Welcome to my Black Mirror walk-through. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point players
towards things they might not have tried in each game rather than giving away puzzle solutions or offering step-by-step instructions. There's not much
point to playing an adventure game if you know all the puzzle solutions in advance, and there's no point at all in investigating a
murder mystery if you've already had the plot spoiled.
So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible. If you are looking for the
solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend the excellent UHS site--you can only see one hint at a time there,
so you can get the answer to one puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. My website here focuses on exactly the things UHS and traditional
walkthroughs don't: the non-critical parts of the game, little detours you can take, extra details you might miss if you only did what was strictly necessary
to win the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether or not to buy the game, for example, and just want to know whether there's
anything you're going to hate in it--please try my Black Mirror Review page to find all
the pertinent information in one convenient spoiler-free package.
Adventure games in general tend to be more linear than CRPG's, and The Black Mirror is no exception. It's impossible to miss the majority of this game--
if you don't complete a conversation, finish a quest, or notice a meaningful detail, you generally aren't allowed to leave the area until you rectify this.
Even so, there are a few game elements that it's possible to skip accidentally. There are also a handful of conversations that can go in two different directions
based on whether you tell Samuel to give a "positive" or "negative" response. Since you have no control over what this actually means (sometimes a "negative"
response means saying "no," other times it means lying, and still other times it means being insulting), you may want to save before starting those conversations.
This chapter will end once you have explored William's study, so don't enter it until you've spoken to everyone about any topics that interest you. There are also a number of
optional actions you can take in Chapter One. Some of them are creepy, enrich the plot, and/or have interesting
effects later in the game. Others seem to have no effect at all (like returning the attic key as Bates requests). Here's a list of things you might otherwise miss:
*examining the newspaper stand by Robert's door to read a hidden note.
*examining the photo of Cathrin on the drawers by the broken mirror for a memory.
*examining the fireplace in your room and then speaking to Bates about it.
*reading the history book in the library and (later) speaking to Victoria about it.
*examining the pool in the rear garden and then speaking to Henry about it.
*examining the grinder by the greenhouse and then speaking to Henry about it (be sure to check it again afterwards).
*examining the wine bottle in the stable and then speaking to Morris about it.
*putting the attic key back where you found it.
*asking Morris to fix the well (if you tell Victoria the truth while talking about Henry).
*talking to the fisherman in Willow Grove (you have to move out onto the dock a little bit to see him).
Here's a list of the Chapter One conversations that involve 'positive' or 'negative' response choices:
*asking Robert about the ripped up photograph (the first time). Here 'positive' means 'tell him the truth.'
*asking Victoria about Henry. Here 'positive' means 'tell her a little more information,' though neither option will betray Henry's confidence.
*your first conversation with the child in Willow Creek. Here 'positive' simply means 'yes.'
*making small talk with Tom in the pub. Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
You can die in this chapter for the first time. Be VERY SURE to save your game frequently in the old mines, since there are two
different places you can meet an untimely death there. Also, make sure to save the game before attempting to open the exit from the old mines, and keep that
savegame as a backup till the chapter ends--you may need to reload it later. This chapter ends when you leave the mines to return to the manor.
Here's a list of optional actions in Chapter Two. Some of them are creepy, enrich the plot, and/or have interesting effects later in the game. Others seem to have no effect at all.
*telling Morris about the well.
*trying to bribe Hermann.
*examining the boat and talking to the fisherman about it.
Here's a list of the Chapter Two conversations that involve 'positive' or 'negative' response choices:
*talking to Murray about Henry's object. Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
*talking to Robert about Henry's body (after visiting the morgue). Here 'positive' means 'tell him the truth.'
*asking Mark to do a job for you. Here 'positive' means 'be persuasive rather than threatening.'
This chapter is a pixel-hunting nightmare. There's nothing wrong with any of the puzzles, but several of the key items are smaller than Samuel's thumb and
locating them on these maps can be hard even if you've already deduced exactly what you're looking for. Be sure to save before examining the puzzle altar in
the crypt and again before entering Dergham's tomb (the one you needed a cross-shaped key to get into). It is possible to die in this chapter.
There really aren't any optional actions in Chapter Three (other than the usual conversational or observational ones)--every exploration available to you is
necessary to advance your game any further. Here's a list of the Chapter Three conversations that involve 'positive' or 'negative' response choices:
*asking Louis about the family tomb (the first time). Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
*your first conversation with Richard. Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
You're pretty much out of optional activities in this chapter as well (except for conversational topics). There are a couple of quests here that have realtime elements--one
that you must time properly (though you can attempt it as many times as you like), and one that you must accomplish quickly to avoid certain death.
Here's a list of the Chapter Four conversations that involve 'positive' or 'negative' response choices:
*Talking to Detective Collier upon entering Stonering (a few such choices in the same conversation), then again when asking him about Henry. Here 'positive'
means 'don't be belligerent' and 'tell him a little more information,' never 'tell him the whole truth.'
*Talking to the boiler room guy at the sanatorium (a few such choices in the same conversation). Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
*Talking to Ralph in the sanatorium (a few such choices in two conversations, both before and after entering James' cell). Here 'positive' means 'be persuasive rather than threatening.'
In this chapter, the gameplay is so linear that you don't even have the choice of exploring on your own most of the time, much less optional activities. The game will direct you
where to go next and who to investigate next; if you have a different idea in mind (I certainly did and I imagine most experienced gamers probably will
as well), there will be no way to accomplish it. This leaves a sour taste, but on the other hand, this is also the most suspenseful chapter, and allowing Samuel
to mosey around the castle chatting with the butler during the early part would have damaged the mood significantly... as would letting you find confirmation
of the true answer before the eavesdropping scene at the end of the chapter.
There is one quest in this chapter with more than one functional solution: there are two different ways to dampen the rag in the boiler room. I always
appreciate it when two perfectly valid actions in an adventure game both work. (-:
Here's a list of the Chapter Five conversations that involve 'positive' or 'negative' response choices:
*Talking to Bates about Victoria. Here 'positive' means 'be persuasive rather than threatening.'
*Talking to Victoria about Lothar (the first time). Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
*Talking to the gravedigger in the Warmhill cemetary. Here 'positive' means 'don't be rude.'
This is the endgame. No choices to make; no conversations to have. Find your way through the catacombs, pass through the Black Mirror, and solve a
final puzzle to perform the ritual that will end the curse of the Gordon family forever. The game's ending... may or may not satisfy you. Go on to the
Backseat Game Designer page if you find yourself with questions remaining. (-: