Hints and Tips
* The Bureau
* Spider Realm
o Fire Balcony
o Air Balcony
o Metal Balcony
o Oil Balcony
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 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.
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...
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.
* 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?
* 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?
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.
* 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...
* Hmm, some sponge balls and some air squeezers. Try arranging
the balls in various ways on the grid.
A parade of nanobots, leaping off a rock formation and depositing
green somethings into a funnel. Then, they stop.
* 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.
* 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".
The Oil Balcony is a sandy dune-covered place with an elaborate
sand castle. Those sound like seagulls in the distance...
* 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.
* 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
Not much to do here, except to scale the mountains of junk.
Fly, fly away. At least that's the general plan. Might take some
pre-flight work, however.
* 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.
* 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.
A gigantic Bismuth, towering over everything in sight. Upstairs,
don't miss the fabulous museum exhibits. Take a painting class from
* 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.
* 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.
Don't worry, it's not a chess problem.
* 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.
* "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
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.
* 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.
* 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
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
I take no responsibility for any nightmares this relatively small
realm may lead to. I know it freaked me out.
* 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
All I know is that it's the crossover chip from the Plane.
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