Out of nowhere, I was getting attacked by a bird. A giant bird, with a sharp, bony face and huge talons. A monster that would screech down out of the sky and grab me if I spent too long in the open air. I had a problem with this bird already. Seconds ago, when we first met, this bird had stolen a large golden sphere that I was using as part of a machine that allowed me to shift the sun and moon around in the sky. Without the sphere grinding around in its neat orbital track, I could not control the heavens – and, by extension, the magical shadows the heavens cast on the magical wall of the magical castle I was visiting. Most things are either keys or locks in Rime, but why take the delight out of it? What keys! What locks!
Pursued by the bird, I found myself in a vast stretch of land dominated by three towers. A glyph explained that these towers were weapons for zapping the bird with electricity, and so, spending as little time in the open as possible, I worked my way through each of the towers in turn, collecting keys that would open their front doors – one for the first tower, two for the second – and then coaxing the ancient machinery back to life, one ingenious, playful puzzle at a time.
It was a wonderful dance of ritual and surprise, of expectations confounded and confirmed. Each tower did what I was expecting it to do, but each worked its predictable magic in a way that I had not foreseen. And each tower did all this by operating on a truly massive scale: huge pieces of masonry shook and crumbled, vast shifts in the landscape occurred as I worked. And yet, the question – why did the sky grow darker with every advance I made?