General Hints and Tips:

  • Start the game with 2 kids, 2 young women and 1 young man.
  • Spend your tech points in the most logical fashion: from the cheapest to the most expensive on level 2. Once all the second level techs have been bought, save up that 70k for the extra tech points.
  • When you start the game, drag one adult all over the map to familiarize yourself with the hot spots.
  • The numpad is great for jumping to spots on the map, but it misses large portions of it. Don’t rely on it too much in hunting for collectibles.
  • VV4 is more forgivable when it comes to food than the other VV games – it’s pretty hard to starve to death, even with a large population.
  • If an adult refuses to do something, it might a job for a child.
  • Sometimes it takes more than just tech levels to solve a puzzle. It might take a skilled villager. Or a store of supplies.
  • Fresh water is for drinking. Salty water is for crafting.
  • When you see a collectible, pause the game and drag one kid on it. Then quickly hit the spacebar twice (unpause and pause again) and drag anther kid on the same collectible. This also works on mushrooms.
  • If you already collected the collectible, it will be turned into tech points. If you pick up the child and make him drop it, your tech points will go up immediately.
  • To make babies, pause the game and drag a villager on top of another villager until your population counter moves up. You don’t have to wait for them to go into the shack – the chance of pregnancy is calculated as soon as you put the villagers together.
  • A 2 year old can’t work…but she can be a healer.

Puzzles hints (as spoiler free as possible!)

  1. Covered in the tutorial. (check the fish bones.)
  2. Check the top of the river near the falls. When you’re done with that, look at what was under the waterfall. No luck? Check again after science level 2.
  3. Look at those wooden bowls for water near the river and the ocean. There are also some blackened rocks near the research area.
  4. Soapy-smelling plants and salter water equals…?
  5. Requires completion of #1 & #2. Cut down the greenery covered in butterflies and SLOWLY bring them to the tree.
  6. Requires #2. Check the pond near the top right cliffs in the midst of a monsoon.
  7. Clear the debris near the hard fruit trees. Then heat and use 4 blacked rocks. Cover with broad leaves from the tree right next to the blueberries.
  8. Requires #1, #3 and a clothing hut. Involves salt water and pulpy vines.
  9. Needs learning level 3.
  10. Take a couple of kids and an adult to the crab. (it’s red, it’s on the beach, it scuttles, and it’s really fast.)
  11. Requires completion of #7, & #12. Stew ingredients: 1 of each herb plant, fresh water, berries, baked fruit, fish, mushroom, and 2 bins of food from the food bin. A lot of people have trouble with this one – some say you need all those food already in the bin first.
  12. Needs #8. Have something to do with the piers.
  13. Needs #1, #8, and #4.
  14. Needs >20 people and dendrology level 2. Make a sweet stew and put everyone on it.
  15. Needs all pipe pieces, level 3 dendrology, #2, and #4. Bring a villager of pure body and mind to the tree.
  16. Needs Rope (in the research area), some supplies of #8, and then…follow the hummingbird.

Got questions? Post them in the comments.

Come and get it, guys and gals.

It is DONE! You can find it over at the MinuteGamer.org site. I’ve linked it directly to make it easier to find.

The walkthrough includes all storyline solution videos, videos for all the harder puzzles, hints for the minor puzzles like pegs, images for all the traffic map puzzles near the end of the game, in a spoiler-free top page. Enjoy!

Chocolatier 2: Secret Ingredients is essentially the same as the first game, Chocolatier. It’s a trading game, and while the game combines arcade elements to make chocolates, there is no actual time limit. You’re free to explore as long as there is enough $ to travel about. So rule #1: don’t stress.

  • Check every building every time you’re in any town when you’re NOT on a mission. If you’re on a mission, they’ll just tell you to come back later (and sometimes they’ll say so even if they have no mission for you when you’re back) so why waste your time?
  • Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Chances are that they’ll just rot.
  • Keep a list of ingredients available in each town on a sheet of paper.
  • The game does a really good job of keeping track of which factory makes what. When in doubt, just check your recipe book. Before flying off to an unknown factory and start making random chocolates, see if you’ve already got production in place in an existing one. It’s in your recipe book.
  • Keep your inventory rotating. That means no stocking up anything other than basic cacao, sugar, and later on truffle powder.
  • Don’t let anyone “inspect” or “tour” your factories. Ever.
  • When you’re in your lab, trust your lab tech. He’ll give you hints on combining ingredients. There’s no penalty for trying out crazy combinations (it’s not Mastermind) so go right ahead and combine plantains with fire ants in an exotic.
  • You don’t have to wait out a specific time period before going back to your lab. Just travel out and travel back to play some more.
  • Your chocolates will also deteriorate in storage, not just your ingredients.
  • When you’re ever stuck in the game, just revisit every port and talk to everyone.
  • Some backwater towns don’t have chocolate shops to sell your wares in, so be careful not to get stuck with no money in a town. This becomes a moot point after you’re able to fly.

If there’s enough request for it, I’ll post an ingredients and shop list, but there’s really no need for one. Keeping track on your own is part of the fun!

Here’s my end save file – a bit messy but it’ll open up free play completely. You want to put it in your:
c:\documents and settings\your_user_name\application data\PlayFirst\
directory. Don’t forget to back up your own first!

  • The faster you move, the easier things will be for you. Invest in fast shoes.
  • If you don’t ring a customer out, you’d have to work on less of them at a given time. In later scenarios, a good number is 2. You’d still make Superstar every time, and nobody will be storming out.
  • Don’t stand around. There should always be something to do. No customers? Bake a elaborate cake and put it on the tray. Somebody will want it eventually.
  • You can always change your mind about a path you took – just go back to the map screen.
  • They can’t order what you don’t have. Upgrade first, add variety later.
  • Worst comes to worst, there’s always this.

The answers are right in your computer; I could go ahead and list all the riddles and answers, but I’ll leave that to your finding it yourself.

Open up windows explorer and find where Forgotten Riddles is installed. Most likely, that’s in your c:\program files\Forgotten Riddles. If you can’t find it there, open up search and look for “forgottenriddles” and you should be able to find the folder where the game is installed. Open up My Computer and navigate to the installation folder, and open the “level” folder.

You should find a bunch of level.ini files, numbered. When you open them, you should see these:

Rune= Fermented for cider or baked in a pie, my sweet fruit will make me the me of your eye
Photo= A delicious red apple
Hint= Look for me hidden in the lower right bush

Rune is what the riddle will show, Photo is the caption under the photo when you click on the object, and hint is what the game will tell you when you use a hint. The rest are positions, but you shouldn’t need those once you have Rune and Hint. If you’re looking for something specific you can just use the edit > find that you can find in Notepad.

If you’re looking for the “lock” puzzles, try the “positional.ini” file. The grids are numbered as follows: from left to right, it’s 0 and ascending, then from top to bottom, 0 to ascending. You’ll see “c1” which stands for column 1, and “r1” which stands for row 1. It’s pretty easy to find your way around them.

If you’re really stuck on those rotational puzzles, you can find all the reference images in the “art” folder.

Happy hunting!

This should clear up a bit of the math (as well as a general walkthrough) on the game Build-a-Lot. When all else fails, I’m also attaching a bit of a cheat to open up “casual mode” as well as making all the scenarios accessible at the same time. General rules of thumb:

  • It is almost always better to flip your house at 2 stars than 3 stars if you want to just sell it.
  • 4 Stars are more profitable on the smaller houses.
  • The percentage on the overall value of house that goes into rent increases when you add stars.
  • On a Tudor:
    • Base house: 3.16%
    • 1 Star: 3.45%
    • 2 Stars: 4.4%
    • 3 Stars: 6.35%
  • On a Colonial and Tudor, flipping the house at 3 stars will gain you LESS net profit than if you did it at 2.
  • If you need to HAVE a specific house at the end of a scenario, it’s always cheaper to build your own than buy one.
  • The above applies to any house. Including lot fees.
  • For example, in the “build 5 Tudors” scenario, at basic (no discount) construction costs, building a Tudor costs $55K. If you bought it, it costs $150K. If you buy a Rambler, demolish it, and then build on top, it still only cost $80K. How does that work? When you buy a house, you’re paying $25K of it on the lot. So it’s only $25K extra to buy a house and demolish.
  • Always flip your first house. It’ll give you enough startup funds to pay for materials and whatnot. In later scenarios, keep in mind that the most logical progression is:
    • Build a Sawmill
    • Spend $75k on materials
    • Build a workshop
    • Build a bank, set it to donate
    • Hire a worker if you have to, and build the most expensive house you can afford.
    • upgrade the house to 2 stars if Rambler and mansion, 4 stars everything else if you can afford it. NEVER sell anything at 3 stars.
    • flip it
    • Buy materials at the cheapest bulk rate
    • Hire some workers and build the most expensive houses you can
    • upgrade those to 4 stars if you plan to keep them. Rent is proportional to the money you spend on it by %.
  • Upgrade and inspect houses in between rent periods. As soon as that dollar sign goes cha-ching, click on upgrade. That should keep you from missing payments.

Here’s a table detailing the math. The cost of the houses does not take into account the number of builders needed, bulk / sawmill discounts, or the fact that you almost never get the asking price.

Now, onto the big stuff. Really stuck on a level? Well, there is no difficulty level setting, and it can get pretty hard. So here’s how to open up all the scenarios – don’t go around changing the score though – that isn’t what this is about.

1. Search for the file buildalot.ini – don’t forget to check “search system folders” and “search hidden files and folders” as well as “search subfolders”.

2. Double-click on the file and it should open up in a plain text editor like notepad.

3. Find your profile name. That’s the name you gave the game when you boot it up. Mine’s Sally. You only have to change values after [User 0] and before [User 1].

4. Now, look for “LevelStatus” followed by numbers. 0 means you haven’t played it yet, 2 means you’ve passed, 3 means you experted it. Change them all to 3.

5. Now look for “LevelNumPlays” and change all of those to 1’s.

6. Change all the “CityGift”s to 1’s as well.

7. Change all the “CasualLevelStatus”s to 1’s.

8. Save the file.

9. Close everything and open the game. Now, when you click on the main screen, you should be able to access all the missions as well as all the casual levels.

Update – 2007.09.13 (2 updates in a day!)
Went through and fixed the coordinates for the seed box script, and “corrected” the soil and water positions. Hopefully, this will mean that it will work for everyone while in FULL-SCREEN mode. In windowed mode, all the verticals could be off by as much as 20 pixels. (the header)

Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.02
Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.02 (Bestsharing Mirror)
Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.02 (Mooload Mirror)
Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.02 (Upload2.net Mirror)

Update – 2007.09.13
Added a key for trashing seeds.
Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.01

This is not a hack, not a trainer, not a … well, not anything special really. It’s just a mouse script. It takes the “chores” out of Plant Tycoon so you can concentrate on the important things like cross pollination. If you just started the game you probably won’t use this, but it’s good for automating these few things:

  • It will set up all the pots by putting soil and water in all the pots, and
  • It will water all the pots to almost but not quite full.
  • It will also plant the first 15 seeds in your box (first 10 in the first horizontal line and first 5 in the second) into your 15 pots.
  • There is a hotkey for selecting each of the plants, and
  • A hotkey for harvesting each seed.

I made this because I got sick of clicking and dragging. Trust me – clicking and dragging will get on your nerves after a while because there will be lots of it. This program will do exactly what it says, and no more than that. It does not contain anything aside from mouse instructions because, uh, I wrote it! 🙂

Download Plant Tycoon Helper 1.0

You will need to unzip the file. After that you can run it anywhere. Use CTRL-H while it’s running for help.

If you have any suggestions to make the script better, contact me!

  • Don’t even think of cross pollinating until you’ve bought the first soil upgrade.
  • Keep a copy of all the original seeds.
  • Keep an extensive log of all cross pollinations. Make a family tree.
  • The first part of a plant’s name is the fruit/flower, and the second part is the stalk/body.
  • You can run the nursery while the game is paused.
  • Shopping: soil before water. Everything else is negligible.
  • Your rarest seeds will survive in the cheapest water and most expensive soil if you check on it often enough to check for infestations.
  • Water your plants up to the “A” and no more.
  • Go ahead and fiddle with your windows clock. Just keep all your times within 12 hours and in the PM/AM, and don’t crossover. If you’re not careful you could end up with a lot of dead plants.
  • Clicking on the tap in the main screen gives you in-game hints.

General walkthrough:

Plant all the first seeds, pollinate each to get a “pure” copy of each seed. Figure out which one will sell for the most money, and start mass producing. Once you have $850, buy the new soil. Cross pollinate and find the next most expensive breed. Save enough for the next soil upgrade. Continue until you have third generation “rare” seeds and the third soil and water upgrades, as well as the extra seed boxes. After that, cross-pollinate like crazy – just keep notes, k? You’ll regret it later if you don’t.

Plant Tycoon Review
Plant Tycoon Helper 1.0

  • To make Combos, click on a tile in the bottom row, then click on multiple tiles in the play field. Remember, the tiles have to be the exact pattern and color – and some look pretty close!
  • The key word is speed. If you don’t click on them fast enough, your tile disappears and the game considers your combo complete.
  • Try to make combos every turn. The clock can be very unforgiving.
  • In the painting mini-game, remember that clicking on a circle rotates it.
  • The Ankh is the “death” ankh, not the life ankh. Confusing eh? Using an ankh on a tile in the play field DESTROYS all tiles on the field of the same color and pattern, despite their position.
  • A joker is your most valuable asset. You can use it to make combos with tiles that you just can’t seem to get rid of – all of those odd ones. The number on the joker indicates how many tiles you can destroy in one go.
  • The blue power-up with 3 tiles on it shuffles YOUR deck. It does not shuffle the tiles on the play field – just gives you new tiles in your row.
  • The orange power-up with flames in the middle is like a cannon. It destroys single tiles.
  • The green power-up with arrows on them can swap two tiles in your playfield.
  • Using sixth sense reveals all the keys and power-ups on the field.
  • Transform can be very useful as a power-up. It changes all instances of a pattern-color tile in the play field to something you have on hand, so you can match it right away.
  • The clock tower mini-game: It doesn’t matter what order you use the numbers in as long as you use them all. It’s really more work than play.
  • If Roman numerals confuse you, mouse-over a number in the clock and its conventional counterpart will appear.
  • Secret levels (after clock towers) are a lot harder than the normal levels, so if you want to skip them for now, just click on “map” when you have a choice to go to the clock tower.

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