Part 5: Bringing It All TogetherBringing It All Together
Strangely enough, the next place we have to visit is the place we just visited. Yep, you have to leave the hospital and then come straight back. You don't even need to go to Rosa's apartment as I did, that just gives you the opportunity to hear more from Joey about Lauren and Patricia. This bit can be a bit of a sticking point, because who would think of leaving a location only to go right back? But that's what we have to do, so we return to Susan's room to chat with her again. This conversation occurs as soon as you enter the room.
Hi! It's good to see you again.
How are you now, Susan?
Better. It's nice to know I'm not crazy.
Yeah, that's a good feeling.
It's just... these drugs. The meds help keep the Deacon's voice low... and that's good. But they also cause water retention, and I have to take a diuretic pill to fix that... And I'm just sick of peeing all the time. Now that I know I'm just haunted and not really crazy, I don't see why I have to take it. I don't care if I retain water and get fat. I just want to stop peeing!
Is she for real?
I've been palming the pills. Is that bad?
I can't answer that.
Well, I was hoping you could do me a favor?
Can you take the pills out of here? I'm scared the orderly will find them. Pleease?
Fine. Give them to me.
You are such a chump.
Thanks so much.
If you can't figure out what we're going to use those pills for, don't be alarmed, it just means you're not a crazy person. Because what happens next is crazy. Here's a hint: We're going to visit Nishanthi again. But first we'll stop by Rosa's apartment for another chat with Joey.
Joey? Come here a sec.
What do you want, sweetheart?
I guess. What do you want to know?
I don't know... um, tell me about a case you went on.
Hm. It was a long time ago, but I do remember one. There was this brownstone, down in Brooklyn. One of those fancy houses that got converted into apartments. The residents kept complaining of weird noises and bad dreams. Your aunt and I heard about it and went over there. Turns out these two little boys had been locked in a basement closet, over thirty years beforehand. The door was paved over. Nobody knew it was even there. Those two little ghosts had been crying in the dark for thirty years, until we came along.
Yeah, that was a messy one.
How did you save them?
We did some snooping. Found the grandmother. Brought her to the house. The boys calmed down, and we took care of the rest.
So you saved them?
Yeah. We had no choice, did we?
I'd like to talk about my grandmother again.
I'll be frank, kid. She might have hated me, but I hated her even more. Hated her. The whole seven months I was with her, she spent the whole time pretending I wasn't there. Can you believe that?
You're hard to ignore, Joey.
Pff. Tell me about it. And I did everthing I could to get her attention. I'd yell in her ear. I'd get right up in her face. She knew I was there, and I KNEW she knew. But she just ignored me all the same.
Well, you can hardly blame her.
Don't lecture me, dollface. I did what I had to.
Had to? You could have-
Could have done what? Look, I'm done talking about that old bat. Maybe we'll talk more about it later, but not now.
That's all we'll get from him for now, so let's go to Nishanthi's house and get this over with.
Look, Moti, our neighbor's come to visit us again. Come in, come in. Are you all right, Rosa? You look at [sic] little... preoccupied.
At this point, Moti begins barking, apparently at Joey.
That's... odd. Moti never acts like that.
Oh jeez. In case you haven't noticed, some animals can sense me. Are you getting a good look, mutt? BOO!
The dug runs away and hides behind Rosa.
What's gotten into you, Moti? I'm sorry. He must be sick, or something.
It's all right. You said yesterday that you sense things.
Could you tell me more about that?
Well I'm not psychic or anything, if that's what you mean. I'm just observant. Anyone could tell something was wrong, if they kept their eyes open. Speaking of which... Care to tell me what's wrong?
What do you mean?
You look... ill at ease. Uncomfortable. The way your eyes keep moving back and forth. It's like you want to look at something behind you. Is everything all right?
Say you're fine, kid.
Yep. Everything's just dandy.
And could you stop looking at me? I mean, I know it's hard...
I see. Well, I'm here if you need me.
And now we finally get to the purpose of this visit and ask Nishanthi if we can give a treat to the dog again. Once we've got the dog biscuit, we combine it with the diuretic pills in our inventory.
OK. I put the pills in the dog biscuit. Hey, boy. There's nothing to be afraid of. I hope. Go get it!
Yeah, Rosa just gave an unknown dose of some unidentified pills intended for an adult human to a small dog. How could that possibly go wrong? Fortunately it seems to have only the desired effect and Moti begins pawing at the door and whining to go out.
Oh, Moti. Now? I just took you out an hour ago. Well, you're going to have to wait. I have my hands totally full. Unless... Rosa, would YOU mind taking Moti for a walk? If you're going to be friends, this is a good opportunity for you to bond.
Oh, SURE! I don't mind at all.
Thank you so much. Moti gets cranky when he doesn't get his way. Just take him to the park until he goes. It shouldn't take long.
Right. Here you go, boy.
It's only a mild diuretic. It won't hurt him. And you're the one in such a damn hurry?
I'm pretty sure that question mark isn't supposed to be there.
All right. Point taken.
It amuses me that even in situations like this, where there's seat right next to her, Rosa never thinks to sit down before doing that. All in all, this puzzle isn't too bad. It's really adventure-gamey, and absolutely not something a real human being would ever do, but it's pretty easy to figure out. This sort of puzzle is much less common as the series progresses.
And now we have an opportunity to chat with Joey about Lauren and Patricia for the final time, so we'll return to Rosa's apartment.
Do you remember when that picture was taken?
Yeah. The one on the TV.
Oh, the Brooklyn Bridge picture. You don't remember?
I was five years old.
Right. Right. You tend to forget stuff like that, when you're... well. When you're me.
So what about the picture?
Oh. It was just one of your Aunt's little field trips. One of many, I hasten to add. She wanted to take you all over the damn city, and I could do nothing but tag along.
Yeah. I knew it was a bad idea.
Just leave it.
Shut your mouth, kid. You're attracting flies. We'll talk about this later, maybe.
I'd like to talk about my grandmother again.
Don't you let up?
You destroyed her life!
Yeah yeah. I got enough of that from your aunt.
Oh, shut up. You Blackwells and your goddamn self-pity. All I hear is "Poor us. Poor us." I'm sick of it. Ever think about what it was like for me? One minute I was breathing, and the next - pow! - dead. I was a ghost. Forced to haunt a complete stranger. I had no idea what was going on. You'd think that Someone Up There would have told me what to do, but no. I was dead, cold, alone, and scared out of my mind. Nobody could see me. Nobody could hear me. Nobody except old Pattycakes Blackwell, and she didn't want to admit I was there. So don't you dare lecture me, sweetheart. You don't know from nothing.
Forget it. Let's just concentrate on the case.
I think I've heard enough.
Yeah. Let's get going.
Only one place left to go, so it's back to the hospital for the last time. As we enter, a voice over the PA system advises us that visiting hours are now over, so we won't be able to just walk in to see Susan again.
Oh well. Looks like we have to wait until tomorrow.
No can do, toots. Remember what she said? The Deacon comes to her at night, when she's SLEEPING. Waiting until tomorrow won't do us any good.
What, you think we can just waltz right into Susan's room?
Improvize, sweetheart. That's what this gig is all about.
It was at this point that I thought I might not actually be able to finish this game. This puzzle is a huge pain normally, but on top of that it also seems to be incredibly buggy. I don't know if it's a problem in the re-release version generally or an incompatibility with Windows 8 or what, but I had great difficulty getting this to work right. The first part is no problem. It's a bit tedious having to wait for Joey's random meanderings to bring him close to the guard's radio, but as soon as they do you can pinch the fusebox key from the board at the end of the desk while he's distracted trying to fix the antenna. I'm not sure but I think you can even do this earlier, although there's no need.
The next part is simply to open the fusebox and use it to switch off the lights. This is where things get tricky.
Now you've done it. You'd better find a place to hide, quick.
The solution is pretty straight-forward. See the alcove where the phone is? Yeah, you just have to stand there, wait for the guard to walk past you, then duck out and go down the corridor. Here's the fist problem. You have less than a second to click the appropriate spot. If you're too slow or you click the phone or Joey by accident then the guard will see you and escort you out of the building. You can just do it again at this point, but the timing is really precise and very annoying.
This second issue was not present in the original version of the game and may have been specific to me, but the guard got stuck behind his desk. This means that I'd stand in the alcove and he'd just never walk past. But after a short period the lights come back on anyway because the scripting for that isn't tied to the guard actually reaching the fusebox. Then the game would crash.
I lost count of how many times I tried this. I tried closing the game and reopening it, I tried turning the commentaries off, I tried skipping through Joey's dialogue, I tried turning the video recording software off... nothing seemed to make a difference, but I noticed that once in a while the guard would behave correctly, so all I had to do was keep trying it over and over until the game worked properly and I managed to get the timing right. If this happened to you on your first time playing this game, I don't think there is any way you'd ever finish it.
But I did eventually get it to work, and so I went into Susan's room to confront the Deacon.
In that conversation in Susan's room you have the option of letting Joey take charge, in which case you'll get to see him punch the Deacon a couple more times, but miss out on an achievement.
We can now talk to both the Deacon and the demon, so we'll start with the former.
Ask about the demon
Ask about flask
Ask about his sins
Ask about help
End the conversation
I started at the top.
What IS that thing?
I... don't... know! It haunted my dreams when I was alive, and wouldn't leave me alone after death. And now, there's no place left to run.
What is that in your pocket?
Yeah. What's in it?
Nothing. It's just a... force of habit, I guess. Used to keep whiskey in it, when I was alive.
For some reason we can no longer ask him about his sins.
So what can I do! What does he want?
He wants ME. I... I don't know why.
Moving on, let's talk to the demon.
Converse with me not. My issue is not with you, but with this wastrel here. I shall give him some time to prepare himself for the eternity to come. But then, he is mine.
Ask about his origins
Ask about his reasons
Ask for mercy
Going from the top again.
How did you get here?
What is "here"? It is but an abstract concept, to one such as I. I move at the power of thought. At the speed of death. Once my business is concluded, I shall trouble you no more.
Why are you after this man?
For his sins. All his [sic] time, he has not renounced them. Even after many years of death, he still carries them with him.
Can't you just let him go?
He has killed many with his madness. His sins weigh him down even as we speak. Ask yourself, does he deserve mercy?
You may think so, but your heart does not believe it. You have witnessed the results of his actions with your own eyes.
There's loose cobblestone on the ground there, so we might as well pick that up. Then it's time to get out the notebook for the last time.
This is pretty simple. Combine the only two notes we have right now to get the answer.
The Deacon is "carrying" his sins... And the Deacon is "carrying" his flask... Could this be... symbolic? Get rid of that flask!
Your flask! Get rid of it!
My flask? Why?
Just do it!
But... I can't.
Because... it's my flask!
You want to be free of that demon? Trust me.
You no longer carry your sins with you, dead one. But they still taint this place. That isn't enough to save you.
All that remains now is to smash the flask with the stone. It explodes into nothing.
It is done! The sins have been abolished from this place! And my claim on the dead one is gone. Move on in peace, and be troubled no more..
The "special activation code" of "brighteyes" can be entered on the options screen to unlock some outtakes from the dialogue recording sessions. Quite a lot of them, in fact. I'm not going to post them here. If you want to listen to them, I recommend getting The Blackwell Bundle on Steam. The series really goes up in quality from here and the rest of it is well worth playing, and that way you basically get the first game as a free bonus for buying (most of) the rest.
This game is both shorter and less good than I remember it. I had a vague idea that there was a bit more to identifying and freeing the Deacon, but in actual fact it happens quite fast. Later games in the series give you more to do by setting you up with multiple ghosts who end up being connected in some way, but still have to be identified and "woken up" separarely. I may LP the rest of the series at some point, but I really recommend actually playing them, so I might just leave it at this one. I'll leave the thread open for any more questions, comments or discussion, but all that's left for this LP is Dave Gilbert's last chunk of commentary.