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Karma

Complete walkthrough
Karma mac game graphics
The Quest for the Caves of DUN-HUANG may not be as exciting or personally as perilous as one of Indiana Jones' crusades; however, the journey is still every bit as difficult and occasionally more confounding the location of the Holy Grail. In order to speed your progress through the underground world of the demon that has imprisoned the holy waters of the Kuanyin's spring, it might be useful if you had access to a hint book similar to the one left in Indy's care by his wounded father. Although in Karma there is no need to rush back with the waters of life in order to restore one's Dad, this walk through will likely prevent much aggravation that can lead to a head full of gray hair.

Cross the threshold of your knowledge and imagination and enter the Caves of Dun-Huang. Now you can solve the challenges that await you. Once you pass through the entranceway to Karma and embark upon the quest for the Sacred Well, you must first pass through the Cryptic Gate and then the Coded Portal. Two tests await you there. Kuanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, in the form of a Wise Old Man and a Lotus will guide you every step of the way. But before you start, you should explore the main entry hall. Among other things, this is the place to learn the significance of each of the treasures you will be collecting. Make sure you explore the hexagon which you will find just inside the entrance to Karma, in the alcove with the statues.

The Cryptic Gate, with the challenge of the Goddess of Sewing and Embroidery, requires that you trace the correct outline of the Goddess and unlock the passage to the second entrance challenge. You have exactly 26 clicks to fulfill your task, and can tell when you have been successful when the line you have traced automatically retraces itself and the image changes before your eyes. Then click to move through the next doorway.

You can always click on the bamboo slips in the lower right corner of the screen for some information. Clicking either Help or Retry on the bamboo slips will automatically reset the screen. With the cursor, click to discover how to draw the outline. Look for the green tip that indicates where you may click. If you make a mistake, you can click again to undo a line you have traced.

The last challenge prior to entering the underground world is the Coded Portal of the Stonecutters' Abacus. You must arrange the abacus beads according to the instructions given by the stonecutters sitting as statues around the abacus. Check the Help in the bamboo slips in the lower right corner of the screen for clues to the value of each bead. The direction that each stonecutter is facing is a clue to the correct arrangement of beads.

This is where things get a bit tricky. In your mind, place each stonecutter statue in the center of the abacus board, and draw an imaginary line in the direction it faces. Extend that imaginary line to the small bumps in front of the statue. You should arrange the beads for each statue to match the number of those bumps (for example, if the statue placed in the center of the board faces 3 bumps, then you should arrange the beads for that statue to equal 3).

solution puzzle karma mac game
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After you have solved the first two puzzling challenges, you will enter the main cavern. Here, you will notice 7 entranceways around that central hall. 6 of those lead to the double-chambered caves and their challenges. The 7th leads to the hidden well. You cannot cross the last to the well threshold until all the other challenges are solved.

Notice the symbolic markings on the entrance of each cave. These markings represent the 6 elements of METAL, WOOD, EARTH, WIND, WATER, and FIRE. Remember these symbols. You will need to know them on the final stages of your quest for the sacred well. In each cave you must solve two challenges, but you cannot enter a rear cave until the task in its front cave has been solved. As you solve the various puzzling challenges set in the front caves by the demon, you will receive treasures that will unlock the rear chambers of the caves. You will also receive treasures as you solve the tasks in the rear caves. Remember which treasure belongs to which cave. This information is essential if you are going to succeed in unlocking the door to the hidden well.

Start with the Caves of Metal, where you will encounter the puzzle of the Red Pearl and the Golden Frog. You must guide the red pearl into the mouth of the golden frog. Click on the moving wheels to arrange a pathway to the golden frog's mouth. This may look like an easy puzzle, but it is likely to frustrate you for a while. Be patient and click on the moving wheels to learn which wheels you can move and when you can control their positioning. Anticipate in which direction the pearl is traveling, and then position the wheels that are further ahead on the path. It is often impossible to move the wheels that are closest to the red pearl, and this can result in a situation where you will be stuck in a dead end. Unfortunately, this puzzle is trial and error, but it is still best to try to avoid the edges of the puzzle board until the pearl is near the mouth of the golden frog.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The challenge of the Arrows of Noor require that you have the Bell, which is an artifact that you will not get for some time. Go back out into the main chamber and enter the Caves of Wood.

The front part of the cave contains the puzzle of the Rage of the Eyeless Dragons. You must move each of the three colored pearls into its correct hole by clicking on the edge of the tray on which they are located. This will tip the tray and allow the pearls to roll towards the down side of the surface. Each pearl belongs in the hole opposite from the one in which it starts. This is a frustrating puzzle, and I can offer few hints, except concentrate on sinking one pearl at a time. Once positioned, the pearls do not come out.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The puzzle of the Soaring Dragons is not terribly original. It has appeared in one form or another in half a dozen similar games. The objective is to move the rings in the correct order, from the dragon on the left side to the dragon on the right. The rings must be placed on the dragon to the right in the same order that they initially appear: Pink, Green, Blue, Yellow. While maneuvering the rings, remember that a ring from lower in the original pile must not be placed on top of any rings higher in the pile, but a ring from higher in the pile can be placed on top of any ring that appeared lower than it on the original pile. Because the yellow ring begins on the top of the pile, it can be placed on top of any other color. If the three dragons were numbered 1 to 3 (from left to right), then the correct sequence would be as follows:

Y2, B3, Y3, G2, Y1, B2, Y2, P3, Y3, B1, Y1, G3, Y2, B3, Y3

solution puzzle karma mac game
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You should visit the Caves of Earth next. The first puzzle, Sun and Moon, is a variation on checkers and requires that you jump the pieces until only one sun is left. You can jump suns over moons or moons over suns, basically in any order. Best of all, there is more than one solution to this riddle. Begin by first moving the sun on the far right of the board so that it jumps over the moon directly to the left of it; then continue by moving the moon directly below that sun (in its new position) so that it jumps over the sun. Then follow the four examples shown below, and you'll be just one hop and a skip away from the solution.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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Continue on to the back of the cave. The next puzzle is called the Last Pedestal of Buddha, although after trying to solve it unsuccessfully for a while, I came up with several other colorful monikers of my own for its name. This is the single hardest challenge in the game, and in all honesty, I was unable to solve it without help. There seemed no way to position the large block into the square hole at the bottom. In the end, I managed to maneuver the small square blocks to make room for the other pieces, but I still found this challenge to be unnecessarily difficult and frustrating. This puzzle requires a very large number of steps for completion, but there appear to be alternate solutions. The sequence presented below is by no means the only option. Each of the steps is separated by 4-6 moves, occasionally requiring a bit of thinking despite the cheat sheet. The images shown below are courtesy of a friendly post on CompuServe, and while I would love to give credit to the author, there isn't one listed.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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Next stop, the Caves of Wind. The front part of the cave contains the challenge of the Rhythms in the Wind. By clicking on an instrument in the order that it is played, you will make each of the stone faces disappear. In the opening sequence of the puzzle, as each instrument is played, each musician is separately animated. Listen carefully to the sound of each instrument in that opening sequence, so that you will recognize it as it is sounded in the other sequences. The first sound uses 4 of the instruments, the next 5 and the last all 6. I found it helpful to number each instrument as it is sounded, since this made it easier to jot down on paper. The game allows two mistakes before the puzzle starts over.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The back part of the cave contains the challenge of the Three Pearls of Buddha. Your task is to use the bellows and guide each of the three pearls into the waiting mouth on the right side, without touching any of the obstacles. You cannot always control the surge of air that blows the pearl upwards immediately as it leaves the mouth on the left side of the screen. Once you clear the initial hurdle, it is best to let the pearl free fall if it is not in danger of striking an obstacle. Aim for the lower half of the open mouth on the right hand side; if you guide the pearl too high it will be the same as if you had touched an obstacle.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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Continue to the Caves of Water, and start with the game called Floating Pairs. You will have to click on pairs of tiles until all the floating blocks have disappeared. This challenge is not too difficult, but since it is random every time, there is no universal hint for it. Start by playing a few random games that will allow you to familiarize yourself with the different shapes. Begin by watching for the lighter figures, because they are easier to spot. Look for prominent, distinguishing features such as a pedestal on which a woman is seated. You can make two mistakes and still continue, but once you are down to 4-6 pieces, the game will be easy.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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In the back part of the caves you'll come across the Turtles of Ruby and Emerald. You must move the turtles so that the red and green turtles exchange positions. Each turtle may have to cross the board more than once before all the turtles are arranged in their correct positions. Your first four moves should maneuver the turtles into the positions shown in number 1 of the picture below. Then gradually complete the sequence, which is not too terribly long or challenging.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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Return to the back of the Cave of Metal and complete the challenge of the Arrows of Noor. The objective is not immediately obvious, but you must shoot all the advancing soldiers in pairs, prior to the reaching the edge of the board. The direction of fire is controlled by the mouse, and an arrow is released whenever you click. The biggest challenge of this part of the game is not to discover what order the soldiers must be shot at, but simply to be able to target them with the awkward controls built into the interface. The key to success is to keep an eye on the order in which the soldiers appear. When you shoot both a red and a white soldier (their base color is only revealed after you've shot them), both will be removed from the board.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The last location in the main hall to be visited is the Caves of Fire. The first riddle in this cave is that of the Oil Pipes. This is probably the second most difficult puzzle in the game, both because of the sequence required to complete it, and the complex graphics involved. You must fix the map by arranging the panels to connect the different sections of the oil supply-pipe pathway. Concentrate on the border, remembering that sometimes you will need to set one or more panels with the incorrect pattern before finally setting the right solution. Begin by clicking, from top to bottom, the panels in the entire second column from the left side. Then select all the panels in the fourth column from the left. Finish the puzzle, by clicking the second and third panel from the top in the third column from the left. Quite easily done.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The last treasure is revealed when you solve the trick of the Magic Rope. Try to connect the black oil pipes so that they stretch from one side of the screen to the other. You will have to outsmart the demon who will place pieces of rope to try to block your way. Lay a number of horizontal pipes in different places on the screen in an attempt to confuse the demon. The pipes do not have to be connected in a straight line, but too many vertical lines will hinder your progress. One possible solution is shown below.

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The last remaining challenge is the exit puzzle of the main door to the fountain. Restore the 6 treasures by matching the item collected in each rear cave with the symbol for that cave. The cave symbols can easily be identified as representations of one of the 6 elements: METAL, WOOD, EARTH, WIND, WATER, and FIRE. There are clues to this puzzle in the entrance hall at the beginning of Karma, as well as in the manual found inside the jewel case of the CD-ROM. (if you should have the original media)

solution puzzle karma mac game
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The final animation sequence is a little lame and can hardly be said to have made the game worth playing. Those who enjoy Karma will do so for reasons inherent in the puzzles themselves, since the cut scenes, animation and practically non-existent storyline could hardly get anyone very excited. In the end, I managed to release the Holy Waters, but I don't think that I have become too terribly enlightened in the process.

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