Monoliths, or Tablets, are slabs of engraved stone, standing upright in multiple hidden locations across the World. There are a total of 16 Monoliths, 4 in each zone. The player need to find and activate all of them in order to complete the Librarian sidequest.

Completing the sidequest will reward players with the Ochre outfit (Librarian's Cloak), as well as the Librarian achievement. It would also cause a part large paragraph of text to appear on a far wall of the monolith gallery--the full text of which can be found in the Library.

The monoliths and the bonus text, if deciphered, offer the largest (and only) source of written lore in the game. (Though it is not necessary to decipher them to complete the sidequest.)

Role

Monoliths first appear blank, but can be activated by The Drifter or Alternate Drifter. Once activated, the monoliths will display cryptic messages on the history of the surrounding areas, written in a glyph language that needs to be deciphered by the player.

Players can keep track of how many monoliths they have activated at the Monolith Gallery.

Backstory

There is no in-game evidence supporting the monoliths were built by an ancient culture from prehistory. However, there is some evidence that they have been built in more recent times:

  • The condition of the monoliths are relatively pristine, with no signs of heavy wear
  • The language displayed is still in common use (can be seen in the shops)
  • The technology works consistently, and is ubiquitous across different zones of the continent
  • The writings reference to the current state of each area.

Furthermore, The Librarian , a drifter who studied the history of the world, is implied to be the one who wrote the text.

Alphabet

The Alphabet of Hyper Light Drifter
A O.png B H.png C.png D T.png E U.png F V.png G K.png I Y.png L.png M N.png P.png R W.png S.png &.png Comma.png
A B C D E F G I L M P R S & ,
O H T U V K Y N W

Understanding the alphabet

The table above shows the letters of the alphabet and their corresponding in-game glyphs.

Many of the glyphs represent two letters instead of only one. The missing letters (J, Q, X, and Z) do not have any corresponding glyphs as far as we know. There are no spaces between each glyph. Glyphs are read from top-to-bottom, similar to traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to name a few, as opposed to left-to-right like English.


Decoding the Monoliths

There are four monoliths per zone, their meanings are as follows:

East Zone

9. AN ISOLATED PEOPLE FEARFUL AND OBSESSED
10. OFFERING OF A GREAT CLEANSING FLAME
11. A POISONED, MADDENED HOMELAND
12. FRAGILE BALANCE SCORCHED, UNDONE

North Zone

1. TRANSCENDENCE FAITH IMMORTALITY / IN MORTALITY
2. RIFTS CRAFTED, DANGEROUS POTENTIAL
3. A FOUNDATION FOR FAITH & VIOLENCE
4. A LOSS OF SELF, A NARROW PATH TRAVELED

West Zone

13. PRECIOUS MOMENTS CAPTURED BY CRYSTAL
14. A STILLNESS OF MIND, SKILL HONED SHARP
15. MIDNIGHT LOOMING
16. TRAPPED BY DESPERATION TO REMAIN


South Zone

5. OVERWHELMING WONDERS AND POWER
6. DESPERATE HUNGER FOR PROGRESS
7. DISTORTION OF LIFE, DEVOURING BODY
8. THE FIRST VICTIM OF THE INVASION

The Library

The text appearing in the Library, after finding all 16 Monoliths. Portions of this text can also be found in the Monolith Gallery

HARNESSING A GREAT WELLSPRING, A PERFECT IMMORTAL CELL WAS CRAFTED TO BE IMBUED WITHIN ALL SENTIENT LIFE A NOBLE GOAL, THOUGH SUCH A POWER TERRIFIED OTHERS, AND BROUGHT RUIN AS ITS PURPOSE WAS TRANSMOGRIFIED THE ABHORRENT CELL STILL FESTERS DEEP IN THE CHAMBERS OF THIS WORLD

Interpretations

Gallery

Sources

Fan Theories

The Hyper Light Drifter Story Analysis Experience - on /r/HyperLightDrifter (Reddit)

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