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A Few Administrative Notes

Yes, I’ve come back from the dead… for now, at least. All updates beginning from here should be bi-weekly (every 2 weeks, before any nitpickers from English Language & Usage show up on here). I’ve pretty much given up on trying to implement the “quiz” section of this floor the way I wanted to; I was hoping to find a way to create clickable image maps for the Yes/No buttons using an online wizard without having to actually write code, but failed to find anything better than an animated GIF creator. Hopefully I can get some guidance on how to make those before the 5th Floor launches, anyway.

Also, for any more senior Puzzlers who might think I'm making syntax mistakes: I am indeed aware that images can be embedded directly in a question's text. I just feel like making people click on each of the narrator's photos individually heightens the mystery a bit. Plus, last time I made one of these floors it was done and dusted in ten minutes flat.

Third Floor: Conclusion

Mr. Kinsella repeats the password you have just given him and playfully adds, “…is… correct!” He steps aside to grant you admission to the round elevator. Barely three hours have passed since you first stepped into the Labryca Complex, and you’re already three complete floors in. With renewed confidence, you board the next elevator. But very little could ever have prepared you for the challenges ahead.

Fourth Floor: Introduction

The elevator’s doors press shut, it begins its smooth ascent, and it stops… but the doors don’t open for you this time. You bang on them, receiving no response; you press and claw at various areas of the walls, but find them to be just as sheer and sterile as those of any previous Labrycean room. Soon enough, you are at a loss as to how you can escape from this featureless elevator.

Almost featureless. Just as you’re ready to try smashing the overhead light fixture to try to find some kind of key, you turn your attention to the back of the elevator and spot a grey frame embedded within it, curved to fit the wall. Quickly, you dig out your cell phone and activate its camera roll, hoping to preserve as much photo evidence as possible. You then tap on the screen and it activates, flashing a message.

A fanfare of 8-bit elevator music heralds the appearance of a peculiar white face. Blue text then scrolls onto the screen letter by letter, as if the Door Identity Verification Apparatus mascot – or DIVA, as you refer to her to save precious time – were greeting you herself.

The timer, clearly showing your total remaining time in the Complex, ticks down two seconds before DIVA spits out a message in green text, this one much stranger than the last.

What could it mean? It remains on the screen for about seven seconds; you’re more baffled than before, and that’s really saying something. But just as you’re ready to obey her literal word, switching your phone over to Facebook to tag a photo of one of your more annoying friends, the letters of the message rearrange themselves on the screen, moving around and turning red to form themselves into a much more sensible anagram.

You figure that if you’re challenged to any sort of “game” while trapped in an elevator, the reward can only possibly be one thing, so you comply and touch the screen again. DIVA’s game appears to be a quiz: she presents you with a series of yes-or-no questions, and a light illuminates on the screen each time one of your answers is correct. Any incorrect answer forces you to restart the quiz from its beginning, and, lo and behold, you manage to get every question wrong at least once. But even still, your confidence is on a high and you proceed fairly quickly through the game. Your camera is fully operational, enabling you to record all of DIVA’s questions and – shall we say – responses accurately; they are as below.

Question 1
Question Text
“Yes” Response
“No” Response

Question 2
Question Text
“Yes” Response
“No” Response

Question 3
Question Text
“Yes” Response
“No” Response

Question 4
Question Text
“Yes” Response
“No” Response

Question 5
Question Text
“Yes” Response
“No” Response

Once all five lights are illuminated, a congratulatory message from DIVA appears, along with another confusing green-colored phrase that you hope will rearrange itself for you. However, you stare at the message for a while and the letters do not move, and another tap to the screen causes it to switch itself off as you finally hear the elevator doors slide open behind you. Well, gee… now you’re almost glad you were so bad at the quiz!

Fourth Floor: Wallview IT Park

Another even-numbered floor awaits outside the elevator, and thus, as on the second floor, you begin your journey in its center. However, it is clear that no billiards, pub grub, or indeed fun times of any sort are to be had here. Before you is a corridor, spiraling outward clockwise, with seafoam-green walls, dull gray carpeting, and artificial plants in pots; all along it, gray-shirted office workers are perched inside alcoves, most typing away furiously on outdated computers. It appears you have reached the Complex’s cubicle farm.

The first few cubicles have their occupants’ full names affixed to their doors, and you bypass them swiftly, stopping only to notice their facial expressions, since all of them appear to have strong, and very different, attitudes related to their work. Behind the first door you encounter, “Hannah Lambresco” looks off to the side and purses her lips while she is typing, either whistling or trying to deny a mistake. Behind the second, “Alexa Daniels” looks positively ill, with a visible green complexion and her eyes squeezed shut. And yet the third cubicle’s occupant, “Wei Su,” is all smiles as you pass; has he just gotten a promotion?

When you glance into the fourth cubicle and find “Linwood Rafura” hunched over in his chair with downcast eyes and a guilty expression, you can no longer help it; you initiate a conversation with him and ask him what the matter is. “My program…” Mr. Rafura laments. “Nobody understands my program! I’m trying to help the Labryceans, and nobody is going along with it! I should just quit now…”

Beyond here, a coffeemaker stands on a blocky extruded shelf, and a male and a female employee, looking just as emotional as those before them, step out of the adjoining offices for cups. Thirsty and knowing you’ll most likely need to be awake all night, you swipe a cup yourself and catch a snippet of conversation.
“Ugh… Gina…” sighs the man, his eyes very small, round, and downcast due to sleep deprivation. “I did not drink all your coffee… before you had a chance to–“
Cameron!” the woman interrupts, leaning over him with a red face and an overbearingly angry expression. “You tell me that every solar cycle! And it’s never, ever true!”

You notice a direction sign on the wall behind the coffeemaker; for documentation purposes, you snap a photo thereof before moving forward.

The “31” in the bottom right of the sign may be mysterious to the grunts in this office, but to you, it clearly represents your destination, and you redouble your speed past the final four cubicles, stopping only to note the unique workers within each: a moaning woman with eyes shut and what you’d take to be tears running down her face; a man named Nils (if his office door is to be believed) with his eyes wide, apparently flabbergasted by his current data entry session; a female technician who appears extremely confused, her eyes spiraling in circles; and finally, a messy-haired woman with thick eyeshadow and maniacal eyes whose desk is cluttered by numerous coffee cups and energy drinks.

Just beyond the door to this tenth and final cubicle, a heavy, sturdy door is surmounted by a glowing “31” sign that resembles the “11” you saw at the far end of the bar earlier. You’ve got a strong feeling that this door may be one-way; taking a final glance around the Wallview installation, you brace yourself and once again set out for the fourth floor’s baffling ring of rooms. You’re already down the rabbit hole; it’s time to check out just how deep it will go.

Room 31

You could not have imagined a more artificial-looking space than this one; a quick circuit of all ten rooms in this ring reveals the presence of nothing at all besides the ten computer terminals. The green walls and gray carpets you noticed earlier also persist into this room, without even a speck of dust visible on any of them. Of course, gray is the perfect color for disguising dust, so what do you know?

With no further ado, you’re back down to business recording the ten customary letter strings present on these terminals.

Room 32


Room 33


Room 34


Room 35


Room 36


Room 37


Room 38


Room 39


Room 40


The Fourth Elevator

On what feels like your hundredth pass around this ring of enciphered messages, you arrive back at Room 40 and finally decide you’re prepared to transition to the next stage. As per usual, beyond the metal door in the outer wall of the Complex, an elongated elevator awaits, with a black-clad employee standing guard before it. This floor’s Guardian is very tall and, it appears, controlling. His red-haired head turns to fixate on you from above, and he speaks with the commanding demeanor of a drill sergeant – still a major improvement, in your opinion, from the whiny, dramatic employees below.

“Hiram Remmick. Fourth Guardian of Labryca,” he recites very simply. “Password, please!”

Note / Disclaimer

Sharp-eyed geeks, particularly those who spent hours squinting at a certain small screen about fifteen years ago, may notice that the character of DIVA has been… shall we say… “borrowed” from somewhere. (Then again, I was also expecting somebody to have recognized the character in my avatar by now and no one has commented on it, so maybe I’m mistaken.)

Knowing where this character originally appeared will not help you with the current puzzle, but during the last few floors, it may give you a slight but unique form of advantage. Thus, if you know where DIVA held her first job and you’re hoping to be a certified Conqueror of Labryca before anyone else on this site, it might be in your best interest to not tell other people.

I also include this comment as a copyright disclaimer. I didn’t invent this character. I didn’t draw her. I don’t own the rights to her. Yadda yadda. Burma-Shave.

Good Luck!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So what do these people do when we're not in the room, anyway? Just stand in the same position, holding that expression? Do they repeat the exact same routine every time someone comes trough? Must be kinda boring. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Sep 8 '16 at 20:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You have to understand... Grinadel prepares the Complex a different way each time. For Grinadel can see all. $\endgroup$ Sep 8 '16 at 20:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wait, so that means that the people don't even have free will? They're just puppets of the Complex, forced to play out whatever scene has been decided for this challenger? Man, this is getting creepier by the minute. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Sep 8 '16 at 20:51
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I COULD TELL YOU MORE, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO... static $\endgroup$ Sep 8 '16 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Any more of these ever coming? $\endgroup$ Jun 20 '17 at 14:39

After anagramming DIVA's clue, we skip straight to

Room Thirty Seven (anagram of Even Try This).
"Thirty four next odd rooms ascending yes faces even rooms no." Using the workers facial expressions and the hint from DIVA ( :) == 31 and O_O == 40), we order the rooms based on the order they appear in the story text (though not the order they are timestamped in), leaving us with

39 33
36 32
31 40
34 35
37 38

Which leads us to

continue our previous path through the cube farm (starting at bottom left, going clockwise) - with 33 taken before 39 due to "odd rooms ascending"
"Secure Alperin's nameplate in any rooms free from shanks's first initial keep old rules but now read concentric squarse clockwise inward on the multiples or numbers containing" Now we need to decipher 35. Credit to @Arka Karmarkar for nailing it down. We take the text in our grid, and read it starting in the top left corner, clockwise, outer to inner. This gives us the string "SDTTTEOFREVTIOPEHRTLNASAA" - which if we place into another 5x5 grid and read down (it is a multiple of 5, don't forget) we end up with
"SEVEN DO THAT FIRST ROTATE PLATE" This connects to make the final message "Rotate plate left right then upside down" - which will get us the key by applying the plate in rooms 31, 36, and 40 - the rooms that do not contain a "D", which is Shanks' first initial: "SEPARATOR"

  • $\begingroup$ Well done -- your password is correct! Congratulations! Man, that was out of left field. Kudos, because this floor's difficulty was on a whole new plane. Just out of curiosity, though, do you have any further explanation (that you could enclose inside the spoiler tags, obviously) for how exactly you deduced what order the rooms would go in? I'll make a final accept on it if you can explain that just a bit more. $\endgroup$ Sep 8 '16 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @A.Mirabeau I'm trying to add it in now. Been staring at it all morning. I still don't have a logical reason other than grammar. $\endgroup$
    – Reibello
    Sep 8 '16 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Gotcha... that's a level of dedication that the Labryceans like to see. There is a clear reason why the ten rooms are in the order that they are, however. Note that the orderings of some of the rooms (the first one, for instance) are given redundantly in other parts of the story. $\endgroup$ Sep 8 '16 at 15:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @A.Mirabeau got the room order! I like your style. I still need to solve 35 though, so I wouldn't accept it just yet. $\endgroup$
    – Reibello
    Sep 8 '16 at 19:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @A.Mirabeau explicated in second spoiler tag $\endgroup$
    – Reibello
    Sep 8 '16 at 19:12

Partial answer

Room 32 begins "lockwise", which is obviously the end of the word "clockwise". So we need to find another letter string ending with a C to put before this one.

Room 36 looks like gibberish, but it makes sense backwards: IFSSKNAHSMORFEERFSMOORYNA becomes ANY ROOMS FREE FROM SHANKS'S FI... (As before, multiples of 6 are read backwards.) The trailing end fits together with the RST at the beginning of Room 33's letter string, so 33 immediately follows 36.

Room 39 looks like gibberish, but it makes sense when ROT13 is applied to it (again, as before). Now ABJERNQPBAPRAGEVPFDHNEFRP becomes NOW READ CONCENTRIC SQUARSE C (presumably SQUARSE should be SQUARES). This has the final C we were looking for, so it now seems likely that 32 immediately follows 39.

Room 40 looks like gibberish, but it makes sense when arranged into a 5x5 grid and read downwards (again, as before). Now LTMCIEHBONSEENIONRTNRUSAG becomes ...LES OR THE NUMBERS CONTAINING. (Thanks to @ArkaKarmakar for help with this!) The trailing first few letters fit together with the end of Room 32's letter string, so 32 immediately follows 39.

In the final message from DIVA, EVEN TRY THIS is an anagram of THIRTY-SEVEN. So we should start with Room 37.

Room 37 reads THIRTY-FOUR NEXT ODD ROOMS AS C..., which would make sense when followed by Room 34's letter string: ENDING YES FACES EVEN ROOMS NO (could also be FACE SEVEN instead of FACES EVEN, but this looks likelier). Originally I'd thought Room 32 would follow Room 37, but "odd rooms ascending" makes more sense than "odd rooms as clockwise inward". (Thanks to @Sconibulus for realising this!) So 34 immediately follows 37.

OK, let's look at what we've got so far.

  • Room 35: still gibberish.

Shanks's first initial, according to the sign by the coffee machine, is D. As for Alperin, evidently we'll have to use that Playfair plate again.

Not sure if this is relevant or just flavour text, but we can deduce most of the office workers' names from the information given. Taking them in the order they appear, starting from the bottom left of the sign by the coffee machine and circling round to the bottom right:

  • Hannah Lambresco
  • Alexa Daniels
  • Wei Su
  • Linwood Rafura
  • Cameron Baxter
  • Gina Zampano
  • D(???) Shanks (moaning woman with eyes shut and what you’d take to be tears running down her face)
  • Nils Olesen
  • P(???) Merrimont (a female technician who appears extremely confused, her eyes spiraling in circles)
  • C(???) Checkley (a messy-haired woman with thick eyeshadow and maniacal eyes whose desk is cluttered by numerous coffee cups and energy drinks)

Clearly we have to use the answers to the five questions somehow. We have ten answers: five YES and five NO; five correct and five incorrect. From Rooms 37 and 34, I guess that the YES answers are meant to correspond to the odd-numbered rooms and the NO faces to the even-numbered rooms. But this doesn't seem to help us in what order to take the rooms in: the rooms corresponding to correct answers (31, 34, 35, 38, 40) aren't in sequence, and nor are those corresponding to incorrect answers.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – GentlePurpleRain
    Sep 9 '16 at 11:29

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