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Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key

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Rating: 4.4/5 (130 votes)
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Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key

In Alex and Eugene Plotnikov's point-and-click adventure Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key, you play a cat in an enchanted flying tea-kettle (no, you're ridiculous) who's trying to rescue their dear wizard who was locked up in a dungeon for, well, wizardry. You'll need to hunt for a key to help him escape, which is easier said than done given the propensity for puzzles this jail and the surrounding area appear to have. To play, just click, and your cursor will highlight yellow when it passes over something you can interact with. You can use items in your inventory by clicking them to pick them up, then clicking again wherever you think they should go. There are a surprising amount of scenes to explore here, so it's easy to get overwhelmed at first, though once you know where everything is, things start to become clearer. Most of the puzzles are fairly straight-forward, requiring you to use the proper item in the right place, or unlock doors by spotting the proper codes for them, though not every object has an immediately obvious use. What makes Aldo and Gus so charming, however, is its wonderful surreal style, using simple shapes and bright colours to create imaginative environments that feel like something out of a Tim Burton film. It's weird in an eye-catching way that makes you want to explore it, though with so much going on in some scenes, it isn't often clear at a glance what's useful, so you'll want to waggle your cursor everywhere in case you missed something. That, combined with the way the cursor's colour can get washed out in some places making the highlight hard to see, makes the game feel a little rough around the edges, but Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key is still a wonderfully strange little game that makes us hope we see more of this pair down the road.

Play Aldo and Gus: The Skeleton Key


I'm stuck. I have:

a green bell
a spiked mace

I think I need a code for

the lock/puzzle in the clock tower. I think the symbols represent numbers 1-5, but I haven't seen anything that seems like a clear clue to that. There are different numbers of a lot of things, all over the place, but nothing really seems to match up.

Information overload! There's just so much scenery in this game, I don't know how to tell what is or isn't a clue! Help! (No solutions please, I just want a solid hint of what I should be looking at.)


Thanks, Dora! I didn't think I could click there. :)

prasanth.akundi April 15, 2015 11:09 AM

Look carefully to see where your cursor highlights.


I did. The highlighting is inconsistent. There's probably a pattern to what lights up and when, but as the game review says, there's some polish that seems to be missing.

Anyway, I finished the game an hour ago. Thanks, though.


i played this a couple days ago when bart bonte posted it...
loved it... yep :)


For the clock tower door, I just brute forced it. Only remembered 2 symbols, though.

The top was 3 dashes, and third from the top was two dots.


Very nice, one of the most enjoyable point-and-clicks I've played in a while. A couple of parts could have used better cursor highlighting to let you know they're clickable. Other than that, it's well done, with beautiful, surreal landscapes.


It's quite like an elaborate version of an escape from Flash512 game devoloper. You place odd bits and pieces in the correct odd part to get your next bit. And that's the whole of the game, just correctly placing bits.

wyatt April 16, 2015 6:52 AM replied to Brian Anderson

back in the old days of adventure games (think MYST) one had to take pages and pages of notes... i still do that...
no need to force a puzzle if you already recorded the clue :)

valhalla076 April 17, 2015 9:26 AM

I am out, but just curious if there were multiple endings? I had items, clues and puzzles that I thought would still need to be used/solved. For example:

I never used the saw, the spiky sun looking thing, or the 'Y' shaped thing.

And I never used the colors on the organ or solved the crystal puzzle in the brightly colored world.

Over all I liked the game, just felt like I needed to do more than I did to get him out of jail.

x.inanis April 18, 2015 4:36 AM replied to valhalla076

Hello :)

If you go to the colourful world and go to the screen with the three stakes under the night sky. Do you see anything strange?

the stars are black. Do you notice anything familiar about the shapes of the stars? Several things you would pick up along the way should correspond

The "y" shape should fit into one of the stars. When you have completed the 'starscape' the moon will appear. Here's where it gets a little strange (to me) Try using your saw on something in this scene

Yep, you just sawed off a piece of the moon. Which is a part of another puzzle.

As to the other two things you mentioned, I don't remember off the top of my head at this moment, but I think that solving

the star and moon puzzle, and the subsequent puzzles that can be solved resultant to your success with the star and moon puzzle, would help to lead you to the clues that would resolve these two puzzles

x.inanis April 18, 2015 8:33 AM

I have chosen to keep the solutions and navigation aspects of the walkthrough separate as I have found that hints in how to navigate the environment have aided me to proceed on my own without resorting to reading through the solution themselves. I apologise if it's messy.

Navigation and interaction
White navigational arrows appear at the edges of the screen to show where you can proceed. The pointer arrow changes to yellow when you hover it over an item you can interact with.


Initial explorations and things you can pick up and do immediately

Wizard's cell

You begin in front the prison cell where your companion the wizard is being held. The lock on his cell is properly magicked up. Nothing we can do here for the time being.

Screen with two cells

One screen to the left shows two more locked prison cells (nothing you can do here) and a cone shaped torch handle that you can pick up.

Screen with suit of armour and trunk

One screen to the left of the wizard's cell, brings you to a screen with a full suit of armour- shield, weapon and interactive helmet. You can't seem to do anything with the helmet at this moment, so we'll leave it alone for now. On the lower left of the screen, you can see a trunk but you can't interact with it.

Screen with second suit of armour

Two screens to the right of the wizard's cell, is another suit of armour. Something seems missing from this suit of armour.

perhaps a weapon?

You can pick up a sword from the shield. This might come in handy later! Nothing else to do here. Let's go through the door.

Scene with executioner's block and hangmen's noose

How charming... an executioner's block and a hangmen's noose. But oh, something familiar to the left of the scene.

A torch, much like the one in your inventory, but lit.

you can light your torch here

Scene with three stakes

The landscape gets more and more endearing. It's just as well that you can't do anything here

Scene with mysterious wheel of fortune

That looks like a candle. Perhaps we can light it

Use your lit torch to light the candle. When the candle is lit, the wheel of fortune lights up and the sound as of the tick-tocking of a clock can be heard. Parts of the wheel are coloured differently. Take note of the annotations on these segments of the wheel

Proceed through the door

Scene with clockwork

This looks familiar. Two wheels that look like clockwork cogs, one red and one green dominate the center of the scene. The yellow, blue, purple and orange arrows seem to move their corresponding coloured arrows within the wheels so that they point at various numbers on the wheels. On the left of this scene, a column of glowing symbols can be found on what looks like a door. Clicking on the symbols allows you to cycle through a series of different symbols.

Scene with a red coloured gate

To the left of this scene, is a locked half circle entrance and to the right of the scene a flaming red gate. Nothing can be done here yet

Scene with grey gate

At the center of the scene, you will find a grey gate with symbols on it. Clicking on the symbols causes them to light up. We have no clues to solve this puzzle yet.
To the right of the scene and easily missed is a tombstone with a pattern carved on it. We'll take note of this for later

Further Exploration

Inside the perilous purple room beyond the grey gate

Upon entering the grey gate, you will find yourself in a purple room with a winged skull sarcophagus. To the left of this scene, is the door you came through. One of the eye decorations above the door is glowing blue. You can take it.

Above the four vases, is an indentation that you can interact with. But you can't do anything with it at this moment.

You can proceed right from this scene to a room with two more Sarcophagi and a green bell. It looks useful, but it is tied to the hood on the ceiling.

There might be something in your inventory that will help you retrieve this bell.

use your sword to cut the string to get the bell

The two rooms inside the red gate

Entering the red gate brings to what looks like a torture chamber, replete with iron maiden, tongs, ball and chain. Nothing can be done in the first room, so you can proceed one screen right...

To a room with a torturer's tools in trade neatly displayed on shelves. There is a saw and a vicious looking weapon that you can pick up.

Within the half moon entrance

In the first room you enter after proceeding through the half moon entrance, you can see a ladder and several barrels. You can pick up the crowbar on the rightmost barrel on this scene.

To the left of this scene, are a yellow monster with a missing nose and a green monster.

Further explorations (colourful world):

So you've decided to jump through the portal in the green monster's mouth and have appeared in a much more colourful version of the world you've just been traversing. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Nothing can be done on the screen with the portal. So proceed to the right.

Scene with ladder, half moon entrance and orange tube

On this scene, there is a long snaking orange tube to which is attached a switch that does not seem to do anything at this moment. The mouth of the tube seems to point towards a crystal with a heart embedded in it. Nothing can be done here at this moment, so proceed through the half moon door.

Scene with red gate and inside the red gate (colourful world)

Nothing can be done on the scene outside the red gate. Proceed through the red gate which now looks like the entrance to one scary roller coaster,

In the first room within the red gate, the iron maiden has turned a noticeable shocking green. Bad circulation perhaps? You can open a door on the ironmaiden which reveals a circlet of spikes. You can interact with it but you can't do anything with it at this moment.

Nothing else can be done in this room. Proceed to the second room on the right. This time you can pick up the saw from the shelf. Nothing else can be done here

Scene with grey gate and within the grey gate (colourful world)

There is a bright blue star on top of the left pillar of the grey gate. Between the two pillars is a round shape that looks like a gong. Pick up the star. Proceed through the grey gate. In the first room within the red gate, the four vases have transformed quite a bit. Each jar has a plant in it except for one. Hmm....

It looks like there is a star caught in a spiderweb on the right (above the pink inferno in the mousehole). Pick up the star.

Proceeding right to the second room, it looks like nothing can be done here.

Scene with the organ and its associated room(originally the scene with the clockwork gears)

In the middle of this scene is an organ with coloured triangles. Clicking on the triangles will cause the pipes above them to move in increments. To the right of the organ is an open door (which in the 'normal' world was locked with a code. Nothing can be done here.

Proceed through the door on the right and you will reach a scene with a shelf of gems. The shelf of gems is missing a gem on the second shelf. Nothing can be done here at this moment.

Scene with three stakes

Above the stakes, the night sky can clearly be seen. But three of the stars and a moon are missing

Back to the dungeon

Scene with a hooded figure

On entering the dungeon, the scene has transformed quite a bit. This room used to house the orange suit of armour. Instead, a hooded figure stands in its place. The hooded figure is holding a stick. It appears that you will be able to interact with the top of the stick. Nothing can be done here yet

Scene with mounted blue monster skin

to the left of the scene with the hooded figure, you can to a room with what looks like a mounted monster skin. To the left of this scene is an interesting looking chest. Nothing can be done here at this moment

Scene of Wizard's cell

Where the wizard's cell used to be, a green metal rim seems to have taken its place. The shield on the wall has a shape that looks somewhat like

one of the missing stars in the night sky in the scene with three stakes. Pick up the star.

Scene to the left of the wizard's cell

nothing can be done here at this moment

Back to the normal world again:

After your foray into a very colourful world, when you find you can do no more, you may choose to return to the normal world.

If you have

successfully solved the door puzzle in the clockwork room, you may proceed to 3 new rooms.

Scene with bookshelf and two bats

nothing to do here, please proceed left

Scene with 2 trumpets and a purple bell

there are two banners here, a purple and green one. There are two hooks in front of the banners. On one hook is a purple bell. The other hook can be interacted with, perhaps something should go there

If you have come this far you will probably have an item in your inventory that fits the bill perfectly

a green bell. Place the bell on the hook

Scene with a yeti(?) in a glass casket

I don't know about you, but I don't think that's Snow White....It certainly is white as snow... You can't do anything here at this time

Solutions (in order of solving):

Clockwork puzzle

This clockwork puzzle looks familiar

somewhat like the wheel of fortune thing outside the door

click on the blue, yellow, purple and orange arrows to cause their corresponding arrows to point at the correct numbers as seen on the wheel of fortune thing outside the door

Yellow-> 1; Blue-> 8; Purple->3; Orange-> 5
Correctly solving this puzzle will cause

three banners with patterns on them to lower down and a gong to sound. Take note of these pairs of symbols

Opening the grey gate

These symbols look familiar, where have we seen them before?

on the three banners in the clockwork puzzle room. Select the symbols in correct order

according to the pairs shown on the banners

explosion, lighting, tower, chicken footprint, skull crown

Entering the red gate

there is an indentation on the red gate that looks like something you have in your inventory

put the blue eye into the indentation

The orange suit of armour with a red shield

Earlier when we saw this suit of armour, it looked like this ensemble was missing a weapon. Perhaps we can give it a weapon that would match and complete its ferocious look.

complete the suit of armour with the weapon found on the lower shelf in the second room within the red gate. Doing this will cause the helmet to open and reveal a key

Entering the half circle entrance in the same scene as the red gate

use the key found in the helmet of the orange suit of armour with the red shield to unlock the lock

The grey suit of armour

The grey suit of armour has a bright yellow visor that looks rather out of place. It looks the same shape as something in another scene

The missing nose of the yellow monster in the second room through the half moon entrance. Perhaps we should try to take the visor. Something in your inventory might help

The crowbar perhaps. These suits of armour left standing around do tend to rust and get stuck.

The yellow monster

Provide the yellow monster with its missing nose which can be found

on the grey suit of armour with the bright yellow visor

Completing the monster will cause

The green monster's mouth to activate as a portal to a brave new multicoloured world

Colourful world

The night sky

The night sky seems to be missing 3 stars and a moon. After exploring the colourful world, you should have

three different shaped bright blue stars that match the missing stars. Put the stars into the spaces in the night sky. This will cause the moon to appear. It looks like you can interact with the moon.

use the saw on the moon to take a piece

The hooded figure

The hooded figure is quite a famous one, can you think of any famous hooded figures associated with skulls and skeletons?

the grim reaper perhaps? But a reaper is traditionally pictured with a scythe

perhaps something in your inventory can complete the scythe, something with an arc in its shape

like the moon

use the piece you cut off the moon to complete the scythe. In exchange you will receive a flower

The 4 vases

Of the four vases, only one is not filled. Perhaps you have something in your inventory you can put into one of the vases.

a flower perhaps?

the flower from the grip reaper will do very nicely. When you put the flower in, the pink inferno below the spiders web will vanish and you can proceed through the hole to pick up an orange trumpet head

The orange tube and the trapped heart

Something seems to be missing from the orange tube because clicking on the switch doesn't seem to do anything

While solving puzzles, you might have found something that matches the colour scheme of the orange tube

something like the orange trumpet head found after you have solved the puzzle of the 4 vases. Putting the orange trumpet head at the mouth of the orange tube will allow you to activate the mechanism which causes the crystal to shatter, thereby releasing the heart

The iron maiden

The iron maiden is missing something

something you can put in the circlet in its left cavity (your right)

on a human anatomy, that is where the heart would (vaguely) be

put the heart which you retrieved from the crystal in the first room through the half moon entrance into the circlet. The face of the ironmaiden will open to reveal a trident shaped key.

The red and green chest (in the room with the mounted blue monster skin)

the chest requires a key shaped like a trident.

use the trident key you find in the iron maiden after solving the ironmaiden puzzle. Doing so will reveal a mallot (for striking a gong)

The green gong

When life presents you with percussion instruments....

If you have opened the red and green chest, you should have an item for hitting the gong

the mallot. Striking the gong will cause some coloured hands(?) to stick up at different levels. take a note of this

The organ

The colours on the triangles look familiar

they are the same as the coloured hands that appeared after striking the green gong outside the grey gate. Click on the triangles of each colour till the organ pipes reflect the same levels shown on the coloured hands- from highest to lowest: green, yellow, orange, blue, purple. Correctly solving this puzzle will reveal a purple gem. Take the gem

The shelf of gems

the second shelf is missing a gem. Do you have a gem to put there?

Place the purple gem (that you obtained from solving the puzzle of the organ) on the shelf. Doing so will cause some patterns on the wall to light up. Take note of these patterns

The door next to the clockwork gears

these symbols look familiar

if you solved the shelf of gems in the colourful world, you will have found the solution to this puzzle

三, butterfly looking symbol, 2 boxes diagonally placed, 三. Correctly putting in the symbols will cause the door to open.

The bells

It seems like we can ring these bells. But what order do we ring them in? The shapes of these bells are quite different

one is more angular and one is more round

a triangle and a circle perhaps. Where have we seen triangles and circles?

on the gravestone just next to the grey gate

triangle, circle, triangle, triangle, circle. Ringing the bells correctly will cause some broken glass to shower down around you.

it is likely that anything else nearby with the same vibration frequency will also have shattered. Other glass things perhaps

The indentation next to the sarcophagus with skull and wings
It looks like you can put something into this indentation. Something that you have seen somewhere else before

it looks like that blue glove on the snow white yeti

if you have solved the puzzle of the bells

you will be able to retrieve the glove from the yeti that fits this indentation perfectly. Putting the glove into the indentation will provide you with a key

Save the wizard

All you need is a key.

the key from the sarcophagus with skull and wings will do the trick just fine. With this, you can zip off into the sunset with your wizard and flying kettle.


How do I get the small green bell in the room with Owl?


To get the green bell:

Take the dagger from the shield of the knight in the fourth scene (the one you gave the spiked mace to). Use the dagger to cut down the bell.


Cute game but too tricky in places I thought. Premise and animation were very night though.

Also confusing I ended up with a


in my inventory that I never used.


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