Okay, it’s Friday evening, I’m still at work, but I can waste some time with the forum instead of working in Schizm 2. So let’s discuss the original Schizm’s puzzles. Again.
I don’t remember the puzzles too well, therefore I went to the excellent Universal Hint System
, to check hints for Schizm and build a list of puzzles. I just want to check how many of them involve math. Is Schizm indeed a math-only game?Possible spoilers below!
1. Oil dispenser – hardly a puzzle, bring what’s necessary and receive an item. No math.
2. Tulip shaped objects – crank some dials and find the required sequence. This puzzle often is solved by accident – poor design indeed. No math.
3. Spike-like objects – again, use the lantern, observe results and make all spikes extend. No math.
4. Living ship navigation console – find some symbols and use them. No math at this point, later the navigational coordinates will require some serious *adding* and *subtracting*.
5. Peal dispenser – quite easy, notice some symbols and enter them in required sequence (two tries at most). No math.
6. Gas distributor – very hard puzzle. Require adding, but this hardly can be considered as math. At most you have to count to 55 (with fingers, matches, toothpicks or anything similar if counting in memory is “too mathematical”) but usually counting to 6 and a lucky guess are enough, but you have to figure out how the solution works. I admit that this puzzle should be later in the game, but with pre-rendered games it’s difficult to move puzzle if it happens to be too difficult. It requires several months of re-rendering. Okay, some very basic math – counting – probably pre-school level.
7. Reading disc – very easy puzzle. No math.
8. Entering coordinates in air ship – no math at all, very easy.
9. Prayer grinders – yes, the sound puzzle. Doesn’t require musical ear though, just remembering hard to understand words in alien language. I intentionally made those sounds harder to understand, this was a kind of partially obstructed written message, but delivered orally. The rest of the puzzle – shapes, colors and sounds – is not difficult. No math.
10. Air ship lock – always close doors behind. No math.
11. Hermat’s Pillars – yes, this is the infamous trigonometry puzzle. Quite complicated – measure pillars, take many readings and ask for help your fellow roommates, friends, co-workers, family members etc. - we need to solve a very simple trigonometric equation. Yes, this is the only mathematical puzzle in the game – I do not consider adding and subtracting to be a math.
12. Black statue – bring an item and use on it. No math.
13. Matia’s Zone naval coordinates – okay, some math – adding and subtracting in 12 based numbering system. A “trick” with borrow confused many, who operated on each digits individually and not as a whole number. Some math.
14. Prison water – easy, if you figure out that both protagonists are needed. No math.
15. Drawbridge – two wheels to turn and observed results. No math.
16. Village of Matiani – enter twice, exit once. Although it requires counting up to two, it is not a math puzzle.
17. Dam door – collect two cards, use settings from one to decode the other. No math.
18. The railway bridges – this one proved to be very difficult puzzle for many. It is strange because we tested it mostly with non-adventure players (including me), who managed to beat the machine very quickly, especially knowing the winning method – defending (UHS suggest offense, but I think that defense works much better in second set of plays). We thought that the puzzle was way too easy after initial tests, and added the requirement of winning twice in a row. BTW save in the middle doesn’t make sense – it would be better to require only one win. It is a difficult puzzle (show stopper for many, unfortunately), but no math.
19. Train – hardly a puzzle. Learn symbols and destinations. No math.
20. Telescope – no math, although the knowledge of binary search algorithm helps in solving the puzzle.
21. Lights sequence – very easy puzzle. Remember the sequence of light flashes and use it. No math.
22. Mechanical computer – yes, the ability to access it early in the game disorientated many players. They tried to fiddle with the machine, which is required at the very late stages. But the puzzle is easy, although sometimes requires long trips back to the areas of the game already visited. Gather different clues from the entire game and use it on the machine. The result is used then to opening the Matia’s hideout (the egg). No math.
23. The final puzzle – bring everything to the Matia’s Zone – the living ship, the airship and both protagonists. Move Matia to the living ship. No math.
24. The ending – bring both protagonists to the living ship and fly to the stars. No math.
Hmm, to me, there are plenty of non-mathematical puzzles in Schizm. Frankly speaking, the majority of them don’t involve even counting. Yes, I know, some of the puzzles are difficult, probably too difficult, but not because of math.