Pitch darkness. Clocks striking 4 and 5am.
Narrowly escaping the "solitary confinement" of being
split-up and forced to operate in loneliness, teams were now headed into the
desert, rocked by the tension of unsatisfying individual performances-- and
some teams had even left people behind. Emotions were high...
The real game had begun.
Southern Nevada Correctional Facility - The Setup
Perhaps the most spectacular location in the game, the SNCF lie in darkness
and silence, lit only by dim streetlights above the massive prison yard.
Teams pulled to the desolate parking lot, and after discovering nothing in
any obvious external location, began their surveillance by driving slowly
around the lengthy razor-wire-enclosed perimeter. The most careful of
teams noticed an auto-entry gate left open and ajar, and only the most
adventurous of teams entered on their own, unprompted.
30 yards inside the tunnel-like gate area, hanging above the entryway, teams
discovered an envelope of their color. Most hurriedly grabbed it and
exited the prison gate. Inside, a list of locations seemed to indicate
that they should proceed farther inside... but how could that
be!? Enter a PRISON!?
Sure enough, as 3, then 4 teams had all arrived at the
facility, they slowly got their nerve up enough to start to search the yard
for locations on the list... "foo". "bar". Creeping around
in silence, participants attempted their most stealthy moves, hoping to
avoid discovery and any confrontation with the prison guards... or worse.
Suddenly, as four teams simultaneously had people walking the
edge of the yard, the air-raid alarm-siren began to wail and from towers on
the corners, spotlights began to shine, chasing pairs-of-teammates as they
SPRINTED back to their waiting vans. At Game Control, the phones began
to ring off the hook, with conversations going something like this:
Team: "Oh my gosh, the ALARM just went off!!"
GC: "What!? An ALARM?? WHAT DID YOU DO!???"
"Nothing! We thought we were supposed to be looking around for
clues, and it just went off!"
GC: "Where were you looking? Did you leave the
yard? Did someone try to go inside? Are there GUARDS out
there running around now??"
Team: "We don't know... we ran for the van!
What are we supposed to do now!? You should give us the next clue,
the alarm went off!"
GC: "Hmmm.... you didn't actually see any
Team: "Well, no..."
GC: "Did you get all the clues?"
Team: "No! We ran back to the van!
Are you nuts?"
GC: "Well, sounds like you're not done yet
so the teams returned to their search, collecting numerous puzzle pieces
from isolated corners of the prison yard... even more frightening once the teams realized that no prisoners
were present; and as they ventured into cell-blocks, the
psychiatric ward, solitary confinement, the kitchen (with human-sized ovens)
and one of the guard towers. Reminiscent of an episode of MTV's
"Fear", the prison challenged teammates to work alone or in pairs and brave
the ghostly presence that seemed to lurk behind each barred door...
Although our arrival time chart above shows that the Purple team beat the Orange
team to entry at the prison by just 8 seconds, it's worth pointing out that the
Orange team had left two of their teammates behind in Las Vegas, as these
individuals hadn't completed the Split-Up clue fast enough for the rest of
the crew. Taking a calculated risk, the Orange team bolted from the Wild Side in
a bid to close the gap, hoping that they'd be returning to Vegas shortly to pick
their stranded comrades back up. After being separated for a few hours,
the Orange team sent their van back, which in the end just added some delay to
their further course.
Between the hours of 5:00 and 5:30am, there were a total of
six teams who had arrived at the Prison and were in varying stages of retrieving
clue parts. It was quite the crowd... but the Purple team was the
first to complete the collection of clue-parts and get to work on the real
clue... obtaining that at 6:12am (now 5:12am because of the daylight
savings time change), with Gold just seven minutes behind and with Orange
actually finishing that part 50 minutes later.
Behind the Scenes
The State of Nevada Correctional Office was incredibly helpful in
working with us on this site. During the one to two-year period while
the prison is being renovated, the administration has been putting it to
good use, allowing church groups, film crews, and other educational and
entertainment institutions to use the facility for public good, as long as
such activities are well planned and safe. Our special thanks to
the employees and officials who made this possible!