Enigmatic Fortress Event Chain Guide
This page is dedicated to explaining the Enigmatic Fortress events following the disabling of the Ancient Vault. This guide is meant primarily as a guide to assist players who don’t know how to “successfully” unlock the Enigmatic Fortress so they may obtain the Playable Guardian version, this guide also serves as a complete breakdown of the event chain, and explains the benefits and consequences of each possible selection in the Enigmatic Fortress events.
DISCLAIMER: This guide is literally a complete spoiler for the Enigmatic Fortress event chain, its story, and progression. If you do not wish to know how to solve the Fortress, DO NOT read any further. This guide is meant for those who either cannot figure it out or who don’t mind the spoilers.
Step 1: Starting The Fortress Event Chain
The first pop-up will be the moment your fleet(s) disable the Enigmatic Fortress, which will be titled “The Enigmatic Fortress” aptly enough. The description will tell you the dangers of entering the fortress (which become true in game if you choose “incorrectly”), and warns the Fortress is “recovering.” You are given two options:
- “Give the go-ahead.”
“Better stay out of that thing.”
Let’s start with Option #2. If you select this, it appears nothing happens and you’re good to go. However, exactly one year after you select this option, the Enigmatic Fortress “recovers” as you were warned and will attack anything within the system again, and the cycle repeats all over again. This option should be avoided if at all possible.
That leaves Option #1, which starts the actual Enigmatic Fortress event chain. This option leads to two special projects on the Enigmatic Fortress.
Step 2: Entering The Fortress
Once you have selected Option #1 of Step 1, you are given a new pop-up message, informing you that your boarding teams have encountered the “timeless invention” of a closed door preventing any entry into the Fortress. You have to figure out a way in, which is when you are provided with two options in the form of two special projects. These special projects are in the same “group” as each other, which means only one of them can be accepted, and the other will become unusable. Your special project options are:
“Local Power Surge”
“Demolitions Team” requires a transport ship while “Local Power Surge” requires a science vessel (scientist is not required). Both special projects can actually get you into the Enigmatic Fortress, but both can have severe consequences as well. Like last time, let’s address each option in order.
If you go with Option #1, “Demolitions Team,” you have only one outcome as a result of the choice, “Fortress: Uncontrolled Demolition.” The Enigmatic Fortress’ airlock is blown up as planned, but “surprise!” there happens to be a deliberate trap behind the door for such an event, where pressurized explosive gas behind the airlock wipes out your boarding team and your transport vessel. You will continue on, but you lost personnel unnecessarily.
Your other choice is Option #2, which is the one that can get you through the airlock without losing anything, but you have to select the right option. Your science ship needs to provide the right amount of power to open the airlock, and you only get one shot. The Fortress design is unfamiliar, so you only have two estimates, and either one could be the correct amount of power required:
“Go with the higher estimate.”
“Go with the lower estimate.”
Let’s try Option #1. It leads to: “Fortress: Repowering.” Oops. Apparently it was enough power to get the Enigmatic Fortress’ own reactor online and repower the entire Fortress. Battle stations!
So it must be Option #2, the lower estimate, which makes logical sense in a way. This one leads to: “Fortress: Airlock Opened.” This is the “close call where you thought it did nothing but took a minute” scenario, but it gets your team in without any loss.
REVIEW: There are four outcomes to this step, from best to worst: (1) you get your team in safely using “Local Power Surge” and choosing “Go with the lower estimate,” (2) you blast your way into the Fortress with “Demolitions Team” and successfully make a way in to continue the event chain, but you loose your transport and boarding team in the process, (3) you reactivate the Fortress by providing it with a lot of power by choosing “Local Power Surge” and deciding to “Go with the higher estimate,” and (4) you do nothing, letting the timer run out, and the Fortress will reactivate.
If you received “outcomes” 1 & 2, you will wait one month before receiving the next step to “solving” the Enigmatic Fortress.
Step 3: Entering The Fortress Tower
This stage is perhaps the hardest. Your boarding team encounters a “bulkhead” they need to get through, and describe their surroundings to you, which gives you four possible courses of action based on what your boarding team has described to you, and you must choose one in order to continue:
“Place metal rings around the remaining two poles.”
“Search for torus-shaped indentations on the bulkhead.”
“Rearrange the metal tori on the poles.”
“Remove center and rightmost poles from the pedestal.”
Only one of these options is correct and will get your team through alive! This means you have a 25% chance of choosing correctly on a random guess. Three of the options lead to the exact same message of “utter disaster” for your team, and the one correct solution tells you that the bulkhead opens… and turns into a horrid smelling purple liquid…
Anyway, given how each of the 3 failures are identical, I’ll just tell you the correct answer: #3, “Rearrange the metal tori on the poles.” This answer is actually a nod to the classic “Tower of Hanoi” game, where you would move a set of “rings” of different sizes from the left pole to the right pole (with one in the middle), with the rule being a larger ring couldn’t set on a smaller ring.
Once you have selected Option #3, you have completed the second part of the Fortress puzzle, leaving one last massive stage with many possible options and outcomes, but you’ll have to wait another month before this happens.
Step 4: Solve The Fortress Pivot In Time
Your teams reach the “center” of the Fortress, and give an interesting report on how the Fortress is powered: by dark matter. Your team reports that the Fortress is slowly recovering despite your efforts and will eventually recover unless you can figure out how to shut down the Fortress’ Dark Matter Core, but you have no idea how it works. Your advisers give you 4 possible solutions in the form of 4 possible special projects, each with their own merits, benefits, and consequences:
“Black Hole Research”
“Home System Research”
“Supply Dark Matter”
Options #1, 2, & 4 will always be available. Option #3 is only available if your empire has access to the Dark Matter strategic resource. Like the previous special projects, allowing the timer to run out is not a good idea, as it will reactivate the Fortress since you allowed the Fortress ample time to recover. So let’s walk through these one at a time in order.
Option #1, “Black Hole Research”: This one is probably the most logical if you don’t have Option #3 available; find a black hole and figure out how dark matter works in one of them. This one will be placed on the nearest black hole to your Capital planet, which means it could be very close or extremely far away depending, often making it very hard to reach, and even if you can reach it in time, it requires not only a science ship, but a level 5 scientist to active. This is perhaps the hardest option of all of them, but it is a guaranteed win as long as the time doesn’t run out on it. This special project, once completed, will grant you new insight into how Dark Matter works, allowing your team on the Fortress to successfully reroute power around the Dark Matter core, stopping the repowering process.
Option #2, “Home System Research”: This option is from the suggestion that studying the star of the Enigmatic Fortress system may reveal how the original Fortress builders got started with the building by identifying the original conditions they had to work in. This special project is perhaps the longest (requiring a scientist), but it can lead to a successful conclusion… if you hit the right button. It leads to a new pop-up message telling you microscopic cameras were found closely orbiting the sun (hard to find them, thus the longer time on the special project). These cameras allow you to view the entire history of the Enigmatic Fortress’ construction. However, it’s way too much to analyze in time to stop the Dark Matter core from repowering so you have to choose which area of construction to focus on:
- “The beginning.”
- “The middle.”
- “The end.”
Like the Fortress Tower multiple choice, only one holds the information you need, and you must choose correctly, with a 33% chance. The question is: when do you think the Fortress builders built the power core? If you select “beginning,” you discover the hull was built first, thus making the data completely useless and you run out of time. If you select “end,” You find out that by that point, the power core must have been built and functional for everything to work, and you run out of time. This leaves “the middle” as the only viable choice. While you never see the actual core construction, knowledge of certain materials used to build it allow your teams to safely disarm the power core, stopping the repowering process.
Option #3, “Supply Dark Matter”: As stated previously, this option is only available if your empire has the Dark Matter resource, however, this is the simplest and easiest solution. While the builders of the Fortress might know more than you, you are not any less clever, using your own Dark Matter to close the loop on the power system (via a science ship with a scientist), stopping the repowering process.
Option #4, “Use Force”: Technically, this is the “easiest” answer, but it’s not the “easiest solution.” This one requires you to have a military ship fire a torpedo through a recently opened empty duct to destroy the core before it can repower. Now, do you really think this is a good idea? It succeeds, and you destroy the core… but you take the Fortress, your military vessel, and basically the entire system along with it. This is the only option that cannot lead to a successful solve, as the purpose is to save the Fortress without letting it repower.
REVIEW: Simply put, three out of the four special projects are completely viable. Option #1 is very hard to do, but it is guaranteed. Option #3 is the easiest and simplest to succeed with, but hardest to obtain because you need a Dark Matter resource. Option #2 is the “safest” course, but definitely the trickiest and longest on the road to success, where you must select “the middle” part of the Fortress’ construction history to succeed. Option #4 destroys the system, so just don’t do it.
Therefore, following this guide, if you can succeed by: (1) taking either route through the first two special projects, “Demolitions Team” and “Local Power Surge,” but only “Local Power Surge” plus “lower estimates” gets you through without losses, (2) select “rearrange the metal tori on the poles” for the Tower message, and (3) Choose Options #1 or 3 for the final “Pivot” special projects or select Option #2 then choosing “the middle” button.