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Curse of Blackmoor Manor

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ND 11
The cover of the 11th installment in the Nancy Drew series.


Curse of Blackmoor Manor is the eleventh installment, released in 2004, in the popular Nancy Drew computer game series created by Her Interactive. The game puts the player in Nancy Drew's shoes, where they must solve the mystery. The game features 3D graphical environments, interviewing suspects, and solving many different challenges and puzzles. The game is often abbreviated by fans as CUR or CBM. The game is based on the book The Bluebeard Room. It has received the highest PSV rating out of all of the games to date in the series.

In June 2006, Her Interactive released a DVD version of this game

Plot summaryEdit

Nancy Drew, famous teenage girl detective, has been asked to discover what strange malady is plaguing young bride Linda Penvellyn. Linda has taken to hiding behind a curtain in bed all day long, snapping orders and acting erratically. Linda's mother knows Carson Drew, Nancy's father, and wants to find a cure. She asks for Nancy to go to the mysterious Blackmoor Manor, a massive mansion rising from the depths of a murky British bog in the middle of a desolate area.

Upon Nancy's arrival, spooky things start happening right away - she hears a strange whisper that says her name and sees a huge pair of glowing red eyes staring at her through the night. Her fears are assuaged by the no-nonsense Mrs. Drake, who brings Nancy to her room. Nancy tries to talk to Linda, but she refuses to come out, lamenting with words that make no sense to the girl detective. Instead, Nancy meets up with another character - Jane Penvellyn. She is Linda's stepdaughter, and loves the supernatural world. She also has many games and puzzles in a hope chest in her room, and is excited for Nancy to become her new playmate.

As Nancy explores the mansion, she also encounters Ethel Bosinny, an elusive woman who is Jane's tutor, and Nigel Mookerjee, who is working on a book about the Penvellyn family history. It isn't long before Nancy's inquisitive nature kicks in, and she discovers an old computer belonging to Jane's grandfather. He has equipped it with a strange "find-the-ghost" game, making Nancy dash about the mansion looking for glowing ghost cutouts when she enters the computer's password. She soon solves the puzzle and learns of a secret passageway in the Manor's East Hall.

As the characters slowly begin to reveal their own dark secrets, Nancy talks to Linda. When she mentions that she found a secret passageway, Linda warns Nancy that "she'll be cursed, too!" Nancy pressures Linda into revealing that she found a secret passage of her own by playing around with a gargoyle in the hallway. Using the Penvellyn family crest, Nancy opens the passage in question and discovers a strange curse etched above a door. It says that whoever reads it will become the fabled "Beast of Blackmoor." By looking into the creature's history and snooping, Nancy discovers that Linda thinks she is turning into a werewolf. This may seem silly, but Linda has developed a huge appetite for raw steaks - and her arms are mysteriously hairy!

Nancy delves deeper into the Penvellyn family history, and finds a rumor about a great treasure protected by the family. With the help of Jane and Loulou the Parrot, Nancy navigates the maze of hidden passageways deep within in the basement and finds a hidden Alchemy lab and forge. In order to unlock its secrets, Nancy must "reunite the elements four" of air, water, earth, and fire. Using an old journal containing the Penvellyns past and some of her famous intuition, Nancy is able to do just that. In doing so, she forges a unique key that releases the fabled treasure. The treasure also summons the culprit to meet up with Nancy.

The end is resolved in the familiar way of Nancy writing home and tying up all loose ends of the case, explaining the culprit's motives and how they got away with it all. Then, as usual, a sneak peek into her next adventure is revealed.

CharactersEdit

Linda Penvellyn - A newlywed woman, who is hides behind bed curtains all day. She refuses to communicate or see anyone, with the exception of a few occasional words. She believes that she is turning into a werewolf due to a curse in a secret passageway.

Jane Penvellyn - A young, attention-deprived 12-year-old girl obsessed with the supernatural, astronomy, and her family's mysterious history. She loves playing games such as Bul and Constellation Match-up, and is excited at Nancy's arrival, so that the two of them can play games. Her birth parents are divorced.

Mrs. Leticia Drake - A strict woman who spends her days tending plants in the manor's conservatory. While she may seem uptight, she has a powerful belief in the supernatural world. However, if Linda departs from the mansion, a clause in her father's will would give her half of the mansion's property. Could she be the one who's scaring Linda to get half of the mansion's property for herself?

Nigel Mookerjee - A strangely secretive and jumpy historian, determined to write a chronology of the Penvellyns. He would like to be Jane's tutor but Hugh Penvellyn insisted on hiring Ethel to continue the Penvellyn tradition. Could he be the one who can help find the key to unlocking the Penvellyn past? But what's really behind his keen interest in the manor and its quirky inhabitants?

Ethel Bosinny - Jane's strict and somewhat unpleasant tutor. Her family, the Bossinys, have been the tutors for the Penvellyns for generations, and Ethel says that she likes to continue that tradition. She is conversationally odd and engages in some mysterious rituals with Jane in the Great Hall at midnight. Is this strict tutor doing something more than teaching Jane?

Ned Nickerson - Nancy's boyfriend; Ned is an unseen character who can be called by cellphone.

Mrs. Petrov - Linda's mother, also an unseen character who can only be reached by cell phone. She is worried and desperate for a solution to her daughter's illness.

Hugh Penvellyn - Jane's father. An unseen character, Hugh can be called using the telephone in Nancy's room.

Loulou - An intelligent 80-year-old parrot who gives hints and loves "yummy cakes."

Tommy Tucker - A cook who owns a pub. You can order food from him using the telephone in Nancy's room.

The Penvellyn legacyEdit

Main article: PenvellynThe Penvellyn family dates back to feudal England, where patriarch Randolph was rumored to hold a great treasure. Disappointed with his son's performance on the battlefield (where Randolph was famous), the man instead entrusted the gift to his grandson after constructing Penvellyn Castle. Randolph designed an ingenious system of "moving rooms" and a giant forge that protected his treasure. Each Penvellyn grandchild was then expected to find the treasure by solving the moving rooms and discovering the family forge. Then, each child was to write an entry in an ancient journal describing their journey. They were then expected to craft some sort of puzzle as a buffer, each generation shielding the treasure with more security and offering clues to future descendants. Other Penvellyns aided in the quest by encoding their unique crests with clues to the treasure's key. The Penvellyn puzzle creators and descendants are:

  • Randolph Penvellyn: The family patriarch; he created the massive "moving room" system.
  • Milo Penvellyn: Grandson of Randolph; crafted the Jupiter column in the Great Hall and hid the missing thunderbolt key behind a moving tile system above Jane's door.
  • Albert Penvellyn: Claiming to "lack his grandfather's ingenuity", he sealed the moving tiles and placed the key in the "singing staircase"; his entry in the journal gives Nancy a hint about how to bring the earth element to the forge.
  • Charles Penvellyn: Hoping to help other descendants, he wove the tapestry containing the free-verse poem in Jane's room; this poem tells the order in which the tiles need to be arranged.
  • Elinor Penvellyn: Rumored to be a witch; sculpted the Mercury statue and gave him the wand necessary for both his column and the fire for the forge; loved gargoyles.
  • Corbin Penvellyn: Developed the "charmed chimes" that move the Mercury statue in the library; the chimes also move Mercury's eyes; the notes have to be played exactly right to release the statue's grip on the wand; his crest also tells how to open his grandmother's secret passageway.
  • Penelope Penvellyn: Loved a "go fish"-style game played by her mechanical companion Betty; she created the Venus statue and hid its missing arrow key in her machine, to be given only to one who beat Betty in a special game; her entry in the journal tells how to bring the air back to the forge.
  • Brigitte Penvellyn: Creator of many puzzles; made the Artemis column and placed its full moon key in a box in her room; the compartment the box is in needs to be opened with a special telescope-like lens, which also offers a clue for getting the Venus arrow from her grandmother's machine. Nancy sleeps in her former room.
  • Edward Penvellyn: An explorer; made the Saturn column and hid its missing clock key in a secret slide; a target on the wall has to be hit to release the clock key that opens the column.
  • John Charles Harold Penvellyn: Author of children's book Grenny and the Water Fairy and former owner of Loulou; creator of the Mars column; his book which is actually a coded message reveals the location of the knight's helmet key needed to complete his column; offered a clue about the water in the journal.
  • Alan Penvellyn: Enjoyed computers and technology; created a "find-the-ghost" game that hints about Edward's secret passageway and the way to the Saturn column; his entry in the journal also gives a helpful shortcut through the moving rooms downstairs.
  • Jane Penvellyn: The newest Penvellyn grandchild; eventually, she too will make a puzzle to aid in the quest for the treasure; however, Nancy Drew actually passes her ancestors' tests for her during the course of the game.

Second ChancesEdit

As with all Nancy Drew games, in this game there are many fatal accidents such as:

  • Waking Mrs. Drake up in the middle of the night.
  • Getting eaten by Mrs. Drake's carnivorous plant.
  • Feeding Loulou cakes with poisonous ingredients.
  • Blowing up while doing the alchemy puzzle.
  • Getting crushed in the moving rooms (devil squares).
  • Failing to run from the heavy iron box.

However, if the player makes a mistake, they may click on "Second Chance" at the main menu and it will take them back to the place before they made that mistake.

CastEdit

  • Nancy Drew/Loulou – Lani Minella
  • Mrs. Drake – Amy Broomhall
  • Jane Penvellyn – Conni Ellern
  • Linda Penvellyn – Jenn Ruzumna
  • Ethel Bosinny – Sarah Papineau
  • Nigel Mookerjee – Stephen Hando
  • Mrs. Petrov – Dora Lanier
  • Ned Nickerson – Scott Carty
  • Hugh Penvellyn/Tommy Tucker/Alan Penvellyn – Jonah von Spreecken
  • Paliki Vadas – Alyssa Keene
  • 1930s Radio Announcer – Max Holechek

TriviaEdit

  • The lion's head in the conservatory is the same as the one in the garden from Treasure in the Royal Tower.
  • This is the first Nancy Drew game to be set outside the United States.
  • This is the first game in the series to have a DVD Game.
  • If you click on the teeth in Jane's room ten times, you will receive an Easter egg.
  • When you ask Loulou the parrot if she speaks Latin, she will say many Latin words and phrases. One of those Latin phrases is “Semper ubi sub ubi,” which Joanna Riggs says in Secret of the Scarlet Hand. The phrase means “Always where under where”. (Always wear underwear.)
  • The Bul game in Jane's room is from Secret of the Scarlet Hand.
  • The Petroglyph Punch game has petroglyphs found in The Secret of Shadow Ranch.
  • Jane mentions a relative married to a woman named Eustacia. Eustacia was a character from The Final Scene.
  • The cameo pendant on Betty's shirt is the same design from Frances's cousin Ellie's ring from The Secret of Shadow Ranch.
  • The portrait of Corbin Penvellyn in the Great Hall is of John Locke, a famous 17th century philosopher.
  • Loulou will also say "Allez bye-bye", which is a phrase from the French ski instructor in Treasure in the Royal Tower.
  • The picture of Linda in her bedroom can also be seen in the magazine in Mattie's dressing room in Stay Tuned for Danger.
  • The babydoll in Jane's hope chest has the head of a doll that can be seen in a box in the attic in Message in a Haunted Mansion.
  • The empty pot at the end of the counter behind Mrs. Drake in the conservatory can also be seen in Secret of the Scarlet Hand.
  • The owl on the right side of Jane's door that is carved into the door frame sometimes blinks.
  • Sometimes when Nancy beats Jane at a game, Jane will say "Right as rain!", which is a catch phrase of Holt Scotto in Danger on Deception Island.
  • When clicking on Arthur in the family tree in Jane's room, Jane explains that he moved to America and became a bandit with El Diablo's gang! El Diablo is a gold bandit who fell in love with Lizzie Applegate, who supposedly hid gold in a mansion in San Francisco for Lizzie. This is a reference to Message in a Haunted Mansion, where Nancy visits the mansion and discovers El Diablo's treasure!
  • When clicking on Albert in Jane's family tree she says that he knew a lot of scientific stuff, which may refer to Albert Einstein.
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