After a successful puzzle launch of RIDDLR’s first interactive puzzle with a mid-tier reward ($200.00 USD), the solution, as well as its intentions, can now be examined in-depth with also some added statistics about the solvers that participated in this puzzle! The puzzle can still be solved at RIDDLR.
The first stage to this puzzle was to actually activate it. The puzzle itself requires a pc/laptop with audio in order for you to properly solve it in its entirety. The first stage can be accessed by translating the given hint:
By using your computer’s keyboard, you can tap or hold the keys T, G, F, or H as well as use your space bar to interact with objects. Upon tapping any of the four characters, you’ll have activated stage 2.
RIDDLR Stage 1 Stats: - 88% of solvers tried pressing WSAD on their keyboard before TGFH. - Almost 9% of solvers could not get passed this first stage on day 1.
When activating this stage you’ll notice you can actually move! You control your character through this stage using the control keys in the order you’ve learned in the first stage as some soothing music puts you in a zen-like trance ready to start actually solving something.
In this stage you notice seven unown characters on your way along a path that leads to a mysterious house. Looking at the sign in front reads “DO NOT ENTER”. The goal here is to actually enter this house (despite how badly the sign does not want that). The only other things to interact with would be the seven unown characters that you passed on your way to the house. Interacting with them will switch each character out for the next letter in the alphabet that it translates to. Spelling out the correct letters will unlock the door to that house.
At first glance, there isn’t anything inherently special about these seven unown only until you have interacted with the door of the house, which would explicitly give you a warning but also clear up the order of these unown characters.
The only way to proceed would be to select the correct four characters here in order from left to right that would represent you moving into the house. This being the characters on your keyboard you use to move with (TGFH). You can now enter the house and on to stage 3!
RIDDLR Stage 2 Stats: - 46.4% of solvers did not try to go into the house, and spent over 14 hours combined trying seven lettered words. - The word ARRIVAL was entered over 60 times within the first 2 hours. - The word ENHANCE was entered 1 time.
Entering brings you to it’s first “floor” in this dark and sterile prefab while an entire 12-minute ensemble plays in the background as you navigate this space.
As you’ll notice something peculiar about the dark red bookshelves all having a button to push with a statement related to which order you should push them in.
Close to the middle of the floor, you will see a set of four floor tiles that will teleport you to four different floors (including back to the one you are currently on). With the back of each floor having a walled-off room with a very visible staircase that beckons at your feet. The goal here is to press every button of all bookshelves on all of the floors (four floors + four bookshelves/floor = 16 bookshelves) in their proper order without missing one. If you do mess up, leaving the house and entering back in will reset the buttons.
Some of these bookshelves have their order only obvious after you have listed all shelves out and found the numbers associated with most of the rest.
When we are looking for numbers, seeing the word prime makes us instantly think of prime numbers. The basic building blocks of mathematics. The only even number that is also a prime number.
When we see pie we think of that delicious pastry which is mostly sweet, but also technically a pizza without a hat. When we are talking about numbers, pi is a reference to the infinite decimal number 3.141592… etc. If we were to round that number (it would round down), we would get 3. Making this shelf the third button to press.
This shelf is pretty straight forward being the fourth one from the start, as in being the fourth button to press.
Most people go for rides in cars, motorcycles, sometimes even trucks. The rides we do go on that usually benefit from having a spare would be car rides. Numerically speaking cars have four wheels but with a spare, that’s technically five.
This shelf does not associate itself exactly with a number but references the previous bookshelf in it’s order of going for a ride. The only thing left for a ride to do is to be over. Here we are.
The luckiest number in western culture is seven, ’nuff said.
The scariest thing about spiders is their venomous bite, but also their crazy slender eight legs, but mostly their venom.
Now with OMEGA referring to its greek alphabets use meaning the “end”, being eighth away from the ending while the ending, in this case, being 16, you may think it’s 16 – 8 = 8. However, if you’ve ever played a board game like monopoly and had to traverse the board with your piece if you’re moving eight spaces from GO, you start your count on the next space away “from” GO. With numbers, we start our count at 0, not 1.
In this case, 16 being 1 and 0 being the absolute end before it, we start from the “end” which is before the last bookshelf working our way backward 8 times arriving at the 9th bookshelf. Since the interpretation of these numbers can be seen differently depending on your current mindset, this bookshelf’s order can be found after finding the rest of them using the process of deduction.
0xA in base 16 is 10. In base 10, that’s 10.
A base tells us the “spectrum” of possible characters that can be represented by a number. Base 10 has 10 different representations of numbers (0 – 9), while Base 2 only has 2 different representations of numbers being 0 and 1 (binary). Base 16 has….. you guessed it, 16 different representations going in order from 0 – 9 then continuing with A – F. The letters representing A = 10, B = 11, C = 12, D = 13, E = 14, F = 15. 0xA can be seen as 0 x 10 = 10. Phew.
A repdigit is a number that has a repeating digit. Examples are 11, 22, 33, 555, 666 with the first ever repdigit being 11.
A three by four sometimes referred to as a Jeep for it’s specs or a piece of wood for it’s dimensions. 3 * 4 = 12.
At first glance a dozen will lead you to believe it’s 12, but a baker’s dozen goes way back in history where baker’s would get in trouble for selling loafs at different weights to save money, and eventually started adding in an extra one to their dozen to counterbalance any scrutiny in the marketplace. 13 per dozen.
No not the once popular battle royale game “Fortnite”. A fortnight is a period of 2 weeks, or 14 days.
An even number no doubt, however when decoded using a binary decoder, results to 15. And odd but very not even number.
And finally the last bookshelf. OMEGA meaning the “end” as in the end of the order sequence of buttons you must press.
Once you put in the correct sequence, the floor will begin to shake and unlock the room with the staircase in the back for you. You can now proceed.
RIDDLR Stage 3 Stats: - Only 7 solvers were able to solve this stage without hearing the entirety of the background track. - 2 solvers actually had the correct sequence but never reset the house and kept trying sequences within the house (oof on my part). - The shortest solve time for this stage is 3.2 Minutes (must have used the walk speed glitch). - 1 solver completed this stage but never proceeded down the stairs.
As soon as you climb down you are confronted with the “chaser”. As soon as he breaks down the obstacles blocking his path he immediately will chase you while an adrenaline-filled track plays to keep you on the edge of your keys.
The object of this stage is to get to the cave at the very end of this elaborate but short “obstacle course”. The tricky part is maneuvering around all the walls while controlling a blocky character while the chaser is…well… chasing you. There’s really no trick to this stage and just has to do with getting your movement timings just right.
The chaser’s mechanic is very simple. His speed is tied to your speed, however, your speed starts at moving 1 block every 200 milliseconds, and every block the chaser moves, everyone’s speed decreases by 1 millisecond with a hard limit of everyone moving at around 64 milliseconds at the maximum.
You can circumvent all of the slowest turn maneuvers if you change direction in the right order of the most efficient path with each section having 2 non-efficient paths and 1 most efficient.
RIDDLR Stage 4 Stats: - Almost 14% of solvers made it to the cave on their first try (nice reflexes!). - Only about 11 solvers tried to figure out a way to get to the mini-cave on the right on day 1 by fiddling around in that corner (:sad:). - Over 50% of solvers immediately went back up to the house after the chaser broke through the first time.
As soon as you enter the cave you’re presented with a wide dark expanse filled with pits that lead you back to the house as punishment. It’s completely silent.
This being the final stage of the puzzle, your goal is to get the plain-text answer that will solve this level and complete the puzzle. Interacting with the laptop in the bottom corner will enable a faint but noticeable sound which you must follow as it gets louder and louder (audio required here).
This stage is absolutely littered with invisible walls and pits. If you successfully follow the sound to it’s origin point it will be acquired and stay with you for the rest of the stage. Once you acquire a sound you’ll notice another sound will appear begging you to come and find it. You’ll notice as you “collect” these sounds you are actually combining them into a full-fledged song.
Every time you acquire a new instrument, a new set of Unown characters would appear on the platform at the far back of the cave. As you can probably tell, the entire theme of this puzzle is the solution to this stage. Using the audio as a guide, you can get each set of Unown characters in the order that you acquire the sounds, and input them in that sequence as the final answer to this puzzle!
RIDDLR Stage 5 Stats: - Only 2 solvers successfully solved this stage on day 1. - About 43 solvers got all of the Unown characters to appear without having activated the first sound first. - Over 70% of all solvers made it to this stage within the first hour! Amazing!
As this was the first interactive puzzle for RIDDLR, based on a lot of solver feedback, I will definitely be making more puzzles like these. Though for quite a bit of solvers, overthinking and trying out crazy and ingenious methods to solve it is amazing to see. This being a more casual puzzle designed to bring in a more non-puzzle-solver demographic, I just couldn’t let this one be riddled with cryptic ciphers/code.