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Related Article: Shalebridge Cradle
|“||The following pages form a journey into one of the most brilliant and disturbing levels ever committed to PC.||”|
|— Kieron Gillen|
The Shalebridge Cradle, is considered to be one of the scariest missions in video game history. PCGamer had an entire 10 page review on just the Cradle itself, in the March 2005 issue.
In the deserted lower library of the Compound, Garrett finds a note addressed to him, despite the fact that no one should know that he is there. At the Hall of Statues, Garrett sees a hideous old woman, or a hag, who knows magic and activates stone statues to look for him. He escapes the ambush and finds Inspector Drept for help. Drept advises Garrett to search the abandoned Shalebridge Cradle for clues as that was where he first saw the hag.
The Cradle had been an insane asylum, but before that it was an orphanage. What most don't know is that, for a short time, it was both. One night a fire broke out. No one knew why or how, although Miss Wrenfeld seems the most probable culprit, and the place was abandoned. It grew to be a dark and haunted place. According to a note, nine years ago a man dared to sleep one night in the Cradle, and was never seen since.
In the Cradle, Garrett inexplicably finds a portrait in the attic, at least as old as the building has lain empty, that depicts the Keeper Translator. At this moment, a glowing white spirit appears, introduces herself as Lauryl, and beckons Garrett to help her leave. It turns out that the Cradle has the ability to 'remember' people's presence within, trapping them inside forever. Having activated the generator, Garrett discovers that the storm cellar entrance that he came in by is somehow blocked by a metal grate. Now Garrett has to get rid of all Lauryl's things (a bottle of her blood which is still warm in the storm cellar, her nightgown in one of the patient cells, her diary in the nursery tower and her blood stain in the attic), so that the Cradle cannot remember her. For some of these, he is required to use an item from one of the Cradle's old inmates to enter the Cradle's memory in their guise. However, once this is complete, Garrett is no longer able to leave, as the Cradle now remembers him. Garrett must enter the past as himself and trick the Cradle into thinking he commits suicide by jumping out of the highest tower.
Once outside, Lauryl leads Garrett to the nearby Hammerite Fort, Ironwood, where her body is buried. Garrett washes away the marks on the grave with Lauryl's blood (retrieved from a sewer drain) and Lauryl gets her appearance back: Gamall's. Translator Gamall, who is just being promoted to the position of interpreter, is revealed to be the Hag.
The Shalebridge Cradle. It used to be an insane asylum, and before that, it was an orphanage. One night a fire started, no one knows how, and after that they left the place abandoned. If there's a way to cram more misery into one building's history, I can't think of it. I'm here to learn about the old woman who attacked me in the Keeper Compound. Drept said he saw the hag here at the orphanage long ago, when his childhood friend was murdered. He's never dared to come back, but I don't think I have much choice. It's a thin lead, but it's all I have left. I've never robbed an orphanage before, and I can't say I'm looking forward to the visit. There's no telling what I'll find inside. I'm used to the dark, but this feels like a house with bad dreams.
- Search for more information about the "Hag" who attacked you.
Copper Candlestick: 25g, (x2) on shelf, NW room.
Silver Candlestick: 50g, (x2) on shelf.
Gold Candlestick: 75g, (x2) on shelf, entrance stairwell.
Silver Candlestick: 50g, (x2) on pillars.
Diamond Goblet: 150g, on desk.
Gravecourt Red: 150g, in safe.
Western Sleeping Quarters
Silver Candlestick: 50g, (x2) on mantle.
Purse of Coins: 50g, in chest.
Jade Tiara: 50g, in chest.
Silver Candlestick: 50g, on counter, entrance stairwell.
Bag of Gold Teeth: 50g, in SE cold chamber, first floor.
Jade: 100g, (x8) on four portraits.
Lobotomy Theatre (Room B)
Silver Surgical Kit: 300g, on small shelves.
Therapy Room (Room A)
Silver Candlestick: 50g, on NE shelves.
Silver Ring: 50g, on upper window sill, cell 1.
Diamond Goblet: 150g, on table, cell 2.
Golden Dagger: 50g, behind painting, cell 5.
Gold Coin Pile: 75g, on table, cell 7.
Silver Mirror: 125g, on table, cell 8.
Silver Comb: 50g, on table, cell 8.
32 items total, 2650 loot.
I finally managed to escape from that... place. But, I think I'm out of my depth here. I saw an old portrait of a girl who looks just like that Keeper Translator, but how can that be? I only found traces of the hag. I don't think she's been there since Drept saw her all those years ago. So, I'm left with questions, and the vial of blood the ghost had me steal. The ghost is beckoning, and I think I'd better follow. This isn't over, yet.
- An air duct at the far end of the observatory opens onto the roof of an enclosed section of the meal hall, where there are two gas crystals.
- The fireplace in the western extension of the Outer Cradle is large enough for Garrett to enter and has a hatch at the top which opens onto the roof. Because Garrett cannot climb the walls, however, this is inaccessible.
- Map Inconsistency: When starting the mission the main face of the Cradle is in front of you to the North, but from the Old Quarter access it is to the East.
- Map file names are labeled HauntedHouse1 and HauntedHouse2.
- A letter that mentions some Shalebridge Cradle history can be found outside a house next to Shalebridge Cradle. Also, the Cradle's architect is buried deep into the Fort Ironwood catacombs with a map of his magnum opus.
- This mission is similar to "Return to the Cathedral" from Thief The Dark Project. Both are considered to be some of the most scary levels yet designed, and in both missions Garrett is escaping using the help of a ghost.
- The metal chair used for shock therapy is not fixed in place, and so can be pushed around the White Hall. This can be used for convenient access to the memory world after collecting Solzer's Clockworking Tools.
- It is possible to shoot arrows into wood and collect them in the memory world (Garret has none when committing identity theft).
- Despite Lauryl's claim, it is possible to die in the Cradle's memory.
- Once Lauryl is forgotten, her portrait in the attic depicts an empty chair.
- As soon as she actually sees Garrett, Lauryl will grow about two inches taller, as can be seen by her shadow.
- The morgue furnace is detached from the wall, leaving a dark passage behind it. It is hot enough to kill Garrett instantly if he climbs inside.