View Full Version : Either this map is in error or the land is! The Fool's Errand

01-04-2009, 12:55 PM





The Fool's Errand is a puzzle game. Now, when I say a puzzle game, I don't mean a falling blocks colors-matching game. I mean that it is an honest-to-god game with puzzles in it. If you've played the recent DS game Professor Layton, then you've played one of the very few games in the world that is similar to it. It was made in 1987 by one single man (since such things were possible back in that era); originally for the Macintosh, it was ported to DOS and Amiga. Since the creator (http://www.thefoolsgold.com/downloads/index.htm) regards the Macintosh version as definitive, despite the lack of color, that is the version I am emulating.

Since it has been released for free, you may like to play along. But be warned that, once you get through the early sections, many of the puzzles are serious ball-busters.

It tells, through prose, a fantastic story drawing on tarot imagery. I will let it speak for itself. But first, a word about the structure of the game.

Each section of the story is written on a scroll; for the most part, each scroll corresponds to one tarot card (though there are a few extra scrolls). Most scrolls have a single puzzle associated with them. You can skip this puzzle and go on to the next scroll, or solve the puzzle, which sometimes will take you to a different scroll. A menu provides convenient access to any scroll you've read before. This bit of ingenious design means that you always have several puzzles to choose from if you get stumped on one.

The game's "metapuzzle" corresponds to the scroll of The Sun; every puzzle you solve (or perhaps just each scroll you read; I don't intend on skipping any puzzles, so there's no material difference) adds one necessary element to the puzzle. Once you've solved it, you can access the last few puzzles and finish the game. I will show that puzzle's current status at the end of every update.

Some puzzles are extremely interactive; I'll solve these myself. But there are a number of puzzles that are more generic. Any time I get to one of those, I'll stop and let you guys try! Additionally, I fully expect you to provide input on the metapuzzle.

Now, let's get on with it.





And in a flash of light, an aged parchment appeared at his feet.

"At last! A path to follow!" cried the fool, happily taking the map.

"Perhaps," the sun murmured, "yet things are never as simple as they may seem."

But the fool had already run back down the hill and did not hear the sun's parting words.


The puzzle for The Sun is The Sun's Map, and right now it looks like this:


It includes the description "Be forewarned: The Sun's Map has been corrupted by a powerful enchantment. You may need the help of others to unlock its secrets."

Each of those little diamonds corresponds to one of the scrolls that are unlocked at the beginning. We'll get to them in due time. Clicking on them reveals some terrain under them, yielding this:


01-04-2009, 01:03 PM
We'll leave that alone for now.


The puzzle for The Wheel of Fortune is a card game called Thoth, played with the major arcana. It's a two-player game, but the AI isn't stupid.


You are trying to get pairs or triples. The difficult part of the game is remembering which cards have the same attributes as each other. Each player is dealt two cards, one face-up and one face-down. Three cards are placed face-up, and each player picks one or yields. If you yield, you lose 27 points; otherwise, hands are revealed, and whoever has the winning hand gains a number of points corresponding to what they've got. It's not a straight linear progression of trumps.

The winner is the first to get more than 666 points. Just win one game to clear the puzzle.


In this screen, I started with The Emperor and The Sun (hidden), and picked The Moon from the three that were offered. My opponent picked The Devil, to go with his The Hierophant and hidden Temperance.

The Sun and The Moon are two cards that can make an Astral Pair, which beats the old man's Council Pair (made from The Hierophant and Temperance), so I scored.


There is a system in place to handle draws.


Triples are worth more than pairs, but either is worth much more than single cards.


My first game didn't go so well....


Fortunately, you can retry as much as you like.

01-04-2009, 01:09 PM
Having cleared The Wheel of Fortune, the next scroll is The Archway, which corresponds to the VI of Wands.


A word of advice: any text that is bold is important. Make note of it.

The Archway's puzzle is the first of several mazes in the game.


Looks pretty simple, right? It's not. Throughout the maze are hidden doors and sliding panels, which permit motion through walls, or impede motion through passages, but only in one direction. They can only be seen from the adjacent space.



It's very tedious, especially since you have to navigate with the mouse rather than the arrow keys


Getting out of that maze takes us to The Pyramids:


There is no puzzle here, and it does not correspond to any tarot card.

After The Pyramids, we come to The World:


The puzzle at The World is a word search with 23 words in it:


I'm going to let you guys handle this one.

Here's what the Sun's Map looks like right now, before and after revealing the new tiles:



So, get cracking!

01-04-2009, 01:16 PM
Is this game hypercard-based? It sort of looks it.

01-04-2009, 01:22 PM
I found fourteen of them, but my room is too rank to spend more time on this right now. I'll finish it if no one else has by the time I come back.


01-04-2009, 01:26 PM
Is this game hypercard-based? It sort of looks it.

Most likely.

01-04-2009, 01:51 PM

I think there's one or two more.

01-04-2009, 01:54 PM
Is this game hypercard-based? It sort of looks it.

One of the best parts of sixth grade for me was making hypercard games for class.

01-04-2009, 02:02 PM
I spotted Turkey. It shares its R with Netherlands.

Edit: Nope, I miscounted. That was the last one.

01-04-2009, 04:39 PM
This game is very cool. You're right that Layton is one of the few games like it, except Layton doesn't have an overarching metapuzzle like Fool's Errand does.

And the Fool's Errand is brutally difficult in some places. That too.

01-04-2009, 05:17 PM
This game is very cool. You're right that Layton is one of the few games like it, except Layton doesn't have an overarching metapuzzle like Fool's Errand does.

And the Fool's Errand is brutally difficult in some places. That too.

Also, a tarot game that uses the minor arcana = awesome.

(I'm looking at you, boring Thoth-crap Persona series! oh snaps, I said it!)

01-04-2009, 05:25 PM
I loved putting together the map in The Fool's Errand. If I remember correctly, you get treated to an annoying flashing screen when you finish!

01-04-2009, 05:28 PM
Also, a tarot game that uses the minor arcana = awesome.

(I'm looking at you, boring Thoth-crap Persona series! oh snaps, I said it!)

I had been planning on giving away which minor arcana corresponded to which scroll every time we got to a new spot, but the game gives enough information to make it obvious in most cases. I could leave that out if that one extra reader activity is desired.

I loved putting together the map in The Fool's Errand. If I remember correctly, you get treated to an annoying flashing screen when you finish!

Most of the puzzles give you that, in fact!

01-05-2009, 07:16 PM
I'll assume that you guys want to guess what scroll corresponds to what card.

When last we left our hapless hero, he was faced with a fearsome geographical Word Search. Did you collect all of these European nations, some of which no longer properly exist?


After solving this brain-twister, he came to the Maze of Hedges.


"Wandering winds?" the fool wondered. "I cannot even feel a breeze!"

Oh to be young and naive. The Maze of Hedges is the worst puzzle in any video game, ever. I'll skip to the ending before I explain why:


First of all, you can't see any walls until you try to walk through them. That's annoying enough. But you see all those "W" tiles? Each one of them is a spot where you will be blown away by the wandering winds to a random spot in the maze. You can't see these either until you try to walk into them.

Essentially you have to try to find the way to the ending by guesswork. And thanks to the inaccuracy of navigating by mouse, even having largely memorized the path I still ran into each of those eight or so wandering winds on the final path to the exit.

You'll notice that the path to the exit is long and convoluted. You do better to hop into the nearest wandering wind and hope it deposits you somewhere relatively far along.

Fuck you, Maze of Hedges.

After escaping from the maze, we are rewarded with a no-puzzle scroll, The Maze of Thorns.


For those of you keeping score, the Maze of Hedges and the Maze of Thorns together count for one of the minor arcana.

Passing from the Maze of Thorns takes us back to a very familiar scroll:


This time, we skip the puzzle and move on to the Strength scroll.


I'm still not sure what the Equal Rights Amendment has to do with anything, but let's see the puzzle.


Oh, goody! It's a scrambled image puzzle! I love those.


Clearing this brings us to The Page of Wands:



This puzzle is a bit of a cop-out. If you hover your mouse underneath the empty spaces, they turn into the letters that you're supposed to type in:


After that grueling brain-twister, the next scroll is The Knight of Wands:



It's a fairly straightforward cryptogram. Solving the clue it gives us yields this nonsense:


And I leave it to the audience to figure the rest.

01-05-2009, 11:35 PM
The answer is [Well, he began, I met a page in my travels and he was seeking the pyramids].

The key is that we know the letters A, D, E, N and S. There's only so many small words with those letters, which gives us a few more, including the first word, and anyone paying attention to the story text can probably guess the last word. But try it out yourself: it's not that hard a cryptogram.

01-06-2009, 06:24 AM
What threw me off, is comparing the first picture of the puzzle with the second. Some letters are changed, presumably to their correct positions, but it seemed liked what I was coming up with wasn't matching what was changed in the second picture.

le geek
01-06-2009, 09:13 AM
This game is very cool. You're right that Layton is one of the few games like it, except Layton doesn't have an overarching metapuzzle like Fool's Errand does.

This is why I'm not quite as gaga as some for Layton. Fool is the gold standard! (Layton is still great...)

01-06-2009, 03:56 PM
Whoops, I forgot to include an update of the Sun's Map after the last update. Here it is:



Now then. When last we left our dear fool, he had been confronted with a deadly cryptogram!

In the intervening time, it seems, he managed to solve it.


Having solved this, he proceeds to see the Queen of Wands:


"Well," he began, "I met a Page in my travels and he was seeking the pyramids. I told this to the Knight who was searching for him."

"Praise be!" the Queen cried out. "You have brought me much happiness. Please, take this magic word CLAC and may it bring you equal happiness."

Eagerly, the fool wrote down the magic word and skipped out of the castle merrily.


In the puzzle for the Queen of Wands, you must rearrange all of these letters except the center one so that each column and each row contains a real English word. There are several solutions, of course. Get to work!

And, lest I forget again, here is the current status of the Sun's Map after solving that cryptogram:



This was a shorter update than usual. I have set a goal of updating at least once per day.

01-06-2009, 05:21 PM
Hmm. The Fool looks rather like King Graham of Daventry, in silhouette.

Must be the cap.

01-06-2009, 06:04 PM

01-06-2009, 06:23 PM
Hmm. The Fool looks rather like King Graham of Daventry, in silhouette.

Must be the cap.

Yeah, I can see that. I don't know which deck the author used, and it's bugging me; I know I've seen that sort of Robin Hood cap'd Fool before, but it's not RW, Marsaille, or Thoth, which are the top three people usually pull from.

01-06-2009, 06:30 PM
I think he drew it himself. The whole deck can be seen at the official site (http://fools-errand.com/01-the-fools-errand/tarot-story.htm) (warning: spoilers).

01-06-2009, 07:27 PM
I think he drew it himself. The whole deck can be seen at the official site (http://fools-errand.com/01-the-fools-errand/tarot-story.htm) (warning: spoilers).

Man, kudos to him then. I've attempted it twice, and both times didn't get out of the initial sketching phase just cos it's pretty daunting.

01-07-2009, 05:08 AM
A studious reader has corrected me! Apparently I can't read. It says right at the top of that page, "Illustrated with tarot cards by Brad Parker."

Nevertheless, it was apparently made specifically for the game.

Let's proceed, then.


The solution you provided is correct! And you can't see it in this screenshot, but the "S" in the top left flashes quite conspicuously. It features again in the next, puzzle-free scroll, The Wand:


Moving on from The Wand brings us back to the hated Maze of Hedges. Skipping that scroll takes us to another we've seen, and another, but eventually we get to the unsolved scroll Temperance:


This is the puzzle that the fool must solve there:


It's a Jumble, and an insultingly easy one. There are six words, but they are given just one at a time (otherwise I'd make you guys do it. This part of the game has a high concentration of paper-style puzzles). After identifying what on earth OWDO, EOZRBN, AEPRP, LSERIV, TLEREHA, and IOURQUTES could possibly mean, we are rewarded with this cryptic phrase:


RED URN, which is significant in the next scroll, The Canopy.


At The Canopy, we get to do... another word search! There are 23 words, as before.


I'll just leave you to it, then.

Before I forget, here is what the Sun's Map looks like at this point:



01-07-2009, 05:37 AM
At the end, when we put together the Sun's Map (if you're going to make us do that), you should show us the five menus.

Merus has played this game before, can you tell.

01-07-2009, 06:54 AM
The menus are, of course, just a listing of the scrolls that you can access, but they certainly are a sight when they're all filled in.

01-07-2009, 07:44 AM
The menus are, of course, just a listing of the scrolls that you can access, but they certainly are a sight when they're all filled in.
They're also a hint for the Sun's Map, is what I'm driving at. But I'll stop being a back-seat player.

Red Hedgehog
01-07-2009, 04:24 PM
Most likely.

I actually don't think the game was done in Hypercard. It feels a little too close to the system. 3 in Three certainly wasn't done in Hypercard.

And I love this game. The metapuzzle is just awesome. And I obviously love the followup as well (http://www.gamespite.net/toastywiki/index.php/Games/3InThree).

01-08-2009, 03:55 AM
Apparently The Fool And His Money is actually done, and will be released on April Fool's Day, too.

01-08-2009, 08:56 AM
I love old Mac graphics. They have some undefinable charm that I've run into few other places.

01-08-2009, 09:31 AM
This LP prompted me to finally download and play 3 in Three, but all these "you have to know which buttons this button affects!" puzzles are really turning me off.

Red Hedgehog
01-08-2009, 12:40 PM
This LP prompted me to finally download and play 3 in Three, but all these "you have to know which buttons this button affects!" puzzles are really turning me off.

I submit that, like Merus with Bionic Commando: Rearmed, you're just not loving it enough. :)

01-08-2009, 12:46 PM
I submit that, like Merus with Bionic Commando: Rearmed, you're just not loving it enough. :)

Possible. I'm not giving up, of course; worse comes to worse I'll just hit a walkthrough and keep going.

Fool's Errand has its share of stupid puzzles as well, and Layton had its "now move THESE blocks around and get THAT ball out!" atrocities.

01-08-2009, 05:37 PM
Oh hey, totally neglected the wordsearchin' going on here.


01-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Another short one, as the next puzzle can be done on paper as well. It's a puzzle of a rather tricky sort, though; I'll continue later today whether or not you can solve it.


Great job, Lucas, you found them all.

Moving on, the fool came to The Fighting Boys:



The description of this puzzle is "Press all the buttons in the correct order to reveal two words." Each of those buttons manipulates the phrase above in a certain way, and must be pressed exactly once to reveal a mystery phrase. If you know what it is, you can work backwards, but it doesn't give you that and you might just have to guess.

Since this is the first puzzle of its kind, it's fairly easy. Later ones can be nightmarish. I've taken the liberty of breaking the puzzle down for you:

Initial phrase: "W"
Button 1: reverse the order of the phrase
Button 2: prepend the letter N
Button 3: prepend the letter G and a space
Button 4: prepend the letter E and append the letter U
Button 5: prepend the letter N

And, lest I forget, here is the Sun's Map after clearing The Canopy.



Red Hedgehog
01-08-2009, 09:33 PM
Possible. I'm not giving up, of course; worse comes to worse I'll just hit a walkthrough and keep going.

Fool's Errand has its share of stupid puzzles as well, and Layton had its "now move THESE blocks around and get THAT ball out!" atrocities.

The ones I hated most in 3 in Three were the ones where you had to match the three different vowel variants. Mostly because it involved reflexes. I disliked the action puzzles in fool's errand as well.

Are the puzzles you're complaining about like the one on the spreadsheet where clicking one window opens or closes some other number of windows?

01-08-2009, 09:42 PM
Are the puzzles you're complaining about like the one on the spreadsheet where clicking one window opens or closes some other number of windows?

Those, and the ones that give you three words and say "the letters move on a hidden path".

The former just feel so random to me, and the latter are just frustrating. At this point I kind of just want to be done with the minor puzzles and move on to the metapuzzle, where I think I'll have a lot more fun.

01-09-2009, 02:33 AM
3 In Three's metapuzzle is not nearly as good as Fool's Errand, I gotta say.

Red Hedgehog
01-09-2009, 03:07 PM
Those, and the ones that give you three words and say "the letters move on a hidden path".

The former just feel so random to me, and the latter are just frustrating. At this point I kind of just want to be done with the minor puzzles and move on to the metapuzzle, where I think I'll have a lot more fun.

Ah. I like the ones where the letters move on the track, but also got frustrated with the windows that open and close.

I tend to agree with Merus. I liked the mini-puzzles in 3 in Three more, but liked the metapuzzle in Fool's Errand more.

01-09-2009, 06:01 PM
Hmm. Interest in the audience-participatory puzzles is declining. No problem! Here's what we're going to do instead. I'll leave the puzzles you can do at home unsolved and just skip right past them, proceeding with the story.

Note that the following story content will probably spoil the solution to the previous puzzle. OH WELL HERE GOES

Here we have the solution to the last puzzle:


NEW GNU, entered by pressing the buttons in the order 32145. It works out like this:


After solving that fiendish puzzle, the fool came to a Stone Wall.



In this puzzle, you choose from the letters associated with each block to spell out a phrase that makes sense in the context of the image.

As you can see ivy growing up out of the ground, and a rat on the wall, the solution is obviously:


Following this, we have another no-puzzle scroll, The Watchtower.


Passing through The Watchtower takes the fool back to The Queen of Wands, which he's already solved. Skipping all the puzzles we've solved after that, he eventually comes to The Hanged Man:



Oh, goody, it's another scrambled image puzzle! Did I mention I love those?


The solved puzzle forms a rather comical scene, the fool and a man with a cup chasing after a fish: the scene from The Page of Cups.


At The Page of Cups, the fool solves a nautical jumble:


01-09-2009, 06:02 PM
This yields the phrase NO SHIP, which is an accurate description of what takes place when the fool meets The Knight of Cups:


This puzzle is another cryptogram.



And here is the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0109_184734.png), if you like.

The fool relays this message to The Queen of Cups:


And her puzzle is another one of those magic squares. As before, each row and column must contain a real English word, and the center square cannot be moved.


One of you guys want to field that one?

And, lest I forget, here is the current state of the Sun's Map:



01-12-2009, 12:27 AM
Not even one person attempted the puzzle during the two days during which I totally did not forget about updating? I must be doing something wrong.

Okay, let's get a move on.


The correct solution yields the letter T. At the no-puzzle scroll The Cup, the fool finds this letter important.


Past The Cup, the fool encounters The Heirophant, and it is at this point that shit truly begins to get real.


The puzzle is fairly unimpressive, however.


This is a series of two-dimensional jumbles: you can switch the letters in any intersecting pair of words, and once they are solved, the next one appears.

After solving this puzzle, the fool comes to The Cloud.



Who loves scrambled images? (it is me)


Following The Cloud is The Vision:



This type of puzzle is another one I enjoy. I need to fit all those mutant tetris pieces into the box in such a way that they spell out some words. Attempt it on your own, or gaze upon the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010757.png).

The word puzzle is followed by The Enchantment:


And the puzzle for The Enchantment is another one of those nasty string-permutation gadgets.


Just as before, the numbers 1 through 7 each affect the phrase in some way, and must all be pressed exactly once to reveal a particular phrase.

1: append "EE" to the end.
2: append "TEE" to the end.
3: prepend "SI" to the beginning and append "N" to the end.
4: prepend "X" to the beginning.
5: prepend "XT" to the beginning.
6: reverse the entire phrase.
7: replace every letter "T" in the phrase with "-SI".

I'll be more timely with the next update, but in the mean time, here's the current status of the Sun's Map:



01-14-2009, 03:37 PM
Oh, what's up, This Thread? Sorry I'm late. It's definitely not because I was playing Fable 2 for an entire day.

Pressing the buttons from the last puzzle in the order 1467523 (or you can change the order of 4/6 and 2/5) yields this:



That being said, the fool proceeded to The Abandoned Cups, where no puzzle awaited him.


Proceeding from here brought him back to The Heirophant, whom he skipped this time in order to go to The Moon (way before Neil Armstrong). There, he learned an obvious clue about the Sun's Map.


He also solved this puzzle (although he had to cheat):


Pressing any of those letters will cause an irregular space to darken. Anywhere it overlaps with already-darkened space from another letter will be made light again; it just inverts the color. Here's an example:


And we're supposed to find the right combination of who-knows-how-many of those buttons to spell who-knows-what. Fuck that. I always just look up the right answer:


That's not even a real word! But it was important when the fool came to The Blacksmith:


The Blacksmith's puzzle is not a real blacksmith's puzzle. Instead, there are nine two-dimensional jumbles (each time you clear one, it covers up one of the last set of three). The clues give the words a thematic relationship of sorts; for instance, one of them said "Seek a swift feather" and the two words were "quick" and "quill." I don't know; I thought it was clever.

The last three look like this:


And the letters we want are ROI. That blacksmith is clearly a businessman as well.

01-14-2009, 03:40 PM
Following this, the fool came to The Cathedral.




I just love those things so much

Inside The Cathedral, naturally, is The Chapel:



There are three letters missing. Can you spell a word with them? I can. (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_013821.png)

Bored with The Chapel, the fool proceeded along the road and witnessed The Humbug:


And its puzzle...


What is that? (Find out next time!)

Aaaand here's the Sun's Map update.



01-14-2009, 04:50 PM
Let me guess: the solution to the puzzle is "FIE".

01-14-2009, 05:09 PM
Let me guess: the solution to the puzzle is "FIE".

We have a winner!

01-14-2009, 05:15 PM
Also: man, where did everyone else go? I've not been solving the puzzles because I've already done the Fool's Errand, but everyone else? Doubt they have.

01-14-2009, 06:05 PM
I'm sure they're out there, not bothering to comment. There's at least one who's following this but isn't registered for the boards (I've got my eye on you!).

01-14-2009, 06:13 PM
I've been lurking through this one because it's one of the titles I had recognized from when my mom used to play it all the time about a decade ago or even more probably.

I never was able to solve any of the puzzles around that time, nor grasp the concept behind some of them. So I will continue to quietly sneak about this thread and maybe I will be able to solve one of the puzzles.


Isn't the last puzzle posted just something you have to click and follow with the mouse? Or am I mistaken?

01-14-2009, 06:33 PM
Isn't the last puzzle posted just something you have to click and follow with the mouse? Or am I mistaken?

Something like that. This is where the game really shows its age: the mouse was apparently still enough of a novelty in 1987 that accurately manipulating it was considered a puzzle. These days it's just a pain.

01-14-2009, 06:59 PM
Something like that. This is where the game really shows its age: the mouse was apparently still enough of a novelty in 1987 that accurately manipulating it was considered a puzzle. These days it's just a pain.

Ah, I faintly remembered it that way.

This was one of the few that I was able to catch onto. Other than this and maybe some of the word searches as well as the scrambled pictures all of the puzzles just went right over my head. Maybe I'd be able to do them now though.

Keep up with the updates though!

Octopus Prime
01-15-2009, 03:58 AM

I can't even look at this thing without getting a headache.

01-15-2009, 08:03 AM
Also: man, where did everyone else go? I've not been solving the puzzles because I've already done the Fool's Errand, but everyone else? Doubt they have.

Me too. Kind of not-really-fair to post puzzle solutions when I already know the solutions (or the tricks!).

I'm only half-participating in Shadowgate and Zork for the same reasons, although with those games I can just throw out silly nonsense "solutions" like "Fall on your sword. For justice."

Although I did just "solve" The Humbug by tracing my mouse along the things, if that helps. =)

01-15-2009, 03:21 PM
I don't have all a whole lot of time, but I am enjoying watching the rest of this LP play out.

01-16-2009, 12:57 PM
Although I did just "solve" The Humbug by tracing my mouse along the things, if that helps. =)

Same here, haha.


01-17-2009, 09:01 AM

What is that?

That, in fact, is apparently a puzzle. You have to move your mouse cursor over the leftmost card and follow that nasty, twisty pattern until you get to the right card. If the cursor gets too far away from the card - which is easy to do when you lose sight of where the pattern goes - then the card starts slipping backwards to the beginning very fast. I imagine on its original system it was possible to catch the card as it went back, but the emulator I'm using hasn't got much in the way of configurable options, so I have to get it right in one go.

It took me a few tries, but once it happened, I got this message flashing epileptically across the screen:


Second key? What about the first? (You can do the puzzles in this game in basically any order, so we just happened to find this one before the others.)





The seizuriffic background in this puzzle makes it very hard to see, but any moron with a correctly functioning visual apparatus can pick gray out from black and white. Click on each of those rectangles in the order they are shown, and it will tell you the order that you clicked them:


And then it dumps the fool out at The Merchant, who has no puzzle:


Passing The Merchant takes us to that blasted Maze of Hedges again. I used the menus to select the next unsolved puzzle, which is The Emperor:



It's a word search! There are twenty-six words hidden in there; find them if you want, or just consult the answers (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_093604.png).

After meeting the Emperor, the fool came across The Farmer, which was not his first clue that he was doing things in a slightly different order than might be expected.



Remember these Tetris word puzzles? This one's pretty tricky. The solution is a complete sentence. If you can't get it, just spoil yourself with the answer (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_094122.png).

01-17-2009, 09:06 AM
After doing absolutely nothing to help The Farmer, the fool met The Knight of Pentacles, who has no puzzle.


Passing The Knight of Pentacles just takes us back to The Blacksmith, so once again I used the menus to bring the fool to The Empress (which is where he would have gone had he skipped The Emperor's puzzle):



It's a bunch of really easy four-letter jumbles. If any of you (English-speakers) need to refer to the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_094300.png), then I don't even want to know you.

After solving The Empress' puzzle, the fool met The Children:


The Children have the hardest string-manipulation puzzle yet. Have you been practicing with the earlier ones?


Start with "OF"
1: add "E ARE" to the beginning and "CA" to the end
2: add "AST " (that's AST and a space) to the beginning
3: add "W" to the beginning and "RE" to the end
4: add "SE W" to the end
5: add "HE L" to the beginning and " THO" (that's a space and THO) to the end
6: add "T" to the beginning and "HO" to the end

I will leave you with that one for now, and here are the changes to the Sun's Map:



Very soon I might begin unscrambling it.

01-21-2009, 12:19 AM
A very long update today. We're getting close to the end.

The solution to last week's puzzle is WE ARE THE LAST OF THOSE WHO CARE. See if you can figure out the order yourself!

The Couple is next:


http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0120_235111.png This is another "the hint is in the picture" puzzles, and it's the subtlest yet.

The solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0120_235156.png) is found by observing the first letter of each word.

The Dancers is the next scroll:


And here's the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0120_235324.png) if you're not lazy.

The Family comes afterward:



There are twenty-six words in this word search. Find them, or don't (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000038.png).

The Not-A-Merchant is a scroll that can describe most of us, I think.


It has no puzzle. The next scroll is one we've done before, The Queen of Cups, so instead I'll let the menu take us to The Star:



There are a few of those this time around. Here's the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000221.png).

The Stream also lacks a puzzle:


Passing it takes us to the Knight of Wands, which we have already solved, so I will use the menu to go to the next one, which is... The High Priestess!


"You?" he murmured. "You have taken the fourteen treasures?"

"I have no use for such foolish trinkets," she boasted. "I have merely disguised them from the sight of their owners. I must admit it was a most amusing game... though perhaps the means of your death will make a more humorous game yet!"

The High Priestess laughed sinisterly.

"But, I will spare your life if you fulfill these three tasks. First, bring me the sacred inscription from the evil dark tower. And second, deliver the letters from the banner of Death!"

"And the third?" the fool asked meekly.

The sky erupted with lightning.

"Tell the Magician that his days are few... for I have conquered the Book of Thoth and now its power is mine!"

The fool ran for his life.


Hell no. I'm out of here.

The fool escaped the High Priestess and found Justice:



This is a tricky interactive one. Each of those tiles can be empty, or have a dot, or an eye in it, and there is some relationship between these. There's a fairly easy pattern to solve it, but the logic is a bit obscure to explain here. The finished puzzle looks like this:


Hold on, something's happening.



Screenshots of this next puzzle would only confuse you. The left side of the screen is flashing and differently-colored; drag it to the right side of the screen, and a similar area will appear on the right. Do the same thing to reveal one on the top, and then one on the bottom.

01-21-2009, 12:33 AM
This knowledge will be useful later, but for now let's have a look at the no-puzzle scroll The Page of Swords:


Following this is The Chariot:



And the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000937.png).

That's enough puzzles for now. Time for some plot!

The respective Kings of Swords, Pentacles, Cups, and Wands are having a summit.





Since the fool dared not interrupt, he proceeded to The Hermit:


The Hermit has another one of those annoying "Can you use a mouse" puzzles. First we have to drag the cursor along this path:


It shows you that, but once you click, it becomes invisible and you must navigate by memory. You have to do this three more times:




Then it shows you the entire pattern, and you must do all four, in one go, from memory. And did I mention that if your mouse moves outside the grayed area, you have to start over?


Fortunately, a puzzle like that has a reward worth the effort:



You must drag your mouse in that shape just like the previous bit. Maybe they gave us the previous part of the puzzle so this one wouldn't seem so bad.

01-21-2009, 12:37 AM
The next scroll, The Straight Path, seems like a good enough place to end:


Since we've got all of the Keys of Thoth, let's also review what we've got here. We still don't have the fourteen treasures, and the High Priestess is still at large. We also haven't done those three errands she commanded of us.






Those five menus are a shortcut to all the puzzles in the game. The grayed-out ones are inaccessible, the ones marked with hollow diamonds have unsolved puzzles, and the ones marked with black diamonds had a Key of Thoth hidden there.

Finally, here's what the Sun's Map looks like after all of that:

We'll need to unscramble the Sun's Map before we can get the fourteen treasures.



01-21-2009, 01:46 PM
I remember The Hermit one from long ago and being, (again one of the very few puzzles I was), able to solve. Though this was most likely with a computer that was older than me at the time, haha. I can't recall but I know it was a ball mouse.*

* You know the ones that can get so much crap in them so that they basically cease to function.

01-21-2009, 05:17 PM
That's three Keys of Thoth! Let's challenge the High Priestess.

Also, we have have enough information to start reassembling the Sun's Map. Obviously, we can't complete it, but we should be able to block out at least two thirds of the Land.

01-21-2009, 05:57 PM
Actually, come to think of it, I don't have all the keys. The use of the word "Last" is misleading! But, of course, I meant to surprise you and didn't at all forget about it.

01-25-2009, 08:44 AM
Let's get that last Key of Thoth, then. But first let's do every puzzle between here and there.

The next scroll is Judgment:


Then a faint voice spoke...

8 to the North... 7 to the West... 3 to the North...
8 to the West... 6 to the South... 5 to the East...
9 to the North...

That's got to be a clue to something! But we can't do anything with that just yet. On to Judgment's puzzle.


Oh my, it's another one of these ones. The solution looks like this, and I'm not ashamed to say I cheated.


I'm not sure how to pronounce that in English, but people aren't having trouble with it at The Chant:



Apparently the graphics are a bit glitched out in this cryptogram. The solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_080802.png) is spoiled a bit in the next scroll, The Dream:



This is the most difficult puzzle of its kind. Those of you who wish to solve it on your own might be helped by knowing the finishing phrase, HE SANG THIS HAUNTING SONG, or might find it too easy; solving it from nothing makes it terribly complex. The buttons do a little something like this:

1: reverse all the letters
2: reverse all the letters
3: add N to the beginning and TEGNA to the end
4: add OSEGN to the beginning
5: add HE S to the beginning and G to the end
6: add HISE to the beginning and GTI to the end
7: replace every occurrence of the letter G with the letters NU
8: replace every occurrence of the letter E with a space

Valid solutions to the puzzle are 62743815 or 61743825.

That was the dream; next is The Nightmare:


"Oh, it was terrible!" she cried out, awakening from a nightmare. "I saw a man carrying ten wooden staffs. He sang this haunting song again and again. I was lost and he refused to give me any directions. I shall never forget his awful words."

"This is very strange," the fool puzzled. "You are the second person to have a dream that is familiar to me. It is a most curious coincidence."

"Perhaps," she reflected, "yet dreams can have great meaning if one knows how to interpret them. Some say that they can foretell the future."

"The future?" the fool mumbled as he left the cottage. "Unless I am greatly mistaken, they remind me more of the past!"


There's no puzzle here. After this is The Tower. The High Priestess demanded that we do something here.




The Thief:



Like most of the puzzles where you fill in a phrase, you can move your cursor over a certain part of the image to see the solution. And it's just as well, since there's really no correlation between the picture and the phrase.


01-25-2009, 08:51 AM
The Madness has no puzzle:


The Devil does:



Another glitched cryptogram. Anyway, the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_081843.png) is a very important hint.

The Plain of Bones also has no puzzle:


What grim surroundings we've found ourselves in. Next is Death:



This is a sort of an action puzzle. Once you click on the question mark, that black card appears and begins to approach the cursor. If it hits, you are ejected back to the scroll. A button marked with the Eye of Thoth appears in the same place as the question-mark button, but only when your mouse is above the puzzle frame.

The solution takes some real lateral thinking. The button remains visible while you've got the menu open, and a little while after. The black card also cannot get to your cursor while it's in a menu. So you must open the menu and use it to convey the cursor safely down near the button, and click on it quickly.


Fleeing from Death in this manner, the fool encounters The Knight of Swords:



Finally, a cryptogram that isn't glitched. Here we have it partially solved (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082023.png) and completely solved (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082112.png).

As is customary, The Queen of Swords is next:



Try to find the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082218.png).

The Sword follows with no puzzle:


Then, our long-awaited encounter with The Magician.





What a buzzkill, man.

01-25-2009, 08:52 AM
Let's solve his puzzle and move on.



Three Ships:


Now, the puz- what the?


Can't get a screenshot of this one, but every time my mouse hovers over the button for the puzzle, the button jumps away. But we already know everything we need to click on that little sucker. If you know what we have to do, pat yourself on the back and help yourself to this glorious trinket:


Next time: Now that we've really got all the Keys of Thoth, we're going to... well, we're going to do a few more puzzles just for kicks, and then we're going to take on the High Priestess! And then we'll get started on unscrambling the Sun's Map! And then maybe we'll finally get around to finding those Fourteen Treasures!

03-11-2009, 07:03 AM
Uh, right, let's... let's pretend those six weeks didn't happen. Where were we?

The Juggler is next:



It's a Cryptogram. Here is a partially solved (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082911.png) version: note that the actual message doesn't contain any Y's, which is why the hint says "MANR DEATHS". The solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082937.png), for the lazy, is also found in the next scroll, the Queen of Pentacles:


"I'm afraid that I am not the messenger you expect," the fool answered politely, "but I was told to warn you that two ships approach from the South."

"So this is how they honor the truce!" shouted the Queen. "So be it. We will show them how we deal with such treachery! If they think that we have grown fat and idle over the many years, they are sadly mistaken. Our vast wealth has only made us stronger and our revenge will be swift against those who dare to steal from our bounty. I thank you for your most timely information. Take this magic word TRSC as your reward. Use it wisely."

The fool thanked the Queen and bowed graciously.


And, the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_083024.png).

The Pentacle:



Another word jigsaw! This one is the easiest once you realize that the colors are hints. Here is the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_083133.png), after which is the Page of Pentacles, which has no puzzle:


Proceeding from here brings us back to The World. This is a good opportunity to show off what scrolls we've already solved.






Finally, here is the current status of the Sun's Map:



I have not yet set to work on unscrambling any of it, but that will be the first thing I do for the next update, before we fill in the last few tiles.

03-12-2009, 04:13 AM
Oh. Oh man, you guys. Bad luck. I had the penultimate update finished, screenshots taken and everything, and my emulator crashed just as I solved the Sun's Map. There was only one puzzle left afterward, and it was a doozy, so I was planning to split it up into two updates anyway. Well, the final update might be delayed by a day or two as a result.

Anyway, we've got all the Keys of Thoth! Let's take on the High Priestess!

But first, unscramble what we've got of the Sun's Map. Some people like to wait until they have solved every scroll before they do this one; I prefer having the blank spaces to work with. This is what it looks like so far:


Note the single winding path that goes across the map, as well as the little sequences of letters along the sides of some tiles, and other details that match up in adjacent tiles. Note in particular that the tiny alphabet lines up against the tiny QWERTY keyboard layout four times.

Okay. To the High Priestess!



Since I have acquired all the Keys of Thoth, my cursor has transformed into a key.


This is a pretty big challenge, but it's not much of a puzzle per se. You must click on all those numbers in descending order. The problem is that they are rapidly being redrawn in inverse colors, so it is difficult to concentrate on what you're doing. It redraws each number once, inverting the screen halfway through and again when it's finished; since the numbers are removed when you click on them, it flashes faster and faster as you go, making it hard to see what you're doing. It is inadvisable to play this game while epileptic.


There's no penalty for misclicking. However, it can be tricky, since the visual feedback for clicking on the correct number is identical to the visual feedback for clicking anywhere else: it just distorts the image a little bit.

When you get down to about thirty or so, however, the High Priestess ups the ante:


The numbers start moving around, instead of appearing in the same place every time. The number you're looking for is always the first one to be drawn, so you have (in some cases) almost half a second to find it, but other numbers can be drawn on top of it on occasion, and the accelerating flashing of the screen becomes ever more distracting.


Of course, during all this time, you can view the help message to reveal how many numbers are left. It's the best way to tell what you're looking for.

When you get down below ten, it becomes more effective to just hold the mouse button and drag it around the screen in hopes of falling on the number you need. When you've got only one left, this is practically the only way to do it. Look at the size of the number compared to the screen. This is being redrawn in a new location every single frame while the background is strobe-lighting at you:


Dispelling all 85 (99 in the DOS version) enchantments yields this:


That little line tracks from the center of that eye of Horus to the current location of the cursor. Move the cursor to the pupil, then, and this is what happens:


What happens next is very hard to describe in images. Screenshots wouldn't have helped, so I didn't make any. You need to mimic the solutions to the Keys of Thoth. So first, think back to The Humbug, where we found the Second Key of Thoth:


Clicking on those four regions in that order leads us to another flashy background. The solution to the Third Key of Thoth, which we found at Justice, was to drag the left, right, top, and bottom sides of the screen to the opposite ends. Do that and you are faced with a grid of squares. The Last Key of Thoth, which we found at The Hermit, used a similar mechanism. We trace this shape:


And here's what we get:


Well, that doesn't look so bad, although there are no clues. Let's just get start-


...Well. Okay. Let's... let's work on the rest of the Sun's Map, then.

03-12-2009, 04:29 AM
Clearing that puzzle brings us to The Sentry:


Confident that [TEAM FORTRESS 2 JOKE], let's look at the puzzle:


Each one of the letters has a word subtraction clue associated with it, like the one at the bottom. In the first case, MEDAL minus MEAL is, clearly, D, so we put a D in the first box. The subsequent arithmetic is given as:


If you really can't find the answer from that, and don't want to check where it shows up in the next scroll, you can have the solution (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H3523.png) and my undying shame.

The Boat is next:


The Boat's puzzle involves unscrambling a series of words. First you are given three, then three more; all subsequent groups of words added to the puzzle intersect each other and an extant part of the puzzle, and have some single-word clues. This is what it looks like when it's done:


The word "DESPAIR" is flashing, so let's proceed to Despair:


It's another one of these puzzles:



Following this, we come to The Dead Warrior, where there is no puzzle:


And that's as far as this path takes us. To go farther, we must pick The Lovers out of the menus:



There are only twenty-two words in that one. Here are the answers (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H4721.png) if you want them.

The Singer follows:




After this is The Warrior:


But the man was frantic.

"Are your eyes blind? I am under siege and have dropped my BOW!"

Eager to help, the fool searched the base of the tower and quickly located the fallen weapon. With a deft toss, he threw it back to the warrior.

"My thanks!" he replied. "Someday my bow may be of use to you too."

By my count, we've now seen every scroll, and can fill out the Sun's Map. Here is what it looks like, finished:


Beautiful, isn't it?

Now, just south of the letters O, E, R, and A, you can see a sunny cliff. This is where the fool's journey began! Following that road takes you through all the scrolls in the order they are listed in the menu. This is another major hint for unscrambling the map yourself; each tile has something featured in the description of that scroll.

And that's where we're going to have to end it for today. I have to replay this entire update, being sure to save this time, before we can continue with claiming the Book of Thoth, vanquishing the High Priestess, and finding the fourteen treasures. I bet you can't wait!

03-20-2009, 02:54 AM
Today, we're going to solve the mother of all metapuzzles.

There are several things you can interact with on the Sun's Map now that it has been solved. Holding one key will cause them to be highlit one at a time, but this was too fast to get a screenshot of. They are the four lines of alphabets against QWERTY, the sections of boxes, the scroll with the eye on it, the labyrinth to the east, the tile filled with letters in the west, and the Wheel of Fortune near the southwest corner.

Clicking on the boxes expand them and prompts you to enter letters. Clicking on the alphabets prompts you to enter some keystrokes and translates them according to one of four substitution ciphers. The maze, letters, and wheel do some more interesting things, but first we'll want to look at the scroll.


Here's the Book of Thoth puzzle. Fourteen lines, corresponding to the Fourteen Treasures, and a hint for each one. Let's get going, then.

The first hint is "The Kings are Confused". It's got room for twelve letters there. Let's start by looking at the four scrolls for the Kings of the respective Kingdoms. Here (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000939.png) they (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000950.png) are [url=http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_001003.png]now (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000958.png), in case you've forgotten. They yield the letters UNTZ. Clearly, the solution lies in some kind of extended club mix...!

Wait, no. We just need more letters. The four Kings' location on the Sun's Map are the place in the center where the letters O, E, R, and A are found. That's a few more letters. Finally, (and because none of the other clues need them), we'll look at the scrolls for the immense landmarks, The Sword (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082230.png), The Wand (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0107_055901.png), The Cup (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010234.png), and The Pentacle (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_083029.png). These add the letters BSET. These jumbled (or "confused") letters are an anagram for two six-letter words: BRONZE STATUE. So we put that in the Book of Thoth puzzle.

The next clue is "Within the Kingdom of the Pentacles", which is roughly in the northeast. What we'll want in the case of puzzles like this is to look for a series of concurrent scrolls with similar clues hidden in the text, then take these clues and fill the corresponding blocks with them.

Return to The Blacksmith (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_012939.png) and proceed along the path, recording the three-letter combinations. We'll end up with YES, ERA, SIP, TOP, AIH, ROI, MYR, and FIE. If you plug those into the only box that they all fit in, you wind up with this:


All but a few letters are grayed out. The bold letters say STAR SAPPHIRE, which is the Treasure we're looking for. It even fits in the Book of Thoth.

The third Treasure is hidden with the clue "The Queens are Confused". The Queens of the various Kingdoms all gave the fool a magic word, and all together they are TRSC, YNAL, EKE, and CLAC. Unscramble these (since they are "confused", after all) to get CRYSTAL NECKLACE.

The clue for the fourth Treasure is "Within the Kingdom of the Wands", which follows the pattern that this implies. The Kingdom of the Wands, apparently, begins with the scroll The Canopy (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0107_060010.png), and includes the next few scrolls. The clues they contain are RED URN, BAD YAM, RAT IVY, and NEW GNU. They fit quite neatly into the box nearest those scrolls:


Giving us the RUBY RING.

For the fifth Treasure, we are advised that "The Path of Six is Disguised". Think back to when we visited Three Ships (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_082629.png). That fellow calls himself the first of six. His clue is to "seek he who chases a fish" - none other than The Page of Cups (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0109_184536.png). Our fish-chasing friend sends us after "she who holds two swords", which describes The Chant (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_080603.png). That woman tells us to "seek the family who departs by boat." That can't describe anybody but the people we met at The Boat (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H3529.png), who tell us about "the broken wheel". On the Sun's Map, you can see a broken wheel marking the location of The Chariot (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000830.png), whose driver tells the fool about "a thief who steals seven". We only meet one real thief in this adventure, important enough to be called The Thief (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_081623.png), who helpfully informs us that yes, he is the last of six.

The magic words from these scrolls are, in order, RW, KD, EZC, YH, HA, and RW. Since they are disguised, we'll want to pass them through one of the alphabet ciphers on the Sun's Map. Only one of them, the leftmost, yields anything sensible when given that exact input:


We put our ONYX MEDALLION in the Book of Thoth puzzle.

The clue for the sixth Treasure is "The mystic chant is disguised." The fool himself called something a mystic chant once, at The Stream (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000223.png). The chant is NZSLTZMB HGZUU. One of the ciphers, specifically the lowest vertical one, will translate this for us:



For the seventh Treasure, we are advised that "The Knights and Pages are confused". If we visit all four Knights and all four Pages... we get a whole bunch of clues of various types. We've even had to refer to some of them before, in fact. It seems like a dead end. However, consulting their locations on the Sun's Map reveals that each of their tiles has a letter written on it. The letters are T,D,U,O,G,L,D, and S. The only comprehensible thing you can make from those four letters in two four-letter words is GOLD DUST.

The eighth Treasure's clue is "The Maze of Thorns is disguised." So let's venture into the Maze of Thorns.


Oh, that doesn't look too bad. Let's just mosey on out of -


Right. There's an Ogre. We'll see what else we can find.


The maze is full of assholes who won't move until we fetch their crap. Each of those letters is one of them, and they block the path until you satisfy their demand. I'll spare you the tedium of a complete transcript. Inevitably, the sections of the maze they guard will contain either a macguffin for another person, or a useful treasure, or both.

It's enough fetch-quests to fill out an entire trilogy of RPGs, all neatly condensed onto one screen. We end up getting a copper key to open a door to the area where the magic spell of Prowess is hidden. With this spell, amusingly, the fool throws the ogre over the wall instead, but just behind him there's a sprite that is so loud we can't pass. After some more scouring the maze, we get the silver key which guards the spell of Silence; behind the no-longer-noisy sprite is a rather ill-tempered fire demon. A golden key opens the door to the spell of Disruption, with which the demon is put in his place. As we leave, some magic words appear:



Since this puzzle is "disguised", we need to run those letters through one of the ciphers, revealing DIAMOND BRACELET, which I somehow failed to get a screenshot of.

03-20-2009, 02:55 AM
For the ninth Treasure, we are told that "The Hierophant is disguised and confused". Since this clue is polite enough to name a particular scroll, we head on over thataway (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010239.png).

The Hierophant's clues are the numbers 15, 24, and 2. He also mentions that four have come before us; obviously this means we should inspect the four scrolls that come before The Hierophant. These are also the only scrolls with similar clues. These are The Cloud (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010401.png), which yields 6 and 13, The Vision (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010638.png), which yields 15, 2, and 20, The Enchantment (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_010800.png), which yields 14, 8, and 15, and The Abandoned Cups (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0112_012809.png), which yields 16 and 16.

So, to recap, we've got (in no particular order) 6, 13, 15, 2, 20, 14, 8, 15, 16, 16, 15, 24, and 2. All of these numbers can be seen on the Sun's Map, and immediately next to each is a letter. All told, the letters are: ADEROWFELLEMR, which, when unscrambled, becomes EMERALD FLOWER.

The clue to the tenth Treasure says only "If justice be done..." so the scroll Justice (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000514.png) seems the natural place to start. Justice gives us the hint for solving the puzzle hidden in The Emperor (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_093129.png) and The Empress (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_094148.png). Take what is his (that is, WIF DOVE) from what is hers (which is to say, VILE SHADOW FIVE CIRCLE): specifically, remove the letters. You end up with LSHAIVECIRCLE, and unscrambled, that's SILVER CHALICE.

The eleventh Treasure's clue is "Within the Kingdom of the Swords", but none of the clues we seek seem to have anything to do with that particular Kingdom, making it a bit confusing. But I do believe that Kingdom was where we first encountered The High Priestess, so let's start there. She instructs us to find the inscription from The Tower (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_081302.png) and the letters on Death (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_081851.png)'s banner. There's one scroll that had clues similar to those, and that's The Singer (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H4725.png). Additionally, The Warrior (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H4755.png) and The Dead Warrior (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H4131.png) have some clues for us. Finally, we'll need to click on the Wheel of Fortune on the Sun's Map. Somehow, I didn't get the screenshot for that, but it shows a little inset with letters inside arranged like:

With this done, we've got ten clues: QM, ZA, EG, LI, OC, PUS, BOW, ONO, ROR, and DND. We can fill those into one of the boxes on the Sun's Map:


And now we have MAGIC SWORD.

The twelfth Treasure has the clue "Follow the Straight Path". Clicking on The Straight Path gives us this intimidating word search, which, wouldn't you know it, is different in every single new game:


There are two scrolls that mention the Straight Path, The Hermit (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_001012.png) and Judgment. The Hermit says to start from the letter J; Judgment says to follow some particular instructions. Well, in the context of that word search, those particular instructions make sense. Following each letter from the last one has us click on letters that spell JADE IDOL.

The thirteenth Treasure is "within the Kingdom of the Cups", so let's go to that area now. Starting with The Children (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_094304.png) and proceed through the next few. The Children mention the word of a star and the word of the pyramids; looking at The Star (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000105.png) provides the hint ERR; there are three scrolls that mention pyramids, and they are The Page of Wands (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0105_195459.png), The Knight of Wands (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0105_195514.png), and The Pyramids (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0104_135105.png). Unscramble their three single letters and you get HEX. The Couple (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0120_235037.png) give us CARE, and they also mention the work of The Devil (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0125_081746.png) (DEAD) and of Despair (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0312H4052.png) (GRIEF). The Dancers (whose story scroll I seem to have omitted! oops) give us LEAP and JOY; The Family (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0120_235327.png) gives us WISH, and mentions "the food of fertile seeds". Fertile seeds, it so happens, are mentioned elsewhere in the story, at The Knight of Pentacles (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0117_094125.png); unscrambling his three clues provides WHEAT, RICE, and CORN. The Not-A-Merchant (http://frontal-lobe.net/images/letsplay/fool/0121_000041.png) gives us NINE, and since he says he's the last, you know that's the end of these clues.

There's a particular order that those words will fit in the last remaining boxes, and that is JOY, GRIEF, WHAT, RICE, LEAP, HEX, DEAD, CARE, ERR, CORN, WISH, NINE.


JEWELED CROWN is the thirteenth Treasure.

The fourteenth and final Treasure bears the clue "Eight in the Land are disguised". On the Sun's Map, there are eight letters written in a sort of gothic script; they are VFBUYUDR. If you write them in the order you reach them by following the fool's path on the Sun's Map, they are DRBUFVYU. Unscrambling these in the last remaining cipher reveals the final Treasure, AMETHYST.


Entered into the Book of Thoth, it spells THE GIFT OF WISDOM. That was the real Treasure all along! But we still have all this sweet stuff, too!


Well, by all means, let's do that.

03-20-2009, 02:56 AM





"Are you still angry?" he says in the screenshot I didn't grab.


That laser beam is moving toward him. When it hits...


"...for if that be true, I wish you had made the challenge more difficult! After all, I am just a fool and I should not have been able to find them so easily."


"Well, I, for one, am not content to stand here for all eternity!

"Show me one last puzzle if you dare! If I can solve it, you let me go free. And if I do not, my life is yours!"



"Now what have I gotten myself into?

"Wait, what's this?"




"...And your answer is incorrect.

"Destroy him."

I didn't get a good screenshot of what happened next, which is a shame, because it's important. The Book of Thoth shot its eye laser at the fool, but it reflected and hit the High Priestess instead.


He had remembered well the words of the Magician. "The High Priestess may have learned how to command the Book of Thoth, but even she cannot force it to do anything inherently evil."

Some say that the story of the fool and his adventures inspired the creation of the modern tarot deck... but I doubt it.


Now, for extra credit: the fool did indeed give the wrong answer to the High Priestess' puzzle, so that she'd be tricked into trying to laser him. What is the correct answer, and why did the High Priestess choose that solution in particular?

03-20-2009, 10:55 AM
That was.... really cool! A good game and a great performance, Bongo!

03-20-2009, 11:07 PM
Awesome, just awesome.

I'm glad I got to play this vicariously through you Bongo Bill.

03-21-2009, 02:51 PM
I live to serve.

03-21-2009, 03:16 PM

Now, for extra credit: the fool did indeed give the wrong answer to the High Priestess' puzzle, so that she'd be tricked into trying to laser him. What is the correct answer, and why did the High Priestess choose that solution in particular?

Does the puzzle have something to do with taking the capital letters of the riddle and using them with the letters on the stars to form words?

03-21-2009, 11:54 PM
Does the puzzle have something to do with taking the capital letters of the riddle and using them with the letters on the stars to form words?

No hints!

03-22-2009, 11:02 AM
Well, if the answer's going to be DEATH TO THE FOOL, I can't say I blame him for changing the game.

Well done, Bongo!

03-22-2009, 01:55 PM
Oh man, those meta-puzzles. The rest was good, but seeing the meta-parts come together was completely great. Thanks for doing this!

03-22-2009, 10:46 PM
Well, if the answer's going to be I LIEK PIES, I can't say I blame him for changing the game.

Well done, Bongo!

How'd you figure that out? I'm genuinely curious, as I'm pretty terrible at puzzles.

03-22-2009, 10:57 PM
How'd you figure that out? I'm genuinely curious, as I'm pretty terrible at puzzles.

Take the hint listed below. Replace all the three-letter words with just the one upper-case letter in each. Replace the letters surrounding the stars according to the result of the previous step. Rearrange the resulting collection of letters into something sensible.

05-22-2009, 01:11 PM
For the interested, an interview (http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/05/fools-errand/) with Cliff Johnson about this game.