Nancy Drew Games Secret of Shadow Ranch Walkthrough Secret of Shadow Ranch Cheats

Secret of Shadow Ranch Spoilers

This is the section for commentary about the game that would probably ruin your playing of it, so please go back to the low-spoiler Secret of Shadow Ranch Hints if you haven't played the game yet.

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If you have read that page already, and you still have questions remaining, then read on:

Possible Deaths in Secret of Shadow Ranch
Plot Holes in Secret of Shadow Ranch
Easter Eggs and Optional Actions
Plot Summary and Character Subplots
The Backseat Game Designer

Secret of Shadow Ranch Death Scenarios

This is an unavoidable spoiler, but there are a limited number of possible deaths in Secret of Shadow Ranch, and some of them are creative. You may not have experienced all of them, and may be curious. (-: So, here's a list:

*You can be bitten and killed by a rattlesnake on the ranch if you go to pick vegetables before exploring the pumphouse. (This is a real "gotcha" death, as there's no way to predict it and the game gives you no other cues that it wants you to go to the pumphouse first.)
*You can be bitten and killed by a rattlesnake at the trail head if you touch the rock it's hiding under.
*You can be stung and killed by a scorpion near the outhouse in the ghost town.
*You can be trapped in the old jail cell forever if you knock the key down the hole.
*You can (presumably) be killed by the villain in the endgame if you let him catch you, though it's not clear how this happens (he doesn't seem to be carrying a weapon and he doesn't physically attack Nancy, the game just ends as soon as he enters the room.)

You can also lose the game without dying if you annoy Tex enough that he refuses to let you ride the horses-- either by leading the horse to the riding area without Tex's permission or leaving the stables while the horse is still saddled up-- or if you do any of the Rawleys' farm chores incorrectly, which will result in an insulting lecture and an order to go home from the irascible Bet and Ed. The mistakes you can make include starting a fire in the oven, feeding the chickens or horses the wrong amount of food, fixing the chicken wire incorrectly, touching the aggressive hen and getting pecked, and -- one of the lamest ways to lose a computer adventure game in recent history -- picking unripe pieces of fruit.

Easter Eggs and Optional Actions

There weren't any easter eggs per se in Secret of Shadow Ranch, but there are a number of actions you can take in the game which are entirely optional to the plot. To give them a try, follow this link: Secret of Shadow Ranch Options.

Spoilers: Plot Holes

I guess the upside to having such a rudimentary plot is that there's no room in it for holes or loose ends. The only thing I was left wondering at the end was why Nancy still wanted to help Uncle Ed and Aunt Bet after they were such obnoxious jerks (seriously, I know Arizonans have a bad reputation for being rude, and after living there for three years I acknowledge that it isn't entirely unwarranted; but no one I met there would have invited a teenage family friend out to visit for a vacation, then demanded that she spend hours doing all their housework for them. Not to mention angrily kicking her out if she had the temerity to pick unripe vegetables while doing their gardening for them.) I seem to remember Nancy Drew being a little less of a doormat in the novels.

But anyway, though the game itself held together well, there was one glaring error in the ending cutscene. Nancy exposits that the Rawleys have decided to give half the treasure to Dave and stop being such jerks to Mary. It's nice to see a little character development on their part, especially since they started the game out so thoroughly unlikeable; but the treasure was never the Rawleys' to give away. It wasn't found on their land! That was just a red herring from earlier in the game. In reality, the treasure turned out to have been hidden on the other side of the map, far from the Rawley's ranch, up in the cliff dwellings. So the Rawleys had nothing to do with the treasure at all; if anything, it should have been Nancy nicely agreeing to give them a little bit of the gold, not them parceling it out to other people.

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