Fest Quest ’07

Fest%20Quest%20map.jpgOH NOES!! Gupfee’s been kidnapped! Even as the last words of keynote speakers Sean Stewart and Elan Lee echoed around the conference room, ARGFest attendees were quickly rounded up into groups, based on the color of the square on the back of their lanyards (so that’s what those were for!), and each group was given an envelope. The person or persons responsible demanded payment in the form of items (including a ciphered cake) that had to be collected from various locations in San Francisco. Save the ARG Ghoddess Gupfee!!

The first puzzle was to figure out where to go first. Some double letters in a piece of poetry, plus a “decoder ring” image, led to the place – MUSEE MECHANIQUE – and an item – COPPER SAL. Copper Sal?! What the heck is a sal? Was it decoded wrong? Did the kidnappers make a mistake? Already, the Questers were filled with doubt. No matter, Gupfee must be saved. {cue dramatic music} Off to the Musée Mechanique!!

gupfeetied.JPGThe FestQuesters quickly collected their wits and headed over to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Musée (which is fancypants talk for “museum”). Fortunately for our intrepid Questers (and Gupfee), there was a labeled map enclosed with the directions, and the first team was there in no time. Upon entering the museum, the first thing they saw was Laughing Sal. Hey, it’s a Sal! And right next to Laughing Sal was a penny squisher (for lack of the technical term) that made — you guessed it — copper sals. The next puzzle used the plaque in the Laughing Sal machine, and led us to another San Francisco landmark, the world-famous Ghirardelli Square.

Once at Ghirardelli Square, the clues led to a scale model of the Square, and from there to “free samples” at one of the shops…free chocolate. A rather large group piled into the tiny store for the sample (mmmm….), making sure to save one piece as part of Gupfee’s ransom. The store employees took it in stride, but were a little taken aback when UF member EGo sheepishly said to the free-sample-giver-outer, “sorry for being weird!” Next, on to another plaque for more decoding (there was a bit of a backlog as one team waited for another to solve), and the next location was… PURPLE FREE COUPON BOX. Huh?

As the questers raced towards the next spot on the map, the meaning quickly became apparent. Dotted all over the city were purple plastic boxes (similar to newspaper dispensers) containing hotel coupons. But which one was it? They’re everywhere! Each team was being led to a different box! THOSE FIENDS!!! Luckily, each team was able to find its respective box, and inside each box was yet another puzzle, which was quickly solved: WALK TO BEN FRANKLIN STATUE. After a couple of phone calls to Google-enabled home-based players (and a misguided stop at the Wax Museum), the Questers were again on their way.

Team 4, a.k.a. “Gang Green,” was the first team to reach the statue at Washington Square, and victory was theirs! Or was it? Each team was given a piece of a puzzle as they arrived. They would have to wait until all teams were present to put the map together, and figure out the final destination! DIABOLICAL!! As more teams arrived, and the puzzlers’ hunger and thirst grew, the puzzle was finally put together – ROGUE. Hey! That’s where the arrow on the map is pointing! I heard they have beer there. And Gupfee!

festquestcake.jpgAs the weary FestQuesters shuffled into the Rogue, the ransom items were presented to Gupfee’s captors, and she was finally released from her captivity. The players, weak from their journey (and the puzzle solving), slumped into their chairs for some much-needed nourishment and drink.

Kudos to Quest Masters ariock & hmrpita, and everyone else involved in organizing FestQuest ’07!


  1. I loved how each group had a different place to go on the first part of the quest. The purple Team six was sent to the submarine (next to the Musée Mechanique) and told to collect a CUSUB. “cusub”? I’ll see you a sub and raise you a few. Fortunately, same revelation occurred when the penny smashing machine was sighted next to the souvenier shop. Only took 1 bad try to figure out how to select the sub picture (and not the torpendo, the bridge or the wharf picture).

    So much fun. And dark chocolate with caramel – YUMMY sample choice for that evening.

  2. We tried to play Daisy’s closing words at the restaurant, but due to poor planning, it was impossible. Could you host that as well on ARGN if anyone is interested?

  3. Sure, we’d be happy to host and link to it! If you want to email it to Jon or me, we’d be happy to put it up.

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