The Dishonored video game series will always be one of my absolute favorites. A fairly large open sandbox world, Dishonored 2 gives its players a few goals and then sets them free to accomplish them however they choose. Each map (or district) is a virtual maze of paths and opportunities, allowing you to traverse the world in nearly infinite ways using a variety of super natural powers or acrobatics. Nearly every challenge has multiple solutions or means of overcoming them; if an enemy is too powerful or a way seems irreparably blocked, one only needs to look at the problem another way to find the solution. It requires a level of creativity and ingenuity that most games don't, and because there are so many means to overcome each challenge, the game offers something new with each play through (even almost a year and a half after release!).
There is no better example of this than Dishonored 2's Jindosh Riddle. Approximately halfway through the game, you will enter the Dust District, tasked with heading to the home of Aramis Stilton in an attempt to uncover your enemies' plans. Unlike most maps where you must journey quite a distance to reach your objective, you actually arrive at Stilton's front door almost immediately upon entering the district. However, you are greeted by a massive steel door marked with bizarre symbols that require a precise combination. The lock has been created by Kirin Jindosh, a mad inventor with a knack for outlandish machinery. With hundreds of possible combinations, and each one randomized on each play through, there is little to no chance of guessing the code, and remembering the code from a previous game will do you no good.
These are actual screenshots from my run through.
To find the combination, most players (myself included) must journey further into the Dust District. Your allies will inform you that two factions, the Howlers and the Overseers, are at war in the streets and will attack anyone on sight. If you are able to defeat either leader and bring their body to the other, the other side will allow you to pass and assist you in obtaining the code to Aramis Stilton's manor. This whole process takes about an hour depending on whether you are going for high chaos or low. However, it is possible to skip the entire district and discover the combination to the Jindosh lock without ever leaving Stilton's door. One must simple open the box next to the door and solve the riddle inside:
Yikes. If you don't immediately recognize this, it is called a logic grid puzzle. This word problem presents you with several elements, relationships and criteria; using a variety of logical deduction techniques and a grid (I had to open up excel to beat this one), you must be able to determine the proper relationship between the different elements. Where was each woman from? Where did she sit? What did she drink? What color was she wearing? What item did she bring? In order to solve this, we have to observe each element carefully and how they relate to one another, but first, I need to create my logic grid!
Okay, so first things first: we need to record what we know to be true. Marcolla is wearing white, Contee was at the far left, the woman in green was drinking absinthe, etc. On our grid, we will mark these relationships with a "+". We can also start ruling out several relationships, marking them with a "-" (if a woman is wearing green, we know she can't be wearing blue, red, white, or purple). This will begin to give us a basic understanding of some of the relationships.
It's just as important to pay attention to the relationships that are negative as those that are positive. For example, we know that "someone else carried a valuable ring and when she saw it, the visitor from Karnaca next to her almost spilled her neighbor's rum". We can then say that, while we don't know what item the visitor from Karnaca possessed, we do know that she did not have the ring, and we can mark the relationship accordingly (-). This is going to take some time, but in order to solve the riddle, we have to figure out every single relationship mentioned (nothing can be left out, it is all crucial information). Through logic-based process of elimination you will eventually figure out the puzzle!
So according to our grid the relationships are as follows:
- Winslow - Blue - Baleton - Diamond - Left - Beer
- Marcolla - White - Fraeport - War Medal - Center -Whiskey
- Contee - Purple - Dabokva - Ring - Far Left - Rum
- Natsuo - Red - Karnaca - Snuff Tin - Far Right - Wine
- Finch - Green - Dunwall - Bird Pendant - Right - Absinthe
All we have to do now is input the ladies names above the item the carried and...
We successfully solved the Jindosh riddle, skipped all of the Dust District and even unlocked a fancy rare achievement! But was it worth it in the end? Welllll, we may have skipped over a significant amount of gameplay but solving the puzzle took me nearly 2 hours when all was said and done (perhaps it would have been faster if it wasn't at midnight but oh well), roughly twice as long as it would have taken to power my way through the Dust District. However, I do enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I was able to solve what really was a beast of a puzzle! In the end, you have to give credit to the developers; the Jindosh Riddle is just one example of how players can choose to progress through the world, not only through the eyes and abilities of their character, but through their own logic and problem solving! This is why I will be playing Dishonored over and over, but to be honest, I think from here on I'll be searching for the combination in the Dust District!
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