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[personal profile] davidn
All right, welcome back to Misty Hollows or whatever it's called, where we've currently got another dead body to interfere with.

Yep, he's dead.

But at least we get an item out of it this time! Oh, come off it - it isn't like he'll be needing it.

The monocle is the key to unlocking actual descriptions of items! Well, some. This isn't one of them. And it's not really possible to tell in the game itself, because if you look at the monocle you just get a picture of it. Also, unless the doctor had seriously messed-up vision, surely the monocle isn't going to do much for us except make everything a bit blurrier. Nevertheless, in this universe, it functions as a magnifying glass.

"EP" = Ethel prune. Wow, so the monocle really did give the doctor superhuman handkerchief identification after all.

I feel that this should be a revelation in a murder mystery, but here it was patently obvious that the poker was used to bludgeon the doctor. The greater mystery is how the assailant managed to cart his body all the way from the library to the chapel and dump him here without leaving a trail of blood behind them.

Moving on. This screen is actually to the east of the chapel, but here I'm approaching from the west because this is my playthrough and I'm constructing my own coherent narrative. That bell looks interesting. Well, let's not kid ourselves - I would never have picked that bell out as something I specifically needed to pay attention to, but the walkthrough tells me to.

Sigh. All right.

There's quite a funny animation here of Laura standing on tiptoe and jumping around a bit futilely trying to reach the ring on the rope. Fortunately we've got an item that we can use to extend our reach.

Aagh. All right, let's take a look.

Hi Ethel, how's life these days.

Right, here we go.

I replayed this about three times because the animation is absolutely bloody hilarious. When you ring the bell, it falls off its perch/mechanism/thing, comes straight down and bonks Laura on the head with a mighty BONG! She then compresses into it like a Looney Tunes cartoon, toddles over to the tree where she bonks into it and falls over. I even laughed at the pun at the end - this is the kind of fun death that I think Space Quest was quite good at, taking the edge off just how much it happened in these games. Of course, it would be even more fun if you could restore immediately instead of relying on happening to have saved, or if the way to avoid this was more obvious.

If you've typed this command, you've actually done everything right here - the only difference is in where you're standing when you do it. I'm not sure that I would have even tried this independently, as my expectation for an adventure game would be that typing the action would do the same thing as long as I was within range of the hot spot required to do it. Then again, Sierra never conformed to that - recall the boulder at the very start of the first King's Quest game that would, if approached from the wrong direction, just roll down the hill and kill you.

Anyway, now that it's safely down to earth, let's take a look at it.

You were just up there on the tower! Why couldn't you see it from there?

The next stop is the play house, which I wandered past several hours ago. Let's try interacting with some things this time.

And the general rot of the property claims another victim. At least we're not dead yet this time around.

This is another place where you have to explicitly open the door, perhaps because of the difficulty of just walking through it given its size. This next part is a bit weird.

Lillian is here but doesn't respond to any attempts to talk to her - she's completely engrossed in reading a book aloud to a collection of dust-covered dolls that obviously came from Freddy's pizzeria and have the souls of dead children trapped inside them forever. Strangely, in this room there is no response to "look doll" or "look bear" at all, not even a generic bit of text saying they aren't that interesting. I find it all vaguely unsettling.

This caused me to get flashbacks of the unsettling Judith which was about discovering progressively more horrifying things in various rooms and was based on Bluebeard's Castle, a variation of this grim Grimm fairytale. The gist of Bluebeard is of a forced marriage into a house that contains a hidden room with all the corpses of Bluebeard's former wives. Some people might call this a bit symbolic. In the story, the last wife survives, so let's try to be her - starting with getting out of this creep-hutch.

The effects of time compression take hold of the manor once again, as 9:45 rolls around almost immediately. Rudy's up to no good as usual.

As a (fairly tangential) side note here, why does anyone act surprised that furries exist? Quite apart from the vast corrupting influence of all the 90s cartoons, for decades people have described desirable women as "foxy", "bunnies", "chicks", "kitten" (and indeed "cougar"), the list goes on. Something deep in our psyche makes women seem more attractive if they're slightly more like rabbits. Does the same work on men? "Stud" is just about the nearest animal word I can think of.

Er, anyway. Back to making sure Fifi's all right.

She's... all right, generally speaking. Not dead, anyway, and that's satisfactory enough in this game. Again, there's nothing we actually need to do here. What's next, walkthrough?

It tells me to go down to the library, where we can finally take a look at that elevator.

That is, we could if it were here. Urgh. Well, the walkthrough says to check the door to it upstairs if it isn't, so here we go.

Great, it isn't here either. What now? The walkthrough now advises us to "curse the name of Roberta Williams forever".

Followed by just going in and out of rooms until it's eventually there. If the people who wrote this game, all the way down the chain, thought at any point that getting the player to rely on entirely random events was a fun mechanic, they were sorely mistaken.

Okay, here it is in the study. With the Colonel having gone somewhere, we're free to mess with it by just walking in and typing "go up"...

...and we reach the Colonel's bedroom on the upper floor. So far, so unsurprising. But what isn't immediately obvious is that you can type "go up" again to get this response. I'm not really sure if I would have interpreted this as "the lift can't go any higher" this is what we need the key for.

And this leads up to the attic! The elevator has moved to the left of the screen, but the layout of the house continues to make sense - this room is directly above the corridor in the centre of the house.

Let's have a look at those newspapers.

You can really tell you're the daughter of a detective.

Moving south is a bit confusing here - it took me to this screen again with Fifi's bedroom on the right (despite the setting, there isn't really a gash in the door made by an axe or something - it's just cut away so you can see where you are.)

But if you go back up and then move to the left of the screen before going down instead, you arrive here. It sort of felt that there was more to the attic than I'd seen, but this location is kind of easy to miss if you're unfortunate.

Vaguely interesting, but it didn't let me pick anything up.

And on the way out, we unlock the door, so we should be able to get back up this way next time.

Back downstairs now, our next arbitary destination is the billiards room again.

Gloria's still here, listening to - oh no, suddenly it's act 4 and I've got to stop
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