This game is dominated by the puzzles. The puzzles are sophisticated and require a bit of thought and note taking. But they are fair. The clues are there if you can recognize them for what they are. So be patient, take notes and don't give up too easily.
Much of the satisfaction of playing an adventure game comes from the feeling of accomplishment you get from solving a difficult puzzle. Going to a walkthrough and reading The combination is X-Y-Z. removes all the enjoyment you might have gained from that puzzle. With that in mind, I have written this guide as a series of hints to help nudge the player who is stuck back in the right direction. Each set of hists starts out vague, reveals the goal of the puzzle, suggests how it might be solved and finally reveals the solution.
Each hint is on a separate line, so you might want to go to the section you want and make sure only the first hint is revealed at the bottom. You can flatten your browser so as not to see the hints from the puzzle above. You can then use the scrolling arrows to reveal just one hint at a time. The idea is to get just enough information so that you can continue to solve the puzzle on your own. That is always the most fun.
You will notice that there are no images in this hint-through. You shouldn't need them. But if will help, you can always display this hint-through while you are playing the game and use to move between them.
The following General Hints should be read now. They won't give anything away, but will prevent some frustration.
Before tackling a puzzle, make sure you have explored the entire area and looked in every direction. Hints can be anywhere. Although, in the Shave hints tend to be grouped near their puzzles.
Be sure to save after each major accomplishment. That way, if you confuse yourself, you can always go back to a clean slate. Also, some puzzles will not reset. So it is a good idea to save the game before starting a new puzzle so you can always go back to the beginning. If you have already muddied the waters, you might want to replay the game from the beginning and save at the appropriate places. Once you know the solutions the game can be played fairly quickly.
If a button or switch doesn't appear to do anything, look around. Frequently, you must move several spaces in order to see just what a button does.
Some of the puzzles have long animation sequences. These can be cut short by right-clicking the mouse.
Each time you unlock one of the son's rooms an SIA logo will appear on the door. You must click on it and see the movie before you can enter the room. They will always play in the correct order.
Each time you solve a son's slip-space, there will be a movie from a Wotsletter. They will always play in order.
The movies make the most sense is you alternate SIA-Wotsletter-SIA-Wotsletter and so on.
You might wast to save the game just before clicking on a movie as there doesn't seem to be a way of viewing them a second time.
Sometimes you can look up and down. Sometimes it is important to do so.
The Golden Age of Advertising
There is only one hot spot to click on in the beginning of the game.
It is behind the house.
Experiment with the four buttons to see what they do. Turning away will reset the puzzle.
From left to right:
First button selects the planet. The holder for the selected planet will pulsate.
Second button moves planet forward three spaces.
Third button moves planet forward five spaces.
Fourth button moves planet forward seven spaces.
The object is to get each planet to land perfectly in the top space.
The right-most planet must move exactly eleven spaces to get to the top, so you would press the buttons to move it 5-3-3.
You should figure out the two remaining planets on your own. This is the easiest puzzle in the game and all the remaining puzzles will be similar.
City of Numbers
Aligning the planets turned on a lot of things. Look all over to see what they are.
There is now the image of a city to the right of the planets. Does it look familiar? That city has a number.
Turn away and look at the wall when it closes. There are now twelve numbers glowing on it.
The front door is still locked, but now it has the number 8246 on it.
The paddles you faced when the game started are now active.
The paddles change the position of the tiny red lights in the city in front of you. What else do they do?
Does that city look familiar?
Changing the position of the lights changes the city's number in the planetary display.
The goal is to open the door to The Golden Age of Advertising.
You unlock the door by getting the city number to match the number on the door.
No, there doesn't seem to be any pattern to how the paddles change the numbers. So there must be a clue elsewhere four other things in three different positions which would correspond to the lights.
The twelve numbers on the display wall correspond to the twelve positions of the lights.
Did you notice that all twelve of those numbers are prime numbers?
Prime numbers are used to factor larger numbers...
8246 is the result of multiplying four of those numbers together.
The four numbers are 31-7-19-2
So set the lights to Center-Center-Up-Down. The door is now unlocked.
The Golden Age of Advertising
The door now has the word Uber on it. This is a German word meaning super or over. It is also the nickname for one of the five sons of Webster Wotsletter.
Click on the ball floating around and you will see five smaller balls in an inverted V shape. Take note of Uber's position in the formation. You will see this shape many times in the game.
You can click on the projector where the light is coming out to change what is being displayed.
Turn towards the alternate content to see a movie.
You must watch both movies. Make note of the five sons and their positions in the shape.
Then you can click on the third projection of the planets.
This is the central location for the game. Here you will find the rooms of the other four sons. The object here is to unlock the rest of the doors. You will then be able to travels to their worlds and solve the puzzles there.
The rest of the game will be much easier if you solve The Tardis first.
Royal The Tardis
There are nine transportation booths scattered about The Shave (they remind me of the Tardis from Dr. Who). You can travel from any booth to any other simply by clicking on its image.
I have named the nine images as follows:
H) Home. Where you first entered The Shave.
B) Blue Button
G) Green Button
R) Red Button
O) Orange Button
SR) Shadow of the Rock
BP) Blue Path
You will notice that the Dome is locked from most locations.
The goal is to travel to the Dome.
The Dome is available when you are are SR. But only if it is one of the two active destinations.
Notice that only two destination images are active at one time.
Notice that each time you click to another destination the active images move clockwise to the next two squares.
Notice that the images are in a different order for each location, but they are always the same for a specific location. Make note of the nine different patterns.
You solve this puzzle by timing it so that SR is in the center when the active squares are on the bottom and thus you can go to D.
You could just click at random until it works. I got lucky,,, once.
Or you could figure out the actual sequence. You cannot solve it in three hops, but you can solve it in seven.
Each position has two places you can go to. That works out to 64 total paths to test if you wanted to do it brute force.
But you know what the start position must be and what the end position must be. So you can save a lot of time by just working both ends into the middle.
Start at H with the two active squares at the top. Figure out the two potential positions of the second step, the four positions for the third and the eight for the fourth.
The seventh position is at SR with the active squares at the bottom. Figure out the two potential positions of the sixth step and the four positions of the fifth.
Now just go through all eight position of the fourth step and figure out which one can take you to one of the four positions of step five. Once you have made the connection, you will have your seven steps.
The solution is, starting from H, SR G H B Y SR D. Exit and look at the Dome. This unlocks the Dome and makes all Tardis locations available from everywhere.
Tat The Painted Fish
This takes place on what I call The Blue Path.
There are two switches and one control panel to play with.
The switches look like those found at the beginning with The Golden Age of Advertising, but their hot spots are at the very top (see the little lever?)
The switch in the middle of the path moves a large fish-like object from one berth to another.
While the fish is in its original position, the switch at the end of the path causes two caps to lower onto its top and tail fins.
While the fish is in the other berth to the left, the control panel is active.
The control panel paints the different parts of the fish.
Did you notice all those caps in the right-hand berth touch part of the fish?
Did you make note of what colors they were?
The goal of the puzzle is to color the fish so that each part matches the color of its cap.
Each row of the control panel lets you chose what color to paint a set of fish parts. Each row need only be used once. Think about it, why would you pain a set of parts red if you are going to paint that same set green later?
This type of puzzle is solved by choosing the unique part and then eliminating it from the choices. That is, the first button you press should paint a fish part which none of the other rows will touch. Don't worry about other parts which might get painted wrong the other buttons will correct them.
The third row is the only row which will paint the eyes, so color them first.
With the third row eliminated, the first row is now the only row which will paint the top fin. So paint the top fin next. You should now be able to figure out the remaining two rows.
If not, then press the following four buttons in this order: 1) Third row down yellow, 2) Top row green, 3) Bottom row red, 4) Second row down blue
Finally, return the fish to the right-hand berth and lower the caps. If you did everything correctly, Tat's room next to the Orange Button is now open.
Vkoda The Ball Columns
This puzzle is found on the other side of the bridge from where you first came to The Shave.
Even though the control panel reads Units per Cycle and Cycles to Delay, it has nothing to do with the Burma-Shave analogy of temporal perception. That is, this control panel is only good for solving this puzzle.
Feel free to play with the controls to see what they do. You cannot break anything or get into an un-winnable situation. The puzzle will reset after every attempt.
The four funny machines, from right to left, are called: 1) Chromatiser, 2) Extruder, 3) Deslimer and 4) Extractor.
When you press the start button, a cycle is started. Starting with the Chromatiser and going to the left, the machines will try one at a time to do what the control panel has told them to do. That is, first the Chomatiser will attempt to do what its settings indicate, then the Extruder will try, then the Deslimer and finally the Extractor. If the cycle completes without an error, a second cycle will start and the process repeat. The cycles will continue until either an error occurs or the puzzle is completed successfully.
When you have an error, check the control panel and it will tell you what the problem was. This message is erased when you change a setting.
The Units per Cycle setting sets how many balls that machine should take from the machine to its left. The Extractor has an unlimited reservoir to draw from.
The Cycles to Delay setting sets how many cycles to wait until trying to get balls from the machine to its left. Obviously, you must wait until there are balls there before you can get them.
An error occurs when there are not enough balls in the machine to the left to satisfy the setting, or the machine tries to put more balls into its cage than it can hold. For example, if the setting for the Extruder says to take five balls, but the Deslimer only has three, that would be an error.
The object of the puzzle is to fill the Chromatiser cage with fifteen balls.
The Chromatiser must grab all fifteen balls at once from the Extruder.
The only way to fill the Extruder is to take three cycles and grab five balls each cycle from the Deslimer.
You should be able to figure out the puzzle from all those hints. If not...
The Solution is:
Extractor: 7 Units
Deslimer: 6 Units, 1 Delay
Extruder: 5 Units, 2 Delay
Chromatiser: 15 Units, 5 Delay
You can now walk to the unlocked Vkoda's room without using a Tardis.
Silo The Balloon Elevator
Silo actually requires two puzzles be solved to unlock his door. They can be solved in any order, but doing this one first helps explain the second. The Balloon Elevator puzzle can be found by going to the Spring.
The only hot spot here is the control panel in front of the strange looking machine.
The instructions are right on the panel.
The top row of buttons goes first, the bottom row goes last.
Once you have five buttons lit green, one for each row and one for each column, press the Start button to test your theory.
The object is to set the balloons in the right order so that they all get caught by the paddles and delivered to the Spring.
Just try each balloon in first place until you find the one that works. Then try each remaining in second. Make note of any others which happened to be right and keep them in that position.
Some balloons actually work in more than one position. If you appear to be stuck, make sure you have tried all the balloons in each position, and then use alternative solutions.
Do you really need this one spelled out for you? Very well, the order, from left to right, is 4, 5, 1, 3, 2.
Once you have completed the Balloon puzzle, go to the gazebo to its left and look around. You will find a flashing button which is now active. Pressing this raises you up a level.
If you solved this puzzle first, you will now see the need for something to bridge the columns in front of you. If you already solved the bridge puzzle, then you can walk forward to the open door.
Silo Raising the Bridge
This is the puzzle which uses the four big buttons we see in the Tardis.
Each button has 21 positions.
Go to either the blue or green button and watch the background while you click through the positions. You should be able to see what they do.
Each time you click one of the buttons a section of the bridge may or may not rise a third of the way up.
If you attempt to raise a section of the bridge beyond the top, all of the buttons reset to zero.
The object of the puzzle is to get all of the sections perfectly to the top.
You will want to find a location where you can see the positions of all of the sections.
There is a stairway just to the right of the green button which lets you walk down and examine the bases of all of the columns.
The medallions at the base of the columns tell you which buttons affect that column.
You will notice that some columns are affected by only one button.
Take each button one at a time and find the minimum number of clicks it takes to raise its unique section. That is, how man times must you click the blue button to perfectly raise the section which is only affected by the blue button. This will tell you the minimum number of clicks each button requires.
You could check each position one at a time...
Or you could start half way at ten clicks and then try lower if you reached the top or higher if you aren't there yet, cutting the difference in half each time. That is, start at ten, then add or subtract five, then add or subtract two and then you will have only one or two more tests moving just one. Finally, you will find the exact number of clicks to bring that section to the top.
Set all four buttons to their minimum position and then see what you have left to do.
And that solves the puzzle! There is, in fact, nothing to do beyond the minimum.
The minimum positions are red-7, green-5, blue-13 and orange-11
If you solved the elevator, you can now take it up and cross the bridge to Silo's room.
The first puzzle is actually quite simple. Don't try to read too much into it.
You star on a very small planet with your old friend, the tardis, near by. Try it out and note the differences from the tardis on the Shave.
There are five planets, only three of which are available to begin with.
Notice anything different about the images of one of these planets?
One of the unavailable planets also has a dome like the one which brought you here.
The object of this puzzle it to get to the other dome.
Each planet has a control panel with a button on it. Some have two buttons, but they appear to do the same thing. When in doubt, press the button which is flashing.
The control panel on the planet you started from makes the red planet available.
Go to the other three planets and press their buttons. The fifth planet is now available. (I told you this was simple.)
The device in the dome has four hot spots, one at the end of each of the handles/levers.
Go ahead a play with them, taking careful note of what each of them does.
There are four sections on the back wall. Each switch causes some of those sections to change.
Which sections does each switch control?
What about the images on the wall? One of them is not like the others.
There are several impressionist paintings and... an image of the brother's inverted V.
The object of this puzzle is to change all four sections to the brother's symbol.
This puzzle is solved in a similar way to the Painted Fish puzzle.
No unique pieces? No problem. Just lump multiple pieces together which can be treated as a single piece.
The end switches control the two end sections. One you have solved those two sections, make sure you always move them together and they can always be brought back to the solution with the end switch.
Number the sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the switches A, B, C and D. The direction doesn't matter.
Click A until 1 is correct.
Click C until 2 is correct.
Click D until 4 is correct.
Click B until 3 is correct. Don't worry about 1&2.
Click A until 1 and 2 are correct again. Done!
Now return the same way you came, by flipping the control panels back on in reverse order.
Tat's puzzles cannot be reset, so you will want to save the game before doing anything.
Tat's room is sort of like a mini tardis. It goes to two locations in his slip space depending on whether you click the left or right hot spot.
If you entered Tat's slip space from the right button, then click the right button again to return to the Shave. Clicking the other button takes you to the other location.
Tat's slip space has another dome, but it is protected by two force fields. The object is to remove the two force fields by solving the two puzzles and enter the dome.
The puzzles can be solved in either order. I will start with the button to the right.
As you go along the stony path from the room, you will see a control panel. All it does is show you the progress of the puzzle and has a button to turn off the force field when the puzzle is complete.
The puzzle itself can be found at the top of the winding stair.
Note the colored cones connected with colored caps.
Note the colored rings connected with colored bands.
The object of the puzzle is to match cones with caps of the same color and rings with bands of the same color.
The bottom button causes all pylons to rotate clockwise.
The top button causes the two pylons on the track to the right to swap.
You can use the right mouse button to skip the animation.
You can swap any two adjacent pylons by swapping with the pylon across from them. For example, if your pylons are in the order 12435, then you can swap 4-1 to get 42135, then swap 3-4 to get 32145, then swap 3-1 to get 12345.
You might see the solution better if you label the pylons, in their correct order, 12345 and then write down their current order in a circle.
That should be enough to figure it out on your own. Just be patient. Once you see on paper what you have to do, it goes quite quickly.
Once solved, remember to click the button on the lower control panel to turn off the force field.
You get here by using the left button in Tat's room.
You will have noticed the six control panels in front of the columns. The set of nine dots in the upper left of each control panel shows the current state of the columns. The three highlighted dots are the ones controlled by that panel.
Did you notice the seventh control panel behind the columns?
The object of the puzzle is to get the columns to match the patterns in the seventh control panel, first the left, then the middle then the right. If you cannot see the patterns and you got your game before April 22, 2010, email the developers for an update. The original was a bit faint and the latest is much brighter.
Each time you match a pattern, you must press that pattern's button on the seventh control panel for it to register.
Once all three patterns have been solved, the fourth button on the seventh panel will turn off the force field.
To manipulate the six control panels, the first two images are the clues and the three buttons control the third image.
Did you ever see those IQ Test questions that ask what the next pattern is in the series?
Each clue has three different colors. They are independent.
How many pieces of each color are turned on?
If you need it spelled out... if there are two yellow pieces in the left and three yellow pieces in the middle, then set the right to four yellow pieces. 2-3-4. See the series?
Completing the series causes the three lights to reverse, ON turns OFF and OFF turns ON. You can see it in the nine dots on the panel.
The puzzle is fairly easy. From the initial position, it only takes four moves to get the first pattern, three more moves to get to the second pattern and two more moves to get to the third.
In the initial position, all four corners are on and the center is on. The four dots in the center of the outside rows are all off. It looks like a 5 on a pair of dice.
Solution: Number the control panels from left to right 1-6.
First pattern: Use panels 1, 3, 4, 6 then click its button on the seventh panel.
Second pattern: Use panels 1, 5, 6 then click its button on the seventh panel.
Third Pattern: Use panels 3, 6 then click its button on the seventh panel.
You can now click the fourth button of the seventh panel to remove the force field.
Once you solve the two puzzles, you can enter the protected room.
There are only four hot spots to begin with.
The object is to get all of the silhouettes to face in the same direction.
There is only one solution.
If you have four facing one way and one facing the other way, the one is correct and the four are wrong.
Simply start at either end and go down the line making sure the silhouettes are correct as you go.
Notice the inverted V shape to the left?
Once solved, Tat's circle becomes active and can be clicked on.
Vkoda has two significant puzzles connected by a very simple third. You have no choice as to which puzzle to solve next, they must be done in order.
The lower level is turned off, to begin with. You must solve the upper level first.
There are six control panels up here. Fortunately, they are accurate maps of the level, so you won't have to draw your own.
The faint lines on the control panels show every possible move.
Clicking on another tower on the control panel causes a laser beam to go from your tower to that tower.
Every tower can send one beam and receive one beam.
The beams cannot cross each other.
You cannot walk through or under a beam.
Every tower can send or receive beams from the white tower in the upper left corner.
Towers cannot send beams to towers other than white until they receive power, either directly or indirectly, from the white tower through the beams.
The object is to connect all of the towers into a single circuit (each tower must send one beam and receive one beam) and then go to the gazebo at the top which will now be lowered and available.
You must start with the white tower in the upper left corner. Starting anywhere else will either cut you off from the tower's control panel or trap you there.
If you go around the perimeter from tower to tower, you can complete the circuit and see the lowered gazebo, but you will trapped within the beams and unable to enter the gazebo.
You must figure out a path for the circuit which does not block the gazebo.
You must then figure out how to complete that path while you are on the outside of the beams.
Starting with the white tower in the upper left and going clockwise, number the towers one through six. Tower six, which is right next to the gazebo, must be the last tower you connect.
Tower six must connect to towers four and five.
Solution: connect the towers in this order
1 to 2
2 to 3
3 to 5
4 to 1
5 to 6
6 to 4
You can now enter the gazebo.
Gazebo 2nd Lowering
Starting with the button on the lower right and moving clockwise, click each button and note what it does to the patterns on the floor.
Then click the first button a second time.
That's it! Wow, this was a simple puzzle.
If you have already scrambled the order, the object is to get all the sparkling bars lit at the same time.
Go out on the walkway and examine the panel which of turned off at the beginning.
You will want to write down the pattern you see on this panel, making careful note of the colors. It may be hard to see, but two of the lines are red, one is orange and one is purple.
Experiment with the control panel at the gazebo. You may have to go into the gazebo and look around to see what they do. The blue button resets everything.
The object of the puzzle is to make the gazebo match the pattern out on the walkway.
The buttons correspond to the columns.
Each button/column controls a different color.
When there is more than one beam of the same color you may have to click the button extra times to get them in the right sequence.
Some buttons may turn off other buttons.
Only use buttons which do not turn off the buttons you still need to click.
The buttons which control multiple beams are good ones to start with.
Blue 3 clicks
Red 3 clicks
Yellow 2 clicks
Green 1 click
Purple 1 click
Orange 1 click
You can now go back to the dome and watch the movie.
There are three puzzles here and they must be done. In order.
This puzzle is similar to the Ball Column puzzle on the Shave.
The first stone takes a fraction of energy from the reservoir.
Then the second stone takes a fraction of energy from the reservoir.
Then the third stone takes a fraction of energy from the second stone.
Then the fourth stone takes a fraction of energy from the third stone.
The buttons represent fractions of how much that stone is going to take.
The object is to get all three stones to rise to the correct height to make a path.
This can be done by giving one fourth of the energy to each of the four stones.
Giving one fourth to stone one is easy.
The second stone must take all the remaining energy if it is to get out to the third and fourth stones.
First stone - 1 of 4
Second stone 1 of 1
Third stone 2 of 3
Fourth stone 1 of 2
The control panel has two arrow buttons which raise or lower the platform.
Each platform has a companion platform. When you raise or lower your platform, the companion must go in the opposite direction. That is, if you rise the companion must lower. If the companion is already at the bottom, then you cannot rise any more.
The buttons made up of vertical bars (which represent the columns) chose whether your companion is the platform to your left or to your right. The one which is flashing is the one selected.
Note that the right-most platform is already at the top of its column which is only half the height of all the other columns.
Note that the right-most platform is not included in the companion buttons.
The object is to line all of the platforms up with the right-most platform such that you can walk freely back and forth among them.
The strategy is to line the platforms up one at a time starting from the right and working your way left.
You will have to scramble the platforms to the left in order to get to the right. That is OK.
Solution: This assumes the original starting position. If you have scrambled the platforms, that is OK. Just follow the intention of the moves below and adjust accordingly.
Number the platforms from left to right 1 to 6.
Platform 1 The intent is to get Platform 5 into position and then get on to Platform 2. First, select Right-Companion (Platform 2) and rise up until Platform 1 is level with Platform 6. Now select Left-Companion (Platform 5) and lower until Platform 5 is in position and aligned with Platform 6. Now select Right-Companion again and rise up until you meet Platform 2. Move over to Platform 2.
Platform 2 The intent is to get onto Platform 3. Select Right-Companion (Platform 3) and move up (or down, if that is how you left it) until you are lined up with it. Move over to Platform 3.
Platform 3 The intent is to align Platform 4 and then get back onto Platform 2. Count how many moves it will take to get Platform 4 down to Platforms 5 and 6. If you are in the original position, you will have just enough room to get Platform 4 far enough down. If not and you don't have enough room, make sure you have your Left-Companion selected and move down far enough to give yourself room to move Platform 4. Now select your Right-Companion and move it down into position. Select Left-Companion again and align yourself with Platform 2. Move onto Platform 2.
Platform 2 - The intent is to align Platform 3 and then get back onto Platform 1. If you are in the original position, you will have just enough room to get Platform 3 far enough down. If not and you don't have enough room, make sure you have your Left-Companion selected and move down far enough to give yourself room to move Platform 3. Now select your Right-Companion and move it down into position. Select Left-Companion again and align yourself with Platform 1. Move onto Platform 1
All six platforms should now be aligned and you should be able to move among them.
Images on the Ruins
Turn around so that the control panel is behind you. See the geometric pattern?
Note the patterns seen from the first five platforms. Don't worry about colors.
Can't see any pattern from Platform 6? Try looking up.
The object is to get the five images above you into the same order as the five images you saw from the Platforms.
So do it and go back to the room to see the movie...
Note the little inverted V just before the end of the dock. Not the BIG inverted V at the very end of the dock.
As you solve each of the son's slip spaces, their image appears on their ball and you can click on it.
Clicking on all five images creates a path from the end of the dock to the last room.
Once complete, go there and watch your last two movies.