MAZE General Comments

For saying something.

This and that.

 - Image copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson

858 thoughts on “MAZE General Comments

  1. Maze sketches from today and yesterday:

    ibb dot co slash MPkKRnm

    The clock from Room 10 and a skeleton in front of it.

    ibb dot co slash 8BjXW4J

    The Guide in a pool of water in Room 19. This one was fun to draw. I drew Room 21 in the distance.

    ibb dot co slash Fsk35S1

    Doodles of the Guide (with the this way sign) and the Room 10 stickman. I used to draw the Guide with a horned bell for a head but decided on the umbrella as it was more of a universal Maze joke/symbol. I guess I could have just drawn a minotaur but I wanted to stay true to the Maze’s form of logical terms through weird expression. My proportions are very stylized here, don’t know if I will stick with that

    ibb dot co slash 4N8x6dL

    Room 3, melting. Dunno what I was thinking with this one. The door is really wonky (it curves while melting) but I guess that was kind of the point. I thought falling apart would work with this room. I tried to draw the stickman kind of bracing for impact.

    Drawing Maze stuff is fun. I’m going to try to draw entire rooms someday…

    • Ooh, these are nice! Can’t wait to see the full rooms if you do those someday ^_^ Manson was kinda my idol for drawing when I was younger, since we’ve owned Maze as long as I can remember. I never got even the slightest bit of skill with drawing though. Glad to see you doing so well with it.

    • Thank you so much!!
      I probably could’ve taken more time with them but I guess they were just practice.
      And yeah, Manson’s work is simply breathtaking. If I do draw full rooms I am going to go to different places/angles of his rooms, like with the pond in Room 19. Maybe I’ll make 29, like, upturned or on its side, or draw Room 11 AFTER the bell has been rung. Hmmm…

  2. I had originally written a long comment that had had trouble sending, but in reality had been sent many times, so I went back and broke up my message into chunks and edited them back into my resent messages, sorry for the confusion, haha.

  3. Well…, if we’re going to be jotting downwards that end with -on, why not try trigon or post something about poston?

  4. I loved Aria’s “music to maze by” posts and I’m going to try to create a playlist of 45 songs, each one corresponding to a room of the Maze. Seems like it could be fun, I’ll link it when I’m done.

    • this DOES sound like it could be kinda fun but I’m not sure where to even begin with it

    • You know what, I’m going to make them all instrumental. Aria’s idea was more of a Maze mixtape, but this will be purely evocative of a room’s feeling. This might make it less interesting for some but I’ll choose songs based on how a room makes me feel, not what it is about.

  5. Okay- this might sound ludicrous, but there is an episode of the Cartoon Network show Adventure Time titled “the Hall of Egress” that just struck me as so Maze-y I thought you all might find it interesting.
    The main character is trapped within a dungeon and has door options to choose from. The door leads to a one-way trip to a chamber that really reminded me of Manson’s 3D room designs. In the center is an upside-down snowman. This weird imagery also felt Mazish.
    To escape the dungeon, the one trapped inside must close their eyes which allows them to pass through the doors, but every time they open their eyes the room resets.
    It deals with dungeons, red herring and changing Maze logic, I think you all might find it interesting. When you have time, give it a watch!
    Here is a very good dissection of it: PnK5B49KKvo (Youtube embed code)

    • You know, I have occasionally wondered if he is Christopher Manson… you know the logical starting places translated through obscure means? I wonder if all the theories are just what Manson REALLY used to generate the rooms, and he is now trolling us by leaving us all the inspiration with no context.
      Manson truly DID mean the “herr” and “postquam” stuff and used it to generate the imagery, but there is no way we would have guessed that. It is not translatable backwards.
      And now he’s just spilling all the stuff he used to make the puzzles, consistently and persistently. One of WBM’s first posts is the crown, pain, fire in his eyes connection to Room 25 and dentists. If you were thinking of dentistry, you COULD illustrate that room, and leave a line somewhere else about it.
      When I have written puzzles, sometimes the text I generate is based on just random thoughts and resources. Which makes them rather unfair because you’d have to have the exact same thought process which would never be feasible.
      Everything WBM has said has been 100% true, and he is just the author leaving frivolous comments showing his thought process in the infinitely less obvious lines of clues.
      There are normal clue lines, but some bits of inspiration were random. Like gnomes. Manson was truly inspired by gnomes but knew we couldn’t know that on our own, so had a laugh by spilling the secret without us knowing it was genuine.
      I don’t believe this but it is funny to think about-

    • I don’t think everyone is Gentile, just this guy. His M.O. is the same, and he has been known to use aliases. I mean, that’s fine, if that’s how he wants to roll.

    • Hopefully, it won’t keep me from finding my position on the stage.

    • Not very good ones…
      I once attempted to make a user-interaction game where the participants had to work through information given to them through audio messages and logs in-universe, almost as if they were detectives in the world of the puzzle.
      The problem with this was that everyone trying to digest the information was one step removed from the fiction it took place in and I couldn’t bridge that gap. I remade this project a couple of times in different mediums but it hasn’t accomplished what I wanted it to yet.
      I’ve also done some Maze stuff- I’ve had this wild idea of redrawing every room in the Maze from a new angle with new puzzles, almost like a reborn Maze, but I didn’t get far…
      It would be some sort of “Maze- __ years later” thing where all the rooms are in disrepair, and there’s no guide, you are just wandering the Maze alone. I don’t know, I thought it would be cool…

  6. The Guide has been TRYING to post on this site, but couldn’t check the “human” box with integrity.
    That’s okay, he would have misled us anyway…

  7. (I apologize in advance if this bores anyone or seems silly to post.)
    I had a dream about Maze a few nights ago and was really disappointed to wake up and learn it hadn’t happened.
    In this dream, we were discussing Room 4 and through some connection found sets of coordinates with Maze. We put down on a map to get locations of about 80 artifacts scattered all over the world, that, when united, would give us some final answer of the book. We plotted out the density of these artifacts and excitedly discussed how we would tackle getting them all. It was decided this was the last puzzle of Maze Manson had mentioned. What an ending to Maze that would be!

  8. I found something that closely resembles the baseball in room 23, the stickman in room 3, the claw in room 14, and the lamp in room 7.

  9. A drawn hand CAN actually clue you into an 8, especially when observed from a deck of playing cards or when aboard a ship (all hands on deck). And a clue, is a part, of a sail. Regarding the fire head STOP sign: the stop sign can be read upside down as DOFS, which could be adding on to the word DOFF. As in doffing or tipping my hat. And yes, I am high. In a place like this, you have to be.

  10. Hey all,

    I was a huge Maze fan as a kid, and recently picked it up again. I hugely appreciate everyone’s theories and thoughts on this site.

    I just wanted to come out from lurking to see if other folks have checked out the game Gorogoa. The artwork is very Manson-inspired (I think the creator, Jason Roberts, mentioned that in an interview). The puzzle elements are very different however, more intuitive and visual. And easier as well, but the point is more the experience/journey than the difficulty.

  11. Is it a coincidence that the number 45 looks like the letter H (when inverted) and the letter S (HS), both of which just happen to be within 8 letters of each other, starting from A going forward or Z going backward?

  12. People want a name for the little part extending from the loop, right?
    On Brent’s Mazecast blog, he called it “the terraces.” It’s not really a flat descriptor like the other 3, but I really like it. They’re all on the outside edge, like courtyards, peeking out from under the maze.
    Which leads me to this aimless little reflection:
    When I first got MAZE, like many others I was mesmerized. That night, I stared at the pages for a long, long time. I remember looking at the foolish face hall and almost feeling my movements echo down it.
    I really wish I had been more interested in solving the puzzles. I only had truly solved the first room through the odd-one-out principle, but I was more interested in just absorbing it. I want to work things out today, but I still have that sense of eerie wonder. The rooms of the maze are so real.
    I would always just wander through whatever room connections appealed to me and find a room I liked. I often found myself in the loop rooms. The loop has a feeling of pressure above you, like you’re under a deck or pavilion, but also the sense of the trap below. But the loop felt almost cozy to me (I think I realized I was getting nowhere) so I just found rooms I liked and absorbed them. Instead of trying to escape MAZE, it became an escapism.
    I have really fond memories of the terrace area. Instead of being pulled into the loop’s vortex, it was this little place off to the side with a few grassy rooms. I remember opening to the terrace rooms and just… staying there.
    Landing in the trap disappointed me even if I didn’t quite realize what had went wrong. Room 11 still feels gross and immensely unnerving.
    Looking for 45 was enthralling, even if I cheated. Room 23 still makes me smile- many of the path rooms are rather sunny.
    MAZE can be a roller coaster both in experience and interpretation.
    But the loop, particularly the terraces, are just so vivid to me. I would just open to those pages and sit there. Nowhere to go, with the ability to cheat and just stay in a room as long as I wanted to.
    It wasn’t a maze sometimes, it was a little kingdom of snapshots. I hope one day I can create something like it, and that it can impact people.

    • Sorry about the silliness of that- I’m just shocked one person could make a book such as MAZE- in 9 months? To think all of it came from Manson’s head, it’s crazy…

    • Each of those rooms is described as a yard or courtyard in the text. I think of them as the courtyards.

    • That’s a good name for them!

      All of this has got me thinking of some sort of fan MAZE, but I shouldn’t get my hopes up…

    • I think I have a decent enough understanding of graph theory to do an okay fan maze structure wise, but I can’t do any form of art for beans and would probably need help forming hard enough puzzle. None of this has stopped me from drawing up maps for several.

    • Maybe in 2030, MAZE’s 45th anniversary.
      It would probably take 10 years to lay out anyway- heh heh.

    • I swear, your comments sound like they’re written by a predictive text bot trained on ITA comments.

    • “I have no idea what this means, but it’s quite fitting. Anyway, I’ve been able to interpret the Red Fish Spirit (The fourth Fiend Existence) as representing the destruction of life as we know it, but in a more effective and varied manner. He/she represents a much stronger and more concise form of existence, in contrast to the two other Existences.”

      “A little while ago, I used a chart where we’ve accounted for most of the needed revolutions’ of one sign, the numeral 5. The ^ sign is symbolic of God; the $ sign is symbolic of Satan; and the ^$ sign is symbolic of the entity called Satan. The result shows that the numerical symbols are actually magical.”

      “I should clarify that I was not aware of the oedipal figure and was thinking of a similarly named bird known as the thrush which flies by our window. It is known as the monogastric perching bird and a member of the specie Leptoglossus setifolius. Neither the Phoenician nor the Phoenician/Canaanite, or the Ancient Israel.”

      Sounds about right

    • Those made by the sender of the original message in this thread. Aria, do you want to see what it comes up with using your theories?

    • >Those made by the sender of the original message in this thread.

      Ah, that explains how they managed to be so long-winded and reference so many things without any form of structure or point. I’d say do it with me but I really only have the one theory, so…

    • My favorites:

      “It would appear, then, that there are clues left behind by Minotaurs where there once were road signs and letterboxes.”

      “I feel my first hint above does not quite encapsulate all of the tension of the piece.”

      “The worst of it, I think, is that Manson does not seem to understand his own work.”

      “The outside of the door is still locked. When it opens from the outside, you might end up going the ‭60‰ way around.”

      “The tips of the tails look a little like the seven pointed stars from Star Trek’Delta.
      Further, I love the axe, blade, and helix of the blades; they have a bit of a military feel to them. They also look like they are of jade.
      No matter how you look at it, the crown is rather ill-fitting, as if the crown had been made for a man…or at least a character”

      This next one sounds the most human:
      “Just one more clue!
      …good luck trying to guess the link…
      Because it seems to say THE LINE IN THE SAND IS GLYPHIC
      Okay this could actually mean a couple of different things…”

      And this one was hilarious. I didn’t even plug anything about MazeCast into it,

      “I think you get the idea. So to simplify things, let’s say you were listening to my podcasts and you know what, because we’re all idiots at one time or another, you remember the title for the podcast. You actually think you remember the title.


      If you remember exactly the title of a podcast, you’re doing something wrong.”

      “That’s It. If you have a question about trigonometry, you can ask it below.”

    • Hahaha these are too funny! I can’t believe the podcast one. (Mr Manson: for the record, I DO think you understand your own work even if my AI twin doesn’t.) Can you do Vince next? I would love to put these on a Mazecast blog post!

    • I used GPT-2 and picked out specific quotes and stuff for the neural network. Here’s one for Vince:

      “These highly unapologetic ravings are fairly childish and edgy.
      Anyway, when I see those posts, I have a few thoughts.”

      “They keep claiming the same things, over and over, never creating any sort of evidence or explanation for why they are insisting it is true.”

      “Thus, when we say “step number eight” (we used the arbitrary stroke that was the eighth step, so it could be anything) and people have to ask “well, what is that supposed to mean?” we give them a clue that it could mean anything from “: “I don’t know, I think there was some mistake”, to “right now, the connection is incomplete.”"

      I also plugged in some MazeCast stuff:

      “The only redeeming quality of the episode is the ridiculous Australian rap they do on the pianos, and the lack of dance music in the studio. Check it out.

      MazeCast Episode 7: Up and Running.”

    • “They keep claiming the same things, over and over, never creating any sort of evidence or explanation for why they are insisting it is true.”
      -vebotkin 2020

    • Inner g is the word “energy” written phonetically? That’s all I can figure out from this

  13. The TRAP is the lowest part of the maze. A door that leads to the TRAP would be a “TRAP-door.” Trapdoors grant access to the lower tier of a building

    • “Hidden trapdoors occasionally appear in fiction, as entrances to secret passageways, dungeons, or to secret tunnels. They also appear as literal traps into which a hapless pedestrian may fall if he or she happens to step on one.” -Wikipedia

    • But this is kind of a moot point because they can be traced back to the same origins: Trapdoors were named after traps. So TRAP-door being construed to sound like “trapdoor” isn’t that exciting.

    • Still I think it’s worth talking about- how the maze is apparently leveled. I think Brent did some stuff on that…
      Not that the maze can really be ordered in a physical way, at least not in the way we’re used to.
      TRAP = Basement/foundation of the maze
      LOOP = Mid-level purgatory of the maze
      Terraces (credit to Brent for name) = Little breathing room area out from under the loop
      PATH = Upper area of the maze, houselike or castlelike halls
      A “trapdoor” being associated with something lower is because traps are traditionally… underfoot. The underground areas. (Not that any connection was put in, TRAP door and trapdoor just deviate from the same origins of general spookiness.) Of course the Trap is the “hell” of the maze.
      The loop being in the thick of the MAZE makes sense, as well as the path standing over it all.
      Now I’m just curious how the connections would look as a 3D model. It might help us notice patterns. I may try making a bunch of blocks in a program that represent rooms, and affixing them according to where their doors are. Maybe something will become clearer, who knows.

    • I think it’s a tempting way to view things, and if you wanted to build a 3D model of the Maze it would likely be helpful (at least easier, conceptually) to arrange it in layers that correspond roughly to the Path, Loop, and Trap.

      In grappling with the layout and images of the rooms, however, I don’t think any interpretation of floors/levels really adheres. Within circuits, there is plenty of vertical movement (e.g. 41 to 35, 12 to 39, 28 to 32, 29 to 17, 3 to [?] (staircase descent described in text)…presumably a lot more. And inter-circuit travel is only rarely suggestive of vertical movement. The Trap has the clearest subterranean elements, though not the only–rooms 39 and 35 are also suggestive of cellars/basements, for example.

      I suspect any intended-to-be-physically-plausible arrangement of the rooms is limited in scope to particular connections–12 to 21 implies a clear physical connection, for instance, or 41 to 38, or 27 to 9. In most other places, there is just a generic doorway-to-non-matching-doorway connection, and these connections cannot all take place on the same elevation. (For example, room 1 connects to rooms 26 and 41 through normal doorways, and 26 and 41 both connect to 38, but 26 leads to 38 through a normal doorway, while 41 leads to 38 by way of a downward slide. This implies either abnormal geometry or inter-room travel that changes elevation without any indications in the illustrations or text.)

    • I mean, a lot of it would come down to personal liberty but it’s still an interesting undertaking. I would mostly be looking at angles (leave through right door enter through back door means different orientation) and clues described in the beginning/end portions of the text (if it says “we walked through a long hallway” at the end of a room, that would apply to every connection there.) I don’t think MAZE was ever really intended to be dissected this way but it might be wrth a shot.

    • Abnormal geometry probably makes sense, though. It would explain the non-reversible exits for one thing, which you can’t have in any maze that exists in Euclidean geometry. In fact the only way that I can think of for the non-reversible exits in normal geometry would be for it to be a teleporter maze, or for *all* the nonreversible connections to take place through a slide like the one into the Trap.

    • There are references to the group not being able to open unmarked doors–in 38 and 10, for example–suggesting that one-way passages might just be locked from one side. Sometimes there’s nothing at all that seems to impede passage, but just like we can assume there are changes in elevation we in the paths between rooms, we can reasonably assume there are some barriers to passage beyond unmarked, open doorways. We as readers can’t travel through unmarked doors for rules reasons, but I think it’s fair to assume that there is some narrative-based reason that the book’s characters can’t traverse these routes either.

    • The maze is always growing, maybe paths seal up behind them (and the reader rules are meant to emulate that).

    • That’s an interesting suggestion, actually. The nature of representing this changing labyrinth as a static book makes depicting shifting routes and rooms largely impossible, but the closing off of routes behind us may be just that. I don’t imagine that that was the reason Manson included one-way routes, or necessarily what he was thinking about when he drew the rooms or wrote the room texts, but it does seem plausible to me that that’s what he was thinking about when he described the Maze as constantly changing, as a way to justify disappearing routes where there is no obvious obstruction to passage.

    • The only indicator of this I know of, the slide, is probably there to show the reader “you screwed up,” the first couple of times they enter the trap rooms. One-way doors aren’t neccesarily malicious but the slide is a clear message it seems.
      As for closed-up doors- they don’t seem to touch upon them too often, but yeah. New rooms opening all the time, old ones falling away? Fits the bill as far as I can see. Teleportation doesn’t seem too likely to me.
      I agree he probably didn’t write it with why they closed up in mind, later explaining how fluctuative the structure is. He probably just thought of the best possible descriptor to contextualize the house, Occam’s Razor style. It’s just changing. You go where it wants you to go.

  14. I’m not sure how exactly to articulate this, but it almost feels that anyone associated with the maze is a part of its story, in a way? The people traversing the maze seem to be stand-ins for the reader(s), and they are referred to as being “part of the narrative.” The text on the back cover elicits this especially: “one wrong turn and you will never escape.” It, of course, means “you will never escape” as in your stand-in will never escape, you failed MAZE… but it also almost feels like a message directly to the reader, and he’s not wrong, either. We haven’t escaped the maze, and it feels like every answer has just brought up more questions. MAZE truly is a building in the shape of a book. Even more interesting is that there have been parallels drawn with the maze, and Earth itself. How the different levels of satisfaction achieved in the maze could symbolize satisfaction achieved in reality? And the “house will all live in” solution? We’re still bearing MAZE on our shoulders to this day.

    • Being frustrated with MAZE alone was one thing, but now I’m just frustrated along with others? It feels so anticlimactic to say it like that though

    • But there’s the thrill of figuring things out too… It’s like that piano storybook, where all the people in the abyss work together seek a way out and stuff, heh heh

  15. Even though traversing between the rooms of this 16 step path are in a figure 8 or infinity symbol, you would still have to be looking in a spiral like direction in order to take in and/or leave out information, as if you were peering through an infinite 9 then 6 pattern, which happens to add to 9 + 6 = 15. And since the 15th letter of the alphabet is…

    • Well, I was actually going to suggest only a third, but WHAT ever you say bro…

    • don’t have a cow i don’t need no beef let’s steer this conversation back in the right direction i’m going to try angus what you might say next but i don’t know what it kobe look this isn’t my first rodeo maybe i can per-suede you that it would be-hoof you to cut the bull since we have so much at steak i don’t mean to thumb minos at you but you taurus a new one for no reason is there anything con-crete you have to offer or are you going to keep asterion at your navel

    • I red what you wrote- Herring people’s theories is interesting, but try to controll yourself… some of this stuff I wouldn’t shake a spear at. We don’t want to spiral out of control. I figure eights not a big deal but at this point it’s all greek to me. Use some path-os next time? This situation just feels abyss-mal.

    • The English teacher in me is cringing right now. You *appeal* to pathos, man, you don’t *use* it!

    • “Pathos” is commonly used the way ritz used it. Although its etymological origins are in the emotions one would appeal to, in English the appeal to emotion itself is pathos.

    • No, I thought I must have been wrong when I assumed you were talking to me. I’ve been checking my spam folder too. Try sending it again?

  16. I think that when it reads, “My crown, my pain, the fire in my eyes”, it’s really alluding to the word “Freemasonry”, along with the stereotypical symbols, a pin, and the 33°’s, which are associated with it as well. I’ll be able to explain my hypothetical inquiry on my next post.


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