[spoilers]Did I miss something with that next to last puzzle?

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KavaJava

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I finished Outer Wilds. It was amazing and emotional and terrifying. A perfect symphony of game and story. Most puzzles made my jaw drop, but there was that one toward the end that left me scratching my head.

It's the way you teleport into the core of Ash Twin. I had to look it up. How the heck were you supposed to know to jump on the warp core when the sand pillar is overhead? Did I miss something? It was so frustrating because I knew that was the tower to get to the core and I knew exactly what to do when I got into the core, but I didn't know how to get there. I spent tons of time all over that tower, waiting for the sand to drop, and even grabbing warp cores from the high energy lab to see if that would help, but in the end I turned to YouTube. It's the only blemish on an otherwise perfect(?) game. I want to know if there was some logical connection I missed. It's really bugging me.

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Wemibelle

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I'm assuming it's that way because it's how the teleports across the game typically work. They only transport you when the two points are aligned, usually giving you a window or something to look out in order to see when it will happen. Since you are teleporting to the core of Ash Twin, which is where the sand is being sucked into, it makes sense that you would only teleport when the tornado is overhead, as that's when the planets align from the viewpoint of the teleport.

At least, that's how I'm guessing they intended you to "solve" this.

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gkhan

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@kavajava: Yeah, this was the only part of the game I had to look up. I cleared out all the question marks expecting one of them to be like "here's how you get into the Ash Twin core", but nope! Honestly, it felt a little glitchy. Like, the very strong impression you get from there is that this tower is non-functional because the roof is off, causing the sand to drag you out. The fact that you could sort of manipulate the physics the be on the ground felt unintentional (though clearly it wasn't).

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ThatAintFalco

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@wemibelle: The Ash Twin Project is in the core of the Ash Twin, not Ember Twin. Sand is being sucked from Ash Twin to Ember Twin.

@gkhan: The way to figure this one out is to understand that the paired receiving core must be lined up with your sight and the black hole core. Since there are many clues that the Ash Twin Project is in the core of the Ash Twin, you know that you have to be looking down. When you view the Ash Twin Project Projection Stones, you can see white dots in the background moving, indicating that either the core is rotating, or the project is rotating. But when all of the sand is gone from the Ash Twin, you can see the core with a ton of similar white dots indicating the core isn't moving (not that it actually matters in putting all these clues together). You then know that like all the other receiving cores, there is a timing window to when the Ash Twin Project receiving core lines up with the black hole core (also because you aren't sent when you look down, and you KNOW it's there). So, if you just stand in the middle for the entire loop, what is the only timing window where you're not actually on it? When the sand pillar pulls you up so of course that has to be the window. At that point, it's just a matter of walking into the sand pillar from the side as it's passing (since that allows you to get closer than just standing there and getting pulled up just before alignment). Just to note: you don't have to do any jumping.

This puzzle definitely did feel a bit more like leaving the player to their own devices rather than giving the player slightly more straightforward clues, like it does with most everything else in the game.

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Humanity

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#5 Humanity  Online

@gkhan: I had the same thought process about it being broken. The game explicitly teaches you that to teleport you stand on the pad and look up - when you did so you would be looking through the crosshairs-like glass roof. Since this tower didn’t have a roof I assumed it just didn’t work because that’s how I interpreted the tech to work in this world, as in the roof and crosshairs is a necessary part of it. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that but instead of spurring my curiosity with the broken tower and how I would overcome getting sucked out, it had the complete opposite effect making me think this was a giant signpost that it’s just broken.

The game is so extremely specific with its puzzle solutions that I think this is something they overlooked. Basically every other puzzle is spelled out for you in the conversations. It’s always really clear like how they tell you exactly how to get under the current on Giants Deep (although the jellyfish were kind of a glitchy solution). They could have left a scroll somewhere that would say “we really need to fix that roof on the teleport to the ash twin project because teleporting is dangerous without it” or something like that.

Funny enough you don’t even have to look up. When I was attempting the final run I would shoot my probe on the teleporter and wait for it to get teleported as a cue for me to step into the tower. I just walked straight into it and it worked just fine. It’s also one of the first times I noticed the light sparkles at the base when the teleport becomes active - as all along I would stand looking up because that’s how I thought they worked.

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Deathpooky

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I also had to look up this puzzle (which then spoiled me on where things go from there, though luckily I had already puzzled together most of that, as the Ash Twin Project was the only major thing I had not done). Even seeing some explanations, it does feel like an oversight or a mistake, as there is almost nothing connected to the Ash Twin Project that even comes close to explaining that you're supposed to do this. Just an off-hand comment stating that the core of the Ash Twin had to be connected to the pillar for structural reasons or something would have at least pointed me in the right direction.

Though I will say I felt let down by the entire ending sequence, or at least the steps required to reach the ending. The timing is incredibly tight for you to execute the moves you need to make, especially navigating the Dark Bramble. I spent 3-4 cycles trying and failing, including running out of time as I was finishing the final step, and it really took the wind out of my sails as I was going towards the ending. It was basically taking into account some of the worst aspects of the game (strict time constraints, required perfect execution/navigation, repetition of basic moves if you fail) all put into one 20-minute sequence you had to execute perfectly.

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Humanity

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#7  Edited By Humanity  Online

@deathpooky: The final sequence was the one moment when I most desperately wanted this game to have a fast forward time option. Knowing exactly what to do but having to sit around for 8 minutes twiddling your thumbs and then dashing towards a stealth sequence is just not fun. I don't even mind the stealth stuff because it's incredibly atmospheric as you drift past the anglefish, it's the waiting to get another chance to do so that become a real chore and quite frankly a waste of my time.

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Deathpooky

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@humanity said:

@deathpooky: The final sequence was the one moment when I most desperately wanted this game to have a fast forward time option. Knowing exactly what to do but having to sit around for 8 minutes twiddling your thumbs and then dashing towards a stealth sequence is just not fun. I don't even mind the stealth stuff because it's incredibly atmospheric as you drift past the anglefish, it's the waiting to get another chance to do so that become a real chore and quite frankly a waste of my time.

Yeah, there were several points when I almost quit the game after I spent several loops in a row re-doing activities to try to figure something out or waiting for things to happen. I'm sure they considered and discarded having more friendly options like fast-forward or a memory save state to let you retry things without wasting 10+ minutes, but it made it very easy to bounce off parts of the game (or to pretty much ruin the ending in my case).

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wollywoo

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I know this thread is ancient, but, I just beat this game and have to talk about it a little. This puzzle kind of made sense to me. There are clues. In particular, there are writing somewhere (I think in the high energy laboratory?) that say that the hourglass twins are considered one for the purposes of the teleporters. So even though you are moving from the Ash Twin to the Ash Twin's core, and not off-world, you wait until the Ember Twin is overhead to warp to the Ash Twin's core. Because they are the same. Or something like that.

I thought of this idea pretty quickly after reading the writings, but I thought the solution would be to wait until all the sand had been drained from Ash Twin so that the pillar is gone. This still might work, but the timing is tricky because the supernova happens so soon afterward and you have to wait quite a while for Ember Twin to make its orbit.

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