In this chapter we're going to wrap up the Terra level and start on Aer! The Phoenix starts to clue us in on his motivations, while Jack and Karen journey through Tuscany. It's a pretty busy chapter!
On the technical side I suffered a pretty major setback making this. My recording was corrupted starting at about the 1/3rd mark. Oops. Since there are no "do-overs", I ended up having to create an all new game and rush through everything we've played up to this point to re-record it. I was able to make it look pretty seamless in editing but it was quite the pain. Hopefully the Phoenix stops messing with my recordings from here on out...
Anyway, the fruits of that labor!
From: David Marcus <email@example.com>
Subject: my latest analysis
The situation appears to be developing at an alarming rate. The recent discoveries concerning the "Phoenix" seem to confirm the worst case scenario as laid out in my previous analyses.
1. The Phoenix is particularly formidable due to his intelligence and seems motivated by ideas that are fed by an inexhaustible source of disturbing facts. While waiting for more information regarding his peregrinations, the Phoenix seems to be an individual without any roots, an increidbly solitary wanderer of an international scale. He is sexually frustrated. He is insensitive, immoral, obstinate and unstable, which are the classic signs of a psychopathic personality.
2. One fact appears to be established: the Phoenix hunts for future victims on the Internet. Several of them had a web site. He will certainly continue to use different pseudonyms. As can be seen with other criminals, the effectiveness of his ability to cover his tracks reinforces the thrill of impunity: challenging the police and delusions of grandeur give rise to emphatic and provocative declarations. They sometimes result in particularly careless behavior that could be interpreted as a subconscious desire to be caught.
3. The accumulation of clues taken from history, religion and mythological representations feeds the dominant psychological process in his mental functioning: intellectualization. This mechanism allows him to repress the thought of the shameful impulses at work when he takes action. There is a denial of sensitivity. All emotions and feelings are replaced by a strongly structured mental plan. Every impulse that would make a normal person's hand shake or heart race, in other words, make him doubt, has disappeared from the Phoenix's field of conscience. He has been blinded by his ideals and illusions.
4. His feeling of omnipotence, his megalomania, has swelled with each escape from capture. In any case, he feels no guilt. On the contrary, he considers himself the dispenser of justice! Feelings of guilt have thus been completly rejected from his consciousness and projected and assigned to others: his victims are the guilty ones. There are elements in the Phoenix's words and attitude which typically belong to the paranoid, especially the conviction of a plot, persecution and resentment. In this respect, the Inquisition ideally and mentally represents the summation of everything having to do with traps, torture and concealment.
5. Without wishing to sound paranoid myself, it is time to consider whether all of this can be attributed to just one person. Since this case began, I have been amazed by what the Phoenix is capable of. His skills in both computing and art, which are highly developed as evidence by the CD he created, already appear to be a rare occurrence. If you include all his movements, actions and knowledge, it seems reasonable to think that there might be a second person involved. The Phoenix could have easily subjugated someone in his circle of friends, led them into his convictions, dominated them and thereby taken advantage of that person's additional skills and expertise.
6. The hypothesis that the Phoenix heads up a sect indulging in satanic rituals must logically be taken into account as well. We could therefore tie all the different elements together by supposing that the pseudonym designates a group of individuals acting in unison... To be honest, at this stage, the theory of a serial killer acting in isolation nevertheless appears to be the most probable, even if I am still confounded by his extraordinary abilities
Do not drop your guard,
From: ----- Phoenix <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: I'm watching you
I'm there, right near you. I'm watching you. You could almost feel my breath on your skin
See you later, my Little Friend. See you later, Let's Play
From: Kristin Lark <email@example.com>
Subject: More and more creepy!
Have you noticed the engravings that appear with each murder? I seem to
think that the killer is following some sort of logical pattern, but
which one? I can't get my head round it. Apollo doesn't tie in with my
What about if all this was the work of some group, like a sect? Maybe
we ought to lok into Manus Domini (the hand of the Master)...
I didn't sleep very well last night, so I think I'll go and get my head
down for a bit.
From: Kristin Lark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Case round-up
Actually, have you received the latest analyses from the profiler? I
though it was interesting and found that it fitted in nicely with own
analysis of the case - here it is in full.
1/ Volker's murder.
Contrary to what Hans Berthold of the Volker Institute said, I don't
think that the theft of the cursed book was the motive for the murder.
The super-8 film bears the hallmark of professionals, and they don't go
round killing people just to steal. I reckon that Volker discovered
something (related to an ancient book?) that he shouldn't have.
2/ The Phoenix's murders
It looks as though the current murders have been painstakingly prepared
and staged down to the most minute detail. The crime scenes have
revealed the following characteristics: symbols of planets marked on the
body, the inscription 'Sol Invictus', the whole setting inspired by ancient
engravings (era?). Some victims and places appear to be closely related
to religion (inquisition, secret societies, sects?)
3/ Link between the Volker case and the Phoenix
This has got to be the key to the mystery. Before the murder in Oxford,
Lorski was convinced that Volker's murder had something to do with some
sort of dispute between traffickers. It was Helena Whitford's murder
(and especially 'Sol Invictus' found near the body) that enabled him to
draw a link between the Volker case and the current murderer. Even so,
there's nothing to prove that the two cases are related.
It has to be said that there's a lot of strange coincidences: Volker
was bumped off near Rhodes. Rhodes is linked to Helios, and Helios to the
sun cult (Sol Invictus). In the Sol Invictus cult, you come across
planetary references that can be found in the Phoenix's ritual and the
CD-ROM (the 36 decans)...
5/ My interpretation
Volker, guided by the 'cursed book', discovered the existence of a
secret society associated with the cult of the Invincible Sun... This society
decided to take him out of the picture - either to protect its
existence or protect some secret reserved for initiates only (the cursed book
might have contained a secret, which the sect didn't want revealed). If
the Phoenix's victims belong to this secret society (which seems to be
more and more likely), it remains to be seen what has caused the killer
or killers to act 30 years later.
I can't make head or tail or it. We'll probably know more in the next
Where I keep track of the number of times someone says "esoteric"
5 (in video only)
8 (including emails)
We're searching for Karen's location in Tuscany. The only clue is this thing that appears to be an equation:
As always, a friendly reminder: If youre interested in playing along with the investigation, please make sure you include -walkthrough and/or "-solution" in your Google searches without the quote marks in order to exclude them from your search results.