Find Your Path in the Stars

This post consists of some as-yet untested ideas concerning Minkata. Possible spoilers may exist, so click to read on at your own risk.


I believe that finding your path in the stars is more than an easy way to find the base after running around in Minkata. For those of you who don’t know, the farther you get away from a particular constellation, the closer to the horizon it gets, with the base being roughly in the middle. So to return to base, find the lowest constellation in the sky, and walk toward it. Minkata, after all, is round, and this is caused by us traversing the curvature of the world.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. There are five constellations. There are five pages. I’ve alreay determined that the numbers within each compass rose are distances, and the green arrows are the direction in which to go. We found one hole for the four directions on page 1, with us starting at the base. But what if the holes match the constellations? That means that we would go from base to hole 1 to hole 2, until the entire set of roses is expired. We would be tracing out the constellations on the ground! By touching each stone in the proper order, following the constellations, something is bound to happen. We probably link out at the end of each constellation for another disc wedge. Hopefully there is a bit of explanation from Yeesha, but I’m not holding my breath.

“But,” you ask, “how do we go from hole to hole?” If you look at the holes carefully, there are the same number of bones, in the same spacing as the Base. I don’t know their orientation at this time, but that should be simple enough to surmise from the position of the stars. I’m betting that the ladder or the stone tablet points north, but I won’t know without some experimentation. Once the cave’s north is found, following these paths is a matter of trying combinations. Fortunately, the combinations are such that some trial and error will yield the first points, and should be enough to compare to the constellations to know where you are and where you’re going.

Some things to do to test this hypothesis: Take KI images of all the constellations. Get pictures of the pages in the Minkata guide book. Use map-scaling skills, a compass, and math to draw lines connected to each other, following the scaled distance and the compass rose direction to make a shape, or use a quick processing app to perform the same set of tasks. I don’t know if there is an order to the compass roses yet, but trying some combinations will yield results immediately.

Two common sources of error in orienteering are 1) not calculating your stride properly, leading to misjudged distances and the possibility of getting lost, and 2) not setting a fixed point in the horizon to walk toward, because everyone has one stronger leg, and you will tend to be pulled in that direction. Without a fixed point, you will basically be walking in large circles. Because of this I recommend doing your orienteering at night.

In case you’re wondering, the distance from the edge of the base to flag 125 is 12 steps while running. The distance from the edge to flag 625 is 60 steps while running. I haven’t had the patience to run and count to flag 3125. Counting steps while running can be difficult because the steps are almost to fast to count. I suppose walking would be more accurate, but it would also be more slow.

I can’t wait to try these theories out. I’ll let you know what happens!

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~ by Kestr'l on May 26, 2007.

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