JEWELS OF THE ORACLE - HINTS
As you've noticed if you've started playing JEWELS OF THE ORACLE, part
of the challenge is figuring out the goal of each of the puzzles you
encounter. Some of the goals are harder than others to figure out.
And what's obvious to one person isn't necessarily obvious to another.
This file is for those who are beating their heads against their monitors
or any other nearby hard object capable of inflicting pain, or offering
up their first born children to the Oracle because they just can't see
the goal of a particular puzzle. It often helps to know where to start
when you know where you should end up.
Below is a brief explanation of the goals of each of the puzzles in
JEWELS OF THE ORACLE in "hard puzzle" mode, along with some basic
mechanics on how to operate the more complicated machines. This file
isn't a walkthru, but I have included some hints on almost all of the
puzzles except the most self-evident ones. I've grouped these hints at
the end of the file in the hopes that if you don't want read them and
just want to know what the goals of one or more puzzles are, it will be
easier to avoid obtaining additional hints that you don't want to read.
Bear in mind that the hints especially, but even the goals too, may or
may not spoil your game depending on how stuck you are. Although no
outright solutions are given, some of the hints come close.
GOALS AND MECHANICS
The starting point for the "groups" below is the group of four
puzzles at the well site immediately in front of the door with the diamond
gem shape on it, and moving counterclockwise to each of the other places
(six total) at which you can approach the well. For each group, the puzzles
are described starting with the one revealed by the stone at the upper left
of the well, then the upper right, then lower left, then lower right.
1. "Hall of Hidden Links" -- Match the twelve items two by two
through identifying a common characteristic for each pair.
2. "Hall of the Sun" -- Use the beetle to push all of the pebbles into
the hole at the bottom center of the puzzle board.
3. "Runes of Eridu" -- Complete the sequence of nine tiles (for which
three are already in place) by selecting those that fill positions
three through eight at the top of the board from the 36 available in
the pool below.
4. "Abhoranam of Night and Day" (Suns and Moons) -- Using the moving
platform, move all of the white and black disks from the left side of
the board to the right. The game places them for you automatically when
you drag them off the platform, and when the puzzle is completed, the
white disks will be on the outside column and the black disks will be on
the inside column (the mirror image of the starting position).
5. "Kutu of Ekakin" -- Eliminate all but one of the spheres on the
board. When you "jump" a sphere over another, the one jumped over will
be removed from the board automatically.
6. "Parity of Jalam" -- Move the water from tank to tank until the
total amount in the group of tanks on the left wall, middle wall, and
right wall is the same.
7. "Harmony of the Hassuna" -- Assemble the five shapes into a square.
8. "Seal of the Girsu Gates" -- Slide the mixed-up tiles to their
proper places so that a complete picture appears.
9. "Values of Al-Jabara" -- Determine the value of each of the six
emblems across the top of the board by decrypting the equations on
the wall to the left. Mark the value of each emblem along its
corresponding "notched stick" with the tokens found in niches toward
the bottom of the board. Pull the bar on the side of the board to
record the values and complete the puzzle.
10. "Panditah of the Seventh Mountain" -- Arrange the 20 bricks in the
20 spaces on the board such that each number created horizontally and
vertically is evenly divisible by seven.
11. "Order and Succession" (Model City) -- Slide the tiles so that each
one is placed over its matching pattern engraved on the stone frame
12. "Square of Ganj Dareh" -- Turn the nine small squares so that the
numbers revealed add up to the same amount in each horizontal row,
vertical column, and along both diagonals of the larger square they form.
13. "Hall of the Nightsky" -- Arrange and rearrange the brown bars
so that you can slide each of the blue squares with suns on them
off of the board and into the bin with the sun on it, and each of the
blue squares with stars on them into the bin with stars on it.
14. "Wheels of Time" -- Place the tokens on the wheels such that
no two tokens pass by each other when the gears are moving. To release
the tokens, pull the levers on the left wall one at a time. To place
the tokens, turn the wooden platform to the wheel you wish to place
the token on and drag the token onto the platform. To turn a wheel
to allow for the placement of another token on the same wheel, or to
see how the gears move, throw the lever on the right hand side of the
15. "Memory of Bhandam" -- Assemble the pictures in the squares that
are revealed briefly when you click on them into a single, larger
16. "Turning of the Divasah" -- Turn the panels on the device by using
the handles at the bottom of it such that one each of the six different
pictures shows when the device stops turning. The six panels must be
arranged in a particular order.
17. "Seeds of the City" (the "Ruma") -- Move all of the seeds from the
four small bowls into the large bowl at the far right.
18. "Path to Mahiman" -- Move the blue ball through the cubic maze
to the yellow shape on the same side of the maze as the starting
19. "Horses of Asvah" -- Arrange the nine tiles in their frame such
that the painted horse halves on them create horses of a solid color
(e.g. yellow head, yellow tail; blue head, blue tail).
20. "Assembly of the Planners" -- Arrange the 24 shapes in the frame
such that they cover the entire red portion of the board.
21. "Hall of Ascendancy" (Earth, Air, Water, Fire) -- Arrange the ten
tiles in their frame such that the symbols along the edges of each tile
match up with those on the edge of each tile that touches them.
22. "Path to Utsavah" -- "Walk" (move) the calipers across
the tiles from the starting position in the upper left-hand corner of
the board to the ending position in the lower right-hand corner of the
23. "Leap of the Locust" -- Move the green pegs to where the yellow
pegs are at the start and vice versa.
24. "Hall of Spheres" -- Move the spheres so that each column contains
only spheres of the same color. To move the spheres, drag them from the
column they start in to the stone gears below it and click on a gear
(it can be, but doesn't have to be, the gear the sphere is in, depending
on the direction you want to move the sphere). The gear will turn,
and if there is no other sphere blocking the way, it will pass off
the sphere it is holding to the next gear.
The following are some thoughts on how to approach the puzzles and/or
observations on what to do or not to do to solve them. Although I can't
completely divorce these hints from the experience of having solved the
puzzles, I have included some of my more egregious misconceptions on my
initial approach to some of the puzzles for those curious about the
evolution of the thought process and for whatever amusement value (at my
own expense) they're worth.
1. "Hall of Hidden Links" -- The common characteristics used to match
the items can be different for each pair. There is no need to assume
that the same characteristic has to be used to match all of the pairs,
nor is it necessary to find links between the pairs. Think in terms
of similar shapes, similar uses, similar structures, or items that can
be used together. Obvious pairs, such as hammer and chisel or hammer
and sickle are not necessarily part of the solution. I know because I
tried all the obvious ones.
2. "Hall of the Sun" -- Use the keyboard instead of the mouse to move
the beetle. You'll have more control that way and will be less likely
to move a pebble accidentally. Make sure that you don't move a pebble
into a corner where you can't reach it or block your path to other
pebbles or the hole. On the right (long) side of the maze, I moved
all the pebbles into a position where they could still be reached and
where they did not block the path to other pebbles before starting to
move any of them toward the hole. Practice the technique on the left
(short) side first where it is easier to get the hang of moving the
pebbles. Then forget about the short side until you've mastered the
long side. Otherwise, you could end up doing what I did (spend
however much time it takes to run through the motions of completing the
left side once you have it down and then promptly box yourself into a
corner on the right side so that you have to start over). After
doing this about five times, I got wise.
3. "Runes of Eridu" -- Try to see beyond the obvious shapes on each
tiles to two component parts. I actually figured this one out by trial
and error, and as I was placing the last tile, the secret of the puzzle
suddenly dawned on me. If you know the secret, it's a virtual no-brainer.
There I was, sitting at the computer at 4:00 a.m., bending my arms
various ways to try to help myself visualize how I imagined the shapes
would morph into each other. By the time you've placed the fourth tile,
you'll realize such antics are meaningless since there ain't no logical
way shape three can morph into shape four. The sequence is really a
simple one that anyone smart enough to consider playing this game
4. "Abhoranam of Night and Day" (Sun and Moon) -- Don't leave fewer
white disks than black ones on either side of the board as you work
toward moving them all to the right, or you'll have to start over. It
is not necessary to move two disks at a time, as long as you are also
transporting a disk on the way back to the left side of the board.
5. "Kutu of Ekakin" -- Allowed moves are only over a single
horizontally or vertically adjacent sphere into an empty space. Don't
leave any single spheres "orphaned" at the far reaches of the board.
I thought this one was going to be a nightmare since I have vivid
memories of a similar puzzle my parents somehow came into possession of
when I was a child. I never managed to solve that one. Luckily, this
one is easier as long as you keep aiming toward the largest group
of spheres you have left on the board.
6. "Parity of Jalam" -- The total amount of water in each group of
tanks is what matters, not the position of the water in each individual
7. "Harmony of the Hassuna" -- You can't even attempt this puzzle
until you have located the five pieces of it in other puzzle rooms
first. Be sure you click your cursor on anything available in the other
rooms, and don't limit yourself to the main puzzle in each room. Save
after locating each piece so you don't have to go back and retrieve
ones you found already but lost because you left the game without
saving, had a power failure, or had your PC throw up and had to reboot
(which happened to me a couple of times). As with many things in
this game, there's something symmetrical about where the pieces
are located. Think about how the file you're now reading is arranged
to understand that symmetry better. Once you have all the pieces you're
ready to do the puzzle. I had a plastic version of this puzzle as a kid,
so it was pretty obvious to me what had to be done and how, but if I had
to guess, I'd say the two things that might be difficult for people would
be identifying the goal and figuring out how to place the arrow-shaped
piece. Its placement is the most unusual of all, so experiment with
positioning it in a slightly unorthodox manner, or leave it for last and
once you've built the rest of the square, you'll see where it fits.
8. "Seal of the Girsu Gates" -- The completed pictures are of four
jewel-like circles, each of a single color.
9. "Values of Al-Jabara" -- The possible values for each of the
six emblems are the numbers one through ten, as you learn if you fool
around with placing the tokens before completing the puzzle. The numbers
don't repeat, so if you decide an emblem is a certain value, another
emblem will not also be that value. Don't be put off by this one. It's
been a very long time since I took algebra and I managed to solve it
in about 10 minutes once I figured out that the values were limited
to 1-10 and the statements on the wall represented equivalencies.
10. "Panditah of the Seventh Mountain" -- As the Oracle says, these
are not sums. It won't do you any good to rely on the face value of
a given number, separate and apart from its surrounding numbers (except
for the top most number on the mountain, calculating horizontally),
or to add them together. The toughest part of this one is figuring
out how the placement of a number affects its value. It's not a
complicated mathematical formula, but it does help if you
think of the numbers as part of the whole pattern. It's difficult
to hint further on how to figure out the values without giving away
one of the aspects of the puzzle, so if you really want to know, I've
typed it backwards in brackets at the end of this paragraph. Once
you figure out how the values are determined, start with familiar sevens
multiplication table-type products and work toward the center of the
mountain. At a certain point, unless you were far better in math
than I ever was, your luck using this method will run out. That's
where I noticed that a certain symmetry had developed in the bricks
I had placed so far. If you follow this method, you'll find by the time
you finish that bricks of the same face value end up, for the most part,
near, but not next to, each other. [Here's the backwards answer: .51 a
era rehto hcae fo "pot no" ro rehto hcae ot txen 5 a dna 1 a ,.g.e ,
yllacitrev dna yllatnoziroh rebmun elohw eht ni tigid a si kcirb nevig a
no gniwohs rebmun ehT]
11. "Order and Succession" (Model City) -- I don't have much to add
here. It's a pretty straightforward task, just takes a little patience
to keep track of what you have to do and undo to get them all in the
12. "Square of Ganj Dureh" -- This is your basic magic square, which
some of us experienced with all kinds of big nasty numbers during our
pre-college years. You can only use each number, one through nine once.
Yeah, it'd be easy if you could use all the same number. Yeah, I tried
that too, just for kicks. It helps if you try to determine the number
you're shooting to get each of the various paths to add up to ahead of
time, and since these aren't big nasty numbers it's pretty easy to
narrow it down. Since nine is the largest number and there's no way
you're going to be able to get the square to work if you have other
larger numbers next to the nine, it's reasonable to assume that the
number you want is less than 20. Also, since that nine is there and you
have to place two numbers after it, it's reasonable to assume that the
number you want is greater than 10. If you want to narrow it down
further (to the actual number you're shooting for), take a look at the
number that appears in the bracketed backwards part of the hints to
puzzle number 10 above.
13. "Hall of the Nightsky" -- The hardest part of this puzzle for me
was figuring out that that blue squares could be moved. I just couldn't
figure out what that booming sound was because I had only clicked
on the squares, I hadn't attempted to drag them with the mouse. Let
that be a lesson to you, because it's a common occurrence that you have
to drag pieces of various puzzles that show up later in this list.
As for the puzzle itself, since the brown bars move (and therefore
do most of the moving work) use the yellow, stationary bars whenever
possible to hold the squares you aren't working with at the moment
out of the path of the ones you're working on moving.
14. "Wheels of Time" -- There's a big giveaway on this one from the
Oracle's mention of symmetry. The most obvious way to achieve the
first part of the symmetry is to place an equal number of tokens on
each wheel. Once you've placed tokens on a couple of the wheels (two
wheels next to each other are best for this) move the lever and watch
how the gears turn. Experiment with different positions of tokens
on the first two wheels, and apply what you learn to the others.
15. "Memory of Bhandam" -- First you have to find the puzzle. It's
hidden in a drawer in the front of the chest you found and probably
raised the lid of when you first entered the room. Who would've thunk
it. When you find it, you'll see a pretty straightforward
FOOL'S ERRAND-type picture puzzle mixed with Concentration (as in the
game show). I don't have much to add here -- the goal says it all. Just
remember to drag as well as click.
16. "Turning of the Divasah" -- My initial inclination was to turn
all of the pictures so that the same one showed, but that assumption
was rather quickly dispelled because observing the actions of each of
the levers shows that the bottom panel and the one to its immediate
left can never be turned independently. Because of this, and because
those two always start out on different panels, the goal can't be to make
them all the same. Or so I thought -- turns out there is a way to get
them to turn to the same picture, but in this case, a wrong assumption
actually aided me in the quest. The order that got the jewel for me
didn't exactly make sense to me. I had tried "three of a kind," "two of a
kind," and "one each" before, but the first "one each" didn't work. If I
search for a pattern, the one that worked grouped the three "nonliving"
pictures next to each other and the three "living" pictures next to each
other. I found it helpful to make heavy duty use of the two right-most
handles, which both turn their respective pictures only once.
17. "Seeds of the City" (the "Ruma") -- Here are the rules of the game:
When you click on a bowl, whatever number of seeds is in it will move to
the right, dropping one seed into each bowl they pass until all the seeds
have been dropped. If the last seed lands in the Ruma (the large bowl
at the far right), you can move again from the Ruma or from any of the
other bowls. If the last seed drops in a non-Ruma bowl with other seeds
already in it, you can move again, but only from the bowl where the last
seed dropped. If the last seed drops in an empty bowl, you lose. I only
found one bowl that I could use as a starting position and succeed.
18. "Path to Mahiman" -- As with the Hall of the Sun, you have more
control using the keyboard than the mouse on this one, but at least on
my system, it was much slower to move the ball with the keyboard. The
basic principle of this one is no big mystery, but you can substantially
reduce the time you spend in the maze if you plot ahead. But don't
try to do it when you're tired or have eye strain, because the shapes
of the patterns in the maze can trick your eye into seeing dead ends
as clear paths and vice versa. Note that there is a yellow shape with
a blue side that you can encounter in the maze. This isn't the goal,
but once you encounter this shape, it's a pretty short and direct
hop to the actual goal, which is all yellow.
19. "Horses of Asvah" -- And now the tragic story. The first two times
I approached this puzzle, I did not realize that you could drag the tiles
to other positions in the frame. I thought you could only rotate them.
After spending what seemed like an endless amount of time turning tiles
with no luck whatsoever matching same colors with same colors (or indeed,
making patterns out of two-colored horses), I decided to cheat by
examining the puzzle in easy mode. This led me to discover that you
could drag the tiles from place to place in the frame as well as rotate
them -- you can't rotate them in easy mode, you can only drag them, and I
figured the puzzle had to do _something_. Looking at the puzzle in easy
mode, however, led to total embarrassment because I just couldn't solve
it. So I latched on to the pattern of the horses in easy mode, turned
them all that direction, and repeated my inability to solve the easy
mode puzzle in hard mode. Since I refused to see more than one
possibility, I started to go through mental contortions to find a goal
that I _could_ reach with the pieces in that starting position ("Maybe
they're supposed to be all half and half?" "Maybe it's a progression --
blue head, yellow tail, yellow head, blue tail, all blue, all yellow?"
"Maybe it's a BUG and I was the only one of everyone playing this game
in the entire world to get a version of the game that had a mistake in it?").
In other words, because of my own stubborness, I made what might have
been one of the easier puzzles for me hard for myself and rejected what
intuitively seemed to me to be the obvious goal in favor of a wrong one.
Do not do this to yourself. It wasn't until after I had solved the
puzzle in hard mode using different starting directions for the tiles
from the ones set in easy mode that I was able to go back to the puzzle
several days later in easy mode and solve it that way. Thanks to Nancy
Linsley and Matthew Daly for answering my desperate plea on the message
board in GAMERs and getting me out of my rut. The moral of the story is,
cheaters never prosper. As for the approach, if you take as a starting
position turning all the heads so that they face north or east, pay
special attention to a particular tile that has an end you'll never be
able to use. If you place it on an edge, you won't have to match
anything up to it. If you decide not to turn all the heads this way,
look for a tile that has three different colors -- two of which are
yellow heads. Place it in the center, and this will also set you on
the way toward a possible solution.
20. "Assembly of the Planners" -- This puzzle seems to give a lot of
people some trouble, and I was one of those people. The three
assumptions that I made that turned out to be causing my difficulties
were (1) that all yellow tiles had to be placed on one side of the board
and all blue on the other, or otherwise grouped together so that colors
divided the board in quarters or sixths, (2) that there had to be some
symmetry to the placement of the pieces, i.e., if the yellow one shaped
like an "M" was in a certain place on one side of the board, the blue
one shaped like an "M" would be in the identical place on the opposite
side of the board, and/or (3) that if all of the yellow tiles didn't have
to be grouped together and all the blue tiles grouped together, that
some sort of picture or pattern would emerge through the placement of
the tiles, so there would be areas of blue in a sea of yellow or vice
versa. None of these is necessarily true -- in fact the combination
that finally worked for me had none of these characteristics. I found
it makes it easier to deal with the puzzle if you arrange all of the
pieces within the spaces to the side of the board that you select them
from such that the identical pieces in each color are in parallel spots
and positioned in the same direction. For some reason, that made them
easier for me to see and to remember what I had left that would fit into
the patterns created by the placement of the pieces. Even doing this,
however, unless you have a more highly developed right brain than I do
or just get lucky, it takes a fair amount of trial and error to solve
this puzzle. If you are really, really stuck and just want to know the
answer, I've uploaded separately a .BMP created with Paintbrush for
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 that shows one possible solution.
21. "Hall of Ascendency" (Earth, Air, Water, Fire) -- This puzzle is
similar to the Horses of Asvah, so that's probably why it gave me
trouble. Note that as with the horses, you can turn the tiles as well as
move them. It's useful to make note of the tiles that are mirror images
and exact opposites of each other. Break down the frame so that you view
four of the squares at a time -- the four to the left, the four to the
center and the four to the right. The solution that worked for me joined
three different patterns in the centers of each group of four.
22. "Path to Utsavah" -- The number on each tile tells you how many
steps you can take horizontally or vertically from it, if there's enough
room to take that many steps in the direction you want to go without
going off the board. Watch out for tiles with fours on them, since there
is one that you can't move further from.
23. "Leap of the Locust" -- The pegs can only move forward (green
counterclockwise, yellow clockwise) into an adjacent empty space or
over a single adjacent peg to an empty space. Don't move two pegs of
the same color next to each other, or you will run out of moves
eventually. Alternate the two colors; work both sides of the board
24. "Hall of Spheres" -- The stone gears as well as the extra space
in the far right column can be used to hold a sphere temporarily to
get it out of the way while you move another one past it. But be
careful, because two gears next to each other cannot turn toward each
other if they are both holding spheres. I found it easiest to try to
fill the far left column with spheres of the same color first since
it helped to limit the distance that the rest of the spheres had to move.
Good luck and enjoy the game -- I certainly did!