Gemcraft: Feelings of Incompletion

I said that I had reached the ending of Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows a while ago now, but this isn’t a game with a clean and definitive ending. There’s a climactic confrontation, but there’s no roll of the credits or unlocking of New Game + mode, and although the antagonist stops interfering with you, she’s still at large afterward. And it’s clear that there’s still more to do.

I had thought that I’d stop playing once I beat all the fields, but the Vision fields proved tough. Then I thought I’d just go for all the Achievements, but not all of the Field Achievements were accessible, and it seemed like the remaining ones were locked behind Visions. But then I actually started winning more of the Visions. The winning tactic for most of them, it seems, is to eschew fancy plans and just pour as much mana as you can into building up a single very powerful gem — which is kind of disappointing, but it’s at least consistent with the rest of the game. Anyway, once I was down to two Visions and still hadn’t opened up any more fields, I started thinking maybe I was wrong.

It turns out that most of the missing fields, as well as others I hadn’t anticipated and several more Vision fields, were locked behind compasses. I had been putting off doing anything with the compasses, because I suspected they were connected to the Grey Trees riddle, but I finally broke down and figured them out. I won’t go into details, but there’s a certain operation you can do with the mysterious compasses that gives you more field tokens, and you can perform this operation three times before it gives out. After the third pass, the compass icons disappear from the overworld map. The compasses are still present and clickable in the fields, but they no longer do anything but spin.

And that puts me in a bit of a quandary, because it now seems like the compasses aren’t connected to the Grey Trees riddle after all. They were my only promising lead. If it’s not them, what is it? I’ve been searching for grey trees in the fields I know, hoping they’ll be clickable, but the ones I remembered don’t really match the achievement icon: they’re grey because they’re bare of leaves, which the icon isn’t.

I now feel like I could get out from under this game if only I could solve the riddle. But who knows how I’ll feel once I do? I continue to make sallies at the remaining Visions, just in case I decide later that I want to finish them all.

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