First up in my quest to play all of the video games in my backlog is the classic PC game The 7th Guest.
Game Started: 1/13/2016
Game Completed: 5/14/2016
Total Play Time: 21:42
The 7th Guest is a classic point and click mystery/horror/puzzle game, featuring full motion video, which was fairly advanced at the time the game was released. The 7th Guest is considered one of the games that launched the “point and click” genre of computer games.
The game opens with some backstory involving a man who makes toys, based on visions that he has, that become must haves for children everywhere. The toys are a big hit, but the children who possess them start dying due to a mysterious virus and the toy maker builds a scary mansion on a hill to which he invites six mysterious guests.
The game proper begins with the six guests arriving at the mansion and I awake confused about where I am and why I am there. I begin exploring the mansion, discovering mysterious scenes which allude to a 7th guest. After exploring the dining room and witnessing another scene I find and solve the game’s first puzzle, which involves removing pieces of cake in a particular order to unlock another scene and advance the story.
Moving back into the main room, I return to the stained glass door and discover another puzzle. This one involves moving spiders around the stained glass star shapes in a particular order. The puzzle is a bit confusing at first, but after a few wrong moves, the solution becomes evident and I solve it pretty easily. My reward is another scene of things apparently going horribly wrong for the other guests at the mansion.
The next puzzle on the first floor involves a planet with a group of letters connected by paths. To solve the puzzle, I have to connect the letters into a meaningful phrase, which ends up being pretty easy to do. My reward is once again, another scene about the fate of the six guests in the mansion. This one reveals that none of them were ever seen again, but that the crazy toy maker is still lurking. After solving the puzzle, I head upstairs, where I am treated to another ghostly vision. A woman in white beckons me down a hallway and a redheaded woman and an older man head for the bedroom.
My next stop is a bedroom on the second floor, where I find and solve another fairly simple word puzzle and am rewarded with a scene of a chubby redhead and an older man plotting. The redhead wants the man to work with her to solve the toymakers puzzles before the other guests and appears to be trying to persuade him with a bit of hanky panky.
Across the hallway, I find another bedroom with another puzzle. Upon entering the bedroom, I witness another ghostly scene, having something to do with a carpet maze and am confronted with a puzzle that involves moving chess pieces across a board. This puzzle proved to be a bit frustrating, but after a few attempts, I’m finally able to get the sequence right and complete the puzzle. My only apparent reward is the dismay of the narrator.
After finishing the chess puzzle, I head back to the opposite side of the second floor and into another bedroom, where I see a scene involving an older woman who wishes to be young. It appears her wish has been granted, but much to her dismay, rather than being transformed into a young woman, she is transformed into an infant crawling on the floor.
There are no puzzles in that bedroom, so I head to the bedroom at the end of the hall, where I see a scene involving a magician, who is wishing to be granted real magic. This room contains another chess related puzzle, in which I must place 8 queens on a chess board, in such a position that none of them could capture the other in a single move. Once I take a methodical approach to the puzzle, I easily complete it and my reward is a scene in which the magician declares, “they want the boy!” and then a young boy, who the magician names, “the 7th Guest,” appears and then runs out of the room.
When I exit the bedroom, the ghostly woman beckons me to return to the bedroom where I completed the previous chess puzzle. This puzzle proves to be inaccessable (turns out it was actually related to a puzzle to come, but I never picked up on that) so I head back downstairs, where I find an entrance to the kitchen I previously passed over.
After viewing another scene, involving a guest dressed in red receiving instructions about searching the house for clues to solve a puzzle, I am presented with another word puzzle, involving re-arranging the letters on a group of cans to form a sentence. The only available vowel is the letter ‘Y’, which makes coming up with the correct words a bit of a hassle, particularly since the sentence doesn’t make much sense, but I’m eventually able to get it. I exit through a second door in this room, which leads to another puzzle involving grates.
The grate puzzle is a fairly easy slide puzzle that leads into a maze. After a bit of fumbling around, I make it through the maze and find myself in a crypt with another puzzle that involves opening and closing a group of coffins in the correct order. After some trial and error, I hit on the solution for the crypt puzzle and am treated to a scene of someone trying to drag the boy, previously identified as “the 7th Guest” away. The magician appears to save the boy and then I am returned to the kitchen.
After viewing another scene in the library, in which all of the guests are discussing the toymaker’s deadly games, I return to the second floor and see another scene, involving the magician and the woman who I previously viewed in the kitchen scene. I re-enter her bedroom and exit through a previously locked door in the rear of the bedroom, which leads to a bathroom with another chess related puzzle. This one involves knights.
The Knight puzzle works pretty much like the previous Bishop puzzle in that I have to move the white pieces to the black side of the board and vice versa. After some trial and error I am able to solve the puzzle and my reward is a scene that involves a red headed woman in a bathtub. At the end of the scene she dips below the water and I hear a blood curdling scream.
I exit the bathroom and proceed to the room at the end of the hallway to the right. I am greeted with a scene of some creepy dolls and another puzzle. This one looks like some kind of slide puzzle, but turns out to involve flipping the various pieces around until they display the correct picture.
After some trial and error, I hit on the correct order to manipulate the tiles and am awarded with another scene. This one features the magician and the woman in pink coming to the horrifying realization that the creepy dolls in the room are the souls stolen from children who died after playing with the toy maker’s toys. The pair decide that the toy maker needed to collect a certain number of children for whatever his nefarious plot is and that the 7th guest is the final child the toymaker needs. The pair resolve to locate the 7th guest before the other guests in the mansion can get to him.
I then head back down the hallway and into another bedroom, where I find some kind of coin puzzle. This puzzle has two parts that involve flipping a series of coins over in the correct order. The first half of the puzzle is very simple, but the second half is a bit more complex, however after figuring out exactly how the movement around the board works, I am able to solve the puzzle without too much effort. My reward is a scene involving a man opening a case of money. He is at first thrilled with his discovery, but then something goes terribly wrong. After that scene, I see the same man entering a secret room and I follow him into a room that looks a bit like a church and discover a puzzle that appears to involve finding the proper path across some floor tiles.
After some trial and error, I manage to activate the tiles in the correct order to solve the puzzle and my reward is a scene involving the toy maker, the magician and the sacrifice of a young child. The toy maker appears to be demanding the magician make the sacrifice, but the ultimate fate of the child is left up in the air as the scene fades away. I then proceed through a door at the back of the chapel and discover another puzzle in a microscope.
This puzzle involves moving colored dots around a board in such a way as to end up with more blue dots than green dots when the board is full. I don’t know if this puzzle is actually hard or if I’m just not good at it, but it took a lot more trial and error for me to finally get this one right than any of the other puzzles so far. There is no cut scene at the end of this one, but it did unlock a previously locked door down on the first floor, where I discovered another puzzle involving a piano.
The piano puzzle involves repeating the correct sequence of notes played on the piano. The most maddening thing about this puzzle is that every time you make a mistake, you have to start the whole sequence over again, but eventually I manage not to make any stupid mistakes and complete the tune. My reward is a scene involving three of the guests, plus the boy in white. The guests are fighting over the boy and the scene ends with one of the guests stabbing another, while the boy runs away.
I leave the room and discover a new set of chattering teeth at the foot of the staircase. Clicking the teeth takes me through a portal on the floor and into a room filled with creepy paintings, where I discover another puzzle. This puzzle involves clicking on colored sections of the painting of Stauf in the correct order to restore the painting to its original image. The puzzle is very similar to the crypt puzzle, except the sections have three different states, instead of two. This one takes me a number of different attempts, but I finally manage to hit on the correct order and get the puzzle solved. My reward is a weird scene involving the painting writhing around.
I exit the room through the piano painting, which takes me back to the music room and from there, I make my way back to one of the upstairs bedrooms, where I find a puzzle involving cards. This puzzle seems pretty straight forward at first, but I quickly figure out that there must be some kind of trick to it. After some trial and error, I discover the trick to completing the puzzle and finish it pretty easily. I am rewarded with another scene of the house guests behaving badly. I then head back to the toy room and pass through a door in the doll house to find a puzzle involving blocks.
The block puzzle involves arranging the blocks to form three words. I tried to make it more complicated than it was at first, but eventually I managed to hit on the right combination and was rewarded with a scene involving a man and a screaming child.
I head back into the hallway and approach a previously inaccessible door that has a puzzle involving knives. The puzzle is very similar to those peg games they have at the Cracker Barrel, or if you’re like me, you were forced to make in shop class. The puzzle is one of the easier ones and I solve it after a couple of attempts.
Solving the knife puzzle allows me to enter the room and I find a puzzle involving a toy house and window lights. I have no idea what the pattern was supposed to be, but it was pretty easy, if a bit annoying, to solve the puzzle by just clicking windows until I find the ones that work, since there are only a few options. Pretty anti-climatic for the final puzzle.
After getting past the house light puzzle, I see a scene of a woman in red grabbing the boy in white and dragging him into another room. I head in the direction of the other room and stop at a mirror along the way. I come to the realization that I am the boy in white a.k.a. “The 7th Guest” and I have been repeating the same actions over and over in an attempt to save myself from Stauff.
I enter the room where I saw the woman take the boy and see a scene of Stauf puking some green stuff that the woman in red sinks into and disappears (really). I then tell the boy to run, but Stauf grabs him with his tongue (I’m not making this up). I’m not sure exactly what happens, but somehow, I have finally broken the chain of events and released the boy from Stauf’s (who turns into a tongue wrapped skeleton) clutches. The credits roll.
I have to say the storyline of this game was more bizarre than interesting to me. Some of the puzzles were fun. Some were just annoying. The graphics are definitely dated by today’s standards, but I suppose they were pretty cutting edge for 1992. If you really like puzzle games, The 7th Guest is probably worth a play, but don’t expect a whole lot of story along the way.