About The Crystal Maze
The Crystal Maze is a self contained world divided into four distinct zones - Medieval, Futuristic, Aztec and Ocean (this last zone replaced the Industrial zone which appeared in the first three series). In each zone there are six chambers of varying dimensions and within each chamber is a game.
The object of The Crystal Maze is for a team of six people, with different skills and talents to attempt and win as many games as possible. Each game successfully completed, within the individual game time period, will result in the winning of a Crystal.
Each crystal represents a time period of five seconds - the total number of crystals gained totalling the amount of time the team has to enter and spend within the Dome. The Dome is at the centre of The Crystal Maze and contains the prizes. These are represented by Gold tokens mixed among the Silver tokens that swirl around inside the Dome.
The presenter, who is also the team guide in the The Crystal Maze, is introduced to us at the beginning of the programme at the Dome. He explains the game and introduces the competing team. He then reveals to us which of the four zones, Medieval, Futuristic, Aztec or Ocean - the team has elected to start from.
He meets them in person at the entrance of the chosen zone and explains that as a team they have only ten minutes to enter and attempt as many games as possible. When this ten minute period is up they must move on to the next zone.
The zone entrance is guarded by an obstacle. Once inside the zone, the team is confronted by six chambers each containing a game with its own specific time period- 1'00, 1'30, 2'00, 2'30 or 3'00.
The games are also divided into categories - Physical, Skill, Mental and Mystery. The presenter knows which games are in which chambers and the time period allowed for each - the team does not.
The captain must first select a game category and a team member to attempt the game. Having done so, the Presenter takes them to the chamber, starts the individual Chamber Clock and allows the player to enter.
If the player is successful, a Crystal will be won - the player literally collects it and exits with it. If the player is unsuccessful no crystal is won - and if the player is unsuccessful and fails to exit the chamber within the game time period, he/she will be locked in.
If a team member is locked in, the Captain can do one of three things:-
A) Immediately buy the team member back at the cost of one crystal
B) Defer the decision until later in the game
C) Leave the team member locked in indefinitely
If the decision is B) another team member must find their way back through the Maze and release the captive during the game playing time.
Once the ten minutes have elapsed in a zone, the team must move to the next. Each zone is screened off from its neighbour, there is only one route of access and this will be guarded by an obstacle.
The ten minutes allowed in the next zone will begin when the team starts to negotiate this protecting obstacle. Once across, they continue as described until finally on completion of the final zone, the presenter takes the team to the inner circle of The Crystal Maze - the Dome.
The Dome is protected from direct access by a tubular frame and a moat of water.
The presenter counts the number of crystals the team have won, converts this to seconds and allows the team across the bridge into the Dome. The clock starts and the team (however many are left) must catch and retain as many tokens as possible, and exit the Dome within the calculated time period.
Finally, after collecting all the tokens from the team and deducting the silver tokens from the gold, the presenter announces whether the team has won the prize.