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Secret of the Old Clock 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 Secret of the Old Clock 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 Secret of the Old Clock 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 two classic Nancy Drew novels from the 1930's: The Secret of the Old Clock and The Mystery at Lilac Inn. The subplot about a forged will came from the first book, and the subplot about stolen jewelry and identity theft came from the second. This is the reason why this game has two villains whose crimes don't seem to have anything to do with each other except for coincidence; it was originally two completely different cases.

In any case, this game, like the books it is based on, is set in the 1930's, which means Nancy doesn't have access to the standard technology from other games like her cellphone and computer. The story begins when a girl named Emily Crandall asks Nancy to come visit her at the Lilac Inn, which she has recently inherited from her mother. Emily is upset by strange occurrences in her inn-- whispering voices, rearranged objects, etc. While investigating, Nancy comes across two mysteries: first, why Josiah Crowley, Emily's mother's benefactor, did not leave them any money in his will as he had promised to, and second, who has stolen Emily's mother's jewelry. It turns out that Josiah's will, which left all his money to his neighbor Richard Topham, was a forgery created by Topham. Josiah's real will did indeed leave money to Emily and her mother-- however, since Josiah liked messing with people's minds, he decided to hide the will behind a series of devious puzzles and semi-magical machines in order to make Emily's mother really earn the money. She died without accomplishing this, so Nancy had to be the one to solve them. As for the jewelry, that was stolen by Emily's guardian Jane, who in reality is an impostor pretending to be Jane so as to commit the theft. Nancy cracks both cases, the false Jane is sent to jail, and Emily inherits the money she needs to keep the Lilac Inn in business.

Character Subplots and Secrets

Emily Crandall: A friend of Nancy's friend Helen Corning (who does not appear in this game.) Emily's mother has recently died, leaving her in charge of the family business, the Lilac Inn. Unfortunately Emily does not have either enough experience or enough money to run an inn competently during the Depression, so she is struggling and is not in a good emotional state. She also feels betrayed that Josiah did not leave her family any money despite specifically promising to do so. Once the mysteries are solved, she inherits enough money to dedicate herself to running the inn successfully.

Jane Willoughby: Emily's guardian, she is a seamstress who was the best friend of Emily's mother. In reality, the woman claiming to be Jane Willoughby is really Marion Aborn, a con woman who stole some of Willoughby's documents and is now impersonating her in order to pull off thefts. Nancy's first clue that something was wrong was Jane's inability to hem a dress for her (despite the fact that she was supposed to be a seamstress) but she could not prove anything until she came across a picture of the real Jane Willoughby during the endgame. The strange occurrences Emily noticed in the hotel were probably all the result of the false Jane using the secret passages in the inn to spy on Emily.

Richard Topham: A paranormal investigator who claims to have ESP, Topham mysteriously inherited Josiah Crowley's estate after his death. Nancy was able to determine that the will leaving Crowley's money to Topham was a sham, and find his real will which named Emily and her mother as inheritors.

Jim Archer: The kindly seeming banker. Nancy learns that his bank is failing financially, but he doesn't have any involvement in either of the crimes she uncovers. Archer is also one of the people who Josiah left money to in his real will, so once Nancy finds the real will, he is able to keep his bank afloat after all.

Minor Characters

Josiah Crowley: He is already dead when the game begins and cannot be interacted with, but apparently he was a real puzzle fiend, so he left a series of puzzles behind for Emily's mother to solve in order for her to access the will she needed to inherit his money. Unfortunately she never accomplished that before her death, but Nancy managed to do it on Emily's behalf.

Clara Pickford: A lonely old lady who befriended Jim Archer. We never see or speak to her either, because in reality, she was Josiah Crowley in drag. (I told you he liked messing with people's minds.)

Marcel: This turns out not to be a character at all. It is Josiah's hat. (Yes, he named his hat.)

Townspeople of Titusville: There are people inside most of the local stores and buildings; you only hear their voices, never see them, and they have no information about either of the mysteries. You just use them for running errands, and to amuse yourself with anachronistic pop-culture references if you like that kind of thing (some of them are named after characters from the Friday the 13th movies, The Little Shop of Horrors, Animal Farm, Petticoat Junction, etc.)

Bess, George, and Mr. Drew (Nancy's father): 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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