Solution to Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Answer: MAD HATTER
by Jakob Weisblat
We are presented with a text adventure in which there are nine different areas, all of which are connected to a single room in the middle. Each area has a person in it, but that person is not from the same source material as the rest of the content in that area.
As we identify the areas, we can find that the missing people seem to each come from a different area from the one they are placed in. Additionally, there are items scattered throughout the world. Giving the correct item to a person results in a line of dialog that helps confirm who they are and helps confirm which world they are from.
The flavor hints that the number of rooms in each world is important, so we index the number of rooms from the area where the character “should” be into the name of that character. The rooms are given in alphabetical order by name of source material, so we have to reorder. It makes sense to use a cycle. The description of the gardener additionally mentions that, more than anyone else you've seen, he has an aura of firstness about him. This suggests starting with him in the cycle.
The blanks at the bottom of the puzzle suggest that we need to extract a nine-letter phrase, but there are only eight characters. This leads us to realize that we are the ninth character. Examining oneself in the puzzle yields “You're quite a character”, which helps confirm this. Ordering and indexing as described above, we get W?O ARE YOU. Filling in the blank with an H, we know that our character must be from the unpaired place (Wonderland) and have an H in the fourth spot. This means we must be the DUCHESS or the MAD HATTER. The final disambiguation is that when we pick up the tea in the Posh Dining Room, we are told that we feel like we belong here. Thus, the answer to the question WHO ARE YOU, and to the puzzle, is MAD HATTER.
|Door||World Reference||Person||Item||Real name||Area person comes from (door no.)||# of rooms||Extract|
|1||Alice in Wonderland||gardener||Daggers (Barrow-blades, found in the Fortress)||Samwise Gamgee||5||4||W|
|8||Welcome to Night Vale||(player)||Tea (found on the table in the Posh Dining Room)||???(H)...||1||4||(H)|
|9||(The) Wizard of Oz||scientist||Dog (Aubergine, found in lane two of the Bowling Alley)||Carlos the Scientist||8||5||O|
|6||Peter Pan||still dude||Diploma (found in the display case at the palace in the City)||Scarecrow||9||3||A|
|3||Frozen||young boy||Pipes (found on the bed in the Underground Home)||Peter Pan||6||5||R|
|7||(The) Princess Bride||reindeer||Carrot (found on the feast table at the Castle)||Sven||3||3||E|
|4||(The) Kingkiller Chronicle||pirate||Mysterious white powder (iocaine, found in the market in the Great Square)||Westley||7||7||Y|
|2||Broken Earth||scholar||Dragon book (The Mating Habits of the Common Draccus, found in the library)||Devan Lochees||4||7||O|
|5||Lord of the Rings||stone woman||Crystal (obelisk, found in the Middle-of-nowhere Community)||Essun||2||4||U|