davidn: (skull)
[personal profile] davidn
Now that Laura has escaped from a traditional family getaway where everybody tries to murder everybody else for various reasons and the guilty party was the one who happened to get there first, it's time to be judged on our performance. How did we do, Roberta?

Bugger. One tiny little degree of suspicion away from the top rating of Super Sleuth which would indicate we found everything. (The given rating blinks and I got the screenshot at the wrong time - I was rated as a Seasoned P.I.)

And before we exit the theatre - because this is, after all, still a stage performance - we finally get to take a look at that notebook that I thought would be a usable inventory item throughout the game.

I'm not totally sure how the Notebook works, but from researching around, it looks like anything you missed will be marked as INCOMPLETE - if you have a red line that says that in any category you've missed something there, and even if some of the lists consist of one entry, they're complete if we don't have anything saying otherwise. Some of the categories make it easy to see what went wrong in them... some are completely impossible.

For example, here, I would just have an INCOMPLETE if I hadn't befriended Celie, without much of a clue as to what to do otherwise if I hadn't. But I did, with the necklace - so that's everything done here.

This would be a more obvious category to complete - there are three food items to take in the game, and I got them all (soup bone, carrot, crackers). It wouldn't tell you what you missed, of course, but at least you know there's a piece of food somewhere in the game that you didn't take. It's something.

Another obvious one, which was taken care of by the walkthrough and my memory of [personal profile] kjorteo's experience with the second game. Always search the bodies! Because they'll disappear and be dumped in the basement.

I don't think there's any way to miss this one because they're such important events and I'm pretty sure finding bodies is vital to move time forward - but I'd be mildly interested to see just how little you can discover in this game in order to get the "barely conscious" rating.

That's a lot of secret passages! I don't think I actually stepped through them all - just finding the main ones in the house must open a lot of these up if it counts looking through the pictures as secret entrances.

Again, there's not much to go on here if you miss one of these. If you've found the place where it's appropriate to use an object a second time you're in luck, otherwise you aren't. (Did I use the diary more than once? I don't even think I did.)

Got the diary from the suitcase. You'd never know it was there unless you were spying at the right time.

Again, this is a secret within a secret!

Probably hints it's in the chapel, at least. I suppose you could miss this and do the rest of the chain as oiling the armour is a pretty obvious thing to do even without the clue to do so.

Things you successfully examined with the monocle. (I'm still annoyed about those fingerprints meaning nothing.)

Blimey, is this going to go on much longer? Things you found out by spying at the right time, not much in the way of guidance there.

There's the reason for that detour at the end - you have to see where each of these objects started and where they ended up.

Amazing to think you can just completely miss the game's best moment.

And here's our problem. We went on a bit of a journey here - first it was obviously Clarence, then Lillian, and finally we were told it was the Colonel. But what are we missing here? Is there some evidence that would change the course of the ending and reveal that Lillian was involved in the killings after all?

Finally, 9:45 is the first time that you're able to visit the attic. 24 pages! That's a thorough list of things that you can do wrongly.

Oh, thanks for condescending to me, Roberta Williams. Why don't you make your games a bit less impossible? All right, give us some hints.

The attic... what did I miss in the attic? I got there as soon as the walkthrough told me that it was open. Oh, I bet it was that fucking boot that I didn't examine with the monocle when I had the chance, then it disappeared later, so I didn't get to match it with the bootprint in the grounds. Is that really it?



Here?! Where you tricked me into thinking I'd found the ending?

That wasn't the ending! They went to all the effort to produce a whole fake ending for choosing the wrong person to shoot here! Did things like this happen in 1989, outside Choose Your Own Adventure? Were there other games with multiple elaborate endings like this?

So the Colonel really was sneaking around the house, hence the discovery of his cane and cigar when he presumably had to hurry back to his wheelchair when we were about to walk into one of the passages. But he didn't have as good (or indeed bad) timing as we did, and somehow didn't notice any of the killings or the bodies being dumped down the laundry chute.

You know, now that you mention it this story does sound a lot more likely than what Rudy told us. So having stopped the killer, why did Rudy suddenly decide to take her place?

How does he know this? Did Rudy take the time to explain his plan to him before attempting to murder him? That would explain why I had time to look in the doctor's bag. (Again, look at the amazing harsh lighting from behind achieved in EGA - the cyan looks weird if you look at it too closely, but as a whole it's great.)

A flare shoots into the sky and bursts like Disneyland. I've been there once for the fireworks show at the castle - it's a strange combination of the gentle melodies of "When You Wish Upon a Star" punctuated with deafening explosions.

The next morning(!!), the emergency flare gets a response with an entire two policemen in a tiny boat (I assume it's in a few hours, rather than literally the next day). No wonder the Colonel has a doctor living (well, until recently) on the island with him - one blood clot in the wrong place and you're dead out here.

"Except maybe to be rewritten in a less racist accent."

As for us...

Thanks! Sorry about desecrating the bones of your relatives, by the way. I wonder how much the bag of jewels was worth - she's still working as a reporter in the second game, but I would have thought there was enough there to make a huge difference to her life after going through this. Maybe she invested the money in the stock market somewhere around September 1929.

And so... even though it sounds like the game is trying to have the Colonel give a wise and profound moral here, they've really ended it on a bit of a downer. Just about everyone's dead, and the Colonel decides that his isolated lifestyle is completely justified because the one time he had a family reunion, most of them left in caskets. Oh well.

And that was it - that fairly major decision at the end was what gave me the top grade of Super Sleuth.

Obviously, of course, Lillian murdered the most people - the story that Rudy gave us in the other reality was false, but they did a good job of making it seem like it was plausible. There was another obvious clue to this that I forgot to even mention - look at the blackboard on the right hand side of the doll house during Act 8!

It wasn't even there when we first visited, but there are seven tally marks on it now - for Gertie, Wilbur, Gloria, Ethel, Fifi, Jeeves and Clarence.

And so, that really is the end this time - we've discovered every important event that there is to discover and the game is finally over. Thanks for going through it with me - I will write up some closing thoughts next time!
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