Written by Morpheus Kitami
I have to wonder what possesses someone to make a horror game, go to all the trouble of building a macabre atmosphere and enemies capable of killing the player quite quickly...then have the death sequence just be the player as a skeleton. No transition, no nothing, the player model is normal one frame and a skeleton the next. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
|If I could be bothered to take gifs, I'd show you Mr. Zappa here dancing, instead you'll have to imagine it yourself|
Clearing up where I left off, I obtained three more items, a poker, another speedloader of small calibre ammunition and a spell, Agatha's Iron Fist. Which by the description, leads me to think it increases melee damage. The spell was inside a hidden room was very obvious because the map freaking told me. Its too confusing for the zombie to understand, so instead he's shuffling back and forth in front of the secret wall.
|Manipulating zombies for fun and...well, fun.|
A problem quickly becomes apparent when I begin exploring the southwestern rooms. Just because the zombies aren't attacking me doesn't mean they're not going to screw with me. When enemies are in front of you, it doesn't matter if they can't do anything, they'll still block you from interacting with the environment. And I don't know if this juju fetish has a limited amount of power, so I better play at being the fastest journalist around.
|I hope they don't expect me to play this, the last time I dealt with one of these puzzles it took a long time|
There's not much of interest in the room. Just a sheet of music. This better pay off because if I didn't get the magical anti-zombie shield, I'd probably be dead. I also force a door for no reason. I'm not even entering from this end. At least it worked. Wasn't even much point to it, just takes me back to the main hallway. I think this might be an attempt at environmental story-telling. Roberts is being chased by two zombies into there, maybe a third, assuming he started from the outdoorish area. Goes out the door to the hallway, locks it behind him. Roberts did bring all the zombies here, so it stands to reason any place a zombie is, is a place that Roberts ran to in a panic.
|Just so you don't think I'm making any of this up|
I find a locked safe, a key one. I don't have the key, which makes me think there are going to be a lot of keys. I find a keyring, which confirms my suspicions. I can't even find out what keys are on it and what I can take off, that's going to be how many. This is helpful because I'm already running out of inventory space. Then, another note. A very useful one.
I'd like to point out that this places the game in New Jersey. Which if you go by the joking theme I have going on, this places this near Gotham. Which probably means I should have jokingly played as one B. Wayne. Come to think of it, one of the characters was called Charlotte Kane...Also this seems to have been written by a Scot, as "divills" is supposedly the Scots pronounciation of "devils" and he uses quotes with ". This would be if such a thing was indicated as important and the author wanted it to be readable for Brits. Or nobody bothered translating this between the different dialects of English and I'm reading way too much into this.
The rest is mostly unimportant, Elias's son Hildebrand had a bunch of drunken revelries, and eventually died in a fire in 1699. He was the last one to bear the name Winthrop.
I was so preoccupied with the note that I forgot the power went off again. I don't think its coming back on. So much for my casual stroll through the house. Well, that's what the flashlight is for. I go to this room across the hall. Go past some zombies. they're not doing much. They're guarding a speed loader of .38 calibre bullets, nothing important, but I have the same. Leave the room. I just have to figure out how to turn the power back on...
|Small calibre, 38 calibre...|
Hang on, they went for making one revolver small calibre ammunition. Fair enough. There's nothing wrong with using generic ammunition, weird when its an explicitly named model, but then you throw in named ammunition. Small calibre is supposedly a term for calibres under .38, but I'm not sure how common that is, and suggests the player character possesses a great deal of familiarity with firearms when they really...don't. The real S&W M10 can also be made for .32-20 Winchester Center Fire, but if you didn't know any better, its about the same size as most .38 rounds. Even if it the calibre isn't stamped on the bottom like most cartridges, why not just use small revolver ammunition?
|Triangle...more like an anchor|
Oh, right, I was supposed to be exploring this mansion, not whining about what various ammunition is called. I'm sure I'm supposed to find some way to turn back on the power, and I don't want to use the flashlight for too long, I might need it later. I figure the first places I should look are places I've already been to but haven't entered because of zombies. First destination, the mysterious triangle symbol. I can't really tell if the zombie can't enter it or not, but I did lead him to another room.
|Whatever possessed a company like Magnetic Scrolls to make a full hog DM-clone?|
Second room, two zombies, walking back and forth in front of the door. The entire room are spinner tiles, tiles that change the player's direction. In the room is some kind of stone with the same triangle symbol on it. Which will probably be useful later. It was a pain walking out. The zombies block the door in a sort of pattern, and I had to walk in and out twice because my inventory is full. That was fun...
I quickly come across more locked doors, ones I'm not taking a chance on yet, and I apparently stumble upon the real mausoleum entrance. I know this because I read a note from Roberts where he waxes on about the horrors inside. Someone should join a metal band.
|I don't know about you, but all this stuff has me paralyzed...with laughter|
You know, a lot of these rooms are empty, which would be convenient if I didn't have the juju. Just these places that look like weird reading rooms. Then there's this place, a fresh 3D rendering. As in, someone put in more time and effort to put this area together. Which starts out normal enough. There's something behind the curtains, its a corpse. Roberts, I presume? Then there's a head in the dumbwaiter. Freshly severed, too. Oh, and someone decided that putting "Death awaits" on the table would be scary. Listen, it's scary if a voice chimed in when I opened the curtains or the dumbwaiter, on a table I just read about, it's silly.
|This just won't do|
The north-western section of the map turns into a game of luring zombies away from where I don't want them. Be it items, stairways, hallways. This is more difficult than it sounds because one of the aspects of zombies' stupidity is that they almost always walk away when they don't see you. Except whenever they're just spiteful, then they wait outside the door.
|When the only solution turns out to be a bad idea|
On the eastern side there's a fuse box. The fuse box is guarded by a zombie. He jumps out when I open the door, and he doesn't go back in. I still have the juju fetish. So I'm trying to get him inside a different room so the doorway into the fuse box room is clear. Unfortunately, the door I choose is where I stuck a different zombie inside. By the time I get him away from the door and open the door again, the other zombie has left, back in front of the fusebox. I repeat this several times, much to my pain.
So, its time to talk about combat. The PC has two arms which offer two attacks, whatever is in those arms are the attack items. In practical terms, you can always smack someone with the briefcase. The aim buttons just change what target it is you're aiming for. Which, if its actually something you need to use, you're better off running. The bar at the bottom is how much attack "juice" you have, for a lack of a better term. Some items seem to use more than others. If it runs out you can't attack, you might do less damage and be less accurate if you use it partially full. I'm not exactly paying extensive attention here when I'm trying not to get my face bashed in.
The process of killing the zombie is a comedy of errors. I drop the juju fetish some distance away from the zombie, and in the process of dragging the gun to my arm, end up dragging a piece of food to my arm. The zombie's fairly close now. So I book it past him, and fumble a bit before dropping the food. Then I finally get the gun and shoot him six times, missing around half of those shots. He's still walking. I run past him again, reloading, and shoot him two more times. He dies and the sound of thunder happens. That's right, I've lost a small chunk of health, and eight bullets on a single enemy. It would be more effective to throw the gun, now you know why they throw the gun at Superman.
|Why would you write a family tree when you can't read what it says?|
Interesting, everyone is dead except one person. I guess J. Olson must be related by marriage somewhere, not by Winthrop blood.
It's funny, I assumed that the zombie was guarding the fusebox because that's what I remembered. No, the fusebox is behind a locked door, the zombie's guarding a medkit. Anyway, the fusebox is damaged, I assume I need some kind of kit to repair it, maybe a coin. I go south, hoping to find something like that. There are a lot of zombies around in the southeastern corner of the map. One of the rooms has a heavy key hidden behind a secret wall, still obvious thanks to the map.
So I rush over to the safe, as I'm doing that, the game stops and loads in front of the painting in the lobby. Which freaked me out more than the spooky stuff in the pre-rendered room. Anyway, the safe has a VHS, "My Brother and I". Why would you go to all this trouble for a VHS tape? Even if it's a personal tape, most people don't steal VHS tapes unless its Eraserhead or something out of print. It's irrelevant either way, I don't have a portable VHS player on me. This is a problem. It's probably of vital importance. Wherever the player is, it's not on this floor. There's only one untouched room that is locked and I can't force it open. I think I'll head to the mausoleum next, Roberts said he got all the zombies out. I have the juju fetish anyway. First I better unload some of this stuff.
|Protip: Don't do this|
This turns out to be a bad idea. The dead still roam the mausoleum and you can bypass the protection of the juju fetish with a shotgun blast to the head. Dying in this game, as I mention, is extremely boring. One frame you're alive, the next, I'm a skeleton and a helpful box shows up saying I'm dead. This explains why I felt that the female characters had wider shoulders than usual. They have to fit on top of the skeleton and there's only one skeleton. Then game offers me the choice to reload or quit. I'm going to have to plan out my next move before continuing, since its clear that the appropriate metaphor at this moment involves a river and a boat without a method of propulsion. A shotgun blast to the head, hordes of "daemons" or whatever's lurking in the basement. Probably a giant spider or a horde of little ones in the shape of a man.
Inventory: Medikit (x2), poker, S&W M10, speedloader of small calibre ammunition (x2), keyring, flashlight, music sheet, briefcase, juju fetish
Spellbook: Shroud of the Shadow Walker, Agatha's Iron Fist
This Session: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes