4. Labyrinth & City of Zokor
Power Type: Forgotten
Minimum Rank: Duke/Duchess
Minimum Recommended Trap: Crystal Crucible Trap
Objectives: Get the Infinite Labyrinth Trap, the Event Horizon Trap, and the Temporal Turbine Trap / Get the Minotaur Base
Recommended Area Progression Plan: Where Should I Go Next?
Congratulations, you made it through the Fungal Cavern! You find yourself at the entrance of a huge maze. Apparently a city full of immortal mice built it to confuse hunters that try to enter said city. If you want to loot their riches, you have to nagivate the Labyrinth before you can enter the City of Zokor.
The Crystal Crucible trap is the way to go here since most mice are most susceptible to a Forgotten type trap. Whenever you miss a mouse, you will get a dead end clue. Since these are the ones you don’t want, missing mice is clearly not the way to go. Failure to attract a mouse has no penalties. You don’t lose a hunt in the hallway and you also don’t get a dead end clue. So you may hunt with Brie cheese in order to maximize your profits. (Labyrinth and Zokor are both very good hunting grounds for profit.) However, there’s a hard to catch mouse called the Shadow Stalker which can be kept away from your trap if you hunt with Glowing Gruyere cheese. This is not only true for the Labyrinth, but also for Zokor itself.
The city has 5 different districts which are mirrored in the hallways of the labyrinth. Upon entering, you have to choose a door. Since every time you choose doors after this point the doors are reshuffled at random, there’s no saying if your first choice is a good or a bad one. This is about going with where the maze leads you and improvising if necessary.
After choosing a door, you find yourself in a hallway. They are either short (10 hunts), medium (15 hunts) or long (25 hunts). In the beginning, they are all plain hallways, but once you gather at least 15 clues of the same kind, you have a chance of encountering superior hallways of that kind. In hallways, you try and catch specific mice that give you those clues.
In superior hallways there are more mice that drop these clues, and some even drop 2 instead of 1. After you have 60 clues of a kind, you can even find epic hallways where there are mice that drop 3 clues. Naturally you want to go into the longest, most epic hallways of one kind and keep the other hallways, if you have to enter them, short and plain.
So you try and concentrate on a single district/type of hallway, if you can. Since the doors you encounter are presented to you at random, there’s little you can do to influence it. Once you’ve been to the city a few times, you can buy Shuffler’s Cubes to reshuffle doors. For now, you have to depend on your luck. Gather 15, 50 or 80 clues of a kind. Since you can only get 100 clues (plus however long the hallway you’re in at that moment still is), you can probably guess how hard it’ll be to get to 80 or even just 50 clues.
There are certain ways you can influence the outcome though. I’ve already talked about Shuffler’s Cubes. But you can also buy a lantern and light it with lantern oil. It can be looted from Reanimated Carver mice found both in the labyrinth and in the city. Lantern oil is consumed on every hunt, but if you happen to get one or more clues while using it, you loot an additional clue. This does not count for dead end clues. And then there’s the Compass Magnet. When you use it, 3 clues of each type are removed, freeing up space for new clues. Sure, you lose some valuable ones, but if you have lots of different, unwanted clues, you free up even more space that you can subsequently fill with the clues you’re looking for, so it pays off.Once you finish a hallway you get to an intersection. Here you are stuck until you choose the next door. You cannot get any more clues at this stage, not even dead end clues. So there is no risk involved if you happen to be away from your horn. If your lantern was switched on, it’ll automatically turn off. You won’t waste precious lantern oil at intersections. Don’t forget to light it again in the next hallway though if you need to.
Depending on your luck and the number of dead end clues you’ve gathered, you may have a choice between 3, 2 or even just 1 door. This number seems to be very random. You can also always hit the “retreat” button to start from the top. All your clues will be lost, of course, also all the time and resources you put into the run. And the question of questions: Yes, you can leave the labyrinth and the city at any time without your progress being lost upon your return.
For every district you get at least 15 clues of, you will find a district door at the end of the labyrinth. However, the Farming district is always an option, you don’t even need any clues for it. The minimum number of hunts you will get in there is 10. Choose the door you’ve been working towards and enter the city of Zokor. The more clues you got (remember: 15, 50, 80), the deeper into the district you make it and the more mice you attract. The bosses naturally reside in the deepest parts of the districts. But you can’t stay in the city forever. The mice are vigilant. Every hunt you go on makes them more suspicious until they finally find you and escort you to the exit. You have as many hunts as you have found clues. If you have less than 50, you’re at alert stage 1. Every catch, FTC or FTA makes you lose one potential hunt. If you have more than 50, but less than 80, it’s alert stage 2: catches and FTAs make you lose 1 hunt, but FTCs make you lose two. At 80 and higher you’re at alert stage 3. Again, you lose 1 potential hunt when you catch or FTA, but this time you lose 3 for an FTC. Also, you will have to defeat 20 guards first before the boss can be challenged.
If you can get to 100 or more clues for one district, you will get a Labyrinth/Zokor Theme Scrap. You need one from each district, and there’s also a sixth one which you can buy in the store. This is just for fun, of course, and not mandatory.
The purpose of the Farming district is to loot Nightshade to craft more Gruyere cheese. It is the best place to use Nightshade Farming charms, if you have any. In Farming hallways you can find Fungi, in Superior and Epic Farming hallways you’ll also find Nightshade. The Tech, Scholar, and Fealty district provide you with their own unique crafting materials that you’ll need for almost everything, traps, bases, etc. The Treasure district, should you be so lucky as to get there, can provide you with all three types of different loot at once. This is especially handy on your first runs. This way you might not need at least three runs through the labyrinth before you can buy the Labyrinth Base, which helps in avoiding getting dead end clues. Note: Treasure doors will only have a chance of appearing after you’ve collected at least 15 clues total (which clues doesn’t matter).
Tips & Tricks
Since this place is quite resource intensive, here are a few tips that might help you on your first runs:
– Your first goal should be to get the Labyrinth Base. It doesn’t swallow every dead end clue, but it certainly helps in avoiding many. Your second goal should not be to craft the minotaur key, but instead to use the boss loot from the Fealty, Scholar, and Tech district to craft the Endless Labyrinth trap. It’s stronger than the Crystal Crucible and will make hunting much less painful. More catches mean less dead end clues.
– Successfully getting to 80 clues and catching the district bosses isn’t easy. I would suggest to not try it before you have the Labyrinth base. Just use Brie or Gouda and no fancy stuff in your early runs to build up a stock of crafting materials. Maybe you’re lucky and can do a Treasury run, which will provide you with crafting materials from all three areas.
– Once you have the base, change your strategy. I hope you built up a pile of Gruyere. Start hunting with it. If you happen to have some lantern oil (after a few runs you will inevitably have looted some), my advice would be to use it during the early stages of your run. The faster you can get past 15 or even 50 (if you have that much oil) clues, the easier things will be. I have switched off my lantern at 60 or so clues to conserve oil, because at that point of a run you pretty much know if you’re going to make it, and once you have superior and epic hallways, getting clues becomes much easier anyway.
– Use Shuffler’s Cubes if you get to an intersection that doesn’t have the door you’re looking for and also doesn’t have a short hallway of any kind. If you want to conserve resources, take any short hallway instead of shuffling. Try and take different ones though, should this happen more often over the course of your run. That way, once you get close to 100 clues, you can use a Compass Magnet. Say that you’ve had to take different short hallways during your run, and you got around 3 clues out of each of them. You will be able to clear 18 clues in total, 15 of which you’ll be happy to lose. In this way a Compass Magnet at the end of a run can be far more effective than three or four Shuffler’s Cubes at an intersection.
– Remember that you won’t enter the city when you have 100 clues. You have to have 100 or more clues AND be at an intersection. The counter doesn’t stop at 100, it’ll exceed it. That means that depending on your run, choosing a short hallway to not exceed 100 clues can potentially be more helpful than to choose a medium or long hallway, even if it’s one that you need. Turning your lantern off in such a scenario might also be crucial. If a short hallway can get you to 97, 98, 99 clues total, at your next intersection you can still use a Compass Magnet to get a few extra hunts or a Shuffler’s Cube to try for a long epic hallway. In the latter case you could easily end up with 120+ clues on a run.
– It seems to pay to do a Farming run with Gruyere instead of Gouda or SB+. Once you’re below 200 or so Gruyere, try and go on a Farming run with it. If you do it right, convert with SB+ and use Nightshade Farming charms, you could easily end up with 500 to 800 or even more Gruyere.
Going after the Minotaur
There are rumours of a mouse in a hidden lair that is guarding unfathomable riches. Maybe if you search the deepest districts of the city you can find a way to trace this mouse that doesn’t want to be found. Craft a Minotaur Key with all three boss loots, then do a Labyrinth run and get 30 clues each for Scholar, Fealty, and Tech. This can be tricky and doesn’t leave much room for error, you might have to use some Cubes and Magnets. Good Luck!
I’ve heard a lot of complaints about how difficult Minotaur runs are. Maybe I’ve been lucky on my (so far) 6 Minotaur runs, but I’ve had almost no problems. The way I go about them is to gather my Tech, Scholar, or Fealty clues until I get so close that I know I can get to 30 with my next hallway. Using Gruyere, I usually calculate with around 4 to 5 clue catches per short hallway, 7 to 8 per medium and around 12 per long hallway, and then leave myself some room for error, because it’s better to overshoot a little than to fall short. If my hallway turns out to be a sucky one, I will turn on my lantern – if the hallway provides me with more clues than I need, I will turn my lantern off. Plain hallways are better than Superior ones, because you can only get 1 clue per catch (or 2 with lantern oil), so calculations are easier.
This way I will get to at least 30 clues. If I overshoot, I try to get 33 (or more) if I can manage it. If you get 33 for one or multiple types, you can use a Compass Magnet, restoring balance and additionally wiping out some Dead End clues on the side. Just don’t get to 32 and use a Magnet, that would create more problems than it solves.
Doing all that for one type of clue is no problem. Once you’re working on the second clue of 30, maybe it might get a little tight with the Dead End clues plus the first clues of type #3, but staying below 100 should be doable. And once you’re working on type #3, ideally you’ll already have 10 to 15 clues and then get a long hallway in which you use lantern oil, since now overshooting is not a problem anymore. This is the make or break stage: That hallway you know has to be your final one. Better make sure you have room for error and calculate that one generously!
This is not to say that I necessarily go for one type til I get to 30, and only then start to work on the next type. I go where the doors lead me, sometimes even taking a farming hall if I have to and think I can balance it out with a Compass Magnet. I do, however, try to use different halls in the beginning of the run to get a few clues for each type, then concentrate on one with a longer hallway and try to narrow it down to either 30 or the stage where I know I can get to 30 during my next hall. It’s all about improvisation and leaving as many possibilities as you can, so you can adequately react to the doors you are presented with, without having maneuvered yourself into a corner early on.
In the end, it’s just a matter of monitoring your run closely, properly reacting to the doors you get at intersections (by choosing the right one, the lesser of two evils, or using a Shuffler’s Cube), knowing when to lantern and when not to, using a Compass Magnet if needed, and overall to keep your cool and not panic. This way you keep the risk low and manageable.
For more tips, check out my Minotaur Diary!
* Enter the Labyrinth. Try and always use the same type of door when you come to an intersection.
* Gather clues, at least 15, 50 or 80 of one kind. You can only get 100 in total (plus til the end of your current hallway).
* Enter a district of the City of Zokor and loot the specific crafting materials of this district. After you get thrown out of the city, repeat from the top.