|APPLE KID||Juice Factory||WRINGINGALARM|
|BEEDLE||Beedle of the World||SECONDDAY|
|CHEF KAWASAKI||Foreign Languages||DENTURECREAM|
|DOSHIN THE GIANT||Mother Earth||EVERYDAYMAMA|
|HILDA||Piles of Letters||TOMAHAWKHAMMER|
|PAPER LUIGI||Dating Sim||GENTLEMANMEDAL|
As stated in the flavor text, there are three different extraction methods in this puzzle. Each extraction method maps to a different B-move in the move charts. The three pictures below the character move charts hint at the associated extraction method. Each extraction method requires some information from each of the 8 character stories.
Each character uses all three methods, and each method will yield 1 letter for a total of 24 letters. The ordering is provided by the list of moves at the bottom, with the letter on the joystick matching the first letter of one of the theme characters
The picture clues sets of brothers. At one point in each story, Waluigi's mind wanders off noticeably. In these segments, his thoughts are related to some famous group of brothers. The Side-B moves are tangentially related to each set of brothers. The first word in the associated story's feeder answer contains the brothers' name as a substring, minus a missing letter.
|Character||Answers||Side B Move||Brothers||Letter|
|APPLE KID||WRINGINGALARM||Showman's Strike||RINGLING||L|
|CHEF KAWASAKI||DENTURECREAM||Monarch Slayer||VENTURE||V|
|DOSHIN THE GIANT||EVERYDAYMAMA||See Ya See Ya, Baby||EVERLY||L|
|HILDA||TOMAHAWKHAMMER||The China Connection||SHAW||S|
|PAPER LUIGI||GENTLEMANMEDAL||Bubble Burster||LEHMAN||H|
Picture clues Hammer Bro variants (also clued in the flavor text). When Wario enters each story, he performs the movement of a Hammer Bro. The type of bro he mimics can be appended to the second word of that story's associated feeder answer to make a new phrase. The Up-B moves are clues for this new phrase. The number that appears in the paragraph is an index into the new phrase to extract a letter.
|Character||Answers||Up B Move||Hammer Bro||Phrase||Index||Letter|
|APPLE KID||WRINGINGALARM||Signal to Run||FIRE||FIRE ALARM||1||F|
|BEEDLE||SECONDDAY||Working Time||BUSINESS||BUSINESS DAY||3||S|
|CHEF KAWASAKI||DENTURECREAM||Sugary Delight||ICE||ICE CREAM||6||E|
|DOSHIN THE GIANT||EVERYDAYMAMA||Ancestral Insult||YO||YO MAMA||5||M|
|HILDA||TOMAHAWKHAMMER||Heavy Whacker||SLEDGE||SLEDGE HAMMER||8||A|
|LOLO||GIMMICKKID||Prodigal Son||BOOMERANG||BOOMERANG KID||1||B|
|PAPER LUIGI||GENTLEMANMEDAL||Greatest Finish||GOLD||GOLD MEDAL||8||A|
|WEEZING||MARATHONRACE||Old Sport||CHARIOT||CHARIOT RACE||4||R|
Picture clues something said by Wario and Waluigi. The Down-B moves all start with "BRO" and the word "BRO" is noticeably said many times in each story. Furthermore, the first letter of the second word of the Down-B moves spell out the clue phrase "INDEX ANS." In every story, Waluigi says "BROTHER" exactly once, and Wario says "BRO" some number of times. The number of times Wario says "BRO" plus Waluigi's one "BROTHER" equals the length of the associated feeder answer. Use the position of Waluigi's "BROTHER" amongst all the "BRO"s to index into the feeder answer for a letter.
|Character||Answers||Down B Move||Index||Letter|
|APPLE KID||WRINGINGALARM||Broadband Interference||3||I|
|CHEF KAWASAKI||DENTURECREAM||Broiling Duck||3||N|
|DOSHIN THE GIANT||EVERYDAYMAMA||Browbeating Edge||4||R|
|PAPER LUIGI||GENTLEMANMEDAL||Brouhaha Noise||11||E|
This spells out ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS (FIVE SIX), a clue phrase for the classic Chinese novel WATER MARGIN.
The hunt was originally planned to have a meta themed around "SUPER", "SMASH", and "BROTHERS". We ultimately scrapped that structure, but still kept pieces of some of those ideas around. This was the result of my playing with the "BROTHERS" theme. This was actually the first puzzle written for the hunt. It was originally intended to be the epic capstone puzzle to end the hunt because of the size and amount of work. Given the chance, I (Benji) would go back and trim the text down a bit further, but I was getting sick of rewriting the stories. And I'm unfortunately a painfully slow writer.
Believe it or not, I (Benji) am not a fan of metas that force you to go and read the stories. I remember needing to do this a few times for past online puzzle hunts and getting frustrated at not being sure about which parts were relevant and having to slog through a bunch of text. For some reason, I decided to take on the challenge of trying to make this kind of meta work. I guess having a shell as big as one story-per-puzzle lets you do stuff like fit three different extraction methods in your puzzle. To that end, I tried to do things like make identification of relevant parts very obvious, and after many rounds of playtesting, I worked to make the extractions relatively straightforward when you had the relevant "bro" a-ha.
Apologies to all who were subjected to my prose. We knew that there would be some solvers that would fundamentally not enjoy having to read so much text. We also had concerns that the meta would seem overcrowded because of the triple-extraction gimmick and the triply constrained answer pool. However, despite these qualms, the puzzle played well enough in playtesting that we were confident in the solvability - or at least confident enough to keep this in the hunt. Thankfully, there were many teams who actually enjoyed the meta. Even if it didn't hit home for everyone, Sushi and I still had a lot of fun putting this together, and we hope solvers found at least something to appreciate in this little experiment.