Saturday, 19 December 2015

Willy Beamish - If At First You Don’t Succeed (Request for Assistance)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Is this the end for Horny the Frog?

William J. Beamish Journal #8 - I’m so close, I can taste it! Or is that frog leg batter coating the air? Gross! I got past the Tootsweet security guard and into Leona’s mansion on my brand new jet ski. Exploring this place has been a cinch since Leona is too busy doing “mom and dad stuff” to notice me. I know I’m close to getting Horny back, but the Chef here is brutal. Don’t worry, Horny, I’m coming for you...

Last week, we accomplished the impossible: we won the Frog Jumping competition! Well, strictly speaking, Gigi won but she came over to kiss Horny afterwards so that’s a lot like winning. But immediately after the contest, Tootsweet security guards rounded up all of the competition frogs to take them away to their edible destiny. Yes, the competition was nothing more than a front to ensure that Leona could eat the best frog legs on the planet. Horny managed to escape into the Tootsweet building, but even he was captured a short time later. Now, Willy is being held by a well-meaning security guard. How will we get out of this one? How can we rescue Horny in time?

Before we begin, let me tell you that this week’s episode is a special DOUBLE posting. All the goodness of two Willy Beamish posts all rolled into one double-length one. Truth is, I’ve been stuck for a couple of weeks now and while I’ve found a lot that I missed earlier, I need your help to get further. Doubling up the content this week will catch you up to where I am in the story and I’ll be able to (I hope) make some progress next time. With the holidays coming up, that will also make some room for a special treat next week. I don’t want to spoil it… And based on your feedback, I’m giving the animated GIFs a rest for a while. I might do one for the ending scene, but it’s a combination of being difficult for me to do them without adding all that much to your enjoyment. I hope we can find the right balance down the road.

I fought the law, and the law kept me stuck for a long time.

With the “Horny captured!” cutscene at an end, Willy finds himself in a security office. The guard’s name is “Barney Fifth”, a no-nonsense security guard with delusions of actually being a real police officer. Against the back wall are keys to all of the Tootsweet offices (except Leona’s), but there doesn’t seem to be all that much to do in this room. The door out seems awfully tempting, but if Willy tries to run out then he gets captured immediately. We get a brief scene in front of a judge, putting him on house arrest until the end of the summer. Horny dies, Willy misses the Nintari competition, and the game is over. This is the same cutscene that we saw a number of days ago, when we stole tokens from the town fountain.

So how do we get past this guy? The first thing that comes to mind are my fire ants. Willy throws them on the guard and he itches uncontrollably, falling to the floor. But although that seems so promising, Willy still isn’t able to get out the door fast enough. Barney recovers and grabs him, ending the game. Am I just not doing it fast enough? It try it again and again, but even when I try to leave immediately he catches me before I can get out. I try just seeing if he falls asleep, but he doesn’t. I try throwing the flies, but that doesn’t do any better than the ants. I try every other combination I can think of, but nothing gets me by this guy. I die seven more times before I give up. Did I miss an item? I must have missed an item somewhere… but where?

Day 4: Take Two

The local union office is empty!

I restore back to the beginning of day four and scour everything one more time. I search every room again, starting at home and working my way back to East Frumpton. Last time, I did not explore everything. When I went to the Sludgeworks and found it identical to the day before (including the dialog), I assumed that was just that the designers didn’t intend for you to do anything but go straight to the competition. I was wrong! When I go to the union office, it is no longer swamped with protesting plumbers. Instead, the front doors are locked and the pay phone has been repaired. The window looks tempting and Willy is able to climb inside the personal office of Louis Stoole, union leader.

Does this remind you of Roger Wilco’s office?

Louis’s office contains a ton of plumbing memorabilia, none of which we can interact with, but there is something on the desk. Willy goes to pick it up, but at that moment Louis bursts into the room. He calls me “frog boy” which is a bit rude, but also surprising. We haven’t been to the contest yet, so how does he recognize me? Was I supposed to do this after? Willy has only seconds to act, but the game telegraphs the solution: we can select the plunger next to the desk! Willy uses that on Louis and it’s stuck to his head. I then grab the item off of the desk, but I stop to explore and make sure there’s nothing else in the room. That gives him enough time to get free and I’m back in front of the judge. The end.

I play the section again but wisely run like hell as soon as I get the item. And what did I score out of this section? A Humpford Sludgeworks Security ID card! That seems like it could come in handy with a certain security guard I know...

An era before area codes?

The pay phone is the next thing for me to explore. More than a half-dozen phone numbers are conveniently scrawled on the side, but none of them immediately stand out. I don’t seem to need money to call, so I just start dialing. The “Terminal” number looks the most promising, but it’s just for the “Terminal Life Insurance Company”. As I dial my second one, I get a message that I missed the frog jumping competition. Game over. It takes me restoring and retrying three more times to dial all the numbers before we miss the contest, but none of them seem to be worth the effort. Calling Shirley “for a good time” gets you arrested, another number is the Golden Bowl, and a third is the same astrologer mentioned by the bouncer at that restaurant. In fact, the only thing I seem to gain by coming here is that-- strangely-- Willy can take the phone receiver. If you drag that picture of a phone into Willy, it pops into his inventory and he can carry it around. Is that a bug? Is that a very strange feature? Did we just break the phone for the next guy? I’m not sure but there’s nothing else to see here.

I complete my replay circuit with a trip back to the Golden Bowl Saloon. Ray is still there, but the only difference I can find is that he congratulates me on surviving the gang attack. Appreciated! but not helpful.

Time to race! Again!

With all of my exploring done and over with, I have a plan: show the ID that I picked up to the security guard. All I have to do is get there… and that turns out to be harder than I thought. I had absolutely no problem last week feeding the flies to Turbofrog, but now I keep getting caught again and again. Was I just lucky last time? My guess is that you have to hand over the flies just when the judge isn’t looking, but he only turned his head for a fraction of a second. I eventually get past him, but I have no idea how. The judge even looks straight at Turbofrog while he’s eating. It doesn’t matter. I play the contest, Gigi wins again, and I’m back at the security desk.

And… that does not help at all. The security card doesn’t even work on him. I’m still stuck, but at least now I know where two more items are and I explored two more rooms. That’s important, right? I restore and try showing the ID card around town, but neither the Golden Bowl bouncer, nor the Sludgeworks protesters care. I am stuck. I am most likely still missing an item. Time to restore back farther.

Day 1: Oh Yes, I Went There

Long time, no see...

I replayed the entire game, from the beginning. looking for things that I missed and trying alternative approaches. It wasn’t fruitful, but I can summarize some of what I tried:
  • If you don’t get home early on the first day, the dinner scene plays out a bit differently but not in any ways that matter. Willy is still grounded with no Nintari.
  • I also am nicer to Tiffany by not sabotaging her scale. She still ends up as a punk rocker when Cliff leaves, but she no longer has a cutscene where she freaks about her weight. I’m not sure if this solves another puzzle or if there is another consequence down the road.
  • Instead of cola, I tried feeding Horny flies every day for “practice”. Maybe there is another use for the cola? This doesn’t seem to change anything and I still find no way to resolve the “uh oh” warning when I visit the practice fountain. I also discover that you can run out of flies; since I need them for the contest, I make sure to save one use for Turbofrog.
  • Last time, Perry offered to trade me something for a baseball card. This time, I can’t get him to bring it up. I do not know what I am doing differently, but the whole dialog doesn’t come up. I also try to give him the “friends” shirt instead of Dana, but he doesn’t accept it. I might still be on the right track, but since he didn’t offer to trade anything, perhaps I can’t force it.
On the bright side, you can replay through the whole thing pretty quickly if you know what to do. But in the end, I accomplish nothing. Zilch. This was my original end of the post with a “Request for Assistance”, until…

Solving the Puzzle

Watch me bend this spoon next!

There is no skill involved here, but I was screwing around in my inventory and somehow I thought about combining items. There has been no puzzle to date that required you to combine items in your inventory (the hall pass puzzle on day one had you do it in the desk), nor has there been a clue that you even could. But I was screwing around and dragged the Nintari key onto the dog tag chain to create… a key on a chain! I suppose that makes some amount of sense. And when you look at the new item, the game tells you that it has a “hypnotic effect”. How can I use that to my advantage… I know!

I use this on the security guard and he starts to get woosy. But then the game asks you a very strange question:

How many of these references can you spot?

You have to choose a “hypnotic phrase”. I am not even sure what that means, but I pick the first one and the guard wakes up. I’m clearly on the right track, but I have nineteen options to choose from. Is there a trick to knowing which one to pick? Or is it just a matter of applying some brute force?

When in doubt, check the manual

No! The solution is actually in the manual, although I give them credit for hiding it in plain sight. There’s an ad for an “At Home Hypnosis Course” that Willy clipped from the newspaper that reveals that the actual magic phrase is “Hoopa, Coller, Agamemnon”. Why would you need to take his course if he gives you the phrase in the ad? In the game’s defense, the ad very clearly states that you can use it to get past security guards. Clever, game, clever! But shouldn’t they have done the copy protection a bit earlier in the game? I scan the rest of the manual, but don’t find any other obvious copy protection items in there… but we’ll see what pops up.

Once we pick the right option, Willy is able to leave. Just outside is Stan Later who shares the good news: Willy won second place! Even better, there’s cash and a jet ski waiting for him, not to mention a tee-shirt. We are too busy rescuing Horny to accept the cash, but now we know how we’ll get to the mansion!

SECOND place? So Gigi won after all?

The Mansion

Leaving Tootsweet, I see that there is now a jet ski parked at the ferry dock. It seems that I can cross the bay at will now, as well as go to the mansion. I consider exploring a bit, but when have I ever been wrong about exploring first? I’ll come back if I get stuck. Horny needs to be saved, there is no time to lose! Getting in is no problem at all: a security guard at the front door is asleep and Willy slips right past.

It’s like the Addams Family in here.

The entrance to the mansion is a gothic affair, filled with ugly furniture, an uglier fireplace, a suit of armor, and a parrot. There’s also a guest book listing Leona’s recent visitors; Willy doesn’t sign it, but there are some more references to 80s celebrities. Who has time for pop culture when a frog’s life is on the line? I touch the suit of armor and the whole thing comes crashing down. Leona and Louis run out and Willy is captured leading to one of the more unique deaths of the game: Willy is trapped in the “bubbling treasure chest” feature of a giant aquarium and drowned. I guess if you’re going to go, you might as well go in style, right? The end.

Is there a button on the bottom of the aquarium? What’s up with that?

The only other thing in the room I can interact with is the parrot, so he and Willy settle down for a chat. Picking all of the “nice” dialog options, the parrot reveals a lot about the plot. He originally belonged to Harry Humpford, the original owner of the Tootsweet Factory and Sludgeworks. Harry died in a golfing accident and now Leona owns Tootsweet, but a strange clause in Harry’s will is keeping her from owning the Sludgeworks as well. She’ll get that only if it ever stops operating. How that makes sense, I have absolutely no idea. If she is able to get both, she plans to demolish them to make way for “Humpford World”. I get that she might want to get the Sludgeworks and that she has to make it fail first, hence the plumber’s strike. But when you corner the market on artificial sweeteners made from sludge, what do you gain by knocking it all down and building an amusement park? Is there more to her master plan? I suppose I will find out, later. I explore the armor a bit more (dying twice), but there is still plenty of house to explore.

OMFG. What are they doing back there?

The stairwell in the living room is decorative-- the game says there’s an art gallery up there-- but he can head east into the dining room. Willy can’t climb the stairs in there either, but I suppose I cannot complain too much if it makes the environment feel bigger than it is. The first thing we notice is… OH GOD… what are they doing back there? In the far rear of the room, Willy can just make out Louis and Leona engaging in some special hugging that he’s not supposed to know about yet. I’m never sure what age range this game is intended for. How many teenagers and twentysomethings want to play adventure games starring a nine-year old? A few of the items on the table can be interacted with, but not much else.

When you “look” at the scandalously moving figures in the distance, you get a cutscene. Thank God, it’s not as bad as it could be.

Actually, this is pretty much what I thought.

While Louis is… er… being ridden, the pair decide to watch the local news. Like you do. Of course, Stan Lather has a special person he is interviewing: Dad! Gordon Beamish announces that he is resigning from Tootsweet, effective tomorrow. He has had a very tough first day on the job! But before he goes, he is spilling the beans on Leona’s whole plot. Needless to say, she is pissed that her stooge that she intended to betray actually betrayed her first. All I have to say is, “Go Dad!” This is an unexpected and great move for the character, giving you the impression in retrospect that there has been a whole Gordon Beamish subplot going on just beneath the surface. When we get to the PISSED rating, I have some things to say about this. I hope I remember.

Since this morning, Dad has been able to shave.

Back to the matter at hand, I find that I can take a bronze cup off of the table put it on the floor. But when I try to take a second item, the Leona catches me in the act and it’s back in the aquarium. Trying again, I find that Willy can try to do the classic trick of pulling off the table cloth without disturbing anything on the table. Didn’t we see that recently in a Leisure Suit Larry game? Unfortunately, that very same bronze cup falls to the floor and we are caught. Easy enough: I move the cup first, then I can get the tablecloth. Done! A third item on the table (a covered plate) seems beyond my abilities. Whenever I try to take it, I get caught immediately. That’s two more inventory items at least; time to see what’s next.

Oh, the frog-manity!

The final room on that floor is a kitchen with a woman, Chef Childish, hard at work in one corner. She doesn’t see Willy immediately as she prepares the saute pan for froggy goodness. The real Julia Child would be pleased, I’m sure. An overhead conveyor contains a bunch of frogs, but I can’t tell if Horny, Turbofrog, or Gigi are among them. At least, none of them are wearing lederhosen. Willy can grab onto the conveyor and ride it to the other side of the kitchen, but Ms. Childish captures him immediately and it ends exactly as you would expect. You can also loop around the counter the other way and she catches you there, too. Let’s come back to this.

Back in the living room, I find that I can use the tablecloth under the suit of armor to muffle the sound of it falling. How does that work? I have no idea. And what wondrous thing was hidden inside the suit of armor? A map!

Fart Air Tram? Raft Farm?

This seems like it will be invaluable later, but it helps me not at all right now. My guess is that it’s a map of the Sludgeworks, the last major area of the game I haven’t found a way to explore yet. There is an ad in the manual for “FART” (standing for “Frumpton Alliance for a Recycling Town”), but none of the other scribbles on the map make sense yet. I’m sure they will when the time comes. I can also pick up the head off the armor, but nothing else.

Back in the kitchen, I can throw the bronze cup across the room, startling the chef so she looks in the other direction. Even with that, I can’t ride the conveyor across without getting caught, nor can I find a way to grab any frogs. A few meaningless deaths later, I realize that you can sneak around her when her back is turned to get at the pan she was working with. It’s too hot to go into my inventory-- do we have a way to cool it? Willy can dump out the contents into a nearby pot, but that doesn’t seem to help with anything.

And with that, I am stuck again. There is nothing more I can find to do at the mansion, but I haven’t yet explored most of the world after the competition. Let’s do that next!

There’s No Place Like Home

Don’t worry, Dana! We’ll find Gigi before it’s too late...

Willy’s fancy new jet ski means that he can go anywhere in the game, but we haven’t yet gone back home. Once again, I check each area for things that are different, but do not discover very many. The first new thing is at the treehouse: Dana is there, despondent at the loss of her frog. She is inconsolable while I wish that she would join Willy to go kick some French Chef butt, there doesn’t appear to be anything else to do. Perry is nowhere to be seen, either.

Is that Tiffany back there? Or someone else?

The last stop on my tour of places we’ve already been is back home. The family is preparing for a 40th birthday party while Tiffany makes some unkind remarks about how good frog legs are. The game has been very good about hinting at plot points in advance, but I don’t recall anyone mentioning an upcoming birthday. With all of the preparations going on, Willy can’t go inside and when you try, he reminds “himself” that he should be looking for Horny. Point taken. Before I can even make it back, I get a troubling message: I took too long! Leona and Louis are enjoying a heaping plate of frog legs, their plot was successful, and game over for me. A terrible fate for frogs, for sure.

Better than Doc Hopper’s!

On the other side of the bay, there’s almost nothing new there as well. Outside the Tootsweet building is empty as everyone has gone home after the contest and there is no way inside. Louis seems to still be in his office (even though he’s also with Leona; plot hole!) so I can’t spend any more time there, either. To make a long story short, I die eleven more times while re-exploring every nook and cranny. I’m pretty close to giving up, but I still have one more thought...

Frog Jumping... Again

On your marks… get set… go! Again!

The last two times we’ve done the frog jumping contest, we came in SECOND behind Gigi. And yet, you may recall that when I recorded the GIF in the last post, I actually came in first. I thought it was weird at the time, but what if you have to win? Is there another prize that will help you get past one of these obstacles? The trick is, I have no idea how I won that time.

This time when I do the contest, I pay much more attention to what is going on. Eight attempts later, I win it! How? The trick is the red bar on the left side of the screen. During the contest, it goes up and down. If you press the red button while it is at the top, Horny jumps a lot. Push it when the bar is lower and Horny jumps less far. But it is not a “power” gauge like you would expect; it does not go down after you jump. In fact, the best strategy seems to be timing it so you jump while it is going up, then quickly jump again at the top, then again as it starts to come down. Time it right and you can get three good long jumps each cycle. With that strategy, while still cheating by giving Turbofrog flies, we can win the race!

That’s a lot of money!

Unfortunately for me, that whole effort was a bust. Willy gets a $25,000 prize instead of a $2,500 one, but no additional items and no obvious other changes. Perhaps something changes in the ending scene, but nothing I need now. I play forward from there all the way to the scene with the chef and try a few more things, but I believe this is where I have to draw the line. I wanted to beat this game without any help-- and I might even do it if I have more time-- but sometimes you have to fish or cut bait.

Request for Assistance

I am stuck and this is an official Request for Assistance! That means that if you help give me the answer, I’ll be grateful AND you can get CAPs for it. Make sure you encode your ideas in rot13. Google it if you don’t know how. Please try to not completely spoil the game for me: a series of increasingly helpful tips would be better than a note-by-note description. I have also purchased a copy of the hint book as a fallback in case no one can help, but I doubt that will be necessary.

I think she made her point.

Here’s what I am thinking right now:
  • I have to use the frog-conveyor to get to the far side of the kitchen, ideally when Chef Childish is not watching. But I do not have a way to distract her.
  • There is something going on with the hot pan. I can dump it out, but have no idea why I am doing it. (And it always fills back up immediately.)
  • The Sludgeworks map implies that I’ll be going there next, but there is no way in right now. I suspect the way in will reveal itself once I am reunited with Horny.
  • There is still a covered plate on the table I can interact with, but I die whenever I touch it. Is there a trick to getting it? And why do I want it? Or just a red herring?
  • Is there any way to get Leona and Louis to stop playing prancing pony so I can explore the last room of the house?
Even More CAPs

If helping a poor reviewer in need isn’t quite enough, here’s a second opportunity for CAPs this week! The Willy Beamish creators embedded tons of references in the “copy protection” dialog in this part. I can spot a half-dozen-- how many of these do YOU recognize? What do they mean? Where do they come from?

This product is not a safe alternative to a Sierra game.

Time played: 6 hr 20 min (!!)
Total time: 21 hr 10 min

Inventory: yo-yo, ninja star, lottery ticket, no smoking sign, Slam Dunk Cola (partial), diary, jar of flies, jar of ants, Gamebuddy, helmet, phone, security ID badge, Sludgeworks map

Deaths / Reloads:
52 “game overs” (89 total)
12 reload for other reasons (39 total)
(Just look at how many times I died this post! It was like a massacre.)

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no CAPs will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one.


  1. I'll go straight to the copy protection references

    I recognise:

    Fred Flintstone's Yabba Dabba Doo which is what I think everyone should yell as their workday ends

    Willy Wonka's indentured servants the Oompa Loompas are mentioned but I don't know if the Yeehaa is a more specific reference

    John McClane from Die Hard with his "Yippee Kie Yie Mother..." - also from other Die Hard movies but really shouldn't be as it's a specific reference to Hans Gruber calling him "Cowboy"

    Ali Baba's Open Sesame - also King Graham in King's Quest V :)

    But wait, there's more is from every infomercial ever and I'm guessing Slices, Dices and Juliennes is also a quote from a knife/food processor infomercial

    Auntie Em. Toto. If anyone doesn't know what this is referring to their classic movie education has been lacking somewhere.

    And falalalala lala la la is a quote from a Christmas song - Deck the Halls, I think it's called.

    "I'm not a crook" I'm going with the head of Richard Nixon from Futurama

  2. Lorem ipsum is the fake Latin default text in printing.

    Most of the rest seem to be absolute gibberish. "Phromogulant" and "wuvandles" come up with absolutely nothing in google, for instance.

    1. I am pretty sure "lyqq mie wuwandles" is meant to be read as something like "lick/like my love handles" - I have no idea if this is a reference to anything.

    2. Similarly "ouinque ouinque" is a "French" way of writing "winky winky".

    3. Umm. What does "winky winky" mean?

      I think you are over-thinking that one, or I am under-thinking it. "QUE" is a strange faux-French way to make a "k" sound, so my guess was that was just a strange way to spell "oink, oink, oink" (the sound a pig makes)

      They similarly use a "q" to make a "k" sound in the "lykk miw wuwandles", as you indicated. Though since I can't imagine anyone having a fetish of licking love-handles, I'm hoping that is just "like". And even then, I'm not sure if that is further a reference to something else.

    4. Reiko, I think there is a bit more word-play going on than just Googling will get you. That's why I thought this might be fun for a few laughs and/or CAPs.

      That first one is one I can't quite grok as well. I was hoping someone else recognized it.

    5. For the first one I thought maybe Psy Nisbit was 'sign this bit' but even if that's right I have no idea what the whole sentence could be.

      Maybe the winky winky was Willy Beamish inventing emoticons. ;) ;) ;)

    6. Urban dictionary at least knows what winky winky means:

  3. Hmmm, no one has yet answered your request for assistance. I think I'll let someone else get the chance to help you with your immediate problem and instead I'll give another important hint:

    1. Unir lbh purpxrq lbhe wrgfxv gubebhtuyl?
    2. Unir lbh abgvprq lbh pna cvpx na vgrz sebz vg?

    1. I'd use the hint there instead of 'Jung chmmyr va Fcnpr Dhrfg 1 ohttrq lbh gur zbfg? Crefbanyyl, vg jnf cebonoyl gur FCRRQRE chmmyr, jurer lbh unq gb trg frireny vgrzf gung lbh pbhyqa'g xabj jrer gurer gb cebterff..' It leads to the same conclusion and makes him feel like he came up with the answer himself, right? :)

      Kitchen/Chef: Clue: Lbh unir jung lbh arrq.
      Clue 2: Lbh whfg cvpxrq vg hc, npghnyyl.
      Clue 3: Tbbq gvzvat naq n tbbq guebjvat nez!
      Clue 4: Rire jngpu Ubzr Nybar?
      Spoiler: GUEBJ gur phc. Teno gur fnhpr cna naq chg vg ba gur tebhaq. Chfu gur cbg pybfre gb gur pbbx, gura hfr gur pbairlbe gb eryrnfr gur sebtf. V guvax lbh zvtug unir gb fuhg ure hc jvgu gur xavtug'f uryzrg, gbb. Qba'g jbeel vs lbh trg pnhtug.

      You've only got a few more screens to go, but without giving a full indication of what's to happen, or cercnerq sbe nabgure pbhcyr bs gvzvat-onfrq chmmyrf. I always considered this a bit unfair, and really what made the game more difficult than it had to be - but such is the way of these things!

    2. I haven't read these yet. Can you clarify which hint you propose that I use first instead? I am really aiming for minimum hints and if I can be nudged to get it, I'll be happiest.

      I'm deeply fearful that I shall be embarrassed when I realize what I'm missing.

    3. Ilmari is pointing out something that you'll need directly after the kitchen - something you've missed. I just had my own take on it. Mine is for the present issue of not being able to save the froggies.

    4. I used Aperama's first two hints and got past where I was stuck. I'm stuck again, but I suspect that will be resolve via Ilmari's hints?

    5. Looked at Ilmari's hint. HOLY COW that is an unfair puzzle. If you look at it any other time, you get a different answer.

      I have absolutely no idea what to do with that item, but I have something to play with for now. Will keep trying.

  4. What to do with the item: Clue: V'yy org gurer'f fbzr vagrerfgvat fghss tbvat ba orgjrra gung pbhcyr bire gurer...
    Clue 2: Vs bayl lbh pbhyq trg pybfre! Znlor lbh pbhyq uvqr fbzrubj..
    Clue 2.5: "Fb, jung qb V qb jvgu guvf?" V'yy org fbzrbar pbhyq hfr guvf pbairefngvba!
    Spoiler: Lbh arrq n erpbeqvat bs gur rivy cyna. Hfr gur gnoyr pybgu gb uvqr trggvat pybfre. Jura lbh trg gb n cubar yngre, cynl gur erpbeqvat gb gur cyhzore'f Havba. Gung'yy yrnq lbh zber be yrff jurer lbh arrq gb or, sebz zrzbel.

    1. Holy multiple solutions! This is not at all what I did.

    2. I am pretty sure there's either an alternative solution or then you have remembered it wrongly:

      Lbh pna:

      1. erpbeq nfgebybtre va gur cubar obbgu
      2. pnyy Tbyqra Objy naq cynl gur erpbeqvat gb qbbezna
      3. trg va Tbyqra Objy naq tvir onegraqre gur ybggrel gvpxrg (vg jvaf)
      4. teno n ahqvr pnyraqne sebz gur one
      5. tvir pnyraqne gb gur jbexref ba fgevxr

      Convoluted? Yes.

    3. Yes. That's what I did. The hint book also doesn't include the other, so either it's an alternate solution or Aperama is fooling us...

      I'm not even sure I have the plumber's union number. But it does seem like it would work.

      There are more than a handful alternate puzzle solutions to this game, so it is not impossible this is another.

    4. I was going off of recollections - I'm probably just wrong, never mind me. :)

  5. Okay guys! Thanks for your help. I used the first two Aperama hints, then Ilmari's first one as well, and that got be unstuck enough to WIN. So now I just have to write that up.

  6. The thing in the bottom of the death aquarium looks like a cork stopping a drain (which is still weird, but less nonsensical than a button).