The Watchmaker: Starting Over

So, there was this crystal. There are crystals like it in some of the more secret parts of the castle, attached to the walls and glowing. This one wasn’t glowing and it was in my inventory, but it was clearly the same sort. And then at some point it wasn’t in my inventory any more. Possibly this happened when I tried using it on the mouth of a lion statue, a thing that clearly had to have some sort of item put into it, because it was a separate useable from the rest of the statue. And I think the crystal was probably the right thing, because it produced an animation rather than a generic failure line 1UPDATE: Now that I’ve got to the point of having the crystal again, I tried putting it in the lion’s mouth, but it just produced a generic failure line. So I think I was mistaken about this. Still, this was the last thing I remember trying with the crystal., but it didn’t open up the obvious secret passage, possibly because the crystal wasn’t glowing. I probably need to energize it with a ley line or something. But I can’t do that if it’s gone. So I’ve started the game over.

Starting over from scratch when it was such a slog to get this far isn’t ideal, but it could be worse. At least it’s an adventure game. That means I can recover my progress relatively quickly. Most of my time so far has been spent wandering around not knowing what to do, and now I know what to do for about half the game. Plus, this is an opportunity to re-examine the earlier parts of the game with greater understanding.

It’s always a difficult thing, at the beginning of a game, to know what kind of approach it requires, and which details you need to keep track of. A game like this one poses the additional burden of tonal inconsistency. The castle has contrived adventure-game puzzles, including old artworks containing clues to operating machinery that opens secret passages. There is nothing realistic about that. And yet, to follow the plot, and to some extent to solve the puzzles, I have to take the castle somewhat seriously, and treat it as having a comprehensible history.

I’m keeping a closer eye on that history, this time around. To correct my last post: Anna lived and died more than two hundred years after the pendulum device was built, so her death is not linked to its completion. Also, I’m starting to suspect that the elderly caretaker, who’s spent his whole life in the castle and has been around longer than anyone, is one of the twenty-four immortals, left behind to guard the device.

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1. UPDATE: Now that I’ve got to the point of having the crystal again, I tried putting it in the lion’s mouth, but it just produced a generic failure line. So I think I was mistaken about this. Still, this was the last thing I remember trying with the crystal.

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