Ghosts Within Hints

I’m playing IfComp 2021 entry Ghosts Within, making gradual progress, and I’d like some help!

Here’s a hint from me: SAVE OFTEN IF YOU PLAY THIS! The game’s not punishingly difficult or anything like that, but you can get to some early endings which you can’t undo your way back out of.

What I’m trying to do next is:

The sculptor is willing to give me his hammer if I grill the cod I have for him. He’s got a stove that’s perfect for grilling, but I can’t just stick the fish it in or on it. So I’m thinking I need, maybe a pan or tin foil or something. Can’t skewer it with the branch. Or maybe I’m using the wrong command with the stove.

Other things that could be ways forward:

  • padlock on the house up the cliff west of the village, seems like a good thing to hammer
  • clippings behind glass that Silas wants
  • I can get into town hall, but got caught
  • no use for id card yet
  • protection to search wreckage
  • some way down to the beach to the north
  • something for the boat problem
  • jukebox seems conspicuous
  • east door in the motel?
  • spotted a white thing near reefs in the water, dunno how to get a better view
  • maybe I want to scale the north cliff with the railing?
  • “You are carrying a long branch, ten oranges, a brass hooded lantern (providing light), a 103 key, an ID card, a car key, some binoculars, a flower guide, a raw cod, a small trowel, a small tin, a silver key, and a pocket knife. You’re wearing some clothes.”

Oh and if anyone else is stuck fairly early on, here’s some places to look for items:

  • gas station
  • down by the docks
  • near cemetery (an item, and a path) (REALLY EXPLORE HERE)
  • 103
  • apparatus
  • sculptor, captain, and silas seem to be the ppl who’ve actually given me things to do so far
  • if you ever get stuck, look around in the workshop and the cemetery area more!
  • examine all the people carefully
  • verbs you’ll need. show X to Y, ask X for Y, tell X about Y, dig X, look through X.

Thanks! I’m playing Second Wind now, but Ghosts Within is the next parser on my list. I hope I won’t need to unblur your hints, but it’s good to know there are some pointers here when I get stuck.


Hello @dgtziea and thank you so much for enjoying my game so far! I really hope you are finding the story intriguing! Here are a couple of ideas and pointers to help you out, if you are still stuck:

  • for protection, an NPC “holds the key”
  • for better view of the white thing, try looking at it with a specific object, from high places with a direct clear view of the reefs (cemetery, chapel, promontory)
  • the mayor’s office will only be accessible from a specific beginning, if you help a specific NPC in their research
  • Lastly, almost 100% of the objects your PC can carry with them have importance in solving puzzles and interactions.

Have a nice day!

  • Kyriakos

Hi @Domenico, thanks for writing this game! I can see a lot of hard work’s been put into it.

for protection, an NPC “holds the key”
I already do have a car key and have unlocked the trunk, unless you mean there’s another key that would help me search the rest of the wreckage

for better view of the white thing, try looking at it with a specific object, from high places with a direct clear view of the reefs (cemetery, chapel, promontory)
I originally saw it from the high ledge. Got the hint to look from elsewhere, the promontory was too foggy so I thought maybe that would disappear later in the game. My practical solution would’ve been to just take a nap until the fog dissipated but my protagonist doesn’t seem sleepy. I found the chapel lookout off your hint, so now I know what the white thing is, though not how to get it yet

Any hints on cooking the cod? Do I have what I need to solve it, or where should I look for it? I’ve walked around the village a lot and I’m apparently still not very far into the game, so I think some slightly heavier hinting would be fine.


@dgtziea thanks a lot for the feedback! A few more clear hints:

for protection, an NPC “holds the key”
The key in my previous hint is used metaphorically speaking to mean another item. For protection you need to obtain something to protect your hands with, in order to search in the wreckage. One NPC holds what you want!

for better view of the white thing, try looking at it with a specific object, from high places with a direct clear view of the reefs (cemetery, chapel, promontory)
Since you know what it is, once you help out a certain NPC with their problem, you will get access to it. So do not worry about it for now.

I’d say from what you’ve gathered so far (including conversing with the NPCs about more than the suggested topics), that you have completed about 50-60% of the entire game. The cooking the cod problem will be solved by searching the wreckage.

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I am also stuck, at 19 points.

Here is my full score:

1 point for throwing the ball to Lieutenant
1 point for lighting the hooded lantern
2 points for acquiring the gardening gloves from young Fay
2 points for finding the grill in the car wreckage
1 point for discovering the tree trunk carvings
3 points for grilling the raw cod for Gregory Wright
3 points for unblocking the abandoned house front doors
2 points for helping Captain Morty with his boat problem
3 points for bringing clean linens to Silas Holt
1 point for opening the trunk of the car

And my inventory:

You are carrying a long branch, a brass hooded lantern (providing light), a flower guide, a 103 key, an ID card, a hammer, a car key, and some binoculars. You’re wearing some clothes and some gardening gloves.

Things I’ve seen but can’t interact with:

Research facility and everything in that area, jukebox, private door, hanging thing from mountain (unless it’s just supposed to be the railing), marina. I saw the abandoned house and went through it but it was completely empty except for a passage to a boulder no one will help me move.

I’ve had an ‘arrested’ ending. My only real goals are to get the clipping to Silas without getting arrested, getting down to the beach and entering the research facility or searching police cabinet.

I’ve been playing this game much longer than 2 hours, but wanted to give it a fair shot because it’s fun!


I’m now at 31 points!


Looking at your list, you should look through the cemetery area more I think.

There’s one thing there I overlooked too, and then there’s also a thing I had to ask the author for help with above.


it’s a separate area. a bunch of items there, one of which was extremely useful and got me two more items. other two items there I haven’t gotten much from yet. Characterization, maybe.

There’s also two places in that cemetery where you can use an item you have. You can look through the spoiler talk up above if you’re still stuck, it won’t spoil anything you haven’t already done.


@mathbrush first of all, thank you so much for your comments. I’m really glad you are taking your time and you are trying to enjoy my game thoroughly!

Now about your problems:

Considering the boulder problem, one NPC will be willing to help you out, if you insist on telling them about the boulder!

Considering your other problems, there are some rooms (e.g. isolated beach, inside outpost, but not the marina) in the game that your character will never be able and is meant to never be able to access directly. Those only exist for decorative and/or lore purposes.

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Thank you! A question for either of you: how do you get the tin or the silver key? I saw that in the list of items earlier and its one I still haven’t found. (Since I posted on here, with help, I found the bouquet, the net, the pocketknife, and the buttercups. If it matters, my initial choice was to go inside the hut.

Edit: Actually, I just found out about the quest to find flowers so I’ll be pursuing that for a bit.

Edit: I’ve now found ending 3, which I feel is a satisfying ending, so I will stop playing. I never found the tin or the silver key. I made it into the mine and accessed the basement, but the boxes and crates were empty, there were no exits, and nothing was in them.

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fyi the tin and key are in the mayor’s house through the backyard with the trowel. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t allowed in the first time I tried though, and then later I tried again and got in, dunno why. Neither have been helpful to me though, the key just led to getting arrested in the town hall. The author said I (and I think you too, then) might’ve missed the window on using it, unless you helped someone (Hughes, maybe?) with their research early on.

Any hint on how to get the flower quest you mentioned?


I had to repeat an action I tried earlier.

More generally, I had to ask/tell someone about the boulder multiple times.

Completely explicity,

I asked Fay about the bolder twice.


I took a long time exploring the map and talking to all the people. Such a long time that I now have only 30 minutes left before I have to decide on my rating. I’d like to see/solve some of the puzzles before I do.

During my exploration, I found some puzzly things:

-The dog. (Only thing I solved until now)
-The rusty padlock on the mansion doors (I think I need the sculptor’s tools)
-A disturbed patch of sand (I need a shovel, which I (as player) frankly find a very forced puzzle. Your confused and pressed to find answers, but you won’t dig some sand with your hands?)
-The anchor-chain for the fisherman (I think this will open up the beach location, as he promised to give me a boat tour as reward.)
-The chapel doors (I haven’t come across any keys or crowbars yet)
-Most importantly: I need a light source. Marquita’s flashlight is off-limits, I tried to light the branch in the sculptor’s stove as a torch (nope). I fear I might be missing a location or something because I can’t find anything.

Against my normal hint requests, this time the hints may be specific. I’d like to unlock at least some of the locked doors and inaccessible locations before I rate this beautiful and engaging game.

I’ve read most of this thread, coming across references to a wreckage (Luna’s boat by the reef?) and a boulder and a flower boucquet. I haven’t seen any of these. The hints that are in this thread are mostly vague nudges. I’d like some “do this, then do that” explicit shoves. (I really want to see the reefs and the beach.)

Thanks. I’ll hold off on wasting more of my minutes until I can break through to at least one locked area.


@rovarsson, considering your problems here are some more direct pointers:

Light: You’ve probably missed something hanging somewhere near the chapel. But you have to find a way to light it up first before you can use it. With the light at hand, you will gain access to a few more areas, secrets, lore and items.
Padlock: You need a specific tool from the sculptor to get through.

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if you read down, each line is more explicit. possible I mis-remembered some stuff, sorry!

light source?

near cemetery

behind chapel I think

it’s unlit, someone can help

wright can help

show lantern to wright (don’t remember if you have to do something for him)

there’s a thing in the lighthouse.

a key if you examine either the apparatus or the mechanism

in room 103 in the motel, you find linens which you give to silas


you do think correctly

examine wright. ask wright about it.


you need food. There’s an obvious source of food (not the store)

at the dock, look in the crates in the stalls

need to cook it, who has a stove?

workshop has a stove. can’t use it directly

you need to get into the wreckage site. if you haven’t found it… it’s two rooms away from the hut

you need something to protect your hands

fay has them (EXPLICIT spoilers next)

ask fay for gloves, search wreckage. put grill in stove. put cod on stove. hit padlock with hammer. go find the boulder after going through the house. tell fay about the boulder, twice. keep going into the cavern, go east at the fork. ending 3 (might’ve missed some steps).


Thank you!


I’m at 42 points now, and I reached the same ending that mathbrush did (ending#3).

I’ve got a soap, knife and branch which are the glaring items I haven’t found use for yet. The police station cabinet and the mayor’s office are the two places I want to explore. Or getting past the crates that also stopped mathbrush.

@Domenico, do you have any hints for what I can do next? I’m going to move onto other games before maybe returning to try to find another ending, but it might help other people in the meantime.


@dgtziea Let me help you out (spoiler alert):


It is used as an aid to help you climb the rock at the Orange Grove and to also help you reach the lowest-hanging oranges from the trees.


It is used to help you cut the wild weeds (buttercups) and the white plants (Indian pipes) requiring delicate handling, which you need for the flower quest.


This is something you can rub (apply) on something else; it acts as a lubricant.


That’s for decor purposes mostly.

Mayor’s Office (huge spoilers for 2nd ending and story)

In order to gain access to the mayor’s office, you should do the following:

  • first start the game from the research facility
  • read the wooden board beneath the village entrance sign
  • help out Dr. Hughes with her research. That means talking to NPCs and reporting back to her.
  • when she is satisfied with your help, she will give you access to her room (motel key) and she will ask you to find a way in to the town hall
  • if you then ask the young girl about the hall, she will tell you about the key, but she won’t be able to help you out
  • if you check the mayor’s house backdoor, it will be unlocked (that happens because the mayor leaves the house and forgets to lock the door. If you’ve reached the 3rd ending you already know why he does that and where he ends up. The same thing happens if Silas asks you to enter the town hall.)
  • from the mayor’s house you gain access to the town hall key and also his office. (The difference between Dr. Hughes’s and Silas’s town hall quests is that in Silas’s one you end up in the hall by yourself, which gets you arrested leading to the first ending, and in Hughes’s one she follows you inside, which doesn’t get you arrested leading to the second ending, after a final puzzle.)


There is nothing inside them, but have you checked behind them? :wink:


I’ve been poking at it for most of a (very busy) week and am stuck at 28 points. I started off in the research institute.

My current inventory:

You are carrying a business card, a long branch, five oranges, some gardening gloves, a brass hooded lantern (providing light), a small trowel, a flower guide, a small tin, a silver key, a pocket knife, a calendar, a 103 key, an ID card, a car key, a pair of binoculars, and a hammer. You’re wearing some clothes.

My current full score:

In 2317 moves, you have scored 28 of a possible 50 points. Your score consists of:
2 points for acquiring the gardening gloves from young Fay
1 point for lighting the hooded lantern
1 point for throwing the ball to Lieutenant
2 points for digging up the buried pocket knife
2 points for finding the grill in the car wreckage
3 points for bringing clean linens to Silas Holt
1 point for opening the trunk of the car
3 points for grilling the raw cod for Gregory Wright
3 points for unblocking the abandoned house front doors
2 points for helping Captain Morty with his boat problem
1 point for discovering the tree trunk carvings
3 points for collecting a bunch of buttercups
4 points for collecting a ghost pipe flower

Problems that are obviously open:

  • The flower-gathering problem. I’ve managed to get the Indian pipes and the crow’s feet, and I’ve found the marigolds, but I can’t figure out how to get them. I’ve tried GET FLOWERS, PICK MARIGOLD, CUT MARIGOLD WITH KNIFE, and several other things all with no success. Do I need to distract the security guard or something?

  • Getting the newspaper clippings. I can smash the display cases with a hammer, but that gets me arrested pretty quickly. There must be a way to retrieve them without getting arrested, no?

  • Getting the bouquet of roses. I can get out to them on the captain’s boat, but they’re out of reach. Nothing I’ve tried throwing at them manages to retrieve them.

  • Getting into the mayor’s office. I’ve got access to room 103 and have retrieved the silver key, but trying to get into the office gets me arrested. Dr Hughes hasn’t offered or tried to follow me around and I’m not sure what else I need to do to to get her to do so.

  • Climbing the cliff above the wreckage site. (Assuming this isn’t a false trail.)

Areas I haven’t been able to access: the chapel, the mayor’s office, the lighthouse beyond the exhibition area, the upstairs part of Fay’s house, the store and whatever other building is east of North Street, whatever’s behind the boulder on the cliff, the upper floors of the research facility, anything on the ground floor of the research facility besides what’s immediately available from that particular beginning of the game.

Current map showing where I’ve been and (most of) what I’ve seen:


Hello @patrick_mooney! Taking into account that you’ve been playing around for a week, I assume that you’ve been enjoying my game a lot so far, which in return makes me really happy!

First things first, I have to say that you’ve designed an amazing map so far, even better than my own! Congrats!!! :clap::blush:

That being said, here are a couple of headers:

Entering the mayor’s office
Although you’ve started from the correct starting point to get access to the mayor’s office (leading to the 2nd ending, as described in a previous post), you won’t be able to enter it now, because you’ve already agreed to help Silas out with his problem, and you took the town hall key from the kitchen before Dr. Hughes asked you to get access to the town hall. This is an unintentional minor bug, that nonetheless fits the game from the story’s standpoint, but might cause frustration to some players, and so I might have to remove it in a future update. (Thank you for bringing it to my attention, albeit indirectly!) Unfortunately, though, you won’t be able to get access to the office now without restarting either from the very beginning by choosing the same starting route or just before talking to Silas about the car.

Flower Bouquet
You’ll need something to catch the bouquet with. Maybe that object lies somewhere in the Marina, probably out of direct sight.

Flower Quest
If you remember exactly what Fay is asking you to collect, you’ll notice that she requests for a rare type of marigold. You will be able to take it from the flower bed as soon as you discover what’s a rare type. This might be mentioned somewhere! Just look it up first and then examine the marigolds again!

Inaccessible Areas
As far as the cliff by the site, the stores on North Road, upstairs at Fay’s house and the labs in the facility are concerned, those are indeed inaccessible.
As far as the lighthouse is concerned that is inaccessible only because of the starting route you chose at the beginning. (It accessible in the other two routes.)
As far the boulder is concerned, that will indeed be accessed by completing the flower quest!

Newspaper Clippings
Taking them always results in an arrest (there is no way out of it), which if you’ve already noticed leads you to the first ending (Silas & You ending).
This ending is the most common one and can also be reached if you try to enter the mayor’s office alone or if you start at the hut and then try to persist to the truth in Officer Reeve’s questioning. The reason for being arrested ties closely with Silas and what he represents in every case.

That covers everything, I think! Thank you again so much for having fun with my game and I hope my hints are helpful in some way or another!


… and that gets me to a (“real,” non-arrested) ending! Thank you so much. It was a fun game even when I was butting my head against it!