Solution to Divided is Us
Answer: SECOND GRAND ALLIANCE
by Evan Chen and Jakob Weisblat
Figuring out the rules
For this teamwork time puzzle, we are presented with a clone of Arvi Teikari's famous puzzle game Baba Is You, except instead of one player, there are up to four players. Each player has a separate screen.
After playing with the easy first level,
we figure out the goal is for player 1 (
YOU) to reach a
and that the rules in one screen affect all other screens.
(It is neither necessary nor sufficient
for other players to reach a
The other rules of the game are fairly similar to the original,
although there are some differences;
most notably, NOUN IS NOUN statements are not valid.
To be specific, the properties that appear in the game
(which are drawn inside colored blocks) are:
YOU: player 1 controls this icon.
WIN: the level is won once an icon controlled by player 1 starts a turn on this cell.
TWO: player 2 controls this icon.
THREE: player 3 controls this icon.
FOUR: player 4 controls this icon.
PUSH: players can push this block around.
STOP: block cannot be moved or moved into.
DEFEAT: an icon controlled by a player which moves onto this cell is removed.
HOT: if an icon is
MELTand shares a cell with a
HOTicon, the one labeled
SHUT: when an icon with
OPENshares a cell with an icon with
SHUT, both are removed. (Fine print: unlike the original game, all icons on that cell are removed if there are more than one.)
SINK: if an icon with
SINKshares a cell with a different icon, both are removed.
WEAK: if an icon with
WEAKshares a cell with a different icon, it is removed.
There are several nouns, plus two special ones:
TEXTrefers to all text blocks
EMPTYrefers to any cell without a block.
Detailed solutions to the game itself are deferred to the appendix.
Initially, it looks like all the players are playing essentially separate regions.
However, over the course of the levels,
it is gradually revealed that in fact,
the players are actually seeing portions of the same world,
with the four quadrants in reading order,
and in fact players can even move into each others' screens
WALL IS STOP is not active.
Throughout the game, we might also notice that there are some unusually placed flags which are either unnecessary or unusable for the level; the same is true for several dots starting at level 4. In fact, when we put together the world, we see that they give semaphore and braille letters.
This gives us the table below (click an image to enlarge it).
When we complete the eighth level, we get a ninth meta-level which has no game content, but is instead meant for extraction.
- Player 1 just sees a flag,
so the first word of the answer is
SECOND, spelled by the earlier semaphore letters.
- Player 2 just sees a dot,
so the second word of the answer is
GRAND, spelled by the earlier Braille letters.
- Player 3 sees a sequence of icons.
- Player 4 sees the word END, which is not used (it indicates there is no more puzzle content).
We only need to find the last word. Each of the icons on player 3's screen is an icon that appeared exactly once in an earlier level, and was assigned to a player. Since each of the items is four letters long, we index by the player number to get the following table (or alternatively, just use Nutrimatic).
Hence the third word is ALLIANCE. Combining the three words gives the answer SECOND GRAND ALLIANCE.
Appendix: Solving the levels
|Level||Picture||Outline of solve|