Part 1: The Lighthouse (Pt 1)Upon selecting "New Game," we are treated to a short cutscene. It sets the tone for the rest of the game pretty well, I'd say.
Summary: A lighthouse, MAD SCIENCE , a baby, and a spooky shadow.
But none of that stuff has happened yet, actually. The game proper begins here, at Home.
Like many adventure games, Lighthouse tries to improve player immersion by giving us very little information about the character we're playing as. The protagonist has no name, no face, no gender - a good old-fashioned AFGNCAAP, if I may throw in a Zork reference.
That's not to say we don't get any backstory whatsoever. Let's turn to the left...
...pull out the chair, and open the desk drawer.
Are there any rules about invading your own privacy? No? Good.
Yes. This is very interesting backstory. Certainly this information will help us get into character.
Jan. 10, 1995
I have decided to get a house on the coast for the summer. Being away from the city will give me a chance to clear my head, and get some work done on my story. I have been watching the papers, and I am going to go look at a place next week. I hope it will be the right one. I am anxious to settle in and have some time to myself.
The house was perfect, and the rent is reasonable. I can move in at the beginning of April. There is a beautiful view of the coast, and it is five miles to the nearest town. There are some other houses in the area, but the coast is rugged, and there is a sense of peaceful seclusion.
"I am beginning to write. Just not in my journal."
It has been a hectic three months, but I am here at last. I unloaded the trailer yesterday, and I am busy with the details of moving in. I took a walk by the sea this morning. The shore is mostly rocky, but there are stretches of sand and pebble beach. I found a trail to the water, and enjoyed wading in the surf. This is a truly beautiful place. There is even an old lighthouse a mile or two down the coast.
I am settling into a routine, and I am beginning to write. I have met a few locals in town. People seem friendly, but tend to keep to themselves. The weather has been cold and wet, but I'm sure it will improve by summer.
Last night I was surprised to see that the light was operating at the lighthouse. It is an old place, and I thought it was out of service. Luckily it is far enough away not to be a distraction.
"I have no friends."
I have met the owner of the lighthouse. I was walking on the beach, and came across a man out with his baby daughter. His name is Jeremiah Krick, and he is some kind of a professor. He has purchased and renovated the lighthouse. He seems to be a fascinating character. He has repaired the old light, and sometimes runs it on stormy nights.
My writing is progressing well, and the weather is warmer. I go to town twice a week for supplies. I saw Dr. Krick last Friday. He was with his daughter again. He calls her Mandy, but her real name is Amanda. He seemed glad to see me, but was in a hurry. He could only talk for a few minutes, but I held Mandy while he loaded his truck with bails [sic] of wire. In this isolated place it is good to find someone to talk to.
"I'm so lonely I don't mind when people ditch me and leave me to pay their tab, as long as they talk a little first."
I awoke last night to lightning and thunder. It was late, but the weather was awe-inspiring. I sat up for more than an hour, and watched the storm. I think I saw Saint Elmo's fire at the lighthouse. The light was on when I awoke, but went off at the peak of the storm. I saw a bluish halo around the top of the tower. It lasted a few minutes, then faded away.
On my errands in town this morning, I bumped into Dr. Krick at the post office. Mandy was fussy so we went to the diner to get her some milk. We had a good talk over our coffee, though when I asked about his work, he gathered up the baby and left in such a hurry he forgot to leave money for his tab. I was happy to pay it, however, as Dr. Krick and his daughter provided the most pleasant company I've had in weeks.
I am listless and uninspired. I have taken to long walks exploring tide pools and coves nearby. It is hard to believe I am uninspired in such a beautiful place. For the last week I have been unable to write, but I know the story will come.
I have had this journal for half a year now and I've written a grand total of nine paragraphs.
Anyway. There's an answering machine on our desk, and it looks like the light is blinking. Let's give it a listen.
Summary: My mother has empty nest syndrome. My editor is an asshole. (Then again, he has me for a client, so his rage may be justified.) And my mysterious scientist friend has screwed the pooch in some unspecified fashion, and he needs me to babysit his kid for a bit
Well, I don't know about you guys, but I don't really want to spend the night taking care of some baby I barely know. I'm sure there's someone else in town he can call on. I'll just pretend I didn't get his message at all ("What message?" Exactly.) and just sit here, looking out the window, watching the lighthouse go round and-
Saint Elmo's fire? Yeah, sure. That looks like MAD SCIENCE to me. And one thing I know for sure: letting mad science run around unchecked is a recipe for disaster. This calls for investigation! and I guess I can check up on the kid while I'm there
Given the weather, I'd better grab that umbrella Mom mentioned. And I should take my handbag, too, just in case I need to carry around a lot of random junk for some reason.
> Got Umbrella.
> Got Handbag.
Where the hell are my keys?
Answer: in the hall stand, under what looks like a brochure and a glasses case. Hiding important stuff under useless stuff: a time-honored adventure-game tradition.
> Got Car Keys.
Okay, got my keys, got my bag, got an umbrella... I don't own a wallet as far as I can tell... am I missing anything?
Whoops, almost forgot my lighter. Who knows what sort of unwinnable scenarios we might stumble into without this little guy?
But enough delays. I'm off!
Summary: Title drop, and a close-up of the lightning strike. I am not a safe driver.
We've arrived. There's no turning back now! (Because my keys have vanished. Damned Hyrulian cars.)
First things first. I'll draw up a plan of attack.
- Step 1: Find Dr. Krick.
- Step 2: Shut down whatever lunatic science fair project he's got going.
- Step 3: Lecture him sternly and at great length.
- Step 4: Make him science me home somehow.
Plan's hit a snag. Dr. Krick remembered to lock his door.
No answer when I knock. Well, he did ask us over, so he must have left us a key somewhere.
I found a key!
> Got Shed Key.
I'm too clever for my own good. What you're supposed to do is look down.
The key to the front door is always under one of these decorations, but it's random which one.
> Got House Key.
One Freudian key-insertion later, and I'm in.
It's dark as balls, and I can hear an unnerving wailing coming from somewhere in the darkness. (No doubt one of Dr. Krick's demented creations.)
The house was lit up when I first arrived - I guess all the MAD SCIENCE blew a fuse somewhere. I'd better get the lights back on before I go exploring.
A little quick exploration (read: waving the cursor around until I find a spot where it becomes an arrow) reveals a small shed around back of the house. In a spot of good luck, the key I found in the lantern opens the padlock.
That looks like a power box in the top corner there. But first... do you see what I see?
> Got Crowbar
Right. Let's fix the power.
The two smaller levers control the house's circuit breaker, so I'll flip them back into the ON position. As for the big lever...
Let's just leave it be for now.
The lights should be on now, so I'm going back to the front door.
Ah, much better! Now that I can see what I'm doing, it's time to go monster hunting. Lessee... I'll start with the closest door, the one on the near right.
Dr. Krick's study, I suppose. No monsters here. Just lots of books, some paintings, a desk...
...and this magnificent display of artifacts, carefully arranged to tempt the eyes and hands of passing adventurers.
Will we resist its siren song? Can we resist?
> Got Golden Bird
> Got Seashells
> Got Red Earrings
Of course not.
I've got enough stuff now that my "normal" inventory is out of space. As new items come in, old items get stuffed into the handbag.
As you can see, my lighter and Aunt Thelma's umbrella have been stuffed in my little purse. Somehow.
Also: Dr. Krick has questionable tastes in home deco. "Saturn Devouring his Son." Eesh.
Moving on. There's no monsters in the study, so I'd better try another room. Thinking back, the door on the left side of the hallway wasn't actually a door. It was just an opening. Suspicious. Let's check it out.
Looks harmless enough. Anything off to the ri-- Wait a sec.
Is that what I think it is?
> Got Compass
*ahem* I... was about to look to the right, no?
Yep. That sure is a kitchen.
Okay, what's left? One normal-looking door, and one ominous metal door. I know which one I want to check first!
I bet the monster's in there. But there's no handle, and I don't know the code, so it'll have to wait.
Only one place left to check. The far right door, as seen from the entrance.
A bedroom. And it's kind of a mess. My OCD won't let this stand.
> Got Toy Soldier
Ah, much better. Hey, is that a crib?
Wasn't there something baby-related we were supposed to do here?
Oh yeah! Dr. Krick asked us to watch his kid. I guess we should get on that. Hell, it can't be too hard. It's just a baby, we like babies, right?
Isn't that right, sweetie? You like us, right? You'll make that cute little gurgling laugh, and we'll give you a little poke, and-
that wailing sound wasn't a monster
Calm down, calm down... What do you do when a baby's crying? Do I need to change her? I don't know how to change a diaper.
Maybe she's hungry. please let her just be hungry
Thank Zork, there's milk in the fridge.
> Got Bottle of Milk
Wait, what's with these papers?
> Got Dr. Krick's Papers (1)
Invariant varieties, hypersurfaces, time-like lines...
Shit, what am I doing? I don't have time for this!
Okay, she's got the milk. Now... let me catch my breath...
...she's stopped crying. SUCCESS! I am an excellent babysitter.
Now then. I believe I found some papers in the kitchen?
April 12, 8am
In unpacking a recent shipment of books from the university, I came across an arcane work entitled "The Gödel Universe." Browsing through it idly, I was surprised to discover a theory about the space-time continuum that today's theoretical physicists have either forgotten or ignored.
Gödel's theory is based on a group of motions of Bianchi type VIII, in which the invariant varieties for the motions are three-dimensional hypersurfaces containing null and time-like lines (i.e. the orthogonals to these hypersurfaces are space-like). However, the Gödel universe admits a four-parameter group in which the Bianchi type VIII is an invariant subgroup, thus revealing a universe both homogeneous and stationary. This stationary characteristic makes the model unsuitable for the representation of the universe as we know it.
Gödel's hypothesis ends there, but I think it may apply to my own research on distortions in space. If our universe may be compared to a single sheet of paper, then with the proper bending of that sheet, any two points in space, no matter what the linear distance between them, may be brought into proximity, enabling instantaneous travel over distances of many light years. My theory, that electricity focused through a Fresnel lens would create just such a proximity point, is supported by Gödel's model. I will incorporate it into future calculations.
April 29, 11pm
Modified the algorithm to include Gödel's theory and focused the Fresnel lens accordingly. The storm is supposed to move in sometime after midnight. I will wait up for it though these late nights are taking their toll. Hopefully this storm will be intense and the lightning rod will attract a bolt. If the power modulation tube can withstand the initial blast of energy, it should regulate the flow through the Fresnel lens which, in turn, will focus it directly into my device. Maybe this time I will get some conclusive results.
I have a master's in mathematics and I don't know what the fuck he's talking about. Those words mean things, but not in that sequence. Regardless, the gist is: Dr. Krick is trying to invent some kind of interstellar teleporter. One which is powered by lightning, Frankenstein-style.
Where I'm from, we call that MAD SCIENCE . I knew the doc was up to something.
I say, there are more papers to be found on the nightstand!
> Got Dr. Krick's Papers (2)
May 11, 3pm
Today I opened the gate and was about to begin modifications when a figure suddenly appeared on the other side. It was bipedal and roughly shaped and sized like a man, though impossibly thin with long limbs. I was startled and prepared to shut down the device, but the creature made no move toward me, just peered curiously, first at the portal and then at myself. Its eyes were small and intelligent, almost mischievous, but there was no malice in them. We stared at each other for as long as a minute, then it turned and loped out of my view.
This visitation confirms a growing suspicion that I have discovered some kind of parallel universe, for the creature is of a species not to be found upon this earth.
May 19, 11am
Today the creature returned. He approached the portal cautiously, sniffed it, then reached out with a finger as black and gnarled as a burnt twig. Testing the limits of his boldness, I beckoned him to come over. In a single bound, the creature was through the portal. He crouched before me looking like nothing so much as a giant spider. I noticed strange geometric tattoos on his chest and upper arms.
I watched him carefully for the duration of his visit, but all he did was peer inquisitively at the equipment. Twice, when a particular device caught his interest, he glanced at me as if asking a question. His behavior almost made me laugh, as his furrowed black brow and tapering fingers made me think of a monkey exploring a new cage.
When the energy levels approached instability, I coughed once to get the creature's attention and pointed to the portal. Apparently understanding my meaning, he took one last look around the laboratory, then went to the portal and stepped through. I just had time to see him safely on the other side before the power supply collapsed and the lights went out.
"Doo dee doo, I am a scientist! I am opening portals to worlds I know nothing about. Why hello there, sinister-looking creature! Come on in and have a look around my laboratory. Dum dee doo."
Dr. Krick, you dumbass.
Okay, all bets are off; time to Scooby-Doo it up. We've seen pretty much all of the bedroom and the kitchen/living room, which leaves...
The study! Specifically that desk I glossed over earlier. The front of it rolls up, revealing more papers and a.... cube thing?
First things first.
> Got Dr. Krick's Papers (3)
July 1, 4pm
I have just returned from the other side. As on the previous test run, the portal stayed open for almost an hour, convincing me that my most recent modifications to the power modulation tube were successful. On this last trip I extended my explorations, following the path until I came to a tall building some distance down the rocky coast.
Approaching the tower, I was surprised to hear a voice call to me from a high window. I looked up to see a man waving excitedly. To my surprise I could understand his speech, and he invited me to come up at once!
Thus I made the acquaintance of another inhabitant in what I have come to think of as a parallel world. The eccentric old man turned out to be an inventor of strange animated contraptions. We sat in his workshop surrounded by mechanical odds and ends. His talk rambled from subject to subject in a disjointed manner I could not entirely follow. Several times he mentioned a "Dark Being" whom he feared and warned me about in gibbered, broken words. I believe it is the creature from the beach. Much of his rambling I was unable to comprehend. As I prepared to return to the portal, he suddenly began rooting among an assortment of gadgetry. After a few moments, the inventor revealed an intricate decorative box. To my surprise, he pressed it upon me with the utmost urgency.
The inventor is obviously deranged, though his inventions indicate genius as well. His strange behavior made me fear for my safety. I felt a sudden, urgent desire to return to the portal and so, thanking him for his gift, I departed.
The return to this world was uneventful but I am troubled. Just what was the inventor trying to tell me? I have examined the box closely, and have opened 2 of its inner panels, but I am unable to continue further.
"Gee, I wonder what that weird old man meant when he warned me about my new friend? Ahh, he's obviously deranged, I'm sure I can safely ignore him."
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why MAD SCIENCE never goes right. Because the only people who study it are idiots.
Anyway, how about that box?
Maybe if I... no, perhaps I should... that doesn't work... come on, I can get this... GODDAMMIT THE BABY'S CRYING AGAIN
Yeah yeah yeah. "What goes in must come out." All I can say is Dr. Krick better have left me a box of diapers because I am not...
WHAT THE FUCK
Summary: Dr. Krick's friend just kidnapped our charge. Via portal.
...We're gonna have to save her, aren't we?
End of Chapter
There are two ways I could go from here:
- The Fred Approach - Charge through that portal and take Amanda back by force.
- The Velma Approach - Play it cool, figure out what's going on, and follow the Dark Being on my own terms.