Outer Wilds - Explore All

This game deserves its own thread where we can discuss all things Outer Wilds related.

This game more than perhaps any other I've ever played is worth going into completely blind (which I did). The trailers quite simply spoil one of the primary driver's of the game....discovery.

It really will ruin those first time moments of discovering the landscapes, properties, visual splendour, the alien atmosphere, when first landing on these magnificently designed planets.

I'd go as far as saying the story is one of the best, most interesting stories I've experienced in a game.

The elevator pitch for Outer Wilds:

You play as a Hearthian astronaut exploring a solar system that is stuck in a 22 minute time loop, resetting after the sun explodes. This is a game about discovery & (as Dyni puts it) "The Aquirement Of Knowledge"

I'm right at the end of the game so I'll chime in with thoughts soon. Its safe to say this is easily one of the best games of the year for me.

IMAGE(https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/outer-wilds-screenshot-06-ps4-us-15october2019?$native_xxl_nt$)

IMAGE(https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/outer-wilds-screenshot-03-ps4-us-15october2019?$native_xxl_nt$)

IMAGE(https://media.playstation.com/is/image/SCEA/outer-wilds-screenshot-01-ps4-us-15october2019?$native_xxl_nt$)

I can confirm this game deserves its own thread, I think? I put it in a category of my favorite games that are hard to talk about, except from a glancing angle, lest I spill the beans.

'Spoiler' doesn't really cover it. Spoilers are about plot points, but these games are more of a "you can only really play these once" kinda games. Outer Wilds, The Witness, maybe Obra Dinn, maybe Portal? Best name I have for them so far is First Person Revelators.

I think Kerbal Space Program is adjacent as well, and Space Engine for a different reason.

For those worried the flying around mechanics will be too frustrating, I'd like to point out that to get from planet to planet you can just hit the gas till your in space, look at the one you wanna go to, and hit an auto pilot button that will get you there and ready to land.

I also think this game might present a hump to some in the form of that 22-minute reset mechanic. I get it. Remember you can get from anywhere to anywhere pretty fast, and what you're really accumulating is knowledge, so the reset doesn't take much away from you.

Also, like Portal or Braid, where mechanics and puzzles seem intertwined, I don't think there aren't actually any puzzles that require mechanical skill, just knowledge. But you might interpret a goal as requiring crazy platforming nonsense where its really a matter of thinking.

I suggest putting spoilers in the title

I really enjoyed it and the premise until I got to a certain part where the mechanics went from challenging to impossible for some reason. Maybe I was doing something wrong but the game did not do anything to help so?

I'm almost done with it. Kinda stuck, but I love it so much I can't bear to finish or look up spoilers. I'll bang my head against it soon again, and see if I can make some progress.

One thing I'm stuck on as to whether or not I need to do is:

Spoiler:

Do you have to land on the sun station? It looked like the teleporter is blocked. I tried a few times and got on it, but there was not really any place to land when you get in contact. Just looking for a simple Yes/No without spoilers. Don't want to waste time.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I'm almost done with it. Kinda stuck, but I love it so much I can't bear to finish or look up spoilers. I'll bang my head against it soon again, and see if I can make some progress.

One thing I'm stuck on as to whether or not I need to do is:

Spoiler:

Do you have to land on the sun station? It looked like the teleporter is blocked. I tried a few times and got on it, but there was not really any place to land when you get in contact. Just looking for a simple Yes/No without spoilers. Don't want to waste time.

Spoiler:

Go to Ash Twin & wait for the sand to get pulled up enough to reveal the gear shaped structure. Continue to wait it out until the open door is revealed, then you can quickly enter & navigate around the cactuses (that you can't do when don't have the raised sand to walk on). You'll likely still get caught a bit but you should be able to make it to the elevator beam. Next you'll be up into the room with the teleporter to reach the sun station. I don't think you need to go there but it adds to the story really well.

karmajay wrote:

I suggest putting spoilers in the title

I really enjoyed it and the premise until I got to a certain part where the mechanics went from challenging to impossible for some reason. Maybe I was doing something wrong but the game did not do anything to help so?

I did want to keep it to both a general discussion & spoiler tag sensitive discovery/story info. That way hopefully we'll inspire some more Goodjers to follow the thread & perhaps give the game a shot.

There are definitely some obtuse parts of the game were it would be extremely hard to come up with the solution without checking a guide. I unfortunately spoiled a couple of things even being careful in the guides. Those of us who are further in or have finished the game can give spoiler free tips so others don't have cool events ruined. What point did you get to karmajay?

It’s conceivable that I’ll remember the theme song until I die. Because of the ending-

Spoiler:

The emotion it evokes for me is a sort of... I dunno... joyful, satisfied, sadness- if that makes sense. Kind of like remembering an amusing anecdote about a long lost loved one. You still feel the pain of their loss, but enough time has passed that the memory is mixed with happiness to have known them and remember them.

This was my wife's birthday gift to me this year and it was fantastic.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

Also, like Portal or Braid, where mechanics and puzzles seem intertwined, I don't think there aren't actually any puzzles that require mechanical skill, just knowledge. But you might interpret a goal as requiring crazy platforming nonsense where its really a matter of thinking.

I specifically remember there was a difficult jump on Brittle Hollow that involved shifting gravity. I kept "dying" to this one jump, so I caved and looked it up online. Saw a video demonstrating how to make the jump, and I couldn't replicate this guy's technique. Bummed out, I tried one last time and I looked around and saw that there was a ledge to rest on, in the middle of the jump, meaning I could make two smaller jumps to get there. It was really refreshing to know that I just had to take a moment to take stock of the surroundings, and that it wasn't about my 3D platforming skill.

I also got a heavy Anathem vibe from the game. Thank you Danjo, for recommending Anathem to me all those years ago, it was also fantastic, and one of my favorite books.

I never put two and two together, but I think I can see it now, the link between Anathem and The Outer Worlds. A secluded pod of stoics, taking advantage of their partial insights into a bigger picture to kick off something bigger than them. With a thin thematic thread of audacity/humility woven in.

I may need to go back and read that book again. I recall the ending being hard to follow cause it got all wibbly wobbly.

Yes, this game absolutely deserves its own thread, even if it is a year late

I've already discussed my feelings on Outer Wilds at length in the Finished Games and 2019 GOTY threads.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

'Spoiler' doesn't really cover it. Spoilers are about plot points, but these games are more of a "you can only really play these once" kinda games. Outer Wilds, The Witness, maybe Obra Dinn, maybe Portal? Best name I have for them so far is First Person Revelators.

First Person Revelators. I like that. This also reminds me that I really need to check out Obra Dinn.

karmajay wrote:

I really enjoyed it and the premise until I got to a certain part where the mechanics went from challenging to impossible for some reason. Maybe I was doing something wrong but the game did not do anything to help so?

I don't recall anything too mechanically intensive, so perhaps you just hadn't figured out exactly what to do yet. I don't think there's anything wrong with looking up solutions to progress in this game. Just be careful to not read too far ahead. The guide over at Polygon seemed like a good reference for finding exactly what you need without revealing too much, since it breaks everything up by planet.

If I remember correctly there was some type of small piece of a space shuttle you had to land on and grab but you could only see it when you were on top of it and it was also in the gravity of well of a planet so controlling your ship was also difficult. I think there was a 3rd thing complicating the interaction but i can;t recall now.

Karmajay it sounds like your talking about the

Spoiler:

Orbital Probe Canon, which orbits Giant's Deep

just make sure you match the velocity & you should be able to land on it fairly comfortably. One important tip is to catch up on it as it goes away from your ship & not to try landing on it when it's coming towards you as it'll be too fast.

Onto my end game dilemma.

Spoiler:

I've explored everywhere now, finally landing on the Quantum Moon, which was an experience. I did have to look it up even though I should have known to use what I learned at the Tower Of Quantum Trials in Giant's Deep. I thought that stuff would be applicable only when on the actual moon. Turns out the scout is required to take a pic of the actual moon before going into its atmosphere. I again had to check how to get to the the secret sixth location which didn't seem obvious in the slightest (I'd never used the little mini map to note which direction I was going). Maube I should have spent longer figuring it all out. It was an amazing experience though. Meeting a living Nomai & asking them questions through the stones & translation tool, a magical moment in gaming. You learn about them for so long & you never actually get to meet one in the flesh until this point.

Now onto the the last journey:

Spoiler:

Headed to Ash Twin, straight to the broken tower to teleport into the core. Wait for the sand to drain enough that the purple teleporter on the floor is revealed. This is another part that is a little obtuse & thus I had to look up. To know that your required to stand in the little encave within the room or alternatively just outside the room under the bridge, while the sand passes overhead. Next rush into the room when the sand is directly above you to teleport doesn't exactly equate to putting 2 & 2 together, it seems a bit of a reach. You get the warp core once inside then your straight out & back to your ship.

The tough part is that near 7 mins are used up by this point & your fighting against the clock. Going to Dark Bramble is were I've got killed over & over by the angular fish. The first time I got right through to the vessel but was going so slow as to not catch the attention of the fish that the sun exploded when I was about to enter to its interior. The next load of times I've rushed each misty area & have gotten eaten at one point or another. Its actually fairly hard to be quick & not get caught by one of these huge creatures. I'm sure I'll find a sweet spot but I've a feeling this is gonna take a while.

Spikeout wrote:

Onto my end game dilemma.

Spoiler:

I've explored everywhere now, finally landing on the Quantum Moon, which was an experience. I did have to look it up even though I should have known to use what I learned at the Tower Of Quantum Trials in Giant's Deep. I thought that stuff would be applicable only when on the actual moon. Turns out the scout is required to take a pic of the actual moon before going into its atmosphere. I again had to check how to get to the the secret sixth location which didn't seem obvious in the slightest (I'd never used the little mini map to note which direction I was going).

Spoiler:

Funnily enough, I figured out how to land on the moon super early in the game. I had taken pictures of Quantum rock back in the Timber Hearth museum and noticed that it didn't warp away as long as I could still see the picture. Figuring out how to get to the 6th location was one of the few things I had to look up for myself.

Spikeout wrote:

Now onto the the last journey:

Spoiler:

Headed to Ash Twin, straight to the broken tower to teleport into the core. Wait for the sand to drain enough that the purple teleporter on the floor is revealed. This is another part that is a little obtuse & thus I had to look up. To know that your required to stand in the little encave within the room or alternatively just outside the room under the bridge, while the sand passes overhead. Next rush into the room when the sand is directly above you to teleport doesn't exactly equate to putting 2 & 2 together, it seems a bit of a reach. You get the warp core once inside then your straight out & back to your ship.

Spoiler:

This was one of the other things I had to look up. I figured out that I needed to stand in that spot for the teleporter, but I kept trying to stand on it ahead of time as the sand pillar washed over me, which always resulted in me being swept away by sand. I thought I was missing something, but I just had to wait until it was overhead and then walk out onto the platform for it to work. This is one of the only parts of the game I found to be poorly designed. It should have worked by standing on it ahead of time, or it should have been communicated in some way that you needed to walk onto the platform at a specific time.

Spikeout wrote:
Spoiler:

The tough part is that near 7 mins are used up by this point & your fighting against the clock. Going to Dark Bramble is were I've got killed over & over by the angular fish. The first time I got right through to the vessel but was going so slow as to not catch the attention of the fish that the sun exploded when I was about to enter to its interior. The next load of times I've rushed each misty area & have gotten eaten at one point or another. Its actually fairly hard to be quick & not get caught by one of these huge creatures. I'm sure I'll find a sweet spot but I've a feeling this is gonna take a while.

Spoiler:

Have you already figured out your exact path? If so, you should have enough time to make it. The tricky parts are lining up your trajectory as closely as possible at the start and knowing when you can thrust. I'm assuming the spot you're struggling with is the area with 3 fish near the entrance blocking the eggs? For that part, position yourself a bit outside of the seed and line yourself up with the red dot. Thrust hard right until you enter the seed, then let off the thrust and float on by. You'll be moving at a snail's pace near the end, but you should still make it just fine.

Once you're almost to the eggs, you should be able to safely thrust again to the vessel entrance. The other thing to note is that once you pass through a seed, the fish in your current area stop chasing, so if you're close to a seed and far enough away from the nearby fish, you should be able to thrust your way through to the next seed entrance. I've also seen people mention that it's easier to bail out of your ship once you hit the 3 fish part and just try to do it with your suit so you're less likely to bump into them on the way, but I never tried that myself.

Also, just out of curiosity,

Spoiler:

Did you figure out how to get inside the Interloper? It seems like a lot of people never figure out how to do this. It's not mandatory, but it's totally worth doing before you finish the game.

I tired to get into the game three different times. Makes me sad because a lot of what it’s doing is right up my ally. The movement did not work for me. Timed exploration made me feel like I was wasting a lot of time just getting to where I want to go. Those things made the story uninteresting for me to uncover.

It won Giant Bomb’s GOTY which is really cool.

Sorry Dyni, wanted to reply yesterday but didn't have the chunk of time I wanted. Here we go.

Dyni wrote:
Spoiler:

Funnily enough, I figured out how to land on the moon super early in the game. I had taken pictures of Quantum rock back in the Timber Hearth museum and noticed that it didn't warp away as long as I could still see the picture. Figuring out how to get to the 6th location was one of the few things I had to look up for myself.

Spoiler:

I never thought to take a picture of the quantum shard (may as well call it by the correct term) especially since I was only in the museum right at the start of the game. I was doing the look away thing & the shard ends up in another part of the room when you view the room again. Its very clever how they built upon the ideas of all the properties of the shards.

The 'Quantum Entanglement' was perhaps my favourite. Upon finding the one in Ember Twin, turning off your torch while on top of it & turning it on again, transporting you to a completely different location was another wow moment.

I immensely enjoyed the layered lessons of Tower Of Quantum Trials, that was so clever & rewarding. You come out of it the genuinely feeling like you've been let in on this amazing secret that you could have used right from the start. The 'quantum imaging' puzzles in the tower were standout too. Keeping your eyes on a gravity crystal while firing a scout so that you can look away, see another crystal further on up the wall inch up towards that & start making a path using this method, to get to the top, loved it.

Dyni wrote:
Spoiler:

This was one of the other things I had to look up. I figured out that I needed to stand in that spot for the teleporter, but I kept trying to stand on it ahead of time as the sand pillar washed over me, which always resulted in me being swept away by sand. I thought I was missing something, but I just had to wait until it was overhead and then walk out onto the platform for it to work. This is one of the only parts of the game I found to be poorly designed. It should have worked by standing on it ahead of time, or it should have been communicated in some way that you needed to walk onto the platform at a specific time.

Spoiler:

Taking into account how to use the teleporters in the first place, you have to be standing in the middle of one while the destined planet passes overhead. Your already on Ash Twin so it threw me off completely that I had to wait for the sand pillar to pass over the teleporter to actually get into Ash Twins core. Maybe I missed something there?

Dyni wrote:
Spoiler:

Have you already figured out your exact path? If so, you should have enough time to make it. The tricky parts are lining up your trajectory as closely as possible at the start and knowing when you can thrust. I'm assuming the spot you're struggling with is the area with 3 fish near the entrance blocking the eggs? For that part, position yourself a bit outside of the seed and line yourself up with the red dot. Thrust hard right until you enter the seed, then let off the thrust and float on by. You'll be moving at a snail's pace near the end, but you should still make it just fine.

Once you're almost to the eggs, you should be able to safely thrust again to the vessel entrance. The other thing to note is that once you pass through a seed, the fish in your current area stop chasing, so if you're close to a seed and far enough away from the nearby fish, you should be able to thrust your way through to the next seed entrance. I've also seen people mention that it's easier to bail out of your ship once you hit the 3 fish part and just try to do it with your suit so you're less likely to bump into them on the way, but I never tried that myself.

Spoiler:

With the warp core in hand & my ship is just outside the teleport tower, just clear of the sandfall. I lock on to Dark Bramble straight away & head straight there. I've actually got caught in the first & last area's by the angular fish. I've watched someone on YouTube get through it incredibly fast, pretty much as you describe there. Going in fast, not using their thrusters & going by the fish pretty quickly without alerting them. I'll get it soon, its just annoying having to restart the whole process again once you die.

Dyni wrote:

Also, just out of curiosity,

Spoiler:

Did you figure out how to get inside the Interloper? It seems like a lot of people never figure out how to do this. It's not mandatory, but it's totally worth doing before you finish the game.

Spoiler:

This question leads me to bring up one of my biggest misconceptions of the whole game. I thought any area with all of those mini crystal like objects was a complete no go because it represented ghost matter. It was 20+ hours in that I found out that using your scout would bring up the green aura (in the pics) of areas of the crystals that actually had the ghost matter around them (invisible to the naked eye). I had no idea that there were safe areas of Crystals anywhere in the solar system.

Navigating the Interloper after going down tunnels full of ghost matter was what forced me to check a guide to see if there was a way through at all. When I read that there were safe tunnels full of these crystals & that the scout was required to safely progress it was like an 'oh my goodness I'm an idiot' moment.

Story wise it was something special yet again. Getting to the core was tricky enough & seeing the bodies of Poke & Pye was an impactful moment. All the writings you come across containing their interactions between one another. Their hypothesis & hope for certain outcomes - like the failed Sun Station being able to power the ash twin project & send info back in time by 22 mins to cancel the destruction of the sun - was a joy & some of the most interesting bits of story I've had the privilege to read in a game.

Ironically the exotic matter in the core of the Interloper is what actually causes the sun to explode. Outer Wilds has moments like this that make you feel their importance, the music is such a vital part to that process. It seems then that the exotic matter reacting with the sun, combined with sending a wave of ghost matter across the solar system is what wiped out the rest of the Nomai. I thought the sun exploding would be enough to do that anyways or am I reading into that wrong?

Blimey I've just read about Solanum (the nomai on the quantum moon).....that is some mindblowing stuff. I'm going to have to dig deeper into all of this once I finish the game.