The mystery at the heart of Return of the Obra Dinn doesn’t matter as much as putting together the missing pieces with only fragments of information. You’ll only get a brief snapshot of each individual scene, and trying to uncover all the identities and fates can be a trying experience — especially if you miss some of the best, most useful clues in the game.
Here, I’m going to provide a whole bunch of hints and tips to hopefully push you in the right direction. Keep these low-spoiler tips in mind while exploring the Obra Dinn, and you’ll be able to identify everyone without resorting to a full, 100% complete listing — like the complete crew manifest guide we’ve got right here.
Hints, Tips & Hard-To-Find Info To Help You Solve Everything
Before getting into the specific information, here are a few general tips.
- Before attempting to piece together everything, go through every memory in the game. You can exit the Obra Dinn and restart from the end if you desire.
- After experiencing all the memories, restart from the beginning. Mark every cause of death — and be specific. You have to select the weapon used.
- Some crewmates will have multiple options for cause-of-death. If you don’t know for sure, try different options.
- If a crew mate falls overboard, make sure to list that they fell overboard. You don’t need to say if they drowned.
- Check the crew manifest and read the glossary. Crew will almost always stick to their assigned deck — seaman work below deck, officers near the top, and topmen usually stick to their assigned positions.
- You can often tell who-is-who by looking at uniforms, nationalities, and who they’re standing near. The Stewards are often standing next to their boss — for example.
- You’ll need to slowly piece together identities, one at a time. Listen to their language — that’s an easy clue for an identity.
- You won’t always have complete information. Make guesses and assign names early, then unravel the identities — once you have three correct crewmen marked, they will lock into place.
- After completing all memories, start from the beginning (chronologically) and work your way through the events for a much easier understanding. With most of the fates marked, it will be easier to guess identities and secure confirmed correct matches.
- During memories, make sure to check everywhere. Sometimes, you’ll be able to explore upper or lower decks — check your map and see where crewmates are standing. The offices are usually assigned to specific rooms.
It’s also important to check the map often. As you progress, circles will appear on your ship map — these point you to new chapters. If you’re lost, just open the map and look for new pointers.
Hard-To-Find & Rare Clues:
There are some clues that are extremely easy to miss. Here’s a quick rundown of clues that are extremely useful for identifying the crew.
- The rooms aren’t the only locations marked for their exact occupants. In some chapters, you’ll be able to find crewmates sleeping or standing near their hammocks. Each hammock is numbered — this number corresponds directly with the crewmates spot on the crew manifest in your book.
- Chapter 2 is where you’ll be able to identify many of the seamen in the crew.
- Some of the crew and passengers made it out alive. But how can you determine their location? If you manage to correctly label about 50% of the crew, you’ll get a special letter from the survivors — a letter that states they escaped to Africa.
- Some of the crew simply vanish. What happened to them? If a crewmate disappears in a time of conflict, usually that can only mean one thing — they fell overboard.
- During the execution, it looks like all four men shot and killed the victim. It looks that way, but if you look closer, you’ll see that only one of the four shots actually struck the hanging man. The rest of the bullets narrowly missed their mark. You can also blame the Captain for this incident, as he gave the order.
Some other important tips to keep in mind: not all fates require a culprit. Clawed, spiked, speared, burned, and some others are self-explanatory. ‘Foreign’ is essentially useless. You can state that a beast is responsible for a death, even if it is only indirectly.