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AG Community Playthrough #62 - Lighthouse: The Dark Being

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Welcome to our community playthrough of Lighthouse: The Dark Being!

It’s a dark and stormy night along the rugged coast of Oregon where you, a writer, are now living, hoping the beauty and solitude of your location will bring you inspiration.  Your nearest neighbor lives in a lighthouse a couple of miles away, and an urgent message asking for your help leads you on an unimaginable journey.

This is a first person point and click game with slide-show movement.  It has a variety of logic-based and inventory puzzles, so make sure you pick up anything that isn’t nailed down and read all the notes you come across. 

There are many alternate pathways through the game, so in order to keep us all together as much as possible, I will limit access to certain paths at certain points.

The game doesn’t have distinctly marked chapters, but it does have separate areas to visit, which will act as divisions for our playthrough.

As soon as you’re ready, begin the game and play until you witness a major disruption in the lighthouse bedroom.  One of the alternate pathways will appear here, but DO NOT ENTER IT.  Stay in the lighthouse and continue to explore everything and solve all the puzzles you can.  STOP when you find yourself on a beach with a tower in the distance.

I’m going to allow a week for us to finish this first section, which will bring us to Friday, October 2.  As usual, the timing can be adjusted depending on the players’ progress.

Please use spoiler tags where appropriate when discussing the sections.

I am playing the game from the discs (version 2.0) in Classic 9 on my old iBook.  Other than having to play in the small screen, it is working well so far.  However, since that computer is not hooked up to the internet, I can’t share my screenshots with you yet.  If I can remember how to burn a CD on the old system, I may be able to transfer them via sneaker net.

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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I’ll join the playthrough, playing the game for the first time. Bought it on GOG but run it with a separate ScummVM installation in order to use the latest version. I’ll play to the stopping point during the weekend.

It should be pointed out that the game can be played on virtually any system with ScummVM, even if you have old CDs. It’s not very trivial though, since you have to copy and rename relevant files to the modern system.

     

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Lady Kestrel - 25 September 2020 12:43 AM

I am playing the game from the discs (version 2.0) in Classic 9 on my old iBook.

So version 2 was released on CD? The version file on mine says “1.0C”, so I wasn’t sure. Fortunately a patch can be found elsewhere, because apparently it’s pretty substantial. Just look at the options screen for version 1:

Compared to the one from version 2:

     
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Pegbiter,
I have used ScummVM several times on my iMac to play older games, but it has just been a matter of copying the files from the disc to the program.  Having to rename them is a bit intimidating to me.

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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eriktorbjorn - 25 September 2020 10:05 AM

So version 2 was released on CD? The version file on mine says “1.0C”, so I wasn’t sure. Fortunately a patch can be found elsewhere, because apparently it’s pretty substantial.

The screenshot I took was from the internet, but my actual interface looks like screen #2.  The 2.0 CD version addresses quite a few of the problems with version 1.  It added a highlighted cursor, a helpful diagram, indicator lights for some of the more difficult mechanical puzzles, and a hint button.

 

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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Mine is version 2. I will play this weekend. Really excited as this is my first playthrough, I wanted it to be with Lighthouse haha

     
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Downloaded the GOG version and didn’t encounter any problems (but then I deleted GOG Galaxy long time ago). The game looks and feels just as great as I remember - and that’s only the beginning, the artwork will get better with all those steampunk and art nouveau touches. I never heard of John Bock, but Lighthouse seems to be his most personal game where he served both as an art director and a lead designer.

That baby’s model is pretty impressive for 1996. I also like how interactive the environment is, plenty of items to pick up. Nothing like Myst! Once again I got reminded of Coktel Vision’s Lost in Time where you also spend a lot of time tinkering with inventory and other items that appear in pop-up windows, like puzzle boxes we encounter in both games (Lost in Time via Lighthouse, haven’t solved it yet). Technically they are also similar, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sierra used the same engine in their post-1993 games after they acquired Coktel. And this looks suspiciously like Zork:

     

PC means personal computer

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I loaded the game and played until I’m standing in front of the lighthouse. The graphics are surprisingly good considering their age. Also surprising is the size of the display. It probably filled the screen when I was playing with a 10-or-12” CRT. but it seems tiny on a 26” flat screen. I agree with Doom re: the baby modeling. JJ should have hire Bock to do the GK3 modeling.

I was going to write a cautionary note about screenshots, but I apparently got my walkthroughs confused. It was the Black Dahlia walkthrough that said attempting screenshots could crash the game. So I guess they are OK here, although I’ve not tried it yet. Again, Doom seems to have succeeded. I assume, if he is playing this on a Win10 machine he simply Alt-Tab to go to Windows mode and the Alt-PrtScn and then whatever he does to edit the screenshot. I use Paint and Imgur to get everything ready to post.

I’m going to note one other thing. Sorry Lady K. And then I will shut up and just play the game. Lighthouse has a limit of 20 saved game slots. Which is not enough for a game that allows death as an option. However, in the Save/Load menu you can create additional directories which makes the number of saved games limitless.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
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It’s been a long time since I last played Lighthouse. Around 20 years to be precise!
I remember that I liked the atmosphere, but I got stuck after “the event” that Lady describes (I followed the other path though) and never returned to it. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to revisit this game and finish it at last. Smile Smile Smile

I have version 2 and I can confrm that (unlike many, many other GOG games), it runs smoothly on my laptop.

     
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Got the game. Watched the intro, and ready to start the playthrough.

Pegbiter - 25 September 2020 04:55 AM

I’ll join the playthrough, playing the game for the first time. Bought it on GOG but run it with a separate ScummVM installation in order to use the latest version.

Simply booting my GOG copy prompted me to update ScummVM to the latest version, so I’m assuming it’s already using the latest version???

I planned on doing what you did, and play with a separate ScummVM installation, but, well, using the shortcut provided by GOG is more convenient. I doubt there’s going to be much difference between the two anyway.

Lady Kestrel - 25 September 2020 12:43 AM

As soon as you’re ready, begin the game and play until you witness a major disruption in the lighthouse bedroom.  One of the alternate pathways will appear here, but DO NOT ENTER IT.  Stay in the lighthouse and continue to explore everything and solve all the puzzles you can.  STOP when you find yourself on a beach with a tower in the distance.

How long is this section? Is it short as an introduction, or is it a full section?

I ask so I know how much time I should be extracting for this… Innocent

Doom - 25 September 2020 04:36 PM

That baby’s model is pretty impressive for 1996.

I agree.
It actually stands out in the entire opening cutscene. Looks better than the rest, I thought. Which is no small feat for something that could so easily fall into the uncanny valley…

     

Last played: Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5

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TimovieMan - 26 September 2020 10:13 AM

How long is this section? Is it short as an introduction, or is it a full section?

I ask so I know how much time I should be extracting for this… Innocent

I remember the first time played the game, I did with the sound off (don’t remember why. Perhaps the baby pissed me off lol) and I missed the whole scene.  Grin

It is some minutes within the game (about 15 mins if I remember correctly. I may be wrong with that. It’s been 20 years….).

EDIT: Even less. It is a couple of mins after you do a very specific “action”.

EDIT 2: Oh no!! A safe!! That I cannot open although I know the combination! My Nemesis!!! I forgot that one….

     
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This isn’t a short section, simply because several of the puzzles are a bit fussy.  There’s one in the desk that requires quite a bit of manipulation, but you won’t be able to finish it completely until later in the game. I recommend spending as much time with it as you can now because you will have to come back to it eventually.

Also, check carefully for inventory items.  The small screen makes some objects more difficult to see. 

The alternate path in the bedroom will exist for a few minutes.  You’ll know it when you hear it.

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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Regarding your Edit 2, Sefir, that was one of the fussy bits I was talking about.  I can help with the direction, if needed.

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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Sefir - 26 September 2020 12:09 PM

EDIT 2: Oh no!! A safe!! That I cannot open although I know the combination! My Nemesis!!! I forgot that one….

Oh God, yes! Things got in the way today, but tomorrow is laundry day so I should be able to get most of this part done. Including the safe. There is an interesting factoid about the safe puzzle, and that is that the way to open the safe is the way that you open a real safe. But we’re so accustomed to the “game way” of opening a safe, that we don’t understand what we’re doing wrong. Knowing that you have the right combination doesn’t help matters.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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OK, i’m going to try and play along too.

First played the game back in the 90’s but didn’t get very far with it, I remember not being too keen on it, but can’t really remember specifically what it was…

Although I’m not that far in yet there is a lot I don’t remember, including the puzzle solutions! It’s going ok at the moment, I had certainly forgotten how many inventory items there were to collect. I haven’t even minded listening/reading page after page of the journal. I think what puts me off a bit is that almost everything I am doing I am not sure why I am doing.

I have been putting random parts in machines in the lab presumably to fix them but I have no idea why or what they even do!

The safe puzzle - these do annoy me no end. There was something similar in Clue: Fatal Illusion that had me stuck for over a year I think. Knew the combination but just fighting with how to put it in. Frown

I have also started work on the puzzle cube thing and got a drawer open and a third side half up. I remember it existing from last time, but no memory at all of how to open it or even if I managed it at all last time.

Anyway, I’m not giving up on the game yet, hoping to make it through this time. Smile

     

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Managed to pass the portal.
It was a little tricky in the lab with the wiring, but I figured it out eventually.
Solved the majority of the cube puzzle and I am at a point where there is a metal disc with a symbol that I can do nothing about. I guess we will come later to that. At one point it felt REALLY random. I am talking about the side with the coloured tiles and the two fish. This part I solved with guessing and trial-and-error.
By far the hardest part was figuring out how to put the safe combination. Took me about 3 hours. A similar riddle was the reason I stopped Black Dahlia.

I like the story and the atmosphere so far and I also like the voice of Dr. Krick in the journal pages. And since I haven’t been challenged for a long time, I enjoy the riddles as well, despite coming rough in the edges sometimes.

     

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