Mysteries Of The Metroplex

This page lists aspects of the game that are not yet fully understood, or at least fully understood by people who wish to share their understanding publicly. It's probably most productive to post your theories, speculation, and data on the individual discussion page(s) for the mysteries in question and leave this page as a reference for people looking for something to investigate.

In addition to the following ideas, see this forum post and/or podcast transcripts (bolded stuff) for more ideas.

Mystery of the Moment
What's the thing we can do in the Lake of Fire in both the original and reopened Charnel House that we have yet to try?

Major Mysteries

There are still some significant gaps in our knowledge of the Metroplex. Solving these major mysteries might be the key to opening up entire areas, new game mechanics, quests, or quest paths.

  • As of December 2014, there are 5 undiscovered skills. What are they? How do you get them? (More may be added/discovered since then, but seems most of the following hints are still true.)
    • According to Podcast 32 (August 23, 2013), "there is exactly one unfound [skill] in there [the Reopened Charnel House/Black Book], and probably one unfound one tied into the original ghoul quest, probably not next to the other skills numerically." (The one tied to the original ghoul quest is likely the "almost an Easter egg" skill mentioned below.)
    • Acording to the devlog (May 17, 2009), one of them gives "a new option to an old side quest, but it’s so hidden it’s almost an Easter Egg."
      • According to Podcast 21 (August 30, 2011) "It's not an easter egg in the traditional sense, but there are some skills that in retrospect will make sense, but you have to be well outside the box, looking back in, to see why they're there. You have to take a leap of faith. Once you find it, it's not hard to replicate."
    • In Podcast 16 (November 14, 2010) Kinak said: "In one of the dozens of forum threads, someone flat out said, quite a while ago (months or a year ago), oh, you should try this thing, and it was one percentage off from what you need to do to get a skill." Which thread?
    • According to Podcast 17, "Probably one of the oldest undiscovered skills is linked to one of the survivors ones, kind of as mirrors of each other, so once you find one, you'll probably find the other. Both pretty neat though. Specifically, check out things that does something, but is terrible - it might be worth looking at."
      • According to Podcast 31 (July 5, 2013), the thing "that does something, but is terrible" was burning ectoplasm. So in part there he was talking about Leaping Flame/Fire Trained. But there's more to follow up in that hint, based on what Kinak said in response to a message. Here are the highlights: "I'm talking about four undiscovered skills there in two pairs. You found one pair." Also, probably talking about this unfound pair of skills but possibly talking about a different skill: "I don't think the other thing that does something is particularly terrible, though. Suboptimal and unloved? For sure. But not set-yourself-on-fire terrible." (See discussion page for the complete correspondence if the context is of great interest to you.)
    • According to Podcast 22 (October 9, 2011), "there's one skill that no one has found that interacts badly with other skills (that people have found)."
    • According to Podcast 23, "At least two of them are mutually exclusive with other skills you've already found. A bunch of the others are in an entire quest-like group." (Leaping Flame is mutex with skills from the Problems on the Docks quest other than Pyro.)
    • According to Podcast 36, one of these skills is mutually exclusive with an unfound skill: Chess, Drone Anatomy, Experienced Observer, Experimental Chemistry, Expert Salvager, Fishing, Lotus Map, On The Prowl, Programmed Terror, Quantum Mechanics, Sushi Chef, Trauma Tech. Simple Coding, Efficient Hacking, and Handscripting.
  • What is the undiscovered content in The Missing Artist/The Black Sketchbook quest?
    • According to Podcast 28, there are still two things hidden in the sketchbook. One "insanely hidden" the other " a little bit tricky".
      • According to Podcast 31 "There is some non-charnel house stuff (actually a fairly significant amount) to get the really terrifyingly complicated thing."
    • What can you do with the ghoulish crown?
    • There are apparently several unfound techniques in The Charnel House (Reopened). How do you get them?
    • Searching for sketches following the Ghoulish Trio looks like it ought to unlock something. Does it?
    • Is it possible somehow to fish in the lake of fire?
    • According to Podcast 36 "there's something missing you can do in both" the fiery lake in the original charnel house and the reopened one. What is it?
  • Is there some way to get memories from eating a raw heart?
  • The scientists in the Ramshackle Fortress say Dr. Johnson can walk through walls. Can we observe him doing this? Can we follow him? And can we make contact with the power he serves?
  • Having the preserved cell culture equipped with the Writhing Flesh effect active gives a different message depending on with Attribute is your highest one. Is there some way to use this to transform the culture into another item, or to gain a skill?
  • Which one of {toxic octopus eye, toxic crystal, venomous angel} has something important that "will send ripples out for other stuff that's pretty ignored"? Apparently it's related to a technique that doesn't get used much
  • The fragile branch says "It just feels like you should point it at things and shout gibberish." How do you do this? What happens (a technique?) if you do?
    • There doesn't seem to be any reward for defeating the Painted Sky. On Podcast 35, Kinak said "I wouldn't say there's anything for just killing the painted sky. There's always the possibility that there might be some additional trigger that's required." What is that additional trigger?
    • The docent is described as " humming a strange melody you feel like you should recognize." On Podcast 32, Kinak replied to a question about whether it's possible to acquire musical skill to recognize the melody with "It is not unrelated exactly, but I don't think it's a direct music trigger. But not entirely unrelated."
  • It takes a very specific chain of choices to unlock the Squatter's Refuge, but even if you go out of your way to do it, there doesn't seem to be any real payoff for doing so. Is there a skill and/or an alternate resolution to the Problems on the Docks quest lurking here somewhere?
    • Argeth says there's a way to get a grinning ghoul combat in the Midgard Warehouse, possibly by removing the Spider Drone encounter somehow. How do you unlock this combat and does it have any further significance?
    • Does the odd sketchbook unlock anything special?
    • Jess (2013) says "the guy who revolutionized Midgard's drones about a decade ago loved looking at that collection [the Insect Collection]." What did he see there and how can we see it too?
  • It does a lot already, but apparently there is even yet still more content still to be found with the Channeling Matsuo effect, as of Podcast 36. What else is there?
  • The foreign memory looks like it ought to do more than just give you a few XP. Is there more?
  • There's a hard-to-get result about philosophy from the Post Archive (University Net) about testing the nature of consciousness with cyberware that looks like it ought to do or unlock something interesting. Does it?

(More-or-less) Monthly Mysteries

What else can we do with the coin, or the items from Zack's House of Coins — see Unearthly Buying Guide for some more indications of items that need investigation.

  • The mysterious ash from the mysterious puzzle box is still, well, mysterious. There is "still some stuff in there. Some of it NEAT." According to Podcast 32 "There's… a deeply compounded set of results. There's 20 plus or minus message, and some mechanical results."
  • What is the feature of the red-lensed goggles that we apparently have to pay very close attention to minor details to find? It "requires a combination of two components [not in a crafting sense; two factors]. It does provide some feedback for both of those factors, but that feedback is very subtle, to the extent that you might blunder into it before finding it." What aspect of the goggles was Kinak referring to here?
  • How do you get the unfound technique from the crystalline flame?
  • What more is lurking in the hungry ooze… metaphorically speaking, I hope.
  • The feathered cloak is jam-packed with content, but there's still more to find.
  • What unlocks the Extreme cheater's line from the Extreme Tackle Box?
  • Missing techniques/effects from the Midgard Player?
  • According to Podcast 35 "There is one quite major hidden thing [to be found in the HKGames helmet]. It’s quite puzzly though. I’m trying to remember if it occurs within the Etheric encounters, I don’t think it does. Within the physical space. You’ll definitely know it when you see it though."
  • There is still more left to discover in the Antique Mirror. According to Podcast 32, "nothing you are missing is in one season. At least nothing that I was talking about that is hard to find. There's a couple trans-seasonal bits." So what trans-seasonal tricks are there to the following:
  • Are there even yet still more special techniques or interactions in the shield of scales?
  • The math strongly suggests there should be something interesting you can do with three knuckle strands? But what?
  • What "sneaky balancing" in at work with the grappler gauntlets? ""The nature of its bonus allows it to grow as you continue on""
  • There is almost certainly more buried in the scuffed mining helmet. Is there a way to fight the mining drone in the Collapsing Tunnel?
  • Is there more to do with or in the Striding Hut?
  • Fighting the Mold Golems has to do something neat, right? What?
  • Is there more to find in the blade of the snows?
  • There is almost certainly some special result from listening to "other" music while wearing the Stainless Skulls helmet. How do we get it?

Minor Mysteries

Even if solving these minor mysteries won't fundamentally change the way we play the game, the answers would be nice to know, and would probably save a lot of people a lot of frustration and wasted turns.

Mysteries of the Mundane, the Mediocre, the Meh … and the Malevolent

Some items are just not very useful. But when an item is very time-consuming, expensive, or otherwise difficult to get and has underwhelming or even actively harmful effects, that may be a sign that the item has some hidden use. Some possibilities that might reward further investigation:

Mechanical Mysteries

Many, or even most, of the mechanics underlying the game are not well-understood. Here are some of the most opaque:

  • How does fishing work? There are still things about it even Valmo doesn't know.
  • What is the mechanic for chip headache. It's approximately [Ceiling(Base Will/4)] chips used and then you get it, but depends on the size of the chips. (needs testing)
  • How does being underwater affect various techniques?
  • How does Perception affect drop rates?
  • How does Chance of Encounters affect which encounters show up?
    • Which encounters count as Etheric?

Mysterious Memories

Narrative information about the character's amnesia shrouded history.

Various mysterious groups or characters:

Mealtime, Medicinal, Multiuse, and other Miscellaneous Message Mysteries

Many pages are tagged as needs_[whatever]. If you have hunger, body, or several of the appropriate items to spare, you can help to complete these wiki entries.

Methodology for Mystery Mavens

  • Pay attention to line breaks
  • Pay attention to combat messages
  • Pay attention to when things don't happen
  • Try things both with and without Etheric
  • Don't write off seemingly sub-optimal equipment
  • Look for gaps in the lists by ID
  • When looking for gaps, note that all items associated with a given update are often roughly adjacent. Look for missing items in the same quest as the nearest found items.
  • Share your data
  • If you're really hardcore, keep a log
  • Consider how PvP might interact with the rest of the game
  • Watch out for "jealous" items and zones (where unequipping/leaving them resets hidden counters)
  • Check the "Bonuses" tab from your character screen for hidden effects that aren't reflected item/effect descriptions
  • Remember that your character cannot read the wiki, but rather learns by the school of hard knocks. Going straight for the big payoff instead of "wasting" energy on seemingly-useless encounters and options often makes you miss key unlocks.
  • Items retrieved from beta resets do not always count the same as the finding the item first hand. (See Lotus Map for an example)
  • Try drinking an orange juice sample the day before you test things (and remember that you did it!) just in case
  • Try running away or losing to opponents on purpose
  • Be evil and depraved. Most people tend to take the "good" path when confronted with choice encounters.
  • If an item can be multiused, try using more than two at once.
  • Listen to Kinak's podcast or look through the transcripts for clues
  • If all else fails, try to cadge a hint from Kinak
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