Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis Walkthrough

Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis Walkthrough

Category:

Written by on

Version: This is version 1.01 -- incorporating additional information about Riddle #2 in the jail-cell sequence in Paris. Thanks to “Haruko Haruhara,” who emailed me about the slip-up.

Contact: Lingering questions? Mistakes? Something unclear? You can write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Copyright: This document is copyright 2010 by Peter Olafson. You may not post it, distribute it, edit it, excerpt it (except for "fair use" purposes in news coverage), sell it or publish it in any fashion without my prior written consent. At this time, the only site with permission to post the walkthrough is JustAdventure.com.

Note: Originally published 9 November 2010

The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Ashford

Out in the graveyard, a twig snaps and the old priest senses he’s in danger. Leaving the vicarage, Father Matthew Wakefield looks out into the cemetery with frightened eyes.

Not seeing anything, he shrugs -- acknowledging more of grim inevitability than confidence -- and ambles slowly toward the church. Another snap, another look among the stones. Night-vision goggles come on and a laser sight blazes to life, a dart is fired,and two dark figures with night-vision goggles unfold among the graves. The father falls and struggles ineffectually to reach the safety of the church. The intruders approach and order him to produce a parchment.

They’re too late. Wakefield has already passed the parchment along to Bishop Parrey. And apparently he lived long enough to reveal this fact to his killers.


Christ’s College, University of Cambridge

We find Parrey reading Wakefield’s cover letter in a college library. The priest reports that strange things have happened in Ashford since the parchment’s appearance during the renovation of his church’s crypt. Twice someone has broken into the church and one of the brothers in his order has vanished.

His people haven’t been able to decipher the document but the priest senses “we are onto something really big -- and possibly very dangerous.”

Parrey has been able to make out enough of the document to justify Wakefield’s fears. He hopes to receive more help the following day from a colleague named Patterson -- an expert in medieval ciphers. (Note: Technically, the Middle Ages extended only to the 15th or 16th century -- and it turns out this letter dates from the late 17th.)

But events here take an unexpected turn: A phone call from an Ashford police inspector reveals that Wakefield is dead. Witnesses report two men in black combat suits at the scene. Parrey may be in danger.

He is in danger. Closing a window blown open by the wind, Parrey sees two figures in dark garb run toward the library door. He realizes he has little time. Wakefield’s killers are after him and he needs to make sure the parchment gets into the right hands. This is where you take control.

Look at the desk to the near left. This is the reserve book table. It contains a single book, “Cryptographic Symbolism,” and a list (which can’t be examined independently) revealing it’s being held for two professors -- Patterson and Lucie Forrester.

The bishop here hatches a plan: He’ll hide the document in this book and then make arrangements for the book to find its way into Patterson’s hands.

You may want to peek at the parchment before you hide it away. This letter from a certain Sister Elise (not yet identified as such) won’t turn up again until deep in the game. It’s not very revealing, but this is the first reference to an obscure prophet named Zandona and the apocalypse. (This info also turns up in the game diary.)

The hiding is easy enough. Simply drag the parchment onto the cryptography book -- either on the table or in your inventory. Then place the book in the empty spot on the third shelf from the bottom to the left of the left door. Parrey then lets himself out by the left door almost as an intruder enters by the right.

In this darkened corridor, the bishop worries aloud about the risk that Forrester might still get hold of the book before Patterson. His final task here is to take steps to prevent that event.

Use the key ring on the office to the left, enter and look at the lecture schedule on the wall to the right of the door. You need to adjust the schedule for the next day (Friday) to enable Patterson to collect the book early in the morning and prevent Forrester from doing the same. In other words, Patterson needs to be free and Forrester occupied during the 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. block.

Now, it seems unlikely that an unexpected late-night change in a lecture schedule would register with the relevant professors or their students in a timely way. But let’s just assume the folks in the school office come in early and have exceptionally fast footwork! Simply move the magnetic plate for Patterson down from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to either of the two available slots and Forrester’s up four to the 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. slot.

Parrey then leaves the office automatically with a view to going to the police. He doesn’t even make it out of the corridor. Promptly shot by he intruder, he falls to his death. But he’s done his job. As we’ll learn in the next segment, Patterson receives the parchment -- but is unable to escape the consequences.

Odds & ends: In the hallway, Parrey can examine the identifying plates beside each of the two side doors and try to use the window on the left and to use the key ring on the door of Forrester’s office. In the office across the hall, you can examine the filing cabinet, the desk and, in the close-up of the lecture schedule, the magnetic plates for Dr. Soule and Prof. Harman.

And did you note the names of the two intruders? They are identified first as Red 3 and Red 2 and later as Wedge and Biggs -- the call signs and names of Luke Skywalker’s two wingmen in the movie Star Wars. (Wedge and Biggs are also recurring characters in SquareSoft’s Final Fantasy series. We’ll run into them again briefly in Indonesia and again in the epilogue.)


Hamburg/The Calypso

Nina Kalenkov is taking a cruise to Portugal aboard the yacht Calypso to get over her recent break-up with boyfriend Max (her partner in Secret Files: Tunguska). Heading for the gangplank, she’s accosted by a distressed man. Looking over his shoulder as if pursued , he asks if Nina’s traveling on the ship, then rushes on and is immediately struck by a forklift.

Nina apparently isn’t the compassionate sort. She goes right ahead and boards the ship and starts thinking about hanging out by the pool

We’ll soon find her in her room with a Mr. Patterson’s suitcase in closet. Take the roller skate at the bottom of the closet and leave your room. You’ll find an obnoxious fellow traveler at the base of the stairs up to Reception. This is the American travel agent Fleming Olsen. (You won’t get his name until much later in this segment.)

You don’t have any choice but to chat with him -- here learning that there’s a general expectation from a series of catastrophes that the world is coming to an end. (His two additional topics lend nothing to Nina’s understanding.)

At the top of the stairs, ring the bell on the counter (breaking it with Nina’s hammer hands) to summon the porter and report that your bag and Mr. Patterson’s seem to have been switched. You’ll learn here that Patterson was the victim of the accident on the dock and that he’s dead.

You can take a handful of Marzipan "potatoes" from the bowl on the left side of the counter. (You won’t need them for quite a while.)

If you haven’t previously spoken to the gentleman standing at he top of the stairs to the right, he’ll interrupt at this point and ask about your exchange with Patterson. At length, this will prove to be a German vicar named David Korell. He’s one of the good guys, but it’s not immediately evident. He says he didn’t know Patterson himself but doesn’t say it convincingly, and seems very interested in anything the man might have said.

This wraps up the first sequence. Nina says she’ll go to bed now and so she does. Cut-scene of the young lady at rest.

She’s awakened by a knocking at her door. No one’s there. But draped over the bannister at the foot of the stairs is a bikini top from her bag (which she’ll take automatically) and a note with a clue to the bag’s recovery: “They come from outer space. But seen from down here, that doesn’t seem so important anymore.”

A riddle. Since you’re now “down here,” let’s see what’s “up there.” Climb the stairs. Note the UFO carousel off to the right.

So they come from outer space, do they? The carousel is missing wheels, which prevents it from being moved. With the roller skate from the cabin closet, you’re now equipped to replace them . Use the skate on the UFO and then give it a nudge with a left-click. It skates over to the left to a position atop the skylight.

Something must be written on the bottom. Descend the stairs again and look up at the skylight to the left to find it dirty. You’ll need to clean it and the bikini top won’t do. You need to assemble some cleaning supplies.

Head right from your room and grab the oar off the wall. Potentially, that’s a mop handle. Now climb the stairs again and use the exit on the near side of the screen to move to a zoomed-out view of the ship. Head aft to the sun deck. Take the ice bucket from the bar (your mop bucket) and the blanket (the mop head) from the table beside the deck chair. Continue aft to a small pool. Dip the bucket into the water and you’re about set. Now you can put the components together: Use the blanket and oar on the filled bucket and you’ll find they’re gathered under a new icon (“extended cleaning utensils”). Nina says the cleaning supplies are complete.

She apparently hasn’t read the walkthrough. They aren’t complete. You need soap. Make your way back to Nina’s cabin door and then right down the hall. Take the flashlight off the wall between the two doors on the right and, in the laundry room (formerly locked) at the end, use this amalgam on the soap dispenser over and to the left of the sink just inside the door. In the icon, you’ll now see soapy water in the bucket. You’re ready to tackle the skylight. Simply use the cleaning supplies on its underside.

Now it’s clean. Also dark. If there’s something on the underside of the UFO, you’ve no way to see it -- until you use the flashlight on the skylight’s underside. You’ll then see a hint to check “the back of the ship” for a final clue to the location of the missing suitcase.

You can truck back to the sun deck again-- to no practical effect. (There’s nothing special back there). But there’s a ship within the ship: Just to right of the laundry room door is a primitive picture of Noah’s Ark. Right-click and then left-click on the picture to take it from the wall and then right-click on it in inventory to find a photo stuck to the back.

Nina won’t tear it off for fear of destroying the photo. But she can loosen it by using the steam jetting from the dilapidated hot-water heater in the laundry room. It’s a picture of Nina’s ex, Max, laid up after a skiing mishap. Our suitcase thief has written: “Poor guy, he should see a doctor” on the photo.

That’s the clue. The ship’s sick bay is on the right at the other end of this corridor. No one’s visible within ... until you use the photo on the door at a distance or hold the photo up to the glass in closeup.

It’s just a little kid with a weird haircut. (Oskar is his name. We’ll meet him again shortly.)

Nina’s returning to her cabin to rest when she hears a male voice shouting “Shut your mouth, or I’ll kill you!” from within. She puts her ear to the door for a moment and that’s enough to put her lights out when the door opens unexpectedly.

She’ll wake up back in sick bay in the company of a doctor who thinks Nina hit her head when the ship hit a wave. The source of the doc’s account is passenger Katharina Jordan -- currently helping the captain with the insurance forms in the ship’s restaurant.

Nina, who knows better, reappears there directly. The captain quickly defuses this would-be hair pulling contest by sending the combatants to their respective corners and you’ll resume control of Nina in her room the next morning. You’ll find her pink suitcase has replaced Patterson’s in the closet ... and that now Nina’s purse is missing. She’s determined to learn why Ms. Jordan lied about the incident. And who threatened her?

But before you set out, open the suitcase. Nina restores the bikini to its rightful place and can take three items: red socks, white bathrobe and baseball cap. (The cap can be left behind. It has no role in the game except as a red herring.)

Now climb the stairs and talk to the porter. (Notice that the damaged bell is now missing.) He promises to investigate the Case of the Missing Purse and asks what became of Patterson’s bag. It seems to have gone the way of Nina’s handbag.

While you’re up here, you may as well poke your head into the restaurant -- previously closed and now open. You’ll automatically watch a televised speech by Ron Shelton -- a doomsayer from a group called Puritas Cordis (“The Pure of Heart”) who goes on about the prophet Zandona -- and can take the roses and an anchor-shaped bottle-opener from the first two tables.

Ms. Jordan is lounging on the sun deck. No need to talk to her. (You can, but you’ll get nowhere.)

But do look at her. Nina her takes in her outfit in detail: pink bathrobe, flowered hat and sunglasses.

Now for a chat with a bartender. Like the travel agent, he’ll go on and on about the end of the world. Then you can question him about the speech on the restaurant TV (provided you’ve seen it) and the key cards on the bar and learn this guy’s not good at remembering faces.

Bottom line: Maybe you could claim someone else’s keycard if you were wearing, say, a flowered hat, a pink bathrobe and shades.

While you’re here, grab some freebies: the mini-life preserver hanging from the side of the bar, the toothpicks and CD coaster on the top and the disco poster on the pillar.

Finally revisit the pool. You’ll find the travel agent sunbathing here. Note the sunglasses. Talk to him and he gets Nina annoyed all over again. She determines to teach him a lesson.

Seems he’s out of sunscreen. He’ll asks Nina to fetch him more of the same brand and turn over the empty tube.

That runs through the take-able objects here, so retreat to the front of ship. Near the porter’s station, you’ll be intercepted by the man who interrupted Nina’s chat with the porter the previous day. He wants to talk about the strange things that have been happening on the ship. Part of Nina thinks this man is one of them, but she agrees to dinner at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, she’s determined to sort things out on her own -- for starters acquiring Katharina’s keycard by dressing up as Katharina. Your recent acquisitions have taken you one step toward that goal: Combine the roses from the restaurant and the life preserver from the bar in an imitation of her flowered hat.

However, if you try to use it on Nina now she’ll says, “That thing looks a bit unfinished.” True. The hat lacks a crown. We’ll see to that shortly.

Now for the bathrobe. Yours is white. But you do have some red socks. Washing them together might well render the robe pink. Make your way to the laundry room to find it in use.

Outside, you’ll run into another passenger. Feng Li is waiting for a bell that indicates his wash is done -- and he’s been waiting quite a while. You’ve already been in there to collect soap for the skylight cleaning and use the steam from the hot water heater and have doubtless noticed the decrepit state of affairs. The washing machine is broken. That is, it does wash clothes but it doesn’t set off the bell..

Enter the room, detach the bell from its position high on the wall to the left of the door using the bottle opener from the restaurant or Nina’s keycard and then pop back into the hall and talk to Li about the bell. His patience here transforms into stubbornness, but Nina perseveres -- and does a bit of Monty Python’s famous dead-parrot routine besides. Li’s finally persuaded, takes his clothes and moves along. Reenter the laundry room, place the robe and socks in the washing machine and activate the machine with a left-click. Time marches onward and you’ll soon find a wet pink robe and socks in your inventory. We’ll see about drying them off in a moment.

While you’re down here, take the piece of fabric that’s hanging on the laundry basket atop the machines and use it on the flowered ring to fashion it into a crown for the flowered hat. And use the sunscreen tube on the soap dispenser to burn the obnoxious travel agent.

Alas, the dryer is busted. You’ll have to improvise. That means getting back to the broad view of the ship and visiting an area previously off-limits: the upper deck. (That’s the one with the helipad.) At the top of the stairs, you’ll see an exhaust fan in the right bulkhead. Right-click on it to learn the air it’s blowing out is hot. Simply use the bathrobe on the fan to dry it. (You can dry the socks as well or leave them wet. They’ve served their purpose.)

Then make for the sun deck. Give the “lotion” back to the travel agent. He’ll turn on his back and Nina can swipe the sunglasses from the table beside his chair.

Now combine the flowered hat, sunglasses and pink robe in inventory. Nina says “My disguise as a ‘tasteless bimbo’ is finally complete.” Return to the main portion of the sun deck and use the outfit on Nina. She’ll step off-screen briefly and return looking just enough like Katharina to confuse the bartender. Talk to him and ask for Katharina’s keycard. He identifies you as Ms. Jordan -- he’s prevented from seeing the genuine article by a screen -- and asks your room number.

Oops. Nina has no idea, and now has to approach the porter to sort it all out And of course the porter’s not at his usual station outside the restaurant. And the bell to summon him is out for repair.

The key here is simply replacing the bell. Happily, Nina has the one liberated from the laundry room. Unhappily, she doesn’t have a workable way to ring it. (Yes, she can use the bottle opener from the restaurant on the bell in inventory, but the bell then issues only a feeble ‘ding’ -- probably because Nina’s holding it in her hands and thus deadening its potential.)

But use it on the bolt in the wall to the left of the porter’s station. Somehow, the bell winds up suspended here and Nina can whack it with the can opener to produce an airier ring. The puzzled porter appears. He’s not much help. He’ll refer Nina to the captain himself about the handbag (a red herring; ultimately, Nina finds the bag on her own) and doesn’t supply Katharina’s cabin number.

However, when Nina explains she wants to leave a gift for that lady outside her cabin door, the porter suggests she leave it with him instead.

There’s one item the game accepts as this “gift”: the poster you confiscated from the sun deck. Hand this over and the porter vanishes on pressing business.

Now, what did the porter do with the poster? Did he take it with him, take it in back or place it somewhere below the employee-only side of the counter? The last of the three -- meaning you just need a way to peer over the counter top at the passenger’s boxes. Used on the counter the highly reflective surface of the CD from the sun deck bar serves as a mirror. Katharina’s in cabin #2.

Back to the sun deck, back to the tacky outfit, back to the bartender and you’ve got the bimbo’s keycard. Simply use the “02” card on the door to the right of the sick bay and Nina’s in. That’s her purse on the bed. Take it and there’s a knock at the door. Cut-scene: Nina slips under the bed just in time. A pair of shod feet appear beside the bed and the visitor rummages briefly through the closet. Listen to him talk aloud to himself and to his subsequent phone call. He’s evidently an agent for some larger organization, says he’s searched half the ship and warns that disaster will follow from failure.

And he sounds very like the man with whom Nina’s slated to have dinner this evening.

Grab the magazine from the floor to the right of the bed and get back to Ms. Jordan. She’s all righteous indignation over your presence in her cabin until Nina suggests things wouldn’t look good for Katharina should they meet with the captain on the issue. She agrees to talk but asks for a Bloody Mary to help her over the shock of discovery.

Talk to the bartender and he’ll deliver one -- in the wrong kind of glass and accompanied with more of his doomsday schtick. Give it to Ms. Jordan (or simply talk to her again) and she’ll reveal what she knows: She was passing Nina’s cabin the previous night when she noticed the door ajar and, inside, a masked man searching Nina’s luggage. The intruder noticed Katharina, dragged her into her own cabin (which doesn’t explain why Nina heard the male voice coming from Nina’s own cabin), threatened her life, gave her explicit instructions on how to account for Nina’s head injury ... and apparently left the purse on the table. She’s about to reveal something of the man’s appearance when coughing overcomes her and she passes out.

A poisoned drink? So it would seem, and you’ve gotta be looking funny at the bartender who handed it up. The scene removes to sick bay, where the captain says the ship’s doctor will put Katharina to rights again. Nina takes a nap and the action picks up three hours later.

You can’t investigate. You -can- see Katharina sleeping peacefully through the glass in the sick bay door (which is locked, as usual; sick bay is not an explorable room). And of course the bartender’s no longer on duty on the sun deck. It’s evening. Time for your rendezvous. Head for the restaurant.

Here the game goes non-interactive for a long-ish stretch. Your date isn’t here. (His absence is never explained.) But something’s going on outside the central window: a struggle between an unseen person and a uniformed ship’s officer with a ponytail. The latter loses and falls overboard. Nina seems less clear than we are on what she actually saw, but determines to bring the matter to the captain’s attention. Cut to a wide shot of the ship. A doubtful captain says the only officer with a ponytail is the doctor and he appears to be on duty inside the sick bay -- his back to the glass in the door.

Nina then revisits the restaurant and, not finding her date, heads off to bed. The next morning, she knocks on his door -- there are noises within Cabin #5 but no response -- and decides to peer through the appropriate porthole on the lower deck.

Strange. Inside, she seems to see the ship’s doctor -- if he is indeed the doctor. For a ponytailed wig can be seen on the bed beside him.

Nina here prompts your return to Katharina. She’s still in sick bay but a look through the window in the door quickly confirms sometimes amiss. She’s lying on the examination table in a strange, unsettled way. The way a dead body might lie. Nina suggests another chat with the captain. Easily done by banging on the door on the upper deck. But he’s not easily persuaded and Nina leaves him realizing she’s going to have to prove her case.

A photo of the “doctor” would be a good start.

Start by visiting Reception and talking to your laundry-doing pal Li. Pay special attention to what he’s doing: admiring the photos of inconsequential celebrities that adorn the walls. Ask him twice about his cameras to learn he won’t lend them out. (He’s a paparazzo and who knows when a celebrity might suddenly teleport onto on a ship at sea?)

Hmmm. What if Li found an honest-to-goodness celebrity on board? Perhaps you can make him think there is one. You do have that gossip magazine from Katharina’s cabin. And there is an empty frame in the restaurant to the left of the door. Use the magazine here and it’ll look like like a framed shot of “George Rooney.” Return to Li and tell him Rooney is on board, Nina then automatically leads the gullible Li to the photo and explains that Rooney is in disguise and learning first hand what it’s like to be a ship’s doctor for his upcoming role in “Emergency Boat.” She’ll then lead him down to a position outside the porthole for cabin #5.

And here’s another problem: It’s hard to get Li excited about taking a picture of Rooney’s back. Can you get the camera-shy “star” to move?

Yes. It’s a little tricky until you make a new survey of the ship and find the porter now tending bar on the sun deck. (This raises a a useful question: What’s become of the usual bartender?) This is important for two reasons: He’s unavailable to prevent Nina from using the microphone at the porter’s station in Reception. And Oskar’s driving him nuts.

Nina’s thus free to use the mic on the Reception counter to treat her captive audience to the sea shanty “Drunken Sailor.” The resultant cut-scene of the “doctor” suggests this is having little or no impact on his position.

However, the implication is clear enough: Some other kind of sound might get under his skin. (Note that Nina’s debut as chanteuse is just a hint, and not a required step.)

Visit the sun deck for an irritating sound that can’t be exported. The kid Oskar is playing his bongos arrhythmically. The porter has escaped from the noise to music from his MP3 player.

You want that MP3 player. To get it, you’ll have to shut down the drums. Talk to Oskar to learn he’s playing mostly in the absence of something fun to do. His last pingpong ball went overboard. Perhaps you can find a replacement.

Try the restaurant. At the far end, you’ll find the travel agent, who finally introduces himself as Fleming Olsen. He’s running a lottery for passengers who build a model of a European landmark. If you complete one, you’ll receive a numbered ball -- to all intents and purposes a pingpong ball.

The subject for this masterpiece has been selected for you. It’s the Atomium -- a monument constructed for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium. You just need to assemble and then combine the raw materials. (Have a look at the picture on the back wall of your cabin. Its molecule-like structure may give you an idea what’s required.)

You should already have the Marzipan candies from the counter in Reception and toothpicks from the bar on the sun deck. All you need now is to to give them the requisite sheen -- and aluminum foil will do admirably. It can be found on the restaurant floor to the right of the table where you found the roses. Use the foil on the Marzipan and the toothpicks, combine the wrapped candies and wrapped toothpicks in inventory, dump the end result on the unimpressed travel agent to collect the “27” ball and you’re done.

Make for the sun deck. When you emerge to the exterior view, you’ll get a sense that the weather’s changing for the worse -- a harbinger for the end of this segment. Drop the ball on Oskar. He’ll vanish, leaving Nina with the bongos, and a relieved porter will place his MP3 player on the bar. Borrow it with his blessing.

Back in Reception, use the player on the microphone to pipe Caribbean music through the ship’s sound system. On the lower level, “Rooney” now presents his profile to the window. Now simply enlist or reenlist Li to snap the picture and you’ll find a snapshot of the “doctor” -- actually, the bartender (big surprise) -- in your inventory. Return to the upper deck, bang on the bridge door again and talk to the skipper about the photo.

Here the game goes on automatic again The captain accompanies Nina to cabin #5 to find the “doctor” is out, then to sick bay to find Katharina has been strangled to death and then leaves Nina to report the death to police. Two shots ring out. Nina leaves the sick bay and finds the sea all atoss and captain lying on the upper deck. The bartender/doctor arrives at the helipad to be coptered away and takes a shot at her. She’s saved only by the intercession of her would-be dinner date from the previous night. He’s about to say something when he sees a wall of water on the horizon. “Oh my god!” he says in astonishment. “It’s all true!”

Odds & ends: In Nina’s cabin, you can also examine the loudspeaker beside the door, the closet, Patterson’s suitcase, the bed, the picture above it, the purse on the desk (in the initial segment only), the porthole and curtain beside it. In addition, she can try to use Patterson’s suitcase, the picture and her purse.

At Reception, you can examine the three pictures to the right of the porter’s station, the hatches up and down (you won’t use these until late in your trip), the Reception counter and the impression left on the counter by the missing microphone (after it’s taken away for repair). In the corridor down in the cabin section, you can examine the newspaper on the counter. (This is available only while Nina is seeking her suitcase.) In the laundry room, you can examine the sink to the left of the door. On the sun deck, you can examine the pingpong table to the left of the bar and the lounge chair and sun screen above it at the pool at the rear of the ship. In the restaurant, you can examine the turned-off TV and the picture to the left of the door. (When you revisit the restaurant in your search for a pingpong ball, you can also examine the monuments on the table at the far end. These are the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens and Berlin’s Fernsehturm television tower.) On the lower deck, you can peer through the window into cabin #4. In Katharina Jordan’s cabin, you can also examine the cupboard and bed.

Nina can try to use the flashlight on the skylight before she cleans it; the UFO carousel in Reception (but only until she repairs it; afterward, this just moves it), the pingpong table on the sun deck, the sink in the laundry room -- and also the robe (both while it’s white and when it’s pink and wet), socks (dry and wet), baseball cap, bikini top and toothpicks (all on herself). She can also try to use various components and combinations of the cleaning supplies on the skylight; the cap and bikini top on the washing machine; and the roses on the baseball cap.

There are two spots here where the original German hasn’t been translated to English: One is the sign outside Nina’s cabin (“To cabins #4 und #5”) and another on the cover of the “Glamour” magazine Ms. Jordan is reading on the sun deck. (“Action, Liebe, Abenteuer”).

Has the ship’s doctor never seen breasts before? In the sick-bay cut scene that follows Nina’s encounter with her cabin door, he stares at Nina’s cleavage all the way out of the room.

The porter is “Sidney” and the bartender is “Eastman.” (You can see their name tags on several occasions.)

There’s no reference to the Calypso’s destination in the game, but you’ll find references to Portugal in the game’s Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Files_2) and other descriptions online.


Indonesia

Here we meet Nina’s ex-boyfriend Max and his motor-mouthed colleague Sam. A long series of cut scenes resolves with an nighttime attack on their campsite and the capture of Sam.

(Wait a minute. Sam and Max? It could be a coincidence, but given the number of references to the games industry in Puritas Cordis, I’m guessing not.)

First task: As Sam, you have to let Max know where to find you by delivering a signal rocket (rather too conveniently already in inventory) to the nearby campfire in a launch-ready configuration.

Given the limited confines of the cage, this is pretty easy. Take the piece of bamboo wired to the top of the cage -- you get both the bamboo and the wire -- and three oranges from the bowl just outside the bars. Use the oranges on the wire -- they’ll serve as wheels -- and then the bamboo and then the rocket on the “mobile construction.” Finally, use this portable launch pad on the campfire or the ramp on the near side of the cage. Whoosh. In a cut-scene, Max sees fireworks near the temple on the hill and determines to rescue Sam.

Go ahead and try. The monkey on the overhanging tree branch at the right side of the camp scene will try to lead you there, but Max has no way to follow it through the thick foliage and soon returns to his starting point. One of several tasks at the wrecked campsite is to cook up some way to follow the critter.

The best way to start is to grab everything that doesn’t have roots: the peacock feather to the right of the intact tent; the blue flag nearby, the fencing and bamboo tube in the near right corner, the documents beside the fallen-down table in front of the tent, the yellow hard hat beneath that table, the tent poles from the destroyed tent, the cellophane-wrapped donut, balloon, beer and glow sticks from the backpack (all taken automatically when you left-click on the backpack), the kettle to the left of the campfire and a red flower from the Hibiscus plant in the foreground nearby.

Also, kick the tree at the far right to collect a papaya. The papaya sounds like something that might appeal to the monkey. And in fact it’s the only thing in your inventory that you can give to him. But it doesn’t materially improve your prospects. The monkey takes the fruit, all right, but you still can’t follow the critter through the bush. It stands to reason you need to tweak the papaya in some fashion first. We’ll get to that in a moment.

In fact, the papaya is one of a few items that require a bit more work. For instance, did you notice the fish jumping the waterfall over to the left? Stands to reason Max might like to catch one. A net would help, and you have the makings of a net: Simply use the tent poles with the fencing and use the reinforced fence thus constructed on the river below the waterfall. The fish continue to vault your net, but note that their arc of their flight takes them through a gap in an outstretched branch -- a gap you might easily fill. Use the flag on the branch. Max then takes the fish and flag automatically.

Also, did you notice the thin strip of grass (“garden”) at the lower right edge of the screen? Right-click on it and Max opines that slugs have pretty much destroyed it.

Hey, that matches up with an inventory-item description: In the one for the beer can in the backpack, Max said beer was used for catching slugs back home. Use the beer can on the garden. You’ll have to leave camp for a slug to appear. We’ll do so in a moment.

Then there’s that frog on the lily pad at the far left. Max can’t just grab him. You’ll have to leave camp to find a snare.

You won’t begin to figure out where the papaya fits in until you fill the kettle with water at the river and add the Hibiscus blossom. Then use the kettle on the smoldering campfire to transform the contents first into tea and then red dye.

Use the papaya on the kettle to dye it red, give the dyed fruit to the monkey and head into the jungle. Now Max can follow the critter’s trail all the way to the rear and then the front of the temple where Sam is being held.

You can’t do anything for Sam right now, but take the white berries from the bush just to the right of Max’s hiding place and, at the rear of the temple on the way back, the bad-smelling Rafflesia to the left of the path. (And, if you like, hang the blue flag from the branch above the spider web to the right. This’ll get you the fireflies to the left when you return.)

Now you’re set up to complete two final tasks back at camp. In the garden, you should find a slug making its way up the side of the beer can. Try to take the can and you’ll take the slug instead.

And you’re equipped to collect the tiny frog sitting on a lily pad in the river. Up to this point, you haven’t been able to attract its attention. But frogs love flies and flies are drawn to the Rafflesia. So use that plant on the flat stone at the edge of the river just across from the frog. The frog hops across for a meal and Max takes it automatically.

That completes our business here. Return to the rear of the temple to find a newly assembled spider web has ensnared some fireflies -- take them -- and try to read the inscription to the right of the temple door.

This’ll be gobbledygook ... unless you’ve first read the translation you grabbed back at the campsite, in which case you’ll read:

“Honor the goddess, enthroned above all.
With her radiant being and ever-open eye, she looks down upon her subjects: the mute and the homeless.
Yet they have no one to blame for their miserable state but themselves. Were they not so self-centered, then they could see the riches at their feet: the Queen’s gold.”

Around the inscription are six niches. Clearly, you’ll have to put something inside each to open the door and the inscription is the key to those somethings. You’ve already picked up three at the camp (fish, slug and peacock feather) and one at the temple (fireflies) and just need two more.

Above and to the right of the inscription is a beehive. The “Queen’s gold” in the inscription must be a euphemism for honey and it stands to reason from its position at the end of the inscription that it goes in the bottom niche.

Naturally, Max can’t just grab it. He must distract the bees first. They like sweets, so the donut from the backpack seems a good enticement and the recess to the right of the hive the appropriate spot for its placement. Max takes the cellophane off automatically (this finds a use inside the temple), the bees vanish and Max can break off a single piece of the honeycomb.

We’ve already dealt fleetingly with the fireflies off to the right -- it’s an easy two-move pickup -- but you may have skipped over it in this surplus of Things To Do. To reprise: The fireflies apparently like where they are and can’t be diverted into the neighboring web. You’ll have to bring the web to the flies.

What’s not immediately clear is that you have some control over where the web appears. (If you tear it down, it’ll just pop up in the same position the next time you visit this screen.) So just preempt the invisible spider and occupy the the web’s existing space: Hang the flag from the branch above its original spot. (Max takes down the web in the process.) Then move either to camp or to the front of the temple and return. The web moves left, the fireflies are caught and you just have to take the web to make them yours. (Be sure to take back the handy-dandy flag as well. This’ll find a third use inside the temple.)

That runs through the possibilities at the rear of the temple, so return to your position behind the tree. You need one more item here: the Venus fly-trap to the right of the white-berry bush. The guard’s too close for Max to simply take it, but you can follow a variation on the same rule you observed with the bees. You attracted them to a different location. Maybe to can repel the guard from his current one.

Use the Rafflesia plant on him. It doesn’t work at first. He’s too far away, and you’re faced with the challenge of moving the plant closer to him without compromising your position. Two words: tent poles. Use them on the stinky plant. Max connects them up without further prompting and uses them to push the plant near the guard’s log. He’s grossed out by the smell and moves to the log on the far side of the campfire. Now Max can safely recover the Venus fly-trap. (The Rafflesia has done its job and can be left behind or recovered for later examination by Sam. Part of the fun in these dual approaches is getting a second opinion on an item.)

Okay. Which six items go in which niches? As mentioned, it’s laid out in the inscription.

The first line mentions “the goddess.” That would be Venus of the Venus fly-trap -- Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty -- so put that carnivorous plant in the top niche.

The first half of the second line mentions “radiant being” (fireflies) and “ever-open eye” (the design on the peacock feather), so place these in the upper left and upper right niches, respectively. (The arrangement is left to right, rather than clockwise.)

The second half of that line references “the mute and the homeless,” so the fish and the slug go in the lower left and lower right niches. (Fish don’t have voices -- though some can make noise with their air bladder or teeth -- and slugs are considered “homeless” because, though related to the snail, they don’t have shells.)

And, as noted, the final line mentions “queen’s gold,” so the honeycomb goes in the bottom niche.

The door opens. Max, full of himself, says he deserves a leading-man role in a movie or computer game and enters the temple.

Odds & ends: At the front of the temple, Sam and Max can both examine (and get different takes on) the guard, the animal carcass, the ramp on the near side of the cage (Sam only; it’s no longer a hotspot when Max arrives on the scene), the hole directly behind the cage and the “ugly face” above it.

At the campsite, Max can also examine the river, the waterfall, the flagpole between the tents and the totem to the right of the intact tent and try to use all except the waterfall. Behind the temple, he can examine the fabric on the vine above the path, the monkey’s red footprints and the tendrils on the branch from which he hangs the flag.

In addition, he can try to use the peacock feather on the monkey, the bamboo tube on the Rafflesia plant (when trying to shoo away the guard), the Rafflesia on the Venus fly trap and the papaya (dyed or undyed) , the hard hat and white berries on himself. (In either case, he’ll eat the papaya, with different descriptions, and you’ll then have to replace that fruit by having Max kick the tree again. However, note that once Max gives the monkey the dyed papaya, the tree ceases to yield new ones.)

Sam can try to use her compass and the flare on the hole in the stone face, the compass on the guard and an incomplete launch vehicle (minus the rocket), the rocket on its own on the fire and the ramp. And she can take bananas and raspberries from the fruit bowl and skewer them on the cage wire, but won’t be able to install the bamboo launch tube therein. Only the three-oranges solution works.


The Calypso

We return to the ship to find Nina and her rescuer safe on the enclosed bridge of the capsized craft, but the latter trapped beneath a fallen girder. (He’s going to play the damsel in distress for the next couple of episodes.) Talk to him right off the bat. Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re looking for when you find a cache of papers.

Ultimately, Nina and her pal must descend through the floor to escape but Nina must first climb up to the next level to clear the way. And she has no way to reach the hatch in the bridge’s former floor (now ceiling) without first working out the combination for the locked file cabinet beneath.

The four-digit combination is in the upper lefthand corner of the fallen-down picture of the ship’s christening to the right of the file cabinet: “7 April ’75” or 7475. The top two drawers turn out to be stuck but the empty bottom one (formerly the top) can now be opened and this serves as a step when Nina tries to reach the upper hatch.

Which she’s reluctant to open -- fearing there may be water behind it. It has to be tested first. Collect the bust on the bridge’s left side and use it on the hatch to learn it sounds hollow. No water. Then open the hatch and climb up into what was once Reception. Take the metal rod nearby and search the records you’ll find just upscreen from the hatch to find Nina’s ticket and -- surprise! -- a mysterious letter that Patterson somehow slipped into your possession just before his untimely demise. (If Nina can’t pick out these documents, you haven’t talked to your companion.)

Remarkable that this should turn up directly in your path!

There’s another hatch directly above, but the ladder that leads up to it is broken and it’s inaccessible. However, you’ll see a chain hanging down and, looking down toward the bottom of the capsized craft, Nina somehow makes out that the other end is wrapped around the propeller shaft.

This is the mechanism for lifting the girder off your fallen comrade, but the actions available up here don’t seem to contribute toward that goal. All you can do is fill up one of the halves of the now-broken bongos with the water jetting from the rear wall.

Descend again to the bridge. Against the back wall is a lever that controls the engines. Kick the engine into forward and the chain is lowered through the open hatch. Pick up the end, use it on the fallen girder, use the metal rod you found in Reception on the chain to fasten it in place and throw the engines into reverse to raise the girder. (Note that Nina can lower this chain before the bridge’s top hatch is open. If that’s the case, climb up to Reception, pick up the chain and use it on the lower hatch.)

Back on the bridge, test the lower hatch. Rusty. You’ll need a lubricant. There is oil on the bridge, but it’s not readily accessible. It’s at the bottom of the damaged pipe to the right of the lever. If you have the water from the upper level, you can force it out. First use the empty half of the bongos on the pipe. Nina places it on the floor below to catch the oil. Then use the half with the water on the pipe, and the oil jets into the empty bongo. Use the oil-filled bongo on the rusty hatch to free it and then the hatch itself to open your escape route. Wake your companion and the rest is on automatic. You’ll find yourself on the shore ... where?

Odds & ends: On the bridge, Nina can also examine the window to the left and the hole in the ceiling above and try to use the top two drawers in the file cabinet and the hatches ahead and to the right. (She can also try to use the bust on these potential exits.) In Reception, she can examine the inverted counter, the puddle below the water jet, the stairs to the cabin deck and the window to the left.


The Beach

Nina’s new pal is diabetic and needs something sweet to stay alive. And yet when you do find something -- the black briefcase in the distance contains a candy bar and papers -- you’ll learn this fellow doesn’t even have the energy to chew! He needs something sweet to drink. You’ll have to melt the candy bar in water. That’s more involved.

Regardless of what you were told as a child but not drinking from the ocean, it’s gonna have to be sea water. To collect it, you’ll need a proper receptacle. Your bongo drums are history and nothing suitable presents itself among the detritus littering the beach, but look up on the bluff to the left to find a first-aid kit and a pail. (In fact, there are two pails up there, one inside the other.) You’ll need something to knock them down.

Tricky. Everything here except the briefcase and the handbag to the left seems too unwieldy for the purpose. But the briefcase turns out to be missing its handle -- besides, it vanishes once you liberate the candy bar and papers within -- and Nina thinks the handbag wouldn’t muster sufficient “kinetic energy” for the task.

That’s an ornate way of saying it’s not heavy enough -- kinetic energy = one half of the squared product of mass times velocity -- and in fact there’s just one item here you can put inside it. Use the pebbles to the right of your own suitcase (yes, amazing but true) and put ‘em together with the purse in inventory. With the bag thus weighted, hurl it at the kit and it and the buckets tumble down.

Look at the water. Nina says it’s calm but filthy with the tsunami’s backwash. In other words, you’re going to need some kind of filter ... and you have one. Use the bandages on a bucket and then the wrapped bucket on the sea to collect a quantity of “reasonably clean” water.

And, naturally, cold water. If you try to drop the candy bar in the bucket, Nina says it’s just going to float on top.

You need hot water, and that’s much more involved.

The energy source is obviously the downed power line off to the right. Right-click on the cable to learn sparks are flying and that the ground where the cable’s touched down is scorched. Where there are sparks, there can be fire.

You will also learn that Nina won’t go anywhere near the power line. You’ll have to turn off the juice first and the pole is currently wet from the tidal wave and unclimbable.

So make it climbable. Take a spear gun to the right of the pole -- it’s a little hard to spot -- and fire it at the pole. (This is handled in a cut-scene. I understand that, in the Wii version, which I haven’t seen, you have to aim the gun.) Three shots later, you’ll find an impromptu ladder up the left side of the pole.

Now Nina’s unwilling to mess with the fuse box atop the pole without some protection against high voltage current. No protection is in sight. The best bet is the red toolbox at the right side of the beach. But it’s locked and the key’s not around -- that’d be too many amazing coincidences for one stretch of beach -- and the scene contains nothing suitable for box-prying or bashing.

But the car battery over the boulder does contain some acid. Use it on the toolbox. The acid eats through the lock and you’ll discover the box contains an “an impressive selection of tools” -- though Nina is currently silent on those that provide some measure of insulation. You don’t actually discover the selection includes insulated pliers until you use the toolbox on the pole. The next thing you know, the power’s off.

So how to turn electricity into fire? How about those papers from the briefcase? Use them on the power line -- Nina tears them up first -- and then turn the power on again as before. (You don’t have to use the toolbox this time.) You’ll find a very nice little fire where the wire touches the ground. Nina now automatically turns the power off again and can safely approach the wire.

The fire’s pretty small -- too small to heat your water bucket at this location. But you do have another option. See the buried barrel over to the right? It’s marked “flammable” and some of whatever nasty stuff was in there is still in there. (Y’know, I’m not so sure I’d want my hot chocolate heated by a chemical-fueled fire.)

But how do you move the fire into the barrel? You go scavenging again.

In the far left corner of the beach, you’ll find a rake. Raking the burning papers seems likely to diminish the blaze’s fury. But perhaps the rake could be converted to more a shovel-like state. Between the box of life vests and the high-voltage line, you’ll find a piece of sheet metal. Put it together with the rake in inventory and you’ve got a makeshift shovel. Pick up the “small fire” with this shovel and move it into the barrel, where it becomes ”big fire.”

Understandably, Nina winces at the idea of holding the water bucket over the blaze, so now you’ll need some structure from which to suspend it. Get back to where you found the rake and grab the hat stand nearby. Combine hat stand and water bucket in inventory and use the combo on the big fire. (If you get your buckets mixed up, you can always pour the water bucket into the one suspended from the hat stand.) Then use the candy bar on the bucket.

The chocolate melts, Nina retrieves the bucket automatically and you can use the bucket of chocolate water on Nina’s still-nameless friend. He recovers quickly and tells you his story.

He’s David Korell, a Berlin vicar who investigates sects for the church. He’s been following the activities of Puritas Cordis. (You saw its leader, Pat Shelton, give a sermon on the TV in the ship’s restaurant.) This organization follows the apocalyptic (and alarmingly specific) musings of 17th century French prophet Zandona. Information on this gentleman seems to be in short supply -- reading between the lines, it sounds as though the records have been purged -- but for the letter Nina carries. (Note that Korell gets a detail wrong: The letter surfaced not in Cambridge but Ashford.) Patterson planned at the time of his death to follow up on the letter’s contents with research in northern France, but must have known he was being pursued and passed the letter to Nina for safekeeping before his “so-called accident.” Korell witnessed this event and boarded the Calypso in his place to protect Nina. But he never does explain his absence during your scheduled dinner.

The scene changes to the Ashford church. It’s 1681. We see the letter’s author, a Sister Elise, writing about the fulfillment of prophecy in the firestorm that consumed the French town of Gatineau. She feels she failed to defuse the predicted disasters, though the key was within her reach in the ruins of Gatineau and a saint had invaded her dreams night after night to show her the way.

Nina, still the skeptic, thinks the flood mentioned in the letter could be a coincidence. Korell does not. The disasters are of the type and occurring in the order Zandona predicted. Nina asks how one stops a prophecy. Korell doesn’t know but does say that if these events are in fact leading to the apocalypse “We have a real problem on our hands” and that a chance to stop it is a chance worth taking. Korell says they need to go to Gatineau.

But where is Gatineau? Nina and Korell don’t even know where they are right now.

That’s one of a few remaining issues you’ll settle on the other section of the bench. With Korell’s help, you’ll scale the beached warship that previously had blocked movement to the right. Korell remains on station atop the hull until your departure and thus is available to assist movement in either direction. If you haven’t collected everything available on your original beachhead, you should now return to recover:

- Nina’s suitcase. This can’t be taken, but it can be used. This nets her a change of clothes. (Everything else inside is damp.) This may seem like an aesthetic thing -- like a new character skin -- but it’s actually a requirement.

- a wheel

- a life vest

- a fire hose

You’ll need all these on the far side of the ship to get together your escape.

Here you can open:

- a “tank bag” that apparently went with the nearby broken-down motorcycle. This contains a map of northern France. Which doesn’t mean that’s where you are. Nina’s still looking for something more specific.

- a locked yellow suitcase. Use the toolbox to open it. It contains a digital camera and a man’s suit. Use the suit on Korell and he’ll change into these dry clothes. The camera comes into play back on the left part of the beach. We’ll deal with this in a moment.

Then there’s the wrecked motorcycle and the boat. Talk to Korell and he tells Nina that the latter is your way out. (You can’t continue right down the beach, and the path inland has been blocked by a landslide.)

It doesn’t look like the way out. “No sail, no engine, no oars,” says Nina. “We wouldn’t get far in this.”

Actually, you will, but it’ll take some work.

This may prove a little confusing. For instance, if you use the shovel on the boat, Nina acquiesces, saying this could be used as a paddle when they set out.

But the boat’s name name, Turbinia, suggests that solution is mechanical. (That’s the name of the first steamship to be powered by a turbine.) You’ll make that crystal clear if you use the shovel to dig in the landslide area at the rear. Nina will decide to limit her work to an area just above the cardboard behind the boat. It turns up a fan blade: a would-be propeller. You’re going to convert the rowboat into a motorboat.

The engine comes from the wrecked motorcycle, but you’ve got to bring the bike to the boat first and that’s currently impossible, as it’s missing its front wheel. You do have that replacement wheel from the first stretch of beach, but it is missing the tire and the motorcycle engine thus still rests on the ground. You need a replacement tire.

Try the fire hose. Use it on the wheel, then the wheel + hose on the bike, then the bike on the boat to move it to a spot nearby. Now use the toolbox on the bike to slap its engine onto the rear of the boat.

However, you can’t just slap on the fan blade. In the water, the prop must be submerged and you’re going to need a way to raise the boat to put the fan blade in the right spot. The life vest should do the trick handily (though not by itself) and when you use the one in inventory on the boat, Nina sets out to recover the box of life vests found on the first stretch of beach. (This happens automatically.) Then simply apply the fan blade et voila!

And yet things aren’t moving forward. How do you get the boat into the water?

Ah. You haven’t talked enough with Korell or you’ve forgotten part of your agenda: You still need to figure out where you are to figure out where you’re going.

On high ground at the rear of the left end of the first section of beach is a direction sign. It’s unreadable from down here, but the digital camera from the second has a zoom function. Use it on the sign and then consult the map with a right-click to get your bearings. You can now talk to Korell about “Gatineau” and suggest you shove off. When you do, you do.

Odds & ends: Nina can try to throw much of her inventory at the first-aid kit -- the only exceptions are the fire hose, ticket and the papers from the briefcase -- and get descriptions (most of them unique) about the prospect of success for each. In addition, she can try to use the ticket, battery and the bucket of water on the (turned-off) high-voltage line; the metal sheet on the candy bar; an empty or water-filled bucket on the barrel; the ticket, candy bar, empty bucket and rake on the small fire; the hat stand (minus water bucket) on the big fire; the camera on Nina and Korell; the battery and hose-less wheel on the motorcycle (the latter is actually put briefly in place) and the men’s suit on herself.

Korell suggests Patterson was murdered on the Hamburg docks. But if you go back and look at the cinematic, it really appears to be an accident. Of course, it’s possible that Wedge and Biggs snuck up between palettes and nailed him with a dart, but with all those people around? And why show their first two killings and then omit this one?

Indonesia

Max is now in the dark temple interior. Use the hard hat (which comes with a headlight) on him to shed some light on the matter. You’ll find an ancient control panel against the left wall. This consists of three rows of eight buttons each. You’ll need to press the correct button in each row correctly in order to remove an interior wall and thus obtain access to Sam’s cage. (Don’t worry about the closed door and niche to the right. Max uses these automatically at the appropriate time.)

The wall painting to the right of the console provides a key. But it’s difficult to interpret with the naked eye (though it can be done). Different symbols in different colors appear to have been intermingled here and while it’s easy to pick out one from its distinctive “dot inside a Y” configuration, the other two are vaguer. Can anything be done in the name of clarity?

Yes. You already have two colored filters in inventory -- the green balloon and the blue flag -- and you can cobble together a third by dipping the donut cellophane in the red dye in the kettle. Look at the wall painting and then simply use each filter on the hard hat in turn to reveal the hidden symbols.

But which goes in which row on the console? That’s laid out for you, too. Just use the order in which they appear on the list of planets you found beside the table at the campsite: Venus, Juno and Neptune. The first is the fourth from the right in the top row, the second the second from the left in the middle row and the third the second from the right in the bottom row.

Once you’ve pushed the correct buttons, a wall slides back and you’ll find you have access to the apertures in the stone face behind Sam and can now pass her items through the hole at the bottom. (Control now switches to Sam, but you can switch between the characters at will.)

One notable change since the last segment: Probably as a result of the flare incident, the fruit bowl is no longer directly accessible from Sam’s cage. (It is within throwing distance, however.) Sam must now ask the guard for fruit -- and the guard won’t supply any. He just uses each such request as an occasion to help himself to whatever it was that Sam wanted.

As it happens, that’s a valuable bit of info.

Sam can’t do anything on her own, so this would be a good time to run though Max’s inventory with right-clicks in search of items Sam might find more useful. You’ll stumble upon one: the white berries. Sam can’t identify the white-berry bush at this distance and Max is clueless as to the fruit’s potential uses. “Unlike Sam, I don’t know the first thing about botany,” he says.

But pass the berries to Sam through the hole and right-click on them in her inventory to learn the region’s indigenous population uses the berries to induce trances. In other words, if you could get the guard to eat one, it’d help take him out of the equation.

This requires some subtlety. Sam can toss a white berry into the bowl and then request one. But though freaked out by the stone face, the guard isn’t a total idiot. He doesn’t know what the berries are and he’s not about to try something he can’t identify.

Maybe you could disguise the berry. Have Max pass Sam the bamboo tube and then have Sam use the tube on the fruit bowl as a makeshift straw. She’ll suck up a raspberry. (Given the length of the tube, that’s a pretty amazing level of suction Sam has there!) Use the white berries on this raspberry and then toss the sabotaged raspberry back into the bowl. Ask the guard for a raspberry and, like clockwork, he’ll vindictively eat what Sam’s requested -- and almost immediately begin to feel funny. Already freaked out by the voice inside the stone face, he now thinks he sees the face move.

That’s a clue for your next move. Send the guard over the edge. Bring the stone face to life. As Max, use the glow sticks on the statue’s nostrils and the little frog on its mouth (in that order) and the guard runs off -- leaving behind an odd square item (collected automatically by Max after his reunion with Sam) that opens the door in the temple.

A spasm of non-interactivity here: Max dispatches Sam to summon the authorities while he checks out the temple. He’s just used the odd square item in the niche and found a nuke behind the door -- Zandona’s prophecies are apparently self-fulfilled -- when a second guard returns to camp and reports finding Sam and her guard missing. The bomb goes live and drops into the lava below,. The mountain doesn’t so much erupt as disintegrate. And Max, escaping the blast, runs smack into a pair of guards.

Odds & ends: Inside the temple, Max can examine the closed door, the niche and the red glow beneath the door. Using the hole in the stone face, Sam can hand her compass to Max -- this never does find a use -- and Max most of his inventory to Sam. Exceptions: the hard hat (which would leave him in the dark), the teapot and Rafflesia (both too big for the hole) ... and Nina’s picture. (Max is sentimental.)

A couple of curiosities will surface in Sam’s survey of these items. Have her look at the blue flag and she’ll offer, “Good thing Max doesn’t know what kind of flag this is.” The implication seems to be that it’s related to ex-girlfriend Nina -- and hence to Secret Files: Tunguska -- but this is never explained.

If you right-click on the plain cellophane bag (post-donut) while it’s in Nina’s possession, you’ll crash the game. Evidently the developers left out Sam’s description. However, if you pass her the red-stained bag, Sam says, “Red foil ... Max must have been pretty bored.” (Also, is it just my filthy mind, or does the red-stained cellophane look like a condom wrapper?)

You can’t identify them now -- they’re not wearing their night-vision goggles -- but the epilogue makes clear the guards Max encounters at the end of the segment are Wedge and Biggs from the game’s first scenes.


Gatineau

Korell turns over to Nina an odd sketch that was included with Sister Elise’s letter. He’ll continue to try to decipher the document while Nina searches the ruins for references to a saint.

Note the surveyor nearby. You don’t have to deal with him right now, but he’ll prove instrumental in your search.

Head down and left to the snack truck. Here you can take a paper cup and aluminum foil from the ground and as many as four fortune cookies from the bowl on the counter. (You’ll have to open each in turn and read its fortune in order to take the next.)

Continue down and left to a crossroads. Activate the small table beside the construction shack to claim four items -- pocket knife, “spirit level,” power cable and cloth pouch -- and also take the mirror from the wall above. Then one more time down and left to an unusual side view where you’ll find a gesturing statue.

Before Nina can inspect the plaque at its base, Korell shows up and reads it for her: “Saint ... something. His name is barely discernible.” He’ll turn over the translation of the sister’s letter -- meaning you can watch at will the cut-scene of the nun writing it -- and you’re free to look for the next clue when Korell looks for his reading glasses.

Don’t look for revelations in the letter. The cut scene is still what it was earlier. Apparently the idea here is to remind the player about the statue. Right-click on it for a closeup view and again on the left arm to learn it’s pointing back toward the ruins. Exactly where in the ruins it’s hard to say. It’d be easier to tell if you could follow the arm.

You can: Place the “spirit level” on the statue’s left arm and follow the red beam to the right.

One screen over, you’ll find it blocked on a signpost. But the sign atop the post can be turned and by turning it left three times, you can align it with the beam. If you’ve set it up correctly, Nina says when you exit from the turning menu that the sign is in line with the statue’s pointing arm.

Alas, this doesn’t permit the beam to continue on its merry way. (It’s still stopped by the post itself.) But grab the laser back from the statue and place it atop the realigned signpost and you can follow it to the right again.

Oy. Now it’s stopped by the sign atop the snack truck. Can the truck be moved?

Initially, there’s no one in the truck. (A sign propped up on the counter reads, ”Be right back.”) However, once Nina places the spirit level atop the signpost, the sign is replaced by a sleeping Chinese man.

Talk to the proprietor to learn that, under his contract, he’s required to remain here until all construction workers on site -- today, just the the surveyor back at your starting location -- call it a day. Asking him to move his truck forward a few feet is not an option.

But maybe you could chase him away ahead of schedule. You just manipulated one sign. Could you mess with others?

Sure. There are two that can be removed and reinstalled elsewhere and a third that can be cannibalized for parts.

Bottom line: You want to give the surveyor the impression his nice shiny SUV, parked over on the left side of the signpost screen, is in jeopardy from a rock slide. To save yourself multiple attempts -- there are as many as three different unsuccessful results -- you’ll want to make your case especially persuasive and take advantage of the surveyor’s naturally superstitious bent.

Step One: At the right side of the starting location, rocks have tumbled down the slope. Use the pen knife to remove the “rock slide” sign from the post nearby and the parking sign on the left at the signpost screen and reinstall the rock slide sign in the parking sign’s original position.

Step Two: See the plastic boulder on the right side of the “Lazare Construction” sign to the right of the shack on the signpost screen? This is tangible evidence to back up the rock-slide sign’s warning (as long as the surveyor doesn’t look at it too closely). Use this versatile knife to detach the boulder from the sign and place it in the wrecked car just in front of the surveyor’s SUV.

However, this isn’t enough. If you warn the surveyor about the risk to his vehicle with only the rock slide sign, only the boulder or both sign and boulder in place, he’ll blow you off. His horoscope said he’s going to have a good day and that carries a lot of weight with him. So ...

Step Three: ... play off the surveyor’s faith in the stars.

Did you go through the fortune cookies yet? Take one and use it on Nina. She’ll eat it and read the fortune. Take another and do it again. Then a third.

Ah. This one has an relevant message: “If you ignore the warning and disregard your neighbor’s misfortune, disaster will strike you also.”

The warning is the rock-slide sign and the neighbor’s misfortune is covered by the boulder in the back seat of the derelict car.

But how do you deliver a previously-owned fortune? (The surveyor will blow that off, too.) It’s got to be in a cookie.

Like the snack-truck owner has anything better to do? Give him the third fortune and he’ll put it into a new cookie for you. Hustle back to the surveyor and lay the fresh cookie on him. Then ask him (twice, if you haven’t previously broached the subject) about the SUV. You’ll both reappear on the signpost screen and the surveyor will be sufficiently impressed by the confluence of contrived events to move the vehicle. Now just scoot back to the snack truck and report that the surveyor’s vehicle in no longer in evidence. (If you haven’t raised this topic, this’ll be the right-hand snack-truck icon.) The operator drives away, the beam finds a new obstacle ... and then vanishes entirely!

The battery’s dead. A replacement is right here. The beam was pointing at the kiosk for the under-construction theme park. Below the buttons to the right is a flap. If you’ve already used the kiosk, pressing one of the three buttons, you can now pry the flap open it with your all-purpose pocket knife. (If not, Nina will do so automatically.)

Batteries! Nina takes them automatically. Head left. You can use them in the “spirit level” in its position atop the sign and the beam reappears.

But how are you going to get the beam past the immovable kiosk? Bend the beam around it You have the mirror from the construction shack. Use the power cable on the mirror -- it becomes a support wire -- and then suspend the mirror from the hook to the left of the kiosk.

Hmmm. It doesn’t quite intersect with the beam. Perhaps if you weighted one end? Everything in your inventory is too light for this purpose -- save the parking sign, which is too large -- but you can change the weight of one item. Load up the cloth bag with loose soil from any of the three molehills around the kiosk, place this atop the dangling mirror and it reflects the beam into the ground beneath the kiosk. Now you just have to straighten it out again, and the aluminum foil you found near the snack truck will do nicely. Use it on the molehill below the kiosk and the beam goes its merry way. Move right again, and you’ll find it pointing at a pile of rubble. (Then it vanishes gain, but that’s OK. It’s done its job.)

The rubble’s too heavy to move without help. Maybe the surveyor? If you’ve talked to him, he’s mentioned he’s looking for archaeological relics. But you can’t direct his attention to a nondescript pile of rubble. You’ll have to make it less nondescript first. A paper cup wrapped in foil might look like a silver goblet to the untrained eye. Use it on the rubble pile to insert it into a recess, then talk to the surveyor again about relics. He heads off to his SUV to retrieve rubble-clearing material -- it exposes a small door in the hillside -- and then heads off to try to sell the silvery cup to his Paris fence. Activate the iron ring in the door’s left side to enter.

Here you’re up against two stand-alone puzzles -- one involving the stone disks in the far wall and the other an array of lettered keys atop the wine barrel on the left. You’ll have to complete the first to attempt the second.

The first is fairly simple. Each of the three overlapping discs has a roughly triangular gap in place of the “I” symbol. You need to manipulate the three dials at the bottom of the screen so the three gaps intersect.

The dials don’t all move the discs in the same way. The lower-left disc, controlled with the left-hand dial, moves clockwise one space at a time for each left-click on the dial. The top disc, controlled via the middle dial, moves the same way -- but it simultaneously moves the lower-left disc one space counter-clockwise. And the lower right disc, controlled by the right dial, simultaneously moves the lower-left disk a space counter-clockwise and the top disc two spaces clockwise.

From this, it’s easy to deduce a successful approach. The lower-right disc causes the most problems, so you want to move it as little as possible. Get it out of the way first. Click the right dial five times to move this disc into the correct position. Now you can leave it alone.

The top disc has an issue with another disc, too -- and not the one we’ve just moved-- so get it out of way next. Click the middle dial once.

Finally, click the left dial four times.

That’s it. You should see a signet ring in the gap. Take it, back out of the puzzle and right-click on the wooden board atop the wine barrel. Insert the ring in the indentation at the left to unlock the lettered keys.

Korell chooses this moment to reappear. He tells Nina that the plaque identifies the statue as Saint Austrebert of Roen. Which settles the issue of what code word you need to spell out (Austrebert) but not how to go about it.

It’s easy enough to spell out the name with the keys here, but the mechanism atop the wine barrel is more minefield than typewriter. There’s one correct path and unless you make use of Sister Elise’s documentation, you won’t get far.

Right-click on the sketch Korell provided earlier in this segment to display it alongside the puzzle. This diagram reveals the inter-connections between the 16 keys. Each key you press in spelling the name must possess a link to the key that comes next. If those links aren’t present, the game will reject your solution and the puzzle will reset.

It’s not difficult if you map it out in advance. The trick, inasmuch as the puzzle has a trick, is that you’ll use each of the last three letters twice.

Start with the “A” between the two Us in the top row (left side).
Then select the “U”at the puzzle’s far left side.
Then the “S” directly to the right of it.
Then the “T” at the top of the puzzle.
Then the “R” below and to the right of the “T.”
Then the “E” at the far right side of the puzzle.
Then the “B” below and to the left of the “E.”
And now just retrace your steps for the final E, R and T.

And now you’re in for a great deal of talking.

The near end of the barrel flips open and Nina waxes wroth at the poor payout: “a letter and some scraps of leather full of holes?”

The letter is a followup message from “a certain Bernard” to a Cardinal Coubertin and leather is a decoder -- an overlay that, used with parchments delivered to the cardinal earlier, would expose Zandona’s plans. As we guessed earlier in Indonesia, his prophecies are of the self-fulfilled variety. It’s Zandona’s Puritas Cordis sect that destroyed Gatineau 350 years ago. And now it appears a revived Puritas Cordis means to complete the prophet’s work in bringing the world to the brink. This sets up the next destination: the secret archives at the cardinal’s Parisian estate. If you can learn the sect’s plans, you might be able to head them off.

Odds & ends: At the starting location, you can examine the surveyor and try to use the path back to the boat. At the snack-stand screen, you can examine the right-hand of the two construction vehicles in the background and try to use the hook (sans mirror). At the signpost screen, you can examine the Lazare sign and the trailer and try to use the trailer and both vehicles.

You can examine the plaque at the base of the statue and, in the close-up view, examine the statue’s other appendages. The only other one out of the ordinary is the saint’s right arm. What’s he holding? From this angle, they look like toes on a large foot ... or perhaps rocks. (Then again, at the time the statue was erected, it’s unlikely the rocks that conceal the entrance to the hidden cache had tumbled down to their present location.)

The parking sign can be used on the post in the starting area (successfully) and Nina can try to use the plastic boulder on the SUV and fortune cookies on Korell and the snack-stand proprietor and the fortunes they contain on Korell.

And the pocket knife proves even more versatile than we’ve already demonstrated. It can be used to open fortune cookies and thus spare Nina the need to choke them down. On the signpost screen, you can also try to use it on the trailer, the signpost and the “Lazare” portion of the big sign. And in the statue close-up, you can use it on various appendages -- with the most striking response attached to the head.

The fortunes are always the same. The three others read:

1) “If the crane flies upside-down at half past seven, fate will smile on the bearded.”

2) “When the siren sounds as the day’s labor begins, note the path of the hungry -- even if the deceptive thirst springs from above.”

4) “Beware, for the long hand follows the short hand incessantly, until its time runs out.”

Each can be embedded in a cookie and fed to the bearded surveyor ... and none of them influence him in any way.


Puritas Cordis Base

The scene shifts to an imprisoned Max being questioned by sect leader Shelton. (We’re not told where at this time, but you’ll identify the location as the Puritas Cordis base in the game’s final sequences.) Under threat of death , he identifies Nina and their past relationship, but can’t supply her whereabouts or plans. His impatient captor indicates he’ll return.


Paris

Nina and Korell find the cardinal’s estate in ruins. At first, there’s not much to see. You can exit the starting area and dip into the compost heap outside to find a candle and a pencil-like stick. But Nina won’t venture left into the city or right into the cemetery.

The only other draw is the blue stone at the base of the column at the starting location. Left-click on it. Nina pulls it out, but falls backward in the act and breaks through the surface into a hidden room.

There’s a puzzle down here. Some letters in the legend “Institutio viae est finis” (“Standing still is the end of the path”) on the back wall can be manipulated. This can be solved and the exit in the left wall opened now, jumpstarting the next sequence, but this will be supremely difficult without the hints a few paragraphs below.

Left-click on the hole’s edge to start screaming for help. A homeless man comes to Nina’s rescue -- lowering a pew (visible to the left at the beginning of the segment) to serve as a ladder.

Talk to the man again when you regain the surface. Conveniently, he’s a student of history and knows something of both the cardinal and the strange curator who survived him -- including that the curator was named Michel (or something similar) and is buried in the cemetery here.

Now you can make your way right into the graveyard. It’s very organized -- even infuriatingly so! At the first intersection, you can the select one of three sections: graves from the 1650s, 1660s and 1670s. You’ve already established the curator died a decade after the cardinal passed away in 1663, so you want the 1670s.

At the next junction, you’ll find sections for rich and poor. The homeless gent referred to the curator’s “squalid basement dwelling,” so presumably he was poor (or just sloppy).

At the next, sections for the young and old. The curator served the cardinal for 40 years, so old.

A final junction has sections for men, women and families. The homeless man referred to the curator as “he” throughout.

But you’re not going to find the curator in the men’s section. Try the women’s section instead to find a large stone for Michelle de Saint-Maillefert with three letters out of skew: the “S” and “a” in “Saint” and the “f” in Maillefert. Note the exact positions of these letters: the “S” halfway between 9 and 12 o’clock, the “a” at 3 and the “f” halfway between 6 and 9.

Return to the starting point, drop down the hole and look at the rear wall. Adjust all instances of those three letters -- three of the “S” and one each of the “a” and “f” -- to the appropriate positions and a door opens in the left wall. (Note that the first “I” in “Institutio” and the “n” in “finis” can be turned as well. They don’t have a place in the puzzle, but their positions don’t interfere with its solution.)

The passage beyond leads down a flight of stairs to a deep chasm and another puzzle -- one that can’t be solved at this time. Look at the mosaic on the floor at the foot of the stairs. There are five empty squares in this 4 x 4 grid. You can fill one of them with the blue stone you pulled from the column up above. But what of the other four?

Return to the surface and talk to your new friend about “Mosaic.” He offers that cast-off stones from bombed buildings -- including those from the estate -- were used in the post-war reconstruction of a nearby bridge, a Metro station, a jail and the zoo -- the last of which is currently closed. He’ll provide you with a tourist map and mark the relevant sites . (“Cemetery” takes you back to the cardinal’s estate.)

You’ll find yourself at the closest of the four sites: a bridge over the Saint Martin Channel. You can also visit the jail and the abandoned Metro station, but the Metro station is the only other spot where you can transact meaningful business at this stage.

None of the stones are immediately visible, but you can locate one right now -- right-click on the door of the right-hand cell at the jail to learn it's embedded in a wall-- and get a good sense of where the bridge stone must be concealed.

While the right side of the bridge is spotless, the left is covered with leaves, with a “dirt” hotspot along the upper railing. And it’s likely to stay dirty for a while. If you talk to the street sweeper at the right, he’s holding off cleaning the left end until the rain there stops.

You won’t be able to change his mind -- events have to take their course -- but note the presence of a puddle near his position. If a car were to come along, he’d get wet and then have no reason to avoid the rain.

Note also the ducks in the distance. They’ll come into play when you reach the zoo. And dip into the trash heap nearby to come with a 5-cent piece (actually, it’s a 5-Euro coin) and a pacifier.

Try the Metro. You can use the map or simply walk right from the right end of the bridge. (While the other locations are spread out, these two adjacent ones are directly connected.) Talk to Alessandro Rossi outside the station to establish that he’s rented the red sports car in the background to impress his in-bound friends (for whom he is waiting).

Enter the station and take the teddy bear at the far end and the umbrella to the right of the gum machine. Right-click on the umbrella in inventory to get a sense of its potential uses: Namely, it has a sharp point.

The gum machine works -- you’ll need a 10-cent piece to use it -- and so does the fountain. (You won’t be equipped to get it going again until the end of this segment.)

However, you can solve a little puzzle here: using the station’s stopped clock to set off the alarm on Rossi’s car below. It’s a little confusing -- no clues from Nina here -- but if you put together all the facts you’ve gathered, you’ll realize they connect and that, with the appropriate distraction, you can set off a chain reaction that results in the revealing of the first blue stone.

Inside the station, peer through the gap in the upper left part of the clock dial and then weight the clock’s minute hand. There are a number of prospective candidates for this job in your inventory, but some (coin, teddy bear, pacifier) are too flimsy for this purpose and some (umbrella and stick) too likely to damage the car. The only one that’ll work is the candle from the compost heap at the estate. Place on the hand below Nina, duck back inside and left-click on the clockwork mechanism twice to wind it. Nina automatically runs back downstairs and has a sturdy alibi talking to Rossi when the hand moves and the falling candle sets off the alarm. In the resulting tumult, Rossi misses his friends’ speeding van, the van crosses the channel bridge, going through the puddle and splashing the street sweeper and Rossi, freshly dejected, goes off to be by himself. Nina automatically follows him to a new map location: a park to the northeast.

You don’t have to stay with Rossi. (The park has been written to your map and you can return there at will.) Getting wet has moved the street sweeper to clean up the left half of the bridge and you can now run back to there and use the umbrella to pry out the newly-revealed blue stone from the left half of the bridge. But the stone’s been there for 60 years and it’ll keep.

Take the newspaper near Rossi’s feet -- this has no practical use in the game, but read it to see coverage of the Calypso’s sinking and an ad for Puritas Cordis -- and move left to find a tennis ball on the edge of the sandbox and a blue hoop in the lake.

On a bench at the far left, you’ll also find our homeless friend from the cardinal’s estate. Talk to him about the fountain to the far right to learn tourists used to make wishes here -- this will be the key to boosting Rossi’s low spirits once you’ve visited the zoo -- and about the booze to learn he’ll agree to knock off drinking if you get him something to eat. Also, that the zoo should now be open. (It isn’t until after you talk to him).

Let’s hit the zoo. In the entry area, you’ll find a bottle of red nail polish on the right side of the statue’s base, a soda can on the ground near the left-hand bench and the zoo keeper on the bench to the right. He’s armed with milk and bread, but Nina can’t take either. The bread’s for the ducks who traditionally appear in the lake at the crocodile enclosure and he won’t share the wealth until they appear. But he’ll reveal that a blue stone can be found in the croc exhibit.

Head right to reach the croc. Nina quickly focuses on the stone: It’s embedded in the near side of a circular platform that is currently home to a large specimen. You’ll have to distract it and a survey of your inventory suggests the teddy bear from the Metro station may be suited to this purpose. But first you’ll need some help from the elephant next door.

When the scene zooms back out, grab the noisemaker. It’s to the left near the junction of the paths.

After being on a single track, things have branched out a bit here. You can complete these three tasks in any order.

1) With the noisemaker, you’re equipped to summon the ducks to the zoo.

You’ve seen ducks before -- there were a couple of them in the background at the bridge -- and the noisemaker from the croc enclosure turns out to be a duck call. (It’s not described correctly in inventory until it’s been used successfully.) Return to the bridge and use it on them and they’ll fly down toward the bridge -- the first of three steps in luring them to the zoo.

Now visit the park and use the noisemaker on Nina herself (being that the ducks are still back at the bridge). She’ll run to the lakeside spot where you found the hoop on your first visit and blow on the noisemaker. A moment later, the ducks land nearby.

One last step: Visit the croc enclosure at the zoo and use the noisemaker on Nina again. She runs to the dock at the far left side of the screen and plays their song one last time. The two ducks land in the pond shortly thereafter -- protected from the croc by the fence. Now you can collect a baguette from the zoo keeper. That’s to feed our homeless friend.

But it’s not enough. If you deliver the hard bread as-is, he’ll complain it’s difficult to eat. He has only a few teeth remaining and needs something softer.

Dunk the bread in the zoo keeper’s milk first. When you turn over the softened bread, Nina will collect a bottle of booze.

2) With the nail polish, you’re equipped to cure Rossi’s blues.

Return to the Metro station and use the nail polish on the sports car. (Reclaim the fallen candle as well.) The scratch looks a bit better for Nina’s work -- though the car appears a bit worse -- and now you can return to the park and talk to Rossi about the fountain-as-wishing-well.

Now you just have to connect your good deed with the same fates that Rossi feels are so set against him. Throw the five-cent piece into the fountain. Nina tells Rossi she wished the scratch would vanish and persuades him to reinspect the car. Annoyance seems to replace depression, but he returns to the Metro station and, impressed by the result, then returns to the park and deposits 10 cents of his own in the fountain. No result of course. But he’s out of the park and out of your hair and you can now return and grab your 5-cent and his 10-cent piece from the fountain.

There’s only one spot where you can spend your “dime”: the gum machine at the Metro station. That gets you a piece of bubble gum!

3) With the soda can, you can train the monkey in the exhibit at the end of the zoo’s left path.

On first acquaintance, the monkey studiously ignores you. Stick, umbrella and noisemaker all register as usable, but none has any practical effect.

Return to the zoo keeper and ask him about the critter to learn it’s eager to learn, but responds only when the zoo keeper wields his training stick -- a “regular long branch.”

Return to the monkey cage and use either the stick or the umbrella on the monkey. That does it. The monkey now watches you closely. If you walk right or left, it will follow you to the corresponding end of its branch. But it won’t pass through the hanging tire. You have to match up your actions outside the cage to what the monkey must do within to send the peanuts at the right end of the cage rolling your way.

You don’t have a tire, but you have the hula hoop from the park. This can be used on Nina herself to elicit a cute line, but she’ll have to walk through it as the monkey would the tire. Plant it in the crack in the pavement and then left-click on the hoop to pass through it. The monkey follows suit with the tire.

See the ball just to the right of the monkey? Now you need to coax the critter to throw it at the peanut can. You already have the tennis ball from the park and the soda can from the zoo entrance. You just need a foundation for the soda can comparable to the branch beneath the peanut can.

Easy: Insert the stick from the compost heap into the hole in the pavement to the right of the hoop, use the soda can on the stick and the tennis ball on the can. The monkey sees and does ... and the peanut can obligingly rolls out of the cage.

Okay, where does this leave us? You can now complete two new tasks -- each leading to a blue stone.

1) The booze from #1 and bubble gum from #2 set you up to spend some time in a drunk tank at the jail. (The candle you grabbed back outside the Metro station won’t come into play again until you repair the station’s fountain.)

At the jail, the blue stone can be extracted only from the right-hand of the two cells. (You’ll have to right-click on the door of this cell first to peer through the window and verify the blue stone is there.) And to guarantee that you’re placed in this cell (and to turn on Nina’s pretend drunkenness), you’ll have to prevent the policewoman from opening the door to the left one. Plug up the lock with the gum.

Now talk to the jail officer. Previously, it’s been an effort to get even small talk out of her but with the lock plugged and the homeless man’s booze in inventory, Nina can now pose a question: Can she look at the right-hand cell?

The officer wants to know if Nina is drunk. Select any of the three answers; it doesn’t matter which. The answers amount to no, no and no. It’s pretty clear Nina’s going to have to at least appear drunk to get inside.

Use the liquor bottle on Nina. She backwashes the swill into the bottle, but it’ll give her breath a liquory aroma. Now talk to the guard again. This time, Nina does a drunk act and her boozy breath backs her up. The guard takes a blood sample and, before she can run the analysis, is interrupted by a phone call from her jealous husband and leaves the syringe on the counter. Just use the liquor bottle on the syringe to really sell your story. Evidently Nina uses too much -- her blood alcohol is around four times the legal limit -- but it does work and the guard, returning, puts Nina in the right-hand cell.

Take the burst soccer ball and the spoon beneath it from the little platform to the left of the door and try to pry out the blue stone in the left wall. Nuh-uh. The guard hears the scraping and you’ll have to stop -- until you can enlist the harmonica-playing inmate next door to play again to cover the noise. Click on the left wall to the left of the blue stone to talk to him. He agrees, but first he wants you to solve three riddles. (The game has to throw up some obstacle in your path, right?)

Riddle #1: “The first digit is a number between 1 and 5. Take a good look around your cell. It doesn’t matter how long you search, you will never find the answer.”

In other words , you’re to count up each type of object in your cell -- one chair, one door, one shelf, one skylight, two bunks, two chains, three hooks, four chair legs -- and provide as your answer the one quantity that isn’t present.

The answer’s supposed to be five. (But you can find five of something here as well. There are five bolts in the yellow strip at the end of each bunk. Oops!)

Riddle #2: “They have you trapped.”
 
The answer’s “9” -- the number of bars covering the dormer window in the ceiling.

Riddle #3: “They all stand, but not all of them can walk.”

The “they” is legs -- the four non-walking ones on the chair and the two on Nina herself, for a total of six.

Once the musician has the right answers, he’ll start to play again. It doesn’t sound like a harmonica, but it’s enough to cover the brief scraping sounds of your excavation. Once you have the blue stone. simply knock on the door to talk your way out of jail. This takes a while but, rather oddly, occurs without further player action. (It feels as though a puzzle is missing here. She seemed to be short one lover. What, the designers couldn’t set her up with Alessandro?)

2) The peanuts from #3 above get Nina into the zoo’s croc enclosure.

Elephants love peanuts. Make the one in the exhibit to the right of the croc work for them: Put them in the bird nest in the tree. The big fellow then knocks down the tree so it’s leaning against the wall of the crocodile enclosure.

Now toss the teddy bear you found in the Metro station into the water to the left of the croc. The croc’ll go after it ... and Nina still refuses to go after the stone. She wants the croc to move even farther away first.

This doesn’t require some additional item. Did you notice that when you abandoned teddy to his watery grave, the view scrolled left -- just far enough to reveal a little motorboat? To keep the croc occupied, just activate the boat to start the engine. The croc, mistaking the turbulence for arrival of a rival, will then wander over to the intervening fence. Activate the fallen tree and Nina enters the enclosure, automatically takes the stone and exits.

You’re about out of tasks. Only the fountain-repair job at Metro station remains.

It’s a bit short on info. You’re nowhere told that the fountain simply recirculates the water in its internal system. (i.e. It’s not piped in from the outside.) Hence, to get it going again, you’ll need to refill it -- lugging water in from one of the game’s two accessible sources: the fountain and the park and the crocodile enclosure at the zoo.

And what do you lug it in? You don’t have a conventional receptacle. But you do have the burst soccer ball and that’ll do fine. Ordinarily, a task of this size would require multiple trips. but you only have to complete the first. Nina then automatically leaves the station, the screen goes dark and when it lights up again “a little while later,” the fountain is full.

Now test the fountain using the switch box to the left of the clock mechanism to discover your work isn’t quite done. The spray doesn’t reach the ceiling. You have to increase the water pressure by closing off some of the four geysers. The pacifier from the trash heap on the bridge works here as does the candle recovered from the Metro. Then switch on the fountain again and the single strong water jet quickly reveals a blue stone in the ceiling. Use the umbrella to pry it out.

Return to the estate, drop down into the hole and return to the mosaic puzzle. You’d probably guessed it won’t be enough to just drop the stones into the empty spots. All five stones have to be in specific positions within the grid. These locations are laid out plainly in the legend for the map on the wall beside the stairs.

“The king had withdrawn to Provence ... ”

Unrevealing right now. That’s in the lower right corner, so we know that either the white or black king must appear in the lower right corner of the grid.

“The peasants were rising to the north ...”. The peasants must correspond to the black pawn -- there’s only one pawn on the board -- and since they are opposed to the king, the king piece in the lower right corner must thus be white. Hence, place the white king in the lower right corner and the black pawn just above it.

“... and the reinforcements from the kingdom of Navarre, which had just crossed the border, were forced to go up against a massive fortress to the east.”

Navarre’s in the lower left hand corner, and a unit that had just crossed the border would have to be in Gascogne. Hence, the white knight -- the only other white piece -- goes there and the black castle or rook in Toulouse.

“Meanwhile, his opponent sat back and eagerly watched the spectacle unfold from his country estate in Brittany.”

Easy. Brittany corresponds to Bretagne in the grid’s upper left corner, so place the black king in the upper left corner of the grid.

A bridge then descends from above and Nina, soon joined by Korell, automatically enters the door on the far side of the chasm.

This is the cardinal’s secret archive. Korell evidently has found card catalog or something in his absence, for only a few minutes have passed before he’s describing to Nina what he’s discovered.

Zandona returned from a trip to the Holy Land obsessed with the notion of creating a religious state. He began to preach the apocalypse and became popular in rural areas. You’ve seen the last of his harbingers -- the great flood. They’re supposed to prompt a meeting of world leaders in “the new Babel” -- at which Puritas Cordis will do them all in and raise a “new world order.” Nina quickly intuits that “new Babel” corresponds to New York and the meeting the impending one of the United Nations’s General Assembly. Nina means to alert her father, but there’s no opportunity. Puritas Cordis is here and the two are taken captive. Korell dies trying to buy Nina time to escape, but she’s intercepted below the hole by the Calypso’s bartender/assassin. He takes her on “a little trip to the countryside.” (This suggests the Puritas Cordis base must be in France.)

Odds & ends: At the starting location, Nina can also examine the altar to the right. In the room below, the gap to the left (until the door is opened) and the buried entrance to the right. At the crossroads through the arch back on the surface, the car, the ruins from which Nina’s just emerged and, in the misty distance, the Eiffel Tower.

And the graveyard contains ... absolutely nothing beyond what I’ve already described. (You’d think that, with such an abundance of potential wrong options, something of interest would be concealed back there.)

Inside the Metro station, you can examine the kiosk and the overgrown tracks and, outside, the clock face and the storm drain. This last one is a big tease. Have you ever played an adventure game in which a drain didn’t conceal some useful item? They clearly want you to believe this one does. But while you can test the grate with the umbrella from the station and the stick from the compost heap, nothing works here.

If you take the yellow and red “help wanted” sign on the left side of the kiosk, you’ll get one of the game’s several self-referential comments about computer games. (See the jail for another.) However, you don’t need the sign. It doesn’t do a thing.

At the park, you can examine the statue, the chateau across the lake and the bottles beside the homeless man’s bench.

At the jail office, you can examine the picture beside the door, the gun cabinet, the bulletin board, the trash can and the left-hand cell and try to use both cell doors and the gun cabinet. (This last elicits another self-referential line about “monotonous shoot-em-ups” and how “minigames are strictly forbidden here.”) In the right-hand cell, you can examine the coat hooks on the left wall, the skylight, the chair and the bunks.

At the zoo’s entry area, you can examine the statue and the two direction signs. At the scrolling screen with the croc and elephant exhibits, you can examine the two exhibit signs, the elephant and croc themselves and the water outside the crocodile enclosure.

In addition, there’s a little box on the ground just outside the elephant enclosure that contains traces of peanuts. My guess is that it’s just a clue to what the elephant might like -- aimed at players who haven’t inspected the monkey exhibit -- but though it’s take-able, it has no apparent use (though you can try it out on the elephant) and you can complete the segment without it.

You can try to use the hula hoop on Nina herself; the umbrella on the street sweeper; the stick in the effort to pry out blue stones other than the one at the jail; the umbrella and stick on the Metro station ceiling (before Nina exposes the blue stone); the umbrella, stick and recovered candle on the sports cars; the five-cent piece on the gum machine; the noisemaker on the elephant, the croc (before it’s permanently distracted by the motorboat engine) and a fourth time on the ducks (after they’ve arrived at the zoo); both coins and the peanuts on the homeless man; the booze on Rossi; the soda can on either of the water sources; and the tennis ball on the water in the croc enclosure.

The homeless man looks very like Detective Kanski from the original Secret Files: Tunguska -- a resemblance tacitly acknowledged when Nina questions him at the estate -- she says “there’s something vaguely familiar about him” -- and then confirmed (and expanded upon) in the epilogue.

It’s unreadable in the game proper, but there’s some graffiti on the wall above the kiosk in the Metro station. You’ll need to grab a screenshot and zoom in to decode it. The left inscription reads “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!” This oft-quoted epigram by French critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr first appeared in the journal Les Guêpes (The Wasps) in 1849 and translates as “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

The right-hand portion is harder to make out, as certain letters in the lower of the two words are unclear. My best guess is “Liberation maintenant!” (Freedom now!)


Puritas Cordis Base

On our last visit, televangelist Pat Shelton interviewed Max and, not getting the answers he wanted, issued some none-to-subtle threats. In this short sequence, Max takes steps to protect himself.

Take the half-eaten apple from the floor of the cell and use it on the trash picker leaning against the stove on the far wall. It knocks it down and the near end falls close to cell door. Take it and use it on the loose stove door and it’s yours.

Sect members then arrive to take Max to a meeting with Shelton. Max and Nina say their hellos, Shelton reveals the final stage of his world-domination plans -- the collapse of a volcano in the Canary Islands, with the resultant tsunami wiping out the US’s east coast -- and the Puritas Cordis leader then demands some answers. He sees a conspiracy against him that involves Nina, Max and Korell and now wants to know who else is involved and the next move of the “Church Intelligence Service.”

Nina appears to have three options here: set Shelton straight, say nothing or “tell all” (i.e. spin a yarn about a vast chicken-wing conspiracy that will satisfy Shelton).

But they’re not meaningful choices. Whichever option you select, Max will be shot in the chest and fall into his newly prepared grave. Nina is shackled and taken off to Max’s old cell where she sits lamenting all the things she failed to do. Boo hoo.

Thing is, Max isn’t dead.

After he rises from the grave, take the plastic vase from the adjacent dog’s grave and the shovel (here called a spade) to the right of the barrels in the inaccessible niche in the rear wall.

The courtyard down the left passage is guarded. You can’t do much there just now, but you can nevertheless inspect the scene in detail from your hiding place. Note in particular the thermometer just around the corner, the symbols inscribed on the bench to the left of the guard and the wild garlic in the lower left corner.

Instead, use the passage in little graveyard’s upper-right corner and use the trash-picker or the shovel on the big mousetrap to secure a piece of smelly cheese.

Then left-click on the farther of the two windows (to the left of the mousetrap) to step into a storage room. Take everything that isn’t nailed down: the camera atop the box at the near end of the central shelves; two empty sacks from the bottom rear portion of the same shelves, the “GameGirl” handheld console in the upper-left corner of the sewing machine table at the right ; the coat hanger above the sewing machine; the battery-operated TV in the far right corner; and the ice spray just to the right of the magazines in the room’s far left corner. (This last one is a little hard to spot, being that the label on the aerosol can is similar to the cover of the topmost magazine.)

The spray’s your path to a somewhat wider world. Max can’t explore beyond this limited region without some kind of disguise. He can’t find one on his own. But once Max has located Nina, they can help each other out.

Her cell is behind the nearer of the two windows in the mousetrap corridor. Right-click on the bars to peer through them and you’ll have one of those quick automatic chats and control will switch to Nina. (As in the jungle, you can switch between the two characters at any time.)

As Nina, click on the door to summon the guard. She can then complain about the cold, her restraints and being hungry -- in the process learning that the guard’s a soccer fan.

Only the complaint about the temperature elicits any kind of reaction. The guard goes outside and checks the thermometer, returns and reports the temperature is “almost 20 degrees Celsius” -- a toasty 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Implication: It’ll have to get colder in here for the guard to act. (You don’t have to go through this stage before lowering the mercury. It’s just a hint.)

Switch to Max and send him to the thermometer. The courtyard is still guarded, but Max can reach around the corner and use the ice spray to knock the sensor down to 8 degrees (a brisk 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Back to Nina. Now that she has quantitative evidence on her side, call the guard and complain about the cold again. (Dig the odd, shivery voice Nina adopts this time -- as though she really is cold! She isn’t. Max just froze the thermometer.) The guard checks the temperature again and gives her the robe off the prison’s back wall. (Note that the guard is standing right in front of the cowl and that Nina’s in semi-darkness, so if you miss the spoken reference to the cowl, you may not immediately realize what’s changed in the scene.)

Switch to Max, take the cowl from Nina using the trash-picker and explore a bit. Either use the left-hand passage at the starting area or the right exit from the storage room to reach the courtyard outside Shelton’s command center. Take some wild garlic from the patch in the left foreground and have a look at the bench to the left of the guard.

As mentioned earlier, symbols have been carved into the wood here. Max can’t translate. Nina might. But being that she’s locked up, you’ll have to bring the symbols to her in snapshot form, using the camera from the storage room, and the stoic guard watching her door might become less stoic if he were to see Max snapping pictures. So you want him gone.

Easy enough. You already know from the footprints in the courtyard and the mousetrap passage that the guard periodically performs rounds. Talk to the guard about “patrol” to send him on his way. That buys you about 40 seconds -- enough time to take a picture of the symbols but not enough to slip into the prison.

This needn’t slow you down. You can still detour around the guard and show Nina the photo through the barred window in the mousetrap corridor. It’s too dark in the cell for her to interpret the snapshot so first combine the picture with the bright window of the cart-less GameGirl and then use the combo (“illuminated photo”) on Nina. Nina says it’s Russian for “Snow White,” “Soccer” and “devil.”

Your mind may run to passwords, but Nina suggests it’s a mnemonic trick of some sort -- in other words, a reminder for something else, with the “something” presumably being the combination to the electronic lock to Nina’s cell, operated by a keypad to the left of the interior side of the prison door.

Sure enough, each of these words conjures up numbers. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. A soccer team fields 11 players. And “devil”? The most ready association is 666. (In fact, this is the “Number of the Beast” in the Book of Revelations, and the Beast is distinct from the devil himself, though they are allied in the “unholy trinity.”) If you don’t make these connections readily, check out the books and magazine on the shelves in the storage room’s far left. All three numbers appear there.

But getting to the keypad presents a problem. Nina’s shackled in her cell and the region available for action by Max when he’s at the barred window is a zoomed-in one that doesn’t include access to the door area. In other words, Max has to get into the prison proper, You already know how to make the guard vanish for a time. Can that time be extended?

As mentioned, you can learn from the guard -- via Nina’s “prisoner” and Max’s “Job” topic (the latter reached through “Prison” and”Prisoner”) -- that he’s a soccer fan. (It’s also hinted at by the pictures on the bulletin board just inside the prison door and the magazines in the storage room.) And you know from the footprints that his patrol route takes him past the storage room window. Can you build on those two bits of knowledge?

Sure. Once tuned-in (with the addition of the wire hanger) and turned on, that little TV from the storage room displays a soccer game. The guard can’t see the game with the TV in its original position. But he could if you placed it on the lectern just inside the storage room window, as his rounds take him right past this spot. Set it down there now, turn it on and invite the guard to take another tour of the premises. He’ll remain out of position until Nina’s free and safe

Enter the prison. Use the keypad and the pass code 711666. The cell door pops open and Max leads Nina to the storage room. Despite proximity to the TV, it’s safe here. (The TV is now off -- it will turn out the batteries are dead -- and the guard is back on station at the prison door moping about letting Nina escape.)

However, this is just a way point and not a destination. The next step, with the player controlling only Max, involves getting Nina into the tower.

If you’re short on ideas, return to the courtyard, right-click on the padlocked hatch to the left of the tower door and talk to the newly-installed guard. His “hatch” and “prisoner” topics put you on the right track. Ask about “hatch” a second time for a more explicit solution: The coal chute to the cellar is opened only for a new delivery of coal.

In other word, you need to transform Nina into a coal sack. Just use one of the sacks retrieved from the shelves here earlier and put a bag over her head.

An oddity: Max doesn’t pick up the resultant Nina-in-a-sack, but she now appears both on the storage room floor and in Max’s inventory. “It’s safer that way for Nina, and better for my back,” confesses Max if you right-click on the inventory bag. A blow for realism: Carrying Nina around in inventory would be a bit much. But the inventory icon permits Max to try to use the sack on the tower guard and thus get a hint it’ll need to be further disguised to pass muster.

If only you had some coal. Perhaps you could cook up a reasonable facsimile.

Did you check out the charred doghouse beside Max’s would-be grave? Beat on it with the shovel. Max resisted this as too noisy if you tried at an early stage, and I don’t know why it should be any less noisy now with a second guard posted in the courtyard a screen away. But once he’s wearing the cowl, Max can bring off this demolition without attracting attention. The remains must bear at least a passing resemblance to coal, for when Max uses the remaining sack on them to hide the evidence, a “coal sack” appears in your inventory.

Now, you don’t really want to deliver faux coal to the tower cellar: You want to deliver Nina. So get back to the storage room and use the coal sack on the Nina sack. (This can also be done in inventory, in which case Max returns to the storage room automatically.)

Take the result -- now “Nina in a coal sack” in your inventory -- and use it on the tower guard. He’ll give it a once-over and the next thing you know, Nina is lying dazed at the base of the coal chute and Max is at the cellar window on the left side of the graveyard.

As Nina, take the wine, handkerchiefs and helmet from the shelves near the window and coal from the pile in the upper left corner.

You’ll have to wait a bit to take the gold medals on the wall to the right of the bird cage. The big Amazon parrot in the room’s right side freaks out whenever a stranger enters its view, just as pet birds in the real world sometimes do. You’ll need to first shield Nina from his view.

The handkerchiefs are the only item in either character’s inventory that you can even try, and they’re not big enough to obscure the parrot’s view.

But wasn’t there a pedal-operated sewing machine back in the storage room? Hand the hankies up to Max and, as Max, use the handkerchiefs on the sewing machine to knit them into a sheet. Bring this back to Nina.

Simply using the sheet on the cage won’t work -- Nina can’t step into the critter’s line of sight -- so have Max hand Nina the trash-picker as well. Combine it with the sheet in inventory either at Nina’s or Max’s end and use the combo on the cage. The bird lets out a curious peep and Nina can safely take the medals.

Naturally, the door at the far end is locked and the other side guarded. But Nina’s not here for the door. She’s here for the stove beside it. Use the coals on it and it lights right up.

What’s for dinner? Well, the only guidance you have is from the Russian guard, who can confess to Max now (or pre-escape via the “prison,” “prisoner” and “job” topics) that he likes cheese soup.

Max has cheese and garlic. Nina has wine. Mix it all together in the helmet as “potential cheese soup” and use the helmet on the stove to realize its potential. The helmet doesn’t fit between the bars, so have Max hand down the plastic vase and transfer some of the soup into it and pass it back up. (If Max already handed down the cheese and garlic in the vase, use the vase on the helmet to transfer the contents. ) Pass up the gold medals as well.

The next step almost goes without saying: Give the cheese soup to the prison guard. He’ll take it inside the prison -- meaning out from under the eye of the guard at the tower door.

The tower guard’s already given us the way to pull him off his door duty: Set off the alarm in the prison. That’s the red button just below the keypad. But that’s not going to happen with the guard slurping his soup right here.

So you’ll need to distract him again, and that’s where the gold medals come in. (You can always count on soccer, cheese soup and plain old greed.) Plant the medals in the straw in the cell, ask the guard about “straw” and once he’s occupied with his find, slap the alarm button. The guards from the tower door and cellar come running.

In the resultant confusion, Max slips into the tower and releases Nina from the cellar. You’ll find the two just inside the main door. Max hands off any remaining inventory to Nina -- she should have the camera, shovel, trash-picker and helmet soup -- and runs off to keep the guards occupied.

Nina finds herself at the top of the tower with Shelton. Throw the soup at him. (None of the other stuff has any use, except as unworkable alternatives in this confrontation, so why the hand-off from Max? ) He’ll hold his face, stagger backward and fall to the floor below and Nina automatically moves to the console.

Take a cue from the presence of a guide to Zandona’s prophecies to the right. Hit the red button to activate the self-destruct mechanism and use the buttons on the telephone at the left to translate the letters in “Zandona” into a numeric code: 9152551. (After all, what else could the code word be?) Hit “Enter” on the keypad and Nina automatically removes the keycard and exits the console to find Shelton pointing a gun at her. (Oddly, he refers to her twice as the “prodigal daughter.” A translation issue or a Star Wars-like plot artifact?)

Escaping, Nina automatically drops down to the tower’s middle level. Shelton will follow via the stairs in 15 to 20 seconds. (If Nina fails to leave a level before Shelton’s arrival. she’ll drop down a level automatically or, on the entry level, climb a level using the shaft to the right.)

Drop down again when you resume control of our heroine and you’ll find yourself back on the starting level. Take the can of oil beside the crates to the left and use the shaft twice to climb back to the control room.

You want to slow down Shelton and run out the clock. But if you try to use the oil on the stairs at the left, you’ll find the lid too rusty to open.

There’s another way into the can. If you use the left of the two windows flanking the console, Nina draws fire from sharpshooters down below. Give them something to aim at: Use the oil can on the left window. The guards outside target it and, back in your inventory, you’ll see it’s now “oil canister with holes.”

Shelton’s reappearance will prevent any further action for the moment and Nina drops down a level again. Once again, use the shaft at the right to climb to the top. This time, pour oil on the stairs at the left,. This expands to about 40 seconds the delay in Shelton’s reappearance on any tower level -- and push over the Statue of Liberty at the left to close and block the trapdoor. Then Nina automatically cuts the rope in the shaft at the right (using what, I’d like to know!) and, with the countdown to self-destruct reaching 60 seconds, begins to moan about her impending death

Cue the helicopter, Nina’s removal to the ledge outside (irrespective of the sharpshooters who drilled the oil can) and the last-moment appearance of Shelton and the bartender/assassin above the trapdoor. Shelton cries, “Nobody can escape their destiny!” Nina jumps and grabs the copter’s underpinning just as the explosions begin.

Odds & ends: In the cell, Max and Nina can examine the straw on the floor, the cowl on the far wall and the stove. Max alone can examine the barred window, try to squeeze through the window and to use the trash-picker or the stove and cowl. In the graveyard, he can also examine his grave, the dog’s grave and the cellar window to the left. In the storage room, he can examine the lectern, the shelves at the center of the room and the table at the right rear. In the tower cellar, Nina can also examine the closed hatch. On the entry level of the tower, the door, the crates to the left of the door and the scales to the right. On the second level, the world map in the background. On the top level, the right-hand window and the telephone on the console.

Max can try to use the shovel on the grave, the dog’s grave and both courtyard guards, the trash-picker, cheese and coat hanger on the imprisoned Nina; the cheese on the prison guard; the two separate sacks (Nina and coal) on the tower guard, the Nina-in-a-sack on the remains of the demolished dog house, and the straw in the cell (but only in the final visit). In the final confrontation, Nina can try to use the telephone and Zandona book, the trash-picker and shovel on Shelton, the keycard and oil-can-with-bullet-holes on either of the windows, the leaky can on stairs other than the top-level ones and any inventory item on the scales on the first level.

There’s a third option for placing that little TV: atop the storage room shelves. (It’s out of the guard’s view here.) You can also try to use the set directly on the guard himself and on the bench near his post. Once the guard’s distracted, you can visit him in the mousetrap corridor. (Max leaves rather than give the guard ideas about returning to his post.) And once the TV’s off again, Max can try to reclaim it. (He refuses: “I’m not a diver who needs to carry ballast around with him”)

There’s a map of the compound on the right rear wall of the storage room. No real revelations here. You’re in the room in the upper left corner. It seems designed to focus the player on those rooms they haven’t visited -- namely those pictured within the tower at the lower right. (Note that the room in the upper right portion of the tower can’t be visited. That’s beyond the door to the right of the stove.)

Have Max ask the guard about “prison” and he’ll offer that Nina seems familiar to him. Ask about “prisoner” and “job” and, if you’ve played Secret Files: Tunguska, you’ll put 2 + 2 together. Like the homeless man, the guard’s another recurring character from the earlier game. In that game, he guarded the lobby of the Russian hospital in which Nina was imprisoned (and from which, with Max’s help, she eventually escaped).

You can get an explanation for the dog’s grave from the prison guard. It’s a strange story that seems to suggest either that Shelton does have god’s ear ... or that his gadgetry is as elaborate as his temperament is sketchy.

As at the stone face in the Indonesian jungle, the swap meet at the cellar window allows the exchange of (and thus alternate takes on) most inventory items. A curiosity: Max refuses the coal. He doesn’t want to get dirty.

If Nina examines the handkerchiefs before she hands them off to Max, she’ll identify the embroidered initials, “L.N.” Do we know an L.N.? No, but the possibilities are limited. Only three of the five sect members/hirelings at the base are identified: Shelton, Calypso bartender/assassin Eastman and the prison guard (finally identified in the epilogue as Spivak). So, by the process of elimination, L.N. must be one of the other two: either the bald, bearded tower guard or the guard in the cellar room adjacent to the one with the coal chute. (He’s seen only when you hit the alarm button in the prison or if you ruffle the parrot’s feathers.)

By the way, the parrot’s name is “Polly.”

When Nina first appears at the top of the tower, don’t go straight to the solution. Instead, for a bit of fun, try to either interact with Shelton either directly or by using the trash-picker, shovel or camera or move to any of the discrete locations: the two windows, the shaft or the drop-off to the middle floor. (You can’t use the statue or the stairs at this stage.)

Shelton shoots Nina dead, the game will appear to end ... and then immediately rewind to just before Nina goofed.

The green button on Shelton’s console allegedly changes the radio frequency used to detonate the bomb while the purple one deactivates the alarm at the main gate. You can use both of these and plug in any number of up to nine digits, but neither has an impact on the game.


Epilogue

Nina and Max wind up lounging on a beach and bickering happily over who saved whom. Here we learn that Max apparently shaves his chest and that Sam was never a serious rival to Nina. “I’ve forgotten her already,” says Max.

The developers haven’t. Stick around for an elaborate “what happened next ...” sequence, with status updates that touch upon even the most minor of survivors. Followups cover the UN’s General Assembly; Nina’s father Vladimir; the Puritas Cordis henchmen Wedge and Biggs; travel agent Fleming Olsen; paparazzi Feng Li; obnoxious kid Oskar and the Calypso porter Sidney; Max’s gal pal Sam Peters; the anonymous temple guard and the frog who terrorized him; the snack-stand operator from Gatineau; the homeless man; the surveyor from Gatineau; the police officer from the Paris jail; Alessandro Rossi; the zoo keeper; and prison guard Spivak. The 10 casualties also appear in what seem to be security uniforms from the original Star Trek.

At the end, you’ll get a certificate (saved to the game directory as a .png file) that confirms completion of the game and provides esoteric data such as left and right clicks and meters walked.

Odds & ends: Did you notice that the homeless man also strongly resembles the German actor Klaus Kinski? This is semi-confirmed in the epilogue, where you’ll learn that, after recovering his identity as Detective Kanski, he went on to bang his head on the fountain in the Paris park, lose his memory yet again and became “a famous, eccentric actor.”

0 comments
Web Analytics