The Freewill Cycle: Volume 1 (Redux Edition)

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Completely refurbished and revised, this redux of the first installment of William Buchanan's two-volume adventure game series is meant to supersede the original. You wake up alone...where? Someplace unearthly. Ominously void of life. Imbued with insinuations of wrong doings. Point-and-click to explore your surroundings, gather tools and solve contextual puzzles. As you read the narratives found within each room, not only will you find clues to help you successfully "escape," you'll collect pieces to a story that leaves you with as many questions as answers. There's two possible endings, also. Recommended: play the "Director's Intent" mode in a dark room with the volume up for the maximized experience.

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Walkthrough Guide


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Walkthrough—The Freewill Cycle Vol.1 Redux

Before You Start: General Info

  1. Select your "Mode" of play:

    • "Director's Intent" (recommended) — no text directions, no opt out of the music or sounds, no quit, no save.

    • "Casual Experience" — text labels on items in game, the ability to mute the music and sound effects, and the option to save or quit at any time.

  2. Game Screen:

    • You can zoom your browser if you'd like the game window to be larger, but be aware you lose some quality in the graphics the more you enlarge the game screen.

    • For the best experience, click the JIG "lights out" button just outside the top right corner of the game screen.

    • Playing in a darkened room with no other sounds or distractions going on is also recommended.

  3. Navigation:

    • When you hover your cursor at the right or left edges of the game screen, it will turn to point right or left if you can turn that direction.

    • If you can inspect an object or area, your cursor turns into a magnifying glass symbol. Click in that area to examine it more closely.

    • To exit a close view:

      • Usually holding the cursor at the bottom of the screen will change it to a downwards pointing hand so you can click the bottom of the screen to back up.

      • At other times, you'll need to click the sides of the screen to move out of a close view.

    • If you can interact with an object or area, your pointer will change into a closed hand.

  4. When an item can be picked up, it will automatically be added to your inventory when you click on it.

    • To use an inventory item, click on it, keeping your left mouse button depressed, drag it to the area on screen where you want to use it.

    • Some interactive areas require you be exact when using an item: use it precisely where it should go as if in real life, not just a general vicinity.

  5. If you get stuck:

    • Read through all available information and re-check your steps, seeing if you overlooked an area.

    • As a last resort, refer to the walkthrough section for more direct help.

From the First Room to Ritner's Office

  1. Zoom in on the countertop in front of you:

    • Click and drag the the papers to move them around.

      • There's a clue hidden underneath the papers:

      orion314

    • Back out.

  2. Examine on the computer moniter above the counter:

    • You know the password from looking at the papers on the counter.

      • Click in the password box to make sure the cursor is there then type in the password:

      • orion314

        Note: the password is case sensitive; use all lowercase letters.

      • Click "OK" and click on the dot next to each of the email titles to read them:

        • Make notes of anything that seems clue-worthy but all information is relevant both in solving puzzles and in understanding the overall story.

  3. Back up from the computer and turn left twice.Take a look at on the lockers:

    • Currently, only the last locker on the right is unlocked.

    • Open it and take the MULTITOOL.

    • Back out to close the locker then back up again.

  4. Turn left twice and click the knob of the Beta Wing door to open it.

  5. Go through the door into the hallway.

  6. The "Experimental Plasmas" door will be to your left and "Scott Ritner's" office to your right.

    • Ritner's office is locked but, based on what you learned from the "Mayday" email, you know how to open it:

    • Move forward once more (past the two doors on either side of you).

    • Zoom in on the grate on the baseboard on the right.

    • Use your MULTITOOL by dragging it from your inventory onto the grate.

    • The grate will open and you can see something on the left side of the opening:

      • a KEYCARD. Take it.

    • Back up and turn right to face Scott Ritner's door.

    • Hold the KEYCARD over the doorknob and the door will open.

  7. Move forward into Ritner's office.

  8. Zoom into the computer moniter on the surface of Ritner's desk:

    • Based on the "Lunch?" email, you know the password. Type it in and click "Ok."

    • cherry

    • Again, read every email for important story information and clues.

    • Back up.

  9. Examine the sculpture on Ritner's desk:

    • Use the clue from the "Memory alloys" email to unlock its secret:

      • "...metallic structure responds to small amounts of heat. With only the constant touch of a human hand..."

      • So rub the metal ball constantly by clicking on it and, keeping your left mouse button depressed, swirl around on the surface of the sculpture.*

      • *Repeatedly clicking on it should also work.

      • A code will appear on the surface of the ball:

      • Red 12 - Green 4 - Blue 9

    • Back up.

  10. Turn right and examine the tree:

    • Click the top of the tree and something falls into its pot:

      • A simple KEY. Take it.

  11. Turn right two more times to face the countertop:

    • Read the notebook on the counter; it provides important information.

      • "Protectium" will protect your cells.

      • It's made in three steps.

      • and a notation on how to get 27 Hz on the laser.

    • Turn left to close the notebook.

  12. Click on the doorknob to open the door and step out into the hallway.

Plasmas Room and Reactor: First Visits to Each

  1. After leaving Ritner's office, turn left and go forward.

  2. Open the door to "Administration" (which is the first room you were in) and go through:

    • Now you have the key to the lockers (found in Ritner's office), so move in to examine them.

    • Use the KEY on the lock of the middle locker:

      • Take the HANDWHEEL.

    • Close the middle locker then unlock the left locker:

      • Get the BREAKER RESET KEY.

    • Back up twice and turn right twice.

  3. Go through the door and back out into the hallway. Then, go forward twice and turn left to face the "Experimental Plasmas" door. Go inside.

  4. Turn left to face the plasma synthesizer machine:

    • Open the yellow and black striped access panel on the plasma synthesizer device.

    • Place the HANDWHEEL on the pipe's notch.

    • You'll get audio confirmation "Coolant has been restored.

    • Back up.

  5. Turn left twice so you're facing a counter with a glowing yellow gem on it:

    • Examine the base of the steel rod under the countertop.

      • Use the MULTITOOL to unscrew it from its base.

      • The STEEL ROD will be added to your inventory.

    • Back up and turn right.

  6. Go back out into the hallway and turn left.

  7. Continue forward to the end of the hallway until you're standing in front of the "Reactor Room" door. Go in.

  8. Examine the computer terminal of the big machine in front of you:

  9. Click on each of the four bars to get more information about each apparatus:

    • The "Reactor Status" is critical...it's putting out too much radioactivity.

    • The "Conductors" are misaligned:

      • One of the "phases" is open, causing an error read-out.

    • "Core Stability" is unbalanced:

      • Make note of the helicity's "x" "y" and "z" numbers...they can be changed.

    • The "Generator" is offline...because of the other errors.

  10. Back up from the control screen and click on the paper next to it:

  11. The "epsilon" configuration is needed to fix helicity.

    Look for CB's log book for that.

  12. Turn right to face the conductors (big black tubes next to the purple reactor):

    • The left tube has broken off the conductor.

      • Insert the STEEL ROD (from the Plasmas room) in its place.

    • Zoom in on the control panel below the tubes:

      • Use the BREAKER RESET key (found in the left locker) on the left dial to reset it.

      • A sound and white lights will indicate it's fixed.

    • Back up.

  13. Zoom in on the purple "reactor containment structure" and listen:

  14. It sounds radioactive. Good and useful, as per the notes in the Administration room.

  15. Turn left and examine the computer terminal on the big machine again:

    • Select "Conductors" again.

      • With the steel rod in place, all the green bars are filled in.

      • Click "Align."

    • Return to the main screen to see the conductors are now aligned. Now only the core stability needs to be fixed and the generator turned on.

  16. Back up, turn left, and exit this room.

Laser Lab (gathering info) and Powering Up the Reactor

  1. As you exit the Reactor Room, turn right to face the "Laser Lab" door. Go inside.

  2. Just inside the doorway, without moving further into the room, turn left:

    • You'll see a small black box on top of a curved pipe and, on the floor in the corner, a glass beaker.

      • Pick up the EMPTY GLASS.

  3. Use the simple KEY to unlock and open the box:

    • Take the empty SYRINGE from the bottom shelf.

  4. Now turn right twice to face the other corner:

    • You'll see a BLUE NOTEBOOK sitting on the pipe.

      • Click on the notebook to open it.

      • Continue clicking to read through the pages.Read through more story details and also look for two important clues.

      • The config profiles on the middle page gives you the epsilon configuration.

        The last page explains the values of x, y and z so you can figure them into your computations.

  5. Turn right again to face the door. Go out and turn left to face the "Reactor Room. Go inside.

  6. Examine the computer terminal on the large machine in front of you:

    • Fix the "Core Stability"

      • Use the information from the blue notebook to solve this problem.

      You need a helicity of "epsilon."
      Remember to add the values to y and z.

      When the numbers are correct, click "Lock"

      ANSWER:

      Helicity needs to total 24:

      x = 10
      y = 6
      z = 2

    • Then, turn on the "Generator".

    • When the top three buttons are green, select "Generator", click "Parallel" and, voila!

  7. Turn around and go through the door. Go forward twice and turn right again to face the "Experimental Plasmas" door.

Using Experimental Plasmas

  1. Enter the Plasmas room.

  2. Use the information you gathered from Scott Ritner's office to make some items with the plasmas:

    1. Make the precursor solution of "Protectium"

      • The email "Test case 55" tells you which numbers to enter into each of the plasma tanks.

      • Click on each tank's control panel and then click the arrows to set the numbers:

      • RED = 3
        GREEN = 9
        BLUE = 6

      • After you've entered the correct numbers on each tank, turn left to face the plasma synthesizer device:

        • Put the EMPTY GLASS in the center of the dispenser.

        • Click the knob to produce protectium precursor solution.

          • Take the GLASS of GREEN LIQUID.

    2. Make a

      • Turn right to the plasma tanks again.

      • Change the values in each tank as shown on Ritner's gold sculpture:

      • RED = 12
        GREEN = 4
        BLUE = 9

      • Turn back to the plasma synthesizer and, with nothing else under the dispenser, press the knob.

        • A LIGHT FILTERING CRYSTAL will be created. Take it.

  3. Turn left and go through the door. Turn left, go forward twice and turn left to face the "Laser Lab" door.

The Infinite Abyss
AKA: How to walk safely through the hole in Zeta Wing

  1. At this point, if you've followed all the necessary steps to prepare for exiting, you will all this in your inventory:

    • GLASS OF GREEN LIQUID (protectium precursor solution)

    • RED CYLINDER (light filtering crystal)

    • mulitool

    • breaker reset key

    • simple key

    • SYRINGE (empty)

    • key card

  2. Enter the "Laser Lab". Walk forward once and turn left.

  3. Click on the yellow and black access panel for the machine on the right side of the room:

  4. Insert the LIGHT FILTERING CRYSTAL (red cylinder)

  5. Back up and turn to the laser facility controls on the left side of the room:

  6. Configure it as per the instructions in the folder in Ritner's office.

    Set it to 31. With the -4Hz filter in place, that'll give you 27Hz as needed.

  7. Turn around to face the laser firing machine...

    • Put the GLASS OF GREEN solution into the laser machine.

    • Press the knob to fire the laser; this will turn the solution purple.

    • Use the SYRINGE on the purple solution. It will automatically be injected into you.

  8. Turn and exit this room.

  9. Turn left. Go back to the Reactor Room. Now you must do one more thing before you're protected:

  10. Turn right and go closer to the purple Reactor Containment Structure. Make sure you have fixed the reactor (it will be making a clicking noise if it works). Then...

    Let those radioactive waves do their work on you just as they did with the lab rat.

    Now you're able to leave through the zeta wing without being lost to the abyss.

  11. Leave the Reactor Room and go all the way down the hall to "Administration."

  12. Go through that room and turn left. Go through the door into the Zeta Wing.

  13. Walk into the pretty glowing lights.

37 Comments

Help! Somebody smarter than I am, post a walkthrough stat.

[The walkthrough is almost ready. Is there a quick question I can answer for you now? ~elle]

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Yes please, Elle. :) I have a

syringe, some kind of tubing, and the thing for conductor I think. But, I have no clue what to do now. I've gotten everything out of the lockers, searched and read all in Ritner's office, found the log book and used that to fix the helicity.

Now what? Thank you!

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Gaaah! Where is the bloody

filter!

I *KNOW* what I need to do, I've figured everything out, I've even puzzled out the story, but I can't find the last bloody piece!!

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gamakai Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 7:18 PM

So complicated! Place my

glass on the plasma room machine, left it there. when i came back it was gone... bug? Still trying to figure out a way to fix the conductor. Got the helicity going, got syringe, glass, key card, key, and swiss army knife thingy, and some kind of battery/key (guess it works on the conductor after i fix it)

[It'll pop back into your inventory if you walk away. It doesn't want to be left behind. ~elle]

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Okay, I'm a little farther. I

found the pole that you unscrew from the table in the plasma room and used that to fix the conductor and get the power going. Then I put in the info from Ritner's ball thin on his desk to make some sort of red cylinder in the plasma room... oh it's a filter that gives you -4 Hz!

Let's see if I can finish now!

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Yay! The

filter!

I tried both combinations, BUT I tried it with the

glass in place both times.

So I thought one was a red herring.

Constructive criticism comment: over and over again, as I approached the end of the hallway, I clicked on the left door of the two visible, expecting to walk forwards *facing the laser lab*, and instead opened the wrong door. Maybe make that an option, or maybe not use that tilted hand to mean "go forwards", because it looks a lot on that screen like you have the option to choose the left door. And since there is a forwards pointing hand to also mean "go forwards", the tilted hand is a bit redundant.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawny_cHvbFfp0VrJu__iacNIgz9_dFIURts Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 7:38 PM

I can't find any way to save it game. It doesn't seem to do it automatically.

Also, I set the glass in the plasma machine before placing the wheel in the pip next to it, and the glass disappeared.

[Is the gone from your inventory, too? To be able to save, you need to choose "casual experience" before you begin. ~elle]

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jamie.malekoff Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 7:39 PM

I must be dense i can't find the

grate with the keycard

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gamakai Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 7:49 PM

yup! it's a bug!!

had to restart the game because of the efing glass desapearing. bummer!

[We'll let the designer know. Are you playing "director's" or "casual mode"? What are the steps you're completing prior to and during this happening? ~elle]

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Darn - troublesome bug, thought I had it licked before. Guess it was half-fixed, just saw the reason it is still there. Corrected version is on the way.

newb designer is newb designer ;-)

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New version now online that fixes the disappearing glass. You may lose your saved game with the update.

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Playing director's version, can't get glass to go in plasma machine.

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I've been playing through a lot of point + click games on jayisgames recently and I have to say I found this very frustrating for many different reasons. Some of these may be just me, and I don't want to just be negative for the sake of being negative, so I'm listing my frustration solely in case any of them are helpful for future games :)

Secreted just for space.

- I found the navigation quite confusing when four turns doesn't make a whole. For example in the Zeta wing, it took me a long time to figure out that rotating left and right were turning me 180 degrees. This could perhaps be solved by changing the hand icons that appear to give an indiciation of the size of rotating (eg a half twist rather than pointing left and right).

- I really couldn't tell from the tiny images what several of the items were - in most cases I had to resort to trial and error to figure out which item was meant to go with which object, even if I knew what I was intending to do. I understand this is in the 'casual experience' option, but I was of course playing the director's intent, since that was.. the director's intent.

- You had to be very accurate with some of the hotspots; for example

I thought I had tried the key on both lockers, yet only one had opened due to being slightly out the second time, so I thought there must be another key.

Once I've tried something, I don't normally try it a second time, which means a long time of being stuck.

- With my screen tilted slightly to make things a touch darker, I only stumbled upon the

glass

with random clicking; I didn't actually realise there was something to click there being similar shades to its background.

- At one point I accidentally right clicked the screen. In trying to get rid of the popup menu (which was rather difficult, but that is often the case with flash games, so not really a problem from the game's end), I clicked the top right corner of the screen. This happened to be a magically appearing quit button, with no confirmation, meaning I had to restart from scratch due. I had no idea the quit button was there until after I clicked it; letting the player lose all their progress with one click without warning probably isn't a good idea.

- In a few places, using an object in the wrong place provided a right sound effect, causing you to think you were on the right track. An example (there were some others):

using the keycard on the metal ball causes a door-opening noise

- Finally, two things that I would never have really tried without resorting to a walkthrough:

clicking the metal ball multiple times (or clicking and dragging around) - even with the written hint in the other room, this isn't something I've ever needed to do in a point and click game

clicking the base of the table to get the rod - even after I had read the walkthrough and knew I needed the pole, I was trying to click the pole. Again this was a pretty small hotspot without any features that really makes it stand out as something you might want to click.

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^ Should work...click and drag to the metal grating upon which you'd set the glass. Doesn't go?

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^^ My previous comment was meant for the one above you.

As for ^, your comments on navigation are well made, and I'll use them in the future. As for the puzzles you pointed out...

You simply need to hover over the gold ball. Clicking repeatedly has no additional impact. I believe the clue in the e-mail was not clear enough.

Also, you don't click the metal pole. You use the multitool.

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Jetamors Author Profile Page July 10, 2012 10:16 PM

Weird bug:

I injected the stuff, which made me start seeing white flashes, walked out into the Zeta corridor... and promptly died. Except, my screen kept doing the white flashes, even when I went back to the menu, and even now that I've started a new game. That's not supposed to happen, right?

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Mac Windows Linux? missing some tags

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I remember playing this the first time, vaguely, and remember thinking it was just a really hard game. Now I find it just frustrating.

I really, really wanted to like this game a lot more than I did. Beautiful graphics and a lot of time spent developing the story, and I appreciate that. However, some of the puzzles are purposefully misleading, I feel, and that just seems like a cheap way to add difficulty to a game, similar to making a platformer with stupid jump mechanics.

For example:

Those grates on the ground are almost completely hidden from sight. Further, they don't really look like a grate to me; even after I knew I had to be looking for a grate, I still missed them. I only clicked there because there was nothing else to click on. I think this gets missed in game reviews; just because you figured out the clue/ puzzle, that doesn't make it a good puzzle.

Also:

No labels for the items made it difficult to even know what we were supposed to do with them. I could hardly see what the plasma container was while it was in my inventory, and I only figured it out through trial and error.

Finally:

The whole "put the metal rod in place of the big, black flexi-tube" thing made no sense at all. Why would putting a metal rod there seem like a logical fix, especially when the missing part is laying right there on the floor? Can't count the number of clicks I spend trying to pick that thing up; figured it was a pixel hunt that I was missing.

I still gave it three mushrooms, despite what I feel are some serious gameplay flaws, mostly for the graphics, storyline, and atmosphere.

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neo1973 Author Profile Page July 11, 2012 1:52 PM

Thanks for the reply, elle.

I supposed that part of my issue is that I look at puzzles too literally, sometimes, and don't think as a puzzle maker would. You know, think outside of the box.

Using our example from above

to me, putting a metal rod in place of what is obviously a shrouded conduit just seems ridiculous. I am talking real world here: that would probably kill you with the amount of volts/ amps flowing through there, as well as melt down. Now, in Camp Pine, placing the paper clip in the low voltage circuit seems like a perfectly reasonable solution.

I know, I know... but that is how I look at these puzzles sometimes, and that is my issue, not the game designer's.

I guess what I don't understand about labeling/ not labeling items is:

I don't feel that guessing what an item is and how it should be used is a fun element of a game. At least the multi-tool looked something like a knife or tool; the plasma beaker looked like... nothing, really. It's kind of just a shadow with outlines, really hard to discern anything from the icon.

I saw something about zooming, so I right clicked on the flash player and "zoomed" but not quite the effect I was looking for, lol. How did you make the playable game larger than the window it pops up in?

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Good stuff.

Rest assured I intend to improve navigation and visibility for Vol2. Also I think what I'm learning here is to just get rid of Director's Intent mode in the future and streamline things bit.

Ultimately, my intent is simply not relevant if the end user doesn't enjoy it --- that's not true for all art forms, but for a video game I believe it is.

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neo1973 Author Profile Page July 11, 2012 2:51 PM

@Wyloch

I think maybe "regular" and "hard" mode might work best; I think you should definitely leave in your vision of the game.

Personally, when I watch a movie at home I always go with directors cut if available; I don't want to miss anything that was intended for me. And despite the fact that you clearly described the intent of they two gameplay modes, I didn't actually want to play the casual mode because I was afraid that I would miss out on something in the story.

Hope that helps :)

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Surely does. Thanks.

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That was good, I played on a big screen so had no problems finding things. Would have liked to have been able to examine in close up, the items I was collecting. The select mechanism for CB's messages was a bit clunky.

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Hi, I really liked this, had to read the walkthru and I love all the feedback; seems very helpful.

But I am stuck and sad. :(

My green glass was untakeable. And now it is purple... but I cannot take it. :(

I did not see anyone else had this problem? I am playing in FF 15.0.1 on a Dell.

Thanks if this helps you and if it helps me!!!

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k47h3r1n3 Author Profile Page October 2, 2012 9:45 PM

Ugh, finished, I think... My brain hurts. I must be pretty dumb because that took me a few times to finish. And I didn't notice that there was an option to save, I figured it saved automatically, so I had to do several things two or three times haha. I had to go to the walkthrough at the end. What I'm confused about still...

When I walked through the zeta wing door at the end, the same thing happened as when I walked through it the first time without the special "protectium" vaccine and presumably got roasted (eheh, yeah I was dumb enough to do that). So how do I know that I turned out ok if it says the exact same message?

Or did I do it wrong and have to go through the whole game again??

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k47h3r1n3 Author Profile Page October 2, 2012 10:20 PM

Crap, well I thought I did everything right...

I made the green goo turn purple with the laser, then put it into the syringe and once it was injected the screen started flashing white. I didn't get the glass of purple goo, but I figured I couldn't because when I clicked on it nothing happened. I read the walkthrough at that point to make sure I had done everything and I had, so I went to the administration room and entered the zeta wing door, still flashing. Also kind of weird, I got to the main menu screen and everything is still flashing white, and when I tried starting over to retrace steps everything is still flashing in the new game.

Is it possible that I did everything right but I'm now experiencing a glitch of some sort? I just don't know what I could have missed, especially after checking the walkthrough... ( ._.)

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k47h3r1n3 Author Profile Page October 2, 2012 10:29 PM

Wait, never mind...

When I went through the first time I fixed the purple reactor to make it stable, but it's possible that I didn't the third time I came back to finish it (I started over every time). That must be what it is because I stood in front of it.

Thank you for the help, I'm going to truck through yet another time!

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k47h3r1n3 Author Profile Page October 2, 2012 10:46 PM

Yes, I got mixed up on steps I did in previous times playing, I finally got the correct ending. Thank you for the help!

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malone.audrey Author Profile Page October 17, 2012 12:00 AM

My only complaints are that the puzzles felt really hard and not terribly intuitive. I had to get help a LOT, but that's mostly me and my opinion. I played the 2nd game and a lot of the puzzles, while not necessarily EASIER, were more logical in their solutions.
My biggest problem was that when I went out into the Zeta hall prematurely and was lost, I had to refresh my browser to get back to the menu. It's like a permanent GAME OVER screen that you have to reset the game to get past. Very annoying.
The game itself was intriguing. I've been taking notes on EVERYONE to try and put together who did what and just what happened. Even with the benefit of hindsight from having played the 2nd game first, I'm still pretty much lost. I've got the bare bones of the plot but the rest escapes me. And the visuals are excellent. The entire time, I was thinking "Gosh it's like the Journey Project Turbo." I have fond memories of failing HORRIBLY at that game as a child. But without walk-throughs or help, every time I made any progress at all it felt like I had beaten a monster with my bare hands. :P

All in all, I'm in favor of the game. Especially as a series. I love games that tease you with the substance just off screen instead of just handing you the story and sending you away.

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