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Rocket Science with Nancy Drew - Nancy Drew: Haunting of Castle Malloy COMPLETE. - The Forbidden Codex of The Pink Beyond - A Sqrl's Journal

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August 24th, 2012

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01:32 am - Rocket Science with Nancy Drew - Nancy Drew: Haunting of Castle Malloy COMPLETE.
Last time on Haunting of Castle Malloy, Nancy discovered the H.R. Giger Sheep Violator 9000++ and converted a bunch of ewes into a bunch of ewwws.

...I'm sorry, I'm -really proud- of that last line. I'm just gonna sit and giggle at it for a while. ... Okay I'm good. ANYWAY LET'S MOVE ON.

As it happens, shaving sheep into the traditional three-bags-full really isn't as hard as I thought it was while I was futzing around. First I had to learn to read sheep body language, then I had to do basic math (maybe the hardest part of the whole thing for me) and finally I had to realize that if the sheep walks away with a mohawk or poodle cut or just SUPER FLURFY then I didn't -actually fail-. The "fail" sheep is just naked and sad. Yes, somehow successfully programming the Shavealot 5a gives you a bag full of wool and -more wool on the sheep than when you started-. Conservation of mass is just one more thing Nancy Drew forces to bow before her whims.

With enough wool to stuff a doll in-hand, Nancy trots on back to the swamp hut. Have I mentioned, incidentally, that she solves the bog maze by herself now? After playing Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake that feels -so- nice. Thank you, Nancy. Inside, a sheep-shaped doll is stuffed and sewn, and it's a quick jog back to the castle to solve the latest dollhouse puzzle. These things are getting a lot easier now that I know what bizarre leaps of logic aren't covered in the rules. F'example, placing has to match the way they're drawn on the chart, even though it doesn't explicitly say so. I spent a while going "My solution is correct even if it isn't the one you asked for!" at the game until I twigged to this. Always look for the rules they DON'T talk about, when it comes to puzzles, those are important too.

This time out of the dollhouse comes another printing press plate! 01001011 this time. Now that I have four of these, I suspect I know for sure what the binary says. I trot back down to the printing press and Nancy obligingly lines them up for me.

Thoughtfully I peer at the binary. I could learn how to read it. I could better myself somewhat. Instead I reach a few feet back, grip my woof, and rub him against the screen. "Augh." he says. "What." "Convert computer speak to english for me?" I ask. "Oh." he says, and in just a few minutes I've walked through the proper steps to make THIS:

Hilariously, though, the game DOESN'T ACTUALLY STOP YOU from printing them in the wrong order. You can just as easily make a freakishly miscolored paste of directions which presumably will kill you when you start the Romani Flight Device up. Why can you do this? ADVENTURE GAMING. It is a harsh, cruel, murderous mistress and I love it so.

Now that I have a presumably functioning set of instructions for launching Nancy into space, though, there is absolutely no way I'm not going to do it. Can you picture this? The box art for this game just uses a picture of the banshee floatin' around with the castle in the background. Booooring. Nancy Drew And The Mystery Of How Does My Jetpack Work would be a MUCH BETTER TITLE. Nancy in a pair of aviator sunglasses lifting off the ground towards the sky, banging out a sweet solo on the drum strapped to her chest. Maybe in the background a sheep with a mohawk lounges alluringly next to a Giger-esqe shearing machine, lookin' all cyberpunk. The sheep is also wearing sunglasses. Also the nearby castle is violently exploding for no reason.

I should get paid for telling artists to draw things.


Flip flick click set swivel GO. Thirteen steps to (actual-in-game Nancy dialogue) "OH MY GOSH I'M FLYING! ... WOOOO HOOOOO!" I cannot blame her. I would be saying pretty much that except even more hyperactive. Now that I'm flying, though, let's check out, oh let's see how about THAT MYSTERIOUS TOWER we couldn't get to before? I make sure to swoop past Kyler's second-story window, pretty much just to be smug. Once I'm there I clamber in via a second-story window. Let's see what's in the MYSTERIOUS TOWER, you guys! Can you guys guess? THAT'S RIGHT. IT'S MORE PUZZLE CLUES.

I have no idea what this one's even for. Let's look around s'more. Okay, there's also THIS, and THIS is creepy as hell.

It's hanging above a roll-top desk, which is of course locked. It's locked with a five-letter word. Thinking about it, I put in "LAPIN", and while that doesn't open the desk it does spit out one more super-complicated dollhouse puzzle. Hmm. The only letters on the dials for the rolltop desk are ACILNPQSWX. There's probably like two hundred million five-letter combinations of those ten letters or some crap. Permutations are horrible things. I'm not gonna brute-force this lock. ... I do start trying other things, and frowning thoughtfully. Wait a minute. On this dial, when I put in LAPIN, IXNCL is above it and NCQLP is below it. ... Is that just a hint for what I already found? I DO NOT KNOW. Sadly, that seems to be all I can ransack in here. Maybe I oughta check out the library (where Kyler is) and rustle around for the books in that note.

But first.

Bess: "Hello, Bess Mar--"
Bess: "...what was that."
George: "I think she's snapped."

(Actually, I can't fit this into a skit, but ACTUAL IN GAME DIALOGUE TIME, I called Bess and she was all "You were herding and shearing -sheep-. Nancy, clearly neither you nor Kyler understand what a maid of honor is supposed to do." and George was like "Wait, you got to shear sheep? I AM SO JEALOUS." and Bess audibly facepalmed over the phone line IT WAS GREAT. Then I called Ned, who solved his Minkie problem by finding the other single guy at the party, hanging out near him, and then kiting aggro onto him when Minkie showed up. SMART MOVE, NED. Also real dialogue...

Ned: "She takes a plane to Ireland for a wedding and ends up chasing banshees around the countryside while strapped to a jetpack. ... That's my girl. I'm jealous. I want one."
Nancy: "Maybe I'll try to smuggle this one home for you, Ned!"
Ned: "Just be careful with it.")

Phone antics aside, though, I head back to the library. (Nancy now auto-activates the jetpack any time she's outdoors. I think that's adorable and awesome. Shit, I would too.) Sweeping around the library shelves I find the books mentioned. Let's see... There's stuff scrawled inside the front cover of each of them.

Hydroponics and Aeroponics: Growing Without Soil - Three years into the study. By removing all duplicates, I find that the only remaining true consonant is key.
Nautical Cartography: To our dear friend: One year soon you'll finally join us here. The seas await your notice.
Zoopraxiscope: Animals abound, in a merry round. Seated in the middle, can answer the riddle. On legs of four, they spin ever more.
And finally we have THIS business.

Pictured: You are up to your EYEBALLS in this WEIRD PUZZLE SHIT.

All right. Uhm... let's... fuck. Where to begin. Let's ASSUME they're talking about the book titles, because otherwise there's... just too much to process together. Let's start with that big fucker, since that's most complexificated.

(I started a step by step walkthrough of doing this here, but it was HUGE and I got sick of it.)

Once you have, you'll find that...

...That you have no idea what this says? SPUNTOQWILLDO.

...oh. Spun To Q Will Do.

You know what'll do? Some ASPRIN. If you guys out there actually followed those steps ALL THE WAY to the end, you deserve some too.

Okay, so... what've we got. Each written-in line has some numerical reference. One year, to Q, Three years, and legs of four. I assume that's the start of the password. Uhm... let's see.

Remove all duplicate letters from the Hydroponics title, and you get YEUL. It makes a particular note of "TRUE consonant", so I assume Y is out. 3 = L.
Zoopraxiscope has X in the middle, and that has... four legs? Four strokes? Let's call 4 = X.
Two is Q. We got that.
And One... is... Seas? C, maybe.


...where the fuck is letter five. Okay... uhm.

Well, the paper has a drawing of an island between the castle tower and that weird spoked fairy ring. Let's try using Nancy's Romani Flight Device to see if I can find the fifth letter. MY JETPACK FLIES OVER THE OCEAN! MY JETPACK FLIES OVER THE SEA! MY JETPACK FLIES OVER THE OCEAN! OH BRING BACK MY NANCY TO MEEEEE~

Oh man, as soon as I walk out the door, the Banshee flies out of the tower window and DELIBERATELY BUZZES NANCY with -her- jetpack, which appears to spew Kojima particles or something. IT'S ON NOW, BITCH. I give chase, but she's nowhere to be seen, so I instead check out that island. It's a -very- small island, with "N5" scrawled on one of the rocks. Hmm. Well, good. Answers that question.


Nancy is a little weirded out by the contents of the desk, and I -cannot blame her-. Okay, here's what she finds: A doll of herself, with her rental car key around its neck. A second key, probably to the locked box in the bog house. (Are any of you british readers weirded out by me saying "Bog house" and not meaning poo shack?) A photograph of a young girl named "Fiona", with a SUSPICIOUS PENDANT around her neck... a lot like the one the Banshee is mysteriously wearing... and a diary, Fiona's mother's diary, which talks about her husband building Fiona her own jetpack (BECAUSE HE'S THE BEST DAD EVER) (until he explodes and dies) (I guess). Sadly according to the diary it seems the jetpack has a "safety device" which shuts it down whenever it flies too far away from the castle grounds. This makes sense because there's only open ocean in one direction and a deadly swamp in the other.

Suddenly a lot is becoming clear. Our three person suspect pool suddenly has a special guest, Fiona Malloy. If we look back up at that chart with all the crows on it, it's just possible that the ones she's scribbled *-marks on are meant to be deceased, and y'know, Fiona doesn't have a star next to her name.

Let's go see what's in that locked box. I'm imagining something awful, like her secret plans to bring her parents back to life using the fairy ring and the blood of an englishman.



Well now I feel like a complete asshole.

When Nancy turns around, she nearly walks straight into... Fiona Malloy. She's old. She's a little angry. And she can't seem to speak. She also tilts her head as Nancy tries to explain rather desperately that she's looking for "Matt", then takes Nancy by the hand and throws her down a dark deep trap door to god knows where.

The implication I get from the following cutscene is that Nancy walks for a long, long time before she sees anything but damp tunnel walls. Eventually she finds a lab door, with a large inviting switch next to it. Naturally throwing the switch slams the door shut with her inside, and Matt comes running to stand outside the door. Hi Matt. Matt is -hungry-. Fiona feeds him, but only potatoes and carrots. He wants real food. Y'know, with sugar and grease in it.

Yeah, he's English, all right.

"She opens the door sometimes and throws down an armload of veggies and then leaves again. It's like she's keeping me as a pet or something." Matt sighs. "And now there's two of us, so... uh, dibs on the potatoes."

Matt elaborates. He was originally hiding as a practical joke. He found the secret passage in the nursery and ducked inside to make scary ghost noises at Kyler now and then. Then one day he opened it and this crow flew at him. He jumped backward, crashed through a hole in the floor and ended up in the passages below the castle with no glasses and no way out. Then the old lady found him. He begged her to let him go, but she didn't seem to understand him. He even tried to give her his wedding ring to bargain his way out, which he isn't proud of. Nothing worked.

As to other loose ends:

Kit got his black eye from getting smacked in the face with a branch while they were rigging up a way to make the statues in the garden move, as part of a prank on Donal.
Also, Matt knew Kit still had a thing for Kyler, so he deliberately asked someone else to be the best man to save him some anguish, while making up an excuse about office politics.

Anyway, apparently the lab has a number of "lockdown" features left over from the WW2 experiments of Fiona's father. They only reset when the silo is opened from outside, which only happens at feeding time. Nancy being Nancy does NOT accept this. (She does NOT. Oh hai Matt.) Matt stays behind to wait while Nancy finds a way out, because NANCY DREW WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY.

Naturally, Nancy's way involves a richter puzzle.

It also involves using a robot arm to store a number of chemical containers in bins so she can get a key in the back of the room without worrying about toxic death, which is the least fun puzzle EVER and I die TONS doing it because I keep slamming the arm into the containers, or accidentally putting the chlorine in the tank with the hydrogen. Each chemical is classed 1, 2, or 3, and I'm constantly checking a chart to see which is which. The pinchers are INCREDIBLY hard to line up properly. The number of times I get told off for making Nancy explode creeps high in the double digits. The only thing I can think of that would be less enjoyable is manipulating otters with a robot arm. ... Wait, no, that sounds more fun than this too. Just remember kids, be very careful when handling water because at ANY MOMENT IT COULD EXPLODE AND KILL YOU.

I honestly think for a bit about giving up here. But this can't be what breaks me. Not after the otters. Not after the dollhouse puzzles. (I never did solve the last one. I GUESS it's optional.) No. A stupid explosion-based minigame will not stop me. As the clock ticks on through the evening and past midnight, I keep working away.

I also have to rewire an electrical panel.

Of course. How do I know how to do this? There's a notebook down here that I'm not screenshotting because I'm -really tired-, but it gives the color combinations. Then I just trace the wires.

Why am I doing all this? Because there's this VINTAGE WW2 ROCKET down here, and Nancy is pretty sure if she can get it to launch, the silo will open up and free her and Matt. I check the angle of ascent, I check the fuel mix, I rewire the panel...

Eventually it hits me.


Oh, laughing hurts.

Finally, it comes time to launch. I put in the safety key I got from the chemical puzzle. I set ascent to 90.1. I flip the switch to the far left and get a red light. I swear a lot and go over the rocket's wiring again. I flip the switch to the far left and get a green light. I activate the fuel mixture. Then... I launch.

Nancy 01 is away, we have liftoff.

I'll let Nancy tell the rest.

"By the time Kit came back to the silo with a ladder, Kyler had said "I love you" to Matt about 150 times, and Matt had said it to Kyler about 200 times. They were still saying it on the day of the wedding. The whole experience seemed to have really improved their relationship. Needless to say, Kit was a little bummed out by that... Until he met the very beautiful Irish woman who was catering the reception."

"As for Mr. Donal Delany, he still has trouble accepting that the strange wailing we all kept hearing wasn't a banshee at all, but an alarm siren Matt kept setting off in the tunnels. Nor did he really understand that Fiona, whose jetpack was ALSO a source of weird noises, was responsible for most of what he'd attributed to faeries over the years. But he did understand that Fiona needed his help and compassion, and he set to taking care of her just like he took care of the castle. After the explosion, Fiona had been raised by a hermit woman who lived in the bog hut until she died as well, which did not do wonders for the health or mental adjustment of the young girl. Fiona, however, is an incredibly bright woman (her parents were rocket scientists!) and her outlook for the rest of her life seems pretty good, all things considered."

"As for me, I'm returning to the US. Sadly, via jet plane instead of jet pack. The Irish military was very keen on taking the jetpacks that I and Fiona had, something about lost prototypes and battlefield applications. Luckily, the strange mixture of fuel Brendan invented still has them completely stumped, and the packs won't run without it. That oughta make Fiona's crows happy. Finally, they have the moonlight sky over Castle Malloy to themselves."

... *LATER* ...

Nancy: "...And so that's what went down."
George: "You flew on a jet pack and launched a rocket. Seriously."
Bess: "And saved an old woman from a really terrible life. Nancy, I'm proud of you."
George: "I have to admit, that was pretty smooth sailing, Nance."
Nancy: "Well, thanks, you two. I guess it didn't work out with Speedoman, though?"
Bess: "Turned out that lump in the front was where he kept his brain, too. I'm over him."
Nancy: "Ah well. You give up your hunk, I give up my jetpack, we've all lost something today."
George: "Yeah, but what's in the box you brought back, Nancy? If not a jetpack, what'd you bring home from Ireland?"
Nancy: "Oh, this? It's a drum set! You wanna hear me play?"
Bess, George: "thingstodogottamakeanexcuseandleavenowbye!"
Nancy: "Wait! ... Bess! This is YOUR HOUSE! Come back...!"

...and with that, after 21 total hours of play, we END Nancy Drew: Haunting of Castle Malloy! I hope you all enjoyed.

Next time: A very special announcement.

This entry was originally posted at http://xyzzysqrl.dreamwidth.org/301056.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2012 06:35 am (UTC)
Just the best thing ever. So very awesome. Thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:August 27th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
I love the actual dialogue with Ned and Nancy. Hee! And that she really is that keen on the jet pack.

I cannot help but feel that the annoyance level and difficulty of these puzzles is totally unsuited to the target demographic for Nancy Drew, though. c_c
[User Picture]
Date:August 27th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
I dunno. I can't help but feel like only good things can come of teaching teenaged girls some rocket science.

Also I admit I'm playing on the hardest difficulty level, where you're allowed no hints and the puzzles are boosted up in hardness. Normally I play these games on "Junior", the easier level... but I figured the internet runs on schadenfreude and bumped it up a notch.

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