SCREEN: Master’s Chambers by Sydney Shen
Video by: Sydney Shen and Nicholas O’Brien
Video game by: Sydney Shen
Title: Master’s Chambers
Curated by: Domenico de Chirico
Screening: March 1– 23, 2016
Video game program and modeling by: Nicholas O’Brien
Master’s Chambers: Unofficial Strategy Guide
Chapter IV—Batteries, Trivia/Easter Eggs, & Cheat Codes
You need to pick up batteries to power your flashlight and unlock doors. When a battery pack is picked up, a proverb appears on screen. This is a reference to “Trisonic,” a Chinese-import electronics brand commonly found in dollar shops in New York City. An idiosyncratic feature of “Trisonic” products is that there are Chinese proverbs printed on the packaging. It’s not unlike the pithy wisdom found inside of fortune cookies. However, in this game, the typically auspicious outlook of these maxims is replaced with an insistence on violence and negative advice.
Location of all batteries and their accompanying proverbs:
- Desktop next to “Here on Earth” screenplay (upper level, reception area)
To end the disasters of the world, we must destroy the human mind.
- Piano (upper level)
Through practice it is possible to perceive every object as an enemy.
- First sink on left (basement)
Whether or not you understand profound ideas, it is important to be an evil person wherever you are right now.
- Behind Jamie’s corpse (ventilation duct)
Do not look for sanctuary in anything but ruins.
- Shelf next to gears (first storage closet) With humanity you should do whatever you can to attain perfect, complete spiritual destruction.
- Shelf next to penis bones (second storage closet)Once we cultivate a compassionate attitude, violence comes automatically.
TRIVIA/EASTER EGGS (work in progress)—
This game takes place in an actual Brooklyn art gallery called the “Interstate Projects.” The objects around the reception desk all reference real exhibitions that have happened there. The card with the burning cell tower references Derek Frech’s show of signal jammers, the printed paper is the press release for Erika Ceruzzi’s exhibition, and the screenplay was an actual book written and exhibited by Nick DeMarco. The two teddy bears refer to the art duo Body by Body. Finally, the illuminated manuscript next to the computer alludes to Rasmus Myrup’s artwork.
A small gold statue of a kneeling man with a sword found in the upper gallery. Originally a prop of no consequence in the video game “Amnesia: Dark Descent,” he gained a name, personality, and French accent because of YouTube celebrity gamer “PewDiePie,” who became immensely (far too) popular with his irreverent (obnoxious) approach to horror game walkthroughs. Stephano is a recurring character in the PewDiePie universe, and as regular a subject in fan fictions as PewDiePie himself. One can even surmise that Stephano’s presence here is a fan’s homage, and an attempt to get Senpai’s attention.
The sticker that says “FRAGRANCE ZONE: THE SWEET STENCH OF EXTINCTION FAILS” on a bathroom stall is a reference to the art/perfume review book “Perfume Area” and its associated slogan “The savory funk of life triumphs.” The clunkiness of the imitation riffs how perfume is a commonly, and poorly, bootlegged luxury item.
Another sticker in the bathroom. Visiting this morbid URL redirects you to the Master’s Chambers website.
Dead Tom Weinrich / Dead Jamie Sterns
The two corpses that are found in the game are said to be of Tom Weinrich and Jamie Sterns, the directors of the “Interstate Gallery” in which the game takes place. Tom’s head is in the middle toilet and his body is in the entrance to the ventilation duct. Jamie’s mangled remains are found in the first right turn in the ventilation duct.
Fake Philip Guston
The three canvases in the second storage closet, one of which appears to be a crude approximation of Philip Guston’s symbolic lexicon and style, are paintings by science fiction author Rudy Rucker.
This purple tome found in the second storage closet allegedly represents a rejected book proposal by the artist for “New Lovers,” an erotica series published by “Badlands Unlimited.” The text that appears when you encounter the book is excerpted from a sex scene in the first chapter—in which Shrek and PewDiePie visit Polyphemus the cyclops and cheesemaker from The Odyssey, and “learn how cheese is made.” That “Sockshare” was a rejected proposal, yet depicted as a real book in the game, reinforces the popular theory that these storage closets are meant to be architectural manifestations of the psychological space of the artist’s creative process and all its unresolved objects, fantasies, sensations, trauma, and fodder. “Sockshare” is also allegedly the artist’s “Venmo” username.
Hold ALT followed by the code
Cheat Code & Result
FemalePlumber Turns white roses on the upper level red
FemalePlunger Turns white roses on the upper level black
SpleenEtIdeal Witness Tom’s demise (deleted cutscene)
AwesomeShizz Witness Jamie’s demise (deleted cutscene)
WidowsDump Flush toilet (when standing in stall)
AdsoMelk + F/S Increase/Decrease metronome tempo (audio)
EndlessSaladAndPainsticks Turns flashlight into a baguette
DiaperWreath Change Super Creepo Ass Bitch’s hospital gown to tuxedo + tophat
ShesYourDaddy Kill Super Creepo Ass Bitch
SHIFT + Press the number 6 three times on a NUM Pad (not your number keys at the top of the keyboard). Unlock designer voice-over from Nicholas O’Brien
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