Previously: The Veronica Game.
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I’ll be honest: The ritual game known as The Wall is… kind of weird. It’s not totally clear what you’re summoning (is it a ghost… cat? A demon cat? Something else entirely?); there are a lot of holes in the rules; and there’s no reward or prize for playing it — it’s one of those “for the thrill of it” dares or challenges. If you’re into games like the Candles Game, though, it might appeal to you; it’s got a similar type of setup.
As far as I know, The Wall first found its way to the internet via Reddit in the 2013; Redditor r/Aeuma posted it both to r/NoSleep and r/ThreeKings on June 11 of that year. It then found its way to the short-lived Tumblr GYSNP about two and a half weeks later on June 28 before resurfacing in translation on some Indonesian and Malaysian sites in 2016. All of these successive versions attempted to plug some of the holes in the Reddit version with varying degrees of success, so consider the version of the game seen here at TGIMM another attempt to add to the mix.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
The holes do remain a curiosity, though, largely because r/Aeuma added an edit to the version they posted on r/ThreeKings after its initial publication: “I was recently asked for more information on this,” they wrote. “I don’t really feel comfortable telling EVERYONE about it, so I won’t, but you should know that there’s more to this game (both as for gameplay and background) that I left out, for safety’s sake.” I’m not sure whether that’s actually true — that they purposefully omitted key information “for safety’s sake” — or if it’s just an attempt to spackle over some lazy writing. To me, the missing information doesn’t seem like, say, the omission of the incantation in Lights Out, which actually does prevent the ritual from succeeding; as such, I’m… skeptical that the motivation for leaving it out was truly safety. Still, though, it’s a possibility all the same.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- One partner.
- One wooden, plastic, or metal stool.
- One small ceramic or glass bowl or dish.
- Enough water to fill the bowl or dish.
- A sharp object. A knife is ideal. Sterilize it before use.
- A large, quiet room with at least one blank wall (e.g. a wall that has no windows or doors set into it, pictures hung from it, or other objects or fixtures attached to it). Ideally, the room should be completely empty.
- At least five cat food kibbles. For an easier game, use a greater number of kibbles. For a harder game, use fewer. Do not use an even number of kibbles.
- Cups. These cups should be opaque. Use twice the number of cups as you have kibbles.
- A timekeeping device.
- Knowledge of a language other than your primary one.
- Begin at any time.
- Bring the stool, bowl or dish, and sharp object to the quiet room.
- Position the stool two to three feet away from the blank wall.
- Place the bowl or dish on top of the stool.
- Place the sharp object within easy reach of the stool.
- Leave the room.
- Have your partner bring the water, cups, and kibbles to the quiet room.
- Your partner should then fill the bowl or dish with water, place the cups upside down on the floor all over the room, and hide the kibbles underneath the cups. There should be no more than one kibble per cup. Half the cups will remain empty.
- When your partner is finished, they should leave the room.
- Clear the entire building of all people and pets, including yourself and your partner. Do not return until six hours have passed.
The Main Event:
- After six hours have passed, return to the building. Enter the quiet room alone.
- Examine the bowl or dish.
- If it is still filled with water: Do not proceed. The ritual has failed to begin. Gather up your supplies and try again another time.
- If it is filled with something other than water: DO NOT PROCEED. The ritual has failed. Pick up the sharp object, cut your hand with it, and allow the blood to flow into the bowl or dish. Then, break the bowl or dish. Vacate the premises, taking the pieces of the bowl or dish with you, and do not return for at least 24 hours. Dispose of the shattered bowl or dish. You may try again another time.
- If it is empty: The ritual has been successfully begun. You may proceed.
- Approach the blank wall and stand with your back against it. You should be facing the stool holding the bowl or dish.
- Speak the following words aloud in a language that is not the language you primarily speak: “The Wall runs to me, and I feed it.” You MUST use a second language. Do NOT use your primary language.
- Step away from the wall. Do NOT look at the wall at ANY POINT from this moment forward.
- Begin traveling throughout the room, picking up the cups and checking underneath them as you go.
- If the cup is empty: Return the cup to the floor, making sure to place it upside down. Continue checking the other cups. Do not check this cup again.
- If the cup contains a kibble: Pick the kibble up. Return the cup to floor, upside down. Bring the kibble to the stool and deposit it in the bowl or dish. Do not check this cup again.
- NOTE: You are NOT the only one attempting to find the kibbles.
- If you notice a cup beginning to move, and you are not the one moving it, you may physically hold the cup in place to prevent it from being tipped over. Be prepared to put some muscle into it; hold steady until your opponent loses interest. When your opponent has moved on, you may release the cup.
- However, if the moving cup tips over before you reach it, DO NOT APPROACH. If there is a kibble beneath the cup, allow it to be eaten. Do NOT attempt to stop your opponent from eating the kibble.
- Continue in this fashion until all of the kibbles have either been found and deposited into the bowl, or eaten. When you have finished, tally up the number of kibbles in the bowl.
- If MORE than half of the kibbles are in the bowl: Congratulations! You have achieved a winning outcome. Clear the room of your supplies, discard the kibble, and rinse the bowl with water and five to six drops of your own blood. (You may use your sharp object to aid in this step.) Then, wash the bowl more thoroughly with soap and hot water or by using a dishwasher.
- If LESS than half of the kibbles are in the bowl: You have achieved a losing outcome. Act quickly; you only have 10 seconds to pick up the sharp object, cut your hand, bleed into the bowl, and break the bowl. If you have completed this action in under 10 seconds, gather the pieces and vacate the premises. Dispose of the pieces as soon as possible.
While you are searching for the kibbles, do NOT:
- Place any cups on the floor right side up.
- Accidentally knock over any cups.
- Check the same cup more than once.
- Look at the blank wall at ANY POINT.
The difficulty of this game may be scaled up by making the following adjustments:
- When gathering your supplies, use only five kibbles, add a flashlight to the list, and ensure that your quiet room may be darkened to blackout conditions. Additionally, you partner must be a stranger who was not known to you before sunrise the day you commence the game — you may not enlist a friend or anyone else familiar to you to perform this role. Also, you must adjust the timing of the game such that the Main Event will occur after sundown.
- After the Prelude: Step 8, have your partner pick up the sharp object, cut their hand, and bleed into the water held by the bowl or dish. They may not leave the room until they have performed this action.
- When you reenter the quiet room during the Main Event: Step 1, your partner must accompany you. They should hold the flashlight. The principal should NOT, under ANY circumstances, touch or use the flashlight at ANY POINT throughout the game.
- During the Main Event: Step 3, your partner must also stand with their back to the wall. They should NOT speak the words, “The Wall runs to me, and I feed it.” They should not speak at all for the duration of the game.
- Following Step 3 of the Main Event, your partner must keep one hand touching the wall at all times; however, they should NOT look at the wall. Ever.
- For the Main Event: Steps 5 through 7, you partner should use the flashlight to help you see in the dark. They must NOT shine the light on ANYTHING other than the floor or a cup. Do NOT allow them to follow or track your opponent with the light.
- If you successfully find more than half the kibbles BEFORE sunrise, you must complete an additional task: You must pick up the bowl of kibbles and keep the food away from your opponent until after the sun has risen. If you complete this “keep-away” section successfully, you have won the game; perform the concluding actions described in the Ending’s winning outcome.
- If your partner lets go of the wall, if you do not find more than half the kibbles, or if you do not manage to keep the kibbles safe during the “keep-away” section, perform the concluding actions described in the Ending’s losing outcome. Do NOT fail to complete these actions in under 10 seconds.
The game may be halted at any point by picking up the sharp object, cutting your hand, bleeding into the bowl, and breaking the bowl. Should you decide to halt the game, gather the pieces of the bowl as soon as you have broken it and vacate the premises. Dispose of the bowl’s remains as soon as possible — and, ideally, as far away as possible.
Whether You Win Or Lose:
Regardless of your success, and no matter which difficulty level you decide to play at, do NOT neglect to anoint the bowl with blood before either washing it or disposing of its pieces. If you do not perform this action, the game will begin again in six hours’ time — whether or not you have prepared for it.
Cat food kibbles aren’t the only thing your opponent likes to eat.
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[Photo via Free-Photos/Pixabay]