|Not sure why Burden would have been in here before or recognized it.|
One wall's creepy event replaces all the paintings on that wall with one large painting of a man on a horse that animates to show the horse running through fire. Another creepy event animates two of the people on the far wall, one with what looks like a lighter, and the other making a creepy face and breathing out a smoke ring or something. I don’t know why all the screenshots in this room are so dark, but really, you aren’t missing much.
|The puppy still loves this vampiric boy.|
|Stauf as Humpty Dumpty|
The view zooms into Stauf's face a bit, and I find yet another 3x3 grid. This time, it's another take on a Lights Out puzzle where triggering one of the cells also cycles adjacent cells. When cells are shifted, they take on either a reddish or a greenish cast, and show that part of Stauf's face with demonic features. His forehead has horns, his eyes glow green or yellow, his tongue is forked, etc. The green nose is very wide, and the red nose is very narrow and sharp. As I fiddle with the pieces, the narrator makes comments about how Stauf isn't all there, and he's falling to pieces but we're putting him back together. Later, there's even a comment about how this puzzle reminds him of the coffins, which was the other puzzle to use a Lights Out method.
|Stauf’s demonic green face|
|Most of Stauf’s red face, one move from the end|
|The portrait’s face is distorting and twisting.|
|Pentagram of daggers thrown through the air|
I fiddle with the daggers for a while before realizing that I have to keep jumping the points of the star into the pentagon, and arrange them in such a way that the last point can jump into the pentagon and then continue to jump the rest of the daggers in sequence. Once I frame it that way in my head, I manage to solve the puzzle on the very next try. The narrator says, "Great move!" and the daggers all reappear, then the view zooms out again as the brand disappears. The door looks completely ordinary again, but now it will open for me.
|Another very dark and cluttered room.|
I poke at it for a while and make little progress. The path seems to reset nearly every time I do anything. I do notice that selecting a shape that matches the last shape in the path sometimes causes the path to extend further than just the window I selected. I have no idea how to determine where the path will go when it extends like that, so it's hard to even strategize about how to make a path that will reach to the top.
|Toy house with the first stage lit, starting from the bottom row.|
The last window I actually choose causes the path to wind its way along about eight more steps to get to the top of the stage, which I never would have predicted. The rest of the puzzle is more of the same, extending the path further up the building, but each level is smaller and narrower than the lower levels, so it goes more quickly. Or it would if I didn't have to carefully redo everything from the bottom each time I guess something that doesn't work. It's a bit maddening, but I get there eventually.
|It’s hard to see, but Elinor’s head is on the dummy on the left, which has no arms or legs.|
|Tad can’t escape this time…|
Somebody who's not named, so I guess it's the PC, says, "Run! Run for Pete's sake!" I think he means that Tad should run away. But instead, it seems like Tad grabs some part of Stauf's clothing like a tie and yanks on it really hard. Then the PC says, "I... I can't do anything! You're not real!" Which seems rather contradictory, to me. Who's the ghost here, anyway? If we're the ghost, then how are we solving the puzzles and affecting anything? (Although we do get sucked into some really weird and physically impossible passageways.) If Tad isn't real, then how is he doing anything?
|Skeleton Stauf in a wheelchair…?|
|Yay, we win? I think?|
|The game thinks I’m done, at least.|
Speaking of credits, we get detailed black and white credit illustrations for all the main positions (except Lead Artist Robert Stein III, whose illustration is just a creepy-looking hand instead of his face). We have programmers Graeme Devine and Alan Laird at Trilobyte and also tools by Hayes Haugen. Some people must have been contractors or the like, because they're listed as working under other companies besides Trilobyte. For instance, the 3D Modelers were Alan Iglesias at Alan Iglesias Design and Phil LeMarbre and Gene Bodio at PCA.
|And then there are the credits that just seem like a big joke.|
Finally, later in the credits, I get full names for the guests: Brian Dutton, Edward Knox, Elinor Knox, Martine Burden, Julia Heine, and Hamilton Temple (although Tad is still just Tad). These would have been useful to know at the beginning, when the guests were visually introduced.
At the very end, there's a rather amusing special note: "Any similarity to person/persons now living to anyone or thing [sic], dead or undead, is entirely accidental and just one more irrefutable proof of the paranormal. And, although some really nasty mind-games were played, no entities were physically harmed during the making of this interactive entertainment (except for the botched special-effect on the bunny rabbit that went so horribly wrong and really bummed everyone out, no thanks to Mr. Boomer)." Not really sure what this refers to, but it sounds like a good story.
And that's it for the 7th Guest! Back next time for some head-scratching over the plot and some scoring.
Puzzles solved: 3 (total: 22)
On-screen deaths and character fates:
- Dutton: stabbed by Edward, also poisoned by the briefcase in the lavish bedroom
- Edward: his neck was snapped by Temple
- Temple: strangled by Heine, also chokes in the laborator
- Burden: drowned in the bath
- two babies: one sacrificed by Dutton, one smothered by the doll
- Elinor: became a dressmaker's dummy
- Heine: age-regressed into a baby, dissolved (as herself) in Stauf's acid
- Stauf: became a flaming skeleton and disappeared
Session Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 12 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!