Mysterious Puzzle Box

First Donation Item

Image Puzzle-Box-25.jpg
Description Made from a dense, black metal, this puzzle box seems pretty solid. Stranger still, its presence seems to warp the space around it, almost as though it's trying to protect you.

You heard a shipment of these was stolen from Midgard Industries, but that just opens another layer of questions. What could they possibly want with a huge supply of rune-covered metal puzzle boxes?
Type Gadget (Usable)
Effects +2* Evasion Power
Moderately Increased Chance of Reflexes XP


Zack's House of Coins, originally released as the first unearthly item for season 1 on June 7, 2009 (2 unearthly coin)

Item Summary

You can turn the puzzle box into one of 4 forms. Each form has a an associated buff which you can use, but they require charging up in a different form first.

Item Bonuses Effect
mysterious puzzle box +2* Evasion Power
+2 Chance of Reflexes XP
Music Of The Cube (+20% Reflexes)
mysterious puzzle rod +2* Melee Power
+2 Chance of Strength XP
Black Metal Strength (+20% Strength)
mysterious puzzle tablet +2* Etheric Power
+2 Chance of Will XP
Runic Puzzle (+20% Will)
mysterious puzzle pyramid +2* Ranged Power
+2 Chance of Perception XP
Puzzle's Gaze (+20% Perception)

Additionally, there is one "special" use for each form:

  • Box: allows you to put/remove powders in the box (see Powder Pouring)
  • Rod: grinds the powders in the box
  • Pyramid: gives you red flakes, once per day
  • Tablet: switches between allowing Powder Pouring or receiving red flakes. When you first get the item, it is set to red flakes mode.


Each time you use the box, you gain 10* energy of puzzled out (except for listening to it):

  1. Twist the bottom - Random choice from below
  2. Slide the faces - Random choice from below
  3. Rotate the top - Random choice from below
  4. Try to open a side - Random choice from below
  5. Work on the middle layer - Random choice from below
  6. Reach for the eye - Random choice from below
  7. Stop and listen - Gain Music of the Cube (10 energy) if unlocked
  8. Leave it be - Nothing

Item rewards

Once you discover some of the secrets of the box, you can gain additional items — see powder pouring.

Hammer25.jpg This item is not a component for any kind of crafting
toolbox.jpg This item cannot be salvaged.
GoldCoins.jpg This item cannot be added to a gang stash.

See Short & Sweet Mysterious Puzzle Guide for an abbreviated guide on how to use the puzzle box in all its forms, or see mysterious puzzle for more detailed analysis.


*Secrets of the Cube grants an additional +3 power when this item is equipped, for a total of +5. Additionally, only 5 energy of Puzzled Out is gained instead of 10.

Additional notes on the configuration of the moves:

  • All 4 moves that do nothing line up.
    • Eg. if the second option in one form doesn't accomplish anything, then the second option in every form will accomplish nothing.
  • The moves that change forms are symmetrical.
    • Eg. If the third option in pyramid form turns it into a rod, then the third option in rod form will turn it into a pyramid.
  • When in box form, the three moves that change to other forms are always in the order rod, tablet and then pyramid, in that order. So the move that turns box<->rod is always near the top and box<->pyramid is always near the bottom.

Remaining Mysteries

From Podcast 51:

I think a tiny bit hasn't been figured out from a story perspective at least, or there's a tiny mechanical thing that has some story implications at least, that hasn't been figured out.

From Podcast 32:

There's 20 plus or minus messages [from the mysterious ash], and some mechanical results.

From Podcast 37:

Q: I've toyed with the mysterious ash for a while, and as far as I've got is to get my guy to recognize the patterns as old drone neural nets when he takes the dust sober. Is there a way to progress the sober results further?
A: Good old mysterious ash. There are definitely some other results you can get while sober but that is the end of one train of thought so to speak.
Q: On the etheric side of mysterious ash, all we've ever got the guy to say about it is that it reminds him of the Slags. Is there a way to… progress the etheric side of the mysterious ash results as well? How hard is it?
A: That is the end of that chain.

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