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How to Find the Cure for the Shimmer in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

Save your dad!
Saying Goodbye in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
Screenshot via Northway Games

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist really doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the deaths of your loved ones, especially when it comes to the deaths of your parents. Most of the other colonists who die on Vertumna have off-screen, quick-but-brutal deaths; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for your parents. You have to watch your parents die slowly, while you choke yourself in your own panic trying to save them.

If you don’t figure out how to save them in time, you will have to watch your mother die of starvation and your father die of the Shimmer, a mysterious illness only found on Vertumna. Thankfully, however, you have the power to stop these gruesome, horrifying deaths! All you need to do to save your mother is to put an end to the famine, but finding a cure for your father’s illness is slightly more complicated. Use this guide to find a cure for the Shimmer in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist!

How to Find the Cure for the Shimmer in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

The Shimmer is a nasty disease that seems only to affect one particular colonist to such a deadly degree: your dad. In the beginning, the Shimmer only manifests as runny noses and watery eyes, similar to a bad case of seasonal allergies; although the symptoms seem innocuous enough at first, the severity of the symptoms escalates with every Pollen Season that goes by.

Each Pollen Season, your dad’s condition only gets worse and worse, until eventually, the fungus/disease spreads throughout his entire body and suffocates him from the inside out (absolutely brutal). Although you can’t stop your dad from getting initially infected with the Shimmer, you can stop him from dying from it. All you need to do to find the cure for the Shimmer in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is follow these steps:

Tangent is the Key (Stay in School)

You won’t be able to actively help create a cure for the Shimmer until you’re at least 14 (when you unlock Forage in the Valley). However, there are ways to get a jumpstart on the process before you hit 14. Tangent is the true mastermind behind the Shimmer cure, she will be the one to actually create it in the lab (along with Instance). Because of this, it is very important for you to get extra comfy with Tangent (you don’t have to date her or anything, just make sure you two are good friends).

The SFC in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
Screenshot via Northway Games

Studying in Engineering not only gets you closer to developing a cure for the Shimmer, but it also gives you friendship points with Tangent! Keeping up with your studies is one of the best ways to get an early start on the cure, so be sure to take it seriously. Doing this enough times should also help trigger events that will get the colony (mostly Tangent and Instance) focused on finding a cure for the Shimmer as soon as possible. You can also level up your friendship with Tangent at the same time by electing to study with her and by giving her items she likes (Yellow Flowers and Medicinal Roots), especially during her birthday month (Late Wet Season).

Forage, Forage, Forage

Once you hit the age of 14, your parents will invite you to a council meeting (make sure to say yes when they invite you). During this meeting, it will be revealed that the colony is running out of food and you all will starve to death by the end of the year (this is when the famine begins). You may be distracted at this time with trying to end the famine before your mother dies from starvation, but don’t worry, your dad won’t die immediately; this scene is only important because it’s the moment that the Forage in the Valley expedition option will become unlocked for you. Since you’ll likely be foraging in the Valley of Vertigo anyways to find food for the colony, this next part won’t be too difficult.

Valley of Vertigo in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
Screenshot via Northway Games

During one of your study sessions with Tangent in the lab, it will be offhandedly mentioned that if it were to be anywhere, the key to the Shimmer’s cure would be located in the Valley of Vertigo. Explore the Valley of Vertigo during Pollen Season and be sure to collect all collectibles, and challenge every single event you see, especially the special events (the events with the exclamation points above them). Exhaust every single option in the Valley of Vertigo until you come across some Spore Samples (You’ll have to go through a bit of a dangerous cutscene to get them, but don’t worry, you’ll be fine in the end).

Engineering a Cure

Once you have the spore samples from the Valley of Vertigo, go back to studying in Engineering with Tangent until the Shimmer cure event is triggered. Once the event is finally triggered, you’ll be able to finally manufacture a cure for the Shimmer! Not only will you (but mostly Tangent) be curing the entire colony of a deadly disease, but you’ll also be saving your dad from certain death! You’ll also get the His Little Tomato trophy/achievement for figuring out how to stop this nasty disease (worth it!). The Shimmer is definitely not something you want to let go unchecked in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist; curing it is hard, but having to watch your in-game dad die from it is even harder!

Medbay in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
Screenshot via Northway Games

Related: How to End the Famine in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

Congratulations! If you followed all of these steps correctly, you should have saved your dad and found a cure for the Shimmer in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist! Finding the cure to the Shimmer is no simple task, so figuring it out in the duration of a single playthrough is definitely something to be proud of. This game is only as brutal as you let it be, always save as many people as you can in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist!

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