Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. III.
Let’s open it up to another round of frequently asked questions, shall we? I’ve been thinking about creating a permanent page for these; the link to it would live in the menu bar (like the About page and the Vault), and would both include links to all the existing (and all successive) volumes of Most Dangerous Games FAQs and — ideally — catalog all the questions and answers about the games we’ve addressed here so far, all in one easy-to-access spot. Any interest? If you all think it might be useful, Gentle Readers, let me know; it’d be sort of an ongoing project to pull it together, as it’ll take me some time to organize all the questions and answers by game onto one page, but I’ll see what I can do.
One thing to note: After this volume of frequently asked questions, there is one question that I will not attempt to answer again in any form. A huge number of queries submitted here are literally the same question every single time, no matter which game it pertains to or what the specific details are: “What happens if I do this thing that goes completely against the rules of the game?” Honestly, these kinds of questions baffle me. The rules exist for a reason; it’s my understanding that they’re as much about keeping you, the player or players, safe as they are about making the ritual work, so I don’t really get why you’d want to willfully ignore them. At best, not following the rules will simply cause the ritual to fail (which is boring); at worst… well, you don’t want to know what happens at worst. Whatever it is, it’s bad. Really, really bad. Never-ever-recovering-from-it bad.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
On that note, we’re going to kick off with a question that has been asked for just about every single-player game we’ve covered here on TGIMM:
Can I play [game that only specifies one player] with a partner?
No. Unless the rules stipulate that multiple people are either permissible or necessary, assume you’ll be playing alone. Bringing a partner will — again — at best, simply cause the ritual not to work, and at worst, cause something terrible and irreparable to occur. Please stop asking this; you already know the answer.
Do you have to stay awake the whole night?
Unless the instructions for any given game specify that you should go to sleep, it’s probably safest to stay awake; that way you’ll be cognizant of anything that might happen in the space around you before the safe time rolls around. That said, though, as long as you stay in the room with the door closed after the Stranger departs, you’ll probably be more or less okay, even if you fall asleep.
So it’s like a spiritual hitman?
Kind of, yeah.
Is there a required start time?
Not an exact one, although it’s probably best played at night. You’ll have a hard time making the game room dark if it’s broad daylight out, and the ritual won’t work unless the room is dark.
What if there is something else in the room, like a cockroach?
There shouldn’t be. Remember that whole thing where you need to clear the building of anything living besides the players before the game begins? Do that. Again, at best, an additional creature will cause the ritual simply not to work, and at worst, it will cause catastrophic failure. See: General.
What if the speaker disappears?
You’re probably kind of… uh… screwed. If the Speaker disappears while the lights are off, and another player notices and turns the lights on, hopefully the Speaker will reappear, enabling you to enact the completion procedure; if not, though… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
Can you put a circle of salt around the throne chair to protect yourself just in case?
You can, although honestly, I’m not totally sure it’ll do what you intend it to do. After all, nothing is literally coming after you; it’s all in the mirrors, and in your mind. A salt circle around you in the physical world can’t really protect you from what’s going on inside your own head.
What is your partner supposed to do with the bucket of water and the mug?
Take mug, submerge in bucket, fill with water, splash in face.
(It sounds much cooler if you’re left to figure it out for yourself, but there it is spelled out in case you need it.)
What if I decided to use a Bible as my power object? Would that upset any entities?
It’d probably be fine; I doubt it would cause any upset. Again, we’re mostly dealing with what’s going on in your own head, not a literal devil.
What do you mean, “if your body is suddenly moved, the fan will blow out the candle, ending the game”?
Pretty much exactly what it says. The extinguishing of the candle closes the ritual; if you’ve set the fan up correctly, and your body is moved out of the path of the breeze, the fan will blow out the candle and close the ritual.
This is true whether or not your body has moved of its own volition.
What if you don’t want to wait all the way until 4:34 in the morning? Can you have your friend end the game?
Nope. If you start the ritual, you have to play it through to completion, even if it doesn’t seem like anything is happening. There’s no half-assing it when it comes to these sorts of games; leaving a ritual open and unfinished is a recipe for disaster.
If you day to stay until 4:34 and the game is ended, do you have to leave your house and return at 6?
Nope; that’s only the case if you notice any of the red flags between waking up at 3:30 and sitting in the throne at 3:33. If you play successfully until 4:34 and close the ritual, there’s no need to vacate the premises.
What do the queen and the fool represent?
That depends on who the king is.
What happens if you look at a mirror?
You know, I’m not actually sure. Good question. Personally, I would be careful about bringing a mirror into a ritual that doesn’t specifically call for one; they can be powerful objects, and they might cause some unpredictable and unfortunate side effects.
What happens if you fail to light the match on time?
Don’t let this happen. Just… don’t.
For the single-player version, can you have a friend present?
Nope. That’s why it’s called the single-player version. See: General.
Can the Raven Man answer questions about the future?
Probably; if you ask him for information, he’ll give it to you, and I assume knowledge of the future is included under that umbrella. I just wouldn’t count on him being particularly clear about it — he’s likely to obfuscate things somewhat.
What happens if you disrespect the Raven Man?
Do you really want to piss him off? Seriously?
So I can’t have someone with me for emotional support?
Nope. See: General. Unless a game specifies that multiple players may or must be present, assume you have to do it alone or it won’t work.
Why the ceiling? What would happen if I faced the floor or somewhere with my eyes closed?
This is an educated guess on my part, but I think your eyes have to be open, while also refraining from looking around the room (remember, a lot of the… uh… creatures involved in these games do unfortunate things when you make eye contact with them. See also: The Girl from the Gap). Hence, the ceiling.
What is the object of the game?
To make it through unscathed. Think of it like a badge of honor. You can go ahead and make yourself an “I survived the Candles Game and all I got was this stupid T-shirt” shirt if it makes you feel better.
Do you have to run the whole time?
I don’t think you have to treat it like you’re running a marathon, but it’s probably best if you keep moving. Don’t linger in one place too long or you’ll risk getting caught.
What if you die from something other than the Apex?
Then… you’re dead. There’s no coming back from that, even if the Apex had nothing to do with it. Sorry.
Can you play in a see-through elevator?
I don’t see why not.
Does time run the same speed in the Other World as it does here?
Does the room have to be completely silent?
Since this is a low stakes game, it probably doesn’t have to be; however, you may find it hard to concentrate (and therefore difficult to actually get the game to work) if there’s excess noise.
Can you hear your partner’s voice once you’re in there?
Yes, although exactly how your mind filters it and presents it to you might be a little different than what you’re expecting. It’ll vary from person to person — it might sound like a booming voiceover for some; for others, you might not hear a voice at all, but rather see visual cues drawn from whatever your partner is saying; and for still others, it might be something entirely different. Remember, though, your partner is responsible for guiding you out, so however they choose to do that, there will be some sort of communication going on.
Can anyone give me a list of things to look out for?
Unfortunately not. No one else knows what it’s like inside your head but you, so the only person who could provide any sort of list for things to look out for would be you yourself.
Is there any reward for this?
Nope. The winning condition for these games doesn’t necessarily mean you get a prize.
What if there are people sleeping in the house who aren’t playing the game?
Oh, good gravy, don’t do that to them. You’ll put them all in terrible danger. See: General.
What happens if you turn the lights on before the game is over?
Do you really want to make it any easier for the doll to find you? Because that is exactly what turning on the lights will do.
Can I play with a partner?
No. See: General.
What if you enter but leave the door open?
Then it won’t work. You either have to close the door and proceed, or leave. There’s no in between.
Could you contact Rocky Balboa with this?
Given that Rocky Balboa is a fictional character, I’m going to go with no.
(And for the curious, yes, this question is actually sitting in my moderation queue. Hi there, trolls; how are you today?)
[Photo via Tim Pierce/Flickr]