The Witness: Mountain puzzles and pillars solutions

By Brenna Hillier, Friday, 29 January 2016 03:11 GMT

The Witness comes to a close when you dare to ascend the Mountain.

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The Witness: Mountain walkthrough

So, you’ve lit up every laser on the island and think you’re ready to face the ultimate challenge, eh? But also you’re a bit confused and lost? Yes, this is very common and quite natural.

After making it to the peak, your first challenge is to activate the puzzles locking the entrance to the tunnels below. You’ve powered this puzzle grid by firing up the lasers, but now you have to switch it on using the slider on the box being carried by one of the two central figures.

Next, you have to hit three different solutions on the gird in order to open the door. These are fiddly and finicky, but persist and you’ll get there; the solutions are, as always, in the galleries at the very bottom of the page, where you can’t accidentally see them.

As you’d expect, given it’s the final zone of the game, the Mountain is a long slog with several different puzzle sequences. Let’s tackle them in order – straight walkthrough, no messing about this time. You’re well past hints at this stage.

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Top floor – general goal and path layouts

Here’s the set up: you have a simple black white quarantine board that creates a physical walkway in the room just below. You need to access terminal arrays on both sides of the room, as well as two doors on the opposite side. The ultimate goal is the (locked) right hand door (looking over the room from the walkway board), but you’ll have to power green, yellow, purple and blue cables to open it. Complicating matters, a pillar of detritus blocks your path – though not the progress of the slider – making it difficult to get where you need to go.

The puzzle solution gallery just below will help you get to the boards. From left to right, top row then bottom row: access to pink boards, access to green boards, access to yellow boards, access to blue boards, access to doorway.

Top floor puzzle array hints

  • The pink boards are hidden in the body of the column of detritus. There are two of them.
  • Green: boards are masked in various ways, making it hard to see dots you need to hit and black white quarantines. Changing your viewing angle can help.
  • Yellow: the boards are off-centre, or move. Your cursor may be disconnected from the slider; you need to click where it would be if the screen were in the right place.
  • Blue: climb through the detritus column using the gap on the left. You’ll encounter symmetry puzzles; change your perspective until you can see a clear path for just one of the sliders.

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Middle floor

On the second floor, you’ll need to solve a terminal array of nausea-inducing colour puzzles, use a walkway-creating black white quarantine and coloured star puzzle to cross to the other side (here’s one of several possible solutions), solve a terminal array with a brand new variant of puzzle, then use a slider on the same walkway board as the first to gain access to the door to the next room.

The mysterious new puzzles are tricky; each new solution must also be valid for every board before it.

As for the bridge section, you’ll need to enact a very elegant solution on the blue side, then hop back to the orange side to wall off whatever you can in the space allocated to you. Repeat this process, making your blue solution ever more elegant and your orange much more load-bearing, and you should then be able to run your blue slider to the door.

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Bottom floor

Hoo-boy. This floor is in three rooms. It starts off okay: you need to solve the four grace engine Tetris puzzles on the floor, which powers the entire floor as a puzzle grid. All you have to do is guide the symmetry sliders to the goals.

The next room is designed to flummox people who’ve been using guides all along. When you stand on the pressure plate in front of the door, a panel slides up revealing two puzzle boards you need to solve to open the door is. The problem is, the puzzles you see are randomly selected, and you only have a few seconds to solve them before the panels slide closed again. Luckily, once you do solve a puzzle board, that side remains static.

The basic strategy here is to focus on one side of the board and just hope like hell something comes up that you can solve quickly. If you’re lucky, you might get the ones I eventually solved – here’s the left side and the right side. If you’re in despair, try memorising the main features and the solution to one of these boards, and just wait until it comes up. Repeat for the other side. I hope they cycle, I really do.

The third room is where Jonathan Blow rebels against screenshot solutions: the puzzle boards are presented on pillars, so you can’t get a good look at the whole thing at once. Never fear: YouTube will save us all.

Once through the pillars you can enter the – uh, elevator cage? – and hit the sliders on the inside, above the doors, to trigger the ending cinematic.

Secrets

There’s a Theatre Key in a door accessible in the lower reaches of the mountain (before you enter through the peak), and an audio file in one of the rooms as you descend the insides of the structure. Monumental puzzles (glyphs) pay off on the peak, too.

Puzzle solution galleries

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Back to The Witness walkthrough.

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