Zugzwang’s Tower

So, you’re here. I hope you’re ready, and did everything I told you in the Seasonal Garden. Now what? You need to catch, in order, for one side:technic-pawn

  • 8 pawns
  • 2 knights
  • 2 bishops
  • 2 rooks
  • 1 queen
  • 1 king

In the tower, forget everything you know. Or not. HAHA!! Seriously though, equip either the mystic or the technic pawn pinchers. Now, what base and cheese? Here are your choices:

  1. High attraction base paired with gouda and an attraction charm (Wooden Base with Target, Cheesecake Base)
  2. High power base paired with SB+ and, well, you don’t need any charms with this setup.

The pawn pinchers of each side will attract that side more frequently than the other. It’s not 100%, but it’s high. Your goal: catch 8 pawns of one of the sides. Got that? Good.

All right, you’ve hunted for a few hours, you’ve got your 8 pawns of whatever side you chose, and you’vetwrampdec noticed your amp has decreased by 1% for every pawn caught (refer to the chart to the left). Now, you need to catch your knights. This is where you need to switch your trap to ZFM. Base? If using Gouda, use your Wooden with Target to maximize your attraction. If using SB+, use the regular WOODEN base. Seriously.You do NOT care about FTC’s here. You DO care about FTA’s.

You need two knights. They aren’t as easy, and you’ll notice that you’ll start catching pieces from the OTHER side. Just keep plugging away. Knights drop your amp by 3%.

Once you have the knights, keep the same setup and go for bishops, who also drop your amp by 3% when you catch them. Keep moving, keep hunting.rook

Next are the rooks. SAME STORY as before, except rooks drop your amp by 5%…getting more serious now.

technic queenOnce you have the rooks, and it may take some time to get them; they’re not easy…it’s time to hunt the Queen. If you’re lucky, your amp will still be around 90-100%. If you’re UNLUCKY, like my wife her first run, your amp will be around 45%. You use the same setup as before on the Queen, nothing different. Once you catch her, however…

…change your setup! The King is extremely weak. Look in your inventory. Chance are, you haven’t listened to me 100% so you probably have some relatively weak tactical trap. If you’ve listened to me 100%, your weakest tactical trap is probably your Ambush. Ideally, you want to use the Venus Mouse Trap here (if you’re lucky enough to have the Gingerbread house, use that!). You want to use a weak tactical trap here because you don’t want to catch anymore mice save for the king; other mice will come to your trap, they’ll pillage you, but as long as you attract them BUT don’t technic_kingCATCH them, your amp will not move and you’ll have a better chance of getting the king.

Once you have the king, you are booted to the Seasonal Garden, your amp reset to 0%. Wow, that was fun, now wasn’t it? Well, get ready to do it all over again. Eh, you say? Yes, you need to do it again, now on the other side. You need both kings to progress in the game. If you want to craft the Spellbook Base, the best base in the game, you need THREE of EACH king. Yikes!

So, what else do these kings drop, you ask?

Loot: Hunting ResearchMystic CrystalMystic Curd

Torn Mystic Page

Loot: Droid JetpackSatchel of GoldTechnic Mould

Torn Technic Page

Those Mystic/Technic pages are the loot drops you need for the Spellbook base. The Mystic Curds and Technic Moulds are used to make Checkmate Cheese for capturing the Chess Master. So, what are the crystal and jetpack? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Formula: Blackstone Pass Trap
Description Qty Cost (Each)
Blackstone Pass Trap Blueprints 1 1,100,000
Mystic Crystal 1 Loot
Coal 4 Loot
Total 1,100,000
Formula: Obvious Ambush Trap
Description Qty Cost (Each)
Droid Jetpack 1 Loot
Droid Parts 1 7,750
Obvious Ambush Trap Blueprints 1 1,100,000
Total 1,107,750

These two traps are nearly identical in nature, and both are slightly less powerful than ZFM. So, what’s the catch? Blackstone Pass Trap has an increased effectiveness against Mystic Mice/decreased effectiveness against Technic Mice. Obvious Ambush is the opposite. Since you have to make multiple runs to make the spellbook, the developers thought they’d give you a leg up on future runs. Please note that the Crystal and Jetpack are not automatic drops from the king. Plenty of people obtained all the loot for the Spellbook without ever having built these two traps. Just sayin’.

So what’s so special about the Spellbook base anyway?

Formula: Spellbook Base
Description Qty Cost (Each)
Master Bindings 1 Loot
Spellbook Base Blueprints 1 936,000
Torn Mystic Page 3 Loot
Torn Technic Page 3 Loot
Tiny Platinum Bar 6 60,000
Total 1,296,000


As you can see, it has the highest power of any base in the game, not to mention a mouse-crippling 14% power bonus. It even has a little attraction and good amount of luck. Essentially, it is a tremendous base.

You may notice there is one ingredient that is mentioned in the formula that I haven’t mentioned yet: the Master Bindings. This is dropped by the Chess Master. Chess Masters don’t appear in the Tower until you catch a king. “But Matt, it’s me, silly little monkey over here! When you catch a king, you’re kicked out!!”

That’s right silly little monkey, so we need a way to stay in there! That ticket is using Checkmate cheese and arming it AFTER you catch your queen. You need to catch the king using Checkmate cheese and you’ll stay in the tower, able to catch the Chessmaster. Use the trap setup you used for the QUEEN when going after the Chessmaster.

Formula: Checkmate (3 pieces)
Description Qty Cost (Each)
Mystic Curd 1 Loot
Technic Cheese Mould 1 Loot
Ionized Salt 12 450
Total 5,400


Formula: Checkmate (9 pieces)
Description Qty Cost (Each)
Mystic Curd 1 Loot
Technic Cheese Mould 1 Loot
Magic Essence 6 Crafting
Ionized Salt 12 450
Total 5,400

Good luck!


As mentioned in the below comments by a loyal reader of the site, subsequent visits to the Tower after you’ve made it to the Crystal Library make it possible to collect scholar charms from the Chess Master. You have to purchase an uncharged scholar charm from the charm shop in the Crystal Library and have it armed when you catch the Chess Master (you get a free Scholar Charm when you do your required research assignment to catch Zurreal, but that is all on the Crystal Library page).

What is the purpose for catching more than one Zurreal? Well, there isn’t really, unless you want to obtain a bronze or silver crown on the guy and don’t have the patience to do that final research assignment over and over. That being said, Tower Runs aren’t exactly easy either. Most of you will stop at catching one Zurreal and never look back anyway.

3 comments on “Zugzwang’s Tower

  1. Might want to mention too that when going after the Chessmaster, having an uncharged scholar charm equipped is reccommended sice that would turn the charm into a charged scholar charm capable of catching Zurreal.

    I know you receive one for completing the library assignment that lets you buil Zurreal’s folly so this isn’t necessary, but for those who want more Zurreal, charging charms via the Chessmaster os a much more preferable method.

    And it’s also a free service for catching him, so why pass up the opportunity? The Chessmaster isn’t all that hard to catch so using other charms for him isn’t really necessary.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I haven’t updated this portion of the guide since the Tower was released, which was over a year before the Crystal Library was released. Sometimes areas, like the Crystal Library, somewhat affect other areas upon release. I try to catch them when I can, but never bothered to for this, mainly because outside of going for crowns, there is little reason to catch more than one Zurreal. It’s a good to note though, and something I’ll add to the charm page (whenever I get around to creating it).

      Please do note that the guide is written and aimed at those in the area for the first time. Additional trips through, I usually have to assume that the player has the mechanic down. I’m here to guide and keep people in the middle of the road, not so much as to tell them every part of the game. 🙂 There has to be some mystery to the game, yes? 🙂

      Thanks again for the comment and for reading the site.


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