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The 4th Lounge<C++> Game Marmalade presents...


Your best friend is in danger! An evil mastermind with a PhD in cryptosomething keeps him prisoner inside a cell that can only be opened by entering a secret 4-letter code. The evil mastermind is a total asshole, but he does value skills, so here's the deal: he will start a timer and present you with a board that contains the secret code in a slightly obfuscated form.

If you will be able to figure out the code before the timer expires, good for you - and for your friend; otherwise, the cell where your friend is kept will be instantly filled with water, struck by a bolt, set on fire, compressed to the size of 1 cube millimeter, and eaten by a shark. Chances are your best friend won't survive that. Would you let that happen? Of course not!

So here's a few things you'd better keep in mind:

  • The board mostly contains random letters, but it also contains a secret sentence which is 50 to 100 characters long (spaces are omitted, and no punctuation is present in the original sentence).
  • The secret sentence can be obtained by following a snake-like path in the table: given a starting position, the sequence of letters in the sentence may proceed in any of the four directions up, down, left, and right (no diagonal steps are allowed).
  • In a bout of compassion, the evil mastermind gets you to choose one word that shall appear in the secret sentence, and also provides you with a list of candidate words to pick from - if you choose a word which is not from the list, please pick a meaningful one, or the game might hang. Oh, and it might take a while before the mastermind comes up with a challenge for you, so don't be too impatient after you've pressed the New Challenge! button.
  • In a second bout of compassion (don't get used to it), the evil mastermind is giving you the possibility of letting the secret sentence be randomly rearranged in the game board. If you find it too hard to spot familiar words in the grid as originally presented, you may consider taking advantage of this option (by clicking the Rescramble button).
  • The secret sentence has 4 of its letters replaced (in order) by the letters 'S', 'H', 'I', and 'T'. Your task is to figure out what the original letters are: these letters happen to form a 4-letter code that you have to type before the timer expires. If the code is correct, your friend will be freed up, and a positive score will be assigned to you based on the difficulty of the challenge.


XWord takes the secret sentences by performing HTTP requests to the Web Site The potential 4-letter codes are taken from a file that must be located in the same folder as xword's executable.

Oh, and you can cheat if you really need to! Just left-click on the countdown edit box and press Alt+Ctrl+Shift+C. The secret code will appear in a dialog box.


A crossword-like deciphering game for the 4th Lounge<C++> Marmalade session.






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