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This is an alternate version of the Professor's riddle from Chapter 6 (My Dearest Visitor). It's similar to the original, except that the clues are not notes, but subtle details about the manor.

The secret lever has been moved to a more plausible location. In order to find the lever, the player must decipher a message that is hidden in the clues.

The new riddle is intended to be a little more subtle and challenging than the original. It also provides some character development for Wakefield, since he automatically solves certain parts of the riddle. -- avec

The EnvelopeEdit


Wakefield uses the Book of Travels to open a secret compartment in the Professor's globe. He finds an envelope containing a letter and a scrap of parchment.

The letter
"A strange path lies concealed in the Manor.
It has six steps, each marked with a sign.
Use the signs to seek knowledge
And my darkest secrets will be revealed.
—Professor Adam Wright
The scrap of parchment
"To find the first sign, reflect closely on yourself.
Lies are as clear as day, but truth is seen only in a fog.

Wakefield adds these messages to his notes, which appear in the inventory as “Wakefield’s notes.”

Talking to KaufmannEdit

Wakefield discusses the riddle with Kaufmann.

Kaufmann: The Professor knew he was losing his mind. Perhaps this riddle was meant to ensure that his research would be found by the right people… and no one else.

Wakefield: We were fortunate to hear him mention The Book of Travels. Without that book, we would not have found the riddle.

Kaufmann: Indeed. His “darkest secrets” are not meant for us, perhaps, but they might be our best chance of locating Herr Devitt. I suggest that you search the Manor for these signs, mein Freund. I will continue conversing with the Professor.

The Six SignsEdit

As Wakefield searches the manor, he makes comments and writes down notes. The player can access the notes at any time.

The relevant locations are the same: the bathroom mirror, the portrait, etc.  Each location contains a sign.

Location Wakefield's comments Wakefield's notes
1: The Bathroom Mirror
Inspect: Though I see my face in the mirror, the reflection is strangely distorted.

After clue: '…reflect closely on yourself.' Could something be hidden in the mirror?

After steam: In the condensed steam, my reflection looks somehow more… imposing. For a moment, I thought I was looking at someone else. A face I have seen before. The steam also revealed invisible letters on the mirror: "Thep".
A familiar, imposing face in the mirror. The first sign: Thep
2: The Professor's Portrait
Inspect: The Professor’s portrait resembles the face that I saw in the bathroom mirror. What could it mean?

React: Upon closer inspection, a pastoral scene has been painted in the background. The brush strokes are very faint, but it must be the garden behind the manor. It has been drawn as though I were looking down on it from a height. There is also a tiny bulge in the canvas.

React 2: A key has been tightly affixed to the back of the portrait, forming a slight bulge. The word "Lace" is embossed on its handle.

[The key is added to the inventory. It opens the attic.]
The Professor’s portrait includes a painting of his garden as viewed from a height. The second sign: Lace
3: The Attic Window
Inspect: From this vantage, the garden looks just as it did in the portrait, though naturally it is a bit older. There is one exception. The large white oak tree near the fountain must be one of the oldest trees on the grounds, but it was not included in the painting. A curious omission. An iron plaque has been mounted on the window frame. It bears the word "Oft". An ancient white oak tree stands in the garden, but was not included in the Professor’s portrait. The third sign: Oft
4: The Oak Tree
Inspect: Words have been carefully carved into the roots: “Please Please Please”. How absurd! And yet… I feel as though I recently overheard someone speaking those very words. It was part of a heated discussion, I think. Or am I imagining things? Below the carving, a metal bar is partially ensnared in the roots.

React: The bar is actually a key. It is made of tin and has not corroded in the moist climate. The letters "Heeter" are printed upon the handle.

[The key is added to the inventory. It opens the conservatory.]
I overheard someone saying “Please Please Please”. The fourth sign: Heeter
Door to the Conservatory
The next time Wakefield approaches the conservatory:

It’s the birds! At times, I can discern the word “please” in their chittering. It is somehow the product of their collective voice: No single bird speaks the word.

[It’s possible that the player never approached the conservatory and never heard the birds. However, even if they’re stuck, all they need to do is approach the door.]
[No notes]
5: The Greek Bust
Inspect: A bust of Anaxagoras, an ancient Greek philosopher.

React: The sculptor has given the bust an animalistic appearance. The irises are vertical slits, shaggy hair falls nearly to the shoulders, and the teeth could almost be fangs. I feel as though I have seen something like this elsewhere in the Manor. On the bottom, the letters "Nal" are scrawled in faded black ink.
A bust of the philosopher Anaxagoras, made to resemble a carnivorous animal. It resembles something else in the Manor. The fifth sign: Nal
6: The Lion's Head
Inspect: The lion’s face is oddly familiar. In fact, it… it resembles Anaxagoras. The two could almost be distant kin. My God, who would do such a thing? The word "Fog" has been delicately carved on the base of the lion’s neck. A statue of a lion, made to resemble Anaxagoras. The sixth sign: Fog
After finding the sixth sign Think:  I have the six signs that the letter spoke of. It said that I could use them to seek knowledge. The six signs: Thep, Lace, Oft, Heeter, Nal, and Fog.

The SolutionEdit

Reveal solution

The signs spell out "The Place of the Eternal Fog." In Chapter 3, Devitt found a book entitled "Unexplored Places of the Empire". One of the chapters was "The Place of the Eternal Fog." It described Zhai-La, which might be another name for Zha'ilathal.

The Library
When Wakefield returns to the library:

Inspect: The signs spell out, “The Place of the Eternal Fog”. There is a book with that title in the Professor's library. By the looks of it, it has never been opened.

React: The wooden panel behind the book is loose and hollow.

React 2: With some difficulty, I was able to remove the panel. Behind it, a small compartment houses a sturdy iron lever.

React 3: [Wakefield pulls the lever. There is the sound of a grinding noise.] The lever seems to have triggered a weight-activated mechanism. I hear a grinding noise upstairs.

React 4: I cannot reset the lever.
Additional thoughts

It would be nice if Wakefield found the book by searching a catalog. In the 19th century, private libraries often had their own catalogs. Card catalogs hadn't been invented yet, so most catalogs took the form of separate bound books.

In the game, the player would click on the catalog and type in a book's title. This would prevent the player from finding the book by simply clicking at random. (Of course, The Last Door series does not have a text entry feature.)

Catalog (inspect): A catalog of the library’s contents.

Catalog (react): Which title should I look up? [The player types in a title.]

After typing in “The Travels of Marco Polo”: There is an entry for "The Travels of Marco Polo". [Wakefield retrieves the book.]

After typing in “The Book of Travels”: According to the catalog, the book is actually called "The Travels of Marco Polo”. [Wakefield retrieves the book.]

After typing in “The Place of the Eternal Fog”: There is an entry for “The Place of the Eternal Fog”. [Wakefield retrieves the book.]

After typing in “theplaceoftheeternalfog” or “Thep Lace Oft Heeter Nal Fog”: That could not possibly be the title of a book. I must be missing something.

After typing in “The Place of” and anything else: There is no entry for… hang on. There is a book entitled “The Place of the Eternal Fog”. Of course! [Wakefield retrieves the book. This keeps the puzzle from being too difficult, and it's something that would logically happen.]

After typing in another name: There is no entry for that book.

The Secret RoomEdit

When Wakefield enters the secret room, Kaufmann is already there.

Kaufmann: I heard the wall slide open. Your doing, I presume? Well done, mein Freund!


The riddle is meant to foreshadow certain themes:

1) There is kinship between humans and animals
2) Ancient beings live among us, though they are not part of our recorded history (e.g., the tree)
3) The people who investigate Wright may end up like him.