Part 32: Level Two: Separating The Sheep From The GoatsLevel Two: Separating The Sheep From The Goats
A new route, a new maze, a new start! I feel energized, ready to run headfirst into multiple puzzles in a row. Oops, I might have just given it away. Anyhow, this new map is a daytime brown walls maze, with one optional PoP and one mandatory. The game sort of expects you to visit the mandatory first, or at least to inform you of the optional one if you miss it, but we'll continue our usual pattern as it works either way really.
PUZZLE NOTE: I've spoilered a hint to the puzzle in this update, if you want to try going without. It'll make more sense once the puzzle is revealed, so you may want to skip over checking it until then.
Yep, this one's recycled. Possibly twice? I feel like we'll see it once more too.
To your surprise, you stumble on a scene of lush greenery, a pool of water amidst the desert. You dismount, fall to your knees, and drink your fill; your horse drinks also.
"Who is this?" says a voice from behind. You whirl; an Atarri warrior stands before you, bearing a shepherd's crook. He has a sword at his belt.
Oh hey, sorry man, didn't know this place was occupied.
Still the warrior seems wary of you. "I am Haroun," he says. "This land belongs to the sheik. I am to defend it if I must."
We of course mean no harm (though we can kill him here if we want; see below). We can apologize and leave, or ask to take a drink and leave, but let's not be rude. Perhaps an offer to share in our provisions will make him feel more at ease?
He hesitates, then says, "That is kind of you, stranger." He takes you to his campfire. He supplies mutton, and you some wine. Together, you have a pleasant meal. As you eat, you note that he is tending a flock of goats and sheep; nine goats and seven sheep, to be precise. He tells you these animals are owned by the sheik.
Wait a second, I thought Atarri weren't supposed to drink wine. Oh well, you go with what you can out here.
You enjoy the conversation, and spend the night in this peaceful place. The stars are bright above you, bright in the thin desert air. The following morning, you mount up and take your leave.
What a pleasant encounter that was. I'm sure the exact number of sheep and goats is a completely extraneous detail that won't be immediately relevant in the next PoP.
It is a tent city of the Atarri folk, nomads who wend their way across the desert from oasis to oasis, living a harsh existence. You approach and the folk greet you courteously. "Truly it is a joyous day," says one, "that our unworthy eyes should gaze upon so noble a Frankish knight. Come, partake of our rude stew and tell us of your journey."
These folks also seem pretty nice, so let's indulge them.
I suppose we'll just tell them of our quest. I have a feeling this will lead to...
There are shocked faces within the tent. "Does this mean that... that you seek to thwart the Mad One?" says one of the Nomads.
This time our "lie" option actually seems convincing, though:
"No, no!" you protest. "I simply must get this message to the center of the Maze."
"We may be able to help you in modest wise," says one of the nomads, "if you can help us solve a problem of our own."
Hey, I'm great at problems, which you would've already known had I regaled you with stories, like so:
"Ah!" say the nomads appreciatively. "You are clever indeed, to have solved all these puzzles. Perhaps you can help us with a problem of our own. In return, we can provide some information to help you through the maze."
Fair enough, and both options lead to the following:
"Last month," says a nomad, "my cousin and I went on a journey for the sheik. When we returned, the sheik said we could either each have a goat in payment -- or, if we preferred, he would set us a riddle, and if we solved the riddle, he would give us sixteen goats and sheep in total. Naturally, we agreed, but we have not been able to solve the puzzle."
Hrm. That's a tough one. Got any clues?
The nomad shakes his head sadly. "If I knew more, I would surely tell you. But I can suggest this: the sheik keeps his flock to the south, guarded by a shepherd. The shepherd knows my cousin and myself well, and will not let us approach to count the livestock; but perhaps you, a stranger, could do so."
Wait a second, we already did that! In fact, I think I can answer your question.
"You know the answer?" says the Atarri, and his face lights up. "Wonderful! Let us go to the sheik." He gets up and leads you out of the tent. You soon arrive at the sheik's tent. It is larger than the others, but equally spartan. The sheik is a big man, rather fat, with a fierce black beard and piercing eyes.
"So," he says, smiling. "You have come to try your luck again, Gattar?"
"Yes, o sheik," says your friend. "This Frank shall answer for me."
The sheik shrugs. "As you wish. Well, Frank..."
We need to answer the following questions:
1) How many sheep will Gattar receive?
2) How many goats will Gattar receive?
3) How many sheep will Gattar's cousin receive?
4) How many goats will Gattar's cousin receive?
In addition, here's a bonus question:
5) Is this puzzle solvable without the hint that tells us how many sheep and goats there are respectively?
If you want to solve it unspoiled and haven't looked at the hints, then give it a try and see how well you do. There's still some solving necessary even with the hint, so feel free to try it that way too if you like (or if, it turns out, the answer cannot be determined otherwise).
Alternate Solutions & Deaths
Amusingly, we can get the same useful hint by murdering the shepherd:
Warrior he may be, but he is no match for you. You hurl his bleeding body to the ground. Sheep and goats run in panic about you. Idly, you note that there are nine goats and seven sheep; sixteen animals in all.
We can also just leave Haroun be, but that's boring.
"Very well," says the nomad suspiciously. He watches warily as you finish, then mount to leave.
Likewise boring is trying to ask him about our quest and the maze.
The shepherd is interested in your tale, but knows little of the world outside the maze. He can offer no advice or help in your quest.
We can also be blunt and ask about his sheep:
"What do you wish of them?" asks the warrior with a frightened voice. He steps back and draws his sword. "They are the sheik's! I am to protect them!"
If we then ask how many there are...
The warrior cracks a smile. "Ho ho! By the Mad One's teeth, Gattar put you up to this, did he not? But I see through you, Frank. Better you had leave now."
Similarly dull, we can just tell the nomads about our life in the village, which causes us to entirely miss the puzzle:
They appreciate your story, and tell you amusing tales of their own. At last, well fed and reprovisioned, you take your leave of these hospitable folk and continue onward.
Or we can accept their hospitality, then immediately leave for no reason.
"What?" they say as you rise to go. "Does the lamb not appeal to you? Here, have the eyeball, it is a great delicacy... wait! Where are you going? Is it something we said? So this is how you repay our hospitality!" You get to your horse and ride out of the encampment, followed by hostile glares.
Finally, we can of course say our big dumb plan is to defeat the Mad One in the middle of a tent full of Mad One-loving nomads, because of course we can.
The shock lasts a few moments longer. Then, as one, the nomads rise and charge you, drawing their swords. "Die, infidel!" they scream. You butcher dozens, but they are too many for you. You die as a hero should: atop a pile of bodies, a bloodied sword in your hands.
I'm not sure how heroic it is to murder dozens of people and then die, but whatever you say MadMaze.