Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol XI.
And here we are again: Another round of Frequently Asked Questions, re: the Most Dangerous Games. There’s a solid mix of older games and newer ones in here this time; How To See Your Future In A Mirror, Mr. Eyes, Deadman’s Tag, the Ghost Paper Challenge, and the Nesting Doll Game all feature prominently, for example, while older favorites like the Midnight Game also continue to fascinate. As always, the answers delivered here are far from the be-all, end-all — they’re just my best guesses based on my research, on what I know about each game individually, and on what I know about these kinds of games more generally. If you opt to do something while playing one of these games that explicitly goes against the rules… well, you’re the only one who’s responsible for the risks you choose to take.
You, uh… might want to think twice before taking them.
As always, the Master FAQ can be found here; I’ll be working on adding this latest round to it a soon as I can get to it. And if you have a question that hasn’t previously been addressed, go ahead and leave it as a comment on the game’s individual page — that’ll put it in the running to be considered for the next edition of the FAQ, as well as allow other readers to weigh in with their two cents, too.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Ready? Here we go:
Will the toy disappear in the end? Will you get it back, or does she take it and keep it forever?
If the game is successful and she accepts your offering, she takes it and keeps it (see: “If you have succeeded, she will wander out of view of the mirror, taking the toy with her”). Generally speaking, if a game requires an offering of some sort, don’t expect to get it back again at the end.
What if, instead of making a wish for yourself, you wish for something like Lady Spade’s lost beauty to be restored to her? What would happen then?
I don’t think she would have the ability to grant that kind of wish; if she did, she probably would have restored her own beauty long ago. You might curry favor with her, though.
If I lock the door of the room I’m hiding in, will it work to keep him out?
I doubt it. The entities summoned by these kinds of games can’t usually be stopped by mere locks.
How will I know if the spirit is near me?
You’ll know. You’ll probably hear him, at the very least. (Remember, this guy is known for the strange, rattling noise he makes.)
What happens if I played the game, but I don’t invite him?
You… can’t. You have to invite him to play the game. Playing the game means you have to invite him. You can’t do the one without the other.
How To See Your Future In A Mirror:
Can others be in the room while you play this game?
There’s nothing that says they can’t be, but it’ll probably be more effective if you’re alone.
Can you explain the 5th and 6th step of the Main Event through pictures? I have a hard time imagining how it would be executed.
Sure! Here’s a top-down diagram:
The black square is the table; the blue square is the mirror square; the red dots on the corners of the blue square are the blood; and the orange-y yellow dot at the center of the blue square is the candle. The cross in the lower right-hand corner is where you should be standing. The arrows indicate where you should look. (Note that the location of the red dots and where you yourself stand and look will change depending on which corners you decide to anoint with your blood. This illustration should give you the general idea, though.)
Each mirror/cardinal direction is related to a different aspect of life/spirit, right? So, do you anoint the corners that correspond to the aspects of your life you’re most interested in viewing?
Something like that, yes.
A follow-up question:
But isn’t that a little like “Three Kings,” where the most dangerous part isn’t turning towards one of the mirrors — it’s turning your back on the other one? What if what you aren’t being shown is worse (or more vital) than what you ARE seeing?
I think the difference here is that you’re not summoning any particular entities (or portions of your own mind, depending on what you think is really going on in Three Kings); you’re choosing to look through a specific window with a specific view. Also, the mirrors in this case don’t make a point of lying to you, whereas in Three Kings, what you see in the mirrors may not always be truthful. You could always play the game again at a later date and choose to look at the portions of the mirrors that represent what you didn’t look at before.
Two more things to bear in mind: One, the future isn’t necessarily fixed; and two, some things are better left unknown. If you chose to look specifically at the mirrors that represent a certain aspect of your life, maybe there’s a reason for that — and a reason you chose not to look at the others.
The Midnight Game:
Are you able to use your phone as a clock while playing this game?
I wouldn’t chance it, re: the stipulations against turning on any lights or using any flashlights (a phone can be used as a flashlight or other source of light). If you want to keep track of the time while you play, use a regular wristwatch — ideally an analog one.
If someone in my apartment building starts playing, does that mean I have to play, too? Or is it just the people in that apartment?
Variations on this question come up with some degree of frequency in a variety of games like the Midnight Game — and honestly, I’m not sure there’s really a satisfactory answer yet. I can see how the argument might go both ways: If only the people dwelling in a specific apartment have summoned the Midnight Man, then it would make a certain amount of sense if he stalked only that apartment; however, it would also make sense that if the Midnight Man is summoned, then the entire building he’s been summoned to would be fair game for him.
Given the danger inherent in these kinds of games, though, it’s probably best to assume that the most dangerous answer — that is, that the entire building is fair game — is the correct one. That’s… just usually how these kinds of things shake out.
(My sense, by the way, is that — assuming that the Midnight Game is fictional/creepypasta, rather than an ancient pagan ritual — the game was originally created with single-family homes in mind, rather than multi-family homes or apartment buildings. Hence the confusion: If the original creator lived in a single-family home when they conceived of the story, they might not have bothered considering how the game might be affected if it were played in other types of living situations.)
Sever The Cord:
Do all Copies reside in the same realm/universe/etc.?
Not necessarily — particularly if we’re dealing with a multiverse kind of situation.
Are Copies and non-Copies mixed within realms, or are the realms strictly inhabited by Copies or non-Copies?
My sense is that Copies and non-Copies don’t coexist alongside each other in the same realm, but that’s just a guess on my part.
Then again, it’s also worth considering that, while you might consider yourself the non-Copy… your Copy might consider themself the non-Copy.
That is, they might consider you to be their Copy.
Just… something to keep in mind.
The Ghost Paper Challenge:
If you have four people in the house, but only two are playing, will the two that don’t play be affected by the game?
Probably not… unless they’re in the room that’s on the other side of the door you’ve decided to use to play the game. There’s really no telling what might happen if that’s the case.
Is it okay to have pets in the house?
As long as you can ensure they won’t disturb you while you’re playing the game, I believe so, yes.
May I use my phone just to check I’ve done everything right, or does “no light except the candle” mean actually no light whatsoever?
It means no light whatsoever. Don’t use your phone. Write the rules out on a separate piece of paper and check your work by the light of the candle if you must.
What do you do with the paper when you are done with the challenge?
Honestly, I’d burn it and dispose of the ashes far away from your home — just to be on the safe side.
Can you use a bucket instead of bathtub?
I wouldn’t. The instructions specify a bathtub for a reason.
Is it possible that Mr. Eyes might be a player that failed the challenge — and when you fail, you become the new Mr. Eyes?
It’s possible, yes. See also: Lights Out.
Is there a prize or a benefit to playing this game?
Not really, no (unless you consider your continued existence to be a prize). You don’t play this game to improve your luck, or to learn knowledge, or to gain any other benefits; you play so you can say you did it. You play for the challenge. You play for the thrill.
The Doors Of Your Mind:
Should the words which are to be said in the beginning be in English only, or can we translate them to the language which the player is comfortable with?
Play the game in whatever language with which you’re most comfortable. You’re exploring your own mind, after all.
If you find yourself at the end of the corridor with no doors left to explore and the time has not run out, what do you do?
You could go back and revisit some of the doors you’ve previously explored. Or you could ask your guide to bring you back.
Or you could walk back down the hallway and see if any new doors have appeared.
The hallway isn’t necessarily static.
The Nesting Doll Game:
Does your wish have to be written in Russian for this to work? Do you have to count in Russian?
I actually think you can perform both of those parts of the ritual in whatever language with which you’re most comfortable. The words used to perform the “If Anything Should Go Wrong Procedure,” which must be said in Russian, are a special case.
But if you wanted to play it safe, you could certainly perform the whole ritual in Russian, from start to finish.
Must you say the failsafe phrase in the native language, or are you allowed to say it in your own language?
The failsafe phase must be said in Russian.
Can you purposefully use a matryoshka set that doesn’t have a lot of details on the dolls to make it easier to play?
I mean, as long as it satisfies the other requirements — that is, if it has an odd number of dolls—sure. I think, though, that even though the risks won’t be as great if you use a simplistically deigned set, the rewards won’t be as great as they would be if you used a more intricately designed one, either — similarly to how sets with a fewer number of dolls carry less risk, but also less reward, than those with a greater number.
Do the dolls have to look like humans, or can they look like, say, animals?
They don’t have to look like humans. A set that’s designed to look like animals, or anything else, should work just fine.
You’re supposed to have a candle for every doll, but is it okay to have more candles than dolls?
Yep — just set aside the extra candles before you begin the “Making The Wish” section. (The idea is to gather more candles than you think you’ll need prior to starting the game so that you already have enough on hand to continue after you start taking apart the matryoshka sets and identifying which set you’ll be using to perform the rest of the game.)
Do the dolls really need to be facing the mirror? Can you touch the dolls and rotate them in order to look for the details instead?
Short answer: Yes, they do need to be facing the mirror, and no, you can’t pick them up. The longer answer, which I had previously posted in a comment on the Nesting Doll Game’s page, reads as follows:
“The instructions in the source links don’t state that you can pick the dolls up while you’re examining them, so I wouldn’t touch them once you’ve set them up — the reason the dolls’ faces are supposed to face the mirror is so you can examine their reflections during the memorization step. My sense is that it would be too easy to complete if you were allowed to pick them up (there’s more of a challenge if you have to memorize them through their reflections, which makes sense, given the worth of the reward if you succeed); besides, there’d be no point in setting up the whole mirror-dolls-candles arrangement if you were just going to pick up the dolls again during the memorization step.”
The Dark Music Ritual:
Would your voice be an acceptable instrument? If you can’t play an instrument, can you sing instead?
Probably not. Consider: The game requires you to leave a instrument in front of the door — but you can’t leave your voice in front of a door. The instrument could be broken during the course of the ritual — so if you use your voice as your instrument, that means that you could be broken during the course of the ritual.
If you can’t play a complex instrument, choose something simple. Even a kazoo would work — you don’t need special skills to play a kazoo.
Can I place items to hide in before the game commences?
I don’t see why not.
If you’re running for home base, is it possible for the spirit to catch you from behind?
If there is someone at home base that you didn’t play with when you’re ready to end the game, are you and your friends just stuck at home base forever?
Maybe. It depends, though. Are you willing to strike a bargain with the additional player?
What do we get from playing this game? I mean, is it just for fun or is there some sort of a reward?
There’s no reward. I’ve mentioned this a number of times across the site, but it’s worth reiterating: Not all games have rewards. Not all games have goals beyond simply surviving. Some games exist only for the purposes of tempting fate.
The Playing Card Game:
Can I contact someone specific with this game? E.g. a dead friend or relative?
I wouldn’t use this game to try to contact someone in particular; that’s not its function. Instead, you might want to try something like the Shoebox Telephone.
Can I use a deck of cards that isn’t new? For example, if I inherited a deck from someone who has died — could I use that?
I… wouldn’t. The results will likely be very, very unpredictable. Bear in mind, too, that you absolutely should not use the deck you use to play this game ever again after you’re finished — so it’s probably bet not to choose a deck to which you have some sort of personal or sentimental connection.
Can I use the deck of cards for playing solitaire after I used it on this game?
No. According to the rules, the deck should not be used again, for any purpose, after it has been used to play this game.
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[Photo via Tim Pierce/Flickr; Lucia Peters/The Ghost In My Machine]