"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 arrested.
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 people around).
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 Doors.
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
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
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 body.
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
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
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
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
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
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 trick).
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 involved!).