Dungeon Creeper!

Can Tom survive the horrors of Hastur's Labyrinth?

I like to think I'm pretty good at games. After all, I've played more hours of Minecraft than I've actually been alive (somehow), and I recently completed that new Zelda game without cheating once! OK, I cheated four times but that's not 'once' then is it.

So when Ben Barker and Chuck Zimmerman challenged me to try out their adventure map, HASTUR'S LABYRINTH, how could I say no?

Oh how I wish I'd said no...

Don't get me wrong. Hastur's Labyrinth is far from a bad map. It's a challenging slice of claustraphobic Java fun that's well worth exploring! Just don't blame me if you end up smashing your computer into little angry pieces.

Because Hastur's Labyrinth is tough. Hastur's Labyrinth is more hardcore than the middle of a diamond apple. Hastur's Labyrinth is the reason I wake up in the middle of every night, screaming “Noooooooo! Not the rabbits! ANYTHING BUT THE RABBITS!”

It Begins

I awaken in a room full of levers, signs, buttons and lava dripping from the ceiling. I try and take my mind off this disturbing detail by admiring the two decapitated heads on the wall.

It doesn't help.

Oh, cool! It's a cameo from the guys who made this map! Take a bow, fellas! Oh... right, yeah. Sorry.

You can then choose from classes like Wizard, Barbarian, etc. In real life I'm weaker than a paper kitten, but in this labyrinth I'm a mighty WARRIOR!

I slap on my warrior threads and enter the labyrinth! BRING IT.

I'm welcomed by none other than the voice of Hastur himself! His mysterious words inform me that he's been waiting for me. He advises me to “be sure to look for the hidden keys – we wouldn't want you losing your sanity looking for a way out.”

Wow! What great advice! Thanks, Hastur!

OK, those are pretty spooky words, but at least I know how to spell the word 'labyrinth', buddy.

Overflowing with confidence/sweat, I marched grandly into the first room. Oh, cool! There were some other adventurers in here too! Hello, my new best friends, how goes the daARGGGGGH!

Yeah, my bad. These are actually Doomshrooms. Groaning zombie warriors in strong armour that wasted no time in ripping the flesh from my bones. But I respawned, ran back into the room, raised my axe into the air and... died again. Darn it.

It was time for some rapid clicking action. I could practically hear my mouse screaming as I swung my axe to victory! I'll admit to being a bit shaken up by this tough fight. That's why I was thrilled with the wonderful treat I found in the next room!

In hindsight, it may have been a little naïve of me to assume these horrorshows were wonderful new friends ready to get their hug on. But you'll never get a BFF with that cynical attitude, chum!

The creature in the next room was so adorable, I'm almost too ugly to describe it. It was an ickle-wickle cute-as--heck bunny rabbit! Called Dandelion! Aww, come here you aARRRGGGHHHH GETITOFF GETITOFF GETITOFF

It killed me in less than four hops. Death by killer bunny rabbit. This must be whatever the opposite of 'peaking' is.

“There's no shame in being defeated by a bunny rabbit,” said Marsh, before giving up and laughing loudly in my face for three straight weeks. He's still pointing at me and giggling now, chortling while I try to type this. Curse you, Marsh. And curse you, Dandelion.

Truly, I've stared into its eyes and endured the face of evil - It's white, fluffy and partial to carrots.

Truly, I've stared into its eyes and endured the face of evil - It's white, fluffy and partial to carrots.

Truly, I've stared into its eyes and endured the face of evil - It's white, fluffy and partial to carrots.

After a few more attempts (doesn't matter how many), in which the rabbits did get the hop on me a few times (again, the exact figure is irrelevant), I finally managed to defeat a bunny rabbit in armed combat! Told you I was hardcore!

Marsh has just informed me that I have to tell you the number of times the bunny rabbit killed me or I'm fired. 34. Thirty-four times.

...Let's move on, yeah? Please?

Will I ever escape?

The next room saw no break in the action. Immediately two warriors jumped out of the shadows, both of which were called 'Spartacus'.

“No, I'm Spartacus!” I shouted. “Hahaha! Geddit? It's a reference! To a movie! I'm hilarious!”

They reacted to this by stabbing me repeatedly in the face. I suppose some people just don't appreciate classic cinema.

Both the Spartacus' (Spartacuses? Spartaci?) attacked! But I defeated them with ease, only dying a mere dozen more times. I was getting the hang of this! Ish! So I strolled happily into the next room, which was full of spiderwebs. Oh. Oh no no no no no no no no no. NO.

No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no

A chill sprinting up my spine, I looked at the webs and wondered what was about to happen to me:

BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME: I'm about to meet Spider-Man!

SADLY MUCH MORE LIKELY OUTCOME: Spiders.

WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME: What if it's a man made out of spiders.

Some people try and tell you that “spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them.” Oh really. So if I was a jet black, multi-eyed monster with eight (!) creepifying legs, do you really think I would fear a mere mortal man? OF COURSE I WOULDN'T. Those idiots are wrong and should be punished. Punished with spiders.

Things Tom does like: Spider-Man. Spider-Men. Things Tom doesn't like: Real spiders. Real men.

Terrified, I cautiously crept through the cobwebs. The sticky spider-gunk slowed down my shaking legs. If a spider saw me, I'd never stand a chance of running away in time.

“The trick is not to panic!” I screamed to myself.

But amazingly, I found no spiders. I found a chest! One with the first key inside! I'm the best adventurer of all time! A fact I celebrated by accidentily throwing my only weapon away!

Whoops.

Phew, my axe is within reach! You're wondering what that yellow smoke is that's coming off me? Look, pal. If you'd been through what I've been through, you wouldn't smell too hot either.

My precious axe retrieved (I'll never be stupid enough to lose that again!), I entered the toughest room yet. Have you ever played The Floor is Lava – the game where you pretend your carpet is made of lava and have to jump on your chairs/tables/grandparents/sturdier pets to avoid stepping on it? Well this room was a bit like that fun game! Except that the floor was literally lava.

To escape, I'd have to leap from tiny platform to tiny platform, all to reach that door. And for a man who'd recently been killed by a bunny over thirty times, I was feeling surprisingly confident.

See, I may not be much in combat, but Tom knows his jumping. I've mastered Mario, sped through Sonic, and ignored Blinx the Cat = I'm a platforming MASTER.

I was going to propel from block to block like gravity meant nothing, to elegantly dance and bounce between the platforms like a ballerina made of springs. I slammed the 'jump' button, cheering my own brilliance!

Except that wasn't the jump button. It was the 'throw' button. So I threw my axe into the lava instead. It made a smoky hiss as it disappeared under the molten rock.

Dammit Tom.

Y'know, I'm willing to bet that whoever had the job of putting this sign up got burnt by that lava.

You know what? Who needs an axe anyway? Yeah! Those overrated tree-choppers are nothing but trouble. True adventurers (like myself) get by with their fists. Their weak, shaking, freshly manicured fists. BRING. IT.

Unfortunately, the deadly skeleton in the next room did bring it. And it hurt. It hurt a lot.

The skeleton used its enchanted bow to fill my head full of arrows. “Arrows!” I thought. I mean to think “ow!” but in my defence, my brain was literally full of arrows.

Still, I wasn't going down without a fight. I punched, kicked, squealed and begged the skeleton to leave me alone.

Owch! Argh! Oof! Eeep! Groan! Ow ow ow! Not the face! Please, not the face! I SAID NOT THE FACE

But the skeleton's onslaught was unrelenting! Soon there were more arrows in my face than teeth. Then more arrows in my head than hair. Luckily, I'm losing my hair, so this wasn't as bad as it sounds. Still too many arrows though.

It wasn't easy taking it down with my bare hands, but eventually the skeleton was defeated. I would have jumped for joy, if there hadn't been about a hundred arrows securing me to the wall.

Safe in the knowledge that I'd beaten the worst this dungeon could throw at me, I opened the next door and almost walked into a waterfall. Er.... what?

My Damp Destiny

Seems I'd have to swim my way through the next room. How long can you hold your breath? I always assumed I could hold mine for eight weeks, but it turned out to actually be closer to eight seconds. I had to keep desperately backstroking out of the room, filling my lungs with delicious dungeon air, then paddling back in for another go.

Finally, I found another doorway. How deep was I into this labyrinth now? I'd only found one key – could I really find them all? Or was I destined to stay down here... forever?

Shuddering at that terrible thought, I shoved open the door and collapsed back on dry land. Another room. Another danger. I stood up, saw what was in the room with me, and gasped. Impossible!

To Be Continued...

Psst! Think you can do better than Tom at this labyrinth? We agree! Prove you've got what it takes by finding Hastur's Labyrinth here.