12
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Despite their appearances, the following are not ways of change... at least, I hope not.

  1. Kids shows (8+?)
  2. Lizard (6+?)
  3. Missiles group (5+?)
  4. Body manipulator (4+?)
  5. Bird (3+?)
  6. Emperor (5+?)

The final answer is a thematic phrase.

Hint 1: (updated)

is now .

Hint 2: (updated)

tag added.

Hint 3:

? = 3

Hint 4: (updated, minor spoiler?)

"Change/ways of change" is a hint for the video game(s) being referenced; the specific kind of change is hinted by "era,” which is also the identity of the ?.

Hint 5: (major spoilers)

Some actual ways of change include fire (4+?) and water (5+?), but not fish (4+? or 5+?) or reptile (4+? or 7+?).

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  • $\begingroup$ My current working hypothesis... rot13(V'ir orra ybbxvat ng jbeqf znqr bs gur ahzore bs yrggref tvira cyhf gur 3 yrggref R, E naq N va gur 6 cbffvoyr beqref, trggvat jbeqf yvxr r.t zNffRhE, cREgvaNk.) Is this anywhere close? Also have some ideas of the step(s) to follow after that, because obviously this isn't everything... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 13 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ Hm. I'm thinking more along these lines, but I'm not going anywhere with the other words. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Oct 13 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv That's a great idea, but it's not on the right track. The word property tag is central to figuring out the solutions to the clues, and no permuting needs to be done i.e. "change" refers to something else. Let me know if I need to provide more hints! $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Oct 13 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Rot13(V guvax "punatr" unf gb qb jvgu pbva-bc ivqrb tnzrf. Ohg V unir ab vqrn jung gubfr ivqrb tnzrf unir gb qb jvgu gur pyhrf.) $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 13 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JS1 That's not the reference I'm looking for either, but you are right in suspecting that rot13(punatr, be fbzrguvat fvzvyne gb vg, vf yvaxrq gb gur ivqrb tnzr(f) ersreraprq va guvf chmmyr va fbzr jnl) $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Oct 13 at 6:54
7
+50
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So given all the hints, I figured out these words that fit:

Kids shows (8+?)

Nickelodeon

Lizard (6+?)

Chameleon

Missiles group (5+?)

Raytheon (Thanks to Alconja)

Body manipulator (4+?)

Surgeon

Bird (3+?)

Pigeon

Emperor (5+?)

Napoleon

And then:

For each answer, if you take the italicized letter in its clue, and find the letter in the answer at the same position (which I bolded above), you get the answer:

Let's Go

This is the name of a Pokemon video game. The "era of change" refers to the 8 "-eon" type Pokemon, which the normal type Eevee can evolve into: Jolteon (Electric), Flareon (Fire), Vaporeon (Water), Umbreon (Dark), Espeon (Psychic), Leafeon (Grass), Glaceon (Ice), and Sylveon (Fairy). Hint 5 means that there are other "-eon" Pokemon that are not the 8 evolved ones, such as Charmeleon (7+ reptile) and Finneon (4+ fish).

Note that I have never played Pokemon so all of this is coming from my researching it just now. There may be more going on here that I don't know about.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you got the main mechanism and the correct final phrase! As for the clue you haven’t gotten yet, rot13(gur zvffvyrf ner onfrq va gur HF). Good job! $\endgroup$ – PiIsNot3 Oct 14 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ @JS1 - A Qat query will brute force resolve the missiles group... $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 14 at 4:42

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