The Let's Play Archive

The Blackwell Legacy

by Tiggum

Part 3: Meet Joey

Meet Joey

But first, we have an article to write, and that means a visit to Britany House at NYU.

Or the Brittany hall dorm? Just an odd little inconsistency there.

Ugh. I feel like hell and I have to interview college kids. Hopefully this won't take too long.

The doors have labels on them telling us who lives in each room. The first belongs to Sarah Kaplan and Julie Gilberg. They're not home. The second room belongs to Adrian Tucker, the resident assistant. Let's knock.


The three options here are to announce yourself, display your credentials or get right to the point. I don't think this actually makes any difference beyond slightly altering a single line of dialogue (which is why I've mostly been cutting these choices out of the videos), but I went with the first option.

Hi. I'm Rosangela Blackwell.

Can I help you?

Perhaps. Could I ask you a few questions?

Oh. This is about JoAnn, isn't it?

You know her?

Well, I am the R.A. for this floor. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't know everybody. The campus police found her around 5am this morning.

Can you tell me about her?

: Hm. Well, all right. But could you leave my name out of it?

Here we can agree, be evasive or refuse. It seemed simplest to just agree.

That shouldn't be a problem.

Good. JoAnn's parents have already asked the Dean to fire me. I don't need anyone else knowing who I am. What do you want to know?

And here we have our first look at Rosa's notebook.

We'll ask about each of these topics in sequence. First, JoAnn.

Could you tell me about JoAnn again?

Yes, she says "again" even though this is the first time.

Well, as I said. I didn't know her socially, but she seemed nice enough. Nobody ever complained about her. She always had friends around her. She never had any trouble, as far as I know. Her... suicide... came as a total surprise.

Adrian also seems to think we've been over this before.

Back to the notebook. Let's ask about JoAnn's suicide.

Can you tell me anything about JoAnn?

Uh, Rosa, we covered that...

She jumped off the roof. She died instantly. It was in the middle of the night. There was... there was no way anyone could have stopped her. Make sure you print that.

OK, let's ask if he has a photograph.

Would you have a picture of JoAnn?

A Picture? No. Why would I?

Just asking.

Well, let's ask Adrian about himself then.

So how did you get to be the R.A. of this floor?

What do you mean?

Well, it's a girl's floor, and you, well...

Another misplaced apostrophe. And this is the improved, re-release version.



Well, it's like this. Someone at the registrar thought "Adrian" was a girl's name. So here I am.

Believe it or not, this bit of information is going to be important later.

None of the girls have complained?

Not yet. They seem to prefer it. This sort of thing happens quite frequently. You'd be surprised.

And that's the last option in our notebook.

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for helping out.

Just remember to leave my name out of it.

Another little oddity is that we never actually told Adrian why we were asking these questions. He seems to assume that Rosa's a journalist though, even though she never says so.

The third door belongs to Sande Chen and Sonata Meunier. They're not home. The fourth to Amanda Fae and Karen Schrier. They're out as well. Next we pass by the fire extinguisher and drinking fountain. That's what that thing is.

Ew. There's gum stuck to the faucet. I'm not touching that.

The next room is JoAnn's, or was. Now I guess her room-mate Kelly Hawthorne will have it to herself. I guess we should speak to her.


We have the same options here as with Adrian earlier. I decided to start with an introduction again.

Hi. I'm Rosangela Blackwell.

Am I supposed to know you?

No, I'm with the Village Eye.

The village what?

The Village Eye. The newspaper.

I've never heard of it.

Again we have options. "Defend your employers", "shrug it off" or "move on". I decided it wasn't important, so I shrugged it off.

It's just a small paper.

Yeah, I guessed that. What do you want?

I'd like to talk to you about your room-mate, if that's all right?

Jesus Christ. I'm busy with midterms. I told the campus police everything. Do you have to bother me?


So she killed herself. Big whoop. Why is that my problem?

We can "make an observation", "show persistence" or "try and show understanding". I didn't know what observation Rosa would make so I thought I'd find out.

So you and JoAnn weren't close?

Brilliant deduction, Sherlock. Can you go away?

"Be understanding", "show distaste" or "probe deeper". It seemed appropriate to try being understanding.

It must have been hard, living with someone you don't like.

That's not exactly where I thought that option was going to go, but oh well.

What, you're psychoanalyzing me now? What the hell do you know about it? You're really starting to piss me off.

"Backpedal", "apologize" or "remain steadfast". An apology seems called for.



"Be honest", "appeal to her better nature" or "make a deal". Let's try the appeal, although it seems a lost cause at this point.

Look, my boss will kill me if I come back with nothing. Can't you help me out here?


Fine. You want to know about JoAnn? She's DEAD. She couldn't take the pressure, so she jumped off the roof.

Did JoAnn act... unusual before she died?

Nope. Same ole JoAnn. Studied at her desk all day and slept all night, as usual. Quiet as a little mouse.

And the notebook comes out again. We've got a couple of extra notes already from our conversation so far with Kelly.

Once again we'll run through in order.

Is there anything else you can tell me about JoAnn?


Do you have any thoughts on why JoAnn would kill herself?

Nope. Just another kid who couldn't hack it.

Do you have a photograph of JoAnn that we could use for the newspaper?

You want a what?

Just a photograph. You'll get it right back.

Yeah right. You think I'm giving you anything? Think again.

Can you tell me anything about Adrian?

The R.A.? He's okay. He helps us when we need it, and keeps out of our way when we don't. That's the way it should be.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Why do you want to know?

Just background info for the paper.

I don't think so.

Suit yourself. JoAnn never had trouble sleeping?

How should I know?

You lived with her.

Like I pay attention.

So JoAnn was a good student?

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Thanks for helping out.

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

The last door belongs to Shelly Shenoy and Sarah Elmaleh, but they're not home either. We still don't really have enough for an article though, so maybe we'd better talk to the RA again.


Hi. It's me again.


You have more questions, I imagine?

Yeah. Is that okay?

I suppose so. What do you want to know?

We have three more items in our notebook since we last spoke to him, so let's ask about those. First, about Kelly.

What can you tell me about JoAnn's room-mate?

Kelly? Have you met her?


Quite a sight, huh? But don't judge her by that. She's the sharpest kid you'll ever meet. She gets straight A's on everything.


Yep. She's pre-med.

OK, moving on.

Do you know if JoAnn had any trouble sleeping?

I'm afraid I wouldn't. Her room-mate, Kelly, never complained, but that's not surprising.

Why is that?

Well, Kelly rarely spent the night in her room. She only comes here to study, as far as I've seen.

This adds a new item to our notebook, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Was JoAnn a good student?

I don't think she had any problems. But of course, the pressure can get to anybody.

Now for that new option.

Do you know where Kelly was sleeping?

No. It's not my place to ask.

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for helping out.

Just remember to leave my name out of it.

Well, I guess we should confirm with Kelly that she hasn't been around lately.


So, you've been sleeping somewhere else lately?

Yeah, I've been at my boyfriend's. You've been following me, or something?

No. No. Just confirming the information.

Looks like Adrian's been talking.

And it looks like we've hit a dead end, but here's where we come to an interesting gameplay mechanic used in the Blackwell series, combining clues. Dave Gilbert credits this idea to the game Discworld Noir (ongoing LP here); I could have sworn I'd seen it in an older game than that, but I can't remember what it was, so I could be wrong. In any case, what we need to do here is combine the two clues "JoAnn slept all night" and "Kelly sleeps elsewhere?"

Waaait a minute. Something isn't right. If Kelly's been spending her nights somewhere else... How can she know if her room-mate was sleeping well or not? Hm. I think Kelly was lying to me.

This revelation updates the notebook, and we can go back and speak to Kelly again.

Your R.A. told me that you haven't been sleeping in your dorm.

Yeah, so?

You told me that JoAnn slept in her room every night.


How would you know JoAnn slept here if you've been sleeping somewhere else?

...huh? Oh! Well... I just assumed...

Did you lie to me?

I didn't lie! I just... Oh screw it. You wanna talk? Fine. What do you want to know?

Yep, catching her in a lie makes her co-operate for some reason and now we get to ask her all those questions again.

So what was JoAnn really like?

To be honest, there's nothing to say. She was studying political science, which is kind of cool I guess. But she was so... vanilla.


You know, sweet but much not much there? Just a typical college kid. Acted just like everybody else. She seemed proud of it.

Yep, another mistake in the subtitles.

Did JoAnn act... unusual before she died?

Well, no. Although the last few weeks she's been talking in her sleep.

What did she say?

No idea. Couldn't understand her. She swore up and down that she wasn't doing it. She looked a bit scared, though.

Scared. How so?

Just scared. I didn't need the drama, so I've been sleeping at my boyfriend's place.

So you weren't here when she...

Killed herself? No. I wasn't here. Not that it would have made a difference. Are we done?

I could really use a photo of JoAnn, if you have one.

Hm. All right. Just a sec. This was hers. It was on her desk. She won't be needing it anymore. JoAnn is the girl on the left.

Thanks for helping out.

Yeah, sure. Whatever.

According to Kelly, this girl on the left is JoAnn. I assume that these are friends of JoAnn, but I have no idea who they are.

And Rosa holds her head and groans again.

Urf. This is getting worse. At least I have enough for the story, now. I'd better get home.

This is... getting bad.

Oh. My. God. This really hurts. Sleep. That's all I need. I'd just type up this story and get to bed. Shouldn't take that long.


We'll be able to do some other things with the computer later, but for now we can only use it to write this article.

Right. No more interruptions.

And now the moment we've been waiting for since this game began. I'll warn you, this video is over 20 minutes long and this section doesn't contain much interactivity or any puzzles, but it does have lot more exposition. This time it's mostly about ghosts though, so it's at least a bit more interesting than the conversation with the doctor.

You may have noticed that the section where Joey was speaking to the ghost in the park was a bit weird. Was Joey talking directly to the player? Or is he supposed to be asking Rosa and we just don't hear her replies? This works a hell of a lot better in the sequels as you can just control Joey directly, but in this game we're limited to controlling him sort of indirectly like this in a limited number of scenarios. Mostly if we want Joey to do something we'll have to have Rosa ask him to do it, which can be problematic when other (living) people are around.

And here are the three photos as they appear to Rosa now that she can see ghosts.

So Auntie Lauren was a medium, as well. All this time, and I never knew... I can't believe that Joey was around when Auntie Lauren was taking care of me. It's funny. With Joey there, we almost look like a real family.

That's definitely Auntie Lauren. Even back then, Joey was following her around. How did she manage it? Joey doesn't look happy. Joey, you're in this photograph.

So I am. That was Jack and Maria's wedding.

My parents?


Why were you at the wedding?

Because your aunt insisted on going, and I go where she goes. I could have talked her out of it, but she put her foot down. Tough lady, your aunt, when she needed to be.

You don't look very happy in this picture.

That's because I wasn't. There was a spirit trapped in an alley, down in Chinatown. A little girl, five years old. Lost and confused and needing our help. But did your aunt want to solve the case? No. Going to the wedding was IMPORTANT, she said. More important. Can you imagine?

I... don't know. Can you tell me anything else about the wedding?

I don't know. There was music? The bride wore white? It was over thirty years ago. Just because I'm dead doesn't mean my memory is perfect.

Joey crashes yet another photograph. Can you tell me anything about this picture, Joey?

Ohh, yeah. I remember this. This was taken about forty years ago. Your grandmother there insisted on it.

So that's my grandmother?


And that's my... dad? And Auntie Lauren?

In the flesh.

What were you doing in this picture?

Being ignored, as usual. Real strong believer in denial, that woman.

Do you remember anything else about that day?

It was over forty years ago, doll. Stupid hair and ugly sweaters, that's all I remember.

And finally, here's Dave Gilbert's commentary for this chunk of the game.

Next time, we'll try to help a ghost move on for real. If we can figure out who she is.