Hints and Tips

   * The Bureau
   * Spider Realm
        o Fire Balcony
        o Air Balcony
        o Metal Balcony
        o Oil Balcony
   * Bismuth
        o The Plane
        o The Statue
        o The Piazza
        o The Church of the Machine
        o The Frame in the Sky
   * Conductor Realm
        o Max's Prison
        o Control Room

The Bureau

     The  majority  of  The Bureau can be figured out with the help of
the upside-down section of the manual. If, for some reason, you're one
of  those  types  that  derives  some perverse pleasure from torturing
yourself by not reading the instructions, do so.


Spider Realm

     A  general  hint  for this realm is to make sure you find all the
places you can travel to. Specifically, several of the large scaffolds
in  the  center  of  the  factory  can  be climbed. This is not always
immediately  obvious and bears mentioning to save your sanity and keep
frustrations levels low.

     Once  you  have harnessed each of the elements, returning through
the  portal will take you to a sort of control room. You will be shown
a  large star field through a window, and a small snapshot of whatever
balcony  you  just returned from. Note that you can look down from the
view  of  the  stars,  where  you'll find the photo, a strange central
symbol, and four slots with matching icons.


     * One photograph, four slots. That's a 25% chance.
     *  Ancient  civilizations  created  constellations  in the stars,
usually  of symbols that held some import or power to them. The symbol
on the center of the console seems pretty important to someone...

Fire Balcony

     The  Fire Balcony is only one scene: a starkly evocative image of
a strange tree waving its limbs up and down against a fiery sky.

Gentle hints:

     *  Beneath  each limb, a rod is set into the rock. Click them and
watch what happens.
     * Did you notice the sun peeking through the clouds?

Less gentle:

     * Clicking and holding on the rods causes the appropriate limb to
stop  waving. By doing so, you can change the order in which the limbs
touch the rods.
     *  Lightning  never  strikes  the  same  place twice - it strikes
different places all in sequence.
     * What would happen if lightning were to strike a rod when a limb
was touching it?

Air Balcony

     The  Air Balcony is a landscape of gray-purple spheres, a strange
cannon,  and  a  tornado.  Note than you can look down from the screen
with the cannon.

Gentle hints:

     *  Ready, aim, fire: the cannon fires a sphere, which strikes the
ground  and  causes  a  column  to  raise  up.  Tornadoes  don't  like
   * Maybe that break in the pipe has something to do with something...

Less gentle:

     *  Hmm,  some  sponge balls and some air squeezers. Try arranging
the balls in various ways on the grid.

Metal Balcony

     A parade of nanobots, leaping off a rock formation and depositing
green somethings into a funnel. Then, they stop.

Gentle hints:

     * There's a conveyor belt with a strange symbol. Press the button.
     *  Look  inside the access panel at the other end of the conveyor
belt.  We've got an empty space that seems to hold a container - maybe
some kind of catalyst?
     * Make a note of the "formula" on the back wall of the access panel.
     *  How did you fare in chemistry class? Not so good? To the right
of  the  chemistry  set are some instructional videos. Watch them, and
take good notes, student!
     * Also, students are advised to study the Periodic Table overhead.

Less gentle:

     * You need to prepare a formula that changes "green" into "orange".
     * You've got a vial of "green" to test your theories.
     * Compare the diagram overhead with the arrangement of test tubes
on  the  left.  Pouring  a  test  tube into a beaker will show you the
"number" of that element.
     *  Watch the videos again, paying close attention to what happens
when  two  "double"  elements  are combined. There's a rule that obeys
when they mix and when they don't. Count your "pips".


Oil Balcony

     The  Oil  Balcony is a sandy dune-covered place with an elaborate
sand castle. Those sound like seagulls in the distance...

Gentle hints:

     *  There's  a  number  written  in  the  sand  at your feet. Find
something else that will use these numbers.
     * Something's wrong with the ocean - it's out of sync.

Less gentle:

     *  Can't  find  any more oil? The ocean is a great source of oil,
but  the  choppy  waves make any kind of drilling impossible. Smoother
seas would probably make a big difference.
     *  Did  you  cross  the suspension bridge that leads into the and
castle? Not the way to the oil collector, but around the front. Up the
long,  long  spiral staircase is a survey map that might help you look
for  oil.  Scroll the map to a spot that produced oil, but is now dry.
The  map  still  looks  the  same,  however.  Pay  attention  to those
topographic  lines  and  see  if  you  can  find a similar arrangement
somewhere else. 



     Not much to do here, except to scale the mountains of junk.

The Plane

     Fly,  fly away. At least that's the general plan. Might take some
pre-flight work, however.

Gentle hints:

     *  Have  a  seat, pilot. Make sure you look to the right to check
out your copilot.
     *  Turn her on and let's fly. Hmmm. No power. Maybe you should go
aft and check on the engine.

Less gentle:

     *  Watch  the  nanobots  go round and round. Did you look at what
they're turning? It's called a zoetrope.
     * First waves, now wings. Perhaps something is out of order.

The Statue

     A  gigantic Bismuth, towering over everything in sight. Upstairs,
don't  miss  the  fabulous museum exhibits. Take a painting class from

Gentle hints:

     * Try the yellow button. Watch the shapes change. Submit with the
green button. Watch him paint.
     * Did you try moving any of those pieces? Weird...
     *  Did you notice what happens when you try to combine two of the
shapes on the tray? Nothing happens. Exactly.

Less gentle:

     *  Didn't  that  empty  frame  say  something  about  the  artist
combining what came before into a work of his own?
     *  Bismuth  doesn't  like  any  of  your  designs?  Maybe  he's a
minimalist. Remember the old art adage: Less is more.

The Piazza

     Don't worry, it's not a chess problem.

Gentle hints:

     *  Quite  a  collection  of  strange  objects, isn't it? Have you
noticed you can click on any of them that you can see, even if they're
not  directly adjacent to you? Keep moving and selecting objects until
something unusual happens - it always does. Interesting "music", isn't
     * On the "north" side of the piazza is a place from which you can
ascend  to  the  balcony  overlooking  the piazza. Stand either on the
square with the chess queen or the large urn and face the wall.

Less gentle:

     * "To find success, you must first trap inspiration." A trap is a
device  or  plan that prevents someone or something from moving. Where
was the last place you saw Bismuth in the video clip?
     *  Listen  to  the  music  when  you step off a square. Count the
notes.  There  seems  to  be a correlation between the number of notes
played and where you find Bismuth hiding behind the playing pieces.
     *  Practice  playing  on  the miniature game in the balcony. It's
much  easier  when you can see everything at once. Also, one piece has
been  taken  away  kind  of  like you can do by clicking on one of the
full-size objects.

The Church of the Machine

     Worshipping machines is not a devotion limited to the citizens of
the  Internet; Re-visit your old friend The Spider and see what he can
do for you, not to you.

Gentle hints:

     *  Don't  overlook Bismuth, who's sitting quietly reading a book.
Maybe it's a book of spiritual rituals.
     *  In  the catherdral below sits Abraxas, quietly waiting for you
to give him some orders.
     * What about the blank circuit chip? Three spaces, three designs.
     *  Welcome  to the world of robot programming. Program a sequence
of steps and enjoy the ride.

Less gentle:

     * Your goal is to have the spider hold the chip up to each of the
three  stained-glass  windows.  Each one will imprint one of the three
mystical symbols on the chip.
     *  Note  that  the  sequence  of  maneuvers will loop back to the
beginning once the sequence is complete.
     *  Also,  it's helpful to note that any of the three "turn" moves
include   making   the   turn   and  also  moving  one  space  forward
     *  You have to do it all in one process or the chip's memory gets
erased  and  you  have to start over. Don't overlook the advantages of
the  square  loop  in  the "south" part of the cathedral. Those mystic
symbols  sure look similar to the programming buttons on the Spiders's
control console
     * Remember Bismuth and his book? Check back with him periodically
-  he  occasionally  reads  further,  shedding  more  light  onto  the
mysterious rituals. (Thanks to Pete Hill for this.)

The Frame in the Sky

     It's not really a place, but a passageway. If you haven't been to
the  Statue  and  the  Church  of the Machine, you'll have to complete
those  areas  first.  Also,  while  probably  not  strictly necessary,
playing the game in the Piazza will come in quite helpful.

Gentle hints:

     * Let Bismuth fly the Plane. He knows where to go.
     *  Listen  carefully when Bismuth gives you directions during the
pre-flight check. One of his commands is a bit hard to understand, and
confusion is natural, sometimes even beneficial.

Less gentle:

     * Was that B2 or D2 as the second command? Hmmm
     *  "Kill  sequence  and begin again." You don't always have to do
what you're told.
     * Interesting, isn't it, that the pre-flight switch panel has the
same number of switches as the Piazza has squares?
     *  Did  you just flip those switches blindly, neglecting to check
the indicator lights underneath? Interesting.

Conductor Realm

     I take no responsibility for any nightmares this relatively small
realm may lead to. I know it freaked me out.

Max's Prison


     * I don't know how to hint toward the obvious goal, all I can say
is  pay  attention  to  the fact that the sections move until they run
into  another  section.  If  anyone has a specific moves list for this
puzzle, please e-mail it and I'll add it in.
     *  Once  you reach Max, you'll need to disrupt the flow of energy
that's  keeping him prisoner. Look down and yank out that vial of icky
orange stuff and he'll be freed. I'd really hate to learn that this is
the  orange  stuff  we  worked  so  hard  to make in the Steel Balcony
chemistry lab

The Chip

     All I know is that it's the crossover chip from the Plane.

Control Room

     Ah,  the Conductor. Isn't she a sweetheart? Max wants you to flip
the  switches  on the panel to crash the entire system. Easier than it


     * Again, I don't have a specific moves list, but I do know how it
works. Max told you to flip "the 8 switches" to defeat the protection.
When  the  switches  "move", half of them do not get covered again. By
"covered",  I  mean  they  don't have the camouflage moving onto them.
It's  the other 8 you need to flip. Sit far back from your monitor and
try-not  to go blind by crossing your eyes and trying to watch a large

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