F: Forward (Fn for n repetitions)
B: Back out
Most animations can be skipped by pressing Esc
A significant characteristic of Rama is its randomization of play components, affecting inventory item locations, the timing of animation sequences, a few puzzles, and certain destination locations in the central plains. For example, many inventory items have no fixed location where they may be found – if you need something you haven’t found yet, you’re just going to have to search
carefully for it (fortunately, items do not seem to migrate within a particular game). As a result, it’s not possible to give an exact step-
by-step procedure for progressing through the game – your mileage may vary. If you can’t find an item that you need for a puzzle, continue on with the game and it may become available later. The game designers‘ purpose in creating these randomizations is not clear – they change only the details of the game, not the basic concepts or gameplay strategy, and add little to game replayability.
As a basic strategy, pay particular attention to the ground, as artifacts may often be found there. A painstaking, but effective approach to moving through the environment is to turn
completely around at each node position and check each view carefully.
Much of the inventory turns out to be „red herrings“ – unneeded in your actual gameplay sequence, but perhaps confusing your choices at various points and making gameplay a bit more complex.
To prepare for several tasks in Bangkok and other locations, brush up on your base-8 and base-16 arithmetic skills.
Project Newton Crew:
ID Character Game Role
002 Yourself Adventurer
004 Shigeru Takagishi Scientist
005 David Brown Mission Commander
006 Francesca Sabatini Video Journalist
007 Otto Heilmann Chief Security Officer
008 Michael O’Toole Codemaster
009 Richard Wakefield Chief Engineer
010 Reggie Wilson Print Journalist
011 Irina Turgenyev Career Cosmonaut
012 Nicole des Jardins Medical Officer
Hiro Yamanaka IBI Agent
Janos Tabori IBI Agent
Valeriy Borzov Your predecessor, now deceased
All characters are from the Clarke/Lee book Rama II
After the game introduction and animation of Nicole, move F L F2 to the computer console. Click on it, then on the MAIL command to bring up your vidmail. Each message adds a bit to the backstory of the game and introduces you to the basic personalities of the other astronauts. In particular, note Wakefield’s Falstaff creation (you’ll see more of it later) and O’Toole’s favorite primes sequence
x^2 – x + 41, for 1 <= x <= 40
The cable car code is derived from the first two elements of this sequence: 4143.
Move L and watch the animation of an avian flying by. Move F4 L F and descend the ladder. Move R F and click on the nuclear device. Pick up the locker #6 key next to the INACTIVE light. Go back up the
ladder and move F R F R to the lockers. Open Locker #2 with the key in your inventory and pick up the ISA multi-tool and your wristcomp. The wristcomp has a map feature that will often come in handy
during gameplay. Open the unlocked Locker #9 and pick up your trusty sidekick, Puck. If you get a vidmail message from Sabatini requesting her cigarette lighter, you can ignore it. Open Locker #6 with the key in your inventory and pick up two pattern artifacts, a blank key, three symbol plaques and a datacube. Combine the datacube with your wristcomp to read a message from
Sabatini to Brown. Use the blank key to open Locker #7 and pick up an optical lens and a datacube containing an encoded message
from Heilmann to his underlings. If you spend a lot of time at the hub camp, you’ll eventually get a friendly reminder fr om Nicole to come on down.
From the lockers, move L F2 R F L and get in the cable car. Enter the code from O’Toole’s vidmail message and press the red button. Enjoy the ride down to the base camp, with a rare third-person POV.
Move R F to the table and pick up a note from Nicole and a datacube (both shameless plugs for Clarke’s upcoming book 3001). Move L2 F R and open the storage box on the other table.
Inside, pick up any pattern artifact(s) and symbol plaque(s) you may find. Other astronauts add items to this storage box from
time to time, so check back on it (and the refrigerator) later if you seem to be missing an item. Move B L2 F and watch the animation of Turgenyev. Move F3 out onto the central plains. To identify fixed
destinations on the central plains radar map, we’ll use a clock analogy.
It’s often possible to enter and exit a central plains location from more than one direction. There are a few randomized locations on the central plains that contain a moving biot symbol.
You can check these out for information on how the biots move and act, but be careful not to get in front of a triangular sextet of crab
biots, or you’ll get trashed! In particular, be sure to visit the centipede biot location (4 green squares in a row) and pick up a symbol plaque if it drops one.
Find Nicole’s position (012) and watch the animation of her. Back out to the radar map and head for the biot garage area at 3 o’clock. Move F L F to the cube of alien plastic containing a symbol plaque; you’ll return for this one later after the plastic is melted. Move R2 F2 and get a datacube from Reggie Wilson describing crab biots. Move L2 F R F R F R and pick up a red crystal from the remains of the broken sphere. Move L F R F into the biot garage and let Puck describe the various types of biot inside:
Biot Type Purpose
Centipede Repairs other biots
Mantis Uses colored light
Crane Lifts heavy loads
Crab Trash collector
Exit the biot garage, move L F2 R F and be sure to check for items on the ground under the large slanting building. At various points, you may be interrupted with an animation sequence in which you are given an inventory item (symbol plaque, optical lens, etc.) from one of the astronauts. Move back to the radar map and head for London at 1 o’clock.
Move F and listen to Takagishi. It’s a little hard to pick up through his
accent, but he does make a reference to a „pattern“ in the pulsing of the forcefield blocking entry to the red London building ahead. If
you count the individual pulses of the forcefield, you’ll note that after every ninth pulse there is a short pause during which the field is off. If you time it right, the pause will give you enough time to move through the forcefield without getting fried. After you’ve passed through, move L and pull the tan-colored drawer to turn off the forcefield. Note the encircled triangle at the top of the
forcefield switch – you’ll need to use that later. Pick up any items lying on the ground. Move R2 F to the London entrance.
Click on the small flanking column to the right, having a red design on it. This is the London entrance puzzle. Pick a symbol plaque from your inventory that has an appearance appropriate for the pattern
displayed by the other eight plaques; for example, a horizontally-split yellow- and-green pentagon with
two white and two black dots. You have undoubtedly picked up some „red herrings“ along the way, so examine your choice carefully. When the correct plaque has been placed, you’ll hear the sound of the London entrance door opening.
Move F2 and and turn all the way around checking for inventory items, looking in particular between the decorated column supports. Also check the doorway through which you entered and the doorway on the opposite side of the room. To the left, you can operate a device showing various aspects of the Rama spacecraft, including a red sphere that seems to show the locations of various
species inside Rama.
Another sequence shows the fabrication of the Rama spacecraft shell, but a more likely construction method (at least for humans) would involve hollowing-out an existing asteroid.
On the opposite side of the room, zoom in on the left panel and place your pattern artifacts to create an oval representation of New York island in Rama’s cylindrical sea. When complete, the oval shows a map through a maze of corridors to three plazas. Zoom in on the right panel and place your six remaining pattern artifacts. Getting the order right is tricky, descriptions may help:
Left to right:
1.Yellow island in purple sea at center 2.Italy-shaped yellow protuberance at lower center 3.Small rectangular yellow region at lower center edge 4.Irregular yellow region extending down to lower center edge 5.Single yellow island in purple region at lower edge 6.Several yellow islands in purple region at lower edge
When complete, the display shows a map of the central plains, with red dots representing artifact locations and white smudges providing close-ups. Left to right, the locations are:
Dock Biot Garage London Big Wheel Bangkok
The second door puzzle in London requires two symbol plaques. After you’ve opened the door, move F2 R F L F and watch the animation of the mantis biot using a red laser (twice) to
descend on an elevator.
Move F2 and pick up the biot box. On examining this box, you’ll see that it looks like it can be opened, perhaps using the triangular button on its back. Have you seen this triangular shape before?
Move B L and create a red laser equivalent from your inventory by combining the red crystal shard and the ISA multi-tool (use its button to put it into flashlight mode). To summon the elevator, use the red flashlight on the laser target in front of you. Move B F and repeat the laser procedure to descend into the sewage pit. Explore the pit areas at the ends of all three walkways to pick up
symbol plaques, which will be dirty from the fluid in the pit. There may also be clean symbol plaque(s) on the walkways themselves.
Exit the pit using the elevator as before.
Facing the door the mantis came out of, move R F2 R F2 R F and observe the trash transport carts. Move L to yet another door puzzle. The plaques on this type of door puzzle are most
easily identified by the symbolic base-3 notation at the bottom; for example, the symbols
Base-3 Symbol Plaque
represent the digits 0 0 1 2 0 in base 3 (which translates to 15 decimal). By translating their base-3 digits, you’ll see that the symbol plaques in the door puzzle are arranged in sequence,
left to right and top to bottom. It then becomes straightforward to identify which symbol plaque(s) you need in order to fill in the
gap(s) in the sequence – make a note of them. Of course, the trick is getting the plaques themselves and cleaning them if necessary, for they won’t insert into the door puzzle when dirty. Also, be aware that „red herrings“ may creep into your inventory; for example, plaques with the correct base-3 symbols, but with the other symbols wrong.
With this goal in mind, exit the London structure and return to the forcefield control switch outside. Put the biot box on the triangle at the top of the switch. Remove the symbol plaque from the now-open biot box. Move L F3 to the central plains radar map. Return to the base camp and pick up a box of powder from the refrigerator. Go back to the radar map and head for the Big Wheel area at 10:30.
If you run into Francesca (Princess Leia with a jawbone), she’ll give you a decryption card. First her cigarette lighter and now a computer card — she does consider you to be her gofer, doesn’t she? Go ahead and load the card into your wristcomp, and you’ll be able to read the encoded message from Heilmann (subject: Trinity) that you intercepted earlier. You’ll also be able to read any other encoded messages you happen to come across in the course of gameplay.
Move F and pick up a symbol plaque from the trash dump transfer tray. Move B R F2 R and pick up a metal seed from one of the cone-shaped „plants“ on the ground. Move L2 F R F and pick up a bent rod at the site of the damaged biot. Move L F2 to the distillation mechanism. Zoom in on the central part of the mechanism and insert the metal seed into the star-shaped hole at right. Put the
box of powder into the adjacent receptacle. Turn the thumbwheel at upper right to get fluid flowing into the mechanism. Move B and click on the device at right shaped like a pot-bellied stove. Press the
triangular red button to clean the blue material off the tray. The vertical graduated tube at left indicates you have four remaining cleanings. Find the needed symbol plaque(s) in your inventory and clean each one by putting it in the tray and using the red button.
Return to the radar map and find Wakefield’s position (009). Watch the animation of him and get a third optical lens. Return to the big wheel area and move to the gun in the center of the area. Click on it to open its barrel and insert the three optical lenses from your inventory. After the gun fires, return via the radar map to the biot garage area. Move F L F and pick up the symbol plaque from the
now-melted plastic cube. This will probably give you everything you need to open the third door in London. While in this area,
check the trash dump transfer tray for any artifacts.
Return to London via the radar map and go back to the closed door at the top of the sewage pit. Use symbol plaque(s) from your inventory to open the door. Move F2 L F L F2 R F R through the biot
demonstration room. Click on the device to fire a green laser at the crane biot and get it to disable the spider biot guard. Move R F L F2 L and pick up the alien palette. Zoom in on the display console behind
the spider biot and pull the lever down to activate a video link with the big wheel control room you’ll visit later.
Exit London and return to the radar map. Along the way, Nicole will give you a datacube describing Wilson’s death, and Rama will make a course correction, apparently now heading for impact with Earth.
Go to Bangkok at the 9 o’clock position on the radar map and solve another symbol plaque puzzle to open its front door. This puzzle uses base-2 symbols rather than base-3.
Move F and use the three machines at left to solve simple symbol-matching, counting and addition/subtraction problems. On completion of a set of problems, each machine will open. In the left
machine, click on the phonograph-like device to open the door at the far end of the room. In the right machine, pick up a red gem. Enter into the first Bangkok level, a human museum (don’t forget to keep
hunting for symbol plaques).
After exploring the museum (and admiring the bikini, if you’re so inclined), move to the elevator car at the back of the room. Click on the marked post at center to bring up another symbol plaque puzzle. This puzzle typically involves sequences of white, black and circle sectors, and requires, for example, plaques with
White at 5:30, middle ring
Black at 3:30, outside ring
Circle at 5:30, inside ring
White at 9:30, middle ring
Black at 6:30, outside ring
Circle at 12:30, middle ring
Click on the purple triangular button to take the elevator up. Turn around and enter a room containing Raman arithmetic teaching machines. The machines on the right can be used to define the base-16 Raman numbers. After listening to Wakefield’s lecture, solve the base-16 arithmetic problems using the three
machines at left. On completion of a set of problems, each machine will open. In the left machine, click on the phonograph-like device to open the door at the far end of the room. In the center machine there are 11 marks per display row, and number buttons range from 0 at upper left to 15 at lower right. Note that the base-16 answers you must provide may contain more than one digit; for example, if there are 72 marks shown in the display, you must enter (4,8) using Raman symbols, since 72 = 4 x 16 + 8. Similarly, if there
are 111 symbols in the display, you must use the buttons for Raman symbols (6,15); that is, the button second from the right in the top row, and the button at far right in the bottom row. When the problems in the center machine have been completed, pick up a human icon from inside the machine. In the right machine, addition is symbolized by a simple hexagon and subtraction by a circle
inside a hexagon. When its problems have been solved, pick up another red gem.
Enter into the main room of the second Bangkok level, a Raman museum. Go to the display to the right of the Raman furniture and pick up a Raman cutting tool. Note also the statue of a
Raman (looking like something out of Yellow Submarine) and a slideshow of the weird Raman life cycle.
At the far side of the room, enter the second Bangkok elevator. Click on the marked post at center to bring up the last symbol plaque puzzle. This puzzle again typically involves sequences
of white, black and circle sectors, and requires, for example, plaques with
White at 10:30, outside ring
Black at 12:30, middle ring
Circle at 6:30, inside ring
White at 12:30, middle ring
Black at 8:30, middle ring
Circle at 11:30, middle ring
One or both of these symbol plaques may require cleaning in the distillation mechanism at the big wheel area; while there you can free an avian from the clutches of the broken biot you
saw earlier. To accomplish this, zoom in on the sparking area in the bottom of the biot and use your Raman cutting tool to
sever the electrical cable. Move B and use the bent rod in your inventory to free the avian. Be sure to pick up the red neck ring the avian gives you.
Return to the second elevator in Bangkok and activate it with your now-clean symbol plaque(s). Again operate three arithmetic machines, this time with rainbow-colored base-8 octospider numbers:
6 Dark Purple
7 Light Purple
+ Red/white striped
– Blue/white striped
As before, complete the problems to open the door and obtain an octospider icon and a red gem. Enter into the main room of the third Bangkok level, an octospider museum. Note the interesting statues showing a pregnant octospider and a communications demo. Pick up an indigo-green jewel on the floor in this room.
Return to the elevator you just used and put the three red gems you have in inventory into the receptacle at center. Pick up a number box showing equivalences between human, Raman and octospider number systems, coming in very handy later in the game. You’re now finished with Bangkok; return to the central plains radar map via the two elevators.
Head for the big wheel area. From the gun at the center of this area, move F2 D F to the perimeter of the big wheel, then move L F3 R F2 into the control room. Zoom in on the display screen and press the right button. Watch an animation of a mantis biot releasing spider biots from the biot garage. Move B L F2 L F3 R F6 to the radar map. Note that there are new location(s) on the radar map where you can (fatally) encounter a loose spider biot. Return to the biot garage area. Make your way to the back of the biot garage and pick up the gate lying on the floor.
Return to the big wheel control room and put the gate up against the central pillar. Using the gate as a ladder, go up and take the blank plaque from atop the control pillar.
Return to the central plains radar map. For an interesting perspective with the Rama lights on, you can revisit the hub camp by taking the cable car back up from the base camp. You’ve
now visited all the important areas in the central plains, so you might as well head for the docks (iceport) at 4:30 and meet
Brown (005). If you wait a few minutes, you’ll get vidmail from Nicole asking you to come there anyway. In the meantime, you can track down Heilmann (007) and listen to his Rama paranoia. By the way, if you try to go to the iceport earlier in the game, you’ll be repeatedly warned to stay away, and eventually „fired“
from the expedition.
From your initial entry from the radar map, move L F R to meet Brown and obtain a datacube. Brown and Nicole will block your exit back to the central plains, so you’re forced to eventually take the icemobile with Nicole to New York island in Rama’s frozen cylindrical sea. First, however, view the vidmails from
Sabatini, O’Toole and Takagishi that you received in the datacube from Brown. Also, be sure to note the second nuclear device on the upper level of the iceport, currently inactive as was the first one you saw at the hub camp. The bomb’s disarming code apparently consists of 20 digits, grouped as a sequence of five 4-digit numbers. Go on down the ramp and notice that Nicole is sitting in the
icemobile’s cockpit (if you watch her from two steps back on the lower platform, she kind of looks like one of those bobbing-head toy
dogs people used to have in their cars). Join her in the icemobile and change CD’s. Enjoy the ride to New York island while listening to Nicole’s chatter.
Don’t feel bad when Nicole abandons you on the New York dock so she can „look around“ in the icemobile. Yeah right, she probably just wants to hotrod it on the ice. Anyway, you’re on your own again,
and won’t see Nicole (or much of anyone else) until the end of the game. Go on up the stairs and use the alien palette to open the doors into New York. Move through the doors (which lock behind you) and pick up a datacube lying on the ground. It contains a message from Heilmann to his underlings, and mentions a bomb whose disarming code is „five of (O’Toole’s) favorite numbers“. Move F3 into the Avian Plaza.
Looking up, you’ll get a view of the walls around the perimeter of this jewel- shaped plaza, as well as gaps at the top and lower left indicating passageways leading out of the plaza. In the distance, you’ll be able to see the cylindrical sea on the far side of Rama. The mapping feature of your wristcomp will come in particularly useful during your explorations of New York; use it frequently to
maintain your bearings and to identify points of interest. Throughout New York, you’ll find alien artifacts in the form of bi-colored jewels, optical tuning forks and other devices. Unlike in the central plains, the locations of these artifacts do not seem to be randomized for each gameplay of Rama.
Using the following Avian Plaza map:
EXIT TO MAZE TALL WHITE
RECESS PURPLE MAT LATHE
visit the Raman manna-melon picture to the right of the central tetrahedron structure. Then make your way to the cul-de-sac behind the semicircular tank to the right of the central tetrahedron structure. Zoom in on the lathe-like device having five vertical red lights on it. Put the blank plaque from your inventory into the similarly-shaped depression in the center of the device. The green
triangular buttons can be used to move the yellow-tipped rod over the plaque; each position is identified by one of the red lights. Each
position (except the center one) records a tone onto the blank plaque. Each of the three tones corresponds to an initially-locked door in the New York maze that you’ll be entering shortly. If the plaque has been recorded with the corresponding tone, the door will be opened. The simplest way to open all the doors in the New York maze is to record all three tones onto the plaque, which
fortunately can be done by moving the rod until it’s fully extended and the rightmost red light is glowing. If you remove the plaque while the rod is in this position, it will have been properly recorded.
Use the New York map:
New York Map
STEP ON MAROON SIDEWALK (you are in a cylindrical tunnel), W (centre of a clearing near the shore of New York Island), S (great hall – in the centre is a circular shaft of electric blue light), EXAMINE LIGHT (more like a solid mass), ENTER SHAFT (you step through the shimmering light to a large circular room), EXAMINE PLATFORM (set into it is an oval depression), PUT ROMCARTS ON PLATFORM (the platform recedes into the floor and a three
dimensional form takes shape as information is read from the romcarts), N (clearing), PUT ROD IN KNOB (the fibres retract and the tunnel entrance is clear), GET ROD, ENTER TUNNEL (back to the cavernous room).
STEP ON RED SIDEWALK (back to the flower door), U, N (edge of crater), D, N, N, N (soft sponge – a platform is floating in the air), GIVE BALL TO GOLDIE, GOLDIE, GO TO PLATFORM, GOLDIE, PUT BALL ON PLATFORM (as Goldie places the ball on the platform you sense a bone-chilling silence descending upon
Rama), S, S, S, U (edge of cater), E, D (narrow platform), ENTER (doorway to cavernous room).
STEP ON BLACK SIDEWALK, N (Paris – continue north until you reach the base of stairway alpha), N, N (northern hub), D (half kilometre long corridor), N (spherical room), PUSH WHITE DISK, PUSH RED DISK (the sphere rotates), N (triangular door), N (north face), U (by airlock), OPEN OUTER DOOR, ENTER, CLOSE OUTER DOOR, OPEN INNER DOOR, EXIT (aft corridor), E (engine room),
EXAMINE HATCHWAYS, GIVE GLOBE TO GOLDIE, GOLDIE, ENTER BLUE HATCHWAY, PUSH BUTTON (Goldie inserts the globe and mass levels are rising), W, N, N (bridge).
You execute manoeuvres to leave Rama. Skipper, „You’ve done a great job!“ Rama uses the sun’s gravity to slingshot itself out of our solar system.