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Are you pulling my leg or are you genuinely having one of your … departures? · By Aleks Samoylov

Phrases, Gematria, and the circle symbols (Spoilers!)

A topic by beclaws created Aug 21, 2020 Views: 564 Replies: 20
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I have found about 2 of the phrases, converted them to their numerical value, but I have no clue how to even begin converting them to the circle symbols. !!! SPOILERS !!! Firstmost I am having trouble identifying the phrases themselves, as in the large desert(?) area. the words "Spare your heart a passing thought" are inscribed in the back of the chapel, but upon exploring further, I found another phrase which very deeply and obviously related to the Water element hint found on the fridge. As with the maze area underneath the house, the words "As above so below" are found on a screen, and while I assume it is a phrase, I cannot be 100% sure, and finally the words "Pain and contrition" on the plague of the large statue in the underwater level. To TLDR; I don't know what is a phrase and what could just be interesting flavor text, along with the trouble i'm having converting the gematria value to the circles, even WITH the knowledge of what composes the numbers 391/ unglamorous secrets are easy to keep. I have looked far and wide on google, reddit, twitter, and even tumblr on the off chance someone has fully completed the game. Hopefully someone sees this! Thanks for reading!


Hi, thanks for playing, first of all! You're not likely to find much info on line because this game remains super obscure (and I've done my best to delude myself into thinking that I like it that way), but I'd be happy to provide a few hints.

Firstly, you're very much on the right track. There isn't always one single phrase per zone. I think the desert area, due to its size, has at least two (the ones you found are  both phrases, I believe). The important thing is that a phrase's location, or the method by which it is revealed, matches one of the hints on the fridge. If I recall correctly, As Above So Below doesn't have a hint associated with it, so it's not one of the phrases you need for the cypher.

I hope that helped at least a little but. I'd be glad to provide more hints if you want them.

Thank you so much for replying, (I love the game btw! Despite its difficulties) I have a small batch of post its on the wall next to me filled with notes haha. That is a fantastic hint. thank you! I believe I have 3 to 4 phrases now :). My one question would have to be about the circle symbols...I have absolutely no idea how to translate my numerical values into them. Are there any hints in game which would help reveal how to do it, or is the only real hint the blue paper by the unglamorous secrets message?

Developer (2 edits)

Thanks for the kind words! Made my day!

As for the symbols, the blue page is technically the only proper Rosetta stone for them. However, if you pay attention to the order in which the symbols cycle on the actual puzzle entry mechanism, you can learn a bit more about what each one corresponds to. You've probably already figured out that the gematrical value of the phrase "Unglamorous Secrets Are Easy To Keep" is the number written in Arabic numerals in the bottom right corner. Next to that number, as you know, is a grid of four symbols in the same shade of blue, set apart from the chain of similar grids directly above. If you study that particular corner of the "sheet" (just those two things, the number and the symbols) for a bit, you should be able to get to the next step in the conversion process.

Alright, after staring it down for roughly an hour now I have ONE last question pertaining to them, just so I am on the right track. I did figure that the "391" could be directly translated to the grid next to it, I just have no idea how. Is it some sort of math equation? I have been looking at the factors of 391 and tallying what the symbols could be based on what order they appear. 1-7, and trying to multiply it all out so it gets to 391 somehow. Am I doing this backwards somehow, or overcomplicating it? (Oh and sorry to keep pestering you for hints, but the Air phrase struck me as EXTREMELY related to the end of the maze, in which you fall in a pit of blue, but after spending a few hours down there, I can't seem to find a phrase of any kind since As Above So Below was knocked out. Is the phrase in the maze or am I all turned around?)


I wouldn't say you're overcomplicating it, per se, but you might be overcomplicating it in the wrong direction. You are correct in that there are 7 circle symbols that show up in total and that each of those stands for a numeral. Keep in mind that one of those should stand for zero, so what you have is 0 - 6 as opposed to 1 - 7.  Notice that no other numerals ever show up. Nothing above 6 is possible to enter into the puzzle.  It is thought that our numerical system is base ten because the average person has ten fingers. 391 in base ten is just that, 391. You're right that the grid of symbols next to it is also 391. There is no equation there. It's exactly the same number, but represented differently. 

Again, hope that helps! I'll have to get back to you in a bit about the other question, cause I might need to look it up myself. I released this game in January and, as you know, we've all lived ten lifetimes since then, so my memory is a bit fuzzy.

Developer (1 edit)

Okay, you're kind of on the right track with the Air cypher (it is, in fact, in a maze underground, and it does involve something very blue). But I think you're in the wrong maze. Check the subterranean labyrinth behind the Lost and Found / Art Gallery building.

PS: Hmm, the game ended up way bigger than I was initially planning, and I suspect that having the "As Above So Below" message (which was basically just meant to be a bit of flavor text) in the  labyrinth under the house is a bit misleading, especially since I think it shows up on a blue screen as well ... I think I might want to clarify that next time I put out an update/"patch." I guess this is the sort of thing that playtesting is good for, but that sadly isn't something I can easily make happen as a solo dev. This thread is really proving to be helpful to me, honestly! Thanks!

I'm glad I could be of assistance!! I have found the phrase you are referring to, though It would have taken me ages to parse out that it was air and I was in the wrong place. And one HOPEFULLY final note on the symbols, (The hint that it is 0-6 helped a lot, I pretty much tossed a coin between that and 1-7 when I first tried) if I were to say 391 = 1/4/6/1 would I be wrong? As far as I know those are the correct numbers to correlate to the symbols in the order they appear, but after adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, cross multiplying etc etc. You mentioned that there was no equation, and it may just be my analytical leaning brain but I can't for the life of me see how 391 could translate into those four numerals, either as a large sum of 1461, a broken up multiplication 14*61, or anything of the sort. Am I making this wayyy too much about math? Apologies for the constant badgering for hints, though I really can't express how interesting it is to play the game and how cool it is to even have a dialogue with the developer! 

Oh one more note! In the house with the ball going on (with Arshan and Miss Holloway) the radio frequency 1 seems to be completely inaccessible. I had thought that I would simply need a tuner key perhaps (Which is what I assume to be the case for f1 in the sea(?) level with the scattered anomalies, which you CAN see and walk right next to, just not through) there doesn't seem to be any way to access it. I say this because through a series of mostly accidental discoveries, I managed to clip myself under the floor, then even DEEPER into the underlaying floor, and I was still 5 units away. This, the sea level f1, and the locked door in house 120 are just about the only mysteries I have left, ignoring the actual puzzle. 


You are correct, the number is, indeed, 1461. And while it's kind of about math, it's more about systems of counting and not so much about combining numbers. 1461 (or, rather, the symbolic equivalent of the numerals one-four-six-one) represents the same actual value as 391 but in a different numerical base. 

If there was a sentient alien species that only had 6 fingers instead of 10, or if the number 6 was otherwise significant to them, they might have developed a different system of numbers than ours. In their system, 1 would still be 1, 2 would still be 2, and so on until the number 6. Once it hit 6, it would be represented by their equivalent of one-zero. In their world one-zero means 6, two-zero means twelve, two-three means 15, and so on. This is similar to how binary (base two) works: zero-one means 1, one-zero means 2, one-one means 3, one-zero-zero means 4, and so on. This phase of the puzzle is sort of a nod to my favorite Cyan Worlds games, specifically Riven and Obduction, which famously feature non base ten numeral systems. Thankfully, there are tools online that can help you make the conversions between different bases nice and quickly. Anyways, hope that wasn't too spoilery an explanation or, conversely, too confusing. 

As for the odd beacon in the mansion level, If I remember right, it might be an Easter egg of sorts. You sort of had the right idea by clipping through the world, but it was there under the assumption that the player falls off the edge of the map completely, so you didn't quite fall far enough down. In fact, I think most levels have that same portal, but that one might be the only one that actually has a beacon attached. And to be honest, I no longer remember if that was intentional on my end or I just forgot to obscure it for some reason. You've probably already been to the area that said portal leads to. There are one or two much less obscure ways to get there. 

In any case, it's always really cool for me to get a chance to talk to people actually playing the game. I guess it's one advantage of obscurity! Folks very rarely message me about, but l'm generally thrilled to be able to help or just hear about their experiences!

I finally get it!! I  should have gotten it waayyyy earlier but I really really appreciate all the helpful hints, this is really the only puzzle game I've stuck with. I BELIEVE I have the water, fire, air, and shadow phrases, and I am only missing light and earth. I certainly know which area you are talking about, I have spent a loooooooong time looking through it's empty streets. Baring that one, spooky mannequin of course. I believe this is one of the last places to look, along with the mansion and the maze underneath the neighborhood. Hopefully I'll be able to complete the puzzle and finally rate the game :)! Thank you for all the serious help! I'll be looking forward to whatever you develop next.


Thanks again for playing! I was more than happy to help out.


Welp, it seems I either done goofed or made the puzzle more complicated than it needed to be and assigned the reverse ordinal gemantric value to the Light glyph. At this point I can't remember if I did this on purpose, but if I did, I strongly disagree with past-0me's decision to do that. 

Anyway, the correct answer for the Light glyph SHOULD be 1250, but the current build of the game thinks it is 1353. I'm currently in the process of patching it (and doing some mild optimization in the process), but you've more than earned entrance into the ending area if you want to just plug 1353 into that second slot and have been wondering why the solution you'd arrived at after converting to base 6 wasn't working.

I am super sorry. I can't offer much in recompense, but I'd be happy to send along some free pdfs of or codes to my commercial tabletop games as an "I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking" gift. Just let me know where it would be most convenient to send them.  

Hi! As you guessed I wasn't able to complete the puzzle, but this is some very very nice closure. It still means the world to me that you pretty much held my hand through the entire puzzle, and it also means a lot to me you think I earned the ending haha. Full and total honesty, I loved the game too much to not see the ending, and I actually decompiled the script and poked around with my VERY limited knowledge of code and busted through the door. I thought the ending was beautiful and fitting for the game, and it was worth all the hard work, even if I feel a little disingenuous for how I got there. You totally didn't leave me in the lurch or anything so I totally can't accept any freebies (again, I'd feel disingenuous) but it is extremely kind of you to offer. I can count this one game as probably the only real puzzle game I've ever enjoyed, and I could go on and on about it (and I will now that I have remembered to review the game.) Anyway, thank you again very much!! I'll be watching your career with a lot of interest and definitely be playing your next titles.

I've tried converting 391 on two base conversion tools from base 10 to base 6, and they each show me 1251, not 1261.  Am I doing something incorrectly? Thanks.  


Hmm, it's been a while since I've gone back to this game, especially with a whole pandemic in the middle. Could you refresh me on which phrase / code you are trying to convert? I have all the answers on a text document ... somewhere, so I'll see if I can dig it up for reference, but if you let me know what the original text input was that let to that specific gematric value, I should hopefully be able to figure out what the issue might be.


Oh wait, never mind, it's the "Unglamorous Secrets" input, isn't it? Hmm, can you tell me which conversion calculators you have been using? There is definitely something wonky going on at some point in the process, as 391 should not convert to either of those numbers.