The Starting Castle
Architecture: Civ 2 (Stone Brick, Lumber), Civ 4
Puzzle Elements Introduced: Puzzle Panels (Free-form, Grid-based, New)
Themes: Order, Security, Consistency, Labyrinths, Revolution, Birth
It comes instantly: Awareness.
You can move.
You can “write.”
You can navigate.
You can “draw.”
You are the witness.
There’s lots to see. A monolith imposes, a goal? A grid, bright as the sun, keeps you gated into this enclosed space.
All these details, your path has opened up significantly, it is winding. It is a maze. Is it deliberate?
A path leads you, awaiting you, powering puzzles as you go.
There seems to be a structure forming around you, waking up along with you, shaping your thoughts.
You are Doing Something. Solving these puzzles opens up a repressed image, something you want to solve.
So you have a choice now. The path has opened up more. There are two puzzles left to find and solve, hidden at different halves of this marvellous castle. Each puzzle introduces something fundamentally important, but in different ways.
One puzzle, in the half with minimalist aesthetics, teaches you to work backwards from the End while rooted in one of multiple Starts– There Is Only One Correct Way.
The other puzzle, in the half with maximalist mechanics, teaches you to question how every End works– There Are Many Ways.
Both puzzles have codified the Grid you will be seeing for the rest of your trip.
And then there’s this thing. This odd shape, this new thought. It had been hidden before, as if whoever kept us in this castle didn’t want us to find out it’s possible to “move” diagonally– that the Grid is not the default mode of thinking.
Solving this New Thought means making a line look an awful lot like a lightning bolt. This is your Eureka moment, your realization of freedom and independence from your home– This Is Not How It Has To Be. (1)
There is much unseen in this castle, but you’ve got a whole island to explore now. And plus honestly it’ll be easier to simply get back to this subject, so that’s all I’ll say on this for now.
(1) Something something Vico, thunder says “PA”