Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes: Simplified Button Diagram Defusal Guide

Here you will find a diagram for the button module to optimize defusing it. Since the only two options are to hold and to press the button, the rules for determining which action to undertake is easily represented as a flowchart diagram. Hopefully you find that my guide is intuitive and easily interpreted. I encourage you to try it in game to test its efficacy while defusing a bomb, and I hope whoever uses this imparts any criticism and comments for my knowledge as to how my creation held up to its trials.

For more notes on my reasoning behind the diagram, see the “Additional Notes” section. If you need help interpreting the flowchart, refer to the “Reading the Diagram” portion of this post.


Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes: Simplified Button Diagram Defusal Guide

Reading the Diagram

The diagram is formatted to order the questions so the individual reading the manual, which I am calling the “support line,” can help the player defusing the bomb, the “defuser,” most efficiently. The questions are ordered top to bottom, and the information the support line will ask for is sometimes represented as a symbol. For example, the FRK indicator at the bottom of the flowchart signifies that the support team should ask the defuser whether a lit FRK indicator is present on the frame of the bomb. Two actions conclude the flowchart paths, “hold” and “press.” In the “Hold” result of the flowchart, there are three rectangles that correspond to the strips of light that appear while holding the button. The numbers inside each strip are the digits that must be present in at least one position in the timer when releasing the button, as outlined in the default guide, under the “Releasing a Held Button” section of the Button module guide.

The first question is used to determine if the button is a certain color and text combination that allows for a different route on the flowchart. A red “Hold” button circumvents the rest of the flowchart and results in “Press” being the action to take, thus if such a button is presented, the support line can instantly instruct the defuser to press and release the button. If either a blue “Abort” button or a white button with a lit “CAR” indicator is present, the support line only needs to follow the flowchart questioning up until the red “stop” line corresponding a particular case cuts off the other arrows. If either of the rightmost cases exists, the flowchart only need be followed until the “stop” line for that particular case, and if the routes are exhausted up until that point, the flowchart directs to “Hold.” For example, after determining the button is a blue “Abort” button, the support team does not need to proceed with further questioning and can direct the defuser to hold it.

Another example (if needed): If the button is white and has a lit “CAR” indicator, the second rule should only be tested. This means the defuse support line (the one reading the manual) should only ask the questions up to asking for the text on the button, provided enough positive responses are given to lead to that point. The support line needs not ask for the lit FRK indicator, as the case for the button reaches a rule that precedes, and hence overrides, the following rules which may result in a button press action.

As a last note, the dotted arrows correspond to the paths that should be taken depending on whether there is one battery or multiple. After receiving the answer of the number of batteries, the flowchart path diverts depending on this information. For the case of having one battery, the last question does not need to be asked, as indicated by the dotted path with label “n (1).”

Additional Notes

Firstly, I noticed from all the button modules I have encountered that the most frequent outcome is to hold the button down. Seeing the rules for determining whether to press or hold it, the reasoning behind my observation seems justified:

1. Three of the six specific rules have holding it as the outcome

2. The rules that result in pressing the button have scenarios that overlap or are contradicted by true conditions in other rules. And, finally,

3. The last case results in the button being held.

The rules that result in holding it can act as stopping points to shorten the flowchart. These scenarios are represented by the blue and white buttons on the right with stop signs next to them. This is allowed due to the order of the rules in the default guide, where earlier rules that are true negate any reason to check the cases following that rule.

Rules 2 and 4 can be approached with foresight by asking the number of batteries on the bomb. Asking the number of batteries on the bomb is less time consuming on both ends than asking “Is there one battery?” followed by “Is there more than one battery?” After understanding the number of batteries on the bomb requires only one rotation of the bomb by the defuser (although I imagine most players reading the guide frame the question such that the defuser only needs to check for batteries once). After noting the number of batteries, the support line can advance through the flowchart with knowledge of the path to take.

As for the case of a red button having “Hold” as its text, the earlier rules need not be considered for the following reasoning: Firstly, the other rules resulting in the button being pressed are unnecessary, as they produce the same outcome as the having a red button that says “Hold.” Additionally, the rules which could override this case have contradictory conditions. Particularly, the color specified in rules 1, 3, and 5 all require a different colored button than in present (blue, white, and yellow). Therefore, in the case that the button is red and has the text “Hold,” the support line can instantly tell the defuser to press and release it.

Finally, I wanted to design the flowchart such that the button module can be defused off the memory of the support line or even the defuser, themselves. Having encountered buttons enough times, like the other modules, I have memorized some rules that speed up the process by eliminating the time to flip to and read the “Button” portion of the default manual. Hopefully, this flowchart will make a full memorization of this module easier and set up moments where the defuser communicates the needed information off the bat and is met with a single instruction as the response from the support line: A streamlined process that is not only satisfying (and we all love that feeling!) but also significantly reduces the time to handle this simple module.

Credit to Zfhutzzu

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