Archipelago is an online game developed by Jonathan May.
It is played in your browser, and can be completed in an
hour, or several days Ė however since there is no save function,
you will need to restart it if you are unable to complete it in
one session. Why
write a walkthrough for a short game?
Well, after four sessions, several thorough readings of the
helpful hints, and a good deal of frustration at being stuck on
this great game, I emailed Jon for help.
He answered with a great deal of help, and for me, the
revelation that many things that I thought I had correct were way
off base. Since there
may be others in this same predicament, Iím writing out my
solution to this quirky, sweet little game.
Map of Islands
You wake up facing a
cluster of islands, and you swim towards the nearest.
What youíll find is a skull, and arm bones, over a tablet
saying, ďIs there no escape from this wretched place?Ē
Well, isnít that encouraging!
Since there is no inventory in this game, and you can only
hold one object at a time, letís begin here by taking the arm
bones with us. Looking
toward the volcano, you can just see a blue mound of an island.
Click on this with the arm bones.
You will pass over an island with a single palm tree that
has a coconut. This
will be useful later. Also
note that when you approach an island, regardless of the side you
came from, it will always look the same to you.
This was a great idea by Jon, to prevent us from having to
walk all around the islands to place our objects or to interact
with them. Place the
arm bones at the edge of the island and letís go back and gather
the skull. Rotate
left of the volcano, and looking to the right of the six stone
pillars, and you will see an island with a stone on it.
Just to the right of that, youíll see the island with the
coconut palm and looking through it, the island we came from.
Click on that tiny spot and return to the starting island.
Grab the skull, and head back to the blue mound, which will
be called the mechanical island from now on.
Note that there are five large buttons on this shoe-like
device. We will need
to somewhat recreate a human form by placing these bones on the
buttons in a certain order, but we only have three.
Letís go look for the other two.
If you look to the right of the low end of the mechanical
island, you will see a stone head.
Click on this island and pick up the other arm bones.
We canít do anything else with the stone head at this
point. Return to the mechanical island and place it to the side.
Now look toward the six stone pillars.
In front toward the left, youíll see a sandy mound.
Click on this next, and go to the sand castle.
Retrieve the remaining leg bone, and return to the
mechanical island with it. We
will return to the sand castle later as well.
Now we get to solve our first puzzle.
Imagine the mechanical island is a human body with the head
at the low end, arms in the middle and legs at the left.
Look in the distance and watch carefully the six stone
pillars. The far left
one has an object on top Ė a telescope.
In order to reach this we must lower the pillars into a
staircase. The large
buttons in front of us will each lower a pillar. We need to associate each button with the five pillars to the
right of the telescope one. The
first button pressed will lower a pillar a bit, the next one will
be lowered a bit more, and so on till one is nearly at sea level. The buttons need to be held down, and this is where the bones
come in Ė they will weigh down the buttons, and the pillars will
remain in the lowered position, enabling us to climb up to the
telescope. Given the
way the mechanics work, we need to lower the second left pillar,
then the third, fourth, fifth and sixth, in that order, to make a
Place the arm bones (either one) where the skeletonís
right arm would be. Watch
the second pillar descend. Then
place a leg bone (either one) where the left leg would be.
Then place the skull bone on the far right button.
Then place the left arm and finally the right leg.
The stone pillars should now be a staircase shape.
If not, then remove the bones and the puzzle resets.
Now click on the far right pillar and swim there.
Rotate your view to the left, and click each one till you
climb to the top.
When you look through the telescope, youíll see one of
the totems. We want
to see the ship in the distance that is to our left.
Scroll left through the beige, and deep blue till you see
light blue water, and pinkish-purple sky.
Just past the bottom of the sun, the ship will come into
view. Focus on the
ship, and note the pattern
on its flag. Weíll
need this pattern later. Okay
come back down, and weíll do some looking around, to orient
toward the volcano, and go to the tiny island just in front of it.
You may have to do this in two steps.
There is a control panel (#P6 on the map).
The left toggle wonít do anything at this point.
The right one raises the island up like an elevator.
Turn around and face the islands.
This is the vantage point the map is made from.
Note the lighthouse on the far left, the pillars straight
ahead, and the stone head to the right.
shed some light on the subject!
Turn back to the control and click on the right one
again, bringing you back to sea level.
Now go to the lighthouse, press the button on the side, and
this sends out a beam of light.
The next nearest island has a dolmen Ė two vertical
pillars with a capstone. Letís
swim there. There are
five of these dolmens, each with a colored circle labeling them. Also each looks toward a totem, all of which are different.
This dolmen has a green circle, and faces the totem with a diamond shaped pattern. Note:
The pattern of the totem is NOT what is important here, but rather
the shape of the tiles that make up the pattern. In this case they are the same Ė diamond. There is
nothing that you can do here but note the patterns.
The next island to the right has a pillar with a blue disc
on top Ė these are mirrors, and will reflect the light from the
lighthouse. Press the
button on the pillar to tilt the mirror into place.
Letís do this one, then go in a circle doing the other
three. When you are
done, go back to the volcano mini island and watch for a few
seconds. Youíll see
colored beams of light go up into the sky when the light from the
lighthouse beams on them. Hmmm,
wonder what that means?
Letís continue on our tour.
Near the stone head, to the right of the mechanical island,
is another dolmen and totem, letís go there.
The dolmen color is blue,
and the totem is made up of square
patterns and tiles. Between
the floating green pyramids and the stone head, in the distance,
is another totem. Letís
go there. Now this
totem has a diagonal pattern,
made from diamond shaped
tiles. The dolmen
is red. Behind the six
pillars are another set of dolmen and totem.
This dolmen is purple,
and the totem has a triangular
shaped pattern made with triangle
shaped tiles. Crossing
back around to the front of the six pillars, youíll see one last
set. The dolmen is yellow,
and the totem is in a zigzag
pattern made up of triangles.
Weíll need to pair up the dolmen-totem and their colors
to solve a puzzle.
While swimming around you may have noticed that there are
some islands with panels on them.
Each of these gives partial control of the final puzzle,
the volcano. Some
give you no feedback to let you know you are correct, others tell
you immediately. From
the zigzag totem, rotate around till you can see the six pillars. Just to the right youíll see an island with a panel.
Letís go there. Well, this looks easy, just place the shell on the panel,
right? Hey, wait!
This doesnít fit! Yup, Jon has played a joke on us. Now we need to find the one that does fit.
Look toward the volcano and the mechanical island.
Remember the coconut palm tree that we passed?
Itís the one with a curved trunk.
Go there and collect the coconut.
Then rotate to the right, and in the distance youíll see
a dark blue lump. Do
you remember seeing the cannon in your travels?
Thatís where we want to go.
When you get there, put the coconut near the tip of the
cannon, and put the match to the wick, and ďBOOMĒ the cannon
fires. But where?
Look toward the six pillars, and find the sand castle.
Well, we sure flattened that sucker!
Letís go have a look.
If you canít quite locate it, go to the yellow dolmen,
and look toward your right. Well,
what do you know! A
seashell! Now where
was that panel with the shell on it?
Find the six pillars and look directly to the right, and
youíll see it. Go there and place your shell with a resounding ďthunkĒ,
letting you know you got the right one.
light up my lifeÖ
Letís go play with our pretty lights.
First we need to know what to do with them.
With the volcano on our left, look toward the distant
lighthouse. Just to
the left you see a tiny green dot, click on that.
When you get to this island there are two things there.
Look at the paper, and see the color stripes, in this
order: green, yellow, red, blue. Now
there is no purple, so it doesnít seem to match the dolmen
patterns, but it does match the colors of the lights coming from
the mirrors. Now take
the shovel and letís figure where we want to go dig.
If we need to match the color stripes, then there must be
only one place where they show up in that order.
If you roam through the outer islands, youíll see the
perspective change, and therefore, the order of the colors.
If we go toward the volcano, weíll be getting closer.
The one we want is just a sandbar, to the left of the
volcano when we face it. To
be sure itís the right one, turn back to the mirrors and wait
for the lighthouse to make them light up in the correct
order, left to right, green, yellow, red, blue. Now
you can dig on this island. Where?
Pick a place, and continue to click on the hole to enlarge
it. When you have the
right hole, a treasure chest appears. Put down the shovel and
click on the chest. A
diamond will appear. Take
this and weíre off to find where to put this.
Look to the right of the mechanical island, and in the
distance youíll see a panel.
Go there, and place the diamond in the panel.
This also ends with a nice ďthunkĒ.
Letís go do
one more panel. Turn towards the volcano.
To the immediate right of the mechanical island is another
panel. Remember the
pattern on the shipís flag?
This is what you will put in on this panel.
Going on a diagonal, bottom left, in the middle, bottom
left and top right, then top right on the outer edge.
You wonít get any feedback here.
So ends our easy puzzles.
Now we have to do some mix and match.
Turn to the right, and with 2 mirrors on your left, and the
six pillars on your right, straight ahead will be the panel we
want, with the colored balls or globes. Remember the dolmens and the totems? Each totem is associated with a dolmen with a colored circle.
Yeah? So what! Well,
remember I said that the pattern of the totem isnít whatís
important, instead itís the shape of the tiles that make it up.
Now what we have to do is make up a pattern of this.
Note that only the blue Ė square combo doesnít have a
match. So letís put
the blue globe in the top spot.
So that means that red and green got together, and purple
and yellow. But which
goes in which order? If
you look from the volcano perspective, youíll see green dolmen
then yellow on the left going towards the six pillars.
So letís try that Ė green bottom left, yellow top left.
Yellow goes with purple, so put the purple on the top
right, and red on the bottom right.
You wonít get any feedback here either to let you know
you are right.
dreaded green pyramids
Okay, this is the really tough puzzle.
Position yourself so that all five are on your screen at
once. This is
important because, when you reach the correct sequence, they move.
You have to see where they move to continue, because you
must click on the same
triangles in the same
order again, and then a third time.
Now where do we begin?
Jon thought this was simple enough that we wouldnít need
any clues. Harrumph!
There are 120 possible choices of sequence!
Brute force seems the only way.
Letís number them. Top
left = 1. Top right = 2. Middle
= 3. Bottom left = 4.
Bottom right = 5. If you want to play for a bit, Iíll tell you that #1 is
The sequence is 15342.
This will make them move.
If you donít get the next ones right, it will reset.
The next sequence is (from their current position) 35241. Again they move.
The last sequence (from their current position) is 42153.
whatís staring us in the face!
The big stone head! And
heís all lit up! Note
what the colors are and their placement. Now go to the panel
island just to the left of the six pillars.
There are nine buttons there, which youíll be able to set
to the colors on the big stone head. The top left and right should be red, middle one green, and
bottom middle yellow.
to split this place, aloha, good-bye, see you laterÖ
Now go back to the tiny island in front of the volcano.
Letís use the right toggle to ride up again.
Now flip the left toggle, and watch her roar!
Click on any smoke cloud and hitch a ride out of here! Now you really do have a birdís eye view of the islands.
Part two will be soon to come.