My First Full Maze Connections Analysis

After isolating The Trap, I took another look at the diagram and came to the conclusion that what I had originally thought was The Trap, must actually be The Loop. I changed the color of any connections that went to the trap to orange, and any connections that went to the Loop to purple. After making some adjustments to the diagram, I now believe I have a good idea about how the areas of the maze connect.

Let me walk you through my analysis regarding the room connections.

Room 1, and The Abyss

There are ultimately two ways to end the maze. If you are lucky enough to escape, you will be doing so through Room 1, which is also the only entrance to the maze. If you are not so lucky, you will wander the maze until you find your way to Room 24, The Abyss, which has no exits, and will be trapped there forever.

The Trap

This subsection of the Maze consists of a series of six rooms that are completely isolated from the rest of the maze. Once you enter one of these rooms, the only way out is to The Abyss.

The main path of the maze is riddled with links to these rooms which are designed to stealthily lead visitors down to The Abyss.

The Loop

After finding the trap, I was able to rearrange the room connections that I had previously thought were The Trap, and came up with this:

It ends up that when you realize that the room 14 dead ends into The Trap and The Abyss, then the only viable path out from room 10, is room 41, which returns you to page 1. I am now going to claim having solved The Loop.

The Terraces

Aside from The Path, the only other group of rooms joined together with two way connections are rooms 21, 31, 19 and 44 as shown below:

Room 1 leads to this area, as well as several other one way connections from rooms on The Path. These four rooms are all exterior spaces that you can move back and forth between. There are only three ways to leave this small area is to The Abyss from room 21, to The Trap from room 19, and to The Loop from room 44. The only one of those exits that will allow you to escape the maze is the exit to room 18 in The Loop.

The Path

And here is the meat of Maze. In my interpretation of the path, I’ve included the 16 steps along with several connecting rooms:

You can find the 16 steps of the solution in my post from May 10th. There are several rooms interconnected with this solution.
The shortest path from room 1 back to room 1 can be found through room 5, allowing you to enter and leave the maze in 5 steps. You can travel between rooms 29 and 12 on the path via room 2. Room 29 will also allow you to cut to room 8 on the path, however if you leave the Maze using either of those shorter routes, you will not reach room 45.
After reaching room 45, there are a couple of side rooms that you can move into and explore before returning to the path proper. These rooms are rooms 28 and 32, and from a design perspective, they help muddy the waters while trying to find the shortest path back to room 1.
Not shown on this map are the many, many one-way exits from The Path to the other areas of the maze.

Connection Summary

As you can see there are four discrete areas of the maze that (aside from room 1) don’t allow you to travel back and forth between them. Room 1 will allow you to travel back and forth between The Loop via room 41. Room 1 will take you to The Terraces via room 21, where you must make your way to The Loop if you wish to escape. Room 1 will lead you into The Path via room 26, and from The Path via room 20.

The true trap

After going traveling through the book some more, I finally found the actual trap. There are a series of six rooms that interconnect with each other but do not reconnect back to the rest of the maze. There are many doors that lead to these rooms, but no exits (not counting the one-way trip to 24).

In the image above, I didn’t include any of the multitude of links from other rooms that make a one-way trip into this area.

As you can see, this area consists of the triangle of rooms 43, 22, and 38. The only exit from this triangle is from room 38 to room 40, which leads to a dead end in six, or leads you to 11. From 11 you can either return to 40, or get sent to the abyss in 24.

The trap?

Has it been a month already? I went to Paizocon, a gaming convention during Memorial Day weekend, and it seems like all I’ve been doing with my extra time is prepping for it, or recovering from it. 🙂

Anyway, I picked Maze up again to see if I could make any more headway, and after heading through several rooms, I noticed several loops that seem to be interconnected. So after trying to isolate which rooms they consisted of, I went to my diagram and tried to see if I could find them.

After figuring out where the connections are on the diagram I isolated this series of rooms:

I removed any links from other rooms that make a one-way trip to any of these rooms so that it is easier to see the issue here. Also, don’t mind the question mark links. I’m pretty sure that the open ceiling in room 16 and the open floor in room 33 don’t lead anywhere, but I’m not ready to totally erase them from my diagram yet.

So the issue with these rooms is that if you arrive in this area from anywhere else in the maze you will be wandering around these interconnected loops until you make your way to room 10 via room 34 and connect back with the rest of the maze.

This sounds like a trap to me! Unless I prove to myself otherwise, or get to the point where I’m checking my answers with into the abyss, and find out that I’m wrong there, I’m going to call this one solved. 🙂

In other news, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone on the next Mazecast! See all of you there!

The solution

Last night was amazing! For the first time in the 30 years since I’ve known about Maze I was able to navigate the maze, going from page 1 to 45 and back to page 1 in 16 steps! I’ll admit that I didn’t do it by solving every page solution, but for me, drawing my own version of the maze, and figuring it out logically was very satisfying and a lot of fun.

So, obviously, I found the solution to the problem from my last post. I’m not sure whether I lucked into it, or whether finding it this way was intentional by design. In my room connection analysis there are a few unlabeled entrances or exits that still don’t match up to anything, so I figured that maybe one of the other rooms that had a missing connection that might connect to room 17.

There is a doorway on page 39 that’s all bricked up, and it doesn’t have an obvious number attached to it. So I figured that maybe it went to room 17 and I tried to find a connection. There’s a picture of a jester’s cap over the bricked up door, and the guide mentions that there is a faint jingling coming from behind the doorway. So I looked for jesters in other rooms.

There is an upside down man with what looks like jester’s feet on page 29, and the shadow of the feet on the sheet covering the wall behind him kind of looks like a jester’s hat. Then I realized that the sheet on page 29 could easily be hiding another door in the room due to the size of the sheet and how the other doors in the room are arranged. The upside down 17 in the candelabra in the room is fairly obvious, but I always figured it had something to do with the room’s puzzle rather than an actual door number. But if you turn the page upside down, the 17 is over the area that the sheet is covering the door with. It’s a perfectly hidden door number right in plain sight. Well played Mr. Manson.

That gives me a connection from room 29 to room 17 through a hidden door. Once that connection is made, I took the first few rooms that I went through and found the few intervening steps between page 30 and page 29, which makes a direct connection to page 45. After that, I spend some time playing around with the rest of the room connections to find the shortest route back to 1. There are several ways to get from 1 to 45 and back to 1 again, but the shortest one I found, that takes exactly 16 steps, is shown below:

To make it easier to view, I removed all the connections to other rooms in the maze. So the shortest route through Maze that includes going to Room 45 is as follows:
1 26 30 42 4 29 17 45 23 8 12 39 4 15 37 20 1
Or by number of steps:
Step 1: Room 1 to Room 26
Step 2: Room 26 to Room 30
Step 3: Room 30 to Room 42
Step 4: Room 42 to Room 4
Step 5: Room 4 to Room 29
Step 6: Room 29 to Room 17
Step 7: Room 17 to Room 45
Step 8: Room 45 to Room 23
Step 9: Room 23 to Room 8
Step 10: Room 8 to Room 12
Step 11: Room 12 to Room 39
Step 12: Room 39 to Room 4
Step 13: Room 4 to Room 15
Step 14: Room 15 to Room 37
Step 15: Room 37 to Room 20
Step 16: Room 20 to Room 1

I enjoy how the shortest path that includes Room 45 creates a figure 8 through room 4, or if you turn my solution on it’s side it creates an infinity symbol.

It’s an example of the effort Manson put into building elegant solutions for Maze.

Houston we have a problem…

Before I get into the problem, I want to note that my copy of Maze finally arrived from Amazon, and it’s cool to finally be flipping through it’s actual pages again. The slick cover, and smell of the ink brings back memories from when I had it in high school. Also, I’d forgotten that the pages in the book are actually a light sepia color, and how hypnotizing the textures of the images are. It’s easy to think that there might be patterns in the textures that reveal hidden clues to the maze here and there.

I definitely appreciate the artistry that went into the creation of Maze. It’s one of the reasons why this book is so unique.

Moving on…

So after studying the first few pages and trying to work my way through I decided to refer to my room-connection diagrams again, and see if I could work my way back from page 45 to page 1, and found this little treat…

If you look at all the doors and room numbers, room 45 is one of a small group of pages that are isolated from the rest of the maze. I’ve pulled those pages away from the rest of the spaghetti in the diagram above to point out the issue.

To clarify, you can only reach room 45 from rooms 23, 28, and 17. You can only reach room 17 from room 45. You can only reach Room 23 from Room 28 and Room 45. You can only reach Room 28 from Rooms 23, 45 and Room 32. And You can only reach room 32 from Room 28.

There are no doors with obvious numbers on them that reach to these set of rooms. These 5 rooms are effectively isolated from the rest of the maze. Which means that on face value, there is no way to reach room 45 from room 1.

The good news is that there is something funny about room 17. There is a door, that doesn’t connect with any other rooms in the maze that I’ve found, so to find the real path I probably need to find a door that will go to 17.

Into the Woods

Time to dust off the old thinking cap and take my first run into the Maze.

I think for this first time, it would be prudent to scour the cover and first few pages to see if there are any perfunctory clues we can find or maybe hints as to the overall nature of Maze.

Cover

The copy on the back of the book gives us our first introduction to the guide, and teases us with a couple of possible clues: The word Story above door 20, then once we’re in room 20, half of an arrow pointing into room 27. I think it would be fair to assume that any clues given on the cover are red herrings. If the beguiling nature of the guide isn’t reason enough, there’s always the fact that there is actually a red herring over the entryway on the cover. Using the only page in the book with color on it to give us that clue is cleverly cute.

Of course there can be a couple of things that the red herring may be alluding to. Is it saying that everything on the cover is a red herring? Can we assume that all clues the guide gives us are red herrings? What other connections are there to the red herring?

Also, the door across from the entryway in the first room is open. Is that the edge of a foot poking out the door in the lower right corner? If so, who’s foot is it? The guide’s?

As an aside, each time the word Maze shows up it is capitalized. It appears 4 times on the back cover.

Let’s move on to….

Title Page

I’m not sure that there are any clues to be had here, or whether it’s just some cool art that was put on this title page. So let’s file the items shown on here away for later use. Maybe we can infer something significant from them as we collect more information later on.

We’ve got a parchment with a maze drawn on it, a square tool, a drawing compass, a pencil (or sharpened chalk), a mallet (or hammer) and a block being used as a paper weight on the parchment. There is also a key on the block, but I’m having a hard time telling whether it’s a key laying on the block, or whether the key is indented into the block, making it some kind of mold. Also, the shape of the block is peculiar, like it may have been a piece of a wheel or a wedge.

The only other thing to note is that as in several rooms, the shadows of the objects are portrayed as if being hit from an angle by a fairly harsh light. Maybe it’s inferring that lighting might be something to pay attention to throughout the book, and not just there for the artistry.

Next we have…

Directions

This may be the only page not narrated by the guide. Although it is slim on clues, it does it’s job in introducing us to the main goals of the book that the author intends.

I think that it is fairly safe to assume any directions on this page are truthful and not intentionally misleading.

Like any good maze, the primary goal is to find the shortest route through Maze. As a bonus we are challenged to solve the riddle in the middle. Clues in multiple rooms that have a connection to each other may infer a path. Many clues will refer to specific doors. Anything could be a clue, and some clues may be misleading.

Objects on this page include two pillars with ribbons draped around them holding up a sign labeled Directions. The bordering on the sign looks like rope. There are four hands with pointing index fingers that appear to be carved into the pillars.

I may have accidentally read the Hidden Hint on this page listed on into the abyss. That’s actually a pretty large clue in that there is a recurring pattern throughout the maze where an outstanding clue, one that differs from the others, often leads the correct way through the maze.

Which leads us to…

Prologue

There are several things that interest me about this page. This is a similar image to the front cover with some differences. There are words replacing the red herring at the top of the doorway that read The Next Page. The door inside Room 1 across from the entryway is now closed and we can see the image of the bottle on it. There is an umbrella leaning against the doorway.

Is the next page a red herring? If so, which parts? Is the text above the doorways in Room 1 a red herring? Just the text above the doorway we can see? Everything in the room? Welcome to Maze… If nothing else, I think it’s safe to say that it’s showing us that clues on different pages can be tied together. There can be a symmetry of clues that moves us through rooms inferring a path.

What is the significance of the Umbrella? It wasn’t there before. In the text, the guide points out that he usually waits inside, and that the sun (at least to him) is very hot. Did he bring the umbrella to shield him from the sun?

The description is rife with references to the guide. So many references that it almost forces us to infer that the identity of the guide is significant. The fact that this emphasis is given to us at the beginning of the maze, might be telling us that if we can figure out who he is, it will help us throughout the maze… or not… Maybe it’s trying to emphasize that if we can determine his identity it will help us interpret his clues, giving us insight as to what he says that we can trust (if any of it).

Like all the other visitors, they think the Maze was made for them. In his next statement is he trying to imply that the visitors were made for the maze? Or that the maze was made for the guide?

Thanks to Google I found that ‘The fire in my eyes’ is in a line of the Maya Angelou poem Phenomenal Woman. Does that line infer that the guide is a woman? The text does make reference to a poet.

Her crown could be referring to the fact that she thinks she’s royalty of some sort, or she could be referring to something distinctive about the top of her head.

I don’t know what pain she’s referring to, or the significance of it.

What does she mean by ‘Which half is the Maze’? Is she referring to the city around the Maze house? Cute.

Words that are capitalized that shouldn’t be: Maze Underworld Maze House (Cerberus is also capitalized, but that is a proper name). MUM CHUM MUCH HUM HUMM Underworld House.

Of course Cerberus was the three-headed ‘worm’ (dragon, monster) guarding the third circle of hell (the Underworld) in Dante’s Inferno. Is the guide implying that she is the guardian of this Underworld House? What does she mean by ‘I am the lesson’? Lost Sheen, He’s Stolen, She Lets On…. meh… Me Hast No Lies? Stole His Name? She Lies to Man?

At this point I should probably mention that I do understand that with all of the mythical references it is hard not to consider the identity of the guide to be a (the) minotaur. The book is called Maze after all. However, I have to think that Manson would come up with something less obvious, but throw enough clues to mislead you into thinking that’s what the guide is. So far the most compelling ‘clue’ pointing to the minotaur theory is actually the line referring to the visitor’s being too distracted to notice her crown. If there were horns on her head, like a minotaur, that would be a significant thing for them to miss.

Another obvious theory is that the guide could be the devil. There is definitely a devil motif that runs throughout the book, and with implications that the guide may be a guardian of the underworld, and is frequently beguiling, those are indicators to back up the devil theory. Also, later on in the book, the guide abandons you to the abyss. Sound devilish? However, just like the minotaur theory, I’m skeptical. It seems too easy.

A third theory is that the guide may be Dracula or some kind of vampire. This theory is mainly supported by the guide’s aversion to sunlight as described above. Also, the reference of her crown may mean something like the widow’s cap that Dracula is commonly portrayed with. Also Dracula is commonly portrayed as royalty. If it is Dracula, then what is so painful, and why is there fire in his eyes? Hmmm…. actually if Dracula was in the sun, it would be painful… but what about the fire in his eyes. And why is he the lesson?

Okay, after some more research, my current theory is that it is Dracula or some other vampire. An excerpt from Dracula:

The last I saw of Count Dracula was his kissing his hand to me, with a red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.
— Jonathan Harker’s Journal, Dracula, Chapter 4

Why does he call it the gate? The gate to the underworld? The gate to Dracula’s castle?

We haven’t even stepped in and already things sound ominous…

Room 1

The good news is that I haven’t gotten too many clues and spoilers for Maze yet. The bad news is that most of them are for the first few pages of Maze. Especially room 1. So I know that the correct doorway is 26, but I wasn’t really paying too close attention in the podcast as to why that is.

Here is my analysis so far of Room 1.

There are 4 brass doors here leading from left to right to rooms 20, 26, 41, and 21 respectively. The door numbers are all listed in black letters on white rectangles hung right above the doors. The words Story, Fable, Tale and Yarn seem to be painted on the brick above the numbers. Each door has a round, hanging door handle, and has an image displayed in a square in the upper half of each door. From left to right the images are of a drum, a cup, a bottle, and an apple. Harsh light streams through the entryway from outside and falls over the floor, and doors 41 and 21. In the foreground is an easel with a long strip of paper covered in large symbols tacked to it. The shadowed floor under the easel is littered with long, wide strips of paper or parchment with more large symbols covering them. The separate pieces seem to have been torn roughly into their individual strips as if the entirety of the paper on the floor could have come from one long strip. One section is attached to the wall just inside the door, and another is sticking out from underneath door 21. While many of the symbols don’t appear to be alphanumeric, many of the symbols could be construed as being English letters or Arabic numbers.

The words Tale and Yarn are anagrams of Late and Nary.

The shadow of the top of the doorway falls squarely on doors 41 and 21. From the notes I wrote regarding the top of the doorway on the front cover of the book, and then in the prologue, it could be assumed that doors 41 and 21 are a red herring.

The letter of each of the pictures on the doors from left to right are D, C, B, and A, possibly inferring some kind of movement from right to left. ABCD –>.

I could make out the letters A E I O U K L G in the symbols on the parchment. The numbers 0, 1 and 7 could also be construed. All of the vowels are represented. I don’t know if there’s any significance for that.

There is a symbol that is shaped like an arrow on the parchment attached to the easel that seems to be pointing towards door 20.

The parchment hanging on the wall have symbols that could be construed to spell out the word LIKE, or UKE.

Of course there was the reference to door 20 on the cover of the book.

20+21=41.

The words Nary, Late, and Story all appear in the text, but the word Fable does not.

The word Decisions appears 3 times.

The guide mentions 3 distinct visitors.

There is a ringing behind one of the doors. The guide says that the silences are as eloquent as the sounds alluding to the fact that the room they need to go into may not be the one with the ringing. Room 20 has a telephone next to the door and says ‘the ringing stopped as soon as we entered.’ The guide may be implying that room 20 is the wrong way.

The third visitor opens a door, and the first visitor peers into the gloom.
Room 21 is outdoors and rooms 20 and 41 seem to be well lit. In the first paragraph of Room 26 the visitors mention that ‘there is not enough light in here.’ Assuming the third visitor opens the door to the correct room, this would imply that he opened the door to 26.

The guide describes the sun as ‘glaring at him’ which backs up the theory of the guide being a vampire.

I think I heard someone calling the odd clue principle being referred to as the ‘odd one in’ principle, and I like that so I’m going to use it. If you use the odd one in, there are many references to rooms 20, 41, and 21 but the only one that I found to room 26 was the implication that it was the door being opened by the third visitor.

Hrmm. Although the number 3 comes up a couple of times in the analysis above and C is the third letter of the alphabet. And the image on door 26 is Cup. Which starts with C.

The only letters in the text that are capitalized incorrectly are a couple of references to the word Maze, which follows the pattern started in the prologue. Maze shows up twice on this page.

Exit Choice: Room 26

Room 26

Okay, the first room that I have to make my own decision on. Unfortunately I’m not picking up many clues here.

I’m assuming there is an anagram that has to do with the devil opening the trapdoors on the stage. The final one on the right is holding up a letter A and there is an S on the salt shaker, so I tried anagrams for the following, but couldn’t come up with anything:
Open Devil
Open Devil A
Opening Devil A
Open Devil AS
Opening Devil AS
Reveal Devil A
Reveal Devil AS
Reveal A
Reveal AS

There is a bell laying on the floor. The guide says tone.

17 notches on the stage. 16 chairs. 2 grumpy looking men. Saturn, the Moon.

Um… there are devils pointing to rooms 36 and 38, and we came through room 1, so… room 30… sure, why not?

Exit Choice: Room 30

Progress So Far:

Before the Beginning

So, I kind of started off by cheating…

After I found Mazecast, but before deciding to blog, I was watching episodes and starting where I’m sure many people do:
I built a room-connection map of the whole maze.

I’ve been using a simple flowchart program for several years when I would occasionally run into something where I wanted to show connections in a visual way. I used this program to create 45 circles, representing each page, then went through the book and added links for each of the doors that I could find. A black arrow was a numbered doorway, and a white arrow at the end of the line represents an unnumbered doorway (but I could verify that one of the empty doorways in the room should match up from the other room).

Here’s an image of what I ended up with:

Congrats to me, I’ve obviously solved Maze…….

Don’t mind the bits at the bottom. As I was going through I added arrows to question marks to represent blank doorways that I hadn’t found links for yet, and removed them when I found the links.

The Side View

So next I figured I might learn something by trying to analyze what levels of the ‘house’ each of the rooms are on. It was to represent kind of a side view or cutaway of levels for the structure. I added colors to connections that went up or down (like a ladder or a chute). Then I used those connections to see if I could figure out (just from the diagram) what rooms were on each of the different floors of the maze, in the hopes that it might help with future analysis.

Using that methodology, I ended up with this:

This is a little bit more organized. I could kind of create a map of the floors, by guessing where the rooms are in relation to each other merely by looking at the tops and bottoms of ladders, stairs and chutes. Also, I was able to easily show the one-way connections to The Abyss. However, there are still problems.

First off, the entire concept assumes that Manson designed the maze in distinct floors (exactly the kind of assumption that can get you in trouble with this book). Second, it assumes that the only way to get between the levels is by an obvious visual clue like a ladder, or set of stairs. Third, there are rooms with connections to other rooms that seem to be on different levels. So if it is possible to just step through a door and move from one level to another, how can you tell which level you end up on if there aren’t any obvious signs as to where you are (ladders, an outdoor area, something in the text)? Lastly, and this is more of a caveat, because it’s a cutaway view, and not a top-down view, there isn’t much room to work out where each of the rooms are in relationship to each other on any given level.

I got tired and frustrated trying to figure out what levels rooms were on just by manipulating the diagram, so I decided to suspend this exercise until I do more research on the rooms and get more data.

However, I’m going to add a goal of trying to create a side diagram that places each room accurately on a particular level.

What’s the Connection?

Next, I decided to start trying to take a look at the diagram from the beginning and the end, that is, from Room 1, and Room 24. At this point I had heard that there is a section of the maze commonly referred to as The Trap, and was trying to figure out (just from manipulating the diagram) how that interconnected to room 24. While going through this process, I decided to change the lines so that I could tell whether they were one way connections or two-way connections just by looking at the line. Between that and the arrows it is now easier to see how exits in a given location connect to different areas. Also, there are still a few rooms with mystery doorways that I need to do more research on, and instead of having all of them link to one question marked mystery room, I broke those up into distinct connections for each room.

After playing around for a while, I came up with this:

Now I’m sure I could spend a lot more time trying to do a better job of organizing an unraveling this spaghetti, but at this point I feel like I should really just do as the author intended and start from the beginning. In my next post I’ll analyze the beginning of the book and the first few rooms I’ve moved through.

How to Start?

I sometimes ask myself what my goals are while I’m reading through Maze. I mean, obviously there are the goals given on the Directions page, and each page has at least one goal of using the clues given on the page to find the correct doorway on the path, but in this book that is designed around reading between the lines, when you read between the lines, they suggest that there may be other goals as well. After watching the podcasts that I have, I know that White Raven has verified that it is possible to find the identity of the guide. I also wonder if Manson designed other specific characters that go through the maze with you, and whether you can find any significance of who they are or any other characters that may be running around in the maze.

Also, one of the things that constantly chews at me as I read is discovering and mapping out the room connections in a visual manor so I can more easily refer to the flow of the book. While my classmates were drawing love diagrams, I had diagrams of room connections stuffed in my textbooks, mixed in with my homework. I noticed that Into the Abyss includes completed diagrams on the room connections in the book, but I now avoid them like the plague so that I can solve that puzzle for myself. I do know that the Maze connections can be organized into three main areas (the path, the loop, and the trap), though, so I want to see if I can recreate those connections (or find my own interpretations) on my own.

Lastly, I have spoiled the riddle on page 45 for myself. I’ve seen part of the podcast that went over it. I vaguely remember thinking it was impossible to figure out when I was in high school, and I don’t feel so bad knowing that no one got the answer by the end of the contest. I saw what the riddle is but don’t remember the exact word for the answer, so I’m going to try to find it on the path, once I discover the path.

Here are the goals that I’ve laid out for myself as I explore Maze:

  1. Find the shortest route from Page 1 to Page 45 and back (find the 16 steps). (Solved 5/10/15. See my blog post for that date for the solution)
  2. Map out the room connections for Maze. (try to find every room connection)
  3. See if I can figure out mapping for The Path. (Solved 5/10/15. See my blog post for that date for the solution)
  4. See if I can figure out mapping for The Loop. (Solved 6/16/15. See my blog post for that date for the solution)
  5. See if I can figure out mapping for The Trap. (Solved 6/16/15. See my blog post for that date for the solution)
  6. Create an accurate side diagram that shows which floor each room is on. (added 4/23/2015)
  7. Find the answer to the riddle from page 45 on the path.
  8. Find the clues to the correct exit for each page (aside from 24 of course).
  9. Find the identity of the guide.The Guide Infers:
    The visitors don’t notice his crown. – top of his head, or symbol of royalty? The crown of a count? A Widow’s Cap?(Added 5/1/2015)
    The visitors don’t notice his pain. From the sun?(Added 5/1/2015)
    The visitors don’t notice the fire in his eyes. – Maya Angelou reference? Is the guide a woman? The red, glowing eyes of Dracula?(Added 5/1/2015)
    I am the lesson. (Added 5/1/2015)
    The guide might have an aversion to the sun. (Added 5/1/2015)
  10. See if I can find out about any other characters in the Maze (such as the other people traveling through the maze).

Hey Everyone!

I’m Brent Holtsberry, a game store manager and roleplaying game community organizer in Sacramento. I recently remembered a beloved book from my high school days and did some internet searches about it. Guess what book that is? I found that you guys were podcasting (and also found Into the Abyss), and am excited about diving into the Maze again and seeing what I can figure out.

I’ve seen the first few episodes sequentially and stopped watching when SP was going to start discussing his theory regarding the guide during the room 24 episode. I realized at that point that I’d like to try to figure some things out by myself before joining with the community full bore. I also realized that since you guys were looking for new blood to compare notes with, and see what they try out, I decided to volunteer blogging my experience so that you guys get something out of seeing someone trying to crack this thing with fresh eyes.

Blogging this comes with some obvious caveats. I fully expect that most of my efforts are going to be heinously redundant regarding the work that most of you have done in solving Maze. My apologies in advance to those of you who would want me to just dive into the Abyss and catch up with the rest of the community as quickly as possible, but I do want to take at least some time in the beginning to try to solve things with only a few spoilers. I hope that the value of me working on my own for a little while will be in seeing the process that I take, and not the content that I discover. I might get extremely lucky and make a legitimate discovery or two, but I hope that by adding my voice and personality to the community I can enrich it with my playstyle and efforts.

Entering the Maze

I vaguely remember being in high school when Maze showed up at one of the book stores I used to troll. Right away I could tell that it was amazing and unique, and spent many hours wandering through it, exploring the rooms, trying to make heads or tails of the puzzles and making many a trip to Page 24. Then I lost it. I don’t know where I lost it otherwise I would have found it right away again. 🙂 After an extensive search of my room, places at school that I could have left it, and the freak show that was my locker, I decided to get another copy. To my horror, it was nowhere to be found. Back then, there weren’t that many copies of this niche book to begin with, and none of the bookstores that I checked with in my small city had it. So even though it continued to creatively inspire me, it was gone from my life.

Occasionally through the decades since then I would look for it, and as the internet sprang into existence and grew I was at least able to verify that it wasn’t just a fondly remembered figment of my high school imagination. However, I have always seemed busy with other things in my life, and have always respected the monumental endeavor it is in facing off this beast. Although it became more easily accessible, I never felt like I had the time or energy to give it the honest effort it was due. So although I would remember it every few years and glance at it occasionally, I always put it back down (figuratively) until now.

I can’t tell you exactly what’s different this time, but I’m excited to see this podcast community coming together to create friendships and work at solving the bits that are left. 🙂

I look forward to interacting with you, and hopefully you’ll have at least some fun following my efforts. 🙂

Have Fun!

Brent Holtsberry