The Commercial DVD's Maze and Easter Eggs

by Bill M.
Last updated Dec 2, 2004

EASTER EGGS

First, the thing that I'm sure everybody wants to know: how many Easter Eggs are on the DVD, and how to you access them? I've found two, and I'm pretty sure that these are the only ones. One of these is accessable from the main menus, but the second one requires going through the maze:

EASTER EGG #1 -- From the main menu, select "Play All". This brings you to a second menu. Select "Play All" from here to play all the videos consecutively. After the end of the very last video, "Give It To Someone Else", you'll see a short silent B&W clip of a chimpanzee.

If you don't want to have to sit through every video to get to the Easter Egg, don't worry. You can do one of two other things. You can just start the videos and then keep clicking your track skip button (>>|) on your remote until you get to the secret clip at the end. But the quickest way is to start at the main menu, select the menu that lists all of the videos by title, and select "Give It To Someone Else". Hit ENTER. As the video plays, click the skip button (>>|) at any point to get to the Easter Egg.

EASTER EGG #2 -- From the secret Control Room (see the "maze" notes below on how to get there), navigate around the room until you see a gray cat sitting in the middle in the corner. Highlight the screen showing the "My Second Wife" video. This is the screen in the back of the room that has a bear on it. Don't click ENTER yet! Just highlight it. Now click DOWN and then press ENTER. You zoom into the gray cat and are then taken to an explosion scene, followed by a secret menu where you can watch two special videos of "Moisture" and "Red Rider". These are not accessable anywhere else on the DVD, and the music for both are 2004 remakes by The Residents!

THE MAZE

One of the features of The Commercial DVD is the interactive maze interface. While all 56 videos can be selected from the main menu, the maze offers a unique way of selecting these videos, as well as a way to get to the second Easter Egg. Each room of the maze includes the following:

  • Two different videos.
    • These can be watched by highlighting the top or bottom video screen shown at the rear center of each room, then pressing ENTER.
    • There are a total of 42 videos in these rooms, which are all the ones that were not created by The Residents.
    • The 14 videos created by The Residents (the original four, plus ten tnew ones) are in a special room which I've dubbed the Control Room.
  • Three exits: left, right, and down. To enter a new room, just highlight one of these exits and press ENTER.
  • Walls decorated with some sort of photo.
  • A Resident standing in a certain pose

MAIN MAP

Here is a map, with each room having its own block, one-word description, and index number. Lines indicating where the left, right, and down exits lead out of each room.

Here are the descriptions of the rooms listed by index number, with a description of the room's walls and videos available for viewing (top, bottom).

# Room Name What's on the walls Video 1 Video 2
4 CANDLES Lighted Candles Easter Woman Perfect Love
5 SMOKE Columns of colored smoke Picnic Boy End of Home
6 CRACKS Cracked mud-looking surface Amber Japanese Watercolor
7 TULIPS Some tulips Shut Up Shut Up Die In Terror
8 FACE Two eyes and a giant smiling mouth Red Rider My Second Wife
9 FEET soles of feet Floyd Suburban Bathers
10 FINGERS this is the initial room Dimples and Toes Nameless Souls
12 FISH red fish Love Leaks Out Act of Being Polite
13 FRUIT several whole pieces of fruit Medicine Man Tragic Bells
14 BRIDGE looks like the Golden Gate bridge Loss of Innocence And I Was Alone
15 LIBERTY the Statue of Liberty Ups and Downs Possessions
16 LILY PADS lily pads and lotus flowers Give It To Someone Else Phantom
17 WOMAN painting of a woman, head down on table When We Were Young My Work Is So Behind
18 PYRAMID like the one on the US dollar bill The Coming of the Crow Margaret Freeman
19 NUMBERS several columns of numbers Moisture Love Is
20 PICASSO a photo of Pablo Picasso Troubled Man La La
21 PAPERS stacks of tied newspapers or trash Loneliness Nice Old Man
22 CAR a Rolls-Royce Talk of Creatures Fingertips
23 DUNES sand dunes In Between Dreams Handful of Desire
24 SKATERS photos of ice skaters Birds In The Trees Less Not More
25 SKY a blue sky with white clouds Simple Song Secrets

THE CONTROL ROOM

Going down from room #17 or room #19 leads you to a special room, which appears to be some type of control room. This is a seven-sided room with two video screens on each wall. These are the 14 videos on the DVD that The Residents created. You can navigate left and right around to room to face a different set of walls, and select the videos from them for viewing. There's a gray cat in the back corner. Each of the seven holes in the floor leads to a room, whose number is shown over the corresponding hole.

It's a bit tricky to visualize where the holes are on the map, since on the DVD you're forced to only look at one quarter of the room at a time. So some holes can be in more than one view. Though note that the main base is square, and the holes each line up with the center of one of the room's seven walls.

There's another way to get to the Control Room. Instead of entering the maze, just go to the artist index from the main menu. From there, go to the section for "The Residents", and click on "Residents Room". (Thanks to ultramagnetic04 for pointing out this one!)


GETTING AROUND IN THE MAZE

Some things worth noting about the rooms and their navigation:

  • As the first map shows, if you leave a room by going right, you can re-enter that room by going left, and vice versa. But once you go down a hole, you can't directly go back up.
  • Although the exits to each room can be thought of as straight, each level is actually circular. For example, going left from room #12 brings you back around to room #18, and going right from room #18 will bring you back to room #12. You can think of the whole maze as a building shaped like a seven-sided cylinder, with the control room at the top floor.
  • Similarly, as indicated by the map, going down from room #19 will bring you up and around to room #7, going down from room #20 brings you to room #8, etc. To fit this in with the cylindrical building idea, think of the holes in this bottom floor as "warping" you up to one of the higher floors.
  • Going down from room #21 or room #25 brings you to the CONTROL ROOM.
  • I chose this specific numbering based on the room's related DVD title number. More on this later.

SKULLS (temporary dead ends)

Sometimes you'll try leaving a room by a particular exit, but can't. Instead, a giant skull will float into the room then duck back into the passage. This is what really seems to make the maze a "maze", as opposed to a bunch of freely navigatable rooms.

Here's what you should know about the skulls:

  • They don't seem to show up in any of the holes that exit the Control Room
  • The skulls are not in any fixed places. In other words, you might find a specific passage in a specific room being blocked by a skull, but when you leave that room and come back, the passage may no longer be blocked.
  • If a passage is blocked, then that passage will still remain blocked so long as you remain in the room.
  • Although the placement of skulls is essentailly random, I've noticed that if you find the left or right passage blocked, then leave the room in the opposite direction, there's a good chance that you now can't get back into the original room. So sometimes it's no so easy to leave a blocked room via the free exit and come right back to it. Sometimes it's best to go further one more room before returning. For example, let's say rooms A, B, and C are connected via left and right passages like this:

    --A--B--C--


    If I'm trying to leave left from "A" but can't because a skull is there, I can go right to room "B". But then after I do this, the passage to go left back into "A" often becomes blocked too. So instead, if I leave "A" to go to "B" and then immediately leave to "C", I've found that the two-room path back to "A" is now usually clear.
  • Sound complicated? Don't worry. The good news is every room is eventually reachable, and there seems to be no secret sequence necessary to get to a specific room. Just move along the map until you get to the room you want, and if you encounter a skull, try looping around from the other side or going in and out of rooms until the skull leading to your destined room is no longer there. It's really not that hard to get to the room you want.
  • OK, here's a CHEAT!! I've found out a quick way to get directly though any passage that's blocked by a skull. When a skull appears, quickly hit your remote's previous track button (|<<) TWICE. The skull will disappear, and you'll then see yourself gliding into the passage skull-free!

DVD Contents - for a/v geeks only!

I initially wrote on this page that "there are actually 63 rooms in the maze, with 3 idential looking sets of each of the 21 unique looking rooms." I was completely wrong! The rooms are technically "menus" and not watchable clips, and thus not on any particular DVD chapter. The skulls really are random. However, I did find out that the same videos show up in more than one spot on the disc. Here's the title and chapter breakdown of the entire disc:

Title(s) Chapter(s) Contents
1 1-3 These are the introduction clips, namely the on-coming train, the opening credits, and the overview of the drawn maze, respectively. Note that the maze here doesn't match up in any way with the actual maze on the disc.
2 1-20 These are various animations of twists and turns in the maze. They're not always played as you go from room to room, but when they do play they're pretty much played at random .
3 1 The collage of flilm clips from Selmo Sami. You can get to this from the artist list. These various clips can be seen on the video screens in the maze just as you leave a room.
4-25 1-8

Titles 4 through 25 (except 11) are for rooms number 4 through 25 (yes, this is precisely why I gave the rooms the numbers that I did on the maps!) Each title contains 8 chapters. These 8 chapters are for the 8 different animations you can see when you select something in a room. This is also how I figured out the cheat method to get aruond the skulls:

  • Chapter 1 - exiting to the left
  • Chapter 2 - a skull blocking the left exit
  • Chapter 3 - exiting to the right
  • Chapter 4 - a skull blocking the right exit
  • Chapter 5 - going down the hole
  • Chapter 6 - a skull blocking the hole
  • Chapter 7 - zooming in to the top video
  • Chapter 8 - zooming in to the bottom video

So for example, if you're in the "candles" room and try to go down the hole, but a skull appears, then the clip showing this is located on the disc at title 4, chapter 6.

11 1-7 This is similar to the above, but for the secret room. The chapters in title 11 are as follows:
  • Chapter 1 - explosion clip
  • Chapter 2 - zooming into the "Mosture" video screen
  • Chapter 3 - zooming into the "Red Rider" video screen
  • Chapter 4 - zooming into the Resident
  • Chapter 5 - the new "Moisture" video
  • Chapter 6 - the new "Red Rider" video
  • Chapter 7 - the clip of the wormhole leading you back to the control room
26 1-4 These are the clips of the control room where you zoom into one of the first four videos.
26 5 In the control room, making the first right turn
26 6 In the control room, making the first left turn
26 7-9 These are the animations of being in the control room and going down the "10", "9" and "8" holes, respectively.
27 1-8 More scenes from the control room, just like title 26. Chapters 1-4 are the clips of zooming into one of the next four videos (Loneliness, Picnic Boy, Suburban Bathers, Love Leaks Out), while chapters 5-8 show the motions of exiting the room by going left, right, or down one of the three visible holes.
28 1-10 Just like the previous two titles, chapters 1-4 are the animations of zooming into one of the video screens (Handful of Desire, My Second Wife, Die In Terror, Coming of the Crow), 5-9 show the motions of exiting the room (there's left, right, and 3 different holes). But chapter 10 is show you zooming into the cat, which immediately takes you to 11:1.
29 1-9 Just like the other control room titles, for the final quadrant of the room. See above for details.
30 1-51 These are 51 of the videos you can select from various rooms of the maze. They're numbered as follows (versions done by the Residents are marked by an asterisk):
  1. Act of Being Polite*
  2. Moisture*
  3. Perfect Love*
  4. Simple Song*
  5. Phantom
  6. La La
  7. Picnic Boy*
  8. Nice Old Man
  9. Coming of the Crow*
  10. Handful of Desire*
  11. Loneliness*
  12. Suburban Bathers*
  13. In Between Dreams*
  14. Die In Terror*
  15. End of Home*
  16. Love Leaks Out*
  17. My Second Wife*
  1. Fingertips*
  2. Loss of Innocense
  3. Less Not More
  4. When We Were Young
  5. Moisture
  6. Love Leaks Out
  7. Secrets
  8. Margaret Freeman
  9. Japanese Water Color
  10. Coming of the Crow
  11. Floyd
  12. My Work Is So Behind
  13. Shut Up Shut Up
  14. Act of Being Polite
  15. Birds In The Trees
  16. Love Is...
  17. Picnic Boy
  1. Red Rider
  2. Troubled Man
  3. Tragic Bells
  4. Fingertips
  5. My Second Wife
  6. Ups and Downs
  7. End of Home
  8. Easter WOman
  9. Loneliness
  10. Simple Song
  11. Possessions
  12. Amber
  13. Handful of Desire
  14. Dimples and Toes
  15. Perfect Love
  16. Nameless Souls
  17. Medicine Man
38 1-6 The are the remaining videos you'll find selectable from the maze. Chapters 1-6 are as follows:
  1. Talk of Creatures
  2. Die In Terror
  3. Suburban Bathers
  4. And I Was Alone
  5. Give It To Someone Else
  6. EASTER EGG (Chimpanzee). You can't select this directly anywhere in the maze, but if you do select the "Give It To Someone Else" video from the "Candles" room, then click the next track button (>>|) while it's playing, you should be brought to the hidden clip.
31 1-51 Here you'll find exact copies of 51 of the videos. The only difference is that these videos are accessed from going to the main menu and selecing "Play All" twice, selecting the videos individually from the entire list of videos, or from an individual artist's page. Chapters 1-51 have the following videos:
  1. Amber
  2. Possessions
  3. Picnic Boy*
  4. La La
  5. Coming of the Crow
  6. Love Is...
  7. Phantom
  8. Moisture
  9. In Between Dreams
  10. Die In Terror*
  11. Loss of Innocense
  12. Less Not More
  13. Dimples and Toes
  14. Perfect Love*
  15. Handful of Desire
  16. When We Were Young
  17. Love Leaks Out
  1. Secrets
  2. Margaret Freeman
  3. Picnic Boy
  4. Japanese Watercolor
  5. Suburban Bathers*
  6. My Second Wife*
  7. Floyd
  8. My Work Is So Behind
  9. Fingertips
  10. Simple Song
  11. Shut Up Shut Up
  12. Act of Being Polite
  13. Loneliness*
  14. Red Rider
  15. End of Home*
  16. Birds In The Trees
  17. Troubled Man
  1. Easter Woman
  2. Coming of the Crow*
  3. Tragic Bells
  4. The Nameless Souls
  5. Love Leaks Out*
  6. Perfect Love
  7. My Second Wife
  8. Ups and Downs
  9. Fingertips*
  10. End of Home
  11. Handful of Desire*
  12. Nice Old Man
  13. Moisture*
  14. Loneliness
  15. Medicine Man
  16. Simple Song
  17. Act of Being Polite*
41 1-6 These are the remaining videos you'll find selectable from the full list of individual videos, videos selected from the artist pages, or the "Play All" option. Chapters 1-6 are as follows:
  1. Die In Terror
  2. Talk of Creatures
  3. And I Was Alone
  4. Suburban Bathers
  5. Give It To Someone Else
  6. EASTER EGG (Chimpanzee). Same deal as the last section.

The remaining chapters of the DVD consist of THIRD copies of 42 of the videos. These particular chapters are the ones only accessable by selecting a group of videos in "Play All" menu.

Video Group Titles & Chapters of these videos
STRANGER THAN NIXON
  • 32:1 - Medicine Man
  • 32:2 - Love Is...
  • 32:3 - End of Home
  • 32:4 - Picnic Boy
  • 32:5 - Margaret Freeman
  • 32:6 - Loneliness
  • 39:1 - Talk of Creatures
CRUISING IN CLOWTOWN
  • 33:1 - Amber
  • 33:2 - Perfect Love
  • 33:3 - La La
  • 33:4 - Fingertips
  • 33:5 - Shut Up Shut Up
  • 33:6 - When We Were Young
  • 40:1 - Die In Terror
LAND OF 1000 CHIUAUAS
  • 34:1 - Easter Woman
  • 34:2 - In Between Dreams
  • 34:3 - Troubled Man
  • 34:4 - Possessions
  • 34:5 - Act of Being Polite
  • 34:6 - Red Rider
  • 43:1 - And I Was Alone
QUICKER THAN BISCUITS
  • 35:1 - Love Leaks Out
  • 35:2 - Nameless Souls
  • 35:3 - Coming of the Crow
  • 35:4 - Possessions
  • 42:1 - Talk of Creatures
  • 42:2 - And I Was Alone
  • 42:3 - Give It To Someone Else
THE 4 ORIGINAL (1980) RESIDENTS MOVIES
  • 36:1 - Moisture*
  • 36:2 - Act of Being Polite*
  • 36:3 - Perfect Love*
  • 36:4 - Simple Song*
10 NEW RESIDENTS MOVIES
  • 37:1 - Coming of the Crow*
  • 37:2 - Die In Terror*
  • 37:3 - Picnic Boy*
  • 37:4 - End of Home*
  • 37:5 - Loneliness*
  • 37:6 - Love Leaks Out*
  • 37:7 - Suburban Bathers*
  • 37:8 - Fignertips*
  • 37:9 - Handful of Desire*
  • 37:10 - My Second Wife*

And there you have it. The entire contents of the Commercial DVD, chapter by chapter. One of my players lets me see just how many titles there are and exactly how many chapters in each. I copied the list down and filled in all entries. Because of this, I feel confident in saying that there are only two Easter Eggs on the disc.

Now if only "Icky Flix" didn't have so many control blocks on it...




    Written (except where otherwise noted) and contributed to GiantEyeBalls.com by Bill M..