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4.5/5 (195 votes)

Looming

Somewhere there's a place littered with bones and the remains of an ancient civilization... and you've been drawn to it, alone. Gregory Weir's striking exploration title may lack enough direction to ensnare all players, but packs a significant wallop in the atmosphere department, and provides an intriguing story if you're willing to track it down.

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Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Looming Walkthrough:

There are technically 8 endings in looming, though the first is really more of a false start, and two share almost the same necessary actions. After getting all 8, you'll be treated to a Notes section detailing the game's creation and making the plot a bit clearer. However, the best way to clarify things is to read carefully all the artifacts, hidden signposts, unhidden signposts, and letters in the game. The story they tell is the substance of Looming, so I won't give it away in this guide.

Endings:
1

Just enter the portal you can see upon starting the game.

2

The difference between the first and second exit messages is:

how much time has passed.

To get the second ending, spend more than a minute in Looming; to get the first, spend less than a minute.

[This spoiler was edited and updated with information posted by Parse. -Jay]

3

The signposts which you began to unearth in ending 2 are the key here. Unearth the first as you did previously, then unearth the rest by following the directions given. When looking for the gears, they're vaguely north-east from the signpost which tells you to find them. There's a very small gap in the middle which you should walk north through. Other than that, happy hunting. After you've unearthed all the signposts, exit through the newly revealed portal.

4, 5, 6, 7

Now comes the great artifact hunt. As you explore the landscape of looming, you'll see that it's filled with little white dots. Sometimes, however, you'll come across a dot that's very slightly bigger and shinier than the other ones. If you're in doubt, stand near one for about 5 seconds and it should twinkle. These are what you need to find in order to finish the game; if you see one, go up to it and press "X" to collect it, as the game should indicate. My advice is to find all of the artifacts in one go. (Yes, even the ones you won't technically need; there's no way to be selective, and since the whole point of the game is the story, which is mostly conveyed through these little trinkets, I'd highly recommend that you catch 'em all.) The necessary artifacts come in four groups: 1)Oarbor Bones, 2)Tally Beads, 3)Path Rings, and 4)Shattered Diagram Pieces. There are also Lorem Tablets and Seecha Rods, which hold clues to the story. As far as how to find all of these things, you have two options. 1)Search the comments here to find pinpointed locations for them, or 2)Do what I did and blanket search the whole map. Yes, this is tedious, but it takes about as much time as searching the first way. How I did this was to start at one corner of the map, go straight across the map, move vertically up a good screen or so, (the less you move up, the less territory, the more closely you can sweep said territory,) and go back across, moving vertically again and returning to the previous side each time. This works within 5-10 minutes, with the only problem then being actually achieving each ending. [NOTE: As long as you don't close your browser window, and perhaps even if you do, you won't lose any artifacts, so each time you get a new ending, your artifacts will stay with you. However, any found signposts do sink between playthroughs.] To get an ending, find one of the four locations which open when you've found all of a certain group of artifacts. Within a rectangle of four spherical stones is the portal which opens when you find all the bones; in front of a triangle-like structure, the bead portal; in front of a half-oval hut, the ring portal; and the diagram portal is a bit different. It's found in the center of four light-posts with diamond tops. However, you have to manipulate the posts in order to activate the portal. Your completed diagram should have four circles, one at each corner. Inside each one should be a symbol, and somewhere on the diagram, each symbol should appear again next to a directional line. The symbols won't be translated. Instead, use their position on the diagram to relate them to the four light-posts. That is: top-right corner = top-right post, etc. Go up to each post, standing at theirr bases, and rotate them using "X". If it's not exact, no problem, but get it as close as you can, or the portal might not open.

8

Just find the portal in the middle of the very top of the screen.

9 - SECRET ENDING!!! (Sorta.)

All this ending requires is going the the four corners of the world...well, technically anyway. There are four more signposts in the world, which you may have found as you searched for artifacts, each hidden in one of the corners of the giant fence around Looming. Each has a message which you'll need to memorize. Each post corresponds to the light-post in the similar position, as with the circles on the diagram. The messages on the signposts indicate which direction the lights should be shining in. Add 1 and 1 and get 2, and you're all set. Congrats on beating the game...unless you read this walkthrough out of order. Which means you can't count. Which means you'll need a lot more than this walkthrough to figure out the game. Starting with a kindergarten education. But to the rest of you, Congrats!

135 Comments

Very nice atmosphere and world; descends fairly quickly into dull item-hunting.

Found all but one piece of shattered diagram. Like what Crab said, it gets dull after a while.

However, if you stop and read through a complete set of artifacts (especially 1st and 2nd row), it tells a somewhat interesting story.

Interesting game, but not exactly fun...

Look and feel reminds me of the old 1-bit B&W Mac games I used to play (Dark Castle, Three-in-3, Airborne, Crystal Quest).

I like the game, very mysterious, I want to try and get all the endings and figure things out. I've found that...

The four pilars that have crystal things on top of them with light shining out are adjustable, you can rotate the lights. I found all of the tablet pieces, and I think that might have something to do with what's needed to make things work, but I'm not really sure.

Grant Thurston:

It's the "Shattered Diagram" that tells how the towers need to be rotated. Note that it has four symbols and connects each symbol to a direction.

I've managed to find all but the last exit, so far.

Indeed, Grant,

if you turn the lights towards the directions given on the tablet (for instance, the upper-right circle has the same symbol as the arrow that points down, so the upper-right light should point down), you'll open up a new portal.

I've found all but the last portal.

For that one, I assume it's related to the four messages you get in the very corners of the board, but the only thing I can think of from those messages is to rotate the lights in those directions. This doesn't do anything, though.

I'm enjoying this game. It is a bit of tedious item hunting, especially since I've only got one item left. Thanks for the hint Grant, I hadn't made the lights/tablet connection.

Of course, I've left and come back a few times, and even though I know I've found where to unlock the portals, I can't remember where they were, and that means I have to hunt them down all over again.

Um, i've got all relics, and all of the portals found, except for the second and the last Any help would be appreciated.

It's only tedious if you stray far away from the paths or monuments.

Other than that, it's a very conceptually interesting game. Toying with the roles of science and religion.

It's really bothersome that it turns into such dull item hunting.

It'd be good to at least have some pointers to some of the less obvious items so you don't have to, eventually, comb the entire area. That'd really kill your eyes !

I'm not too certain about the dots below the start button either, references to different portals?


I can't find all the hidden messages to open the portal.

For the lights:

yes, we must use the direction told by the diagram

We can use the rotating light towers twice, actually. One has been pointed out already. For the other, a hint:

Corners...

How can the first portal be activated?
Very nice and intriguing game.

I've found all the items, and I got the last ending. The key to it is

The messages in the corners of the map. So it does involve the shining things again, or the "Stars" as they called it. The ways they need to shine are...

Upper left goes left, lower left goes right, upper right goes down, and lower right goes up.

Now I only have one ending left to find, it's the second one. I'm not sure, but I think it has a connection to the Seecha Rods and the Lorem tablets. Those are the only two that I haven't been able to connect an ending to.

I'm in the same boat as Nyxdarkness. All relics found, along with the portals that go with them, as well as:

Leaving through the beginning, the one at the end of the normal path, and the hidden column treasure hunt one

I know one that I'm missing has to do with the "stars" (has anyone figured that out yet?), but I have no idea what the other one is (second and last circles, as Nyxdarkness said).

I have been at this for an hour and I cannot find the Orabor V bone. Any help? Or is the item location randomized? (God, I hope not.)

Also, a walkthrough detailing where the hidden-message pillars are would be faboo.

Tigrita, read my post above yours to find out about the star thing. But might I ask you what you mean by "Leaving through the beginning"?

Oops, thanks Grant, I think we posted at the same time. On to the elusive second portal!

A note on the "stars:"

I had to play around with the lights until the portal decided to unlock, even though I had followed the directions. My bottom left light was closer to southeast than east when it finally unlocked. Doing the puzzle a second time was fine though, so maybe there's a glitch for the first time? It could be why so many of us were having trouble

"Leaving through the beginning" =

what I was calling taking the portal the game starts you next to

Don't worry, I haven't found anything new. I've got the same empty second circle as the rest of you.

AHHH! Sorry to triple-post, but I got it! How ironic, considering my last post. To get the second circle:

Just go back through the portal you start next to. Maybe you need to have found all the artifacts to get the different ending?

Tigrita, I've tried as you've suggested, but this does not fill my second circle.

I did note however:

When you "Begin" again after having all but the second portal full, you get a new achievement, something about "coming back to looming." I didn't get much of a chance to read it, but perhaps that has something to do with it?

Nope, didn't work for me, I think you've done something different. I've also found all of the artifacts, but it gave me the same ending as the first time I did the portal at the beginning.

I thought that was the one that was put in the first circle.


I finally found the first signpost!

You read of "the second", try to think how to find the firt.

if you find the second go north.

The first is at Est of the Crux at the North end of the starting road.

The first is at the center of the circle of "dust"

Of course I get it now.

You have to wander around a bit before it gives the other one from that portal

To get the second circle:

You need to leave through one of the portals you've already used previously. I used the "first" one (near where you start) but I imagine any of them would work. You get a message expressing September's futility in not learning anything that trip.

I have found all but one relic and the second gate. I'm missing Lorem Tablet V, and I really am not sure where the second gateway is. It's strange that the others were easier to find.

And now I read the other comments, and it appears tigrita is right:

After activating the hidden signpost gate, when I went through the first portal a second time, it activated the second portal marker.

Now if I only could find that last relic...

Just starting out, and I'm enjoying the game a lot!

MIGRAINE WARNING! If you suffer from strobe-induced migraines, be careful with this one - the background "flickers" as you walk and may cause a migraine.

Someone ought to keep an eye out for effects like that - people like me with optical sensitivity can get serious headaches from extensive flashing, especially with a two-color black-and-white background.

wheres the 5th bone?

I've found everything except the second diagram piece. Anyone remember where that one is?

Cannot find Oarbor Bone V, which is the last thing I need before activating my final portal. I've searched the whole penned in area several times.

here is some help for people strugling with getting all the portals. since you can't check which portal matches which events at the end, the only 2 I am positive of are the first and last portals

1st portal spot

leave through the portal at the start without discovering anything new

last portal spot

go to the 4 corners of looming. in each corner there is a hidden sign post. point the four spotlight type devices in the indicated directions

the others

collect all bones and read the sign in between the four domes located at the very north of looming.

collect all path rings, and head to the large dome to the east

collect all tally beads and head to the big triangle in the north west

read all hidden sign posts, the location of the portal is revealed in the last one.(it helps if you start at the beginning. the first one is located in a patch of rough ground northeastish from your starting position)

leave through the portal located directly north of your starting position

collect all pieces of the shattered diagram, and arrange the spotlights in the indicated direction

collect all the lorem tablets and seecha rods

Also can't find bone #5, and I, too, have quartered the entire board. Not there. Don't have portals 6 or 8, but the rest were doable.

Please help! I need to find a sign spot "east from where the road is out of sight".
Thank you for your time!

@ archy

it is directly east from the previous sign post, at the point where the first road you cross is just barely in sight to the west

Can someone please tell me where they found tally bead 4? I've actually explored the whole map in an ordered search pattern and I still cant find it. Its also the key to my last ending.

I accidentally clicked before I finished reading one of the letters to January... Is there a way to go back and read it again? :(

Thanks tenkuchima!
But I have one more portal left, and it's the second one, I got all the artefacts, done the thing with the lights both ways, found most portals on map, what did I mis?

Oh and how do I put the spoiler thing?

I'm with RedOutBDB and e., I can't find the fifth bone either. Anybody know where it is?? :/
Also, chipmunk, was the letter on a signpost or a found item? If it's a signpost, just walk up and hit 'x' again. If it's an item, hit 'c' and use your arrow keys to find the item and hit 'x' and read the letter again. :)

I can't find the final Seecha Rod, although it doesn't seem to be tied to an ending (Weir himself has confirmed this).

For the second ending:

Enter the beginning portal after walking around for a little. The portal is tied to two endings

Anyone find the last one yet?

Does anyone know the locations of all the signposts? I'm having a hard time finding them, and it is the last Portal I need.

I need only one item and three portals. ha ! confusing ! its not exactly fun but its intriguing and mysterious. Anywho, The four corners thing....

turn those in the directions given... you know the "stars". make them shine in the directions they are supposed to and a portal opens right there instantly.

Haha nevermind. Must have been that power of posting thing I've heard so much about. Finally found that last darned sign post that was eluding me!

I need help finding the second piece of diagram ! please help.

What about the 7th one

To the JIG staff: if you're going to host a game, can you do so when you first put up the review? It's somewhat annoying to return to a game, notice that I lost my progress, and realize it's because the link changed. Fixable (because I just have to figure out what the previous link was), but annoying.

Great, thanks Dora!

Wildbreeze, no, it was one of the letters to January, which appear when you enter or leave Looming. Doesn't seem to be a way to reread it, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. :)

According to the author on his site, the difference between the first and second exit messages is

how much time has passed.
To get the second, spend more than a minute in Looming; to get the first, spend less than a minute.

I can't figure out how to turn the light posts. Can someone help, please?

Tally bead #4

is just to the right of the pentagon shape with horns on it.

5th bone piece:

One of the hidden pillars says to head "east from the second hidden pillar" and look at the base of the spire there. The bone marked "V" is very near it, slightly NE I believe.

To turn the lights of the lightposts, you move below them and press 'X', as the floating X signifies.

I can't find the second ending. I've tried leaving through the portal near your starting spot, but it doesn't work

the signpost says that "on the east where the path is just out of sight, another hidden signpost stands here", but I can't find it.

Took about an hour, but I finally found the last signpost. Fantastic experience.

@23653187

If you go directly east from that signpost you'll find it at about the point that the path disappears from your view

oh, I now remembered that I accidentally revealed the last signpost at first.

Yet another Flash title I can't play, because the up- and down-arrow keys scroll the browser.

I'm having a problem with my cursor disappearing, making it impossible to close an item description after picking it up. Enter and Escape should be standard keys to let someone back out of something, but here they have no effect.

Instructions for finding the hidden sign posts, from the start.

Note: when the sign posts say "East" they mean "Directly East". As in do not go north or south at all, just east. Also remember that when you are near one, the "X" will appear telling you to hit the button, so it's not quite a pixel-hunt.

ZERO (tells you of the hidden posts) and ONE:

Travel NORTH to the first intersection, then EAST.

You now have an option:

If you want to stay on the road, travel until the road turns at a right angle to the NORTH. Continue until you can travel WEST, then continue SOUTH. The sign post at this dead end will tell you of the hidden sign posts. Follow its instructions to travel south. Do as it says and travel south, about two screens. It's in the circle.

If you are willing to leave the road: after you first turn EAST, stay on the road until there is small break in the road. BACK UP so that the break is just off screen to the right. Leaving the road, go NORTH. You will find the first hidden sign post in the circle here. Also you can go north to find the sign that lets you know of the hidden posts.

TWO:

As the sign says, travel SOUTH more. You will pass the road you traveled on, and then just to the east of four spires. The left-most of these spires will just disappear from the top of the screen when you arive at the right spot. There is no indication this is here, other than the "X" that appears when you are close enough to push it.

Also: (Don't look if you want to do this in order.)

A later sign tells you to return here and go EAST. It will be at a spire, almost all the way to the fence.

THREE:

Travel to the WEST. You will pass just south of the entrance portal. Barely a screen width beyond the portal, you will find the post south of a dead end of a road.

FOUR:

Travel North. You'll be on the road for a short time, but you'll keep going when it dead ends. As the third post said, this is between two plates. This instructs you that there is another post EAST of the second sign.

If you have already been to that one, proceed to SIX.

FIVE:

If you backtrack, you will be traveling EAST as you approach the second post. Continue past the second post. FIVE will be at a spire, almost all the way to the fence.

SIX:

Five tells you to stand between two gears and go north? Guess what? The gears are directly NORTH of the FOURTH hidden sign post. Backtrack back to FOUR and continue NORTH. You will pass the lights.

When you arrive at the gears, remember that you need to stand BETWEEN them, not under the big gear.

Go NORTH. It's not far. It's in the middle of the circle of ground that is a different texture.

SEVEN:

From SIX, go EAST. You will cross a road. Slow down a bit. Just as the road is about to disapear off the left side of the screen, you'll find the post.

EIGHT:

From SEVEN, go NORTHEAST. It's not far. You can follow the spires easily. The Eight and last hidden post is between the pair of spires right near the northeast corner of the fence.

If you are listening to the sound of the game, you will hear a slight "ding" when you find the last post.

Travel directly south to use the portal. You shouldn't miss it, but if you make it to the dead end of the road, you have gone too far.

Smoothfonzo: The game does not use the mouse other than at the menu. On an item description, notice the X in a box in the bottom right? That's telling you to push the X button.

Game controls are X, C, and Arrows.

I need the 6th ring.

Does anyone else have trouble with the inventory? The cursor doesn't seem to move at all unless I start mashing the arrow keys in frustration. It's doing my head in as I didn't fully read one of the tablet things but I can't get to select it.

LOL I'm still trying to figure out what those squishy creature things are when you try to find a relic.

Aaaack. I need the last Seecha rod. Also, as that has been said not to be tied to an ending, the second to last of mine is missing.

confirmed second circle:

you have to walk around a little then return to the portal that is beside to the entrance, then the caracter sends a letter like saying "it was a waste of time i found nothing", what i did was do the star aligning portal again to waiste time then return and exit trhough the first portal and it worked.

I just need the second Lorem tablet, and (hopefully with that) the second ending. Scanned the entire field already, but I must've looked over it.

Apart from the endless pixel hunt, it was quite fun :)

I can't find the last Path Ring! Someone help!

Ah, thanks Orion. Maybe that should be made clearer in the game, that it's not an X to click on?

I actually didn't even notice the x in the corner at first. X was the button we had to push to see the object info, so X was the first I tried to get rid of it.

Help with bone #4?
Anyone?
...
I've grid-searched and pixel hunted the entire game, but i must have missed it... somehow.
If anyone has any type of hint or help, please tell me!

After getting all the 'endings' you can read some of the designer's notes. He says that (with the exception of the hidden post hunt) every collectible item it close to a path or piece of architecture.

So for those of you missing a piece of something or another, don't bother exploring empty black spaces - only near paths or objects.

I can't find the second to last portal. ARRRGH!

Ive done the stars, the secret pillars, the bones, the path rings, the tally beads, the portal straight north, the beginning portal twice..... what else???

Hmmm. Anyone know how to see those achievements that keep popping up, or are they only able to be checked if you're actually playing it on Newgrounds instead of the JIG hosting?

For those that are missing portals, here is a list. They are in no particular order and I've not included any instructions.

-At the Start.

-At the Start after some time has passed.

-At the Dome NE of the Start.

-At the North Side of Looming. (The letter talks about his feet being tired.)

-At the Four Light Towers

-At the Four Light Towers (different exit!)

-At the four Egg/Sphere things near the North West corner.

-At the triangular "gateway".

-The Portal that is unlocked when you have found all the sign posts.

This was one of the most awesome games I have played in quite a while. I am a huge fan of the "explore and find things out for yourself" type games. Once I realized that

you can turn the lamp posts

I was able to get all of the endings without too much difficulty, just a little bit of hunting for one of the rings.

Very well written review, Dora, thank you for bringing this gem to my attention. As soon as I read "There isn't much direction to speak of, so your time is spent wandering the area..." I immediately got out the ol' pencil and paper. I now have quite the map sketched out of the entire place, with labels for all the item locations. Too bad I don't have a scanner to share it with you all. :(

I have found every item, and gone through all the portals except for the last one and I just can't seem to find it. Anyone know what I am missing?

Sorry, I didn't find any challenge to this game at all. Pixel hunt extraordinaire.

How to find the fifth Oarbor Bone (Oarbor Bone 5 / V) wich plauged me for an hour:

Head east from the starting area until you find a pillar with a hidden signpost just south of it. Just slightly to the east of this pillar you will find the bone, it should be visible to you if you stand by the pillar.

The second Lorem tablet was also the last thing I needed. It is

below the right side of the Lorem dome.

For anyone having trouble find the Lorem Tablet V. I was having trouble as well but just found it. North of where the 5th hidden message is, there is a column like area (eight spires with four on each side). The Tablet artifact is located "inside" this column area. Hope this helps! (Sorry that Im not too great at explaining stuff though.) xD

I disagree about it being a pixel hunt Julie.

Everywhere you needed to be either along the path, just beyond an end of the path, or you were given instructions on how to find it.

All items were around the various structures and the path itself, and they all twinkled to let you know something was there.

I do agree there wasn't much in the way of challenge, but I didn't think that was the point of the game. I had a lot of fun reading all the letters, and the things each item and sign post had to say.

@Einhander @Germ

Finally found the second diagram!

Its at a arrowhead type object you can get to by traveling north from the science dome.

I don't have 2nd, 5th, 7th and 8th ending. What should I do now?

Ok, I'll tell you that the place with 4 pillars that have stars on them are used TWICE. For the first time, go into each corner of the area to reveal a hidden message. Each corner has its own. For the 2nd time, use the diagram.

Where can I find the third path ring?
It is the only thing I need now.

So, how can I view my achievements?

For those having trouble with the second portal.

Go through the first portal you see after reading at all the Lorem Tablets and Seecha Rods.

thomstel - thank you! Don't know what made that one so difficult to notice. Your instructions were spot-on.

Does this game have an ending?

I've gone through all the portals and I've collected all the items... but no ending yet.

The tone and setting of this game reminds me of the old LucasArts adventure game "The Dig," which I played through recently when it was on sale on Steam. I wonder if Weir is a fan?

i can't find the 2nd bead. can anyone help me?

Where is the sixth Oarbor bone? Someone please help.

Um... can anyone help with finding the the 2nd Oarbor Bone? It's the last piece I need.

i got all the endings except one but i have no idea how the diagram works i know it has something to do with the light towers but i don't know how to get it to work

@The Cartesian I have the same problem with the inventory. I can't move the cursor. It's driving me insane because

I need to look at the diagram again to get the directions for the towers for the 7th ending.

Can anyone share these?

Does anyone know where the last Seecha rod is?

Someone should definitely make replicas of the path mindfulness rings. I'd definitely buy them.

The designer doesn't mention it as a direct influence, but this reminds me a little bit of an old C64 game called Echelon. It was an early 3D wireframe flight sim with a futuristic craft (also notable for having a 'voice activated' headset). There were a wide variety of gameplay options, but one involved surveying the planet, in an attempt to understand the alien civilization.

I enjoyed the open play of this one, but felt a little disappointed that finding every ending didn't yield any final message to January.

Nevermind on the Seecha rod.

It's by the metal floor pads with the hidden pillar between them. Near the left one.

nevermind figured it out seems i was pointing them the wrong way lol great game

WHY do you people keep ignoring the ones asking about the rings?
I need the last of the path rings to finish the entire game, which means the only portal I haven't found is the 5th. Can someone please, PLEASE tell me where the last ring is? I'm going absolutely insane!

Correction on the location of the last Seecha rod.

It's actually near a third metal floor panel. The panel is next to a spire in the north. I think it's near the portal up there.

Also having problems with the inventory. Nothing, not the mouse, not the arrows, none of it allows you to scroll through your inventory.

@ GUESTARG

If it's driving you insane, it may be time to take a bit of a break. :P I'm not certain which ring the last one is, but here is a list of them all.

Ring Walkthrough

Chemistry

Go straight up from where you start, it's on the right hand side of the path opposite of the large curved pillar.

Logic

Continue up and take a right at the intersection you come to. The Logic ring is where the path breaks for a moment.

Biology

Continue on the path, go down to the dome building at the next intersection. Biology ring is near the top left corner of the dome.

Psychology

Go back to the path you were on before you went down to the dome, continue to the right. When the path turns up, go diagonally down to the right, you will come to eight standing pillars. Psychology ring is to the right of these pillars.

Physics

Go back to the main path again, and follow it up. On the left hand side of the path, near the next intersection, there are three ring-shaped arches. Physics ring is to the right of the top arch.

Math

Back on the main path again, turn left at the intersection you are near. Follow it to the next intersection, then turn up. Follow that path until you come to a spot with one pillar on either side of the road. Math ring is by the right hand pillar.

Great game, but i cannot find the thired lorem tablet! Can anyone at least tell what landmark it is by?

Berg, thank you thank you thank you for the instructions on how to find Bone V. It was driving me nuts. Is it just me, or was that one not as obvious as the others?

Any idea where the second bone is? I have all the endings and items except for that one bone.

I found the ninth ending:


The "star" in the corner messages are the pillars with the crystals on them, for example "the northwest star shines to the west" it means you have to place the light of the northwest pillar to the west.

Finally! Got the 7th circle. The diagram does work for the lights (or stars).

The top left and bottom right lights should be arranged in line with the arrow on the diagram. The top right light should point down, while the bottom left light should point southeast.

I'd kind of like to explore this game more, but my hand is hurting from holding down the cursor. Really.

Two things that I think would make the game better

  • the ability to set breadcrumbs to be able to return to places quickly

  • a key or key combination to keep walking in a particular direction without holding down the key (ow, my hand is still hurting)

I found all but the fifth bone, and many of the hidden portals, but it just wasn't compelling enough to continue given the enforced slowness of the pace.

Looming Walkthrough:

There are technically 8 endings in looming, though the first is really more of a false start, and two share almost the same necessary actions. After getting all 8, you'll be treated to a Notes section detailing the game's creation and making the plot a bit clearer. However, the best way to clarify things is to read carefully all the artifacts, hidden signposts, unhidden signposts, and letters in the game. The story they tell is the substance of Looming, so I won't give it away in this guide.

Endings:
1

Just enter the portal you can see upon starting the game.

2

The difference between the first and second exit messages is:

how much time has passed.

To get the second ending, spend more than a minute in Looming; to get the first, spend less than a minute.

[This spoiler was edited and updated with information posted by Parse. -Jay]

3

The signposts which you began to unearth in ending 2 are the key here. Unearth the first as you did previously, then unearth the rest by following the directions given. When looking for the gears, they're vaguely north-east from the signpost which tells you to find them. There's a very small gap in the middle which you should walk north through. Other than that, happy hunting. After you've unearthed all the signposts, exit through the newly revealed portal.

4, 5, 6, 7

Now comes the great artifact hunt. As you explore the landscape of looming, you'll see that it's filled with little white dots. Sometimes, however, you'll come across a dot that's very slightly bigger and shinier than the other ones. If you're in doubt, stand near one for about 5 seconds and it should twinkle. These are what you need to find in order to finish the game; if you see one, go up to it and press "X" to collect it, as the game should indicate. My advice is to find all of the artifacts in one go. (Yes, even the ones you won't technically need; there's no way to be selective, and since the whole point of the game is the story, which is mostly conveyed through these little trinkets, I'd highly recommend that you catch 'em all.) The necessary artifacts come in four groups: 1)Oarbor Bones, 2)Tally Beads, 3)Path Rings, and 4)Shattered Diagram Pieces. There are also Lorem Tablets and Seecha Rods, which hold clues to the story. As far as how to find all of these things, you have two options. 1)Search the comments here to find pinpointed locations for them, or 2)Do what I did and blanket search the whole map. Yes, this is tedious, but it takes about as much time as searching the first way. How I did this was to start at one corner of the map, go straight across the map, move vertically up a good screen or so, (the less you move up, the less territory, the more closely you can sweep said territory,) and go back across, moving vertically again and returning to the previous side each time. This works within 5-10 minutes, with the only problem then being actually achieving each ending. [NOTE: As long as you don't close your browser window, and perhaps even if you do, you won't lose any artifacts, so each time you get a new ending, your artifacts will stay with you. However, any found signposts do sink between playthroughs.] To get an ending, find one of the four locations which open when you've found all of a certain group of artifacts. Within a rectangle of four spherical stones is the portal which opens when you find all the bones; in front of a triangle-like structure, the bead portal; in front of a half-oval hut, the ring portal; and the diagram portal is a bit different. It's found in the center of four light-posts with diamond tops. However, you have to manipulate the posts in order to activate the portal. Your completed diagram should have four circles, one at each corner. Inside each one should be a symbol, and somewhere on the diagram, each symbol should appear again next to a directional line. The symbols won't be translated. Instead, use their position on the diagram to relate them to the four light-posts. That is: top-right corner = top-right post, etc. Go up to each post, standing at theirr bases, and rotate them using "X". If it's not exact, no problem, but get it as close as you can, or the portal might not open.

8

Just find the portal in the middle of the very top of the screen.

9 - SECRET ENDING!!! (Sorta.)

All this ending requires is going the the four corners of the world...well, technically anyway. There are four more signposts in the world, which you may have found as you searched for artifacts, each hidden in one of the corners of the giant fence around Looming. Each has a message which you'll need to memorize. Each post corresponds to the light-post in the similar position, as with the circles on the diagram. The messages on the signposts indicate which direction the lights should be shining in. Add 1 and 1 and get 2, and you're all set. Congrats on beating the game...unless you read this walkthrough out of order. Which means you can't count. Which means you'll need a lot more than this walkthrough to figure out the game. Starting with a kindergarten education. But to the rest of you, Congrats!

Yeah while I love all of his games I really couldn't play this one... the path's strobe makes me too dizzy =( I'll just go play "How to Raise a Dragon" again.

I beat it. i had trouble with eight.

I really enjoyed the game; there were some frustrating parts when I wasn't sure quite what to do. one thing I did notice was that every time a portal opened there was a tinkling sound (that helped me know when to stop looking for hidden signposts, or whatever). I do have a question, though...what endings are everyone talking about? do you open the portals in a certain order and the letters to january end differently or something?

I have no idea of what to do with the 8th ending , please help

For the 2nd oarbor bone.

Stand at the western edge of the two gears that are just north of the light houses. Go directly southeast and you'll see something a bit crucifix-y. It's near the top right corner of it.

This is one of the games that made me quite depressed... and kind of accepting. The whole epiphany thing, and the oarbor knowing everything, and the two cultures... It just makes me sad...

Though I must say, I love unnerving games like Looming.

you dont need to find all of the shattered diagram pieces to get the light portal. just...

go to the four corners of the fence to get the directions. the NE "star'points S, the SW "star" points E, the NW star points W, and the SE star points N.

easy as pie!! finding the other portals, on the other hand...

First off, thank you thomstel for showing the world where Oarbor Bone V is.
Now for my main concern: does anyone mind telling me where Lorem Tablet III is? The help is very much appreciated. :)

The walkthrough is wrong for the 2nd ending. Check out Parse's comment on the first page for the real way to get this one.

[Thank you for pointing that out. I've updated the walkthrough with the correct information. -Jay]

The walkthrough for number 3 is wrong.

The "gears" aren't north east but north westward. Slightly north and then just about all the way west.

[Thanks for reporting this. I can update the walkthrough, but I want to be sure the location isn't random first. Can anyone verify that for me, please? -Jay]

Just to make something clearer because I got thoroughly confused myself before I realized my mistake and slapped myself on the head for my stupidity. The four lights are used for two different endings. Ending 7 (the only ending I couldn't figure out on my own) uses the diagram.

Where can I find Path Ring I?

For anyone who, like me, didn't realise that the "corner messages" were actually

ALL the way in the corners, as opposed to referring to the secret pillars nearest the corners,

and doesn't want to

hold the arrow keys down all the way from each corner to the next

to see them, here are the "other" directions for the star towers:

"The northwest star shines west."
"The northeast star shines south."
"The southwest star shines east."
"The southeast star shines north."

Also, I'm afraid larkin was mistaken; the message in the diagram is actually

for a different alignment of the star towers, and opens a different gate leading to a different ending, from the four-corners directions.

Like several other commenters, I was completely stymied in working out how to use the inventory screen to review the details of any artifact other than the top-left one. Surely someone has figured it out by now and can put the rest of us out of our misery? I for one plan to re-play Looming after the details have faded enough for it to feel fresh again...

This was a fantastic game -- very interactive-fiction-y, despite (because of?) the retro-simple graphics. Thanks for reviewing it & bringing it to my belated attention!

can someone PLEASE just put the ending (one of them at least) in spoiler tags for me?!

If you finish the game, make sure to read the "NOTES" section for some background info from Gregory Weir.

Ahem,I require some help with the Tally Beads.
I'm missing IV,and I've searched everywhere.
Assistance please?

Oh,derp,of course I found it right after I left the comment for help.
Stumbled upon it.Holy Science this is awkward.

I still can't get the eigth ending. I know exactly where the portal is. Is there anything specific you have to do? Like wait a certain time or what? I've gone through that portal multiple times and it still hasn't registered that I've gotten all 9 endings.

I need help with the 8th ending.

The 8th ending in the walkthrough is not the same ending. Help!

For those that can't get the 8th ending, I think it's switched with the 3rd ending.

Sign Hunting (Note that all sign directions begin from the exact position of the previous signpost, except for the 1st sign)
1st sign:

Head due north from the beginning area until you reach the end of the path, then go west until you see a small rough patch. Press X there to start the first sign post that you must follow.

2nd sign:

The second one is south, just past where the bunch of spires disappear off your screen.

3rd sign:

From the 2nd sign post, go west, past the beginning path/portal area, until you see a path to your north, and right in the middle of the top of your screen.

4th sign:

Go north from the 3rd sign until you are between 2 metal plates.

5th sign:

Go back south, until you reach the 3rd sign, then go east, past the 2nd sign, it is at the bottom of 1 single spire.

6th sign:

Go back west past the 2nd to the 3rd sign, then go north past the 4th and the 4 towers to your west, keep going until you see 2 gears, (1 big 1 small) then keep going north from right between the 2 gears.

7th sign:

Go east, until you reach a path, then continue past the path until it is about to disappear just off the left side of the game screen.

8th sign:

Go North-East, and you will see a few spires, keep going North-East following the general path of the spires and you will see 2 set closely together, walk between the 2 and press X.

Portal:

Go South, and you will see a new portal has opened. It will only be there if you have managed to call up all the sign posts.

I realize this probably isn't still being watched, but I can't find the first signpost in the sign hunting directions. These are the instructions

Head due north from the beginning area until you reach the end of the path, then go west until you see a small rough patch. Press X there to start the first sign post that you must follow.

I've found some signposts randomly as I searched, but I can't find the one you mention. I've tried...

1) going north from the start until I found the end of that path, at the cross, then going west (left), checking every rough patch I found until I hit the fence. This path takes you by the single gear, just south of the light-stars.

2) going north to the last four-way intersection, where the west path ends almost immediately, then walking off the west path and going that way all the way to the fence. This path takes you near the two plates with a signpost between them, but it doesn't seem to be the right one, and it takes past the snare for the creature.

. any help?

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