Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers – Game Introduction
Welcome to the Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers walkthrough on Gamezebo. Virtual Villagers 5 is a simulation game played on PC and Mac created by Last Day of Work. This walkthrough includes tips and tricks, helpful hints, and a strategy guide to how to complete Virtual Villagers 5.
Once again we return to the beautiful island of Isola to build a village and solve puzzles. However, this time the villagers’ efforts are thwarted by a tribe of heathens who hamper your attempts to gather food and build the village. A mixture of clever trickery and gentle persuasion is needed to convince the heathens to join you in becoming one big, happy tribe.
Selecting Your Tribe
Start by selecting the 5 starting members of your tribe. To get the best start, select at least one male and one female of reproducing age (18 and older). The younger your adult villagers are, the longer they will be with you, so it’s best to select villagers in their twenties.
In addition, you need at least one child. The child will help you with picking mushrooms and retrieving collectables, which is essential, particularly at the start of the game. My preference goes to children of 8-10 years old, so you have a little while to get started and build your love shack before you have to start reproducing but don’t need to wait absolutely forever to get extra helping hands.
It is tempting to select a nursing mother as that gives you an instant extra tribe member to start with. However, nursing mothers can’t work until the child is weaned at age 2, so in fact you will have less useful tribe members at the start of the game.
Don’t forget to check your tribe members’ likes and dislikes before you select someone. Some dislikes may cause problems when you’re trying to teach them new skills. The worst dislike, in my opinion, is a dislike for running, as your villager will become the slowest walker and worker ever.
Villager Life Cycle
- One year in the life of your villagers is an hour of game time in fast mode.
- Children under 14 do not work, but are the only villagers who can pick mushrooms and gather collectables. It is therefore wise to always have at least one or two children around.
- Between the ages of 14 and 18 children can work, but they can’t yet reproduce.
- Over 18, villagers can start having babies. The reproductive age of the females ends at age 50.
- Mother’s cannot work while they are nursing, which is until the baby is 2 years old. Having a lot of nursing mothers therefore considerably reduces your active work force.
In this installment of Virtual Villagers there are 6 skills your villagers can master. The more experience they get in a skill, the more efficient they will become at it. Skill levels they can reach are apprentice, adept and master.
To start your villager on a skill, just drag and drop your villager on the project you want them to work on. For an unskilled villager, it may take a few tries to get them to pick it up, so keep trying until they get it. Once your villager has successfully started work, they will pretty much keep working by themselves, with the odd break to eat or do laundry or any of the other leisure activities. If your villager has several skills, they will predominantly work on their highest level skill, though they may sometimes decide to go and do something else for a while.
Your villagers’ highest level skill will be listed in the character details at the bottom of the screen when you select the villager. In the villager’s detail menu you can see all the villager’s skills.
In the detail menu you can also set a preferred skill by ticking the box on the right of the skill. Your villager will then focus on this skill, even if it is their lowest level. Note that they won’t always work on this skill, though, just with increased frequency. Also note that it can be dangerous to set a male villager’s preferred skill to parenting, as he could double your population while you’re on the loo.
The farming skill can be improved by picking noni berries, harvesting the crops from the farm and fishing.
The building skill can be improved by building huts, upgrading the statue, clearing out the mausoleum and dismantling the totems. When you’ve completed all puzzles and built all structures, you can still train builders by getting them to inspect and fix the huts, and polishing the statue. Don’t train too many builders at the start of the game, or it will take you a very long time to get any master builders, which are required for some of the puzzles.
To increase the research skill, set your villagers to work in the lab.
The healing skill can be improved by healing sick villagers or setting the villager to study medicine in the hospital.
The best way to increase the parenting skill is by having children, but also by hugging and telling stories. Becoming a master parent seems to have been made a little bit easier in this installment of the series.
The Devotion skill is increased by converting the blue masked heathens and honoring the statue. To get a master devotee once all the blue masks have been converted, the only option available is to honor the statue. However, you can’t get anyone to honor the statue if they don’t already have some skill in Devotion (at least, not that I have found). Therefore, the best way to create new master devotees is to set a former master devotee to teach in the nursery, as this will give the children a head start in Devotion. Then when they turn 14, set their preferred skill to devotion and they will start honoring the statue by themselves.
As with previous installments of Virtual Villagers, there are 6 technologies you can research. You can find these in your tech menu. Each technology has 3 levels, which you can “buy” from the tech menu with tech points accumulated by your scientists. If you hover your cursor over the various technologies in the tech menu, you will be told how many tech points are needed to buy the next level.
The higher your Science level, the faster your villagers accumulate tech points. Although Science is one of the more expensive technologies to acquire, it does pay not to leave it till last, as it will increase the speed at which you can buy the other technologies. Level 2 Science gives you the base of the clothes hut to build.
The higher your advances in Medicine, the lower the rate of disease in your tribe. It also makes your villagers more fertile and live longer.
Advances in Construction allow your villagers to build and repair various structures. At each level of Construction you will get the basis for a new hut. Huts allow you to increase your population to a new level. The max population you can house in your huts is 90, but you can increase your population beyond this by finding complete sets of collectibles, which will add 5 to your maximum population each.
You can also increase your population beyond the maximum by reviving fallen villagers or converting heathens after the maximum has been reached. Note, however, that you won’t be able to have any more babies until the population has dropped below the maximum level again.
Higher levels of Learning allow your villagers to increase their skills faster. Level 3 Learning allows you to build a nursery school. Drag a villager who is a master in at least two skills onto the school and they will start teaching the children. Each time children go to school they will get a little bit of knowledge in one of the skills of your master teacher. This will get them started more quickly and easily when they reach working age.
Higher levels of Food Mastery mean that the food your villagers harvest is worth more. It does not unlock new food sources.
Spirituality increases your maximum Divine Energy and allows you to upgrade the hand statue in the middle.
As always, food is an important but scarce commodity in this game. Before you’ve built your granary, the only food you can get are the mushrooms, which can be collected by children under 14. So carefully look around for any mushrooms.
Once you’ve built the granary (puzzle #2) and dismantled the Hungry Totem (puzzle #3), you will gain access to the noni bush to the east of your enclosure. The fruit will grow back slowly after you’ve emptied the tree. However, you can instantly grow back 20 fruits by putting a swarm of bees onto the bush.
Your third food source comes from the farm in the north, which can be unlocked by completing puzzle #5. When you have harvested all the crops it will take 110 minutes in fast mode for the crops to grow back. However, you can also instantly grow the crops back by casting the Hand of Bloom spell.
Finally, you will be able to fish in the lake once you’ve completed puzzle #10. Just throw a villager into the lake and they will start fishing. Annoyingly, the path between the lake and the food bin sometimes comes too close to the heathen dirt village, meaning your fishermen might be chased away and drop their food. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about it but try again.
New to this installment of the series are the heathens, who are there to make your life difficult. There are 4 different types of heathens, each with their own behavior.
The blue masked heathens are harmless; they just run around the tribe doing their own thing. They are also the most susceptible to hearing the “truth” – which is that they should really join your tribe.
You can convert the blue masked heathens by dropping one of your villagers on them. If you’re successful in telling the “truth”, a yellow orb will appear above the heathen’s head, and your villager’s devotion skill will increase. After a while, approximately 2 hours of game time in fast mode, the orb will disappear and you will need to talk to them again. Don’t talk to them while they’re still pondering your last words because they will get annoyed and run away.
The heathen’s faith, indicated on the little dial on the bottom right of the screen, will increase a little each time you’ve preached to them. Once their faith moves into the blue area of the dial, they will be converted and you will gain a tribe member.
It is possible to lose one of your own villagers to the blue masks if you should make the wrong decision in any of the numerous island events you can get. You will just have to convert them back like the other blue masks.
Tip: If you can’t get to the blue masks because they’re surrounded by orange or red masked guards, scatter the guards with throwing a swarm of bees at them. Alternatively, wait until a rain storm, as the heathens will scatter and run for cover.
The orange masked heathen guards are very territorial and will chase your villagers away when they come too near. This can cause a slew of problems, as it will stop your villagers from working, or make them drop important items – which they will then actually lose.
Orange guards can quite easily be distracted, however, in various ways. Firstly, you can lure them away with another villager. Drop a villager near the orange masks to get their attention, then pick the villager up again and slowly move them in the direction you want them to go. The orange guards will follow your villager and even stop and wait when you stop and wait.
You can also scare them away with several of the many spells you gain during the game. You can scatter them with bees – although your own villagers won’t come anywhere near the bees either – or frighten them off with lightning.
The orange masks can be very annoying, as after they’ve chased you off, they slowly walk back to their camp. If their path happens to be a path that your builders or farmers take, they can get stuck constantly chasing away your villagers that walk along that path. The best way to get them to move away is to manually pull your villagers out of their path so the orange masks will walk away.
There is one orange masked child, a little rascal, who doesn’t stay near the object they’re guarding, but terrorizes the whole village. He can do a lot of damage to your farmers. Lure him away from the routes your villagers take with another villager.
Red masked heathen guards are scary. They don’t need to chase your villagers for them to run away. However, this also means that they can’t be lured away from their positions, and you will have to chase them off with lightning or bees.
Later on in the game you can start converting both the orange and red masked heathens by unleashing earthquakes on their dirty little village. This will make them think for a while (about 2 hours in fast mode), during which time a yellow orb will appear over their heads, as with the blue masks. You don’t appear to have to wait until the orbs disappear before unleashing a new earthquake. It will take quite a few times, but you will get there in the end.
Once you’ve converted all the heathens, your builders will clean up the dirt hovel.
Purple masked heathens are special. You will need to solve a puzzle to convert them (puzzles 1, 5, 9 and 13). When you’ve converted one of them, they will drop a necklace piece near where they were sitting. Drop any villager on the necklace piece and they will take it to the statue.
Divine Energy and Spells
Another new addition to this installment is the Divine Energy, which is shown in the top right bar on your screen. The energy bar shows two levels: your maximum energy and your currently available energy.
You can increase your maximum energy by increasing your population and by collecting relics. However, only new relics will increase your maximum energy. As your maximum energy increases, you will unlock new spells you can use for your puzzles. Note that your maximum energy will decrease again if your population drops. This also means that you could lose previously unlocked spells.
Your current energy shows how much Divine Energy you currently have available to use for spell casting. Using a spell will decrease your current energy, but not your maximum energy. Your current energy increases gradually as your villagers go about their day, but collecting relics also helps top up your current energy. Collecting relics you’ve already found before will not increase your current energy beyond the maximum.
The spells you can acquire, and the divine energy required to unlock and cast the spells are:
- 25 – Spawn Butterflies. Creates a swarm of butterflies to entertain your children. You have this spell from the start of the game.
- 25 – Swarm of Bees. Creates a swarm of bees that will scatter your enemies. You have this spell from the start of the game.
- 50 – Sunshine. Dries up a rain storm.
- 100 – Lightning. Strikes a lightning bolt. You can use this to temporarily scare away the heathens.
- 150 – Hand of Bloom. Grows up to 500 food worth of mushrooms and regrows the crops on the farm instantly.
- 300 – Tempest. Creates a rain storm.
- 400 – Fog of Doom. Creates a thick fog in which your villagers can move around unseen by the heathens.
- 500 – Time Warp. Makes a villager superfast!
- 600 – Revive. Revives a fallen villager. You will need to cast this spell on the remains of a deceased villager before they are taken to the mausoleum by their friends. The remains will appear on the grass outside the mausoleum. Interestingly, if your village reaches its maximum population after a villager passes away, you can still revive the fallen villager and increase your population beyond the maximum.
- 700 – Rejuvenation. Returns a villager to being a 5 year old child.
- 800 – Earthquakes. As the name suggests: creates an earthquake.
The order in which you do your projects in the early stages of the game is quite important, as a wrong decision can make life really hard for you. The order I found to be the most efficient is:
- Convert the Heathen Doctor to get an extra tribe member (puzzle #1).
- Start building the granary from the fence and start converting blue masked heathens (puzzle #2).
- Make fire.
- Dismantle the Hungry Totem (puzzle #3) and start collecting noni fruit.
- Get a builder to work on the first level of the hand statue.
- Build the love shack.
- As soon as you have the Lightning spell and enough Divine Energy, dismantle the Knowing Totem (puzzle #4) and get people to work in the lab.
In particular, it is important to dismantle the Hungry Totem before the Knowing Totem, as the heathens will be up to your games once you’ve dismantled one of them and will send extra orange and red masked guards to guard the other totem. If you did the Knowing Totem first, it will then become impossible to collect any fruit until you’ve gained the Lightning spell.
Making fire is important, as it keeps your villagers warm and dry, which means they get sick less often. To make fire, you need fire wood and dry grass to kindle. You can find dry grass on the other side of the river, just southeast of the Knowing Totem. Drop a villager on the grass to have them take it to the fire pit.
Getting wood is a little bit harder, but not impossible. You need to distract the orange masked guards away from the wood pile by the statue. You can lure them away with another villager. See the heathens section of this walkthrough for more information. When the guards are sufficiently far away from the wood pile, drop an adult on the wood pile so they will collect wood and take it to the fire pit. The orange guards will disappear as soon as you’ve completed stage 1 of the hand statue.
Finally, drop an adult on the fire pit with wood and grass on it to light the fire. Later on you can also use the Lightning spell to light the fire. Clicking on the fire will show you how many hours of burning time it has left. You can keep the fire going without having to restart it by adding more wood to the fire.
Furthermore, although projects will go faster the more villagers are working on it, be careful with the number of builders you train on the earlier projects. Building projects are scarce, and it takes a very long time to train a master builder. So, if you set a lot of villagers to building, you will end up with a lot of adept builders and no masters, and you will need one or two master builders for puzzle #7.
Some more general tips:
- The game will keep running even when you’ve closed it down. Set the game speed to slow before you go to sleep at night to avoid major disasters in the morning.
- To pause the game, hit the spacebar.
- The screen is divided up into nine sections like the number pad on your keyboard. Use your number pad to quickly browse the entire screen.
- If you pick up a villager during an action, the action is cancelled.
- Gathering lab item collectables will increase your tech points, so keep collecting!
- If you’ve completed a full set of collectables (lab items or relics) your maximum population increases by 5. So to get to 100 villagers you need to complete both sets of collectables.
- If you quickly want to find a child to pick up a rare collectible, pause the game and then hit the right arrow below the detail window. This will zoom you to your youngest villager. Drop the child on the collectible and then start the game again by hitting the spacebar.
- If you’ve spotted a rare collectible you need, also make sure you lure away any orange masked heathens between the collectible and either the lab (for the science items) or the statue (for the relics) before you unpause the game again, so the child carrying it won’t get frightened and lose it.
- If you’re trying to make a baby, you don’t need to wait until your villagers emerge from the love shack to see if you’ve been successful. Just look at your population counter in the top left corner; if you’ve made a baby, it goes up as soon as you’ve dropped your villagers on top of each other. You can then set your villagers back to work, if you like.
Puzzle Solutions 1-5
1 – The Sick Heathen
Drop a villager onto the purple masked heathen in the hospital. Keep trying until you’ve cured him. When he’s cured, he will convert and join your tribe.
After he’s converted, he will drop a piece of the necklace beside the mat. Have one of the children pick it up and bring it to the statue in the middle. If a child gets scared away by another heathen, they will drop the necklace piece and it will reappear by the hospital mat.
2 – The Prison Break
As soon as you arrive, start dropping your adult villagers on the bamboo fence so they will dismantle it and use the bamboo to build a granary. You need the granary before you can gather food so it’s best to do this as soon as possible.
3 – The Hungry Totem
You need to dismantle the Hungry Totem to gain access to the noni bush behind it, so you can start picking berries.
If you decide to do the Hungry Totem first, the Knowing Totem will be harder to dismantle and vice versa. I strongly suggest you go to the Hungry Totem first, or you will seriously struggle with food supply for the first part of the game.
Drop a child near the heathen guards with orange masks that are patrolling the totem so the guards will chase the child away. Then drop your adults on the totem so they can start to dismantle it. Keep luring the guards away until the totem has been dismantled.
If you have accidentally dismantled the Knowing Totem before the Hungry Totem, dismantle the Hungry Totem with the instructions under puzzle #4.
4 – The Knowing Totem
Requires the Lightning spell.
You need to dismantle the Knowing Totem to gain access to the research lab. Getting your villages to work in the research lab will gain tech points. Don’t dismantle the Knowing Totem before you’ve done the Hungry Totem or you will struggle with food supply.
If you have first dismantled the Hungry Totem, some red masked guards will start patrolling the Knowing Totem. They won’t chase people, so you can’t just lure them away with some children. Keep gathering relics, converting heathens and having babies until you have 100 Divine Energy points. This unlocks the Lightning spell. Unleash the lightning spell on the totem to chase away the guards. Then instantly drop your adults on the totem to dismantle it.
5 – The Farm
Requires level 2 Construction and a master scientist.
Once you have lv2 Construction, drop your master scientist on the broken aqueduct by the farm so they can direct the work. Then drop your builders (they can be any level) on the aqueduct to repair it. Once the aqueduct is repaired, it will take some time before the crops have grown enough to harvest.
Once you’ve completed the aqueduct, you get a cut scene with some island history. You can watch this again by dropping a villager on the purple mask that the heathen farmer leaves behind just north of the farm. The farmer will also drop the second part of the necklace.
Puzzle Solutions 6-10
6 – The Mausoleum
Requires dismantling of the Blocking Totem (puzzle #7).
Once the Blocking Totem is gone, set your builders to work on clearing the rubble from the buried mausoleum. Towards the end, the heathen master builder will start to fill it up again, but if you have several builders working on it at once, you should be able to undo his efforts. Keep working until the blocking is cleared.
In the mausoleum you will be able to see which of your tribe members you have lost.
7 – The Blocking Totem
Requires one or more master builders and the Lightning spell.
The totem just south of the mausoleum entrance can only be dismantled by a master builder. I recommend getting at least two master builders to work on this. Drop your master builders on the totem to start dismantling it. After a little while, heathen villagers will come and try to repair the totem while you’re dismantling it. This will include red, orange and blue masked heathens. Wait a little until a small group is surrounding the totem and then unleash the Lightning spell on them so they will run away. Then drag your master builders back to the totem to continue their work.
Note that the heathens will repair the totem quite quickly if you leave them to it for a little while, so make sure you have enough Divine Energy to unleash the Lightning spell again straight away when they’re back. For me it took 2 master builders and 3 Lightning spells to dismantle the totem.
As soon as the totem is dismantled you can start clearing the mausoleum.
8 – The Hollow Totem
Put six children in the hollow totem by the lake and it will break.
9 – The Heathen Builder
Requires the Time Warp spell and a master builder.
In the southwest of the map, near the dismantled Blocking Totem there are two beginnings of small structures. To convert the heathen builder, you must challenge him to a build-off and win. You can start a build-off by dropping one of your builders onto the structures when the heathen builder is sitting nearby. You can try this as many times as you like, as the puzzle will be reset when you lose.
There is only one way to win. You need to cast the Time Warp spell on one of your master builders. Your master builder will start moving really fast. Drop the master builder on the structure on the left to challenge the heathen builder to a build-off. Time-warped, your master builder will win the competition hands down. Out of admiration, the heathen builder will be converted.
10 – The Lake
Requires the Tempest spell and the Revive spell.
You can complete this puzzle in two ways. You can fill up the pond by releasing the Tempest spell twice in a row, starting the second when it has become clear after the first one but there are still puddles in the dried up lake. You can also release the Tempest spell after a naturally occurring rainfall when there are still puddles left in the pond. When the pond if full, release the Revive spell to revive the fish population.
Note that you can’t start fishing in the pond until you’ve dismantled the hollow totem (puzzle #8).
Puzzle Solutions 11-16
11 – The Pain Totem
Requires the Lightning spell.
Hit the Pain Totem with the Lightning spell, so the electric current that runs through the totem will temporarily disappear. Then drop your villagers (the better builders they are, the faster they are) on the totem to dismantle it.
Dismantling the Pain Totem will give you access to the hospital. Sick villagers will make their way to the hospital. You can also start training healers by dropping them on the hospital so they will start researching medicine.
TIP: The electricity will only temporarily disappear, and it will take a little while to regain enough Divine Energy to use the Lightning spell again, so you have to dismantle the totem quite fast. Pause the game by hitting the space bar on your keyboard, and then gather 4 or 5 decent builders around the totem so you don’t have to waste time looking for them once the electricity is off. Then hit the totem with the Lightning spell, unpause and drop your builders on the totem.
12 – The Rainbow Totem
Requires level 2 Science and the clothing hut.
Once you have built the clothing hut, the base of which appears after you’ve gained lv2 Science, three pots of dye appear next to the farm. Drop a villager onto the red dye until they pick it up. Then instantly drop someone on the yellow dye and have them pick it up. They will carry the dye to the pools in the northeast and drop it in, so the water turns orange. When the water is orange, everyone in the pool including the red masked guards, get out of the pool and wait on the side. Get your builders to work on dismantling the totem.
Tip: It pays to get two more villagers to carry in a second and maybe even a third lot of red and yellow dye as soon as the first lot is dropped in, as the dye will wash out quite quickly and the bathers will return.
13 – The Heathen Scientist
Requires level 2 Science and a master scientist.
When you have lv2 Science, a kind of blackboard made of bamboo appears in the top left corner of the lab. Drop a master scientist near the blackboard and they will start working on a complex mathematical solution. The heathen scientist will come and watch for a moment, then celebrate the solution and then start pondering it for a while. While he’s thinking, a flashing orb will appear over his head. This will last for some time – about 2 hours in fast mode. Do this three times in total and the scientist will be converted.
Once the scientist is converted, he will drop a piece of the necklace. Get a child to pick it up and take it to the statue.
14 – The Tribute Statue
Requires level 3 Devotion.
In the center of the village is a statue that starts out looking like a large orb. You can change this into a statue in several stages by dropping your builders onto the statue. Each time you gain a level in Devotion you can complete the next stage.
You can start on this puzzle as soon as the game begins, at lv1 Devotion. I recommend doing this as it will make the two orange masked guards by the wood pile disappear, making your building projects a lot quicker and easier.
15 – The Blind Totem
Requires completed puzzles #6 and #7.
Once the mausoleum has been cleared, a bowl of water will appear on the steps to the mausoleum. Drop a villager on it to pick it up and they will take it to the river, just below the clay pot that’s sitting there. Drop a villager on the bowl by the river and they will use it to pan for gold. They may not always be successful, so keep trying until they find gold, which they will drop into the clay pot. Do this three times to fill up the clay pot.
Once the clay pot is full of gold, drop a villager on it to take it to the fire where the gold will be molten. When it’s done, the pot will disappear and a gold sphere will appear in the fire. Drop a villager on the fire to take out the gold sphere and take it to the totem by the entrance to the hidden area in the northeast. The Blind Totem will now show you what’s behind the shrubs.
16 – The Heathen Chief
Requires puzzles 1, 5, 9 and 13 to get all 4 necklace pieces.
Once you have collected all 4 necklace pieces, drop any villager onto the pieces by the statue so they will reassemble it into one necklace. Then drop a villager on the completed necklace and they will take it to the heathen chief. He will be converted.
Extra Puzzle – Heathen Mommy
Not all versions of the game have this puzzle.
You may see a blue masked nursing mother sitting by the dirt hovel on the east part of the village. Dropping adults or children on her will scare her away. However, if you drop another nursing mother on her, they will go and have a little “mommy to mommy” chat. Do this with three nursing mothers to convert her.
Note: Some players have reported they needed more than three nursing mothers, so if it doesn’t work with three, try a fourth or even a fifth.
Note 2: Sometimes the Heathen Mommy is a Heathen Daddy!