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The Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon 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 Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon 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 Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon 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 loosely based on the 1990 Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys crossover Mystery Train. Like the book, this game is a crossover, and the player is able to control the Hardy Boys for part of the gameplay as well as Nancy. The mystery begins when socialite Lori Girard invites several detectives, including Nancy and the Hardy boys, on a train ride with her to search for the fate of 19th-century miner Jake Hurley. Mysteriously, Jake disappeared in 1903 and was never heard from again, while his engineer was found dead inside the locked train. After much puzzle-solving and a few misadventures, Nancy eventually discovers Jake's secret gold mine, and inside it, she finds Jake's body and a historic old letter to Jake written by Abraham Lincoln himself. This was apparently what Lori was hoping to find all along (it would be a priceless artifact if it were real) and she tries to kill Nancy so she can take credit for finding the letter herself, but she is no match for Nancy -- the Hardy Boys don't even have to interfere on her behalf!

Character Subplots and Secrets

Lori Girard: A famous-for-nothing socialite who is not very bright but secretly craves real respect. Her latest plan to achieve this goal is solving the mystery of Jake Hurley's mine and recovering his historic treasure. In the end, she turns out to be willing to kill to get her way (though she is probably the least dangerous villain Nancy has faced in the series except for 10-year-old Jane Penvellyn -- it isn't even possible for Nancy to fail to defeat Lori once she has escaped from the mine!) At the beginning of the game, Lori screams and vanishes in the dark, but it turns out she was just hiding to test how quickly the detectives could find her.

Charleena Purcell: This historical romance novelist is a recurring character, having featured as a phone contact in The Secret of Shadow Ranch. In Blue Moon Canyon, she is a full NPC who can be seen and interacted with. Lori has been pestering her for a long time to help her become a famous author, but Charleena is unimpressed by Lori's writing skills. However, Nancy later discovers that despite her disparagement of Lori's writing, she ended up using an idea Lori told her in one of her own hit novels. Charleena doesn't consider it plagiarism since it was only one idea from an unsolicited manuscript, and legally she is almost certainly correct, but Lori is understandably pretty cheesed off about the whole thing. Charleena says she plans to ask a producer friend of hers to give Lori a role in his next movie to make amends.

Tino Balducci: A police detective who was thrust into the national limelight after apprehending a pair of notorious bank robbers... though it was pretty much just luck on his part. Tino knows he is not really that great a detective and is desperate to live up to his reputation. At one point, for no apparent reason, he pulls the emergency brake on the train and tries to frame John for it with planted evidence, apparently just because he feels a lot of pressure to make an arrest for something. He drops the whole thing when Nancy confronts him about it. Nancy also learns that he used to date Lori and still carries a torch for her, but that he broke up with her because she was too much of a media joke and he was afraid that going out with her would make him look bad. If Nancy discusses it with him long enough, he regrets his decision and asks her out again.

John Grey: Host of a reality-TV show about ghosts. Nancy learns that his show was canceled, but he claims not to care since it has been picked up by a bigger network. He gives the impression of sincerely believing in ghosts and thinks that the ghost of Jake's wife Camille is haunting the train, something that is not conclusively proven either way during the course of the game.

Frank and Joe Hardy: Besides their usual role of offering hints to Nancy when she talks to them, the player gets to use Frank and Joe to solve some puzzles in Copper Gorge.

Minor Characters

Jake and Camille Hurley: Nancy learns about this 19th-century couple only through their letters and other remains. Jake was friends with many of the most famous people of his time period including Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln. His wife, Camille Vouler, evidently died in an accident (she collapsed on a hot day and hit her head, and died of her injuries soon after.) Though Bess darkly suggests that maybe Jake caused this accident by hitting her and his grief-stricken attitude afterwards was actually a guilty conscience, there's really no evidence in the game supporting this at all. Bess does kind of go off on wild tangents a lot. As for Jake, he must have died in his private mine and his body was never found because he kept the mine's location such a closely guarded secret.

James Thurston: This was the ill-fated engineer. It is never explained why he died. Charleena suggests that since he was quite a bit older than Jake, he might have just passed away of natural causes while waiting for Jake to return.

Fatima: She is a shopkeeper in Copper Gorge, where the train briefly stops. She is not related to the plot and just exists as an inventory puzzle (tasks must be done for her in order to acquire objects.)

Bess and George: 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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