Dan Zen | History 



Tower of Babel

Prediction Train

Blimp Race



Grim Reaper's
Age Guesser


Web Ouija

Word Warp


Gorgolon: an underwater civilization

The game was to spot the artificial intelligence. For two minutes all the players appear on the screen and can communicate with one another by typing messages. One of the players is an A.I. If you don't spot the A.I. you lose.

To make the game possible without major programming, words are missing from the communications and parts of messages from others are mixed in with the A.I.'s communications.

The following poem was written prior to the game and was used to create one of the most intriguing science fiction games ever:


On the planet of Gorgolon
Fire Ivy climbs upon
The silver spires and the domes

Further signal from Origin 5
A red chrome saucer flies
Through the tunnels beneath the sea


The game can be played at any time by any number of people and has a by-product of the players writing science fiction set in an underwater world that was created at the pinnacle of Dan Zen's scientific imagination. Only the leaders of the game get to read the science fiction everyone is writing.

Here is how the poem ties in with the game: The silver spires transfer air from the surface down into the domes. A sea weed called Fire Ivy climbs the spires until it reaches the surface. When it does, it spontaneously combusts spreading flame down to its roots in the sea bed hence the name Fire Ivy. The fire storm lasts two minutes. Growth starts over and reaches the surface again in one day.

Gorgolonians fly red chrome saucers and are directed through underwater tunnels by signals from Origin 5. During the underwater fire storm, signals become garbled and if there are other saucers in your vicinity their outward communications to Origin 5 mix with Origin 5's inward communications to you.

When the fire storm ends, the saucer's inputs become confused and the channels go blank. You must decide which channel was Origin 5. If you lock on to the wrong channel, you will lose Origin 5 and your saucer will surely crash in the tunnels beneath the Purple Sea.


Will the red chrome saucers soon be seen
Origin 5
The Gorgolonians have eyes on their fingers
Oh, the Purple Sea


Gorgolonians have eyes on their "fingers" and each "finger" is separate and able to fly a saucer. A Lord of Gorgolon has lived through 100 fire storms. The Palm of Gorgolon is the Gorgolonian who has counted the most fire storms. Lords and the Palm get to see the logs of Origin 5.

When there is no fire storm, Origin 5 asks the Gorgolonian for feedback on how the civilization is progressing. Here are some sample questions:

  • Saucer to Level 3. What items are the lower levels recycling?

  • Saucer to Lord level. Describe the tourist trends?

  • Saucer to Furnace 8. What are the artists making?

    There are hundreds of questions and when combined with the below history of Gorgolon make for a dynamic experience in on-line story-telling.

    History Lesson

    Waters levels rose at a rate of an inch a day. The people had to become an underwater civilization. Scientists formulated 10 plans for survival and rebirth. Origin 5 was chosen.

    Origin 5 is based on the creation of underwater cities using molten glass mined from layers where sand from the ocean floor meets fires from the earth's core.

    Initially, many domes were made with their own spires to the surface for air supply. These were located around the planet's only known glass mining region. Eventually, this became inefficient due to the increasing water levels and the requirement to be constantly building the spires to the top of rising the sea.

    Origin 5 adjusted to the feedback and directed the people to build one massive spire to the surface with an intake tube and an outtake tube. Intake and outtake rings encircled the spire at many levels. The domed cities inhale and exhale air from the rings.

    Chromium furnace tubes run along the spire's outtake tube. These heat the air in the outtake tube causing the air to rise. The vacuum from the rising air draws fresh air from the surface down the intake tube and through a opening between the intake and outtake tubes. The opening is submerged in twenty million gallons of isolated water at the base of the spire and a large gorgle resonates . . .

    Welcome to Gorgolon

    Gorgolonians have become deft at drawing and blowing glass. They use dyes at depths in the glass to create art. Utensils, furniture, ornaments are glass. Communications, architecture and transportation - glass. Energy is heat and light. All products can be easily recycled in the molten furnaces.

    On a personal transportation basis, similar to sidewalks, Gorgolonians have curving tunnels of air through which they slide and curving tunnels of water through which they rise. There are air pockets in the tunnels for breathing.

    Verti have been established for mass transportation. Verti are glass pods holding many Gorgolonians. The pods have a controlled rise in water tubes and a controlled fall in air tubes. They are circulated by being pushed through seals.

    For example, to move horizontally from one side of a domed city to another the Gorgolonian will enter a Verti pod sitting at the base of an air tube. The pod is pushed through a seal into a water tube where it floats following the arc of the water tube to the apex of the dome. Here the pod is pushed through a seal into the air tube, falling along the arc to the destination at the other side of the dome.

    Super Verti rise up and down along the spire connecting the ring levels of Gorgolon. The civilization has developed class structures based on the depth of dwellings. Although the lower ring levels have more history, the rings closer to the surface are in higher demand due to coolness of air and brightness of light.

    Fire Ivy

    Fire Ivy is a major factor with light. Fire Ivy is actually algae that is attracted to and nurtured by a slow static charge that works its way up the glass structures from the sea bed to the surface. It has the appearance of ivy growing at a visible rate reaching the surface currently in one day. Lower levels are covered in ivy for a longer time.

    When the static charge finally climbs the spire to the surface, it is met with bolts of lightning which atomize the algae giving it a fiery glow for several minutes until the charge is neutralized. Sonar communications are disrupted during this "fire storm".

    Red Chrome Saucers

    Even during fire storms it is a Gorgolonian's duty and desire to fly saucers of chrome on critical missions for Origin 5. Origin 5 sends signals to the saucers asking for feedback on Gorgolonian cultural, political, environmental, and industrial systems.

    The saucers also are used to draw tunnels with molten glass. Many saucers guiding compressed air blow city spheres. A perforated septum divides the sphere into an upper dome and an inverted lower dome. Gorgolonians live in smaller divided spheres in the upper dome and grow mushroom jungles in the lower dome. Fresh air from one of the central spire's intake rings passes along a tube into the top of the dome, down through the city's perforated floor into the jungle and back to the outtake ring.

    The Lords of Gorgolon have lived through 100 fire storms in a saucer and now live in lord levels near the top of the spire. The Palm and entourage live at the very top. The Palm is the Gorgolonian who has lived through the most fire storms in a saucer.