Back in the 80s, TV personality Geraldo Rivera opened the supposedly as-yet unopened vault of Al Capone on live tv. Hoping to find the skeletal remains of Jimmy Hoffa, the Ark of the Covenant, or, at the least, verifiable proof of String Theory, instead the vault was empty and Geraldo was sealed inside, never to be heard from again.
Well, I'm doing the same thing here today, but in Blog form. You see, I just noticed this section of map from level 1 of the TofEE:
And its similarity to this section of map from the DMG sample dungeon--minus the back doors off of rooms a, b, and c:
Some of you might recall that I once surmised that the DMG sample dungeon and the moathouse in T1 are different versions of the same dungeon. And that those six chambers were once the homes of the same zombies skulking in prison cells under the moathouse in T1:
You can read all that tripe here if you want--I can't bring myself to re-read it so I will forgive you if you skip it.
Anyway, I recently (it was 2 years ago now; I've been busy) bought the Goodman games massive 2-volume hagiography of everyone's favorite place of worship dedicated to alliterative evil. Which is to say that for the first time I have a hard copy version of T1-4 to study.
You should also know that even though my obsession with Vill. of Homm. is well documented, I have never paid much--read: any--attention to the post-T1 portion of T1-4. Which is why I just noticed the similarly arranged cells now, the day before Thanksgiving 2023. But this gives me the opportunity to either confirm or deny my long standing theory here, live and in person, on the ol' blog. That's right, for the first time ever, I'm going to turn to the dungeon key to find out what the heck is in those cells. Cuz if it's zombies then all of you bastards owe me a beer.
Here we go, turning to the key for level 1... room 150/a-e and--I suspect that some of you already know what's in store, don't spoil it for the rest of us--let's see...
"150. cells." Good start but not just any cells, these are "gaol cells"--nice bit of pretentiousness there. Each door has a small barred window, straw on the floor... chains on the wall.. fine. What's this bit: "the inside is found to be covered with a sheet of rusty iron." Huh, I wonder what that's about. Chekhov's sheet of rusty iron?
Eastern rooms--aka rooms a, b, and c--are neither locked nor barred..."but as long as they remain shut, their 'ragged human' occupants (three zombies in each) stay huddled in their straw"