The Arcane sector is an old school (MMO)RPG game created by Gynvael for Dragon Sector CTF.

To get it running on local pc visit git repo and check instructions: Arcanesector Github

In this post, we will look at one of the tasks, maze.

First, we need to get /server/data/map.json which amongst other things contains a key for terrain.

We can load map with:

def load_map():
    with open('map.json') as f:
        maze = json.load(f)['terrain']
    return bytearray(maze.decode('base64').decode('zlib'))

Looking at data, we see that most of the values are in the range [0 - 10]. To visualize the map we have gotten we can use Python image library Pillow and map these values to colors. After tweaking the right colours and values we get:

MMO(RPG) map

And also we have gotten one of the flags by simply displaying map DrgnS{LookBeyondTheHorizon}.

From the map we can also get start and end coordinates of the maze:

START = (11, 523)
END = (309, 597)

Since the maze is huge, a recursive solution will quickly run out of stack. We could try raising the limit with sys.setrecursionlimit(5000) (default is usually 1k) but it won't be enough. Raising it further will just cause python to crash, so let's look at the iterative solution.

The algorithm is just BFS (Breadth-First Search):

  1. add start tile location to queue
  2. take the first path from the queue (if empty exit)
  3. check if we have reached END tile
  4. for each of possible moves (south, north, left, right)
    • check if it is possible (not wall or already seen), if possible mark it as seen and add it to queue
  5. goto 2


def solve_maze(maze):

    queue = Queue()

    while not queue.empty():

        path = queue.get() 
        pos = path[-1]

        if pos == END:
            return path

        for move in MOVES:
            new_pos = (pos[0] + move[0], pos[1] + move[1])
            i = idx(*new_pos)
            if maze[i] == WALKABLE_INDOORS:
                # Mark tile as visited
                maze[i] = 0 
                new_path = list(path)

And let's look at our solution in action: Maze solving gif

It takes around 7.6k steps to get to the exit.

Full solution can be found here.

- F3real