The Non-Expert


Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we show you how to survive the five treacherous worlds of IKEA. Don’t forget your REKYL!

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: Hey Nonexpert, my girlfriend drags me to IKEA almost every weekend and it’s driving me crazy. What should I tell her? –Brent Flagg

Answer: There is no known treatment for IKEA addiction. The best you can do is learn to survive.

 __      __  ___     _______         ___      
|  |    |  |/  /    |   ____|       /   \     
|  |    |  '  /     |  |__         /  ^  \    
|  |    |    <      |   __|       /  /_\  \   
|  |    |  .  \     |  |____     /  _____  \  
|__|    |__|\__\    |_______|   /__/     \__\ 

IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a shit about home furnishings. In traversing IKEA, you will experience a meticulously detailed alternate reality filled with garish colors, clear-lacquered birch veneer, and a host of NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs) with the glazed looks of the recently anesthetized.


Your goal is to successfully traverse the five awesome worlds of IKEA before your patience runs out. On your first few tries this may seem like an impossible task, but with practice (and this IKEA Walkthrough!) you will soon be able to muster the sense of numb resignation necessary for victory.


Your adventure begins! Drive your vehicle into the IKEA underground PARKING LOT. Your task is to find the fabled PARKING SPOT hidden deep within this toxic cavern. Your search will not be easy, as the PARKING SPOT may not appear until you first qualify by completing several dozen laps. As in all worlds, time is of the essence: If you are unable to find the PARKING SPOT in 180 minutes or less, you may become irritated and leave.

Although your vehicle comes equipped with a braking mechanism (the "B" pedal), the secret to success in this world is to never decelerate. If there are cars in front of you, bump them out of the way until you are able to pass. Although you may think it makes sense to slow down while navigating sharp turns, it is almost always quicker to keep your accelerator (the "A" pedal) depressed to the fullest, crash your vehicle into a wall or parked car as you round the corner, and resume acceleration from a standstill.

To find the PARKING SPOT you will need to venture down the many lanes throughout the PARKING LOT. WARNING: Always look before entering a lane, as many will contain idiots who have elected to simply stop their Ford Excursions in the middle of the passageway and wait for someone to leave. If you inadvertently find yourself trapped behind one of these morons and have selected a vehicle with side-mounted rocket-launchers, use them now.

REMEMBER: Every person you run down in this world is one less you'll have to deal with in future levels, so never miss an opportunity for carnage!


You start this world armed only with a UNIVERSAL FURNITURE-ASSEMBLY ALLEN WRENCH. This is the weakest weapon in IKEA: You will have to hit a person 16 times with it to kill them. So your primary goal in this level is to find more lethal means of dispatching your enemies.

As you enter the SHOWROOM, perform a rolling dodge to the left. Grab a free PAPER TAPE MEASURE and a handful of IKEA EMBLAZONED GOLF PENCILS from the kiosk near the entryway. The PENCILS serve quite well as ranged weapons, but it will take some time to master their use. Before venturing further in the world, stand at the kiosk and practice hurling GOLF PENCILS at patrons as they enter the SHOWROOM. Remember: Hitting the eyes does triple damage.

Now make your way into the main SHOWROOM, using the PAPER TAPE MEASURE to throttle anyone who blocks your path.

As you enter the main area, you will see an EKHARD oiled solid-oak dining sideboard. Quickly kick it apart to acquire the TABLE LEG WITH NAIL.

As you continue through the main SHOWROOM you will see groups blocking the walkways while chatting and others moving against traffic. These people should be killed immediately.

When you enter the office furniture section, search the back wall and acquire the NOMINELL swivel chair with lockable tilt tension and gas-lift seat-height adjustment. Using this to propel yourself through the remainder of the level will greatly improve your time. Be sure to break open all cabinets and dressers as you travel, looking for power-ups.

In the kitchen area, grab some SCENTED CANDLES. While non-lethal, you can light them and stun those around you with Ye Olde Timey Stench before dispatching them with the KAVALKAD aluminum non-stick saucepan.

You're almost there! Work your way toward the northern wall. In an alcove near the exit you will find a rack containing copies of the IKEA SPRING 2004 CATALOG. Weighing in at 17 pounds, this is the most powerful weapon you'll find! Use the CATALOG to bludgeon the remaining people between you and the exit and proceed on to the next world.

NOTE: At any time you can visit the IKEA CAFE and acquire a $1 LATTE power-up. Avoid the $0.75 HOT DOG, though: It will give you a temporary energy boost but then impede your reaction time for the remainder of the adventure.


Your goal in this world is to locate the five components of the DREAM BEDROOM ENSEMBLE (DBE): MALM white-lacquered queen bed frame, KILAN RAND full/queen 100% cotton quilt cover set, CORRAS bedside table (with casters and one adjustable shelf), HOPEN three-drawer chest, and PAX/BREVIK wardrobe with white-foil finish.

This world is filled with NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs), and many will give you important clues if you interact with them. To "talk" with an NPC, stand in front of one as it tries to browse and wait for it to address you directly. If it tries to move around you, simply reposition yourself between it and its desired merchandise. If it refuses to acknowledge you, try cuffing it sharply on the side of the head and saying, "Hey! Hey buddy!"

Once dialogue has been initiated, listen closely for hints to the location of your DBE components. If the NPC stops talking, you may need to prompt it by asking about its favorite topics. Here are some subjects that the NPCs in IKEA will be happy to talk about:

* The final episode of Friends
* What's up with all this rain
* The Oprah Book Club, back before she started picking hard-to-read Gabriel García Márquez crap
* The South Beach Diet
* That one Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Frank fakes an injury so he won't have to go on a cruise with Marie
* The Gap

Scattered throughout this level are IKEA computer terminals. If you can hack into one you may be able to locate your DBS components, but an IKEA STAFF MEMBER may enter the scene and ask what you are doing. If you speak like the Swedish Chef you may be able to fool the employee into thinking you are the IKEA regional manager. If he still seems skeptical, pants him and flee into the IKEA KIDS section.

Whenever you find one of the DBE components, take the purchase tag associated with it; when you have collected all five, the next world will unlock.


Now you must find your actual DBE items in the SELF-SERVE WAREHOUSE. This labyrinth can be very frustrating and will require your full attention to navigate. Do not rely on the warehouse shelf locations printed on the purchase tags of your items -- due to some translation bugs introduced while porting IKEA from Swedish to English, they are almost never correct.

Upon entering the warehouse, you need to go:

N, N, E, N, S, SW, U, N, W, U, W, W, W, U, NW, N, NW, S, E, W, W, W, N, W.

Now you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. A skeleton, probably the remains of a luckless consumer, lies here. Beside the skeleton is a rusty SKARPT high-quality steel knife with hard plastic handle and a shopping cart. Search the body. Take the IKEA GIFT CARD (still has $43 on it). Take and eat the SWEDISH FISH for sustenance. Now go:

S, E, D, D, E, SW, W, SW, D, W, U, S.

Here you will find the shelves containing your DBE components. In this mini-puzzle, you must fit all of your merchandise onto the cart so nothing falls off as you proceed to CHECKOUT. It's like Tetris, minus the catchy Russian music and the fun. DON'T SPEND MORE THAN THREE OR FOUR HOURS WORKING ON THIS!

Continue to checkout:

E, U, U, E, U, N, NE, N, SW, S, W, N, E, U, U, N.

You've made it!

NOTE: One wrong turn in the WAREHOUSE could cause you to lose precious hours trying to find your way out. So take items off the shelves as you travel, place them on the floor, and make a map as you go. That way, if you make a wrong turn, you will be able to backtrack. For example:

  |       |
+---+   +---+
| A | - | B |
+---+   +---+
        +---+   +---+   +---+
        | C | - | D | - | E | -
        +---+   +---+   +---+

A. KOMPLEMENT 13-trouser pant hanger
B. HUSAR glass-door cabinet
C. SKYMTA mouth-blown drinking glass
D. TOMELILL.A. sofa with removable and washable DELSBO sand slipcover
E. MELODI white plastic pendant lamp


This is it. The matchup between you and the final boss: IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. But unlike traditional adventures, this ultimate showdown is not one of violence (much as, at this point, you'd like it to be), but rather a battle of will and endurance. If your PATIENCE is already running low, you are unlikely to finish this world. But this is what you'll need to do to survive.

First push your cart into the CHECKOUT line. Now stand there and wait. Continue to wait. If the person in front of you moves forward, you should move forward as well. And then wait. The key to CHECKOUT -- and I cannot emphasize this enough -- is to wait.

IKEA veterans know the secret to defeating this level: While waiting in line it's crucial that you NOT CONTEMPLATE YOUR MERCHANDISE! Do not ask yourself if you really need seven tiny wicker baskets. Do not wonder what's wrong with the perfectly good entertainment center you have at home. Do not try to reconcile your recent participation in anti-globalization protest parades with the fact that you are now on the verge of buying an armchair that somehow costs 23 bucks. EVERY MINUTE YOU SPEND THINKING ABOUT YOUR IMPENDING PURCHASES WILL HALVE YOUR REMAINING PATIENCE!!

If you can keep your mind blank -- or if you can distract yourself by thumbing through the IKEA CATALOG and planning a strategy for your next run -- you will be able to complete CHECKOUT and, thus, your adventure.


Congratulations -- you've beaten IKEA! Now sit back and enjoy the end sequence: a splitting headache and a screaming match with your spouse over lunch at APPLEBEE'S. You've earned it!