Part 2: The Lighthouse (Pt 2)
So it's been decided that I won't be going through that portal. A sensible decision - Freak of the Week clearly saw me just now, so I'm sure he'll have some kind of trap set up for me. It'd be much safer to try and find another, less obvious way to pursue. I'm sure baby Amanda will be just fine in the meantime, right?
I really want to get past that metal door, but I still haven't found a combination anywhere, or any numbers at all. I've searched the kitchen/living room and the bedroom pretty well, so I guess it's back to the study.
Now, I'd like to go back and work on the puzzle box, but the truth is we can't finish it just yet. I'd just hit a dead end about three-quarters of the way through. Rather than sidetrack the update for no good reason, I'll show off what we can do with the box in a separate bonus update.
Instead, let's start things off by searching the rest of the desk. I can get one of the top drawers open, revealing a useful tool.
> Got Letter Opener
Perfect. Now, once I knock the Dark Being cold with my crowbar, I can stab him to death with this.
...That is what the letter opener's for, right? I mean, I've found lots of paperwork in this house but not a single letter--
> Got Dr. Krick's Letter
(You can grab this as soon as you arrive at the lighthouse, if you want.)
Using the letter opener, I extract the letter from its envelope. (I couldn't just tear it open, because )
Anyway, let's take a look.
Safe? What safe? I was just in the study, there wasn't a safe there. Just a desk, a display case, and some books--
I enter the combination Dr. Krick
Inside the safe is a binder. (Or whatever those hard folders are called.)
> Got Dr. Krick's Binder containing Dr. Krick's Papers (4)
> Put Dr. Krick's Papers (1-3) into Dr. Krick's Binder
(Nice little bit of inventory clean-up here - all the "papers" I've already grabbed are stuffed into the binder automatically. There's no limit on how many items you can carry, but it's nice to keep things simple.)
April 30, 7am
Something unexpected and quite remarkable! The storm hit after midnight, and peaked shortly before 5:00 am. The lightning was frequent and directly overhead. The energy cells charged quickly to maximum capacity. At 5:25, I made some adjustments to the power modulation parameters and turned on the machine. The Fresnel lens focused the massive waves of energy passing through the device, and as I had predicted, a distortion in space occurred before the device. To my amazement the distortion began to deform. I stared in disbelief as the anomaly I had created burst like a bubble, revealing a portal in the fabric of space.
Through the portal I caught a glimpse of a rugged land, possibly a rocky shore as I thought I saw water in the distance. Certainly no place around here, no place I have ever seen before. After just a few moments, a sudden power surge collapsed the energy field and blew the fuses.
Stunned by what I had seen, I sat in the dark, thinking and listening to the diminishing rain. Amanda's waking cry finally brought me to my senses.
I do not understand what I have witnessed. The only explanation I can devise is that if indeed our universe is as a single sheet of paper, then there may be other sheets (or universes) layered with our own. If the portal caused the space-time continuum to fold, another universe may have been crumpled up alongside of this one.
I must continue my experiments in this uncharted territory and hope for enlightenment somewhere along the way. My first task will be to modify the energy consumption so that I can control the gate and increase the time it stays open.
From the date, this takes place after the first papers we found (the Gödelbabble) but before the others (friendly Dark Being and crazy old inventor).
I'm not entirely sure how Dr. Krick can tell the difference between a beach in a parallel universe and a beach in this universe. I mean, even if he could somehow tell right away that the portal wasn't going to a rocky beach somewhere on Earth itself (we do have those, you know)... his machine was specifically designed to connect distant parts of the universe. Why is his first assumption "my machine found a parallel world" and not "my machine worked as intended?"
Anyway. We're not done yet.
May 2, 9pm
I have had limited success modulating the power supply, and I am unsure how to stabilize the gate. An hour ago, I programmed the gate to stay open for six minutes. It opened and I stepped through. The sensation was strange but not painful. I felt a strong pulling force as if my body was stretching like saltwater taffy. The light brightened to an intense glare. My eyes blurred with tears, distorting shapes and colors.
Gradually the pulling subsided and my vision cleared. I found myself standing on the rocky shore I had seen through the portal. I turned and, much to my reassurance, saw the portal still open behind me. A large body of water was just visible at the foot of a narrow path. I heard the muffled roar of the surf though I was too far away to see the waves. Bending down, I picked up a rock. It seemed solid enough. Affected by a sudden nervousness, I dropped the rock and went back through the portal. This time the sensation was one of being pushed, almost violently, and I stumbled and fell to my knees on the laboratory floor.
"It opened and I stepped through."
Dr. Krick? Congratulations: You are the dumbest man alive.
What if the portal was one-directional? What if it didn't actually go where it seemed to go? What if the portal itself killed you somehow? Hell, even if we assume the portal itself is perfectly fine - what if the air is unbreathable, or the force of gravity is too strong? What if something happened and you couldn't get through the portal before it closed? Heck, how do you even know how long it's going to last? You just said it wasn't stablized! Come on, you're a mad scientist, you should have minions to test your inventions on.
Okay, enough of that. See that date next to the diagram? I've been looking for a set of numbers.
Incidentally, the Dark Being's portal has closed. (It's on a timer - if you want to Fred it up, you've got about a minute or so.)
8 - 2 - 4 - 9 - 6 - ENTER
AHA! sorry, force of habit *ahem*
Dr. Krick's lab is now open for business.
There's a lot to see in here....
...but first things first.
> Got Dr. Krick's Papers (5)
Last one, I promise.
May 25, 6pm
Perhaps I have been unwise in allowing the creature frequent access to my laboratory. Our mutual curiosity seemed reason enough at the time, but now I am uncertain. Since his first appearance, the creature has been waiting for me every time I activate the portal into his world. He would watch me work or study the equipment, but he never touched anything or interfered in any way.
I must have become accustomed to his presence because today, after opening the gate and watching the creature cross over, I focused my attention on my work. When I looked up from the computer, he was gone. Upon examining my equipment, I discovered that a power modulation tube was missing.
Although the tubes are expensive, I have several spares, so the loss is not too serious. I am concerned the creature's motivation may go beyond mere curiosity. Though his action does not necessitate curtailment of my experiments, I will restrict his access to my laboratory.
May 27, 3am
I have built a cage around the portal so that the creature cannot wander freely about the lab. When I opened the portal earlier this evening, he was not waiting on the other side. No doubt he realized that I must have learned of his thievery and hesitated to show himself again. I pretended to be absorbed in my work.
After a few minutes I caught a peripheral glimpse of a shadow crossing the portal into the cage. I turned toward him. The creature did not appear disturbed by the cage. He crouched on his haunches and stared at be without expression. Though I felt uneasy, I forced myself back to work.
The minutes passed slowly. Finally it was time to shut off the power to the gate. When I reached for the switch, the creature leapt across the portal. Obviously he understands some of what I do, and knew his escape route was threatened. We have been unable to communicate, and I am beginning to think there may be deeper, more devious aspects to his intelligence.
June 14, 2pm
It has been over a week since I last saw the creature. He has returned less often since I built the cage over the portal. I am continuing my work to stabilize the energy field, thus far without success.
Now that I am not constantly watched by the creature, I have a revitalized energy enabling me to work straight through most nights. The lack of sleep makes me irritable, a mood that must be contagious as Mandy is unusually ill-tempered as well. I'm sure our new neighbor must think us both a bit peculiar, though our infrequent exchanges have been pleasant enough.
Since Diana's death, I have had little interest in such things as friends. Perhaps that is not entirely healthy, though now I have no time for such thoughts. I digress, probably due to my long hours. Hopefully soon I will have results to show for my labors.
July 7, 11pm
A breakthrough! I added a new parameter which almost magically eliminated the instability factor. The equation now allows for the possibility of a permanent gateway, stable for an indefinite period of time. I am feeling ill, and I am afraid my lack of sleep is clouding my judgment. The modifications on the equipment must keep until tomorrow morning.
July 7, 2am
My worse fears have come true! The Dark Being has somehow copied my device, and has created its own portal between the worlds! I awoke to the unmistakable electric snap of the portal closing. That thing has been in the lab! It has stolen more equipment and, to my horror, my blueprints and final calculations! I am such a fool!
I am preparing to follow it through. I will only have an hour before the gate closes, and I do not know where the creature has gone! I have been so blind! Doing nothing while it has schemed to steal my invention! I Must stop it! I Must destroy its gateway into our world! Dear God, let me be in time!
Surprising absolutely nobody Dr. Krick's friend turns out to be a bad guy, and steals the blueprints for his interdimensional portal machine. (Also his daughter, for some reason, but that comes later, after Krick's departure and my arrival.) This is the "something horrible" he was referring to in his message.
Dr. Krick's nowhere to be found, so it seems as though he's gone through a portal to try and recover the blueprints. Given what we know about the good doctor's general competence level... I'm not expecting his endeavor to find much success.
In other words, it's up to me.
First, I need to get the portal machine working. Let's take a look around. Starting with what's immediately on my left as we come in, and continuing down the line, we have:
Some kind of sealed cooler-type thing. I can't open it with my bare hands.
The desk where we found that last set of papers. There's wires and tools everywhere.
The computer was knocked out by the power surge. Is it just me, or is that keyboard really tiny? Hitting [Retry] just makes it repeat the same text again.
(It's not supposed to be discolored - that's a bug caused by the game trying to render text over an image. I don't think it likes my graphics card much - it was released in 1996, after all.)
Turning around and continuing down the line to my right:
I can see some busted parts here. I'll have to fix those somehow.
Control panel count: 1
Lots of tiny switches. This is going to be a logic puzzle, isn't it?
This is the cage Dr. Krick mentioned.
This gizmo is hidden around back of the other stuff. I have no idea what it is, but it's easy to overlook.
And there's stairs leading up, but I'll deal with those later. Now then: time to fix this bastard.
Let's think. The computer thinks there's a problem with the power supply. The lab itself has power, so the machine must be on a different circuit. Remember the lever in the circuit breaker that shot sparks when we tried to reset it? That's gotta be it. And I can't reset the circuit... because the problem is ongoing. Those burnt-out components must be shorting out the system.
> Got Vacuum tube
> Got Piece of Wire
> Got Soldering iron
I'll gather up some tools and spare parts.
Yank out the bad vaccuum tube and slot in a good one. Remove the burnt wire, put in a fresh one, and solder it into place at both ends. There. Good as new.
Now I can safely reset the circuit breaker. The machine should now have power.
Let's check out the control panel next.
Are you ready to tackle this complex puzzle?
Puzzle Solution: Flip all the little switches. (Okay, it's not actually supposed to be a puzzle.)
The display lights up, and we can now pull the lever with the loopy handle.
That sends some kind of device up to the top of the lighthouse. I can't use the other lever yet, so upstairs is where I'm headed next.
But I'll turn the gizmo on first, lest I forget later.
The trapdoor leading to the top is locked. I don't have a key. And I don't need one, as long as I have Mr. Crowbar!
Mr. Crowbar no worky.
Never mind, he just needed to get warmed up.
(It takes three whacks to break the lock - and the animations for the first two hits are identical. Dick move, Sierra.)
Upstairs is the device we saw.
That green thing is the Fresnel lens Dr. Krick mentioned in his notes. It appears to have burnt out. Not surprising, considering it was hit by lightning.
As it happens, the spare lenses are in that sealed container. We can't get it open with our bare hands, but Mr. Crowbar is up to the task.
(This time I have to use the crowbar twice. Why? )
There's only three lenses left. I'd better not screw around.
I head back upstairs and swap out the lenses.
(Mr. Crowbar has now fulfilled his purpose and vanished from our inventory )
I also fix this little problem.
UPDATE: As pointed out by Shark Tower, it got unplugged because the assembly it plugs into was on the bottom floor until a few minutes ago.
The machine is now in working order. I hit the [Retry] button (you have to click the word itself ) and the computer starts counting up its memory.
FORTY SECONDS LATER it finally finishes and gives me the all clear. I don't know what that's about - I know it didn't take that long back when I first got the game. I think, as with the discoloration, the game simply isn't entirely compatible with modern computers.
Only one thing left to do.
On the other side of that portal (if Dr. Krick's notes are to be believed) is a parallel universe. Who knows what we might find there? The only thing certain is that the Dark Being is out there somewhere. It's got Amanda, and it's got the blueprints. And I've got to get them back.
End of Chapter