So you've decided to brave the horrors of yokai and a daunting language barrier to experience the psychological thriller of Ikai. Furthermore, you've made your way diligently throughout most of the game avoiding demons, making seals, and navigating with ease. But there's a certain puzzle near the end that confuses and stumps you since it is so out of place from everything else. Here is our Ikai tile pattern puzzle guide.
Ikai Tile Pattern Puzzle Guide – Where Is This Puzzle?
First, a bit of context as to where this puzzle is located. The puzzle shows up some time after your encounter with the spider lady Once you have solved the shamisen puzzle – the “odd one out” puzzle set within the large spider lair – a scripted sequence will put Naoko into a nebulous otherworldly vignette. This is the abstract sequence where you run out of a room that is on fire, through a hallway with multiple eyeballs following you through rips in the walls, followed shortly by slipping into the puzzle room itself through a rotating wall.
Ikai Tile Pattern Puzzle Guide – Solving The Puzzle
So here is the situation. You're stuck in a small room. There appears to be an emaciated corpse in the corner that moves around when you're not looking. The room is completely devoid of distinct items, notable landmarks, or characteristics.
All there is is the puzzle hanging on other side of the room. It's a large square evenly divided into nine equal sections. When you interact with this square you can see black markings on each of these squares in multiple patterns. The only square that is completely blank is the square in the lower right corner. And your paint brush is active. You cannot paint outside of this square. You cannot change any of the markings in the other squares. Your only guide is an outline on the square in a # shape.
Right off the bat, this puzzle is unlike any other you have seen in Ikai up to this point. All past puzzles involving your brush just had you quickly and/or carefully tracing a pattern on a seal. Worse still, this room provides no clues to any sort of pattern you need to imitate. If you mess up enough times, Naoko will just say you “need to look at the bigger picture to think of the correct answer.”
So what exactly is the solution? Well, even in context, it's a bit obtuse. First, the # is meant to tell you you need to draw a certain pattern of straight lines. If you draw outside of these lines Naoko gets frustrated and tells you to restart. As for what “the bigger picture” is, the closest reference I can find is the board game Tsuro, a competitive game where players draw straight lines on a tile and line them up with other players. If a certain number of their lines overlap, they are eliminated.
But Tsuro is a contemporary experience not based in anything from the era of feudal Japan so – after a ton of trial and error and shear dumb luck – here is the solution. First, paint a straight line upwards from the center-left, then paint the upper left line, making an upside down reverse “L” shape. Next is a more overt L shape starting from the center right line at the time of the line and ending on the lower right line. If done right, the frame should pop out, revealing a hallway for you to continue the game. Enjoy.