What follows is totally spoilery commentary on a partial playing of Jon Ingold’s “Make It Good”, with some speculations based on the game state I’m currently in. So I strongly recommend not looking unless you’ve played the game (it’s enough fun not to want spoiling) or have at least put in a few hours’ playtime (in which case you may be more or less where I am).
La la la la la etc…
All right, so I’ve played through to a losing ending several times now, and I’m starting to have some theories about what I’m supposed to be doing, but it’s nebulous and challenging and I’m not sure I’m finding my way right. This is one of those games that I’d really like to be playing simultaneously with a bunch of friends so as to trade hints and theories.
Important-seeming things I’ve found so far:
– letter opener
– incriminating photograph
– handwritten note
– pink paper
– dresser message
– medicine tube
– cheque stubs
– trashy novel
– five keys (my car key, silver key, dirty yale key, flimsy key, closet key)
Things whose significance (if any) I still do not understand:
– Matheston (more or less entirely — I can’t get him to talk terribly much to me, though he mutters about chess easily enough)
– the metal box in the maid’s room, which I can’t get open
– the paintings in the maid’s room — they would appear to be by her father, but is there any additional meaning beyond that?
– the black box in the closet, which I also cannot get open
So far, it’s looking like:
I found, took, or commissioned some incriminating pics of Jack with Emilia, and I’ve been blackmailing him for a number of payments at a rate of $12000 per. (He’s also paying Emilia’s dad $600/month.) He sent me a message asking me to meet him, threatening to come clean himself if I didn’t hand over the photos and negatives and go on from there. I apparently did meet him, earlier this same day, and to all appearances I gave the photo back. (I haven’t found negatives, if any.)
Then… what? Did I kill him? It’s looking pretty bad. My prints are on the letter opener (even if I handle it with gloves from the beginning). My-sized footprints are under the window — though I suppose I could’ve made a get-away without killing him first. (The letter opener is more of a problem.)
Then Angela heard a noise, came into the room, screamed, found the photograph. Emilia entered shortly thereafter and was sent to phone the police. I arrived on the scene again. Angela showed me to the murder room, then immediately went to her own room where she concealed the incriminating photograph in the pink suitcase. (But did she pack the clothes at the same time? I don’t think so. It looks to me as though she was already planning to leave town, and the photograph is just a side point.)
Anthony, meanwhile, has been over at Jenny’s, having an elaborately-excused affair under the pretense of going “swimming”. The fake pills in the medicine tube sound like a really long way to go to support this idea, though.
Anyway, at this point my sense is that I should shift my attention from detecting to, well, framing someone else. Anthony seems like a good candidate, since a jealous rage at discovering the photograph might explain his action. Irritatingly, almost as soon as he arrives he tells Joe that he saw me outside. The only way to forestall this is to attempt to arrest *him*, first. But I’m not really ready to do that. Joe buys Anthony’s motive and his possible use of the letter opener, but even though Anthony and I have similar shoe sizes, he does not consider the footprint under the window good evidence — apparently it too plainly belongs to me.
So from here I am not sure where to go.
I think I’m on the right track as regards the overall point of the game; talking to Matheston provokes cryptic comments about his chessgame and forcing a sacrifice, while looking up the passages in the trashy novel hint at forcing a draw — this sounds like either actually getting someone else arrested or at the very least neutralizing the person who could conceivably get ME arrested. And it seems very likely that I am meant to do something with Anthony’s shoes, since the game allows me to steal them after he takes them off, and swap them for mine.
That seems like a lot of to-do to go to if the shoes are not important. But I can’t seem to work out the timing so as to wear Anthony’s shoes, then go through the window and make footprints, then summon Joe to look at them.
Also, the game had some interesting non-default thing to say when I tried hiding the whiskey bottle in Jack’s briefcase, but I’m not sure how that helps either.
Also also, calling Jenny back after Anthony has come over (so I can ask about the times of his arrival) proves to be impossible: she has left the house.
Also^3, and something that gives me pause: if I’m supposed to be framing and manipulating and so on, why doesn’t the game allow me to destroy evidence (e.g. by tearing up the handwritten note or cleaning the letter opener and putting it away)?
Finally, I still don’t understand why in fact I would have killed Jack, given I was returning the blackmail stuff. Unless our negotiation went wrong?
All very weird.