Jan. 13th, 2013 -
- White Raven
It all starts making sense at about 3 AM amidst frantically drawn loopy maps, fragments of rebuses and the fact that there’s just something *wrong* with the stick figure in the basement. That’s when you stare blearily at the page and say, “We’ve been blind, we’ve been blind the whole time,” and start babbling conspiracy theories. - M. Glenn
More important than its puzzle is the book’s legacy. Without a doubt, the book left a lasting inspiration to many, stoking a hunger to try solving more baroque and beautiful puzzles, even if that means having to create them first. You can see echoes of Maze in art-heavy digital adventures such as Myst. - Jason McIntosh
Even if you solved the puzzle, there are still so many great anecdotes, underlying stories, amazingly illustrations, and you could probably spend the rest of your life personally interpreting (or misinterpreting) the meaning of the hundreds and hundreds of objects in those illustrations. - Anonymous
An old mansion, a mysterious guide, and a hidden riddle. Each page is a beautifully illustrated image of one room in the mansion. As you travel through the mansion, you suddenly notice funny things – the labyrinth seems to be turning in on itself. “Haven’t I been here before?” You are lost! Trapped! Muahahahaa!!!! - Anonymous
Welcome to the MAZE community where fans of Christopher Manson’s MAZE can come together to share ideas, hints, clues, tips, tricks, solutions, observations, etc. to the multitude of MAZE puzzles that have gone unsolved in the public sphere.
Be part of the solution to MAZE.
Welcome to the Abyss!
WOODROW WILSON? OR WOULDN’T ROW WON’T SOME? HMM I WONDER I WONDER. I LOSTDER I LOSTDER.
Messages from a frightening alternate universe that draws ever nearer…
I got this amazing book maze last week. Looked at it last night for a few hours realizing there is actually no way in for the living. Therefore ino riddle for me unless I’m a ghost. However… being that construction never stops, I decided to become an architect as well. They should call me Persephone.
Hi El! Welcome to the abyss! That’s a really nice way to put it, I guess we’re all sort of suffering from stockholm syndrome with the book. I hope you have a good time here. Recent readers are actually kind of rare(?) so fresh takes are always nice :)
*also hooray, a metaphorical comment that is decipherable*
This reminds me of my *own* breakdown comment about how we’re all still trapped in Maze and the ultimate meaning of the entire book is that the reader can never escape. Good memories.
Nice to have new blood around here! Always fun.
and mine about bearing it on our shoulders and still being subjugated to this abyss or all that from when i first joined. honestly maze is unique in the reaction it inspires
TORTOISE WINS BY A HARE
Happy New Year, you bunch of crazed lunatics (I say that as affectionately as possible.)
Maze’s 40th anniversary draws ever nearer
So it has, fellow scholar, so it has.
It wasn’t supposed to be an empty comment, it was a rebus puzzle using emojis, but it seems emojis are truncated on this comment section. Pity.
It was a NSFW comment about teenage boys.
Why was the “Bequest” entry taken away?
I’m guessing it is no longer in development. Its website, bequestgame dot com, still shows it will release in 2017, and the fact it hasn’t updated since then probably means it was cancelled.
It seems to be an abandoned project, or at least an indefinitely delayed one. It was originally announced for a 2017 release, but no new information has been released since then, to my knowledge.
Vince, it was supposed to be a secret that nearly every member of this site was an alter-ego of the same person as they spiraled into insanity…
There’s no one left to keep the secret from.
We are all MacReady and Childs, passing a flask back and forth in the cheerfully nihilistic realization that it doesn’t even matter whether we’re different people anymore.
Wrong director, this is a James Cameron joint.
Excessively long post incoming:
A lot of the time, I see people asking for media like Maze for them to check out. This is an interesting phenomenon because it seems to be brought about by the scarcity of works like Maze, but the scarcity makes finding similar works in aesthetic, thought process and medium nearly impossible. Trying to aim for all of these variables often ends up with the mention of some other maze thing with a dark atmosphere, which I mean is cool… but I’ve been thinking for a while of making a post listing off works similar to Maze in a different way. These are similar to Maze in the way they make me feel, the way they are constructed to make you feel that stuff, not neccesarily in that they are a spooky maze. I think some of you here might enjoy them too.
If you like interactive experiences and/or comics, stuff you can just immerse yourself in, you might want to check out the graphic novel Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. It looks sort of like something for children at first glance but don’t be mistaken- Meanwhile deals with crazy themes delving into the science of choice, death, time, and consequence of action. Like Maze, the story is patched together by flipping through the book, collecting codes, etc. The goals are very different but it just screams Maze to me.
TW for suicide/themes of assault on the next one.
If you’re looking for a different kind of immersive experience, you might want to check out the mysterious 2004 video game known as Yume Nikki, or Dream Diary in english. A very interesting indie game, nobody even really knows who the creator is. The gameplay contains no fights or dialouge, all you do is control a girl who refuses to leave her room, go to sleep, and explore her dream world collecting “effects,” little dream warpings of reality that affect your appearance and abilities. Any story in this game is highly interpretative, as you are exploring a surreal dream world. Yume Nikki in a way is a little character study of a girl who traps herself in her room. Some theorize she has a condition suggested by the dream world, or that something terrible happened to her. Pervading the entire experience is a deep sense of loneliness and mystery. Like Maze, you wander an abyss with little to guide you, trying to make sense of the world around you. Maze isn’t a book, it’s a building. Yume Nikki isn’t a game, it’s an experience. The emotions it conveys are really unique.
TW for famililal abuse:
Finally, if you’re into webseries or mysteries, you might want to check out Petscop. This is the work I have the most to say about. Like everything else, it requires a lot of interpretation and is ambiguous in many areas, but this can make it even more intriguing. Released as a sort of “let’s play,” the Youtube channel Petscop, showing off a 90′s Playstation game the narrator found. The thing is, though, that this game doesn’t exist. The creator of the series coded a believable 90′s era game from scratch for this series. It’s unbelievable and the immersion it creates by tampering with nostalgia is shocking. Also, unlike many less well-constructed webserieses, the game is not haunted- it is revealed to be a once-cheerful game that was later used to document the horrific abuse within a family. Using an old video game as a vehicle to discuss how childhoods could have been hiding dark innards that the public eye would not be able to see is genius, and it is represented by the game having a sort of abyssal “underworld.” Petscop appears to have been made to condition children to an abusive technique called “rebirthing” through a cheerful video game, and it contains ties and references to a real-world case of such abuse. You might want to stay away from it as it is quite tragic and disturbing, and Petscop only references it to show its themes, later distancing itself from the case. The series completed not that long ago and shows the fascinating relationship between the narrator and the family documented in the game through an intense yet subtle narrative. There is a lot resting on the back of the viewer to connect the pieces, but once they are together it’s pretty fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a story like Petscop. Like Maze, it’s an immersive, abyssal mystery that communicates with the audience in an incredibly intimate way. You have to think through the questions it poses in a completely different way from what you’re used to. Well, maybe not the folks here, but you get what I mean.
Fair warning: Petscop got a burst of popularity around 2018 and a couple larger Youtubers covered it. As such, there was the classic “photoshopping characters to have blood pouring out of their eyes for clicks.” You know the drill. Petscop isn’t like that- like Maze and the other two works, it is a slow burn psychological type of thing. A reliable deconstruction of Petscop can be found on the channel “Nightmare Masterclass” and I encourage you, if you have time, to give it a watch!
So, yeah! Those are some works that I think are up the Maze alley. If you have the time, I reccomend checking them out to satisfy that “surreal immersive mind-screw” itch that many of us here seem to have developed.
MazeCast was born out of another, equally unwatchable show called SuggestCast, which involved participants suggesting works or activities for the group to experience, and the group then reconvening to discuss. Without my stating or realizing it, I think about half of my suggestions were works that in some way replicated the feeling of Maze. (Rewatching the episodes, I realized I repeatedly talked about works giving the appearance of meaning, without apparently having any.)
The best suggestions in this regard, I think:
the Frank comics (various) by Jim Woodring
Aeon Flux (animated shorts from Liquid Television, and animated series; not the movie or graphic novel)
the complete works of MC Escher (not my suggestion, and not intended for this purpose, but highly recommended–you’ve seen tons of his work before, but unless you have deliberately sought out his full catalogue, there’s more and more intriguing things there than you realize)
Perhaps notably, Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile was discussed on that show even before Maze.
As they say, with every spring comes a new batch of Mazers!
Maybe the REAL SIGN is the @ symbol, or more specifically, the THETA symbol ( Θ ), since the word THETA (being the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet) can be found inside of the word ARCHITECT as well.
The @ symbol; or its more specific version, theta; or the more specific version of theta, an exclamation point; or the more specific version of an exclamation point, a small picture of a dog vomiting.
There is no theta in architect. Architect is spelled with only English letters, not Greek letters
Love your haters. They’re your biggest fans.
So many pseudonyms, so little time…
What a classic book. I still buy copies as gifts.
Does MAZE have anything to do with “Methods In Bioengineering / Alternative Technologies To Animal Testing”? And/or an adjacency matrix?
Whew, you’re back! It was disconcerting to gaze into the Abyss and not have it gaze back.
The reports of my abyss’s inability to gaze back are greatly exaggerated.
Not sure if someone has already said as much somewhere on this site but, as a MAZE fan, I highly recommend you check out the production of “Sleep No More” currently playing in New York City. With 100+ Intricately designed rooms over four floors to explore, you will get lost in the mysteries that each contains. The audience is masked, and free to wander aimlessly or follow any of the characters that inhabit this breathtaking world. I have already attended this show 5 times, and am eager to return. Now if we can just convince Punchdrunk (the theater company) to join up with Christopher Manson and create MAZE: the show.
IIRC I was making a listed site about how to get from any room to room 45. I had abandoned that project earlier, but I will pick it up again now.
New MazeCast! Everything you ever wanted to know about hats in the Maze. Check the MazeCast youtube channel.
Would that be including Hatshepsut?
Hey everybody, if you’re looking for something fun and mazey to do for the next three minutes, check out “Maybe It’s a Maze” — a MAZE parody song now up on MazeCast. Click on User Blogs > Aria’s Blog > Maybe It’s a Maze. Vocals by Hello Gregor, lyrics by Vewatkin. You’re welcome!
I take my leave. I will check back every couple weeks, but, for the most part, my job here is done.
Best wishes to you all!
I clicked “LIKE” taking it from 0 to 1 then thought it may seem like I am liking that we will hear less of you. Crap! Just assume that every LIKE here means, “Thank you for everything!”
Well, this is it. Last day of the 45 month cycle of Into The Abyss. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. And now the big reveal…
On the site you will see a new tab called BEQUEST. It isn’t the sequel I was expecting, but what a sequel it will be!
Meet me on the Guide page for the hints.
Due to medical difficulties I will be posting the hints for the Riddle of the Guide all at once at 8 pm tonight, and sharing the solution tomorrow morning if no one gets it by then.
I’ve emailed a few people about this who have shown a real interest in the identity of the guide either by posting and arguing about the topic on the site or by emailing me.
While we wait till 8 pm. I’ll share some of the stuff I was planning on sharing day by day till Sept 13th…
I delayed launching the site two months just so that the date of launch would be Jan 13th 2013. Why? My idiotic love of symbolism. I’d missed 12-12-12 as a launch date so I figured if you rolled over the count of months to the next year January could be the 13th month…sort of. Making the launch date the impossible date of 13-13-13.
Since launching the site has had over 200 contributors, most however only make one or two comments. I emailed some of these people to ask why they have not returned. Over 70% (of those who replied) said something akin to, I’d been reading a long time and finally had something to say. Many of these people complemented you regulars by saying how smart you all are. :)
Almost all the people posting on The Abyss have done so from the UK, US, and Canada.
Some of the other countries people have posted from are Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Russia, Germany, France, Monaco, Seychelles, Ghana, and Australia. There are a couple others but I forget. :P
Less than 50% of people who post on the Abyss have been approved as members. Who are the other 50%?
About 25% so are teenagers or younger (I figure) who believe they have it all figured out, and post insulting comments along with solutions which usually involve pop culture stuff that didn’t exist in 1985.
About 20% are just straight up trolls. Usually pointing out how something they read reminded them of something crass.
The last 5% make for interesting reading. These are people who think that MAZE holds the answer to life the universe and everything, or that MAZE is magical, or in one case, cursed.
Of the 7,172 comments five people are responsible for 5,717 of them:
1793 David Gentile
1086 White Raven (me)
A few have between 50 and 100, the other 190 contributors have less than 20.
Who posted first?
The first post was John who found the site when I was still testing it. His comment:
“This looks like it will be a very interesting site. Good luck!”
The second post was from Drinking Coolaid who was with us for about a year. His/Her first post:
“Is this site active yet?”
The third post was from Janice (the same Janice who Carl is apparently fetching), her first post was in Room 6 which has the damaged letter on the post regarding the Guide:
“I have always assumed this room gave the identity of the guide, but I can’t find it. Anyone?”
There have been a lot of creative monikers, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but here are a few I think are among the most creative:
Anonymous Smart Person
Darth Johanson and his train
Saints This Way
One last one before the hints…
The people who think MAZE is a magical book tend to complain in emails when I don’t post their comments. These emails range from light to threatening, but are often filled with explanations.
Some things you didn’t know about MAZE from some people who really shouldn’t have the book:
> There is a room in MAZE (I forget which one) which when turned upside down becomes a gate to hell.
> Manson is a mage from the house of something or other who has unprecedented access to Avalon, I think.
> Aria, SP, spark of life, Vewatkin, Rebecca, myself, and others are all aspects of the celestial spheres playing out our predetermined roles.
> The United Kingdom is run by witches. It’s right there in the book.
> The book is host to an evil spirit. People who read it too much become cursed and the book will follow them around bringing bad luck.
I am shocked to find out that I am not one of the celestial spheres! The UK being run by witches I knew.
Any idea which room is the gate to hell?
I don’t remember Darth Johanson and his train awesome!
These tidbits are great! I have to vote for Anchorperson Smith as my favourite screen name — it is an anagram of Christopher Manson.
Ooo! Ooo! Tell me where I am from! My GPS is broken.
MIT10 – The celestial sphere person was using people’s names to make the connections. Apparently “MIT10″ does sound like a celestial spirit.
Jordan – Actually I have no idea where you are from. For some reason the IP address thingy only works for some people. The only thing I think may be going on is that the people whose IP doesn’t register are from a country other than the US. A couple times people from Canada and the UK their IP addresses don’t appear but this has never happened with someone whose IP address registers as being from the US. Could be a coincidence though.
Aria – I didn’t know (or forgot!) that “Anchorperson Smith” was an anagram for “Christopher Manson.” That’s fantastic, I think we have a winner!
Missed it! I like the solution. It was IN SLY!
WR You’ve made our lives a bit better by getting the Maze train rolling. Thank you. Good health and healing!
It doesn’t count as engaging with the internet when nobody reads it.
To those of you who will be checking in tomorrow. I’m sorry I could not wait till tomorrow to write this. This is the crappiest possible ending to the abyss phase in the saga of MAZE. I have a critical deadline approaching and in the midst of this I am off to the hospital.
The solution to the hints would have been terribly anti-climatic anyway. You have all solved the riddle of the Guide already, just not the last tiny bit. Do you want all the hints now so it is finished pronto, or should I just tell you the answer, or should I just leave it alone? If I post hints I would post the solution at the very latest by 10 am tomorrow CST if no one gets the solution by then.
I vote give us the hints. I can tell Janice.
Turns out I was right after all eh Moleman? :)
Why not just save it for later?
I don’t think that is a good idea. I may not be able to get back to it anytime soon.
Sure, give us the hints. Are you okay/in pain?
Yes, I am in pain but I’m okay. Thank you.
Usually I post the hints one at a time from most difficult to easiest. I don’t think a hint has gotten as far as the last one yet. At 8 pm I will be posting all the hints for the Riddle of the Guide all at once. Thank you for your understanding.
Hints please! Also, hope all goes well for you at the hospital. Sending good thoughts.
Hint for today?
Here’s a made-up hint, for anyone who doesn’t want to keep waiting for real hints:
There’s a room in the Loop containing two objects that are related to each other in a way nobody’s mentioned on this site before. It leads to a room that has two completely different objects that nevertheless have the same sort of connection. Together, these four objects constitute a message not only suggesting that you should go from the first room to the second, but also where to go from there.
Is this hint “fake” because it’s so obvious?
MIT10 it’s tomorrow. Thirty days hath September…etc.
Getting antsy waiting for the final hint? Why not check out the latest MazeCast and meet Lucia, our newest victim — er — recruit. Just go to the MazeCast channel on YouTube and click on the August 18 upload. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT