Judging by recent emails received, the thing that seems to be on the mind of most Tool fans these days is whether or not there is any truth to the rumors that the band will be doing an original/title/theme song for the video game DOOM 3. According to most of the emails that I've received, the genesis of these rumors appears to be a web posting from dated September 22, 2003 which claims that: "Sources who know what they're talking about tell us that the progressive metal band Tool is doing an original song for Doom 3. We'd love to bring you more details on this but the fear that some sort of demonic beast will spurt forth from our stereos, turn off all the lights and start eating away at our tummies prompts us to avoid talking about this any further. We'llbring you more information once we get rid of our stereo."

So, naturally, people are wondering if I can confirm this. Well, it just so happens that I bumped into Adam Jones at a toy convention here in Los Angeles the other day (he was with Camella, Buzz, Kevin Rutmanis, Junior, Brian Lustmord [of the dark soundscapes] and Traci) whereupon I asked him about TOOL's possible participation in Doom 3. At the time, Adoom and his friends were looking through some Tool bootleg videos being sold by a guy who seemed completely oblivious as to who he (AJ) was, which was kind of funny in light of certain things that the bootlegger was saying about the videos. This kind of reminded me of the biblical quote about entertaining angels unaware (HEB. 13:2, although I suppose there might have been a few xtians in the crowd who would have me change that to "fallen angels unaware").While talking to Adam about the current status of the Doom 3 project, I asked him if he'd ever heard of an old arcade game called POLYBIUS. He said he hadn't, so I proceeded to tell him what I knew about what sounds like a classic urban legend (or even more likely, a clever promo for a forthcoming Hollywood film), even though there seems to be many first hand accounts of people who have actually seen and played the game.



My interest in this vintage arcade game came from an email I received a couple of months ago. It began: "Dear Blair, I don't know if you're big on video games and such, but I thought this article would be of interest to you." The e-mailer then copied an article about Polybius which was posted on the site which reads: "GAME SUMMERY: We need information. GAME DETAILS: This game had a very limited release, one or two backwater arcades in a suburb of Portland. The history of this game is cloudy, there were all kinds of strange stories about how kids who played it got amnesia afterwards, couldn't remember their name or where they lived, etc.

(The bizarre rumors about this game are that it was supposedly developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group, used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA or something, kids who played it woke up at night screaming, having horrible nightmares. According to an operator who ran an arcade with one of these games, guys in black coats would come to collect "records" from the machines. They're not interested in quarters or anything, they just collected information about how the game was played. The game was weird looking, kind of abstract, fast action with some puzzle elements, the kids who played it stopped playing games entirely, one of them became a big anti videogame crusader or something. We've contacted one person who met him, and he claims the machines disappeared after a month or so and no one ever heard about them again. Until the ROM showed up. Here's what we've found so far: Found English strings "insert coin" and "press 1 player start" and "only" - looks like a 1 or 2 player game. Text in the game says "(c) 1981 Sinnesloschen." Maybe a German company. If anyone has heard any additional information about this game, we'd appreciate hearing about it."

(NOTE: Evidently the game is listed in some catalogs, though it is always listed as unavailable. Also, a title screen shot seems to exist, but this could easily have been faked or created by Photoshop. Also, I've read that there is a possible Soviet origin to the game).

In doing some research on my own, and reading the various comments posted by readers of the site, it is evident that, even if Polybius is just an urban legend or film promo, the whole thing nevertheless still contains elements of our old friends from The Nation of The Third Eye. Yep, that's right folks - those constructs of dark-matter, the MIBS. According to what I've read on the coinop site and elsewhere, the name Sinneschlossen is German for"senses-deleting" , "loss of senses" or even "senseless." Might the word "senseless" be a phonetic pun for 'cents-less?' If so, then this brings to mind the classic stories of the MIBs who threaten UFO experiencers by putting a coin in the palm of their hand and making it seemingly vanish into thin air before telling the witness that the same thing will happen to their heart if they don't keep silent on the subject. (NOTE: In a Tool newsletter from a couple of years ago [May 2002 I believe it was] I recounted the story of my one possible experience with an MIB while standing in line in a local Burger King restaurant. The strangely dressed man [he was wearing a black suit with a homburg-style hat], who seemed to be extremely confused as to whether or not a 'Whopper' was a hamburger as he understood hamburgers to be, paid for it [after standing at the counter for what seemed like an eternity] with five brand new-looking silver dollars, turning to me before they 'disappeared' [presumably into the cash register] and saying something to the effect that where he came from [a different time?] a hamburger wouldn't have cost near as much).


With this possible MIB connection in mind, it was amusing to read the comments of one person who claimed to have a Polybius game until a strange man came to buy it - even though the owner hadn't advertised it as being for sale! "They just came to me and wanted it very badly."

This (as well as other cliches and colloquialisms associated with the Polybius arcade game) should be very familiar to anyone who has studied the MIB phenomenon where the victims allow strangers into their homes and give them their valuable evidence (photos, etc.) but only days later wonder whatcompelled them to do so.

If a Polybius isn't a many-eyed monster (moon-star?) from Greek mythology, then he was a ancient Greek historian who among other things made the first mention of Thule (see the interview with Danny Carey in Dagobert's Revenge VOLUME 4, NO. 2 for a possible connection between the mystical Thule of ancient geography and the name of the band TOOL). Also see: THULIUM, rare-earth metallic element whose atomic number is 69.

Interestingly enough, Polybius also developed a Greek method of cryptography which substitutes numbers for letters - known as the Polybius Square or Checkerboard (a 5x5 grid of letters in which letters are represented by a two digit number - decryption consists of mapping the digit pairs back into the corresponding letters). For example:

T = 44

O = 43

O = 43

L = 13

Recall, that the arcade game was supposed to have certain puzzle elements.

But Polybius also wrote about something called anacyclosis, meaning internal decay of government or how democracy turns into tyranny:

"For who is so worthless or indolent as not to wish to know by what means and under what system of polity the Romans in less than 53 years have succeeded in subjecting nearly the whole inhabited world to their sole government, a thing unique in history (?)"

- Polybius



(for more information see Polybius and the Founding Fathers on the Internet)... However, "if you value your health, welfare and sanity, you must not reportthis matter to anybody."

On a personal note, it's strange but I just can't remember if I played Polybius or not while in Gresham, Oregon in 1981. Since that time, I sometimes sufferfrom bouts of amnesia, and I still have nightmares of the place... In fact, it feels like I'm forgetting something right now. So... I think I'll just answer another email:

Q: Blair, I have a question. I don't know if this topic has been addressed yet, but does Maynard have a car? I mean, does he support the Monster that is the auto/gas/oil industry? If so, what kind of car is it..?

A: An Octriga.

Okay, now I remember. In talking to Camella over a Stella or two or three at the pub on Sunday, I found out that after the toy convention Adoom and her and some of the others went to get something to eat at a place downtown. Junior (who does the lighting for Tool) was worried that the French Dip that Camella suggested would be too soggy so he opted for a ham sandwich instead. Now that IS strange. You don't have to dip it, Junior... (NOTE: Keep in mind that MIBs have been known to try to eat their green Jello with a straw).


I am very honored to announce that Tool's own Kevin Willis will be having an art show next Saturday night here in Los Angeles. Willis is a very talented painter and photographer whose work is familiar to most, if not all, Tool fans. His painting of Bill Hicks 'treating' Maynard was used for the artwork of Anima,and his canvases hang in the homes of the individual band members. He took the photos (including the cover shots) for the Modern Drummer magazine issues that featured Danny, and his work appears in several other magazines that featured Tool. He was the co-producer for nearly all of the band's critically acclaimed videos, and he even appeared in Stinkfist (where he was heavily flocked). Besides his contributions to so many Tool related projects, Kevin has also worked as an artist/photographer for A Perfect Circle, The Melvins Vendetta Red, Pretty Make Graves, Vells, and several other groups. But on Saturday night, fans of Tool and of Kevin's work will have an opportunity to both view and OWN some of the Seattle-based artist's latest pieces. Kevin also has a new website ( that should be up and running in a day or so (keep checking - it might be up right now). Willis, who lists as some of his influences: Ryszard Kapuscinski, Christian Amanpour, Adam Jones, Mario Giacomelli, and Raymond Pettibon, doesn't have art shows that often in LA,so don't miss your chance to meet him and check out his work. The opening will be October 11th from 7:00 PM to 10.00 PM. The address is 1269 E. 6th Street in Los Angeles (just off Alemeda). Then at around 11:00 PM, Wrangler Brutes take the stage. We hope to see all you serious art lovers at the show.



Photos by Camella and Kevin Willis

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