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Stay Tuned for Danger Walkthrough

Welcome to my Stay Tuned for Danger 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.

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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.

Stay Tuned for Danger: 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 (including Bess) until they have nothing more to say, looked around every area (especially near the phone in Mattie's house) 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 also need to call Bess on the phone at least once.
2) Go onto the set and watch the cutscene movie.
3) Get the screwdriver.
4) Visit Dwayne Powers.
5) Answer Millie's riddles to get access to the prop room. (She won't ask riddles until you've completed #4)
6) Get the wire cutters from the prop room.
7) Get Millie's password from the prop room.
8) Solve the Tower of Hanoi puzzle in the prop room.
9) Solve the clock hands puzzle on the set. (Must have completed #8 first)
10) Get a package off the chair by the phone and watch the useless video on Mattie's TV. (It won't arrive until you've completed, I think, #5.)
11) Go into Rick's dressing room and solve the new puzzle in there. (Must have completed #10, #3, and #6)
12) Enter the studio at night through the back door. (Must have completed #11.)
13) Look up the passwords on Lillian's computer (Must have completed #12 and #7.)
13-b) Fetch 3-D glasses from Rick's room and use them to read a document in Lillian's room. (If you're already familiar with basic ciphers you can skip this step.)
14) Get a videotape from the sound room and flip a power switch there. (Must have completed #13 first.)
15) Solve the machine puzzle in the metal cabinet on the set. (Must have completed #9 and #14 first.)
16) Get into the locked part of the prop room and find a code number there. (Must have completed #15 first.)
17) Look up the code number on Lillian's computer.
18) Get another package off the chair by the phone. (Think its arrival is triggered by #16.)
19) Watch the videotape.
20) Sneak into Dwayne's office and look up Owen's file. (Must have completed #17 first.)
21) If you've completed all 20 of the previous tasks (in any order), the phone in Mattie's house should ring, summoning you to the endgame. Guess who the villain is, succeed at the final timed challenge, and you've won! (You can still win if you guess the wrong culprit, by the way, but you should have more than enough clues to pick the right one. :-) )

Stay Tuned for Danger: Area Guide

The game does its irritating best to hide it by making it take dozens of useless clicks and sometimes a taxi cutscene to get from one area to the next, but there are really only eleven rooms in Stay Tuned For Danger (nine rooms in the studio, and two apartments.) Though hallways are "rooms" in some Nancy Drew games, in Stay Tuned for Danger they are not--you cannot turn to look around you in the halls, and there is nothing in them other than decor. There is one exception which is that as you walk past the producer's office, you can hear him talking in there on two occasions. There's no way to avoid walking past his office at those times, so it's impossible to miss those events.

Things worth noticing in each area:

Mattie's House

*You will meet Mattie here at the beginning of the game and once after she tells you she is going home, but other than those two plot-related juncture, she can never be found at home--you must find her in her dressing room at the studio during the daytime if you want to talk to her.
*The telephone is here. Unlike in most Nancy Drew games, it is *necessary* to call Bess once (George and Ned are still optional.) Also, notes and letters are left on the phone stand sometimes, and packages arrive for Nancy on the chair beside the phone stand. They're hard to see, but the game won't progress until she opens and uses them.
*The television in Mattie's house is the only place you can watch videotapes. The game will not progress until you watch both videotapes, although neither turns out to contain any useful information. As in Secrets Can Kill, you need to pick up and use the remote to turn on the TV; there is no manual 'on' button.
*The stairs leading up to the bedroom can be used to switch between day and night. This is important to gameplay, since some things can only be done during the day and others can only be done at night.
*There is plenty of optional reading material scattered throughout the room, including two letters hidden in secret compartments in Mattie's desk. I never figured out what was going on with the calendar on Mattie's desk, which seems to have some kind of holographic image of a face that briefly appears and disappears when you click on it.
*To the best of my knowledge, the locked drawer on Mattie's desk can never be opened in this game.
*You can zoom in on many of Mattie's photographs and other belongings in close-up if you like.

Studio: Lobby

*You need to talk to the security guard behind the desk every time you enter the studio.
*Examining the magazines in the lobby reveals an interesting clue.

Studio: Set

*When you enter the set the first time, you will be shown a cutscene movie and then left on your own to explore.
*Be sure to check out the teleprompter.
*There's an important tool to be picked up in this room.
*There are two puzzles to be solved here: one with the clock on the set, and the other with the machine in the metal cabinet. However, the machine puzzle cannot be solved until the power is turned on in the sound room, so don't beat your head on it until after you've already learned how to enter the sound room.
*There's a cipher on the crate in the middle of the floor. Solving it is optional.

Studio: Catwalk

*To climb up to the catwalk, you'll need to solve a simple puzzle to lower the ladder.
*Going up onto the catwalk is actually optional to the game, but you can discover an interesting clue up there.

Studio: Sound Room

*To enter the soundroom, you'll need to figure out the passcode to open the door.
*There is an important object for you to pick up in this room.
*It's necessary to flip a power switch in this room before you can solve a puzzle in the set.
*You can also play with the sound mixing machines up here. One of them just contains sound effects--push the buttons to hear various audio clips such as applause, laughter, a ringing doorbell, barking dogs, etc. The other machine, with an audio cassette slot, can be used to play the tape given to Nancy by the police; this is optional and no useful clues can be gleaned from it as far as I could tell.

Studio: Mattie's Dressing Room

*Mattie is usually here by day; you'll need to return to talk to her many times in order for the plot to advance.
*Mattie will leave you alone in here to explore once early on; make the most of it, as you won't be able to explore this room again until you learn how to enter the studio at night (near the end of the game.)
*There's an optional puzzle to solve on Mattie's dresser, involving piecing together the torn pieces of a letter.
*The script Mattie has been memorizing contains an important clue to a later puzzle that you will never get a second chance to read. That's not terribly serious, however, since you can hit on the correct answer through trial and error.
*There are other optional reading materials in the room, of which the most interesting is the French love letter. You can notice the rhyme on Mattie's amulet, too, although it doesn't seem to have any bearing on anything.
*There is a word search puzzle on top of the refrigerator, if you like word searches. You can read the solution here if you don't (though it's not important or necessary to solve.)

Studio: Rick's Dressing Room

*Rick is usually here by day; you'll need to return to talk to him many times in order for the plot to advance.
*Rick will leave you alone in here to explore once early on; make the most of it, as you won't be able to explore this room again for some time.
*There is a non-essential but useful item you can take from Rick's room.
*Reading all the letters to Rick in this room carefully will help you figure out the mystery. At minimum, make sure you have examined the chocolates (note the letters on top of them), read the poem "How Do I Loathe Thee," read at least one of the typewritten death threats, and at least one of the notes from B.T. Kaisuur.
*There's a word puzzle you can solve on the CD titled "Publicity Stunts," but it isn't particularly helpful to the mystery.

Studio: Lillian's Office

*Lillian is usually here by day; you'll need to return to talk to her many times in order for the plot to advance.
*You won't actually be able to enter this room at all until you learn how to enter the studio at night (near the end of the game.)
*Lillian's computer is here; you will need to use it twice, once to look up a password and once to look up an employee. You can also read all the email (there's a lot, and some of it is funny), a floppy disk with a letter to Rick on it, and a document about Rick you can print out.
*There are lots of other interesting reading materials in Lillian's room: pay special attention to the wastebasket and the apparently blank notepad by the inbox. There's an interesting object in one of her desk drawers, too, and another cipher in her daybook.

Studio: Prop Room

*Millie is usually here by day. Unlike the other NPC's, you don't need to keep talking to her for the plot to advance--once you've gotten her permission to explore the prop room, talking to her further is optional.
*Millie will leave you alone in here to explore once only; make the most of it, as you won't be able to explore this room again without tediously waiting outside her door for the game-clock to advance past 6 PM.
*There are three objects in this room that it is critically important to find and bring with you. If you leave them behind it is still possible to complete the game, but you'll have to waste a lot of time waiting around in the halls to get back in.
*A fourth object can be found in here if you complete a Tower of Hanoi puzzle (you know, the kind where you stack smaller disks on top of larger disks.)
*You can find an important password in the prop room.
*There are many, many close-ups of bizarre odds and ends in here. The typewriter is the only one with plot relevance. Examining one of the shelves causes a black widow spider to scurry past, but it doesn't harm Nancy--just there for ambience!
*There is a crossword puzzle on one of the shelves, which can reveal a clue if you solve it. There is also a cipher written in the logbook. Both are optional.
*There are some other optional reading materials in here, including a letter to Millie and a travel diary.

Studio: Locked Area of the Prop Room

There is not much in here. Just look carefully at the shirt on the chair.

Dwayne's Office

*You will only be able to visit Dwayne in his office once, after Mattie gives you his address later in the game. That is the only face-to-face conversation you'll be able to have with him (though you can call him on the phone later if you like.)
*You won't actually be able to enter this room at all until near the end of the game.
*Dwayne's briefcase is here; you'll need to find the code to break into it.
*The personnel files are here; Owen's is the only one the game requires you to read, but it's fun to read Nancy's and Mattie's (check out some of Mattie's talents--too bad Nancy didn't bring HER along to the final showdown!)
*Tons of other reading materials in here--ignore all the phone numbers, as I tried most of them and got no response from the game at all, but be sure to take note of all the papers in Dwayne's suitcase and desk drawers, and the phrasebook on his bookshelf is also an interesting find.
*There's a cipher on Dwayne's desk. Solving it is optional.

Stay Tuned for Danger: Optional Actions

Have you:

*Put the ripped-up letter in Mattie's room back together?
*Solved all the word puzzles? (You can read the solutions here if you want to.)
*Climbed up and explored the catwalk?
*Gotten Lillian to fire you by confronting her about the chocolates? (It doesn't affect the plot, but it's fun.)
*Fooled around with the sound machines in the sound room?
*Called Dwayne on the phone?

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