I was looking for chill/relaxing worlds for the first world menu on VRChatter when I stumbled upon a map that intrigued me for days, called “A Fine Line”. You spawn into the world on the bank of a lake with a small campsite behind you. Snow lays on the ground all over the world and there is soft music playing. Around the lake are two other small campsites which are super chill and cozy. There is a path leading up from the opposite side of the lake from spawn which takes you to a hot spring pond. Everything about the world was so quiet and chill I thought, “This is a great world to add to the list…” But then as I continued exploring and simply enjoying the map, I stumbled upon a mystery.

View of A Fine Line from spawn

Behind the third campsite, almost directly opposite the spawn, is a deep channel cut into the snow. Following this path back, I came to a fork and took the left path which led to a large stone doorway with the words “Sapere Aude” (Latin for Dare to Know) carved into it and was locked. There was a small indentation for a key of some sort. I began exploring all over the map and found pedestals with 4 small indentations in them which looked like something would fit into it.

At this point, I was hooked. I had to understand what this all meant. I began exploring further and eventually found another doorway, also locked with the same “Sapere Aude” carved into it. I began to realize that this had to be a tunnel under the map and that these two doors were linked. I cheated a bit to make sure I wasn’t on a wild goose chase, I leaned as far as I could to “no-clip” my head inside the door. I saw a long dark hallway extending away from me with faint blue lights along one side. It was clearly a modeled space that could be explored. I had to get these doors open.

As I explored more, I found a third door, this time it was open. It was located to the right and behind the spawn up the hillside. It was located in a bowl-like indent in the hill. Above the door were the words “Deus Ex Machina” (Latin for God From The Machine). Inside the door was a very dark stairway lit only by two small red lights. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I was greeted by a large room on my left occupied by a massive sculpture of a seated man made from what looked like electrically charged crystal.

I was stunned, what did this all mean? I approached and began exploring around the statue only to find a small geometric shaped object with a piece of paper captured in the center (See photo). As I looked over the object I had found, I realized on one end there were 4 small pins that looked like they matched the pedestals. I was certain I had found my first key. So, I raced back out of the statue’s room and headed for the nearest pedestal. As you approach the pedestals the atmosphere grows slightly darker and the ambient music cuts off. I tried the key and it didn’t work.

Now I was seriously confused, what had I done wrong? Then I realized the objects must be tied to a specific pedestal. I began racing around trying to find the correct pedestal. I eventually did, it was the pedestal to the far left of the lake, hidden near a small bush. As I placed the “key” down on the pedestal, it snapped into place. The geometry of it began to shift and spin around the small piece of paper. As it finished the small paper caught flame and became a glowing ember. This ember then began to float away, along the edge of the lake and then across it. I followed it as it traced a path back to the third campsite. The moat of fire made its way inside the tent and came to rest on a photo of what appears to be a couple. As it settled and burned away into the photo, I realized that faces were being revealed in the photo. I knew I had to finish this mystery.

I spent the next few days returning to the map to search for keys and pedestals. I also reached out to Sumeru, the maps creator and attempted to add them to my friends list. A few more days passed and she accepted. I reached out to ask if I could interview her to better understand the story of “A Fine Line” and she was willing to talk. We chatted over Discord about the ideas behind the map and some of her future plans for maps.

After a quick introduction and explanation of what I had figured out so far, I asked Sumeru about the story behind the map. She told me to reveal the story would be a spoiler so instead she told me, “Well I can say this is an un-obvious puzzle. My idea was to create something that pretends to be a normal world for spending time with friends, so unless you get too curious and go out the ‘comfort zone’ you may never know that there’s something else. Nothing is said in the description, just the atmosphere and slight dreamy vibe might be a hint, that something is wrong with this world. With time when you find the ‘keys’ you notice the logic of the place is broken, and also, it’s almost like the world is talking to you. Or something is talking to you through it, so this might be a way to understand the story behind it. It’s not easy though, I think not a lot of people guessed it, but it’s fine, nothing should be too obvious.”

At her suggestion, I went back into the world and attempted to finish the puzzle. I have provided her ‘Spoiler’ story behind the map at the end of the article, if you are interested. I ended up stuck and reached back out for a hint. She provided a vague hint that got me over the last secret. Upon completing the puzzle, I was left both curious for more and excited to see what Sumeru had coming next. I will not spoil all that I found but I will tell you what Sumeru had to tell me. I had found a hidden portal room and I asked why she would hide it. She said, “It needed to be hidden.” When I asked about the specific map that was linked out from the portal room she said, “Yes. It’s unrelated”. She explained that this new world was too difficult to solve now because she hasn’t completed all the hints for her next worlds. She didn’t provide me with a timeline for when to expect the other worlds but I will be keeping my eyes out for anything else she puts out.

If you are interested in experiencing this world, please click here. If you need hints or would like help with a puzzle, leave a comment and I would be happy to help you figure it out. I have made minor edits to the quotes in this article with permission from Sumeru and she approved the article before I posted it. A huge thank you to Sumeru for creating this amazing world and being willing to participate in this story. As always, thank you so much for checking out this article and for being a part of VRChatter.

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*Spoiler Warning – Please complete the puzzle before reading this unless you just have to know

As I was finishing this article, I reached out to Sumeru about the story she didn’t want to reveal as it was a spoiler. This is what she told me, “Yes, the story behind the place how I see it is that the player is initially in the dream world, either in a coma or just sleeping and can’t wake up for some reason. The hints are a bit over scaled trees, the unusual ‘borderline’ season, between late fall and winter, in reality this usually lasts not for too long, half a day maybe, but the world is stuck in this state. Then you might find the bunker and the tunnel that look quite out of place in the whole peaceful scene, something threatening, also you looking for something there, that is a picture of people descending in the dark corners of their mind for something they wanted to forget (the statue itself supposedly in meditation state is that part of the mind that is focusing on something and trying to understand what is going on). The ‘keys’ are the pieces of the fragmented memory, as they reunite with the old photo and let u see the faces of a family (?) before toggling the transition event u can read ‘I don’t want to remember’ this will explain what happens in the end. After you can choose – either to try to jump into the tunnel or to stay in the dark and silent night, that is peace for the mind but also rejection to know the truth. However, the second way instead of bringing you completely back brings you to another buffer space ‘a safe place’, because the pain of knowing the reality feels too strong and your mind put you somewhere that looks more like a home already, yet it’s isolated and empty. Red colors and sunset could be a sign of hope though, it’s a symbol that something is going to end, so maybe the next transition will be successful.”

By Oz

8 thoughts on “World Creator Feature: Sumeru”
  1. Trippy looking map. And a built in puzzle! Worlds can be made into their own little games, looks like. VR got a lot to offer!
    Nice writing, brother!

  2. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

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