Symmetry Island is an area connected to the western part of the main island by a natural arch. This area introduces puzzles with two simultaneously drawn lines. It is a small, rocky outcrop located next to the Glass Factory and across from the Orchard. It contains one of the earliest lasers you can activate in the game, which is locked away behind two gates that need activation via surrounding puzzles before they can be opened.
Upon completing the glass factory, the puzzle locking the first gate will become solvable, granting access to the island. Completing the puzzles scattered around the island will allow the second gate to be opened, and completing a final set of puzzles will activate the area's laser.
Symmetry Island introduces concepts that go beyond simple mirrored lines. If you don't quite understand, here are some things to think about...
Part 2 (Required)
The hints here are for the first set of required puzzles in Symmetry Island, which let you unlock the second gate.
- Hint 1:Colors: For this sequence, the line you draw will always be blue, and the mirrored line will always be yellow. Think about how they correspond to the blue and yellow dots on the grid.
- Hint 2:Multiple Start/End Points: If the path you're taking won't work, try experimenting with the different start and end points. The right path might be impossible to achieve depending on where you're starting to draw.
- Hint 3:Fading Lines: Experiment with previous panels in this area to get a good understanding of how mirrored lines behave. This way it'll be easier to see it in your head. If it's still hard, don't feel bad about using a pen and paper to work it out!
If you're lost, return to the first gate in Symmetry Island, but this time head down the slope on the right side, swing a tight right at the bottom, and find the first required sequence of puzzles overlooking a patch of palm trees. Go down the left path first, following the lines hanging on trees, to find another row of panels to solve.
Unlike in the Glass Factory, there are no dead ends in these grids other than the mirrored lines, but you do have to configure your path just right to grab all the black dots along the way. Learn more about this on our Puzzle Types page. The first set is easy:
For the next sequence, color is important. You'll be drawing a blue line and will need to make sure you only grab the blue dots, while the yellow line grabs the yellow dots.
The sequence after this is challenging, because the yellow line will slowly fade with each new puzzle, requiring you to visualize where it is in your head so you can still meet all the conditions of the puzzle.
Part 3 (Required)
This hint is for the final sequence of required puzzles in Symmetry Island, which feature two sets of three panels facing each other across a pathway beyond the second gate unlocked in Part 2.
- Hint 1: Mirrors: You've been working with mirrored lines up until this point. Think about the way the sequence of blue line panels and the sequence of yellow line panels might relate to each other.
Once you've completed Part 2 of Symmetry Island, return to the start so you can unlock the second gate. The solution is as such:
This will lead you to the next area, with a lot of panels and a bright yellow wall at the top of some blocks. The puzzles in this area mirror each other, so the path you take on one side must be symmetrical to the path you took on the other. You can solve these panels in any order you like, but the solutions below will start with the right-most front panel, continue down the right side, and then continue in that fashion with the left-most front panel.
Once you're done here, you're ready to activate the laser in this area. The final part of this area is simple - just drag up and to the right. This will start to extend a hidden apparatus which will fire a blue beam across the sky. Continue on to the next area.
Part 1 (Optional)
There are two gates you need to unlock to get inside the final part of Symmetry Island. The first gate must be activated in the Glass Factory.
After leaving the last area, you'll happen upon a red door with a puzzle similar to those solved before. This time, there will be little shapes that you have to collect in order to unlock at the end. This puzzle is relatively simple, and once unlocked, will open the next area.
Once you open this gate, go down the slope to the left side. Once you reach the bottom, swing a tight left (almost a U-turn) and continue down the path until you get to the first single activated panel in this area. This introduces the role of the environment in solving puzzles.
This first one is fairly straightforward.
The first rock in this puzzle is obscured by the tree in front of it. Get a peek around it to determine its height.
You'll have to look at this one from a different angle to match it up with the rocks on the right.
You'll see reflections come up as an important environmental concept in later puzzles, too.
For this last one, you'll need to go behind the panel and match it up with the palm trees on the other side.
Solving this sequence doesn't activate anything in the game world, but it should have taught you how using the environment can play a major role in solving puzzles in The Witness.
Now you can move on to the required section of Symmetry Island. The hints here are for the optional single-panel puzzles woven throughout Symmetry Island.
- Hint 1: Material: There's a reason these panels are made of translucent glass.
- Hint 2: Environment : Look at the rocks and trees jutting from the ocean.
- Hint 3: Perspective : If you can't get things to match up the way you want, try looking at them from a different angle or perspective.
Cliff facing Glass Factory
This one can be found on the island next to the Glass Factory, known as Symmetry Island. To get here you'll need to unlock the door to this island. Once you're through go down the stairs and around the island until you're looking back at the Glass Factory. You'll find some panels for a puzzle to solve, but right under them is your next audio log!
|“||Formerly you appeared to me, O Lord,
as invisible by every creature
because you are a hidden, infinite God.
Infinity, however, is incomprehensible
by every means of comprehending.
Later you appeared to me as visible by all,
for a thing exists only as you see it,
and it would not actually exist unless it saw you.
For your vision confers being,
since your vision is your essence.
Thus, my God, you are equally invisible and visible.
As you are, you are invisible;
as the creature is,
which exists only insofar as the creature sees you,
you are visible.
You, therefore, my invisible God, are seen by all,
and in all sight you are seen by everyone who sees.
You who are invisible,
who are both absolute from everything visible
and infinitely superexalted,
are seen in every visible thing
and in every act of vision.
Therefore, I must leap across this wall of invisible vision
to where you are to be found.
But this wall is both everything and nothing.
For you, who confront
as if you were both all things and nothing at all,
dwell inside that high wall
which no natural ability can scale by its own power.
|~ Nicholas of Cusa, 1453|
Another audio log found on Symmetry Island, it can only be obtained after going through both of the island's doors. After this you'll see a stairway to the top, but instead of going up you need to make a detour to the left. Walk along the side to reach a cliff with a tree that overlooks the ocean where you'll get a tape!
|“||One nature, perfect and pervading,
circulates in all natures;
One reality, all-comprehensive,
contains within itself all realities.
The one Moon reflects itself
wherever there is a sheet of water,
And all the moons in the waters
are embraced within the one Moon.
The Absolute of all the Buddhas
enters into my own being,
And my own being is found
in union with theirs....
The Inner Light is beyond praise and blame;
Like space it knows no boundaries,
Yet it is even here, within us,
ever retaining its serenity and fullness.
It is only when you hunt for it that you lose it;
You cannot take hold of it,
but equally you cannot get rid of it,
And while you can do neither,
it goes on its own way.
You remain silent and it speaks;
you speak, and it is dumb.
The great gate of charity is wide open,
with no obstacles before it.
|~ Yung-chia Ta-shih, circa 700|
|Bunker • Caves • Desert Ruins • Entry Area • Glass Factory • Jungle • Keep • Lake • Monastery • Mountain • Orchard • Peninsula • Quarry • River • Shady Trees • Shipwreck • Swamp • Symmetry Island • Town • Treehouse • Windmill|