Walkthroughs: Black Mirror II
This Guide will help you and Darren Michaels find your way through the game
Developing the Pictures
The scheme forms pretty much out of the ether. You’ll want to look for something that’s changed since your last visit.
Visit the post office. You’ll now find the convertible-driving blabbermouth in the corner looking at fashion magazines.
That’s a clue. However, you’ll have to first talk to Rosie about “customer” -- blabbermouth doesn’t have a proper name -- to actually hatch the plot. She observes that the lady’s husband is loaded and that even if he wasn’t, her friend would do well as a fashion model.
Now talk to the woman. Darren feeds her load of bull about working on a magazine story and, when it turns out she doesn’t have any pictures of herself, volunteers that Fuller is a famous New Zealander working undercover. Blabbermouth seems genuinely interested, but she’s not quite sold. You’re to bring her some of Fuller’s work.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Fuller’s actual work. You’ve probably seen magazines at a couple of locations: Mom’s coffee table and the hospital lobby. You can take the ones in the hospital lobby -- they’re on the table near the door -- and then talk to Rosie’s pal again and represent a handful of the pictures therein as Fuller’s. Fortunately, blabbermouth is too flattered to ask questions and says she’ll call Fuller from her car straightaway. Head back up the hill to the shop to find Fuller setting out for the photo session. The shop is now empty and the rear door remains unlocked from Darren’s earlier surveillance.
Search the shop. The film isn’t lying around in the open. Click on the tripod in the front room and Darren suggests that, if Fuller left the Angelina pictures behind, they must be in the safe. That’s on the right side of the office in the rear.
Combination? You will have to sort it out as bad guys did in old movies . Use the stethoscope from the end of Mom’s hospital bed on the safe and, in the close-up view, turn the dial back and forth using the left and right mouse buttons, reversing directions when you hear the tumblers fall into place (and not allowing yourself to be distracted by the faint tinkling sounds you’ll sometimes hear for wrong numbers). Starting clockwise or counter-clockwise, the combination will always be 90-50-70-20-30. Then open it up and take the film canister.
You’ll need four additional items to develop the photos.
- Distilled water. Right at your feet when Darren enters the darkroom. (This is behind the curtain at the left side of the shop’s front room.)
- Fixer. Also right here -- at the upper right-hand corner of the water dish on the counter.
- Developer. On the cellar shelves behind the pallet. (:Left-click twice on the pallet to knock it over.)
- Photo paper. This may prove a challenge -- especially if you neglected to collect a blank collection slip at the PO in the earlier visit and so have no handy reminder of this incomplete task.
The uncollected parcel contains the photo paper. You cannot find the missing collection slip in Fuller’s ratty office and will have to create one yourself. To reprise: Visit the post office, look at the pad of blank slips on the counter (just left of the register), ask Rosie for a fictitious parcel for Darren and steal a slip when she turns her back.
Now you just have to fill it out. Use the pen in the mug just to the right of the phone in Fuller’s office at any location other than the post-office interior and Darren scribbles the details on the slip. Will that do?
It will not. Back at the PO, Rosie objects to the absence of the mailman’s signature.
You can’t track down the mailman. Though modeled for the purposes of a fading-out conversation icon, he’s not in the game. But two characters will give you a lead on him: Mrs. Biba says he’s probably at the hospital and the hospital nurse that he delivered get-well cards for Darren’s mom. And of course once Rosie has mentioned the mailman, you can cut to the chase and just visit Mom’s room. Sure enough, you’ll find an array of cards on her nightstand -- including one from mailman P. Puck. Click on them to identify the mailman’s signature, take the leftmost card and use the pen or card on the collection slip to add the signature. Take it back to Rosie and the photo paper is yours.
Odds & ends: At the same time, the doctor reappears in Mom’s hospital room. He has some surprises for Darren. Ask about “Mother” to learn her old injuries are not consistent with a car crash and are more likely the result of a fall.
Once Darren says he’s got everything he needs, you’re ready for the darkroom.
The developing part’s easy; it’s just a matter of using the right items in the right places. Use the developer fluid and distilled water on the developer dish at the left, distilled water on the water dish in the middle and the photo paper (unwrapped in inventory with a right-click) on the enlarger at the right. Now use the film can on the developer container between the two dishes and pour in some developer. Left-click on the container to pour out the developer fluid, then add the fixer and left-click on the container again to extract the negatives.
Here’s where the potential for mistakes creeps in. Use the negatives on the enlarger, left-click on the enlarger to activate it, wait four or five seconds (using the little timer to the left ) and turn off the enlarger with a second left-click. The exposed photo paper is automatically returned to your inventory. Drop it in the developer tray. No in-game timer is available here, so, once the developer tray appears in close-up, tick off about 15 seconds on your watch (counting “one-one thousand, two-one thousand ...” will work in a pinch) and then drop the photo in the water to arrest the process.
Darren here comments on the quality of the picture. As long as he says the contrast and brightness are OK, you’re on the right track -- it’s the photographer who was the problem -- and you’ll just have to run through the process a second time at the same specs to complete the batch. Darren will then automatically complete the remainder.
And if not? Pay attention to Darren’s advice.
“Not enough contrast”: Expose the picture under the enlarger for a longer period. (One to three seconds isn’t enough.)
“Too much contrast”: A shorter period. (Six to the maximum of nine seconds is too much.)
“Too light”: More time in the developing tray. (Fifteen to 18 seconds is ideal.)
“Too dark”: Less tray time.
Odds & ends: Note that the waste basket to the left of the developer tray remains red under the cursor after Darren has examined it. What gives?
This enables you to toss out any photos that you botch during the initial exposure phase -- rather than having to dunk them in the developing tray even when you already know they’re going to turn out badly.
Once Darren’s work is complete, the doorbell rings. It’s a visibly perturbed (and more than usually bruised) Mrs. Biba with a sealed envelope for Fuller and the raw material of a new task for Darren: Find a way to open the envelope so Fuller won’t notice.
You don’t have to address this right now. It’s one of two tasks you can perform -- three, if you haven’t yet dealt with Mom’s insurance -- and, once again, any order will do.
How to open the envelope in an undetectable way?
Ah, steam -- friend eternal to nosy 20somethings and adventure-game designers! (You’ll recall this was also used in the original The Black Mirror.)
Jet back to Mom’s house, take the empty tea kettle from the stove, use it on the sink just to the left to fill it with water, then on the stove and activate the stove with a left-click. The kettle begins to boil instantly -- hey, I want to live in this accelerated world! -- and you just need to use the envelope on the kettle to unglue the mucilage and produce $1,500.
Blackmail money, evidently. Suddenly you’re beginning to make better sense of the contempt in which Mrs. Biba holds Fuller ... and how Fuller was able to afford his expensive kit.
But what did Mrs. Biba do to expose herself to blackmail? Darren can’t sort that out right now, so just place the resealed envelope in Fuller’s mail slot and make for the hotel.
Enter and climb the stairs. Long, increasingly weird cut-scene (dig the violins) in which Darren takes his own pictures of Angelina. Once Darren finishes up the roll, they agree to meet for dinner at the diner. On automatic, Darren leaves to find Mr. Mascara downstairs questioning the porter about Angelina’s stay and again quickly vanishing when he spots Darren. (Darren takes copious notes -- presumably the better to identify him for police the following day.) You can follow him again, but only to the hotel exterior.
Odds & ends: If you’ve already identified the coin for Eddie at the junk shop, you can now retrieve his cane from the porter and save yourself a separate trip later. (See below.) That clears the way for Darren to borrow Eddie’s slide projector later in the chapter.
- In the hotel lobby, click repeatedly on the door marked “Private” for a funny exchange between Darren and the porter.
This leads straight into preparation of the second batch of photos. Outside the hotel, Darren runs down his requirements to develop the photos in his mother’s bathroom: a red light, two flat dishes, something to serve as fixer and a makeshift enlarger.
- Red light. The necessary red light can be found on the string hanging outside Biba’s Diner. Go grab it. Darren will automatically use the trash bin at the right to reach the lights suspended in front. No clue why this makes the other lights in the chain go out -- except perhaps as a reminder to the player that Darren’s already completed this task.
Odds & ends: This remains interactive afterward. (You’ll be back for a second helping in Chapter II.)
- Fixer. The acidic vinegar just right of the bread bin on the middle of the diner’s counter will work fine. (It’s possible you have this already. You can take it at any earlier point in the chapter.)
- Flat dishes/bowls. Mom’s kitchen is a good bet, and you’ll find one in the drawers beside the sink. The other is in the dog cage beneath the left-hand window in the photo shop’s backyard.
- Enlarger. This requires a bit of work -- though it’s possible you’ve already inadvertently cleared the path.
Darren can adapt for this purpose a slide projector atop the shelves in the junk shop next door to Fuller’s place. Click on it and talk to proprietor Eddie and he declares it’s not for sale or loan.
Actually, the situation is not quite so cut-and-dried. Eddie is a curmudgeon. You just have to draw him out -- finding a topic that allows him to break out of this mode -- and it’s not one of his initial array. Look at the microphone on the left side of the counter and then talk to Eddie. Now you can ask him about “blindness” and “coin” and identify a rare coin for him. Just use the catalog on the right side of the counter. (It’s hidden behind the left rear pocket of Darren’s jeans.)
Eddie now invites you to retrieve the cane he lost to the owner of the Wild Coast Hotel in a poker game. The only hotel employee we’ve run into is the porter in the lobby and apparently they’re one and same. Just be persistent: Talk to the porter about “poker game” until you run out the topic and he’ll surrender the cane.
Back at the junk shop, talk to Eddie about the cane (or just use it on him) to return it and then about the projector as a proposed quid pro quo and it’s yours.
With all this stuff in inventory, enter the bathroom at Mom’s house to set about developing the pictures. This time, the developing process is automated and Darren winds up with a batch of pictures for Angelina and one picture for himself in inventory.
The scene should shift automatically to Darren’s date at Biba’s Diner. (If it doesn’t, some task or tasks remain incomplete. Have you held off addressing Mom’s insurance business or held onto the blackmail money?)
Key event at dinner: Angelina opens the casket from Mom’s desk to find it contains a picture of Darren’s mother and a man that was shot outside Black Mirror castle. It’s dated October 1969. Darren suggests his mother doesn’t look five months pregnant.
Maybe she wasn’t?
Odds & ends: In the original The Black Mirror, the between-chapter dreams turned out to be windows into murders that were actually being committed by protagonist Samuel. Given that there’s going to be a murder overnight, that’s also a natural assumption here. However, in Black Mirror II, these are innocent images that seem to run the gamut from memories of actual events to anxiety-driven imagined ones.