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la belle poney sans merci
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#10553 · 15
· · >>horizon >>MLPmatthewl419
>>Posh
A Mashed Up Picture is Worth Two Thousand Words

The Poor Will Envy the Automated

A Granite Grave of EMO

This is Delicious!!
#2885 · 13
· on I'm Sure You Have Some Questions
“What was Rainbow Dash doin’ there?”


actually fixing the roof, of course
#10923 · 11
·
I suggest 0-0 words. Not-writing is overwhelmingly popular these days, and seems to produce interesting results. We gotta get on that bandwagon.
#4385 · 9
· on This Sandwich Is Amazing · >>The_Letter_J
I found a typo:
comestibles should be indicated with %
#11636 · 9
· · >>Trick_Question
on any other round i wouldn't vote for "Twincest" as the prompt.
but since it's #69.....
#7588 · 8
· · >>Syeekoh >>horizon
You've traveled very far from
home...

Do you remember how your long
and winding journey began with
someone pounding at your door?
It was Pokey, the worst person in
your neighborhood, who knocked
on the door that fateful night.

On your way, you have walked,
thought and fought. Yet through
all this, you have never lost your
courage. You have grown steadily
stronger, though you have
experienced the pain of battle
many times.

You are no longer alone in your
adventure, Paula who is
steadfast, kand and even pretty,
is always at your side.
Jeff is with you as well.
Though he is timid, he came from
a distant land to help you.
Ness, as you certainly
know by now, you are not a
regular young man... You have
an awesome destiny to fulfill.

The journey from this point will
be long, and it will be more
difficult than anything you have
undergone to this point. Yet, I
know you will be all right. When
good battles evil, which side do
you believe wins? Do you have
faith that good is triumphant?

One thing you must never lose is
courage. If you believe in the
goal you are striving for, you will
be courageous. There are many
difficult times ahead, but you
must keep your sense of humor,
work through the tough
situations and enjoy yourself.

When you have finished this cup
of coffee, your adventure will
begin again. Next you must pass
though a vast desert and
proceed to the big city of
Fourside.

Ness...
Paula...
Jeff...

I wish you luck...
#8452 · 7
·
minifics:
the first 100 words are hard.
the next 1000 words are TOO EASY.
then comes the most grueling -350 words you've ever written in your life.
#9202 · 7
· on Just a Test
early retrospective time!

thanks for participating in this silly experimental riddle! Despite spending most of my creativity on this during that 24 hour period, I was willing to take a risk and lose a lot of points in exchange for fun. Even if it wasn't DQed, I expected at least half the readers to not study it closely and bottom-vote it (or they noticed it, but don't like riddles). The worst outcome would not be the DQ, but the hypothetical case where nobody cared enough to solve it to the end.

I really regret the Zalgo text, because it is such a misleading red herring (and MAYBE responsible for the epub crashes, but not certain? arggh I feel so bad about that). The original version didn't have that, just blank text, which made the riddle much stronger. But at that late hour I'm tired and stressed (and trying to work on another story) and made a stupid change.

With the blank space version, only 34 words appear on screen. Talking about this with Roger created the odd ruling that unprinted text doesn't count towards the minimum, but does count toward the maximum. My story was simultaneously below 400 and above 750. I've created a paradox! We are truly in the Twilight Zone this round.

Anyway, that was the first clue. How could it be 750 words in the gallery view, yet only 34 words on screen? There's more than meets the eye, and eventually someone will get curious and look into why. The Zalgo text makes this clue much weaker, because who knows how many words those count as? And instead of a perfect blank signal in the TXT file (underscores or zeroes), it's white noise which could potentially hide a signal, wasting readers' time. Lesson learned.

It was not intended to break the word limit (as I understood it), so the entire hidden story was written to be exactly 750 words, matching the reported wordcount. And I made it a simple self-refential story so (1) the gimmick would add to the effect of reading it, and (2) the story could provide new clues too. I'm not sure if one of them was too subtle (the journal itself shouldn't be as heavy as described, I should've added another visual clue to the first image file), but some people did figure it out anyway. I like it when people collaborate and share ideas to solve this kind of thing together <3

The next part I considered is that people stopping at different points in the puzzle would get a different "ending", especially if they don't know if there's more to be found. I decided to roll with this, making several stopping points that each transform the context of what came before. So someone might assume it was a trap, and that's the end. Then someone else might discover that it keeps going, and blow everyone else's minds. I didn't want to make it a branching-story, felt like a cop-out, so I wrote an ending that could tie it all together as one continuous story.

Since it's only a minific, I didn't want to get too elaborate with the puzzles. I thought it was alright to have a pattern of doing the same thing as before, just in a slightly different way. Puzzle-ception. First you look at the TXT source, then get a URL, then you need to turn that image into a TXT file. Rule of threes, do it one more time, to get a clue that the last image is actually a ZIP file. These are simple editing tricks that I looked up. Anyone can do them too, but they're not widely known.

If you enjoy this type of riddle, I recommend checking out Notpron, which heavily inspired this "story" by creating puzzles on thinking-outside-the-box instead of cracking difficult codes. I had a lot of fun solving Notpron with friends around ten years ago, though I only got to level 116. I wanted to share what that experience was like.
#11653 · 7
·
*resubmits the painting of the pony on the giant flower*
#19928 · 7
·
for this round i think i'll submit a new prompt

stone masquerade