Personal observations & Walkthrough
by Soren Andersen
First some words about getting The Dig to play on Windows. It is a pretty old game; the Readme, which is supposed to contain information that has been issued after the game is published, is dated October 1995. It was originally a DOS game, but was later configured for early Windows. It does not have an installation program, but is played directly from the game disk. I played it on Windows 98SE by accessing the the game disk using Windows Explorer, expanding it, and double clicking on DIG16MB. The initial menu then appears, from which you call a configuration program to set the computer sound card software either automatically or manually, and automatic worked with my W98. I was also able to play it on Windows XP by using the Compatibility feature, but could not configure the XP sound card to work with game software, but experimenting with sound card data (port, IRQ, etc.) from W98 automatic selection I was able to manually set the XP so that I could access the game with sound by double clicking on DIG.EXE from the game disk. For the record, of the choices that were available on the disk, the successful ones were Sound Card: Sound Blaster Pro; Port: 220; IRQ: 5; DMA Channel: 1; Stereo Reverse: 0. More information may be found in Readme files on the game disk.
You will find the graphics depicting the characters and many small objects pretty crude by today's standards, but that is not a severe drawback and you will probably get used to it after a short period of playing, though you will always be aware of it. The settings and the scenery are well rendered in much finer detail.
The Dig has an interesting plot and good puzzles, though most of course defy realistic physics. The game booklet is very complete regarding interfacing and playing the game; read it thoroughly. It has the distinct advantage of having the background music and the sound effects (Sfx) individually adjustable so that they may be turned down if they interfere with speech, the latter happily being completely understandable. In addition, you also have a Display Text option.
There is much moving around in this game, most of it walking, and there is no way that I found to make anyone move faster. You can, however, skip a few of the traveling periods, tram movements in particular, and move instantaneously from one place to a destination using the Esc key; you will have to find where this works by trying it. It is effective for skipping conversations that you have already heard. What I found to be a shortcoming was the sophomoric conversation, particularly near the beginning when talking to the shuttle, though I somehow suspect that it is not far different from what actually occurs. There is improvement later.
You may talk to others at just about any time by clicking on them and bringing up a conversation line, a series of image squares showing subjects about which to inquire or discuss. You can continue addressing any of these until exhausted, signified by the square acquiring a deep blue cast or by repetition. Quite a bit of information is turned up by using this feature, sometimes hints about how to proceed, and even setting needed flags. A gray bar below the panel indicates that you may slide it to show more items.
The Dig is a fairly linear game and is very much inventory driven. The inventory has more than enough room for the items that are discovered, some of which disappear after use. Commander Low appears to carry all of it in his left rear pocket. There are 99 spaces allocated for saved games, and the description of the save may contain up to 36 keyboard characters. Saved games are stored in number sequence, not name, in C:\Dig.
There are many, many places to go in this game, all of them requiring a visit before the game is concluded, many more than once. Other than a few exploratory familiarization visits, the accompanying walkthrough is a reasonably efficient one that minimizes unnecessary travel. Terminology used is that shown for items as it appears in the game, though it might at times be insufficient or seem peculiar, and not what I would have chosen. In addition, I have provided a nexus diagram to help you keep track of the doorways, their trams and spires, and the associated control rods.
There is a lot of game on only one disk, and as always in Adventure games, Save Often!
Soren Andersen, March2003
Cocytus and the Cocytans
Beyond the reach of our most powerful telescopes, nestled in a sea of stars, lies the planet Cocytus (as christened by Ludger Brink). Except for one small island surrounded by five spires, the planet is completely covered by water. Although this island has a rich and diverse animal population, there is no sign of sustained intelligent life.
OUT OF LEGEND
Centuries ago, a traveler from another planet would have found things very different — the landmass-ocean ratio was far closer to that of Earth, and here dwelled the Cocytans, a peaceful, graceful, intelligent race of beings that would remind us of griffins, those lion-eagle combinations of legend. Indeed, considering that the Cocytans mastered faster-than-light space travel 3,000 years ago, one might question whether our griffin legends were inspired by ancient travelers from this planet.
In truth, the Cocytans were far more cautious in their approach to interplanetary travel. They sent out probes, disguised as asteroids, designed attract intelligent, spacefaring beings. Cocytan science had progressed more rapidly and in different directions than our own because of an essential1 physical difference between Cocytans and humans: Cocytans had an inherent visceral — almost emotional — perception of physical forces like gravity, inertia, and magnetism. This was coupled with mental powers that allowed them to manipulate these forces. Therefore Cocytans went about scientific experimentation much the same way as humans cook or create art - by trying different possible combinations until they found the one that felt best or looked right. This process might better be termed tuning or tweaking than experimentation. There was never any question whether a scientific hypothesis would lead to a practical application (the Cocytans could sense immediately whether it would work or not), only whether a given application would be the most esthetically pleasing expression on that hypothesis.
CULTURE AND PERCEPTION
The Cocytan culture and belief system would in many ways be totally inexplicable to humans. One exception was their reverence for the number five, which was based not on the fact that their hands had five fingers, but rather on the fact that the planet's sole mountain of any size was an extinct volcano with a bowl-like depression at the top that was surrounded by five rock spires. The mountain and these spires were later hollowed out to house some of the greatest treasures of the Cocytan race, including the laboratory and tomb of the Great Inventor (about whom we will find out more later). To the Cocytans, these places were a combination of Mecca and the Smithsonian. Believing that animal life was sacred, they brought samples of every kind of animal on Cocytus to live on this mountain. The more innocuous of these creatures were allowed to roam freely, but the more dangerous were confined to reserves guarded by force fields on the mountain's lower reaches. With the passing of the Cocytans, the generators confining these creatures broke down, and they escaped. Centuries later, when the great floods came, all the wildlife migrated to the upper reaches of the mountain and found their way into the underground chambers.
The Cocytans' reverence for animals was not based (exactly) on any eco logical philosophy, but was instead, like their rather tentative attempt at contacting off-planet life, an outgrowth of their unique sensory perspective. They cannot be said in any real sense to have believed in causality or linear time as we understand it. Their constant perception of so many interacting natural forces, coupled with their continuous evaluation of the shifting variables of daily existence, would never allow for as simple a conclusion as “A causes B." If Newton had been a Cocytan when the apple fell, he might haves aid something like, "The field of the apple, or indeed the field pf any object lesser mass than the Earth, has been observed without known exception to have a blue, sweet-f1avored attraction in the direction of the field of the Earth. This attraction is tweakable from factor one to factor five, depending on the size of the smaller object, the will and expertise of the manipulator, the weather, and whether or not a cat is present." Time was considered a relative measurement of the stability of physical forms. Humans, for example, would have had a time of .003 in comparison to a redwood's time index of 10. Liquids and gases only possessed time on a molecular and submolecular basis — the only levels at which their forms were stable.
A COCYTAN TRAGEDY
The Cocytan's sensory capabilities add their gift for science were both their blessing and, when they turned their thoughts to the problem of immortality, their curse. Even though exceptionally long-lived by Earth standards, the Cocytans knew it could be centuries or even millennia before they would see any results from their probes. This ratio between the stability of their physical forms and the arrival of the information they sought was unacceptable. With this in mind, their scientists came up with two solutions, each of which, though practical in the short term and esthetically pleasing (by Cocytan standards), had horrific long-term consequences. Unfortunately, with no concept of either causality or linear time, the Cocytans had no tradition of rigorous testing that might have helped them foresee the tragic results of their discoveries.
The first solution was the life crystal. Crystals have high stability of form, yet because they can be grown, they're also unusually susceptible to the kind of mental adjustment that the Cocytans routinely performed. In their research, the scientists also discovered that certain crystals conducted energy efficiently and in a manner that the Cocytans found esthetically pleasant. The life crystals they created scanned the DNA of the remains of a dead life-form and reconstructed the body based on this information. The crystal then jumpstarted the normal life processes, getting the heart pumping and air moving in and out of the lungs. Difficult as it may be to believe, that was the easy part. Even the Cocytan inventors were not sure how the other part of the process worked, in the same manner that we don't know exactly how gravity or electricity work, they theorized that the spirit of a creature retained a certain affinity for its physical form and that, when the form was restored to full functionality, the spirit was inevitably attracted back to its former shell.
The Cocytans were ecstatic at the success of this process...for about a week. As more Cocytans were resurrected (and hundreds were in those first few days), it became clear that the odd behavior of the initial subjects was not a fluke of specific crystals or personalities. Every resurrected Cocytan displayed an obsession with these crystals and a pathological need to acquire more. Cocytans who in their former lives were venerated elders and models of decorum lied, stole, and even killed to acquire more crystals. Apparently the "charge" from the crystals was somewhat temporary. Granted, with a life-form that was newly dead, the resurrection might last 20 or 30 years (barring disease or accident). But the longer the individual had been dead before resur- rection, the less affinity their spirit had for their body, and the sooner they would need "recharging."
The results were tragic to the extreme. As their destructive obsession grew, it became clear that all of the resurrected Cocytans would have to be captured and incarcerated or humanely put to death. The emotional toll was incalculable for the hundreds of families who had rejoiced to see their departed relatives returned to them, only to be horrified by the sight of their loved ones being hunted down and executed. Unfortunately, the crystals were not completely disposed of, for it was discovered that their energy, when applied to certain devices, would make possible other, apparently safer means of immortality. Some crystals were hidden away by resurrected Cocytans and never found. The rest were locked in a cache at the base of the museum spire and placed under constant guard. Only the most trusted scientists were allowed access to these crystals. There was even an explosive capable of timed detonation placed in the crystal storage room, so that if there were ever an organized attempt to overwhelm the guard and capture the crystals, they would be destroyed rather than set loose into Cocytan culture again.
THE GREAT INVENTOR
Which brings us to a Cocytan revered as no other in his planet's history — the Great Inventor. His perception and deft manipulation of natural forces, combined with his uncanny brilliance, produced hundreds of inventions that enriched and advanced life on Cocytus. When he turned his attention to the problem of immortality, no one doubted he would find a solution. He began his studies by focusing on the energy that returned to creatures that were revived by the life crystals. Tracing this energy to its source, his findings seemed to confirm the validity of an ancient Cocytan mystical belief — that there existed a dimension where the spirits of departed Cocytans lived in eternal bliss, observing the actions of the living and advising them through dreams and rare ghostly visits. Once the existence of this parallel dimension was confirmed, it was, for a Cocytan of the Inventor's talent, a relatively easy process to produce a machine, powered by life crystals, that would open a gate, or Eye, into that dimension.
Disaster first struck when the Great Inventor activated his machine. The vortex created by the establishment of an interdimensional gap sent forces back through the controls that were far too strong for his feeble frame. Within minutes of throwing the switch, the Great Inventor was dead. Following a funeral attended by thousands of Cocytans, he was interred in a crystal pyramid on the Sacred Mountain. His deeds were carefully preserved in the archives. Soon the entire population of the planet trooped into the Eye, secure in the belief that when their probes returned with extraterrestrial visitors, they would be able to safely observe these aliens and then return to interact with them. Before they left, though, in a rare moment of Cocytan foresight, they perceived that a technologically clever but ethically ruthless race might find its way to the Eye. To protect themselves and their future, they placed particularly ferocious beast in a life-preserving stasis field outside the Eye. If a non-Cocytan approached, the beast would be released to guard the gate.
All did not go as planned. The path between dimensions was far too complex for the highly rarefied Cocytan senses, and though they reached their destination, they were incapable of returning. They could observe and with great collective effort they could manifest an ethereal form that had limited ability to manipulate objects, but otherwise they were doomed to eternal existence as bodiless, sensationless intelligences. In helpless agony, the Cocytans watched as alien races came to their planet and failed to even survive, let alone discover how to release them from their imprisonment. Some of these visitors, out of frustrated anger, spite, or their own bizarre cultural dictates, disabled some machines or scattered the parts to others. The most crushing blow came with the solar flare that melted their ice caps and flooded the 1entire planet. Only the top of the; Sacred Mountain was spared. Convinced that this was the end of their culture, the Cocytans all but gave up hope. And then the expedition from Earth arrived...
The game begins with an introductory video of a Deep Space tracking station discovering an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, the dispatch of a shuttle on an extraordinary mission to divert it using two nuclear devices, and a press conference to introduce the crew. All of this is covered in detail on pages 3 and 4 of the game booklet, followed by 9 pages of interfacing details, which of course you must read thoroughly. You are playing as the crew leader Commander Boston Low, and at times this walkthrough will say that Low does something, you must do something, or just do something, all of these being equivalent.
After the video, gameplay begins with the shuttle parked near Attila, the name given to the asteroid, and the three crew members that will be going to it waiting outside the open cargo bay. Inventory contains a magnifying glass, a crew communicator called a PenUltimate, an explosive device arming key, and a flashlight. Get the PenUltimate communicator from inventory and click the button on the right to bring up channels to the five crew members. Click on Cora Miles and begin the excessively cute conversation style that continues off and on during the game. A conversation line appears. In this click on the panel showing the flying pig, the name given to the free fall tool chest that is in the shuttle cargo bay, and Miles will use the shuttle arm to place the chest next to Low. Click on the tool chest, whereupon Low, followed by the other two crew members, will take it to the surface of the asteroid. After it lands on the asteroid surface, click on it to have Low go to it and open it, click it again for a closeup, and remove explosive units alpha and beta, the zero-G digger, and the shovel.
The task of the crew is to place and arm the two explosive units. Use the PenUltimate to talk to Borden on the shuttle. Click on the explosive charge in the conversation line, and he will tell Low to put explosive unit alpha on a level area in quadrant 2. Click on a screen area labeled space and you will get an overall view of Attila on which you can find the 4 quadrants. Click on quadrant 2, and when the crew gets there the cursor will identify the target area. Use the zero-g digger on this area to make it level, then place unit alpha. Use the arming key on it, a blinking red light indicates it is armed.
Go back in space again. Talk to Borden and he will tell you to put unit beta in quadrant 3. When they get there Low finds a large rock on the target area, which he removes with the shovel. The zero-G digger is not needed. Put unit beta on the surface, arm it, and go to space. Talk to Borden once more and he says return to the shuttle. After the crew is inside the shuttle, there a long sequence in which the shuttle moves away and the explosives are set off. Lots of debris, none hits the shuttle. The asteroid is not destroyed, nor is there any indication of whether it was successfully diverted.
The exploration crew is now back on Attila near the top of a chasm that was opened by one of the explosions. They decide to explore the chasm, and send the pig on down because it has a light. Geologist Brink says it is a very old chasm, but not as old as the asteroid. When they get down to the pig they discover in the chasm walls a metallic plate and three “odd projections”. Low pushes on the plate and it falls down a tunnel behind it. He uses the zero-G digger on the projections and uncovers plates at each of them. These too fall away when pushed. One of the tunnels is big enough for passage, so down they go.
They emerge in a huge hollow enclosed by pentagonal sides. On the bottom is a pedestal with the four plates lying around it. The plates may be fitted into a depressed square on the pedestal, and when the last of them is in place, the plates turn over to form a triangle, and things really begin to happen. A long video shows Attila taking off through space and leaving the solar system far behind. As it moves it loses its asteroid shape and acquires sides that are regular pentagons. Its destination is a rock in an endless copper sea; the rock is surrounded by five rocky spires and has a center depression into which this geometrically shaped spaceship neatly fits, then vanishes. Pay close attention to this vista before it fades away, as it figures prominently in the succeeding gameplay. This is the planet Cocytus.
The crew is now discussing their situation as they stand next to a black platform (“dais”) at the center of the depression into which Attila landed. They find that there is gravity and a sustainable atmosphere, so they discard their jetpacks and spacesuits. The only things left in inventory are the magnifying glass, the PenUltimate, flashlight, and shovel. Exploration is the order of the day. Use the cursor to find a spot designated clearing and left click. After a prophetic discussion of who is to be in charge, the view becomes a large one of the clearing in which are to be found three question marks. Move to the one on the left.
This turns out to be an ancient wrecked spaceship. Go inside. After Brink looks around, have Low open the trunk on the floor, from which he gets a blue item that inventory calls a “device”. He pulls down a wire hanging from the roof of the wreck, and in so doing causes a lot of animated luminescence to appear, swirling around displaying geometric figures, then dropping an engraved rod before it departs. Pick up the wire and the rod.
Leave the wreck and return to the clearing, then go to the question mark on the north. Here they find some mounds in which tusks have been placed and that are home to rodents. One mound is called a grave. Click the shovel on it. Brink seems determined to keep arguing with Low, but Low digs it up anyway and gets a jawbone and a tusk. Go to the clearing again and to the final question mark. The cursor shows no hotspots here, but the device found in the spacecraft wreck will. Dig where it says and get a bracelet.
Back to the clearing view and to the central platform. The swirling luminescence reappears and indicates a small hole in some disturbed ground on the right. Maggie suggests this apparition might be the ghost of a former inhabitant. Low decides to enlarge the hole, so click the shovel on it. After a little digging by Low, as an archeologist Brink takes over, but the soft ground gives way and he falls through. Low and Maggie hurriedly climb down and find that Brink has died in the fall. Low blames himself. Low and Maggie exchange words and she takes off to explore on her own, leaving Low to do the same. At least with Low alone you won't have to endure much crew conversation.
Low picks up the shovel and prepares to investigate this circular nexus area. The first thing to be found is a plate on the nexus floor near Low. When he picks it up he announces that it is one of the metal plates found when the astronauts first entered the asteroid. Put it in inventory. There are many glowing plants around, and when Low touches one they all briefly glow brighter.
Continuing his exploration, Low will find five sealed stone doors, four of which have 4-button panels next to them. Click on any one of these panels to find that the buttons are red crystal pyramids. Click on a pyramid and it morphs to a cube, another click and it morphs to an octahedron, again and it changes to a 16-sided figure, then finally to a 32-sided red crystal. One more click and it is again a pyramid, but this time it is green. Continuing the clicking produces the same five geometric shapes, after which you get them again, this time in blue. A last click and the cycle is complete as a red pyramid appears.
Low also discovers a tapered square column in which mysterious smooth grooves have been carved, and on the floor next to it a “purple engraved rod". Pick up this rod, and in inventory examine it with the magnifying glass, whereupon the “engraving" turns out to be four of the above button shapes mysteriously suspended in a line at the end of a purple handle. You must make a careful record of these shapes. One action option you now have is to set the buttons on the four wall panels to this configuration; nothing happens, but it is not wasted effort.
Note: Until the rod is placed in inventory, the arrangement of the four geometric shapes is random each time you access it, so no set can be specified in this walkthrough. Once the rod is in inventory, the shape sequence pretty much remains as you read it there, but at times it seems to somewhat unaccountably change, so it is best to check what it is just before you duplicate the configuration in a door control panel. This of course applies to all rods that you find.
There is one opening in the nexus wall that is not sealed off, the game calls this a “dark tunnel". Click on it and Low gets out his flashlight and proceeds through it, eventually coming out on a pathway in a large crystalline area. At the end of the pathway is an airlock, though there seems to be no reason for it. At the airlock entrance there are two short columns with blue dots grouped on them. Click on the first and the outer airlock door opens. Move into the airlock and click on the second group of dots and the door closes. Click on it again and the inner door opens. Leave the airlock.
The room Low enters is a dome with walls of large windows. He calls it a control room. Click on all the windows on each side of the entrance to get a description of what he sees. Apparently the room is under water. In the center of the room is a shallow pit showing a pedestal on which is a “glowing panel". A closeup shows four bright crystals and one dark one, all arranged in a circle. Note the similarity to the arrangement of spires that was briefly shown as Attila arrived on this alien planet. There are three empty holes on the right. There is nothing that can be done here at this time but observe, so return through the airlock to the nexus.
As Low leaves the dark tunnel there is before him a ramp leading down to an area below the nexus, where at the bottom of the ramp he finds a rocky ledge overlooking an abyss from which there can be felt heat and heard rumbling. Moving to the edge and looking down he can see a huge pillar extending downward with a cone at the lower end, below which is a brilliant energy source with rays going to three points from which they are directed to the pillar. He correctly identifies this operation as the nexus power plant. Low can see, however, that the ray from the left point does not go to the pillar. Lying just below this point is an object that the cursor identifies as an unattached lens, which indicates that repair is needed. A reasonable inference is that the lens must be replaced on the point above it, from which it has presumably fallen.
On the ledge where Low is standing are two short pillars identified as a “triangular button” and a “control panel”. Clicking on the latter brings up a display on which are seven irregularly shaped panels and a rectangle with serrated vertical edges. Five of the panels produce colored stars within the rectangle, one panel deletes a single star, and one deletes all the stars. The colors are: violet, yellow, blue, green, and red, and you must associate a color with a panel.
Some experimentation is indicated. If you click on the triangular button with no stars showing in the control panel, Low complains that nothing happens. Put a star in the panel and click on the triangular button and a football shaped robot drops from a chute above Low, goes over the edge and drops to the energy source, then moves an incremental distance, and finally returns to the chute. The direction of the incremental move—up, down, right, left—depends upon the color chosen for the star, and the number of increments moved depends upon the number of stars.
The task, then, is to select stars so the robot replaces the lens in order to make the energy ray from the left point go to the pillar. Here are a couple of hints: the red star is used to pick up and put down the lens once the robot is in the right location, and the process is a two step operation, pick up and replace. With success in this endeavor, Low can look over the edge and report normal operation.*
Have Low now return up the ramp to the nexus, but before he does so, have him locate and remove a loose panel on the sloping area. Behind it he will find a "blue crystal", a mottled blue cone with yellow metal at the top and bottom.
Another indication of the return of power is the violet and white energy going up the grooves in the square column. A rock has fallen near where Low found the purple rod, breaking the nexus floor and showing sparks. Had you set the buttons on the four wall panels to the configuration of those on the purple rod, with the return of power there will be a short cutscene of one of the locked stone doors opening. If you had not preset the wall panel buttons, now is the time to do so; chances are that you will open the door before you have tried all four.
Have Low go through the just opened door and the tunnel behind it to another area below the nexus. On the way there will be a short conversation with Maggie as she calls on the PenUltimate. On the platform is a pyramid with a blue button, which when pushed summons a spherical blue tram. The tram door opens for Low to enter; after hw does so, the tram takes off through one of those underwater passages that Low saw through the control room windows. When it stops he exits to the top of a set of stairs.
At the bottom Low finds a “weakened door", but not weakened enough so that he can open it. Around the corner outside he finds fossil remains in the ground, then continues on to steps leading into the water. As he stands there a turtle-like creature comes out of the water and begins eating some plants. Immediately a sea monster (an eel, Low calls it) rises from the water, eats the turtle, and vanishes back into the sea. While standing on the steps Low has seen an underwater cave, a fact that he may or may not announce, but what he does say is that he is not going to try to swim to the cave while the monster is around.
Have Low return to the fossil, then through an arch along a path upward to the right. At the end of the path he finds an oddly shaped pillar that the game calls a “strange device", at the base of which is an oval lens. As Low approaches the pillar another ghost appears, circles it, and moves rapidly off to the right. Click on the device and a panel appears showing an irregular shaped area containing five circles evenly arranged around a central circle, and a pentagonal button next to the area. Press the button, and if a line appears from one of outer circles moving toward the center, hold the button down until the line reaches the center. If this does not happen, back off, click on the lens and try again; repeat until you do get the line, and when this occurs you will find a light beam has been established, extending outward from the device in the direction that the ghost went. Low can walk out on this beam and look around; that's all he can do at this time, but you get a display of the five spires in the endless sea. You can faintly see the light beam forming a bridge extending from the spire with hole in it to a "crystal form" above the depression in the large central rock. Click on the crystal form to see it, or click on the spire to return to the path.
When Low goes through the triangular opening next to the strange device at the end of the path, he comes out in an area that he declares is a museum. In the distance can be seen a couple spires and the central rock. There are two glowing green crystals for him to acquire, and in the wall next to the entrance a plate that Low seems to think is an alphabet. He can put it in inventory where it may be examined with the magnifying glass, and where the alphabet conjecture then seems rather far fetched.
Around this area are four openings in walls and pillars that show animated displays containing hints of actions to be performed at times when you come upon relevant situations, but the interpretations are rather obscure. View them more than once because Low may have a different comment, and keep them in mind, including Low’s comments
On a ledge another engraved rod may be found, a red one this time. Below the ledge is another door, and this one leads to Maggie, where a not altogether friendly conversation takes place. She says this is a library, and the white funnel-like objects are computers. The only thing Low can do here is examine the computer console next to Maggie, then leave and return to the fossil area. Before you leave the museum save your game so that you can return and review the displays. From the fossil go to the tram, which takes Low back to where he boarded it. Go back up to the nexus.
Low now has the red engraved rod with a code of crystals to try on the three remaining door opening wall panels. When he finds the one that opens a door and goes down to the tram platform, the tram call button that he locates in a column does not work, so something further must be done to make it effective. Return to the nexus.
Low has no more engraved rods. What to do? He recalls one of the animated displays in the museum in which an oval shaped object was opened like an egg and the contents poured on a bird skeleton, which then became fleshed out. Something dead brought to life! As he says, it's a shot in the dark, but the green crystals he found in the museum are of the same oval shape, so try one on Brink. There follows a long scene in which Brink is revived, and there is much conversation that includes Maggie on the PenUltimate communicator. Brink says that he is not only alive, but ALIVE!
Now Low has help with that weakened door he found at the tram terminal that leads to the museum. Have the two board the museum tram and go there (the nexus tunnel entrance opened by the purple rod has now been labeled museum tram), and together they are able to open the door. Inside they find a large saucer-shaped bin of green life crystals, and as they are looking at it, a ghost appears and swirls around in the bin, then briefly displays a deaths head before vanishing upward. There is a long argument about the crystals, Brink being very pro-crystal and Low advising caution. Both of them take crystals, and before leaving Low picks up a canister from the floor. Nothing specific is said about this canister, but one of the museum animated displays shows a banded spherical object that bears some resemblance to it being placed inside something where it appears to explode, and Low says “that canister sure packs a punch” and “boom”, so it probably is explosive.
The two go to the steps that lead into the water. Again a turtle comes out of the water and again is devoured by the monster, but this time the monster spits the bones out on the shore. Brink disappears and is not to be found. Low calls Maggie, then decides he will have to carry on alone. Get a closeup of the spit out bones; they must be reassembled, and you can use the fossil as a guide. It is not particularly difficult, as the bones have finite places where they will rest. Left click on a bone to pick it up, right click to rotate it a quarter turn at a time, and left click to put it down. Place the rib-like parts in the shell, then connect the bones to them. The neck and tail bones must be properly oriented. When you have done it correctly, the cursor appellation will change from “loose bones” to “dead creature”. Place the canister on the assembled bones, then click a life crystal on them and they become animate. The monster emerges, eats the reconstituted turtle, and sinks back into the water. A geyser indicates its demise.
With the monster gone Low can get to the underwater cave he saw earlier. Click on the water and he dives in (straight at a rock) and swims to the cave. When he climbs out and enters a chamber he finds another panel and an orange engraved rod. That’s all he can get here, so he swims back, enters the tram, and returns to the nexus.
Now that Low has another rod he can open another tram door, which he does. This tram takes him to the base of large cliffs upon which waves are breaking. There is a long path on the side of the cliffs that takes him to a crevasse up which waves are surging. Put the blue cursor on the far side of the crevasse, and when the words “Rumble, Rumble” appear, left click; Low will surf over on a wave. (This if you have the Display Text enabled, otherwise you will have to guess, and if you don’t time it correctly he will go down the crevasse, but will eventually appear in the sea, swim to shore, and return up the path for another attempt.)
Continuing along the path Low comes to another of the strange devices with a lens at its base; you know the drill for him to establish another light bridge. Not much reason to go out on it, it’s pretty much the same as when he went out on the first one. Cross the bridge in front of the waterfall into a cave where he will find a blue rod that will doubtless be of use in the future. In the wall is a large crack that Low will have nothing to do with. Return to the strange device.
Behind the device is another cave (the game calls it a plateau) with what appear to be wheels in the middle and an open door at the far end. As soon as Low enters this cave a chirping little rodent runs over to the control panel next to the door, removes something, and runs away with it, whereupon the door closes and locks. Low will have to recover what it was the rodent took so that he can open the door. There are several other items to be found and picked up in this cave: a rod, a rib cage, a metal dowel, and a panel cover with a button on it. There is also a heavy metal pole that does not go into inventory, but Low rearranges it so an end is between the wheels.
Low needs to trap the rodent in order to find where it hid the part taken from the switch panel. Put the dowel in the hole in the center of the large wheel, click on the pole so that he will pick it up, then click the pole image on the dowel to have him rest one end of the pole on it. Click the rib cage on the hook end of the pole, and the rod on the rib cage. Low now has a rodent trap.
Click on the hole at the base of the wall below the door control panel. When Low says “There’s something moving in there,” the rodent runs out and stops between the wheels near the trap. Now you must carefully bring Low around the trap so as not to spook the rodent, passing at the near edge of the cave and on toward the entrance, then back through the wheels to scare the rodent into the trap. If you are not successful, go back to the hole and try again.
Recall how the blue tracking device that was found in the wrecked spaceship trunk pointed to the buried bracelet. Put the bracelet on the trapped rodent and click on the trap to turn it loose, whereupon it runs through a crack in the wall. Use the shovel to enlarge the crack so that Low can go into the cave behind it. Use the tracking device to point to the spot in the cave floor under which the bracelet wearing rodent is hiding in its nest, then use the shovel to dig there. The rodent can be heard squeaking as Low digs. From the nest he can get the “machine part” missing from the door control. Go to the door and put the part in the control. Replace the control cover and press the button to have the door open.
The room that Low enters is a planetarium, though not so stated but will be soon demonstrated. Here he can get another plate and a green engraved rod. On the wall is a shiny button that appears to do nothing, and a crack that has no relevance. On the ceiling is a bright spot that is called a “faint light”. A pedestal holds two scepters, one gold and one silver; when they go into inventory Low says they have an electrical charge.
Save your game here because you may wish to experiment with the somewhat confusing manipulation of the scepters. Click either scepter on the faint light, and shortly a blue planet will be seen around which are continuously orbiting a purple and a brown moon, while the smaller brown one orbits the larger purple one. Low suggests that “the planet is this one”. While there is a bright object just beyond the upper left corner of the screen (the faint light?), the light illuminating the planet as well as the two moons is coming from the right a little above center. Click the silver scepter on the planet and the moons stop orbiting. By moving the scepter you can drag the smaller moon in its orbit around the larger. Using the gold scepter you can drag the larger moon it its orbit around the planet.
In one of the museum animated displays a couple of quarter moons emerge from a hole in a spire, and Low says “The larger moon is being eclipsed by the smaller one,” and also “Could this be a grave?”. For someone on the planet you can produce an eclipse of the larger moon if you put both moons between the light source and the planet with the smaller moon in line between the larger one and the planet. (When you do this, place the larger moon slightly more ccw than you might expect when considering the relative location of the light source.) Success is indicated by a brief cutscene showing a path going around a rock on a promontory, and in the distance a spire with a hole in it containing two nested quarter moons.
After the cutscene ends there is another showing the rodent again taking the part out of the control panel and the door slamming shut. However, Low can open it using the button, and he can start back to the tram and the nexus. Before leaving the rodent cave, it is important that he pick up the rod that he used to make the rodent trap. When Low gets to the crevasse he says that he will never make it across the way he did on the way up. Use the shovel on the large upright boulder on the right, and it will fall to provide a bridge and he can return to the tram and the nexus.
Back at the nexus, a check on the inoperative call button at the tram terminal that the red engraved rod made accessible finds that it still does not summon a tram.
Low now has a green engraved rod to open another door, and there is only one door left on which to use it, but when he tries it does not work. Try again. He speculates that he has set the crystal buttons correctly, but that there is no power. The power flow is showing on the square column, so it must be a local problem in the panel, power to it probably interrupted by the rock that fell and broke open the floor; examining the innards of the control might be in order. It so happens that the control cover can be pried off using the tusk Low has been carrying so long, and he somehow confirms that no power is reaching the panel. He has also been carrying a wire from the wrecked spacecraft that he now connects between the panel and the sparking break in the nexus floor. Energy can be seen flowing up the wire, enough so that the wire disappears, but the control becomes operative. When he replaces the control panel cover and presses the buttons the door opens.
Down at the tram platform he notices some damage, but the call button works and the tram arrives. When he leaves it he enters a brightly lit canyon in which a river is flowing. There is a rock bridge in the foreground and a cave in the distance beyond the tram opening. Upon entering this cave he comes out on a small rocky beach where some green lights are twinkling on a rock--a “strange field,” the game says. Nothing happens as Low goes to them, so it’s back to the canyon and to the rock bridge.
Here he enters a sandy floored cave in which is indicated a “nest” on the left and a “pit” on the right. Going to the nest he comes out on the wall of another cave; if you look to the left you can see a spider before it disappears. There is a grate in the cave wall below the path, the latter taking him to an exit into another part of the canyon. A cave across the river leads to a small blue rock beach on the endless copper sea. Nothing doing here, so return and go to the waterfall at the head of the canyon. Here Low finds another grate, but when he goes to examine it he steps on a rock that tilts and diverts a stream into the grate. Back to the nest and the sandy entrance cave.
Have Low see what the pit amounts to. He goes through another good sized cave to an sunny opening at the far end, where he finds an area with a babbling brook and many leafy vines growing. In the center is a mound in which there is a panel of the familiar four crystals. One of the sets from the engraved rods should operate whatever this does. (Hint: try the red; save your game first in case you want to do it again.) What results is a quickly fading and none too clear hologram of a place with a black triangle in the floor. Low calls this vision a map. He also says “it looks like a crypt somewhere, and a way below it”.
Behind Low in the leafy colonnade is an opening, and going through it he finds another strange device, where he implements the familiar procedure to establish another light bridge, the third one. He has been to every location that he can find in this spire, so return to the tram and the nexus.
Low has gathered items since he was in the control room beyond the dark tunnel, where he could do nothing but observe, so go through the tunnel and the airlock to the pedestal with the five crystals. He finds that the blue rod he acquired in the cave beyond the waterfall near the planetarium can be placed in one of the three holes to the right of the crystals, and when he does so rods rise from the other two holes. By clicking on the tops of these rods he can raise and lower them as indicated by the small red arrows.
Click on the dark crystal and the top of it becomes brighter. Observe it carefully as you slide one of the rods slowly upward; you will see that as you do so at one point it becomes incrementally brighter. Move another rod until this happens again. Repeat, raising and lowering rods until the whole crystal becomes suddenly bright. If in this process the crystal top becomes darker, you have moved the rod in the wrong direction or you should try another rod. Do not click on any of the other crystals or it will go dark and you will have to go through the same procedure to make it bright again. Back off from the closeup of the crystals, and when you do so a tram goes by on the track outside the control room window, probably signifying that the inoperative tram call button now works. Return to the nexus and go down to that tram platform to find that this is indeed the case.
The tram puts Low off at the entrance to a cavern above an inlet from the sea. The pathway leads him inward and upward until he reaches the same scene that he saw after producing the moon eclipse in the planetarium, with the two moons here seen in the hole in the spire rippling strangely. In the path at his feet there is a stone plate that he can remove using the shovel. When he enters the hole below the plate, there on the floor is the black triangle indistinctly seen recently in the holographic map beyond the pit.
In the ceiling is a closed shutter with light seeping around it, leaving Low wishing he could see better. When he puts the blue crystal in the hole in the wall his wish is granted. On the floor is a plate with two quarter moons inscribed on it; when he stands on the plate the shutter opens, but closes again as he steps off. If he uses the rod he took from the rodent cave on the floor plate, it somehow keeps the plate depressed and the shutter open.
There doesn’t seem to be anything more that Low can do in this room. Outside, however, the open shutter and the very bright lights from below show two bright spots in a pile of dirt at the base of the spire next to the path. Removing the dirt he discovers a lens, and as he watches a beam comes from the pair of moons, strikes the lens, and passes below through the open shutter to the triangle on the floor, whereupon a statue of a strange beast rises from below on a low platform that takes the place of the triangle. When Low touches the statue it disintegrates.
He climbs onto the platform and floats down a very deep shaft. Getting off the platform he goes to the left where he finds a door with a pile of bones on each side. As Low approaches the door, a life crystal falls from a niche onto one of the bone piles, which then comes to life as a fierce guard beast. He tosses a life crystal on the other bone pile, and when it becomes another beast they begin fighting and are crushed by a dislodged rock. Use the engraved rod from the spaceship wreck on a slot beside the door to open it.
Through the door and at the end of a causeway Low comes to a large crystal pyramid in which can be dimly seen an alien corpse. Using the PenUltimate he talks to Maggie, who is close to being able to read alien. On the pyramid is a panel on which he clicks the same engraved rod used to open the causeway door, and the pyramid collapses. He then puts a life crystal on the alien, which rises to tower over him. Low tries to talk to it, including a conversation line, but only gets answers in alien-speak. He gives up, and the pyramid rises over it. He calls Maggie again to tell her about the alien. Maggie says she can now read the alien markings, but as she is talking something overwhelms her. Low tries to call Brink for help, but gets no reply.
Go back along the causeway and to the platform that Low rode down from the crypt, climb on it and ride back up. Leave the crypt and continue along the path to come upon another strange device. When Low tries to construct a light bridge, none of the crystal positions will work, and he speculates that there is something amiss in the device panel. All of the devices have had panels though none have been accessible, but this one is, and when you click on it, the cursor shows a central light source, five surrounding prisms, and three crystals, the latter being labeled green, red, and blue. Clicking on the source and then on the prisms moves the light beams around, and these must be set so that the beam goes from the light source to a prism, splitting at that prism and going to the other three, then from each of those to the proper crystal. With the successful arrangement, the panel fades and Low can establish the light bridge.
Continue along the path and through a hole in the spire Low will come upon Brink working on a relic. Using a conversation line Low can have a long dialogue with Brink. Or not. In any event, Brink is very unpleasant, not to say inimical, and refuses to help rescue Maggie. Brink’s stash of life crystals is on the ground, and he will not let Low at them. Low goes into the spire hole and shines his flashlight at the bats in the ceiling, and they fly out in great numbers, frightening Brink away down the path. Low can now get Brink’s life crystals, and he will return them only if Brink goes with him to save Maggie. Off they go.
The brief glimpse of Maggie in the library being captured showed what could have been very large insect legs behind her, and a spider was seen when Low first entered the nest in the map spire, so that is the destination for the two heroes, though how Low knew this is unrevealed. The quickest way between spires is the light bridges, so send Low out on the one he just built. Fortunately the spires are labeled, therefore click on the Map spire to get them there, then through the pit to the nest, where Maggie is bound in a web next to the wall grate that was seen earlier, as a monster spider threatens her. (A lot of conversation follows, and if the monster is making too much noise for you to understand it, move the Sfx slider on the game control panel to the left.)
When Low tries to get to the exit to the falls, the spider moves there and won't let him pass. Click on Brink, then on the spider in the conversation line that appears. Brink says one of them must divert the monster while the other gets past, and he offers to be the diversion. He jumps to the side, gets out his flashlight, and lets loose with a string of scientific epithets. The monster moves to him and Low goes to the top of the falls, where he pushes over a boulder onto the tilting rock to send water into the grate, then returns to the nest.
Click on Brink again, then on the grate in the conversation line. Brink moves to the grate and uses his flashlight to lure the spider there. A cutscene shows Maggie removing the grate and the spider being washed away. All three are now on the path, where Brink says he has fulfilled his part of the bargain and he wants his crystals back. Low is hesitant, whereupon Brink knocks him down, gets his crystals, and runs off.
Maggie tells Low that from her work in the library she thinks the aliens have gone to another planet and now want their assistance in returning. From inventory get the tablet that Low picked up in the museum, the one that he thought was an alphabet, and click it on Maggie. She can read some of it, and by a good guess Low decides to go to the small beach with the tablet of twinkling green lights that has the advantage of being nearby. Leave the nest and cross the stone bridge to the cave beyond the tram tunnel.
Show the tablet to Maggie again, and now she understands. She makes an adjustment to the twinkling lights and an island and walkway rise from the water. They go to an opening in the island that that takes them down to where they find the fourth plate of the set. Somewhat reluctantly they decide to go and talk to Brink.
Use the tram to return to the nexus. As they leave the tram there is an earthquake, or rather a planetquake, after which Brink is heard on the PenUltimate: by the worst of coincidences he was reaching in a crack for a life crystal at the time of the tremor and his hand became wedged, and now he needs help to get free. He is in the cave beyond the waterfall in the planetarium spire, where they find him in great distress. After a lot of talk, Low severs Brink’s hand with the jawbone he has had with him so long. Brink claps a life crystal on his arm.
More talk. The reasoning is that they now have four plates, if not the ones that got them here from Attila then they are duplicates, and maybe they can be used to set up a reverse journey back to earth. There is a place to put them in the nexus, a triangle next to the last unopened stone door. Brink testily agrees if it gets them home. The scene shifts to the nexus, where Low puts the plates in place and the sealed stone door opens. Brink, acting ever more irrationally, says it did not get them home, demands to be left alone, and stalks off.
Low and Maggie take the tram to the last spire, in which they find a weird room, later called a lab, where there is a rising walkway, off of which are several “strange objects” and consoles. The strange objects morph into several shapes when touched, one of which appears to be a spaceship. Click on the first console and a closeup appears showing that it has several irregular shimmering green panels and an empty place for one more, plus spaces for two life crystals. Back off, click on Maggie, then click on the alien device in the conversation line. She thinks that inquiries should be made of the alien in the pyramid. Clicking on the alien in the panel wouldn’t hurt.
Going up the walkway they leave the lab and find another strange device, where Low must remove a bird’s nest from the crystal before he can establish the light bridge. Since Brink took all of Low’s life crystals he will need more, so cross on the light bridge to the museum spire and go down to the supply of them in the room at the base of the tram terminal steps. After he has taken about four, return to the light bridge and go to the tomb spire. Enter the tomb, climb onto the platform, and go down to the alien in the pyramid at the end of the causeway.
Use the engraved rod and a life crystal as before to raise the alien. With Maggie’s acquired knowledge she can talk to it, and a conversation line appears. Start with the alien device, and when that is exhausted the eye part appears. Exhaust that in turn, the alien says to go to the map, and he drops another rod in front of him. Though not necessary, there is a lot more that may be learned by exhausting the other items in the conversation line (note that it can be slid to the left) if you want to take the time.
When Low picks up the rod and uses the magnifying glass to examine it, he finds that it is another 4-crystal rod, this one with a silver handle. Travel the light bridges to the Map spire and the holographic map. Input the new crystal forms code in the panel on the central mound and the image that appears is that of the blue rock beach on the copper sea. That location is on this spire on the other side of the nest, so go there and find the eye part hidden in a rock. Return to the lab in the cathedral spire.
When they get down to the console Brink shows up, extremely threatening, and demands Low’s life crystals to use in his machine. Unaccountably, Low gives them to him, and he leaves.
Low puts the eye part in the console. It fits, but nothing happens. Talk to Maggie. She suggests it needs a life crystal, and she has one. When Low tries it, the device, whatever it is, runs briefly and quits. They need another life crystal, and Brink has them all, including the many that were in the bin in the museum spire. They will have to go to Brink where he is working on the machine relic in the tomb spire. Low decides to retrieve the eye part from the console and take it with him.
When they cross the light bridges and get to the top of the tomb spire there is much antagonistic dialogue with Brink. The eye part is the final element that Brink needs to make his life crystal machine work; show it to Brink and Low makes a wordy bargain with him. Low puts the eye part in a slot in the machine; it produces two crystals, which Low takes along with the eye part. In a cutscene Brink attacks, Low ducks, and Brink goes over the cliff. After more words with Maggie, just be sure that he has enough life crystals, Low puts the eye part back in the machine and makes two more. Retrieving the eye part, they return to the device in the lab.
While Maggie stays at the top of the walkway Low goes down and puts the eye part and the life crystals in the console, then goes back up to talk to Maggie. Click on the alien device in the conversation line for another long discussion, after which they are back down near the bottom of the walkway. There is a video of Maggie ascending the walkway, pushing console buttons as she does, and near the top, pulling hard to free something stuck. When she does, the Eye is recharged, but Maggie perishes. Low leaves and goes up to the light bridge and starts to cross it to the Eye, but an inner portal in the Eye opens and a guardian beast drives him back to the path, then retreats but remains on the light bridge, snarling and blocking the way to the Eye. Click on the strange device, then on the button to turn off the bridge and drop the beast into the sea.
Reestablish the bridge, go into the Eye, click on the spherical portal, and watch—or suffer through—the hokey ending.
There is a slightly different ending, but not very much. Since Low has made extra life crystals, have him break his promise to Maggie and revive her after she dies. After she runs away, send Low across the light bridge to the Eye, dispatch the beast, and endure essentially the same hokey ending.
* Spoiler: step 1, 4V, 2Y, 1R; step 2, 5V, 4B, 1R
GameBoomers Walkthroughs and Solutions