The Weekly Puzzle – The Mighty Duck!

Puzzles are at the core of Adventure gameplay, they provide challenges for you to overcome with brains rather than brawn. For Action Adventures, they offer a break from the hacky-slashy-stabby-shooty element of title.

Every week I’ll bring you a new puzzle, drawn from some of the best and worst adventure or puzzle games I’ve ever played. Every once in a while I’ll even leave you one of my own for you to solve. If you do, I’ll find a way to reward you!

No one has solved last week’s riddle, so I’ll leave it here again: “He’s old and patient, always moving but never wandering. He’s rough, has seen all branches of life and will share the fruits of it with you if you wait long enough.

This week’s puzzle is from The Longest Journey, the first game in the series. Early in the game you have to go meet the enigmatic Cortez, so you need to grab your cash card, your things and head off to the subway station once you figure out where he is. On the subway platform you see something sparking on the rails, not the ones where your train will go on, but the ones on the opposite end. You see an Iron Key lodged between the rail and a high voltage cable. You need to get the key to use in the future but you can’t touch the live wire. So what do you do? Obviously you build a complex item from an inflatable duck and other knickknacks!

This evil thing!!

This evil thing!!

What I like about this puzzle is that it’s completely random and insane. There is logic behind the contraption you build, but there isn’t any reason at the time for you to need to get that particular item, nothing pushes you towards it. In fact, it’s an item you won’t need until further ahead, to open a fuse box in another part of town entirely. How did the key get there? Who the hell knows, that’s not important! Even getting the rubber ducky is crazy as it involves a clothesline and bread!

In a game with a very defined logic, even considering the parallel worlds and magic, this puzzle always sticks out as being completely mental, and is quite infamous when it comes to the Longest Journey series. It’s not moon logic but it is random, especially when it doesn’t make sense for the item you collect to be there in the first place! The bread thing to get the item does fall dangerously close to Moon Logic though, but just a bit.

I love The Longest Journey series though, even with this puzzle. Do you have one you remember fondly from this game? I have a few, one involving a Sorcerer’s Tower that I’ll speak of next time!

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