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Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake Walkthrough


Welcome to my Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake 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, but the physical area the game is played in is TINY -- only 10-15 rooms per game. In light of this, rather than breaking my walkthrough down into "chapters" or "stages," I'm just going to break it down into areas, with 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.

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake: 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. You'll need to call Sally a few times to move the plot along, too, and another NPC whose phone number will be revealed later in the game (too bad Nancy hasn't got a cellphone.) Calling George, Bess, Frank and Joe is completely optional in Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake. If nothing much seems to be happening, make sure none of the three NPC's nor Sally has anything new to say to you.

2) See the attack of the ghost dogs. (This will happen as soon as you try to go upstairs for the first time after speaking to Red; but you can do task 3 and collect inventory items for later before seeing the dogs, if you so desire.)

3) Fix the broken part of the cabin floor. (You'll need to find some inventory items to do this.)

4) Fix the boat. You can only do this after you've finished task #2, and it involves procuring a couple of inventory items and solving a simple puzzle.

5) Solve the cuckoo clock puzzle in the house. You can only do this after you've finished task #2, and you will need to fetch a certain inventory item before you can finish it.

6) Enter the cellar. You will need to complete #3 and #5 before you can do this. There are two important inventory items down here that you'll need to advance conversation with NPC's.

7) Read the computer files in the ranger station. (You can only do this after you've finished #4.)

9) Do a sorting puzzle for Akers and read those files too. (You can only do this after finishing #4 and #6.)

10) Test Sally's well water. (You can only do this after you've finished #4.) I'm not 100% sure this task is necessary to advancing the plot, but the results are interesting, and it will prevent you from potentially saving your game in an unwinnable position later on.

11) Call Vivian, then mail her a letter. (You need to have finished #6 and learned her phone number before you can do this.)

12) Open the safe in the cellar. You'll need to have finished task #8 before you can do this, and you'll need a couple of inventory items, plus two more to get the contents out of the safe.

13) Photograph birds for Red. This is a long task involving many errands (fetching his tape recorder, tracking birds through the forest maze by their calls, doing a boring bug-collecting job for Em, and more bird-tracking.) SAVE YOUR GAME AFTER RED GIVES YOU INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT FINDING A HAWK. A timed challenge follows which can be difficult or even impossible if you haven't prepared the environment for it in advance (either through luck or good guesswork.)

14) Beat the two-part timed challenge in the shed. (This will happen immediately after finishing #13.)

15) Pick up a key from Vivian. (This will not arrive till you have finished #11 and #14.)

16) Use the key in the graveyard. (From here on out everything is linear and must be done in order.)

17) Go back and learn the password. If you're lucky and hit on the password by trial and error as I did, don't worry about this step.

18) Go back to the graveyard again and solve the tombstone puzzle.

19) Surprise, your batteries run out. Go back to Em's and solve the soda cans puzzle for her so she'll give you batteries.

20) Go back to the graveyard YET AGAIN (you're wishing this didn't take 80 clicks to accomplish, aren't you?) and solve the tombstone puzzle a second time.

21) Solve the spigots puzzle in the speakeasy.

22) Solve the mosaics puzzle in the secret passageway #21 opens up.

23) Go back to a secret passageway #22 has opened up and find a key (exploring the kennel is fun but optional.)

24) Solve the mosaics puzzle again and go through the door.

25) Solve the water wheels puzzle and go into the well.

26) Solve the Roman numerals puzzle and go into the vault.

27) Solve the final timed challenge and that's it, you've won!

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake: Area Guide

The game does its irritating best to hide it by making it take dozens of useless clicks to get from one area to the next, but there are really only fourteen rooms in this park, and only SIX of them (!) are accessible in the beginning of the game -- the rest can only be entered later on, as the plot progresses.

Sally's Cabin

*This is where the telephone is. You will need the phone to make important calls to Sally and Vivian, and can also use it to chat up Bess and George or ask the Hardy Boys for hints.
*There are four inventory objects you can pick up in here, three of which are necessary to winning the game.
*There is one puzzle in the cabin (regarding dogs) and one home repair you will need to accomplish.
*The staircase can be used to change the time from day to night, which is important since one NPC can only be contacted at night and the other two can only be contacted during the day.

Sally's Yard

*There are two paths leading away from Sally's cabin; one leads to the shed, and the other to the treehouse.
*In Sally's yard is a water pump and bucket. You'll need to use the bucket for an early task, but it's a good idea to return it to the pump and fill it with water once you're done. Trust me, you'll thank me.
*After Sally has seen the dogs, note the pawprints around the pump.
*The entrance to the cellar can also be found in the yard, but it's locked tight until after you've solved some puzzles. Notice the compass tile in front of the cellar.
*Sally's boat is waiting at the dock, but either she doesn't use it much or it's been sabotaged; it's full of water and the engine doesn't work. You need to fix it before you can visit the ranger station or Em's store. There are also two inventory items in the boat which you will need.

Shed

*There's a tool box with two useful items in it once you've figured out how to get it open (you'll need two inventory objects to accomplish this.)
*There's another important item in here.
*You can pump gas out of the propane tank in the corner if you like, but if you do it too many times you're going to get predictable results. :-)

Treehouse

*This is where you can find Red Knott, one of the game's three NPC's. You'll need to return to talk to him many times in order for the plot to advance. He is only here at night; nothing is here during the day.

Forest Maze

This is the most tiresome place in the game. You're presented with a map, so you don't even have to use the brainpower involved in finding your way through the darn thing, but it's still a pain to navigate (hedge mazes and clunky arrow navigation DO NOT mix,) and it takes dozens of clicks to get through in either direction, and guess what, you're going to have to do this a total of 14 times (you can get it down to 10 if you use trial and error on two puzzles.)

If this hasn't scared you off, there is one important plot item sitting just outside the entrance to the maze, and the bugs and birds you will need later in the game are scattered throughout the maze.

Graveyard

*There is an inventory item here you will need.
*The tombstones can all be examined. Some seem to be injokes, one will be important later in the game, and the four tombstones of the dogs need to be examined to solve a puzzle.
*Note the pawprints around the tomb.

Cellar

*This location is only available once you have solved a puzzle (it can't be opened from the outside.)
*There is a safe hidden down here with a puzzle you must solve to open it.

Ranger Station

*This location is only available once you have A) learned about it and B) fixed Sally's boat.
*This is where you can find Jeff Akers, one of the game's three NPC's. You'll need to return to talk to him many times in order for the plot to advance. He is only here during the day; you can't come here at night.
*There is a computer database and several fliers and posters for you to read in the ranger station.
*There is a puzzle here for you to solve, but only after Ranger Akers has asked you to.

Em's Emporium

*This location is only available once you have A) learned about it and B) fixed Sally's boat.
*This is where you can find Emily Griffen, one of the game's three NPC's. You'll need to return to talk to her many times in order for the plot to advance. She is only here during the day; you can't come here at night.
*There is a puzzle here for you to solve, but only after Em has asked you to.

Speakeasy

*This location is only available once you have solved several other puzzles.
*This is the most visually interesting location in the game. Pore over the wall decorations, both for clues and ambience.
*There is a puzzle to solve behind the bar (first you have to figure out how to unlock it.
*It's OK to go through the big double doors if you like; you WILL be able to come back through them (i.e. not have to go the long way round through the maze and the cemetary again.)

Secret Hall (with mosaics)

*This location is only available once you have solved the puzzle in the speakeasy.
*There is a mosaics puzzle here to solve, as well as some mosaics of Malone's dogs that may help the last clues fall into place for you.
*Once you've solved the puzzle, you still can't go through the door without a key you don't have, but luckily, solving the puzzle causes a tunnel to a new area to open.

Kennel

*This location is only available once you have solved the mosaic puzzle.
*You can examine the dog pen for some comments from Nancy, both before and after exploring the rest of the room.
*There's an important quest item in here.
*The other objects on the table and desk can be examined to tell you exactly who the gold-hunter is (if you hadn't figured it out already) and the method of how Sally was tricked.

Waterworks

*This location is accessible from the Secret Hall once you have found a key.
*There's a puzzle with the water wheels to your right. Two inventory items are required.

Vault

*This location is only accessible once you have solved the waterworks puzzle.
*There is one final puzzle here, a tricky one since you have to both figure out the secret code and manage to rotate the wheels properly. You also need an inventory item.
*Once you've solved that last puzzle, you can enter the vault and play the endgame challenge.

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake: Optional Actions

Have you:

*Called Vivian back after her important plot point for a cute cameo from an earlier game? (This isn't technically necessary to solve the game, and I originally missed doing it because I managed to solve the tombstone puzzle myself through a bit of dumb luck.)
*Patted the dog in the ranger station?
*Examined the dogs in the kennel several times, both before and after finding the electronic device?
*Read the entire journal found in the kennel?
*Looked at all the materials in the kennel, including the toothpaste, electronic device, eyepiece, and tabloid magazine?

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