CGDC #7 – L. E. Hall’s The Manor At Whitby!

February 15, 2010

Like many Americans, I’m fond of things involving English country manors.  No one ever invites us over to shoot a brace of pheasants or play croquet with amusing young men from the Foreign Office, and it’s a lack we feel most acutely, lemme tell you.  I would have made a very good useless aristocrat.  Perhaps I’ll start listing that under “skills” on job applications.

Anyway!  Manor at Whitby!  Got a lot of games to get through!  Let’s go, people!  Spit spot!  Wait, spit spot?  Is that actually what Mary Poppins was saying all this time, spit spot?  That’s disgusting!

Are wa nan desu ka.  Kudamono desu ka.

[spoilers begin here]

Oh, good, Parchment!  I can copy and paste!

You see nothing special about the a slim volume.
Not a good sign there.  Fortunately READ VOLUME delivers a more encouraging result.

Oooh, points for using the word “ephemera.”  Huh, my deceased cousin wore “old-fashioned clothing” and “vintage shoes”.  I guess that’s what people do in English country manors.  What year is this?

Oh dear, someone’s been digging up monoliths and now the household is having strange dreams.  It’s a little Lovecrafty up in here.

Your aunt says, “Now strike the flint with the steel to make a spark. It might take a few tries.”
Wait, we have electric light, but no matches?  Seriously, what year is this?

All I packed in this trunk was a book called “Occult Rituals?”  No clothes?  No toiletries?  No extra socks?  What the hell is wrong with me?

Oh, wait, maybe this isn’t what I originally packed in my trunk.  You would think I would have noticed that and been surprised, though.

Your cousin’s handwriting fills the margins of this page. Reading through the words, you are filled with a sense of unknown dread.
Gof’nn y’ai fhtagn ebumna’ep-agl-oth
ch’nog-or n’ghft fthagu y fm’latgh nglui
goka lw’nafh y’bthnk orr’e geb
ehye wgah’n nw nilgh’ri

Yup, looks like we’re in Cthulhumythosville.  Oh, no, my cousin sent me that book and I brought it with me, looks like.  But why didn’t I bring any clothes?

You can see The Butler here.

Weird, I seem to have gone back in time for a second here.

The scrap of paper flutters out every time I adjust this canvas, looks like.

>show clipping to uncle
your uncle is unimpressed.
By a newspaper clipping detailing several deaths amongst the members of his own expedition?  How many deaths would it take to impress him?

Ohhh, the key to the combination is the portraits!  Clever!

Huh, my cousin’s soul is trapped in an ammonite.  Josie Packard would be so jealous.

Shit, what was the verb to poke the fire?  Ohhh, I forgot to blow on the tinder!  One sec.

Now I think I’m the one trapped in the ammonite.  I guess that’s a winning ending, compared to the one I got when I forgot to put the ring in the coil and wound up all unable to move grinning creepily at doctors.

All in all, pretty good game.  Not much for the extraneous details (most of the things in the room description were unexaminable), but it had a nice eerie atmosphere, and the one puzzle that wasn’t a total pushover was kind of satisfying.  Why didn’t I pack any clothes, though?  Seriously!


One comment

  1. Oh shit, I had to put the ring on the ammonite? I totally did not figure that out. Was I supposed to figure that out? I figured that the ending I got was the winning ending, because at least I’m grinning, you know? So I’m happy, right? I mean, it’s horror and stuff, so I wasn’t expecting much good to come of anything.

    And why can’t I pet the kitty? WHY CAN’T I PET THE KITTY? I feel as though the smart thing to do would’ve been to get the hell out of this creepy place (wait, is the front door implemented?), but that if I could only pet the kitty, everyone’s problems would be solved and we would all wind up in a better place. Say, a Room Full of Kittens.

    So I’m not always very good at these games where the point is to figure out what happened. Like, All Roads was awesome, but I read an interview with Jon Ingold somewhere where he says something like “The puzzle in All Roads is to figure out what’s going on, and I was worried I hadn’t clued it enough, but I went back and looked at it again and it’s all there,” which made me think, but if the puzzle is clued enough, shouldn’t someone somewhere have figured it out? Because an unscientific survey of approximately everyone else who has ever written anything about that game on the internet reveals that none of them knows what was going on in that game. (Including me, now.)

    What I’m saying is, I’m not sure I got the whole backstory.

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