Haunt: I Was Never Able to Resurrect Your Mother   1 comment


The back of a PDP-10, the mainframe upon which Haunt runs. Via Sun-collector at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The backstory mentions that previous visitors to the house fell into madness. This is not an idle threat – while there doesn’t seem to be any light source timers or the like, symptoms and warnings start appearing, until:

You can’t stand it anymore, you are now totally crazy!
You start laughing uncontrollably, but choke on your tongue.
Ugh! Well at least you died happy!

The game hints there’s a way to cure the affliction (that is, you don’t just need to outright beat the game fast enough) but I’m currently at a loss. It may have to do with the plot, which I’ll get into later.

. . .

First, a tour of the map.

The main entrance to the house leads to a monster (easily placated by candy), Dracula (not so easily placated, I haven’t defeated him yet) and and Alice Cooper Greatest Hits album being run on a loop which causes general screaming through the house until it is shut off.

When you open the casket you notice that a well dressed man
with pale skin is inside. He appears dead.
There is a huge diamond ring on his left hand.
Suddenly his eyes blink open, you notice the irises are red.
It is Dracula. Oops.
The casket is open.
Dracula has left his casket and is approaching you.
>KILL DRACULA
Look turkey breath, this guy isn’t the jolly green giant.
You’ll never kill him in this room.
>N
Dracula stays in the dark room.
You are in upper hall .
You hear clanking and screams coming from the hall.

There’s incidentally a back entrance you can get to by climbing up some ivy, but there’s essentially just a master bedroom where I am stuck.

You are in what looks like the master bedroom of the mansion.
A large doorway opens to the balcony to the north.
To the east is a opening to the bathroom.
The main doorway to the rest of the house is boarded up and impassable.
There is a king-size bed in the middle of the room.
Some noise can be heard through the boarded up door.
There is a mirror on the ceiling above the bed.

You can sleep in the bed, but the game just makes fun of you:

Snooze…
.
.
.
.
.
… snort. Ah that was refreshing, but useless, you’re still ugly.

This “duct” section confused me for a while – if you go “up” or “down” you go endlessly. It appears to be an Escher “endless rising staircase” style setup, and there are only in reality 3 levels. If you’re careful, you can find a kitchen and then an elevator.

You are in the elevator.
There are a bunch of buttons on the wall.
They are labeled: P, H, B, HALT, OPEN DOOR.
Scrawled on a wall is ‘Homer kisses dead goats’
and ‘Homer turns my head’
On the floor it says, ‘L__t g_e_ _ere!’
The H is lit.

The “L__t g_e_ _ere!” suggests perhaps “Loot goes here!” but there is no score increase from dropping loot in the elevator, which perhaps suggest the elevator is greedy and merely lying.

Also, the instructions claim you get extra points for dropping the treasures on the lawn outside the house, but I haven’t been able to do this yet to find out if the instructions are lying too.

I mentioned this area in my last post – you go down to a secret wine cellar (which seems to have an infinite number of rooms, but there may just be more than anyone would have patience to map) and then into the “Cheese Room” which intercepts all inputs. I still haven’t gotten past this part.

Finally, the elevator leads to a giant ocean (modeled in by 6 by 6 by 6, with all the rooms present – I started just coloring squares on graph paper) which includes a giant monster, and octopus, and an eel:

The water is a little cooler here.
Something grabs the speargun from you and tosses it away.
There is a vicious eel here. He grabs you and starts squeezing.
You have time for one last request.
There are huge pearls here!!!

I’m not sure what last request would be helpful here. There’s also this place:

As you go up, you come out of the water and are on dry ground.
You are in a warm cave. There is a hot spring down below.
The PLACE is lit with luminous moss. The only way out is by the spring. There is a rusted old diving helmet on the ground that is immovable. Next to it is a skeleton and a note scrawled on the wall.
Dear B___ie,
I ran out of air and had to come here. The moss isn’t nutritious enough to survive on. I hope you can use the diamonds.
Take care of _ec_l and he will take care up you.
Diver Dan
There are diamonds here!

. . .

One other location has this scene (where “wife” can change based an earlier choice):

This is a tiny closet. Against the wall is a skeleton.
Scrawled on the wall, next to the skeleton is:
Dear Bas,
So the mystery man finally decides to come home.
Well you’re a little late.
I was never able to resurrect your mother, but I saw in the paper that you have a beautiful redheaded wife, and a lovely child. I only hope she hasn’t inherited our disease.
I finally succumbed to the illness when I was unable to take care of the crop.
Good luck,
Dad

If you’re puzzled, you may want to go back and re-read the opening text. In any case, the “Orkhisnoires sakioannes” reference earlier occurs again, and since the intro claims it plays some part in the general madness of the house, my guess is that figuring out what’s going on with the hereditary disease is crucial for survival and winning the game.

It’s a weirdly poignant dollop on top of what is a generally wacky and geographically confused game. I’m still enjoying myself, but I worry about I’m getting close to hitting a wall on puzzles. We’ll see next time.

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Posted August 3, 2018 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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One response to “Haunt: I Was Never Able to Resurrect Your Mother

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  1. Pingback: Haunt: Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll | Renga in Blue

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