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"The pink-suited killer, who also has fabulous lavender hair with a meticulously styled curl of a cowlick, stands over Mia as she dies. 'Red... White... Blue...' are her enigmatic last words. Poor Mia. She died so quickly that she didn't have time to confess her love to our gay protagonist, or to save some innocent children. But, as an old person in this game, we have to assume she had a long, full life. Let's just hope she enjoys her time in Characters-over-25 Heaven."
     -Sam, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Part 2

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Eternal Darkness : Part 1
By Jeanne
Posted 09.05.05
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Legrasse wastes mine and Alex's time with some lame small talk -- he even sounds like he's hitting on her at one point. This is obviously to make the fanboys feel more at home. But Alex cuts right to the chase -- she can't wait to see her grandfather's body. Legrasse, undoubtedly used to rejection from the ladies, agrees, adding, "But I must warn's not a pleasant sight." Because dead bodies so often are.

The two of them walk into another part of the library, where Alex looks at the body for a split second before turning away, sobbing and retching. The camera switches to her original POV, so that we also have the privilege of viewing the massively bloody sheet covering Mr. Roivas as well as the completely ruined ornamental rug beneath him. Only his arm pokes out from underneath the sheet, and the camera zooms in so that we can see a gorgeous purple ring on his middle finger. "Miss Roivas, is that your grandfather, Edward?" the inspector wonders, gesturing with his fucking coffee cup at the sobbing Alex. She responds that yeah, she managed to positively identify him by the family ring in that split second while standing too far away to even see it. And honestly, while it actually is the dude in question, that seems like a shitty way to give a positive identification. Haven't these people ever watched CSI?

In my fantasies, that's Tidus.

Alex agrees with me -- she thinks Legrasse is a giant butthole for making her fly all the way to Rhode Island in the middle of the night to look at the body when they could have just used dental records for identification. "I'm... I'm sorry... It's my job, lady. You're the only living relative and no, we can't check dental records......there's no head." Creepy! Inspector Legrasse is stumped. There was no forced entry -- and I'm talking of the house, not of sodomy -- and the whole murder is generally fucked-up and brutal. "I have never seen anything like this in my twenty years on the force." That's what they all say. Oh, and the culprit didn't leave fingerprints, fibers, or even semen at the scene. I bet they used that spray-on luminol and everything!

Alex doesn't seem especially thrilled with Legrasse's discouraging whine. "Well, you'd better find out who did this...I'm not leaving Rhode Island until you do," she threatens. Oh, that'll really light a fire under the ass of the guy who freaking hit on you. "There must be some clue in this old mansion revealing what happened!" she ironically foreshadows. Legrasse agrees that it would be quite nifty if there were, in fact, some clues lying about. And that's the last we ever see of the guy.

Cut to two weeks later where a text box informs us that Alex will now take matters into her own sexy hands since the police are a bunch of bumbling fucktards. "She decides to search the mansion - the place where Edward conducted his research. If there was a tie to his past, and possibly a tie to his murderer, it would be here..." This is the fancy way of saying, "Alex will spend pretty much the rest of the game in the mansion." Also, what the hell has she been doing for two weeks?

You tell me: what the hell has she been doing for two weeks?
Exploring all the exciting sights of...Rhode Island.
A whole backlog of undoubtedly difficult grad school homework -- she's smart!
Hanging out with the denizens of Buttfuck Castle during their lost week.
Having an exciting conversation with a wizard.


That jarringly abrupt transition is my cue to explore the mansion thoroughly. Sure, Alex has in her possession the Tome of Eternal Strategy, allowing her to skip past this pesky explorative shit, but I think it's a good idea to describe the surroundings anyway. And not in the Robert Jordan way. I'm verbose, but let's not get ridiculous here.

The main entrance chamber of the mansion consists of two red-carpeted staircases leading up to the second floor, as well as a series of doors. It's your typical old-fashioned spooky mansion with the twilight casting shadows on the floor, adding to the mood. Which is creepy, in case you didn't know. I may have mentioned this in other recaps, but it's worth mentioning again: I am the world's biggest chicken. Even though I know that nothing's about to jump out at me -- yet -- it still freaks me out to enter all these darkened rooms in the big, empty, sound-effects-laden house. Yes, they've suckered me in even with the over-the-top Creepy Mallet. Shut up.

Alex's first stop is a room to the left of the stairs, which appears to be a kitchen of some sort. I'm watching my footage on a shitty replacement monitor, but I can make out a table, refrigerator, shelves, and a magically sealed door. Your usual kitchen accoutrements. Alex examines the door to find an elaborate engraving consisting of an odd symbol, Cloud's Buster Sword, and a vaginal slit. Does this mean that a cross-dressing Cloud murdered Edward Roivas?

Alex, being a woman, currently has nothing on hand to stick into the slot, so it's time to move on to the next room. Some random whispering voices join the soundtrack just as Alex enters the door in the far wall of the main entrance chamber. There, she finds a grand piano which thankfully doesn't play by itself. And that's not playing with itself. That's my job. The Random Expositional Text Dude tells Alex that her grandpa sucked ass at the piano, so it hasn't been used for a while. Wow, this RETD is kind of a gossipy asshole.

Alex examines some paintings on the wall. Even in an ideal viewing environment, I can't tell what half the shit is. And I'm not sure the game designers know, either. But the central image seems significant. This one consists of three colored circles, arranged evenly around a fourth purple circle. Each of the circles contains a different rune -- the central one appears to be identical to the rune on the Cloud-Murdered-Edward plaque in the other room. More importantly than the symbols themselves are the colors of the three outer circles: red, green, and blue. Like the original starter Pokemon. The arrangement of the circles and the one-way arrows on the lines connecting them, combined with RETD's description, indicates that there's a rock-paper-scissors thing going on between the circles. Again, just like Pokemon! The RETD isn't any more forthcoming about the significance of the image, so we don't know if there is additional Deep Meaning here or if Edward was just a Pokemon fan.

Alex leaves the room and crosses to the right side of the entrance chamber. Here, she finds the rather impressive library. Sans decapitated corpses this time. An inner door leads to a freaking observatory, complete with massive phallic telescope. Alex can't do shit in here for now, but I got my requisite penis reference in there, so it's all good.


Back in the library, Alex checks out a creepy tree picture hanging over the mantel. RETD informs us that this is actually the Roivas family tree, adding, "If one looks closely, the family's secrets are revealed." Juicy! Unfortunately, RETD and the game designers are big teases, since we can't see much beyond a basic outline of the tree and some random guy freaking hanging from it. So we don't find out what kinds of incestuous shenanigans took place among Alex's relatives. Too bad.

Speaking of Alex's freaky relatives, the RETD describes some of the genealogy and history books on the various shelves. Apparently, we're not talking about a shiny, happy family here: "Suspected of witchcraft, the Roivas were convicted during the witch-hunts, forcing them into hiding. As memories faded the Roivas rebuilt their lives." Obviously, since a giant mansion with penis obelisks isn't exactly inconspicuous.

The library dead-ends in an alcove with another fireplace, a desk, and a grandfather clock. Upon examining the clock, Alex doesn't find any Elixirs, but she does discover that she can move the clock hands. Shit, she has no time to worry about setting clocks correctly -- she needs to find some freaking clues. Where could they be?!?! Alex strains her genius grad school brain until she has a flash of insight. Wait just a God damn minute -- could this clock hold the key to the puzzle? No way, that's just too devious and clever! Still, she'd better check it out.

Returning to the entrance chamber, Alex finds the other far wall door locked, as well as the door to the second floor. Well, crap, now you won't get to read my fascinating descriptions of those areas. Just when it looks like Alex has seen everything there is to see in the accessible rooms, she manages to find a small clock sitting directly in the center of the main entrance room, in the alcove between the two staircases. This clock, RETD tells us, is permanently stuck on 3:33. Hey, wait a minute! We've seen that specific time before! Spooky! Alex takes what she thinks is a winding key from the back of the clock, only to discover that it is actually a Dresser Key. Awesome! Except that Alex hasn't encountered a single dresser in any of the accessible rooms. Shit. It looks like she's stuck -- if only she could figure out that tricky clock puzzle.

Alex summons all of her Abstract Mathematics and Number Theory brainpower, allowing her to finally solve this conundrum. Returning to the grandfather clock, she turns the hands, stopping at each minute along the way. Eventually she'll discover the right time, even if it's 11:59! I'm just kidding, obviously she sets it to 3:33. The Angelic Choir of Discovery accompanies the opening of a secret panel in the wall. I certainly hope for the Roivas family's sake that there's nothing valuable in there, since even Tidus a retarded monkey could solve that sad puzzle.

The creepiest thing of all is that this office is messier than mine.

Alex enters the secret room where she finds a buttload of Deeply Significant items that currently mean absolutely nothing to any of us. A "Look here, dumbass!" flashing aura surrounds a book sitting on the desk -- the flesh-and-bone book from the beginning of the game. But Alex isn't about to pick it up just yet -- she's smart and thinks outside the box! First, she walks around the hidden office, examining the various treasures within.

The first intriguing find is a set of three candles sitting in a row. Above them hangs a painting of the sun rising over the left side of a low hill. RETD tells us that the candles and the painting are related somehow. That's nice of him and all, but Alex can't do anything about it yet. Moving on, she discovers a painting of a tall, phallic object. But this is no ordinary phallus. We find out from RETD that this is a phallus made of human bodies embedded in cement. "Though disturbing, it is meticulously rendered down to the subtlest detail: the precise anatomy of fractured bones and the convolutions of spines and ribs entwine into a mesmerizing sight." Cripes, RETD is starting to scare me a little. If he randomly shows up in my driveway, I'm going to shit myself.

Alex leaves the Phallus of Corpses painting, only to find a much more useful phallus hanging on the wall: namely, the Gladius. This is the real-life version of the Buster Sword engraving, only it's much less impressive than the actual Buster Sword. Think Tidus. Well, no, it's more impressive than Tidus. You get the idea. Alex greedily grabs this ancient weapon out of its frame. Clearly, her years of academic study have prepared her for swordfighting, so she may be able to put it to use. Even if no zombies swarm the mansion at any point, at least she can use it to fend off any Jehovah's Witnesses that ring the doorbell.

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