more info for my next run.
editing to add: if you’re unsure what to do, read the yellow note, every time. It gives your objectives, but IIRC also has a chance of saying one of two rather important things.
What am I trying to figure out? The game seems like a randomized maze where wrong turns are death. What’s something that isn’t randomized, worth remembering for next time? What’s something that I would learn from death?
I remember Mike Spivey got really far and inspired me.
Making a map of locations will help. There are timed events that occur, and careful gameplay will reveal that. Similarly, you will discover the existence of certain plot-important objects that will change your gameplay objective. Further, you will find that some locations remain consistent death traps and/or good places to find people.
There is a second layer of narrative to the game that is only apparent after time. Making a map and visiting/searching each location helps. I wouldn’t even worry about the randomized characters at first except to see what happens after killing/trusting each of them as part of your mapping.
In the interest of renewing interest I thought I’d post a few hints and one fairly serious late-game bug, which will hopefully cut down on the frustration. I’ll start by saying that 6SB is eminently beatable and pretty much everyone who’s reached out to me and said they beat it found the ending satisfying. I struggled a lot during the comp with whether to come out and say “yes, the game is beatable, and has a meaningful ending” because imbuing a sense of doom and hopelessness and frustration was a big part of the game. (See also: Tingalan https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=yt0l0nzzztygdn12)
First, the bug: Eventually you might find a secret code. One of the secret code sub-parts is off. Something that should say “[poe-2-24]” should say “[poe-2-124]”. This was pretty embarrassing, especially since all my testers either figured that part out on their own or didn’t tell me there was essentially a typo.
Second, something that wasn’t technically a bug but I probably could have introduced better: The white agent hates you…like really hates you. Nothing you do will make the white agent trust you.
Third, the biggest general hint: just like real life, death is often arbitrary and you can’t really believe other people when they tell you what you ought to be doing. Also just like real life: every once in a while you find a signal in the noise and you just latch the hell onto that and count on it every single time. A lot of things change every game. A lot of things don’t. The game is about separating the two.
A hint cleverly disguised as a biographical detail: I’m a former librarian. Libraries tend to figure prominently in my games, and they tend to be really important
A sparse (but complete) walkthrough to give some direction.I’ll leave it to the people on this thread to fill in the specifics as they discover them.
- First, try to learn as many repeatable patterns from game to game as you can.
- Then try to learn your own name. You can do this either by completing your mission or storming the docks at the end of every day. Some agents might help you.
- Then try to kill the gold agent. The game will end, and you will have won, if you kill the gold agent. This is hard to do
a) You’ll need to find something golden with a secret code
b) You’ll need to crack the code.
c) you’ll need to use the knowledge gained from the code…most
players who have won have struggled with this for a long time. Its a hard
puzzle with a simple solution
d) the solution is, as it has been all game, to not blindly do what
people tell you to do
e) then, dear silver, you have a wumpus to hunt
I was overjoyed to see that this awkward, doomy game about life and death and the power of human connections in random chaos got nominated for two Xyzzys. The City, based on mighty old-midwest industrial centers like Duluth and Milwaukee (with a dash of London thrown in) was a pleasure to design, even though I knew it would be an absolute horror to play in.
Most of my games thus far have been dark nightmare scenarios about the fragility of life and the madness that waits beyond the curved ring of space and time. If it’s any consolation: my next game is going to be a pulp science-fantasy adventure where it’s almost impossible to die and you can take the fight beyond the curved ring of the night and punch horrible tentacled shadow monsters in the face.