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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 5384
Location: Burlington, VT
Happy New Year and welcome to the endgame! It's got a big reputation... OK, no more Taylor Swift jokes. Here we go:

I can say up front that, unlike the last couple of parts, this is linear, but like them, still offers copious opportunities to kill yourself.

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In particular, don't go to sleep at the wrong time.


May not be strictly necessary, but to orient yourself:

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Check the time. It's eighteen years ago... which is 2000, sheesh.


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Look around. One wall is green and one yellow, which may wind up being symbolically important for the ending (remember the green and yellow notes, the traffic light, etc.), but I didn't actually do that ending the first time. I'm probably just going to walk through one ending.


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Your only remaining inventory item is a ball bearing. (It may have been possible to lose this in the previous section--not sure if that would make the game unwinnable.)


Some necessary preliminaries:

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Search the bin. You get the keyboard back.


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Now you can use the PC.


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Enter a password. What have you encountered that might help you figure out a password?


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You have to unscramble the six pairs of letters you encountered. Mine was....


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SUPERNATURAL, but I think there are alternatives. (Or maybe not. In one playthrough I seemed to be on my way to UNACCEPTABLE, but I had also made that playthrough unwinnable by failing to take the watch at the beginning, so maybe the game was trying to tell me that.


Having got into the system:

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Enter a command. You can choose "play game" once, I think--if you do it twice you're doomed--but only Explore directory will actually let you progress.


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Read DIARY.TXT. It's different from before. There's something odd about it, and about the old one, which will become important soon. To be clear, I'm not referring to (the next spoiler doesn't really have to do with gameplay)...


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...the reference to a fidget spinner, which was not a thing in 2000; it's true that Catherine Hettinger had patented a finger-spinning toy before then, but it's clearly not the kind that you have in this game, and I don't think it was called a fidget spinner at the time. Anyway!


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Now all the other options you have... are the same things that would get you killed before.


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"Explore directory" again.


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Weird!


Weird goings-on... again:

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Try again. Examine the screen. Where have you seen something like that before?


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If you don't remember, and don't want to go back through all the walkthrough above, it was north of the wood (the "further north" section).


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The game is reminding you of the message from the tombstone.


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Press any key. You get a prompt for which letter to press. This is hinted by the tombstone message.


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The tombstone message has a boldface "I."


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Press "I."


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Now it says "How many times?"... and you have the same keys to press.


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This is connected to the diary entry. Did you figure out the weird thing about it?


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The word "I" is bolded when it appears. How many times?


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Ten. But how to communicate that to the computer?


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How can you say "Ten" in one letter?


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Use Roman numerals.


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Press "X."


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The game now explains to you the riddle you have just solved... which is pretty courteous, in case you got one or both of the letters by brute force.


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The PC shuts down. At this point, I think "despair" kills you. Press any key.


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OK, now you have to go to sleep.


After interacting with... that thing you were interacting with.

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Bedtime routine!


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I'm not sure exactly what kills you, but I tried a pretty normal bedtime routine.


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Sleep in your bed.


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Hug the bear. What kind of person would choose "Throw the bear away," really?


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Now come a bunch of dream scenes. You have to wake up at the right time....


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...which is the time that relates to the reality of the situation underlying the game.


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When you're in the hospital bed and someone has brought you a non-functional fidget spinner, that's when you choose "Wake up."


The next day

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Something mysterious has happened! Check the bear.


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Further probe the bear. The button doesn't even wind up in your inventory.


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Toss the bear in the bin, poor thing.


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Choose "recover the bear..."


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and focus on the clock. (You may get an ending if you focus on the bear... I haven't tried it. UPDATE: Nope, insta-death.)


A choice!

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You can pick one of three colored cogs. I guess these give you different endings. I chose red.


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Spin the red cog. It doesn't work! Oh, and get back to the game and away from this walkthrough page right now, because a timed event is coming up.


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You have three seconds to pick "fix the spinner."


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This is the definitive proof that this isn't Catherine Hettinger's prototype finger spinner toy, because that wasn't the kind that'd have a ball bearing.


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And now it's just "continue" until you get to the end.


THE END


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