Saturday, November 2, 2019

Alone in the Dark: Happy House

I've got a lot of problems going on here, and not a lot of answers to those problems. Maybe I missed something on the 1st floor. I get rid of some items I figure I won't need, climb up the stairs and...
Wait...I came down to the ground floor from the left side...How did...? What the...? Are you telling me that one of the exits back to the 1st floor was not coded in properly? Because I didn't go past this guy the first time. I go back and check, yep, this leads here. So, there are two stairs, one on each side, with one blocked off by a suit of armor who can't yet be killed. You have have the return transition only go to that one. Why would you do that?
Although the armor is in fact, not completely blocking off the area, this is still terrible. This gives me access to the door I thought I was going into last time, but instead went into the one on the opposite side. Isn't that a mouthful.
This opens up a corridor with four doors. Four! This gives me plenty of choices in how I want to die horribly. That gives me ten options of dying horribly! Amazing. Good job. Even better job on that camera angle. You can't even see the first door from the entrance. Let's check behind door no. 1.
A bedroom. Let's just close the door, I just know something horrible will happen if I don't. Something on the mantle, but I should check the rest of the room first.
I know what's going to happen if I open this, but I must. I hear something that sounds like a frog crossed with a car. That frog from the intro cutscene ate the car, didn't he? If that does happen it'd be really stupid. Nothing happens if I interact with the window, the closet, the bed. I get the item on the mantel, a notebook, and...
If this was supposed to be a jumpscare, it failed, all I said was a curse. I'm crap at the melee combat, but I take him down. I try to use the soup I got from the kitchen, but it turns out that it contains human flesh. Leaving the biscuits as my only health item, and now they're gone.
The item I fought for? A notebook. Uncle Jeremy goes nuts. A poor explanation for the pirate too. Its rather effective as horror. Nothing of any actual help at this point, beyond a mention of a circle the dark man can't enter. And that the cosmic horror is in the basement. Or was in the basement. I didn't really need the notebook to tell me that, even if I hadn't cheated by looking at a map. It also describes a dark man Uncle Jeremy met who is obviously an agent of the cosmic horror.
Door no. 2. Would you look at that. A demon in the bathtub. I take a quick search through the cabinet and swiftly make my leave. A first aid kit.
Door no. 3. Its dark, and apparently you can't light a lamp inside a dark room. Inside are a book and a statue. I take them and get out. Hopefully that lamp won't burn inside my inventory. Gee, I wonder what will happen if I read this book. Suspicious shade on the wall where a painting likely once was.
Spooky. Not. I feel cheated. Its just some story about a guy coming to a hamlet in New England to see astral phenomena. Now, what's behind door no. 4?
Uh...this can't possibly end badly?
So...this provided me with absolutely no advantage whatsoever. I try again, no dice, the axeman is throwing homing axes. I figure I should recheck the rooms I've been to. Dark bedroom, no dice. Bathroom, a jug. Why? Its times like these I miss the examination system from classic adventures. Sure, you have the standard sarcastic "Its a door", but generic dialog for generic items is a small price to pay for being able to understand what this statue thing is I'm carrying around.
Back to the ghost room, hoping I have enough spare space to move this gramophone to safer places. I do. I sneak across, getting a poker and another matchbox. Can I take out the pirate with this? Its not even a weapon. And now I'm standing in the hallway, staring at that suit of armor, waiting for inspiration to strike me. Well, better try everything in desperation. First target, suit of armor.
I didn't get a picture of it, but the suit of armor is felled by throwing the statue at it. This makes sense in retrospect, but the player has no reason to try this. Especially when the statue has the range of almost nothing. I'm going to wager I probably won't need the statue again, so I'm going to leave it here for now. Sword, now who do I know that fights with a sword?
At first I thought this was a bust, but no, I just had to wait until he was close enough. He blocks, he dodges, but within a certain distance he's defenseless. He was only mortal after all. He had a key. To what, I don't know. One again I am stymied by items that aren't actually interactive. A bucket of paint that looks useful but is not. But I do find a book. I wonder what's...
Hey, an actual grimiore in this game about someone losing their sanity to a grimiore. It describes the use of a reverse sign against the evil eye as a protection from the OUTER BEINGS.
Having obtained all the information I need from this book I check the door the pirate was guarding. Its locked. Does the key I have work? Yes. Wait, it'd be possible to run past him if it wasn't locked? Lame.
This isn't my first ghost event, but wait, I can't get the item without touching the ghosts. Okay, what else is in this room? A record? I don't know if its technologically accurate, but I'm guessing the gramophone and the record go together to cause the dancers to dance. But it won't go on the table. Am I supposed to put this down and put a record on it? No, I'm supposed to use the record.
You're dead! Why are you so picky? This leaves me with more questions I can't answer. I'd better solve something somewhere else. I have a jug, there's a barrel full of water, and there's that smoke thing in the one room. Maybe...?
Cigars? What is this, an anti-smoking game? Okay, now what's in here? A record? Jackpot, maybe this will solve the problem of the picky dead ghosts. A book too. Interesting.
Is everyone named Alistair? Another book about someone going to a town in New England to observe astral phenomena. Every book so far seems to mention it. Another book about the author dying because of it. I'd complain about the bluntness of the message, but I did miss it the first couple of times. Chances are I'm missing some important information inside the books as well. There's another locked door in this room that I don't have the key for. The record? Not good enough for the tastes of the ghosts. That leaves me the option of basement and axe thrower hall. Maybe I'm supposed to burn the painting? No.
Instead I use the Indian cover I got from the attic. Well, that makes sense. This grants me peace. At least until I reach a painting of an Indian at the other side of the hallway shooting arrows at me. Okay, access to the room locked from the staircase side.
Its dark. I have to use the lantern, preventing me from doing anything else. Its a library. I can't activate the light in the middle. Another ghost pops up. There's no way further out and no light switches. There's nothing on the ground and nothing I can see. And I can't go further down the hallway, as the painting of an Indian will shoot me down if I do. There's a door on the opposite side of where I came in. That leads back to the stairs up to the second floor. At least I have that door unlocked now. Fat lot of good that does me. What if I try shooting the painting with the bow and arrows?
Success! Just trust me on that one. You can see the puffs of smoke in the distance. Now, what's behind this door?
Another book. A fake book. Seemingly the room is empty, but this clock is suspicious. I try to search it, and then figure I should push it. Score, a key and a parchment behind it.
The parchment offers some spooky content, and some hints against enemies. Maybe this fake book will work against the thing in the library? No, of course not. I check my book and discover I'm supposed to put down the lamp. Okay, that works. From the first time I went in, I saw a bookcase that looked different from the others. Presumably, I'm supposed to open it using the fake book. I check it and find a hidden mechanism. Put book and voila, a secret room.
What's this glowy thing that's creating noise? A Talisman, I'll take that....why is everything groaning now? Jesus, there's a lot of stuff in this chest in here. Two books, two parchments and three more knives. This has got to be another puzzle.
I can't help but feel this statement screams "trying to hard". I'm seen quite a few dime-a-dozen Lovecraft rip-offs that this feels cheaper somehow. The gist of this paper is that you have to pick a particular dagger to get rid of the Vagabond or the strange thing wandering around. It describes a ritual, I thankfully don't have to do in order to use it. The other parchment tells me what I already figured, don't go screwing around with books unless you're in the safe spot*. So, what about the books?
Book 1 is another statement on don't screw around with books or you'll go mad. Especially De Vermis Mysteriis.
Huh, De Vermis Mysteriis. I wonder what'll happen if I read this...
How could I have possibly foreseen this?
Interestingly, in one of the books it mentions that the monsters disappearing in a puff of smoke isn't them dying, its them returning to their home dimension. Slick move, I approve.
Uncaptured, but the Vagabond falls like tissue paper. That's pretty sweet. At this point I realize I've been in almost every room I can possibly go into above the cellar...except for the key in the dance hall and the locked room next to the cigar lounge. I would wager these two are related and I am about to do the one thing I should never, ever do. Go in the basement. Nuts.

*Or have a save game handy.

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