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Guardian of the Desert Update icon

Guardian of the Desert Update icon v1.26.2600 of the game

The Guardian of the Desert Update was released on the 24th of July 2017 for iOS players, the 25th of July for Android players, the 28th of July for Kindle players, the 3rd of August for Mac users, and arrived the 15th of August for Windows 10 players. At this time, G5 states they will no longer be supporting the Windows 8.1 operating system. Please see http://the-secret-society.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:484418 for further information.

When the update was released and downloaded, the Guardian of the Desert Update triggered automatically.

The Guardian of the Desert timed challenges begin when a player reaches game level 7 in the game (or automatically after downloading the update if the player is already above level 7).

The Guardian of the Desert Update introduces 2 new pictures - Heart of the Dunes and High Tower; 168 new quests and 28 new collections.

The Guardian of the Desert Event Edit

The Guardian of the Desert timed event contains 3 challenges. Players have a set number of days to complete the following tasks:

Guardian of the Desert Update

The Guardian of the Desert Update's timed challenges

  • Collect 500 Amber Stones by winning games of Gem Match to win the new Lamp of Legends Desktop Award, which gives 50 points of power every 12 hours.
  • Complete 30 special quests to win the once-off Fabulous Talisman which increases time for investigating locations and puzzles by 60 seconds for 24 hours. Upon completing these quests you will also be able to combine the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact which increases the effect of each energy booster by 25% for 48 hours.
  • Achieve 'Academician' level in Heart of the Dunes and win 2 unique avatars, one male and one female.

For the duration of the Guardian of the Desert challenge, Desert Rose special items are required in addition to energy points to play Heart of the Dunes. Desert Roses are given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture, and as rewards for banishing anomalies, but not for playing puzzles. Desert Roses cannot be gifted between friends, however they are given as rewards for combining some of the new Guardian of the Desert collections, and they can be given as rewards by the Sphere of Miracles and Pyramid of Wonder.

The Gem Match Challenge - Collecting Amber Stones Edit

Guardian of the Desert Update Gem Match Lamp of Legends

The Lamp of Legends Timed Challenge

Players can win the new Lamp of Legends Desktop Award, which will give 50 points of power every 12 hours. This is the 12th Desktop Award added to the game, and the 6th that can only be won during Timed Challenge Events. Like the Sphere of Miracles, Pyramid of Wonder, Magic Cube, the Discoverer's Balloon and the Seafarer's Globe, the Lamp of Legends is a new event Award that will be a permanent fixture on player's boards once won.

Players can win the Lamp of Legends by collecting 500 Amber Stones. Amber Stones can only be won by successfully completing the Gem Match puzzle. For each successful win of Gem Match, you can potentially win between 2-5 Amber Stones as one of the rewards for completing the puzzle.

Guardian of the Desert Gem Match Amber Stone

Amber Stones can be won by winning games of Gem Match. Between 2 and 5 Amber Stones are given for every win of the Gem Match puzzle until you collect 500 in total

When you open the Research Window for Gem Match by tapping on the Gem Match puzzle icon on your Home Desktop you will see Amber Stones listed as the first item in the 'Can be found' list for the puzzle. Amber Stones are available to win for every play of the puzzle at every puzzle level.

You must keep playing (and winning) Gem Match until you have collected 500 Amber Stones in order to complete the challenge. Once you have collected all 500 Amber Stones, the Lamp of Legends Desktop Award will automatically appear in the row of awards at the top of your Home Desktop.

Once the Lamp of Legends Desktop Award is won and appears on a Home Desktop, it will be sparkling to indicate that it can immediately be discharged to collect your first reward of 50 points of power. Once the reward is collected, the new Desktop Award's timer starts counting for the first time. Once 12 hours have passed, the timer will stop counting and the award will start to sparkle to indicate that its rewards are ready for collection again. Tapping on the sparkling Lamp of Legends will release the reward - 50 points of power every 12 hours.

The Lamp of Legends Desktop Award is located next to the Discoverer's Balloon Desktop Award on the top right hand side of the Home Desktop. You can tap on the Lamp of Legends at any time to bring up its information window.

If the Lamp of Legends Desktop Award is charged by a visiting Friend, then its rewards will be 50 points of power plus 25 additional points of power the next time it is ready to collect.

As soon as the reward is collected, a new 12 hour timer starts to count down before the next reward is ready for collection. Note that the timer doesn't restart until the reward is collected, so leaving the Lamp of Legends for more than 12 hours before collecting the reward does not change the rewards and delays collecting the next reward.

All items are weighted based on their value in the game. Higher value items, like the Amber Stones needed to win the Lamp of Legends Desktop Award are weighted in such a way that they are less likely to be won than low value items such as some low level collection items and most combining elements.

Since the mechanism that rewards Amber Stones in Gem Match is set up so that they are always included as one of the rewards for winning games of Gem Match, it is the number that you win per play that is weighted (with low numbers more likely than high numbers). This means you will not win a high number of Amber Stones every single time you win a Gem Match game, often you will only win 2.

However, all of the Timed Challenges are designed to be completable within the given time limit, so it is possible to collect 500 Amber Stones well within the time given. The task is designed to be challenging, but it is not impossible!

Hints/Tips for Collecting Amber Stones Edit

Although it will take many plays of Gem Match to win 500 Amber Stones, there are things you can do to make the challenge easier:

  1. Read the Gem Match article and PDF on this wiki for tips on playing Gem Match.
Seekerseye inventory

Explorer's Eyes can be used to remove a single yellow border from the game board while playing Gem Match

  1. Use tools when playing Gem Match. You can use Explorer's Eyes and Time Machines when playing Gem Match. Using an Explorer's Eye will remove a single yellow border from the game board at random. This can be particularly useful for tricky pieces. Time Machines add 45 seconds to the puzzle timer, which can be a great help for the more difficult board configurations.
  2. Don't just play Gem Match over and over again; try to play a variety of pictures and puzzles as much as possible. The more you play a single picture/puzzle repeatedly, the worse the rewards for each win gets. In order to keep your chances of getting many Amber Stones per play high, try mixing other pictures/puzzles into your playing rotation. Perhaps rotate trying to get the Lamp of Legends with the other challenges in the Guardian of the Desert event (playing Heart of the Dunes and completing the 30 challenge quests). This will also help avoid feelings of frustration with the game and challenge.
  3. Don't rely on Luck Talismans/Artefacts. Luck Talismans (e.g. Horseshoes) and Artefacts (e.g. Symbol of Success) do not increase your odds of winning a particular item, such as Amber Stones, i.e. they do not change the weighting of items. However, they do increase the number of items you will win for each successful play of a picture/puzzle.
  4. Use the Time Talisman artefact. If you are struggling to win Gem Match in the time given, then try to use a Time Talisman artefact. Once activated, this artefact adds 1 minute to every picture/puzzle for 24 hours.

The Unique Avatars - Getting Heart of the Dunes to Academician Level Edit

Guardian of the Desert Avatar Challenge Icon
The avatars won for reaching Academician level in Heart of the Dunes. Players can win the unique Avatar by playing the new picture Heart of the Dunes until they increase its scene progress level up to Academician Level during the Guardian of the Desert time sensitive challenge.

For the duration of the Guardian of the Desert Update, Desert Rose special items are needed for each play of the Heart of the Dunes picture.

While the Timed Challenges are active (before you complete all three, or the timer expires; whichever happens first), Desert Roses are given as rewards for every successful investigation for every picture in the game (except Heart of the Dunes itself). At least 1 Desert Rose is given for every game you win, but winning up to 3 at a time is also possible.

Desert Rose special item

Desert Rose special items are required in addition to energy points for each play of Heart of the Dunes

Desert Roses are also given as rewards from banishing anomalies, but not for playing puzzles. Desert Roses cannot be gifted between friends, however they are given as rewards for combining 5 of the new Guardian of the Desert collections. Players with the Pyramid of Wonder or Sphere of Miracles also have a 1 in 6 chance of receiving Desert Roses from these Desktop Awards when collecting their rewards every 12 hours. The number of Desert Roses needed for each play of Heart of the Dunes increases as you increase the Picture Levels of Heart of the Dunes (+5 Desert Roses per Level increase), starting at 5 Desert Roses per play when the picture is opened at Novice Level and increasing to 40 Desert Roses per play when the picture is at Professor Level.


As a guide, in order to reach Academician Level on Heart of the Dunes and win the new Avatar, you will need to play the picture approximately 150 times, which will require approximately 3,285 Desert Roses! (or 2,628 Desert Roses if using the Amulet of Santa/Amulet of Rarities Artefact).


Level  % progress per play of picture at level No. plays needed for 100% (i.e. to reach next level) Desert Roses per play at level Total Desert Roses to reach next level
Novice 20% 5 5 25
Trainee 12-13% (+25% every 2 plays) 8 10 80
Detective 8-9% (+25% every 3 plays) 12 15 180
Pro 4% 25 20 500
High Explorer 1% 100 25 2,500
Total to Academician level 3,285

As soon as you return to your Home Desktop after playing Heart of the Dunes for the 150th time, a notification screen will appear to say that the avatar challenge is complete and you have won both of the unique Avatars.

Guardian of the Desert Avatar Complete Notification

Both Avatars will automatically go into the Avatar section, but will not automatically replace your current Avatar. To use either of the new Avatars, you must tap on your current Avatar to bring up the Avatars window and scroll to the end of the list to find the new Avatar. Tap on the Avatar to select it.

Hints/Tips for Winning the Unique Avatars Edit

  1. Try to play a variety of pictures as much as possible when playing, instead of just playing Heart of the Dunes over and over again. The more you play a single picture/puzzle repeatedly, the worse the rewards for each win gets.
  2. If you are low on energy, but close to leveling up (at which point your energy will restore), play Buddha's Square until you level up. At higher picture levels Buddha's Square potentially rewards a Cappuccino for each successful picture investigation. Cappuccinos restore 30 energy points when used, and Buddha's Square only requires 31 energy points at most to play (at Professor level).
    Santa amulet 2014

    The 2014 version of the Amulet of Santa (note it has changed in appearance since the original version, which was a Santa icon)

  3. If you are low on energy, avoid playing high energy pictures in the game too often as many do not reward combining elements.
  4. Use the Amulet of Santa or the Amulet of Rarities Artefact to decrease the number of Desert Roses needed to play Heart of the Dunes. Both the Amulet of Santa and the Amulet of Rarities Artefacts reduce the number of special items needed to play paid scenes like Heart of the Dunes by 20% for 24 hours once activated.
    Artefacts portal

    The Valentine's Amulet Artefact reduces the amount of energy needed to play pictures by 10% for 12 hours

  5. Use the Valentine's Amulet Artefact to decrease the amount of energy needed to play every picture/puzzle when you are ready to play Heart of the Dunes a number of times. The Valentine's Amulet reduces the amount of energy needed to play by 10% for 12 hours.
  6. Use Luck Talismans and Artefacts such as Horseshoes in conjunction with the Valentine's Amulet, and make sure to play Tree of Dates in rotation when you are playing the pictures. This will increase your chances of finding all the collection items needed to combine another Valentine's Amulet as you play.
  7. As you play through the 30 challenge quests to win the Fabulous Talisman, you will be able to combine 5 new collections added as part of the update. These quests will reward Desert Roses once combined.

The Challenge Quests: The Fabulous Talisman, the Sacred Bird Amulet and Prophecies Amulet Artefacts Edit

Fabulous Talisman

The Fabulous Talisman can be won by completing the 30 challenge quests, marked by the special border in the quests list on the left hand side of the Home Desktop. Note that this Talisman automatically goes into the Talisman tab of your inventory

The Fabulous Talisman can be won once a player completes all 30 of the special Guardian of the Desert challenge quests introduced as part of the update. The quests must be completed within the time limit of the Timed Challenge in order to unlock the Talisman.

Once the quests are completed, the Fabulous Talisman automatically goes into your Inventory.

A notification screen will appear to say that the 30 challenge quests are complete and you have won the Fabulous Talisman, but you must go to the Talisman section of the Inventory itself to see and use the new Talisman.

Guardian of the Desert Quest Complete Notification

Once activated, the Fabulous Talisman will increase time for investigating locations and puzzles by 60 seconds for 24 hours.

In addition to winning the Fabulous Talisman, players will also be able to combine the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact once they have completed the 30 challenge quests since the collections combined as part of the 30 quests create the 5 items needed to combine this new Artefact.

Sacred Bird Amulet

The Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact, which players will be able to combine after completing the 30 Challenge Quests

Once the quests are completed, players must manually combine the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact. To do this, open the Collections Window and select the Artefacts tab. Locate the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact and press the green combine button.

You will need 20 each of the following combining elements to combine the Artefact - Second Hand, Minute Hand, Hour Hand and Clock Face. All Artefact combining elements can be won by combining collections in the game. You can also be given these combining elements as free gifts by your friends. Like collection combining elements, Artefact combining elements are free gifts and do not come out of your inventory when you send them as gifts to your friends.

Once combined, the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact will go into the Talisman tab of your Inventory, where it can be activated. Once activated, the Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact increases the effect of each energy booster by 25% for 48 hours.

Winning the Fabulous Talisman Edit

A special decorative border in the quest list marks the 30 quests needed to win the Fabulous Talisman. Other quests added by the update with regular gold borders, do not count towards the 30 when completed.

Guardian of the Desert Update Quest borders

The decorative border that indicates which quests count towards the 30 needed to win the Fabulous Talisman

Note: The very first quest that displays the special decorative border is the quest to find the picture pieces needed to unlock and open the Heart of the Dunes picture. However, this quest does not count towards the 30 quests needed to win the Fabulous Talisman. This means there are actually 31 quests that display the decorative border, but only the last 30 of them count towards the challenge. Most importantly, you will need to complete this first quest in order to complete the challenge as the 30 quests that make up the event will not start until this quest is completed (there is only ever one quest with a special decorative border active at any one time) and the other quests require you to play the Heart of the Dunes picture (which this quest opens).

There are 30 special quests that must be completed in order to win the Fabulous Talisman. They consist of 5 collection sequences of 6 quests each. The first 5 quests are to find each of the 5 items while the 6th quest is to combine the collection.

The 5 collections players gather as they complete the 30 quests are:

  1. Eastern motifs (combines to create "Fairy tale book" and rewards 10 Desert Roses when combined)
  2. Magic tablet (combines to create "Magic tablet" and rewards 15 Desert Roses when combined)
  3. Historical legacy (combines to create "Arabic writings" and rewards 20 Desert Roses when combined)
  4. Treasures of the marids (combines to create "Ruby ball" and rewards 25 Desert Roses when combined)
  5. Mosaic picture (combines to create "Mosaic picture" and rewards 30 Desert Roses when combined)

All the items that make up these collections cannot be gifted between friends (they do not have green plus signs to add them to your wish list and they will not appear in the 'Send a collection item' tab when sending gifts to your friends).

They are all also 'Quest only' items, which means that they cannot be won normally by playing pictures/puzzles. They are only available to win in pictures while the quest for the particular item is activated and will stop being available to win in that picture once the quest is completed. They may also drop as random items when you are visiting your friends and charging their desktops; from the Collectors Desktop award when collecting its rewards; and from opening Pandora's Chests, however whether or not you get any of these items in those ways is completely up to chance.

This means that the only way to complete these special quests is to follow the special quest instructions as you get the quests. This makes these 30 special challenge quests slightly more difficult than the challenge quests from previous updates, which as noted above are not giftable during the event.

Prophecies Amulet

Note: There is a second Amulet available at the end of all 138 regular quests for this update. This is the Prophecies Amulet Artefact, which once obtained will boost experience gained for investigating locations and puzzles by 100% for 24 hours. You will need to combine this Artefact manually.


The Challenge Quests Edit

The 30 special quests that are needed to win the Fabulous Talisman are:

Quest Number Quest Name Quest Instructions Item Won Collection Sequence
0 Heart of the Dunes Investigate the pictures in "Text" mode Fragments of "Heart of the Dunes" picture N/A
1 Long absence Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Bakhoor burner Eastern motifs
2 Summer tranquility Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Bakhoor Eastern motifs
3 Eastern atmosphere Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Arab lamp Eastern motifs
4 Wondrous instrument Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Night" mode to find an object Rebab Eastern motifs
5 Unsettling disappearance Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Keffiyeh Eastern motifs
6 Eastern treasure You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object Fairy tale book Eastern motifs
7 Hand-drawn map Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Floating city Magic tablet
8 Floating creatures Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Silhouette" mode to find an object Mysterious people Magic tablet
9 Damaged fragment Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Chipped tile Magic tablet
10 Unknown bird Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Unknown bird Magic tablet
11 Underground realms Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Text" mode to find an object Underground world Magic tablet
12 Secret meaning You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object Magic tablet Magic tablet
13 Secret research Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Sage's monograph Historical legacy
14 Difficult position Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Ancient annals Historical legacy
15 Beautiful city Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Morphs" mode to find an object Ancient languages book Historical legacy
16 Scarlet lights Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Arabic alphabet Historical legacy
17 The greatest mystery Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Lunar calendar Historical legacy
18 Questions without answers You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object Arabic writings Historical legacy
19 Emerald plant Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Emerald flower Treasures of the marids
20 Diamond fountains Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Pairs" mode to find an object Diamond drop Treasures of the marids
21 The city's beginnings Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Crystal shard Treasures of the marids
22 Strange creatures Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Amber pendant Treasures of the marids
23 Scarlet heart Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Gilded robe Treasures of the marids
24 Energy of life You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object Ruby ball Treasures of the marids
25 Silent clue Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Silhouette" mode to find an object White mosaic piece Mosaic picture
26 Secret knowledge Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Blue mosaic piece Mosaic picture
27 Guardian of the desert Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Green mosaic piece Mosaic picture
28 Magnetic attraction Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" in "Text" mode to find an object Yellow mosaic piece Mosaic picture
29 Heat source Investigate "Heart of the Dunes" to find an object Red mosaic piece Mosaic picture
30 Moment of truth You must gather (combine) the collection to obtain the object Mosaic picture Mosaic picture

Hints/Tips for Winning the Fabulous Talisman and Sacred Bird Amulet Artefact Edit

  1. Use your Magic Crystal Talismans during the challenge. The Magic Crystal Talisman works as a Luck Talisman (it increases your odds of finding objects by 12% when activated). You can only use one other Luck Talisman once the Magic Crystal Talisman is activated (as you cannot use more than one Luck Talisman at a time), but you can use one of any other Luck Talisman or the Symbol of Success Artefact at the same time as the Magic Crystal Talisman again. The Magic Crystal Talisman lasts for 10 days.
  2. The Challenge quests usually ask for you to play Heart of the Dunes, so it is best to continue to work on Heart of the Dunes as normal when playing and not to worry too much about the quests themselves, they will be completed as you go.
  3. Read the quest instructions carefully. Most quests just ask you to play Heart of the Dunes, but some will specify a mode. The item will only be available to win when the picture is in the correct mode. Most modes cannot be 'forced', which means you cannot make them appear in rotation. However, 'Text' mode can be triggered by banishing (not playing) an anomaly in the picture. If the quest asks for Text mode in Heart of the Dunes, then play other pictures until an anomaly appears in Heart of the Dunes. You can then banish the anomaly, making the next mode Text mode.
If you'd like to list hints or glitches associated with this Update, please do so in the Comments section below.

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