Brink of Consciousness 2: Lonely Hearts Murders (Collector’s Edition)

This game is actually a prequel to the other one, NOT the sequel even if it’s labeled as #2. But it was all right. I could use some background information on that lunatic Oscar who starred in the first game, considering how that one was left off with so many unknown questions.

Anyway, the story began with the disappearance of several townspeople, mostly young and from the high-class society. The year was 1890 in England. At that time, the madman in town was known by the nickname of the Lonely Hearts Killer. A young woman by the name of Olivia Wright, the daughter of Owen Wright–whether linked to the Lonely Hearts Killer or not, had disappeared recently. Her father, Mr. Wright, sought out his detective friend, Logan Green, to search for Olivia. Detective Logan Green was actually the detective in charge of the Lonely Hearts Killer case. He ended up recruiting Mr. Wright to help him in the case, even forcing one of the newbies Jayden Evans, into giving Mr. Wright a permit to enter his office as seen fit at times. (Owen Wright was actually a former officer and Logan Green’s partner at one time, or so it seemed from their conversations and interactions about past cases where they worked together so that was also why Logan Green was even allowing Owen to tag along and help him with the case, knowing he could use a second opinion and that Owen wouldn’t just sit around and wait for the results.)

As the story moved along, though Logan Green was the detective, as the player, we took on the role of Owen Wright in trying to explore and find different clues leading to his missing daughter, Olivia. Many more characters were involved in this story and the suspect list got more interesting. As for the setting, the various scenery and houses made the plot non-repetitive from the first part, since it was more running around town versus within the property of the maniac. Given the plot details, it made sense. The townspeople often gathered at places to discuss the latest town scare. However, a particular group, including Charlotte, Matilda, Leonard Bain, Archie Thompson, and Johnathan Kirk often meet up to play poker. The first clue given to us as to the link of the murders and the crazy Oscar later on in his life (during the first part) was how Madame Matilda had mentioned that her nephew wanted to name his son Oscar and would take him hunting later on.

The Lonely Hearts Killer actually got his nickname because he only killed people who were broken-hearted–whether because their beloved had died or they have been betrayed by love. What was more, he often set them up at the scene–like a piece of artwork along with a yellow lotus. Before putting them at some arranged scene though, he had imprisoned them for thirty days and then poisoned them with gas. Then he would remove their hearts, signifying that he was trying to cleanse their hearts of all the pain, etc. (Sounds familiar with the sick set up of themes and incorporating it to justify the murders?) Peter Ross, Dr. Benjamin Ross’ son–the latest victim–I had forgotten what really happened to him. But Elizabeth Kirk, the second body found–as of the story went at that point, just received the news that her fiance just died at sea. She disappeared soon after that yet no one reported her missing because she was known for running away from home or disappearing without telling anyone. It wasn’t until her body turned up that her uncle, Johnathan Kirk, realized his mistake.

Anyway, after some more investigation from both Detective Logan Green and Owen Wright, they brushed with and escaped death several times. Of course, the killer was among them and had watched their every move, wanting to sabotage them at every turn. It was a true murder mystery. The suspect list was getting blurry because of more disappearances and accusations thrown around. Yet the ending didn’t disappoint at all. You will understand why some of the last names weren’t revealed in the first place. They kept the suspense till the end. Until the last scene to connect the actual dot. (I don’t want to spoil the real killer or the ending for anyone because it was truly intriguing to travel on that journey with finding clues, solving puzzles, and being led astray. It’s part of the whole experience!)

The bonus chapter followed the course of the last scene in the main game. Jayden Evans was seen in Detective Logan Green’s office reporting of what he managed to find out via scorching some old records. Though taking his precious time to report the matter, he had told Detective Green that he had already put out a warrant for a certain person that had some connection with the Lonely Hearts Killer–both family connection and the role of an accomplice in all the past murders of all those townspeople. Unfortunately, the accomplice had already fled the town (obviously since it would be a short time before someone put two and two together). So Detective Green and Jayden Evans had to travel to Scotland to hunt down the Lonely Hearts Killer’s accomplice. It was about time Detective Green did some real work, right? (LOL)

Like the main game, the rest of the bonus chapter contained puzzles and other hidden object scenes in aid of the clue searching, along with the combining of objects once again thus, in the end, lead to finding the accomplice. It also connected some more dots along the way as to answer some of the questions about Oscar–the villain in the first game–and how he got influenced by continuing this killing massacre within their family line.

I highly encourage those who have the CE version to watch the interview in the “Extras” sections. It explains even more into the story of the game and how they developed different stages, etc.

Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome (Collector’s Edition)

Playing on the concept of Oscar Wilde’s characterization and background of the becoming and downfall of Dorian Gray in his famous book, the game surrounded itself on a murder mystery plot. Actually, it was more like a psycho-maniac’s trap. The main character of the story, Sam Wilde, was a reporter who just happened to get caught up in a madman’s web of craziness. After having written a successful article surrounding the mass murders of various youths around town, Sam’s girlfriend, Anna Reid, was kidnapped by none other than the aforementioned murderer. Sam had to meet the madman at his house and tried to rescue Anna. Upon arrival, Sam took the backdoor, thinking he could have a little leverage over the madman. However, a voice recorder rolled into the room as Sam entered the house and he realized the madman had predicted his every move. From there on, Sam was forced to play the old-fashioned game of ‘hide-and-seek’ with the man, in an attempt to locate his beloved girlfriend and rescue her. During his quest and many trips around the house, trying to unearth the clues and solve different puzzles, he discovered the madman had killed and embalmed many people within the house. Even at one time, he overheard a group of people being murdered, and that he helplessly listened next door because he was locked inside. Along the way, he also learned the madman’s name was Oscar and Oscar had a traumatizing childhood hence influencing his perspectives later in life. Yet Sam reminded himself it wasn’t a good excuse for Oscar to take it out on the rest of the world. However, by the end of the story, Oscar had revealed that those ripped pages from his diary were just planted by him to deceive Sam as part of the game. As Oscar laughed and wanted to celebrate his coming victory because of his next supposedly ‘perfect’ project of being able to embalm two people at the same time (Sam and Anna), he was struck down and the couple managed to escape from the nightmare place. What happened next was the local news covering the incident and the discovery of the bodies in the house as Sam and Anna were watching the news safely in their home. The story was far from a happy ending because soon the scene zoomed to Oscar waking up from the fall, hurt but not dead.

The bonus chapter continued several months later with Sam receiving a phone call from his boss, telling him to follow a certain lead. The lead led Sam to an amusement park. It wasn’t until he was inside that he realized it was a trap from Oscar. Oscar was indeed back, building another “fun house.” Yet he didn’t want to complicate matters or waste time like their last meeting. There were no more bodies to discover and there was no Anna to make Sam worry tenfold more. It was a final showdown between the men. Sam’s goal this time was getting out alive because Oscar had electrified the fences so getting out the normal way was impossible. The only way Sam could get out was to shut down the main circuit. Yet that was the least of his worries by the time he achieved his goal. Because the final trap for Sam wasn’t his own death, but Oscar’s. Oscar had embalmed himself and committed suicide. Before Sam shut off the main circuit, Oscar had called the police, so when the police finally arrived, they had concluded that Sam was responsible and was also pinned for murdering and embalming the past victims in that one house–just like how Oscar had predicted before his death. Oscar’s ultimate revenge on Sam was making Sam suffer through a crime he didn’t commit. The bonus chapter ended with the newspaper reporting of Sam’s doing.

Thoughts? Awesome game. Not for the weak mind if you’re easily creeped out by bodies suddenly popping into your vision line. But it is not too graphic like some other games out there with all the gore, just disturbing because of the psycho-maniac that Oscar was. The game included hidden objects and puzzles, along with combining different items to get the machines to work, etc. The graphic was really nice and real. The map helps a lot! So use it when you’re stuck. Sometimes click on the “hint” so it tells you if you need to do something at a location or not. There’s a sequel. SO, don’t be too frustrated with it. Well, I haven’t played it yet, but I will update once I get a chance to see if the story continues or not.

Regarding the story setup though, the character Oscar was as crazy as the Dorian Gray dude with the whole mask and fear of aging, blaming the world for what happened to him and not wanting to take responsibility. The funniest thing was after you learned the guy’s name was Oscar, you thought right away of Sam’s last name and you get the author’s name for The Picture of Dorian Gray, lol. Aside from that, not bad at all with the story. It just gives you chills at times if you think of someone like that Oscar character.