"When you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on." "Every cloud has a silver lining." "It's always darkest before the dawn." The English language has tons of sayings and clichés to serve as reminders that perseverance in any task is the way to accomplish a goal. This is something that we — as escape gamers — must internalize if we are to succeed in getting out of whatever room, building, or other tight spot we find ourselves in week after week. In Japanese culture, however, the concept is embodied in a strange, red, roly-poly figure known as a Daruma Doll, or Dharma Doll. Keep at it, keep trying, eventually you'll get there. What a coincidence that this week's game is also called Dharma Doll. Go figure. Perhaps not so coincidental as you might notice that the aforementioned figure sits front and center in one of the scenes of Petithima's lovely new escape the room game. Is the Dharma Doll there to encourage you to keep trying, or is it just a common object in a Japanese household? Why can't it be both?
Dharma Doll is not a long or complex game, although it is certainly meatier than Petithima's usual fare. Two spare scenes in a room, and a third space if you can figure out the secret to finding it, are all that is contained in this delightful little exercise in escaping. Yet so much is packed into this pint-sized game that it feels much bigger. Pick up objects, manipulate things, and reason your way out the door in yet another winner from a very talented game designer. Navigation couldn't be simpler, as you can only move back and forth, no turning involved. Hard to get lost or turned around with such an easy way of moving about.
What is it about Petithima's little escapes that make them so good, in fact, better than some larger escapes? Is it the cute graphics? The bouncy music? Although they add to the atmosphere, they are not what make a good escape game. There are two basic things that make a great game: logical puzzles that flow together well; and the basic controls to make the game enjoyable, like changing cursors to indicate hot-spots, an easy to handle inventory, and a save feature if you have to stop in the middle of the game. Puzzles and controls can make or break an otherwise distinguished game, and Petithima's are top notch. Larger, more complex games with more complex puzzles can be fun, but illogical puzzles (why would I use that on that?), pixel hunting, difficulty figuring out which way is which, or not being able to control what is in your inventory can sour the experience so much that you don't even want to finish the game. These are not flaws you will find in Petithima's games.
There are a few minor things that keep Dharma Doll from being a perfect game. Color based puzzles are fun, but difficult for some folks. And the cultural significance of the Dharma Doll makes the solution of one puzzle a little obscure. However, even without knowing the culture or the dolls, most folks can figure it out pretty quickly.
Dharma Doll is a highlight of Petithima's rapidly growing oeuvre. More complex than the last one featured on Weekday Escape (Choc-Mint), showing a progression of more puzzles and more difficult puzzles without losing the charm and design that make the games so great. Sort of an appetizer, where Choc-Mint was an amuse-bouche. Frankly, I can't wait until Petithima starts making a main course! In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Dig in!
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No direct answers here, just nudges! I just hate giving it all away if I can avoid it.
Phase 1: Getting things
Lucky for you (and more importantly me) there is virtually no pixel hunting here. If you see a good hiding place, there's probably something there. Try all the usuals, under stuff, inside not locked stuff, just sitting there.
After some vigorous around-looking, you should have a razor, a cord, a cup, a newspaper and a moon rock. I mean, hard candy. What IS that?
Step 2: Opening Stuff
Standard safe action going on here. Generally a code of some sort that gets rotated some number of times to the left or right, and then back the other way, and then returned.
Most likely three times, that's a pretty common combination number.
Now what could indicate lefts and rights?
Don't have it? How about the OTHER left, silly? Don't be so self-oriented!
Oh, right, only the other left for the rotations, not the order apparently.
The Flower Stand
Well, I've got good news and bad news about this one.
The bad news is, sadly, this one isn't as easy as it first seems - if you've opened the safe already, though, you probably knew that.
The good news is, you should have plenty of time to figure this one out. You shouldn't need any more than 25 minutes though, even if you measure your time in a weird way. Why would you even do that?
The Closet Door
Stumped on this one? You might want to take a break, and watch some TV for a while.
Look, I'm no electrician, but I think it's pretty obvious why the TV isn't turning on.
Bah. It looks like the only thing on is "Grievous Property Damage TV". Hopefully no one gets any silly ideas, I understand impressionable people can be influenced to perform violence against innocent furniture!
Maybe if they had a nice relaxing hobby, like painting...
Oh yeah... that reminds me, have you seen the new Daruma Doll we had installed? It cost us a good deal, because it was hand-painted by monks who never left their home, even for groceries! Except, something seems wrong with it.
Maybe you could take a look. A good long look. A close look. Still don't see it? Keep looking... if you look hard enough you should see it.
Luckily, you seem to have come equipped to fix it for us! How nice of you!
Oh look, I didn't know he had a sign attached! Hmm, it must be some abstract art.
But, if the triangle is three, what could the other shapes possibly be?
You think they might be related to the code for the door? Why, you make an excellent point! An excellent point indeed.
The weather box
I'll let you know what's going on here after you get back from the closet.
Part 3: Into the closet
Here is my lovely closet. To celebrate the grand opening of it, we should have some tea! Why don't you go get me some hot water?
Wait... the power's still out? I thought we fixed that earlier! Guess we have to check all the outlets again.
Oh, the water's still not hot? Well, you know what they say, a watched pot never boils!
Aw crud! I forgot I was out of tea... I guess you'll just have to have a glass of hot water instead.
Anyway, would you like to see my collection of clothes? I got them all on sale!
When was the sale? Oh, I think it was a couple months ago... maybe last February sometime I think? Let me check my shopping calendar...
Why do I keep that one cabinet locked but not the other? Well, the first has matches in it, I had to keep it childproofed. I figured, the best way was to use cryptic clues, that way my children can't get a hold of them until they're smart enough to know how to use them!
Well, you've probably seen enough of the closet. Oh, but before you go, you've just got to see what I got in the mail!
Well, if I could get it open. It's taped shut... with TAPE! I don't suppose you could give me a hand, could you?
Stage 4: Time to leave!
Well, I'm not sure what this thing I got in the mail was... Maybe it's a burner for my stove? Or maybe just some kind of thing that gets burned? It's hard to tell really.
(Honestly, does anyone know what this was? I figured out what to do with it through educated guesses, but it didn't help me determine what it actually was.)
Oh, if you're going to smoke, at least put the ashes in the ashtray. What? I don't have an ashtray? Well, put them in SOMETHING... Just don't burn down any of my pictures!
Speaking of which, how do you like them? The one is just a photograph I took in the living room, but the other is a nice piece of abstract art. I thought it'd go nice in the room, especially just behind the chair like that. It was designed after several common household objects!
So how's your water? Is it hot enough for you? When you're done, I highly recommend the moon candy, if you can figure out how to get it open.
Also, where DID you end up putting your ashes? I like to keep my house clean, not looking like some pigsty!
Well, I think it's about time to head out. I hear the weather's supposed to get pretty bad later. You might want to get out before it changes for the worst. Don't forget the box you brought! You left it sitting on the couch. Oh, that's my box? Sorry, I thought it was yours. It must have come with that painting I bought.
Can I unlock the door for you? Oh, so sorry, I completely forgot! Why, I'd lose my own head if it wasn't glued on!
Thanks for coming! Have a nice walk home!
Posted by: Coldfrog | July 21, 2010 2:15 AM
Dharma Doll Walkthrough
Watch for the changing cursor, it indicates hot spots.
To back up or turn around, click on the arrow/bar at the bottom of the screen.
If you don't know what a Daruma (Dharma) Doll is, you can look it up on Wikipedia. The Important thing to remember is that it needs to be altered after you buy it and bring it home.
The walkthrough will contain directions for the color blind if necessary.
Chair Wall Exploration
You start facing a wall and two red chairs, with the door in the distance.
Notice the mail box on the door? Click on it to open and take the newspaper.
While the newspaper is in close up click on the note sticking out of it.
The note reads 2:00 = 60, and 6:00 + 8:00 + 11:00. I'm sure that means something.
Click on the white covering on the chair to the right to lift it. Take the revealed power cord.
Click on the box sitting on the left chair. Notice that it needs a 3 object code. Put the box back down.
To the far left is a low cabinet with shelves. Notice the drawer at the top of the cabinet needs a 3 digit code.
On the middle shelf of the cabinet is an object, take it (utility knife).
Note the pictures on the wall, a pig that appears to be smoking and a picture with three objects. I'm sure that will be important.
Television Wall Exploration
There's lots to see here.
On the right is a door that is locked. If you click on the panel just to the left of the door you will see that it needs a 3 digit code, and that colors are involved.
Just to the left of the door is a safe (locked of course).
Right in front of you is a table with a pig, some small object wrapped in cellophane, and a cup. Take the object and the cup.
While the object (cookie) is in close up, click on it to turn it around and notice the symbol on the back (snowman).
Behind the round table is the titular Dharma Doll. Nothing we can do with it right now.
Above the television on the left are some shelves, click on the shelves for a close up.
Note the cute little animals (are those pigs?) holding numbers. The first animal is holding the number 5, the second is holding the number 7, and the third is holding the number 6. You might also want to note which hands the animals are holding the numbers in.
Pick up the electrical cord from your inventory and place it on the electrical socket to the left of the television.
The television just came on! It's a clue!
The picture on the TV seems to indicate using the utility knife on one of the stars on the chairs we just saw. Interesting.
Click on the electrical cord again to remove it. We might need it again.
Before we leave, notice the picture above the Dharma Doll? It's a hint.
Chair Wall Puzzle Solving
First, let's tackle the chair on the right. Pick up the utility knife from your inventory and hover it over the right star on the chair. When you see the cursor change click to cut into the chair. Take the item (paint brush).
Now, let's look at that locked drawer in the small cabinet on the left.
Remember the note you got from the newspaper?
2:00 = 60, and 6:00 + 8:00 + 11:00. It's a hint.
If 2:00 = 60, it is not talking about minutes or time, but rather angles.
2:00 is at a 60 degree angle. Each of the hours is 30 degrees apart from the others. 1:00, for instance, would be 30 (degrees).
6:00 is 6 times 1:00, so 6:00 would be 30 x 6 = 180.
That would make 8:00 = 240.
And 11:00 = 330.
180 + 240 + 330 = 750, which is your code (750).
Click on the drawer for a close up and enter the code.
Back up, then click on the drawer knob to open it.
Take the revealed object (paint).
Time to solve some puzzles on the Television Wall.
Television Wall Puzzle Solving
First, let's open the safe.
Remember the animals on the shelf, holding the numbers?
The numbers are the number of clicks you must use on either the right or left arrows on the safe.
Remember, though, that although you might see the code as left 5, right 7, and left 6, the animals are holding them in the opposite hands.
I.E., the animals are holding the 5 in their right hands, the 7 in their left hands, and the 6 in their right hands.
So click the arrow on the right 5 times, the arrow on the left 7 times, and the arrow on the right 6 times.
Click on the safe for a close up and enter the code.
Once you've entered the code, back up and then click on the safe handle to open it.
Take the revealed object (half of a key).
Now let's take care of the Dharma Doll.
If you don't know how Dharma Dolls work, look at the picture above it for a hint.
When you get a Dharma Doll, you paint first one eye for luck in your task, then the second eye when you've completed the task.
Pull up the paint from your inventory.
Use the brush on the paint.
Now use the brush on the Dharma Doll eyes, and a code will pop up from the top of the head.
Once the odd object pops out from the top of the Dharma Doll, click on it for a close up.
Hmmm, a triangle equals three, then we have an orange star, a red hexagram, and a blue diamond.
Click on the panel to the left of the door.
Notice that the number code colors match the Dharma Dolls, orange, red, and blue.
What you are looking for on each item is points.
The star has 5 points, the hexagram 6 points, and the diamond 4 points.
Therefore the code is 564.
Enter the code into the lock and notice that it changes to open.
Back up from the close up, then click on the door handle to open the door.
Cool, another room.
Lots of stuff to look at in here.
There's a low table/cabinet in front of you, with two drawers and an open shelf.
Take the item from the open shelf (water bottle).
Open the right door and take the object (half key).
There's a low table in front of you with an electric kettle and a cardboard box.
Use the water on the kettle, then use the electric cord on the electrical outlet to plug in the kettle.
Use the utility knife on the box and take the revealed object (spiral).
You might notice that you now have the three items from the picture on the chair wall, a cup, a spiral, and a cookie.
Let's look at the clothes hanging in the back of the room.
Click on the clothes until they move to the left, revealing a code on the wall.
F = 2, and S x O x D.
Wonder what that means?
The calendar on the wall is a hint.
The letters stand for months. F = 2, because February is the second month.
S would be September (9), O would be October (10), and D would be December (12).
9 x 10 x 12 equals 1080, which is the four digit code for the left cabinet drawer.
Click on the left cabinet drawer for a close up and enter the code from the wall.
Back up from the close up and click on the knob to open the drawer.
Take the revealed object (matches).
I wonder if that water has heated up yet?
Back up out of the room, then re-enter the room and use the cup on the electric kettle.
If the water is hot enough, steam will rise out of the cup and you will see a symbol on the side (cloud).
Note: if steam is not rising and you don't get a symbol, click on the top of the cup to empty it, then wander around a bit and come back to try again.
Television Wall Puzzle Solving (Redux)
You should be back looking at the Dharma Doll.
Notice the pig on the table?
According to the picture on the Chair Wall, smoke should be coming out of that pig.
How can we make it smoke?
That coil that you picked up is a smudge coil, or a bug coil. You burn it outdoors to keep mosquitoes away. Or it could be an incense coil, either way it burns slowly and gives off smoke.
Pull up the coil from your inventory.
Use the matches on the coil.
Once the coil is smoking, use it on the top of the pig.
Yay, smoke is coming out of the pig's mouth, and now there's a symbol on the side of the pig (sun).
That should be everything to solve our way out.
Turn around to face the Chair Wall.
Let's look at the box on the left chair.
The code for the box is symbols, and we've seen those symbols around the room.
But what order do they go in?
Notice the picture on the wall? The one showing the spiral, cup, and cookie?
The picture shows the order the symbols should go in.
So the order is the sun symbol (from the spiral/pig), the cloud symbol (from the cup), and the snowman symbol (from the cookie).
Enter the code into the box, then click on the top to open it.
Take the object (glue).
Time to leave!
Pull up the two pieces of broken key from your inventory.
Use the glue on the key to repair it.
Use the key on the door to unlock it.
Click on the door handle to open it and escape!
Posted by: grinnyp | July 21, 2010 2:34 AM