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Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120675
03/25/06 09:14 PM
03/25/06 09:14 PM
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Amarillo, TX USA
Bruce Fielder Offline
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Well done Betty Lou! I had come up with the same idea that the creature was Robin and that he had killed Catherine, the doctor and, I believe, James. I thought he was the way he was due to the curse of the mask not being trapped again due to the amulet ceremony not being performed and because James had stolen the mask.

I missed seeing the Thalidomide label on the medicine bottle. That explains the whole mystery in my book.


Live by the Golden Rule at all times.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120676
03/26/06 12:01 PM
03/26/06 12:01 PM
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Posts: 11,366
Sacramento, CA USA
Betty Lou Offline
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I need some help now figuring out this part of this mystery - according to the newspaper from 1963, the year Catherine was killed, she and James had been married 30 years...assuming she was about 20 years old when they married, that would mean she was about 48 years old when she had her first and only child - I know this is not impossible TODAY but in the 60's? Almost unheard of.....how does that fit with this story? Did the 'story-writer' mess up on this? Even assuming Catherine was only 17 or 18 in 1933 it is not likely she married at that age in those times, is it? This is totally confusing to me. What do you all think? think
Love, Betty Lou :kiss:


I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120677
03/26/06 02:01 PM
03/26/06 02:01 PM
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wysewomon Offline
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Hi all--

finished this yesterday and I'm supposed to be cooking breakfast, but I need to make a few comments:

Betty Lou: good eye spotting the thalidomide. I couldn't make out the lables at all. That was one of my complaints about this game: the writing was all too small. And I think you should have been able to examine those bottles mroe closely.

If you look at the dates on the plaques in the crypt, you will see that Catherine was born in 1910. That means she became pregnant at the age of 50 (the baby was born in 1961). I don't think this works for me. She looked much younger in the picture. James's dates are 1908-1963, BTW.

I think you're supposed to get that the monster child ripped her throat out, but he would have been only 2 at the time, so that also doesn't make sense to me.

I actually think the doctor and Catherine knew about concealing the child, but James didn't, at least not at first. Because in the letter, the doctor talks about "what we did" and seems to imply that knowing about it would send James further round the bend.

BUT I don't think enough of a connection was drawn between the mask and the monster. Or, too much was and then it didn't play out. Was it 2 separate issues? Did the presence of the mask actually have anything to do with the child's being born strange? Or did being locked up in the house alone (for how long? the date on Jerry's letter to Michael is 1976, btw, so the kid would only be 15 at that point. How long had the dr. been missing?) with the mask drive Robin crazy? Or what? You're led to a correlation, but then they almost seem different. dunno. I have to eat.

WW


"So then he says it's enough to take aim! What's that supposed to mean?!?"

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120678
03/26/06 03:07 PM
03/26/06 03:07 PM
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wysewomon Offline
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okay, I'm back. I spent breakfast discussing this with my husband; both of us ended up feeling very unsatisfied with this game, and it mostly had to do with the two storylines not coming together adequately. Was the story "the evil god in the mask?" or was it "the monster in the cellar?" I'm not saying it couldn't be both. Just, as things turned out the two were discursive.

Another thing that bothered me was, there were so many contrived dificulties that didn't really tie into the plot. Like the whole candle business. It was so glaringly obvious that there were NO CANDLES anywhere. Particularly with the hoards of candleabra in every room. I really thought there should have been some significance to this. But as it turned out, the only reason for it was so that you wouldn't go into the cellar the first night. Michael made such a huge deal about not wanting to wander around in a dark unfamiliar place. But then, absence of light didn't really prevent him from doing so at all! So what was the point? I think it would have been much spookier if he could have lit a single candle. You could easily have prevented him from going into the cellar with a draft that blew the candle out--after all, the whole place was virtually open to the outside. Then he could have decided he needed to wait until he could light his shielded lantern.

The absence of candles made it seem that there should have been some huge significance when you finally made it into the chapel and found that one stub on the altar, too. But there was nothing in it.

There was really nothing in the story to convince me that James was mad at all. The doctor thought he was, because of James's insistence on the evil of the mask. But if you take away the a priori assumption that buying into African cultism indicated madness, the whole thing falls apart. And I think the way the story played out, you're almost supposed to come to the conclusion that James WASN't mad. I mean, the doctor's journals indicate that he eventually understood that there was something evil about the mask. So James was just doing what was necessary to avert the evil. Or would have if he hadn't died.

I guess I would have liked it better if Michael had made some mention, at the end, like, "The scratching noises are still going on even after I used the amulet! There's more here than I thought!" Or something. As it was, the cellar bit just kind of seemed tacked on. Back to the question of, two stories or one story? There was too much implied connection for me to think of them as truly separate, but not enough for me to think of them as related.

picky detail: why could you only look at the details of those two Bosch paintings in the upstairs hall? I kept expecting that to be relevant, hold a clue to something. Because every other picture in the place, you could zoom in on the whole thing. Why not those two?

blah blah blah,

WW


"So then he says it's enough to take aim! What's that supposed to mean?!?"

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120679
03/26/06 04:43 PM
03/26/06 04:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 37,294
near Yosemite in California
Marian Online content
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A real interesting catch on the thalidomide, Betty Lou.

As far as the "child monster" ripping the throat out of the mother at the tender age of 2, I suppose one could swallow that if one were to believe that the spirit of the child was imbued with the powers of the evil entity of the mask and thus had superhuman abilities. But if we are to believe that, it doesn't mesh very well with the thalidomide explanation of how they ended up with a beastly baby.

Hmm.....

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120680
03/26/06 08:08 PM
03/26/06 08:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,766
FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
infernoj13usa Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Lou Brewer Jones:
I need some help now figuring out this part of this mystery - according to the newspaper from 1963, the year Catherine was killed, she and James had been married 30 years...assuming she was about 20 years old when they married, that would mean she was about 48 years old when she had her first and only child - I know this is not impossible TODAY but in the 60's? Almost unheard of.....how does that fit with this story? Did the 'story-writer' mess up on this? Even assuming Catherine was only 17 or 18 in 1933 it is not likely she married at that age in those times, is it? This is totally confusing to me. What do you all think? think
Love, Betty Lou :kiss:
I know for a fact that it is possible. My childhood friend was born in 1953 --- her mother
(an Italian nurse) was 51 when she gave birth to her. So it is definitely possible -- a rare possibility, I will grant you, but possible none the less.

inferno


Watching: Dark Shadows
Reading: Angelique's Descent
Playing: WoW and living in Kil' Jaeden
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120681
03/26/06 08:20 PM
03/26/06 08:20 PM
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wysewomon Offline
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As I said earlier, if you check Catherine's dates in the crypt, she would have been 50 when she became pregnant and 51 when the child was born. I think it's totally possible and not too unusual. After all, Eleanor of Aquitaine was 46 when she gave birth to Prince John. And her age would have explained why they took extra care with her pregnancy (the thalidomide), why it was difficult and also possibly why the child might have had some birth defects (even without the thalidomide).

But the question remains for me: Does one believe that Catherine had a beastly baby and the whole thing was covered up (like Rochester's mad wife in the attic), that James just supposed it was the curse operating, and that the baby got more beastly as time passed through neglect or imprisonment? Or was it the curse of the mask playing out?

WW


"So then he says it's enough to take aim! What's that supposed to mean?!?"

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120682
03/26/06 10:22 PM
03/26/06 10:22 PM
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California
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I'm replaying this again to try to pick up on more hints. Someone mentioned here James went to prison, but he didn't. Remember, there was no autopsy and the police were not allowed to dig in the yard.

Also, reading the flyers in the attic, the doctor bought 3 pieces of meat from a butcher shop in 1970, so he was around at least 7 years after Catherine died. Also, why was his bank account still open and being used? I wonder who was using it?

Jean


Playing "World of Warcraft", "Oblivion",and "Silent Hill 2"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120683
03/26/06 10:53 PM
03/26/06 10:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 230
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Agustin Cordes Offline
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Betty Lou: that was very impressive. Congratulations! I never thought anyone would ever bump into that clue, but you did it and neatly explained its relation with the story. Bravo!

For those who want to believe into something supernatural and how the mask ordeal ties with the story: watch the ending sequence again. Carefully.


Senscape // Founder // Designer
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Working on: Asylum
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120684
03/27/06 02:32 AM
03/27/06 02:32 AM
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Posts: 11,366
Sacramento, CA USA
Betty Lou Offline
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Having this discussion has made my enjoyment of the game itself so much better. A couple of points - the meat that was ordered in 1970 could and probably was ordered by the doctor since James died of a heart attack in 1963 before he was arrested - and yes you are right, James was not incarcerated, his death came before the authorities had time to pursue him as a suspect, remember, they were not allowed access to the house and grounds and never did see Catherine's body and no autopsy was performed. Another thing I know (now) is that Catherine and the doctor kept the baby's survival of birth a secret from James as he was in an emotional state over what he perceived as the African curse-of-the-mask. However, I deduce that James became aware of the child at the time of his wife's death, hard for the doctor to explain that away to James otherwise. So maybe it was the doctor who was seen burying Catherine in the garden, not James - sounds like James was in a fragile mental state and not able to function well enough to bury his wife and continue to conceal the child. However, what I don't understand is this: from the phone call Michael makes to the bank to determine if James Blackwood's accounts were still active, he finds out they were but never does find out who is accessing those accounts, i.e., withdrawing monies from time to time (perhaps to buy more meat for the 'monster'?). Something I missed the first time I played this was at the very end in the basement near that hole in the wall, I totally missed seeing the half gnawed fresh meat lying there, saw it this time, so the 'monster' is getting his meals from somewhere - wonder if any of the neighbors are missing? Oh, and the 'speculation' that James was still alive when his body is actually in the crypt and Catherine is buried in the garden without a coffin, guess that played out correctly and fits OK. Can't say I am totally satisfied with the ending, unless it is 'dangling the carrot' that there could be a sequel of the creatures further 'adventures' smile laugh lol
Love, Betty Lou :kiss:


I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120685
03/27/06 02:35 AM
03/27/06 02:35 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 11,366
Sacramento, CA USA
Betty Lou Offline
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Oh, I am so delighted with my find on the meds and accept all your 'pats on the back' with a very good feeling! Thanks
Love, Betty Lou
P.S. I'm not always so smart and usually feel pretty dense rotfl


I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120686
03/27/06 02:13 PM
03/27/06 02:13 PM
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Posts: 131
NYC
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Congrats, Betty Lou! I'd also missed that. *wild applause*

To further clarify thalidomide (there were some questions about it a few pages back), it was originally developed as a sedative; when it was discovered that a side effect of the drug was the prevention of morning sickness, it was then prescribed to pregnant women (with the horrifying results that others have already gone into).

For the intensely curious, it's now being resurrected in clinical trials as a potential treatment for HIV.

And I have to say this, because I haven't seen anyone else mention it (I know many people don't have this issue) -- while I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the graphics, the music, etc., what really impresses me is the game engine. I appreciate the fact that there's an option to put the game in slideshow mode, but what I really appreciate is the fact that it's unnecessary to do so. This is literally the first game I've played where the "panoramic" cursor did not make me nauseous.

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120687
03/27/06 02:46 PM
03/27/06 02:46 PM
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Ottawa
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kuddles Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Haze:
Now, have we all figured out who has been tossing the meat and what the cat (Which [b]wasn't eaten) has to do with anything? [/b]
The meat has was tossed in by Dr. Milton. You can find a reciept for meat cuts amongst the scraps of paper in the attic, and the date on the reciept is after the day James died, and is the same year Dr. Milton dissapears.

Remember how you needed something to make the amulet that represented a god? I believe the dead cat in the cemetary is a previous attempt by either Milton or James to make the amulet themselves.

Did anyone else notice an outline of a body, possibly a woman, imprinted in the mud in Robin's cell? I thought I saw one but perhaps I was looking too hard.

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120688
03/27/06 03:47 PM
03/27/06 03:47 PM
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The Haze Offline
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think O.K,. I haven't enjoyed a thread this much ......ever. I also agree with and appreciate all that has been said BUT Why does everyone seem to accept that idea that James is an innocent victim and that poor Robin killed Catherine. What if James, victimized by the curse, actually was the murderer? He, as a result of being overexposed to the mask, actually went nuts and attacked his wife; ripping out her throat and killing her, just as the African tribe did to their victims. The doctor, seeing his friend as 'cursed', took the mask from the case; hid and locked it in the secret storeroom and hid the truth. Poor Robin was, in fact, simply poor Robin. He was a malformed child who was ignored and abhorred by his father and cared for, barely, by the doctor. This inserts a bit more "Supernatural" material; cleans up Betty Lou's time lines a bit; and may still leave the mask and curse hanging over Blackstone Manor. I sort of like having this old haunted place get older and still be haunted. As for Robin, he still lives in the basement in the dark. (It's dark because he's already burned all the candles in the place, except for one in the church which he didn't know existed!)


If all the people were heroes, there would be no one to watch the parades.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120689
03/27/06 04:51 PM
03/27/06 04:51 PM
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Amarillo, TX USA
Bruce Fielder Offline
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Haze, I thought for a long time that James was Catherine's killer via the mask's curse. I can still see that this scenario would fit as well. Given Robin's proclivity to enjoy raw meat though, I now believe that he is Catherine's killer and Dr. Milton's as well.


Live by the Golden Rule at all times.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120690
03/27/06 06:17 PM
03/27/06 06:17 PM
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Sacramento, CA USA
Betty Lou Offline
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I don't want to 'beat a dead horse' but other thoughts 'creep into my mind' when I read the comments by you all here - I accept that either Robin or James killed Catherine, but lean towards Robin being the 'guilty party'...Remember that Catherine and the doctor were hiding and caring for the baby and kept that knowledge (that Robin was in fact alive, not dead or stillborn) from James at least up until the age of 2 when Catherine was killed. What I don't understand is who has been feeding Robin since the good doctor disappeared or died, he has been dead a while now, don't know when he actually died. So where is Robin getting his meals from and where will he get them from from now on, he obviously does not have a functioning brain to allow him to telephone the market for supplies and use his fathers bank account, so who is using it or has been using it most recently in stead of the good doctor? Someone obviously has withdrawn money from that bank account very recently - there is fresh meat in the basement only partly eaten and it must have come from somewhere....
Love, Betty Lou
I have to say I really am enjoying this in depth discussion of this game a great deal - thanks for participating and sharing your ideals. :kiss:


I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120691
03/27/06 06:19 PM
03/27/06 06:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 11,366
Sacramento, CA USA
Betty Lou Offline
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Oh, is THAT what happened to all the candles? Never did figure that one out so thanks Haze, solves another piece of my 'puzzle' for me.
Love, Betty Lou


I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120692
03/27/06 06:59 PM
03/27/06 06:59 PM
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Posts: 3,506
hunched over my computer
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Is there actually evidence in Robin's cell that he's been burning candles? How would he light them? Is he civilised to the point of using fire? Would he care? I think of him as nocturnal, as night seems to be when he's been active.

I also like the thought of the scratching noises being Robin trying to dig his way out. That makes sense to me. But as for who's been maintaining him--well, I still ask if we have a date of the Dr.'s disappearance? I remember Jerry saying that he'd become the town drunk and then vanished, but when? I keep thinking of that coffee cup by the Dr.'s journal in the sitting room. When you click on it, Michael said, "I wonder how long that cup of coffee has been sitting there?" But if it had been VERY long, wouldn't all the coffee have evaporated? So wouldn't the comment have been more like, "the residue in the bottom indicates that this cup once held coffee"?

Maybe that's spliting hairs...

I just don't recall seeing anything in the final scene to connect Robin and the mask, but I sure could have missed it--I was mostly hiding behind a pillow at the time!

WW


"So then he says it's enough to take aim! What's that supposed to mean?!?"

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120693
03/27/06 07:31 PM
03/27/06 07:31 PM
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The Haze Offline
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Here it is; my final bit of inspiration. Robin, the baby, is dead. He died a long time ago and the creature is, in fact, the doctor(!) He was transformed by the mask into what we saw in the basement. He didn't try to defend himself from it because he didn't believe. No one has been feeding him because he can fend for himself, and he is aware enough to use candles. There is still no reason to assume that he know about the secret room in the church so he never got that one. Also, he can't leave because, like Gollum and the ring, he is supernaturally connected to the mask and the house. Now that our hero has broken the mask's power, who knows what might happen. (Are we considering this story or what?)


If all the people were heroes, there would be no one to watch the parades.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120694
03/27/06 07:32 PM
03/27/06 07:32 PM
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kuddles Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Lou Brewer Jones:
What I don't understand is who has been feeding Robin since the good doctor disappeared or died, he has been dead a while now, don't know when he actually died. So where is Robin getting his meals from and where will he get them from from now on, he obviously does not have a functioning brain to allow him to telephone the market for supplies and use his fathers bank account, so who is using it or has been using it most recently in stead of the good doctor? Someone obviously has withdrawn money from that bank account very recently - there is fresh meat in the basement only partly eaten and it must have come from somewhere....
I'm still believing that the Doctor was alive (at least until recently.) He probably only left the house because he couldn't handle being in there all alone anymore, with his internal demons and supposed external ones as well. The journal in the living room suggests he wanted to take off. He just comes back to feed Robyn now and again.

Quote:
Originally posted by wysewomon:
I just don't recall seeing anything in the final scene to connect Robin and the mask, but I sure could have missed it--I was mostly hiding behind a pillow at the time!
Think about what you were looking at during the credits.

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120695
03/27/06 08:11 PM
03/27/06 08:11 PM
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Posts: 5,766
FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
infernoj13usa Offline
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FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
So......all are really neat theories .....but where is the maid? That letter to her Mom never reached the appointed round, did it?

inferno


Watching: Dark Shadows
Reading: Angelique's Descent
Playing: WoW and living in Kil' Jaeden
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120696
03/27/06 09:27 PM
03/27/06 09:27 PM
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The Haze Offline
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woozy eek woozy O.K. Inferno, you've done it again. So maybe the body in the ground wasn't Catherine at all! There are bones, of apparently human origin, in the refrigerator and in the basement. There is also an empty coffin which isn't supposed to be empty and the creature has apparently been reasonably well fed..... That's it; I'm going to play ECHO because Mr. Bill told me I should and I'm going to forget Scratches for a while. I've never thought so much about a game after I played it three times. Now I'll have to play it again and become even more confused. wave By the way, thanks to all who allowed me to spout off and kept it fun. There's another thread on another site where they are opening veins and spewing vitriol. This has been much better.


If all the people were heroes, there would be no one to watch the parades.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120697
03/27/06 11:05 PM
03/27/06 11:05 PM
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Ottawa
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kuddles Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by infernoj13usa:
So......all are really neat theories .....but where is the maid? That letter to her Mom never reached the appointed round, did it?
It might have. Remember, we just used the pencil to create an outline of the last thing written on that paper pad.

I think it's more than possible that the maid
a) took the picture of the wife incident.
b) made two copies, one that she took to the police, and one she hid in her secret compartment for safe keeping.
c) went to the police, and then decided to go home. Think about it: you just witness your boss burying his murdered wife and the police can't manage to charge him, or even get on the property. Would you then decide to go back to work, or go back and pick up some odds and ends. Likely she never returned.

Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120698
03/28/06 03:46 AM
03/28/06 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Lou Brewer Jones:
What I don't understand is who has been feeding Robin since the good doctor disappeared or died, he has been dead a while now, don't know when he actually died. So where is Robin getting his meals from and where will he get them from from now on, he obviously does not have a functioning brain to allow him to telephone the market for supplies and use his fathers bank account, so who is using it or has been using it most recently in stead of the good doctor? Someone obviously has withdrawn money from that bank account very recently - there is fresh meat in the basement only partly eaten and it must have come from somewhere....
Remember that the bank account is still active. Someone could have placed an on-going order with the butcher's for fresh meat to be delivered every few days, and with the bank to allow the butcher's bills to be paid automatically and unconditionally. The delivery person could even have been instructed to drop it down a hatch. They don't have to know the place is deserted, as long as the bill gets paid they just keep on delivering.


I'll be back, one day, when I feel like it.
Re: Scratches question--contains major spoilers #120699
03/28/06 04:48 AM
03/28/06 04:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 109
Sweden
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Skyros Offline
Settled Boomer
Skyros  Offline
Settled Boomer
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 109
Sweden
As Inferno said the maid never had the time to send the letter to her beloved mom and she also left all her belongings in the house even her beloved photos! So she must have left in real hurry or more likely been forced away from this world. That would explain why there is a female skeleton in James coffin.


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