Anchorhead (2017)

Walkthrough and solution, by Daniele Raffo

You take a deep breath of salty air as the first raindrops begin to spatter the pavement, and the swollen, slate-colored clouds that blanket the sky mutter ominous portents amongst themselves over the little coastal town of Anchorhead.

Squinting up into the storm, you wonder how everything managed to happen so fast. The strange phone call from a lawyer claiming to represent the estate of some distant branch of Michael's family was only a month ago. Then came the sudden whirlwind of planning and decisions, legal details and travel arrangements, the packing up and shipping away of your entire life...

And now here you are, over a thousand miles from home after driving for two days straight, getting ready to move into the ancestral mansion of a clan of relatives so far removed that not even Michael has ever heard of them. And you've only been married since June and none of this was any of your idea in the first place, and already it's starting to rain.

A sullen belch emanates from the clouds, and the rain starts coming down harder — fat, cold drops smacking loudly against the cobblestones. Shouldn't it be snowing in New England at this time of year? With a sigh, you open your umbrella.

Welcome to Anchorhead...


You are outside the real estate office. Go southeast to the alley and climb on the garbage can. Pull the rung of the fire escape ladder with the umbrella and climb the ladder. Enter the window and you will be in the file room. Go down to the stairway. Examine the answering machine and press Play. Go back up to the file room and search the cabinets for Verlac, the name of this branch of Michael's family: you will find the key to the house and the key to the cellar. Go down, west outside the real estate office, and southeast. Examine the fence. Go east, then back west.

Go northwest, west twice, northwest to the University courtyard. Go west to the reading room where Michael is absorbed in reading. Say hi, reply "yes" when he asks you if you got the keys, show the keys, then go north to follow him. Look at the book he is returning, then go south, east, southeast, south twice; Michael will stroll along you. Examine the obelisk in the town square. Go east, south, west, southeast and you will be in front of the house. Take the notice attached to the front door. Unlock the door and enter the house. Close and lock the front door. Go up and south to the master bedroom. Enter the bed and sleep.


You wake up as your husband is taking a bath. Examine his pants at the foot of the bed, look into the back pocket, take the wallet, open it, take the faculty card, and put back the wallet in Michael's pants. Don your clothes and the trenchcoat. Take everything there is on the bedroom's floor. Go east to the bathroom and take the towel.

Go west, north, west, and south to the library. Go west; Michael is typing at his desk and will ask you to leave him alone. Read the book Ye Compleat Manuell of Wardes and Seales.

Go north twice, to the child's bedroom. Take the jewelry box and open it. Take the silver locket, open it, and look at the picture of the boy inside. Look under the bed, then pull it. Examine the hole in the plaster, take the bundle of soggy pages, and read it.

Go south, east, down to the foyer, then east to the dining room. Look at the chandelier. Look at the central pendant. Climb into the table and take the pendant. Examine it: it's an asymmetrical crystal. Get down and go west twice to the sitting room. Look at the portrait. Take the scrapbook and examine it. Open it, then examine all the articles and papers it contains, one by one. Go south to the gallery and examine the paintings, which depict the Verlacs' ancestors: Wilhelm, Heinrich, Elijah, and Mordecai. Examine each of the four portraits.

Go east twice to the kitchen. Take the flashlight. Open the cabinets and take the matches. Go east to the pantry and take the broom. Go down; it is dark, so turn on the flashlight. Go north to the storage room and examine the crates, then search them. Take the fuse. Wipe the spider web with the broom and take the old-fashioned iron key. Go south and west to the wine cellar. Drop the broom. Examine the wine racks, then the markings. Pull the rack and examine the mural. Go east and up, then west, south, southeast to the family plot. Examine the tombstones. Enter the mausoleum. Examine the child's coffin and open it. Examine and try to take the bones, which will crumble, leaving only the skull intact; take it. Go north, northwest, north back to the kitchen. Turn off the flashlight. Lock the back door.

Go west, north, and north out of the house. Close the front door. Go northwest, east, north, and west onto the town square. Take the newspaper and read it. Go south twice, to the records department of the courthouse. Examine the records. Look up Croseus, Wilhelm, Heinrich, Elijah, Mordecai, and Edward; notice how the date of death of one coincides with the date of birth of the other. Look up William. (You can also look up other people in the records, for instance Michael, Ward, Luffington, Tillworth, Beasley.)

Go north four times, then east, then north to the local pub. Take the lantern and the flask of whiskey.

Go south, west, northwest, west, north to the circulation desk of the University's library. Read the sign. Read the register and look up Michael; you will find he checked out A Historical Overview of Superstitions. Ring the bell, show the card, and ask the librarian for the Superstitions book. Take it and start reading it; a slip of paper will fall from the book. Take the paper and read it. Read Superstitions, and read each of the six interesting topics. (The chapter about Croseus mentions obscure references of him being born under the auspice of a particular symbol; memorize the symbol's name.) Ring the bell and give back the Superstitions book to the librarian. Ring the bell again and ask the librarian for the Monmouth book; she will put Stranger Stars on the counter. Take the Stranger Stars book and read it. (Note down the black zodiac, with symbols and dates.) Drop the Stranger Stars book and exit the library via south, east, and southeast.

Go east, then south on a twisting lane. Read the graffiti sprayed on the wall: it indicates a direction. Go that direction and you will arrive in a hidden courtyard. Enter the curiosity shop to the south. Look at the proprietor, the display case, and the amulet. (You can also examine all the other trinkets if you feel like.) Ask the proprietor about the amulet and he will gift it to you. Exit the shop going north, then take the direction to the labyrinth of tangled streets towards the twisting lane. From there, choose any direction but the shop's and you will end up somewhere in the Anchorhead town.

From where you are, figure out the directions to the riverwalk, then go east to a vacant lot. Look at the old man wearing dirty rags, and give him the flask. Ask the man about himself, and about Edward. Show the silver locket to the man. Ask the man about William, about Anna, and about the crypt. Show the skull to the man. Give him the amulet, and he will give you a copper key before leaving.

Go west to the riverwalk, go northwest under the bridge, open the manhole, go down in the sewer tunnel, then go north. Examine the shiny object: it's an old brass key. Take it. Go south and up.

It is almost dark, so go back home: go southeast, south, west, southeast. Go south to enter the house, then close the door.

Go up, west, south, and west to the study. Look at Michael's laptop. Remove your wedding ring and read the inscription on the inside: June 28. Put on the ring. Type 0628 on the laptop, and it will unlock. Examine the laptop to read what Michael was writing. (Note down the number of hands and eyes of the monsters in Michael's dream.) Close the laptop. Read the book The Cryptical Haermoniacon. Examine the fireplace, then the brass spheres. Turn one of the spheres. Go northeast in the secret passage that just opened behind the fireplace. Go east, then up the ladder, and you will find yourself in the observatory. Look at the astronomical charts. Examine the telescope and the slot cut into one side. Go down. (From there you can go north, east, or south, and look into the hole in each wall to spy in different rooms of the house.) Go west, southwest, east back to the library. Examine the books. Look at the book Tales of Mystery and Imagination and try to take it; a section of the bookshelf will slide, revealing a safe. The combination to the safe has been revealed to Michael in his dream, where hands are worth 5 and eyes are worth 1; so if the dream mentioned, for instance, "nine hands... ten hands, two eyes... six hands, four eyes..." you need to set the dial to 45, then set the dial to 52, then set the dial to 34, and the safe will open. Take the flute and the puzzle box.

Exit the house and go back to the curiosity shop by going north, east, down, north, northwest, east, north, west, north, north, east, south, whatever direction indicates the graffiti, then south. Show the puzzle box to the proprietor and he will solve it for you, opening it. Examine the puzzle box and take the black disk it contains. Leave the shop and figure out the directions to the riverwalk again.

Return to your house by going south, west, southeast. Go south to enter the house and close the door. Go upstairs and west to the upstairs hall. Pull the cord and go up, onto the rickety ladder to the attic. Go east in the attic cell. Examine the pencil marks. Examine the window, then the round marks. Examine the straw and look under it, then take the gold locket. Open the gold locket and look at the picture of the young woman inside. Go west, down, east, south to the bedroom. Drop everything you have in your hands, and your trenchcoat. Go east in the bathroom and bathe. Don your clothes, go to bed, and sleep.


You wake up with Michael next to you. Get out of bed and put on your clothes and your trenchcoat. Take everything is on the floor. Look at Michael, and ask him about the mud on his feet. Talk to him. Go north, down, and exit the house by going north. Look at the hole in the sky. Go south, up, west, south, west, northeast, east, and up to the observatory. Insert the black disk into the slot, and look into the telescope.

Go down, west, southwest, east, north, east, down, and north out of the house. Close the front door. Go northwest, east, south twice, and west. Take Michael's wallet. Go southwest, then west in the abandoned slaughterhouse. Examine the tracks. Take the tattered sheet and examine it. Take the meat hook. Go south. Examine the well and pull the plywood. Go down the well and examine the bones, then go up again and go north. You will hear something huge coming your way. Go back south, down the well, and hide under the bones. Wait until the hideous creature peers over the mouth of the well and leaves. Stand up, take the teddy bear, and look at it. Go up to exit the well.

Go north, east, northeast, east, and north to the forest lane. You will meet a group of menacing townsfolk here. Go east and southeast behind the church. Try to open the trap door. Hit the padlock with the hook, and open the trap door for good now. Enter the trap door and you will find yourself in the furnace room.

Examine the shape: it's the dead body of a woman. Search the body and take the steel key. Examine the furnace and open the hatch. Go north to the empty stairwell. Turn on the flashlight and turn off the lantern. Put everything in the trenchcoat, so to have your hands free. Jump, then get off the stairs. Take the cloth, which reveals to be a hooded robe. Examine the robe. Go south to the chapel and examine the cross, the pulpit, and the black tome. Read the black tome but when asked if you will read on, answer "no". Go south. Climb the rope and it will break, falling on the floor; take the rope and go north. Push the cross north. Tie the rope to the cross. Drop the robe into the shaft. Go down, and when you are dangling in darkness let go of the rope; you will hit a body of water and find yourself in a vault.

Take the robe. Go northwest in the sewer tunnel, then up, then southeast to the riverwalk. Go south, west, southeast, and south to enter the house.

Go south, east, east, down, and west to the wine cellar. Take the broom. Examine the mural; you are now able to recognize the constellations of this grotesque zodiac. You need to touch the zodiac signs which match the birth dates of Croseus, Wilhelm, Heinrich, Elijah, and Mordecai, in this order. You do not know the birth date of Croseus but his sign was mentioned in the Superstitions book; for the other four ancestors, you need to cross-reference their birth date as obtained from the courthouse records with the zodiac explained in the Stranger Stars book. After touching the five correct signs, the wall will slide, revealing a passageway to the north. 

Go north thrice to the temple entrance. Examine the symbol in the door. Say Ialdabaoloth, the name of the entity you learned when peering through the telescope this morning, and the door will open. Go north to the burial mound. Examine the monolith and the carvings. Look at the carvings north, east, south, and west side. Look at the pillars. Play the flute.

Go south, northeast, and north twice. Enter the pipe to reach the littered beach.

Go west, northwest, east into the real estate office. Examine the desk and unlock the desk drawer. Go west, drop the steel key, then go back east (this is necessary because of a game bug). Open the desk drawer. Take the hastily written letter and read it. Take the bronze key.      

Go west thrice. (Notice the group of townsfolk; this means you will not be able to cross the river via Whateley Bridge, but you can use the sewers.) Go north, west, and north to the shanty town. Read the newspaper, note the address of the abducted kid, and knock on the shack at that address (so if the address is #42 Mill Town Road, you need to knock on shack 42). Look at the woman, then give her the teddy bear; she will invite you into her house. Tell the woman about Jeffrey. Ask the woman about the mill, the oar, and Max. Take the oar. Leave the house by going south.    

Go south, east, south, east twice, southeast, east, enter the pipe, then go south twice. Drop the oar. Light a match, then light the lantern with the match. Take the oar. Go up, southeast, and east twice to the wharf. 

Look at the post. Put the lantern on the iron hook. Enter the dinghy and examine it. Insert the oar. Untie the dinghy and, once you are out to sea, listen for the buoy; then go to the direction of the noise. Once you are near the buoy, tie the dinghy to it. Examine the skeleton and the coveralls. Search the skeleton and take the steel key. Examine the buoy. Untie the dinghy and go west until you are back at the wharf. Tie the dinghy to the pier and exit the dinghy. Take the lantern.

Go west twice, northwest, down, north twice, enter the pipe, go west, northwest, west twice, north, west, southwest to the old foundation.

Search the thickets. Unlock the hatch and open it. Go north to the factory floor. Put the towel on the wheel, then turn the wheel. Drop the trenchcoat and everything else; take only the broom, the fuse, and the flashlight. Go north. Examine the control panels. Enter the elevator and close the gates, then push the red button with the broom. The elevator will descend to the workshop room. Exit the elevator. Examine the blueprint and take it. Take the leather tool pouch; there is a screwdriver inside it. Enter the elevator and examine the control box. Unscrew the panel and insert the fuse in the socket. Close the gates and push the white button. Exit the elevator and go south. Put on the trenchcoat, then take back all the objects you dropped here. Go south, where you will be captured by Michael and a group of cultists.


You find yourself in a padded cell, wearing a straitjacket. Kick the door twice and it will break open, sending you in the hallway. Go east and take the shard of glass. Examine the barred window, insert the shard in the cracks, and cut the straitjacket with the shard. Examine the cell door, unlock it and open it. Go south, entering the cell. Examine the tear, take the square of canvas, then take the needle. Examine and read the square of canvas.

Go north twice and open the closet door: it contains all your belongings. Take everything and put on the trenchcoat.

Go west twice and down the stairs. Look at the orderly. Pull the large key with your umbrella, then take the large key; unlock the gate and open it. Drop the umbrella. Go back up. Examine the cell and the window. Look through the window. Look at the inmate. Unlock and open the door. The lights go out, so turn on your flashlight. Go down, then east twice; the madman will run away. Exit the asylum through the east.

Go northeast, then back southwest as several crowds of people converge on the town square. Drop your trenchcoat and put on the robe. Go northeast. 

Look at the old man. Take the shiny object that fell out of his clothes: it's the amulet. Put it on. Look at the obelisk.

Go southwest and take the trenchcoat. Go northeast, then north: the monster will make its appearance on the bridge. Give the gold locket to the monster, then hit the monster with the meat hook.    

Put everything you are holding in your hands in the pockets of your trenchcoat, then drop the trenchcoat. Take only the bronze key, the screwdriver, the needle, and the asymmetrical crystal. You should also be wearing the hooded robe, the amulet, and your wedding ring.

Go north twice, west, southwest, west. Put the crystal on the railroad tracks. Wait several times, until you hear the rumble of a train. Continue waiting until the train passes, rolling over the crystal and damaging it. (This was hinted to in the 1952 article in the scrapbook.) Look. Take the flawed crystal.   

Go est, northeast. east twice, northeast to the foot of the lighthouse. Unlock the door and enter the lighthouse's service room by northeast. Go up to the lantern room. Examine the device. Examine the compartment. Unscrew the compartment and drop the screwdriver. Take the flawless crystal, only to be caught by Michael and a pair of cultists immediately after. Look at Michael. When he asks you for the crystal, give him the flawed one.   

The cultists will drag you downstairs and to an island of flesh that appeared just near the lighthouse, and will handcuff you to a rock. Near to you there is a boy tied to a stake. Look at him and you will realize he is Jeffrey, the kidnapped boy. Look at the sky. Now just wait several times during the ceremony, until the lighthouse explodes. Unlock the handcuffs with the needle, then untie the boy. He will run away; follow him by going west, southwest twice, west twice, and north, as he goes back to his mother. 

Go south, east, and south twice. There is your trenchcoat there: put it on. Go south and you will meet Michael, which quickly disappears. Look at the obelisk and touch it. You will be teleported to the burial mound, where Michael grabs you and starts strangling you. Show your wedding ring to Michael. Put the amulet on Michael. As the spectre of Croseus Verlac appears, play the flute to open the portal again.


Go north to the bathroom. Examine the pregnancy test. Examine the little window.