|Last updated: Exalt Version 126.96.36.199 (May 2021)|
The Chess dungeon was added in Exalt version 188.8.131.52 as part of an ARG. It is accessed by saying “Guill I would like to play chess please” in the Guild Hall (which was later changed to simply “chess” after the ARG’s solution was made public). True to its name, it allows you to play chess, although Checkmate, Stalemate, and Three-move repitition are not checked for.
The dungeon consists of a large chess board and an infinitely refilling Treasure Chest containing a book titled Book of Chess, which instructs players on how to operate the board.
How to play
Simply say the name of a piece, then stand on top of it to select it!
Say another piece’s name if you change your mind, or ‘cancel’ if the piece was already selected.
Checkmate, Stalemate and Threefold Repetition aren’t checked.
You must manage this yourself by saying ‘Draw’, ‘Resign’ or ‘Checkmate’ to propose it.
Both players must agree for a proposal to succeed!
An identically functioning chess board was found in The Shatters for the duration of the April Fools event. This chess board in particular was the centerpiece of what was, at the time, the biggest ARG ever to take place in Realm of the Mad God.
While the Chess dungeon was merely an easter egg, the discovery of it (and the existence of a functioning chess board within the game) required players to complete a lenghy mystery by gathering and piecing together many clues from different parts of the game. However, compared to the previous April Fools ARG that was used to discover The Inner Workings, this ARG was considered much more complex and in-depth. The end of the ARG yielded both the discovery of the functioning chessboard in question, and the confirmation for the date of the anticipated Shatters rework - MotMG 2021.
A more detailed explanation of the process the community used to solve it can be found here, but for the sake of documentation, a condensed solution will be attempted to be compiled on the wiki.
The first hint was found in the Sprite World, where it was discovered that one of the possible room layouts was a plain, white rectangle with the equation 16 + 16 = ? written in black tiles.
“Math enthusiast, huh? We don’t get a lot of activity in this place, but that problem you just entered is pretty special! It has some kind of meaning to my home.”
“Tell you what, I’ve been seeing some strange activity recently in an obscure area that a numbers fan like you is sure to appreciate.”
“I can’t do it while on the clock, but if you bump into me while I’m home, just remind me about numbers, okay? I’ve gotta go, but I hope to see you there!”
Rarely, Craig himself could be found as an enemy in the Sprite World, distinguished from his fellow Native Magic Sprites by his different appearance. Although he was passive, he could still be killed easily, but leaving him alive for long enough would lead him to respond with one of several conversations. However, saying numbers right before he could talk would lead to a different conversation:
“Oh right, the numbers! Thanks for the reminder, that totally slipped my mind.
“Okay, so a while back there was a portal mismanagement issue, and Oryx’s dragon project was leaked way before he was ready to unleash them.”
“I had nothing to do with it, really! But that’s beside the point. We- er, Oryx covered it up quickly with a curse upon the unfinished keys, causing them to lead to a decoy room instead.”
“It bought enough time, and soon the chamber was forgotten about. It hasn’t been touched since and there’s not much to note. At least, not until recently.”
“You clearly have a passion for numbers, so maybe you could help me out with this and take a look? It seems so minor, but it came out of nowhere and I don’t know what to make of it.”
After this, Craig would open a portal to the supposedly-defunct Consolation of Draconis, where players would find a Roman numeral alongside an Arabic numeral, both carved into stone. These were found in the following pairs:
The second part of the mystery was found in the form of the Kingdom Stowaway that could be found in Deadwater Docks. If left alone, the Stowaway would utter seemingly random lines, but these “random” lines were eventually found to be parts of a rhyming poem, each verse of the poem consisting of four ordered Stowaway quotes. However, the Stowaway’s death quotes were not related and were thrown in as red herrings. The full, ordered poem was eventually determined as:
Putting all of the Kingdom Stowaway’s lines in order would form a coherent poem, but in order to make any sense of it, players had to use the number-numeral combinations obtained from the first part of the mystery. Combining the two was hinted in lines 21-24 of the Stowaway’s poem: Question the stars and study the stone, their patterns combined make secrets known (“question the stars” referring to the equation in the Sprite World, and “study the stone” referring to the stone-carved numerals in the Consolation of Draconis).
It was eventually found that if the combinations were ordered using the Roman numerals (from lowest to highest) and placed side by side with the ordered lines from the Stowaway, the resulting sequence of numbers could each be matched with a letter from the respective line:
For example, Roman numeral IX (9) corresponded to the ninth line in the Stowaway’s poem (“The royal plan”). The number corresponding to IX was 8; thus, the 8th letter of the corresponding line (L) was taken.
By repeating this for every line, an answer was eventually constructed, but it was not a regular phrase. Instead, it was a spell incantation, similar in structure to the ones used by the Twilight Archmage, Xolotl, and Leucoryx (note that apostrophes and capitalization were substituted in afterwards).
The various references to The Shatters in the Stowaway’s poem directed players back to the dungeon in question. After defeating The Forgotten King at the end of The Shatters, saying the aforementioned incantation in the chat would rebuild all the ruined bridges prior to the boss rooms, while opening a secret room within the second area of the dungeon. This room turned out to be a fully-functioning chess board, as mentioned at the top of the page.
The very last part of the ARG was hinted at by lines 25-28 of the Stowaway’s poem: The strategist’s game of plotting war, leave only a queen and nothing more.
If players followed this instruction at the Shatters chessboard, and proceeded to leave a Queen piece as the last piece standing on either side, the screen would become tinted red and The Forgotten King would appear in the center of the board. The King would then take on a new appearance and quickly disappear, but not before concluding the ARG with a single line: