The Witness is starting to get a bit tricky now.
The Witness: how to raise the Symmetry laser
This walkthrough refers to the tall, rocky headland between the Artist’s Studio and Desert Ruins; the Symmetry puzzle set actually also includes the Artist’s Studio puzzles, since they must be completed to power some of the core Symmetry set. Go do Artist’s Studio if you haven’t already; it will teach you the basic Symmetry puzzle variation, which is a bonus.
You must solve several terminal arrays in order of activation, as well as a series of boards connected by wire, in order to open the gates leading to the symmetry laser. You’ll need to pass through at least one locked gate to reach all the puzzles on the headland; here’s the solution, if you need it.
The first set of puzzles is relatively simple, combining symmetry and hit all the dot variations.
The second set is a bit harder, as the two lines are different colours, and one fades away board by board until it’s invisible. Don’t get confused when you hit an invisible obstruction; you’ve run into yourself.
The series of boards on a wire introduce new and interesting variations; we’re going to put some clues down below, but it’s really important that you solve at least a few of these on your own, as they start to teach you the skills you’ll need over and over later in the game.
When you’ve solved all these puzzles you’ll be able to head up to the laser area, where you’ll have to solve one more set of boards to proceed. This area is behind a locked gate but the solution is pretty simple.
At the very bottom of the page you’ll find galleries with solutions for all the boards in this area, interspersed with spoiler-protection screenshots.
Puzzle variation hints
Clues go in order from cryptic to explicit, in order of likely stumbling points. Read them one at a time between your own attempts at solving for best results.
- Why isn’t The Witness a mobile app or a book of puzzles?
- You can’t see the forest for the trees.
- Frustrated? Maybe you need some perspective.
- Some puzzles leverage the environment.
- You need to line the boards up with objects in the background and trace around them – and their reflections. Don’t worry about empty space at the opposite end of an object you’re tracing.
- Stuck? Attack from another angle.
- You may need to stand at a distance and look at the board sideways to see the objects you need to trace.
- Finally, the last board on the wire. Maybe you’re going about this the wrong way?
- I’m sick of rocks. Aren’t you sick of rocks?
- Look through the back of the board and trace the palm trees and their reflections.
- At the top of the hill: the zone name is “symmetry”.
- Solve one side, and you have the solution for the other.
- Each side is an inverse image of the other. Copy down your solution, then trace it backwards on the other side – left for right, and vice versa.
- The final pair is a bit different…
- One of the final pair of boards has been rotated as well as reversed, so you need to adjust your pattern to compensate.
Puzzle solutions galleries