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What else would you've played on 9/9/99? Let's play Planetarium!

John

(he/him)
Back on 9/9/99, there were a couple minor releases in the Video Game world. Sure, Final Fantasy dropped a game, and Sega released their hardware swan song, but I bet you didn't know a little web game called Planetarium also came out that day? Unlike Squaresoft and Sega, Planetarium is in exactly the same form that it was 22 years ago.




Planetarium is an online puzzle/riddle/storytelling experience, one that is brand new to me. I was delving into old Adventure game websites, saw a link to this, and was extremely happy that it still up and running. It doles out its story and puzzles in chunks, one a week, over 12 weeks. To start the clock, you create an account, and then in 7 days, you can progress to the next part of the story. There are various riddles and puzzles, three in each week, plus a Major puzzle that appears to draw from everything. You may or may not have all the information for a puzzle in one week, and you can always go back and change your answers up until the end, when you're Frozen and you get the solutions and the end to the story. One week later, it removes your account forever, so you lose access to the solutions.

Here's a warm-up puzzle to get you in the mood, not part of the main game. I'd seen this logic puzzle before, but still got it wrong!

I just created an account, and put in some answers for a couple of the sections. They're probably wrong, and I'd be interested in taking this as a Group Project, if people are interested. We could talk through our reasonings in spoiler tags, and I could update one account, or whoever's interested can try their own answers.

Let's try to figure out what's up with the Weasel and Tripod, the three-legged Cat!

 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
I'm here for this. I don't have a ton of patience for this type of game, but I did intuit the warm-up puzzle pretty quickly, so I'm optimistic.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
That sounds very fun. I'm not always great at these puzzles, but I find them enjoyable. That said, is there more to the puzzle you posted? Some text? The picture alone is a bit lacking in infos.
 

John

(he/him)
In order to play the game, you need to visit the website.


Here's the main one for the first week. You can mouse over various parts of the puzzle, and get snippets of fiction, or contextual clues. There's also things that have to do with the big metapuzzle, but we don't know what that's about yet. It may not work great on mobile, since that was pretty far away when this was released.

For example, if you click on the mathemagician in the picture, you get sent to this page, which gives some of his backstory. There's also a link to a riddle that he's pondering, which I'll cut and paste below.

The mathemagician has a riddle:

To count on me you can depend,
But count me and you’ll never end!


but preferring to make things more confusing, he adds this, by way of some examples:

I’m hidden in the weights, but not the scales,
I’m there amongst the stones, but not the pebbles,
I occur in this event, but not the others,
I’m in the moon in ether, but not the sun in formaldehyde.


And then there's an entry field where you can enter in your answer. Some of the things mentioned in his riddle are in the picture, which you can click on.

The other two puzzles in the first week are around Tripod the Three-legged Cat, and an Ouroborus in a jar on the shelf.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
The best answer I can think of is "sand." I'm not sure I see sand in the moon jar.

I'm not sure what it means by "occur," and we don't have access to the other events yet.

The cat riddle might be four. I'm less sure about the ouroborus.
 

Olli

(he/him)
Oh man, this sounds fascinating, but also I'm the worst at riddles (and I managed to fumble the warm-up despite knowing the solution, as well)
 

John

(he/him)
Going forward into future weeks, I'll probably just copy some of the hidden content into this thread, in case people are passively enjoying this. I don't know about copying everything, since part of the fun of this (for me) is reading the little story bits, and finding where the hot spots are on the picture (which I assume will change for week 2).

Let's break up the first three puzzles.

Mathemagician's Riddle

The first part of the riddle made me think of TIME or INFINITY, but I don't know how that fits with the rest of the clues. Then I thought ATOMS, but technically there's a finite end to the number of atoms in a thing. The second half of the riddle makes me think there's wordplay going on, like the answer is jumbled up in the first part of the clues but not in the second ones. I wasn't able to see what that could be, though!

Tripod the Three-legged Cat

I also went with FOUR as the answer, because it's the only one that fits the clue that I can see, and it makes thematic sense with the cat's name and title.

Ouroborus in a jar on the shelf

We have three wise Ouroborus, one hooped already. We have to take it on faith that all three are actually wise, since they tell the girl they are. One way I can see them entangling themselves depends on simultaneous biting. Snake A's all hooped up, and Snakes B and C are twisted together once, but not enough to be a coil. Snake B puts its head and tail through one side of the A Ring, and B does the same, but through the other side of A. If both B and C bite at the exact same time, then they would be looped. If B or C were a second late though, it could not bite itself, because it would've then gone through a hoop with only one side of its body.

I'll try to dig up some visual aids to see if I can make sense with this.
 

John

(he/him)
So, for security purposes I create new passwords for all my accounts, and store them in a password vault. I kinda forgot to store the password for this one, and the site is so old that it doesn't have a password reset option, so my clock is now reset to a week from today. Looks like my 12-week journey is now a 12.5 week one! Sorry to the 3 of you who I'm sure are waiting with bated breath for the next week's update!
 
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