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In the Joystiq review of The Cave, there is mention of alternate solutions to the puzzles (emphasis mine):

There is truly unique pleasure in seeing the dark, reprehensible turns each puzzle takes, and knowing that an alternate solution exists in there somewhere. Ron Gilbert assures me there are unselfish ways toward success, though I prefer the evil ones.

However, I can't find that there actually are unselfish solutions to the puzzles. The only thing I have found is this:

At the very end of the game, you can give the item back to the guy at the gift shop to get the alternate ending for that character.

But that is only at the very end of the game, after you have solved all the puzzles the same selfish way.

So, are there really alternate solutions to the puzzles?

Taking the Knight for example:

If you return the item at the gift shop at the end of the game, you get the "good ending" where the princess is saved. But as far as I can tell, the only way to solve the knight's puzzle is to release the dragon to kill the princess. Is there a way to do the knight's puzzle that will not cause the dragon to kill the princess?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It somewhat depends on what you call a puzzle, and what you call a solution, but I can say from my perspective there are various subtle different options for puzzle solving. It would be hard to list them all, but some examples:

  • Certain doors which would normally require team lever presses can be simply programmed open with the Scientists ability to manipulate terminals.
  • Some lever presses which would require all three characters can be solved with only two when the Twins are present.

Also, a large part of the 2nd "Crystal Monster" puzzle (after a party member "dies") can be skipped by using the Monk's telekinetic "grab objects" ability.

I don't know that any of these cases amount to different moral alternatives though, they would simply be alternative solutions in my mind (mostly leaning towards the bad moral side, as you suggest).

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I'd like to offer an answer with a little bit more evidence to back it -

I took the Time Traveler to the Knight's stage, used her to phase through the dragon's door, grab the gold, and leave without ever opening the gate. As soon as I got part way up the passage, the dragon-kills-everyone event triggered anyway ("WHAT IDIOT LEFT THE GATE OPEN!?") and sure enough (upon arriving at the top of the tower) the princess was, in fact, just as eaten alive as ever.

Unless the game checks a very specific set of circumstances different from the ones I set up, and not just (you know) that the gate actually is open, I think it's pretty safe to say almost 2 and a half years later that there are no alternative puzzle solutions.

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I think there are 14 different endings (a good one and bad one for each character), and that pretty much sums it up. At least that's what I've found...

I've found two videos covering all of the (14) alternate endings:

All seven good endings:

All seven bad endings:

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Yes, I know about this. To get these good endings you just give the item back at the end of the game. I'm asking if there are alternate solutions to the puzzles. – Kip Mar 21 '13 at 15:07

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