Welcome to my Secret of the Old Clock 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.
These Nancy Drew games are structured a little differently than most graphic adventure games, though. In particular, you can solve most of the game's puzzles in
any order you feel like, making a chronological walkthrough of little use. The physical area Secret of the Old Clock is played in is much
smaller than it looks, because although the town gives the impression of being quite large, there is only one puzzle area and one enterable room in the entire place--
for game purposes, the whole town is significantly smaller than Emily's house.
For this reason, it makes more sense to use a CRPG-style area guide rather than breaking the game down into chronological chapters.
I've included a checklist of important tasks at the
beginning and one of optional tasks at the end. Note that I don't tell you how to solve any of the puzzles--just where they are. If you've found a puzzle
but just can't seem to get it right no matter what you do, UHS is a good place to go for a
single hint that won't spoil the rest of the game for you.
Secret of the Old Clock: Key Tasks
If you find yourself getting stuck in the game, keep in mind that plot advancement is often arbitrary.
If nothing is happening, you need to make sure that you have spoken to everyone until they have nothing
more to say, looked around every area to see if there are any objects you haven't noticed,
and used every object in your inventory. If all those things fail, take a look at this checklist of important tasks you will need to complete to solve the game
(the order is largely up to you):
1) Talk to all the NPC's. Repeatedly. Having certain conversations with them is necessary for the plot to progress. Topham will require you to
solve a word puzzle before talking to you for the first time.
2) There's a puzzle called "Bard Bounce" in the inn parlor which you need to solve for a clue.
3) Also in the parlor, there's a puzzle in the clock on the mantel you need to solve.
4) In Topham's house, there's another clock with a puzzle in it for you to solve.
5) By the golf course outside, there is a "Mastermind" game set up, which you need to beat for a clue.
6) You can also play a golf mini-game here, and will win an object if you beat par.
7) In the banker's office, there is a third clock with a puzzle in it for you to solve (though you'll need to find the key first.)
8) To get inside the carriage house, you must first solve the puzzle on the door. (You'll have to have finished #2 and #6 before you can do this.)
9) Inside the carriage house, you can find and solve the fourth puzzle clock.
10) Solve a dominoes puzzle and a mirrors puzzle to access the second floor of the carriage house.
11) But before you can open the fifth clock, you will need to do a lot of favors for people. A) You will have to help Topham with a telepathic
exercise (this is the most fun); B) You will have to deliver some stupid telegrams to earn enough money to get the crystal polished;
C) You will have to hem a dress for the banker; D) You will have to sort some pies for Jane; E) To get Josiah's trivet back, you
will have to drive around town doing several trivial errands for people.
12) You have to talk to Emily about the moving picture in her room and examine it for her.
13) You must figure out how to open two secret passageways and solve a picture puzzle in the second to get an important plot object.
14) Once you've finished all these things, you can solve the password on Josiah's journal.
15) You will still need to solve one more inventory puzzle in Topham's house to get the Shakespeare book you need.
16) Once you have finished all 15 previous tasks, you will have everything you need to get the answer to the fifth puzzle clock from
Josiah's ham radio.
17) Do this, solve the puzzle in the clock, follow the instructions to get the key, and go to the bank to trigger the endgame sequence.
And that's it, you've won!
Secret of the Old Clock: Area Guide
Despite the huge-looking map, there are only ten areas you can actually enter (only the first seven of which can be entered at the game's beginning.)
The rest of the map only exists to test your driving skills (and possibly your patience.) You can't actually go inside any of the buildings on the
driving map except for the bank (and, if you run out of both gas and money, the gas station workshop.)
*This is where you can find Jane Willoughby, one of the four main NPC's in the game. You'll need to return to talk to her many times in order for the plot to advance.
*When Jane's not around, you can play with the grandfather clock, but there's no puzzle in there, just a hint to a puzzle you've probably already solved on your own.
*When Jane's not around, you can poke around in her desk and find an important photograph.
*This is where you can find Emily Crandall, one of the four main NPC's in the game. You'll need to return to talk to her many times in order for the plot to advance.
*There is a book on Emily's bed which you need to read.
*Emily has a phonograph which you will eventually need to use.
*Emily has a sewing machine which you will eventually need to use.
*There are some important items in the drawer beneath the window seat Emily is sitting on, but you cannot open it to take any of them while
Emily is there. She will give one of them to you herself at one point, and you'll need to wait till she leaves to take the others.
*After Emily complains about the picture moving, be sure to check that out by straightening it and looking at it again later. I believe this is actually necessary for the game to advance at one point.
*One of Topham's clock puzzles is in here for you to solve.
*There's an arcade game here called "The Bard's Bounce" which you will need to beat for an important clue.
*The "LIKE" magazine on the window seat here has an article is not important per se, but does relate to one of the tasks Topham wants you to do for him.
*The newspaper has an article with an important clue in it.
*There is also a secret door hidden in here.
This is a pretty useless area, but you'll have to come out here to make calls on the payphone and once to solve a pie puzzle when Jane
asks you to.
This is the pathway between Emily's inn and Topham's house.
*There is a little piece of paper blowing around here that you can catch, but be careful about it!
*Josiah's magic golf course is along this path and you will need to both beat the mini-golf game and solve an adjacent puzzle at some point,
and eventually return here for another important item.
*This is where you can find Richard Topham, one of the four main NPC's in the game. You'll need to return to talk to him many times in order for the plot to advance.
*There are lots of doo-dads and reading materials in this room, but the only one that is really important is Josiah's journal, which is chock full of
*There is also a copy of a Shakespeare book that you will eventually need, but you will have to complete a puzzle before you can get at that.
*There is one of Josiah's puzzle hidden in the clocks on the mantelpiece.
*This is where you can find Jim Archer, one of the four main NPC's in the game. You'll need to return to talk to him many times in order for the plot to advance.
*You can examine the typewriter ribbon to see the last message Josiah typed on it.
*Examine the picture of the old lady, Clara Pickford, for some information that will be of some use later.
*You can examine the picture of Jim Archer's car for another hint.
*One of Josiah's clock puzzles is in here for you to solve.
The Secret Passages
*There's some money scattered on the floor down here.
*There's a puzzle you can solve to get an important plot item.
*There's a secret entrance to Topham's house down here.
*After you've opened the second area, you can find a peephole to peer through.
The Carriage House
*One of Topham's clock puzzles is in here for you to solve.
*There is a pamphlet about fish here (though you don't actually need to read it in order to catch fish.)
*There is a domino puzzle and then a mirror puzzle you need to solve in order.
The Carriage House Attic
*The ham radio is here. You will eventually need to use this.
*There's another old clock puzzle here for you to solve.
*And there's an important note from Josiah.
The Gas Station Workshop
You only enter this area if you need gas or tires from the gas station but have no money to pay for them. If that happens to you, then Zippy
sends you back here to sort nuts and bolts for him in lieu of money. You can't do anything else back here except this one semi-puzzle.
*Listened in on Topham's psychic tutoring session?
*Looked at Topham's calendar while he's teaching?
*Played with the robot, gong, triangle, and clapper in Topham's house (preferably NOT while he's teaching)?
*Played with the spinning movie machine in Topham's house?
*Asked Jane for Gloria's middle name?
*Asked Jane to hem the dress?
*Seen what happens when you run out of gas or get a flat tire when you don't have enough money to pay for it?