Still Life

Developer/Publisher:  Microids

Walkthrough by Steve Metzler (July, 2005)
Still Life is a gritty murder mystery set in Chicago and Prague. It's technically a sequel to Post Mortem, where you may have first met the private investigator Gus McPherson. But you needn't have played the original to appreciate this one, as it's entirely self-contained.

Double-clicking makes your character run to where the movement icon is currently positioned. You will be doing a lot of this.

You only need to left-click through all conversations to get the vital information, and then you can exit the conversation. But I found that the right-click options were also interesting, and added a lot to the game play experience. Your call on these.

It is worthwhile to examine all new items that come into your inventory. You get a more detailed description of the object, and some objects provide clues.

Chapter 1, Victoria - 5th Murder Scene
The game kicks off with Victoria arriving at the latest crime scene. Speak to Officer Tate on all topics until he steps aside. Then enter the building, head up the stairs and speak to Miller. He hands you a Camera, but you can't take any pictures because you don't have a roll of film for it yet. Head through the doorway there into the living room. Then turn left, proceed to the end of the hallway, and talk to Claire. She wants you to gather evidence as she's busy preparing the body. After speaking with Claire, access the toolbox in the kitchen (right behind you) to obtain the following items: Black Light Filter, Forensic Swabs, Luminol, Film, and Tweezers. Right-click to access your inventory, then click on the Film. Now click on the Combine icon at the top left of the screen, and finally click on the Camera to combine these two items. Now we can use the Camera. Head through the doorway on the left side of the kitchen, and examine the board on the wall to the left of the doorway in the next room. In the close-up, Victoria spots hair and fibres on a coat hook. Use the Camera to take a picture of the coat hook, then use the Tweezers to collect a Hair and Fiber Sample. Go through the doorway, hang a left into the living room, and examine the blood stain on the floor. Take a picture of it, then use the Forensic Swabs to obtain a Blood Sample from the Living Room. Now examine the wall across from the blood stain. Use the Luminol on it, then use the Black Light Filter on the lamp there. Examine the wall again to see the word "Sanctuary" spelled out. Go to the bedroom next, straight ahead. Same deal here. You collect a Blood Sample from the Bedroom, and the word revealed on the wall is "Disturbed". Return all the evidence you have collected to Claire's toolbox. Then talk to her again, and afterwards you may examine the victim...

So next you go to leave the place, but the stairway collapses. Now you have to find another way out. Go to the southwest and examine the boarded-up doorway. Victoria comments that you need something to pry the boards off with. Head back to the living room, and get the Lead Pipe off the radiator. Then go back and use it on the boarded-up doorway. You try to use the fire escape ladder then, but it collapses. Click on the trash bin down below, and Victoria jumps on it to make her escape. Miller follows, but injures himself in the process. Access Victoria's 4 x 4 then, and go to The Office.

The Office
You wind up in the garage level (B1) of the office building. Take the elevator up to the 8th floor. Miller is at his desk. Speak to him, and he wants you to drop the Camera in the evidence chute in the hallway, and also to collect Claire's preliminary autopsy report from the morgue downstairs. First, go to your desk. Listen to the message from your boss, Todd Browning. Take the Christmas Present and the Security Card. You can also access the photographic evidence from the previous murders in the files located top right of your desk. Now would also be a good time to access the Document section of your inventory and read the Coroner's Reports on these victims. Hmm. The killer's modus operandi is to use the "date rape" drug Rohypnol to incapacitate his victims and then drown them. Go back to the hallway now and drop the Camera in the evidence chute. Then take the elevator down to the morgue level (B2). Examine the keypad next to the locked door. In your inventory, examine the Security Card, and flip it over. You see NO:VODKA on a sticker there. So use the Security Card on the left side of the keypad, then punch in the numbers that correspond to the word VODKA: 8-6-3-5-2 and hit the 'OK' button (you have to do this pretty quickly). Then go through the next set of doors and speak to Claire. After speaking with her, take Claire's Report from the autopsy table and leave (note: the report doesn't appear in your inventory as an actual object, but rather in the Document folder). Victoria gets a phone call from her father on the way out. This puts Pat's House on your map. When you head back upstairs, Miller gets a phone call just as you enter the office. Speak to him anyway to deliver Claire's Report. Nothing more you can do here, so return to your 4 x 4 in the garage at level B1 and go to Pat's House.

Pat's House
Victoria exchanges presents with her father (Victoria receives Milena's Necklace), and he mentions that you should go to the attic and have a look at your grandfather's stuff. Take the Umbrella from the coat stand as you head up the stairs. Victoria's room is on the right-hand wall in the hall. Enter the closet, and use the Umbrella on the attic door. Head up, and turn on the light which is located on the ceiling to the left. Examine the chest next to the window. Now... before touching anything, have a look at Milena's Necklace that you just received from Pat. The correct combination for the chest is a heart in the middle, with two diamonds on each side. You can solve this puzzle in a few minutes by randomly turning the cylinders, but there is a mathematical solution to this puzzle as detailed below (thanks to some mathematical wizards at Gameboomers):

Leave the first (left-most) cylinder alone.
Turn the second cylinder three times.
Turn the third cylinder once.
Turn the fourth cylinder three times.
Turn the fifth cylinder three times.

Victoria starts reading her grandfather's journal, and you are transported to Prague in the 1920's where you take control of her grandfather, Gus McPherson.

Chapter 2, Gus - Shore
Before you get control of Gus, you see Inspector Skalnic removing something from the corpse he is examining and putting it in his pocket. Hmm. Concealing evidence, how strange. Talk to Skalnic then. You don't learn much. Then head back along the path and talk to Officer Stasek. He might be of some assistance to you later on. Continue up the path and talk to Ida, Gus' romantic interest, and Milena. Milena puts the Park on your map, but there is nothing to do there yet. After speaking with Milena, head up the steps and speak to Ida again. Skalnic had told you about Emile Korona the coroner, and Ida puts the Old Chapel on your map. It has been temporarily converted to a morgue. Go there now.

Old Chapel
On the way to the Old Chapel, you observe a man talking to the big goon you saw hanging around near the prostitutes earlier. This puts the Lingerie shop on your map. It appears to be a front for this pimp. Exit this scene and go to the Old Chapel. Enter and talk to the old coroner, Emile Korona. He has a report of the previous murder ready to deliver to Inspector Skalnic, but it's locked in his safe and he can't remember where he put the combination. Access the bookcase in the middle of this room. On the left-hand side of the shelves you will find a Piece of Paper that has the combination written on it: 74821536. There is also a clock there that gives you the symbols for 12, 3, 6, and 9. It is worthwhile writing down these symbols and analysing them. What's significant is not the shape of each symbol, but rather the number of *angles* it contains. Now head past where Emile is working and access the safe. Using the number of angles in each symbol, you should be able to determine that they get moved from the bottom row and placed in the top row as shown below:

Opening the safe nets you the Coroner's Report on the Victim Found in the Park, and a Picture of the Victim Found in the Park. Exit the chapel, and you get roughed up by the goon. Head for the Park.

Talk to Apolina at the entrance. Then enter the Park, and Gus gets a flashback of the murder. Use the Picture of the Victim Found in the Park, and click on the bottom right of the fountain where there's a bit that has fallen off in the picture, but is intact in the real world. Read what the murderer has written there, then click on the top part of the fountain. You see that there is a ring on the statue's finger. Click on the ring, and Gus tries to retrieve it, but a blackbird beats him to it. Gus follows the blackbird. Enter the building just in front of where Gus winds up, and speak to a mysterious figure who identifies himself as The Coachman. Hmm. It appears that the murderer is using the sewers to get around the place without being spotted. You get the Ring from the Park's Crime Scene before leaving. When you exit this building, Ida approaches and lets you know that there is a girl who survived an attack of the murderer hiding in a scrapyard, which she puts on your map.

So you try to visit the Junkyard next, but the big goon who has been harassing Gus is there at the entrance, and Gus refuses to go further. Hmm. Head to the Lingerie shop next, and speak with the pimp, Otokar Kubina. If you can spring his other goon, Roman, from jail he will call off the dogs...

Police Station
So go talk to Stasek at the Police Station. Embarrassingly, he lost the medal he won by saving some children from a fire when he slept with Apolina. So... speak to Apolina outside the Park, and she reluctantly gives up the Medal. Head back to the police station and talk to Stasek. You give him the Medal, and he lets Roman go. Then go to the Lingerie shop again. Not only does Otokar call off the goon, but he also presents you with a Lock Picking Kit! Now you can go to the Junkyard again...

Speak to Roman and his brother, the goon (you finally learn that his name is Peter) outside the Junkyard. You go inside and Peter tries to play a joke on you, but his Doberman breaks free and Gus winds up on some high ground. Enter the shed there, and note that the correct setting for enabling the crane is 1-2-3 on the top, and 4-5-6 on the bottom. Exit the shed, and head around to the back of it. Pick up the Cutters from the ground. Then access the panel on the back of the shed. Now, this is a variation on a Towers of Hanoi puzzle. As you saw from the diagramme in the shed, you have to get the top levers to the positions 1-2-3, and the bottom ones to 4-5-6. This is quite trivial, so I'm not going to detail how to do it. Just realise that you can move the levers to 3/4 and 1/4 of the way up the middle shaft to get them out of the way. Once you have the levers in the correct position, power is supplied to the crane. Go back inside the shed, and use the crane/magnet on the two free crates to build a bridge to the chained crates. Then exit the shed, hop onto the first crate, then the crate next to the chained crates. Use the Cutters to break the chains, then go back to the shed once more and use the crane/magnet to position the four metal crates in a straight line across to the first trailer. Exit the shed, hop across each crate in turn, and onto the ladder on the side of the first trailer. Gus then goes into the next trailer to see Vladanna. Then control returns to Victoria in Chicago...

Chapter 3, Victoria - Pat's House
Claire calls you, and breaks you out of your reverie with Gus' journal. She wants you to come to the morgue. So head back to The Office.

The Office
As you enter the morgue, there is a cut scene of the killer exiting just after you. You notice that the victim's corpse has been disturbed, then Claire tells you to have a look at the security cameras. Go to the room just across from the elevator, and examine the CCTV in the centre of the room (the only one you are allowed to look at). Victoria spots the killer leaving the garage and pursues him... only to wind up empty-handed at the end of the chase. You gain control of Victoria again back at the entrance to the morgue. Talk to Claire again. The killer left a photo of his next intended victim inside the corpse. Claire is sending it to the lab for analysis. Claire informs you that Todd Browning wants to see you upstairs.

So, head back up to your office. As you enter, Browning comes in behind you and demands to see both you and Miller in his office. He also wants some coffee. He then storms into his office. Go into the hall, and head up towards the drinks dispenser. Enter the suspect interrogation room to the right, and take the Coffee Mug from the table. Use it on the coffee machine outside, hit the button to fill it, and pick up the full Coffee Mug. Now go speak to Browning. He puts Victoria on probation, feeling she's becoming too close to the case. Speak to Miller next. He's found a connection between the 4th and 5th victims, a man named Vaclav Kolar. Go back to the 4 x 4 and head for the Campus.

Enter the residence building, head up the stairs, and knock on the door at the top of the stairs. Speak to Kolar, and Victoria learns that he seems to be only incidentally connected with the last two victims. Kolar says he's always busy working on his thesis. Victoria requests a copy. When he goes into his bedroom to print it for you, pick up the Beer Bottle at the base of the armchair. He then retuns and presents you with his Thesis. Victoria exits the apartment. Read the Thesis then. How interesting. Kolar implicates your grandfather in both the Prague murders of 1929, and the Chicago murders of 1931. Head back to The Office.

The Office
Next comes a rather bad bit of puzzle design. Even though you may have already discovered the fingerprint lifting equipment in your office, you must go to Claire first and use the Beer Bottle on her to get her to ask you to lift the prints for her. Then you can go upstairs and examine the left-hand side of the counter in your office. The Beer Bottle automatically pops into the scene. Next, open the jar of dusting powder. Then pick up the brush and use it to get some powder. Use the brush on the Beer Bottle. Rotate the bottle using the arrows on top until the best looking thumb-print is in view. Then use the tape on the Beer Bottle to obtain Kolar's Fingerprints. Finally, you can go present this to Claire. Then head to Pat's House once again.

Pat's House
Oh goody, it's time to bake cookies! Go into the kitchen and save your game. Then examine the counter, and the recipe book. The recipe goes like this:

Gingerbread Man
- 1 cup of love
- 1/2 cup of generosity
- 2 cups of commitment
- 1 cup of sweetness
- 1/2 cup of integrity
- 1 table spoon of romance
- 1 tea spoon of sensuality
- 1 common sense

In a bowl, cream together generosity, sweetness and love to give your man a sweetheart.
To give him devotion simply sift together commitment, sensuality and romance.
Blend devotion to his sweetheart.
Finally, add intelligence, a mix of common sense and integrity, and beat with the rest to make your perfect man.
Give him form and place in the oven. Remember not to over cook.

Hmm. Well, you need to do a bit of guesswork. You need to find ingredients that you can cream together first, then dry ingedients that can be sifted together, and then you can use what's left over. So... I've figured this out for you, and paired the actual ingredients with their recipe equivalents below:

Butter (generosity)
Brown Sugar (sweetness)
Milk (love)
Flour (commitment)
Cinnamon (sensuality)
Ginger (romance)
Egg (common sense)
Molasses (integrity)

For a cup we'll use the 250ml measure, and for a half cup the 125ml one. Then this is how you execute the recipe:

  1. Put 125ml of Butter, 250ml of Brown Sugar, and 250ml of Milk into the mixing bowl and blend.
  2. Put 2 x 250ml Flour, 1 teaspoon (small spoon) Cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon (larger spoon) of Ginger into the mixing bowl and blend.
  3. Add 1 Egg, and 125ml Molasses into the mixing bowl and blend.
  4. Finally, click on the oven icon. Victoria tastes this, finds it acceptable, and puts it in the oven. Done.

After your little cookie baking episode, head back upstairs to Victoria's room. Control then transfers back to Gus...

Chapter 4, Gus - Junkyard
Talk to Vladanna, and you learn about Mark Ackerman, a painter who has been painting portraits of the prostitutes, and you learn the location of his apartment. By the way, don't know if you remembered, but earlier on Victoria had a phone conversation with her boyfriend Richard, who owns a gallery. Guess whose paintings he happens to be exhibiting right at the moment? Exit the trailer, and you can have a fairly humourous conversation with Roman (he's next to a box near the trailer), but it doesn't net you any clues. Then exit the Junkyard and travel to Mark's Place.

Mark's Place
Mark is busy painting Apolina. You don't learn much, except that Skalnic had accused him of being the killer. He suggests you go talk to Skalnic about it yourself. So it's off to the Police Station again.

Police Station
Tell Stasek that you need to talk to Skalnic, and he lets you in behind the counter. Then head upstairs to Skalnic's office. He doesn't give you anything that you ask for, and promptly leaves in his car. Talk to Stasek again, and... well, he basically advises you to break into the place and agrees to look the other way. Head around to the side of the building where Skalnic parks his car, and there is scaffolding there leading up to Skalnic's office. Try to use the rope to climb up, and it breaks, but you now have the Rope in your inventory. Then pick up a Wood Piece from the ground just outside the gate. Combine the Rope with the Wood Piece to obtain a primitive Grappling Hook. Use this item on the scaffolding to climb up. Once in the office, examine the desk to find Skalnic's Keys. Then use them to open the filing cabinet. You obtain three pieces of evidence: a Picture of the Victim Found in the Burned Neighborhood, a Picture of the Victim Found near the Bridge, and a Ring that the description says was found in the sewers in the Burnt Neighborhood. But this is a continuity mistake made by the game developers. It is actually the ring you saw Skalnic pocketing from the victim by the Shore! This had me really confused, as you shall see later on. Speaking of Skalnic, he returns just when you are finished pilfering his file cabinet, and Gus makes his escape via the scaffolding. Anyway, now we have some more evidence to further our investigations. The Bridge is now on your map, so head there.

Head down the stairs, and Gus has another flashback. Ida also arrives, and informs Gus that the reason she has been feeling ill for the past few weeks is due to the fact that she is pregnant. Gus proposes that they get married. Awh. Back to business then. Use the Picture of the Victim Found near the Bridge, and click on one of the benches. Gus notices that they have been replaced. Head to the Junkyard once again...

Talk to Peter, and he moves a large board to reveal the benches. Examine them, and you get a Ring that was Found in the Scrapyard. Back to the Burned Neighborhood next.

Burned Neighborhood
As soon as you arrive in the Burned Neighborhood, head to the right to get to the crime scene. Use the Picture of the Victim Found in the Burned Neighborhood and click on the bath there. Gus notices that it was empty then, and is now filled. He drains the bath, revealing a recent inscription left by the killer: "The slut knows". Back to the Park now...

Milena is now standing outside the Park. Speak to her, and this is where I got really confused. Gus shows her a picture of one of the crime scenes, but doesn't indicate which one it is. Milena says she saw Skalnic throwing something into the sewers there. Now, I thought she was referring to the scene at the Shore and wasted a lot of time poking around there again... but she is actually referring to the Burned Neighborhood (if you can remember, that's where the girl named Katarina was found). So head there once again.

Burned Neighborhood
Indeed, now you can enter the sewers here by moving the manhole cover (another reason why I thought Skalnic couldn't have thrown anything down here) and there you find a... Ring from Skalnic's Office?! Now that's a good trick. This is of course the ring that should have been labelled as being from the Burned Neighborhood. A minor continuity error in the end, but one that threw me way off track for a while as I thought I already had a ring from this location in my possession :-(

As you go to leave the Burned Neighborhood, Milena approaches and begs you to go to Mark's studio because she fears for Apolina's safety. Do so.

Mark's Place
The policeman who was watching the place is no longer there. When you knock on the door, no one answers. Save your game then, for a tough puzzle is looming! Use the Lock Picking Kit that Otokar gave you, and you wind up with a puzzle that looks like this:

Now... as the lock picking guide said, the secret to solving this puzzle involves jamming key tumblers. Here is how you do it. Note: I have labelled the tumblers on the top as T1 - T9, and the corresponding tumblers on the bottom as B1 - B8. There are gaps in the numbers of the bottom tumblers, as I wanted them to correspond to the top ones. It doesn't matter which lockpick you use to do each operation, but once you have one of them committed to holding a tumbler, then you obviously have to use the other one to perform the next operation. So I designated the round-ended one as 'round', and the hooked one as 'hooked'. Here goes:

Use the hooked pick on T1.
Use the round pick on B1 (locks T1).
Use the hooked pick on T2.
Use the round pick on T3 (locks entire first section).

Use the round pick on B4 (T4 moves).
Use the hooked pick on T4 (B8 moves).
Use the round pick on B4 (locks T4).
Use the hooked pick on T5.
Use the round pick on T6 (locks entire middle section).

Use the hooked pick on B4 (to hold it).
Use the round pick on B7 (locks B4).
Use the hooked pick on T7 (locks B7).
Use the hooked pick on T4 (releases T7).
Retract the hooked pick (releases T4 and B8).
Use the hooked pick on B8 (to hold it, releases T8).
Use the round pick on T4 (locks B8).
Use the hooked pick on T6, twice (locks entire middle section).

Use the round pick on B7 (to hold it).
Use the hooked pick on T7 (locks B7).
Use the round pick on B5, twice (locks T7).
Use the hooked pick on T6, twice (locks entire middle section).
Use the hooked pick on T8 (releases T9).
Use the round pick on T9 (lock picked)!

First thing to do once inside the studio is to grab the Book On Occultism that is on the shelf to Gus' right. Then examine each of the portraits on the wall. Some have had their portrait's painted, some have been killed. Then advance further into the studio, and pick up the Telegram on the stepladder. Aha. It appears we are finally on to something concrete. The Ackermans are being told they must leave Prague due to Mark's 'indescretions'. Finally, examine the couch there closely. There's fresh blood on it, probably Apolina's! Go to the Police Station next.

Police Station
As Gus approaches Skalnic's office, he overhears Ambassador Ackerman talking to Skalnic. Bingo. Ackerman has been paying off Skalnic in order to keep him off his son's back, and it looks like Gus has been set up to take the fall. Ackerman comes walking out of Skalnic's office then, and this event segues into a scene whereby Miller enters Victoria's room to interrupt her reading of Gus' journal. Control transfers back to Victoria at this point.

Chapter 5, Victoria - Pat's House
Miller has told you that Kolar's prints match the partials of the suspected killer. So travel to the Campus then to bring in Kolar.

Miller is standing outside Kolar's apartment when you arrive. Hearing a scream from inside, Victoria decides to break in the door. But it's only the televesion, and Kolar is not there. You can examine his bedroom, but you find nothing. Exit the apartment then and Mia, Kolar's neighbour, comes up the stairs. Speak to her, and she gives you her card. Victoria hands the card to Miller so he can check it out. It's a place called the Red Lantern. Head there next (Officer Tate comes up the stairs to guard the door as you leave).

Red Lantern
Speak to Miller outside the building. He has already tried to gain access, but failed. Victoria has an idea though. Head inside, and speak to the doorman at the entrance to the club. Hmm. Looks like you will need a pass to get in here. Hey wait... Mia works here, right? So go back to the Campus then.

Mia's apartment is at the end of the hall a few doors down from Kolar's. She lets you in, but then immediately takes a phone call and goes downstairs. Enter her bedroom. Note half of a silver apple on her dresser. Then examine the book on the bed. You obtain a Picture of a Woman, whom Victoria recognises to be that of the killer's next intended victim! Mia returns then, and she names the woman as Stephanie. Mia gives you the address where she was supposed to meet Stephanie, and it turns out to be Richard's Gallery. Head there next.

Richard's Gallery
Richard lets Victoria into the studios and... too late. Stephanie has already been murdered. Victoria takes the lift down to the studio, and then you get control of her again. Examine the handbag at the base of the lift, and pick up Stephanie's Red Lantern I.D. Pass. You also notice a rose under the lift, but you can't reach it. Go over to the garage door where you saw Mia entering and try to open it. Pick up the Chain that falls off in the process. Then go examine the body. Take the Picture of Mia at a Party and flip it over in your inventory. Uh oh. Mia is the next intended victim. Now take the lift back upstairs, and use the Chain on the large hook there to climb back down. Take the Silver Rose. This event triggers the arrival of the police. Browning informs you that Miller has brought in Vaclav Kolar for questioning, and you are to join him. So head for The Office. You have to exit through the garage door and walk around to the front of the gallery.

The Office
Go to the suspect interrogation room. You start to question Kolar, and learn that he met Cynthia Woods and Mia at the Red Lantern club. But they worked in a restricted area of the club that he had never visited. And just then Browning breaks up the interrogation and frees Kolar. Hmm. We need to get into the Red Lantern club, but we can't use Stephanie's I.D. Pass in case the doorman examines the picture. So, let's see if we can rustle up a photo of Victoria to replace it with. Go to Pat's House.

Pat's House
Go into the dining room off the kitchen, and take Victoria's Picture from its frame. Now head back to The Office.

The Office
In the centre of the counter in Victoria's office there is a paper cutting machine. First, use the I.D. Pass on it to remove Stephanie's picture. Then use Victoria's Picture on it to trim to size. In your inventory, combine the I.D. Pass with Vitoria's Picture to obtain an unplastified Fake I.D. Pass. Finally, use this item on the plastifier machine located on the left-hand side of the counter to obtain Victoria's I.D. Pass. Now go back to the Red Lantern club.

Red Lantern
Victoria's I.D. Pass gets you past the doorman this time. Explore this area thoroughly. Note the door that takes a six number combination. The middle knife in the collection you find on the wall a few rooms away has the number 36 engraved on it. That seems significant. Take the Silver Mask from the exhibit next to the knife collection, and also the Silver Nail that the mask was hanging on. Now examine all the pictures. "Perfect Love" has the numbers 1 and 6 on it. "For Better or Worse" has 3 and 5. "Reminder" has 4 and 2. That seems like a pairing we can use. "Dark Wedding" has only a 4. Hmm. Go back to the combination door, and enter the following combination, which I deduced with a bit of trial and error: 4-2-3-6-1-5. The door opens... go to the bowl in the centre of the four statues, and pick up Half of a Silver Apple. If you saw the other half when you were in Mia's bedroom, Victoria says we need to go see Mia. She's being consoled by Richard over at the gallery.

Richard's Gallery
Talk to Mia to get her Apartment Key. Now go to her apartment.

Use the Apartment Key on the door to Mia's apartment. Go into her bedroom, and pick up the Other Half of the Silver Apple. Combine the two apple halves in inventory to obtain a Silver Apple. Examine the book on the bed again and get Mia's Note. Then return to the Red Lantern club.

Red Lantern
Reading Mia's Note reveals that there is an order in which the statues must be activated. So use the Silver Mask on the face of the third statue (from the left), followed by the Silver Apple in the snake's mouth on the second statue, then the Silver Rose on the mouth of the first statue, and finally the Silver Nail on the hand of the last statue. The floor opens to reveal a stairway, which Victoria descends.

Enter the room to the left and examine the mantle of the fireplace. Take the Key Tip and Puzzle Piece from the mantle. Also notice the keyhole just under the mantle. Now exit this room and go into the other room. Go around the bed, and examine the spot above the fireplace. Oh goody, a slider puzzle. This is what you have to get it to look like before inserting the final piece:

When you put the final piece in, the picture slides up to reveal a Key Handle. Combine the Key Tip with the Key Handle to obtain a Fireplace Key. Then go back to the other room and use it on the keyhole under the mantle. The fireplace rotates, giving Victoria access to the locked room. Go read the guestbook. Not only is Mark Ackerman's name there, but also Todd Browning's! And now we return to Gus in Prague...

Chapter 6, Gus - Police Station
In a fit of rage at what he's discovered, Gus beats up Skalnic after Ackerman has left. Go out of the station and you bump into Stasek. He says there's been another murder, and the body is at the Old Lavatory, but you can't get there because a bridge is out. Hmm. Go to the Shore.

Head under the bridge and use the rowboat. You arrive at at dock at the rear entrance of the Old Lavatory. The waterwheel trashes the boat and jams in the process. The door is locked, but you can climb up the jammed waterwheel. Note the manhole cover at the bottom of the pool there. It's covered in water so you can't get to it, but it looks like you could enter the sewers that way. Go around the pool and examine the body there. You obtain another ring. But then Skalnic starts shooting at Gus, who barely manages to escape into the building. Go down the ladder, examine the device in the corner, and look at the directions on the wall. It seems that if you can get exactly 4 litres of water into the cylinder, it will power the generator and drain the pool upstatirs. You could then make your escape through the sewers. This is how you do it:

  1. Use the tap on the pipe to fill the cylinder with 5 litres of water.
  2. Use the bucket to place it under the cylinder.
  3. Use the tap on the bottom of the cylinder to drain 3 litres of water into the bucket. Now there are 2 litres remaining in the cylinder.
  4. Use the drain to empty the bucket into the drain.
  5. Use the tap on the bottom of the cylinder to drain 2 litres of water into the bucket.
  6. Use the tap on the pipe to fill the cylinder with 5 litres of water.
  7. Use the tap on the bottom of the cylinder to drain 1 litre of water into the bucket. Now there are 4 litres remaining in the cylinder.
  8. Use the switch on the cylinder and the generator turns on, draining the pool.

Go back outside now, around the drained pool, and use the manhole cover at the bottom of the pool to enter the sewers. Oh goody, a maze! But it's a very easy one. You can see your first objective. Using the mouse on the compass points to move, go to the right, take the second left, and work your way up to your objective. Examine the door there, and we have a very complex locking mechanism. Hmm. It looks like we need a sixth ring to operate it. Go back the way you came, right to where you first entered the maze. Go up this time, make the first left, and work your way up towards the top left of the screen. Now go all the way to the top of the screen, over the top of your first objective, and take the second right after that. There is only one way you can go here, and it leads you to a body covered with flies, from which you can obtain the sixth ring. Now make your way all the way back to your first objective, and all six rings should be there when you examine the door. You not only have to figure out which ring goes where, but they need to be rotated to the correct position before they will snap into place. The toughest part is figuring out which ring goes where though, and I have sorted this out for you:

  1. The first (left-most) ring goes into the top middle slot.
  2. The second ring goes bottom left.
  3. The third ring goes top left.
  4. The fourth ring goes top right.
  5. The fifth ring goes bottom right.
  6. The sixth ring goes bottom middle.

Unfortunately, that's the easiest part of this puzzle. Now you have to get the three key pieces from the bottom of the slider puzzle up to the top. Firstly, you can back out of the puzzle after you have placed the rings and save your game. The solution for the slider puzzle given below is not necessarily the quickest way, but it will get you there if you can't figure this one out yourself. Note: the rows and columns referred to are the row and column positions of the *levers*, not the slider pieces:

  1. Move the right-most column up.
  2. Move the middle row to the left.
  3. Move the middle column up.
  4. Move the middle row to the right.
  5. Move the right-most column down.
  6. Move the top row to the right.
  7. Move the right-most column up (1st key piece now in position).
  8. Move the middle column down.
  9. Move the middle row to the left.
  10. Move the middle column up.
  11. Move the top row to the left.
  12. Move the middle column down.
  13. Move the top row to the right.
  14. Move the middle column up (2nd key piece now in position).
  15. Move the top row to the left.
  16. Move the middle row to the right.
  17. Move the left-most column up.
  18. Move the middle column down.
  19. Move the middle row to the right.
  20. Move the middle column up.
  21. Move the middle row to the left.
  22. Move the left-most column down.
  23. Move the top row to the left.
  24. Move the left-most column up (3rd key piece now in position).

Now operate the lever next to the key and it slides home, opening the door. Gus gets hit over the head by Ackerman, and is tied up. Ackerman makes him watch as he murders poor Ida. Then the scene transitions back to modern day Chicago, where Richard is giving Victoria and Mia a tour of Ackerman's paintings.

Chapter 7, Victoria - Richard's Gallery
When you regain control of Victoria, talk to Mia. You learn a bit more about the goings on at the Red Lantern, but are none the wiser concerning the case. Talk to Richard at his desk next, and you ask him if there's any printed material on Ackerman. He says there is a book of his paintings at the centre of the exhibition. Enter the narrow aisle between the first two paintings in the exhibit, head past the fountain, and examine the book on the pedestal. Eamining it once again in the close-up nets you A Book of Mark Ackerman's Paintings in the Document section of your inventory, but I don't think this furthers your cause much either, except for giving you a permanent record of all the painting titles. Go round to the back of the gallery and speak to Claire, who's still working on the body. All you learn here is that the killer is getting more creative with each murder and evisceration. Hmm. Let's go to The Office and see if we can make any headway there...

The Office
Bullseye. As soon as you enter the elevator, Victoria takes control. She goes to her office and is trying to access some secret files using Claire's terminal. Claire walks in and catches her at it, but she's not too angry. Instead, she drops a hint that Todd has the Level 4 clearance that Victoria needs, and suggests she tries the terminal in his office. There's a janitor in the office now, and you spot the office keys on his trolley, but you need to distract him somehow before you will be able to take them. Head out into the hall, and go to the coffee machine. Take a Paper Towel from the dispenser to the right, use it on the drain of the coffee machine, and hit the button to make a big mess. Then go talk to the janitor, and he will leave his trolley to attend to the coffee machine.

Take the Janitor's Keys from the trolley (and the Screwdriver while you're at it), and use the Janitor's Keys to open Todd's door. Take the Taser from the top of the filing cabinets to the left, and have a look at the safe on the wall to the right. Hmm. Needs a thumbprint to open it. Examine the desk, and take the Coffee Mug. Access the terminal, and it's password protected. You will need to go downstairs to view the files directly. Use the fingerprint lifting kit outside to obtain Todd's Fingerprints (after dusting the Coffee Mug, rotate it until you see the nice thumbprint over the name "Todd". Then lift this print). Go back into Todd's office and use this to open the safe. Take the Security Key, use it on the keyhole in the elevator, and descend to B3.

Have a look at the door to the right, which leads to the Bomb Squad room. Victoria comments that it's electronically locked, and that maybe if she jolts the lock's circuit it will open. Examine the panel to the right of the door. Use the Screwdriver to open it. Then use the Taser on the exposed circuit, and the door opens. Sit down at the terminal, and hit the red "Release" button. A bomb disposal robot drops down to the floor, and crawls over to the grating at the bottom of the wall, but then returns because its path is blocked. Examine the grating, and use the Screwdriver to open it. Now the robot can crawl through the air ducts into the locked room next door (use the left-hand directional arrow to send the robot through the duct).

Now you control the robot directly. Your first objective is the keypad on the wall to the right of the door. You can control the robot by clicking the mouse on the directional arrows, but it's actually easier to just use the arrow keys. The up arrow always moves the robot in the direction it's currently facing. When you crawl up the door and turn right to face the keypad, then move towards the panel, Victoria automatically zaps the keypad with the bot's built-in laser, and you can now enter this room... oops! The way to the door on the other side of the room where the archives are kept is blocked by high-powered lasers, and we need to find a way to make them visible so that we can navigate across the room without being zapped into oblivion. So... head up to level B1, exit the elevator, and grab the Fire Extinguisher from the column just outside the elevator. Use it on the laser room to make the lasers visible. Then go back to the control panel in the other room and release another bot.

Unfortunately, you cannot save in the middle of this puzzle after you have made any significant progress, but Steve will get you through it intact. The important thing is not to panic. Now... position the bot as shown below, and just after the two beams cross, use the up arrow twice to move 2 tiles forward.

You wind up as shown below. Then turn left and follow the numbers over to the wall...

...and climb up the first tile (number 3 in the previous image) as shown below:

Now wait till the laser just leaves the square right above you, and go: up, right, up (now you can relax), left, up, right. You wind up as shown below, facing to the right:

OK, getting there. This next bit is the toughest, and you have to memorise the set of moves. You need to get to safe square number 5 in the above picture. To do this, wait till the laser is in the square right in front of you, moving away from you (in other words, it's just about to start moving back down the wall again), and then execute the following (but don't panic!):

Up, left (then wait for the other laser to enter the square above you), up, up, right, up, left, up. Whew! Then make your way leisurely over to the other side of the room, and position the bot on the ceiling square shown in the picture below, facing the numbers. Mentally prepare yourself for the last bit:

Wait for the laser to enter the square in front of you. The instant it starts moving back down the wall, keep your finger on the up key to reach the control panel (square number 4 in the picture above). Victoria then automatically zaps the control panel with the bot's built-in laser, and you have disabled the laser field!

Head into the archive room then, and access the terminal. There were lots of files on Ackerman alright, but they were all erased on the same day in 1932... except for a single file which was checked out by your grandfather Gus! Browning storms in then, and suspends Victoria, who quits in disgust. Browning wants to take it further, but Victoria threatens to go public with the list of names she discovered at the Red Lantern. Back to Pat's House then, and let's see if we can find that file your grandfather stole...

Pat's House
Go upstairs to the study, and examine the picture on the wall. Turning it around, Victoria notices a bulge in the back, but you need something sharp to cut it open with. Go back downstairs and head into the doorway just before you get to the kitchen. Pat has been working there, and left his toolbox behind. Use the (very bottom of) the toolbox to obtain an Exacto Knife. Then go back up to the study and use it to open the back of the painting. Wow. Gus had a copy of Ackerman's full confession, signed by Ambassador Ackerman. And Mark Ackerman was committed to an institution, being obviously insane. But then in 1956, a set of similar prostitute murders happened in Los Angeles. Ambassador Ackerman was now Governor of California, and Mark was still locked away. So who could the killer be? Can it possibly the same person who is carrying out the murders in Chicago? As Victoria goes to leave the study, she receives a call from Claire. Uh oh. Vaclav Kolar has reported screams coming from Mia's apartment. She should have stayed at the gallery! So head for the Campus then, and go to Mia's apartment.

Victoria surprises the killer in the middle of his attack on Mia, but he jabs her full of Rohypnol and things become a bit fuzzy. She manages to fend him off, but then she passes out. The killer racks up another victim in Vaclav, who comes to check up on the commotion, and takes Mia away. Now we have to figure out where he has taken Mia. Over to Richard's Gallery then to look for clues in Ackerman's paintings.

Richard's Gallery
Access the computer at Richard's desk, and you can see that you will be able to use it to search the web for keywords, but first we need some keywords! Examine each painting carefully now. Sometimes you get a keyword just by looking at the painting. Other paintings need to be examined more carefully, clicking on each area that exhibits a magnifying glass. Here is what you will find:

"Abandoned" - SEWERS
"Mindless" - LOS ANGELES
"Doctor Hyde" - DOCTOR
"Moonshine Traffic" - CHICAGO and HARBOR
"Cleansing of a Soul" - examine the area behind Apolina's cloak: WATER MILL
"Bridge Over Troubled Water" - examine the bridge: BRIDGE
"Streets of Prague" - PRAGUE

Now go back to Richard's computer, and the keywords you found will be displayed on the right. The number of entries found for each keyword combination don't really help you to narrow down the search a whole lot. For instance, CHIGAGO + PRAGUE + WATER MILL gets you down to just 3 results, but that still doesn't do you any good. Anyway, after a trying time of it, you finally get lucky with the following combination:


Bingo. There's a Tominova Bridge in Chicago that's got something in common with the Charles' Bridge in Prague. So get into the 4 x 4 and head there. I won't ruin the ending for you. And make sure to watch the credits all the way to the end. At least you get a little bit of closure then...

Read the Quandary Still Life review.

Copyright © Steve Metzler 2005. All rights reserved.