The Let's Play Archive


by Grimwit

Part 72: Bonus Page 3

Seyser Koze posted:

Do the last three points constitute "solving the entire mystery?"

I have never ever got 100 points.
I don't know if it's possible.

Hey, Mike Gentry! If you're out there, what did we miss?

---===What if Miranda gives the real mirror to Mike in the Lighthouse?===---

Michael raises the torch, preparing to thrust it into the pyre at the child's feet. He throws his head back and shrieks directly into the eye of the storm:



You wait, helplessly.

With a triumphant shout, Michael plunges the torch into the kindling piled up around the little boy's feet. You turn away as the child's screams rise over the sound of crackling flames. The ringing sound reaches a crescendo. The sky splits like a rotted shroud, and the squirming, bubbling chaos of Ialdabaoloth pours through. The earth withers under the unspeakable malevolence of Its great, red-rimmed eye, and all of mankind are engulfed and encysted within the necrotic folds of the Womb of Nehilim.

It is a dark time for everyone.

*** Mankind's doom is complete ***

In that game you scored 62 out of a possible 100 points; it is all, however, for naught.

---===What if Miranda leaves the boy behind, then waits to watch him drown?===---

With a final, shivering heave, the island of flesh sinks beneath the waves. The boy screams horribly as the water closes over his head; then the water fills his mouth and chokes off his cry. Soon, nothing is left except the bubbling, turbulent patch of water.

A flurry of dead leaves goes skittering along the ground, swirling past you in the wind.

The trail turns northwest, following the curve of the lighthouse wall.
At the Foot of the Lighthouse
The sea thrashes against the shore with storm-driven fury.
The great bronze door of the lighthouse stands slightly ajar, revealing a narrow rectangle of blackness within.

The sea thrashes against the shore with storm-driven fury.

Mill Road
A sizzling bolt of lightning cuts through the night sky, illuminating your surroundings in a sudden sheet of blinding white radiance that leaves eerie, green afterimages scarred onto your retinas.

As you cross the railroad tracks, the air becomes warmer, more dingy, and slightly more difficult to breathe.
Entrance to the Paper Mill
*** ka-WHAM!!! ***
A monstrous clap of thunder rolls across the sky, shaking the whole town to its foundations.

Shanty Town
You hear a soft rattle behind you, like an empty tin can rolling across the uneven ground. When you turn, there is no one there.
Flakes of ash drift gently down from the sky like gray snow, coating everything with a thin layer of soot, which is quickly washed away by the rain.

>knock on door 11
The door opens a crack and the woman peers fearfully out; but when she sees it is you, she smiles and beckons you inside.

#11 Mill Town Road
A dirty, ramshackle home, scraped together out of the bits and ends of working-class poverty. The floor is warped and broken wood, bare dirt showing through the cracks between boards. Rags hang across the window in lieu of curtains. Over in the far corner is a rickety old stove; in the opposite corner a threadbare cot; it hits you suddenly that a family of three once lived, slept and ate all in this single room, which is slightly smaller than your bedroom back at the house.

The woman watches you expectantly.

On the threadbare cot is a teddy bear.

A set of grime-smeared overalls hangs on a hook next to the front door to the west.

>tell woman about boy
"It came in the night," the woman tells you, her voice barely above a whisper, "just like when it took all the other children over the years. It came through the window and took him away while we slept." The woman's voice breaks, and she shakes her head, trying not to weep. "Without my Jeffrey, I don't know if I can go on." Her look implores you. "If you do find him, please tell me. Please bring my boy back to me!"


---===What if we wait until Croseus kills Michael Carter before opening the portal to hell?===---

There passes some time that your memory cannot account for; a brief period of blackness and oblivion, you and the body of your husband, together in the subterranean vault. Were you weeping? Laughing? Were you even conscious? You cannot remember. At some point you must have tenderly gathered Michael to your breast and carried him to the surface. By what route you came you will never be sure, for your next memory is that of standing at the bend in the road overlooking the town, watching Anchorhead burn. The town square is caving in on itself, the vile obelisk sinking into the earth. And above you on the hilltop, a bright orange glow and a growing heat upon your back mark the end of the Verlac family forever.

Another blank time. Somehow you must have found a ride, because your next memory is in nearby Arkham. There is a hospital, and doctors asking you questions, and someone wheels Michael into another room, shutting the lights off behind them.

Then there are some difficult phone calls.

You talk to Michael's family, and your family talks to you, and soon you are flying back to Texas -- you in coach class, Michael in freight. So that he can be buried near his home, near his family.

His true family. And his true home.

But no longer yours.

*** You have won, but at what price? ***

In that game you scored 87 out of a possible 100 points; you are in sight of daylight with the foul breath of hell at your back.

The following are lists presented at the end of the game, assuming you've saved Mike and taken the pregnancy test.

---===Neat Ways to Die===---

I think I've done all of these during the LP, but just in case...

Of course, you have already surmised that there are many creative ways in which you can die in this game. Whether or not you find that particularly amusing... well, that's between you and your conscience. I, for one, found them amusing to code; perhaps you will find them amusing to experience.

Do not attempt the following at home:

- standing on the train tracks until the train comes.
- standing on the altar while you blow the flute.
- wandering around the Narrow Aisles adjacent to the Mill Floor for too long.
- not giving Michael the mirror when he asks for it.
- letting Michael die before you destroy Croseus.
- reading the big black book in the abandoned church -- in its entirety.
- EXAMINING William Verlac.
- ATTACKING Michael with the meat hook.
- allowing the summoning ritual to proceed to its conclusion without sabotaging the beacon first.

---===Easter Eggs===---

Again, I tried to do all of these, but I may have missed some details.
There are a LOT of details in this game.

Did you try just typing LISTEN while Michael is in the shower on the morning of Day 2? Type it several times.

Did you take a good look at the paintings in the gallery? One scene in particular will catch your eye. EXAMINE the scene. Leave the room and come back later, and EXAMINE the paintings again.

In Claudia Benson's last letter, she mentions that she did some research at the Miskatonic library. Did you try looking her name up on the circulation register? You might find some interesting reading material.

You may have noticed that your appearance changes as the game progresses and you get more and more filthy. Did you try EXAMINING yourself while wearing the strait jacket? How about talking to yourself?

Also, did you EXAMINE yourself during the epilogue?

Did you try SCREAMING or CRYING? Did you try it while handcuffed to the island at the end of Chapter Four?

If you wait around for a while at the Twisting Lane or the Rocky Spur, you might catch something interesting. You might have to wait a long time, though.

Did you try typing XYZZY? No? Good.

---===Alternative Ways to Solve Puzzles===---

Several puzzles in Anchorhead admit more than one solution; some even boast more than two. Many of these alternate solutions are actually "second chances" that pop up elsewhere in the story, should you happen to miss the narrow window of oppourtunity provided to solve the puzzle the first time. Although my caveat about saving in "About This Game" still holds, there are actually few mistakes in Anchorhead that are truly irreversible (other than the immediately fatal ones, of course).

You might find it interesting to go back and see if you can find other ways to:

- discover the name "Verlac".
- clear away the spiderweb in the cellar.
- get the brass key from the attic cell.
- obtain Michael's faculty card.
- open the puzzle box.
- reach the bottom riser from the church basement.
- spy on Michael on the morning of the third day.
- turn the steam-release wheel.
- get up to the mill catwalk.
- open the real estate agent's desk drawer.
- safely witness the old bum's murder.
- get rid of the madman in Danvers Asylum.

---===Significant Dates===---

Yes, June 28th is our real anniversary. Thanks for all the cards.

---===Most Bizzar Bug Report Contest===---

These quotes are taken from actual bug reports from the first version of Anchorhead. Names have been obscured to embarrass the guilty.

2nd PRIZE:

"Obscure fact: Edward writes that he pricked the inside of his cheek to draw blood for his ink. The inside of the cheek isn't a good choice for an inkwell, since it's mighty difficult to get it to bleed. Have you bitten your cheek while chewing food? It hurts, but it doesn't bleed. Have you seen body manipulators pierce their cheeks with a metal skewer? They choose the cheek precisely because it won't bleed. You can try this at home yourself with a needle or a large safety pin. Sterilize it, psyche yourself up, and pierce the cheek from the inside to the outside. It's *very* disconcerting, but it's not painful, and if there's any blood at all, it will bleed from the *outside* of the cheek, not the inside."

1st PRIZE:

"This is horrible, but I got really confused at the epilogue, because I thought I hadn't taken the pregnancy test yet. (It's amazing how difficult it is to express taking a pregnancy test in IF commands.)"

Mr. Gentry... I still can't leave the bedroom with Mike's Wallet.

---===Some things Never Change===---

It is STILL possible to win the game and earn all the points without EVER using the key to the sewers. I never could figure out how the hell to fix that.

---===Used for this LP===---

Windows Frotz 1.18
Anchorhead Release 5 / Serial number 990206 / Inform v6.15 Library 6/7
Link to all images used in this LP