Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Hall of Folly
From TES issue 30 (November 2004)

Series 1/2. Level 2.

It would be perhaps more apt to call this room Merlin's level two chamber, because that's precisely what it was. It was something of a mixture between a study and a throne room for the Dungeon's main wizard, and the objective for any dungeoneer entering the room was simple: leave with Merlin's magic in hand, or die before the end of the level. The price for acquiring Merlin's magic was, of course, answering riddles correctly, but the challenge of the Hall of Folly did not always begin there. On occasions, Merlin entered the room of his own accord, but sometimes an additional task had to be undertaken to summon him.
 [Related Image] The first such task was the building of a large letter M with four cubic blocks, which was the task that Simon and Danny - Merlin's first two visitors in series 1 - had to complete. Casper the key was on hand with helpful advice, and neither team experienced a major problem with this simple means of summoning Merlin: "It's only a toy, and if I had known it was still working I wouldn't have left it lying around." - Merlin. Although no other team had to build the blocks up themselves, the prop was used once in series 2 as a flat surface for a bottle during Neil's quest. When Neil opened the bottle, a very small and disorientated Merlin crashed into the picture, floating in the air, and Neil's advisors had to talk him down to Earth. It was a bizarre scene but, just like in series 1, the usual riddles were to follow.
 [Related Image] The final dungeoneer of series 1 - Richard - had a different challenge to summon Merlin. He had to guide orally a "listening key" to a lock in Merlin's chair; both of these were, in fact, more letter Ms. At the very end of series 2, the Hall of Folly seemed to have really gone back to basics, with dungeoneer Steven needing only to touch a glowing M on the floor in order to summon Merlin. Even if Casper had not been there to help, I'm sure this would not have flummoxed the team for long. Of course, summoning Merlin was only the first part of the challenge and, as Steven and friends soon learned, the next part was the crucial one.

This brings us nicely to why Merlin chose to call his room The Hall of Folly on occasions. As he was quick to point out, the name was not directly to do with the jester Folly, but a reference to the pivotal point in the team's quest that the chamber represented. If the team showed folly by being unable to answer Merlin's riddles then their quest was doomed; if, however, they proved themselves not to be fools, they would be rewarded for their wits and well equipped to reach level three. The reference to Folly the jester is important too. Court jesters' prattle was often satire or advice cunningly disguised as foolish nonsense, which underlines the fact that the Hall of Folly was a place for the proving of wits through rhyme and verse in the form of riddles: "There's more wisdom in foolish wit than ever you can imagine!" - Folly.

As we know from experience, Merlin's magic was vital for completing level two. The Hall of Folly was an important and pivotal point in the quest, and was designed to weed out the hapless and the careless. With Merlin at its head, it was always an enjoyable and magical room, although - despite all its deep magic - it still needed Merlin to physically move the dungeoneers into the right camera-shot if they were standing in the wrong place: "Come over here, dungeoneer; it's a bit more magical!" - Merlin.

Difficulty: 5 Ultimately depends on your riddling abilities.
Killer Instinct: 4 No help from Merlin means no way to level three.
Gore Factor: 2 Nothing too gory followed this chamber, unfortunately.
Fairness: 9 A meeting with Merlin always served to weed out the seriously mentally challenged.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-01-22 09:56:55
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