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Headscratchers / JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain

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  • Seeing the reviews of the game brought up something that bugs me, specifically the mini game mentioned in the review a parent gave where their child was driven to cry by Polly's piss-poor attitude (not hard to miss as now it was dubbed the "most critical" review of the game in said link, although here it is if you can't find it). The art mini game has pre-made clip-art among your arsenal in making a commission for Polly to get either the Mission Clue or spare Invention Points. However, you can make a cheap doodle to a work of the Gods, it doesn't matter that you took the time to draw as convincing an image of a cow skull as possible, Polly will only recognize you made her a picture with a cow skull in it if you've used a clip-art of one readily at hand. Now, I understand how hard it can be to make an AI capable of recognizing what you did enough not to lead to either you having to draw a picture absolutely perfectly by tracing an image you've never seen, much less can replicate or to draw something as simple as a single dot that the game can't recognize as being wrong or right and therefore lets you have it for the hell of it, but if it was just going to lead you to using clip-art to make an image according to what Polly wants without nagging at you, and Polly always makes a request when you enter the Art Gallery even at a time she shouldn't even be there, what was the point of giving you all the tools worthy of a dummied down MS Paint when there really isn't a point to use it without being told your head is in another planet by a certain brat?
    • I know, right? I guess they felt obligated to throw in a painting mini-game because the the previous entries in the series had one and they needed a way for you to "win" it. Even as a kid, I wondered what on earth the educational value of the painting game was supposed to be and basically viewed it as a way to get free Invention Points. I mean, you just have to follow Polly's incredibly easy instructions to win. I even streamlined it to the point where I had a canvas with each of the backgrounds saved and, whenever she asked for a new picture, I just added the clip art she wanted to the canvas with the right background. Eventually, her requests looped around to the beginning, so that she was asking for pictures she still had. Then I could win by just opening the right background and then closing it without changing anything.
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    • I always thought it was teaching you reading comprehension myself, since Polly would eventually demand something a bit more complex. But yeah, it was probably a "gimme" challenge. I do have a memory of the first time I tried it and I drew a boy playing with a car...and Polly kept saying " where's the boy?" and I had drawn several arrows pointing to him nearly covering up the whole background, even writing "LOOK HERE MORON" before realizing I was supposed to use the clip art. So I put a clip art of the boy there and laughed after printing it out because it looked so bloody ridiculous. Plus, I'm pretty sure that there's no real way to make something as subjective as art fair.
  • Why does Polly inform you that she's hidden the clues? Why does she hide the clues you need to stop her instead of destroying the clues? At the end she claims the professor programed Botley to obey her, but then why didn't she order him not to try to stop her? And why would Professor Spark order Polly's babysitter to obey her? Honestly, the whole plot of the game makes no sense.
    • Polly's whole hide-the-clue shtick is nothing more than a game for her twisted amusement, complete with "live on TV" action thanks to the mountain's camera system. If Botley made it to the very end, she was going to just make him to go back in time (which she almost did)...and probably 'reset' what he 'fixed' afterwards. As to the second, having robots NOT obey humans is a very dangerous thing to do, even if said human is a total brat. Frankly I wouldn't put it past a fed-up robot to do something drastic after having to deal with her for too long.
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    • On the first two points, Default Answer. There'd be no game otherwise. If you want an in-story explanation, we must assume that, like so many other villains, Polly enjoys playing Criminal Mind Games. As for the second part, I don't have a clue. Perhaps she was lying or stretching the truth.
    • At some point Polly would have been dragged off and locked in a closet - or worse - if the robots had not been told to obey her. As shown in the endgame video, Botley can PROTEST her bad ideas - he just can't outright refuse a direct order. And Polly's actions had already triggered a Godzilla Threshold in Botley's programming. That's why he'd left the mountain and flown to the nearest likely source of human assistance in the first place; his normal lists of "What I can do at-will, shouldn't do unless ordered, and absolutely must not do" had already been revoked.
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    • Maybe Botley is Three Laws-Compliant. Since many of Polly's changes would cause people to be hurt, he could defy her on the grounds that obeying her would violate the First Law. However, no human lives would be endangered by Botley traveling back to the Big Bang and the Second Law (Polly's orders) trumps the Third Law (Botley's self-preservation).
  • On the TransQuizzer disks, we see a recording of Ms. Winkle personally asking Polly each question and then responding to her answer. So does Ms. Winkle test each kid in her class on a one-on-one basis? And when Polly describes what happened at the beginning of the game, she talks about Ms. Winkle not laughing at her answers as though she only found out how her "joke" had gone over after finishing the quiz, but the TransQuizzer clearly shows that Ms. Winkle responded immediately to each of Polly's answers.
    • Not all of her responses were laughter. As you go through questions, Ms. Winkle's responses to Polly's answers goes from things like "Ahahaha, don't be silly!" to things like "No, Polly, that's not correct." The little brat was just exaggerating.
    • As for the first question, yes, she does. Botley outright states at the beginning of the game, all quizzes in that school are personalized and recorded. Guess that's one cool thing about being 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • In the observatory activity, you have to get back the mission clue which Polly shipped into deep space. So how is it that Botley can sense mission clues being "in the observatory"?
  • What kind of extra credit question is worth more than the rest of the quiz? And especially one where the answer is as simple as "The Big Bang?"
    • Maybe Polly's teacher saw that she failed the test and was nice enough to try giving her one last final chance to answer a question correctly.

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