- Title: Outer Wilds
- Release Date:
To the best of my knowledge, Outer Wilds appears to be a narrative experience that is notably free of plot holes. However, there are instances where players may overlook or forget certain pieces of information, leading them to perceive gaps in the story. This guide aims to rectify such gaps by providing insights from the game’s content. Please note that this guide is designed for individuals who have completed the game, including the “Echos of the Eye” expansion.
Throughout this guide, I will make the assumption that all readers are familiar with the game’s content, and as such, I will not use spoiler tags except for section headings and this introductory description. It’s important to be aware that nearly everything discussed here constitutes a spoiler.
In the context of this guide, I will refer to the player character as “Hatchling,” the inhabitants of the Stranger as “Owlk,” and the forest at the game’s conclusion as “the Ancient Glade.”
Feel free to comment if you have any unanswered questions, corrections, or additional insights to contribute.
How does the loop work?
TLDR: As the hatchling awakens, their brain is uploaded with all prior loops due to the warp core’s negative time interval.
When traversing from a black hole to a white hole, a curious phenomenon occurs: a negative amount of time elapses. The Nomai warp cores harness the power of both black and white holes in their operations. Interestingly, the degree of power supplied to a warp core directly influences the magnitude of this negative time interval. This intriguing concept is vividly demonstrated in the High Energy Lab.
The Advanced Warp Core within the Ash Twin Project (ATP) is a marvel of Nomai engineering. It relies on the energy generated by a supernova to provide its warp core with an ample power supply, enabling a remarkable -22 minute interval between entering the black hole and emerging from the white hole. It’s essential to note that these interconnected holes at the core of Ash Twin are not employed for physical matter transportation. Instead, they serve as conduits for transmitting information. The masks, imbued with information, are sent through these holes, and their counterparts retrieve this information from 22 minutes in the past. Subsequently, this information is relayed to the designated recipients. Furthermore, the masks continuously receive updates from their partnered counterparts.
At the commencement of each time loop, when the Orbital Probe Cannon receives information from the preceding loop, it interprets this data as a firing command. It knows that in precisely 22 minutes, the information it is currently receiving will be transmitted back in time. This temporal loop-induced behavior implies that during the very first loop, the probe did not launch. However, during the second loop, it received a blank data upload, which served as the catalyst for its activation. It’s worth mentioning that the probe cannon employs a randomization mechanism to determine its firing angle in each loop, likely leveraging data from previous loops to ensure that it does not repeat the same firing angle.
Why is some Nomai writing different?
Handwriting. I’m not sure why in some people this presents as writing in orange, yet children write the larger, more blocky text.
Why does the Stranger’s light flicker/why does the dam break/why do loops end differently on the Stranger?
The solar sail.
The Stranger possesses a remarkable ability to detect the imminent arrival of a supernova, similar to the Sun Station. When it senses the impending supernova event, the Stranger deploys a solar sail, a protective measure that propels it beyond the destructive reach of the supernova’s blast. This operation requires diverting some of its power, resulting in a brief flicker in its energy output. Interestingly, the act of deploying the sail is also responsible for destabilizing the dam within the Stranger. This structural integrity issue can be observed through the scout’s readings, which resemble those seen on Brittle Hollow. Notably, the structural integrity degradation doesn’t initiate until after the sail is unfurled.
By positioning itself outside the range of the supernova’s devastating effects, Hatchling avoids perishing in the explosion. However, there’s a unique consequence of this decision: they do not receive any memories from events occurring beyond the moment when the ATP activates, 22 minutes after they initially awaken. Consequently, from Hatchling’s perspective, it seems as though the time loop is restarting. In reality, if Hatchling were to remain outside the supernova’s reach, they could potentially continue living for a more extended period. However, the subsequent iterations of Hatchling would not retain any memories of these extended experiences, making them appear as though they were experiencing a fresh loop each time.
Why haven’t pieces of Brittle Hollow fallen into the black hole before?
Hollow’s Lantern, which began experiencing heightened activity at the same time the Sun did (this is reported by a Nomai computer on Hollow’s Lantern), is weakening the structural integrity of the crust.
Why are there 3 activated masks?
Hatchling, Gabro, Orbital Probe Cannon
Their statues are referred to as “Timber Hearth Statue,” “Giant’s Deep Statue,” and “Orbital Probe Cannon Statue” by the Nomai computer.
What’s the timeline with the Nomai, Owlk, Eye signal, and Hearthians?
The Owlk, residing in the Outer Wilds, marked the onset of intelligent species in that region. The only communication the Nomai received was a fleeting connection initiated by the Prisoner. Regrettably, by the time this signal reached them, the Owlk had already ceased to interact with the physical world.
The Nomai remained oblivious to the existence of the Stranger, and the signal ceased before they even reached the Outer Wilds. Essentially, they had traversed beyond the signal’s active range.
It’s worth noting that the genetic ancestors of the Hearthians existed during the Nomai’s era, but they were entirely aquatic. Interestingly, ghost matter, as observed in the cave on Gabro’s island shortly after its descent from space, is neutralized by water. This unique property allowed them to survive the Interloper’s presence and subsequently evolve.
How is everyone at the Ancient Glade?
They aren’t. Based on the Hatchling’s consciousness, the eye is generating reflections of them. They are creating a brand-new environment that reflects them and everything they value, and in certain instances, very strong relationships show up physically.
How is Solanum alive at the 6th location?
This matter isn’t explicitly detailed, leaving room for multiple interpretations.
In a more complex interpretation:
Any individual present on the Quantum Moon can be considered quantum themselves, implying they exist simultaneously in all possible locations. When someone collapses these possibilities into a single location, they’re essentially altering their own perception, but from the perspective of others, they remain in a quantum state.
Solanum’s demise occurred during the ghost matter incident across all five planets, but she survived at the Eye. However, her experience of time appears to be distinct, especially when the moon is at the Eye.
In a more streamlined interpretation:
The ghost matter incident occurred while Solanum was departing from the Quantum Moon. As she faced her impending demise, her perception of her surroundings ceased, plunging her into a quantum state where five versions of her perished, while one endured. This explains her suspicion of being deceased and her decision not to leave the sixth location.
It’s important to note that this theory assumes that the conscious version of Solanum at the Eye doesn’t hold the moon in place. Additionally, it raises questions about Nomai lifespans or time distortion at the Eye.
How does the Ship Log stay updated between loops?
The way the game handles information and player convenience is primarily for gameplay reasons. Remembering all the details manually would be a significant challenge. This also applies to the time loops involving shutting down the ATP and then gaining knowledge. While, in a strict sense, Hatchling shouldn’t recall these events when loading from the last save, the game accounts for the player’s experience and keeps the information in the log.
Regarding Dark Bramble:
Dark Bramble can be likened to a kind of parasitic growth. It disperses seeds that take root and grow within their surroundings. The planet known as Dark Bramble was once a different icy world, but the Bramble’s expansion from its core ultimately consumed it.
The presence of the seed on Timber Hearth suggests a connection to Dark Bramble, but it’s likely that the Bramble didn’t originate directly from the center of the ice planet. Instead, a seed must have become embedded there. When you exit a seed, you leave Dark Bramble entirely, implying that if the opening were large enough, you could enter the Timber Hearth seed and then return through it to the main one. Presumably, as an external seed grows, it becomes its own central hub, no longer linked to its origin.
This aspect of the game’s lore isn’t fully explained, but it doesn’t play as central a role in the plot as some other elements, so it might not be a significant plot hole.
That's everything we are sharing today for this Outer Wilds guide. This guide was originally created and written by DrownInAFire. In case we fail to update this guide, you can find the latest update by following this link.