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Cageling
December 3, 2010 7:38 AM   Subscribe

If you enjoy games like Myst and Riven, take a crack at Cageling. It's a good thing your prison is a luxurious rococo palazzo, because you'll probably be there for a while.

Gorgeous, albeit small, graphics make up for the head-slamming difficulty of some of the puzzles in this free online escape game from Seris-Ko. Basic game controls are in English but tons of notes and journal entries in Japanese presumably provide clues to those who can read the language, because otherwise some of the puzzles are virtually impossible to solve. No English translation is available (although the FAQ asks for volunteer translators) so you'll probably want this walkthrough by Yalçın (starts about 1/4 of the way down the page).

This beautiful game has been around since 2005 but the language barrier has kept it from becoming better-known. If you read Japanese, or just have a high threshold for frustration, you can spend many hours exploring this lovely gilded cage. I'm still stuck there myself ...
posted by Quietgal (26 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tiny graphics, indeed. Unfortunately, that kind of makes this unplayable to my old eyes.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:55 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, you're a luxurious rococo palazzo.
posted by grubi at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2010


*scrounging for my spectacles*...Cute! Too bad Firefox won't just automatically translate all that Japanese for me though.
posted by PuppyCat at 8:02 AM on December 3, 2010


Basic game controls are in English but tons of notes and journal entries in Japanese presumably provide clues to those who can read the language, because otherwise some of the puzzles are virtually impossible to solve.

Thanks. That's what I was looking for. First thing I did was pick up a note/clue. Well.

Looks a *lot* like Myst.

Too bad Firefox won't just automatically translate all that Japanese for me though.

Chrome does ... just not in the Flash app. :|

"Flash is a site that individuals exhibiting the works of others.
This auction is a janitor Rin.
"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:05 AM on December 3, 2010


Myst and Riven were gorgeous of course, with interesting elements but the worlds always seemed off to me. Ok, you can travel between dimensions, but have to go through a complicated puzzle to open a door?
posted by nomadicink at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2010


Getting a 403 Forbidden error from all Seris-Ko links.
posted by aught at 8:22 AM on December 3, 2010


Ok, you can travel between dimensions, but have to go through a complicated puzzle to open a door?

Cuz the guy who created the worlds was super into puzzles, and also a bit paranoid about security due to his two sons being gigantic dicks.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:24 AM on December 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


Cuz the guy who created the worlds was super into puzzles, and also a bit paranoid about security due to his two sons being gigantic dicks.

Well, maybe he should have spent more time being a father and less being an gentleman adventuerer/puzzler. Then he could have avoided all these troubles.

Did the sons ever get therapy? Was there reconciliation between him and the boys?
posted by nomadicink at 8:29 AM on December 3, 2010


Well, maybe he should have spent more time being a father and less being an gentleman adventuerer/puzzler.

Indeed, this is the moral of the story.

Did the sons ever get therapy? Was there reconciliation between him and the boys?

Well after they locked him in a fictional cave for all eternity and then each got trapped in a sort of individualized Book Limbo, I think they had a general falling out.

NOTE: I can probably still, without looking it up, get about 80% of the pattern needed in the fireplace door to get the good ending in Myst.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:35 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


For me what made Myst and Riven unique is their perfect level of difficulty. Sure, the immersive beauty made it worth sticking around long enough to solve the puzzles, but the fact that I could actually solve them was so awesome. That moment of adrenaline when I figured something out had me dancing in my seat. After I'd walked in and out of a set of doors countless times, I would suddenly think, "what if I close the doors from the inside?" and sure enough there would be a hidden panel behind there. That would lead me down a hidden ledge, and suddenly I'd be right next to that tower I'd been seeing from afar for so long.

There was some other game in those days, I forget what it was called, that had really amazing graphics, but the puzzles were impossible. I found a walk-through, just so I could see more of those amazing vistas, but I got bored pretty quick and gave up.
posted by bitslayer at 8:42 AM on December 3, 2010


Indeed, this is the moral of the story.

Really? Can you cite or remember anything specific about that? It's been a while since I played was meh after it was all finished.

It's so odd, yet cool that you now play Myst on an iPhone or iPad (Riven is on the way). Talk about advancements in technology.
posted by nomadicink at 8:48 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was some other game in those days, I forget what it was called, that had really amazing graphics, but the puzzles were impossible.

I seem to remember Schizm: The Mysterious Journey being fairly difficult (I resorted to a walkthrough site at a couple points), but in some cases it was because the puzzles were just randomly hard puzzles, not completely integrated into the story. Or am I rationalizing my not being able to figure them out. (In comparison I felt motivated to keep hammering away at the most difficult parts of Riven because they felt like part of the story.)
posted by aught at 8:49 AM on December 3, 2010


No, you're a luxurious rococo palazzo.

Hey! It's Rococo Palazzo!

ROCOCO PALAZZO! ROCOCO PALAZZO!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:53 AM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Really? Can you cite or remember anything specific about that? It's been a while since I played was meh after it was all finished.

I can't remember anything specific but I do have vague memories of Atrus writing in his journal stuff about regrets w/r/t whether he'd instilled the proper level of respect in his sons, what with them being, again, gigantic dicks, and I think in the ending where you get trapped in D'ni with him for all eternity he says some stuff about how he shouldn't have spent all his time writing books and not ensuring that his sons wouldn't be gigantic dicks about them. I don't think anyone ever says 'YOU SURE WERE AN ABSENTEE FATHER, YO' but I sure got the impression that his sons being gigantic dicks wasn't, like, incidental.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:54 AM on December 3, 2010


11th Hour, which is even a little earlier, I think, was gorgeous on a smaller scale and had some really freaking hard puzzles. I remember the chess puzzle and spider web puzzle being particular pains in the ass. It was a sequel to 7th Guest, which I never played. Really cranky thing to get to work with various computers, though, I remember. DOS mode and all that unhappy crap.
posted by umberto at 8:59 AM on December 3, 2010


It's so odd, yet cool that you now play Myst on an iPhone or iPad (Riven is on the way). Talk about advancements in technology.

YOU CAN WHAT WITH THE WHO NOW
posted by middleclasstool at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Really? Can you cite or remember anything specific about that?

I think it'd be clearer if you were to read the general plots of all the Myst games. The bad parenting actually started with Atrius's father, Gehn, and naturally he neglected to raise his own sons to not be jerks. He paid a little more attention to his One can argue how much of a jerk Atrius himself was -- whether he was pretending to be an absent-minded professor rather than the raving lunatic his own father and sons were.

As cites (VAGUE SPOILERS FOR DECADE-OLD GAMES FOLLOW), Myst introduced the badness of the sons, Riven the badness of Atrius's own father, Exile the repercussions of the general badness on native populations of the Ages, Revelations elaborated on the repercussions of the ending of Myst, Uru showed how Atrius' later-in-life daughter Yeesha manifested her own rebellious streak by going native and revealing a Very Bad aspect of the fallen D'ni civilization, and End of Ages, as one might expect, wraps up the story set in motion in Uru.
posted by aught at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


VAGUE SPOILERS FOR DECADE-OLD GAMES FOLLOW

Goddammit. I haven't played it yet. Way to ruin my life.
posted by grubi at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's so odd, yet cool that you now play Myst on an iPhone or iPad (Riven is on the way). Talk about advancements in technology.

What? Myst is an extremely low tech game. The pictures are beautiful, the design is fantastic, and the puzzles are clever, but the actual tech just requires a machine that can display pictures and allow you to click or touch particular hotspots. I guess the main thing that's impressive is that you can store what used to be a huge amount of image and sound data (an entire CD-ROM full!) on a small fraction of the iPhone's flash memory.

Getting something like Rage or Unreal 3 (games that render better-than-Myst-quality images on the fly) on the iPhone -- that's amazing technology.
posted by straight at 11:45 AM on December 3, 2010


What? Myst is an extremely low tech game.

Before, I needed a desktop computer to run it. Now it fits in my palm and can travel with me anywhere. That's a helluva an advancement in technology.
posted by nomadicink at 11:53 AM on December 3, 2010


I guess the main thing that's impressive is that you can store what used to be a huge amount of image and sound data (an entire CD-ROM full!) on a small fraction of the iPhone's flash memory.

That on it's own is a huge advancement in technology. Man, I remember back when cd-roms were just starting out, some games ran up to 20 odd floppies. Installing was ridiculous. The entire iphone/pod takes less space than the removable media for those games.
posted by juv3nal at 12:43 PM on December 3, 2010


What? Myst is an extremely low tech game.

I'm pretty sure it was written in Hypercard. HYPERCARD. Does anyone remember that?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hypercard rocked. Such a shame Apple let it die, it could be killer type app these days.
posted by nomadicink at 1:45 PM on December 3, 2010


Hypercard was awesome, and HyperGASP (which was co-written by one of my professors) was even awesomer; it had color (and stuff)!
posted by dolface at 3:16 PM on December 3, 2010


Er... I somehow finished it by accident. I brute-forced a couple of things along the way just by clicking crazily or trying every possible combination when I was completely stuck, and when I got the "Fin" screen I still had a ton of items left... a picture, a letter-opener, and one of those flower-labeled jars. I had screenshots of a bunch of books and charts that seemed important from minutes before and there were still a couple of locked doors around.

When I pressed the, uh... thing (no spoilers) that leads to the end screen, I was completely caught off-guard. And sort of disappointed, I guess, since it was pretty challenging until I got lucky just clicking a few puzzles toward the end, and I'd been carrying that damn flower jar for hours and I STILL don't know what it does.

Also, the ending is pretty LOL in an absurd way since it's not in English. I was like, "Uh... what just happened?"
posted by Nattie at 4:24 PM on December 3, 2010


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Take 描蜘Ki
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"China is also in inches L ≠ I


Oh, really?
posted by nzero at 4:53 AM on December 5, 2010


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