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# Wading through the backlog - a back-to-front video game journey

goodtimesfreegrog

## King's Quest 1: Spelunky (part 3)

Taking the note to heart, I pay the bridge toll with the golden walnut to make my way back to the little gnome to answer his riddle. The last time I tried to answer this riddle, it didn't take, and the note recommends me to "think backwards". So I try again, answering the same backwards: "Nikstlitselpur!" And bingo, it takes! Even Nicksy himself is surprised I figured this one out, so in return for solving his riddle, he hands me a clump of magic beans, believing that a smart guy like me would know what to do with those.

Trivia time: In the original AGI release, this puzzle was one of the single-most notorious leaps of logic in adventure gaming history. In this version, it's enough to spell his name backwards, but the original release was far more devious: Instead of reversing the letters, you would have to use a reversed alphabet cypher to respell his name (where A=Z, B=Y, C=X etc.) to get Ifnkovhgroghprm for your answer. But you probably already knew that, because every wiki entry about obscure puzzles mentions this.

With the magic beans in hand, I look for a place to plant them - after all, now that we're done with Rumplestiltskin, it's only natural we start to wander into Jack & The Beanstalk territory. Unfortunately, the only suitable soil I could find was the carrot patch, and even then the game insists that the beans demand to be planted on "special" soil. So instead, I pay a visit to the goat and feed him one of those carrots. This also demands that I open the gate to get close enough. Of course, the goat loves it, but does absolutely nothing after eating the carrot. Greedy son of a gun.

I backtrack to the well to see if there's anything I can do with it. Since I can't place anything inside the bucket itself, instead I lower it, and then grab onto the rope to take an up-close-and-personal look at the well. Inside, there's nothing special...until I dive into the water to find an underwater cavern. Teasingly, at the bottom of the well there's a treasure chest just waiting to be unlocked, but sadly, the game tells us this isn't the chest we're looking for. You just had to, didn't you?

Pulling myself ashore inside the cavern, I dig deep into the tunnels to find...oh, what the hell! It's the magic mirror, one of the three treasures! And it's being guarded by a ferocious, sleeping dragon! Trying to get close to it just results in me being burnt to cinders, so instead I try out the ring that elf gave me...and it does absolutely nothing! I'm still completely visible, and fried to death! That elf swindled me! So much for this, I'm clueless.

Restoring to an earlier save, I take another look around Daventry to see if there's anything I missed, backtracking to the goat's pen...except the goat is missing because I left the gate open like a complete doofus, and could be anywhere in Daventry at the very moment. Checking the carrot patch is a dead-end, and on my continued adventures looking for the goat, I get eaten up by a wolf and have to reload again.

...so, any ideas?