Trilby's Notes

Moby ID: 22997
Special Edition

Description

This interquel connecting 5 Days a Stranger and 7 Days a Skeptic explains fully how Trilby regained possession of the idol after the DeFoe Manor incident and also gives more information about the properties of the mysterious idol. This game is different to its predecessors because although it is still made in AGS, this one uses a text parser interface.

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

17 People (12 developers, 5 thanks)

Design
Art
Programming
Original soundtrack
AGS engine
Playtesting
Web hosting
  • RoushiMSX
Special thanks
  • Nate Redcloud
  • PC Gamer UK
  • Hyper Magazine
  • All at Gridwerx
  • Everyone who demanded another Trilby game

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 91% (based on 7 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 26 ratings with 3 reviews)

Type Command: Read The Review

The Good
Trilby’s Notes the sequel to 7 Days A Skeptic but actually takes place 4 years after 5 Days A Stranger takes a different approach in certain aspects of play players now move the character with the directional keys and must type commands like open door, talk to man and others which could take some getting used to but the game does include a tutorial for people new to this concept.

The story begins right after the first and explains what happened in between 5 Days A Stranger and this one it also says what happened to the other survivors from the original game Jim Fowler was expelled from school for truancy, and Simone Taylor hit the bottle very bad and eventually had to quit her job as a news reporter, since the events of the first Trilby gets caught by the police and while in prison gets hired by the government to be a special agent also since the first game he keeps having nightmares and is convinced that the idol was not destroyed so when proof points to that is sent to investigate a hotel to see an antique dealer about the whereabouts along his way meets an agent named Lenkmann sent to keep an eye on him and a girl named Siobhan Omalley and also discovers a dark side of the hotel drifting in and out of normal and nightmare worlds Trilby can also visit memories seeing a past event from a person from long ago the man thing reveled in this sequel is the origin of the Idol and how it came into possession of the Defoe Family.

The Gameplay is much like the rest of the series adventure gameplay with a horror twist most puzzles are just like the others using an item on an object but with the new nightmare world sometimes to reach a new area you have to go there in the nightmare world and return to the regular world which could be considered a puzzle.

The Music is now an original score instead of being recycled from an RPG Maker like 5 Days A Stranger and the graphics look a little better as it uses an upgraded version of the same engine.

The Bad
The new typing in commands is different and isn’t particularly difficult to get used to my complaint lies more in the fact that since none of the other installments use it, it feels strange and also this game is short it can be finished in 30 Minutes if you know what you’re doing.

The Bottom Line
All in all this game is a very good adventure horror game that anyone who likes adventure should play and especially if you liked the other two games and want to see what else happens in the series’ plot.

Windows · by Classic Nigel (108) · 2007

A sequel that started a brilliant mythology

The Good
Wow. Props to Yahtzee. I never imagined that what seemed to be another cheap excuse of sequel for 5 Days A Stranger turned to be more, much more than an amateurish attempt. Actually, it borderlines brilliance. Yahtzee takes what started like a trashy and tacky story, a excuse to have fun with the AGS engine, and not only expands it: he creates a whole mythology. This game not only ties '5 Days a Stranger' and '7 Days a Skeptic', it actually makes those games seem more rich and interesting; it gives answers and does it without washing the intrigue.

You play Trilby, the hero from the first game, some years after the incident in the DeFoe manor. The story follows his perils in an isolated Welsh hotel, seeking the idol that started all the hell in the first game; but you learn that there is a lot more about that idol than an evil ghost with Jason Voorhees wanabisms. I found the twists surprising and clever.

Yahtzee is not afraid of the red sauce; he doesn't care too much for happy endings and sugary characters. Despite the graphics and engine limitations, these games are violent, scary, disturbing and cynical, and I liked that.

The Bad
While the game style and the difficulty remain similar to Yahtzee previous works, the interface is now based on a text parser, which is a little annoying and can be a slow down in the game rhythm. Yahtzee doesn't make it too obvious, there is a part in the game where you need to know a specific word (a word that is uncommon even for native English speakers), so you may have problems with the vocabulary if you are not familiar with the language.

Another thing is, like Yahtzee previous efforts, this game feels linear and compact, with little possibilities of exploration and adventure.

The Bottom Line
If you play 5 Days a Stranger, you must play the rest of the series. This is probably the second or the third best of the series.

Windows · by Czar Husk Qi (27) · 2008

The Tale of the Tall Man

The Good
In terms of timeline, Trilby's Notes are relating events happening after 5 Days A Stranger, leading it to be the second "chapter" of the Chzo Mythos Quadrilogy. But in terms of release, it's the third game, so, I recommend you to play it after 7 Days A Skeptic.

We're in 1997. Trilby has been haunted by the fear of seeing the one he named John DeFoe, the youngest child of Sir Roderick DeFoe, the one to have been jailed for fifteen years because his father was considering him as the responsible of his wife's death during childbirth..., well, Trilby was fearing that his murderous spirit was still alive.

Four years ago, our gentleman thief had escaped the DeFoe Manor after having destroyed the body of John DeFoe. The spirit wasn't letting five people out of the mansion and after having murdered two of them, the three others found a way to stop the nightmare.

DeFoe Manor still lingered in their hearts. All three were living with shadows, with fear, with no real hope to see the light again. Simone Taylor took the bottle and disappeared from TV, Jim Fowler was expelled from school for truancy and Trilby... Trilby was caught by the police. However, he was working for the government, in the Special Talent Project.

Trilby's fears were confirmed in 1997. Simone Taylor has been killed in a similar fashion as the murders in DeFoe Manor. And Trilby discovered that the idol containing John DeFoe's soul was retrieved from the ashes of DeFoe Manor. It was localised in the Claybornwyn Hotel, on a island, in the possession of Abed Chahal, a professor.

So, here is our hero, trying to get an hold on the idol. But there is much more than the young DeFoe's wrath... There is also another reality, a bloody one. And there is also the tale of the cursed wood of the idol... The shadows are coming back for Trilby. Will he survive it?

Trilby's Notes, as I've pointed it, is the third game in the Chzo Mythos Quadrilogy, after 5 Days A Stranger and 7 Days A Skeptic. It's always a game made by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, always with the AGS engine and still a free game you can download, even if a special edition was released... but you'll need to pay for it.

The storyline connects the plots of the two previous games: 5DAS was telling the destruction of DeFoe's body and 7DAS the destruction of his soul. But Trilby's Notes isn't about the destruction of his mind. It's also telling the story of the wood in which the idol was carved, and connected to it, the Tall Man's story and the why he's appearing every the 28th July when the wood is used for something.

You can even control characters from the past in the events involving the wood, like Matthew DeFoe the night of his death for example. You have to touch an object connected to the events for living them. For Matthew, his painting wasn't destroyed in the fire, so, you can find it in the hotel and live what happened in 1821 and what will somewhere leads to the events in 5DAS. But playing Matthew did strengthen my regrets to the fact he's been killed while he was trying to help and wishing to form a happy family (as he wrote it in his diary).

It's also telling how Trilby has come to send in space the idol, recovered nearly 400 years later by the Mephistopheles in 7DAS. It's also the game that introduced Chzo, a little late, probably because Yahtzee didn't think that 5DAS and 7DAS would have been huge success and that the fanbase would have asked another Trilby's game at that time. Anyway, it's a deeper universe that Yahtzee has created.

And I love rich universes. But you had to be cautious not to do a too complicated universe. And well, see you in 6 Days A Sacrifice review for the final verdict about the Chzo Mythos. Well, if I write it one day...

Normally, here, you would find some comments saying "The gameplay is easy" or "You have to do that for that". Well, it would have been the case if I had a QWERTY keyboard and an English native speaker. The only good thing about the text parser is that it's changing from the point-&-click usual gameplay. A text parser? Yes, Yahtzee did implement a text parser as the main gameplay. Even the walking action has been changed.

Players take control of Trilby or when it's a flashback, of the character about whom the flashback is (Matthew DeFoe, Mbouta, Jack Frehorn, Owen Somerset and Boyle). For walking, you have to press your cursors keys. For making Trilby stop to move, press again the cursors keys.

For interacting with the environment, looking objects or talking to people, you have to write the command. For example, for getting pliers, write "get pliers". If you want to use them on nails, write "use pliers on nails". It's always simple command: use...on..., ask....about...., get...., open door, knock on door, touch...., look...., etc etc.. Normally, a non English native speaker can find easily the command, so, it's good for me to use only simple command and not elaborated ones.

As for the graphics, they have improved. Light effects are more present and are really good, the alternate hotel is really bright and bloody, very scaring in a sense, flashbacks are only in white and black, only blood isn't in these colors, making the scene more dramatic with this only touch of red and well, the normal hotel is very... red. Yet, it's reassuring but somewhere, it's a little too much. Anyway, of all the Chzo Mythos games, I find Trilby's Notes the most beautiful. I particularly love the scene in Simone's appartment.

For the soundtrack, it's always the same: you can hear your own walk but you don't have music playing during all the time, only during important moments. And as for the previous games, the music is pleasant to hear, so, I'm content with what Yahtzee did.

There are also some connections to previous games. As I've said, it's connecting the events of 5DAS and 7DAS. But it's not about that I want to speak. In Trilby's Notes, you'll find some connections to 5DAS: Simone's death, Matthew's painting, some objects from the manor. But also to 7DAS: Abed Chahal is carrying the same name as the captain of the ship, Barry Chahal. The two of them share similar facial features. Perhaps Abed was Barry's ancestor like William Taylor from 7DAS was a confirmed descendant of Simone Taylor (Yahtzee said it). Also, Owen Somerset, one of the characters you control, shares the same name as Jonathan Somerset, the hero of 7DAS, uhm, I mean the real Jonathan Somerset. The hero of 7DAS is also connected to the Somerset family.

Anyway, the replay value can be high because you can miss some dialog or some easter eggs, so, it's with pleasure you'll play it again... if you're equipped with a QWERTY keyboard. Otherwise, you'll be so frustrated that you will not wish to play it again. In terms of lifetime, it can take hours to finish it, some actions not really obvious.

The Bad
And now ladies and gentlemen, here is the long complaint about the text parser.

But first, authorize me to speak a few words about the new walking gameplay.

It's somewhat very frustrating to use the cursors keys for moving because you're used to always press the key for moving when playing games. And sometimes, it's hard to stop at the right place because you're just pressing the wrong button. Even after having played a third time the game, I still wasn't used to it.

I'm not an English native speaker. The right word isn't really coming in my mind as a soon as I need to type the command. I can find in French but then I need to translate. I know that a lot of non-English speakers are avoiding games that aren't in their language, I mean, I understand it, I'm also used to play games in my language. But I also know that I love to play in English or I would never played this game. However, it's easy to understand that a game where I have to tape in English isn't really the kind of games I love to play and that I prefer a point-&-click one. That's why I'm thanking the guys who wrote the guide for this game because I would never have survived it.

Anyway, after this first point about the typing gameplay, if you remember correctly my 7DAS review (and also a Ben Jordan one), you know that I play with an AZERTY keyboard and not a QWERTY one. Having a typing game with an engine running only in QWERTY isn't really the great thing. If the first commands didn't need me to check my keyboard (knock on door, open blind, look body), when you have to write "ask abed about DeFoe Manor" or "look wall", you can understand that I need to check my keyboard for getting the right command. I need to write "qsk qbed qbout defoe ,qnor" or "look zqll". I'm not blaming Yahtzee for it, he's not responsible for that but the text parser can be a real plague for AZERTY users.

That's why I'm very disappointed by Trilby's Notes. The gameplay isn't suiting to AZERTY keyboards and to non-English speakers (reading is something, writing is another thing). I know that the game is structured as a "book", after all, Trilby is telling what happened in the hotel and is writing it for the STP. So it's normal to have a gameplay with typing. Unfortunately, it wasn't the good idea, it's only reducing the audience to a "selected" audience, the one who can understand English and write it without problem and having a QWERTY keyboard. I know that I can change my AZERTY to a QWERTY with a manipulation but hey, do you really think that I'll do for a game?

The Bottom Line
Trilby's Notes is a game that... I recommend despite the gameplay because it's giving a new meaning to 5DAS and 7DAS. The storyline is strong enough for making a new universe, the graphics are worthy and the soundtrack is good. If you're not afraid of a QWERTY game if you're an AZERTY user, it will be a good experience. I enjoyed the game most for the universe, the graphics and soundtrack. But unfortunately, the gameplay played a lot in the final note of 3/5.

You've survived DeFoe Manor and the Mephistopheles, you can survive a reality shift, flashbacks.. and the Tall Man, who is not someone who spares easily his preys.

Windows · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008

Trivia

Trilby is named after the type of hat that he wears.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Neon Hammerite.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Solid Flamingo, Mark Ennis.

Game added July 5, 2006. Last modified December 4, 2023.