The House Stauf

In 1995 my family had a Tandy. It was a hand-me-down from my aunt Gail. This was an incredible bit of technology for my family as we had very little money and never would have been able to purchase something like this on our own. We didn’t really have much to do with it, honestly. My dad made spreadsheets for the office at the fire department where he volunteered. We played countless hours of Minesweeper and Solitaire.

My family are geeks. All of us. My sister likes anime and Dr. Who; my parents like dungeon crawlers and are casual Trekkies; and I’m just into all sorts of things. While out running errands we would almost always visit Radio Shack. (Googled and discovered they still exist, just not anywhere near here.) Mostly we just poked around. It was a tiny shop and there was only enough room to turn around once. Every wall could easily be seen from anywhere in the store. In the middle there was a shallow metal basket on a table full of PC games. Most of them were point and click puzzle games and we usually just skipped over it. I was 9 and was just entering my fascination with horror and things that were intentionally scary. The world was already a scary place, other peoples nightmares were a kind of escapism for me. So when I saw the box with the big dark house on a cliff there was really no question as to whether or not we needed it.

The 7th Guest consumed us. We played the game inside and out. It was before easily accessible walk-throughs and so it was a good long time before we managed to entirely beat the game. I say “we” because we all chipped away at it, both my parents and I spent countless frustrated and fascinated hours exploring the Stauf house, solving puzzles and piecing the story together. Once we finished it, we started over, picking up Easter eggs, and other clever subtleties. Even still, about 20 years later I remember how some of the puzzles were solved. As a matter of fact every time I cut a cake now I think of the very first puzzle. “Two skulls, two stones, the rest is just icing.”

Eventually we had to upgrade out of Windows 3.5  and found that we could no longer play our favorite game. We gave the sequel The 11th Hour a chance but it really couldn’t match our love for the first game.

I have a Steam account that I don’t ever look at.  I’m bad at games, they don’t really fall in my geek spectrum. I would much rather watch someone play a RPG than play it myself; FPS games disorient me; and any strategy based game can basically be thrown out. So my two L4D’s, Portal, Home and Analogue go completely untouched. (Stop buying me games, I fail at playing them!) I don’t remember why I decided to take a look at it (I’m sure it’s Ari’s fault) but while I was absentmindedly scrolling through the store for Linux compatible games I stopped dead on The 7th Guest. I squeed fairly hard.

[19:55:50] Emberyn: OMG
[19:55:52] Emberyn: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG
[19:55:57] Emberyn: The 7th Guest
[19:55:59] Emberyn: OMGOMGOMGOMGO
[19:56:29] Emberyn: OMGOGMOGMOMGOMG

Squee may have been a bit of an understatement. Poor Ari received this as a wall crashing down into Skype. I am so excited to gift this game to my dad. I’ve drawn something up to put in a box so that he actually has something to open on Christmas.


~ by emberyn on December 18, 2013.

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