Banking & Finance in a Crystal Daze
On 23 May Forsters' six-strong Banking & Finance team as well as a plucky second year trainee, Heather McDonald, were transported back to the world of nineties game-showing when they took part in an immersive Crystal Maze "live experience".
Challenges were spread across four zones – Futuristic, Aztec, Medieval, and Industrial. Different faculties were pushed to their limits in order to get your hands on a precious crystal ball, with challenges including mental, physical and “skill” (apparently somewhere in between mental and physical), as well as mystery category for the real dare devils among us, of which there was only one – associate Dominic Lintner.
Dominic was also our self-nominated team captain, offered to go first and won us our first crystal – a real ruby amongst the rubble. His mystery challenge was skill-based and involved guiding a ball through a descending maze by selecting the nozzles which lit up the correct pathway. Most of us didn’t really understand what had just happened, but Dom did and that was the main thing. We were off to a flying start.
Next trainee Heather plumped for a physical challenge and had to swing her way through a galaxy of planets on spinning poles, avoiding floating off into the abyss for eternity (read: falling onto the black carpet) to reach the crystal ball at the end. Unfortunately, being at a slight height disadvantage, Heather’s leaps weren’t quite up to the challenge and she was swept away into space. Heather was locked away in the gallows and made to solve a riddle in order to secure her own release. Sadly the riddle defeated her and we were given the option of leaving her there for the rest of the game (tempting given she had now lost twice), or forfeiting a crystal ball in order to release her. It didn’t seem quite in the team bonding spirit to desert our comrade, so we reluctantly came to her rescue and our team of seven was reunited.
The “skills” challenge for newly qualified associate Louisa Long involved hanging up signs to reveal classic pub names (the Rose and Crown, the Coach and Horses, etc.) Despite the breadth of pub knowledge across the team, she was not quite quick enough to secure a crystal ball. Next up, we were forced to run to the Aztec room (partly to add to the sense of time pressure and excitement, and partly because there was a tight schedule and a lot of other groups to squeeze through the experience). Here, partner Tory Edwards tried her hand at the classic challenge of throwing hoops onto cruelly positioned bamboo hooks. Despite excellent technique, we missed out on another crystal ball.
Partner Simon Collins and senior associate Rowena Marshall went on to bag a crystal ball each. Their lucked turned however when Simon was faced with the scene of a gruesome murder over a game of poker and despite an excellent (albeit not quite up to the standards of Poirot) effort the murder was left unsolved. Rowena did a valiant job of crawling across a giant spider web to rescue a crystal ball. The web had bells hanging underneath it and Rowena’s task was to spread her weight and tread lightly to avoid the bells ringing more than three times. Unfortunately, the bells rang (at least) three times and we missed out on yet another ball.
Next up, associate Ben Rustin played to his strengths and stuck obstinately to physical challenges. Although the team teased him for his fear of mental challenges, the joke was on us as he successfully completed two challenges, including one that involved rolling back and forth in a large barrel transporting giant eggs. This brought the team’s grand crystal ball total to four (taking into account the one which we lost).
Finally, the bit we had all been waiting for and actually remembered from the show, the Crystal Dome. Catching the golden sweet papers being blown around the dome was surprisingly tricky and we were pipped to the post by a (shamefully, much smaller) team with 8 crystal balls.
Disappointingly we were not allowed to keep the satin bomber jackets or even wear them around on our adventures, but the photo below is proof of how becoming they were.
Learn more about our Banking & Finance team