Black Mirror II

Black Mirror II

This Guide will help you and Darren Michaels find your way through the game

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A Game Guide
by Peter Olafson


Version: This is version 1.0. It’s based on the UK edition of the game played in “Normal” mode.

Contact: Lingering questions? Mistakes? Something unclear? You can write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Copyright: This document is copyright 2010-12 by Peter Olafson. You may not post it, distribute it, edit it, excerpt it (except for "fair use" purposes in news coverage), sell it or publish it in any fashion without my prior written consent. At this time, the only site with permission to post the guide is JustAdventure.com.

Introduction

The fire in the old wing of Black Mirror castle was a regular reference point in the early chapters of the original The Black Mirror. However, that game was weirdly vague about its source -- we learned only that protagonist Samuel Gordon blamed himself for the death in the blaze of a certain “Cathrin” -- and even about Samuel’s relationship to the dead lady. 

This introduction, set in 1969, clarifies those two issues and suggests why Samuel vanished from Black Mirror after the fire. Even 12 years before the events in the original The Black Mirror, when Samuel fell victim to the Gordon curse and killed five people, things were going badly wrong with him. We see Samuel running wildly through the woods in the rain -- as if pursued.

Where has he been and what has he seen? We don’t know. But he is plainly in a state -- inarticulate and aggressive -- when he turns up in the old wing of the castle and, when confronted there by wife Cathrin, we learn his disappearances are a nightly event. 

Samuel pushes Cathrin roughly against the table and, in so doing, dislodges the lighted lantern. It falls to the floor and sets fire to the carpet. The room is soon in flames -- and we next see Cathrin apparently trapped and Samuel outside bemoaning what he's done.

Chapter I

The Photo Shop

Twenty-four years later, we find a Darren Michaels in the cellar of a photo shop in Biddeford, Me. The power’s out and Darren’s boss Fuller has ordered his summer assistant to replace a fuse.

Left-click on on the “crammed shelf” to the left of the photo screen to identify a box of fuses, again on the box itself to take it and right-click on the box in inventory to extract the single fuse. Open the fuse box to the left of the shelf, remove the cover of the second fuse from the left, remove the burned-out fuse, drag the new one into its place and throw the little switch at the bottom right to turn on the power again.

Odds & ends: After you’ve restored the power, drag your camera onto the fuse box to take a picture of it.

When used on 31 locations spread across the game, the camera unlocks 26 pictures -- a 27th is unlocked automatically when the game is complete -- and five mini-games in the “Extras” menus. (The six end-of-chapter videos -- five dream sequences and the game’s final cut scene -- are unlocked simply by playing through each of the chapters.) 

For instance, this particular shot unlocks picture #23 -- an artist’s rendering of the photo-shop cellar.

- The other item in your inventory -- a postcard of the town of Biddeford -- allows Darren to travel instantly between previously-visited locations in those portions of the game when he is free to move about the town. Usually, this is summoned with a right-click, but you can’t use it just yet -- Darren hasn’t visited any other locations -- and he’s currently locked into performing tasks in and around the store.

- You can have some fun here by taking your sweet time with the fuse. Until you replace it, Fuller will periodically open the cellar door and call down different insulting orders.

- You can take the bottle of developer fluid. It’s on a shelf behind the palette. (Double-click on the palette to tip it over.) You’ll use this later in the chapter to develop some pictures.

- You’ll note that, even after you’ve elicited a full description, the photo backdrop and the ropes at the upper left never lose their interactivity -- a signal you’ll be using them in Chapter II. (This can have other meanings as well. Some such locations change their state or acquire additional interactivity farther along in the story.)

The Front Room

Climb the stairs. Fuller, who appears to be on leave from the Twilight Zone episode “The Masks,” now orders Darren to place the shop’s sign out on the sidewalk. Simply left-click twice on the sign to do so automatically.

Odds & ends: Or don’t. Darren can venture into the darkroom (the near-left exit), the rear office (the middle exit) or return to the cellar. At the first two locations, you’ll have time to grab a couple of items -- in the former, the pen in the mug to the right of the office phone; in the latter, the distilled water at your feet -- before Fuller summons Darren back to the task at hand. (Otherwise, you won’t be able to visit these locations until Darren lures Fuller from the store later in the chapter.)

- On the Lingering Interactivity Front, note that the camera on the tripod to the left of the corner remains red under the cursor even after you elicit a full description. This just means it’s going to change its state later in the chapter.

- Also click on the TV set and talk to Fuller about the store to get a sense of his small-time trade, and click on the spotlight to learn about his high-powered gear. Interesting disparity there. You’ll soon get a hint about the source of Fuller’s money.

The Street

Outside the store, you’ll meet Angelina.

Are we sure it’s not still 1969?

Little Miss Swinging London wants her photo taken. Darren automatically ushers her inside, where Fuller automatically takes over the shoot and dispatches Darren on a pair of errands: delivering a letter to Mrs. Biba at the diner and collecting a parcel from the post office.

These new tasks are not inter-dependent and so can be performed in either order. We’ll do the delivery first simply because it gets you into the swing of things a bit faster.

(And while you’re out here, take a picture of the door to the junk shop just up the street. This unlocks picture #2.)

Odds & ends: After the encounters with Fuller and Angelina, you can ask about each of them around town -- Angelina in only a limited way (via Rosie at the post office by the water).

In particular, talk to Eddie, who runs the junk store next door. He can’t stand Fuller and is sure he’s hiding something. (Then again, Eddie also has little tolerance for Darren at this stage of the game.)

Town Square

From the photo shop, head downscreen to the town square. This scrolling screen is a hub that includes exits to Town Hall (which you can’t enter until Chapter II), a hospital over at the left (which comes into play later in this chapter), an exit to Darren’s mother’s little house (ditto; it’s the street between Town Hall and the hospital) and Biba’s Diner over at the right. 

Odds & ends: Named for Bideford ((editor: this is the correct spelling)) in Devon, England, Biddeford, ME is an actual place -- it’s on the Saco River southeast of Portland -- and it appears that at least one real-world location is used as the basis for in-game ones. Here’s Biddeford’s City Hall:

And here is the Town Hall in the game (in rainy Chapter II):

 

 

Biba’s Diner

Mrs. Biba  (“CLAIRE!” to her husband in the kitchen) is the perpetually-busy and rather bruised-looking lady behind the counter. A man who appears to be wearing mascara (we’ll call him “Mr. Mascara” for the time being) is speaking to her when Darren enters -- lots of folks asking about the photo shop today! -- and bumps by Darren belligerently, perhaps even deliberately, on his way out. 

Talk to Mrs. Biba.  She takes delivery of Fuller’s letter out of sight of her husband and is righteously pissed off by its (as-yet unknown) contents, for she orders Darren out with a message that Fuller can go to hell. Follow up by asking about “Fuller’s letter,” and you’ll get a hint about the nature of her exchange with Fuller. 

Darren protests that he’s just the messenger. “ ... but you still work for him, don’t ya?” Mrs. Biba puts in. “Making some nice dough? Problem is, it’s not his money,” she says, “it’s ... ah, forget it.”­ 

It’s what? Is “mine” the missing word?  

Leave. On the way out, Darren is stopped by the doctor in the front booth. He was to meet with Darren’s mother to make arrangements to hang her paintings in the “Health Centre,” but she hasn’t turned up. 

Darren doesn’t pay much attention to this and can’t do anything about it now in any case. (Darren isn’t permitted to visit his mother’s house until the automatic visit after he tries to phone her from work.) In the manner of unsettled young people with too much on their plates, he’s suddenly in a great rush and hurriedly tells the doctor he’ll call his mother later.

(Take a picture of the doctor. This unlocks picture #3.) 

If Darren has completed both tasks, return to the photo store. If not, head for the post office.

Odds & ends: Biba’s Diner appears to have been modeled on the Johnny Rockets chain of restaurants. (http://www.johnnyrockets.com/index2.php)  

- The jukebox at the back cycles randomly through three instrumentals -- running from “In My Room”-era Beach Boys to rockabilly.  

Souvenir Store/Post Office

The post office is in the souvenir shop by the harbor just up the street from the photo shop. The counter lady Rosie is running her yap with a girlfriend when Darren arrives.  Listen for awhile. (Rosie so wants to be street.) The conversation runs through a range of gossipy topics before establishing that the red convertible outside belongs to the nameless blonde customer.

Darren will have to try to interrupt them (ineffectively) by talking to Rosie to come up with a solution: setting off the alarm on the convertible. However, note that the lady won’t notice the alarm until she’s distracted from her chatter by the open door coincident with Darren’s reentry into the shop -- and that you have just 10 seconds to enter before the alarm clicks off on its own. (If that happens, you’ll have to set off the alarm again.)

Talk to Rosie again. Darren hands over the collection note automatically and comes up with a parcel. (No, you can’t open it, but you’ll establish what is inside in Chapter II.) You’ll also establish that there’s another parcel for Fuller awaiting collection -- but Rosie’s not about to turn it over to a rude boy who doesn’t have the paperwork.

(Strictly speaking, this isn’t on your to-do list at the moment -- it doesn’t become pressing until Darren sets out to develop Angelina’s pictures -- but an observant player can get a leg-up on this task now. During his exchange with Rosie, Darren is standing right in front of a pad of blank collection slips. Looking at them earns you an extra conversation topic -- “Package for Darren” -- and using that topic gets Rosie to turn her back just long enough for Darren to peel off a slip.) 

Outside, take a picture of the ocean off the dock. This unlocks picture #22.

If you’ve completed both tasks, return to the photo shop. If not, head for the diner. (See “Biba’s Diner” above.)

Odds & ends:  Note that the travel guides in the far right corner of the shop remain red under the cursor even after you’ve elicited the full description. They’re just waiting for Darren to collect one piece of salient information -- the reference to Willow Creek that pops up later in the chapter when he liberates his mother’s bank book. At that time, you’ll be able to peruse the pamphlet. Most of the photos are from the original The Black Mirror -- save one that suggests the decrepit asylum has been converted into a hotel! 

- That’s Angelina’s hotel up the coast. Eventually, you’ll reach it by left-clicking on the “Wild Coast Hotel” sign on the dock or the hotel itself (“on the beach”), but Darren can’t visit it until the photos are ready and the photos can’t be prepared until after Fuller clears out of the shop. That’s still a little down the road.

- You can talk to the young woman watching the sea at the railing outside the post office to learn she’s mourning her late friend, Carrie, who drowned herself here two years earlier. 

This is not necessary to the story. But it’s the one occasion where Black Mirror II offers even a semi-substantial sub-plot -- albeit only in dialog. 

This conversation enables Darren to inspect Carrie’s picture in the window of Fuller’s shop (on the second click, provided you haven’t already elicited the full description) and to ask about her around town -- with Rosie at the post office (after getting rid of her yappy friend), Mrs. Biba at the diner (after delivering Fuller’s envelope), Fuller (after delivering the envelope and handing over the parcel) and the nurse at the hospital (after visiting Darren’s mother). 

You’ll assemble a picture of a happy woman full of plans who seemed to suddenly change. (You can discount Rosie’s description of Carrie as “always a little strange.” I think she’s just being loyal to her friend “customer” who married Carrie’s widower.) 

Why did Carrie change? Plainly, there is more to the story. Mrs. Biba knows more than she lets on. (She says, “If I’d only known,” but won’t expand.) And Fuller, the only character with a documented link to Carrie, claims not to know her and then gets defensive. (“What’s it to you anyway? Do your work or I’ll kick your ass.”) That seems to be the end of it. 

What does it all mean? You don’t find out for certain -- the thread goes nowhere from here -- but we’ll return to it in Chapter II when there appears a clearer context in which to place Carrie’s tale.   

And yet, her death notwithstanding, Carrie is in the game. On rare occasions, she appears as an incidental, non-interactive character on the side street outside the shops -- entering shortly after Darren does and walking up the hill from the promenade on the left side of the screen. This has no special significance (i.e. She’s not a ghost.) Black Mirror II gives its ghosts (which begin to appear once you reach England in the second half of the game) special treatment, and most Biddeford locations have such incidental characters. For instance, the older man in the plaid shirt who can sometimes be seen from the promenade occasionally enters this screen at the right near corner. Since Carrie was modeled for the purpose of her conversation-topic picture, the designers probably thought it a waste not to use this resource.

Here’s the conversation topic icon:

And here’s Carrie on the street:

Side Street

When Darren returns to the photo shop after completion of the delivery and pick-up errand, he runs into Angelina again. She’ll complain of being groped by Fuller and the two make arrangements to have Darren deliver the photos to Angelina’s hotel . She takes off down the hill to the promenade and Mr. Mascara emerges from the alley beside the shop and sets out in pursuit. 

You can’t pursue the pursuer. Fuller emerges to summon Darren back to work and, inside, takes delivery of the parcel and assigns a raft of domestic tasks. However, if you look in your diary, you’ll see only one of them achieves “task” status: the one we anticipated earlier about collecting the photo paper from the post office.

Odds & ends: You can bounce a lot of topics off Fuller now without getting much in return beyond defensiveness and aggression. The only thing he’ll actually tell you is that the letter to Mrs. Biba was a “bill.” 

It’s almost the truth.

Photo Shop

However,  you can’t leave the shop until Darren calls his Mom with the reminder of her appointment at the diner. There’s a phone on the desk in Fuller’s office (through the middle of the three exits at the back). Simply left-click on it. Darren gets a busy signal and, after a to-do with Fuller (in which Darren learns his mother had called earlier about “Adrian” and a “mirror” -- anticipating events in chapters V and VI), he sets out to his Mom’s house automatically.

Mom's House

Darren  finds his mother unconscious on the floor by the telephone. Use the phone on the table to call an ambulance and note the three-part task supplied by the doctor afterward.  Darren needs to find all his Mom’s medicine, her medical history and her insurance card.

The card is easy: It’s in a pillow-like blue handbag on the flowered chair in the living room. The pill dispenser left of the tea cup covers most of the medicine and the rest comes with a left-click on the medicine cabinet in the bathroom to the left. 

That leaves just the medical history. Darren doesn’t recall the name of his mother’s doctor (as you’ll learn if he tries to use the phone again at this stage) but it has to be around here somewhere. Best bet: the address book in the bottom drawer of the commode beside the bed. (Note that you have to open the top drawer first. Try a second time to open the bottom one.) 

Alas, like every address book in every adventure game ever, it is locked. The key is beneath the flower pot on the bedroom windowsill. Use it on the address book to open it, right-click on the open address book to identify Mom’s old doctor as Dr. Wakefield and use the phone in the living room to arrange for her records to be sent to the hospital. Darren can then set out for the hospital.

Odds & ends: The painting to the left of the bathroom door is the ruined lighthouse at Sharp Edge from the original The Black Mirror. It’ll turn up again in the dream sequence at the end of the chapter and you’ll visit the location in Chapter IV.

Hospital

Darren automatically turns over the medicine and insurance card to the nurse at the front desk and, after a prolonged, non-interactive wait, gets a new task: sorting out his mother’s insurance.

Evidently she either didn’t initiate the last payment, the bank didn’t make the transfer or the payment somehow didn’t register with the insurance company.  You need to bring documentation for the transfer to the nurse and she’ll take care of it for you. (There is no special urgency about this, but the task has to be completed to finish Chapter I. You’ll get a reminder about it if you haven’t taken care of the insurance issue before delivering the pictures to Angelina.) 

Darren then automatically enters his mother’s room and learns she’s in a coma. He blames Fuller over the missed message. (This is rather strange. Darren learned from the doctor before speaking to Fuller that his mother was late for an appointment, so if anyone’s due a share of the blame, it’s Darren himself.) 

Leave the room. You’ll find Mr. Mascara talking to the nurse at the desk. He gets one look at Darren and is off like a shot.

You don’t have to follow him now -- events will wait on your arrival back at Fuller’s shop -- but that’s one of two tasks you can perform at this point. Either order will do.

Odds & ends:  You can take the stethoscope at the foot of the bed and the laxative in the bedstand. The former comes into play later in the chapter and the latter in Chapter II.

Talk to Darren’s mother  twice and she’ll grab Darren’s wrist and say: “Mirror. Don’t go through the mirror!”

I: Following Mr. Mascara

Outside the hospital, this strange man will cross the square and vanish into the side street leading to the shops. (You’ll have to be quick to see him do this, as this section of the game is in real-time.)

You’ll seem lose him as soon as you enter that screen. 

Or have you? Try to enter the photo shop via the front door and Darren sees Mr. Mascara inside talking to Fuller. It’d be nice to hear what he’s saying. (It’s required before you do anything else in this thread.) The front door is too obvious an approach and the back door turns out to be locked with a hook-and-eye arrangement. But the window above the door is open. If Darren could lower a hook of his own through the gap, he’d be able to lift the latch.

Sure enough, the fishing line from the tool shed at the rear combines nicely with the broken-off handle of the rusted bucket to the left of the back door. Slip this “fishing line with hook” through the window and the latch lifts. Step inside to learn only that Mr. Mascara seems interested in Angelina and Darren both and Darren decides to followup with Angelina. But that’s still a ways down the road.

(When you’re in Fuller’s back yard, take a picture of the spin dryer  to the left of the shed. This unlocks picture #21.)

Odds & ends: Actually, Darren can cobble together the hooked line as early in the game as the start of the post office/diner errands. He just can’t use it. And there’s an interesting logical snarl if he tries to use it after wrapping up business at his mother’s house. (The game can’t decide if the door’s unlocked or not!)

Confronting Fuller

You can’t continue the surveillance -- Mr. Mascara is gone by the time Darren reaches the street -- but Darren can now venture inside and confront Fuller. (Again, this can wait on other tasks. And, honestly, it may seem counter-intuitive, as Darren would have easier access to Fuller’s photos and dark room without this nasty exchange.) Reenter the shop to find Fuller has vanished. Descend to the cellar to find the photo screen has been raised to expose a door. Fiddle either with the control ropes at the upper left or the door itself and Fuller emerges. A to-do quickly develops and Darren ends up jobless on the sidewalk out front, ruminating about how to lure Fuller out of the shop so he can develop Angelina’s pictures.

Odds & ends: You can now report your firing to Mrs. Biba by talking to her about “Fuller’s store.” She’ll end the conversation, but you can take it up again and ask about “Biddeford” to get a (sour) taste of her marriage.

II: Find Proof of Mom’s Insurance Payment

You probably already have an idea of the target: the previously untouchable “bureau” (i.e. roll-top desk) in Mom’s bedroom.

It’s locked, and the lock is a puzzle. The 4 x 4 panel is scrambled randomly each time you play, so there’s no way to give a blow-by-blow account, but the basic trick to all sliding block puzzles is to first see the big picture in your head. (This will be easier for folks who have played the original The Black Mirror: It’s the Warmhill church. This does not appear in Black Mirror II but will turn up again in the finale.) Another is to work through the puzzle in stages -- say, from top to bottom or left to right.

 

Here’s the assembled picture:

The open desk yields three items: an odd jewel box or “casket” that can’t be opened at present (you’ll have to pick this up first to get at the other stuff); the bank book (which shows with a right-click that Darren’s mother did make the insurance payment); and, inside the bank book, a letter from a unidentified “C” that refers to payments (monthly $1,500 transfers from a bank in Willow Creek in England that run counter to Mom’s stories about her income) and seemingly to Darren (“even if he has now left home”).

After extracting the letter, bring the bank book to the nurse at the hospital desk and you’re good.

If you haven’t yet followed Mr. Mascara from the hospital to Fuller’s shop, head there now and see the entry above. If you have, drop down to the one below.

Developing the Pictures

The scheme forms pretty much out of the ether. You’ll want to look for something that’s changed since your last visit. 

Visit the post office. You’ll now find the convertible-driving blabbermouth in the corner looking at fashion magazines. 

That’s a clue. However, you’ll have to first talk to Rosie about “customer” -- blabbermouth doesn’t have a proper name -- to actually hatch the plot. She observes that the lady’s husband is loaded and that even if he wasn’t, her friend would do well as a fashion model. 

Now talk to the woman. Darren feeds her load of bull about working on a magazine story and, when it turns out she doesn’t have any pictures of herself, volunteers that Fuller is a famous New Zealander working undercover. Blabbermouth seems genuinely interested, but she’s not quite sold. You’re to bring her some of Fuller’s work.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be Fuller’s actual work. You’ve probably seen magazines at a couple of locations: Mom’s coffee table and the hospital lobby. You can take the ones in the hospital lobby -- they’re on the table near the door -- and then talk to Rosie’s pal again and represent a handful of the pictures therein as Fuller’s. Fortunately, blabbermouth is too flattered to ask questions and says she’ll call Fuller from her car straightaway. Head back up the hill to the shop to find Fuller setting out for the photo session. The shop is now empty and the rear door remains unlocked from Darren’s earlier surveillance.

Search the shop. The film isn’t lying around in the open. Click on the tripod in the front room and Darren suggests that, if Fuller left the Angelina pictures behind, they must be in the safe. That’s on the right side of the office in the rear. 

Combination? You will have to sort it out as bad guys did in old movies . Use the stethoscope from the end of Mom’s hospital bed on the safe and, in the close-up view, turn the dial back and forth using the left and right mouse buttons, reversing directions when you hear the tumblers fall into place (and not allowing yourself to be distracted by the faint tinkling sounds you’ll sometimes hear for wrong numbers). Starting clockwise or counter-clockwise, the combination will always be 90-50-70-20-30. Then open it up and take the film canister.

You’ll need four additional items to develop the photos.

Distilled water. Right at your feet when Darren enters the darkroom. (This is behind the curtain at the left side of the shop’s front room.) 

Fixer. Also right here -- at the upper right-hand corner of the water dish on the counter.

Developer. On the cellar shelves behind the pallet. (:Left-click twice on the pallet to knock it over.)

Photo paper. This may prove a challenge -- especially if you neglected to collect a blank collection slip at the PO in the earlier visit and so have no handy reminder of this incomplete task.

The uncollected parcel contains the photo paper. You cannot find the missing collection slip in Fuller’s ratty office and will have to create one yourself. To reprise: Visit the post office, look at the pad of blank slips on the counter (just left of the register), ask Rosie for a fictitious parcel for Darren and steal a slip when she turns her back.

Now you just have to fill it out. Use the pen in the mug just to the right of the phone in Fuller’s office at any location other than the post-office interior and Darren scribbles the details on the slip. Will that do?

It will not. Back at the PO, Rosie objects to the absence of the mailman’s signature. 

You can’t track down the mailman. Though modeled for the purposes of a fading-out conversation icon, he’s not in the game. But two characters will give you a lead on him: Mrs. Biba says he’s probably at the hospital and the hospital nurse that he delivered get-well cards for Darren’s mom. And of course once Rosie has mentioned the mailman, you can cut to the chase and just visit Mom’s room. Sure enough, you’ll find an array of cards on her nightstand -- including one from mailman P. Puck. Click on them to identify the mailman’s signature, take the leftmost card and use the pen or card on the collection slip to add the signature. Take it back to Rosie and the photo paper is yours. 

Odds & ends: At the same time, the doctor reappears in Mom’s hospital room. He has some surprises for Darren. Ask about “Mother” to learn her old injuries are not consistent with a car crash and are more likely the result of a fall.

Once Darren says he’s got everything he needs, you’re ready for the darkroom.

The developing part’s easy; it’s just a matter of using the right items in the right places. Use the developer fluid and distilled water on the developer dish at the left, distilled water on the water dish in the middle and the photo paper (unwrapped in inventory with a right-click) on the enlarger at the right. Now use the film can on the developer container between the two dishes and pour in some developer. Left-click on the container to pour out the developer fluid, then add the fixer and left-click on the container again to extract the negatives. 

Here’s where the potential for mistakes creeps in. Use the negatives on the enlarger, left-click on the enlarger to activate it, wait four or five seconds (using the little timer to the left ) and turn off the enlarger with a second left-click. The exposed photo paper is automatically returned to your inventory. Drop it in the developer tray. No in-game timer is available here, so, once the developer tray appears in close-up, tick off about 15 seconds on your watch (counting “one-one thousand, two-one thousand ...” will work in a pinch) and then drop the photo in the water to arrest the process. 

Darren here comments on the quality of the picture. As long as he says the contrast and brightness are OK, you’re on the right track -- it’s the photographer who was the problem -- and you’ll just have to run through the process a second time at the same specs to complete the batch. Darren will then automatically complete the remainder.

And if not? Pay attention to Darren’s advice.

“Not enough contrast”: Expose the picture under the enlarger for a longer period. (One to three seconds isn’t enough.) 
“Too much contrast”: A shorter period. (Six to the maximum of nine seconds is too much.)
“Too light”: More time in the developing tray. (Fifteen to 18 seconds is ideal.) 
“Too dark”: Less tray time. 

Odds & ends: Note that the waste basket to the left of the developer tray remains red under the cursor after Darren has examined it. What gives?

This enables you to toss out any photos that you botch during the initial exposure phase -- rather than having to dunk them in the developing tray even when you already know they’re going to turn out badly. 

Once Darren’s work is complete, the doorbell rings. It’s a visibly perturbed (and more than usually bruised) Mrs. Biba with a sealed envelope for Fuller and the raw material of a new task for Darren: Find a way to open the envelope so Fuller won’t notice.  

You don’t have to address this right now. It’s one of two tasks you can perform -- three, if you haven’t yet dealt with Mom’s insurance -- and, once again, any order will do.

Blackmail

How to open the envelope in an undetectable way?

Ah, steam -- friend eternal to nosy 20somethings and adventure-game designers! (You’ll recall this was also used in the original The Black Mirror.)

Jet back to Mom’s house, take the empty tea kettle from the stove, use it on the sink just to the left to fill it with water, then on the stove and activate the stove with a left-click. The kettle begins to boil instantly -- hey, I want to live in this accelerated world! -- and you just need to use the envelope on the kettle to unglue the mucilage and produce $1,500.

Blackmail money, evidently. Suddenly you’re beginning to make better sense of the contempt in which Mrs. Biba holds Fuller ... and how Fuller was able to afford his expensive kit.

But what did Mrs. Biba do to expose herself to blackmail? Darren can’t sort that out right now, so just place the resealed envelope in Fuller’s mail slot and make for the hotel.

Photo Session

Enter and climb the stairs. Long, increasingly weird cut-scene (dig the violins) in which Darren takes his own pictures of Angelina. Once Darren finishes up the roll, they agree to meet for dinner at the diner. On automatic, Darren leaves to find Mr. Mascara downstairs questioning the porter about Angelina’s stay and again quickly vanishing when he spots Darren. (Darren takes copious notes -- presumably the better to identify him for police the following day.) You can follow him again, but only to the hotel exterior.

Odds & ends: If you’ve already identified the coin for Eddie at the junk shop, you can now retrieve his cane from the porter and save yourself a separate trip later. (See below.) That clears the way for Darren to borrow Eddie’s slide projector later in the chapter. 

- In the hotel lobby, click repeatedly on the door marked “Private”  for a funny exchange between Darren and the porter. 

This leads straight into preparation of the second batch of photos. Outside the hotel, Darren runs down his requirements to develop the photos in his mother’s bathroom: a red light, two flat dishes, something to serve as fixer and a makeshift enlarger.

- Red light. The necessary red light can be found on the string hanging outside Biba’s Diner. Go grab it. Darren will automatically use the trash bin at the right to reach the lights suspended in front. No clue why this makes the other lights in the chain go out -- except perhaps as a reminder to the player that Darren’s already completed this task. 

Odds & ends: This remains interactive afterward. (You’ll be back for a second helping in Chapter II.)

Fixer. The acidic vinegar just right of the bread bin on the middle of the diner’s counter will work fine. (It’s possible you have this already. You can take it at any earlier point in the chapter.) 

Flat dishes/bowls. Mom’s kitchen is a good bet, and you’ll find one in the drawers beside the sink. The other is in the dog cage beneath the left-hand window in the photo shop’s backyard. 

Enlarger. This requires a bit of work -- though it’s possible you’ve already inadvertently cleared the path. 

Darren can adapt for this purpose a slide projector atop the shelves in the junk shop next door to Fuller’s place. Click on it and talk to proprietor Eddie and he declares it’s not for sale or loan. 

Actually, the situation is not quite so cut-and-dried. Eddie is a curmudgeon. You just have to draw him out -- finding a topic that allows him to break out of this mode -- and it’s not one of his initial array. Look at the microphone on the left side of the counter and then talk to Eddie. Now you can ask him about “blindness” and “coin” and identify a rare coin for him. Just use the catalog on the right side of the counter. (It’s hidden behind the left rear pocket of Darren’s jeans.) 

Eddie now invites you to retrieve the cane he lost to the owner of the Wild Coast Hotel in a poker game. The only hotel employee we’ve run into is the porter in the lobby and apparently they’re one and same. Just be persistent: Talk to the porter about “poker game” until you run out the topic and he’ll surrender the cane. 

Back at the junk shop, talk to Eddie about the cane (or just use it on him) to return it and then about the projector as a proposed quid pro quo and it’s yours. 

With all this stuff in inventory, enter the bathroom at Mom’s house to set about developing the pictures. This time, the developing process is automated and Darren winds up with a batch of pictures for Angelina and one picture for himself in inventory.

Epilogue

The scene should shift automatically to Darren’s date at Biba’s Diner. (If it doesn’t, some task or tasks remain incomplete. Have you held off addressing Mom’s insurance business or held onto the blackmail money?)

Key event at dinner: Angelina opens the casket from Mom’s desk to find it contains a picture of Darren’s mother and a man that was shot outside Black Mirror castle. It’s dated October 1969. Darren suggests his mother doesn’t look five months pregnant.

Maybe she wasn’t?

Odds & ends: In the original The Black Mirror, the between-chapter dreams turned out to be windows into murders that were actually being committed by protagonist Samuel. Given that there’s going to be a murder overnight, that’s also a natural assumption here. However, in Black Mirror II, these are innocent images that seem to run the gamut from memories of actual events to anxiety-driven imagined ones.

Chapter II

Darren is awakened at his mother’s house by the doorbell. Captain Conley from the local PD reports that Fuller has been stabbed to death and that Angelina, caught literally red-handed at the scene, has been arrested. Darren offers such little exculpatory evidence as he possesses and is invited to come to the station and describe Mr. Mascara. When he leaves the house, he’ll reappear directly in Town Hall.

Run through the conversation with the police woman and you’ll find yourself in a mini-game. Called “Photofit” (after the facial composite system used in the United Kingdom), it’s always a blank slate at the start. Two leftward clicks on the hair, two rightward ones for the chin and one leftward one for the eyes and you’ve got it. Just save the portrait to exit. The final product should look like this:

 (Take pictures of  the police woman and the “manhunt pictures” on the near wall of the captain’s office to  unlock picture #4 and mini-game #1 (Photofit), respectively. Note that you must take the shot of the posters before you complete the mini-game.) 

A brief exchange with Angelina (en route to the cells) and then the police woman, and Darren has his next goal: Obtain evidence of  Fuller’s blackmail operation. 

This has two stages: finding the material Fuller was using to blackmail Mrs. Biba and obtaining proof of the actual coercive act. -- i.e. a statement along the lines of “You give me $1,500 or I’ll ...” You can perform these tasks in either order.

Odds & ends: Once you’ve completed the description, you’ll find the composite in your inventory and posted to the right of the door to the souvenir shop and (after you’ve entered and exited Biba’s Diner) to the left of the diner door. You can also ask Mrs. Biba, Dr. Newhouse (at the diner), Eddie, the hotel owner/porter and Rosie whether they’ve seen the man, and Captain Conley and Sgt. Kinney (the police woman) whether he’s been picked up for questioning. (No and no.)

The Blackmail Letter

The easy part.

Simply visit Biba’s Diner. Outside, you’ll find Mrs. Biba dropping something in the dumpster over at the right -- evidently something she couldn’t trust to the indoor trash can even on this rainy day. When she returns inside, open the bin to retrieve the pieces of a torn-up letter -- evidently the one Darren delivered in Chapter I -- and right-click on them in inventory to put them together in another mini-game.


Chapter VI

Our hero comes to again for the big talk with his true mother, Cathrin, who explains a great deal -- except the identity of the masked man who imprisoned Darren in the bunker (which will be revealed soon enough) -- and a much shorter one with Bates in the main hall. The plan is to get Darren (now revealed as Cathrin and Samuel’s son Adrian and Angelina’s twin brother) back to the US -- far away from Black Mirror and whoever killed Angelina. Bates tells Darren -- we’ll stick with that name to avoid confusion -- to see Louis for his tickets back to the US.

You can go see Louis, though it’s not necessary to the story. (Still under the car beside the stables, he professes to know nothing about tickets.) Or you can make straight for the bathroom, where you’ll find Sally’s body -- its right hand seemingly pointing at something on the bathtub’s exterior wall. 

Close the window and turn on the water to re-steam the bathroom and then look at the tile again to see a “B.” As in Bates. Darren immediately interprets this as a false clue inserted by Sally’s killer. 

Odds & ends: But why offer a false clue and then have Darren interpret it as false himself? Wouldn’t it have been nice to allow us to sort that out on our own?

- Take a picture of Sally’s body to unlock picture #18.

When Darren tries to leave the bathroom, he’ll find the castle ablaze. Take a towel from the drawer at the left, wet it in the tub and head into the hall downstairs. (Alternate route: On the way out of the house, Darren can detour into Bates’s newly unlocked room, be overcome by the smoke and die.) In the hall, Darren watches tries to rouse the dying Bates and then steps outside. 
  
And here begins the endgame. Darren is held at gunpoint by Louis, who confesses that he locked Darren in the bunker cell and started the fire, but asserts he’s “no murderer” (What does he imagine killed Bates and conceivably Victoria and Eleanor? And who else could have killed Sally?)  

Then, in the manner of ’30s mobsters, he takes Darren for a little ride. At the Academy, out of the darkness steps the true nemesis: Angelina -- not dead after all. Was anyone actually surprised by this?

Long explanations ensue -- including the actual circumstances of Mrs. Michaels’s accident back in Biddeford, the identity of the corpse at the lighthouse (Miss Valley) and the focus of Angelina’s ambition: to harness Mordred’s power. 

Odds & ends: Exactly how she plans to bring this off, she never says. In fact, this whole sequence raises about as many questions as it answers. Why didn’t Richard Gordon’s blood work? (Or William Gordon’s for that matter? Angelina took both from Richard’s ruined lab.)    

The scene now moves to the antechamber where Darren found Angelina’s backpack in Chapter V. Do the following in any order: Use the three mosaic tiles on the stone plinth, take the candle to the right of the entrance and the lantern to the left of the plinth, use the candle on the lantern (or vice-versa) and then the lighted lantern on the plinth. The assembled mosaic focuses the lantern light on the symbol on the door. Darren then automatically cuts his hand on a built-in blade to the left of the door and places his hand on the symbol on the inner door. It opens . (Apparently this age-old facility includes a super-speedy DNA reader.)

The party enters automatically. Inside you’ll find a semi-circle of eight pressure-sensitive stone slabs. Clearly the eight Order members would stand on the slabs to open the great gate upscreen. But Darren is in a party of only four and he’ll have to figure out how the Order intended to work with less than a full house. There must be a way to lock out certain of the slabs.

Odds & ends: Take a picture of the closed gate to unlock picture #13 (evil Angelina, basically).

This involves rooms beyond the closed stone doors to the left and right. Your first task is getting them open. This requires two things: Test any of the slabs -- Darren tries out the second slab from the right and steps back as a great weight plummets onto the platform -- and collect the note at the right side of the big gate. 

The spoken description of this “user manual” isn’t especially helpful in decoding which slabs are safe/unsafe -- it has a different purpose, which we’ll get to in a moment  -- but a Darren thus informed is willing to experiment. And the experiments will go much faster if you inspect the note in the close-up view in the diary. (If you right-click on it in inventory, Darren describes it only in part.) Two of the slab icons are doors. The second from the left opens the left door and the third from the right. 
   
Trouble is, Darren can’t explore beyond the doors without someone holding down the slab for him. So once you’ve tried the slab for the left door, talk to either Cathrin about “stone slab for left door.” (You can also try Angelina, but she’s only going to put forward Cathrin anyway.) 

Open the left door first. Each of the four panels on the wall lays out a simple seasonal riddle. You need to sort out the answers and then adjust the central mechanism so the answers all appear at the same time. 

The answers: flower for spring (either the full flower or the blossom will do), flame for summer, windmill for fall and snowflake for winter. 

Adjusting the mechanism has an extra wrinkle. Three of the four control wheels change the answer for more than one season. Summer (the top one) also adjusts spring and winter, spring also adjusts winter and winter adjusts fall. (Fall adjusts only fall.) So you’ll want to start at the top, with summer (which isn’t effected by any other season) and work counter-clockwise.

When the answers are in place, four compartments open in the columns. Three (spring, summer and winter) contain staves. 

You just know the missing fall one is going to be a problem. 

When you return to the main room, you can use these staves in the slots that appear on four of the slabs. The yellow (spring) one goes in the slot on the near left slab, the summer one (green) in the fourth from the left and the winter one (blue) in the near right. In each case, you can then step on the relevant slab and discover the trap above has been locked out.

And fall?  You’ll have to compensate for its absence in the control room through the right door. Open that now by talking to Cathrin about “Stone slab for right door” -- first testing the third-from-the-right slab if you haven’t done so already -- and enter to find Darren is now above the main room.

This will probably be confusing at first. Symbols. Rope. Traps. Chains. A panel at the upper right. What do you do with it all? 

It’s tempting to over-think this segment. Don’t. It’s simple: You just need to drop a     trap onto one of the slabs below by cutting one of the ropes arrayed about the chamber. You’ll determine the correct one -- the third rope to the left of the panel -- by decoding the symbols beside the ropes in what is effectively another mini-game.  Call up the panel with two left-clicks. Make sure each of the five symbols appears in either the left or right bracket, that the color is correct and that the toggle in the middle is set to designate the appropriate bracket.

When you’re down, it should look like this:

When you’re done, press the big button at the bottom left. The scene switches back to the full room and Darren confirms he’s found the correct rope. 

But how to cut through it? Click on the rope and our boy suggests a knife. 

And you’ve already heard about a knife. It’s one of the symbols on the “user’s manual” for the stone slabs. Step on the third slab from the the left -- the one that shows a knife on the note -- and, after Darren jumps back safely, look for a new hotspot at his feet. Take the knife -- oddly, Angelina and Louis raise no objections-- and you can cut the appropriate rope in the room above. Gears spin and when Darren returns to the main room,  you’ll see a massive weight descend onto the slab beside Cathrin. 

Odds & ends: “One more slip-up like that and our mother gets it!” bawls Angelina. I’m not sure why she is so ticked off. The weight didn’t come anywhere close to her or Louis. If it endangered anyone, it was Cathrin herself, so threatening Cathrin seems a bit bizarre. Perhaps, like the warning shot she fires a little later, this is just to show her emotionally heightened state.
   
Now talk to Angelina about “Louis” to set the wheels in motion. Darren assigns seats. Louis is suspicious, asks to swap places with Darren, steps on the un-staffed “fall” slab and instantly dies. Reverse psychology apparently works. But his weight nevertheless does the job and when Darren and Angelina take their places on the remaining slabs, the great central gate opens. 

Left-click twice on the pedestal beside the gate. Angelina fires a warning shot and places the black sphere stolen from the museum atop this receptacle and a fiery portal opens in the “Demonic gate.” Darren automatically steps through into the hellish scene from the finale of The Black Mirror -- seen from a slightly different angle than the 6 o’clock of the original game. Cathrin starts toward Angelina, is shot and yells to Darren to run. He does and you’ll find him back on the other side of the portal. 

You can’t do anything meaningful in the slabs room. Darren can only retreat to the antechamber, where he’ll realize he’s now penned in by members of the Order and return automatically to the main room. Left-click on the portal. Darren here realizes he’s out of options and passes through the fiery circle a third time for the final scenes.

Odds & ends: Continuity issue: There’s a strange line here about Angelina getting into the “labyrinth.” Huh? The closest we’ve come to a maze in BM2 is the rolling-ball puzzle at the end of Chpater V. Presumably this is a reference to the small maze from the end of the original The Black Mirror. (This led to a different portal that zapped Samuel into the summoning chamber in a position immediately opposite the throne.)   

Reunion with wounded mother, reappearance of Angelina from the left (i.e. not from the labyrnith at all), recitation of the words in the book on the central pedestal  (with rather more feeling than appropriate for a purported nonbeliever) and a bloodletting. Cathrin sneaks up on Angelina and falls with her into the surrounding firepit. As Darren whirls about in despair, his blood stains the book. Wreathed in metaphorical flame, he undergoes a transformation. 

Into what, we’ll  find out in Black Mirror III.

Odds & ends: Once you’ve completed the game, you’ll find picture #20 has been automatically unlocked. It’s a cast shot -- 15 characters arrayed about Biba’s Diner. That’s Samuel between Bobby and Tom at the back. And that appears to be Louis over at the jukebox.

 

 

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