The Labyrinth of Keys


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Rating: 3.8/5 (36 votes)
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The Labyrinth of Keys

SonicLoverCalling it The Labyrinth of Keys is a bit of a misnomer. Perhaps it would better be called "The Labyrinth of One Key". After all, you only get one key, and you've got to use it wisely if you want to have any hope of escaping in Matthew Rodriguez's action-puzzle-platform game of the same name. The phrase "you only get one" seems to be popping up a lot in the gaming scene recently. You'd think there was a contest centered around it or something. Although Rodriguez didn't finish The Labyrinth of Keys within Ludum Dare's 72-hour deadline, it's a good thing he stuck around to do so, because the game is quite fantastic.

The Labyrinth of KeysUse the [arrow] keys to move around, and [X] to jump. Although you don't want to unlock any doors prematurely, it's worth carrying around your only key at all times, because only then can you peek into the many books scattered around the wrapping five-by-five grid of rooms, and many (not all, but many) of the books provide critical hints about which one of the dozens of locked doors leads to escape. Touch a flying lock and your key gets stolen from you, forcing you to tap [W] to warp back to the room you started in, where it will be waiting for you again. Certain traps and gimmicks throughout the maze will be reset every time you pick up the key. Once you think you know which door leads to freedom, stand in front of it and unlock it with [K]... but botch your choice and the key will be gone forever, and with it your only chance at getting out. You can also reset the game completely with [R], toggle the music with [M], adjust the volume with [+] and [-], and toggle all the sound with [0].

The "sinister march" mood of the music composed by Khananaphone somehow fits, and the maze design by ZeroTron is top-notch. The little puzzles throughout the Labyrinth are clever, to say nothing of the fact that figuring out which door is correct is one big logic puzzle. The hints and solution are randomized every time, too, which adds a level of replayability to the game. Struggling players may find the list of hints and the labyrinth map useful, although it's quite possible to beat the game without them. Of course, the game lacks polish in a few areas. The control scheme lacks a level of customization, and the graphics can be a little confusing. Ultimately, the game is perfect for those fond of action-puzzle-platformers with logic puzzles blended in... a niche that I personally am proud to be a part of!

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10 Comments

This game is fantastic. Early on I thought it was going to be too frustrating, but just a little bit further and things started clicking. I didn't realize until I'd found all the clue books that I'd actually had everything I needed to escape 10 minutes earlier, but it was still pretty satisfying to explore everywhere and solve most of the puzzles.

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the game seems great, until you have to trek over half the labrinyth everytime you make one mistake.

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@mystify: I agree. I'm not good enough at platformers to enjoy having to do the same tricks over and over every time I make a slip.

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I'm not sure which room is the one which has "3 different ways" to enter.

Besides, there's a bug which occurred when I activated the 12 crystals correctly but was swept aside by the block. The crystals failed to act correctly when I revisited and every time it counted as a failure (red).

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I have an update on my image guide. If admin/mods see this message please delete the old post.

Regarding crucial hints:

TAPESTRY HINTS:

It can be found after disabling the security system.

"TAKING AWAY" means tapestry is ABSENT in RIGHT DOOR; "ADMIRING ART" means tapestry is PRESENT in RIGHT DOOR.

CANIS'S BARKS/PRIESTESS'S CANDLES:

Only 1 of them will be given in each play.

It can be found after solving the "Riddle of Many Buttons"

The object always denotes WRONG DOORS.

Regarding death, reset, warp & re-picking up of key:

Only RESET or REPLAYING will reset clues.

It's possible to be trapped and escape become impossible:

use the warp function

It's possible to die from moving bars, blocks, the effect is the same as having the key stolen.

IMAGE GUIDE (really spoily):

www.dropbox.com/s/k0x1fg45vz74aqc/kaginomeiroguide.png

COLOR CODED AS FOLLOWS:
RED: Traps & fake routes
YELLOW: the 2 crucial clues to select brothers' doors.
GREEN: Brother clues
CYAN: Correct button for "Riddle of Many Buttons"
BLUE: DOOR NUMBER (REFER TO LIBRARY BELOW)
MAGENTA: GREAT HALL
WHITE: HIDDEN BUTTONS

Library of clues to doors (NOT verbatim):

  1. Despaired, believing escape fruitless. Didn't even leave first room. Entered the left door.

  2. Disable security, very near started

  3. Despaired, believing escape fruitless. Didn't even leave first room. Entered the right door.

  4. Door with "EXIT" sign

  5. Tormented by two switches, patiently alternated back and forth, bring the clown within reach.

  6. Brave. Tapped switch quickly. Lured out fast guardian.

  7. Solved the riddle of many buttons by observing what wasn't there, now-revealed

  8. Entered the room in 3 different ways, each 1 step closer to door

  9. Foolishly rushed into a dead end, having no other choice, used key there

  10. Evaded patrolling locks, orbiting around suns

  11. Quickly ran under the three locks fell from ceiling, top left of Great Hall

  12. Cautiously evaded inescapable trap, fell into little tunnel, hopped over buttons and unlocked.

  13. Island surrounded by 4 locks heart of Great Hall

  14. Sweeping bars, unlocked the door

  15. Bottom left of Great Hall. Pressed button, freezing foes.

  16. Fell to island at bottom of Great Hall, unlocked door at bottom (beware of hidden button)

  17. Bottom right of Great Hall: persistently navigated the tunnel, hiding in alcoves for the locks to pass.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTE:

ACCESSING CRUCIAL HINT IN STARTING ROOM:

You need to enter the room with falling spike wall and go downwards to break the security system.

HINT to passing the trap:

The bottom moving blocks move in static pattern. Experience will do the work.

HINT to disabling the security system:

The clue's at left side of Great Hall:

a~d from left to right
bacd
acbd
adbc

SOLUTION to Riddle of many buttons:

(tale of brother may have clue)note the surroundings, the wall pattern is absent at certain position.

Press the fourth (from left to right) button in middle row

REACHING THE SUN ORBIT ROOM:

Enter the elevator room.

Note a hidden button (purple in color, but it's protruded and that gives it away) on the top of left wall (beware of a visible button which is a trap).

Press the left button adjacent to elevator. DO NOT enter.

Wait until it fall midway. Press again, then quickly jump to where the hidden button is at.

Wait until the elevator move to the bottom and press the hidden button. Trace the way to the middle elevator.

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A bit more about the brothers:

There are 16 doors that the brothers might choose. Door #1 from the spoiler above is never one of them. Each brother has four possibilities.

• Theo always chooses a door with a candle and no tapestry. His book is near the EXIT sign.
• Jude always chooses a door with a candle and a tapestry. His book is in the sun room.
• Adrian always chooses a door with a dog book and no tapestry. His book is in the "3 ways" room.
• Randall always chooses a door with a dog book and a tapestry. His book is in the bottom-left of the great hall.

So you can figure out from the book in the "many buttons" room and the book after security which of the four brothers is correct, which means you can solve the puzzle while only reading three books total.

About the 12-crystal glitch:

You can only open the security doors once per game. So if you die after opening the third door (while waiting for it to open), you can't ever reach the book that tells you whether the tapestry was taken or not. And if the book in the "many buttons" room talks about Canis the Bard, you should make sure to learn where Jude goes before solving the security maze, so you know whether or not to jump in Door #2 during your only opportunity to do so.

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Thank you so much for posting my game!

Henry, awesome work on the walkthrough! I uploaded a new version of the game today that fixed the 12-crystal glitch, and made a few other minor improvements. Thanks for catching that!

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Matt - great game, thank you!

Henry - great guide too (didn't peek until after I was done :P). One small point on the map:

The gap at the top of the second room is not impassable - there's a hidden button on the edge of the platform (just in front of the gap) that toggles the wall there

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Dingding321 Author Profile Page February 18, 2014 5:18 AM

omfg that took so long
but in the end it was very much worth it
fun, but im kind of brain dead now! ^^

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