Moondrop Isle: my favorite bits

I belatedly realized that since Moondrop Isle now has save files, that means I can share the bits I loved.

Some people are going to love all the exploration parts of this game: if that’s you, just go play it. But if you gave it a try and decided it wasn’t for you, some of these parts might still be worth your time.

You’re supposed to be able to drop these on the game page to load them. @dfabulich had trouble with this last night, but they seem to be working for me? I did discover this morning that you can’t drop them on the header area, you have to drop them on the lower part of the page with the map and the instructions. It should light up with an obvious blue dashed border when you’ve dragged it to the right place.

The dashed border is way less visible (maybe only on the edges of the screen?) if you’re in a game rather than at the map, but it does still seem to work for me. Or you can reload the page to get back to the map.

English Kiosks

This was my absolute favorite puzzle set in the game. Solve one, and there’ll be a rumbling noise: note the direction and go there for the next one. The last puzzle of these is not in english, it’s in a mysterious language. You have to do the kiosks on the east side of the island to learn that language. I found those more tedious than fun, but if that’s your jam you can go over there and find them: maybe follow the beach around to the wharf, then S, S, E to the entrance of the mall where the first kiosk of that set is.

save-english-kiosks

This is also the only one of my favorites that can easily be presented in isolation. But…

Lunarcade sign

You should definitely skip this save if you have any interest in playing the game on your own: I don’t see any way to share it without spoiling significant parts of the meta-puzzle that leads there.

And…I’m not sure it’s fair to present it without hints?. But giving hints would make it trivial, I think? Grr. But it’s a cool bit. So. You can climb the LUNARCADE sign from this save.

Major spoilers: without the context of the previous parts of the game, you may need these, but they’re the fun parts. I think the second one is a little unfair since the game strongly suggests otherwise, but it’s still a major spoiler.

  • You can TURN letters

  • You can pick up multiple letters at once. Yeah. I was annoyed by this because I think you need Renzo’s help to pick some of them up initially, and when you pick one up it says things like “You haul the letter over one shoulder. It’s very heavy.” but then somehow you can carry five of them while climbing a sign up the side of a building? Suuure you can.

save-english-kiosks

Hotel, lower levels

This whole area is a meta-puzzle that I really liked once I finally realized what its expectations are. I did spend a long time being mistaken about some of that, so for me this one probably needs a few general hints to be fun to me (these are a little graduated, so you can probably look at the first one safely):

  • It’s a puzzle-hunt kind of puzzle, where part of the puzzle is figuring out what kind of puzzle it is, and what the rules are.

  • That space has (I think) different expectations than text-adventures, so watch out for that. In particular, it’s kind of Sherlock-Holmesy – you have to assume that you’re given complete and adequate information, where in the real world a bunch of these things would not be clues, they’d be pretty shaky and ambiguous.

  • Getting spoilery, but this is the one that annoyed me, so: You can get around the blockage to the upper floors without completely solving all the puzzles that you can think to set yourself.
  • Still a hint, but don’t read this unless you’re fairly stuck/frustrated: for the twist that you might not have thought of: you do need information about all (most of?) the people you can find but you don’t need to do the trial-and-error to find their full locker numbers. Most of these are empty or little bits of flavor.

And to avoid wasting your time (the game tells you this but I wasn’t sure if it was genuine or a red herring or even if it was genuine, if I’d know when it changed): the numbered hotel rooms are almost all empty and identical, you certainly don’t need to pay attention to any of the ones in the lower portion of the hotel. And even on the upper floors, I think the game does make it clear enough when room(s?) are different and should be checked out.

save-english-kiosks

I think this whole area had the most character of any part of the game, and the upper floors of the hotel also had some fun tricks up its sleeve. But if you want to get all the way to the end you need some info from the rest of the island so I’m reproducing that here (this was also an entertaining puzzle though you’ll want to save before attempting it because if you fail, there’s a delay before you can attempt it again, grr).

I don’t think this is too much of a spoiler: if you haven’t seen these in-game you’ll be like “what the heck? I must be missing something” and if you have seen some of them you’ll immediately know that this is where they get applied, but I’m spoilering them anyway.

  • Maia Dome (Mall, up from bookstore): ORGANIZATION CONDUCTS HISTORY. THE SUBSTANCE OF DEPTH IS THE ESSENCE OF HARMONY. RANDOMNESS CLASSIFIES EXPRESSION.

  • Sterope Dome (Arcade, up very top of elevator): HARMONY IS THE ORIGIN OF COHERENCE. THAT WHICH IS EXTENDED BY MOMENTUM SUPPORTS VARIATION. ENERGY MEDIATES ALIGNMENT. SIGNIFICANCE ANNULS THAT WHICH IS UNDERSTOOD BY AFFORDANCE.

  • Electra Dome (Lagoon which is part of the Monorail system): MOMENTUM EXTENDS DESIRE. THAT WHICH IS INVERTED BY EXPECTATION IS DEPTH. THE DISJUNCTION OF THAT WHICH IS ENCOMPASSED BY MEMORY IS STRUCTURE. CONSCIOUSNESS CONSTRUCTS DESCRIPTION.

  • Merope Dome (Shore, ne corner cliff, need badge from w kiosks/s wall): INTENTION FRACTURES COHERENCE. THE EXCLUSION OF DESIRE DISTINGUISHES EXPERIENCE. THAT WHICH IS PERCEIVED BY METHOD UNDERSTANDS TRAJECTORY. THAT WHICH MEDIATES ALIGNMENT IS RECEIVED BY DISTINCTNESS.

  • Taygete Dome (Gardens, top of greenhouse): METHOD PERCEIVES AFFORDANCE. THAT WHICH AUGMENTS RELATION IS SUBSTANCE. TRANSITION REFINES THAT WHICH IS CLASSIFIED BY RANDOMNESS. MEMORY ENCOMPASSES THAT WHICH IS CONDUCTED BY ORGANIZATION.

  • Celaeno Dome (Tunnels): EXPECTATION INVERTS THAT WHICH IS FRACTURED BY INTENTION. EXTERIORITY IS UPLIFTED BY THAT WHICH REFINES EXPRESSION. THE DISJUNCTION OF HISTORY TRANSMITS MATTER.

  • Alcyone Dome (Moonlight Meadow): ORIGIN AUGMENTS RELATION. THE EXCLUSION OF THAT WHICH SUPPORTS VARIATION IS INTENSITY. PURPOSE OPPOSES THAT WHICH IS CONSTRUCTED BY CONSCIOUSNESS.

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