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The lost files of Sherlock Holmes
In the latter part of the 19th century, London was a rather dirty city, just
coming into its industrial age. This also was the approximate period in which
the murders attributed to "Jack the Ripper" occurred (a relatively mild crime
spree when compared to today's atrocities). These savage attacks must have
been all the more frightening when one considers that the majority of the
police force was armed only with nightsticks, and that investigative methods
were fairly primitive.
In THE LOST FILES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, you assume the role of fiction's most
famous and well-known detective as he seeks to trap the Ripper. (This review
is based on the IBM-PC version.)
HOLMES' animated opening sequence allows you to witness a murder as an
actress leaves the Regency theatre. A cloaked figure is lying in wait near
the backstage entrance, and you see the crime occur. Is this actually the
work of the unknown Jack the Ripper, a "copycat" killer, or is it completely
Holmes is asked to investigate by Scotland Yard's Inspector Lestrade. Those
familiar with the fictional relationship between the two detectives know that
Holmes and Lestrade have a mutual disdain for one another's investigative
techniques. Lestrade turns to Holmes only when he has no other choice; the
world-famous consulting detective agrees to help only if the case seems
unique or when he feels like "showing up" the sometimes incompetent official.
Typical of one of Holmes' cases, the murder not only isn't what it first
appears, but is just the cover page to a more complex story. The game leads
you to a couple of dead-ends before you discover the killer. Then the case
takes an unexpected twist when the first victim's sister is abducted. With
the confessed killer locked up in Bailey Court, who's behind this crime? The
story culminates with a last minute rescue, and the escape of the true
villain. Does this mean a sequel? Possibly, as the original story was written
by a couple of real Holmes mystery fans.
Each location in the game is depicted by handsome VGA graphics in a style
that gives an overall Victorian look to the story. A hand icon is used to
manipulate objects on the screen, in Holmes' inventory, or to choose commands
from a menu beneath the picture using an interface that is most similiar to a
LucasArts game (e.g., MONKEY ISLAND, ZAK MCKRACKEN). As you move the pointer
over objects and persons, verbs that apply are highlighted on the menu. This
doesn't always make it obvious what needs to be done, and the scene must be
carefully examined so nothing is missed.
As in LucasArts' games, dialogue proceeds with numbered choices highlighted
when appropriate and darkened when used. This limits the things you can try,
and unfortunately can make the game too easy at points. There is one arcade-
type sequence where you play darts to gain information, but the observant
detective can find an alternate way to get the truth.
You move through London via hansom carriage, and can visit a location only
when your investigation reveals a reason to do so. When an address is found,
it appears on the overhead map of the city and you may click on it to travel
An auto-note-taking feature is embodied in Dr. Watson, who writes down every
conversation between Holmes and other characters. This notebook amounts to
over 300 small pages when the game is complete, and actually reads like a
story. The contents may be read during the game or searched for a key word or
phrase. The contents may also be printed for viewing offline (although I
didn't find this a useful feature). What isn't recorded -- and should have
been -- are Holmes' actions, what he picks up, and what he observes. However,
due to the way the game paths open up, it isn't actually neccessary to look
at an item twice. If it provides a new location or new line of inquiry to
pursue, the sleuth will see it on the map or in the converstion options.
There are varied music themes and a number of good sound effects, but these
don't quite keep up with the quality of the graphics. The game also uses very
clear digitized speech, but not throughout the game as I was expecting. The
dialogue is spoken only during the introduction and endgame; it would have
been nice to see some mixed in with the story. Considering the large amount
of disk space used for graphics, a few more megabytes for speech files would
have been a relatively small amount.
HOLMES makes a good interactive story, and that's what it claims to be. It
isn't a particularly difficult mystery, and the fixed choices of dialogue
make it fairly easy to stumble along. The difficult parts require you to look
at everything, as this triggers new dialogue and places to visit. A couple of
clues must be gained by using Holmes' laboratory to analyze objects, but no
knowledge of science is required to perform the tests.
I was rather disappointed in the way the game handled Dr. Watson. While he
never actually solved any mysteries in the Conan Doyle stories, Watson wasn't
merely an ornament or sidekick. In the game, he helps Holmes in a couple of
spots by providing a distraction or performing a medical service, but he's
mostly just a note-taking machine. In several fictive instances, Sir Arthur
did have the doctor stimulate a Holmesian insight by making an observation or
two. Watson occasionally nudged Sherlock in the right direction, and the
detective often used him as a sounding board for his theories. Were I Watson
in this story, I would probably have walked away as the great detective
generally ignored me. It also would have been nice to see some of Watson's
running narrative comments, which always added flavor to the sleuth's
My copy of HOLMES came on ten 1.2Mb 5.25" floppy disks, with an exchange
form for nine 3.5" disks. The game has an absolutely painless install program
that detects everything on the computer system and suggests which choices to
make. It must be installed to a hard disk with 15Mb minimum free space, and
29Mb free disk space is required if the files are expanded to save time
during play. A 386-based computer system with 16MHz speed and DOS 3.0 or
higher with at least 571K free conventional memory are required to run the
Sound boards supported are the AdLib, Sound Blaster, Roland, and Tandy MPC.
Mouse, joystick, and keyboard are supported, and expanded memory is required
if using a mouse. Expanded memory is also used if specified to speed loading
of the graphics files. Up to 30 separate games may be saved, and there's no
I recommend HOLMES for entertainment value, and would like to see another in
this series. However, the next game should be more challenging, with more
personality for the characters.
A final note: Electronic Arts should be commended for their responsibility
to the consumer. While they provide a 24-hour 900 number for hints, they
obviously don't wish people to waste time and money on the line. I say this
because they offer a printed "menu" to be used when calling the hint line,
allowing you to quickly get to the needed hint. This menu is available for no
charge; just write to the address in the manual.
THE LOST FILES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is published by Mythos Software and
distributed by Electronic Arts.
This review is copyright (c) 1992 by Venger. All rights reserved. Not to be
distributed without permission.
THE LOST FILES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
This walkthru describes one possible way to solve the mystery, but since the
game is not linear, the investigation may branch off at one of several places
in the game. Although you may deviate from my approach, you nonetheless must
visit all the locations and solve all the puzzles in order to complete the
game. Also, there are numerous artifacts and objects which I have not
mentioned in this walkthru. These items may be manipulated but are not
essential to the solution of this game.
Begin on Baker Street. Go to Alley behind Regency Theater. See the cigarette
butt, which had been smoked by a man in boots. Pick up playbill, and pick up
iron bar. Inspect corpse of Sarah Carroway; she was killed by a neck wound.
Note that the murderer used a serrated blade and took the victim's jewelry.
Take a sample of white powder found on abdominal wound. Talk to Inspector,
who tells you about a witness to the murder; he also gives you the address of
Sarah Carroway's flat.
Go into Sarah's dressing room. On top of a locked chest of drawers, there are
some flowers with a note from a secret admirer. Take note and take a flower.
Pickup the bottle of Eau de Seine perfume with ribbon on it. Talk to Watson
about a sedative to calm Sheila Parker, the witness. Give sedative to Sheila,
and question her.
She talks about a man wearing a cloak fleeing the scene of the crime. She
says that Sarah had received a pendant from her sister Anna. Ask about secret
admirer and discover that Sarah did not know him. Sheila says that the perfume
was a gift to Sarah from a special friend, whom Sarah kept a secret. Show
Sheila the playbill you found in the alley, and she says it belongs to her.
Note stain of Macassar oil and black hair on top of door. Talk to Carruthers;
he mentions a suspicious lad who had been hanging around in the alley. The
boy, about 17 years old, had asked him for Sarah's address, but when
Carruthers refused, the boy asked him to leave a message at the "Moongate". In
further conversation, discover that the murderer had apparently forced the
door, searched the room, and waited outside for Sarah. Pick up a spring under
the wardrobe and give it to Carruthers; he repairs the lock. Open door and go
to Sarah Carroway's flat. Open umbrella and take tiny brass key. Inspect
laundry; a sweater from Kensington Rugby Club has evidence of Macassar oil and
Go to Baker Street and use powdered specimen and flower on lab table. Do the
experiments and find out that the flower is dyed with iodine base and that the
white powder is arsenic mixed with soap. Go outside, talk to Wiggins, and give
him flower, and ask him to locate vendor. Go back to Alley; the body has been
taken to the morgue, and the backstage door is now locked.
Go to Morgue; Coroner lets you examine, but not take, Sarah's personal
effects. Note large key. Talk to Gregson about authorization to get Sarah's
effects. He refers you to Lestrade at Scotland Yard, which now appears on the
map. Go there; use the name of Gregson, but the constable does not admit you.
Go back to the morgue, and this time Gregson escorts you and gains you
admittance to the Yard. Go in; talk to desk sergeant Duncan, but he does not
Go out, talk to "apparently blind vendor", and threaten to expose his
fraudulent practices. He tells you that the desk sergeant is a sucker for a
compliment. Compliment the sergeant and he will summon Inspector Lestrade, who
authorizes permission to remove items from morgue. Get pass from desk
Go to morgue and talk to coroner; give him pass, then take large key. Ask
Coroner for analysis sample of white powder, which turns out to be a
preservative. Go to Alley, use large key on stage door, and enter. Use tiny
brass key on chest of drawers and take opera tickets. Carruthers tells you
address of Opera House, where Anna Carroway performs.
Go to Chancery Opera House and talk to manager. He says that Anna Carroway
has been ill, and he refuses to allow admittance to her dressing room. Show
tickets to both ushers and go upstairs. Show tickets to Mrs. Worthington, and
she talks about pendant and about Sara's young man, James. She also writes a
note authorizing admittance to Anna's dressing room. Give note to manager, and
try to examine room. When the manager interferes, leave room and talk to
Watson. Reenter room and have Watson distract manager. Then open drawers and
pick up ring of keys from middle drawer.
Now go to Belle's Parfumerie; ask Belle about the young man who purchased Eau
de Seine perfume. Describe him as tall, black hair with copious amounts of
Macassar oil, and Behle identifies him as a rugby player. Ask Belle for La
Cote D'Azur perfume. When she goes in back, talk to cleaning girl about the
young man, and learn that he smokes Senior Service cigarettes.
Go to South Kensington Field and talk to coach. If you describe the young man
by name of James, who smokes Senior Service, the coach calls Sanders to answer
questions. Sanders denies knowing Sarah until you show him the Eau de Seine
perfume. He then tells you the location of Eaton Dormitory. Go there, tell
Sanders that Sarah is dead. He doesn't believe you, and he wants proof, like a
Go to morgue, but the coroner does not release death certificate. Go to Baker
Street; ask Jonas, the newsstand operator, for a back issue of newspaper
describing death of Sarah. Jonas doesn't have one, but Wiggins does. Talk to
Wiggins and take newspaper. Ask Wiggins about the flower vendor, and he says
her name is Leslie, at the Covent Garden. Go back to Eaton Dorm and give
newspaper to Sanders. Although he doesn't know their flat addresses, he tells
about Anna Carroway at Opera House and her fiancee, Antonio Caruso, who
frequents the St. Bernards Snooker Academy. Sanders also talks about a spot,
near Priory School, where they all picnic and Anna would occasionally talk to
a curious young boy.
Go to St. Bernards; pay the snooker players for information about Caruso.
Jack Mahoney, in yellow and wearing a wedding band, knows the flat address but
will not cooperate. Ask the bartender about Mahoney's marital status and
confront Mahoney with the information. He now reveals Caruso's address.
Go to Caruso's flat. Look at the photo on the back table. Caruso talks of
Anna's disappearance and gives you her address. He tells you to knock loudly
and long, as the housekeeper is deaf. Ask about picnics and learn of the
strange boy who wanted Anna to buy him a gyroscope. Go to Wiggins, on Baker
Street, and get the gyroscope.
Travel to picnic site and use gyroscope on solitary boy. He tells you that
his name is Paul, that his father is influential, and that Anna was his nanny.
Give gyroscope to boy and pick up cap when he leaves. Look at cap, then go to
Eddington Equestrian. Ask about the purchaser of cap, but he refuses to reveal
this. Talk to Watson about a strategy, then look at the fraudulent coat of
arms. When all of his customers leave, the proprietor tells you that Lord
Brumwell bought the cap for his son, Paul.
Go to Brumwell Mansion, but Lord Brumwell will not see you at this time.
Speak to Lady Brumwell about Paul and Anna; she says that Anna was dismissed
and that she does not know her whereabouts. Find out that one of Lord
Brumwell's guests had left a smelly cigarette butt in the foyer. Leave; there
is nothing more to do here until the endgame.
Go to Covent Garden. Go into Madame Rosa's shop, but she neither helps you
nor allows you to search the premises. Leave and buy violets from Leslie. Ask
her about the man who bought pink carnations, and show her the hand-written
note attached to the flowers you found in Sarah's dressing room. She will
acknowledge having written the note for a man who insisted on having a drink
her at the pub. When she refused, he became mean and tossed his cigarette into
her barrel. He also lost something from his sleeve in the barrel.
Pick up the flowers from the wire basket, and use the wire basket on the
barrel to obtain the cuff link with the initials "G.B.". Go into the Moongate
Pub and talk to Publican, who identifies the cuff link as belonging to Mr.
Blackwood, a taxidermist. A specimen of Blackwood's work, says Publican, is on
display at Bradley's Tobacco Shop.
Now look around the room, specifically at the two pictures. Ask Publican for
information about the young man looking for Sarah Carroway's address. There
are two ways to get this information. First, you may play darts with the three
drunks and the Publican, but you must beat all of them. Or, if you prefer, ask
Publican about his disgraceful military record, and allude to the photo of the
pachyderm and the photo of his mother. In either case, the Publican will tell
you that the young man delivers for the chemist on Hattington Street. On to
the chemist, and if you buy something, he will let you talk to Richard, the
stockboy. On questioning, Richard admits to being lovesick over Sarah
Carroway, but without any involvement whatsoever.
Go to Bradley's Tobacco Shop. Try to move a cigar crate, but Alfred does not
allow it. Talk to Alfred and he changes his mind. Move all three crates in
front of the moose head, and then move the last crate again; Holmes puts it on
top of the other two. Climb up, pick up moose head, and gain the address of
At the Taxidermy, look at serrated knife and bloody smock and ask Lars about
them. He tells you that the smock is Mr. Blackwood's. He will describe
Blackwood as medium build, with gray hair, top hat and monocle. He says he
overheard Blackwood making an appointment to meet someone at the Surrey Docks.
Talk to Watson about the Docks, and he will suggest Toby, the dog at Old
Sherman's, to pick up the scent. Pick up the smock and go to Old Sherman's.
Talk to Sherman and get a leash. Use either the leash or smock on Toby and you
are automatically taken to the Docks. Toby seems very interested in the
warehouse, but the door won't open. Move the barrel in front of door, climb
up, and get pail.
Look at the window; it is opaque with dirt. Move barrel back and pick up
dirty rag. Use the pail on the Thames, and use the rag on the pail. Finally
use the rag on the window and look in. There are two men; one matches
Blackwood's description, the other examines a large pendant. There is a plank
up against the door. Talk to Watson about a strategy, then open shed door and
take hammer. Use the hammer on the warehouse door and enter the warehouse.
Holmes chases and apprehends Blackwood, but the other man escapes. You are
taken back to Baker Street, where Holmes and Watson discuss Blackwood. It
seems that Blackwood is being detained at Bow Street Police Court and charged
only with possession of Sarah's stolen jewelry.
Go to Bow Court, but guard will not admit you. Go to Yard and obtain pass
from the desk sergeant. Back to Bow Street and give pass to guard. Talk to
Blackwood. He says he was hired by an unknown old gent to find a letter
possessed by Carroway. He had searched Sarah's dressing room, found nothing,
and waited outside in the alley. When he held her up, Sarah panicked, and he
killed her, "by accident" and took her pendant. But then the old gent told him
that Sarah was the wrong Carroway, and that it was Anna Carroway who had the
letter. Ask Blackwood to whom he had sold the pendant, but he clams up.
Now go to Anna Carroway's house. Remembering what Caruso had said about the
deaf housekeeper, expect to knock loudly and long. Move the door knocker and
the bell pull several times and wait, then use the ring of keys on the door.
If Watson tells you that there may be someone inside, repeat the process until
Watson says you have waited long enough. You will then be able to enter.
Pick up both calling cards. Move plant and spill dirt. Go upstairs, but
cleaning woman does not let you touch anything. Tell her about the spilled
dirt and she leaves. Move statue and take book. Read book; it is Anna
Carroway's diary. It seems that she had hired detectives to investigate the
burglary of the pendant upon her sister's death. She thought that the murderer
would pawn the jewelry. The pendant was concealing an extremely valuable
letter, which if not recovered, would leave Anna alone in the world, her
sister dead and her child lost to her forever.
Read the calling cards; one is from Caruso and the other from a Jacob
Farthington, Barrister of Grey Inn. Go to Farthington; he says he was hired by
Anna to research and prove her claim to parentage. She had a son out of
wedlock but was forced to give him up to his father, Lord Brumwell. She now
had evidence to reunite her with her son, but the evidence would greatly anger
Brumwell. Farthington is disturbed by Anna's disappearance and solicits
Holmes' help to find her.
Go back to Bow Street; tell Blackwood that the pendant he sold had secretly
concealed the very letter he was hired to find. Blackwood now volunteers
information about Jameison, to whom he sold the pendant. Go to Jameison; tell
him that because he received stolen property, he may be accessory to the
murder of Sarah Calloway. He tells you that he sold the pendant to a private
detective Moorehead, but that a rather rough customer of his, Robert Hunt,
also knows this information.
Go to Moorehead and Gardner Detective Agency. Ask to speak to Moorehead, but
he is out. Give calling card to receptionist. She says that Gardner is also
out, that he was summoned by a client to meet at the Regent Park Zoo at
midnight to deliver the pendant. Look at framed photo of Gardner. You can
neither pick up the typewriter nor break into the inner office at this time.
Go to the Zoo, talk to the constable and enter. There is a small shiny object
in the lion's cage. Walk toward the Administrative Offices. Examine the corpse
of Gardner; he has a crushed skull, mud on his clothes, evidence of claw
marks, and a broken leg from a fall. He was apparently killed elsewhere and
dragged to present location.
Talk to Gregson, but he is of no help. Enter the office and talk to
Hollingston. He tells you address of Simon Kingsley, a staff worker who is a
special friend of Felix the lion. Go to Kingsley's flat, and look at boots and
at picture. Ask Kingsley about his favorite animal, and he admits that he
removed Gardner from the cage because he thought Felix had killed the man.
Kingsley agrees to meet at the lion cage.
Go to lion cage, where Kingsley occupies Felix, and pick the shiny object, a
closed pocket watch. Open watch and discover that it belonged to Gardner.
There is an attached piece of paper with numbers, like a combination to a
Go back to Detective Agency, ask about Moorehead, and find out he just left.
Receptionist says that after a boy had delivered a message, Moorehead had
apparently opened his safe and ran out. Tell Watson that Moorehead is in grave
danger, that he did not know of his partner's death and now is called away
under mysterious circumstances.
Decide to break into office. Pick up typewriter and an enjoy the animated
interlude. Holmes breaks in and finds a message telling Moorehead to come
alone with the pendant to the St. Pancreas station, if he wants to see his
partner and client alive again. At the subway station, Mr. Hunt is holding
Moorehead at gunpoint and Moorehead has not brought the pendant.
As Holmes and Watson arrive on the scene, Moorehead wrestles the gun away,
but Hunt pushes him in front of an oncoming train. Watson holds gun, while
Holmes tells Hunt that he intends to connect him with Moorehead's death,
Gardner's murder, and Anna's disappearance. Hunt tells Holmes that he will
never see Anna alive and promises to exact his revenge on Holmes at some
point. Go back to Bow Street and talk to Hunt. Accuse him of working for
someone else, of having accomplices, but Hunt won't talk.
Go back to Detective Agency. Go into office, move chair, move false front of
books, and use piece of paper with numbers on the safe. Remove the pendant and
open it. Remove the document and read it. The letter was written by the
deceased doctor of Brumwell family, a Theodore Smithson. Close to his death,
he wanted to atone to Anna for a cover up. Anna bore Paul while she was a
servant of Brumwell. The father, Lord Brumwell, made people think that Paul
was the child of childless Lady Brumwell, while Anna was the nanny. Anna was
dismissed when the child grew attached to her. She was threatened with the
wrath of the powerful Brumwells if she ever revealed the truth.
Now move the chair back and go to the Brumwell Mansion. Show letter to Lady
and she admits you to the study. On seeing the letter, Lord Brumwell admits
that he hired Blackwood and Hunt to obtain the pendant, but that he should
have done the job himself. In response to question about Anna's location,
Brumwell tells of location of Hunt's flat. He then leaves, "to turn himself
Holmes and Watson find themselves locked in the study. To escape, move left
sword, and look at the picture; a catch has been released. Open painting and
see unlocked safe. Open safe and take small brass key. Use key to open door,
go out and watch Lord Brumwell jump off a bridge to his death.
Go to Hunt flat. Open book; read about Hunt's dealings with Madame Rosa and
Lord Brumwell. Take bookmark, which is a claim ticket for an item at
Jaimeson's. Go there and give ticket to Jaimeson. Get Tarot cards and small
ornate key. Go to Madame Rosa's salon; she is not there. Move the left candle
and bookcase opens, exposing a strong box. Use ornate key on desk drawer, take
the silver key and use it on the strong box.
Take the parchment, a receipt of rental property at the Savoy St. Pier.
There is an attached note from Hunt, asking Rosa to keep document safe. Go to
the pier and look in window. See a woman in a chair, bound and gagged. There
is a keg of black powder overhead, with a fuse nearby, and a burning candle
below. The fuse is attached to the door knob, so that opening the door would
cause the fuse to raise into the candle flame. Also the fuse would light if
the candle burns low enough.
Look in inventory, and use that long-forgotten iron bar on the door, then sit
back and watch the happy ending. Note Holmes' promise of a sequel with a
"master criminal who thinks he is already more than a match for me."
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
I obtained the information in this walkthru by playing the game only and
without the benefit of a hint book, which was not available. If I am not 100%
accurate or have missed some important situations, I apologize, but I trust
that the walkthru will add to your enjoyment of the game. As it is my first
attempt, I would appreciate comments, positive or negative, and I welcome
THE LOST FILES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is published Mythos Software and
distributed by Electronic Arts.
This walkthru is copyright (c) 1992 by Robert D. Harris. All rights
reserved. [Not to be distributed without permission.]