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GDC Quest Quiz I: Ron Gilbert


We did a terrible thing at last week's Game Developer's Conference. Aside from our usual barrage of photographs and "reporting," a select group of attendees had to endure a particularly inane and utterly pointless line of questioning -- just for laughs. This is what happens when you hunt down several adventure game connoisseurs and challenge them to solve a typically obnoxious adventure game puzzle.

The Player
Ron Gilbert, designer of The Secret of Monkey Island (amongst other LucasArts adventures), consultant on Penny Arcade Adventures and designer of Hothead's upcoming episodic series, Deathspank.

The Puzzle
You're standing in front of a cave. The goal is to get inside the cave, taking care to foil the ferocious robot bear guarding the entrance first.

The Inventory

  • (1) perforated parasol
  • (1) rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle
  • (1) sealed manila envelope
  • (1) miniature macaroni Tim Schafer statue
Find Ron Gilbert's surprisingly direct solution after the break.

The Solution

Ron: This is a really stupid adventure game puzzle.

Joystiq: It's pretty traditional, actually.

Well, I'd probably try to feed the bear the macaroni Tim Schafer. That would probably be the first thing I'd try.

But it's a robot bear. Why would it need to eat macaroni?

You got me on that one. Okay ... is there anything above the cave?

It's whatever you imagine it to be. It's a pretty non-specific adventure game.

What's in the envelope? Can I open the envelope?

You can open the envelope.

Okay, I'm gonna open the envelope.

Alright, it's open.

What's inside of it?

Whatever you want.

Well, I thought you were giving me this thing.

I just gave you a sealed envelope, I don't know what's in it.

Then it's the "Off" instructions for the robot bear. I just say them and the robot bear shuts down and I go into the cave.

What about the other items? Why do you have them?

They're just red herrings to kind of screw up the player.

And you succeeded! That was too easy. Don't you think this puzzle needs a higher difficulty level?

Maybe, I was on easy mode.

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