It's time to leave this village behind and go exploring
My first Loom gameplay post didn’t make it far beyond the game’s introduction, so I’m going to cut to the chase and get on with it for this second one. I’d finished exploring the village, so it was time to go see what else I could find on the island of Loom. The overhead shot had hinted that I might be able to visit a pier next to the ocean shore, so I headed in that direction. It turned out to be only one screen west of the village edge, and on arrival I found four seagulls sitting atop wooden poles and what looked to be another egg amongst the rocks near the water. I walked up to one of the gulls and clicked on it. Oddly, the four threads of a draft were heard, and the notes E,C,E,D flashed above my distaff. I was about to go hunting through the Book of Patterns to see what draft it might be when I realised those notes matched the ones I’d previously used to open the egg. It was the Opening draft, but why was I hearing it when I clicked on a bird? Selecting the other gulls caused the same draft to play, so I turned my attention to the egg-like item on the rock. It wasn’t a rock at all! It was a clam, and clearly the birds were somehow urging me to open it so they could eat whatever was inside!
Let's hope these birds are not of the Hitchcock variety!
I obliged, and using the Opening draft did indeed open the clam. One of the gulls flew down and began eating the horrible looking morsel inside, but I couldn’t find any reason why doing this might be helpful to me. In the end I decided that this scene would help players learn the Opening draft if they either didn’t have the Book of Patterns or had failed to take notice of it, despite that going against the copy protection theory I’d had previously. Regardless, I headed for the trees in the top left corner of the island and soon found myself on an eerie moonlit path. Some of the trees had large holes in them, so I decided to take a closer look. When I clicked on the first one, the note D was heard and lit up on the staff, and I was told that “There’s an owl in there!”. That was interesting, but what did it mean? I then noticed that there were a total of four holes in trees on the screen, and deducted that clicking on each would likely produce the four threads I needed to make up a draft! I was convinced of this theory when the second hole had another owl in it, and the note C lit up. I found yet another owl and another C lit up for the third hole (oh my...that sentence appears very dirty in hindsight), so I confidently clicked on the fourth and final one. “This hole is empty.” What?! Not only was there no owl, but no note was heard either!
The game designers really got me with that one, and all I could do was continue along the path and hope that I’d come across the final thread. The next screen contained a cemetery, with an owl perched on top of one of the tombstones. I’ve not specifically discussed the graphics at this stage, but I will right now. Loom is just beautiful, and this screen is a perfect example of the wonder, the attention to detail, and the symmetry of it all! It’s simply astounding what the designers managed to do within the confines of EGA. I checked out the gravestone, but was informed that I couldn’t read anything on it because the “owl’s tail feathers are blocking my view.” I clicked on the owl, but it was sound asleep and seemingly non-responsive. I looked through the drafts I’d learnt so far, but none of them seemed useful in waking the owl up. I moved my cursor around the screen and found I could also investigate the sky and the brambles to the left. I clicked on the sky and was informed that “The view from the cliff is better”, so I turned my attention to the brambles. Clicking on them caused Bobbin to cut his finger, and the yell of “Ouch!” scared a bunny rabbit out of its hiding place! It ran across the front of the cemetery, scaring the owl away in the process!
Well this saved me hitting the owl over the head with my distaff
I was now able to read the gravestone, which had the following etched into it. “In Memory Of Lady Cygna Threadbare 7983-8004. Destiny shall draw the Lightning Down from the Heaven; roll its Thunder Far across the Sea, to where I Wait upon the Shore of Wonder, On the day the Sky is Opened And the Tree is split asunder.” After I’d finished reading the inscription, Bobbin made a point of saying “The day the sky is opened. Hmmm.” I figured there must be something important in that message, but I was keen to find out whether the owl had entered the fourth tree on the next screen. The message could wait! Just as I’d hoped, the owl had indeed flown into the fourth hole, and clicking on it produced a D. That meant the full draft must be D,C,C,D, but what would it do? I looked through the Book of Patterns, eventually coming across an obvious candidate. “Night Vision: The threads of this distinctive and beautiful draft are extrapolated from the song of nocturnal birds. At one time, Night Vision was prized by the Guild of Miners, whose legendary underground realm was chiefly illuminated by luminous tapestries bearing our Seal. Tragically, demand fell off after the Great Earthquake of 7331.” Night Vision would surely allow me to see better in the dark, and I knew exactly where that would be useful! I headed for the village, and entered the tent where I’d been unable to see beyond a pile of gold earlier on.
I think Adam West may Have written this Message
Selecting the darkness and then clicking the notes for Night Vision on my distaff caused the previously unseen part of the room to be illuminated! I could now see a wheel and some straw on the ground next to it. Selecting the wheel brought forth yet another draft, with this one containing the threads C,C,C and E. It didn’t take long to find which one it was in the Book of Patterns: “Straw Into Gold: When times are lean, the Elders may invoke this draft to generate extra revenue. Its use is strictly regulated by the Treasurer of the Guild to prevent inflation. Other Guilds, ignorant in the ways of spell-weaving, have concocted a variety of outlandish fairy tales involving this rather elementary weave.” It seemed pretty obvious what I should do with this draft, so I selected the straw and then the required threads. The straw turned into gold alright, but I still wasn’t able to take any of it. However, as I completed the draft, the blue sparks that lit the straw as it transformed continued up and over me. The note for F below the image of my distaff lit up! By now I’d realised that I could only cast “spells” that included only the lit up notes in my interface, so now I was going to be able perform more complicated drafts. I didn’t yet have any drafts that included the F note, but the Emptying draft I’d learnt in one of the tents included a G. I was going to have to practice more before I’d be able to empty anything.
The wheel weaves as the wheel wills
Oh it's just another pile of useless gold pieces! At least now I have an f!
Ooohhhh....pretty!!! It reminds me of....
...holy $%^$!!!! What the hell?!
I'd better find a Drying draft soon
I hadn’t travelled all that far when a very dangerous looking “waterspout” appeared in my path! I couldn’t get too close to it, nor could I bypass it, so I was going to have to do something with my distaff. Clicking on the waterspout got me the following message: “Whew! Listen to that twisty wind!” At the same time I heard the four notes of a draft, and recorded them as D,E,F,C. There just so happened to be a draft named Twisting in the Book of Patterns! “The origins of this ancient draft are lost in history. The earliest references to it are woven into the foremost hem of the Long Tapestry, beside threads depicting the manipulation of flax and yarn by hand. Tradition has it that the four notes were derived from the rhythmic squeak of First Elder Swellflax’s own spindle.” I couldn’t see how casting “Twisting” on something that was already twisting violently could help, but I gave it a shot anyway. “It’s twisting hard enough already! Must be SOME way to untwist it...” Hey, perhaps if I reversed the threads of the Twisting draft, it would untwist the waterspout? I tried it, and it worked, giving me free passage beyond, where a new land awaited! As soon as I set foot upon the sand of this new land, I “levelled up” and the note G lit up beneath my distaff. I was now ready to take on more complicated drafts!
Can't go round it, can't go over it, we'll have to untwist it!
Did I mention I hate green!?
After much dedication, Bobbin finally understood the mysteries of the G.
It was time to start exploring, and I decided to head off to the right of screen since there was something glistening in that direction. It was a city made of what appeared to be green crystal!!! There were two entrances that I could see on the side I arrived on, with one being on a dome and the other at the base of a tower. I could see quite a bit of movement at the top of the tower, and noticed I could select a couple of workers that were up there doing something or other. I looked through my drafts, but couldn’t see anything that could logically be applied to the workers (although I tried a couple for good measure), so left it alone for now. I entered the dome, reappearing inside where everything was made of transparent green crystal. The only things in the room I could select were a couple of plaques at the foot of sculptures, so I clicked on one. As I approached that part of the room, a man dressed in blue entered and greeted me. “Welcome to Crystalgard. I am Master Goodmold, thirty-first in the Noble Guild of Glassmakers. Who have I the honor of meeting?” He seemed surprised when I responded with my name and guild, and complimented me on my cloak. “Crystalgard’s wisdom includes many legends concerning your Guild. One is particularly strange and amusing. They say it is death to peer beneath the hood of a Weaver. Can this be true?”
The Glassmakers are not big on privacy
It probably lost its impact after about the third or fourth to be perfectly blunt
You may not find it so amusing when you see...THIS!!!!! Mwahaha!!!
I hadn’t been aware of this belief amongst other guilds, and apparently Bobbin hadn’t been either. “Don’t know. Nobody ever tried it on me.” Bobbin then asked Master Goodmold if he’d seen a flock of swans passing by, but he hadn’t. He did recommend I check out their fine selection of binoculars, telescopes and other precision optics though, before leaving me to look around. I now had a chance to read the two plaques, with both of them turning out to be gravestones. One read “Softshard, Wife of Luscent Bottleblower here attained Final Clarity.”, while the other read “Near this spot, Luscent Bottlesblower, Founder of the Noble Guild of Glassmakers, attained his Final Clarity.” I couldn’t make anything important out of the messages, so I went in the same direction Goodmold had gone (to the right of screen). I reappeared in a rather complicated looking room, with various exits and stairways found in the background. Right next to me was a large cup resting on a pedestal, and there was a bell hanging from the wall at the end of the pathway I was standing on. I focussed on the cup, with Bobbin commenting that he’d “never seen glass sparkle like this”. Master Goodmold entered the room at this point, explaining that the cup was in fact not glass at all. “The chalice was carved from a single crystal of diamond.” When Bobbin questioned why it was made with crystal instead of glass, given that this was the Guild of Glassmakers, Goodmold explained the “Chromax Conundrum”.
It is our most valuable asset. Which is why we leave it unguarded here in this otherwise empty room.
The crystal chalice was made by the Glassmaker’s founding member, Luscent Bottleblow. “Three centuries ago, our fair city was plundered by a dragon. The greedy beast emptied our museum and treasury. Even Bottleblow’s great masterpiece, the First Scrying Sphere, was lost. Fortunately, the Conundrum was on loan to the Guild of Vintners at the time. It is our only remaining example of Bottleblow’s transcendent genius.” The reason it’s called the Conundrum is because the glassmakers don’t know why the chalice was made with crystal instead of glass. Well that was all very interesting, but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. After Goodmold left the room, I tried the reverse draft of Emptying. To my surprise, this worked! The chalice filled with what I assumed was red wine, although when I clicked on it afterwards, Bobbin merely remarked “Wish I was old enough to drink.” I soon found that I could empty and fill the glass repeatedly, by casting the standard and reverse Emptying draft, but couldn’t figure out whether or not this achieved anything. Perhaps I need to come back later for this puzzle. This is where I stopped my first session of Loom about a week ago, and I’ve been dying to get back to it (blogging sometimes demands inhuman patience). I’m off to do exactly that, and as usual, will be back with a rundown in two or three days.
Dude, you're seventeen! GET ON IT!
Session Time: 0 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 15 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!