A baffling mystery that has been my underlying motivation for building Starlight Outback comes on the forefront today as “Chambers” is completed and my full plans are revealed in this game-changing session.
Busting open this giant hole, this area will comprise the second section of the “Chambers” parkour course. To reiterate, the first puzzle consisted of a grid of locks and doors, representative of my theory about the endermen existing as a hive mind. When one door opens, another door closes. Such is the same with the endermen. Their intelligence moves from place to place; they are not everywhere at once. But, before I continue with the course, I need to confront this theory head-on. Otherwise, this project serves no purpose.
Locking up Starlight HQ, I’m curious what I will find as I head out towards an old relic I discovered years ago. Do you recall what I found on my North Shore Adventure back in session 182?
Welcome back to Megapolis Canals.
Chronos, my trusted horse whom I’d lost for the better part of season two, will be staying here at the Quinone base as I descend into anguish.
Now if I can just remember how to get back to that relic…
Does this ring a bell? This is where my North Shore Adventure concluded.
Today, we’re going to finish that adventure and find out just what secrets lay inside this ancient structure. What can it tell us about the mystery of the endermen?
Whoa. I knew mineshafts were a common remnant of history but this? This is something much more prehistoric.
It’s like… pieces of an ancient city, rotting away as the earth around them erodes and reforms.
What’s this? A chest!
A myriad of unique rooms compose this stronghold, but I’m still left wondering what used to exist here! Does this relic feature anything worthwhile? So far, the answer is no.
An ancient library… now this is a bit more interesting!
And oh look – what are the conveniences that an enderman happens to show up? Back off, buddy!
I’ve blocked the enderman in. If my theory is true, and he knew that I was here… well, let’s just back off on those theories for now. Things are starting to get tense.
Strange… a door left wide open. But to what? I have more questions than answers.
What seems to be the final sector of this stronghold is upon me.
The hell is in my scope of vision??
Holy sh--. There is some truth to my theory!
What is this?! An eye of the endermen?! And those pesky gray bugs? The world has never greeted me with those before! Does death await me? Is that why the endermen have arrived??
I killed those endermen, left Chronos behind at Megapolis, and ran from this godforsaken ancient hell.
That was a gate! Is this not what I’ve been searching for this whole time? I have so many questions…
So, if that was a gate, which it looked very much to be, then there must be some way to unlock it. Now, I saw that an eye was wedged into one of the pockets. Is that from an enderman? I must presume so! Multiple endermen showed up as I approached it. The tension far exceeded another ordinary night on the surface… no, this was different. This was more akin to otherworldly danger. It was scary.
It will take some time to process everything that I saw today.
Let’s breathe and illustrate what I’ve just learned by completing “Chambers,” back at the safety of my home in Starlight HQ.
The idea of this range chamber echoes what I am currently theorizing about the gate. There must be a series of things that must be done in order to open the gate, similar to the Tetraquin Project. Here, you’ll have to use bow and arrow skills to linearly open the gate to the exit chamber.
First button, on the opposite wall of the cave, opens the gate to this chamber. This nifty puzzle requires you to hold down every single button/pressure plate at the same time. You can do this with a smart approach, taking into account how long arrows take to despawn.
Wiring this puzzle, considering the small space, is a challenge.
I start on the roof, wherein all buttons deactivate torches that lock/unlock repeaters. One torch acts as the master input which must push through all the other locks.
This concept, with some tweaking, required multiple inputs to work. Some of the buttons act as redstone inputs, while others act as redstone locks.
Tight redstone fitting is easier done here because all buttons are essentially connected to the same circuit. The goal is to deactivate that circuit, which means you have to activate all the buttons. Simple!
Here, you can see a bug. Sometimes, depending on the pattern in which the buttons are triggered, the lock inputs will retrigger before the master power input does, leaving some buttons like the ones pictured above to be irrelevant to the system.
To fix this, I install a power line above the center circle of torches. This will ensure that the power lines activate before the locks do. In this way, all buttons now become master input switches. Such a system is now foolproof.
^ This RS (NOR) latch ensures that the gray buttons are the last buttons to deactivate the signal.
Challenging? Certainly, but a fun challenge nonetheless. It is also an important metaphor about the current predicament that we’re in. Sometimes, you have to exercise all options before the right answer reveals itself. That seems to be exactly how this puzzle is playing out.
The chamber just behind here is a vertical chamber. This challenge requires accuracy and precision, as you must shoot an arrow up and at a slight angle to project it down into the 1x1 chamber in the room’s center.
The top of this vertical chamber ascends above the surface.
A pretty nod to the course’s existence, isn’t it?
With some handy aesthetics, shooting the button on the surface hub unlocks the next gate, which is out in the cave.
I think that part of the importance of illustrating the mystery of the endermen is the variety of puzzles I’ve had to encounter to date regarding how to solve it. Such is what I showcase here, using water as a natural obstacle to your success.
Next puzzle of the chamber is a timing challenge, similar but simpler than the all-in-one puzzle we built earlier.
You have to toggle all five buttons at once, but you’re obstructed by a row of pistons operating on a clock. You not only have to beat them, but you have to toggle all five buttons before they close permanently. Otherwise, you’re back shooting underwater.
Final gate is a very tight precision shot. That’s how I predict this mythological conundrum will conclude.
There are some details about “Chambers” that I spared because I don’t want to spoil some parts of the course that require the element of surprise. You’ll notice that the locations of the puzzles built in this course are not obviously defined. That’s because finding them is part of the challenge – again, metaphorical of the larger puzzle at play.
After testing the course, and ensuring especially that it resets itself fully (reset buttons are always a pain in the ass; nothing compares to “Landing Pad’s” reset wire), I can assure that this is one of the most fun substantial additions to the base in recent years! Have you forgotten that this is located within Starlight HQ? Yeah, so did I. Starlight Outback still hasn’t settled naturally with me, yet.
Please welcome our new puzzle parkour, “Chambers,” as the fourth parkour course in Quintropolis.
Now, back to how we’re going to tackle this stronghold situation…
I had some time to think about this, and I believe we’ve exercised all our options. The right answer has become clear.
Megapolis is such a beautiful terrain. It’s a shame that I have to tear a hole right through it.
You know I wouldn’t do this if I had any other choice. I don’t.
I didn’t mention this, but while in the stronghold library, I did uncover an ancient book that spoke some truth to my theories. Let me read it to you and open it up to interpretation. An ominous piece of poetry, it beckons an underlying clue about my own existence.
The unraveling and subsequent destruction of the ancient city underneath Megapolis provides the first concrete clue towards unlocking the mystery of the endermen. With the world’s fourth parkour course completed to illustrate this mystery, join me as we embark on a new chapter of Quintropolis adventures in solving this mythological puzzle!
Next up… Session 221 – “Red Rocks”