The Let's Play Archive


by Nakar

Part 69: Level Four: A Test Of General Reasoning

Level Four: A Test Of General Reasoning

Believe it or not, this Librarian nonsense has an actual answer. Merely making stuff up will not work, as any wrong answer results in a comical ejection from the PoP:

Thus we must actually answer correctly. We know with reasonable certainty that the official's last name is Throckmorton, on account of several clues:
That's all well and good, but what's his first name? The only real clue we get to determine this comes from Iggy, who claims that a member of the same species as Throckmorton he knew was named Nadia Thimbatool.

I'll spare you the anticipation: The proper name of the bureaucrat is Elias Throckmorton. Why is that his name? I'm not totally sure; the most common feature I can identify between Elias Throckmorton and Nadia Thimbatool is that they follow the pattern of a short first name and long last name that both have three syllables, but there are other first names with three syllables available and why it specifically needs to be Elias is beyond me. But that's the one that works.

The Librarian hands your card back to you. "Everything seems to be in order," it says mildly. "May I be of assistance?"

Yes, you can. Show us to the map room.

"Certainly, this way," says the Librarian, and it leads you to the map room. There are innumerable drawers, piled with maps. There are maps of the world, maps of Weith Village, maps of the Atarri lands before the MadMaze overran them. But every map you can find that purports to show the MadMaze or any portion of it is heavily inked over, and bears a stamp saying "CENSORED, by order of General Vauxmartin." In short, you can find nothing of any use.

That's... unsettling. The Mad One's minions are remarkably well-informed, but they don't want anyone knowing the same about their own capabilities. It's also yet another mention of "the general," who now has a name. Whoever this person is, they seem to have quite a lot of power. Not as much as the Mad One's Archpriest, mind (who seems to be able to screw with reality on a whim), but certainly enough sway over the bureaucracy around here to keep us from getting any valuable info.

...But did he think to censor any information on Moraziel? The Librarian mentioned last time we were here that he did have a book written by Moraziel in the collection. The map room was a bust, but maybe he still has that book?

It says:

It is not fantasy's hot fire
Whose wishes, soon as granted, fly;
It liveth not in fierce desire.
With dead desire it doth not die.

A love poem, apparently. You wonder what reader was so taken with the words as to underline them. Then, you hand the book back to the Librarian.

Not quite the bonanza of information I was hoping for, and I can't say the poetry's all that great either. For all the effort we went through getting a library card (poor Elias Throckmorton is still dead), we didn't make much progress. Worse yet, we've covered every PoP except the final one in the red maze.

Only one thing left to do. We're headed for the gray maze, wherein we'll reach the end of our quest. But before we can get there, we've got to pass...

I'm not sure I want to know what's in that cigar.

You can tell because of its uniform and the many rows of service medals on its chest. It glares at you, and barks, "You're late." Then, it points you and Iggy toward a place at the table.

The table? At least a dozen of the weirdest monstrosities you have ever seen sit, slouch, or eructate around it.

"Maybe we'd better sit," Iggy whispers. "They seem to think we're entitled to be here. If they decide otherwise..." He shudders.

Yeah, maybe we should do that. So, uh... General Vauxmartin... sir. What are we doing here again?

The general glares at you. "Didn't you read your briefing, Carstairs?" he says dangerously.

Oh yes, the briefing. Of course, sir.

"Then sit down!" screams the general, purpling.

Sir, yes sir!

"We DO know the capacities of our foes!" roars the general. "You fools are too dimwitted to figure it out, that's all! And until you do, nobody is leaving this room."

The others groan.

"I will review the problem one last time," says the general. "Then, we shall wait until one among you solves it. And if none do, I shall have the lot of you beheaded."

"That's a relief," says a tentacled monstrosity who has no head.

"And YOU," roars the general, "I shall have dissolved in a vat of acid."

The monster gulps.

So we're this Carstairs fellow now. Let's see what the general's so upset about.

1. Each nation in an alliance concentrates on a different military arm, but both alliances include at least one nation with a strong infantry force. We don't know what kind of force each nation has -- except that Occipotia, which is land-locked, cannot have a sizeable fleet. Also, only the Triple Alliance has a fleet.

2. We know very little about the military commanders. Corporlin, we know, is an admiral; Balit commands cavalry; Engrout refuses to command infantry; Absantor, who hates the ruler of Ostania, will only work for a Triple Alliance nation; and we know nothing about Dindee.

3. Recently, our spies tell us, the ruler of Norsten invited the others to a festival in celebration of international amity. The nation whose military is commanded by Corporlin did not attend. Of the others, Middlemark sent only a token contingent, while the nation with a strong archery arm sponsored a demonstration of fancy shooting; and the last country, which was not Occipotia, signed a contract with Balit, appointing him head of its military.

"That is all you know, and all you need to know," says the general. "You have fifteen minutes. If you fail, I, General Farnsworth Vauxmartin, shall have the lot of you executed."

"If the Triple Alliance has a fleet, but Occipotia is land-locked, and one of the others is an infantry power -- oh, bother. We're in for it, chief. We'd better hope one of these clowns figures it out."

Don't worry, Iggy. We've got the best clowns in the business. Here's what we need to know from this, the final logic puzzle of MadMaze: What troops does each nation focus on, and who commands each nation?
As with the Prime Mother's puzzle, we know there's a small overlap: Two of the five nations are infantry-focused. Outside of that, this one shouldn't have too many nasty surprises. There appears at a glance to be a dearth of clues, but there should be enough provided to figure this out with a methodical approach.

Note also that the Talisman cannot be used to cheat this puzzle. It can do stuff in this PoP, but it doesn't provide any hints. None should be necessary anyway.