The Let's Play Archive

Manhunter: New York & San Fransisco

by GuavaMoment

Part 13: The Empire State Building

Hello everyone. My name is GuavaMoment. I'm interrupting this LP to discuss something very important to me. Something that affects you, me, friends, family, and those close to you. I'm talking about :


I'm here to talk about the absolute worst that adventure gaming has to offer, in the hope of protecting others from this horrible, horrible affliction. Individually we are vulnerable, but together we can come together to defeat this disease. We need to find the single, most retarded puzzle ever to desensitize and protect you. Let's begin.

Now I've dealt with more than my fair share of retarded puzzles as some of you are well aware.

Oh The Dig, your retardedness is legendary. But let's take a step back. To solve that particular puzzle requires you to use an inventory item on a landscape item. There's only a dozen or so items in your inventory, so through brute force trial-and-error, you can solve that puzzle within a few minutes. I want to talk about puzzles that are really retarded.

We're getting closer to truly describing retardedness. To get to the bottom of this, we need to go straight to the heart of the matter.

Ever played Myst? There's a puzzle in there from the Mechanical age that requires you to pull on levers to scroll three numbers. I once watched my older brother write a page long mathematical formula proving that this puzzle was impossible, causing him to give up on Myst. I was unable to find pictures. To solve the puzzle you need to  hold down one of the levers to make it scroll twice.  Surely a stupid puzzle, and one step closer to our goal.

Many would point to the cat hair disguise from Gabriel Knight 3. Again, I was unable to find pictures. The puzzle in all its stupidity is better explained at the following link.

We are only two steps away from the worst that adventure gaming has to offer. I believe that Gabriel Knight puzzle is saved because, like The Dig's candidate, it can be solved through brute force trial and error. The worst puzzle would require you to divine the answer out of thin air. The means to accomplish this? Text parser. The text parser is the bane of adventure games. I dislike games even with a limited text parser like Leisure Suit Larry. You have to know somehow what to do and the syntax needed to do it.

The final step in creating the worst adventure gaming puzzle is this - puzzles that require incongruous logic. Enter Manhunter: New York. In the thread I sometimes write a sentence in italics under a screenshot, usually after a death scene. Why? Because it looks like this:

This is a game where you travel alone, and humans are not allowed to talk. These figures are supposed to represent the game programmers talking to you, trying to tell you what to do next. In the context of the game, this screen is totally incongruous. This is fine, as long as your Manhunter character is able to figure things out without the help of this programmer image.

Which brings us to this.

Do you know the name of the untrackable killer we've been following? All the clues have been given to you. Here they are again, but this time with the incongruous clue highlighted:

"Don't get your goose cooked" is the message you receive the first time you enter Central Park. Based on the word "cooked" which your character received from a source completely removed from game time and space you somehow divine this out of thin air:

We have the name of the killer! Somehow. And we also have his address, Fifth Ave and 34th Street. For the majority of you who don't know where that address is in New York...

It's the motherfucking Empire State Building. A place we've already been to once, but can't return to unless we input "Phil Cook" into the computer. Without divining that name we can't travel here...

...we can't go straight from outside to this one and only room in the building somehow...

...and we can't gain access to Phil's computer.

Now that you've seen the worst adventure game puzzle of all time you won't need to buy the $10 hint book like I needed to. You won't need to go to Gamefaqs. You won't need to do anything at all because you've committed suicide, or stopped playing whatever shitty adventure game you have installed.

Jesus fucking Christ