Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Gabriel Knight 'Tape on the cat' Puzzle

It all seems so simple.  You're stuck in a small French town, and need a mode of transport.  Of course being a small town there's only one place in town that hires out bikes, and demand is high.  In fact all they have left for you is a little 50cc scooter.  Sad times!

Now how can I get my hands on that green beauty? Fraud I suspect.

But wait!  There is a Harley in stock, but sadly it has been reserved for your good friend Mosley.  No problem you think to yourself, you can just steal his identity.  All you need to do is steal his passport, and disguise yourself to match his bald passport photo.  EASY! RIGHT?

No, it's not bloody easy.  Since this is the world of adventure gaming.  A genre that has always battled with its aging ways.  One game that really brought to light some of the genres biggest flaws was Gabriel Knight 3, which of course contains the now infamous cat hair puzzle.  Well infamous withing nerdy adventure gaming circles.  The puzzle is the perfect example of the often illogical and baffling puzzles that are used to beef up adventure games and fill in the gaps between story elements. 

The most confusing element of this puzzle was the need to obtain a false moustache.  The best way to do this?  Stick some double sided tape to a gate, and then chase a cat through it.  The most obvious answer really when you thing about it.  This took me ages to work out, and when I finally solved it a felt no sense of pride, but a sense that I had been bent over by the game designers, and that they had not been gentle.

That's Mosely in the middle.  No moustache!!!
Don't even get me started on the fact that Mosley, the poor sap who we are defrauding, does NOT have a moustache.  Of course the way around this is to draw a moustache on his passport in marker pen.

This is the biggest problem with the puzzle.  Mosely does not have a moustache, so why in gods name do we need to draw one on his passport in marker pen, so that we can then use a fake one ourselves.  Surely it looks a bit strange that the moustache is crudely drawn on in marker pen?

Amazingly this disguise works?  I decided to try it myself, so drew a moustache on my wife's passport, strapped a stray cat to my face, and then tried to obtain entry to America.

Fair to say, I won't be allowed back.

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