Written by Will Moczarski
One of the advantages of playing through a game simultaneously is that if one of the two players gets hopelessly stuck (like I did) the other one may be able to help. And what can I say? Jason Dyer quickly came to the rescue with the words “Oh, you’re so close!” and four hints encrypted with rot13. His first hint read: “You are correct in that you drop stuff in one specific room in the forest, and it comes out in the cave. It's just a matter of finding the correct spot.”
Last time I had tried all of the spots that seemed likely to me: the room next to the stone wall, the room with the sign and the room in which the trees look greener than in the other rooms. My two options were now to try and brute-force it or to decrypt another one of Jason’s hints. Naturally, I tried to brute-force it first and was VERY lucky because I started with the correct room right away. Things seemed kind of fishy because I dropped the iron club in the penultimate room of the forest – before I reached the stone wall – and when I looked again it was gone. I chalked this down to bad luck because items had gone missing before but when I restored and the same thing happened again and again and with every item I’d drop I knew I was on the right track. Much later, after having finished the game, I decrypted Jason’s other hints and found out that you could “look trees” in each of the rooms to discover white marks on them, sort of like there was a waymarked trail through the maze. The last room with a white mark is the one where you should drop the items but I still have MAJOR issues with this puzzle and still think that this does not count as a clue at all. Why? Because the white marks also lead you to the stone wall which is at the end of the forest. Even if you discover them with the rather obscure move of typing “look trees” while no trees are ever mentioned (except in that one room where they look greener than in the others) in the room descriptions you wouldn’t expect them to be more than a means of simplifying the maze itself.
That said, I would have liked any of my own (wrong, admittedly) solutions much better than the actual one because they made at least an iota of sense. The actual solution just came down to trial and error. Incidentally, Jason had to take a hint here, too, which goes to show that both of us almost solved the game on our own – but that one thoroughly absurd puzzle threw both of us off track.