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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #39: Deep Down in the Dungeon 1.


Our heroes open the door and the remaining doors vanish accompanied by the sounds of grinding stone. The magnificent structure in the middle of the room breaks apart and piece by piece begins to line the empty corners. The blocks begin to unfold themselves in a seemingly infinite manner and the room begins to shrink. Our heroes have no choice but to enter the door they've opened reluctantly. The doorway is pitch black with nothing to be seen on the other side. As the room gets smaller and smaller, the heroes begin to rush through the door into freefall, their screams echoing through the darkness. As they embrace the ground, the faint glow of fugile worms begins to light the surrounding environment from the doorway behind them. Our heroes have fallen into a labyrinth with massive ceilings lined with the midnight glow of sapphires.

Entering The Labyrinth

They turn towards the light and attempt to take the door out and it seals solid. Another faint glow appears on the floor bringing a new message from the tyrannical wizard:

Enter the labyrinth filled with lies, each path you see is cold and dark.

Be careful of the wandering spies, each will tear your mind apart.

They'll change the walls and the floor, no sense in marking where you've been.

Pay attention to each door, they'll let you out and keep you in.

Left is now right and down is now up, and gravity doesn't exist.

Come now my children, this one is rough, add some more souls to my list.

Realizing they have no choice but to navigate the labyrinth, the choose to press forward. After hours of wandering through the labyrinth, they approach a pair of doors. On each door there is a metal patch with engravings; the door on the left says death while the door on the right says life. After half an hour of arguing the group decides that the door on the left is the door they should choose and begin to approach it. Suddenly a voice speaks up:

I wouldn't open that one if I were you.

The group, startled, turns around to see a small featherless bird on the floor behind them.

I've lived in this labyrinth for years and everyone that opens that door is welcomed by death.

Our heroes communicate amongst themselves and determine that they should heed the bird's warning and shift towards the other door.

I wouldn't open that one either.

The bird hands the heroes a piece of parchment which reads:

The left is death, the right is life; but which is the one you believe?

The left is life, the right is death; neither of which you can see.

The left is death, the right is life; guessing will leave you all dead.

The left is life, the right is death; one of which gets you ahead.

Up is left, and right is down; left is left unseen.

Right is up, now you are stuck; to live here forever with me.

The bird then lets out an eerie laugh and flies away leaving our heroes confused.


Hints

Occasionaly while our heroes had their discussion, the bird would fly by and drop another piece of parchment containing hints; each of which added to the previous.

The left is death, the right is life; look to the left, no the right.
Whichever you choose, surely you'll lose; both of which lead you to die.
The left is life, the right is death; surely you know which to choose.
The left is death, the right is life; if right is left then you lose.

The correct door has been chosen, but the reasoning behind why that door is correct still hasn't been answered. To reach the correct conclusion pay attention to the directions given and understand that the bird isn't lying, he is simply there to confuse you.


Which door should our heroes open to advance out of the labyrinth and why should they open that door instead of the other?


Bonus Opportunity

$+50$ reputation for the first answer that successfully explains the bird's mind games.


If you like this puzzle, please go look at The Thirteen Doors of Aj Noc'la by Alconja as it was the inspiration here and this one is meant to be an unofficial continuation of it.

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  • $\begingroup$ without gravity how do they move forward, was it all a spell from the wizard to keep them occupied and is indeed everything a lie as they waste their lifespan thinking over a non existing riddle 0.o, rot13(wx unq nobir fpranevb va bar bs zl Q&Q'f, bpphcvrq hf 2qnlf VTG gb svther bhg vg jnf na vyyhfvba), nice riddle though :p. $\endgroup$ – mrdeadsven Oct 3 '18 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ I am sure @Alconja will be impressed :D $\endgroup$ – Feeds Oct 7 '18 at 8:04
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Totally stuck! :) But adding some more observations. From a game player's perspective, the method of entry into the area and

Left is now right and down is now up, and gravity doesn't exist.

Suggests to me that

We are actually standing on the ceiling.

Without gravity what is keeping us in place? Actually all the direction swaps are consistent with

Standing on the wall of a huge rotating cylinder, held there by centrifugal force. The directions all rotate as the cylinder goes round from the viewpoint of an external observer.

They'll change the walls and the floor, no sense in marking where you've been.

Thankfully, they do not change the ceiling. As we may be upside down, then the ceiling is actually the floor.

Up is left, and right is down; left is left unseen.

If up is left, then up is unseen. Is this a hint I should have studied the ceiling?

However, this is a puzzle not a game so looking just at:

Enter the labyrinth filled with lies, each path you see is cold and dark.

Be careful of the wandering spies, each will tear your mind apart.

Everything is a lie and the bird intends to add as much confusion as possible. We should heed the warning and ignore the bird.

Therefore, I choose

The door marked "death" because everything is a lie and hence this is actually the "life" door.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good observations! I wouldn't totally dismiss the bird though. It never said the bird was lying, it just said the spies would tear your mind apart. The bird has an important role in figuring out exactly which door you need. The part about being on the ceiling is correct! This is a great find indeed! +1 From me! $\endgroup$ – PerpetualJ Oct 2 '18 at 13:59
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Here's a wild guess mixed with my observations, but it's what I have:

Enter the labyrinth filled with lies, each path you see is cold and dark:

Perhaps a clue that not everything you see here is correct.

Be careful of the wandering spies, each will tear your mind apart.

Perhaps a reference to the bird's mind games.

Left is now right and down is now up, and gravity doesn't exist.

This is a bit of a stretch, but maybe a clue on which of the bird's instructions to listen to? Meaning, if the bird mentions something as being left, then interpret it as right, or vice versa?

The left is death, the right is life; but which is the one you believe?

If my hypothesis on left is right and vice versa is correct, this sentence is not true because the left is death, but left became right in the inscription. I'm just going to ignore this for now, and same with 'The left is death, the right is life; guessing will leave you all dead.'

The left is life, the right is death; neither of which you can see.

This line is probably true (though there's nothing for it to be true about besides the doors), and it references a later line (that I will get to)

The left is life, the right is death; one of which gets you ahead.

Stating what we already know, considering this is true by my hypothesis.

Up is left, and right is down; left is left unseen.

This is troubling. I don't know whether to consider it on not, because it's incorrect by my hypothesis, and it refers to line two of the bird's saying, which is true.

Right is up, now you are stuck; to live here forever with me.

If the last line was correct, then this isn't, so that's a good sign!

Interpreting all of this:

If I had to guess right now, I'd go through the door on the left because that is 'life' by my hypothesis, but I'm still not sure. In addition, if you interpret the troubling line with substituting left for right, you get 'right is right unseen', meaning you probably shouldn't be seeing what is behind it. Of course, if that line happens to be false, then I should be taking the right door...

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  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right track but your deductions aren't quite where they need to be yet. $\endgroup$ – PerpetualJ Oct 1 '18 at 17:59
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Logical-deduction, As the question is tagged, I would follow everything that bird says,

Entering through left door, the bird says -

I wouldn't open that one if I were you. I've lived in this labyrinth for years and everyone that opens that door is welcomed by death.
- lets consider this true, and welcomed by death might mean, welcomed by the door named Death. Welcome can be considered as a positive sign here. Also bird didn't say that anyone would die if opened right door. its just the birds personal choice that it wouldn't open that door. May be the bird can't/doesn't want to leave the place ever

Further while opening right door bird says -

I wouldn't open that one either.
- Bird wouldn't open it, as this door would lead to death.

The piece of parchment also supports this:

The left is death, the right is life; guessing will leave you all dead
- If The left is death and the right is life then based on this information guessing will leave you all dead. Simply means don't guess the Right door as it leads to death.
The left is life, the right is death; one of which gets you ahead.
- If the above statement is true, one door will lead you to freedom, that is Left door.
The left is life, the right is death; surely you know which to choose.
- Same as above. If the above statement is true, you know which door to choose, that is Left door.
The left is death, the right is life, if right is left then you lose.
- If right is the door to life, then you will loose.


So definitely the Left Door/ Death Door is the door to choose.

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