Rebecca Rubio, aged 25, a video blogger, was reported missing by her landlord on the 17th of July 2012. She was last seen entering her room at around 7:00 in the evening the day before. To this day, the Makati Police has no leads to the whereabouts of Rubio. On 27th of February 2015, 6 spirit questors were asked to enter Rebecca’s room to once and for all, solve the mystery behind her disappearance. I am one of the 6 spirit questors, but before you commission me to communicate with your dead loved ones, let me make it clear that this was just a premise of this game that I played with five of my officemates during our team-building activity at Mystery Manila, Makati.
Mystery Manila is a live escape room game, which is said to be the first in the country. Currently, it has two branches; one in Libis, the other in Makati. To play this game, you must reserve a slot thru their website. Rates depend on the number of people who will be playing the game.
- 2 players: P550 per pax
- 3 players: P500 per pax
- 4 players: P450 per pax
- 5 players onwards: P400 per pax
The Jupiter branch offers three mysteries: Sinister Sensorium, World of Wizardry, and Rebecca’s Room. The games can be played by a minimum of 2 persons (except the Sinister Sensorium, which requires at least 3 players) and a maximum of 6. Players are only given an hour to finish the game. There’s a prize waiting for those who can quickly escape the room; t-shirt for the 30-minute finishers and pen for the 45-minute finishers.
There is a leaderboard where the best mystery solvers can be seen. You beat the time of the other teams, you will find the name of your group on this board.
Our group was split into 3 to play in 3 different rooms. Blue Team played the Sinister Sensorium, White Team played the World of Wizardry, and the Black Team played Rebecca’s Room. As you can see in the pictures, some of my officemates did not follow the color coding (#HayNaku #KJ #NotFollowingInstructions).
Obviously, I cannot speak for the other two groups so let me just focus on the experience of my team inside Rebecca’s Room. But first, the teaser.
Prior to the game, we had a briefing with our gamekeeper who prepped us about our mission and the rules of the game. Among the rules stated are the following:
- No mobile phones
- No scratching and tearing of the masking tapes on the wall
- The furniture and other stuff inside the room can be inspected but must be put back into place
- Knock on the door if you need a clue but for every hint given, there is a 5-minute penalty to be deducted from the total playing time
We were then given a copy of this news report that narrates the story of Rebecca’s disappearance. (Note: The girl who played Rebecca is Michelle of the Youtube sensation, Jamich.)
Despite knowing it’s all just a make-believe, we still couldn’t help but feel a little spooked, synonymous with that feeling you get before entering a horror house. That’s my biggest worry actually, if somebody suddenly pops out in the room to give us a scare.
The gamekeeper ushered us into a small room with dim lighting, blood-splattered walls with curious symbols, a bed in the middle, and white-linen covered furniture. After the gamekeeper bade us good luck, he locked us in the room and then suddenly, the room was blanketed in total darkness. Our first reaction was to shriek and pushed ourselves against the door like a bunch of losers. Needless to say, we were the noisiest group of them all what’s with the dark room, that goosebumps-inducing sound of music box in the background, and the occasional maniacal devilish laughter that gets played without warning. I thought we had to spend the entire game in the dark until we found a flashlight. I couldn’t emphasize enough how important that flashlight is, unfortunately, only one is available. I cheated a bit though because I didn’t leave my phone in the locker and snuck it into the room, hoping to take some photos for this blog. Unfortunately, it was only good as an extra flashlight. The room is equipped with CCTV so I didn’t want to risk taking pictures for fear that we would be asked to discontinue the game.
First thing I did is to pull down the white sheets, which revealed a closet that reaches up to the ceiling and a drawer. After unraveling the furniture, the next thing I did is to look under the bed just to see if some bitch is hiding there. To my relief, the bed is clear, whew!
Eventually, I got used to hearing the evil laugh that it no longer scared me, the way you stop jumping at the sound of firecrackers on New Year’s eve. That’s me, of course, I’m not sure about my teammates. In fact, one of us remained scared as fuck to the very end. In all honesty, we didn’t solve anything without assistance. Though we saw the combinations for the locks, we couldn’t put two and two together, if you know what I mean. I wanted us to be in the leaderboard or to win shirts or pens but given the fact we were as clueless as a baby, we decided to set aside our pride and just ask for the friggin’ clues. Armed with the hints, we were able to solve the puzzles. I am not going to
make it easy spoil the fun for you though by sharing how the mystery is solved.
55 minutes, 4 clues, three locks, and two doors unlocked later, we were finally able to escape the room. Because we asked 4 clues, 20 minutes were added to our total time (boohoo). Even so, we still felt quite accomplished and very relieved that we finished the game. It’s still better than to pose with the “Mystery Failed” board you know.
When we were all finished, we couldn’t stop sharing notes about our respective experiences. Team Blue solved the mystery too, sadly, White Team wasn’t as lucky. Still, we all agreed that playing this game is as fun as it is nerve-wracking. The tension brought about by the time constraint, the confusion and challenge caused by the puzzles, and the team effort required to finish the game, all made for a one heck of an experience.
And the ultimate question is, what happened with Rebecca? Sorry but my lips are sealed. All I can say is, had we not escaped the room we would have suffered the same fate that had befallen Rebecca.
2/F G.A. Yupangco Building
Jupiter St. and Gil Puyat Ave. corner Reposo St.,
Brgy. Bel Air, Makati
Tel: (+632) 587 1689 or (+63) 917 559 4010
Monday – Friday: 1:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday/Holidays: 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
NOTE: This is item #5 in my 10 Goals for 2015. One goal unlocked 🙂