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GDC Quest Quiz V: Ragnar Trnquist


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
Ragnar Tørnquist, designer of The Longest Journey and writer and director of Dreamfall, Anarchy Online and upcoming MMO, The Secret World.

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
Check out Ragnar's thoroughly realized reasoning after the break.

The Solution
Ragnar: Well, obviously, robot bears like macaroni. That's something everybody knows, so luckily, there's that to begin with. Knowing that, however, I'm guessing the robot bear has a very short sort of scanning range so, in order to get close enough to taunt it with the Tim Schafer statue (it's gonna maul you!), you have to find a way to draw its attention. Do I have to use all the inventory items?

Joystiq: Some people throw them away.

Okay, so what I do is I take the manila envelope and make a paper airplane out of it and stand a good way away from the robot bear. I use the paper airplane on the bear and get its attention, and now I have to use the parasol, of course, to lure it closer because the thing starts scanning but it's not getting any closer. I start doing that and the robot bear starts to move towards me. I place down the Tim Schafer macaroni statue, taunting it ... What's the fourth item I have?

A rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

Okay, right. So, using the parasol, the bear is coming towards me. I ... I'm getting stuck.

You can't load an earlier saved game.

[laughs] Alright, the robot approaches the statue of Tim Schafer, and as everybody knows he's so charismatic, even in macaroni form, that the robot is going to spend quite a bit of time with the statue before it notices me again. At that point, I tie the rubber chicken around the robot's head, confusing it massively and making my way into the cave!

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