The Room: Old Sins is the fourth game in the series. It was remastered to Steam under the name The Room 4: Old Sins. The game's story revolves around a collector sent by The Circle to follow up on the disappearance of the masters of Waldegrave Manor.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Overview
- 3 Synopsis
- 4 Walkthrough
The Room: Old Sins takes place in Waldegrave Manor, an estate owned by Edward and Abigail Lockwood (formerly Abigail Waldegrave). Hints within the game place its events between November 14 and November 21, 1908.
The entirety of the game's action takes place within Waldegrave Manor's Attic. However, unique to this game is the mechanic of the Dollhouse, which allows the player to superzoom into different rooms within the house, despite technically never leaving the Attic. These additional rooms are unlocked one by one as the player solves puzzles around the Dollhouse.
In this game, the protagonist takes the form of Collector Hydrus, a Collector working in the service of The Circle. As Hydrus, the player must investigate the disappearances of Edward and Abigail Lockwood in order to retrieve a Null sample that was loaned to them. Along the way, the player learns the story of Edward and Abigail through entries in books. The entries tell of how Edward came to work for The Circle, and the toll that this took on his marriage to Abigail.
The player, as Collector Hydrus, finds themselves in the Attic of Waldegrave Manor, having searched every other room in the house to no avail. They set up their equipment in order to investigate the Dollhouse on the table at the center of the Attic, turning on a floodlight to illuminate it. Doing so prompts the player to begin looking more closely at the dollhouse, using the help of the game's eyepiece. The eyepiece introduces the superzoom mechanic that allows the player to enter rooms of the Dollhouse by double-tapping on them. Using the eyepiece, the player enters the Foyer.
Throughout the levels are a number of books detailing the events that led Edward and Abigail Lockwood to their eventual fates. The order in which the player reads the books may vary, but the story will always be told in the same order. Here they find the first of the Lockwoods' books, titled Etiquette for Husbands and Wives. The first entry is from Abigail’s perspective, as she describes the day The Circle first visited Waldegrave Manor to supply her husband for his research. She finds the members of The Circle strangely aloof towards her, but is relieved that Edward is at least working again.
After solving a few more puzzles, a seal at the crown of the house is revealed. The seal has a number of Null characters on it. The Foyer level is completed when the player finds a Null artifact at the center of the room. Taking it triggers Null tendrils to creep in and take over the Foyer completely. The player can no longer access this room. Part of the seal at the roof is then overgrown by Null tendrils. Hydrus narrates that the seal has been weakened, but that he must solve the rest of the Dollhouse in order to break it.
Opening the mysterious artifact found in the Foyer rewards the player with a swan figurine. Placing this on a statue pedestal opens a compartment with a miniature lamp. When this lamp is attached in its rightful place, it lights up the rest of the Dollhouse, which allows the player to explore more and unlock the next puzzle room - the Study.
In the Study is the next volume in the Lockwoods’ story: A Manual for the Steam Engine. It gives Edward’s side of the story, describing how he felt when The Circle first arrived at their home. He says that he is happy to finally be able to provide for Abigail, but is worried about her becoming entangled with The Circle.
Implements to solve in the Study include a roll-top desk and a series of steam-powered machines, though these are inoperable at first. The Study is also the first level to introduce the superzoom mechanic, with the player using the eyepiece to enter small apertures and interact with puzzles on a miniature scale. Solving puzzles at the desk eventually reveals a model well, which can be placed in the yard of the Dollhouse to reveal the next room: the Kitchen.
In the Kitchen, the player finds a book titled Mrs. Fawcett’s Every Day Recipes. Within the pages, Abigail recounts overhearing a conversation where Edward was threatened by The Circle, and later becoming lost trying to find the Study to speak to him. The Null is starting to warp the dimensions of their home and ensnare Edward.
The puzzles of the Kitchen center around a stove, service bells, a floor grate, water pipes, and a dumbwaiter containing a large iron pot. Moving back and forth between the Study and the Kitchen, the player is led to a model water pump, which, when placed, begins to supply water to the Kitchen.
Solving the model train puzzle in the Study causes the roll-top of the desk to open, revealing the next book, the 12th edition of the Applied Mechanics Handbook. Inside, Edward expresses his newfound obsession with the Null, and his irritation with Abigail, who has been fervently warning him of danger from outside the Study.
In a box on the desk is a model chimney, which, when placed on the house, reveals the next room: the Curiosity Room. The curiosity room contains a large globe, a human anatomical model with a listening tube, a glass case containing valuable jewels, a seemingly empty pedestal, and two masks mounted above the fireplace.
There is also the next book in the Lockwoods’ series: Compendium of Curiosities. Abigail imparts that the Null’s effects on her husband and her home have worsened, and that she has resorted to spying on him in his study through a crack in the Attic floorboards. She is copying his research so that she might convince the Royal Institute to intervene.
Another series of puzzles, involving the globe, the masks, and the jewel case, will lead to the player diverting water from the Kitchen to the Study, where it is converted to steam power. The player can then solve the numerous machines in the Study, leading to the recovery of the room’s artifact. Picking up the artifact leads to the Study’s takeover by the Null. Its sigil on the Dollhouse seal is overgrown, and the level is officially completed.
Opening the Study artifact reveals a moon emblem which fits into the pedestal in the Curiosity Room. After affixing it, a vase can be seen on the pedestal using the eyepiece. It also gives the player an eye which fits into the anatomical model. Attaching the eye and then entering it using the superzoom lens causes a cutscene to play. From the perspective of the model, the player witnesses an argument between Edward and Abigail in the Curiosity Room. They shout indistinctly at one another before Abigail, agitated, leaves the room. In his fury, Edward throws a book across the room, breaking the vase on the pedestal, then sits down in an armchair, defeated. Returning to the room, the player can now find the vase on the pedestal broken, leaving behind a model weather vane.
Placing the weather vane on the Dollhouse and solving a brief puzzle opens the Maritime Room. Here, the player finds a radio next to a speaking tube, a safe, a harpoon gun, a model submarine, and a dumbwaiter connected to the Kitchen. Some exploration of the room will yield a miniature propeller, which opens the model submarine for the player’s investigation.
Two new books can be found. On the table with the radio is a new book, the Small Submarine Handling Manual. Inside the submarine is a book called Ocean Navigation: A Concise Guide. In the first book read, Edward regretfully tells of how The Circle came to inform him of Abigail’s interference in their research. The second book describes the argument between Abigail and Edward in the curiosity room. Abigail finds that Edward has learned of her “betrayal”, and concludes that he is lost to her. She decides that there is only one course of action to take now.
The player can use the dumbwaiter in the Maritime Room to haul up the iron pot from the Kitchen and unlock it. Doing so will reveal a mechanical heart inside, which fits into the model in the Curiosity Room. Once this is obtained and the radio in the Maritime Room is activated, the model can be used to translate garbled messages from the radio and reveal coordinates for a puzzle in the submarine. Completing this rewards the player with a pendant, which causes the chandelier in the ruined Foyer and the globe in the Curiosity Room to trade places, creating a new puzzle to solve in the Curiosity Room. When this is solved, the Curiosity Room artifact is offered, and the level concludes with the Null takeover of the room.
The Curiosity Room artifact yields a miniature engraved roof, which is used on the Dollhouse to unlock the Garden. Immediately visible are a large fountain, a number of inactive wall-mounted mechanisms, a carved stone face, and an empty pool.
The next book, found on a bench, is called The Ladies Companion for the Formal Garden. Inside, Edward expresses distress upon discovering that Abigail has stolen his Null sample and is attempting to escape with it.
Next to the book on the bench is a section of pipe, used in the Kitchen to connect water to the garden fountain. Once this is done, a few more puzzles to be solved in the Garden will give the player a piece of ironwork which fits on the Dollhouse exterior. Once attached, one more puzzle will become available in the kitchen, leading to the recovery of its artifact and completion of the level.
After opening the Kitchen artifact, the player receives a set of model wooden stairs for the Dollhouse. Placing them unlocks a new puzzle room, the Japanese Gallery. Inside are a model house in the clutches of a massive octopus sculpture, a table with two brass dragons, and a cabinet with a number of shelves and compartments.
The next book can be found in the Gallery, titled A History of Japan. In a number of disjointed thoughts, Abigail frantically tries to escape Waldegrave Manor but is unable to. She reasons that she can buy herself a chance to escape if she is able to distract the Null by feeding it something else.
Solving some puzzles in the Gallery allows the player to retrieve a harpoon from the cabinet. This harpoon can be fired from the harpoon gun in the Maritime Room, which knocks down a bell from a bell tower. The bell is used to solve a series of puzzles involving the Maritime Room safe. When the safe is cracked, the Maritime Room artifact is made available. Taking it triggers the Null tendrils to corrupt the room.
In the Maritime Room artifact is a paper fan, a component for puzzles in the Japanese gallery. After solving these and a few more puzzles, the player can find a model spire, which attaches to the Dollhouse roof. This opens the next room, the Art Studio. In the art studio are a drawing board, a wardrobe, an easel, several paintings, and a window overlooking part of the house. There is also a pedestal which appears empty unless viewed through the eyepiece, in which case the Art Studio artifact can be seen.
Another book, Oil Painting Advanced Techniques, is found on a stool in this room. Inside are the ravings of Edward as he furiously pursues his wife through the house. He feels misunderstood and betrayed, and describes destroying Abigail’s artworks in his rage.
In the wardrobe drawer is an ornate gilded egg. There are many places throughout the Dollhouse rooms where the egg will fit, but the clue to the correct one is found on the Art Studio’s drawing board. This sets off a puzzle involving three consecutive egg hunts across all three available rooms. Completing this series of puzzles provides an important component to the completion of the Garden. After a few trials, the player finds the Garden artifact in the pool adjacent to the fountain, and the room is overtaken.
Inside the artifact is a mechanical cicada which opens a new series of puzzles at the dragon table in the Japanese Gallery. Using the pagoda sculpture, the player can complete both the dragon table and the octopus table and unlock the Japanese Gallery artifact.
The Gallery artifact contains a miniature stained glass panel which fits on the Dollhouse exterior. Once it is placed, it becomes possible to rotate the Art Studio tower from the outside. The player must do so in order to match the appearance of the studio to a painting within. Once this is done, the player causes a key and a new book to appear on the windowsill.
After using the key to unlock the wardrobe, a cutscene will play out on the paintings inside. It shows Edward destroying the works within the art studio. When the scene is complete, the player steps back and finds the room in complete disarray. The pedestal with the artifact has been overturned, and the artifact is free to be taken. The Null tendrils corrupt the studio, and the level is complete.
After the Art Studio symbol is corrupted, the seal breaks away, revealing a hole in the roof of the Dollhouse obscured by Null goop. The Studio artifact contains one half of the Lockwoods’ family crest.
The player must use the eyepiece to enter the hole in the roof, which takes them to a darker version of the Attic with another Dollhouse inside. Giant Null tendrils wrap around the edges of the room, and outside, debris swirls through the air and lightning flashes. Pinned to the front gate of the Dollhouse is a letter from Edward to Abigail. He says that the Null no longer affects him as strongly, and he can see more clearly now. He tells her he is continuing to search for her, and that he hopes she will reveal herself. In the open rooms of the Dollhouse, two wooden figures can be seen - one of Edward, and one of Abigail. The player must maneuver the figurine of Edward through a number of Null portals to reach Abigail. In the first stage, he simply moves from the Study to the Foyer. When he reaches her, her figurine disappears, and the seal in the roof breaks away again, revealing another hole.
Traveling into the next hole, the player sees an even more dilapidated version of the attic. The roof has been torn away in many places, the sky outside is cloudy and dark orange, and lightning and debris can still be seen. Null tendrils hang over the dollhouse. Another note left by Edward is pinned to the side of the house. He tells Abigail that the labyrinth of their manor is continuing to keep him trapped. Inexplicably, he continuously finds himself returning to the Attic. He also tells her that if she finds a way out, she should take it and leave him behind. The figurine puzzle requires Edward to move from the Study to the Kitchen to the Curiosity Room to get to Abigail. Her figurine disappears, the seal breaks away, and the cycle repeats.
Once more, the player travels through the hole and finds themselves in the attic. The sky is nearly red at this stage, and the roof is gone. Edward’s note, pinned to the exterior of the Art Studio, expresses his remorse to Abigail, having read the books of their thoughts and witnessed his own madness. He has also read of her escape, and is relieved that she is safe, but hopes she will someday return to read the letters he left. The player must move Edward’s figurine through the Study, Maritime Room, Curiosity Room, Foyer, and, finally, the Attic, where Abigail waits. The seal breaks away once again, and the player can travel through.
They emerge in an apparently normal Attic, though unusually dark, and the Dollhouse is thoroughly overgrown by tendrils. Leaned against the table under the Dollhouse is the body of Edward, similarly entangled by tendrils. Beside it is his final letter, where he says that he can search no longer and has given in. He praises Abigail for imprisoning the Null in the Dollhouse, and gives his final apologies to her. On top of the letter is the other half of the family crest. When both halves are placed at the crown of the Dollhouse, the roof opens, revealing the Null crystal hovering inside. Once it is taken, Null tendrils begin to creep further out of the shadows. The player zooms back through the previous stages of the Attic, until they emerge in their own world. The Dollhouse is absorbed by a blinding flash of light. When the light fades, all that remains on the table is a disassembled version of the dollhouse, significantly less elaborate and partially covered by a cloth. The player returns to Hydrus’ case, where a compartment opens for storing the Null, and places the sample inside.
After completing the game, a last cutscene is played. It shows Collector Hydrus carrying his case through the headquarters of The Circle and placing it on a central altar, where the Null crystal is extracted and placed. Many hooded figures surround the altar platform, and some ritual is apparently taking place. Hydrus’ final Collector Report is seen on the ending screen of the game. He notes that The Circle are finally in possession of Edward’s soul, as was always their intention, but that Abigail continues to evade them.
The Curiosity Room
The Maritime Room
The Japanese Gallery
The Art Studio