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The Haunted Carousel Spoilers

Welcome to the new Computer Game Spoilers section of my gaming website. I added this section because I recently received questions about the plots of two different games which, to my surprise and embarrassment, I had totally forgotten the answers to. Then, to my further surprise, I was unable to find any existing website that would refresh my memory about the plots of computer games... lots of puzzle solutions, but no basic plot summaries.

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So I figured I'd better write some of them down while they're still fresh in my mind, just in case I or anybody else wants to refer to them at some point in the future (or in case anybody suffers a major game glitch and just wants to know what was supposed to happen in the end-- I get letters like this from time to time.) If you haven't finished The Haunted Carousel yet and you don't want the plot of this game to be revealed to you, then you don't want to read this page. Please go back to my main The Haunted Carousel page, where I give tips and reviews without giving away any of its plot.

But if you are looking for plot spoilers, just scroll further down the page to find them!

Plot Summary

The setup and basic plot of this game is based on the 1983 Nancy Drew novel The Haunted Carousel. As in the book, Nancy has been asked to investigate mysterious goings-on at an amusement part on the Jersey shore. In particular, one of the horses has been stolen from an antique carousel. The carousel has also been starting by itself mysteriously at night, and the rollercoaster stopped suddenly once (resulting in a whiplash lawsuit.) After a lot of investigation and an extensive subplot with the office manager, Nancy learns that there were stolen jewels from a 20-year-old burglary hidden in one of the horses, and also realizes that the art director, Elliot, is forging faux-antique carousel horses for sale on the black market. It was he who was turning the carousel on at night by remote control, in order to draw attention to the theft and increase interest in his forgeries. After defeating Elliot and recovering the jewels and the missing horse, the park re-opens and Nancy has solved another case.

Character Subplots and Secrets

Joy Trent: The office manager. She is the daughter of one of the former owners of the park, Daryl Trent. She has a sad backstory-- her mother died when she was only four and she became withdrawn and rejected everything she used to love from her childhood, including tearing up all the photographs of her mother and hating the amusement park. She secretly blames Paula for her father's recent death as well, since they were business partners and Paula did not help him out of his financial problems. She is the one who stopped the rollercoaster, with the aim of closing down the park. But before he died, her father built a robot called Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine to try to remind his daughter of the happy times from her childhood through a scavenger hunt. Nancy helps Joy solve the riddles and over the course of the game, she finally starts to deal with her loss. At the end of the scavenger hunt, Daryl has hidden his one remaining photograph of Joy's mother and the carousel horse she had loved so much that her parents bought it for her fourth birthday. Joy apologizes to Paula, and in the epilogue, she is seen riding the carousel and smiling.

Harlan Bishop: The head of security at the park. Nancy discovers he is an ex-con, but he is apparently genuine in his determination to turn his life around and work an honest job. He is the only one of the NPC's who is loyal to Paula, because she knew about his criminal record and gave him a chance anyway. In the epilogue, Harlan has gotten a lot of positive press for apprehending Elliott after Nancy escaped from him and is basking in the glow.

Ingrid Corey: Chief engineer at the park. Exactly what she's been up to is never explained in the game-- she has been communicating with Lance Huffington, presumably colluding with him on his frivolous lawsuit against the amusement park somehow, but since she definitely was not the one who stopped the roller coaster while he was on it, it's not clear what they could have been conspiring on. Ingrid claims she was recommending herbal remedies for his whiplash, but that sure didn't match what he said on the phone, so I'm thinking that was a lie. The game doesn't say, though, so we'll never know. Ingrid does fess up to stealing the roller coaster blueprints so that she can use them to design a roller coaster for a rival park, which she's doing behind Paula's back. The epilogue does not mentin what happens to Ingrid after all this.

Elliot Chen: Art director at the park. He acts like a real slacker, but in fact he's not getting his work done because he's spending all his time on illegal side pursuits. Elliot is the one who stole the missing horse, but he didn't do it because of the hidden jewelry-- he was intending to forge replicas of the horse and sell them on the black market. The jewels came as a surprise to him.

Minor Characters

Paula Santos: The owner of the amusement park, she is the one who hired Nancy to investigate. She can only be spoken to over the phone. She normally seems pretty bland, but if Nancy gets injured in any way, you'll see her true colors come out and start understanding why nearly everyone she knows is double-crossing or suing her. This is the first of many Nancy Drew games featuring rude, presumptuous, verbally abusive people Nancy has to work for, which is not a trend I'm a big fan of.

Tink Obermeier, Lance Huffington, Det. Perris, Luis Guerra, Anton Sukov: You need to call these characters on the telephone to learn plot information, but they are never seen on screen and are not suspects.

Rolfe and Amelia Kessler: Rolfe Kessler is the artist who originally created the carousel, and Amelia was his wife. They are long deceased and you learn about them only through old documents and conversations with a historian. By the way, "Spatzi," Rolfe's nickname for Amelia, is a German term of endearment that literally means "little sparrow." How sweet!

Bess, George, Frank, and Joe: As usual in Nancy Drew games, these characters have no subplots and exist only to chat with Nancy on the telephone and deliver hints if the player needs them.

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