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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:49 am 
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I haven't seen anyone else have this problem yet...

Basically, I figured out the basic gist of minkata,

[spoiler]that the compass roses in the book specified direction and distance for a kind of "orienteering" course run through the age, and that the suns/shadows could be used to determine direction.[/spoiler]

However, I started with one incorrect assumption,

[spoiler]that the distances in the book were in "paces." Really, they're quite a bit shorter than I had thought -- I hadn't noticed the "distance flags" yet. But it was a good first guess! Because I didn't want to walk everywhere, I ran a short distance and measured how many running steps equaled one pace. I got something around 1.8 paces per running step.[/spoiler]

Now, it's normal in puzzle solving to try out some dead ends before you start to hone in on the solution. Process of elimination, and all. The problem is, instead of my method going nowhere, I immediately ran into something that confirmed my theory!

[spoiler]I ran just east of south for 360 paces (200 running steps) and I came upon a purple flag! Awesome, I thought... this is to let me know i've reached the first location correctly! [/spoiler]

But to make matters worse... as I continued testing my theory, it was confirmed a second time!

[spoiler]Yes that's right... I turned to something around north by north east, and ran for 300 running steps (about 549 paces... i don't remember the exact number from the book) and guess what? I reached the other purple flag![/spoiler]

At this point I knew I was on the right track. But for some reason I couldn't go any further. Somehow, even though the game had given me irrefutable evidence that I had been solving the puzzle correctly, I was now at a dead end.

So I came back and read some hint posts and discovered my mistaken assumption.

So what the heck? Did Cyan put those clues [spoiler] the purple flags [/spoiler] in there as a purposeful red herring? If so, they are very evil puzzle makers and wasted me a few hours of sleep :P ... Or did those things look like clues to me by pure chance? If so, that's one heck of a huge coincidence.

Anyone else have this problem? The worst part for me was that it caused me to start delving into hint forums to figure out where I was wrong, and without it I probably would have gotten the right idea much sooner. Also, delving through the hint forums caused me to see some additional spoilers I would rather have not seen :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:52 am 
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Kenguin, I am at the exact same place you are and made the exact same assumptions!

[spoiler]I counted about 180 running paces to the southeast purple flag, so I assumed the distances must be double the running paces it gets to take there. Going north-northeast didn't work out quite so exactly, but close enough for me to find the flag and be within my assumed margin of error on counting paces.[/spoiler]

I did not look at your final spoiler tag, and I have not yet delved into spoilers yet, but I am at the same dead end you were. Everything seems to fit so well; but then suddenly it stops working. I have been stumped on coming up with an alternate theory.

At least now I know one of my assumptions is wrong! ;)

Anyone have a gentle hint?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:03 am 
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The numbers on the compass roses are distances: [spoiler]presumably in D'ni spans. Unfortunately we don't seem to know just what a span is so you'll have to relate your distances in another manner.[/spoiler]


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:11 am 
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aaronius, here's a series of progressive hints for anyone stuck where I was. The first one should be safe to look at. Only look at the next one if it doesn't help you figure it out, or if you're stuck again:

[spoiler]Distance isn't measured in "paces" or "half running steps" or anything like that... if you get somewhere around 180-200 running steps for the first "leg" of the trip, you're calculating distance wrong. The unit of distance is something else, and you have to figure out what it is...[/spoiler]

[spoiler]The endpoints of each leg of the orienteering courses don't have anything at them to let you know you're on the right track. So don't assume the lack of anything means you're doing it wrong, unless you've run the whole course and still can't find anything.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]There are clues in the age that will let you figure out the unit of distance.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Do you notice that some flags are different from others? (Other than color, that is?)[/spoiler]

[spoiler]The red flag nearest the beginning of the age has some writing on it...[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Where else have you seen that writing...[/spoiler]

[spoiler]The red flag near the beginning of the age has writing on it that also appears in the "clue book" for minkata on the first page. It stands for "125"[/spoiler]

[spoiler]
There are other flags with writing on them... can you find them?[/spoiler]

[spoiler]There's a gold flag a short distance away from the beginning of the age... should be just barely visible... that has 625 written on it.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]what do you think those numbers on the flags could mean....[/spoiler]

[spoiler]
The numbers on the flags represent the distance that flag is from the center of the age. You can use them to calibrate the units of distance to your running speed or number of steps or whatever your favorite method is.[/spoiler]


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:48 am 
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Thanks, Kenguin! That was exactly what I needed. Only took two hints, too. 8)

[spoiler]I should have known the D'ni would never use something so obvious as steps to measure distance ;)[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:51 am 
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Don't feel bad.... I did exactly the same at first. I also found the flags at the right paces and I also thought that that was the solution. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:31 am 
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It didn't help that I thought the yellow flag...

[spoiler]...said "001." :wink: [/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:42 am 
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It does! It reads differently depending on which side of it you are on.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:28 am 
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yes, but the book makes it clear which side you should read it from!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:43 am 
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The other flag reads the same both ways.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:03 am 
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That's just them being tricksy! The book clearly shows which side the flagpole should be on when reading them


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