|“||I can assure you that while your location is not important, what these walls offer you is important: salvation, if you earn it.||”|
— John Kramer explains the rules[src]
Layout and Structure
The Nerve Gas House was a large, run-down, one-storied residential house. It is unknown when or by whom it was built. There were three known entrances to the building. The first one was a large front door leading to a huge entrance hall. The second entrance was a backdoor which was connected to the entrance hall as well through a small corridor. In one of the rooms, on the ground floor, was a trapdoor leading down to a wide-ranging network of underground tunnels. These tunnels offered a third way to access the Nerve Gas House, as they led to a large, abandoned plant, most likely a factory. A stairway in the main hall led up to the second floor which housed another set of different rooms. Additionally, the main hall also provided access to the basement of the house, which housed a large furnace that was probably used to supply the entire house with heat.
When John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, used the house for one of his dangerous games, he established some additional safety arrangements to prevent his victims from fleeing the house and to force them to play by his rules in order to survive. In order to secure the large, wooden front door, he installed another mechanic barrier on the outside. This barrier consisted of several, massive steel bars, which were positioned horizontally right in front of the door to block the way. Another, much smaller mechanism secured the room with the trap door, in which the game would begin. It consisted of a magnum gun, which was attached to a contraption at the door and aimed directly through the eyehole, as well as a gear system connected to the trigger. If someone on the other side tried to open the door with a key, he or she would subsequently activate the trigger, likely killing the person standing in front of the eyehole. Aside from these arrangements, John and his apprentice, Detective Mark Hoffman, set up several vicious traps all around the house. (Saw II)
At one point during his series of murders, John Kramer targeted the corrupt detective Eric Matthews, who had framed and arrested numerous innocent people throughout his career, including one of John's apprentices, Amanda Young. Therefore, they decided to set up a big game which was going to be directly connected to Eric's test. This game focused on seven people. The first one was Daniel Matthews, Eric's son, who had become estranged from him after he had cheated on Daniel's mother with his former partner, Detective Allison Kerry. The other people tested throughout the game were Jonas Singer, his manager Gus Colyard, the prostitute Addison Corday, the drug dealer Xavier Chavez, Laura Hunter and Obi Tate. Additionally, Amanda participated in the game as well and played as another victim primarily in order to observe the other prisoners' progress. To gain as much information about the test subjects as possible, Detective Hoffman provided John with their old investigation files.
To accelerate their proceedings, John convinced Obi Tate to help him with the abduction of Daniel Matthews and the other five people, while he prepared the traps for each one of them and placed numerous items, such as weapons, all around the house. When all of them were abducted and brought to the Nerve Gas House, Mark Hoffman abducted Obi as well and took him to the same location, making him the last test subject of the game. All of them were rendered unconscious and lay on the floor of a room with a large safe, which stood on the trapdoor leading to the underground tunnels. John placed a tape recorder containing the instructions behind a wall, along with a key and a warning message, and helped Hoffman to install the booby trap connected to the lock of the room's door. Having finished all of their preparations, John and Hoffman left the room, locked the door and started to pass a deadly nerve agent into the room. (Saw II, V)
Shortly thereafter, the prisoners awoke and were immediately frightened by the situation. Jonas tried to wake up Amanda, who was the last person to remain unconscious, while Addison yelled that someone should open the door. Xavier sarcastically commented that no one was listening, to which Laura responded that someone was and pointed at a camera. However, Daniel, who squatted in a corner out of fear, said that those kinds of cameras didn't record sounds. The group's concerns grew worse when Gus suddenly started to panic. Gus talked about a movie he had seen about a man who had been trapped in a room for nine years, which frightened the others, especially Laura, and caused a discussion with Xavier. They were quickly interrupted when Addison heard a ticking on the other side of the door. However, before they could find out what it was, Amanda suddenly woke up. Playing her role as another victim, she immediately pretended to panic and searched the room until she finally found the instruction tape, as well as the key and the message, which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room.
The tape told them that they were all breathing in a deadly nerve gas since the moment they arrived in the house. While the doors would open in three hours, the gas would already kill them after two hours. In order to survive, the prisoners had to find syringes containing the antidote, which were hidden throughout the house, with one of them being inside the safe. Additionally, Jigsaw informed them that they all had a connection and told them that the clue to this connection was marked with an "X". After listening to the tape, Xavier grabbed the key, and Amanda begged him to listen to the message which warned them not to use the key to open any door in the room. However, he refused to do so and tried to open the door, thus activating the booby trap and causing the magnum on the other side to go off and shoot Gus Colyard right in the eye. While the other prisoners panicked, Jonas demanded Amanda to tell him how she knew about the tape. She then told them about Jigsaw and his games and also revealed that she had survived one of his tests before.
As they now knew the amount of danger they were in, the group began to search the entire room. Daniel picked up Gus' jacket from the floor and used it to cover the latter's mutilated head. Moments later, the door of the room finally opened. Jonas was shocked when he saw the magnum trap that had killed Gus. Amanda tried to remove the gun and take it with her, albeit unsuccessful. Therefore, the group left the room behind. In the hallway, Xavier found a nail-studded baseball bat. Shortly afterwards, Addison also found a lamp, which she took with her. When they eventually reached the entrance hall, Xavier tried to open the front door with the key from the first room and angrily threw it away when it didn't work. However, Jonas grabbed the key and put it in his jacket. Furious and angry, Xavier tried to smash the door with the baseball bat. After this attempt failed as well, he got into a fight with Addison until Jonas intervened. Only moments later, Laura found a door which led them down to a boiler room. (Saw II)
Xavier took the lamp from Addison and slowly went down the stairs, followed by the others. Upon entering the basement, they found a mysterious hooded figure sitting at the table. Xavier placed the lamp in front of it and prepared to kill the figure, if he or she would move. However, when Jonas took the hood from its head, they realized it was merely a mannequin. A small envelope with the name "Obi" written on it was pinned to the mannequin's chest with a knife. Xavier grabbed it and opened the envelope, which contained an audio tape. When they played it, using the recorder from the starting room, it revealed to them that their fellow prisoner, Obi, had assisted Jigsaw in their abductions, causing Laura to recognize him. Furthermore, the tape told him that in order to redeem himself, he had to crawl into the large furnace in front of them, where two syringes with the antidote were waiting for him; one for him and one for another prisoner of his choice.
Upon this revelation, Laura recognized him as her abductor. Therefore, the group and Obi engaged in an argument during which Daniel asked who'd get the second antidote. Xavier yelled at him that they'd talk about that later on and instead threatened Obi with a knife and demanded to tell them how to get out. When Obi said he didn't know how to get out, Xavier slowly cut his throat to instill fear in him. However, he was interrupted when Daniel accidentally knocked down a large metal tub. Eventually, Obi agreed to crawl into the furnace, but demanded that one of the syringes was for him. However, when he grabbed the second syringe, the door of the furnace was suddenly locked and the furnace itself was activated. As the flames came closer to him, Obi started to panic and desperately tried to get out of the oven. While Jonas and Xavier tried to free him, the rest of the group, including Amanda, watched in horror as Obi was burned alive. Eventually, Daniel found a window on the other side of the furnace. When Xavier smashed it, Obi tried to crawl out but ultimately died in front of them. After they realized that the syringes were burned as well, the remaining prisoners left the basement, while Amanda remarked that it was his own choice that had eventually killed Obi.
Shortly afterwards, the group divided. While Jonas, Xavier, and Addison went upstairs, Amanda, Laura, and Daniel decided to stay on the ground floor in order to look for more of Jigsaw's clues, as well as the antidote. While searching the entrance hall, Laura, who was already severely weakened by the gas, collapsed and was comforted by Daniel, who held her hand and promised her that they'd get out alive. He then asked Amanda about the reasoning behind her first test, and Amanda revealed to him that she was previously a drug addict and also harmed herself to deal with emotional stress. She further told him that she was no addict before her time in prison and that she was innocently framed. However, she didn't tell him that it was actually Daniel's father who arrested her. As she was about to go upstairs, she was surprised by Jonas, who told them that they had found a door, which caught their suspicion, due to being the only one without a lock. Amanda, Laura, and Daniel followed him, while Daniel helped Laura to climb the stairs. (Saw II)
When the group went upstairs, Addison tried to open the door but remarked that it was stuck. Xavier then angrily shoved her away and attempted to open it by brute force, to which Amanda responded that the room was most likely a trap. Xavier sarcastically told her that the whole house was a trap and went on until he finally managed to open the door. Unfortunately, this caused a metal pin to be pulled out of a timer which was connected to another door. Daniel told Laura to wait in the hallway and followed the rest of the group into the room. An audio tape left for Xavier by Jigsaw told him that there was another antidote behind the second door. However, it would be locked permanently if he didn't manage to find the key in time. Moments later, Daniel found a pit full of thousands of used syringes hidden under a bed. According to Jigsaw, the key to the door was somewhere in the pit.
After listening to the tape, Xavier demanded that one of the others had to crawl into the pit and get the key. However, when they refused, he forcefully grabbed Amanda, who immediately started to panic. As the remaining members of the group were afraid of Xavier, they stood back and watched how he ruthlessly threw her in the pit. While the needles began piercing her skin, Xavier became more and more angry and yelled at her to hurry up. Frightened and in pain, Amanda rifled through the syringes until she eventually found one that had the key attached to it. When she threw it out of the pit, Xavier grabbed it and tried to open the door, while Daniel helped Amanda to climb out of the pit. Unfortunately, Xavier didn't manage to open the door in time and angrily tried to attack Amanda before being held back by Jonas. While Daniel carefully pulled the needles out of Amanda's skin, Xavier ultimately separated from the group. (Saw II)
Shortly thereafter, Xavier returned to the room with the antidote safe. Upon entering, he accidentally pulled the jacket covering Gus' corpse away. As he was putting it back, he suddenly discovered a red "2" written on the back of Gus' neck and finally realized the meaning of Jigsaw's clues from the instruction tape. Moments later, Jonas entered the room. Due to the effects of the nerve gas, he began to spit blood and threw up on the floor. In an attempt to convince Xavier to work together, he told him that they had more in common than he thought. Furthermore, he explained that he had enemies that would go after his family if they wouldn't get their hands on him. However, Xavier wasn't interested and instead told Jonas to turn around so he could see the number on the back of his neck. When he pulled out a knife from his waistband, the two of them engaged in a brutal fight, during which Xavier was heavily injured after Jonas kicked him right in the face. Unfortunately, Jonas lost the upper hand when the effects of the gas forced him on his knees. Embracing his opportunity, Xavier grabbed a nail-studded baseball bat which he had found earlier and brutally smashed Jonas' head. Stunned by the blow, Jonas turned around and tried to speak, but ultimately fell dead before he could mutter his finals words. After his death, Xavier checked the number in his neck, which was a yellow "16". After that, he went for the other prisoners and shouted for them, claiming he had found a way out.
At the same time, the others continued to search for more of the antidote, when suddenly Laura collapsed in a hallway, as she was seriously weakened by the gas. When Amanda tried to comfort her, Addison told them they couldn't stay, as they didn't have much time left. Fortunately, Laura noticed a picture on the wall which had large scratches on it that were shaped like an "X", and she remembered Jigsaw's first tape and realized this was the clue to their connection. Upon investigating the picture, Addison found a photo attached to its backside that showed Daniel and his father, Eric. This caused the group to finally realize that Daniel's father was the cop who arrested all of them by faking the evidence. Seconds later, Laura suffered from a seizure and died in Amanda's arms, who had desperately tried to save her. Laura's death and the revelation of their connection caused both Addison and Amanda to leave Daniel.
Following Jonas' death, Xavier went to the basement, where Obi had been killed after being trapped in the furnace. However, as the flames had only burned his lower body, Xavier was still able to find his number, a green "11". While he checked Obi's corpse for the number, Amanda re-entered the Antidote Safe Room after separating from the others and found Jonas' corpse. Alerted by this, she reunited with Daniel and told him they had to leave. Shortly afterwards, Xavier also found the corpse of Laura, whose dead body lay on the floor in a hallway after succumbing to the gas. He turned her over onto her belly in order to see her number: a purple "8". Moments later, Amanda and Daniel crossed his path, to which Xavier told them not to run away. Despite this, they tried to flee and ran to the Safe Room as Xavier pursued them. However, he stopped when he heard Addison screaming for help.
At this point, Addison had found another antidote on her own, which was glued to the bottom of a large glass box suspended from the ceiling by four chains. She found another envelope with a tape inside but threw it away as she didn't have the recorder with her. Instead, she tried to grab the antidote by inserting her hand in one of two holes on the bottom of the box. However, she accidentally pulled off the upper part of the syringe and therefore spilled the antidote. Ridden by fear and desperation, she put her other hand in the second hole. Unfortunately, there were razor sharp blades placed above the holes, which now prevented her from pulling her arms back out. Addison then started to cry and screamed for help. By following her voice, Xavier eventually reached the room. However, instead of helping her, he only checked the number on the back of her neck, a blue "9". After obtaining the number, Xavier slowly walked out of the room and closed the door behind him, leaving Addison for death.After abandoning Addison, Xavier took up his pursuit again and reached the Safe Room where Amanda and Daniel were hiding. When he tried to break through the door, Amanda grabbed the nail-studded baseball bat, which was still stuck in Jonas' skull, and used it to jam the door. Due to the odd shape of the puddle of blood emerging from Jonas' smashed head, Amanda realized there was a hidden trapdoor on the floor. With Daniel's help, she managed to push the heavy safe away and unlocked the trapdoor with the key found in the beginning of the game, which was in Jonas' pocket at this point. Only seconds after Daniel and Amanda went through the trapdoor and found the underground tunnels underneath the house, Xavier managed to open the door and continued to pursue them. Full of fear, Amanda and Daniel ran away and followed the tunnel until they found another door. When they entered the room and turned on the lights, the room was revealed to be a grimy industrial bathroom, where they found the decomposed corpses of Adam Stanheight and Zep Hindle, two other victims of Jigsaw's deadly games, who died several months ago. As there was no other way to escape the room, Daniel decided to sham being dead. Just a few seconds later, Xavier entered the room. When Amanda told him Daniel was gone, he told her that all he wanted from her was a number written on her and Daniel's neck, as those numbers were the combination to the safe which contained one of the antidotes. Amanda reminded him that he would still need her, as she was the only person left who could tell him about his own number. However, instead of asking her for help, Xavier eventually cut off the skin from his neck, with a knife he previously found in the basement, while Amanda watched in horror. When he was finished, he approached her, but was killed by Daniel, who suddenly jumped up and sliced his throat with the hacksaw previously used by Lawrence Gordon to cut off his own foot. As Xavier died in front of them, Amanda started screaming.
However, as she and Daniel were the only survivors left in the house, the time had come for the next part of her and John's plan. Amanda subdued Daniel and injected him with the antidote from the safe. Afterwards, she took his unconscious body with her and brought him to the Wilson Steel Plant, where Jigsaw was already waiting for her to arrive. (Saw II)
After taking Daniel to John's hideout, Amanda went back to the house where the big game took place. Disguised in a black cloak and a pig mask, she returned to the bathroom and lay down in the empty bathtub. Some time later, Eric finally arrived at the house. As John had showed him video recordings of the game in the building, which he thought to be a live broadcast, he assumed that the game was still going on and went in to find his son. John gave him the key and waited in the car as Eric entered the building through the backdoor. As he searched the house, he stumbled upon the dead body of Laura Hunter. He ultimately reached the room where the game had begun and also found the corpses of Gus Colyard and Jonas Singer, which already showed obvious signs of decomposition. Furthermore, he discovered the used syringe from the safe. Screaming for his son, Eric went through the open trapdoor at the floor of the room and entered the underground tunnel network. Upon following the tunnels, Eric eventually reached a grimy industrial bathroom where he found the remains of Xavier Chavez, as well as the other corpses. When he went further into the room, he found a lifeless body covered in the cloak and lying in an empty bathtub, which he initially believed to be his son. However, when he approached the person, which was actually Amanda, he was taken by surprise and injected with an anesthetic. Eric tried to shoot her, but due to the narcotic, he ultimately lost his consciousness. While he was unconscious, Amanda shackled him by the ankle to the same pipe as Adam Stanheight's corpse. (Saw II)
Following the end of the game and the abduction of Eric, Detective Mark Hoffman returned to the Nerve Gas House, where he disposed of the traps, as well as the corpses of the other prisoners. Additionally, he renovated the entire building and even refurnished it, giving it the appearance of an average residential house. (Saw V)
Six months after the death of John and Amanda at the hands of Jeff Denlon, another one of his victims, Hoffman eventually became the successor of his former mentor and continued his games. Unfortunately for him, Special Agent Peter Strahm had come close to discovering his true identity at this point. One night, Strahm observed Hoffman and followed him to the Nerve Gas House. After Hoffman entered the house through the backdoor, Strahm followed him. Aimed with his gun, he searched the building for Hoffman and ultimately found the trap door to the tunnels. In the tunnels, Strahm stumbled upon a blood trail on the ground left by Eric Matthews when he escaped from the bathroom. He traced it to the closed door of the bathroom but decided not to open it, as he was trying to find Hoffman.
Shortly afterwards, he found a room with a large glass coffin in its center. The coffin was filled with broken glass shards, as well as a tape recorder. Strahm grabbed it and played the message left for him by Hoffman, but stopped when he heard Hoffman's steps behind him. He quickly went into hiding behind the door and waited for the detective. When Hoffman arrived and entered the room, he found the tape lying on the floor, and Strahm calmly approached him from behind while holding him at gun point. However, Hoffman saw a reflection of Strahm in the coffin glass and therefore thwarted his surprise attack. The two men engaged in a fight and eventually Strahm managed to lock Hoffman inside the coffin. Seconds later, the door to the room closed, and Strahm furiously demanded Hoffman to tell him how to open it, but Hoffman just calmly pointed at the tape. When the agent listened to the second half of the tape, the coffin was slowly lowered down into a hollow space in the floor, while the walls of the room started to move towards each other. Strahm desperately tried to find a way out and angrily yelled at Hoffman. However, he was eventually crushed to death by the walls, while Hoffman averted his gaze in disgust. (Saw V)
- The entire house layout can be viewed by playing the virtual game on the second of disc of the Saw II Special Edition DVD. The CGI layout is extremely unrealistic and implausible for a house, as it is made up mostly of corridors, especially the second floor, which also contains a wall island in the middle of the hallways.
- In the original script for Saw V, it was written that Strahm would find the remains of the victims from the second film as he made his way through the house.
- In an early script for Saw II, there were numerous timers all around the house to inform the prisoners about their remaining time.