Thursday, January 15, 2015

Three Things

1. In Nancy Drew: The Message in a Haunted Mansion (the book), Rose and Louis find love--I mean, a fancy chandelier! The same page that we see the chandelier, it crashes to the ground. I love the reactions of everyone present. Bess freezes in fear, so Nancy is forced to tackle her and save her life. And George? She double-checks to make sure the accident didn't mess up her jogging plans. Typical Bess and George.

2. Also, Charlie is an old man in the book. The game combines him with Tim, the homeless boy living in the mansion. I guess young men are more popular with Nancy Drew readers.

3. In one of my reviews, I made a snide remark about Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall. Someone asked me to clarify. I like the game; it's amazing. The only parts I don't like are Colton (sorry, buddy, you're the least interesting character of the bunch) and the ending explanation. Not to give any spoilers, but they use a variation of the "it was all a dream" ending. It felt a little like a cop-out ending, as I was expecting a more thorough explanation of the hauntings, along the lines of the explanations given in Message in a Haunted Mansion and Shadow at the Water's Edge. It doesn't ruin the game, by any means, but I wasn't happy with it.


Anonymous said...

I think what GoTH was trying to leave you with was a "you can believe whatever you want" ending. It offers a somewhat weak logical explanation but it also doesn't explain Nancy having visions of Charlotte outside of the house, or Charlotte killing Nancy (unless that was just Nancy having illusions that scared her to death) And I like that explanation better than all the hauntings being revealed logically at the end. *Spoiler for Message in a Haunted Mansion* I loved the game, but I didn't like that everything was revealed to be run by Abby midway through. I liked believing it was real, and it would have been a lot scarier if they didn't have an explanation for everything, and if they left it unsure. *end of spoiler*

JustACoolFan said...

But Michael, the hauntings in Ghost of Thornton Hall ARE explained thoroughly. Just perhaps not as obviously as needed. If you check Nancy's journal and exhaust all possible phone contact conversations, Nancy says that: "Jessalyn and Harper were dressing up as Charlotte after all! Still, some of those times... It was more than dress up." (Roughly quoting.)

So, the fact that Jessalyn and Harper were dressing up, coupled with the fact that they knew how to appear and disappear quickly using the secret hidden passageways, PLUS the fact that everyone's fume-addled brains could have easily embellished upon the sight of Harper or Jessalyn in costume -they could have hallucinated the flames and sparks onto what they saw because of Charlotte's strong association with them- is actually a fine explanation.
Because, in case you didn't know, they weren't kidding about a lot of victorian era ghost stories coming from hallucinations from fumes. I did some research into the matter and it actually did happen somewhat frequently in the olden days.

But yes, since these thing weren't properly mentioned in Nancy's endgame letter, I can see why the whole premise seems flimsy to you...

...However... Labyrinth of Lies, which you praised so highly, did indeed have some gaping flaws.
Firstly, if you listen to all the audio files of the rehearsals, you hear Niobe complaining about how Xenia hasn't finished writing the second act of the play... But the sun doesn't set in LIE until the actual performance takes place. Meaning that Xenia must have written the entire second act in one day, plus having gotten everyone to memorise their lines.
Secondly, sure, if you can buy the idea that all the amazing underworld sets truly do revolve, that's fine by me... If they weren't all underground, that is. How are they supposed to be brought onstage where the audience can see them? And since they're full of electrified water and lava, isn't it pretty much a surefire way to get killed anyway?
Thirdly, the museum is struggling for money, so how were they able to build these amazing custom-built sets? It's especially ridiculous when you consider that the acting troupe was only supposed to be performing for one week.
Also, for sets that they're apparently supposed to "make use of" it's strange that Nancy's able to be there during the show, since they evidently aren't being used.

So, yes, I see why you might like LIE better than GTH, and I don't mean to come across as agressive or disrespectful, (I admire you a lot, I don't want to start a fight, I just wanna present the other side of the argument.) but in reality, GTH doesn't have plot holes, so much as an explanation that was a bit too subtle. Whereas LIE definitely does have some plot holes. In fact, I kinda get the feeling that LIE was a product of Her Interactive wanting to make a fantasy game, but not being able to because Nancy Drew is set in (more or less) the real world.

So yeah, while neither game is perfect, I just thought what you said about GTH was just a tad unfair considering that LIE is guilty of the very things you condemmed GTH for.

Love you Michael!