Sunday, August 21, 2011

Akinator is a Goddamn Wizard (Genie)

If you've ever played Twenty Questions with a friend or a relative to pass the time, or even because, in certain conditions, it's fun, then you can only consider that training versus the evil known as the Akinator.  This thing takes Twenty Questions and turns it not into a challenge, but a goddamn blood sport because it's so good at it.  Rest assured, that smug face of the genie will haunt your dreams should you dare challenge him because, in all likelihood, he will chew you up and spit you out the first few times you try and go up against him.

You go in and think, "Psh, this thing probably doesn't know all that much" and figure on a character from a video game that you're either playing currently or have played recently.  The first ten questions go by with no real incident, all fairly generic questions really.  No way in hell this genie could possibly be able to guess by question twenty that you're thinking of Cole MacGrath from inFamous, right?  I mean, it's a Playstation 3 exclusive game, albeit a popular one, and it hasn't even asked if your character is a super hero.  Question two was just, "Does your character wear shoes?" for crying out loud.  Maybe it'll get closer on, like, question 24 or something, but right now?  Psh.  Not even close.

And then, on question thirteen, Akinator stares into the depths of your soul with the smuggest grin you've ever seen and says, "Does your character produce electricity?"


You have no choice, of course, but to answer "Yes." and then question fourteen just cements it:  "Does your character climb walls?"  ".......yes."

"You were thinking of.....Cole MacGrath!"

Yes, Akinator, thank you.  I was thinking of Cole MacGrath and the fact that you figured that out in thirteen questions has me questioning just about everything I believe in, honestly.  In submitting to the fact that he is, indeed, correct, there is a moment of gloating before you see the "Play Again" button shining like a beacon.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, Akinator.

This time I bust out the, quote-unquote 'big guns' as I am wont to do, with Caim.  (Who, in general terms of sheer murder levels, could always be considered the big guns, of course.  Unfortunately, this is not a murder scenario.)  All the questions go fairly smoothly, and he even looks a bit frustrated to learn that my character is not blonde and not from the Final Fantasy series.  But as soon as he learns my character has a sister, that smugness is back, and after the twentieth question is done and answered, the image of Caim, sticking his tongue out to show his pact mark, slowly fades into focus on the screen.  Appropriate, really.

This happens again and again, I try Father from Nier, Trogdor (because honestly, that's been, what, six years ago now?  More?), Afro Samurai, over and over again, I try to stump this genie, a task that is not impossible as I've done it before in the past.  But this time....this time, victory eludes me.  But I have to try at least once more.  Unable to think of anything but Valkyria Chronicles for some reason, I make a decision for my next, and final, character.

Marion Seigbahn, possibly the best character from Valkyria Chronicles 2, is likely an easy pick, but she's my favorite, so let's try it anyway.  Defeated at this point, I slog through the questions, figuring he'll pick it up fairly easily and when his first guess at question twenty is Edy Nelson, I go, "well, this shouldn't be much longer".  But, in a strange twist, his line of questioning branches off in such a way that suggests, perhaps, the first twenty questions have been ignored or something.  When the second guess, at question thirty is some character from Trauma Center (the game), I have to wonder just what the hell happened.  Revitalized, I continue all the way to question forty, answering as honestly as possible when it finally comes to the last guess.

Once again, it was close, but no cigar.  Alicia Melchiott is not Marion Siegbahn, Akinantor!  IN YOUR FACE!  After a graceful loss, he bids you to inform him of your character, and as such I did.  No doubt some time in the future this will come back to haunt me and others, but for tonight, I taste victory once again.

And that's what I did tonight instead of anything important.


  1. It's the fact that he can somehow pull out an -exclusive- trait by question 14, despite the first 13 being generic, that cements it.

  2. Hm... I just tried for Jane and it gave me Marina. It felt depressingly good to beat the machine.