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Low-Spoiler Hints for Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave

Welcome to my Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave hints page. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point gamers towards things they might not have thought of in each game rather than divulging puzzle solutions or giving step-by-step instructions. There's not much point in playing an adventure game if you know the puzzle solutions in advance, and there's no point at all in investigating an ominous mystery like The Creature of Kapu Cave's if you've already had the story spoiled for you.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible while still providing some valuable The Creature of Kapu Cave hints and game recommendations. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend UHS--due to their unique website setup you can only see one hint at a time, so you can get the answer to one pesky puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. Here's the UHS link if you're interested. My site here focuses on exactly the things traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical bits of The Creature of Kapu Cave, detours you can take, little things you can do to smooth the gameplay out for yourself, extra details you might miss if you did only what was strictly necessary to complete the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether to buy the game, for example, and want to know whether there's anything you're going to detest in it--please try my Nancy Drew Review page to find all the pertinant information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Now, on with the game!

Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Hints and Tips
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Walkthrough
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Game Spoilers and Easter Eggs
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Plot and Character Information
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Cheats and Links
Backseat Game kapuer: Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave Critique

The Creature of Kapu Cave Hints and Tips

Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave is a modern PC adventure game in the popular Nancy Drew series. Like the other Nancy Drew games, The Creature of Kapu Cave offers a simple 1st-person point-and-click interface with which to navigate a small gameworld, solving puzzles and interrogating suspects. This one is set in Hawaii. These are relatively easy games, designed with young teens in mind, and The Creature of Kapu Cave is very much plug and play. However, there are a number of things you may want to be aware of before beginning to play in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the game. Without spoiling anything:

Character Switching: In this game, you get to take turns controlling Nancy and one of the Hardy Boys. (Plot circumstances will ensure that you can only be Joe Hardy during part of the game and Frank Hardy during the other part.) In order to switch characters, just have the character you're currently controlling call the other one on the cellphone, and the perspective will automatically switch. Unfortunately, though this character-swapping was an excellent idea, the implementation is not really great, and you will lose the ability to ask certain questions or share certain information if you don't switch between Nancy and Frank at some of the times the game expects you to. This is frustrating, but you can just ignore the unchecked boxes in your checklist... you can finish the game just fine without ever talking about them.

Difficulty Setting: I've never seen a game with such an irrelevant difficulty setting as the Nancy Drew series has. There are no additional puzzles if you play on Senior Detective-- if you play as a Junior, Nancy just makes a few more leading comments as she goes along and keeps track of more things in her notebook, and you can call Ned for hints if you need to. If you've played the game on one setting, there is no need to go back and play it again on the other.

Savegames: Like other games in this series, The Creature of Kapu Cave is well-constructed and does not suffer from serious bugs; in fact, the Nancy Drew games have a "second chance" feature that allows you to automatically replay any scene in which Nancy or Frank die or fails at their mission, so you theoretically shouldn't need to worry about savegames at all. Even in practice, one savegame should suffice. Which is good, because the savegame mechanism in the Nancy Drew games is extremely annoying.

Time Management: There are a few timed sequences in The Creature of Kapu Cave-- it is possible to run out of time and drown while snorkeling, for example, and there is one deathtrap that must be quickly sidestepped to be avoided. If you run out of time on any of these, though, the "second chance" feature will restart the timer and let you try again. Except for the endgame sequence, time does not pass in The Creature of Kapu Cave-- there is no game clock, and events occur only in response to actions you take (however unrelated they may seem.) If nothing is changing, it's your responsibility to walk around talking to all the NPC's and picking objects up until the plot progresses. The game will never proceed until you've had all the conversations it wants you to.

Interrogation: You have a selection of different dialogue choices during most conversations with suspects in The Creature of Kapu Cave, but in no case do your choices affect anything in the game. This is somewhat unfortunate (it would have been nice for the amount of information you decide to reveal to the suspects to affect their behavior), but it also means you really needn't waste your time reloading or replaying any conversations. You should, however, make an effort to exhaust every line of conversation with every character, both because it gives you more details so that you can figure the mystery out for yourself, and also because the act of conversing with an NPC sometimes triggers an unrelated plot event to happen somewhere else in the game.

Movement: The movement controls in the Nancy Drew games can be inconsistent--sometimes it is hard to see an exit to your left, right, or even straight ahead (!), because the cursor does not shift to show that you can go that way unless it is resting in the precisely correct location (which is not always to the far margin of the screen where you'd expect it). Luckily the area available to explore in each of these games is very small, so you can get used to the arrows in each location quickly.

The Phone: Thank goodness, Nancy has her cellphone back for this game. This means you don't need to trek back to Big Mike's every time you want to make a call. Sometimes, however, you will find yourself unable to use the cellphone. Usually this is because there is another person in the immediate vicinity (well, what detective would want to give everything away to the suspects by yakking away on her cell phone?) If this happens to you, just back away a step or two and try again. Note that every time Nancy calls the Hardy Boys or vice versa, the game will automatically switch which character you are controlling.

Problem Spots: There's not much that could possibly go wrong as you play The Creature of Kapu Cave. There's no way to lose this game that Second Chance wouldn't undo. There is only one ending cutscene, and it is not affected by any choices you make. Of course, the game is more fun and makes more sense if you bother collecting the evidence and conversing with suspects.

Interface Design: This game allows you to customize Nancy's game interface by using the "Interface Designs" button in the game menu. The four choices are Nancy classic look (the usual blue marble design), Tropical green jungle, Pink hawaiian hibiscus, and Teal hawaiian hibiscus. The Hardy Boys' interface will always be sort of an oak wood design.

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