Wednesday 28 August 2013

Game 34: The Colonel's Bequest - The Calm Before the Storm

Laura Bow Journal Entry 6: "Could an hour have gone past without anyone being harmed? Somehow I doubt it! I fear my father wouldn't be very proud of me right now. I just don't seem to be able to put all the pieces of this puzzle together and form any sort of picture. Everyone seems a legitimate suspect, with items found at each death scene pointing to a different guest. Everyone seems to have a motive too, meaning I'm aimlessly wandering around witnessing an entirely family being massacred, powerless to stop it. Come on Laura! Think!!!"

 Act V: Where Laura Collects More Murder Weapons for Safekeeping

It appears things will move much more quickly now (from both playing and blogging points of view). The main reason for this is that there really aren’t all that many guests left to keep track of, but it also helps that I now know the environment pretty well and have asked everyone just about everything I can think of. Act V started a bit differently to the last few, as I had no real evidence to suggest anyone had been murdered. The fact that the progress clock had appeared when I’d found Ethel stumbling around drunk had made it clear to me that she was more than likely the next victim though, so I set out to find her body. It seemed logical to follow the route that she’d been taking in her oblivious state of mind, so that’s exactly what I did. Once I reached the fence at the southern end of the island, I found an item on the ground that hadn’t been there prior. A closer look revealed that it was a rolling pin, which I picked up. “As you pick up the rolling pin you notice a muddy footprint nearby.” Oh great, another footprint! Just as with the last footprint (that I’d found in the billiards room where Gloria was killed), I couldn’t find anything to do with it, but I had a strong sense that I was supposed to.

 "You look at it but decide not to describe it to the player at all. Best to leave him in the dark!"

It seemed to me that the rolling pin was the likely murder weapon, most likely used to make Celie look like the perpetrator. I moved on, dropping in to check out the carriage house on my way. Ethel’s body was there, dropped into the boat with MINNOW written on it! “This is dreadful!! Poor Ethel has been hit over the head and killed!” I searched the body, but this time came up empty handed. There appeared nothing else to do there, so I made my way back to the house to see where the remaining guests were situated. I’d made a habit of starting upstairs, and was surprised when the progress clock appeared in the very first room I entered. Henri and Lillian were having a conversation, but my entering the room had interrupted them. I knew exactly what to do obviously, and made my way into the hidden room that looks upon Henri’s bedroom to spy upon them. Lillian: “Why are you treating me this way, Uncle Henri? Don’t you care how I feel? Don’t I matter to you anymore?” Henri: “You matter to me the same way everyone else does. No more... and no less.” Lillian: “But I don’t understand it! I thought I was special! I thought you cared for me more than for Gloria, or Rudy... or any of the others!” Henri: “You’re right; YOU thought that. You were wrong.”

 The fourth murder finally made Laura realise that something terrible was going on! into that elevator in your wheelchair! Isn't it too big?"

The two of them continued on in this fashion for a short while, before Lillian stormed out declaring:  “Somebody’s behind this, I just know it! And I intend to find out who it is!!” I questioned Henri, but had the same amount of success I’d had since the game started. None! I checked out the other rooms upstairs, but the only thing of note was the “faint aroma of perfume” I could apparently smell in the other hidden room. Clearly someone other than Henri had been spying on people from there, and since Lillian, Fifi and Celie were the only women left, I figured it most likely to be one of the first two. I climbed the stairs to Fifi’s room on the top level of the house. I was then witness to a rather provocative scene, with Fifi stripping down to nothing and then putting on a white dress. She then sat at her vanity and began doing her makeup. Was she preparing to meet Jeeves? When I’d finished coercing with the maid, I made my way down to the ground floor, deciding to go and see what Polly the parrot had to say for this act. Walking into the parlor brought the progress clock up yet again, and I noticed Clarence sitting by himself having a drink.

Adventure Game Desperation 101: "Pick up faint aroma of perfume"

 Watching a French woman undress made me think I was playing Emmanuelle for a second!

Fifi is definitely getting ready for some action!

I watched, but nothing of note happened. Did this mean that Clarence was going to be the next to die? Even though I thought the game was setting him up as the obvious yet incorrect suspect, I didn’t think it likely that he would be taken out at this stage. I set about asking him lots of questions, hoping that the reason for the trigger might make itself known, but found out little of interest. I therefore turned my attention to Polly, giving her another cracker in return for a repeated comment. “Jeeves! Kiss me again! AWWKK!” Once again this was something I already knew about, as I’d seen Fifi and Jeeves kissing at the end of Act IV. I left the parlor and entered the dining room, stunned to find the progress clock on the screen yet again, ticking over to 11:45! This was all happening too fast, and I wasn’t filling in very many cells on my guest location spreadsheet. Rudy was sitting at the table having a late night meal, with no-one else in sight. As with Clarence, I questioned him about just about everything, and it probably goes without saying that I learnt nothing of note. Now I was confused, as that made two trigger points where nothing was actually happening! They couldn’t both get murdered at the end of the act...could they??!!

 Oh please let Clarence be next!

Rudy did at least confirm that the cigar butt looked like one of Henri's.

I continued my rounds in the house, hoping to mark down where anyone else was at 11:45. Clarence and Rudy were both still in the dining room and parlor respectively, so I went back upstairs to see whether Henri and Fifi were still in their rooms. On entering Henri’s room, I found him gone, and yet the progress clock appeared and moved on to midnight, with the words Act VI below it! I’d managed to find all four trigger points in around twenty minutes! I was at a loss to explain what had happened at each of the triggers too, apart from the first one where Lillian and Henri’s conversation was clearly the focus. Normally I was fairly certain who the next victim was, but Act V seemed to suggest that any of Henri, Rudy or Clarence could be about to lose their life. I looked carefully at Henri’s room to see whether there was evidence of foul play, but all I was told was that “the Colonel’s wheelchair sits empty in the middle of the room.” I decided the best course of action was to restore back to 11:00, and then avoid the trigger points as much as possible while I set out to find where the other guests were at each point in time.

 I'm beginning to think that the Colonel can walk unassisted. Could he be killing his own family members?

This proved pretty uneventful. I found Jeeves in the cellar getting dressed and having a shave. It looked even more likely that Jeeves and Fifi were soon going to be meeting up for a romantic interlude, especially when I noticed the bouquet of flowers on his bed. Jeeves had been unwilling to give me any information during any of the acts, and this one proved no different. “I’m tired. I don’t want to converse.” With Jeeves ticked off the list, I made a beeline for Celie’s shack, noting that she was no longer knitting on the porch. I knocked on her door to find that she was still home, and still didn’t have any time for me. I then paid a visit to all of the outside locations, just in case I found anything at any of them that might give me something new to interact with or think about (I did see the ghost in the cemetery again though). In the end I had to accept that either nothing much occurred during Act V, or that I’d missed something that I simply wasn’t going to find now. It was time to find out who was still in the running for Henry’s fortune! Act VI here I come!

 It's not surprising Fifi loves Jeeves, what with his natural charm and all!

Well it's just good manners to ask how her health is these days!

This is what I make of Act V
  • Lillian began the hour arguing with Henri in his room before leaving for an unknown destination. Henri stayed in his room until 11:45, at which point he left (or was taken)
  • Fifi stayed in her room for the entire hour, getting all dressed up and putting makeup on
  • Clarence stayed in the parlor for the entire hour drinking
  • Jeeves stayed in the cellar for the entire hour, getting dressed and shaving
  • Celie stayed in her shack for the entire hour
  • Rudy stayed in the dining room for the entire hour, eating a late night meal

 If this spirit plays no role in the game, I have to say that it's very strange to include it!

Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 00 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

Monday 26 August 2013

Game 34: The Colonel's Bequest - Under the Influence

Laura Bow Journal Entry 5: "I really wish I never accepted Lillian's offer to come to this "family reunion". Everyone here seems determined to inflict bodily harm on one another, often resulting in death! I found Gloria's body in the gazebo. I wasn't even shocked, which says a lot about what I've already experienced in the last few hours. What the hell is going on here!? Henri is spying on everyone. Lillian is acting crazier by the minute. Fifi and Jeeves are having a secret relationship. Rudy and Clarence are at each other like they intend to kill one another any moment! And now I'm pretty sure Ethel is dead too, which she likely would have caused herself anyway through excessive alcohol intake! If I have to stay on this island for the rest of the night, I'm at least going to figure out who is behind all this killing!"

 Well no-one can say that the cigarettes killed her!

I’ve witnessed another Act of The Colonel’s Bequest. I say “witnessed”, because I’m afraid that’s all I’m really doing. My actual interaction within (and affect on) the storyline and events is so minimal, that all I’m really doing is trying to figure out what everyone else is up to around me. That’s not to say that I’m losing interest, which is probably what makes it all a bit frustrating. I’m very much focussed on figuring out who is behind all these murders, and am strangely still enjoying the process of finding who was where and when. So either I really suck at The Colonel’s Bequest, which is a distinct possibility, or the “puzzles” I’m supposed to solve are so imperceptible that I’m not even aware of them. I have stacks of items in my possession now, but I can’t think of any way to use any of them. As soon as I do, putting my genius plan into practice always seems to result in me dying a horrible death (the bell tower, the coat of armour etc.), and I really can’t imagine how all of a sudden there are going to be puzzles everywhere that require all this stuff, particularly as I’ve explored the entire environment in and out. All I can do is push on, and keep doing my best.

This is that spreadsheet I keep talking about. The highlighted bits are the trigger points as I experienced them.

Act III ended with Gloria disappearing from the billiards room. There were some pieces of a broken record and a pile of pink feathers on the ground near the Victrola, so I took a closer look. While I was walking towards it, Jeeves followed me into the room with some sort of cleaning device. Before I had any chance to investigate, the damn butler “vacuumed” up all the evidence! I restored, and this time rushed across the room to give myself some sort of opportunity to check it out. I picked up the broken record, and was given the following message: “As you bend down to retrieve the largest piece of the broken record, you notice some spots of mud on the rug.” I then looked at the mud and found that it was a partial footprint, but given no further details. Figuring I was supposed to do something with the footprint, I put some thought into what that might be. My first thought was that I was supposed to use my notepad and pencil somehow, but everything I tried (“draw footprint”, “trace footprint”, “use notepad and pencil on footprint” etc.)  failed. Nothing else in my inventory seemed useful in the situation, so eventually I just had to let Jeeves clean it up. The pink feathers were obviously from Gloria’s boa, and I wasn’t able to pick those up.

This piece of broken record is bound to be useful though right!!!???

So now I had a broken piece of a record! What could that possibly be used for? I decided my best course of action was to do what I’ve done in every other act. Try and find everyone and then watch what they do over the course of the next hour. The first place I entered was the library, where once again Jeeves entered the room and cleaned up the feathers that remained after Wilbur had been killed. I then entered the study, and was surprised when the progress clock appeared and moved on to 10:15. That didn’t take long! Lillian was in the room, and was going through one of Henri’s armoires. She hadn’t noticed that I was there, and spoke to herself: “What an interesting collection of weapons Uncle Henry had! I wonder... Oh, Laura!... you startled me!” Lillian then walked over and sat on one of the chairs. Was this another attempt at making me think Lillian was behind everything, after she’d been acting very strangely in the playhouse during Act III? I asked her lots of questions to see if I could find anything out. The only “success” I had was finding out that the cane I’d discovered in one of the hidden rooms did indeed belong to Henri, as I’d assumed. “I’m sure that’s Uncle Henri’s cane. Why are you carrying it around, Laura?” Telling Lillian about Wilbur resulted in her going to the chapel to see the body for herself, only to return and tell me that I was “just imagining things”.

...if he'll miss this DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle?

Once I’d run out of people and events to talk to Lillian about, I restored my game back to 10:00 so I could try to find out where everyone else was at that time. The next room I visited was the parlor, where I found Fifi madly cleaning. I threw all the questions I could at her too, but got nothing interesting out of her either. Even Polly couldn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know! When I gave her a cracker, she said “AWWKK! I’ll teach her! AWWKK! She can’t break up with me!” This was clearly spoken by Clarence, and since her was already an intentional main suspect, didn’t change anything. I made my way upstairs, and found Henri in his room, smoking a cigar in his wheelchair as usual. I showed him the cane and even tried to give it to him, but he only responded with “Put it back where you found it!” I was starting to see a pattern with Henri though, which is that he disappears around quarter to the hour, every hour. I was keen to see whether he would once again disappear at 10:45, but would have to wait to find that out. After I’d checked out every room in the house, I made my way outside and set off to see whether Celie was still in her shack.

I fear I'm going to run out of crackers before I get something really useful out of Polly

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been gradually revealing all the screens outside the house so as not to hijack one particular post with stacks of new locations. Thankfully, Act IV just happened to force me into almost all the screens I haven’t yet revealed, mostly thanks to what occurred on my way to Celie’s. As I made my way east of the well, I came to a screen with a gate leading into a hedge surrounded area. The clock appeared and ticked over to 10:15 again, and I witnessed Clarence walking north up the side of the hedge and off-screen. I was obviously meant to follow him, but before I describe that I’ll reveal what’s behind the gate. Beyond it was a small garden with a fountain in the middle. There were urns in two opposing corners and a statue of a nymph overseeing the scene. The urns were empty, and I couldn’t find anything to do with the fountain or the statue. That’s all there is to say about that, so let’s get back to following suspect number one. Clarence walked by Celie’s shack, and the maid was sitting in her rocking chair knitting on the porch. I paused to ask her questions (typing pauses the game so I didn’t have to worry about Clarence getting away from me), but like the others, Celie gave me nothing that seemed important.

 See that brown thing that looks like part of the tree? That's Clarence walking away from me.

I've always wondered if your green is different to mine. Apparently it is!

Oh, so you've got time to knit though! I see how it is Mrs Brown!

I followed Clarence east, entering a screen containing a bridge crossing a small stream. The bridge was broken away in the middle, meaning there was no way to cross it. Clarence then went south into a swamp-filled section. There were a couple of threatening looking alligators there, but otherwise there was nothing to look into further. Clarence continued in that direction until he reached the fence at the southern end of the estate, then turned west. I followed him to the driveway and then into the garden in front of the mansion (the one with the statue of Colonel Henri in it). There Clarence stopped, and faced off with Rudy, who was standing at the other end of the pathway. The clock appeared and ticked over to 10:30, then the two of them got down to business! Rudy: “Get out of my sight, JERK!!” Clarence: “NO! YOU get out of MY sight!!” Rudy: “WHY, YOU...!!” Rudy and Clarence starting laying into each other, and it wasn’t long before Rudy landed a brutal right that floored Clarence! Rudy: “Don’t mess with me, BUD!! Just stay out of my way!!” When Clarence had recovered, he stood back up and shouted “You ain’t heard the last of me, RUDY! I’ll get you for this!!”, then they both stormed off in opposite directions.

MacGyver pondered how he was going to fix the bridge with only a broken record, a monocle and a crowbar

Great, that's just what we need around here!

Is that all you've got?

If neither of these guys is the murderer, it seems likely that they will be before the night is out! The scene was entertaining alright, but it got me wondering what Rudy had been doing prior to the main event. I restored my game back to 10:00 and went looking for him, finding him just to the west of the study entrance. He too walked around from screen to screen before arriving at the scene of the fight, proving it was possible to end up at the 10:30 boxing match by following either of its combatants. So now I knew where three out of four main trigger points were for Act IV (discovering Lillian in the study, finding either Rudy or Clarence walking about, and watching the fight scene), but I hadn’t yet come across the last and most critical one. Who was going to die next? I hadn’t found Gloria’s body either, so it was time to go hunting. I walked from screen to screen until I reached a gazebo in the south-east part of the island. Normally there would be nothing to examine there, but this time I found Gloria’s body, lying spread-eagle on the ground. I searched her body, expecting to find some other item to add to my up until now completely useless inventory. Apart from finding that she’d been “viciously strangled with her feather boa”, I uncovered nothing of interest.

 Death by boa-constrictor!

Since there was only one guest left that I hadn’t accounted for in Act IV, I set out to find Ethel. I wondered if she was still stumbling about blind drunk the way she was in the third act, so made my way towards the bell tower where her faltering route had started previously. I didn't make it that far, finding her on the driveway in the middle of one her aimless, intoxicated excursions. The progress clock appeared, making me certain that poor old Ethel was the next target. I followed her, but she disappeared at the same point that she always seemed to. I figured I was going to find her body in Act V, tucked away in one of the outside locations, so decided it was time to go around and fill in all the gaps on my spreadsheet. I found a few interesting things too, but none more surprising than what I walked in on in the dining room at 10:45! I guess I’d considered it a possibility earlier in the game, but I still hadn’t expected to walk in on Jeeves and Fifi throwing their cleaning equipment aside so they could pash like teenagers! Jeeves even pinched Fifi’s bottom when she reached down to collect her feather duster, naughtily raising his eyebrows at the player in the process.

Come on Ethel, I have a nice cup of brandy waiting for you inside!

Oh Fifi! You can do much better than this Lurch lookalike!

Another interesting find occurred when I entered one of the hidden rooms. Just as I’d discovered the cane earlier, this time I found a cigar on the ground. It was pretty apparent now that Henri had been spying on people from the hidden rooms! The thing I needed to figure out though was whether this is all he was doing when he left his room at quarter to each hour, or whether he was involved in things more sinister. I should also mention that I found a bug during this “housekeeping” period of the act. Lillian had disappeared from the study around 10:45, making me wonder where she’d got to. I found her in our room, lounging on the bed, although the game didn’t seem to think that she was there. Trying to look at her or communicate with her both resulted in the game telling me “You must be confused. Lillian is not here.” I ended my session by playing through the act completely, as opposed to the piecemeal approach I’d been taking. I’m still keen to continue on and see what happens, but I’m beginning to wonder whether I’m simply approaching the game in a way that doesn’t really apply to it. Perhaps all my attempts to find uses for items I’ve found are futile, and they only serve as evidence? If that’s the case, I’m currently walking around an island where family members are being killed off one at a time, with me being the only non-family person there, all the while holding onto each of the victim’s items and what I assume are murder weapons. Good plan huh!

This little guy was tricky to see!

Au contraire, I believe it is you that is confused!

This is what I make of Act IV
  • Lillian spent most of the hour in the study checking out Henri's weapon collection, before heading up to her room for a rest.
  • Ethel continued on in her drunken stupor before apparently being killed at around 11:00pm.
  • Henri stayed in his room until 10:45, at which point he disappeared, probably into the hidden rooms to spy on people.
  • Fifi and Jeeves spent the entire hour cleaning up around the place, only pausing to kiss each other passionately in the dining room just before 11:00.
  • Clarence and Rudy walked around outside before confronting each other in front of the house. They got into a fight, before leaving the scene to unknown destinations.
  • Celie never left her chair on the porch of her shack, where she spent the hour knitting.

 Act V... Fight!

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 00 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

Sunday 25 August 2013

What's Your Story? - Cro Gamer

Since my act by act posts are taking a little bit longer to get out for The Colonel’s Bequest, this seems a good time to introduce one of our newer (and younger) readers. To think that when I was his age, I was playing some of the games we’re about plunge into for 1990! Welcome to the blog Cro Gamer!

 Cro Gamer: From the look of things, I'm quite glad I didn't run into him during my visit to Croatia a few years back.

My home country is... Croatia.

My age is... 13.

The first adventure game I played was... I think Sam & Max Season 1. Don't know what episode.

If the episodic version of Sam & Max is anywhere near as good as the original, I'm in!

When I am not playing games I like to... visit sites like your blog, Adventure Gamers or Adventure Classic Gaming.

I like my games... in a box format.

My favorite adventure game is... Dracula 3, Cognition, or Blackwell series. I can't decide.

I have to admit that I long for graphics like this. It's been a long time!

The thing I miss about the old games is... the old Sierra deaths.

The best thing about modern games is... that they are in position to make better and more complex stories.

The one TV Show I never miss is... Doctor Who.

Everything seems to be pushing me to watch this show these days. I think the time might have come!

If I could see any musician alive it would be... Skrillex.

My favorite movie is... Sherlock Holmes 2.

One interesting thing about me is... that I am a sucker for horror adventure games like The Cat Lady.

 Is this game actually good? It sure looks unique.

If anyone else wants to send their What's Your Story responses through and get 20 CAPs in the process, please send them to

Friday 23 August 2013

Game 34: The Colonel's Bequest - The Presence of the Dead

Laura Bow Journal Entry 4: "How horrible! I found Wilbur's body in the chapel! He'd clearly been hit in the head with a very heavy object, and I hope I never see such a sight again in my lifetime. I'm beginning to fear that my lifetime may not actually be very long, as now another family member has gone missing under strange circumstances. This time it's Gloria, and once again the things I've heard clearly suggest that Clarence could be involved. I wish the remaining guests would be more forthcoming with information! They're all either drunk, tired or downright hostile! Well, I guess Lillian isn't...but she's acting more than a bit odd right now, reading books to dolls in the playhouse and all. What a terrible night this has turned out to be!"

 Act III: Where Laura Realises That She's Dead, Simultaneously Explaining Why Everyone Has Been Ignoring Her

I don’t actually know how many acts there are in The Colonel’s Bequest. I’ve purposely not looked it up so as not to affect the way I play the game. I imagine there can’t be too many though, as the amount of characters drops by one at the end of each of them. Act III began with Wilbur suddenly disappearing from the library. I immediately set about investigating the room, firstly focussing my attention on the magazine that Wilbur had been reading. "It’s called The Racehorse Quarterly. Upon examining the open page you see a picture of a beautiful thoroughbred named Sunny Boy. The name Sunny Boy has been circled in red." Clearly Sunny Boy was the horse that Clarence and Wilbur had purchased with the 100K they’d stolen from Henri. I wasn’t able to pick up the magazine, so I tried to figure out what the items were that were strewn around on the floor. There was some sort of bar, and what could possibly have been blood just off to the side of the carpet, but typing look at “bar” or “blood” came back with nothing. It was then that I noticed that one of the pokers was missing from next to the fire, and compared screenshots from earlier in the game to confirm that view. Yep, there were definitely two before and now there was only one!

 Sounds like he might as well have crossed it out

I typed “get poker” and got the following message: “As you retrieve the fireplace poker your eyes happen to fall upon some small pink feathers scattered upon the floor.” Aha! I’d solved both mysteries at once! I looked at the feathers and was told that “they look like they may have come from a pillow...or...a feather boa!” Clearly I was supposed to think that Gloria had been involved in Wilbur’s death, as she has a pink feather boa on her at all times. I didn’t believe that for a second though, particularly as I was convinced she would be the murderer’s next victim. It seemed to me that the killer was leaving misleading clues to put whoever found the bodies off their scent. If I was correct, then I could pretty much rule out anyone that seemed connected to each act of violence. I stopped thinking ahead though and got on with my investigation. I wasn’t able to pick up the feathers, and couldn’t find anything else of interest in the room, so I left to test a theory. If I was right that Gloria would be the next victim, which would therefore point the finger even more firmly at Clarence, then if I walked into a screen with Gloria on it, the clock would appear but nothing would happen (she would only be killed at 10:00pm).

 Because they weren't at all noticeable on the blue floor prior to that

I saved my game and entered the billiards room, since that was the last place I’d seen Gloria. She was still there, sitting in the chair in the corner. Just as I’d expected, the clock appeared, but nothing happened! Gloria was going to be the next victim! I’d missed finding out where any of the other remaining house guests were located between 9:00 and 9:15 though, so I restored my game to 9:00 and went looking for them. I also intended to tell anyone I came across about Wilbur’s death, and to show them items I had in my possession. I really hadn’t had much luck getting valuable info out of anyone yet, so I wanted to put more effort into it. The first guest I found was Fifi, who was reading a book in her room. She didn’t believe me when I told her about Wilbur, and didn’t seem interested in the things I showed her. I moved on to Henri’s room, where I found the old man in his wheelchair, smoking a cigar as usual. He was as gruff as he had been every other time I tried to talk to him, and gave me little to nothing. I entered the other guest rooms until I walked in on Clarence and Rudy mid-conversation (the clock ticked over to 9:15). “This ain’t for you, kid!” was all Rudy had to say, meaning I was going to have to spy on them from a hidden room.

 Either I'm reading the game well or the creators are toying with me. Perhaps both!

Can't say I want anything you're offering anyway!

I went to do exactly that, yet was surprised to find an item sitting on the floor in the hidden room. It was an old cane that someone had obviously left behind. I picked it up, immediately thinking I might be able to use it to ring the bell at the tower. Peering through the eyes in the portrait, I witnessed the following: Clarence: “Who is this so-called director that Gloria’s seeing now?! Why, I oughta punch his lights out for getting between me and my gal!” Rudy: “Gloria was never your gal. Just because she went out with you a couple of times, you thought you owned her? Well I got news for you, buddy! sister doesn’t need to settle for the likes of you! As a matter of fact, you were nothing but a mere dalliance for her!” Clarence: “Dalliance! HAH! Why, YOU’RE the one who can’t make a commitment to anyone. You’re just trying to sink Gloria down to your lousy level!” Rudy: “You ain’t good enough to kiss the ground she walks on! You’re nothing but a low-class jerk!” Clarence: “Quit buttin’ in between me and Gloria! This is none of YOUR business! I’ll handle it the way I want and I WON’T be asking YOUR permission!” Rudy: “I’m warning you, Jack! If I see you near my sister again, I’ll cut you up into little pieces and feed them to the dog! GOT IT?!!”

Someone else that knows about the hidden rooms, no less!

Note to self...check Beauregard's bowl regularly

Well, that was one brutal argument! The pattern of the game so far is to knock anyone off that gets on the wrong side of Clarence (regardless of whether he’s doing the killing or not), so this might not end too well for Rudy. Once it was all over, Clarence hopped into bed for a sleep, while Rudy left the room for an as yet unknown destination. I continued through the house, trying to find the location of everyone now that it was 9:15. After confirming that Henri was still in his room, I made my way to the top floor to see if Fifi was still there. She was, but so was Rudy! The progress clock appeared and moved along to 9:30, so I settled back to enjoy Rudy versus Fifi, round two. Rudy grabbed the maid and kissed her, at which point she pushed him away and shouted “Stop!! Stop eet! Leave me alone!!! Get out of my room NOW!!” At first he was merely taken aback, but then he stormed out of the room shouting “You’ll regret that, you little vixen!” It was all very dramatic, and I was keen to talk to Fifi about it, hoping I might get something interesting out of her. Unfortunately, it appeared to me that the game was trying really hard not to give me any opportunities to talk to anyone. Fifi hopped into bed for a rest, and refused to speak to me about anything. I logged the event in my spreadsheet, and moved on.

I really hope Rudy turns out to be the murderer. I want to punish this guy somehow!

I found no-one in the parlor, but simply being there reminded me to try giving Polly another cracker. I’m starting to think that I’ll be able to get a new piece of information out of Polly every act. This time the bird said “She’s after me! AWWKK! So afraid!” Hmmm…who might have said that? The “she” could have been any of five characters too, as Fifi, Celie, Gloria, Lillian and Ethel were all still alive (so was I for that matter). I continued my hunt for house guests, but couldn’t find Lillian, Ethel, Rudy, Jeeves or Celie anywhere in the house. I therefore stepped outside, heading into the cellar firstly to make sure Jeeves was still there. He was, doing general household chores for a bit before seating himself on the sofa. As usual, he showed no interest in answering any of my questions, and generally wanted me to leave him alone. I did, and made my way west of the house where there were still a few locations I hadn’t visited yet. The first one I came to was a cute little playhouse, complete with a swing hanging off a rope tied between two trees. I thought I’d try using the swing (just to see if I could), but rather embarrassingly fell straight through it! To avoid further embarrassment, I entered the playhouse to see what / or who was inside.

AWWKK! Polly know attacker? AWWKK!

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to ask questions around here when literally no-one will talk to me!

Swing Fail

Lillian was there, and so was the progress clock, ticking over to 9:45! My friend seemed to be reading a book to the dolls laid out on the floor, which I assumed was something she’d done previously as a child. Occasionally some of the words appeared on the screen, such as “So she stuck the key in the lock and...” and “She thought she was alone but...”. I looked at the book she was reading and found that it was entitled Bluebeard, and despite this being an apparently important moment, I wasn’t able to interact with anything in the room or talk to Lillian: “It would appear that Lillian is more interested in reading a book to some old dolls than talking to you! It would probably be best to leave her alone right now.” How strange! Why was this important? Was it the first sign that not everything is right with Lillian? Perhaps I was just reading into things too much, and the whole thing meant nothing at all. I left the playhouse, and made my way north to the bell tower. I was keen to find out whether I was able ring the bell now that I had the cane. When I arrived though, I found a very, very drunk Ethel, stumbling around holding a glass. If I tried to talk to her then she just slurred nonsense at me, so I decided to follow her.

 If you think that's odd, you should see the things I have to do to entertain my three year old!

Hey Ethel, I don't suppose you know why Lillian is reading a book to dolls in the, Ethel?

Ethel stumbled west to the chapel, before changing her direction and going south, past the stable. She continued on that trajectory until she reached a swampy section in the south-west corner of the estate. There was an owl there, but I wasn’t able to interact with it or anything else in the environment. With little other choice, Ethel began following the fence to the east, reaching the edge of the driveway before taking a sudden north-west direction across it. We soon arrived at the playhouse where Ethel’s daughter Lillian was, but just as I thought she might go inside, Ethel wandered off the right of screen. I followed her, but when I reached the next screen she just wasn’t there! I figured I must have taken a slightly different path to her and just lost her, but restoring and following her exactly led to the same result. Disappointed, I made my way back up to the bell tower, only to find that Ethel was there again, beginning the whole route ad infinitum. I let her go, and instead tried to use the cane on the ring. It looked like I would be able to do it too, but the bell itself was still rusted and jammed. I was going to have to do something about that first, although I had no real idea why I would want to ring the bell anyway!

 Now surely Ethel can't be the killer. She can't even walk!

 It wouldn't have surprised me if she'd wandered into the swamp

I still hadn’t found Celie or Rudy (he appeared to have left the house after his fights with Clarence and Fifi), so I continued my search, starting with the chapel. I got a surprise when I entered it, as Wilbur’s body was lying in a pool of blood! I searched the corpse, just as I'd done with Gertie’s, confirming in the process that the doctor had died from “a tremendous blow to the head”. I also discovered Wilbur’s monocle, which I picked up and took with me. With nothing else to do, I left the chapel and entered the cemetery next to it for the first time. There were numerous tombstones, as you would expect, and two large tombs at the back. The one on the left had the name DIJON above the door, which was Henri’s family name, while the other had CROUTON, which I couldn’t remember coming across previously. When I took a closer look at the tombstones, I was told that they ranged from “the large monument of patriarch, Francois Crouton and his wife Claudette, to the simple grave of Sarah Crouton, who was 17 when she died in 1871.” I had no idea whether any of this has any relevance to the game, but noted it anyway. I then tried to enter the tombs, finding firstly that the Crouton tomb door was sealed, but secondly  that I was able to enter the Dijon one. My excitement dissipated quickly though, when I walked straight back out: “It’s just an empty tomb. One day, this will be the final resting place of Colonel Dijon.”

 Well, he isn't going to need it now is he?!

Oh I get it now! Colonel Dijon is a piss-take of Colonel Mustard from Cluedo!

By this stage there was only one location on the map that I hadn’t explored on the western side of the island (I hadn’t really gone east at all yet), which was the carriage house. I walked south until I reached it, noting that “old crates have been piled before one of the doors”. I tried moving them, climbing them, opening them etc., but nothing worked. I entered the old house, finding that “parts of a decrepit carriage lie in the right corner and a small rowboat, named MINNOW, rests in the left corner”. I immediately found an oilcan sitting on the bench, which I eagerly added to my inventory, thinking I finally had what I needed to ring the bell and possibly do something with the armour too! I checked out everything else in the room, uncovering a crowbar in the carriage, making this little visit well worthwhile. I realised at this point that there was a particular location I hadn’t been to yet where I was almost certain to find Celie. To the northeast of the main house, the map had Celie’s House marked right next to a chicken coop. I went straight to it, determined to cross another guest’s whereabouts off the list for Act III. Her shack wasn’t exactly five stars if you get what I mean, but I walked up to the door and tried to enter.

 It's very unlikely the crates in front of the door were mentioned for no reason!

Aha! An oilcan! That oughta help me make some progress! Right?!

I was told that “it’s not nice to enter people’s houses without being invited”, so I typed “knock on door”. A voice called from within: “Jest a secon’.” Then Celie opened the door, querying why I might be bothering her at this time of the evening. I wasn’t actually prepared to answer that question, so I just typed “tell Celie about Wilbur”. Her response was “I ain’t got time fer you right now, Missy. ‘Scuse me.” I knocked a couple more times, but no matter what I asked, her answer was the same. Oh well, at least now I could account for Celie! That left only Rudy to find, but I’ll cut to the chase and say that I didn’t find him anywhere. I’ve been gradually revealing the environment in The Colonel’s Bequest with each post, so I’ll save the remaining screens for Act IV. At this point I spent about thirty minutes restoring back to each fifteen minute period, making sure that I knew exactly where everyone was and what occurred. I also tried to think of ways I could utilise some of the items I’d collected, such as the cane, the monocle, the poker, the handkerchief and the oil. My only “successes” led to my own death! After putting oil on the bell, I then pulled the ring, only for it to come away from the tower and fall on my head. Then I tried applying the oil to the armour’s rusty hinges, which caused the axe to drop onto me and literally cut me in half!!!

I got bronchitis! Ain't nobody got time for that!

Oh man! Mother Goose this is not!!!

Oh come on! Even a small victory would be nice!

Two other things of note occurred during this period. Firstly, when I revisited the cemetery, a white ghost arose from one the graves and pointed at me! It was quite creepy really, although it disappeared really quickly and my attempts to look at it were met with “You don’t really believe in ghosts, do you?!” I have no idea whether it was just there for shock factor or actually plays a role in the game. Secondly, I managed to get into the elevator from Henri’s room when the old man wasn’t there, but then found that I could only go down to the library. I know it can go up, as often when I look in the shaft I’m told that “The elevator seems to be upstairs”, but when I tried to ascend I was told that “the darn elevator won’t move!” Feeling a bit harshly done by, I finally made my way to the billiards room to close off Act III. As expected, the progress clock appeared along with the word “Act IV”. Gloria was gone, and I was informed that “Things look suspicious here! You can see pieces of a broken record on the floor by the Victrola and a small pile of pink feathers near it.” I’m really hoping that I start to have more success in Act IV, as I don’t feel like I’m influencing things at all.

Was she pointing at me or something else?

Every time I feel like I'm on to something, I find out that I'm not

 Somehow I don't feel quite as bad that Gloria is missing. Does that make me a bad person?

This is what I make of Act III
  • Lillian spends the entire hour in the playhouse, reading Bluebeard to her dolls.
  • Ethel spends the entire hour wandering around the estate grounds, drunk out of her mind.
  • Henri remains in his room from 9:00 to 9:45, but then goes to an unknown destination.
  • Fifi reads in her room until Rudy arrives and tries his luck with her. She slaps him and sends him away, after which she lies down and sleeps for the remainder of the hour.
  • Rudy has a fierce argument with Clarence in their room, after which Clarence lies down and sleeps for the remainder of the hour. Rudy goes upstairs to assault Fifi, then leaves for an unknown destination.
  • Jeeves spends the entire hour in his room in the cellar, either sleeping or doing chores.
  • Celie spends the entire hour in her shack.
  • Gloria spends the entire hour in the billiards room, until someone assaults her and takes her away (presumedly dead) around 10:00pm.

Is that a broom in your hand Jeeves? Hey, you stay away from my evidence, you hear me!

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!