Nancy Drew: The Final Scene


Nancy Drew: The Final Scene

joyeHaven't bad guys learned yet not to mess with plucky Girl Detective Nancy Drew? A minor scoop turns into a major crime when Nancy's student reporter friend Maya vanishes without a trace in an antique theater where Houdini once dazzled audiences. But as Nancy (pluckily) warns the kidnapper, "You're messing with the wrong girls! She's a reporter, and I'm a detective, and we don't scare easy." You'll need all the pluck you've got to snoop around and solve the case, because the police are worse than useless in Nancy Drew: The Final Scene.

nancydrewfinalscene1.jpgControl for this adventure game is entirely with the mouse. It is highly advisable to complete the tutorial before playing a game, especially if you're not used to this style of navigation. Figuring out how to turn around and what the layout of the room is can be disorienting until you get the hang of it. Click on objects and people to interact with them. There are two modes: Junior Detective, suitable for younger or more inexperienced gamers, and Senior Detective, for people who want a challenge. There are two timed puzzles, but there is no penalty for trying again, and once you know exactly what you're doing the timer is more than ample.

Nancy Drew: The Final Scene first came out as a PC game for purchase on CD-ROM in 2001. This means that, yes, the graphics are just a tad dated. That being said, I would rather play a game that doesn't look that great but has a sparkling script, compelling plot, and fun gameplay than the plethora of shiny but vacuous games that I've seen lately both on consoles and for PC, so I was perfectly happy with The Final Scene.

Analysis: An adventure game lives and dies by its plot, and I really cannot think of any complaints to make about The Final Scene. I immediately cared about Maya and wanted to know what happened to her. Nancy is brave, cheeky, intuitive, admired, and clever, and by controlling her the player gets to be all these things vicariously. While the suspects fulfill certain stereotypes (the self-absorbed actor, the scheming Hollywood agent, the young radical, and the devoted old caretaker), they are all rounded, not one-track. Some of the red herrings and throwaway details pointed to surprising depths, in fact, and I'm still curious about who "Georgie-Bear" is. I'm also fascinated by vintage entertainment, so the forays into the tricky world of the early stage magicians were right up my street—there's even a magic trick Nancy reads about in the game that you can do in real life, with a bit of practice and some cheaply obtainable props.

nancydrew_thefinalscene2.jpgThis is all revealed through a vivacious and extensive script, performed by voice actors who are clearly having fun. The part that had me cracking up the most was the optional calls to Nancy's friends Ned and Bess. I'm a college student, and some of the lines were exactly the sort of things my friends might say to each other. I loved when Bess and George responded to Nancy's goodbye with a chorus of "Watch out for weird people!", and the flirting between Ned and Nancy was actually sweet and realistic instead of forced and saccharine. Even if you never get stuck, I recommend calling them a couple of times just for the fun of it.

I also liked having manual saves, enabling me to try a conversation or a puzzle more than once, and the "second chance" feature, which means that you can never get into an unwinnable situation. The mystery unfolds at a good pace, with a few twists to keep you on your toes. I thought I knew who the kidnapper was, then I thought it was someone else, then the first person, then someone else entirely, then maybe all of them working together! At the same time, I never thought the game was being unfair by making the case impossible to solve logically.

Given the manual saves, however, the non-skippability of some of the conversations becomes a real drag. If you decide you've made a mistake and you want to go back to an earlier save, you have to sit through lengthy conversations all over again. While in most conversations you can at least amuse yourself by choosing slightly different answers, some of the conversations are effectively cut scenes, with no player input. Being able to skip ahead would make things a lot easier. The puzzles all appear without instructions and are non-skippable too, which may send some players scrambling for a walkthrough, and the puzzles don't reset when backing out of them, so if you get truly stuck and the walkthrough you have assumes you're starting from scratch, you may need to go to an earlier save.

I also would have liked to have truly had a final cutscene instead of the "Dear Bess: Here is a letter where I talked about what happened while photographs and newspaper articles pop up on the screen" approach. Mostly because at that point I liked all the characters so much that I wanted to hear more about them. Although I had to laugh at the corner of a tabloid newspaper that popped up in the cutscene which read "Crime Follows Nancy Drew: COINCIDENCE?" Maybe for her next case Nancy can investigate herself.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

19 Comments

Guess my question is why are we "now" reviewing these games? I've been playing them for years. Does this have to do with BFG obtaining the rights?

Ah, an oldie but a goodie - I've played this game a dozen times but it's still just as fun each time.

I have this game for my PC! Haha, it's pretty old, but it's still fun. Treasure in the Royal Tower will always be my favourite though.

Yeah, I am also curious as to the random and late start of reviewing these. Are you going to be reviewing all of them?

I had this on CD when I was a kid, and I always fell off the balcony trying to get the second gear. D:

I lovelovelove the old school Nancy Drew games. The quality went down a bit in the later years, but the first dozen are all gems.

On another note, how creepy is the old man in this one? He looks waxy.

Sorry, I found this game really boring and over far too quickly, disappointed that I'd spent money on it. Wonder if that's why BFG doesn't give a demo on it!!

My favorite is Crystal skull(i havent been playing in order) im gonna play treasure in a royal tower next. I need a bit of help can someone tell me where i find the pencil that i use to trace over the key is?

I didn't read the paper with the numbers on it before I called the police, but I still reached them. Here's a hint,

911 works in the game to reach the cops, just like in real life.

Nice that they rigged that because otherwise I would've been confused as to how to reach them.

How do I rotate the pieces in the basement game?!

Heather -
If you are talking about the 5 shapes on the panel

that need to be turned to spades. Try turning them in the following order: 4th - 1st - 2nd - 3rd - 5th.

on day two, after calling the police, I went up to the projecting room and talked to that old guy Joseph. When I tried to exit the room to start day three, there were no arrows to get out! Over and over I tried to figure it out, but still no luck and it's a real bummer because I was almost finished with the game and now it can't proceed! It must be a glitch. Did this happen to you when you played the game? what should I do?

Lucy -
Check the walkthrough above the comments to see if you missed something.

Thanks! :D

by the way I totally love the Nancy drew games, I havn't been going in order but the ones I've done are pretty awesome! I'm kind of klutzy though; I can't do it without a step-by-step walkthrough!

Most of you would not like this spoiler (I don't blame you either, I would deffinatly want a surprise!!!) But I'm sure SOME of you are just DYING to know the culprit of Nancy Drew the Final Scene. Here it is, you curious people you!

Joseph did it, the sneaky old man!

so there you have it. Need anymore hints or tips? I'll check back if I get the chance and do my best to answer some of them. :)

A random tip: try using the phone to call Ned, Bess, and George, Nancy's friends. Their totally hilarious and will make you laugh when your totally bored. They're also really usefull!

when stuck, use the phone to call Ned. You can ask him what to do next, and he will tell you what your next move should be, and he'll provide hints and his opinion. This works in pretty much all the Nancy Drew games, whether it's Bess and George, the hardy brothers, or Ned.

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