Developed by Wadjet Eye Games
Created by Dave Gilbert
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android
Game genre: point-and-click adventure
Theme genre: supernatural, ghosts, and the afterlife
UNMARKED SPOILERS, random commentary, observations, and ACHIEVEMENT HUNTER guide below:
A few important notes before we jump right in:
(1) Just like with the previous game, [The Blackwell Legacy], one of the achievements you can earn in this game involves listening to Dave Gilbert flap his gums from the Start Menu to the very last line of the credits: [Commentary Mode]. It’s not as frequent or as wordy as the double-commentary aural assault of the previous game, but for your first playthrough (if you want to enjoy the story), leave it off.
(2) There are two tricky achievements that require some serious planning and an understanding of a quirk of the character it involves: the main character, [Lauren Blackwell] herself. When Lauren is left to her own devices for too long, she’ll get bored and light up a cigarette. After a few puffs, she’ll put it out and light another one up. The two achievements involving this behavior are complete opposites: [Trying to Cut Down] and [Chain Smoker]. [Trying to Cut Down] involves smoking fewer than 20 cigarettes during the course of an entire playthrough, and [Chain Smoker] involves smoking more than 100. You’d think this means that you’d have to do 2 playthroughs for these achievements alone, but there’s a simple way to accomplish both in the same run. You should focus on smoking as few cigarettes as possible, so start off with [Trying to Cut Down]: (a) use Joey as infrequently as possible (and when you DO need to use him, make it quick), and (b) keep Lauren busy (idle hands are the Devil’s playthings, and leaving her to stand there with nothing to do will lead her to light up before too long). There are times when she’ll automatically light up a cigarette, and unfortunately, these count towards the total, so be mindful of that. You don’t have to worry about [Chain Smoker] until the end of this walkthrough, so relax and I’ll let you know what to do when we get there.
Now, let’s begin…
Ah, we just started and we already have a lover’s spat. When you gain control, switch to [Joey] (if you turned off the option to see the controls, hit the Tab button or float at the top of the screen and click on the letters representing each character’s name). Immediately move him to the left side of the screen and click on [Lauren]. Chit-chat for a bit, answering as you like, then switch back to [Lauren]. Inspect the [Case List] in the inventory, checking each entry. Put it away, then pick up the [Camera] and [Dictaphone]. Click on the phonebook on the coffee table and look up [Russell Stone], then click on the phone and call him. Well, that was a waste of time, but at least you got the achievement [Shivah Call]. Interact with the [Dictaphone] in your inventory and listen to all of the recordings at least once to get [Dreamcatcher] (most, if not all, of these are references to other games; I haven’t played them all, so I can’t say for sure). Leave the apartment.
Head for [Roosevelt Island Promenade]. Using the [Camera], snap 2 photos: one of [Joey] and one of the [Ghost]; you’re now halfway done with [Shutterbug]. Switch to Joey and click on the [Ghost]. Say anything; it doesn’t really matter. On the next prompt, [Leave him be]. Click on his [Saxophone] and [Ask some questions]. Joey sounds funny when he’s in pain, but if you want the achievement [Take it on the Chin], this needs to be the only time Joey gets whacked. Leave and head home. Once there, switch to Lauren and have her look up [Johnny Ivory’s], then head over there.
There’s a lot you can do before you actually have to talk to the pianist. First, take the [Case List] from your inventory and use it on the table in the foreground (the one with the chair next to it; if this doesn’t work, use it on the table to its right). This will earn you the [Floating Head] achievement… Let’s pretend that didn’t happen and move on. Inspect the photo behind the piano player’s head, and be sure to check all three people in the photo and the plaque beneath it. Use your [Camera] and snap a quick pic of the photo you were just looking at. Remember to take a picture of the pianist, too, and you’re 3/4 of the way to completing [Shutterbug]. Switch to Joey and inspect the pianist… Someone sounds a little jealous. Switch back to Lauren and it’s finally time to interrogate the pianist. Answer anything to move onto the questions. [C] is one smooth operator, and Joey’s not trying very hard to hide his disdain for him. It’s kind of sweet, actually. Anyway, [Ask about photograph] twice, then everything else once. Leave and head home.
You’re free to answer the phone, but it’s not relevant to the plot. If you played [The Blackwell Legacy], you already know who’s calling, so ignoring it is kind of canon (I guess?). Look up [Jambalaya Records] in the phonebook, then head on over there. Once there, enter the office and use your [Camera] to take a photo of [Dwayne], earning yourself the achievement [Shutterbug]. While we’re on the subject of photos, enter the options menu, click on [Photo Album], then click on the first photo (Joey’s; does this count as supernatural photography? Can normal people even see him?). Type in [realugly] and you should hear cheering if you did it correctly. You’ve just earned the [Laugh it up] achievement, so why not celebrate by clicking on Joey’s photo and listening to some hilarious bloopers?
Back to the task at hand: speak to [Dwayne]. Ask about the [Ghost on Promenade]. Show him the picture you took of the photo behind C’s head, then ask about the [C Sharps]. Exit the conversation and enter your notes. Combine [C Sharps] with [Cecil Sharpe] to make [C Sharps and Cecil Sharpe]. Ask Dwayne about it, then head back to [Johnny Ivory’s]. Ask C about [C Sharps and Cecil Sharpe]. Ask about the ghost, the [New Yorker reporter] and [Isaac Brown]. Head home. Look up [New Yorker] and give them a call. Leave and head on over to [The New Yorker].
Oh, for f**k’s sake, Gilbert; you didn’t have an uncle you could hire or something? Sheesh… Moving on. Get right to the point and tell him you’re an investigator (technically, it’s not a lie). [Ask about his work] then ask about [Isaac Brown] four times. Ask about [Isaac Brown’s sister] and [Ask to see his article about Isaac]. Joey voices his bias against the media, but only you can hear him, so [Voice Joey’s concern] and [Question his motives]. [Conclude your interview] and head back to [Johnny Ivory’s].
Speak to Cecil. Is it cold in here, or is it just me? Ask about [Isaac Brown’s sister]. Whoops. Made him mad. Answer anything and get told, in no unclear terms, to f**k off. Switch over to Joey, have him inspect Cecil… and realize that Joey’s probably speaking from experience. Aw… Switch back to Lauren and [Talk about love]. [Press the point]. Ask about [Isaac Brown’s sister] three times, [Isaac Brown] four times, then [Say Goodbye]. Speak to Cecil again and [Ask about duet] twice. After the second time, use the [Dictaphone] on the piano to record the song. Make sure you did everything you needed to do here, because once you leave, this location will disappear from the travel map. All done? Then, leave and head back to [Roosevelt Island Promenade].
Hey, there’s someone alive here… Uh… Ooooookaaaaaay. Answer anything; she’s too crazy to care… Well, that was a thing. Once again, once you’re done here, you can’t come back, so if you never took Isaac’s photo, do so now. Go to your inventory, click on the [Dictaphone] then use it on [Isaac Brown]. Be honest and tell him [No], and help him move on. If you only spoke to him once with Joey, you should’ve only gotten hit once, so you should now earn the achievement [Take it on the chin]. Back in the world of the living, the creepy old lady is back… and chatting with Joey? That’s… not normal. In the next scene, you’re back home after failing to catch her. Spry my butt, Lauren. Joey’s right: you smoke like a chimney. Switch to Joey and quickly click on Lauren. After some chit-chat, switch back to Lauren before she can light up another cancer stick and head to the location you keep passing but never visiting: [53rd and Lex].
You need to get this area done quickly and efficiently because this is the primary location where a good chunk of the final smoking total will come from (consider saving here with a special title). When you get here, click on Joey, then click on the [Gate]. Click the [Ghost], give a [Pleasant greeting], then click anything else until the option to [Humor her] presents itself. [Give up] and click on the [Gate]. [Chat with Lauren] and [Ask for help]. Click on any of the silly ones, and she’ll only do the first one before getting annoyed with you for messing with her. Talk to her again, [Ask for help again], and choose [Knock on the gate door].
Speaking to the ghost, [Greet nicely], [Introduce yourself], [Ask her name], [Question her further], and choose any other dialogue option. Head inside the [Trailer door]. Inspect the [Letter] and check each of its elements: the [Date], [First Paragraph], [Second Paragraph], and [Signature]. Inspect the [Sign], then leave the construction site completely. Switch back to Lauren and head home. Looking up Seagram Realty is a waste of time since they’re based out-of-town (feel free to check), so look up the writer of the letter you found in the office, [Harriet Sherman]. Call her and claim you’re from Seagram. She’ll talk to you, but not without a bribe, so raid your [Rainy day jar] by the front door on your way out (Lauren, you’d have more in there is you’d actually quit smoking…). Head over to [Harriet Sherman’s].
Pay her off and ask her a few things: [Ask about Harriet] once, [The Countess] once, the [Ghost at construction site] four times, [Mavis Wilcox] six times, then [Ask about Mavis’s things]. Leave and go home. Once there, inspect the envelope in your inventory. Check [Mavis’s Letter] and [Mavis’s Photo]. Well, well, well. What do we have here? Seems like we’re due for another trip to [The New Yorker].
Up yours, Gilbert!… Ask about [Mavis Wilcox] four times, then [Ask to see his article about Mavis]… Huh… Beginning to see a pattern here… Back to [53rd and Lex]. Engage Mavis, try to talk to her, then lie through your teeth and claim to be her son, [Sam]. [Ask about Dad], [John Durkin]. Head home. Switch to Lauren, go to your notes and combine [Sam] with [John Durkin] to create [Sam Durkin]. If you were paying attention to [Mavis’s Photo], you’d realize 2 things: the boy in the photo was Sam and the sweatshirt he’s wearing is for [Columbia University], so look it up in the phonebook. [Call Columbia University] and ask for [Sam Durkin]. Say you’re an investigator (still not a lie), and the clearly cynical and jaded Sam will ask you the number of the apartment his mother spent the majority of his childhood hidden away in. After answering [3D], ask everything, leave and visit [The New Yorker] again.
Hear that? It’s the sound of me giving you the finger, Gilbert. With BOTH hands!
Sit down and [Ask about present]. “Alice in Wonderland”? It’s fine, I guess. I mean, why would a middle-aged single mother divorcee recluse want a book about a precocious girl with a narrow view of the world finding herself in a new, strange environment…? Whatever. Back to [53rd and Lex]. Ask about [Sam’s present], [The book]. Gasp! Mother, how COULD you?! [Question her mothering ability], then lure her [out in the hallway]. Out on the street, reality smacks her hard in the face. The truth train keeps on rolling though, as she realizes right before the end that it was a sad life and a sad end and she was a sad lady who won’t be remembered fondly. Sad. Back in reality, the creepy Countess reappears and you lose her. Again. (Sure, Lauren. It was that lamppost’s fault COMPLETELY).
You know the drill: switch to Joey then quickly talk to Lauren. Ask anything, then suggest [Joseph Mitchell] is the common denominator. The correct answer for the next question is [Free spirits], but sassing Joey with [Deal with Joey] seems so Lauren-esque, it would be a waste to not say it. Let’s go see Mitchell for the last time. Thankfully (Gilbert…).
Discuss the connections. [Ask about his writing], or rather, his lack thereof, and [Talk about blank paper] before you [Call his bluff]. [Offer words of encouragement], choose anything, then [Martyr yourself]. Go home and [SAVE YOUR GAME] (also pray that Lauren’s puffed fewer than 18 cigs). Switch to Joey and go give Lauren a piece of your mind. Talk about everything. Really, Lauren, how could you make such a rash decision without consulting your husband (seriously, if you weren’t sure of whether or not he loved her, it’s clear now, right?)? When there’s a knock at the door, switch to Lauren and answer it. Ask anything, then [Offer to help her, instead]. During the struggle, Joey has to face the fact that he’s helpless, and you need to fight off an incredibly strong old woman. Get her off of you by clicking on the [Lit cigarette] in your inventory and using it on [The Countess]. After you pass out, Joey does the only thing he can do: talks and offers a much-appreciated distraction.
As Joey, take one step back before clicking on the Countess to call to her. Only take a single step, keeping just out of her reach; if you go too far or she catches up, she’ll walk back to Lauren’s unconscious form and you’ll have to start all over again. Keep doing this until you automatically switch back to Lauren. Once you’re back in control, click on the Countess and end the confrontation. Take in everything as the game ends: Joey’s promise to stay by Lauren’s side, her taking her first steps to reconnect with her brother (GILBERT!!), the credits that are slightly lengthier than the credits for the previous game… and your final score for cigarettes smoked and times whacked by Isaac. If you have less than 20 cigarettes, congrats: you just earned [Trying to Cut Down], as well as [Medium Well Done] for completing the game, and [Commentary Mode] if you went ahead and did that, too. Accomplishing the final achievement [Chain Smoker] is a walk in the park compared to [Trying to Cut Down]: simply go back to your final save, switch to Joey, leave the game running, and go do something else for an hour or so. Take a nap, catch up on some reading, whatever. It’s your life. You just need to kill time. Come back, save again and, since your last save is right before the final confrontation, simply finish the game one more time and check to see if you have the number you need. If you’re off, load from the new save spot, kill more time, then end the game to earn [Chain Smoker].