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Old 05-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Default Let's Play The Black Mirror

Let's Play "The Black Mirror"




Part 1: "I've Seen That Manor Before"

And now i remember - I've seen it in The Black Mirror 2. Hello and welcome! This is my first time of playing The Black Mirror, and i will try to update here as i progress, discuss the game and hopefully get help from those of you who had played it if i get stuck. I hesitated to play it after the second one, but decided to give it a go. It's also my first time of doing this kind of a "game diary", so please bear with me.



After the nice "cabaret"-sque music in the main menu, it starts with the mysterious intro, which leaves us guessing and leading us to the main protagonist coming back to the manor. I have a soft spot for heroes returning home after a long time. Like Sean Penn aka Terry Noonan in State of Grace



or Sir Henry in "The Hound of the Baskervilles"



Samuel has been absent for 12 years (come to think of it, that's exactly around the same time i hadn't visited my countryside cottage) and returns for grandfather's funeral. Funny, but at first i just couldn't seem to acknowledge William was his grandfather, even after watching the intro for a couple of times. I assumed Samuel was his nephew - after all - it's always Uncles with a big manors sending for their nephews. And so, we begin:



At this point, i had no idea who is who. Something's definitely not quite right about Sir William's death, and after the talk - Samuel begins to investigate around the manor.



As i stepped outside, there's a huge "Phantasmagoria" vibe:



like those "creepy" trees



or the gate





I tried to go even further



but Samuel wouldn't let me, asking for a map. Will this makeshift map do?:



I guess not. And tell what you will of my art skills, but it helped me to get a grip of the surroundings.



Lovely scene. You can't see it here, but the leaves gently move on a lazy wind. I also had electric fan turned on behind me, which seemed convenient.

Back into the house, and another Phantasmagoria look-a-like





After a while, i've found the map and hurried to the gate:



Well, thanks Samuel, but don't give me any more hints!

Time to explore the study in which William spent most of the time, as well as on that dark night.



I wish i had played The Black Mirror before making my Art Quiz, as there're many portraits/paintings to be found



Also, there're remnants of a terrible fire for which Samuel is responsible - the story i've learned in The Black Mirror 2 as well



After a while, I gained access to the attic.





I didn't doubt it for a second. As a staple of a gothic tale, i was met with a locked boarded attic door. Wait, where did i see an axe before? I "jumped" to the stable (btw, anyone else wished for a quick-jump map? Or at least, i think the feature from A Vampyre Story with "Esc" key for an instant walk would be more than welcomed here )



Oops, wrong game.



Aha! There's an axe. Unfortunately, all he talks about is gossipping the gardener. However, moments later:



and few minutes of walking later



i managed to break the door open. Of course, it wouldn't be an adventure game if the door wasn't locked as well.
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Last edited by diego; 05-05-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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Great thread..........
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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I never played Phantasmagoria, the similarities sure are striking.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
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For a second there I thought you were going for an unannounced community playthrough.

Uncanny similarities with Phantasmagoria, I agree. It was probably a big inspiration for the game. Now if you need a newspaper and a long thin object to open that door, then I think Roberta Williams should sue somebody...
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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lol @ makeshift map
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
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Part 2: "Man from a torn photo"


Well, it wasn't "newspaper under the door" puzzle this time. I should look for the key.



They sure hadn't talk for a long time. I asked Victoria for a tower key, but she threw it away, devastated by the accident. Maybe a spare key?



No dice.



BTW, what's with the Samuel's prohibitionary attitude? Just because a man likes a little booze from time to time, he should get sacked? Hmmm...



Anyway, i feel like i'm slightly stuck for the first time. There's a golden rule in this case - talk to EVERYONE!



Aha! Here's a familiar scene, back from The Black Mirror 2. As Bates the butler has little knowledge of the key, i guess i'm definitely stuck. Let's take a breath of fresh air, maybe it will help.



Memories. I love this part of the castle. Something calm yet mysterious about it. BTW





Ok, i promise not to post any more of Phantasmagoria shots. (For a while). Let's visit the gardener.




Samuel, stop being so bossy! Back to the castle...



And into my room



Ahh, Bates, you're the best!



I failed to mention - the game does not feature hot-spot highlighter, apart from the scene exits. In a way, i've found it quite refreshing after the trends today. However, occasional pixel-hunting can give a slight headache - After a while, i managed to "hunt" down the door frame, finding a drawer key.



Samuel comments that he knew all along the key was somewhere around here. You KNEW it? Ok, here's the deal - from now on you tell me EVERYTHING you know? I've found my camera in the drawer. I see where Darren got his love for photography from. Time to inspect the "scene of a crime", with a strange red marking.




Robert says i can develop photos at Murray's. Murray? Let's visit the library.




Ahh, the library. No mystery is complete without it. I should point the lazy design here - not only that majority of the books look alike, but you can't read either of them. Oh, wait a second:



On a desk, i've found the book that chronicles parish and manor history, dating to early middle ages. Samuel actual reads loudly everything of it. Interesting - seems like the castle had quite a bit of a history and more than one fire accident, with the Academy which had burned down.


Ti ti tum tum...



I couldn't quite catch it, but the ominous looking portraits in the lobby could very well be some of those Gordon ancestors being mentioned. But enough with the history lessons. I've found out that William had a spare key in his possession, but Doctor Hermann took his belongings (it took me awhile to realize that Doctor is the very person standing in the library).



He'll arrange the parcel with William's key dispatched to me at the gate at 7 o'clock. I guess i have enough time for another tour of the castle.



Fauna around the castle is quite reach in birds, judging by the constant chirps (they seem to be small kind of birds, like sparrows. Easy to mix the sound coming from the speaker with that coming in through the window). Not much to do here, and i'm back at the castle.



BTW, the game has one of the most "evil" right mouse clicks ever - it's like "Look", but since it's working every so often, you can easily forget about it. In the fireplace, there was a ripped photo.



And you got it - JIGSAW! Hey, i don't suck at Jigsaw puzzles! Just a few easy movies, and i made a good start:



15 minutes later...



The face begins to take shape.

Later that day...



Hmm, never seen the guy. Unless



Nah. Speaking of "Indy", i've felt like Harrison Ford in "Frantic" showing photo of his wife to everyone, when i tried to obtain some info on the mysterious man:






If you go to San Francisco...



Finally. It turns out he was still a kid when William brought him to manor, but was later sent to the mental institution. I'm finally able to travel outside the castle




Willow Creek - another familiar location. Should i look for Murray?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:32 AM   #7
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Wow diego, for a minute there I thought you started a playthrough without me knowing about it . You really can't wait to lead a community playthrough on this forum, now can you? Name:  rolleyes.gif
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Anyway I really have no idea how you had the time to do all this (you must have been doing nothing else for the past couple of days ), but you did a really great job. Name:  bravo.gif
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I never played The Black Mirror, but the amount of beautiful screenshots containing all that antique furniture and the comparison of the game with Phantasmagoria, makes me want to play it. Name:  redface.gif
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Size:  1.0 KB I'll be sure to put The Black Mirror in my number 3 playing list
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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I KNEW I wasn't alone in thinking the mansion/grounds in Black Mirror 1 were similar to those in Phantasmagoria 1! I mentioned it some years back on the forum, and I didn't seem to get much of an agreement:

http://www.adventuregamers.com/forum...ad.php?t=22689

Maybe I should've posted side-by-side pics as you did, diego
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diego View Post
You post that greenhouse, yet you don't mention Phantasmagoria again???

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Old 05-07-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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When I noticed the shots and comments, I thought nice, an analysis of Black Mirror. It turned out to be a sort of comparison with Phantasmagoria. I guess each game can be compared with similar scenes/stereotypes in other games, books, or movies. I remember when a new novel came out, a friend, who had read Sartre in his class a few weeks before, "saw" Sartre on every page. A big house, a gate, yes, we have seen it before. It's a better location than say a fifth floor apartment in Tokyo. A long table, indeed, those were already typical in movies with rich people, like chopping wood, servants or butlers etc. After the association with Harrison Ford the playthrough became a bit of a Rorschach test. Perhaps a topic for another quiz.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #11
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I think it would be great if this transformed into a Phantasmagoria playthrough near the end.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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WOW, I never noticed the similarities before... the 2 dining rooms are exactly the same
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:37 AM   #13
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as for comparison with Phantasmagoria - in no way i want perfidiously to condemn the authors. I have strong memory of Phantasmagoria and setting here is quite similar, that's all. As stepurhan noted in that other thread, architecture of these late or post-medieval manors tends to be similar (i think it said 1520. as the year for The Black Mirror foundation, marking the end of a Byzantine influence). And even if they were in part inspired by Phantasmagoria, there's nothing to be ashamed of - we improve upon those before. Jimi Hendrix wasn't the first guitarist who used his thumb on a sixth string and played the pentatonic scale.

Quote:
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Anyway I really have no idea how you had the time to do all this
i've found a great little program which lets me take screenshots without interrupting the game. I couldn't do it without it really - i take shots as i advance, and when i'm done, i write the story behind those pics.

Quote:
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Maybe I should've posted side-by-side pics as you did, diego
yeap - A picture is worth...

Quote:
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You post that greenhouse, yet you don't mention Phantasmagoria again???
I promised. But i was dying to! Thanx TM!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #14
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Part 3: "The Diary"

What I've felt
What I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never free
Never me...



It was the day Metallica visited Belgrade playing The Black Album, and me playing The Black Mirror while arriving in Willow Creek for the first time (or not, since i visited it previously in TBM2).



One of many locked doors in the town.



Believe me, it WILL. Not much to talk with the fisherman at the moment, so let's head for the inn.



A kid playing in front of the "Three Kegs". "Bribing" him with candies, i learned Murray left the shop this morning.



Warm domestic atmosphere. BTW, i was surprised to see i'm not "instantly" recognized - yes, i hadn't been here for 12 years but i'd guess Gordon family is well known in the neighbourhood. At least, i'm welcomed when i presented myself.



Even though they don't mention Sir William's death at all, it seems like Tom knows something about William's secret activities.



But not until i show my gratitude. I've found out that William had some secret business in the church. I'll visit it later.



Another lovely, melancholic sight. Reminds of the scene in Memento Mori



While the clock, even though out of order, bears a resemblance with MI3:



As suspected



Yeap, not much to do here for now. Let's visit the church.



And the graveyard.




After expecting William's grave, we're off to talk with the gravedigger.



Well, an honest citizen. Also



He speaks of a mysterious affair in which William visited the church late at night. I can't enter the church as for now, and anyway, i must hurry to the gate of the castle to pick up the parcel since the clock struck seven (btw, how does Samuel travel between the points? And how far exactly is castle from the city?)



After a meeting with the shady local character, i've found the clock, and a message:



Luckily, William wasn't overly complicated when it comes to secret messages. Seconds later, i'm at the library, activating the secret mechanism (was that hot-spot there before? )



So, William was into astronomy... I've collected miniature Solar System planets. Now, ever since Trunkyo's Globe Quiz, i seem to easily spot globes in games. And if i remember correctly:





Yes, they fit in. But there's still work to do. I should probably place the planets in the correct positions from the Sun. And if you can't remember it, Thou Shalt Google It:



Actually, i could have remembered the right order of the planets, but wasn't quite sure with their size (btw, does the game assume here everyone knows Solar System by heart, or wouldn't be convenient to also have "Astronomy for Fools" book nearby? ) Seconds later, the puzzle was solved.



Finally - key to William's study. Can't wait to enter it.



Is it just me, or the place looked much bigger in the intro movie? Anyway, it might be small, but there's plenty to investigate, and i was actually stuck for some time, until...



It was William's diary! It certainly shed some light on a few questions.



Is the man from a photo - James? Why had he gone mad? Why was William interested in astronomy and history of Gordons? What had happened to him? When i exited the study



I fainted. Only a fatigue or something more?



Yes, i should rest. (BTW, i decided to go with my own "chapters", but this was actually the end of the First Chapter.)



Second chapter begins with a nightmare:



I suspected it earlier, but Samuel's staches style bears a slight resemblance to this one:



Anyway, so much of a rest. To make things worse



Henry was found dead in the fountain (similar to my dream). Detective is already here.



It seems Henry drank too much and drowned himself.



When it rains, it pours. Lightning and thunders are dauntingly convincing. After escorting the detective i'm off to the greenhouse.



I know what i'm looking for - a piece of paper which Henry got when he exchanged mysterious object similar to one i've found, but i can't seem to find it. Let's talk to everyone.



Samuel feels responsible.



Robert is suspiciously indifferent.



Morris is the one who found the body. At one point, Samuel yells at him for not securing the well, and acknowledges the sudden changes in his own temper...



If i should examine the body, i'd have to visit the Doctor's house.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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Lol...nice thread.You actually reminded me of how beautiful Black Mirror is and that I stopped playing it because I was like...kind of bored of the slow animation or something?I don't even remember.THAT'S NOT EXCUSE for taking a break from this atmospherical game!I should start playing it again soon...
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:36 AM   #16
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Part 4: "A Handful of Riddles"


Inspecting the fountain after the incident, Samuel notices something




and odd footprints as well. Was it left by Morris? After a while, I noticed I can finally go down to the cellar.



I have two choices - to dive, or drain the fountain.



I can drain it from the cellar. But not before the valve puzzle:



Neither do I, Samuel. Luckily, I managed to get it done somehow.



It's getting weirder - another sign!



Along with the key, most probably for that box in the Greenhouse.



Unfortunately, no bill of exchange in here. But I've found the letter - Apparently, Henry had some knowledge on Morris' shady past and his wine stealing. Before I visit the doctor, I should interrogate and press Morris.




Let's visit the Doctor now - but not after I turn on the lights



(I have a strange urge to twinkle with light switches in games)




Spooky.



Dr. Frankenstein?



Spookier and spookier! Doctor, you could have at least washed the floor! Anyway, it seems like Hermann is hiding something, although he informs Samuel on the bizarre fact that the body was drained of any blood. Also, he doesn't want to give the bill of exchange. Samuel tries the old trick



But no dice. We'll have to get rid of the doctor somehow and search for it.



In the meantime, we can search the garbage. The bigger one is locked, but there's a letter in the other one.



And another jigsaw. This one was easier:



Hmmm... R? Robert, perhaps?



Back in the village. Finally, we meet Murray. Let's try to get that object without the bill:




No way, Jose. The ol' man Murray is so strict to the laws, that he reminds me of that bus driver in Quick Change.

And I'm stuck once again. Let's see if I missed something back at the manor





Samuel doesn't mention the letter to Robert. Perhaps it wasn't him.



I guess I'll have to go back to Doctor's house and find the way to distract him somehow. By the way - I actually enjoyed the sudden change in the "direction" the authors went with - until this point, the game would "forbid" you to travel between places until you're done at one of them (which seemed ok, too) but now it was just like in Monkey Island where you visit islands at your will.



Doctor fancies an intercom.



BTW, the posters on the right are from John Ford's The Informer and The Navigator:



Let's sneak behind the Doctor



Hmmm... And what would happen if I just took the key?



Oh, yeah - the all-seeing Doctor. Back at the pub



Finally - bribery pays off. I managed to persuade Mark to help me distract Hermann.



Few moments later, Mark arrives and is talking with the Doctor upstairs.



Nice pun, Sam!



I finally got hold of the bill. Also, Samuel refuses to take the key but I've made the imprint of it. Who can make a key out of it?



Who else than Mark? Also, back at Doctor's, I've developed those photos.



But now - the key is ready, so let's open the container in front of Doctor's house.



What is this? Also, in the pocket I've found the final piece to a mystic object - the diamond. I think I should visit the church now



Finally someone who recognizes me. Let's move to a locked area:



...and insert the stone object. The altar appears, along with the mechanical puzzle:



I actually enjoyed figuring this one out. After a while, the secret passage beneath the carpet is activated



It's pitch-dark in here. I know you can't die in this game*, but something tells me I should save it anyway.



(yeah, I'm not too creative when it comes to save file names)
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:40 AM   #17
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Great, turning the lights on activates the trapdoor behind me! There's no turning back now.



And now comes the fun - did I mention I enjoy riddles? There're four pillars, with four books beside each containing a riddle.



William already answered this one. 3 more to go.





There're two things to make the puzzle easier - you're presented with a limited group of letters, and every book has a page with a picture beside the riddle which serves as a neat hint. I figured two on my own, but I gotta admit I was going for a totally wrong approach with: "It can't be seen but it can be heard. It will not speak unless it's spoken to". First, i thought about something like the "wind", but then the picture confused me - I deduced a priest was on it, so I thought that it could fit - when you're in confession, you can't see the priest but you can hear him. And I'm still not sure what "echo" has to do with that picture. Anyway, the crypt opens:




And another important book to read - it explains history behind Marcus and the origins of "The Black Mirror". Hmm... war between two brothers. Reminds me of a Sword & Sorcery classic Hawk the Slayer



Further to the right, and another dark room.




I agree. Let's inspect the sparking electric cable on the left:




Well, it seems you CAN die in this game.

*sucker
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foinikas View Post
You actually reminded me of how beautiful Black Mirror is and that I stopped playing it because I was like...kind of bored of the slow animation or something?
I know what you mean - comfortable interface, along with little things like skipping the line of a dialog, double-clicking on edges of the screen... are important to me. Black Mirror, like Keepsake, Still Life and handful of others can be "slow" sometimes, but I guess if the game is interesting enough I can forgive it.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diego View Post

I agree. Let's inspect the sparking electric cable on the left:




Well, it seems you CAN die in this game.

*sucker
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Well you know what they say: "Curiosity killed the cat" Name:  evilgrin.gif
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So what happens after you die? Can you continue at the place you died, or you have to start the game from the beginning/load a save game?
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:18 PM   #20
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Cool thread. I browsed it but am not going to read it because I have not played Black Mirror and am interested in it so I don't want it spoiled, but if you did this again with other games I would read your diary on a game I have played.
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