By Dan Kennedy
At first glance, Morpheus appears to be a pretty standard adventure game cast in the Myst mould. The perspective is first-person, and the main gameplay takes place on a deserted ship and within several empty dream worlds. There is no inventory system, and your only interactions are with ghosts, as in The 7th Guest. The graphics are certainly nothing to write home about, and the puzzles rarely get above the mildly challenging level.
What sets Morpheus apart from other games in the genre is a well-developed and thought out plot that will likely keep you thinking about the game long after you've finished it. The adult themes that are present in Morpheus, such as controversial science experimentation, child abuse, and physical deformity, are handled with a subtlety and thoughtfulness that is rarely found in a computer game.
Into the Great White Open
The game begins with an extended movie setting the scene: our protagonist Matthew Holmes (MH) has journeyed to the arctic in 1952 to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance some 30 years before. MH has gotten himself lost in a blizzard, and is hiding down a crevice waiting to die. As he fades into unconsciousness, he begins to dream about a boy named Jan who appears to have been mistreated by a number of people - a boxer, his mother, a teacher and another boy. As the movie ends, MH sees a vision of an ice-bound ship - and suddenly finds himself standing on the deck of the vessel.
The aft deck of the ship gives you an opportunity to get familiar with the game interface. The stand-by cursor is a ship's wheel - press and hold the left mouse button down, and move the mouse left or right for panning in all directions. An arrow cursor will let you know when movement is possible in any given direction, and a magnifying glass allows closer inspection of an item. A yellow microphone indicates that MH has a comment about the indicated item or direction, and a human hand cursor indicates that an object can be manipulated in some way.
Have a look around - you should be able to see a doorway leading into the bulkhead to your right, but it appears to be inaccessible. Proceed forward and to the left, and approach the life preserver hanging on the wall of the ship. Examine this item - MH indicates that the name of the ship, "Herculania", is the same one his father went looking for prior to his disappearance. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
Backing away from an object is accomplished by clicking the "backup" arrow. After the life preserver, pan off to the left, and proceed down the left side of the ship. This part of the deck ends with a set of doors. Examine the doors, and press one of the black buttons - unfortunately the doors are sealed. Before you go back to the aft deck, have a look at the bird's nest to the left of the doors.
Cross over to the other side of the ship, and confirm that the doors here are also sealed. Examine the emergency station to the right of the doors. We're freezing - this must be an emergency! Click on the hammer to smash the glass and press the red button. A distress balloon is released from the station; unfortunately it gets caught up in the mast of the ship. If we can get it down, we can at least examine the distress canister.
Proceed back to the aft deck. Once you round the corner, a ghostly figure appears over the metal cargo doors in the centre of the deck - this unhappy man appears to be hanging himself. Once the vision dissipates, go over to the cargo doors and look around. This may be a way into the ship, but the doors are shut tight..
Your next move should be to the accessible stairs to the lying bridge at the back of the ship. Standing at the top, you see two pieces of equipment to the left and right. Click on the left equipment for a close-up. To the left we see a flare-gun mounted on an adjustable base; to the right an adjustable viewing screen. A large pull-down lever is located between the two machines. The position of the view screen can be changed by clicking and dragging the horizontal and vertical wires across the face of the viewer. The relative position of the wires can be determined by the position of the red lights along the base and the right side of the screen. If the vertical wire is placed so that the base level red light is in the 7th position from the left, and the horizontal wire is placed so that the right-side red light is in the second position from the bottom, the distress balloon hung up on the mast should come into focus.
To position the flare gun, just match up the red lights on the gun mount to those of the view screen (base level red light 7th from left, right side red light 2nd from bottom). Move the gun by clicking and dragging it into position. Now pull down on the lever located between the flare gun and view screen. The rocket will take out the balloon, and the distress canister falls to the deck by the right-side sealed doors.
Now take a step back from this equipment, and examine the machinery to the right. The switch in the middle opens and closes the metal bay doors below. Pull on this switch - the cargo doors try to open, but are somehow blocked.
Descend back down the staircase and go down the right side of the ship to open the distress canister. Clicking on it will play a message dated 1928 from the ship's captain JC Pharris. According to Pharris, the ship is trapped in the ice at 87°N latitude and 55°W longitude. He indicates that something called the "Neurographicon" is still receiving power, and that the interior of the ship has been sealed.
Unsealing the Freshness
Proceed back to the metal cargo doors where the ghost appeared. Try stepping out onto the doors themselves. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Scary dead guy! You come face to face with the frozen corpse of the ghost. Step away to look at the body. He's left a suicide note. Examine the note - apparently John Malherbe had no other alternative to offing himself. He mentions several names including Jan (remember the boy from the opening dream sequence?) and Claire, and something about condemning people to dreams in the Neurographicon.
Try scaling up the doorway to the deck - too steep. Examining the cargo bays in the other three directions also reveals nothing. Have a look at the control panel next to Malherbe's body - the panel controls the elevated platform that you are standing on. Pull down on the right lever to lower the platform to the next level.
This lower lever also contains cargo doors in three directions, and a smaller door in the fourth. Approach the smaller door, and click on the wheel to open it. Inside you get a view of the inside of the ship's "engine"; it also appears that you may have broken the seal into the ship - those doors up on the deck may open now. Go back to the elevated platform and examine the cargo bay to the left of the doorway. Click on the crate with the green glow from within. Looks like something on the ship requires radioactive fuel. Return to the platform, and pull on the right lever to descend to the bottom level.
The bottom level of the hold has three cargo bays, and a set of crates piled in front of the fourth. The contents of the crates are rather exotic (flowers from Indonesia?) One of the three cargo bays has a doorway on its right side. Click on the wheel to open the door, and travel up the passageway back up to the deck (remember that bulkhead doorway that was inaccessible?).
As you explore the ship further, you will see a number of ghostly visions of the passengers. These visions help to flesh out the personalities and motivations of the characters, and occasionally help to reveal clues or move the story along. Since the visions are too numerous to mention, I will only discuss them if critical to the game's advancement.
Make your way along the right side of the ship to the previously sealed doors, and enter the ship's interior. Apart from a few silhouettes of tables and decorations, there's not much to see in this room with the lights off. Make your way forward to another set of doors, and go back out onto the ship's deck. Enter the door on your left. You will see a hooded ghost moving off to the left ahead of you. Take one step forward, turn to your left, and descend a staircase. You will see the faint outline of a door in front of you. Turn around and approach the circular object with a silver knob on top. Touch the knob - this turns out to be a solar-powered switch for opening a huge skylight. Click on the switch after the skylight opens for an explanation of the light source.
Now that we've got some light (but no power yet), let's do some looking around. Facing the staircase, move off to the right, and forward several steps, until you enter a small theatre. Turn to your right until a small projector comes into view. Press the top button to start the film (how is this projector powered?), and watch a newsreel about Matthew's father and his attempt to cross the arctic in a balloon. Once the film is done, turn around and exit the theatre, but first examine both sides of a postcard lying on the steps. The card was written by "Claire" to her uncle, and speaks of Jan, the disfigured inventor of the Neurographicon (hereafter referred to as NG, 'cause I'm lazy).
Step forward, and note the four ornate film viewers located to the left and right of your position. Starting on your right, approach the first viewer, and grab/pull down one of the two handles on either side of the eye-pieces. The first film introduces the six passengers of the Herculania - the boxer Leo Galte (Jan's natural father), the dancer Belle Swan (Jan's natural mother), Belle's wheelchair-bound step-daughter Claire, Jan's childhood friend Billy Mexler, Grace Thermon (Jan's guardian at the Goodman Home for Boys), and Dr. John Malherbe (a Herbalist, and Jan's personal physician).
Keep turning to the right, and begin the film within the second viewer. The "unseen power source" from "beyond death" of the NG is discussed, as well as its potential use as a regenerative tool (thus Claire's presence on the ship).
Continue turning to the right, past the entrance to the theatre, and begin the film in the third viewer. Details of the luxurious Herculania are given, including the personalization of the ship to its passengers. The film also discusses the relationship between the rich ship-builder JC Pharris, and his adopted son Jan.
Begin the fourth film - this gives a quick look at John Malherbe's research into the power of Indonesian flowers. The film mentions that the locals use a serum comprised of blood, the Black Orchid, the rare Valley Orchid, and a fourth ingredient, to tap the mysterious power beyond life.
Once the films are done, step forward towards the strange blue doorway across from the theatre. On closer inspection, the door is inaccessible, with a humming atomic symbol on its surface. Back away, and turn to the left and right. The staterooms of JC Pharris and Jan are located here. We have no idea how to access these rooms yet, so proceed past the blue doorway and return to the bottom of the staircase. The doorway at the bottom of the stirs leads to a short hallway containing doors to the staterooms of the six other passengers, as well as a large model of the ship. The door on the other side of the hallway, like the blue one we just examined, is currently inaccessible.
Return to the stairway and go up the stairs. Turn to your left, up more stairs, and turn left again. Now proceed along the upper hallway to the large doors at the far end of the room, have a look at Belle's poster, and enter. This ballroom is the large dark room that we entered previously. Turn to your left, go up the stairs, and click on the closest viewer to see Grace Thermon sneak a peak at someone. Go back down the stairs, up the other staircase, and look into the closest viewer to see the guests dancing during a costume ball (gee, what a crowd!). Back on the ground floor, go to the right towards a set of doors on the far wall, and pass what looks to be Claire's wheelchair on your way across the room.
Proceed through the doors into the garden. How did these plants survive? Wander around the displays, and see if you can find the exotic orchids from Malherbe's film (black and valley). Note the amphibian tank at the far end of the garden, and click on the net if you can find it. It appears that Malherbe had a strange interest in frogs. Access the shed found along the same wall as the doors leading to the ballroom - inside you'll find the pumping system that's kept the plants alive, and a map of the garden with some chart showing some curiously descriptive words on it. We'll need this later!
Proceed back to the ballroom, through the doors we came originally came in, and go towards the right of the stairwell - there should be a doorway straight ahead. Proceed through, and look around the Y-shaped hallway decorated with boxing posters. Leo Galte's poster seems to be missing. Turn around, and note the presence of another strange blue inaccessible door - could this be an elevator? Proceed left past the elevator, through the door, turn to your left, and go back onto the ship's deck.
Keep moving along the right side of the ship - you will eventually encounter a bench with what looks like a piece of paper on it. Click on the paper ton watch Grace Thermon get a nasty surprise. Proceed straight ahead until this level of the deck ends. Turn to your left, and enter the door in front of you. You are now on the ship's bridge.
Standing in the centre of the bridge, and looking forward, there are five pieced of equipment that can be examined. Starting from the left, the first is a still-rotating radar screen. The second is the engine control levers, ominously set at Full Dead Stop. The third is the ship's wheel (with a quick shot of JC at the helm). The fourth piece of equipment looks to be some sort of radio squawking at us.
The fifth piece of equipment is some sort of recorder. Click on it once to hear JC Pharris' audio ship logs. Successive log entries are played by clicking on the recorder once the prior log entry ends. The logs trace the instability of the NG's performance, and Jan's apparent deepening madness. Interestingly, it's the NG that is causing the ghostly apparitions that walk the ship. Eventually Jan takes control of the ship and traps the other passengers in the NG. With Malherbe dead, JC has no choice but to wander off looking for the senior Holmes' balloon expedition.
Head back out onto the ship's deck, and return to the crab's bench. Now descend the staircase directly in front of the bench, and make your way to the bow of the ship. Click on one of the lifeboat racks to note an interesting detail. Examine the large piece of equipment at the front of the ship - it can be rotated, but is useless without power.
Its time to get this ship powered up. Proceed back along the left (or right) side of the ship, and return to the large staircase in the ship's interior.
Power to the People
Descend the main staircase, and turn around to the left. Proceed towards the theatre, but before going past the blue door turn to your right and go through the doors along the right wall (there is an identical doorway on the other side of the elevator). Descend the stairs, and enter the bowels of the ship. Move towards the double doors located on the far wall, and enter.
You are standing in a small area overlooking the engine and its parts. Turn to your left, and examine the "Solar Voltaic Circuits". Is this thing on or off? Pull down on the lever to the left - oops, the lights went out. Pull on the lever again to turn on the lights. Move away and examine the "AIV Sequencer" equipment to the right. The A, I and V refer to the Atrium, Injectors and the Ventricle, parts of the NG. We must obviously get this working, as it appears to be without power.
Press the button on the left, and a gondola moves towards us and stops. Get in - note that the controls for the gondola consist of levers and buttons on the left and right of the gondola. The levers move the gondola forward and backward, while the buttons raise and lower installations from below. Try hitting the button on the right - a ladder pokes up through the gondola's base. Proceed down the ladder, and take a stroll around the bottom of the ship - move to your left, and make your away around the engine room. Just before arriving back at the ladder, you will come across a piece of paper mounted on the wall beside some gauges and valves. Examine the paper - it looks like a "to do" list for the engine crew.
The list mentions that due to a guest's complaint, the water heater temperature has been set to 40 degrees (the checkmark indicates that this task was completed). Another item mentions that the fountain is not displaying the correct ratios for the heaters - this must have been fixed as well. The third item, yet to be completed, mentions that the rocket launcher can be aimed at the mast (lucky for us, as we found out earlier). Proceed back to the ladder, and climb back in the gondola. Lower the ladder away by pressing the left button.
Now to power this puppy! Grab the handle on the very right side of the gondola, and pull it to advance the gondola ahead one position (you can track the relative position of the gondola using the lights displayed over the "Injectors" label). Hit the button on the right to raise a lever mounted on a post. Grab the lever and pull to the left until a blue light appears above the "Atrium" label, and then press the button on the left to lower the post.
Pull the right lever to advance to the next position, and hit the right button to raise a series of red thingamajigs. Press on one of the red things to activate the light above the "Injectors" label, and press the left button to lower the mount. Now pull the right lever - instead of advancing the gondola one position, the gondola spins around 180 degrees. So how do we get to the next position? Just pull the left lever - this causes the gondola to move backward one position, getting us to the last installation (since we turned around backwards, the only way to move forward is to go backwards…well, take my word for it).
Hit the right button to raise up another lever mounted on a post. Grab the lever and pull to the left until a blue light comes on above the "Ventricle" label, and lower the post using the left button. Now we want to get back to our starting point. Pull on the right lever to move back one position, and again to turn the gondola around. Now pull the left lever twice to move the gondola back to your starting place. Have another look at the AIV Sequencer - now the A, I, and V symbols are all lit up a red colour. Grab the lever on the right side of the panel and pull down. Congratulations, you've powered up the NG! Watch the vision of JC and Jan fighting over whether to continue with the experiments.
Belly Up to the Bar
With the power on, we are free to more fully explore the ship. In particular, we'll be looking out for the 3-digit combinations to the staterooms of the six guests. Proceed back out the doors, and go up to the theatre-level using the stairs to the left or right. Go over to the elevator, and click on the doors to enter. We have a choice of four floors to visit. Its time to head to the bar - hit floor No 1. Once the elevator stops you are ushered out into the ship's lounge. Turn to your right and click on the bar for a close-up of a cigar, and Billy enjoying some of life's pleasures.
Keep panning to your right, and click on the card on one of the bar tables. Apparently Belle Swan will be accompanied by a flute, drums and oboe during her Salome performance. Continue to pan right, and follow the arrow to the right of the elevator. There will be a booth behind you - click on the cards on the table's surface to watch Billy pulling a fast one on Leo. Return to the centre of the room, and click on the coloured panels across from the bar. Leo dances like he's punch-drunk (or just drunk). Proceed through the doors located directly across from the elevator.
You are taken though a hallway directly into the ship's dining room. Turn to your left, and click on the table with the cigar collection to watch Grace giving Billy the business for smoking. After the ghosts clear off, click on each of the 9 compartments of the cigar case to get a close up of the cigars in each one. After viewing the cigar from the top-central compartment, the cigars shift over to reveal a card. Pick up the business card and examine both sides - it appears that Billy has entered the highly respected profession of fountain sales.
Proceed through the room, and exit by the far doorway. Another hallway whisks you to another door - open it by pressing one of the buttons, and you're on the ship's bridge again. Turn around and make your way back to the elevator. Press the button for Level 2. The elevator opens up into the hallway decorated with the boxing posters. Approach the spot where Leo's poster used to be mounted, and click on the blank space to see a confrontation between Belle and Leo. Click on the small plaque as well to see Leo's weight class (Welter Weight). Since the poster is gone, we don't know Leo's weight (unlike the other boxers pictured in the hallway).
Proceed through the doorway into a gymnasium.
The Boxer and the Dancer
Go directly to the swimming pool straight ahead, and click on it to hear a ribald conversation between Leo and Grace - sounds like Leo still appreciates his ex-flame Belle. Pan toward the right, and move towards the free-weights and rowing machines. Click on a rowing machine to take it for a spin, and then examine the barbells. Two appear to be missing - the two 10-pound barbells to be exact. Note the magnifying glass cursor above the missing weights - click here to see Leo weighing himself. Pay close attention to what he says.
Leo first mentions that he is the exact same weight that he was when he knocked out Fightin' (Ned) Flanders in the 3rd. He then picks up the 2 barbells, steps on the scales, and promptly proclaims himself heavyweight champion of the world (where's Don King when you need him!). Once the movie is over, proceed back to the doorway and click on the scale. The weight guidelines tell us that for a heavyweight you must be 175 lbs or more. Leo's poster mount tells us that he fought as a welter weight - according to the weight limits, that puts his fighting weight between 135 and 155 lbs. Since Leo is holding 20 lbs when he steps onto the scale again, he must have weighed 155 lbs during his fighting days (as he does now). Put another way, the only weight that lies within the welter weight range that Leo could have combined with the 20 lb barbells to get to the heavyweight range (which starts at 175 lbs) is 155 lbs.
Hmm, 155 lbs - could this be Leo's stateroom code?
Before you leave the gym, be sure to look around the fighting ring, and have a go at the old-fashioned fat-jiggler machine by the door. After exiting, head right past the elevator, and go through the doors into the main staircase room. You will get a first hand view of Leo's hatred for dogs. For a quick diversion, turn to your right, go out on deck, and click on the snow beyond the ship's railing. Apparently Leo reached his limit with Belle's dog, and made it walk the plank. Go back inside the way you came.
Go over to the doorway into the ballroom, and enter. Move off to the left, and turn to your right to look at the room's music juke box. This is what was to supply the music for Belle's Seven Veils dance. Remember what instruments were to accompany her? We got this from the bar upstairs - it was a harp, a drum and an oboe. Click directly on the instrument labels to scroll through the instrument choices until Belle's musicians are set. Now we must tell them which song to play. There are vertical sliders located on either side of the label below the instruments showing the name of the song. Slide the slider up or down until the right music is selected - Salome's Seven Veils, of course. Hit the "Play Selection" button at the bottom of the machine, and the music plays. Keep your clothes on, and jot down the 3-digit number displayed in the centre - 586 - Belle's stateroom code.
Before you leave the ballroom, go over to Claire's wheelchair, and click it to watch Jan's moment of triumph, followed by one of great despair. For a few shining moments, Claire can walk, and Jan appears without his disfigurement. Next click on the green jester's hat on the floor to see the other passenger's reaction to the turn of events. Evidently everyone concerned has been quite hard on Jan, particularly his father.
The Swindler and the Prude
Now that we've got the codes for Leo and Belle, we must work on Grace and Billy. Make your way out of the ballroom, down the stairs, past the passenger staterooms and into the baths. Recognize Billy's fountain? Click on it to watch Billy's vision of the future, and Grace's opinion of it. After the movie, pick up Billy's next card - he's also into toilet sales (this seems to flow naturally from his other job).
Turn to your left and enter the mud room. Right away we see Billy's next installation. Move over to the shower in the corner and check out the room's items. The mud bath doesn't look too inviting, and the personalized cabinets are all locked. Click on the toilet to watch what seasickness (or booze) does to Billy, and his introduction to the bidet. After he's done, click on the key he's dropped in the basin, and then click on his locker ("Mexler") to open. Billy's got a peculiar poster in his locker, and a most peculiar number scrawled on it. Billy either likes his ladies meaty, or he's written his room code on the sheet - 386 (or both, I guess).
Exit the mud room, and go directly into the herbal lab. We've got some activity in here. Off to the right, there's a large mechanical mixing machine stirring up a batch of mushy flowers. Over on the bench, Malherbe's been dissecting frogs for some reason (recall him desperately trying to catch one in his garden above). Over at the chair, click to watch Malherbe preparing Grace to take some blood, in order to make-up a serum for her dream journeys within the NG.
Turn to your left - there is some sort of mixing machine here, with peculiar labels along the sides. The labels should look familiar - recall the chart in Malherbe's garden. The doctor must be making up some of his goofy Indonesian whack-out drink with this equipment. This machine, like the juke box in the ballroom, seems to display a 3-digit code in the centre. Hmm…Malherbe's stateroom code, anyone? We'll need to go back up to the garden to get a little more information.
Exit the herbal lab, and walk around the fountain to access the three doors behind. The baths are equipped with a Frigidarium (brrr), a Tepidarium (I don't know…well, maybe) and a Vaporarium (now we're talking). Press on any of the doors to get a close-up of a small plaque. Press the button to reveal a thermal lock. We must enter the correct temperature into all three thermal locks to open these doors.
Now turn around and look at the fountain. According to that sheet posted in the basement, the heaters have all been turned up to 40 degrees, and the fountain shows the correct ratios between the temperatures in each of the three rooms beyond. Hitting the blue button (Frigidarium, F) will cause one spout to run; hitting the purple button (Tepidarium, T) will cause two spouts to run; and hitting the orange button (Vaporarium, V) will cause three spouts to run. So the temperature ratio F:T:V is 1:2:3. Since we know that one heater is set at 40 degrees, the temperatures will be as follows: Frigidarium = 40 degrees, Tepidarium = 80 degrees, and Vaporarium = 120 degrees. (Whoever said puzzles have to make any sense?).
Enter the corresponding temperature into each thermal lock (use the dial to the right on each lock) to open the three doors. Have a look inside the Tepidarium and the Frigidarium, but there's nothing much to see. Enter the Vaporarium, and look at the towel hanging to the right of the entry door - Grace has been here. Click on the covered bench to see some classic Grace-grouching. Now enter the inner room. Click on any of the wall spouts to fill the basins with hot water, and the room with steam. Click on the door - looks like Gracie wrote something on the window with her finger - "Psalms 24,4". Not only is this a relevant passage (clean hands and a pure heart indeed!), its also Grace's stateroom code.
The Good Doctor
Proceed out of the baths, back up the stairs, through the ballroom, and into Malherbe's garden. Do you remember the three ingredients in his trance-inducing serum (besides blood)? Well we had the Black Orchid, the rare Valley Orchid, and a mysterious third ingredient. At this point you should be able to take a shot at what this mysterious substance is (think about his workbench, his net in the garden, and the amphibian tank). Yes, frog guts.
Walk around the garden and locate the positions of these three ingredients (the Black Orchid is close to the Amphibian Tank, and the Valley Orchid is close to one of the entry doors. One you've found all three, proceed into the supply shed, look at the diagram, and come up with the three important sounding descriptors - these should be Earth (frogs), Death (Black Orchid) and Soul (Valley Orchid).
Make your way out of the garden, and across the ballroom to the staircase. Take this opportunity to go out on deck, travel all the way to the very front of the ship, and click on that funny looking piece of equipment at the bow. We get to see Jan ordering Malherbe to continue with the experiments, against his father's wishes. We may be able to confirm our stateroom codes from the supposed list of them in Malherbe's room. The doctor looks less that comfortable with the entire situation.
Proceed back along the deck, inside at the stairs, down past the staterooms and into the herbal lab. Click on the mixing machine to the left, click on the three correct descriptors (Soul, Death and Earth), and watch the machine spin around. The number 411 is displayed on the machine once mixing has finished - Malherbe's stateroom code.
Go out of the herbal lab, and leave the baths area. After entering the stateroom corridor, turn to your left to face Malherbe's stateroom. Since we know where the doctor is (or at least where his frozen corpse is), we can start here. Press the left button on the door to open up the digit displays, and click on each digit to scroll through until you've got "411" displayed. Click on the right button to open the door.
The only items of interest in here are located on the table to the left. Click on the wooden box with the leaf symbol to open it. The piece of paper shows that the Pod Extraction Code (whatever that is) is 318. None of the containers have serum in them - it appears that the doctor did not prepare serum for himself. Now click on his notebook - we only get a small portion of the stateroom code list, but its enough to give us Claire's room code - 324. Read through Malherbe's diary entries dating back 16 years. From his notes it appears that Jan has had to undergo some long and painful treatments at the hands of a quack. Malherbe was obviously a weak man who worried for his future, and the impact that the NG would have on his own research.
It's time to have a peek inside one of the other passenger's staterooms. Exit Malherbe's room, cross the hall, and enter Billy Mexler's code (386) into the lock on his door. After entering the room, move forward and look about the room. Clicking on the bed gives us insight as to how Jan and Malherbe "convinced" Billy to take part in the experiments. Click on the bathroom door to get a glimpse of Billy's inner sanctum - a vomit-free toilet demonstration can be viewed by examining the toilet in here.
The interesting stuff is on the desk located across from the bed. Start by examining the small printing press on the right side of the desk. Pull the right lever down to see how Billy became an instant expert in any profession of his choosing. Examining the desk drawer will reveal a set of rubber letters for the press, and the garbage can to the right of the desk contains a number of misprinted cards.
The piece of paper located on the left edge of the desk is a copy of Mexler's invitation to sail on the Herculania. Click on the box located next to the printing press to reveal the tools of the scam artist - loaded dice, a set of marked cards, and a series of printed cards (including a ruined Honus Wagner baseball card!). The box also contains a locket with pictures of a heavyset woman and a pudgy boy, a toy merry-go-round, and a flyer for a circus dated 1907. The items obviously indicated some connection between Billy and the circus.
Now open up the other wooden box with the spade symbol on it. The box appears similar to Malherbe's serum receptacle, except that one the serum bottles contains a liquid. Pick up the red coloured serum. Notice that the stationary cursor has changed from a ship's wheel into a small vial containing Billy's serum. This change will remain until we find a way to use the serum. But how do we do that? Well, there is one floor accessible from the elevator that we have not visited yet. Proceed to the elevator, and go to the Sanitorium on the fourth floor.
Sanitorium, or Sanitarium?
This place should look familiar to you as you exit the elevator - it's the room pictured on the front of Claire's postcard to her uncle found on the steps of the theatre. Step forward, turn to your left, and click on the mechanism to see a close-up of Billy's customized NG equipment. Pressing on the button on the front of the equipment gives us a glimpse of a sleeping/dead Billy, a portion of our dream concerning Billy that we had prior to boarding the ship, and a quick view of what appears to be a carnival at the end of the vision.
Turn around and look at the equipment located across from Mexler - it appears to be unused. Now look about the room - you will see equipment set up for Belle, Leo and Grace, as well as another set of unused equipment in the back left corner. Belle's vision gives us a peak at a Persian palace, while Leo and Graces' visions yield glimpses of a darkened street, and a beach (respectively).
Proceed over to the contraption located to the right of the door as you walk in the room. Another 3-digit code is necessary - could this be the Pod Extraction Code we found in the rooms of Mexler and Malherbe? Grab and pull up/down on each number wheel and set the digits to read 318. Pull the right lever down, and watch the unused equipment to our left spring into life. A pod-like structure is inserted into a hole in the floor. Watch the vision of JC and Malherbe dealing with the apparent deaths of the four passengers in the NG, and note the secret doorway to the right of the pod extractor control.
Once the vision is over, turn around and face the newly inserted pod equipment - the name label says MALHERBE. Did Jan intend to send his physician into the same dream-hell as the other passengers? Go back to the corner where you saw the secret door, and click forward to enter the bowels of the Neurographicon.
Down below, the five inserted pods are in the same arrangement as the equipment above. Examine the four occupied pods to get a look at the four guests - are they alive or dead? Note the open pod located across from Mexler - click on the pod to hear a compelling argument to get inside and use the serum. There's also something at the end of the row of pods. Walk up to the structure at the far end of the row and click on it to get a chilling vision of Jan - he must be the NG Dream-Master! Is he alive or dead?
Walk back up the row of pods and peer ahead at the person located in the window - is it Claire in that strange compartment? Don't bother clicking on her form - this will just take you back up the stairs to the Sanitorium.
Its time to enter the dream-world of Billy Mexler - perhaps learning his inner most secrets will help us understand the mystery of what occurred on the ship. After hearing the narration on the pod, click to enter. After the door closes, there are five symbols displayed. Billy's serum symbol was the Spade, so click on it, and be transformed into Billy's dreams.
Billy the Freak
You find yourself in the middle of a carnival…of the damned!! Seriously though, the place is operating, but is totally deserted. Begin by examining the organ with the horse pictures on it located next to the central merry-go-round. There are six coloured knobs located above the keyboard that can be pulled out or pushed in to change the number above each knob. Press the keyboard to get a short set of notes, but little else. Clearly we'll need to know more before we can solve the mystery of the organ.
Turn around to face the fortune-teller's wagon, and click on it to see the teller herself. Not much you can do here - there are three blank spots displayed below her - maybe we need to bring her something.
Step away, and move in a counter clockwise direction around the merry-go-round. A large fun-house is located left of the fortune teller - proceed there, enter the building, and click on the screen to watch the show. The production consists of 5 scenes: the circus arriving in town, the jester cruelly taunting the monster, the disastrous fire, the elephant running wild, and the monster saving the jester. I sure do love a love story.
Exit the fun-house and continue to the left to a horseracing game. Click on the starting pistol in the top right corner to begin the race. The six horses race across the screen, and the blue one wins., Hit the pistol and watch the race again - we get the same results. The colours should look familiar - they are similar colours to the ones on the organ knobs. Record the order of finish (1-Blue, 2-Red, 3-Lime, 4-Lilac, 5-Black, and 6-White). Now go back to the organ and position the six knobs to match their order of finish in the race (i.e. set Blue to 1, White to 6, etc.). Now click the keyboard, and enjoy the merry-go- round ride. Once you are done, click to get off, and receive a Queen of Hearts card. Place it on one of the empty places at the fortune teller's wagon.
Proceed back around the merry-go-round, past the horseracing game, to the poster of King Colossus. Click on the garbage cans located behind the poster - a big rat jumps out and scares us off. Now click on the Ferris wheel, and enjoy the view from the top.
Keep proceeding in a counter-clockwise direction, and click on the Oddities trailer to enter. Click on the closest display and read about the mermaid. Click to the left to see the beast itself, and then examine the curtain below to see how they concocted this beast (looks like a big fish, and some plaster of Paris). Examine the next display, and read about the world's smallest brain - the same weight as a 4-ounce coin. The cauliflower used to make the "brain" can be examined under the curtain below. The third display shows the severed hand of an electric man. His secret - underneath the curtain he's plugged into the wall.
Upon exiting the Oddities trailer, a note flies into our hands. The flier details the substantial girth of King Colossus (4 average men needed to lift him) and his yearly tax of 500 coins (the same type of coin that is weighed against the brain in the Oddities trailer). Now examine the small arcade to the left of the trailer. This device requires us to guess the weight of the fat lady by entering a number using the three red levers (slide the levers over to the right to change each digit above). The weight guess is submitted by pulling down the black lever in the top right corner. Since we don't know this weight, we'll have to come back in a bit.
Continue to circle the merry-go-round - at the poster of the Bearded Lady, stop and examine the garbage can. We are able to knock it over, and the spilled popcorn has attracted out nasty rat friend. Perhaps we can now look into the other garbage cans by the King Colossus poster. Continue along past the closed trailer (next show at 2:00), and stop at the strong man's hammer game. Click on the hammer to grab it and hit the target - I always knew you were a He-man. Note the guideline to the right - a Weakling can manage 25 pounds (of pressure?), an average man can handle 75 pounds, and a He-man can do 150 pounds.
Examine the poster of the fat lady to the left of the hammer game. The fat lady is exactly balanced with what looks like King Colossus and a bag of money. Can we use this information to calculate the fat lady's weight?
· The hammer game tells us that 1
average man can handle 75 pounds. The Colossus flier indicated that 4 average
men could carry the regent. Therefore, the King must weigh 4 men x 75 pounds per
man = 300 pounds.
· The bag of money is presumably his yearly tax of 500 coins. As we learned in the Oddities trailer, 1 coin weighs 4 ounces. Therefore, the bag of coins must weigh 500 coins x 4 ounces per coin x 1 pound per 16 ounces = 125 pounds.
· If the king plus his money weighs 300 + 125 = 425 pounds, then the perfectly balanced fat lady must weigh the same.
Go back to the arcade, and using the three red levers, input 425 pounds into the guessing game as the weight of the fat lady. Pull the black lever, and claim your Queen of Diamonds prize for the fortune teller.
Its now time to re-examine the garbage cans by the King Colossus poster. Click on them to travel through the fence to the trailer of the fat lady (I'm guessing by the size of the underwear). Enter the trailer and click on the suitcase under the bed - once you open it, a poster advertising the lady and her 40-pound 6-month-old son Will is displayed. Could this be Billy? Close up the suitcase and exit the trailer.
Proceed off to the right of the trailer to the stage door for the fun house. Open the door and note the ropes off to the right. First, turn down the house lights by pulling down on the switch under the ropes. Now pull down on each of the ropes to see a different scene from the play. The scenes must be played in order from start to finish, and the house lights must be turned down each time you attempt to order the ropes. The correct order is: far right rope (circus comes to town), middle rope (jester cruelly taunts the monster), far left rope (disastrous fire), 2nd rope from left (elephant runs amok), and 2nd rope from right (monster saves jester). We are rewarded with the Queen of Spades.
Placing the last card on the fortune teller's wagon causes us to transfer back to the Herculania just in time to see Billy's face melt away - I guess his spirit is finally at peace.
Proceed back upstairs, and using the elevator return to the passenger staterooms. Find Grace Thermon's stateroom, and punch in her code of 244. Enter her room, and have a peek around. Grace's doll collection can be viewed by examining the large suitcase to your left. Move forward into the room, and click on Grace's bible located to the left of her bed. The bible contains a letter dismissing her from her position at the Goodman Home for Boys due to cruel punishment (and something involving the police).
Examine the hat box located to the right of the bed. Grace is one sick twisted puppy, and has a thing for solitary confinement. Finally, examine the wooden serum box with the flame design on it, and pick up her serum container.
Make your way back down to the NG, and enter the empty pod. Press the serum into the flame-shaped receptacle, and hang on for the ride.
You are transformed to a beautiful tropical beach with a giant waterfall, and find yourself standing in front of a grass and mud hut. Click on the hut to go inside, where there are three burning torched fashioned out of clay figurines. There's nothing to do here yet, so exit the hut, and travel up a short hill to the left towards some upright poles.
At the top of the hill, you will find yourself surrounded by drums mounted on a series of poles. As you pan across the poles, you will hear each drum sound. Try spinning around a bit - you'll notice that the drums will sound more consistently when you are travelling in a clockwise direction. Make the drums play by spinning around at a slow pace, and then gradually build up speed (if you start too fast, the drums will stop playing). Soon, you will be spinning wildly out of control, and end up inside the hut with a flame in your hand. Click on one of the torches to extinguish the flame, and disintegrate the clay figure.
Back outside, head in the opposite direction from the hill. Eventually you will come to a location with a cave entrance to one side, and a path up the beach on the other. Proceed up the beach to a tall, thin structure, and a small graveyard. Examine the graveyard, and click on the individual gravestones - only children are buried here. Now turn around and enter the structure - you will find yourself below ground, with 6 caves leading off in different directions in front of you. Enter the caves randomly until you encounter a screaming gorilla in one of them (my wife actually still has nightmares about this gorilla after two years).
A box with a monkey on top will appear before you - turn the box around and read the inscription: "To my darling son, who would have been 7. May the angels continue to watch over you". You are then transported back to the graveyard - examine the gravestones to find the stone for the 6-year old boy, and place the box in the flower pot on the tombstone. The stone is the furthest one to the right, and has the name Stephen Speer on it. If you somehow screw it up, you'll have to head back underground and find the gorilla again. After succeeding, you will be sent back to the hut to extinguish another torch.
For the third torch, go back outside and proceed into the cave you saw earlier. Move forward towards the large idols until you are standing in front of a large round stone. There will be three suspended chairs surrounding the stone. Click on the chair on the opposite side of the stone from you, sit down, and pull the hanging chain. The chair will rise and stop. Now pull the lever sticking out of the wall - the stones groan, and then stop. Pull the chain again to lower yourself to the ground.
The round stone is now bathed in light. Proceed back to your initial vantage point, and now choose the chair located immediately to your left - sit down and elevate. Again, pull the lever sticking out of the wall, and descend again. Now the ball has been replaced with a flat mirror. We now must position the mirror in the correct direction.. From your original position, select the chair on your right side, ascend, and pull the lever twice (you will need to wait some time between the two pulls to allow the contraption to stop moving). Descend back to the ground - the mirror should be directing light upward towards the chair located immediately to your left.
Climb into the left chair, and ascend to the top. Turn around - you should have a route open to you across the rafters. Click ahead until you can see the giant waterfall through a crack. Go out through the crack and soar off into the sky for a breathtaking scene. Once you've landed, you'll be back in the hut ready to extinguish the last flame. You will then be automatically sent back to the Herculania to watch Grace fade away, finally free of her many demons.
Leo the Lyin'
Make your way back to the staterooms, and use the code 155 to enter Leo Galte's room. Click on Leo's bed to hear him rage against Billy, and admit to some funny business long ago in Ireland. The only items of interest on Leo's table are his boxing poster, and his serum box, which is decorated with a rose symbol. Open the box, grab the serum, and proceed back down to the empty NG pod. Click on the rose symbol to be transported to Ireland.
You find yourself standing in front of a flower cart run by someone named Molly. However, the flowers are all dead inside the cart. Turn to your right and head towards the police station located ahead. Before going in the front door, have a peek at the barber shop across the way.
Once inside the police station, note the six maps displayed on the wall off to your right - they have some pretty diverse locations (Mediterranean, Far East, the Eastern Seaboard of the US, etc.) Turn around and examine the four detective's desks located behind you. One desk has a poster showing a missing dog on it, last seen near Sweeny's Meats (oh Leo, what did you do?). The last desk on the left curiously has a row of six push pins corresponding to the names of six women. The pins can be picked up - perhaps they're to be stuck into the maps somewhere. We'll need to come back to this.
Go back towards the door to the station, and then travel around the big desk and down a hallway to the morgue. Its empty - continue off to the right to the jail cells. Click on each of the cells to get a close up of the personal item in each one. After, continue to the far door, and step though to the area behind the big desk. You will find a map of the police station here, and well as six numbered keys corresponding to six women's names (the same six names that were on the pushpins). Using the keys, the map and the contents of the cells you can lay out the following information:
Cell 1: Tess blue glove
Cell 2: Ophelia brown yarn
Cell 3: Molly white flute
Cell 4: Lulu greyish blue cup
Cell 5: Kitty flowery hat
Cell 6: Ingrid blue earring
This is a lot of information, but it still doesn't tell us where to place those pins. Exit the cell block via the morgue, and leave the police station in search of more clues.
Passing the flower stand on your right, enter the boarding house located to your left. The downstairs area is quite beautiful - have a look at the piano in the main room, and the old fashioned telephone in the room to the left. Proceed up the stairs - there are six bedrooms located up here. Each room belonged to one of the six girls listed at the police station - there is a personal effect and a postcard in each room to help us identify where the girls are from. From your perspective standing on the top of the stairs:
Armed with our location information, leave the boarding house and return to the police station. Proceed over to the desk with the pins, and place each pin in its proper location on the maps:
Once the pins are placed in the correct positions, you are whisked into the locked room beyond the wall maps. A single rose lies on the desk in front of you. Pick up the rose, and find yourself standing in from of the flower cart. Click on the cart to bring some of the flowers to life.
Move off in the direction of the boarding house again, but this time proceed past it and enter the pub straight ahead. Click on the 6 draft tap handles for a close up of the designs on each. Pay particular attention to the logos, colours, and number of stripes. Now look around the pub. You find a set of six darts at each of the six booths within the pub, as well as a fireplace and a dart-board. Examine the darts closely - the darts match the designs on the six tap handles, but only one dart at each booth exactly matches the corresponding handle (the others generally resemble the handles but differ somewhat).
The object here is to throw the correct dart from each of the six booths (after a correct dart is thrown, the corresponding tap handle is pulled down). Throw one incorrect dart at then board, and the other darts already in the board simply disappear, requiring you to start again. If we number the booth closest to the dart-board as 1, and the one farthest from the board as 6, and if we number the darts 1 through 6 running top to bottom in the dart box, we get the following matches:
Once finished, all six tap handles are pulled, and the fireplace spins to reveal a passageway into the back alley. Proceed through the door ahead, walk over to the boxing ring, and pick up the rose on the stool. Click on the flower cart to grow more flowers.
Go back towards the pub and proceed off to the left (the streets to the right is a dead end). Turning to your right will yield a close-up of Henchly Bro. Merchants. Across the street is Sweeny's Really Fresh Meats" (I think I see where this is going). Click to enter the butcher - you are taken into the backroom where the evidence on the table indicates that Muffy the dog did not make it out of here alive. Click on Muffy's tag to learn that that Miss Pettibone was the dog's owner.
Go back outside, and enter the boarding house again. Proceed to the left, and click on the phone - it's ringing. Answer the phone, and listen to the threatening message from Muffy's kidnaper. Will Miss Pettibone be able to stay out of the morgue? Lets go find out. Return to the police station, and go into the morgue. Sure enough, Miss Pettibone's body is now laid out on the table. Click on the body to receive the final rose, and add it to the cart. We are sent back to the ship in time to see Leo slip away, his secrets finally revealed.
Since we have only Belle's dream-world left to visit, let's take this opportunity to have a look in Claire's stateroom. Return to the stateroom hallway and key in 324 to unlock her door. You can operate Claire's music box to the right of the bed by clicking on it, and then clicking on the winding key. Move forward into the room, examine another bathroom if inclined, and then have a look at Claire's sketch of Jan to the left of the bed.
Examine Claire's mirror - we catch a quick glimpse of Claire, and then can peruse her diary. She holds much empathy for Jan, and feels the others continue to mistreat him. A letter from Jan, which arrived with a now-missing necklace, declares his fondness for her, and mentions the word mirror several times in reference to the necklace.
Exit Claire's room, and proceed across the hall to Belle's stateroom door. Unlock the door with 586 and enter. Examine the book to the left of Belle's bed - this is a photo album of Belle's life and loves. She's managed to outlive more than several husbands (all of whom passed away under suspicious circumstances). Apart from another empty bathroom, there isn't much to see in here. Examine the compact on the table and see Belle's reservations about returning into the NG. Open her serum box (marked with a feather) and pick up the serum container. Take the serum down to the NG again, enter the pod, and click on the feather symbol to be transported into Belle's dream world.
You find yourself standing on a raised level at one end of a sultan's palace. Go either left or right, follow along the walls and descend to ground level. Proceed towards the back wall of the palace to the doors behind the large fountain. The walls of the 12-sided room inside have frames to hold the pieces of a tapestry, 10 of which are empty. We will have to collect the ten missing pieces and return to this location.
Back outside, cross to the other side of the fountain, turn to your right, and proceed towards the set of blue doors located straight ahead. Once inside, examine the five hookah pipes located at either ends of the room - each pipe when activated emits a puff of smoke that forms into a symbol. The symbols include a spade, an "S", a star, a triangle, and three vertical lines. Note the locations of the pipes and the symbols they create. Afterward, enter the 7 small chambers located about the room and collect the pieces of the tapestry located there (5 of the rooms have the tapestry, 2 others are empty).
Leave the room, and proceed through another set of blue doors straight across the palace grounds. Enter the small chambers located here and collect the remaining 4 pieces of the tapestry. After, examine the small mounted obelisk present at one end of the room. You must follow the maze of lines to determine the proper order of the 5 symbols produced by the hookah pipes. Turn the obelisk until you see a small circle at the top with a line leading from it. Follow this line until you encounter all five symbols on the path. The order should be: triangle, vertical lines, star, "S" and spade.
Return to the room containing the hookah pipes, and activate the pipes in the order determined by the obelisk. Once completed, you are given a feather - click on the bell to see a mechanical bird flutter around. Proceed back down to ground level, and return to the room behind the fountain. All of the tapestry panels should be in place.
We must now place the pieces of the tapestry in the proper order to tell the story. Starting from the piece that is fixed (the one located immediately to the right of the door), place the pieces in order by clicking on the proper piece and carrying it over to the proper position. It's tough following the story - the easiest way is to look for common items that span pictures (e.g. a set of mountains in the background may straddle two pieces of the tapestry). The proper order is shown below, beginning with the fixed panel:
1. Horseman attacks (look for pink fence that runs into the next panel)
2. Woman kneeling (look for blue/pink wall that runs…)
3. Woman dancing for sultan (look for edge of throne…)
4. Battle (look for bodies…)
5. Santa Claus (!) kneeling (look for brown path…)
6. Man and woman sitting on carpet (look for pink mountains…)
7. White haired man comforting dying person (?) (look for blue banner…)
8. Purple dressed man praying on grass (look for white throne…)
9. Sultan sitting (look for beige robe…)
10. Sultan slitting throat of man
11. Man (ghost?) and woman talking
Once the panels are in the correct order, the second feather is given to you. Click on the bell to see the mechanical bird get some colour and begin chirping. Descend once more to the ground level, and leave the palace by the door in the far wall. Enter the village and move forward until you reach the basket seller's stall. Click on the closest basket, and watch the cobra try to get you. We need to tame this beast with a little music.
Turn around and return to the stall with musical instruments for sale. DO NOT CLICK ON THE DRUM UNLESS YOU HAVE DOWNLOADED THE MORPHEUS PATCH - YOUR GAME WILL CRASH. You must choose an instrument that will tame the snake - what else but the snake charmer's flute? Click on the flute to start the music, and return to the basket stall. Click on the basket to see the snake sway, and to receive the final feather. Once the bird receives the feather, it busts through the cage and flies away. Return to the Herculania to see Belle dissolve away, her soul finally free as a bird.
Looking for Jan
Now what? We've sent the trapped souls off into the great beyond. Can we save Claire? Walk back towards the staircase to the Sanitorium - the wall in front of Claire will peel away. Claire appears to be alive, and she's wearing Jan's necklace. Examine the necklace - do you recognize the pattern? It looks to be the graphical code for Jan's room. Copy the code down, and proceed up to the theatre level.
Turn around so you are facing Jan's room, and examine the lock. Before you enter the code, remember Jan's words from his letter to Claire - he mentioned the word mirror several times in reference to the necklace. What would the pattern look like if seen reflected in a mirror?
Enter the mirror-reflected code
into the lock - you can change the configuration of each small panel by clicking
on it - and enter the room. Jan's room is sparse - move forward until you are
facing the mirror and examine it. We get a vision of Jan, desperate for Claire's
love, and approval from his step-father. He smashes the mirror, revealing
another graphical code - this one for JC's stateroom:
Yes, that's a big "P" (and, if you're wondering, you could have entered this code to open JC's room at any time in the game). Enter the room and approach the pod located on the far wall. Enter the pod and speed off to dreamland. You end up in an ice cave, with the form of a frozen man encased in the ice. Turn around, grab the ice pick stuck in the snow, and click on the man to release him from his frozen prison. It's your father Theodore. Click on his journal to read of his attempt to deliver a letter from JC to Jan, and his eventual demise in the ice cave.
Click on the letter - you are transformed to the terrace of an ice-bound palace. Examine the letter on the table (and see the silhouette of Claire giving the letter to Jan). JC tells his son that he loves him. Finally Jan's soul can rest in peace, and the Herculania fades away. You are woken up on the ice by a woman who looks exactly like Claire. "We thought we'd never find you," she says.
Was it all a dream?
GameBoomers Walkthroughs and Solutions