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Transcripts for Lost episodes up to and including "Enter 77" are based on the transcriptions by Lost-TV member Spooky with aid of DVR, and at times, closed captions for clarification. She and Lost-TV have generously granted us permission to share/host these transcripts at Lostpedia. Later transcripts were created by the Lostpedia community, unless stated otherwise below.
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NARRATOR: Games have been around for thousands of years, but none are older than the ancient game of Senet, invented by the Egyptians roughly 5,000 years ago. It is believed that this two-player board game originated as a popular form of recreation with both royalty and peasantry. But by the mid-13th century BC, Senet had evolved into a more religious ritual. Some depictions from this time period forward show the game being played not by two people, but rather as a deceased player competing against an invisible adversary, interpreted by some to symbolize the deceased player's own soul.
The board has become a metaphor for the afterlife with pawns moving across the board just as a soul moves through layers of the netherworld after death. Reaching the final space and leaving the board is the goal of the game, just as reaching Horus and leaving the netherworld was the goal for the Egyptians after their death.
The original rules of Senet have been lost to time, but by studying the board and other ancient texts, archaeologists have pieced together several possible ways to play the game. Are you ready for your own journey through the netherworld?
You will need a board of 30 spaces in 3 rows, 2 sets of 5 pawns each, and 4 throwing sticks each with 1 marked side and 1 blank side. First place both players' pawns in alternating order on the board starting at the top-left corner. The spaces with symbols should be in the bottom-right corner. Then choose a player to go first.
When it is your turn, throw the sticks as you would roll dice to determine how far your pawns can move. A throw resulting in 1 blank side up and the rest marked side up earns you one space and an extra throw. 2 blank sides up earns 2 spaces and signals that your turn is over. 3 blank sides up earns 3 spaces and your turn is also over. 4 blank sides up earns 4 spaces and an extra throw. If your throw results in all 4 sticks marked side up, you have earned 5 spaces and an extra throw. Once your turn is over, add up the total number of spaces and move any combination of pawns to equal that number. For instance, if you throw a 4 and then a 2, resulting in a total of 6 spaces, you may move 1 pawn 5 spaces and 1 pawn 1 space, or 3 pawns 2 spaces each.
Pawns move around the board in a reverse "S" pattern. If your pawn reaches a space already occupied by your opponent, you may trade places, setting your opponent back, and yourself closer to a blessed afterlife. If two or more of your opponent's pawns occupy ajacent spaces, they are defended and you may not move to that space. You must move another of your pawns, or if that is impossible, move backward, and trade places with any opposing pawn in your path, defended or not.
As you move around the board, you'll notice that some spaces have symbols on them. These spaces have special meanings, and come with special instructions. Space 26 is called "The Beautiful House," the Egyptian name for a funeral parlour, and as in life, every pawn must stop here before moving forward. To land on this space you must throw the exact number required to reach it, no more, no less, by the end of your turn. Now you are only 5 spaces away from making it off the board.
Space 27, "The House of the Waters" represents the Nile as well as the Lake of Truth, which one's soul crosses in the netherworld. Be careful for this dangerous space presents you with 2 equally undesirable options. You must either move your pawn back to Space 15, "The House of Repeating Life" and lose a turn, or you must leave your pawn on Space 27 until you throw a 4. Choose carefully, for until you move your pawn from either space, you may not move any other pawns and none of them are defended against your opponent.
Space 28 is "The House of the Three Guards," the judgment hall of Osiris, lord of the dead. Space 29 is "The House of Re-Aton," the sun god who dies at sunset to be reborn with the new day. Space 30 is "The House of Horus," the sun god as he rises at dawn. But be warned, if your pawn is left undefended on any of the last 3 spaces, and an opposing pawn takes your place, you must move back to the dreaded space 27. And if you cannot move off space 26, because your throw lands you on a space defended by your opponent, you must also move to space 27 and choose your fate.
Once you move all your pawns off the board, victory is yours. You have passed through the netherworld and are reborn with the gods. Until, that is, you decide to play again.