Legendary Truth: An Interactive Mystery Game Within Halloween Horror Nights

Lisa Fritscher October 21, 2014 No Comments

Pumpkin Man

Scary characters are everywhere at Halloween Horror Nights.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is intense. Seven or eight haunted houses, creepy comedy shows and streets packed with wandering monsters keep many park visitors on the run for the entire evening. It is not unusual for people to start screaming when they walk through the gates and keep screaming until they go home that night.


The Super Fans
Halloween Horror Nights also attracts legions of passionately dedicated fans. Rather than screaming and running away, they are drawn to the experience like a moth to a flame. Eager to soak in every detail, they purchase season passes and spend virtually every night at the event. They walk through the houses in slow motion, drinking in the sets, lighting, costumes and makeup, and giving shout-outs to their favorite actors. By the second weekend, they can repeat every line of that year’s Bill and Ted show. They get to know each other as well as the cast, and they form a sort of family.


The Art and Design Team
The massive Halloween Horror Nights is designed by a surprisingly small team of highly dedicated, passionate people who truly love their jobs. They also love their fans, and go out of their way to interact with them. In past years, the Art and Design team has held free question and answer sessions, sat and talked with individual guests, and even led small (paid) private tours through the haunted houses.

Art and Design Team

The Art and Design Team is highly engaged with the fans.

In 2005, the team decided to reward its most loyal fans with a special interactive game. Clues to the mystery were revealed on the Halloween Horror Nights website throughout the season, leading to a major encounter with a live actor on the event’s final night. The game was a success, and it planted the seeds for what was to come.


Legendary Truth: The Collective
Building on their experience with the 2005 game, the Art and Design team launched Legendary Truth: The Collective in 2008. Legendary Truth is a live-action alternate reality game that takes place within the fictional world of Halloween Horror Nights. According to the back story, the Collective is a group of people tasked with investigating the strange happenings within the game world. In 2008, all the happenings were linked to the mysterious Dr. Mary Agana, aka Bloody Mary, a psychologist who became obsessed with fear and subsequently disappeared.

In 2012, the game reappeared as Horror Unearthed. Players were divided into Legions, each representing a different facet of horror, and instructed to research their roots. RFID cards allowed players to check in at different locations throughout the event. At home, players around the world could join in even if they were unable to make it to Orlando. The online experience included a variety of games that allowed players to earn points. Many people played both online and at the parks, racking up large point totals and creating a friendly rivalry between the Legions.


The 2013 finale had us meet with fan favorite characters from the previous year to complete a series of tasks.

For 2013, Art and Design brought it all together with a brand-new Legendary Truth: The Collective experience. This time, players remained in their previous Legions, but were tasked with a paranormal investigation that was bigger than the individual Legions. Online players, known as remote operatives, received information and solved puzzles that were inaccessible to those who checked in at the parks. They relayed what they learned to the in-park players, sending them to various check-in locations where they, in turn, received information that was unavailable to the remote operatives. Both groups had to work together, both in their Legions and as a larger whole, to solve the overarching mystery that developed throughout the season.

The Art and Design team has assured the fans that Legendary Truth: The Collective will continue for the 2014 event. It is not yet known exactly what tricks the designers have up their sleeves, but if history is any indication, this year will bring the most immersive experience yet.


Tips for Parents

Fortune Cookie Task

The fortune cookie task wrapped up the 2013 event while generating enough speculation to keep everyone busy until the 2014 game.

Legendary Truth: The Collective is an alternate-reality game that takes place within the Halloween Horror Nights experience. The in-park tasks typically require a great deal of commitment, as you must solve puzzles, check in with remote operatives online, visit locations in a specific order or join a group meet-up at a designated place and time. Therefore, it is not recommended for those who will visit only once or twice. Just seeing all the haunted houses, shows and outdoor scare zones is tough to manage in a single night.

If you plan to visit more often, however, Legendary Truth is a truly gripping experience. The puzzles are difficult enough to be fun, but not so challenging as to be frustrating. Each year’s mystery is engrossing, and the tasks are appropriate for all ages. You can serve as both an in-park operative and a remote operative on different nights, allowing you to play along even if you will only visit the event a few times.

As of 2013, RFID stickers, placed on the back of the admission ticket, were free for season pass holders and just a few dollars for those with one-night admission. Laminated plastic cards were also sold at a slightly higher fee. Both options allow park-goers to check in at designated locations via a brief scan, earning points for themselves and for their Legion. Remote operatives check in by logging onto the official Legendary Truth: The Collective website.

Of course, playing the game in-park requires the ability to filter out the noise, excitement and scares going on around you. If your kids are nervous or easily startled, they might not be able to focus on solving the mystery. Fortunately, the game is included with park admission, so if you find your kids are unable to concentrate, you can drop out at any time.

avatarAbout the Author:

Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

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