Just want the answers? See the codes section of this page. This page is for people who prefer a challenge and want the fun of solving the puzzles themselves but need help getting started. The hints here are ordered from most innocuous to most spoiling. For maximum fun, stop reading hints when you think you've almost got it.
I'm compiling here most of the hints toward deciphering the secrets gathered either on the forum or on the Steam thread. I'm putting the hints in "spoiler" boxes like this one :
This is a spoiler
It's just written in white on white. So select the content of the box to see the spoiler (or triple-click in the box).
For the most obvious hints (sometimes directly the solution), I double-back by giving it in rot13 as to diminish the risk of unintentionally seeing it... Use a rot13 translator to decipher it.
I'm keeping original author's name as much as possible but I may have sometime lost it following the thread of the discussion. Thanks to all the contributors of the thread on the Steam forum and especially to zakhennahr for his own compilation of hints gathered in the thread.
Defender's Quest is a great game, but the cherry-on-top is that the developers have hidden secret messages in clever puzzles. The most frustrating part for some people is knowing even where to look. The next section, "Book of Secrets" gives some hints for how to find the puzzles, but after that this page bluntly gives away all the puzzle locations. You may want to stop reading if you are one of the die-hard, "I did everything myself!" folks. [... pause here while we let those guys leave ...] Still here? Great. Let's get to it.
The codes can be entered with the strange "keys" on the statues; hover your mouse over different parts and see what lights up. Most codes can be entered more easily using the keyboard. (The "fingers" and "teeth" flash when you type on the keyboard, so it's easy to find the correspondence.) If you type an incorrect answer, nothing happens. Fortunately, you do not need to leave the monument before trying another guess, just type your solutions one after another until you get the one that works.
When a code has been successfully entered at the statues, you'll see the "heart" flash. Click on it to get the skull. Typing extraneous input after a correct answer doesn't harm anything, by the way.
Hints for obtaining the nine Gold Skulls. Select text (or triple-click) to reveal each one. Each hint is more spoiling than the previous, so stop when you've got enough of a hint. Don't forget that extreme spoilers are scrambled and will need to be unscrambled using rot13.
Did you notice that some are quick and some are slow?
People needing help have been known to try quick-quick-quick slow-slow-slow quick-quick-quick
What kind of animal can you use to write? (Hakami-chan) [Ed. This may be a misleading/mistranslated clue.]
Use Morse (Hakami-chan).
--. --- --- ..- - ... .. -.. .
The sheep are telling you to "TB BHGFVQR", but how do you enter that message at the monument? (zakhennahr)
You must enter the code the same way you found it. (zakhennahr).
Did you know that the flute can produce two sounds? (zakhennahr)
Try short presses and long presses.
The code must be entered as Morse, using the flute (spacebar) for dot (short press) and dash (long press).
Tip: Having trouble entering Morse code? Don't get distracted by the sound, you don't have to wait for it to end before hitting the space bar for the next dit or dah.
It's Morse code for "GO OUTSIDE". Perhaps a subtle hint that you've been working on puzzles too long? (Don't forget to call your Mom. She misses you.)
7/ Royal Records Room, Cutscene Act V, Scene 3 (long text)Edit
[Also see skull #10, below, which is based on the short text from this same cut scene.]
Something is encoded in the background (zakhennahr)
Where have we seen this alphabet before?
An expert in cryptograms would have solved this in the standard game's first act.
It's much easier to decipher once you've unlocked New Game+ (blackguard).
Check other cutscenes.
Especially Act 1 scene 2 and Act 6 scene 5 (Scribe13).
In these scenes, Eztli-Tenoch is speaking in runes in normal game, in English in New Game+, thus, you can decipher the alphabet used on the stone. [Side note: The developers say the "runes" are actually an alphabet used in Russia before St. Cyril brought over Cyrillic.]
Wait, these characters are different? Maybe something got flipped?
Enter the whole text, no spaces (zakhennahr).
No, really. Enter the WHOLE long text. All 93 characters. It's a pain, but you can make it easier by touch typing on a real keyboard instead of clicking on the screen.Also, it helps to sing along if you know the funsg gurzr fbat. (Just kidding.)
Give up? The answer is GURLFNLGUNGPNGRMGYVGRABPUVFBARONQZBGUNFUHGLBHEZBHGUOHGVZGNYXVANOBHGRMGYVGRABPUGURAJRPNAQVTVG (Cyriel) (beware of typos...)
Two of the puzzles give a skull made of "unobtanium". Well, not "give", more "remind you of". (The developers explain that the only way you could have something made of unobtanium after solving a puzzle is if you had had it all along. You must've just forgot.)
10/ Royal Record Room Cutscene Act V, Scene 3 (short text)Edit
[Also see skull #7, above, which is based on the long text from this same cut scene.]
This clue is cryptogrammed the same way as skull #7 above.
The short graffito on the wall says, "PNYY WRAAL" (Cyriel, zakhennahr).
But what's her number?
It's in the title of an old song. If you know it, you know it. If you don't, find someone who grew up in the 1980's and ask them.
Don't know anyone to ask? Google is your friend. Search "pnyy Wraal ahzore".
Give up? The answer is (in numbers) "rvtug fvk frira svir guerr mreb avar".
Since the first unobtainable skull hint is hidden together with a gold skull hint, it is possible that the same thing occurs for the second one. (Jym)
"The final secret isn't hidden anywhere in the game. You already know the answer, you just don't know you know it."- "No, it's not outside the universe of the game itself, but neither does it have anything to do with the game. It's not hinted, but you already know it. There's nothing you can do to figure it out, beyond realizing that you know the answer. " (Whisperling).
"You have all already discovered this code during your earlier pursuits, but not yet discovered how to input it". (lars.doucet)
You already found the code as a result of finding the other 10 codes. This means it has to be one of those 10 codes. (Whisperling)
You don't know how to input it yet. This means you have to think of different ways to input it at the statues than you originally input it. It's not frustrating at all to input, it takes maybe 15-30 seconds to input once you know how to input it. (Whisperling)
Written here are the actual codes. Don't look unless you want to be spoiled. They are not encrypted with rot13, so highlight at own risk!
They also contain no explanation as to what it refers to or anything of the sort. Look at the hints above for that.
First 9 unlocks Gold Skulls, last two unlocks Unobtanium Skulls.
up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A (using the eyes of the statues for the directions)
- - . - - - - - - . . - - . . . . . - . . . (use the flute to write in Morse code. Since timing doesn't matter here, it might be easier to reference a shorthand style of long and short notes. In this case: "2L, 1S, 6L, 2S, 2L, 5S, 1L, 3S.")
"THEYSAYTHATCATEZTLITENOCHISONEBADMOTHASHUTYOURMOUTHBUTIMTALKINABOUTEZTLITENOCHTHENWECANDIGIT" (yes you have to type all that in)