Hadean Lands post-completion discussion (spoilers galore!)

And it’s a better solution, too, because it stops you from getting stuck in the wreck!

Interesting! I wonder if that would somehow allow for a win in just eight resets. (Currently AFAIK the best record is nine resets.)

I put some time into thinking about it and I don’t think it will help, but maybe someone else will have a clever idea.

  • Getting to the fourth glyph in the Ruined Chamber at the back of the wreck will always consume mercury (getting into the Strange Airlock) and orichalcum (for the lead increase on the counterweight, so you can get the F-sharp chime), and you have to fix Pneuma before you enter (so you can access distillate, to increase and decrease the counterweight on the same reset).
  • I think the only kinds of things you could possibly want to do on the same reset as accessing the fourth glyph would be to access the Chancel (to get the Grendel Sealing you need to make a fulcrum) or to fix a dragon.
    • Accessing the Chancel requires an aura imitation (jade or quartz), both of which require orichalcum.
    • Fixing a second, third, or fourth dragon requires a fulcrum, which requires mercury.

So, as far as I can see it, even if you can leave the the Ruined Chamber without resetting, without any mercury or orichalcum, you can’t do anything that would save you a reset.

(There’s no way to get the mercury back out of the circular arc once you access the Strange Airlock, right??)

Not as far as I know. It was mostly a joke, because you can also avoid getting stuck by not removing the chime from the window. But I would love if this actually had speedrun potential.


I had to go on about 40 hours of flights over the last two weeks and Hadean Lands is one of the few games I have downloaded that doesn’t require constant internet access, so I played through this again (tragically, using a few hints on even my third playthrough, especially on where to find sparks since I was typing with my thumbs on my phone and LOOK THROUGH OCULUS gets really tiring to type over and over again).

What a great game! One thing that stuck out to me is how prominently copal incense is mentioned in the beginning of the game and in all resets but nowhere else. The first few times I played through, I just assumed it was going to be explained later, but it never really is.

I looked it up and apparently it was a meso-american form of incense used in meditation/sweat lodges, and also used in varnish. Varnish would make a lot of sense for a swabbie, but if it is also used in meditation, maybe one version of our character is ‘piloting’ a homonculus using copal as an enhancer for the meditative process?

Also, I realized how much I had subconsciously copied this game in Never Gives Up Her Dead. I had consciously copied some things, but I think even the whole idea of a broken ship with cracks in reality was just patterned after this game, although it grew from there. I think it really had a big effect on me, as it’s a memorable and fun game.


I had entirely forgotten this… an early draft of the initial room involved fixing a lantern by replacing a cracked rune with a pinch of copal resin. Why? I dunno, it was early.

I dropped that puzzle (and the whole idea of waking up in the dark), but left the copal aroma in the opening text.


It’s really evocative, I like it.

It reminds me of this twitter thread that was running for days with people arguing about author symbolism: