Experience Eda’s story and help her gain closure by unraveling her deepest memories about a mysterious man—one that has captured her heart through music.
In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know to finish this wonderful game—all while keeping it spoiler-free!
Table of Contents
Some Tips Before You Start
New to the game?
Here are three of the best tips we suggest you keep in mind while playing When The Past Was Around.
Tip #1: Use The Hint Button Whenever You’re Stuck
If you’re stuck in a certain area and don’t know what to do, try clicking the “Hint” button located at the upper-right corner of your screen.
Doing this will reveal all the interactable objects in the area, allowing you to focus on them exclusively to help you progress further in the story.
Tip #2: Don’t Leave The Game During Chapters
Only leave the game in-between chapters, as this game only autosaves after every chapter.
Quitting prematurely may require you to replay entire chapters the next time you open up the game, so be careful!
Tip #3: Check Usable Items Via The Prompt
A prompt will appear after you drag an item to another object that it can interact with, like so:
Keep this in mind to avoid getting stuck trying to use items on objects it cannot interact with.
Full Chapter Walkthroughs
Listed below are the step-by-step walkthroughs for every chapter in the game—starting from the free version (Chapter 0), all the way up to the full game’s ending.
Chapter 0: Prologue (Walkthrough)
Step 1: Open the cage and enter the door to the prologue stage.
Step 2: Collect the “Eda” key that is placed on the key hanger.
Step 3: Clear out the shoes and take the “Owl” key placed under the rug.
Step 4: Use the “Owl” key on the table’s first drawer to get a box cutter.
Step 5 (Optional): Use the “Eda” key on the table’s second drawer to see Eda & Owl’s picture.
Step 6: Use the box cutter on the box lying in the left corner of the room. This will reveal the feather you need to proceed to the next chapter.
Step #7: Click on the feather to proceed to the next area.
Step #8: In the next area, move aside the bottles to find the 1st Puzzle Piece.
Step #9: Click on the drums. It will drop the Key you’ll use later.
Step #10: Knock over the trash can to find the Crank for the music box.
Step #11: Knock over all the books on the bookshelf to find the sequence you need to play on the piano later.
Step #12: Look at the board to know which shape corresponds to which number when playing the piano later.
Step #13: Play the piano based on the clues you’ve gathered in Steps #12 and #11. Click the keys according to the following arrangement:
143461 or Square, Star, Leaf, Star, Circle, Square.
You’ll receive the 2nd Puzzle Piece after doing so.
Step #14: Open the cabinet on the right side to get the Owl Figurine you’ll use on the Music Box later.
Step #15: Use the remaining items (Key, Crank, & Owl Figurine) on the Music Box. Inside it, you’ll find the 3rd Puzzle Piece.
Step #16: Use the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Puzzle Pieces on the cabinet.
Step #17: Click on the Feather inside the cabinet to proceed to the next area.
Step #18: Move the cups on the table over to find Bread.
Step #19: Plug the blender’s power cord into the electric socket below.
Step #20: Put the Bread into the blender and turn it on to get Breadcrumbs.
Step #21: Put the Breadcrumbs in the window. A bird will eat it and give you a Short Clock Hand in return.
Step #22: Knock over the potted plant on the right side of the room to get the Dirty Sponge.
Step #23: Take the Faucet Valve from the red box.
Step #24: Put the Faucet Valve on the sink’s faucet, then click on it to turn the water on.
Step #25: Wash the Dirty Sponge in the water.
Step #26: Use the Clean Sponge on the dirty mirror. After doing so, you’ll see the specific time you’ll need to set the clock hands on later.
Step #27: Stop the exhaust fan from spinning by clicking the switch below it.
Step #28: Get the Long Clock Hand from inside the exhaust fan.
Step #29: Go to the clock and set the clock hands to 19:15, which is the clue you uncovered in Step #26.
Step #30: After setting the clock at 19:15, get the crowbar from the compartment below the clock that just opened up.
Step #31: Use the crowbar on the wooden crate in the right corner of the room.
Step #32: Use the Key you got from the wooden crate on the locked journal.
Step #33: Click the Feather to proceed to the next chapter.
Chapter 1: When The Door Opened (Walkthrough)
Step #1: Click the flower basket lying on the ground, then get the Owl Eye (Right) from the heart-shaped box hidden in the flower basket.
Step #2: Use the Owl Eye (Right) on the owl statue, then pull the lever by clicking on it. This will open the mausoleum’s doors, so go inside it right after.
Step #3: Inside the mausoleum, pick up the Gear Handle and put it on the lever.
Then, click on the complete lever to pull the curtain up.
Step #4: Approach the mysterious man in the cage by clicking on the box. This will bring you to the next area.
Step #5: In the new area, get the Tape from inside the luggage.
Step #6: Click the boxes and books placed above the rug. After clearing all the mess, you’ll be able to lift the rug and get a Key.
Step #7: Click on the table, then get the Box Cutter inside it. Next, use the Box Cutter on the covered-up TV.
Step #8: On the cabinet below the table, use the Key to get the TV’s Power Switch.
Step #9: Put the Power Switch on the TV, then click the buttons in the following order: 2nd Button, 4th Button, 1st Button, 5th Button, 3rd Button—from left to right.
This will give you the Key to the Door. Use it on the door to proceed to the next area.
Step #10: In the next area, click the bouquet on the ground to get the combination you need to unlock the bike lock.
Step #11: Enter the following combination on the bike lock, then take the Doorbell Switch inside the basket:
Step #12: Use the Doorbell Switch on the doorbell and the Tape on the exposed wire to open the door and proceed to the next area.
Step #13: Pick up the Key on top of the boxes, then the Music Box’s Crank on the floor. Next, use both of them on the Music Box to get the Music Puzzle Piece.
Step #14: Use the Music Puzzle Piece on the locked violin case to proceed to the next chapter.
Chapter 2: When I Found You (Walkthrough)
Step #1: Take the Money from your wallet and give it to the cashier.
Step #2: Click on the red box (bakery box) and push the following buttons to get the Bread inside:
Step #3: Next, get outside the cafe. You’ll encounter three birds outside the clinic’s gates. If you click on each of them, one will leave the Oblong Puzzle Piece.
Step #4: Feed the bird on the bench the Bread you got from Step #2. It will then allow you to get the Cross Puzzle Piece from it.
Step #5: Open the deposit box by pressing the following four buttons, then take the Diamond Puzzle Piece hidden inside:
Step #6: Use the puzzle pieces on the gate of the clinic, then click on the lock again to proceed to the next area.
Step #7: In the next area, pick up the Pitcher and fill it with water.
Step #8: Use the filled-up Pitcher to water the wilted plant. It will then bloom and give you the Key to the locked journal.
Then, use the Key you recovered from the plant on the locked journal that the mysterious man is holding out to proceed to the next chapter.
Chapter 3: When We Were Together (Walkthrough)
Step #1: Click the small, green table and clear out the feathers to get the Matches. Then, use the Matches on the candle to get the Mug.
You can also get one Blue Paper from this table.
Step #2: Go to the kitchen counter and use the following mixtures in the water before pouring them into the Teacup:
Step #3: Next, place the Mug on the kitchen counter and pour the following mixtures into the water before pouring them into the Mug:
Step #4: Place the Mug & the Teacup on Eda’s and Owl’s cup holders respectively, then get the crackers from the oven and place them at the center of the table.
Doing so will allow you to proceed to the next area. Also, pick up the Small Flower on their table, as you’ll need it for later.
Step #5: In the next area, pick up the Starfish and the Conch near Eda and Owl.
Step #6: Get the two Flags from the ice cream stand and the coconut.
Step #7: Place the two Flags on the sandcastle to reveal the Shell hiding underneath.
Step #8: Place the Shell, the Conch, the Starfish, and the Small Flower you got from Step #4 inside Owl’s bottle to proceed to the next area.
Step #9: Light the fire with your Matches.
Step #10: Open the van’s door and click on the camera to get its Lens.
Step #11: Use the Lens on the right telescope, then move the sights to the appropriate constellations (they’re highlighted in white). Do the same for the left telescope.
Step #12: Go to the table on the left side of the area and place the Blue Paper on the table.
Check the piece of paper on the right for a hint about the lock’s password you’ll need to unlock later.
Step #13: Using the hint you gathered from the previous step, enter the password “3:05” on the picnic basket’s lock to get your Scissors.
Then, go to the table and use the Scissors you got to fold the Blue Paper into a wheel.
Step #14: Go back to the 2nd area (Beach) and find the ice cream cart. There, you’ll find the hint regarding the red safe’s lock’s password, which is located in the 1st area (House).
Step #15: Go to the 1st area (House) and unlock the red safe by pressing the following buttons to get a Crowbar:
Step #16: Go to the 2nd area and use the Crowbar on the box to get the Pin for your pinwheel.
Step #17: Go to the third area (Campsite) and put the Pin on the folded Blue Paper. Then, get the incomplete pinwheel and use it on the stick on the ground to proceed to the next area.
Step #18: Light all the candles in the next area, then get the Feather from the mysterious stranger to proceed to the next chapter.
Chapter 4: When The Day Arrived (Walkthrough)
Step #1: Empty the clothing bin, then click on the Dirty Scarf to get it. Also, take note of the hints written on the towel—the owl, the butterfly, the broom, and the bird.
Step #2: Using the hint you found on the towel, count the number of owls, butterflies, brooms, and birds in the area, then input the password on the safe to get the Medicine.
The password should be 1935:
Step #3: Take the Detergent and the Bucket from the following locations:
Step #4: Fill the Bucket up with water using the faucet on the right side of the room, then use both the filled-up Water Bucket and the Detergent on the washing machine.
Step #5: Open the washing machine and put the Dirty Scarf inside to clean it.
While the Dirty Scarf is being cleaned, you may also click on the Red Notebook to get hints for the two puzzles you’ll encounter later.
Step #6: Give the Clean Scarf and the Medicine to Owl to proceed to the next area. Also, fill up the Bucket with water, as you’ll need to use it once again later.
Step #7: In the next area, take the Medicine from the middle of the plant display.
Step #8: Using one of the hints you got back in Step #5, open the lock to the shed to get the Flower Seed hidden inside. You can do this by entering the following combinations:
Step #9: Use the Flower Seed and the Water Bucket on the empty pot to receive the Flowers.
Step #10: Give the Flowers and the Medicine to Owl to proceed to the next area.
Step #11: Check the garbage can for hints on the password, then input the password onto the light switch to illuminate the entire room.
The password should be 131215.
Step #12: Go to the Owls & Pigeons puzzle on the left side of the area and arrange it so that their positions are reversed and look like this to get the Square Puzzle Piece:
From left to right, the order of clicks should be:
Owl 3, Pigeon 1, Pigeon 2, Owl 3, Owl 2, Owl 1, Pigeon 1, Pigeon 2, Pigeon 3, Owl 3, Owl 2, Owl 1, Pigeon 2, Pigeon 3, and Owl 1.
Step #13: Next, hang the clothes on the far-left side of the area by clicking on them, then check the hanging clothes and get the Box Cutter from one of them.
Step #14: Get the Gardening Tool from the far-right corner of the area, then go back to the 2nd area (Garden) to dig up the mound of dirt.
Step #15: Arrange the puzzle to get the Circle Puzzle Piece by rotating one piece at a time until they match with each other.
The puzzle should look like this at the end:
Step #16: Go to the 1st area (House) and use the Box Cutter you obtained from Step #13 on the sealed-up package.
Step #17: Solve the puzzle by moving the marked tile to the space that has its mark. Doing this will give you the Triangle Puzzle Piece.
You can do this easily by moving the tile on the bottom-right corner up, then moving the bottom-left corner right under it.
The final result should look like this:
Step #18: Go back to the 3rd area (Garage), then use all of the Puzzle Pieces on the door lock.
To open the lock and proceed to the next area, you still have to input the password that you saw back in Step #5 by pressing the corresponding puzzle pieces.
The exact password is Square, Circle, Triangle, Circle, Square.
Step #19: In the next area, click on anything interactable to find the Medicine, as it will spawn randomly.
Give it to Owl to proceed to the next chapter.
Chapter 5: When The Past Was Around (Walkthrough)
Step #1: Open all the boxes & windows in the 1st area (Cafe) to find the G-clef. It will spawn in a random location depending on the last item you’ve clicked.
Step #2: Click all the sandcastles and crates in the 2nd area (Beach) to find the Eighth Note, which will also spawn based on the last item you’ve clicked.
Step #3: Click all the potted plants in the 3rd area (Garden) to spawn the Beam Note, which is the last note you need.
Step #4: Use all of the musical notes you’ve collected on their respective platforms to collect Feathers from each of them.
Step #5: Give all of the Feathers you’ve collected to Eda.
Doing so will finally allow you to witness the ending, then finish the game!
While “When The Past Was Around” mainly employs a “narrative-first” approach regarding its gameplay, it is still a very fun point-and-click puzzle game.
Alongside making you rack up your brain with the obstacles you encounter, this game will also tug on your heartstrings with its fantastic story and visuals that are reminiscent of other great 2D games like Boba Story.