Blue Lacuna Hints

(Text-only version for screen readers)

Instructions: Find the question that most closely relates to the area you are stuck at. Click the question to reveal a list of numbers corresponding to progressively more explicit hints. Click each number to reveal that hint.

Note: Red numbers and questions correspond to hints that only apply if you have selected "puzzle mode" at the end of Chapter One; you can ignore them if you are in "story mode."

If you're having trouble matching the map of the island with the individual rooms, try looking at the labelled map to get your bearings.

If you can't find or use the answer you need here, you may also contact the author for hints.

Chapter One: The Tumble

What am I supposed to do here?
1. Most importantly, learn who you are, where you've come from, and where you're going.
2. Explore everywhere and examine everything you can. Or, just be on your way. It's up to you.

How do I answer the Call?
1. You wayfare through your painting. Have you found a canvas?

How do I get through the trapdoor?
1. You don't really need to.
2. Successfully getting through the trapdoor is part of the story's test to find out whether it thinks you'll prefer story mode or puzzle mode.
2. If you really want to do it, you'll need to GET LAMP on the shelf outside the bedroom, GET MATCHES from the mantel above the fireplace, LIGHT LAMP, then try to open the trapdoor.

How do I finish the painting?
1. Try examining it by typing PAINTING.
2. It is not quite finished. Type PAINT again until it is.

Lacuna - West Island

What items should I be collecting?
1. None of them.
2. Seriously. Blue Lacuna is a mostly inventory-less adventure game.
3. Well, almost. There's at least one thing you can find and carry around with you: the compass.
4. It's in the back room of the shack on the beach. Try examining the pile of splinters.

What do I do with the wooden cube in the cabin?
1. Have you examined it thoroughly? Maybe tried to touch it, push it, or take it?
2. It sounds like there's something inside. Maybe there's a way to open it.
3. Have you noticed the carvings on it? Have you noticed the indentations? What does the pattern remind you of?
4. Try touching the indentations.

How do I get through the door in the cabin?
1. First you'll need to explore everywhere you can get to.
2. You'll also need to be observant. Watch the animal life. See what things change with time and tide.
3. Conclude your observations by taking careful note of the components of the door.
4. There are six bands of color and some buttons with things around the island printed on them. What could the connection be?
5. The bands of color are associated with the symbols on the buttons somehow. The things in the Studio might provide a hint as to how. Asking the old man about the door might provide another hint.
6. The buttons represent things on the island which were used to make the six colors of paint. See the separate questions below for hints on specific colors. By examining each color on the band, you'll get a more precise description of the color, which may be helpful. (Ditto for the buttons.)
6b. If you need a hint as to how many buttons are important, try asking the old man.
6c. If you need a hint as to which buttons are important, try touching a few of them.
7. The old man might be able to help you match at least one color, though his memory is a bit shoddy.
8. Once you've matched the colors to the buttons, it should just be a matter of pressing them in the right order.
9. What you tried first probably didn't work. Have you seen anything else-- anything manmade-- which might suggest a different order?
10. The various inscriptions found around the island (on the sketchbook and the volcano sculpture, for instance) run from right to left. The old man also writes right to left in the sand if you guessed his name (try asking him about himself).
11. Press the buttons in this order: mussel, crystal, snail, manta, tree, berry.

What matches red?
1. Have you seen anything this color on the island?
2. Anything near where you first arrived?
3. Any plants?
4. Fruits even?
5. Red matches the berries found south of the treehouse.

What matches yellow?
1. Examine the yellow band on the door for a particularly strong hint.
2. Something else has been described as that shade of lemon-yellow. Hint: very near where you first arrived.
3. The leaves of the tree you painted are lemon-yellow, hence, the tree button.

What matches black?
1. Have you seen anything this color around the island?
2. Have you wandered around the island at night?
3. Near the beach?
4. Did you notice the glowing lights out in the lagoon? Did you investigate them?
5. Did you try touching, attacking, swimming with, or just watching the mantas for a while?
6. The black paint is made from their ink, so black equals manta ray.

What matches white?
1. Have you seen anything this color around the island?
2. Specifically, near the stumps and the ropeway?
3. Hint: very low to the ground?
4. The white snail shells are crushed to make the white paint, hence white = snail.

What matches green?
1. Have you seen anything this color around the island?
2. Specifically, near the rocky part of the beach? (boulders and tidepool)
3. You may have to visit at low tide to see them.
4. The mussel shells are crushed to make the green paint.

What matches blue?
1. Have you seen anything this color around the island?
2. Specifically, near the secluded waterfall? (by the Rise)
3. The blue crystals are used to make blue paint.

What do I do with the clockwork head?
1. Nothing just yet. But if you play with it, you might be able to get a stronger hint about the door in the cabin.
2. Have you played with it enough to figure out how it works and what it was probably meant to do?
3. To become fully useful, it looks like you'll need to find the other ear. That doesn't happen until after a major plot event later on.
4. After chapter 5, you'll be able to use the head to get in-game hints and reveal more of the backstory.

How do I get the ropeway to work?
1. Have you tried manipulating the lever?
1b. (Note that you can both push and pull it.)
2. Have you examined the mechanism closely?
3. It looks as if it needs power of some sort. If you haven't gotten to the floor of the volcano yet, you won't be able to power it.
4. Have you figured out how the boiler and pipes work, and which pipes are connected to what devices? (If not, see seperate question).
5. Have you given the ropeway the correct amount of power, then gone back and tried pushing the lever again? Did you examine the pressure gauge at the ropeway after doing so?
6. Did you notice anything on your way to or from the ropeway?
7. The blue pipe by the stumps is cracked and jetting steam, so you'll need to send more power down the blue pipe than the ropeway technically requires.
8. You'll probably have to get that power from one of the other pipes.
9. Set the blue pipe to 7 or more units of power (or turn the lever to the blue pipe in "story mode") and the ropeway will become operational.

What's the significance of the sculpture on the rim of the volcano?
1. In terms of puzzles, it's not so much significant in and of itself, but because of where it is positioned.
2. The sculpture is involved in an alternate solution to a later puzzle.

What's the significance of these trees like the one I painted?
1. Have you found the sketchbook?
2. The sketchbook is in the wooden cube in the front room of the cabin. See that question for help opening the cube.
3. Have you seen the page in the sketchbook that includes one of those trees?
4. Have you noticed there is a place to sleep near each tree?
5. When it gets dark, try to SLEEP under one of the trees.

Why can't I get a good night's sleep?
1. See the previous question.

Where are all the trees?
1. The locations of the five obvious windsigh trees are: at the Fork (where you first arrived), at the treehouse just south of there, in the volcano caldera on the cinder cone, on the rockslide south of the hive, and in the rainforest (from the hive, go east, southeast, then north).
2. Two more trees are not as easy to find. See "Is there anything of interest in the rain forest?" and "How can I get to the tree on the mountain spur?"

How do I break my leg?
1. Why would you want to?
2. Okay, okay: you can break it by trying to jump over the chasm east of where you started, or trying to climb above the Ledge by the marsh.
3. (There's also a way to break your leg at the Tumble, if you're really mean to Rume.)
4. The game is still winnable with a broken leg, but you'll have less options for how to proceed: no more climbing.

The Volcano

How does the power system work?
1. Have you examined the boiler and all its parts? If you're playing in "story mode" it should be self-explanatory, as long as you notice which pipe colors correspond to which devices.
2. Have you turned the different wheels in different directions and observed what happens to the pressure gauge, the temperature of the pipes (try to TOUCH them), and the outflow of steam?
3. The numbers underneath each wheel tell how much power the aparatus on the other end of the pipe needs. Have you worked out which apparatus goes with which pipe?
4. The red pipe goes to the stairs/bridge across the chasm, the blue pipe to the ropeway, and the yellow pipe to the pyramid on top of the mountain.
5. Turning the wheels right opens the valve to the associated pipe wider, sending more power to that device but reducing the amount of power in the system.
6. There's only so much steam power available, though. The gauge at the boiler shows you how much is currently unused. The gauge at each device shows you how much power that device is getting.
7. You'll notice there doesn't seem to be enough power to run all three pipes at their required level at once. Comparing the number etched on the boiler gauge to the total output when everything is turned off, you might assume that the amount of steam output has changed since this system was set up.
8. For the time being, you'll need to be selective about which devices get what amount of power.

Is there any way to get more power to the system?
1. First of all, you may not need to. Have you explored alternate solutions to your problem?
2. If you've broken your leg, you won't be able to pursue alternate solutions.
3. Think about where the power from the system is coming from, and where it goes.
4. The steam vents southwest of the boiler are venting a lot of wasted power. Is there anything you can do about that?
5. Is there something prominent near the steam vents that might be useful?
6. The sculpture looks precarious, and its perched above a potential rockslide above the steam vents.
7. But it won't give if you try to push it. Why not?
8. Have you lived through one of the island's frequent afternoon rain showers yet?
9. Try pushing the sculpture during or after a rain storm. You'll be able to knock it off and cause an avalance that will cover the steam vents, increasing the amount of steam power available to the boiler.
10. If you're willing to destroy a beautiful work of art, that is. In this story, that kind of thing might have repercussions.

How do I power the bridge and what does it do?
1. First, experiment with the boiler and try to figure out how it works.
2. If you adjust the power to the red pipe, you should notice something happen to the bridge.
3. Have you tried pulling or turning the handle near the bridge, both from below and from above?
4. You can use the bridge to gain access to both the east island and the sloping meadow, another place where the bees hang out.
5. The staircase/bridge is apparently a safety mechanism. When power is in the system, it will switch between raised and lowered states every few minutes. Turning the handle locks it into its current position. Perhaps this was a safety mechanism to prevent someone from getting to the volcano floor or east island.

The East Island

What are the bees good for?
1. Have you encountered other references to the bees around the island? (Hint: the sketchbook.)
2. Have you watched what they do?
3. Have you seen what goes on inside their hive?
4. You can climb the hive to look in the windows. Try that and watch for a while (during the day).
5. The dancer bee seems to be doing something important. Have you watched him for a while and noticed the variation in his movements?
6. Have you followed the bees to see where they go when he dances?
7. Have you noticed the drawing in the "Grassy End" near the beehive?
8. Have you noticed the carving on the tree in the rain forest east of the beehive?
9. Have you noticed any correlation between the bees' destination and the dancer bee's dance? (Hint: the compass from the cabin may be useful.)
10. The dancer bee does a sequence of moves that tell the bees what seqence of directions they need to move in to get to a cluster of flowers. Each dance move represents one room of movement.
11. The angle of the wings represents northiness (straight down is south, angled down is somewhat south, flat against the body is neutral, angled up is somewhat north, and straight up is north.
12. The direction the bee walks represents westiness (clockwise is west, counter-clockwise is east, and a line is neutral.)
13. By combining these two points of data, and watching the sequence, you should be able to predict where the bees are going. For example, a clockwise circle with wings angled up corresponds to northwest, or the room to the northwest of the hive. The next move in the bees dance would equal the direction to proceed from there.
14. One of the sequences takes the bees someplace you can't get to, without knowing how to read the dance.
Is there anything interesting in the rain forest?
1. Yes. The map in the sketchbook, the view from the top of the volcano, and a few other clues point to that being the case.
2. But you'll need to learn how the bees communicate before you can find it (see previous question).
3. You'll also need the compass from the cabin on the beach.
4. One of the places the bees go to is deep within the rainforest. Follow the path to make a discovery.
5. From the hive, open the compass, then go EAST, SOUTHEAST, NORTHEAST.

How can I get to the bottom of the ravine?
1. Wait till low tide.
2. Try watching the moon for a while to see if you can correlate its movements to the tides, if you want a quick indicator of whether it's low or high. You can try commands like WAIT TILL AFTERNOON or WAIT FOR TWO HOURS to pass the time.

How can I get to the tree on the mountain spur above the ravine?
1. First, you'll need to reach the bottom of the ravine (see previous question).
2. The top of the ravine by the pool may not be a dead end. Can you swim?
3. Be brave. Keep swimming up from the underwater cave.
4. Once you get to the top, try pushing the loose vine to make a shortcut.

How do I get to the tiny island beyond the seal beach?
1. Notice the pillar near the archway. Does anything about it seem familiar?
2. Depending on what point in the narrative you're at, you may not be able to get across yet. But the pillar has something to do with the compass.
3. At some point, a secret compartment will open in the back of the compass revealing a star shape. But the compass still won't do anything if you try PUT COMPASS ON PILLAR.
4. Once you've gotten to the mountaintop while the pyramid has power (see next section), you'll see an image projected on the side of the cirque.
6. Now the star has extruded. If you go back to the seal beach and PUT COMPASS ON PILLAR, the archway will lower, providing access to the secret island.

The Mountain

How can I get to the top of the mountain?
1. The ropeway looks like the obvious choice.
2. There may be an alternate method too, if you're in good shape. (see next question)
3. Get power to the ropeway, get in the crate, push the lever, and ride it to the top of the mountain.

Is there another way to get to the top of the mountain?
1. There is, but you can't have broken your leg, and you'll have to be very observant.
2. Have you determined where all three pipes are going to?
3. Have you found the crack in North Marsh and figured out what it's good for?
4. Have you discovered you can climb higher than the ledge? (But be careful.)
5. Something is preventing you from climbing higher. What is unusual about it?
6. Have you noticed what a large amount of steam power whatever is on the top of the mountain is using?
7. Does anything about the water change when you fiddle with the power system?
8. The water coarsing down the crack is runoff from the device on top of the mountain.
9. If you turn off all the power to the yellow pipe, the crack will dry up and you'll be able to climb all the way to the top.

What can I do at the top of the mountain?
1. You may be able to address a future problem (see Powering both devices) or get a hint related to the compass (see How do I get to the tiny island beyond the seal beach?).

What does the pyramid do?
1. Have you examined it thoroughly? Tried to ATTACK, PUSH, or TOUCH it? Have you figured out how to get to the top of the mountain while the pyramid has full power? (See next question.)
2. The pyramid is hollow. You'll need to figure out a way to open it.

How do I get power to both the pyramid and the chairlift at the same time?
1. There are a few different ways to go about this. Both involve a certain degree of lateral thinking.
2. First of all, are you sure you need to?
3. If you can find a way to get to the top of the mountain without using the chairlift, you can sidestep the problem. (see Is there another way to the top of the mountain?)
4. Of course, that method has its own complication, but if you examine the source of the problem, you should be able to come up with a solution. (See next question).
5. Another option is to increase the amount of power available, so both devices would have enough to function. See "Is there any way to get more power to the system?"
6. Once you've done that, you can just activate both the ropeway and the pyramid at once.

What's another way to get to the pyramid while it has power?
1. This solution won't work if you've broken your leg. See "Is there another way to the top of the mountain?"
2. Theoretically, you should be able to avoid the chairlift entirely and just climb the crack to the mountain summit while the pyramid is powered, but something prevents you from doing so.
3. When the pyramid is powered, the huge amounts of steam creating scalding runoff that runs down the crack, preventing you from climbing it. But when it's not powered, you can't open it.
4. From the mountaintop, trace the path of the steam from the pyramid to the crack.
5. If you could find a way to divert the flow of the runoff water, you could climb the crack all the way up.
6. Push one of the boulders from the lawn. It will roll into the streambed and divert the stream.

Once the pyramid has power, how do I open it?
1. Notice the inscriptions on the three sides.
1b. Story Mode Only: You'll need to have found the missing ear to the teaching head in the treehouse, and used it to decipher both vowels and consonants.
2. If you're there when the pyramid has full power, notice the image being projected on the wall. What's that hand doing to the compass?
4. To continue, you'll need to have found the secret in the rainforest (see "What are the bees good for?"), and reached the secret island (see "How do I get to the tiny island beyond the seal beach?").
5. You'll also need to have learned Progue's names for the three items carved in the three sides of the pyramid.
6. They are "konokuk" (the hairy fruits), "windsigh" (the tree that brought you here), and "Capalla" (the galaxy in the night sky).
7. Have you noticed a connection between the carvings in the pyramid and the echo chamber at the base of the hidden island behind the Egg?
8. The three symbols are in different shapes; there are also shapes drawn on the floor of the echo chamber.
9. Have you noticed you can STAND IN the echo chamber shapes?
10. What is the most interesting thing about the echo chamber?
11. Try typing KONOKUK, WINDSIGH, or CAPALLA (or SAY KONOKUK etc) while standing in the same shapes those symbols were drawn in on the side of the pyramid.
12. If you put these in the order indicated by the sequence of dots on the pyramid, you get "KNOCK THRICE CLAP."
13. Back at the pyramid, type "KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK. CLAP."

How do I do something useful with the chair?
1. The first thing you see is an ever-increasing brightness. What's your natural inclination when you see a bright light?
3. Next, you see some dots, moving around like fireflies. Have you tried interacting with them?
4. Try to TOUCH or TAKE them. The system is testing your hand-eye coordination.
5. Finally, you see a band of colors and feel various emotions.
6. Just type the name of any color you associate with each emotion to complete the sequence.

What do I do with the seven tree icons and globe?
1. Each tree icon represents one of the windsigh on the island.
2. You'll have to dream under each of them to move forward, but now that you've gotten this far, you can just TOUCH a windsigh to get the same result.
3. See "Where are all the trees?" if you need help locating them.

I'm had all the dreams and am ready to go. How do I proceed?
1. Get to the top of the mountain, open the pyramid, and calibrate the chair (see previous questions).
2. Touch the key icon to set the password to one of the words you gave to the figures in the seventh dream. Touch the key again to erase the currently set password.
3. Once the password is set correctly, touch the globe icon.

The Mysterious Man

How do I learn his name?
1. Try asking him about himself (by typing SUBJECT when he isn't asking you a question, then HIMSELF.)
2. If you keep typing NAME, you should eventually learn what it is.

How do I find the secret that can only be seen at night?
1. Well, there's a pretty big clue inherent in the problem. Try walking around at night. (Note that the secrets quest can only be finished before the strange man becomes convinced you're real.)
2. If you get to the rise or the north part of the island, you should see something glowing atop the mountain. Examine it. The next day, bring up "secrets" in conversation.

How do I find the secret that can only be seen in the rain?
1. There's a pretty big clue inherent in the problem. Try walking around during an afternoon rain storm. (Note that the secrets quest can only be finished before the strange man becomes convinced you're real.)
2. Explore the south part of the island-- specifically, near the treehouse.
3. After you've seen the treehouse in the rain, bring up "secrets" in conversation.

How do I find the secret that can only be seen when the tide is low?
1. There's a pretty big clue inherent in the problem. Try walking around the beach during low tide. (Note that the secrets quest can only be finished before the strange man becomes convinced you're real.)
2. The manta sculpture is the secret. After you've seen it, bring up "secrets" in conversation.

How can I convince him I'm a real person?
1. Have you asked him about HALLUCINATION, FIGMENT, or any other similar topic when it comes up in conversation, and then insisted that you were real?
2. Well, that didn't work. Maybe if you can make some physical change around the island, he'll believe you aren't just a figment of his imagination.
3. You'll need to open the door in the shack. See that question above. Breaking your leg will also get through to him.

Oops, I think I convinced him too much. What do I do now?
1. Have you noticed signs of him spying on you?
2. Have you figured out where he sleeps at night?
3. If you're quick, you may sometimes be able to FOLLOW him. The chairlift ride also provides a clue.
4. If you haven't broken your leg, you can climb the crack in the North Marsh up to the ledge where he sleeps. If you have, wait to trap him cleaning the South Beach and them follow him to Among the Boulders. In either case, say HELLO to get things started when you arrive.

Chapter Five

What should I be doing during this chapter?
1. This entire chapter consists of a special event. Be sure not to read any farther if you haven't started it yet.
2. The obvious thing to do is ensure your own survival. But the heroic thing to do would be to try to ensure the survival of another, too.

What can I do with the item washed up on the beach after Chapter Five ends?
1. You've seen another wooden ear on the island, haven't you?
2. Take it to the treehouse and insert it into the clockwork head. (PUT EAR IN HEAD among other commands should work.)
3. Now try fiddling with the head, adjusting both ears and turning the key, until you're informed that you've learned Progue's language.
4. Now you can fully decipher the inscriptions found around the island. Many of these will be hints to puzzles near the inscription. Some are just bits of backstory.
5. After Chapter 7 begins, the head becomes slightly more useful.
6. In the conversation just after you rescue Progue from drowning, he should tell you that if you touch the inscriptions during night, addendums written in invisible ink will appear.
7. The addendums are more explicit hints or longer pieces of backstory.

Chapter Eight

What should I be doing here?
1. Just explore, talk to people you meet, and try to decide what you think of this civilization.
2. Interesting bits can be found in the domed map room, the temple, by following the mural from beginning to end, and by returning to the point you arrived at after exploring for a while.
3. When you're ready to move on, visit the Philosopher, the giant tree at the top of the avenue, and speak with him.

How do I use the map room?
1. Examine the FIGURE on the wall for stylized instructions.
2. Touching a part of the map will make it the currently selected item.
3. By lifting your hand UP or DOWN (just type those words) you can zoom in and zoom out of the map through four levels: continental, planetary, galactic arm, and galaxy.
4. By moving your hand LEFT or RIGHT, you can toggle between a glowing green overlay showing the locations of windsigh, a white overlay showing the colonization process, and no overlay.
5. By moving your hand FORWARD or BACK, you can move the display forward or backwards in time, through four distinct eras (prehistory, industrialization, colonization, and the present day).
6. One interesting thing to do here is move to the colonization era with the colonization overlay on and examine Heart in detail, following the arrows, to learn more about the colonization process that led to the ship that crashlanded on Lacuna.

How do I get back to Lacuna?
1. Wait until you've spoken to the Philsopher (see previous question.)
2. All you have to do to return is close your eyes (type CLOSE EYES).

Chapter Nine

Why did Chapter Nine come before Chapter Eight?
1. It depends on which of the two worlds you choose to visit first. Heart is always Chapter Eight and City is always Chapter Nine. This was done so that players talking about the events of a certain chapter would always know what was being spoken about.

What should I be doing here?
1. Just explore, talk to people you meet, and try to decide what you think of this civilization.
2. Interesting bits can be found in libraries, back alleys, asking the historian about restricted figures, and by breaking and entering.
3. When you're ready to move on, just keep exploring new streets until something happens that restricts your movement, then return to the plaza and see where you can still get to.

How do I get back to Lacuna?
1. Wait until you've spoken to Leader Tall (see previous question.)
2. All you have to do to return is remove the transmitter cap you're wearing.

Chapter Ten

What should I do now?
1. Based on what you've learned, it's time to make a decision. Set up the machinery to support whichever side you've chosen.
2. Then, head back down the mountain and see if you can find Progue.

How do I get my way in the final confrontation?
1. You can't, necessarily, which is one of the themes of the game.
2. There are a lot of options for how the final confrontation can play out. Many of these have been predetermined by your actions up until this point-- including your very first move, choosing between art and love-- although in many cases you can still exert a significant influence on the outcome by what you do during the scene.
3. One path to a happy ending, though it may not be the ending you intended, is to think about who really has the most emotional stake in the events taking place-- you, or Progue-- and act accordingly.