Daedalian Depths: The Final Answer?

In my last post, I hadn’t yet solved the final riddle of Daedalian Depths. I think I have, now. I’ve definitely solved most of it. There’s an overall pattern to the shortest path through the maze, and there are enough hints about that pattern that once you know what you’re looking for, you can find enough minor details confirming the pattern for it to become a certainty. (I took perhaps longer that I should have to discover this pattern: there’s a pretty blatant hint that went over my head until after I figured it out by other means.)

But it really feels like there should be just one more step. The final riddle asks you to find a set of five legendary artifacts “hidden in plain sight” along the shortest path. The picture of the last room has five pillars set up to receive them. This really feels like it’s a setup for a final metapuzzle, building a five-letter word, or perhaps a five-word phrase. That’s how it would work in a puzzle hunt, where answering the last riddle in text is how you confirm that you’ve won. There’s even a really tempting way to extract a word from the treasures: the shortest path is exactly 25 rooms long — 26, if you include the numberless initial illustration. So if you map each room’s position on that path to a letter in the obvious way, and take the letters of the five rooms containing the artifacts, what do you get? Unpronounceable gibberish. Same for a couple of other mappings I’ve tried. I’m starting to really think that I’m carrying things too far, looking for more hidden meanings when I’ve already wrung the thing dry.

This is especially disappointing because it would have been so easy for the author to place the artifacts in rooms where they do decode to something meaningful! With one exception, they’re not particularly bound to the contents of the rooms where they’re found. If I were in the maze for real, I’d totally move them to rooms where they spell something out, so the next guy could have the satisfaction I was denied, if I could find a way to keep the exit gate open while I did so.

No Comments

Leave a reply