The Let's Play Archive


by Grimwit

Part 48: Day Three- Page 47

Alright. So the townsfolk of Anchorhead aren't as friendly as, say, Dallas, but we can still win them over, I'm sure.

Just...uh... Not now.

Kacie posted:

Old Grey Guy's map (oh thank you for making a map!) says we can get to: the empty lot, a chilly avenue, the court house, the dark corner -> asylum.

We could see if our friend the bum is in the empty lot; probably not. He seemed keen on getting out of dodge.

I forget - did we ever do/get anything from the chilly avenue?

Maybe the court house will have some help for us?

And we could always try to get asylum in the asylum...

Not sure the Courthouse will give us anything other than records, but it doesn't hurt to check.

Courthouse Basement
Death Records
Courthouse Basement
Birth Records
Courthouse Basement

Town Square

There appears to be a commotion of sorts to the north, where a group of townsfolk have gathered.


Of course, there's the empty lot and the Warf, still.

Vacant Lot

A filthy old mattress lies among the weeds over in one corner of the lot.

You can also see a flask (which is empty) here.

Oh, Hi, Flask.
I missed you.

>put flask in coat
(first taking the flask)
(closing the flask first)
You slip the flask into the pocket of your trenchcoat.

The flashlight beam flickers uncertainly for a moment, then comes back a bit weaker than before.

Uh oh.

>turn off flashlight
You switch the flashlight off.




The gentle creaking of hawsers and the hollow slap of water beneath the wooden pier provide a faint counterpoint to the endless, rhythmic surging of the sea. The fishing industry (like the paper industry) has all but died away in Anchorhead; nonetheless there are still a few boats tied to the pier. A path leads back through an opening in a chain-link fence to the northwest; otherwise, it's just you and the ocean.

Nothing here.

We know there's very little south, having just been there. What about the Asylum?

Vacant Lot
Town Square
Dark Corner
Asylum Courtyard
Waiting Room

An orderly sits by the gate, leisurely perusing a pornographic magazine.

A large key dangles from the orderly's belt.

Airy strains of vacuous elevator music waft through the room from invisible speakers.

Oh, it's Chuck.

Hey, Chuck. Shits crazy outside.

>ask orderly about townsfolk
You can't think of anything to say about that for the moment.

Nevermind, Chuck. Miranda just realized who she's talking to.


Asylum Courtyard

Thinking about it, Miranda bets she could get that hatch open, after all. It would at least be some place new.

Dark Corner
Town Square
Under the Bridge
Access Shaft


>turn on flashlight
The flashlight must not be quite as waterproof as you originally thought; the beam flickers unsteadily, and you have to bang it against the palm of your hand a couple of times to get it to work.

The flashlight beam flickers uncertainly for a moment, then comes back a bit weaker than before.

Sewer Tunnel
The tunnel is ankle-deep in brackish water, though raised walkways on either side provide relatively dry footing. The walls are slick, the air damp and foul. The main tunnel runs north and southeast. Numerous smaller pipelines lead in all directions, but all are too small for you to crawl through. Iron rungs embedded in the wall lead up through an access shaft, back to the surface.

Okay, the flashlight may be on it's last leg.


Dripping Tunnel


Broken Tunnel

Set in the low ceiling is an old iron hatch.

Miranda figures if it's rusty, it just needs some WD40.
Or, failing that...

>take tin

>look at tin
It's dented and rusty, and you can barely make out the words "Skagen, Denmark" printed along the side. The lid is closed.

It is now pitch dark in here!


>turn on flashlight
You flip the switch on and off uselessly. The water must have finally done your poor flashlight in.

Kibbit Kibbit Kibbit.

How fortunate that we have a replacement handy.

>take lamp

>take matches

>strike match
One of the matches starts to burn.

Broken Tunnel
This looks to be an older part of the sewer system that has fallen into disrepair. Many of the pipes here have crumbled and are filled with debris.

Set in the low ceiling is an old iron hatch.

>light lamp with match
The lantern is now lit.

Tho for the life of me, I'm not sure what you're supposed to do if you didn't grab the lamp in the Tavern.
Maybe that's why the town hates Miranda. She's stole their lamp...

And whiskey...

And hook, and robe, and broke into the office, and...

>put all in coat
book of matches: You slip the book of matches into the pocket of your trenchcoat.
lantern: It wouldn't be very wise to put the lantern in your pocket while it's still burning.
old tin: You slip the old tin into the pocket of your trenchcoat.
hooded robe: No matter how tightly you roll up the heavy robe, it is still too big to fit in your pocket.

Ouch! You drop the match as it burns down to your fingers.

>get tin

>open tin
You open the old tin, revealing a smelly quantity of fish oil.

One has to wonder the uses of fish oil in a tin.

>put oil on hatch
(first getting some fish oil)
You dip your finger in and come up with a small glob of pungent fish oil.

You rub a good amount of fish oil all over the rusty hinges.

>open hatch
The oiled hinges give a little, allowing you to wiggle your fingers further under the door's edge. A sharp tug -- and the door swings down suddenly, spilling filthy water into your face.

>put tin in coat
(closing the old tin first)
You slip the old tin into the pocket of your trenchcoat.

>enter hatch

Outflow Tunnel
From the smell of it, this must be a sewage outflow tunnel. Filthy water swirls past a metal grate to the west and eddies around your hands and knees, on which you are forced to crawl in this cramped cylindrical passageway. To the east, the tunnel narrows still further, terminating about twenty feet further in a circle of dim light.
Much of the water is pouring through an open hatch set in the floor of the tunnel.


You reach the end of the pipe and wriggle your way out, dropping awkwardly to the sand.

Narrow Beach

Near the bottom of the slope, a sewage outflow pipe juts out over the beach, about three feet above the ground. A thin stream of acrid-smelling sewer water trickles out over the lip of the pipe, forming a puddle in the sand.

This place looks familiar.

You pick your way up the slope, push the loose board aside and slip back in through the gap.


High up on the wall of the northern building there is a narrow, transom-style window. One of the garbage cans has been pushed up against the wall directly underneath it.

You can only exit the alley to the northwest or crawl through the loose board to the east.

Hooooly crap. Miranda has gone full circle!
We're back in the alleyway from the start of the game!

>enter window
The window is too high.

The cold wind cuts through your clothes, chilling you to the bone.

>get on trashcan
You clamber onto the wobbling garbage can, precariously balanced. You can just reach the lower edge of the window from here.

The cold wind blows harder, tugging at the hem of your trenchcoat.

>enter window
It's a tight squeeze, but you just manage to wriggle through, dropping quietly to the floor inside.

File Room
Peering through the murk, you can make out the blocky outlines of filing cabinets lining the walls and a doorway to the west. A window high up on the south wall lets in a very faint illumination.



The office door is open.

Sitting on the corner of the paper-strewn desk are a telephone and an answering machine.

>look at desk
The top of the desk is littered with paperwork -- notes, messages, files, etc.; the way most desks tend to get at the end of a busy day. A telephone sits on one corner, next to a digital answering machine. There is a small drawer to one side.

Did Miranda ever frisk the drawer in this place?

>open drawer
It seems to be locked.

You can hear a fly buzzing around, right around your head.

Ah, but the dead body of our house agent gave us a key.
Sounds kind of trippy, now that I reread that sentence.

>unlock drawer
(first taking the keyring)
You go through all the keys on your keyring, trying each one in turn, and after several false attempts you discover that the small steel key fits the lock.
You unlock the drawer.

>open drawer
You open the drawer, revealing a hastily written letter and a tarnished bronze key.

Your score has just gone up by two points.

>look at bronze key
It is heavy and apparently very old, crusted over in places with a thin rime of verdigris.

There's an unusual amount of verdigris in this town.

>put bronze key on keyring
(first taking the tarnished bronze key)
The tarnished bronze key is now on the keyring.

>look at letter
Which do you mean, the hastily written letter or the letter opener?

It consists of several pages torn from a yellow legal pad and stapled in the corner; each page is covered on both sides, top to bottom, with erratic, frightened handwriting. It is dated two days ago -- the day you arrived in Anchorhead.


Could it be?

>take hastily letter

Is this the proverbial info dump in all horror stories?

>read hastily letter
The letter reads:

"To whom it may concern --

"My name is Claudia Benson, and I attest that I am of sound mind and body, at least for what little time I have left.

"If you are reading this anywhere within the city limits of Anchorhead, be aware that your life is in grave and immediate danger. Nearly all of the inhabitants of this city are members of a secret cult that has thrived since before the first settlers arrived here in the early 1600s and is still strong today. Its members are fanatical and quite insane, and will kill anyone who learns their secrets. I received a phone call early this morning which I believe is a threat to my life; I assume the cult somehow discovered that I was planning to divulge information to an outsider and now plans to silence me. In case I don't make it, I am leaving this testimony for someone to find; hopefully it will be someone who can put a stop to this madness once and for all.

"The cult originally evolved from the rituals of the ancient Misquat Indian tribe that once lived in this region. Although this tribe is now extinct, its beliefs have been passed down relatively unchanged through generations of settlers for nearly four centuries. These beliefs center around the worship of some sort of demon or god from the outer reaches of space, which visited the earth millions of years ago and will return some day to wreak terrible destruction. I am unclear on the exact details as there is very little historical information available on this tribe, unless the University is hiding material from me, which I am half-convinced it may well be.

"The ringleaders of this cult are and have always been the Verlac family. Every second generation a male Verlac is born, and the role of high priest is passed down from grandfather to grandson, following some arcane ritual of ascension. There is a persistent legend that this ritual somehow involves a transmigration of souls -- that, in fact, all male Verlacs are actually the reincarnation of the original founder of the American line. Although this is obviously nothing more than local superstition, the legend has such a hold on the people of the region that it may have become a self-perpetuating delusion on the part of the members of the Verlac family, each male child honestly believing that he is his own grandfather reborn. Edward Verlac rejected this obscene birthright, and I believe that the townspeople drove him to insanity for it.

"Regardless of the truth behind these legends, the cult is planning to act very soon. In the 1920s, Edward's grandfather Mordecai Verlac began preaching that the return of the 'Nameless God' was imminent -- specifically, that it would occur the day after tomorrow. He re-opened the defunct paper mill, converting it into a factory to build some sort of device, a 'beacon' with which to facilitate the Nameless God's entry into this world. This device is very nearly finished, and in two days they will be ready to enact their great ritual -- what they call the 'Blessed Event'. It will most likely entail the wholesale slaughter of every non-cultist man, woman and child in the city. The child abductions of the past few years were most likely preparatory sacrifices perpetrated by the cult, and there is no reason to believe that the killing will stop once their great ritual is complete.

"If you are, in fact, the young man who planned to move into the Verlac estate, you must be careful. The cult is almost certainly watching your every move, and will attempt to induct and brainwash you into their cult or, failing that, murder both you and your wife. I had hoped to warn you upon your arrival; however, as the message on my answering machine this morning attests, I don't have much time left. With any luck, I'll be out of the city by tonight. If I don't make it, please try to stop these people. This key might help -- I managed to dig it out our old property file on the lighthouse. I know they consider that building important for some reason. Do what you can with it. And be careful. These cultists are a menace, inbred and insane to the last man, and no one will be safe until they are wiped off the face of the earth.

"Good luck, and be careful.

-- Claudia Benson"


Well, we finally got to the other side of the bridge and of town. We have a key to the Lighthouse, but let's put that off until the end.
The question now is, what to do next?


In Trenchcoat