Espionage Bay Area, May 22-23, 1999

1999 was a good year for Games as Snitch ran Espionage just a month later after Amnesia. Whether from travel or lack of interest, no one from the previous Team Advil could play in Espionage, so I assembled a new Team Advil: roommate Alex Aravanis, undergrad classmate and water polo teammate Scott Pegg, high school classmate Greg Yap and his college friend Chris Lane, and former roommate Yee Lee. This team, all first-time players, became the core of the Team Advil playing today.

Scott wrote this one up in detail so I won't repeat it, but the production value of Espionage was just outstanding and the puzzles just as good. The first view we had of the event was a short movie and it only got better (here's the homepage)... the captain's meeting was semiformal dress in a San Francisco park then at the Tonga Room, the starting location (with nifty prepuzzle) was deposited in the Stanford Old Union fountain, clues as to what to bring were posted on Usenet group, a compelling backstory ... and that was before the event even started. The plot centered around two nations, the WFS (good guys) and the UER (bad guys) and their associated security organizations, and a rogue biological agent.

We started on a pier in San Francisco, headed to Marin then the East Bay, north to Vallejo and Benecia, south to Oakland and across the bay to Treasure Island and San Francisco, south to San Mateo then across the San Mateo bridge to Hayward, south to Fremont and across the Dumbarton to Palo Alto, with a finish line in Menlo Park. The Doh! Boys were ahead most of the night, but by the time we reached the final clue, there were several teams all together. Alex realized the final clue corresponded to the bridges we'd passed over in the Bay Area, and we finished in second place, 4 minutes behind WIDOW, and in the final tally also placed second, behind Shagadelic. (Results)


  • Team split in half at the beginning, Scott and Chris took the ferry to Tiburon, the rest of us to the Palace of Fine Arts
  • Getting yelled at by the San Quentin security guard when Alex took a leak behind the San Quentin bus stop
  • Finding a clue attached to our van's tailpipe in Lafayette
  • View from Treasure Island toward San Francisco
  • Extremely creepy statuary at 3 am at the Palace of the Legion of Honor
  • Sunrise while sitting on the "D" of "South San Francisco The Industrial City"
  • My favorite Game clue ever, a plastic cube with total internal reflection between plastic and air
  • Stealing the carpet from the bumper of Shagadelic's van on Page Mill Road
  • Outstanding final clue involving the 7 Bay Area bridges, all of which we'd passed over during the course of the Game

John Owens | Game Home Page | Last updated .