Rooms of the Loop

The Loop: The middle (ground) level contains nineteen rooms that meander about eventually leading back to room 1. The loop can be entered from two of the four doors in room 1, or from many doors along the Path. There are only six ways to exit the loop: five lead to the Trap and one leads back to room 1.

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Image Map

Scan0003 Scan0007 Scan0009 Scan0010 Scan0013 Scan0014 Scan0016 Scan0018 Scan0019 Scan0021 Scan0025 Scan0027 Scan0031 Scan0033 Scan0034 Scan0035 Scan0036 Scan0041 Scan0044

- Images Copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson.

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24 thoughts on “Rooms of the Loop

  1. On the subject of missing things:

    It was hypothesized elsewhere that conspicuously missing things may be of special import to some rooms in the loop. Just wanted to start a new thread to play with that a little.

    33 is missing a floor
    7 has a frame missing a picture (often interpreted as a mirror, though that’s unclear)
    16 [?]
    36 the whole place is in ruins, so in a sense it’s missing a lot of structural components, but I dunno
    35 the idol is missing an arm? the big blank spot on the wall is missing–something?
    3 [?]
    18 the man who wears the top hat (would seem like a stretch but for the text’s “Are you sure it’s the hat that is lost?”) (may still be a stretch)
    27 a period is missing from the text
    13 the word “second” is conspicuously absent from the list of time units
    9 the right half of the hanging painting is missing (but is it, really? it’s there, just torn and folded)
    25 according to the text, there is an “apparent lack of clues”
    34 [?]
    10 [?]
    41 [?]
    14 [?]
    all the courtyards [?]

    Well, thinking that one through wasn’t very productive.

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    • Conspicuously missing things are important *everywhere* in the Maze. Here’s the Path rooms for instance:

      1: The missing chain of letters for FABLE.
      26: ?
      30: The only door missing a major indicator is correct.
      42: Missing item from a pair, both the shoe and the shakers.
      4: ?
      29: The candles that are missing flames give the numbers for the hidden door.
      17: ?
      45: ?
      23: A missing pane.
      8: The broken bowls mentioned in the text are missing from the picture.
      12: Missing painting indicator for the correct door.
      39: Missing perfect square (2^2=2*2=2+2=4)
      4: ?
      15: Missing vowels, missing sign number(4) can make the sign numbers an equation
      37: Missing dots on one side.
      20: ?

      It’s a natural consequence of odd-one-in solutions.

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    • Just re-read your comment and realized I misinterpreted it a bit. This is still quite interesting.

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    • Don’t forget the missing N in milennium in Room 13.
      There’s also the missing string and bow from the violin in Room 33.

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    • Yeah, I stopped short in the Loop because that’s where the discussion came up, but conspicuous absences are not the exclusive province of the Loop, and after starting to compile a hasty list I’m not even really sure they’re particularly concentrated there.

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  2. Could there be a riddle of the loop?
    Or a riddle of the center of the loop?
    Was the path riddle only put there because of the publishers wanting a competion? Would that rule out other interconnected letter hunts like the one on the path? There’s also the danger that getting a letter from a room is such an easy thing to do, I could spell literally ANYTHING with the rooms of the loop. At least with the path rooms there were explicit instructions to look for letters. There’s nothing like that for the loop.

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    • There was NOT explicit direction to look for letters. There is instruction to look for the answer to the Riddle of the Maze somewhere along the 16-step path–although what it actually holds is a clue to the answer to the riddle. The directions were not only inexplicit but quite misleading.

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    • The repeated items/concepts seem to mostly be centered in the “key” of the loop.

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    • I don’t know whether the objects are centered there, exactly. Loose object trails end there, but that sort of follows from the key marking a dead end and a cul-de-sac.

      It is true that 33 and 7 are especially heavy with objects/images that occur in multiple other places; maybe 16 too.

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  3. I noticed a new way to map the center rooms(3, 7, 9, 16, 33, 35, 36) of the loop – they can actually align as a key, just like the trap rooms! I would share an image here but I’m not sure how. The interesting thing is that unlike the trap-key, where you want to stay in the handle of the key so as not to fall into 24, in the loop-key you want to go to the last prong, where 3 and 9 hold your exit into room 18 and the main part of the loop. The two keys are almost exact opposites of eachother! Perhaps the “keystone” riddle is actually hidden in the loop’s center instead of the trap, or perhaps the true riddle comes from comparing their rooms somehow?

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    • I actually really like this! My only problem is using the same symbol to refer to two different areas.

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    • But it makes just as much of a key as the trap rooms. Though you have to ignore room 27, but it IS one-way…

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    • Also, we have noticed a connection between these rooms. It seems like some of the objects between them rhyme, specifically between the rooms you pointed out.
      Wow, the exit is right where 24 would be! I’m set that even if this area is not a key- which it very well might be for all we know- it is well worth looking into. I am going to try to map this out the way you described.

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    • My only hangup on the room 33 key is that it has a rectangular head. All the other keys are drawn with a circular head, and a rectangular head doesn’t really make any sense with the 3-room diagram we’ve been doing.

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    • I have noticed a pattern of representation > 100% integrity artistically in Manson’s case, like when he changed the image of the bottle in Room 1 from page to page. It’s a discrepancy and pretty noticeable once it is pointed out, but it isn’t his priority. I think the Room 33 key is simply meant to be a key (in this circumstance), just like 38 does not have a triangular head, even though the trap has 3 rooms in the upper part of the key.
      Manson doesn’t draw diagrams, he gives us the representations of them, at least I think so, so I don’t think the details of the key matter- if it’s a key, it’s a key.

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    • [Links to previous discussion of the two "keys" and the 45-23-28 triangle] [then doesn't because it's too hard to find] [doesn't bother to elucidate or contribute, just wants to rob others of a feeling of discovery]

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    • I didn’t mean to suggest this isn’t significant! There’s definitely a parallel structure going on here, I just don’t know what it means.

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    • Oh, now I see what you’re saying. Ah, well… I guess I’m going to be focusing on these rooms for a while, it feels like one of the core areas without a solid explanation (there’s the stuff in the path and the stuff in the trap that’s mostly solved but the loop rooms are a little more listless.) But now with all this rhyming business I can’t help but wonder if there is some riddle of the loop…

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  4. There is actually another smaller loop set that has only one escape into trap room #24. The rooms are 6, 11 (to trap room), 22, 38, 40 and 43. These are the areas referred to as the trap rooms.

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