Route Zero, otherwise known as Highway Zero or simply the Zero, is a mysterious, non-euclidean highway beneath the caves of Kentucky.
The Zero consists of a series of non-euclidean rings. Each ring is numbered to match an overworld road, with the exception of Route 65, which is two consecutive loops in Act II and three consecutive loops in Act III.
An unfinished map showing the shape and waypoints of the Zero can be found here.
The Zero is navigated by turning around at specific waypoints. Symbolic maps showing how to navigate the Zero may be seen below:
- These maps are used in pairs.
- These maps are not proportional. What matters is the direction you're heading and the waypoints you've passed.
- The on and off-ramps connecting the 65 and outer roads are symbolic; they do not exist as a physical stretch of road. Just turn around at the proper waypoint to instantly switch roads.
- Pay attention to the arrows – outer roads swap directions to minimize the need to switch between maps.
- Any waypoint that is not an on or off-ramp can be safely used for U-turns. If you pull a U-turn in this fashion, switch maps.
- The Rust Archives and Office Building can only be reached after reading Joseph's emails in Act III.
- Route 31 (via the feather)
- Route 65 (main route)
- Route 70 (via the TV)
- Route 84 (via the sandwich)
- Route 88 (via the scarecrow)
- Route 160 (via the anchor)
- Route 259 (via the bottle)
- Route 4641 (via the cathode ray)
- Route 8192 (via the crystal)
This section needs expansion.
- JOSEPH: Listen, you and Blue would've been driving up and down sixty-five all night. Dogwood Drive is on the other side of ... well, to get there you've got to take the Zero.
- LULA: Just navigating, apropos of nothing? The Zero doesn't work like other roads. You can't just drive and expect to find yourself somewhere. You must be more deliberate than when driving on surface roads. And, in a way, much less deliberate ...
- WILL: This old river-rat steers clear of weird highways.
- LULA: My most vivid memory is a parade of images, like a waking dream or a slide lecture I'll never understand: A television, a scarecrow, a crystal, a feather, a sandwich ... a CRT monitor, a bottle ... an anchor ...
- DONALD: Ah, you came from the road. The Zero. No, you should stay off that road. Not safe. Bizarre topology. You'll never get anywhere. It just brings you right back here.
- SHANNON: I'm starting to wonder if the Zero could be my 'third place' now ...