Solution: Live: On-Line
Author: Joshua Chan
You are first presented with a list of thirteen keywords and 30 pictures of various characters. Start by IDing each of these characters, which are, for the most part, characters from cartoons, video games, or animations. Here is the list of characters’ names.
|Alexstrasza||Annette||Cobra Cadabra||Cristina||Daisuke Iwashita||Dora|
|Fukaziroh||General Tilera||Heathcliff||James Weaver||Kastro||Kasumi Yoshizawa|
|Nanami Matsuoka||Natali Kuroshenko||Natsuhi||Nezuko Kamado||Peacock||Quinn|
|Sera Flowers||Souichi Miyamoto||Tam Bastion||The Joker||Tungar||Vaylin|
Next, the flavor text indicates that you are hearing VOICES of the characters. A reasonable next step would be to identify the various English speaking voice actors of each of these characters. In doing so, you will notice a considerable amount of repeats, and ultimately end up with 13 unique voice actors, matching the count of the keywords given in the very beginning. Here is the grid of voice actors for each picture.
|Wendee Lee||Abby Trott||Sunil Malhotra||Montse Hernandez||Kevin Connolly||Sarah Anne Williams|
|Faye Mata||Kirsten Potter||Kevin Connolly||Darien Sills-Evans||Kevin Connolly||Laura Post|
|Melissa Hutchinson||Darien Sills-Evans||Wendee Lee||Sarah Anne Williams||Sarah Anne Williams||Melissa Hutchinson|
|Natasha Loring||Natasha Loring||Kirsten Potter||Abby Trott||Sarah Anne Williams||Melissa Hutchinson|
|Natasha Loring||Kevin Connolly||Darien Sills-Evans||Richard Epcar||Sunil Malhotra||Natasha Loring|
Following along with the flavor text, it now mentions that you have to "Find out how they are all connected." Searching these voice actors on imdb and pulling a list of their appearances, you will notice that each of these people have voiced a single League of Legends champion. You may also have noticed the strange capitalization of the title of this puzzle (Live: On-Line), to highlight a common initialism of this video game, LOL.
Next, the flavor text mentions "order them by the region they came from". Doing a quick search of the regions of League of Legends, you will come across this page that lists out thirteen specific regions. When you cross-reference with the list of thirteen champions, you will find that each champion comes from one of these thirteen regions.
Finally, you must utilize the thirteen keywords provided to you in the beginning to match with each of the thirteen regions present in League of Legends. On the website, each of these regions has a short description, which includes a sentence that describes one of the keywords. For example, Ionia has multiple mentions of the word ‘war’ and describes the region as divided by war so it matches with the keyword “WAR-TORN”.
For our final extraction, we need a way to get letters out of these keywords. We do so by taking note of the number of pictures of characters each of the voice actors had in the initial depiction of 30 characters, which is a number ranging from 1 to 4. Ordering by the region’s name (as clued in the flavor text), and indexing into the keyword, we get the answer phrase ANSWERKEYNOTE. KEYNOTE is the answer to this puzzle.
|Voice Actor||LoL Champion||LoL Region||Keyword||# of Pictures||Extracted Letter|
|Faye Mata||Lulu||Bandle City||ASTRAY||1||A|
|Richard Epcar||Xin Zhao||Demacia||SELF-SUFFICIENT||1||S|
|Abby Trott||Gwen||Shadow Isles||DEAD||2||E|
|Melissa Hutchinson||Ashe||The Freljord||FROSTY||3||O|
|Natasha Loring||Kaisa||The Void||MYSTERIOUS||4||T|
|Sarah Anne Williams||Jinx||Zaun||UNDER||4||E|
For this puzzle, I tried to incorporate characters from many different franchises, so hopefully there was something familiar for everyone! I’ve been playing this game for over ten years now, but with the widespread popularity of the TV show Arcane just last year, it really showed me how deep the lore of this game goes, and how amazing some of the characters’ backgrounds and stories are. I wanted to make this puzzle to try and capture some of that feeling and introduce unfamiliar people to all the voice acting talent and in depth storytelling of the different regions that goes into this game.
Being the first puzzle I’ve written, there were definitely significant challenges. The sheer quantity of information available about League of Legends definitely gave me some interesting challenges when writing this puzzle, having to balance between writing a sufficiently complex puzzle while not overwhelming solvers with random pieces of information. There were also major rewrites as we needed to play around with difficulty levels and ultimately decided to move it into the intro round.
I hope you all enjoyed solving this puzzle and liked this small glimpse into the world of Runeterra!