Baba is Hint: a Spoiler-free Guide - The Lake

Rules you should know

If you’re reading this page of the guide, I’ll assume you have completed the tutorial levels and that you understand all the concepts therein. But just in case, I’ll write all those concepts here. If any of them feel shaky to you, return to the appropriate levels to experiment some more.

  • [Noun] is [Property]: It’s what the whole game is about so if you don’t get this you’re going to have a bad time.

  • You (Levels 02 and 06)

  • Win (Levels 01, 02, and 03)

  • Stop (all of them): Probably one of the easiest concepts.

  • Push (levels 04 and 05)

  • Sink (level 03): You didn’t get a lot of time with this one so it’s okay if you only have the basic understanding.

  • Hot and Melt (level 05): Another set you didn’t get a lot of time with, like Sink.

  • Defeat (levels 04 and 06)

  • How to create two statements with only one is.

Reminder: Bold text refers to rules themselves. Italics refer to the objects affected by rules - every one of them in the level. Regular text only refers to specific instances of those objects. “Quoted text” refers to the actual noun, property, and connecting word text you can interact with on the level. All hints are invisible until you highlight text.


The Lake

It’s the only place you can go.

It’s the only place you can go.

Initial Lake Map

Initial Lake Map

In each world you’ll find a dozen or so puzzles, but you don’t need to solve them all. At the top right corner (you can see in the second pic) the game tells you how many puzzles you need to complete to clear the world. Clearing worlds gives you a flower and sometimes unlocks new worlds. Flowers are used to unlock gates, such as the one you already see on the overworld. Solving every puzzle in a world - completing the world - is not necessary in order to progress normally through the game.

You only need to clear 8 of the 15 puzzles in The Lake, so there’s no need to solve them all. If you want to complete the world, but some of the puzzles give you trouble, you can always leave and come back. Still, I recommend completing through level 11 on your first visit so you understand all the concepts you need. You might need to return later for levels 12-13 and the extras.

Notice also how the map is divided into three distinct sections. Sometimes when a world is divided like this, it means each section deals with a particular puzzle element. The opening section deals with the connecting word And, the top section teachers Open and Shut, and rightmost section teaches transformations. (Not every single level will be about new material, though.)


Stuck elsewhere? Navigate using the following pictures:


Lake 01: Icy Waters

Map 1-1.jpg

Difficulty: *
About the Level

  • New material: noun Jelly, the jellyfish surrounding the flag; and connecting word And.

What properties does Baba have? So, how does And work? Just for fun, try replacing the “Sink” with “Wall.” What happens here? Is it different from what you expected? How does the game parse a sentence with And?

Hints

Gentle Nudge: Can you find a use for pieces of text without forming them into a rule?


Lake 02: Turns

Difficulty: **
About the Level

  • New material: nouns Crab, Star. The Star should be easy to find. The Crab is outside the Walls.

This is the first level you will encounter which seems to be divided into smaller puzzles. Here, the first part is getting into the pen with the Baba is You rule, and the second part is getting to the Flag. If the size of the puzzle is overwhelming, break it down into its smaller parts.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: You is never going to walk across the Walls.

Bigger Nudge: The Skull is the only object blocking your way to the left side which has properties you can't change. Prioritize getting rid of that one, not the Rock or the Star.


Lake 03: Affection

Difficulty: ***
About the Level

  • New material: nouns Keke, Love, Algae. Love is easy - it’s the heart. Algae is the green plants surrounding Love. Keke is the red blob with feet. Also new property Move.

This is the only level in The Lake which has the property Move. You can experiment to see how it works now, but later levels will really give you the knowledge you need. In fact, this puzzle can be solved without the use of Move at all! I’ve found four solutions to this one, and I recommend trying them all out if you can.

Probably Intended Solution - do this first

Gentle Nudge: Which exact object cannot cross the Algae?

Bigger Nudge: Keke seems to be stuck on its path. Is there any way that can be changed?

Alternate Solutions

Alternate Solution #1: Can you push out the Love without Keke's help?

Alternate Solution #2: Imagine there was no Love in the Algae. What other way can you win the level by stepping on Love?

Alternate Solution #3: Can you find a way to get a Baba into the compartment with Love?


Lake 04: Pillar Yard

Difficulty: **
About the Level

  • New material: noun Pillar.

Remember that finding out which rules can and can’t change will save you a lot of time discovering the solution. When rules are placed flat against the left or top edge of the level, you can certainly add properties to them, but you can’t break the ones that already exist. Rules placed flat against the right or bottom edge can’t be amended at all. (In this level, don’t bother with any of the rules on the edges.)

Hints

Gentle Nudge: You does need to get into that square of Stars.

Bigger Nudge: This level is only possible because there are multiple Pillars.


Lake 05: Brick Wall

Map 1-5.jpg

Difficulty: **
About the Level

This is another level whose solution turns out to be useful in a number of later levels.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: Baba will never get into the pen with the Flag.

Bonus: Can you get You into the pen, though?

Lake 06: Lock

Map 1-6.jpg

Difficulty: *
About the Level

  • New material: nouns Key and Door. Should be obvious which is which. Also properties Open and Shut.

Push that first Key into the Door. What does this tell you about Open and Shut? It seems similar to the concept of Sink. What are the differences between Open/Shut and Sink. There are also similarities to Hot and Melt. But what are the differences there?

Hints

Gentle Nudge: It is very natural that Key is Open and Door is Shut. Perhaps you've made the assumption this is always the case?


Lake 07: Novice Locksmith

Map 1-7.jpg

Difficulty: **
About the Level

There is no way to amend the three rules at the top or the Flag is Win at the bottom. Work with what you have.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: To get through the first Door, remember your solution to the Overworld Level 07.

Bigger Nudge: You will have to get past both Doors somehow, but why should you get past them the same way?


Lake 08: Locked In

Difficulty: **
About the Level

This level has a very simple solution, but it is something that has never been done yet. This solution will be used as part of many puzzles later.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: The only property you can use in the pen is Stop.

Bigger Nudge: Perhaps you've made an assumption on how to build X is Y statements that prevents you from seeing the solution.

Even Bigger Nudge: Only Wall is Defeat.


Lake 09: Changeless

Map 1-9.jpg

Difficulty: *
About the Level

Knowing the solution to the previous level makes this and future levels with the same trick much easier. I’ll call these tricks “transformations.” Notice this level begins with two such transformative statements. Is there something about these statements which can override one another? What takes precendent in this situation?

Hints

Gentle Nudge: You can't make Rock is Flag so long as Rock is Rock.


Lake 10: Two Doors

Map 1-10.jpg

Difficulty: ***
About the Level

  • New material: noun Hedge, used as an alternative to Wall.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: The title of this level should give you a hint as to what to do.

Bigger Nudge: If you're struggling, it might be because you're paying too much attention to Key is Push and not Key is Open.


Lake 11: Jelly Throne

Difficulty: **
About the Level

Does anyone out there know why the Flag is Push rule exists? I haven’t found a purpose for it in this level. This game is not known for red herrings - for extra text that doesn’t somehow get used. Let me know if you figure it out.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: You can't change the rule Baba is You, but there are conspicuous gaps around the rule.

Bigger Nudge: Just because an object has one property, doesn't mean it should have it. I'm not talking about just the Flag.


Lake 12: Crab Storage

Map 1-12.jpg

Difficulty: *****
About the Level

This was probably the first level I found so tricky that I had to come back to it later. In hindsight it is nowhere near the difficulty of the later worlds, but at this point in your journey it is fine to leave harder puzzles for another time. You can easily clear this world without even seeing this puzzle.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: What noun do you need to be Win? What prevents you from making that rule?

Bigger Nudge: If you try to push "Baba" up to make Baba is Win, what exactly stops you? Can this problem be overcome?

Another Big Nudge: If you try to push "Crab" up to make Crab is Win, what happens that stops you? How about this problem - can it be overcome?

Specific Hint: The initial state of Lake 09 should tell you something about how to solve this puzzle.


Lake 13: Burglary

Map 1-13.jpg

Difficulty: ***
About the Level

Sometimes rules are completely blocked off and sometimes they are completely accessible. But you’ve probably seen, and will continue to see, rules which only are partially accessible. That part which is accessible probably has to be amended somehow.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: If you're struggling to get out of the pen, perhaps you've made an assumption about the rule Shut.

Bigger Nudge: This level is set up to make you think something about the Door that is not true.


Lake Extra 1: Submerged Ruins

Difficulty: ****
About the Level

In every world, there is at least one extra level. Solving particular levels will unlock these extra levels. Sometimes these extra levels are repeats of earlier levels you solved, with a small change to make the solution harder. Other times, such as this level, the extra level takes the solution or concept of a previous level and throws a twist at you. There is no world that requires you to play any extra level, so if they’re too hard, leave them for another time.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: Yes, you will have to push the Text at the top right to form both Crab is Defeat and Flag is Win.

Bigger Nudge: Your solution to Lake 05 should remind you that two statements can deal with either the same noun or same property. How can you use that here?

Specific Hint: You will need to create the win condition while You is in the pen with the Flag.


Lake Extra 2: Sunken Temple

Map 1-E2.jpg

Difficulty: *****
About the Level

With extra levels that look almost exactly the same as previous levels, you usually have to come up with a wildly different solution. Don’t assume you will do the same thing here and expect to win.

Hints

Gentle Nudge: In the solution to the previous level, do you notice how you had an extra word that wasn't currently being used?

Bigger Nudge: What are the things you can do with this leftover word? Are there ways to use it that aren't putting it in a sentence?

Another Big Nudge: Only You cannot overlap with the Crab... of which there is only one.

Specific Hint: You need to get something into the pen after the Crab is Defeat, not before.


World Complete!

You have to clear this world to get anywhere, and when you do, only one path opens to you: Solitary Island. If you feel you’ve grasped the concepts in The Lake, feel free to move on.

In the meantime, do these hints work? Anything spoil too much? Do the hints actually help or are they too vague? Maybe you thought of a really good hint yourself? Send them to me. (Don’t comment them below.) You can find me @keyofw on Twitter or keyofw on Reddit. DM me anytime.