Scratches is not a long game, but there is much to do, and the first thing to know is that you won’t be able to get into any of the outbuildings – garage, crypt, greenhouse, chapel – until Monday. So if you’ve consulted this walkthru about that, stop reading now or you may see more than you want to know.

Next, time passes in the game only after certain actions have been completed. My first time through, I blundered around the house and grounds for quite a while. Yet, the grandfather clock (the only reliable timepiece) still said 9 AM. It was only after I started doing things that time advanced. Also, no day will end until you’ve done everything required. So you can’t “run out of time” either.

I found the game to be rather dark on my monitor, and eventually moved the in-game gamma up to highest. It helped a lot during the day, although in some areas, and always at night, it was still difficult to see. Put the gamma setting at whatever is good for you.

Monday

You arrive at the house and stand at one end of the carriage drive. While you won’t be doing much outdoors until Monday, it’s a good idea to take time now to walk around and find out where the buildings are for later.

As you walk up the right-hand path, look right to see the garage. Continue up to the house and around the other side of the drive. You’ll see a stone-lined path. This leads to the greenhouse. Partway along is a brown path. That one takes you to the chapel. Farther along the path to the greenhouse, on your left, is a path that goes to a tree with a puddle in front of it. The way to the crypt is through the back door of the kitchen.

Now that you know where things are, return to the house, unlock the door, and enter. The phone rings. It’s in the small room ahead of you, just slightly left of your location. Answer it and have a chat with Jerry. All conversations are automatic, and you rarely have to make any choices once you’re talking with someone.

Go back out and examine the clock by the doorway. This is the grandfather clock and you can always check here for the current time. Then head up the stairs to the second floor. Turn right, open the door, and enter your bedroom.

Put the typewriter case on the desk by the window. Open the case, remove the machine and the papers, then close the case. It will be put away automatically. Stroll over to the table in the corner. Put the suitcase there, open it, and take the matches in the lower left corner.

Click on the card to get Jerry’s phone number. Get the pen, then click the notebook to get Barbara’s phone number. Check out the book, then close the suitcase.

Now we’re ready for action. Return to the desk and look in the drawers. The top one has various anatomical sketches. The middle one has liquor bottles and the bottom one is empty. Move around to the other side and look in the wastebasket. Read the note. Hmmm. Rather unsettling, isn’t it?

Go to the fireplace and look on the floor right. Open the doctor’s bag and take the stethoscope. Move the hand around and find some more odd drawings. Those are the important actions, but you can take some time to poke around and look at things in the room.

When you’re done, head for the door. Try the switch. Uh-oh, no power. Has Jerry let us down? Exit the room and head down the hall. Partway along are two doors. Go through the left door into the main bedroom.

To the right of the bed is a table with a small swinging mirror on it. Remember this for later (much later, like Monday). On the wall is a picture of woman in red holding a crystal ball. Get a closeup, then click on the crystal. Whoo! You found a secret wall safe! Too bad you don’t have the combination. Close that and return to the room.

Check out the bureau by the screen. There isn’t much to find here: a cracked picture in one drawer and a pocket watch you can’t take in another. That’s all for now here, so leave the room and open the door just across the way.

This is the creepy African gallery. The important items (again, for much later) are the lion tooth necklace and the cabinet with the tusks in the corner. There is also a letter on the table near the hat. Move the hand around until you find it.

You’re done here, so exit the room and continue down the hall to the glass door. This is the bathroom. Try the sink. Hmm. No water. Really looks like Jerry hasn’t done a good job here. No matter. Check the cabinet drawers for the clean rag. Nothing else here, so return to the hall.

Turn left and see the back stairs. One set goes up, the other down. Go downstairs. At the bottom, turn to the small niche with the vases, and move the curtain to bring in some light. Turn around, go forward, and take the left door into the kitchen.

Note the keyhook by the door. Try the light switch (still no power). Examine the stove. Try the sink (nope, no water). Next to the sink is a cabinet. Open that. Open the top drawer (very important). Nothing here. Open the second drawer, and take the big knife. Note the coffee grinder on the table.

The smaller door in this room leads to the basement. It’s locked, so go through the other door into the maid’s bedroom. Examine the bureau and small desk. Get the sheet from the desk, also the pencil. Under the notebook is a photo. Look at it. You see a picture of the kitchen, with a key on the hook and a vase just below. Hmmm. There wasn’t any vase in the kitchen just now.

In inventory, use the pencil on the paper to bring out a letter written in Italian. Too bad you don’t know the language. Move on to the bathroom, which the maid had converted into a sort of crude darkroom. Look at all the photos. There is nothing else to do here, so return to the kitchen. If you like, you can take a moment here to sashay out the back door and over to the crypt if you like. Otherwise, go out to the niche in the hall.

Look at the vases, then at the small one on the left. Aha! The missing key. This is the key to the basement. Back to the kitchen and unlock the cellar door. Ummm. Another creepy place. Check out the furnace. Nearby is a water wheel (important for later) and a covered drain. Examine the fuse box. Everything seems okay. Try the switches. Huh. Still no power. There’s something odd about this.

Around now, Michael may be feeling distinctly uneasy, so head back upstairs. Go through the kitchen and across the hall to the dining room. Be sure to check out the drawers and cabinet here. Continue on and you’re back in the entry hall.

Call Jerry and have a chat about the lack of electricity. Call him again and ask about the safe. Now call Barbara twice. The first time is mainly chatter, except she mentions studying languages (“tongues”). The second call, you’ll automatically ask her to translate the letter.

Okay, head into the living room next door. Examine the fireplace and see it’s nicely stocked with wood. Look at the table, and see books, coffee cup, and most important, a diary. Read that. Hoohah, what was going on around here way back when? This doesn’t look good.

Go through the door in this room to the study. Check out the desk top for Blackwood’s African diary. Yikes! This is getting weirder by the minute.

The right-side drawer is locked. On the left, you’ll find an empty envelope in the second drawer, and a boring tool in the third one. Exit the desk.

Put the Italian letter into the envelope and address it with the pen. Good thing you don’t have to look for any stamps. Stroll over to the bookcase and note the tilted volume on the upper left. EEK! It’s the Necronomicon! If I had really been in that house, I’d be out the door toot sweet. No way would I want to be in a house with that on the shelf.

Anyway, that’s all in here for now, so go back to the phone and see what Jerry has to say about the previous occupants. Wonderful, a murder happened here. Think on that as you waltz out the front door and down to the gate to mail the letter to Barbara.

Well well, inside the box is a note. No wonder there’s no power, the electrician came and went, and he missed you or you missed him. Whichever, you’re stuck for the moment. Put the letter in the box, close it, and return to the house for yet another chat with Jerry.

He wasn’t much help, was he? Anyway, you need to find a light source. Head upstairs, down the hall and take the back stairs up to the third floor. It’s darker up here, so bring up the gamma if you need it. Take the stairs up to the attic.

Look through the newspaper pile for anything of interest in May 1963. Ah, you read about Catherine Blackwood’s murder. There will be more of interest in these papers later. Open the chest by the papers and get the lamp. Foo! No oil. Check out the papers in the chest, too. Hmmm, a receipt for meat delivery, signed for by Milton. How strange.

Return to the third floor and take the door on the left into the junk room. Note the small stove on the plank. It’s missing something. Continue on through the other door into the unfinished bathroom. Walk towards the next door, then stop and examine the bricks on the left. One of them has the small metal rod that fits the stove. Return to the junk room and attach the rod. The stove will be vital later (no, you can’t take it).

Exit the room and walk past the attic stairs to the room at the end. Trot up the tower stairs. Sorry, not much to see here right now. But of course, this place will be important later.

After coming down from the tower, note the locked door in the hall, and the paint can on the floor next to it. Get the paper from under the can. Slide it under the door. Poke the keyhole with the borer. Pull the paper back. Surprise! A little joke on the designers’ part. I guess they were tired of this old wheeze, too ;)

All right, stop your moaning and head back down for another talk with Jerry. You should tell him you’ve searched all over and haven’t found a light source, and he tells you to go to town for some candles. If that doesn’t happen, you probably missed looking into something. I gather from the boards that the crucial three areas are: the top drawer of the cabinet by the kitchen sink, the drawer in the dining room side table, and the chest in the attic, but there may be others. If those don’t do it for you, make another tour of the house being sure to open every drawer and look in every cabinet.

So you speed out to your car, get inside, open the glove compartment, grab the keys, insert into dashboard, turn and….nada. Dummy Michael left the lights on and now the battery is dead. Good going there, Mike.

So back to the house and one more call to Jerry. What a big help he is. However, at least you’ve come to the end of the first day. Trudge upstairs and click on the bed for a good night’s sleep. Hah!

Midnight Interlude I

Did you…hear something? A strange sound? What could be going on? There’s only one way to find out. Exit the room. You can’t go anywhere except into the gallery. Now that’s odd. The tusk cabinet is missing, and you can see a boarded-up door in the wall. Go closer. Look down at the floor and see a hammer. As you reach for the hammer….

You wake up for real. Whew! However, there really ARE some strange sounds and you do need to find their location, if possible. Go over to the fireplace and use the stethoscope on the floor of the fireplace. Hmm, somewhere down below.

Leave the room. If you peek in the gallery, you’ll see the tusk cabinet is in its usual place. Good. Continue on downstairs to the living room, and use the stethoscope on the fireplace wall. Could the sounds be coming from the cellar?

Go to the kitchen and try the cellar door. Fortunately, Michael is smart enough not to go down there without a light source. That’s all you can do here, so return to your room and get some rest.

Oh, joy! You wake to a raging thunderstorm. Forget about getting any electrical repairs today. Head downstairs and take the call from Jerry. Storms by him, too, so he won’t be visiting, either. But he does, at least, give you the combination to the safe.

Pop upstairs to the main bedroom and open the safe. Inside, you find a key; this fits the locked door that you tried the paper trick on yesterday. Also read the contract, which gives you the phone number of the local bank. This is not a good time to call, because the bank is closed.

Onward to the third floor. Unlock the door and enter what appears to be an artist’s studio, although maybe the artist was a bit nutty. Head over to the table and grab the key (garage) and the paintcan lid. Examine the left side and see blueprints. Big help, huh?

Maybe they are, because the plans show a small room next to the main bedroom. A room you haven’t seen an entrance for anywhere. HMMMM. While you contemplate that, look down next to the table and see…a hammer on a stool. Take the hammer.

Go through the other door into a small room. Climb the short ladder. Grab the oilcan to the right of the big middle can. Use the rag on the big can. Lamp oil! Use the boring tool to make a hole in the can, then use the lamp on the can. Not much oil in there, but some is better than none. Take one step down and look up to see the rope tied to the beam. Use the knife to cut the rope as close to the beam as you can get.

Descend to the floor, step away from the ladder, turn, and pick up the rope. You can leave by the other door in this room, which was stuck if you tried it from the other side. Head up to the tower. Halfway along the stairs, open the window (for some reason, the window can only be opened on the way up). Continue to the top.

Belt the wall crack a good one with the hammer to make it wider. Tie the rope to the rusted lamp on the wall. Look down and click the other end of the rope, which goes through the crack. Return to the window you opened. Get a closeup, then move the hand to the upper right until you find the rope, which will now appear in front of you.

Click on the rope (pointing finger) three times. Then just keep clicking to climb up and into the mystery room.

Well, what do you know? It’s a nursery, of all things. Check the drawers in the bureau to find a birth certificate. Unfortunately, the name of the male child born August 7, 1961 is obscured.

Go back to the window and check out the box of blocks, and especially the bunch of blocks on the floor next to the box. Those spell out B-I-N. To save time and save you from making a second trip here, I’ll tell you that you need five numbers from the blocks: 59097.

Okay, you’re done here, so climb out the window and back to the tower. From there head to the attic and examine the papers for August, 1961. Tough luck, it seems the kid didn’t last long. Must be why they boarded up the room.

Now let’s see if that dream had any truth in it. Go to the tusk cabinet in the gallery. Click on the vase just left of the cabinet to get a closeup of the bottom. Use your knife there to pop out a panel. Now you can see, just barely, two wheels, one on each side. Use the oilcan on each wheel. Click on the handle, and the cabinet moves away from the wall.

Yep, there’s the boarded door, all right. Dare we enter? Use the hammer on the boards, then open the door (it’s not locked). Whooo, it’s dark in here. Use matches on lamp. Put the lamp on the cursor, exit inventory, then click lamp on the dark. That’s better. Open the curtains (lamp turned off automatically).

Uh-oh. The room is dominated by a sinister-looking mask. And yes, it is THE mask. Makes you shiver, doesn’t it? Be sure to look down lower left, and read the Dhaarma notes and the letter. This mystery becomes crazier all the time.

Head downstairs and call Jerry. As usual, he’s not a lot of help. Fortunately, the day is almost over. Chug up to your room. You have to get in some work, at least. Go to the desk. Pick up the blank sheet of paper and click on the typewriter. Mike writes automatically. Read his deathless prose (such as it is), then go to bed.

Midnight Interlude II

Again you wake up, this time feeling something is wrong. As before, the only place you can go is the gallery. So tip-toe over there and peek into the hidden room. Gaah! The mask is gone! Exit the room.

And you wake up for real. Yes, another nightmare. The mask is still in place, if you wanted to check (but you don’t have to). However, those weird noises are back. Head right on down to the cellar. Once inside, light the lamp. Go over to the furnace. Open it and take a trip inside, though you may not want to. Go in as far as you can.

Whish! What was that shadow that passed by the bars? Do we really want to know? Time to get out of here and back up to bed. Although how anyone could sleep after that, I don’t know.

Monday

A big day with lots to do. Traipse downstairs. Hmm, chilly. Go to the living room fireplace and light the wood. Ahhh, much better. Call Jerry. Stroll out to the garage and unlock it.

Inside, check out the bike. When you play with the pedal, the bike light comes on. It’s a mini-generator. Could we pep up the dead battery with this? Yes, but not right now.

Examine the table and see a toolbox. Poke around in it for a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Back out of that and look around the right side of the table for the crowbar. Return to the house and go to the cellar.

I know it makes you nervous, but not to worry. You won’t have to go crawling through the furnace again. Instead, go over to the water wheel. Use the crowbar on it, then use the hammer on the crowbar. Take the crowbar back and head upstairs. Check the kitchen sink. Strange, still no water (and how he can manage three days with no water to drink, no food to eat, and no working sanitary facilities is the real mystery of the game ;).

No matter, we have water where we really want it: the greenhouse. So just mosey on over there. Try the door. Rusty, eh? Time for the good old oilcan. Use that on the door and push it open.

As you walk around, note the “shiny thing” under the big tree in the middle of the room. Also, on the right side, a pot has fallen over and covered the drain. Climb upstairs. A shovel is stuck in the dirt and can’t be pulled out. There is also a hose on the floor.

Continue to the table. Read the note in the left drawer. Open the right drawer and take the pruning shears. Use the shears on the one living plant on the table to obtain a cutting. Go over to the hose and click once on each end. Head back down and behind the big tree.

Get a closeup of the faucet. Click the hose end, then turn the wheel. Water is now gushing upstairs on the dirt holding the shovel. Climb back up and get it. Return to the lower level. Go to the pot blocking the drain and use the shears on it.

Remove the hose from the faucet, but leave the water running. Go around front. Wait a little while, and the shiny thing disappears. Now turn off the water. You’re done with the greenhouse.

Exit and step forward twice, then turn right and take the path to the tree with puddle. Look in there and find the shiny thing, which is another key. This is the key to the locked drawer of the desk in the study. So hurry right on over there.

Unlock the drawer. Read the letter from Milton. Click on the box. First you have to open it. What’s the combination? Try 59097. Now you have to solve a puzzle, though it’s really not hard at all.

Click on the center wall, and a section tilts with the top part to the left. Click on the center left side. Click the center wall twice, so now the top tilts right. Click the center right side. Click center wall once. Then click the bottom of the box. Ha, an ornate key! I bet it fits the chapel lock real well. But let’s not go there just yet.

Head upstairs to the main bedroom. Use the screwdriver on the swinging mirror (under the portrait/safe). Then head out through the kitchen back door to the crypt. Who knows what might be in there? You will, as soon as you use the pliers on the wire holding the door shut.

Head over to the two coffins in back. Get a closeup of the plaques. Grab the stone on the floor between them. Back out of that, then open (yes, really) the two coffins. Now that’s a bit….eerie. One coffin is empty. I wonder who’s missing?

A quick check of the lower level shows you it’s dark down there. Come back up. Stand with your back to the candle holder on the wall and look up at the glass dome. Get the stone on the cursor and click on the window. Fumblefingers! You missed. Go downstairs and get the stone, it’s near the stairs in the corner. Try that again.

Okay, this time the window broke. Still not enough light. Use the wire on the mirror, then use the wired mirror on the candle holder. Now back downstairs. All that work, and all you get is the “R” on the plaque of Blackwood’s son. (In case you’re wondering, you would use this “R” with the “BIN” on the blocks to work out “Robin”, then get the numbers, then open the box in the study desk. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to do that?).

That’s all to be done here (quite enough!) so return to the house and give Jerry a call. He’ll tell you the date of Blackwood’s death. Then it’s up to the attic to search the papers for heady events in June ’63. Sure enough, looks like he did, indeed, die. So that must be his body back in the crypt.

Written in the newspaper is the phone number of the police chief back then. Could he still be around and at that number? What do you think? Time to make a couple of calls.

Buzz Bailey and see what he has to say. So Catherine’s body was never dug up. That explains the empty coffin. Now call the bank and ask about Blackwood’s account as Milton (what’s a little impersonation among friends?). Still active. How interesting.

Let’s see if Barbara has done anything with that letter. Check the mailbox by the gate. Sure enough, she came through for us. So the maid had a secret stash. Go right on over there, click the bottom of the table, and examine the photo of Blackwood burying his wife.

However, it isn’t quite time yet for the Burke and Hare act. Instead, head to the chapel, because some answers are to be found there. I had a bad moment on entering; thought maybe a real body was on the cross, but no, it’s a statue. Whew.

Anyway, go upstairs. Open the cabinet, then open the top drawer and get the Bible. Page through it until you find the nail. Return downstairs and go behind the altar. Note the ring in the floor. Use the crowbar on it. That helped, but wasn’t enough.

Stand directly in front of the cross and see the hole in the feet. Put the nail there. Now look up and notice the “INRI” sign is askew. Use the crowbar on it. Woohoo! That did the trick, and the secret passage opens. Head into it.

Ooo, it’s dark in here. Move the hand around until you find the candle. Use a match to light it. Nice flicker effect there. All right, examine the table. Get the weird branch. Read the diary and the letter to Milton. That has cleared up a lot of things (though not everything), and now it’s time for you to do a little exorcising. Heh.

First, back to the house and one more call to Jerry. How about that, he wants you to leave. Wonder why? Make a trip to the mail box. Aha, a vacate notice. Looks like Jerry did some finagling to get the house. What a “friend”. At least you won’t be calling him any more.

Head over to the car and click on the back panel. Grab the battery and go to the garage. Put the battery on the small crate near the bike. Get a closeup of the bike and click the device on the back wheel. Oddly, there is no feedback here, but the battery should now be attached to the generator. Move the pedal a few times.

Take the generator and replace it in the car. Enter the car and try to drive away. Michael decides he has to finish things after all. A horror author’s work is never done.

Exit the car and go to the chapel path. Watch on the left for the shadow of the tower. Get your shovel out, and click about where the spire and the “bulge” meet in the shadow. Ick! you just dug up Catherine’s body. It gets worse, because now you have to use the pliers on her to get a tooth. Bleah. (If you don’t find the corpse the first time, keep trying in the general vicinity and it should turn up)

Zip back to the house and the gallery. Get a closeup of the necklace and use the pliers to remove the lion’s tooth. Then it’s down to the kitchen. Use the coffee grinder on each tooth, one at a time, to turn them to powder.

In inventory, combine the powders. Then put the combined powder on the plant cutting. Head up to the third floor and the room with the small stove. Put the paint can lid on the stove, then the cutting on the lid. Light the stove with your last match. Voila! The items coalesce into a rock. Take that and put it on the weird branch.

Time for the big showdown. Go to the mask room in the gallery. Put the stick on the cursor and click on the mask. Ho hum. No big razzle-dazzle. Rather a letdown, isn’t it. But you do seem to have made things better, at least.

However…

As soon as you get downstairs, something happens. The mask may be quiet, but something else isn’t. Go to the living room and examine the fireplace. The fire has burned down, and with the wood gone, you can see a grate. Wonderful, you’re heading into the dark and no light source.

Never mind, open the grate and go in. This area is dark, so move with care (up the gamma if you have to). Make your way to the door and open it. Inside, examine the table. Note the water drippings nearby. Also the teddy bear. Teddy bear? (This is when the last pieces fell in place for me). Under the window, you’ll find some meat remains.

Keep moving around until you find the hole. Look at it until…something happens.

OH —-!!!!

The rest from here is automatic. Happily, Michael does make it out in time. WHEW!!!

Copyright 2006 Scorpia, all rights reserved.

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