Author Topic: Broken Sword 5 - is Tabula Puzzle really bad? (spoilers/confusion)  (Read 8442 times)

Ali

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I've just finished Broken Sword 5 part 2. It almost lived up to the promise of part 1, but things started to go wrong for me when solving the Tabula code. I'm not looking for hints here, I just want to know if you made better sense of the puzzle than me. Perhaps I'm a mad fool:

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I had solved the code apart from the second glyph in the second line, at which point I cheated using this walkthrough: http://www.gameboomers.com/wtcheats/pcBb/BS5/BS5.htm


Of course, in real life I had actually worked out what the glyph meant (I thought something like "Look at the Young City Region") I had also worked out these were directions to the garden of Eden, but I couldn't communicate any of that to George.

Having cheated, I know that the glyph translates as "South". My question is, how the hell is that a reasonable translation? Is it because Young Cities is the southernmost marking on Gehnen's map? Or because following the first line of clues, and then looking at the Young Cities would result in you facing South? If so, the glyph still wouldn't mean south.

Am I a semantic pedant, or is there a reasonable explanation I can't see?

(There are other points which make this puzzle extra confusing: When George examines the symbols marked 'a 'and 'b', he seems to mix up the letters and says 'a' must represent 'b' on the map. And Gehen says daylight will make his words fade, but we use lamplight instead. Come on!)

Any help?

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Part 2 had some seriously absurd puzzles
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Specifically the "fix cable car by attaching paper clip to roach" and "distract goons by attaching fake dynamite to goat" puzzles. Do the designers have a thing for sticking things to animals?

but the Tabula translation puzzle was the most interesting to me, because it felt the most "Broken Sword."  Unfortunately, it was also the one that made the least sense.  I had to use the in-game hints to solve it, because there was honestly no way I found to be able to solve it on my own. 
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Ali

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Yes, those two puzzles particularly annoyed me too, but at least they were possible to solve because there was basically nothing else you could do.

Perhaps the reason I got so stuck on the code was that I forgot there was an in-game hint system in the gap between part 1 and 2. But I was really enjoying it right up until it turned out to be virtually impossible!
« Last Edit: 21 Apr 2014, 21:40 by Ali »

Eric

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Glad to know that the presence of
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goats
is still equivalent to annoying puzzle creation in the Broken Sword series.

nihilyst

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I kind of liked the Tabula puzzle and managed to figure out most of the glyphs myself. Most. Was stumped with the "south" glyph, too, and had to consult a walkthrough. I even got the numbers right, but my problem with this puzzle was that you got no feedback on how off you were. I believed that I got the numbers right, but as long as I couldn’t figure out "south", I didn’t really know it and began to doubt it. I wonder how George himself knew he was right at the end ???

I am a bit disappointed with part 2. It felt even more straightforward than part 1, mostly because there were two, maybe three rooms at max to solve the puzzles and advance the story. There was hardly any room for exploration, and some of the puzzles were, like Grundislav said, quite absurd and on the brink of a total mockery.

Ali

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And another thing I forgot - the parallax was backwards in several locations!

How can no one have noticed that distant objects were moving faster than nearby ones? In my book, that's less forgiveable than flogging a dead goat / electric cockroach.

AGA

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I hate hate hate Broken Sword type puzzles, where you have to actually think about the riddle behind a puzzle.  So I cheated on the tabula.  Most of the earlier ones in this game, and the series, were easy enough that I didn't have too much problem, but this seemed to be the height of their irritating artform.

The weird puzzles (use jam on paperclip...) struck me as the height of adventure game logic, but at least they were amusing.  The thing that bugged me most about the final goat puzzle was that George can apparently throw a fig far enough to land by the goons, but can't throw a medium sized dynamite sausage...

Ali

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I'm sure the designers evaluated the aero-dynamism of figs vs sausage dynamite. They wouldn't throw something like that in without thinking about it...

I'm not sure what you mean by thinking "about the riddle behind a puzzle". Parts of the tablula were absolutely brilliant:

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House + Young + Sun = House of the Rising Sun = East.

That's a proper challenging riddle, which was very satisfying to work out. But it's so frustrating that one of the glyphs was such an incomprehensible example of 'adventure game logic'.

AGA

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I don't like riddles, basically.  A logical (if often weird) combination of objects leading to a solution is much more fun for me than spending ages trying to work out barely perceptible (to me) clues.  I also do badly on that type of question in IQ tests too, so I guess it's just how my brain works.

Khris

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I really liked the Tabula puzzle and actually started drawing all the symbols and their explanations on an envelope before I realized one could combine the items :P
Couldn't figure out the second row's second glyph either though and also looked it up.

Some of the puzzles were a bit out there, but having played the abysmal Moebius before this, it seemed like the best adventure in years.

Also, I think the parallax scrolling is not necessarily off; the background scrolling faster is exactly what you use when you want to simulate a stationary camera turning, as opposed to moving sideways. I only noticed it in the train station, and it made perfect sense to me, given that the viewpoint could very well be a mounted camera's.

Ali

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There's virtually no parallax with a stationary camera, except for extremely close objects depending on how the camera is mounted. And even if there were, it'd still be moving in the wrong direction.

The effect you're describing is tracking one way and panning the other, like tracking in a circle around a focal point. Which is a very odd camera move to choose when a pan or a track would have sufficed. And it's never going to look believable in 2D without more planes.
« Last Edit: 29 Apr 2014, 16:52 by Ali »

Myinah

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I needed the hints to work out the Tabula. There were very weird, adventure game logic puzzles in part 2 I totally agree, but the Tabula was genuinely hard and honestly didn't make any sense to me at the time. Not my favourite kind of puzzle. I dont mind cracking codes, but that one was particularly hard for me.

Monsieur OUXX

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There's virtually no parallax with a stationary camera, except for extremely close objects depending on how the camera is mounted. And even if there were, it'd still be moving in the wrong direction.

Hi Ali, I don't mean to be annoying, but I believe Khris is right. This is an old, well-known  game-designing trick:
- when you want to simulate a camera travelling left or right, you use a regular parallax (slower-moving background)
- when you want to simulate a camera spinning on its tripod, you use a parallax where the background is moving faster. That's used a lot in Japanese games.

That second effect is not as good as the first one, because the "slower-moving background" is what actually happens in reality when the camera moves sideways. However, the "faster-moving background" is just a quick hack; to do it properly you'd need a real 3D scene, but it was good enough in most 90's games. It can disturb some players. Proof is, it felt unnatural to you. :-)


Still it wouldn't excuse the parallax going in the wrong direction. Could you say exactly in what part of the game that appears? I'm curious to see it in action.
« Last Edit: 07 May 2014, 14:39 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Ali

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I can't tell if you still disagree! Tripods definitely have little to no parallax, otherwise 360 degree POV adventure games wouldn't work!

If memory serves the parallax is backwards in the cable car office and in the chapel in the rocks. In the first of those, it's remotely plausible as a track-and-pan, but I find it weird and distracting:

&index=3
« Last Edit: 07 May 2014, 17:11 by Ali »

Azure

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I solved it but by brute force more than anything. Did feel a bit like they went a bit overboard when people asked them to make it harder.
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Problem

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I really like these kinds of puzzles, and this one was pretty clever and original, though maybe a tad too hard. Those translation puzzles and map puzzles really fit into the game and are well integrated into the story.

There are few other puzzles in BS5 that were funny, but pretty far-fetched (getting the keys from Bijou, cheering up Pearl...). For me, these kinds of puzzles can kill a game, because they rely on characters acting in a very unnatural way, and often they don't contribute anything to the story.

Anyway, I think BS5 did a lot of things right, and I really enjoyed it. But I think it was a dumb decision to split the game. The complete game is very good, but the first part is pretty weak on its own and stops just when things are getting interesting. They should have waited to release the complete game at once.