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.

Continue reading