"Suspect" is a little different from the previous two Infocom
mysteries. In both "Deadline" and "Witness", you were the police,
gathering evidence, questioning suspects, and making the arrest. This
time around, however, you're on the other side of the fence: YOU are
the suspect, and the police are gathering evidence against you, for a
crime you didn't commit. The game is thus a race against time, as you
desperately attempt to collect the real evidence before you're
The adventure is centered on a critical point; until you realize
that point, you really don't know what you're looking for, and much
evidence can be overlooked or spoiled. The critical point is the fact
that Veronica is murdered before the game begins. That elaborate fairy
costume, with its over-the-head mask, allows someone else to
impersonate her, and thus provide an alibi for the real murderer.
Also, you will notice that this is by far the busiest Infocom
ever; people move around a lot in the game, and you're almost always
running into, or seeing, someone or other. Most of the time, you don't
have to worry about that (I think they just put that that in there to
confuse you a little, and make you waste time following harmless
It is also necessary to collect ever last bit of evidence.
Overlook one thing, and you'll never be able to get a conviction, no
matter how sure you are of who is guilty. So, with all that in mind,
let's get started.
So there you are in the plush Ashcroft manor on Halloween night,
enjoying a costume ball being hosted by Veronica Ashcroft, and
wondering what sort of story you can work up for your newspaper. As
the game begins, you're invited to join Michael, dressed as a sheik,
and a small group of people.
You might as well go over there, and marvel at the performance
given by the woman in the fairy costume, supposedly, but not really,
Veronica. Having made sure she creates a fuss by spilling a drink on
herself, she promptly leaves. Don't bother following her, you have
better things to do. Go East to the bar, then North to the French
Unlock the doors, then open them and go East. Wow, it sure is
pouring out there, isn't it? This is one of the crucial points of
evidence in the game; you must note the rainfall now, and again in a
little while. In the meantime, you can drop your costume receipt, pen,
and notebook here; they are merely excess baggage, and you won't need
them for anything.
Ok, now it's time to head for the front door, to let in a late
arrival who is on her way. Go West to re-enter the Ballroom, South to
the Bar, then straight West until you reach the Long Hall South. Go
South from there to where the Long Hall Begins, and West again until
you come to the Front Hall.
Now it's South to the Entry Hall. Anytime now, the front doorbell
will ring. When that happens, unlock the front door and open it.
Alicia will come sashaying in. After she does that, step outside
South, and observe the rain. Hmmmmm, looks like it's let up a little,
only a drizzle is falling now.
Having gained your first piece of evidence, you now go get some
more, by heading to the office, where Veronica sits, strangled with
your cowboy lariat. Go North to the Front Hall, West to the Hallway
Intersection, South to the Corner, West, and then North.
And here you are in a very messy office. Whoever did this sure
did a good job! But there's no time to worry about the papers and
other items strewn about. First, get the manila folder from the desk
and the fairy mask from the floor. Look in the waste basket and get
the business card. Finally, unpleasant though it may be, search the
Aha! A silver bullet. In fact, it's a bullet from your gunbelt,
thoughtfully placed on the scene as additional evidence against you.
Take the bullet and put it back in your belt. Under no circumstances
remove the rope; if you do that, you will never get a conviction
against the real killer.
Since there is some time yet before the murder is discovered and
the police arrive, you can go pick up another vital piece of evidence,
in the kitchen. Make your way back to Long Hall South, then straight
North to the Dining Room and from there East into the Kitchen.
Here is a trashbasket with the remains of the broken glass that
"Veronica" dropped. Careful now; don't get the glass (or you'll spoil
the fingerprints on it!), get the whole basket (you may feel a bit odd
running around with the trashbasket, but it's necessary!). Now it's
time to play hide and seek.
So, trashbasket in hand, you now make your way to the garage. Go
North at the Hallway Intersection (you should know how to get there by
now!), until you come to the door to the walkway. The door is locked,
but fortunately, being on the inside, you can unlock it, and open the
door. Go North onto the walkway, then West to the garage.
The first thing you notice is a tool chest. Open that, and get
the crowbar. Now you can take a moment to admire the BMW and the
Mercedes, but don't take too long. Someone will be coming soon. So,
hide behind the Mercedes and wait. In fact, you can wait for Michael.
The reason you are waiting is that, while you've been busily
collecting evidence, a carefully-faked argument has taken place in the
Ballroom. This will lead to the discovery of the body by Michael,
Colonel Marston, and Cochrane. And as soon as Michael leaves the
office, he will head straight for the garage (if you've played this
part before, you may have been suspicious of his doing something so
odd, but following him won't help you to find out what he's up to).
And yes, here he comes. From your vantage point, you can see him
open the trunk of the BMW, although what he's doing there isn't
clear...yet! Keep waiting until he leaves (by that time, the police
will have arrived), then open the BMW trunk with the crowbar. Well,
look at that, there's a Trust Folder in the trunk!
Drop the crowbar and get the folder. The next part is crucial,
and you have very little time to spare. You must get back to the
Fireplace in the Ballroom as soon as you can. You have to be there
when Marston arrives, or you'll lose an important piece of evidence.
While you've been breaking into the car trunk, Michael and
Marston have been meeting briefly in the library, where Michael hands
over a piece of paper to Marston. You could hide in the library, and
watch the transaction (instead of first going to the garage and hiding
there), but still you have to go the garage later anyway. Either way,
you must get to the Fireplace quickly.
So high-tail it directly back to the Ballroom. Don't take any
time to do sight-seeing. Once at the Fireplace, just wait. You won't
have to wait very long. Marston will come in, and try to burn
something in the Fireplace. Grab the paper before it's reduced to
ashes. Whew! That was a close one.
At this point, you have two ways to go. You can try spooking the
guilty parties, or you can just go about giving your evidence to the
detective, and let it go at that. If you want to try shaking up
Michael and Alicia (you probably guessed that by now), you need to
show your evidence to them. Show everything that concerns Michael to
Michael, and everything that concerns Alicia to Alicia (don't forget
the analysis reports later on). This is tricky, since you must also
give the detective some of your evidence, before he decides to arrest
you, so watch your timing if you want to go about doing this (I won't
tell you what happens; try it and see for yourself).
Speaking of the detective, it's time to go find him and begin
presenting some of the items you've been collecting. He's usually in
the vicinty of the office, checking out the various rooms, after which
he heads to the Ballroom and stays there. You don't want to wait for
that, since he'll probably arrest you for the crime. It's better to go
after him, and give him a few other things to think about.
Once you've located the detective, and he stays in one place long
enough, you can begin to hand over some ofyour little treasures.
First, have him get the glass analyzed for fingerprints (and now, at
last, you can drop the trashbasket!).
While Duffy is on his way to the lab, give the detective the two
folders and the paper. Hey, that sure got him interested, didn't it?
However, hang on to the mask and the card, because it's not yet time
for those (by the way, have you looked inside the mask yet? You'll
need to get that hair analyzed too, and Duffy isn't here to do that).
You still need some more evidence to wrap up the case, so head
back once more to the Ballroom. Along the way, stop off in the East
Coat Closet, and pick up the wet overcoat. A quick glance at the label
tells you that it belongs to Alicia. Hmmmm, suspicious that it's so
soaked, and it was only drizzling when she arrived!
When you get to the Ballroom, locate Cochrane (dressed as an
astronaut). You'll most likely find him at the Bar. Show him the card,
and he will give you some important (verbal) evidence. Now go back to
the Fireplace, and hang out until the detective arrives.
When he does get there, show him the coat. He doesn't seem too
impressed, so tell him about the rain (NOTE: There is a variance among
the different computer versions. Save the game first, and then try:
TELL DETECTIVE ABOUT RAIN. If that doesn't work, restore and try: TELL
DETECTIVE ABOUT WEATHER. One or the other of these should do the
Somewhere along the line, the detective will get the fingerprint
analysis and show it to you (actually, he gives it to you). You aren't
surprised to find that it's not Veronica's prints on the glass. Now,
have the dark hair analyzed (did you ever look at Veronica's hair? She
is (or was) a blonde).
While you wait for the hair analysis, give the business card to
the detective (you don't have to tell him about Cochrane). Then just
wait again until the hair analysis comes back. All right, this is the
big moment! Tell the detective to arrest Michael and Alicia.
TA-DA! Your evidence makes an air-tight case, and both Michael
and Alicia will be in prison for a long, long time! For a journalist,
you're a pretty good detective (of course, there was a small incentive