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Key & Compass presents:
Hadean Lands
by Andrew Plotkin

Hadean Lands is large text adventure game commercially available for the iPhone and as a Glulx story file. It was written with Inform 7 and is © 2014 by Andrew Plotkin. Prior to the release of the full game, there was a "teaser scene" version released in 2010 plus a successful Kickstarter project, also in 2010, to help fund the creation of the game.

You play as Ensign J. Forsyth, an apprentice alchemist in His Majesty's Marcher The Unanswerable Retort where a horrific accident has fractured time and space. You will have to scavenge resources and use all your cleverness and alchemy skills if you have any hope of restoring the marcher to full operation.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the full game. And there will be SPOILERS. You have been warned.


Map of The Unanswerable Retort

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Walkthrough

First steps

Secondary Alchemy Lab

You may be wondering what exactly a "marcher" is, and unfortunately, we're never quite told. Think of it as a spaceship. That's not quite right, not really what it is, but it's a close enough approximation for now.

> x me. i. x crystal. touch it.

> x workbench. take bolt. x it.

> x table. x instructions. (You learn the work assignment fact, the basic tarnish cleansing inscription ritual, the resinous note fact, and the Lesser Phlogistical Saturation formula.)

Whenever you read a piece of paper in this game, you automatically take it and add it to your "bundle of paper". However, you can completely ignore the bundle of paper, since your character has an excellent memory. Instead, RECALL any RITUALS, FORMULAE, or FACTS that you have learned. This is a good time to review what your character currently knows.

> recall. rituals. recall basic.

> formulae. recall lesser. recall binding. recall essential nature.

> recall simple sealing. recall mantra.

> facts. recall assignment. recall resinous. recall aromas.

Continue examining what's here.

> x rosemary. smell it. x peppermint. x ginger. x calipers. x pin. x lamps.

> x panel. open panel. x door. open door. x land. x stars. n. close door.

It appears we're trapped here. Can we at least do the assignment that we were given, to freshen the brass calipers? Use the ginger oil for "fiery" atmosphere (as per the lecture on aromas) and the pin as our "brass token".

Don't forget: if you make a mistake in mid-ritual, you can break focus and abort the ritual by saying the mantra. Walking away from the bound by leaving the room will break focus too, but that option doesn't exist just yet.

> take pin. take ginger. take rosemary.

> recall basic tarnish cleansing ritual.

> open ginger. put pin in bound. say simple sealing.

> say essential. wave rosemary. say lesser.

> close ginger. take pin. x symbol. put pin on calipers. x calipers.

Now that you've performed the basic cleansing ritual once step-by-step, you can use PERFORM to go through the ritual again in a single command. For this to work, all the same materials you used before must be available.

> perform basic cleansing. put pin on panel. put pin on calipers.

The next thing to figure out is that some rituals can be modified slightly for a modified result. One thing you can try changing is what token is used. Basic tarnish cleansing has no effect on the rusty iron panel, but maybe that's because you used a brass token and tarnish isn't the same as rust. But what if you used an iron or steel token? Like the steel bolt?

> open ginger. put bolt in bound. say simple.

> say essential. wave rosemary. say lesser.

> close ginger. x bolt. take it. put bolt on panel.

Jolly good. Note that this modified ritual is listed as "basic rust cleansing inscription (with the steel bolt)" in your rituals list.

> rituals. d.

Secondary Lab Crawlspace

Eep. You find Lt. Jana Anderes trapped within a fracture here. There's nothing you can do to help her right now.

> x fracture. x Anderes. x jar. x alcohol. w.

Mech Lab Crawlspace

> x hatch. open it. perform basic rust. d. w. put bolt on hatch.

Drat. Basic rust cleansing isn't good enough for this hatch.

> x dark doorway. s.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

The entire game has RESET itself! Entering any void or using the command RESET will reset the game. Fortunately, you still remember everything you've learned so far. Also, attempts to go to places you've already visited will succeed, assuming the materials are available for whatever methods you used to get there.

Also, because we will reset the game several times, there's not much point in picking up anything until we actually need it.

> recall. d. w. w.

Crawlspace Bend

> x moldy paper. (You learn the redoubled tarnish cleansing inscription ritual.)

> n.

Chem Lab Crawlspace

This hatch has a planetary combo lock, and of course, you don't know the combination yet.

> x lubanja. x hatch. open hatch. s. d.

Herbarium Nook

Here's our first hint that the marcher is more unusual than a spaceship. Ensign Forsyth only finds it "odd" to go down from a sub-basement to reach a place on an upper floor, not an impossible distortion of physical space.

> x seed. x cone. x mushroom. x honeysuckle.

> x threads. eat zafranum. (It's orange zafranum, a very expensive spice.)

> take pinecone. (You'll need this for the redoubled cleansing ritual.)

This is as good a moment as any to introduce the DOORS, ROOMS, and GO TO commands. DOORS lists all doors (and cabinets) they you've never opened. ROOMS lists all significant locations you've visited; crawlways and hallways aren't usually significant. And GO TO lets you quickly travel to any significant visited room that you name.

> doors. rooms. go to lab.

Secondary Alchemy Lab

> recall redoubled.

> open ginger. put bolt in bound. say simple.

> say essential. crush pinecone. say lesser.

> close ginger. take bolt. go to crawlway.

Mech Lab Crawlspace

> put bolt on hatch. u.

Mechanica Lab

Hmmm. More gadgets, more ingredients, a moldy door, and a corroded cabinet.

> x drawer. x splicer. x door. x cabinet.

> x platinum. x nickel. x iron bead. x salt. x glass.

> w.

Materials Store

> x bound. x groove. x cabinet. x bin.

> x obsidian. x granite. x sandstone. x moon-metal.

> x broad quartz. x long quartz. x fluorspar. x chime.

> x recipe. (You learn the universal tarnish cleansing inscription ritual, the categorical imperative formula, and the catalytic environment fact.)

That's what to do next: use universal cleansing on the corroded cabinet.

> e.

Mechanica Lab

> put platinum in drawer. turn crank. take wire. find java.

Chem Lab Crawlspace

You can FIND any portable item you've seen so far, as long as it still exists. FIND acts like GO TO.

> take java. go to materials store.

Materials Store

I use the bolt instead of the pin since I'm already carrying the bolt.

> recall universal cleansing ritual.

> put platinum wire in groove. put bolt in bound.

> say simple. say categorical. pour java on bolt. say lesser.

> take bolt. e.

Mechanica Lab

Note that once you've read the sheets in the corroded cabinet, you'll never need to reopen the cabinet in later game-iterations since you retain the information.

> put bolt on cabinet. open cabinet.

> read torn sheet. (You learn the crawlway access combination fact. "JA" is very likely Lt. Jana Anderes.)

> read rust-stained. (You learn the fungicide synthesis ritual and the Binding of Antipathy formula.)

> d. w. n.

Chem Lab Crawlspace

For what it's worth, the brass lock cannot be removed entirely from the hatch; it's not a portable item.

> set lock to mars. set lock to luna. set lock to jupiter. u.

Chymic Lab

> x door. open it. x sea. x sky. close door.

> x retort. x burner. x lever. pull lever. x sign. (You learn the Hermetic Sealing formula.)

> x rack. x sand. x vinegar. x muriatic. x mineral oil. x saline.

> x folded sheet. (You learn the word of entension formula and the word of culmination formula.)

> x wrinkled sheet. (You learn the copper calcination demonstration fact.)

> x brass coin. x citronelle.

What to do next: make fungicide and use it against the moldy door.

> find mustard.

Herbarium Nook

> take mustard. take mushroom. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall fungicide ritual.

> put mustard in retort. put mushroom in retort. put saline in retort.

> say hermetic. turn on burner. z. z. say anitpathy.

> x fungicide. go to mech lab.

Mechanica Lab

> pour fungicide on door. n.


East wing

Lab Hall Southwest

> x sheet. (You learn the resonant oculus creation ritual. You also indirectly remember the lecture on gestalt shelves fact.)

> recall gestalt. open chymic door. x wallpaper. x stairwell. e.

Lab Hall Southeast

For the next little while, I'll be examining all the new open areas. Sorry if all this examining is a bit dull.

> open secondary door. e.

Opticks Lab

> x bluestone. x heap.

> open closet. x land. x sky. close closet.

> x scrawled sheet. (You learn the elemental earth loan fact.)

> search heap. s.

Opticks Annex

> x table. x shelf. x bin.

> x scribbled sheet. (You learn the Anodyne Evocation formula and the percalcination procedure fact.)

> x flint. x concave. x convex. x feather.

> look through concave. look through convex.

> n. w. n.

Lab Hall Northeast

It'll be quite some time before we get the Tertiary Lab door open.

> x fracture. open tertiary door. n.

Pyrics Lab

We can't turn off the kiln, and we can't currently retrieve its contents. The vapor crock and the jar of cedar splints aren't portable.

> x kiln. x burners. turn off burners. x key. x paten. take key.

> x crock. x jar. take cedar. x it. x pith. x linden. x blackwood.

> x winter-oak. x maple. x elemental wood.

> e.

Pyrics Store

The jar of camphrost lumps is also not portable. As you'll see, a lump of camphrost evaporates in open air over a few turns.

> x jar. take lump. x silver coin. x lead. x firebrick.

> w. s. w.

Lab Hall Northwest

> x graffiti. touch graffiti. n.

Main Store

Another crewmember caught in a fracture: Ensign Sydney Ctesc.

> x Ctesc. x hand. x safe. open safe. x shelves.

> x diamond. x silk. x chain. w.

Storage Nook

Take the Alchemy File seal. We can open the Materials Store cabinet with it!

> x hatch. open hatch. x seal. take it.

> go to materials store.

Materials Store

For once, a locked cabinet contains something other than paper. A phlogisticated gold rod is obviously important, but we might as well leave it for now. Let's keep exploring.

> unlock cabinet with seal. open cabinet. x gold.

> go to main store. s. w.

Lab Wing Hallway

I hate to tell you this, but we'll never get inside the Primary Lab.

> x fire door. x fracture. x chime. s.

Library

> x books. g. g. g. g. (Weird.)

> x neat sheet. (You learn the resonant tone formula.)

> x untidy sheet. (You learn the fire-resistance synthesis ritual, the syllable of counterbalance formula, and the lecture on potions fact.)

> x rotor. turn it. g. g. g. g. (The rotor card has five symbols: snowy, windy, sunny, rainbow, and moonlit.)

Time for more alchemy. Let's create a resonant oculus; use the bound in the Opticks Annex for this. But first, collect the ingredients. You can probably guess that the silver coin with its moon symbol is "lunar", or that the rotor card set to moonlit is also lunar.

> find silver coin. take it. find glass loop. take it. go to annex.

Opticks Annex

> recall oculus ritual.

> put silver coin on shelf. put loop in bound. say simple.

> say resonant tone. say counterbalance.

> take coin. take oculus. x it. look at coin through oculus.

> look through oculus. x cyan spark. (You learn the lodestone of purity creation ritual and the Minor Animus formula.)

Quite a lot to take in there. Let me summarize:

1st: You can look through the oculus at things to reveal their symbolic nature. This is very helpful for determining what things can be used to evoke the appropriate atmospheres for a ritual. The oculus confirms that the silver coin is symbolically lunar. See list of symbolic associations for more examples.

2nd: You can look through the oculus (not at anything) to see if the current location contains a spark. Sparks have memories associated with them from which you can learn more rituals, formulae, and facts. During normal play, you should use the oculus in every location to check for a spark. For this walkthrough, I'll just use the oculus this way where I know a spark is; see list of sparks for a summary. And note that the ROOMS command will now list any rooms you haven't checked yet for sparks.

3rd: The lodestone of purity ought to help us find the elemental earth shard in that pile of broken glass.

There are two more sparks in the lab wing: in the Opticks Lab and in the Storage Nook. Let's check them out.

> n.

Opticks Lab

> look through oculus. x violet spark. (You learn the Crystalline Tempering formula.)

> go to storage nook.

Storage Nook

> look through oculus. x magneta spark. (You learn the dispersal brush creation ritual.)

Now let's try our three new rituals: fire-resistance first.

> find ginger. take it. find peppermint. take it. find saline. take it. go to annex.

Opticks Annex

When pouring from a flask into a bound, you'll always find a beaker from somewhere to put a measured amount in, and the beaker of fluid is the focus of the ritual. After the ritual is completed, the potion is decanted into a vial and the beaker is discarded. So beakers only practically exist in a very limited way.

> recall fire resistance ritual.

> put saline in bound. say simple. open ginger.

> say counterbalance. close ginger. open peppermint. say elementary binding.

> close peppermint. x potion.

Incidentally, if you try to perform the fire-resistance synthesis ritual again while the fire resistance potion exists, the ritual will fail because of the Blinovna Limitation; you will remember the Blinovna Limitation fact if you try. Weirdly, you know the rule is utter nonsense, but you remember it anyway.

Oh, and reversing the order of the aromas doesn't create cold resistance potion, but just fire resistance potion again.

> go to pyrics lab.

Pyrics Lab

The obvious application of the fire resistance potion is to get stuff from the kiln:

> drink potion. take all from kiln.

Let's add the dispersal brush to our repetroire:

> find alcohol. take it. go to annex.

Opticks Annex

> put feather in bound. say simple. pour alcohol on feather. say culmination.

> take brush. x it.

Now make that lodestone; I assume you're still carrying the silver coin and ginger oil:

> find rotor card. take it. turn card to moonlit.

> find silver chain. take it. go to annex.

> recall lodestone of purity ritual.

> put silver coin on shelf. put rotor on shelf. open ginger. put chain in bound.

> say simple. say essential. close ginger. say minor animus.

> take all from shelf. take lodestone. x it. n.

Opticks Lab

Finding the elemental earth shard is the only real use you'll get out of this lodestone. It only points to elemental items in the current location; it doesn't work at a distance. It will point towards any elemental item that's obviously present, of course, but so what? And it gets confused if there's more than one elemental item in the current location, so you want to be sure you're not carrying another elemental item when you're using the lodestone here.

> wave lodestone. take earth shard. x it.

We've done all we can (for now) in the Lab wing. Time to visit the rest of the marcher.

> go to lab wing.

Lab Wing Hallway

> unlock fire door with thick key. w.


West wing

For this section of the walkthrough, we'll be exploring lots of rooms, reading any pages we find, and looking for sparks, but not trying to open any locked doors or cabinets.

Does a "right hand on the wall" traversal suit you? I hope so. It means we'll look at the airlock first and the medical hallway last.

East Side Hallway

> look through oculus. x fuchsia spark. (You learn the musical theory fact.)

> x airlock. n.

Airlock

I know the airlock isn't working, so experimenting isn't going to kill us.

> x outer door. look through peephole. x lever. pull lever.

> close inner door. open outer door. pull lever.

> s. w.

Nave

From now on, you'll probably want to use the Nave bound inside of the Opticks Annex bound for most of your rituals. The Nave is centrally located.

> x bound. x seats. x frescos. x marks. x mesh. look through mesh. n.

Portico

To the west is another dark doorway to the Void.

> x seats. x ferns. x doors. x window. x land. x dark. s. w.

West Side Hallway

> n.

Quarters Access

> x fragment. (You learn the recursive metaphor technique fact.)

Officer Country

> x fracture. x captain. e.

Deck Suite

> x cabinet. x kelp. look at kelp through oculus. s.

Master Rector's Quarters

> look through oculus. x periwinkle spark. (You learn the aura invisibility inscription ritual.)

> x desk. x rough sheet. (You learn the aura impermeability inscription ritual and the spiritual environment fact.)

> x fine sheet. (You learn the isomorpic group formula and the idempotent group formula.)

> recall isomorphic. recall idempotent. n. e.

High Tower

> x bunk. x venture mold. x alchemy mold. x medical mold.

> x cabinet. x shiny paper. (You learn the electrum phlogistication ritual and the electrum substitution fact.)

> w. n.

Deck Suite

Oops. The Venture door reveals another Hadean land.

> x land. close venture door. w. w.

Junior Quarters

> x bunks. x locker. x broad sheet. (You learn the white-fuse challenge fact and the gold ignition ritual.)

> x tile. look at tile through oculus. e. s. w.

Scrubs Country

> x fracture. n.

Study Room

> look through oculus. x apricot spark. (You learn the Ka Sealing formula.)

> x books. g. g. g. g. g.

> x torn sheet. (You learn the breath-holding synthesis ritual and the exhilarant environment fact.)

> x filthy sheet. (You learn the planetary lens creation ritual.)

> x ribbon. look at amulet through oculus.

> s. s.

Under Ward

> x recipe. (You learn the word of anaphylaxis formula.)

> x lighter. x vitriolic acid. x alum.

> n. e. s. w.

Scaphe Arcade

> x portal. x wheel. turn it. x window. x hatch. x cube. x columns. n.

North Arcade

> look through oculus. x topaz spark. (You learn the Cold Crucible gossip.)

> x door. look at door through oculus. open door. x marble chip.

> x window. x exoscaphe. (You also see a bit of paper at the far end of the bay, but of course, you can't look at it from here.)

> s. w.

Exoscaphe

Careful, there's another void entrance west of here. Also, this once we will play with the lever, but it's a hazard best ignored later.

> x bench. x crumpled sheet. (You learn the Binding of the Celestial Sphere formula.)

> x horn coin. look at it through oculus.

> x cabinet. x dark. x hatch. open hatch.

> x lever. pull it. close portal. pull lever. open portal.

> e. e. s.

Paper Garden

Look at everything here through the oculus; it's all wonderfully symbolic.

> smell. x paths. x flowers. x trees. climb trees. x ceiling.

> x pool. look in pool. x door. w. look at door through oculus.

> s.

Grand Stair, Top

You have found Lt. Michael Powes, trapped in a fracture like everyone else.

> x fracture. x Powes. x door. look at door through oculus. (You learn the Birdhouse defensive stricture fact.)

> open door. (You can't even reach it.)

> x fire. d.

Grand Stair, Bottom

> x stair. x iron gate. x marks. x yellow bead. s.

Edge of Chasm

Yes, this is still part of the marcher's interior, even though there's a vast underground cavern. The abyss itself is yet another entrance to the Void. Since we're still doing our "hugging the right wall" traversal, I'm bypassing the east passage until our return back this way.

> x chasm. x roof. s.

Chasm Rubble

You cannot take the chime under the current conditions.

> x rubble. x slab. x chime. take chime. s.

Chasm, at Bridge

> look through oculus. x sepia spark. (You learn the phlegmatic sealing word formula.)

> x bridge. w. (You can't cross.)

> x door. (You can't open it. Let's head back.)

> n. n. e.

Confusing Cracks

> look through oculus. x carmine spark. (You learn the periodic table of stone fact.)

> x column. look at it through oculus. climb it. x basalt chip.

> x walls. e. (All paths but west return to the column.)

> w. n. u. e.

Burning Hall West

> x fire. w. n. e.

Lost in Paper Maze

I think it always takes four steps to escape the maze. The directions you choose don't matter, as long as they are the level compass directions; the maze doesn't go up or down. Also, don't drop anything in the maze; you'll never find it again until the next game-iteration.

> e. e. e. e.

Paper Garden

> n. e. e. s.

Medical Wing Hallway

> x cabinet. open it. x menace. (You learn the nature of aura clouds fact.)

> look at cloud through oculus. n.


Doors and cabinets

We've done our grand traversal and learned tons of stuff. You're probably overwhelmed, but it's time to solve puzzles and open all the doors.

East Side Hallway

> go to high tower.

High Tower

The High Tower cabinet can be unlocked with our dispersal brush. Simple when you know how, isn't it?

> touch cabinet with brush. open cabinet. x ornate sheet. (You learn the Great Marriage ritual (something to do with the Homunculus) and the Marcher's Sealing formula.)

The fire resistance potion can help with two other problems: the burning hall and the door with the Venture File seal lock.

> make fire potion. drop all but oculus and potion. go to burning hall.

Burning Hall West

The inferno will destroy several of our possessions if we carry them in with us. Flasks explode and wood chips catch fire, for example. Our bundle of papers burns too, but the game won't let us drop them, so that can't be helped.

> drink potion. e.

Burning Hall East

> read paper. (You learn the aura imitation inscription (with jade) ritual and the Chi Binding formula.)

> x obsidian door. open door. x inferno. w.

Burning Hall West

> find venture mold. take it. find lead rod. take it.

> make fire potion. go to kiln.

Pyrics Lab

> put venture mold in kiln. put lead rod on venture mold.

> drink fire potion. take venture mold. go to chasm. s. s.

Chasm, at Bridge

> unlock door with venture seal. e.

Deep Stacks

> look through oculus. x indigo spark. (You learn the perfect mud synthesis ritual.)

> x books. g. g. g.

> x crackly sheet. (You learn the bamuriatic acid synthesis ritual.)

> x moldering sheet. (You learn the symmetric sequence formula and the antisymmetric sequence formula.)

> x intrusion. take bit. x coral chunk.

To get rid of the coral outcropping, or at least enough of it to reach the paper trapped by it, we'll need to dissolve it. The fungicide we used on the moldy Mech Lab door won't quite do; the coral isn't of earthly origin. But if we varied the fungicide ritual to use the coral chunk instead of the mushroom, would that work?

> find mustard. take mustard. find saline. take it. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

I note that the coral chunk is consumed by the coralicide ritual, even though the mushroom wasn't consumed by the fungicide ritual.

> put mustard in retort. put coral in retort. put saline in retort.

> say hermetic. turn on burner. z. z. say antipathy.

> x coralicide. go to deep stacks.

Deep Stacks

> pour coralicide on outcropping. x stained sheet. (You learn the Gaian precipitate synthesis ritual.)

The planetary lens ritual is simple; let's do that next. Since the lenses are in the Opticks Annex, I'll do the ritual there.

> find java. take it. find silver coin. take it. go to annex.

Opticks Annex

> recall planetary lens ritual.

> put silver coin on shelf. put concave in bound. say simple.

> say essential. pour java on concave. put convex on concave. say celestial.

> take lens. x it. look through it. go to main store.

Main Store

There's only one real use for the planetary lens: to unlock this safe. Still, you can examine anything in the game through the lens to see its planetary associations, if any. See the list of planetary associations if you're curious.

> look at ctesc's hand through lens. look at safe through lens. (You learn the store safe combination fact from either action.)

> set safe to libra. set safe to ophiuchus. set safe to taurus. set safe to scorpio.

> x orichalcum. take orichalcum.

Next: use the aura impermeability inscription on ourselves so we can scoot past the aura cloud menace in the Medical hallway.

> find rotor card. take it.

> find long quartz. take it. find citronelle. take it. go to nave.

Nave

Note: We know that the rainbow is spiritual from the spirtual environment fact, and that citronelle is strengthening from the lecture on aromas fact.

> recall aura impermeability ritual.

> turn rotor to rainbow. put rotor on shelf. put quartz in bound. say ka.

> put orichalcum in bound. say anaphylaxis. open citronelle. say antipathy.

> close citronelle. take quartz. e. s.

Medical Wing Hallway

The aura impermeability effect is very brief, just one turn.

> touch quartz to me. s.

Medical Wing

You'll need to find another way past the aura cloud on the way out, but fortunately, everything you need is here or in the adjacent workroom. Careful not to go west; that's yet another entrance to the Void.

We learn from the aeroclave description that elemental air dissolves anything organic. (Although, sadly, elemental air does not dissolve the otherworldly coral.) Try not to dissolve yourself with it.

> x aeroclave. x hose. x knob. x tank. x valve. x gong.

> x scalpel. take it. x eucalyptus. take it.

> put scalpel in aeroclave. close aeroclave. turn knob.

> open aeroclave. take scalpel. x it. e.

Medical Workroom

> x workbench. x mold. take it. x bubble. take it.

> x ragged sheet. (You learn the prophylactic scalpel inscription ritual. How apt.)

> x narrow sheet. (You learn the Major Animus formula.)

Inscribe that scalpel!

> recall prophylactic scalpel ritual.

> put scalpel in bound. open eucalyptus. say ka.

> say essential. close eucalyptus. say antipathy.

> take scalpel. w.

Medical Wing

Don't forget to get some elemental air on the way out.

> put bubble on needle. hit gong. wave scalpel. n.

Medical Wing Hallway

At soon as you pass the weakened aura cloud, the gong's sound fades and the cloud regains its former strength and menace. It's clear that you can only visit the Medical Wing once per game-iteration.

You can use the e-air to remove the gunk from the cabinet here, so let's do that.

> pour air on cabinet. open cabinet.

> x dull sheet. (You learn the lodestone of centrality creation ritual and the Mithraic Sealing formula.)

> x glossy sheet. (You learn the aura imitation inscription (with quartz) ritual.)

And we can use the scalpel on the white-fuse cords.

> go to junior.

Junior Quarters

Yes, yes, it'd be much cooler to use e-fire as we're supposed to do, but this works too, and I obtained the scalpel first. Feel free to burn the fuse with e-fire in another game-iteration.

> cut fuse. open locker. x lesson sheet. (You learn the glass permeability inscription ritual.)

> go to exoscaphe hull.

Exoscaphe

> cut fuse. open cabinet. x creased sheet. (You learn the metal attractor inscription ritual.)

> x plain sheet. (You learn the clock tincture synthesis ritual and the Sealing of Shamash formula.)

Now use that Aithery mold by remelting the lead.

> make fire potion. go to kiln.

Pyrics Lab

> drink potion. put aithery mold in kiln. put lead seal on aithery mold.

> take aithery mold. go to deck suite.

Deck Suite

> unlock cabinet with aithery seal. open cabinet.

> x folded sheet. (You learn the Mediate Anima formula and the Relative Anima formula.)

> x ripped sheet. (You learn the lead weight increase inscription ritual.)

What's next? Let's make the breath-holding potion so we can explore the garden pool and the arcade's flooded crawlway.

> find kelp. take it. find paten. take it. find saline. take it.

> find elemental wood. take it. find lighter. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall breath-holding ritual.

> open kelp. put paten on shelf. put saline in bound. say simple.

> say anodyne. put elemental wood on paten. light it with lighter.

> say elementary binding.

> close kelp. take all from shelf. x potion.

Going underwater can damage some stuff, so I'm dropping things now. Unfortunately, the bundle of paper can't be dropped, and it will be destroyed by immersion.

> drop all but potion, oculus, lens. go to garden.

Paper Garden

> drink potion. d.

Garden Pool

> d.

Bottom of Shaft

> move mud. read slab. (You learn the word of emulgence formula.)

> u. make breath potion. go to arcade.

Scaphe Arcade

> drink potion. d.

Arcade Crawlspace, Flooded

> take chime. s.

Observatory Crawlspace, Flooded

> u.

Observatory

> open door. x dome. x bridge. x ladder. x counterweight.

> x compass. x elemental water. s.

Observatory Alcove, South

> x machine. x sphere. x dial. x slot. x tin slip.

> x coarse sheet. (You learn the viridigris synthesis ritual and the Phlogistical Catalysis formula.)

> x delicate sheet. (You learn the sublime spirit synthesis ritual.)

Let's see... we could make e-fire, then use the e-fire to make sublime spirit. Then use e-earth and e-water to make perfect mud. Then use the spirit and mud to make the clock tincture, which we could use on this machine! Sounds like a plan.

> find gold rod. take it. go to kiln.

Pyrics Lab

The main difficulty with the gold ignition is getting the blackwood to ignite. It turns out that the wood splinters burn at different temperatures; this can be discovered by lighting them all and noting the flame colour and quality. (And, frankly, this is difficult to discover if you assume that the game's model of fire is the much more common binary model of burning or not-burning. You have to play around with the materials, unprompted, and be observant.)

Of all the woods other than blackwood, the winter-oak burns the hottest, so we have to light the blackwood with burning winter-oak.

> recall gold ignition.

> put gold rod in crock. take blackwood and winter-oak.

> light winter-oak. light blackwood with it. blow winter-oak.

> put blackwood in crock. e. take lump. w.

> put lump in crock. close crock. z. z. open crock.

> take gold rod. x it.

For sublime spirit...

> go to mech lab.

Mechanica Lab

> put nickel rod in drawer. turn crank. take nickel wire.

> go to chymic lab.

Chymic Lab

> recall sublime spirit ritual.

> put mineral oil in retort. put nickel wire in retort. say hermetic.

> say entension. put fire in retort.

> x spirit. x gold.

For perfect mud (and may I say what a concept that is)...

> find elemental earth. take it. find elemental water. take it.

> go to retort.

> recall perfect mud ritual.

> put sand in retort. say hermetic. say crystalline.

> put earth in retort. say entension. put water in retort. say emulgence.

> x mud.

And now for clock tincture...

> find alum. take it. find thick key. take it. find brass pin. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> look at thick key through oculus. (This is how I know the key is "orderly".)

> recall clock tincture ritual.

> put thick key on shelf. put alum in bound. say shamash.

> pour mud into beaker. say counterbalance. pour sublime into beaker.

> put pin in beaker. say major animus.

> x tincture. take key. go to calculator.

Observatory Alcove, South

> pour tincture on machine. (You learn the ephemeris billet combination: zeta, rho, pi, omicron, iota, pi, beta, mu.)

> x billet.

We're running out of rare ingredients, but we can still make bamuriatic acid and electrum regium before resetting.

> find vitriol. take it. find saline. take it. find fluorspar. take it.

> go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall bamuriatic ritual.

> put vitriol in retort. put fluorspar in retort. say hermetic.

> turn on burner. z. z. z. (The fluorspar must be completely dissolved,)

> turn off burner. say entension. put saline in retort. say culmination.

> x bamuriatic. put it in rack.

> go to materials store.

Materials Store

> take platinum wire. take moon-metal rod. e.

Mechanica Lab

> put moon in drawer. turn crank. take moon. x it.

> put platinum in splicer. put moon in splicer. turn wheel.

> x electrum.

Right. That's been a long run, but all good things come to an end. I now plan to make several short runs to visit each of the dragon nests.

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

Barosy first, since we can just use the clock tincture again, this time on the brass lock. Then we should make the billet manually, so we don't need the tincture for that again.

> make oculus. make clock tincture. go to stair bottom.

Grand Stair, Bottom

> pour tincture on lock. e.

Barosy

This is the nest of the dragon Baros.

> x dragon. (You learn the lecture on the theory of dragons fact.)

> recall dragons. (Learning about Syndesis's function explains a bit more what the marcher is. The rooms and hallways of the marcher weren't built as one big construct, but as separate pieces. They're not physically adjacent to each other, but alchemically adjacent because of Syndesis!)

> look at baros through oculus. (Gravity is unstable in two places.)

> x slabs. look at slabs through oculus.

> touch runes. x fragment. (You learn the transition echo fragment.)

Barosy Crevice

> n. (Gravity is too heavy to go north. The casual comment that the "passage must run through the terrain of a high-gravity land" suggests to me that not only are the rooms of the marcher not physically adjacent, they are even on different planets!)

> go to calculator.

Observatory Alcove, South

> recall billet combo.

> set dial to zeta. set dial to rho. set dial to pi. set dial to omicron.

> set dial to iota. set dial to pi. set dial to beta. set dial to mu.

> x billet. x sphere.

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

Let's visit Pneuma in the center of the paper maze next. We'll need the lodestone of centrality. And while we have that lodestone, we might try it in the confusing cracks as well. Hm, we'll need to synthesize viridigris first, though.

> make oculus. find orichalcum. open safe. take rod. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall viridigris ritual.

> put orichalcum in retort. put vinegar in retort. say hermetic.

> turn on burner. z. z. say phlogistical catalysis.

> x viridigris

Gather up the rest of the ingredients...

> find earth shard. take it.

> perform gold ignition. find silk cord. take it.

> find tile. take it. find h chime. take it. take sandstone.

> go to nave.

Nave

By the way, we know that the H chime is in the mode of recension because of the music theory fact, and that all rocks are "earthy" by examining them through the oculus.

> recall lodestone of centrality ritual.

> put sandstone on shelf. put tile on shelf. put silk in bound.

> say mithraic. pour viridigris on silk. put earth on silk. hit h chime.

> put fire on tile. say minor animus.

> take centrality. x it. take all from shelf. go to garden.

Paper Garden

> e.

Lost in Paper Maze

> wave centrality.

Paper Maze, Center

This is the nest of the dragon Pneuma.

> x dragon. look at dragon through oculus. (Note that air pumps to airlock and exoscaphe bay have no power.)

> x fragment. (You learn the soul mirroring fragment fact.)

> x screens. d.

Garden Crawlway

> x fracture. s. (You can't go south. Heavy gravity again. This is obviously the north end of the passage we saw at Barosy Crevice.)

> go to cracks.

Confusing Cracks

> wave centrality. (Darn. We're already at the center of the "maze", so this lodestone isn't helpful here.)

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

This time, I want to use aura invisibility to get past the Birdhouse door. But we'll need to make copper percalcinate first; combine the info we learned from the calcination fact and percalcination fact.

> make oculus. go to main. open safe. take rod. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall calcination. recall percalcination fact.

> put muriatic in retort. put orichalcum in retort.

> turn on burner. z. z. z. z. z. z. z. ("Heat until green salt crystallizes.")

> say hermetic. say crystalline. put muriatic in retort.

> z. z. z. (Heat "until a second crystallization".)

> x percalcinate. make sublime spirit.

> find rotor. take it. find long quartz. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall aura invisibility ritual.

> turn rotor to rainbow. put rotor on shelf. put quartz in bound. say ka.

> pour percalcinate on quartz. say idempotent.

> pour sublime on quartz. say elementary.

> take quartz. take rotor. go to stair top.

Grand Stair, Top

> touch quartz to me. w.

Birdhouse

This is the nest of the dragon Syndesis.

> x dragon. look at dragon through oculus. (Note that the four most damaged linkages are where you found doors to other hostile lands behind the fractures.)

> x fragment. (You learn the vibration technique fragment fact.)

> x pylons. x pylons through oculus. climb pylons. x flagstone. d.

Birdhouse Crawl

There's nothing new whatsoever to examine here. Of course, my first thought is "why did the author add this location?"

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

The fourth dragon is in the Aithery above the Observatory. We'll need to use the lead weight increase inscription to move the lead counterweight, and for that, we'll need to synthesize Gaian precipitate.

> make oculus. find vitriol. take it. take alum.

> find earth shard. take it.

> go to main. open safe. take rod. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall gaian precipitate ritual.

> put vitriol in retort. put orichalcum in retort. say hermetic.

> turn on burner. z. z. z. (Orichalcum should be dissolved.)

> say symmetric. put alum in retort. put earth in retort.

> x gaian.

Collect the other lead increase ingredients.

> find horn coin. take it. find sandstone. take it.

> find rosemary. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall lead ritual.

> put horn coin on shelf. put sandstone in bound. say simple.

> wave rosemary. say essential nature.

> pour gaian on sandstone. say celestial.

> take sandstone. take horn coin. go to observatory.

Observatory

> put sandstone on counterweight. x weight. x ladder. u.

Aithery

This is the nest of the dragon Aistheta.

> x dragon. x dragon through oculus. (Note the snarls in the paper maze and confusing cracks.)

> x fragment. (You learn the echo vibration fragment fact.)

> x dome. touch it. x it through oculus.

Hmm. The dragons have been interesting, and the paper fragments in their nests have been bewildering, and we've performed more rituals, but it doesn't feel like this is helping us progress much.

Hmmmm. Lead weight increase won't help us open the heavy lead Storage Nook hatch, but can we modify the ritual somehow?

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

Some of the formulae were learned in pairs: Mediate Anima and Relative Anima; symmetric and antisymmetric; isomorphic and idempotent. Can we swap one for its sibling in a ritual?

The lead weight increase inscription ritual doesn't contain such a formula, but "symmetric" appears in the Gaian precipitate synthesis ritual. Let's perform an "antisymmetric" variant.

> make oculus. find vitriol. take it. take alum.

> find earth shard. take it.

> go to main. open safe. take rod. go to retort.

Chymic Lab

> recall gaian precipitate ritual.

> put vitriol in retort. put orichalcum in retort. say hermetic.

> turn on burner. z. z. z. (Orichalcum should be dissolved.)

> say antisymmetric. put alum in retort. put earth in retort.

> x counter-gaian.

Wow. Counter-Gaian precipitate. Collect the other ingredients, and perform the lead ritual again, but this time with the new counter-Gaian precipitate.

> find horn coin. take it. find sandstone. take it.

> find rosemary. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall lead ritual.

> put horn coin on shelf. put sandstone in bound. say simple.

> wave rosemary. say essential nature.

> pour counter-gaian on sandstone. say celestial.

> take sandstone. take horn coin. go to storage nook.

Storage Nook

> put sandstone on hatch. open hatch.

> read flimsy sheet. (You learn the granite solvent synthesis ritual.)

> read singed sheet. (You learn the fire-devourer synthesis ritual and the Greater Phlogistical Saturation.)

Okay, that's more like it. The fire-devourer should get rid of that inferno in the burning hall, and the solvent ritual, when modified, should help us get past both the marble door at North Arcade and the obsidian door at Burning Hall East.

And since solvent synthesis needs the elemental earth (that we used for the counter-Gaian precipitate), we'll have to...

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

From the periodic table of stone fact, we know that obsidian and marble are symbolic opposites. So we'll need the obsidian chip to make marble solvent.

> make oculus. find earth shard. take it.

> find obsidian chip. take it. make bamuriatic.

Chymic Lab

> recall solvent ritual.

> put muriatic in retort. put bamuriatic in retort. say hermetic.

> put earth in retort. say anaphylaxis.

> put obsidian in retort. say antipathy.

> x solvent. go to arcade. n.

North Arcade

> pour solvent on door. n.

Dressing Room

> x suits. (Sadly, the suits are useless to you without their helmets.)

> x greasy sheet. (You learn the yang oil synthesis ritual.)

In case you've forgotten, yang oil is an ingredient in the electrum phlogistication ritual, which you still can't do yet because you need the platinum wire for both the catalytic environment and the electrum regium rod itself.

Let's continue with our plan to get through the obsidian door.

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

This time, we're making obsidian solvent, so we'll need the marble chip.

> make oculus. find earth shard. take it.

> find marble chip. take it. make bamuriatic.

Chymic Lab

> recall solvent ritual.

> put muriatic in retort. put bamuriatic in retort. say hermetic.

> put earth in retort. say anaphylaxis.

> put marble in retort. say antipathy.

> x solvent.

Now you may be thinking we can drink another fire-resistance potion, walk through the inferno, and pour the solvent on the obsidian door, but that won't work. Vials and flasks tend to explode in the inferno's heat, including the solvent vial. You must use the fire-devourer to get rid of the inferno first.

> find alcohol. take it. find ginger. take it.

> perform gold ignition. take cedar. take maple. e.

Pyrics Store

All wood is "fiery", and the firebrick bound itself is "fiery"; you can learn this by using the oculus. You will need at least two wood on the shelf.

> recall fire-devourer ritual.

> open ginger. put cedar on shelf. put maple on shelf. put alcohol in bound.

> say phlegmatic. (If the arc glows crimson, you're good. If it's orange, you don't have enough fiery stuff.)

> light beaker with fire. say greater.

> close ginger. take devourer. x it. go to burning hall.

Burning Hall West

> put devourer on inferno.

Charred Hall West

> x ash. take ash. drop ash. e.

Charred Hall East

> pour solvent on door. e.

Antechamber

> look through oculus. x puce spark. (You learn the lecture on aither poisoning fact.)

> x neat sheet. (You learn the emergency dragon subsumption fact.)

> x faded sheet. (You learn the dragon fulcrum inscription ritual.)

> x fracture. x gate. look through gate.

> x gate through oculus. (You learn the Chancel defensive stricture fact.)

Okay, that gate's a problem. We almost certainly need to use one of the aura imitation inscriptions to get past it, but to use either inscription, we have to be able to touch a high-ranking officer with our inscribed token, but everyone else is missing or trapped in those bizarre fractures.

We could try playing around with the chimes to get the metal attractor and glass permeability inscriptions, but that won't help us much right now. The only flat planes of glass that we might want to walk through are at North Arcade and at Portico, and neither the Exoscaphe Bay nor the Hadean Land on the other sides of those windows has any breathable air.

We can also make an aluminum permeability inscription, but there's no aluminum wall in the marcher. I don't know what metal the mesh screen in the Nave is made from, but it's not aluminum.

We could make other solvents, using any of the other stone chips or quartz crystals in the ritual, but there's no obvious application for any of them.

Recalling each of our uncompleted rituals, note that we have a "sense of urgency" about the Great Marriage ritual that we didn't have before. This is our far-too-subtle hint that we need to attempt Great Marriage. Even though we don't know how to "invoke the Dragon".

(Yes, I got stuck here, not realizing that I had to attempt a ritual that I didn't know all the steps for. Like, honestly.)

> reset.


First Great Marriage

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Secondary Alchemy Lab

> save. (SPOILER ALERT: Any ritual that uses all Four Elements might, just might, change the status quo.)

About those Four Elements: we mean the Western elements (fire, earth, water, and air). Elemental wood is part of the Eastern tradition where they have Five Elements.

Hopefully, it's obvious that the "Signifier of the Marcher's Location" will be the ephemeris billet.

> take rosemary. find earth shard. take it.

> find elemental air. take bubble. w. fill bubble with air.

> find elemental water. take it.

> make billet. perform gold ignition.

> go to nave.

Nave

> recall great marriage.

> put thick key on shelf. say marcher's.

> put billet on shelf. wave rosemary.

> put earth in bound. put fire in bound.

> put water in bound. put air in bound.

Various impossible effects happen outside the bound: the black marks are moving, the walls are creaking, and...

*** You awaken again ***


Dragons and Aliens

Mechanica Lab

The game takes a bit more initiative than usual, taking us as far as using the fungicide on the moldy door, so we might notice a fresh sheet of paper here that's completely new.

> x fresh sheet. (You learn the homunculus definition fact.)

> make oculus.

Pyrics Store

(I'm sure I originally made the oculus in the Opticks Annex, but the game chose to use the Pyrics bound here for its ritual.)

> w. s. w. w.

Lab Wing Hallway

Lt. Anderes is now here! Still frozen in place, but not inside a fracture. (As we'll discover, all four of the crew that we've seen have changed locations.)

> x anderes. e. n.

Main Store

Ensign Ctesc is gone, but oddly, his shadow is in the fracture instead.

> x shadow. x shadow through oculus. (You see words instead of a shadow? The words criticize Ctesc, that his eagerness for alchemical knowledge may make him do dangerous things, and that he's already obtained textbooks that he's not ready for.)

We should see if Anderes left a shadow behind too.

> go to secondary. d.

Secondary Lab Crawlspace

> x shadow through oculus. (You see words criticizing Anderes, accussing her of stealing large quantities of rare and valuable reagents.)

Fascinating, but we should see what the heck happened to the Nave.

> go to nave.

Nave

Two changes: the black marks have been replaced with a silver scribble—the homunculus—and a crawlspace has opened up.

Alas, the Chancel mesh is as intact as ever.

> x scribble. x scribble through oculus. d.

Nave Crawlway

> look through oculus. x lavender spark. (You learn the vacuum-resistance synthesis ritual.)

> x highlime. x debris. search it. u. w. w.

Scaphe Arcade

The Captain is here. Note also that the scribble follows you, although it won't (or can't) follow you into crawlways, exoscaphe, or airlock. Nor will it follow you out where the chasm is.

Oddly, when the scribble is in the same location as a frozen crewmember, you hear that crewmember's inner voice say something. In this case, you hear Captain Hart ask, "How can I clear out that crawlway without alerting anyone?"

> x captain. touch captain. e. n. n.

Officer Country

> x shadow through oculus. (These words seem to be from a report (by "N") critical of the captain's conduct. It claims the captain is "fraternizing" with one of her officers and changing the duty roster to no good purpose.)

> e.

Deck Suite

Ensign Ctesc is here. You hear his voice say "How can I get those books from the Rector's quarters?" in the scribble's presence.

> x ctesc. go to stair top.

Grand Stair, Top

The scribble seems pulled towards the Birdhouse door. In fact, it's attracted to any of the dragons.

> x shadow through oculus. (The revealed words are from a report by "M", critical of Lt. Powes. M believes Powes is deliberately contaminating reagents, possibly so someone else will take the blame.)

> e.

Burning Hall West

Lt. Powes is now here. His voice says, "How can I ensure that the blame falls as it should?" in the scribble's presence.

> x powes. (He's either looking at the inferno or the obsidian door down the hall. You can't tell which.)

> go to anderes.

Lab Wing Hallway

Anderes' voice says "How can I get the stuff out without being seen?" in the scribble's presence.

Well. The crew's inner voices seem to confirm that every criticism that their shadow words have leveled against them are justified, even if the exact details of their misdemeanors are maddeningly vague. And you can't really do anything about any of it either.

So, ignore that backstory for now and consider which dragon to escort the scribble to. Since you know about dragon subsumption, you should be able to guess that you'll restore one dragon who will subsume the other three. Which dragon you choose to be the mega-dragon is pretty much up to you.

There's a teensy problem with choosing Syndesis as the big boss which I'll get into later, so I'm gonna choose Aistheta instead. The story details change slightly as a result of this choice, so you might want to save here in case you want to make another choice.

> save. go to aithery room.

Aithery

> z. z. (Scribble and Aistheta merge and you...)

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

From now on, you'll automatically make your way from the Secondary Alchemy Lab to the Nave on a reset. And look, there's another new fresh sheet of paper to examine.

> x fresh sheet. (You learn the dragon reanimation attempt fact and the Dracon Invocation formula.)

Let's see what happened to Aistheta...

> make oculus. go to aithery room.

Aithery

> x dragon. x dragon through oculus. (The garden maze and cracks by the chasm have been realigned.)

> d. e. e.

Paper Maze, Interior

The maze isn't really a maze any more. We can reach Pneuma easily now.

> e. go to cracks.

Confusing Cracks

The cracks are no longer so confusing. We can go west or east.

> e.

Dead End Pit

> look through oculus. x hyacinth spark. (You learn the shadow comment fact.)

> x jade bead.

Better check on the crew, see if any of them have changed.

> go to captain.

Scaphe Arcade

Captain Hart has moved again! And her shadow is now here.

> x shadow through oculus. (The Captain's shadow message is unchanged.)

> go to powes.

Burning Hall West

Powes has moved again too. His shadow is now here.

> go to ctesc.

Deck Suite

Mm-hm. Ctesc gone; replaced with his shadow.

> go to anderes.

Lab Wing Hallway

Anderes too, is missing, replaced with her shadow. Well, let's find them.

> s.

Library

How do you feel about Ensign Ctesc? Examine him to change your perspective from disapproval to understanding and back again.

> x Ctesc. g. n. e. e.

Lab Hall Northeast

How do you feel about Captain Hart? Examine her to change your perspective from disapproval to understanding and back again.

> x captain. g. n.

Pyrics Lab

How do you feel about Lt. Powes? Examine him to change your perspective from disapproval to understanding and back again.

> x Powes. g. s. s. w. s.

Mechanica Lab

How do you feel about Lt. Anderes? Examine her to change your perspective from disapproval to understanding and back again.

> x Anderes. g.

How to proceed? We can't do any dragon subsumption without a dragon fulcrum, and we can't make a fulcrum without quicksilver.

We could attempt to get into the Chancel now, but we'd have to reset to get the e-earth and orichalcum back that I kinda wasted revisiting the Aithery.

But we should be able to perform the metal attractor, the glass impermeability, and the vacuum-resistance rituals, then visit the Exoscaphe Bay and the Hadean Land we're moored at.

> go to arcade. drop all. d. take b chime. u. take all.

> find horn coin. take it. find lighter. take it.

> find zafranum. take it. go to nave.

Nave

If you recall music theory, a B chime is associated with bronze, so this inscription will let us attract bronze objects.

> recall metal attractor ritual.

> put horn coin on shelf. put b chime in bound. say simple.

> pour zafranum on b chime. burn zafranum. say resonant.

> hit b chime. say mediate anima.

> take b chime. take horn coin. go to chasm. s.

Chasm Rubble

> hit b chime. (The F-sharp chime is yours!)

> find brass coin. take it. find sand. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall glass permeability ritual.

> put brass coin on shelf. put f-sharp in bound. say simple.

> pour sand on f-sharp. say resonant. hit f-sharp. say relative.

> take f-sharp. take brass coin. d. take highlime.

> find kelp. take it. find saline. take it. go to nave.

> recall vacuum resistance ritual.

> open kelp. pour saline in bound. say phlegmatic.

> pour highlime in beaker. say anodyne. say greater.

> x vacuum. drink it. close kelp.

> drop all but oculus and f-sharp. (Vacuum will destroy flasks, vials, and the lighter, if you're not careful.)

> w. w. n.

North Arcade

> hit f-sharp. put it in window. w.

Exoscaphe Bay

CAUTION: Don't take the f-sharp chime from this side. Its permeability inscription will fade and you'll be trapped here, with no option except to reset.

> x brittle sheet. (You learn the Name of the Tortoise formula.)

> x exoscaphe. x dome. x roof. x doors. x dark.

> climb exoscaphe. open doors. e.

North Arcade

> take f-sharp. perform glass permeability. go to portico.

Portico

> hit f-sharp. put it in window. e.

Hadean Plain

> x airlock. look through peephole. x window.

> x marcher. x dust. take dust. drop it. ne.

Hadean Land, in Canyon

> x opening. x metal shape. x stars. x mountains. se.

Hadean Land, at Wreck

> x wreck. x debris. x door. x knot. (You learn the first alien glyph formula.)

> x arc. x mercury. take mercury.

> pour mercury on arc.

How unusual. May I check something back inside the marcher, please?

> go to main store. s.

Lab Hall Northwest

> x marks. (You learn the radix access pattern formula, a.k.a. "the passage of the root".)

> go to stair bottom.

Grand Stair, Bottom

> x marks. (You learn the alien fluid resonator switch fact.)

Somehow, the sight of the alien glyph unlocked our mind and made it receptive to understanding what these black marks mean. And together, they tell us how to activate something on the alien wreck.

That's... Are aliens guiding us, somehow, then? And if they are, isn't this a rather roundabout approach? And how does the attempt to copy a multidimensional structure into the dragon fulcrum ritual description fit into all this; did any of the senior officers already make contact with the aliens, whoever they are?

And while I'm ranting, where did the fresh pages come from? Why can't we read any books? What truths were hinted at by the paper fragments in the dragons' nests? What's really going on?

Reel it in, Ensign Forsyth. Get on with your task.

> go to wreck.

Hadean Land, at Wreck

> say radix access. x black oil. take it. x it through oculus.

> x knot. (You learn the second alien glyph formula and the maze column indicator fact.)

> go to cracks.

Confusing Cracks

> pour black oil on column. se.

Dead End Passage

> x marks. (You learn the caudex access pattern formula, a.k.a. "the passage of the spine".)

> nw. go to wreck.

Hadean Land, at Wreck

> say caudex access. (Drat. No effect. I think we need the mercury circle back, which means we need to...)

> reset.

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> go to wreck.

Hadean Land, at Wreck

> take mercury. put it in arc. say caudex access. e.

Strange Airlock

> x knot. (You learn the third alien glyph function and the crawlway debris item fact.)

> x circle. say radix access. (The inner door opens and the outer door closes, but there's something wrong about the space to the north. If you head north, you'll get aither poisoning and reset.)

> say caudex access. (The inner door closes and the outer door opens, and you feel better again.)

> go to nave. d.

Nave Crawl

> search debris. x dirty sheet. (You learn the aither-resistance synthesis ritual.)

Hm. We can't really make use of that yet. It needs zafranum, but we used up the zafranum for the metal attractor inscription.

Since we seem to have hit a dead-end on the alien wreck front for now, let's try to enter the Chancel. And because we wouldn't have access to the jade bead if we'd chosen any other dragon to fix, I'll use the aura imitation inscription (with quartz) ritual to bypass the Chancel gate.

> make fire-devourer. make obsidian solvent.

> make copper percalcinate. find elemental water. take it.

> find rotor. take it. find long quartz. take it.

> go to nave.

Nave

> recall aura quartz ritual.

> turn rotor to rainbow. put it on shelf. put quartz in bound. say ka.

> pour percalcinate on quartz. say isomorphic.

> pour water on quartz. say elementary.

> take quartz. go to captain.

Lab Hall Northeast

> touch quartz to captain. go to antechamber.

Antechamber

> touch quartz to me. n.

Chancel

> x crisp sheet. (You learn the Grendel's Sealing formula.)

> x bound. x screen.

A bit anticlimactic, but at least that's another door unlocked. Unfortunately, it seems like another dead end. However, now that we know Grendel's Sealing and where to get mercury from, we can now attempt to make the dragon fulcrum.

> reset.

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> go to wreck. take mercury. go to materials store.

Materials Store

> put mercury in groove. (It won't stay put.)

Guess we'll need to make an amalgam. You could mix mercury with orichalcum to make a red amalgam, but it's too brittle to be drawn into wire. Instead, mix the mercury with lead to make a white amalgam.

(Alternatively, you make gold amalgam wire by putting mercury on the gold wire, but it's a horrible waste of the phlogisticated gold rod.)

> find lead rod. take it. go to mech lab.

Mechanica Lab

> put mercury on lead. x amalgam. put it in drawer. turn crank.

> take wire. find vitriol. take it. find granite. take it.

Materials Store

If you try to use the Dracon Invocation after the vitriol, you're told "the words are not true" and the ritual will fail at its conclusion. Instead, use one of the alien glyphs.

> recall dragon fulcrum ritual.

> put white amalgam wire in groove. put granite in bound.

> say grendel's. pour vitriol on granite.

> say first glyph. say relative.

Since the way to Pneuma's nest is easy, I'm putting the fulcrum there. But don't bring the active dragon, Aistheta, to where the fulcrum is! If you do, the operation will fail, the game will reset, and you'll have to try again.

> take granite. go to maze center. drop granite. go to nave.

Nave

Perform the emergency subsumption as described, and the active dragon will devour the inactive one. However, if you choose to replace "symmetric" with "antisymmetric" here, the active dragon will feed itself to the inactive one, making the latter active instead.

> recall emergency.

> put thick key on shelf. say marcher's.

> say symmetric. say dracon.

Aistheta arrives. I'll lead it to Syndesis.

(Incidentally, if you lead the active dragon to a crewmember, you'll again hear their voice say the same lines in the dragon's presence as they did in the scribble's presence.)

> go to birdhouse. z. z.

Aistheta eats Syndesis, and...

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> make oculus. go to aithery room.

Aithery

> x dragon through oculus. (Note that patches have been made to Syndesis's associations. You'll want to visit each of those.)

> go to secondary lab.

Secondary Alchemy Lab

> x door. close door. (The door is open, goes to the hall as it should, and is unclosable.)

> go to chymic lab.

Chymic Lab

> x door. close door. (Same deal: open and unclosable.)

> go to opticks lab. e.

Opticks Closet

> x bubble. (The dusty bubble is just like the scratched bubble in the medical workroom.)

> go to deck suite. n.

Master-at-Arms Quarters

> x bunk. x flint key. take it. go to stair bottom.

Grand Stair, Bottom

> unlock gate with flint key. e.

Barosy

Great. We now have an easy way in here, without needing the clock tincture. Hm. Best check if any of the crew has moved.

> go to captain.

Lab Hall Northeast

She's gone again. What about the others?

> go to ctesc. go to powes. go to anderes.

No, only the captain moved with Syndesis's subsumption. And I think she's in the Birdhouse, and we sorta need the orichalcum back to get in there.

> reset.

Void

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> go to birdhouse.

Birdhouse

Syndesis, of course, isn't here, but the Captain is. Again, your prespective on the Captain changes between sympathy and disapproval.

> x captain. g. g. make oculus. w. s.

Lab Hall Northeast

> x shadow through oculus. (Gasp! Captain Hart has been having an affair with Ensign Ctesc!)

> perform fulcrum. (Oddly, this only got me as far as getting the mercury. It seems the game doesn't remember if you've learned how to make the white amalgam rod.)

> find lead rod. put mercury on lead. make white wire.

> perform fulcrum. (Okay, that worked, using the second glyph.)

> go to birdhouse.

Birdhouse

> drop granite. go to nave.

Nave

The emergency subsumption isn't officially a ritual, so we can't use perform to do it in one step.

> recall emergency.

> put thick key on shelf. say marcher's.

> say symmetric. say dracon.

Aistheta arrives. I'll lead it to Baros this time.

> go to barosy. z. z.

Aistheta eats Baros, and...

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> make oculus. go to barosy.

Barosy

Lt. Powes is here. Again, your perspective shifts when you examine him.

> x Powes. g.

While we're here and Baros is subsumed, check the crawlway.

> n. n.

Garden Crawlway

The crawlway between Barosy and Maze is now traversable; the heavy gravity is gone. Let's check out the chasm bridge, where we also had gravity problems.

> go to chasm. s. s. w. w.

Deep Lab

> x bound. x bound through oculus. x flowstone. x it through oculus.

Let's not forget to check Powes's shadow.

> go to pyrics lab.

Pyrics Lab

> x shadow through oculus. (We learn that Powes was targeting Ctesc, deliberately contaminating the reagents that Ctesc would use, after learning about Ctesc's illegal alchemy rituals!)

> find mercury. take it. find lead rod. take it.

> put mercury on lead. perform fulcrum. (Using the third glyph.)

> go to aithery room. drop granite. go to nave.

Nave

> recall emergency.

> put thick key on shelf. say marcher's.

> say symmetric. say dracon.

Aistheta arrives.

> go to barosy.

Barosy

In the active dragon's presence, we hear Powes's voice say that Ctesc has had so many accidents that he'll be banned from the lab after a few more.

> go to maze center.

Paper Maze, Center

> z. z.

Aistheta eats Pneuma, and...

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

> make oculus. go to maze center.

Paper Maze, Center

Lt. Anderes is now here. Your perspective changes when you examine her.

> x Anderes. g. go to mech lab.

Mechanica Lab

> x shadow through oculus (We learn that not only was Anderes stealing rare reagents and selling them illegally, but also Ctsec was helping her in exchange for access to restricted alchemy texts.)

Geez. Ctsec was involved in this too? Amazing how much trouble one ensign can get into. Meanwhile, we need to check if the air pumps that Pneuma controlled are now fixed.

> go to arcade.

Scaphe Arcade

It took ages for me to remember this wheel was here. With all the other information to keep track of, I totally forget about this valve wheel.

> turn wheel. w. u.

Exoscaphe Dome

> x dessicated sheet. (You learn the perfect diamond creation ritual and the perfect diamond substitution fact.)

> x thin key. take it. x controls. x dome. x roof.

> go to pyrics lab. s. e.

Tertiary Alchemy Lab

> x dais. x it through oculus. x distillate. x nickel.

Cool. We now have a way to do catalytic rituals without needing platinum wire, which means we can now perform the electrum phlogistication ritual.

And, the anti-Tellurian distillate probably works exactly like counter-Gaian precipitate, so we can use either for the lead weight decrease inscription ritual.

Furthermore, the vial of shaved nickel would be useful for the sublime spirit synthesis ritual.

Lots of rituals I want to do, but first I want to make sure the airlock now works.

> make vacuum potion. drink it. go to airlock.

Airlock

CAUTION: Do double check you're not carrying stuff that will be destroyed by exposure to vacuum.

> close inner door. pull lever. n.

Okay, so now we can visit the wreck without walking through the portico window, so we no longer need the f-sharp chime with the glass permeability inscription, which means we don't need to perform the metal attractor ritual to get the f-sharp chime off the precarious slab, which means the orange zafranum is available for the aither-resistance potion. Oo, let's make that.

> find zafranum. take it. find lighter. take it.

> find salt. take it. go to nave.

Nave

I'm assuming the kelp and saline are still here from the last potion ritual.

> recall aither ritual.

> open kelp. pour saline in bound. say hermetic.

> put zafranum in bound. burn it with lighter. say anodyne.

> put salt on shelf. say chi binding.

> close kelp. take salt. drop salt and lighter.

> x potion. drink it. go to wreck. e. n.

Bent Chamber

> e.

Ruined Hallway

> x window. break window.

Uh-oh. We have another window we need to walk through, so we'll need the f-sharp chime again after all... but we can't perform the metal attractor ritual since we used up the zafranum for the aither-resistance potion. Looks like we need to find a new way to obtain the f-sharp chime.

And no, you can't just sidestep the issue by examining the window through the convex lens. The lens may make things look bigger, but not big enough to make any difference. But nice try.

The new way to get the f-sharp chime is by using the counterweight and clever use of the lead weight inscriptions.

> perform lead increase. make dispersal brush.

> go to observatory.

Observatory

> put granite on counterweight. wipe counterweight with brush.

Note that the chain snapped. If we made the counterweight lighter, perhaps it could be portable? You'll need the anti-Tellurian distillate for this.

> find anti. take it. go to nave.

Nave

> recall lead weight decrease.

> put horn coin on shelf. put granite in bound. say simple.

> wave rosemary. say essential.

> pour anti on granite. say celestial.

> take granite and horn coin. drop rosemary and coin.

> go to observatory.

Observatory

> put granite on counterweight. take counterweight.

> go to chasm. s.

Chasm Rubble

And, of course, we restore the counterweight to its original heaviness once it's in place.

> put counterweight on slab. wipe counterweight with brush.

> take f-sharp. perform glass ritual. go to wreck. e. n. e.

Ruined Hallway

> hit f-sharp. put it in window. n.

Ruined Chamber

> x knot. (You learn the fourth alien glyph formula and the wreck debris indicator fact.)

We need to reset to make use of the wreck debris indicator, since the polar oil is currently unaccessible. And to make the perfect diamond, we need elemental earth, which we used up for lead weight increase inscription. Here we go again.

> reset.

*** You awaken again ***

Nave

I'm so spoiled. I wanted "find polar oil. take it." to work, but it doesn't.

> go to wreck.

Hadean Land, at Wreck

Y'know, this wreck set-up is just screwy. Once the niche is open, the door can't ever be opened, except by resetting. Am I supposed to believe that aliens had to travel back in time just to get inside their own construct? Or does it make more sense that the wreck was constructed this way for my benefit, knowing full well that I'd be able to reset the world through the void? Scary thought.

> take mercury. put it on arc. take oil.

> put oil on debris. (You learn the calyx access pattern formula, aka the "flowering of knowledge".)

I guess we can talk to dragons now? Well, the one dragon we have left. However, before we do that, there's some other rituals I want to accomplish.

(I also want to note, considering how the homunculus, the dragon fulcrum inscription, and the calyx access pattern all use either use alien markings or alien formulae, I strongly suspect that aliens must have taught humans about dragons way back when.)

Gather ingredients for perfect diamond:

> find earth shard. take it. find g-flat chime. take it.

> find diamond. take it. go to deep lab.

Deep Lab

Use this stony bound for this ritual. Again, recall music theory to know which chime to use.

> recall diamond ritual.

> put diamond in bound. say phlegmatic.

> hit g-flat chime. put earth on shelf. say crystalline.

> take diamond. x it. take earth.

Gather ingredients for yang oil:

> find mineral oil. take it. find lighter. take it. find honeysuckle. take it.

> find pith. take it. take linden. go to tertiary lab.

Tertiary Alchemy Lab

Use this catalytic bound for this ritual.

The real difficulty with this ritual is getting the pith to say lit long enough; most flames consume the pith completely in an instant. It's not that you need to slow down the fire—word of entension doesn't work, soaking the pith in water doesn't work—it's that you need to use a low tempature flame. This is very similar to the problem we had with lighting the blackwood. In this case, light the pith with burning linden.

> recall yang oil ritual.

> put mineral oil in bound. say phlegmatic.

> crush honeysuckle. say essential nature. put pith in bound.

> light linden with lighter. light pith with linden.

> say phlogistical catalysis.

> blow linden. x yang oil.

Gather ingredients for electrum phlogistication:

> make electrum rod. go to tertiary lab.

> recall electrum phlogistication.

> put electrum in bound. say simple.

> pour yang oil on electrum. say elementary binding.

> take electrum. x it.

Okay, let's visit the dragon.

> go to aithery room.

Aithery

> say calyx access. look through oculus. x colorless spark. (You learn the extended status report fact and the intensional ballast inscription ritual.)

Note that the details of the extended status report are specific to the active dragon. Aistheta notes that the compass is misaligned. Baros notes that the Barosy foundation is cracked. Pneuma notes that the weather symbolism of the garden is faulty, endangering the air quality. Syndesis notes that the Birdhouse pylons are partly oxidized.

Gather ingredients for the intensional ballast:

> find zafranum. take it. find java. take it. find pin. take it.

> go to tertiary lab.

Tertiary Alchemy Lab

> recall ballast ritual. recall universal pin.

> put pin in bound. say simple. say categorical.

> pour java on pin. put zafranum on pin. say greater.

> take pin.

Right. I think we might be ready to try Great Marriage in the Chancel.

> reset.

*** You awaken again ***


Second Great Marriage

Nave

Gotta be a bit careful that we don't use up ingredients too soon. We need all Four Elements in the Chancel.

> make perfect diamond. find marble chip. take it. make bamuriatic.

Chymic Lab

Make sure you use the diamond for the solvent this time.

> recall obsidian solvent ritual.

> put muriatic in retort. put bamuriatic in retort. say hermetic.

> put diamond in retort. say anaphylaxis.

> put marble in retort. say antipathy.

Now make two elemental fires, one of which we'll use for the fire-devourer.

> perform electrum ritual. perform gold ignition.

> light electrum with gold. make fire devourer.

> go to antechamber.

Antechamber

So far, so good. Now make two elemental airs, one of which we'll use for aura imitation (with jade).

> go to closet. take bubble. perform scalpel. take bubble. w.

Medical Wing

> put dusty on needle. put scratched on needle.

> make billet. n. take water. find rosemary. take it.

Gather ingredients for the jade ritual.

> find amulet. take it. find lighter. take it.

> find jade. take it. find iron bead. take it.

> find cedar. take cedar. go to nave.

Nave

Be careful not to incinerate the wood with e-fire; specify the lighter.

> recall aura jade.

> put amulet on shelf. put iron bead in bound. put jade in bound.

> say simple. light cedar with lighter. put cedar on shelf.

> say tortoise. put dusty air on bound. say chi.

> take jade. go to barosy.

Barosy

If the Captain wasn't in the Birdhouse, I'd opt to mimic her, but Powes is always reachable and he's a high enough officer to get into the Chancel.

> touch powes with jade. go to antechamber.

Antechamber

> touch me with jade. n.

Chancel

Don't forget: we still need to make the ballast and the fulcrum, and place them. (If you don't make and place a fulcrum, the Dracon Invocation won't work, "like spinning a wheel that isn't touching the ground." I'm dropping everything here to avoid complications with going underwater or into vacuum.

> drop all. perform ballast. go to observatory. d.

Observatory Crawlspace, Flooded

Actually, any of four locations can be used for the ballast; each dragon, when active, tells you a different location where it wants it placed.

This is why I didn't pick Syndesis as the active dragon, since we can't reenter the Birdhouse in this game-iteration without using up some critical item. If you did choose Syndesis, place the ballast here, or in Barosy Crevice, or in Garden Crawlway.

> drop pin. u. find mercury. take it.

> go to lead rod. put mercury on lead rod.

> perform fulcrum. (using the fourth alien glyph)

> go to barosy. drop granite.

Oh, I want my toys before I save.

> make brush. make oculus. make planetary lens.

> go to chancel.

Chancel

> save. take all.

Some last minute fun before the big ritual. Examining yourself with the toys suggests you're not quite the person you think you are. You're not allowed to kill yourself with any of the Elements, but the responses are amusing. I don't know what the glyphs truly are, but the first could describe a Klein bottle; perhaps the second is a tesseract, and the fourth might be some sort of flowsnake.

> x me through oculus. x me through lens. rub me with brush.

> burn me. drink water. taste earth. put scratched on me.

> recall first glyph. recall second glyph.

> recall third glyph. recall fourth glpyh.

> recall xyzzy. sit on bound.

The moment of truth. You need the Four Elements, billet, and rosemary. The fulcrum must be placed; the ballast is optional (sorta).

> recall great marriage.

> put thick key on shelf. say marcher's.

> put billet on shelf. wave rosemary.

> put earth in bound. put fire rod in bound.

> put water in bound. put scratched air in bound.

> say dracon.

*** You had awakened ***

You were buried in wreckage

In this epilogue sequence, your options are few and constrained. You have nothing; you can't examine anything; you can't backtrack your steps. And you've forgotten almost all of your accumulated knowledge.

> x me. x wreckage. i. u.

You have crawled into a ruined corridor

You'll think about one of the crewmembers at this point, in this case Ctesc, because our dragon was Aistheta. (If we chose Baros, we'd think about Powes, and so on.) How we feel about the crewmember is based on our last perspective of him or her.

> out.

You will reach the Nave

> x marks. x bound.

> recall. say simple.

If you placed the ballast, you will feel hopeful that help will arrive.

*** You will begin ***


Appendixes


Appendix 1: List of crewmembers


Appendix 2: List of dependencies

This is not a complete list of dependencies; I'm mostly concerned here with rare items that get used by rituals.

Note that some rituals can be performed more than once in a single game-iteration, once all the ingredients have been gathered. These rituals include:


Appendix 3: List of doors

Including cabinets and similar obstacles.

* Not listed by the DOORS command.


Appendix 4: List of dragons

There are four dragons in The Unanswerable Retort: Aistheta, Baros, Pneuma, and Syndesis. Each dragon is a construction of alchemical runes, apparently drawn on a wall of the marcher. They may be thought of as thinking engines, that is, computers. Each dragon has a specified purpose.

Aistheta manages navigation.

Baros regulates stability and gravity.

Pneuma regulates light and air.

Syndesis binds the rooms of the marcher together and to its destinations.


Appendix 5: List of essential natures

The word of essential nature and the categorical imperative formulae can tell us what the essential nature, that is, the general material category of something.

(This is by no means a complete list, and I sense that the author wasn't rigourous with this aspect of the game. Like, why wouldn't the nickel rod be "metallic" or the rock salt be "mineral"?)

Defaults:


Appendix 6: List of facts

Alchemy Lectures

Alchemy Procedures

Alchemy Theory, Advanced

Assignments

Combinations

Marchers, Info about

Proddings and Signposts

Utter Nonsense


Appendix 7: List of formulae

I've sorted the formulae into four main groups—Initial, Internal, Final, and External—to indicate which formulae are used at the beginning, middle, end, and outside of a ritual respectively.

Initial: Sealings

Sealings not only begin a ritual proper and make the bound glow, they also establish which tradition of alchemy we're using. (I have not tracked the glow colors, but I believe they aren't random.)

Internal: Arguments

Speculation: I believe that arguments merely set invisible registers but don't otherwise change anything.

Internal/Final: Functions

Speculation: I believe that functions do change something within the bound, and may access the values of previously declared arguments to do determine what ought to be done.

Final: Animations

All animations involve making the target item move on its own in some way.

Final: Bindings

I'm not sure yet what constitutes a "binding" except to note that it's always a final step in a ritual.

Final: Saturations

Phlogistical saturations charge up an item with phlogiston, the alchemical equivalent of installing a fresh battery into an electronic device.

External: Abortions

The mantra simply provides a safe way to end a botched ritual.

External: Alien patterns

An alien pattern is a series of transformations that must be visualized in one's mind. I imagine this is akin to visualizing exactly how to fold an origami crane. Some items in the game respond to alien patterns performed in their presence.


Appendix 8: List of fractures

Fractures exist all over the marcher. They have the appearance of transparent crystal or frozen air. The parts of the marcher that are encased in fractures are (apparently) time-locked; certainly none of the crewmembers you see within fractures move at all. And the fractures are also solid barriers that completely block access to many parts of the marcher.

Looking at a fracture through the oculus reveals only that it's a fracture.

Four fractures are set within doorways through which we see alien lands. These fractures are eventually repaired by the dragon Syndesis:

  1. the Secondary Alchemy Lab door, which shows a Hadean land;
  2. the Chymic Lab door, which shows an Thalassan land;
  3. the Opticks Closet door, which shows an Erebian land;
  4. the Master-at-Arms Quarters door, which shows a Hadean land.

Several other fractures are never fixed or penetrated at all during the main part of the game, although we can assume that they're gone during the epilogue. They are:

  1. the east side of the Secondary Alchemy Lab and its supply closet;
  2. the east end of Secondary Lab Crawlspace, where we first see Lt. Anderes, and possibly this is just more of the same fracture seen in the Secondary Lab above;
  3. the bulk of the Herbarium Nook;
  4. the stairway at Lab Hallway Southwest;
  5. the stairway at Lab Hallway Northeast;
  6. the east side of Main Store, where we first see Ensign Ctsec;
  7. all of the Primary Alchemy Lab;
  8. the south end of the Medical Wing;
  9. the north corridor of Officer Country, where we first see Captain Hart;
  10. the west corridor of Scrubs Country, blocking us from our own quarters;
  11. the entire north end of the Observatory including its north alcove;
  12. the north end of Aithery, a continuation of the fracture in the Observatory;
  13. the south corridor from Grand Stair, Top, where we first see Lt. Powes;
  14. the east exit from Garden Crawlway;
  15. the southern entrance to the Antechamber.

Appendix 9: List of planetary associations

Planetary associations are revealed by the planetary lens, e.g: look at something through lens. The only place in the game where this is actually useful is in Main Store where the lens can tell you the safe's combination.

This has its roots, of course, in the real world's history of alchemy, where various metals are traditionally associated with various planets and other astrological bodies like the Sun and the Moon.

(This is obviously not a complete list.)


Appendix 10: List of rituals

(These links don't actually do anything yet. More info to come later.)

Creation rituals

Inscription rituals

Synthesis rituals

Other rituals


Appendix 11: List of ritual bounds


Appendix 12: List of sparks

The resonant oculus can help you find sparks of memory floating otherwise invisibly in various rooms. Recall transition echo fragment for a possible explanation: that the sparks are echoes of the memories of people translated to the Higher Spheres.

To look for a spark: LOOK THROUGH OCULUS. If a spark is seen: X SPARK. Note that the ROOMS command tracks which rooms you haven't checked for sparks yet. I know of 13 sparks:

  1. cyan spark @ Opticks Annex: learn lodestone of purity creation (ritual).
  2. violet spark @ Opticks Lab: learn Crystalline Tempering (formula).
  3. magenta spark @ Storage Nook: learn disperal brush creation (ritual).
  4. fuchsia spark @ East Side Hallway: learn musical theory (fact).
  5. periwinkle spark @ Master Rector's Quarters: learn aura invisibility inscription (ritual) and the spiritual environment (fact).
  6. apricot spark @ Study Room: learn Ka Sealing (formula).
  7. topaz spark @ North Arcade: learn Cold Crucible gossip (fact).
  8. carmine spark @ Confusing Cracks: learn periodic table of stone (fact).
  9. sepia spark @ Chasm, at Bridge: learn phlegmatic sealing word (formula).
  10. puce spark @ Antechamber: learn lecture on aither poisoning (fact).
  11. lavender spark @ Nave Crawlway: learn vacuum-protection synthesis (ritual).
  12. hyacinth spark @ Dead End Pit: learn the shadow comment (fact).
  13. colorless spark @ active dragon's lair after using calyx access: learn extended status report (fact) and intensional ballast inscription (ritual)

Appendix 13: List of symbolic associations

I've roughly organized this into three groups: simple, complex, and unknown. The simple associations you need to know to be able to set the appropriate environment for a ritual. The complex associations are mostly just flavour text. Symbolic associations are revealed by looking at something through the resonant oculus.

(This is obviously not a complete list of associations.)

Simple symbolic associations

Complex symbolic associations

Unknown symbolic associations


Appendix 14: List of things

Uh, sorry, but can I get back to you on this? This walkthrough is taking forever to write.


Appendix 15: List of void entrances

There are several entrances to the Void in the game, carefully placed so that it's always possible to reach one at any point in the game, regardless of circumstances, except at the very very beginning of gameplay, before the rusty hatch in the Secondary Alchemy Lab has been opened. Because the player character can always reach the Void, the game can always allow the player to use RESET and expect it to work.

Incidentally, the game probably has the player character automatically open that rusty panel later on in the game to prevent any chance of being trapped in the Secondary Alchemy Lab by, for example, destroying the steel bolt, which can happen once the Greater Phlogistical Saturation formula is learned.

The Void can be entered from these dark doorways:

  1. South of Mech Lab Crawlspace, which is available as soon as possible in the game and reachable from everywhere in the Lab Wing once that first rusty hatch is open;
  2. West of Portico, which is probably unnecessary now but might've been needed in an earlier draft version of the game if the fire door was both closeable and lockable, and the thick key loseable;
  3. West of Medical Wing, needed in case you can't figure out how to escape the Medical Wing;
  4. West of Exoscaphe, needed in case you get trapped inside the exoscaphe by successfully pulling the emergency depressurization lever;
  5. North of Exoscaphe Bay, needed in case you get trapped there by taking the chime out of the bay window when in the bay;
  6. Northwest of Hadean Land, in Canyon, needed in case you get trapped there by taking the chime out of the portico window when outside the marcher;
  7. East of Ruined Chamber, needed in case you get trapped there by taking the chime out of the chamber window when in the chamber.

(TODO: Check the case where the PC has reached Strange Airlock, has successfully opened the inner door, but hasn't shown how to open the outer door from the inside yet -- does 'west' or 'reset' work then?)