So, the last session finished with me recovering from last night's events and Dr COBBLE prescribing me some pills to stop a heart attack. As I get off bed and put on my clothes, I have two goals for the day: get these pills from the pharmacy; and develop the plates from last night, again at the pharmacy. So, without much delay, I gather the prescription from the desk and head out. Oh, I also have a look at the parchment from the ritual, but I cannot read it. Maybe JUGG will be able to help later. Just to be on the safe side, I try to use it very near the desk, but it doesn't work.
|Maybe I won't come across Miss PICOTT this time|
So, I go to the back to collect the four chemicals. Only there are eight of them. Fortunately, I have a good chemistry education and have the internet at my disposal to find the solution. As you can imagine, neither was really helpful.
|...develop those plates. Well, I definitely won't work for them.|
However, all this knowledge did not really help me much. My online research suggested that I need to use metol and / or hydroquinone first, then add something to raise the pH (benzene chlorate?) and finally sodium sulphite. This is the process for B&W photo development. I suppose I could add the 'chromogenous', whatever that is, in the end. Black and white works better with astrophotography, as there is not really much colour in space and requires less light on your plate / chip to produce an image. And it can be equally spectacular.
My first try failed, but I could try as many times as I wanted, fortunately. I was convinced that I had to use sodium sulphite at the end, so I tried various combinations, without success. Some more googling suggested that sometimes it helps to add a weak acid to control the development. I tried some combinations using the acids at my disposal (weak and strong). In vain.
In the end I resolved to brute force it. I was pretty sure that the Metol – Hydroquinone were correct, since I had tried several combinations with only one of them to zero success. After a few more tries, I found the correct combination. I will leave it here to spare others of this madness: metol – hydroquinone – benzene chlorate (which is actually sodium hyposulphite) – chromogenous (potassium metabisulphite).
|I would disagree|
But I digress. After I successfully develop the plates, I am treated to a cutscene in which I slowly go through the developed plates, only to look at a horrid image in the third one, a set of eyes formed by stars looking at me with malice.
|Game over. Or not|
Outside of the pharmacy I met some Mr COLDSTONE who warned me not to go to the forest, because “it doesn't agree with some people”. I don't know where I've seen him, but PARKER apparently knew him. Oh well.
I want to head to JUGG's house, but I wander around town a bit first. At the tavern, I buy JED a beer and watch him complain to ZEKE, the bartender, about the quality of his beer. About time I say. Now JED owes me one. In the town square, I see miss PICOTT again, all alone, so I try some small talk. She seems concerned about my pallor but then goes on with her Bible reading.
|Technically, I was up to voyeurism.|
- Miss PICOTT's niece, GLORIA, who is hiding from her aunt and pleads to me not to rat her out. Naturally, I promise her.
- CURTIS HAMBLETON says that I made a mess and that 'they' know everything. Who are 'they' and what is 'everything'? Fine mess indeed.
- Outside of the dilapidated mansion, I meet the HAMBLETON boys, who suggest I leave and then go away.
- I also notice a bug. When I entered the hardware store from the north, I could not move at all. All the other commands worked normally.
Anyway, I finally collect myself and head to JUGG's place. Outside it I meet WILBUR. Was he at JUGG's? The door was locked, so I don't really know. Maybe he killed JUGG? There is nobody at the Archives, so the murder scenario seems very likely. Maybe I need to find WILBUR and have a chat. He didn't respond to the Talk command when I confronted him in front of JUGG's house.
As predicted, the key opens JUGG's front door, after an unnecessarily long cutscene of trying to turn the key in the lock. When inside, the first thing I notice is blood on the floor. I am a bit disappointed there is no mention of it when I Look around.
As I head to JUGG's bedroom, I feel that I am being set up for a puzzle, because I find and pick up a statue of a baby (on the desk), a statue of a young man (in a cabinet) and a statue of an old man (inside one of the butterfly displays).
There is more blood in JUGG's bedroom, but what is more important, I can now pick up a number of books from his shelf and bookcase. The books are called: Youth, Beyond Chaos, The Old Man and the Sea, The Invisible Man and the Mystery of the Pyramids.
This time the puzzle made sense. I put the statues in the place of the books most relevant to them: Baby for Youth, Young Man for Invisible Man and Old Man for Old Man and the Sea. Not that the game let me put them anywhere else. Once I replaced the other books in their places, I got the satisfaction of a secret passage being revealed.
|Honestly, I thought I was trying to open the door hidden behind the curtain|
Oh! There is also a dying JUGG. I try to call for help, but he stops me, saying that he still has enough life in him to help me. I give him the parchment from the ritual and he translates it. It is the most common unpronounceable quote about Cthulhu.
|Fortunately, there is a translation|
He also gives me some hints. I should read the NECRONOMICON, a book so horrible that drives people mad just by its words, so that I can find the formula to stop the guardian. I must read it here. On his desk there is also a note about someone who can help me. I must read it only in the safety of my room.
Finally, he speaks about the dead sorcerer NARACKAMOUS. This was the name that the Native American used.
|This guy, in case you did not remember|
Another 20-30 minutes and 2 rage-quits later, I find out that it was a pixel-hunting solution again. The key was under the carpet in the next room. In retrospect it makes sense, but again I must remember to press L with every step I take.
|I mean, why wouldn't I lift everything not nailed down. It's an adventure game|
I use the key on the Necronomicon and get some more knowledge. The book speaks about Yog Sothoth being the portal and the key and provides guidance on how I should stop him from coming to Earth. Then I try to get out and I burn to death, because I stupidly forgot to put the book back on the desk.
Before I go on, I must say something positive about the tools at my disposal, and that is the Notebook I carry. I have omitted it in previous posts, but it is very helpful for people like me who rarely take notes when playing. It keeps track of important goals or gives subtle warnings. For example, it warns me that, now that JUGG is dead, I will probably be the prime suspect for his death. More on that in a bit.
Having learned the secrets about how to stop Yog-Sothoth from returning, I now need to get back to my room and read the message from poor JUGG. Only one route seems to be open though. In the others, there are cultists waiting for me and the policeman takes me to JUGG's home and arrests me for murder. I suppose I am summarily led to the chair or the noose or whatever they used these days. Maybe the plank.
|But first: the obligatory Miss PICOTT scolding|
|She also gives me some of her personal views on the matter|
|Considering that his lookalike was a big racist, this is a big awkward|
UNDERHOUSE gives me another task, and that is to bring him a diary from the Mayor's safe. The combination has to do with the Bible and Evil. I would assume 666 but that would be too easy, right? Or I can ask the Bible expert in the town: Miss PICOTT.
I conveniently meet her outside, but I receive a royal scolding about getting into fights (to save WEBSTER) and spending time drinking alcohol in pubs (ZEKE's watery beer barely qualifies as such). She is also unwilling to lend me her Bible to mend my delinquent ways.
I will stop this session here. Next time I will try to get into Miss PICOTT's good books and stop Yog-Sothoth. I feel that the second task is easier than the first.
Session time: 2:30
Total time: 6:00
Sanity lost: 5 from looking at the plate / 3 from reading the Necronomicon
Total sanity lost: 12 (there's definitely something hiding in that corner. MORE LIGHT)
PS. Bonus death scene: If I tried to visit the lighthouse before I develop the plates, I see WILBUR passing through the fence and the two gorillas warn me not to come closer. If I do, I get shot.
|Not the fastest draw west of Pecos|