CAVE CITY — Raven’s Cross Haunted Village, Escape Room & Gift Emporium will be opening a new escape room.
Built on the same location — 907 Mammoth Cave Road — as the other Raven’s Cross attractions, this new escape room, “The Nautilus Incident,” takes visitors down into the deep blue sea.
Brian Thorpe, who owns Raven’s Cross with his wife, Debbie, said this escape room transports participants into their interpretation of the Nautilus, which is a fictional submarine portrayed in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”
“This is Captain Nemo,” Brian said as he pointed to a portrait hanging on the wall during a tour on Friday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Cave City Chamber of Commerce. “The Nautilus went missing over 100 years ago. You and your group are on a tour — kind of like Gilligan’s Island. You’re on a three-hour tour in the South Pacific, and your boat runs into some really dense fog.
“When you come out of the fog, you see an island. Boat captain tells you that he’s about out of fuel, that he’s not going to be able to return back to the place where you started the tour. So he decides to leave you on the island and head back to try and get radio contact to get help.”
Brian said while participants are on this island, “you stumble across the Nautilus.”
“You go into the Nautilus, and you begin in the captain’s ready room,” Brian said. “So he will actually tell you a little bit of the story — but basically, once you’re in here, he thinks you’re trespassing, so he locks everything down and the Nautilus automatically goes to the bottom of the ocean.
“And so on the bottom of the ocean, you’ve got to figure out if you’re worthy and you figure out the clues that he’s left for you — you can start the engines back and you can head back to the surface.”
The Nautilus Incident features multiple rooms that participants progress through, one of them having moving visuals that simulates looking out of windows to see ocean life swimming around the submarine.
“Every time you do something that’s noteworthy, Captain Nemo will talk to you, and he’ll congratulate you on making it to that next stage,” Brian said. “The final stage is the engine room. … It’s a really intricate story.”
Debbie Thorpe told the visitors that her husband is the mastermind behind this new escape room.
“He dreams this stuff up, and then he draws it out and then he makes it happen,” she said. “He builds it all himself. He does all this work.”
Although the Thorpes want every participant to make it out of the escape room, those who do not figure out the clues within an hour will then fictitiously become long-term residents of the submarine.
“In the story, this becomes your permanent home. In reality, we open the door and let you out,” Brian said with a laugh, adding that they will help participants if needed so that they can experience most of the elements of the story. “We have sound effects. We have flashing lights. We have all kinds of stuff going on in here when you’re actually playing the game. So if you don’t get through that, you miss some of that.”
Debbie added that they are “more about the experience — having fun.”
“I’ll help people along. If I see them struggling with something or frustrated, I’ll give them a little nudge,” she said. “I may not tell them, but I’ll give them a little nudge or redirect them.
“We’re really excited about it. We’re more about the experience than winning or losing.”
In addition to birthday parties and casual visits, this escape room is great for team-building activities, Debbie said, adding that Caverna Independent Schools has already contacted her about holding an event for teachers before their next school year.
Debbie said they should be ready to take bookings for The Nautilus Incident beginning next weekend since they will still be beta testing it this weekend.
“We book by appointment only,” she said. “But if we’re here and people walk in and we have an opening, we will certainly let them play.”
To schedule an appointment, visit www.RavensCrossEscape.com.