Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, a tactics game for Nintendo Switch colloquially known among fans as XCOM: But Make it Mario, is far more cunning than its 2017 predecessor. One of the first major stumpers comes in Pristine Peaks, the game’s second major region, during “The Winter Palace” story mission, which unlocks after you stop the blizzard from blizzarding.
Located all the way in the area’s northernmost reaches, “The Winter Palace” requires you to solve a few puzzles between battles. The crux of the mission centers around activating two statues, each located in rooms to the west and east of a central chamber.
How to activate the first Winter Palace statue (west side)
The first statue is located at the end of a series of trick hallways: Go through the wrong door, and you’ll end up right back where you started. It’s a maddening test of trial and error (and error, and error, and error). Here’s the solution:
- From the mezzanine, go through the door on your right.
- You’ll end up in a hallway. Along the left wall, you’ll see a trio of cracked walls. Use Beep-O’s Wave ability (the ZR button) to shatter these. The door you’re looking for is in the middle of the three.
- You should end up in a hallway with a statue of a gold rabbid holding a candelabra. Look immediately left. You’ll see another cracked wall. Use the Wave ability again, then go through the door. You’ll end up at the first statue. Activate it, then jump down the ledge and head back into the central chamber.
How to activate the second Winter Palace statue (east side)
Activating the second Winter Palace statue is less of a stumper than the first: You need only navigate your way through an ice-covered hedge maze. The gimmick, which the game tells you up front, is that you can stealthily try to circumvent the four battles that populate the maze, but Hitman this ain’t. You’ll likely end up in a fight. (Pro tip: If you do, don’t run away, or else you’ll get taken back to the start of the maze.) Honestly, you may as well just fight every battle anyway, even if only for the extra star bits — a key material used to upgrade your Sparks.
You’ll need to grab the triangular block from the the northeast corner (see the above screenshot for an exact location), then bring it to the pedestal in the southeast corner. That’ll clear the gate to the second Winter Palace statue, at which point you can make your way back to the central chamber.
How to solve the Winter Palace constellation puzzle
Once you activate the two Winter Palace statues, you’re still not done. On the mezzanine in the central chamber, you’ll have to interact with a gold pedestal. The outer ring doesn’t move at all, so start with the middle ring. Rotate it left until the constellations line up, then switch to the inner ring and rotate it right. The rings will glow gold once you’ve solved the puzzle, at which point you can proceed to the Darkmess tentacle at the end of the castle’s requisite boss fight hallway.