Despite my relative success on this new floor I feel as though unfinished business on the 1st floor is a bad thing to have. The only question is, where is that damn painting? As I walk back to the stairs, I notice that the mouth-thing I assumed was an elderitch squirrel is actually guarding the stairs up. Hopefully something will be able to blanket kill all these things.
|Feeling old yet? All the people on this tape are dead now|
So I desperately comb over the parts of the 1st floor I haven't already checked. At this point I'm just savescumming. Forcing a door hurts me. I've got an axe, apparently that doesn't work. Who knew that the leading cause of death among firefighters is killing themselves breaking open a door. One thing good does come of this, as I trap a daemon inside an empty room. A locked empty room. I hurt myself on that door for nothing. This means...dun dun dun...I can see the VHS tape. Except there's still another daemon there, but by the time I notice him I'm already inside...again. Also the tentacle float is angry at me, but its too late to savescum again.
So, finally seeing this tape reveals that Ellen killed the rest of her family. Robert is also surprisingly calm and collected for someone who's killed a TON of people. But there's more to this than that. Think about this for a second, Ellen stopped recording the tape, took the tape out, put it in a safe on the ground floor, locked said safe, put the key on the other side of the floor. Further, Ellen has been inside this mansion for months, a year, and nobody noticed. These furniture movers never noticed her, which makes my jokes about the quality of their services even more poignant.
You know, I keep mocking the estate agent and the furniture movers, but apparently I misread that, the PC is supposed to have suggested auctioning off furniture. I'm clearly as smart as the PC.
|You'd think it would be bigger|
I'm clever about the last option I have. Well, the last option I have before exploiting the last bit of knowledge I have about the game. A locked room east of the media room. There's a key I haven't gotten yet, but that's guarded by a daemon. So, I go all the way around, trick him into an area I don't need to go to at the moment. And keep in mind this is through the confusion hallway, the one that reverses controls some of the time. I grab the key, ignoring shotgun shells here, I don't have a shotgun yet...and nothing at first. The room has another holy water and a book detailing how Miles Mayhew got himself a boatload of occult artifacts, the kind that protect against evil. Hopefully the movers didn't steal any. But then, inside a closet, the painting. Its lame-looking, fitting with this house's artistic tastes. I can't move closer or really examine it. I burn it, freeing all the spirits. Maybe that was a bad move, but as long as they're not in this house it doesn't matter.
My reward for this? Right next to the painting is a speedloader of...small calibre ammunition. That would have been useful about two hours ago, but what do I know? No, I'm not picking it up, if I'm that desperate I'm just going to brazenly cheat.
|You'd think I could get full health, but noooooooo...|
With one big problem out of the way, I now need to get rid of a different problem, the daemons. The guy in the unmappable room is going to be a problem, but I think I should try sleeping on it. I'm pretty sure I'm able to rest in this game, I just have to reach the triangle, and get inside the room they're protecting. Confusing, but whatever. The triangle is in the southwestern corner and is only guarded by a daemon now. So I make my way there, there's a note and another document wallet. Roberts had two of these, huh? It explains why he tried to take the Golden Torc, because he thinks it would have let him escape. Joke's on him, he's swinging from the ceiling on the ground floor, or a friend of his is anyway.
|I'm going to throw this at so many doors|
At this point, I think to myself, maybe I have the key to that one locked door on the ground floor. Its the only place I haven't been down there. I dodge the daemon, and safely run downstairs. Thankfully, I do have the key, and inside is a mechanical tool kit. If I'm not mistaken, this functions as a lockpick. This will make my life so much easier. Just so much. Now, let's try some of those doors upstairs. Here, I use it a door on the southwestern side, throwing it. I'm right, it unlocks. The room is empty and its right next to where a daemon is wandering around. So I open the southern door. Nothing enters. Okay, he got stuck in a niche somewhere. I enter. There's no one there. I check everywhere I can. Nothing. He's just wandering around somewhere. That's not going to give me a jump scare later or anything.
|This is probably the safest place in the mansion, triangle or no triangle|
Now that this area is clear, assuming the daemon isn't just going to wander back, I have time to examine a fireplace I noticed earlier. Its safe to assume something is up, because it is very rare for mansions in fiction to have no secrets in a fireplace. Takes a little fiddling, but I find the button that flips the door around. There's a medikit, an attack spell, Flames of Desolation, a plaque explaining the numbered door puzzle, and a note. A very, very helpful note.
The Working Notes of Nathan Prentiss
Although there's still much to learn about this incredible place, I've discovered that the "Lurkers", as mother calls them, are connect to the Gate Runes. Each time the Rite of Opening has been performed, one Lurker and one Gate Rune have appeared somewhere in the house. It is their energy that keeps the Gates open. I have told Karen to stay away from them - they're not only deadly, they are also precious.
Right, let's take that in for a second. Not only have I not killed a single daemon, I have pissed off something that it sounds like it would be very bad to kill. Unless I'm supposed to kill them to end the game. I'm not getting started on that until I have the M-16 and oh, around 30-50 magazines. You know, so I actually have a shot at hitting him. But so far this isn't working in my favor. At this point I decide to take the oil can (its more of a pail) out of the northwestern section. I.E., the door that teleports you away from it. So, I do that, and then disaster strikes.
|Protip: Don't do this|
Two daemons. At once. At this point I've screwed myself big time and my last save before I screwed myself is a long time ago. So I do something I really shouldn't be doing at this point. I throw a bottle of holy water at each of the daemons. Key word, throw, you can't just drag and drop, then you'll throw it. See, I've been trying to avoid using anything I remember of this game to my advantage. I didn't go straight for the juju fetish, I didn't force my way into the room with the mechanical tool kit, and I didn't use the holy water against the daemons. The idea was to find whichever note says to do that and then kill them all. But that isn't going to happen anymore. Now that the cat's out of the bag, its time to solve that plaque puzzle.
|All this trouble for an ugly statue?|
You really can't hit things through a door, as neither myself nor the daemon could hit each other. Not that it helped him much. With him out of the way, its just a matter of walking through each door in numeric order. Its a bit tedious, but at the end...its probably worth it. This statue looks really ugly...and hey, wasn't there one like this on the first floor. You also know what? This thing hasn't been attacking me, so why not? After solving the puzzle, there's one more thing I have to do here.
So get this, when I go to the door where the knocking originated from, I meet the woman who's been walking around the traps this entire time. First thing she says is the above. We're off to a good start. So I continue the dialog, this gives me the ability to choose some dialog options. Probably should have used that before now, but then, there's been a lot of probably in this game. I ask her what dark being she serves. She doesn't like that. I ask her why she's been walking around. She doesn't like that and tries to leave. I stop her. She really doesn't like that.
|Now featuring rejected extras from The Bangles Walk Like an Egyptian video|
So she attacks me. At this point, I'm confident. This chick was locked in this room for several hours, she's probably weak. Wrong. She's dodging my shots and attacking me like some kind of ninja. I run out of ammo, and start whacking her with the axe. She kills me. She's been here longer than me, likely in worse shape, since I've had some snacks. What the %#@$ is with the health points of these enemies? Sure, demons, zombies, ghosts, ghouls, these guys I expect to have inhuman health. But a normal person, even a private investigator, shrugging off two dozen bullets? Did I stumble across a relative of Audie Murphy or something? Is this game actually a bizarre adaptation of the DC universe and this is some League of Shadows ninja or something?
Let me stop this for a second to dig into this whole "talking" bit. I've talked to three people. One was a ghost who might as well have been a note on the ground. The next was a crazy person, who's dialog could have also been accomplished with a note, albeit slightly altered. Now we have the first real conversation and I legitimately hate this character. This woman is genuinely in the running for the stupidest character in this little drama going on. This is coming with a realtor and a team of furniture movers who didn't notice the forces of hell all around them. With a master magician who managed to make a hash of every thing he did. And a man who didn't even notice his wife and daughter were effectively servants of Satan in the 19th century. A woman selling off her furniture before seeing it.
This woman has been trapped in a room for hours, to the point where she's banging on the door every time someone walks by...and this. Well, you want out, be my guest...in a few minutes. After reloading...and doing the maze again. I take a leisurely stroll through the southeastern section of the map. There's a note here that mentions the house has a fifth floor, but not if that's by American or European measurement, and that the house is connected to the caves underneathe it. Its one thing if a bunch of Americans suddenly start using British words like "civilisation", "colour", "flour", "bonjour" and "axe". Its another if different characters don't use the same floor numbering system in a game where characters have no reason to be confused. To paraphrase Dirty Harry, "Do I have five floors or six?"
After I deign to strike up another conversation with the private investigator, I get more useful information. She was hired by some Croxley guy to find out who killed the Prentisses, no bodies ever turned up. Oh, and some other useful things, like the weird triangles are safety...ghosts and daemons are destroyed by Holy Water...she doesn't have anything interesting to say about her clones. Hey, wait a minute...
That's right, this game expected you to run past three daemons without knowing how to properly kill them. Either I'm hideously oversaving my inventory or this game's difficulty is borked. I'm not joking about three daemons either. Two daemons guard the key, another one guards the maze. You could ignore the ones guarding the key...if you wanted two things in the maze. There better be a note upstairs mentioning this holy water business. Its one thing to expect me to run past melee enemies, its another to expect me to run past ranged enemies.
|I can't say another game fills me with quite the same sense of dread getting an item as this one...|
She leaves. I don't know how she's going to escape this, but as long as she waits until after the game ends until she rises from the dead to drag me through the gates of hell that would be superb. I mosey on back to the front hallway. Case is glass...there's a vase nearby...hmm...I don't need to be MacGuyver to figure out this one. So I throw it...by using the in-inventory throw function. That lobs it behind the case. Uh, good thing I saved. Then I throw it via the graphical window. I don't know why I need to do this, but then, I'm not some genius game programmer. Right...I guess I'll just put this with the ten other items I have on the 1st floor...in addition to the twenty I have here on the ground floor. With that in mind, I'd like to end this entry off with a section I like to call, "I've got too much...stuff..."
|The first collection|
- A one-gallon gasoline can, potentially useless due to age. There aren't any generators around, so what is it for? Takes up 4 inventory squares so it isn't portable.
- A funeral urn of a dead samurai. Presumably he didn't want his ashes tossed into a New Jersey cave system...
- Half of a metal crescent. This one's going to be a question until it suddenly isn't. Why is the other half so far away from it?
- A music score. Since I haven't seen one yet, the piano is either the 2nd floor and above or the 2nd basement and below. There's no elevator.
- A leather pouch containing dust from a used coffin. That's an oddly specific item.
- A stone with a yen-like rune on it. I've had this one since practically the start of the game.
|The second collection|
- Two demon statues. I smell a trap.
- A plaque reading shuriken. Seems self-explanatory.
- Not pictured, two pitchers full of oil. Like am I gonna restore a 1971 Mazda Cosmo? And its going to be driven by a ghost samurai? Can he drive an old Nissan Fairlady instead?
That's not going into detail about all the health, ammo and lockpicks I have. I can appreciate a certain amount of realism in an inventory system, but can I at least merge medikits together? I don't think the next floor is going to be any better.
Inventory: Medikit (x2), Axe, bullet-proof vest, spellbook, keyring, briefcase, Colt .38, .38 ammo (x4) electronic tool kit, mechanical tool kit, matches
Spellbook: Shroud of the Shadow Walker, Agatha's Iron Fist, Belgor's Mental Violation, Elixir of Health, Aura of Mystic Defense, Flames of Desolation
This Session: 1 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s 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!