I link into the Rotating Room, and it takes me a second to figure out where I am and which way I'm facing.
I race down the spiral ramp onto the floor of the Ambient Lighting Room and creep carefully around the edge in case any false step will reset the thing. I get around to the spot above the doorway that I opened. I drop down, risking a broken ankle once again.
The trip to the Purple Pyramid is an uneventful one.
I've still been keeping an eye out for journey cloths, but never found any. I decide to look around the outside of the building again, and this time I have the good fortune to go around the left side first. This means that when I approach the right side of the building, I'm doing it from the rear, and I spot a cloth hanging from the side wall of a recess in the middle of the right side of the Pyramid. Tag.
I head inside and face the array of hexagonal tiles. I don't see any other patterns, or anything to connect these tiles to the trilons in Arithmetic Age.
In the absence of any better ideas, and after noodling with this dumb thing for a very long time, I go back and I push the blue button that works the lights. The lights switch off, and we discover that the D'ni had Indiglo technology. The tiles are glowing with new symbols. I get to work copying them all down again.
This time the pattern is a bit clearer. Most of the symbols come from the windows visible from the upper floor of Arithmetic Age, but that's not what's important. Many of the symbols are variations on the Kadish Tolesa tree icon, and the majority of them form one snaking line from the lower right to the top. (I assumed that the starting point is going to be closer to the light switch.) I carefully walk the path, and the hexagonal stone at the very top sinks into the ground.
The tile descends about 300 miles and eventually a doorway appears in one wall. Being the cautious sort that I am, I hesitate a little too long, and while taking a screenshot of the doorway, the tile begins to rise again.
`Aw, crap,' I think. `I'm going to have to do all that again.' So while I'm waiting for the thing to deliver me back to the puzzle, and I feed my captured screen to the graphics program to save on my computer. I flip back to the game itself, and in the brief moment that it takes me to realize that I'm back at the bottom of the shaft again, the tile rises again. Noooooooooooooooooo! Not agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain! Jane, stop this crazy thing!
Eventually, I get off the elevator, and I get a journey cloth all nice and obvious on the wall for my trouble. Tag.
The next room is fairly typical of a Mystian puzzle room: levers, buttons, weights. More hexagons. Oh, and a door where nature never intended it to be.
The button is a pretty typical reset button (around here, anyway) so I refrain from pressing it, and turn my attention to the levers instead. They only work when you stand behind them so you can see your handiwork. I try pulling the second lever, and the second hexagon from me goes up and it has a ladder on its front face. I have a flashback from the elevator, which I can still hear merrily bouncing up and down in the background. Okay, so fairly obvious goal here: stack the hexes to climb up to the door. I build myself a standard 0-1-2-3 pyramid and start climbing.
I get to the top and realize that my pyramid is too short. I climb back down. Okay. No problem.
One other thing I've noticed is that the very large counterweights around the outside of the room (no, the really big ones up against the walls. The smaller ones hanging in mid-air haven't moved yet) descend every time one of the levers up pulled. For every up, there must be a down, or something. The point is, the large counterweights haven't hit the floor yet. I can still pull levers.
I pull lever number four, and now it looks like the rearmost hex is level with the door. But the counterweights still haven't hit bottom yet. So I pull lever number three. Now I'm all out of pulls. I go and climb the stack, now a 0-1-3-4 pyramid.
I done good. Tag. That little room up there turns left into a dark staircase that gently curves down. So you can see how important it was to have to go up to get to the door. At the bottom of the stairs there's a door and a small lever on the wall. With much suspicion in my heart, I pull the lever. The door opens. As advanced as the D'ni have become, did they never think of the simple doorknob?
I enter into a new room with-- bwee? I'm back in the same damn room! Look, there's my clever 1-3-4 pyramid. What gives?
Someone's being cute, I guess. When one is completely out of ideas, and searches for answers in life, where is one supposed to turn? Right: Arithmetic Age. I go back to my stumblethrough and look through my screenshots. There's still that wheel to figure out.
Four coloured thingies, four levers. Maybe this is now. There are numbers around the oustide and some of them are on the same colour background as the thingies. I write down what they are: W3, G4, B1, R4, B4, W2, G3, R2, B3, G2, W1, R3. So the colours are evenly represented, but the numbers aren't. And no combination of colour and number is repeated. What's missing to make the whole thing complete is W4, G1, B2 and R1. In the order of the thingies by colour, 1-4-1-2. I also notice that these numbers add up to 8, which is exactly as many pulls as I get on the levers.
I press the blue reset button and pull each lever the appropriate number of times. The smaller counterweights fly up into the rafters and rings, each one smaller than the last, drop down to meet the top of my new pyramid. I climb again. At the top of my new stack is the world's longest ladder. Up I go.
At the top is another corridor, and at the end is the weirdest construct yet.
I mountain-goat my way along the narrow ledge to the staircase. About halfway up there's a landing with what I suppose I'll have to call the Purple Panel.
I went and also checked out the cubic building at the top of the stairs, and its front is decorated with the same configuration of symbols as the Purple Panel right down to six painted-on, symbolic buttons, just in case there was any lingering doubt as to what it was for.
The leftmost button is helpfully labelled with the D'ni symbol for "1", so I push it first. It turns brown. Each button is connected to a ring of symbols, and this time there's no mistake: they do all come from the trilons. Each button also has two symbols in common with the ones before it and after it, allowing the leftmost and rightmost buttons to cycle around. Wonderful. What does it all mean?
I spend a lot of time trying to figure out why that button is number 1. I convert each symbol into a number/letter combination based on its position in my pictures of the trilons, so the ones for number 1 are 3b, 4a, 6b and 2c starting in the upper left and going clockwise. Looking at the rest of them, I notice that the fifth button from the left is the only one which has a symbol from its similarly-positioned trilon. I push it. It turns brown too. It didn't turn the other one off, so I keep pushing buttons until they're all brown. It makes a disapproving zuzzing sound and turns all the buttons yellow again.
I don't mean this to sound that I get all these things quickly. (Okay, the pyramid of hexes I really did get that quickly, but that's not the point.) I spend a lot of time trying to figure out some of these puzzles. I just don't tend to waste space here with all the blind alleys I go down.
About the only thing I can figure for making that button number 1 is that trilon #1 isn't represented there. But then it's not on most of them. Why is that one 1 and not the others?
Maybe the marking isn't a hint. If I'm on the right track, then four symbols aren't enough. It would always be ambiguous that way. But calling the left button 1 because they said so might clear up the ambiguity. The last button doesn't have a symbol from 1 or 6, so it's 6. The fifth button has no 2 or 6, so it's 2. And so on. In the end, the buttons should be 1 3 4 5 2 6 from left to right. I push them in numerical order, and the cube opens.
The inside of the room is not what I expect.
The Vault is harshly spotlit, making my screen capture rather problematic. The place is filled with, to borrow a phrase from The Goonies, rich stuff. Hammocks full of gold coins, paintings, crates and chests of things. Throne. Painting of Teledahn. A journey cloth at the back of the room. One very dead body.
I think of Douglas Sharper. I want that door closed. I try to get to the back wall around the side, but there's too much junk for my avatar to jump over. In the end, I just ran down the stairs and cross through the spotlight and bounded up the crates at the back. Tag, that's it.
There's another blue reset button inside the door to the right, and I press it, which is probably dumb. But if someone else is going to come in, at least I'll know about it.
I'm not so interested in the gold and whatnot, with my arms not working and all, so I focus on the centre of the room.
Well, it's unlikely Dougie can be blamed for this one. This guy's been dead a long while.
All that purple. I do believe that I've just discovered the body of Prince.
If that's so, then Prince speaks fluent D'ni, as the letter found by his side would indicate. Yeesha has added more comments in red, but without context, it's hard to tell what she means by any of it.
There's also a linking book here. It's... Arithmetic Age? Complete with DRC stamp? Those neat freaks left the body lying here?
Perhaps the end of this age lies not here but in Arithmetic Age. I remind myself that I can now link into the sealed vault whenever I want and put my hand to the page.