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Vague hint-y spoilers for puzzles in The Witness

Butch:

Well, I finished Episode 3 of King’s Quest. Very good little game. Good voice acting. One that should be on your “When I have time” pile. Or your “When O’Jr. is old enough to like games” pile.

But that’s it. Mrs. McP came home early, I had to make food, etc. And today I’m grumpy as hell because the dust was blowing up against the house all damn night and when it blows THAT way it hits by my bedroom and it was noisy and kept me up. I’ve been up since 330. Well, and staying up late for football.

So hopefully you solved some puzzles, did some stuff.

We gotta get Horizon. There’s gotta be a good freebie this month.

Feminina:

Finished the trees. Apples are the hint, right? On it. Saw the anatomical drawings of the heart there. Very nice.

Wandered around, heard an Einstein quote, saw a statue of a little dog sitting on a pillow. It was strangely creepy for an innocuous depiction of a little dog.

Got under the windmill and saw the BBC clip with the guy talking about art being a bad way of knowing about the world compared to science. Amusing that he begins with “that’s no better a solution than any other.”

Um…if you mean the thing I just did, it SORT of is better than others, since it turned on this video. But nice of you to totally diss my solution-finding skills, dude. Ha.

So. We’re NOT into art here, all the lovely settings aside? Hm.

I have done some of the mirror image ones, although not that one near…wherever it was I saw it. That one I couldn’t figure out. Is there one near the video with the dude? Anyway. Wherever I saw the last one, I didn’t do it.

That’s about it. Didn’t accomplish a whole lot.

Butch:

Apples were the hint. Look around. A lot.

Dude, that dog freaked the living shit out of all the boys and me. That was messed up. Cuz you’re just strolling and BOOM dog.

There’s some creep in this game.

Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiich……can be our first real tie in to Rapture. Sure, the games are different in how they play, but very similar in that, here we are, wandering around in this idyllic setting, trees, plants, sunshine, lovely…surrounded by creepiness. Something has HAPPENED. At least, I’m taking (and I have no spoilers on this yet) the read that something has happened. I read it that these aren’t statues, but people who have been turned to stone. I could be wrong; I have no info on that, either. But if that’s the case, like Rapture, we’re…what…the last person standing? The one person allowed back? Someone else who has been sent to this hell/purgatory?

It certainly has the same early (and late) vibe that Rapture has in that, as pretty as this all looks, something AIN’T RIGHT. And, you add that to the religious imagery you’ve already seen, we have a similar game, in terms of theme.

But is it saying the same thing? We shall blog on that.

Interesting that you read that bit re: the video as “art.” I think a lot of this game, thus far, is more “science,” or, at least, technology. The whole damn island is wired with panels that are wired to other panels. Nice, blocky, logical things with wires.

We’ll come back to this.

But, as you have now gotten that video (I guess you did remember to screenshot that pattern you saw in that hut place, nice job), I can bring up another thing we talked about re Rapture: where are we in time? There’s anachronisms all over the damn place. Some of the statue dudes seem medieval, the panels are electrical, the windmill and the drawings seem more renaissance, you start in a big metal pipe, now a BBC clip.

I have no answers for this, either.

We did discuss, re Rapture, if we were in some other timeline, as the world did not end in 1984. But here? Do you read that we’re in some earthly place that….what….is in some other time frame? Or are we in some other…place? (I have no info on this).

Hmm.

Feminina:

Yeah, there are a lot of interesting similarities to Rapture. Beautiful yet empty environment, so calm, so peaceful, and still that unsettling sense that something…ain’t right.

Indeed, plenty of solid evidence of things not being right–here, in the numerous places where buildings have been smashed and damaged. And it’s interesting that the cords running everywhere seem to often take advantage of holes knocked in buildings, suggesting that there was some catastrophe, and then afterwards someone set up this whole network of screens and wires and puzzles. For some reason.

I agree–I tend to think that the statues are probably actual people who were turned to stone (somehow? for some reason?), and yeah, the different time periods represented are odd. Sometimes it’s a mix even on one person–the guy who seems to be “answering the door” in that area with the large group of statues is wearing a fairly modern suit, but carrying a sword. Which most suit-wearing guys today do not do. I guess he could be in Parliament or something.

I mean, it could all be explained by “single, modern time period, haphazardly orchestrated, drunken costume party turned to stone”…or it could be “people snatched from many different periods and turned to stone.”

There’s no way to know!!!!

We can also totally talk about the incongruity of the totally ordinary, human features of the guy in the video. I mean, it’s just an actual video clip. From our actual, ordinary world. So presumably this world (assuming it is actually the world) is our ordinary world or some version of it, and was in the past populated by humans who looked like that, and this meshes oddly with the gorgeous, highly detailed, but not exactly realistic environment in which we find ourselves. The plain lighting and background of the video serve to really highlight the glorious, colorful artificiality of the rest of the world we see.

It makes me think we’re actually inside a construct of some kind…maybe even in the game, we’re playing a game? (Or maybe this idea just parallels my theory in Rapture so neatly that I’m naturally gravitating towards it.)

And if this is a construct, then I think it’s art because it’s lovely for no practical purpose that I can see (it could be plain and ugly and still be full of puzzles), which is where I got that. Though you’re right, the big, complicated technological setup says “science.”

And if it’s meant to actually be the world, then it’s…some weird offshoot of the world, or a world in a more colorful universe, to which video clips from a much more dully-hued universe have somehow been sent. For some reason.

Hm.

Butch:

There is certainly a sense of not-right. And, like in Rapture, the human impressions we see (there, light, here, statues) aren’t happy. The statues here are not sitting around, smiling, drinking wine. No. Lots look scared. Some don’t, but a lot do.

But you know what looks completely chill? That dog. That dog is just chillin’. Which makes it even creepier.

Dude…. I didn’t even put that together about the broken walls. See, this shit right here is why we needed to blog on this. It WOULD seem the panels came after.

As for pointers for reason….that even I don’t know….you know how I mentioned that bigassed yellow box you likely found? Go back there. Solve the puzzles. We’ll talk. Later.

Or statues of groups of people together. There’s one particular area….. you’ll know when you get there. We’ll talk. Later.

(Is it pretty apparent, now that you’ve seen trees and symmetry and the opening bit, that the map has certain areas marked?)

There’ll probably be a way to know. I have hope.

On video…it’s a VERY ordinary clip. Just a dude with a white background talking. It’s the kind of thing that they made you watch in college and you barely stayed awake.

I’ve only found one other video so far, and I think I missed one. Remember our discussion here.

And whether this is real or not, well, the island certainly seems to want you to “play” its game. It sure seems that solving these puzzles is a good thing. Right? It certainly seems that we’re working towards some truth, some answer.

Yellow box.

And the complicated set-up does say science….but the recordings…..don’t. Do they?

Box.

You’re getting into this, aren’t you?

Not bad themeage for a game about tracing lines. And you’re just starting out. It gets a WHOLE lot themey-er. Themeier? Themier?

Whatever.

Feminina:

Yeah, some of the statues do seem troubled. The guy in the square yelling at the sky, and the two women fencing (one on the ground, mask off to the side–NOT proper practice!)…but then there’s the guy with the guitar, who’s just singing, and the woman sitting on the throne who’s just chilling, so it’s hard to tell.

Hm. If you haven’t noticed the cords taking advantage of breaks in the buildings, I might be making it up. In my memory, they sometimes trail into the cracks and stuff, but we know how good my mind was at recalling the Rapture logo.

Check next time you play. It’s the only way to be sure.

But assuming I’m not making it up, we have some damage prior to all the screens, and then also some lesser, wear-and-tear type damage that seems to post-date the screen set-up, like the broken pane in the puzzle one the ground next to the drunken statue costume party, or the way there’s a frame missing from one of the series of screens on…some wall somewhere, I remember seeing it but I can’t remember where it was.

Anyway, it seems as if something bad happened, and then someone set up a bunch of screens and wires (or else I made that up) and then quite a lot of time passed–relatively uneventfully, but enough that small things about the whole set-up are gradually starting to break down. Weather? Previous visitors wrecking stuff?

I made up this whole line of evidence?

Alternative facts! I demand the right to introduce them!

Damn it, I was doing so well thinking of other things. Now I have to go throw up a little.

Butch:

You were doing well. Stop it. We were blogging there.

Hmmm….wait….where did you see those figures? You may well have seen more than I thought you did……

No, you’re absolutely right about the walls. There’s a lot that looks…newer than the damage. And a lot of the newer stuff isn’t damaged. There’s certainly been time periods.

One place in particular that you MUST have found. Big place? Desert? Has a bunch of puzzles you probably are looking at going “I have NO idea where to even start?”

Stuff is certainly old. Or, at least, has been allowed to fall into disrepair. I certainly get the sense that no one has been here in a long time.

You seem right on. But….yellow box. Yellow. Box.

Though even the buildings seem to be of different ages. (Have you found the place in the desert? That’s a good one). The glass factory seems pretty new, and it’s in pretty good shape. The place in the desert, well… the town’s kind of a mess, but the windmill still works. There’s that mess of a church spire near creepy dog that’s but a ruin.

If we’re going science/art, the religious buildings are older and more run down. The sciencey buildings (the glass factory, the quarry) are nowhere near as run down, and the only place that seems to work is a windmill which, while not modern, was an engineering feat of its time.

Desert building. Yellow Box. And where did you see the queen/fencers?

Feminina:

I dunno, I saw the largest group of statues over by that castle, with the hedge maze I can’t into. I went there I think the second time I played. I’ve been all over the island, to the best of my ability–yes, including the desert, where as you say I couldn’t do much of anything. Though I noted the sort of partial temple, with the motif of a sunbeam shooting down…a natural symbol of the line we have to draw everywhere?

Yellow box. Desert. Noted.

As I said, I’ve pretty much wandered all over by now, not spending that much time in any one place if there’s not something that looks like it’s worth messing with. I figure do a once-over, solve anything that’s easy, note whatever weird stuff I note that I might care about later…go back over it again a second (3rd, 4th, 10th) time to keep picking away at things that might make more sense the 5th time around…I dunno, is that not the strategy?

I figured that there’s a sort of progression of learning how to do different types of things, and I don’t want to waste time fiddling with a puzzle if it’s just not a thing I know how to do yet. That tends to make me frustrated and irritable. I mean, unless it’s brute-forcing my way through the tree puzzles instead of looking at the apples in the actual trees, because that’s just good clean fun.

Butch:

That’s the one. You can’t get into the hedge maze? I don’t remember what was on those doors.

You HAVE been all over. Damn. Take your time.

And yes. That’s the desert temple. And you CAN do stuff there. If you try.

As for the sun and the line…….Hm.

Yellow box.

Big yellow box.

Without spoiling……

Each area kinda teaches you something new. Some areas have doors that require you to solve a puzzle with certain symbols, and that’s telling you they expect you to know how those symbols work before you go in. If you see that, there’s an area where you will learn said symbols. Go do that. Then go back. If there’s no door/gate, then the game thinks you ought to be able to do that right away, and learn something there.

And it does do a good job at making you learn. Like with the “pac man” dots. The first couple puzzles were really easy, so you said “Ah yes. THAT’S how they work,” then it made you master them.

So it’s the gates. You see a gate with symbols you haven’t been through that process you went through with the pac man dots? Turn back.

Feminina:

Actually, I don’t remember what’s on the doors at the hedge maze either. I should go back and check, it might be something I now know about.

Yeah, I did the Pac-Man dots, and the colorful blobs where you have to make sure each color has its own area. I was stymied by the Pac-Man dots combined with a Tetris block: I keep running into that and then wandering off again. And then there are the transparent grids that I keep looking through trying to line up with something behind them, but so far without success.

Magpie-like, I get distracted and think “heck with this, I’m going to go check out that thing! I’ll come back later.”

Good thing there’s no loot, or I’d never do anything else.

Butch:

I can guarantee you that you shouldn’t be doing the hedges yet. You gotta know the tetris blocks, and that has a place where you learn the tetris blocks.

I can say, and you may feel differently, but of all the tricks and puzzles in this game, I have the hardest time with the fucking tetris blocks.

As for the transparent panels……you know how with the trees you had to look around? At the world?

(Don’t feel bad. Took me forever, too)

Feminina:

I have been looking around! After the trees (and, actually, even before the trees, just not, for some reason, AT the trees) I was looking around trying to find something that related.

But I’ll look harder. I will.

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