Light puzzle

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Darkness

The most common light puzzle is to find a source of light.

  • Inform, TADS and other modern IF languages have default behaviour for rooms without light: if you're in one you can't see anything, but you can usually move to other rooms.
  • A more considerate author will have replaced or added to this behaviour, while still requiring you to get a light:
    • by allowing greater or lesser use of touch and hearing.
    • by a more specific very-low-light description, that allows limited visibility and object-examination in a dark room.
    • by warning you before you enter a dark room, or giving a better indication of where you can retreat to from one.

Dangers of wandering around in the dark

  • You may be eaten by a grue or other ravenous monster.
  • You may miss your footing and fall to your death, or otherwise meet a clueless end.
  • You may just stumble around hopelessly, not being allowed to use any exits until you have light. (Sometimes an author will mess this up and not even allow you to retreat the way you came.)
  • You may be allowed to move around, but you just won't be able to do much without seeing anything, and you'll walk into a lot of walls while trying to find the exit; darkened areas effectively become mazes.

Other Uses of Light

  • Coloured light can be used to change the appearance of things.
  • Light can be reflected using a mirror.
  • Light can be used as a signal.
  • Light can keep dangerous creatures away, but it can also draw their attention.
  • Light can be used to blind NPCs, security cameras, and so on.
  • Light damages camera film.

Possible light sources

  • The ever-reliable brass lantern.
  • Flaming torch. This might just be grabbed from a fire, but anyone who's tried this in real life knows how reliable that'd be. More usually the head of the torch will be coated in pitch or some other long-burning substance.
  • Flashlight. Almost as popular as the brass lantern. In all likelihood, you'll need to find batteries for it.
  • Phosphorescence. Particularly popular in caves. Keep an eye out for glowing fungi, glow-worms, fireflies and so forth. Catching the latter is likely to be a puzzle.
  • Rocks may also inexplicably glow.
  • Magic items. Glowing implies magic, magic implies glowing. Everyone knows that. Also useful: magic spells.
  • Find the lightswitch, or restore the mains power (you will in all likelihood require a fuse).