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Main and Recurring Characters
Nancy DrewThe eponymous viewpoint character. Nancy is, of course, a young, self-declared "amateur" detective, who travels the world running headlong into danger and intrigue. At first it seemed she was simply prone to stumble into strange occurrences during her everyday life, but as the games progress, her name starts to get around and she is called upon specially to tackle strange and convoluted cases.
Voiced by: Lani Minella
- The Ace: Smart, pretty, independent, successful, etc; Nancy has this down pat.
- Action Girl: Of course. She performs her daring feats in heels and a skirt, no less.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: She gets surprisingly little of this, actually, but when it does happen it's awesome.
- Badass in Distress: Becomes this fairly often. Usually she manages to get herself out of it, though.
- She's this as a plot point in Alibi in Ashes.
- Bad Liar: Thank god her suspects seem even worse at spotting lies.Lou: What are you doing with my snowshoes?!Nancy: (in the middle of stealing them) I'm just... cleaning them.Lou: Sweet.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She's the redhead to George's brunette and Bess' blonde.
- Born Detective: All of Nancy's abilities seem to be inherent; she's just an amateur sleuth, after all.
- Brutal Honesty: More like Brutal Straightforwardness, but some of her dialogue is downright painful.
- Comic-Book Time: Nancy seems incapable of growing past her teenage years, no matter how long the series continues.
- Constantly Curious: A big part of why she does what she does.
- Daddy's Girl: She may not always listen to him when he tries to tell her to not run toward something she should run away from, but there's no denying she loves her father—The Silent Spy really analyzes this. It could be justified in that Nancy's mother died when she was very young (age 10 in the original, but after the series—and franchise itself—is revised, it's changed to age 3), so Carson ultimately had to raise his daughter as a single parent—with their housekeeper/cook, Hannah Gruen, acting as a motherly figure to Nancy.
- The Determinator: Will do anything to solve a case.
- Doom Magnet: Downplayed. She often gets into dangerous situations, often unwittingly, but is always smart enough to escape them (and solve the problems of various bystanders, to boot).
- The Faceless: Nancy is only ever seen in silhouette on the game cases, and never anywhere else as a result of the game being from her perspective.
- Famed In-Story: Increasingly so.
- Good Is Not Nice: She's a lovely person with the personality of sandpaper.
- Guile Hero: To be expected.
- It's Personal: Twice; once in Alibi in Ashes, which took place in her hometown and involved clearing her name, and again in The Silent Spy, which was about her mom.
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: One of Nancy's common tactics is to sneak into places as one of the help. In White Wolf of Icicle Creek her disguise is as the cook.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Constantly. If it's possible to pick it up/eat it/hide it, Nancy will do it. And get away with it.
- Lack of Empathy: She can be incredibly blunt and insensitive in conversation, much to the fandom's amusement.
- Large Ham: Her voice actress obviously has a lot of fun.
- Lethal Chef: Nancy becomes this fairly often via Video Game Cruelty Potential.
- Nerves of Steel: She can keep her head in the most high-pressure situations.
- No Indoor Voice: Even when she's supposed to be sneaking around, Nancy loves to announce her thoughts loudly and enthusiastically to nobody. Just try checking something off your checklist during a quiet part of the game:Nancy: CAN'T CHECK THAT OFF 'TILL IT'S DONE!!
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: What are these "rules" of which you speak? Nancy has never heard of them.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Deirdre in The Deadly Device, Tino Balducci in White Wolf of Icicle Creek, and a few other characters in various games.
Nancy's boyfriend and frequent phone contact. Ned is never present in the games (that is, until Alibi in Ashes, where he became a playable character), but offers the player "hints" on how to clear stages and progress in the game. Later in the series he passes this utility on to Bess and George or Frank and Joe, leaving Ned free for romantic subplots and comic relief more than anything else.
Voiced by: Scott Carty
- The All-American Boy: A downplayed example.
- The Confidant: For Nancy, of course.
- Nice Guy: Pretty much the entirety of his character.
- Non-Action Guy: Ninety-nine percent of the time, he's this to Nancy's Action Girl.
- Understanding Boyfriend: Until Castle Malloy. He doesn't approve of Nancy's risk-taking, but nonetheless provides help and a caring ear.
Nancy's friend and George's cousin. Bess rarely (but occasionally) appears in-game, but is nearly always an available phone contact to offer Nancy hints on the game's progression, usually in tandem with George. She's the shallower and less adventurous of Nancy's two best girlfriends, but can be counted upon to dispense unexpected nuggets of humble wisdom when Nancy calls for it.
Voiced by: Alisa Murray, Jennifer Pratt
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She's the blonde to George's brunette and Nancy's redhead.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: A Running Gag in her phone conversations.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite her goofy personality, Bess has her moments of genuine heroism, when she needs it.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to her cousin George's Tomboy.
Nancy's other friend and Bess's cousin. George is bold and capable, and like her cousin, is usually contactable for help even when she doesn't appear in the game. Though she doesn't possess Bess's understanding of personalities and social subtleties, she's a reliable source of advice on taking action, and Nancy's preferred companion when it comes to embarking on an adventure.
Voiced by: Mureen Nelson, Sofia Rybin
- Action Girl: Like Nancy, but sportier and less worldly.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She's the brunette to Bess' blonde and Nancy's redhead.
- Boyish Short Hair: She's got this going on.
- Deadpan Snarker: It gets played up especially when interacting with Bess.
- Lame Pun Reaction: She has a lot of these toward Bess.
- Tomboyish Name: As revealed in the second-to-last book of the original series, George's real name is actually "Georgia," but she prefers going by "George."
Frank and Joe Hardy
Two more of Nancy's good friends and fellow "amateur sleuths", the Hardy boys are as quick-witted and curious as Nancy herself; she often asks them to lend new perspectives on her cases, and occasionally teams up with them. They also appear to be close friends of Ned, and are prone to both long-winded bickering and describing bizarre at-home Noodle Incidents during their phone calls with Nancy.
Voiced by: Joshua Silwa (Frank) and Rob Jones (Joe)
- Action Duo: In contrast to Nancy, who operates solo.
- A Friend in Need: Quick to give Nancy a hand whenever she needs it.
- Hero of Another Story: Quite literally, as they have their own smaller game series, and of course their own books as well.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Between the two of them, this happens a lot.
- Noodle Incident: The player gets to hear about a lot of these from them.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: They do this a lot.
- Ship Tease: There's a good amount of this between Frank and Nancy.
- Sibling Team: Of course.
Carson DrewNancy's father, a lawyer. Carson rarely appears in the game at all, as a phone contact or NPC, but is referenced often as the recipient of Nancy's Info Dump letters. He worries about Nancy's recklessness and frets for her well-being, but ultimately he supports her ambitions and is proud of her independence and success. In The Silent Spy, however, he's revealed to be hiding a few things from his daughter.
Voiced by: Dennis Regan, Ken Boyton
- Anger Born of Worry: In some of the later games, Carson is clearly frustrated by Nancy's love of life-threatening situations.
- Authority in Name Only: In most of the games, he has no control over Nancy whatsoever. Considering most recent depictions of the character have her at being eighteen (and therefore legally an adult), he really doesn't, though she's enough of a Daddy's Girl she'll at least try to humor him.
- The Conscience: For Nancy, not that she needs it.
- Overprotective Dad: Carson virtually has a breakdown when he finds out Nancy is investigating her mother's death.
- Parents as People: Usually depicted like this, especially in The Silent Spy.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the time. Nancy seems quite close to him because of it.
A series Easter Egg that became an ongoing Mythology Gag, Sonny Joon is a mysterious and eccentric Conspiracy Theorist who's been taking internships at various oddball destinations of Nancy's since The Secret of the Scarlet Hand - and getting fired from all of them just before she arrives, leaving his candy wrappers and journals scattered everywhere in what's usually a Desk Full of Crazy. Sonny made his first in-game appearance in the series' latest installment The Shattered Medallion, revealing very clearly just why he lost all of those jobs.
Voiced by: Jamal Fahim
- Ascended Extra: As of The Shattered Medallion.
- Berserk Button: Apparently, it's constellations. He has a pamphlet about it."It's one of the angrier pamphlets about constellations..."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Completely and totally. It's apparent from his journals alone, but when we finally meet him in-person...Sonny: "Sleuth". That's a weird word.Nancy: What?
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: He has his moments. The end of The Shattered Medallion was one of them.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He seems to believe pretty much everything is the result of aliens.
- Dada Comic: He leaves these scattered through the games, usually crudely drawn and starring himself as an intergalactic Occult Detective.
- Easter Egg: In many of the games, his journals and comics, or graffiti denoting that "Sonny Joon was here!"
- The Faceless: Until The Shattered Medallion, that is; our only idea of what he might look like were his doodles of himself.
- Homemade Inventions: Seems fond of these, if his ridiculous left-behind plans are anything to go by.Sonny's Note: Idea: Sheep. (slightly below this) [It has been brought to my attention that this is, in fact, a concept and not an idea.]
- Insane Troll Logic: His forte, much to Nancy's frustration when she has to work with him.Sonny: Are you saying that or are we just competing to see who can say it better?Nancy: (angrily) Can you please focus?Sonny: No. You're just afraid I'll win.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Once Nancy finally meets him.Nancy: You're sending me mixed messages.Sonny: No I am.
- Mythology Gag: He's pretty much the personification of the concept.
- Reluctant Psycho: Has some shades of this in The Shattered Medallion, where he calls his friend in a panicked frenzy over something he has to do where "people will get hurt" - to protect the Earth from aliens, of course.
- Talkative Loon: When he finally appears in The Shattered Medallion, he turns out to be this.
- The Unseen: From Secret of the Scarlet Hand onward, you're always one step behind him, a little too late to meet... that is, until The Shattered Medallion.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue, among other colors. His natural hair color appears to be black.
An eccentric professor that Nancy meets in Treasure in the Royal Tower, a spunky red headed woman who was a fan of Marie Antoinette. While she doesn’t make any more in-person appearances past that point, she returns as both phone contact and author of a key book in Legend of the Crystal Skull and Tomb of the Lost Queen.
- Voiced by: Keri Healey
- Accidental Misnaming: Gets Nancy’s name wrong almost every single time she has a conversation with her. Save for once in Treasure in the Royal Tower. Nancy’s not the only one she misnames, either.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Occasionally when talking to Nancy she mentions some obscure dish that she’s fond of and wanting to eat at the moment.
- Cool Old Lady: Hasn’t once let her old age stop her from exploring mysteries in far off places or looking into the histories that she loves. She’s almost like an older Nancy.
- Fiery Redhead: Outspoken, determined, and vibrant. Appropriate for the bright red pile of curls on her head.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: She remarks how (from her perspective) Nancy is her favorite recurring character.
Tino BalducciAn allegedly "famous" police detective from Chicago who is very self-centered and unhelpful to Nancy. He appears first in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon before showing up again in The White Wolf of Icicle Creek.
- Voiced by: Jeff Minnerly
- I Work Alone: Tino refuses to work with anyone in Blue Moon Canyon.
- Jerk Ass: Tino is self-absorbed, rude, and pulls off some illegal stunts in Blue Moon Canyon. He appears to have turned over a new leaf by his next appearance, although he's not much more helpful.
- Narcissist: Tino is constantly bragging about his fame story from many years ago and will divert all attention to him. It stands out because of his overall lack of competence.
- The One That Got Away: Lori and Tino previously dated, but broke-up. They later rekindled their relationship.
Deirdre ShannonA self-centered schoolmate of Nancy's who is openly jealous of her, but does seem to care about her (at least somewhat). A long running character in other Nancy Drew canon, she appears in the games Alibi in Ashes, The Deadly Device, and Midnight in Salem.
- Voiced by: Meaghan Halverson
- Alpha Bitch: Rich, pretty, popular, and absolutely rotten to Nancy and her friends (save for Ned).
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- When Nancy confronts her about how flirtatious she is with Ned in Alibi, she admits that she knows Ned would never actually cheat on Nancy and that she isn't the kind to try and steal a man if he's already in a relationship.
- She's a thoroughly awful person to Nancy, but she doesn’t hate her enough to set fire to Town Hall.
- Friendship Denial: Any time she and Nancy seem to be getting along better she makes sure to mock her or insist that they aren't friends because of it.
- Rich Bitch: Self-centered, rich, and even when not being outright cruel the minimum treatment she gives out is standoffish.
- Stalker with a Crush: Deirdre is seriously in love with Ned, and isn't bothered that he doesn't reciprocate and is currently dating Nancy.
- Why Are You Not My Son?: Her parents (especially her father) often compare her to Nancy and try encouraging Deirdre to be more like her—this, understandably, infuriates Deirdre,
Savannah WoodhamAn ex-ghost hunter that Nancy speaks to on the phone during several games, beginning in ‘’Shadow at the Water’s Edge’’. She has a deep belief in the supernatural, and has occasionally turned Nancy on to some of the cases she could never put to rest.
- Voiced by: Adrienne Mac Ian
- Occult Detective: What she used to be, going to haunted locations and trying to contact the spirits that were there to find out why they remained. She wrote books on them.
- That One Case: She says that the haunting of the Ryokan Hiei and the monster of Castle Finster were the two cases that caused her to give up ghosthunting.
Charleena PurcellA famous novelist who specializes in historical romance. In particular, her meticulous research on the Old West often makes her helpful to Nancy's investigations.She appears in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon and The Secret of Shadow Ranch.
- Famed In-Story: Both Fatima and Lori gush over Charleena's writing prowess. The former must even be bribed with a signature from her.
- Mr. Exposition: On everything from star-crossed lovers to chip cans.
- Refusal of the Call: In Last Train, Charleena is not only unconcerned by Lori's disappearance but refuses to help search for her. She claims that Lori staged her own disappearance to get attention and is exactly right.Charleena: (to Nancy) You can afford to look foolish, dear. I can't.
Secrets Can Kill
Jake RogersThe murder victim of the game, found dead at the foot of the stairs. His character is expanded on over the course of the game as Nancy digs into why someone would have killed him. He was very unpopular.
- Voiced by: Alex Yopp
- Asshole Victim: He was a bully who blackmailed several of his classmates into doing his bidding. There is absolutely no one in either game who misses him.
- Caught on Tape: He kept video evidence for all of his blackmail schemes. Watching the tapes is one of the ways Nancy tracks down his killer.
- Posthumous Character: Everything that expands on who he is during the game occurs after his death in Nancy’s investigation.
Stay Tuned to Danger
Mattie’s co-star on Light of Our Love, and the target of several threats and so called "accidents" around the set. Something of a skirt-chaser—part of why he has so many people mad at him.
- Voiced by: Ryan Drummond
- The Casanova: His love of sleeping with almost every pretty woman he sees is one of the reasons why he’s so hated.
- Evil Twin: In-universe, Rick plays a good and evil twin on Light of Our Love. It’s become a running joke around the station.
- Informed Ability: A good enough actor that he could have a career in film if he could only break his contract. …Or so the game would have you believe from his deadened "I don’t want to see you, Serena."
Mattie’s agent. He becomes Nancy's agent during the game so she can sneak around on the set.
- Voiced by: Bob Heath
- Ax-Crazy: Infamously, he’s one of the few villains who’s so deranged he makes an attempt to kill Nancy with his bare hands.
- Cool Loser
- Driven by Envy: His hatred of Rick partially stems from failing as an actor and watching him become a success.
- Karma Houdini: Not in his first game, where he’s caught and sent to jail, but in Ransom of the Seven Ships he’s never found.
- Large Ham: Not too much of one during the game, but when he’s outed as a homicidal maniac he really gets into it.
- Some of the threats written by his alter ego as the stalker.
- All The Kidnapper's notes in Ransom of the Seven Ships.
- Multilayer Façade: In ‘’Ransom of the Seven Ships’’. He goes through two disguises before finally revealing himself as Dwayne Powers.
- In Stay Tuned for Danger he is not only disguised as a stalker, but also as a stagehand named Owen W. Spayder.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Just the thought that Rick and Mattie might get back together drives him into a homicidal rage.
- Nice Guy: Delightfully caring. You can even talk to him on the phone about anything and he'll tell you everything he knows about it. Subverted, as it's just a cover and he's really evil.
- Unknown Rival: To Rick, who was unaware of his jealousy and hatred for him for becoming a successful actor and dating Mattie. In addition to this, while it’s not uncommon for villains to swear revenge on Nancy, he’s the only one who actually succeeded in acting on his revenge in a later game—by that point Nancy had forgotten his name.
- Walking Spoiler: Much of the most noted aspects of his characterization happen after a reveal during the story.
- Yandere: One of his reasons for trying to kill Rick is because he thinks Mattie still has feelings for him.
Lillian WeissA director at World Wide Broadcasting.
- Voiced by: Jeral Fontaine
- Damsel in Distress: In the finale, she doesn't (can't?) do anything but run and hide from the culprit. Nancy is entirely responsible for saving both of them.
- Genre Blind: Yes, arrange to meet with someone at night, alone, with no weapons or backup, in the exact same place where a murder attempt took place merely days ago. What could possibly go wrong with that?
- Green-Eyed Monster: Likely the reason that she pegs Mattie as the murderer, even though there is little proof.
- Jerk Ass: Nearly every sentence that comes out of her mouth is derogatory. (Though Lillian is outwardly unapologetic for this, she has a book on anger management in her office.)
- The Summation: Subverted. Lillian meets with Nancy, describes the course of her (own) investigation, and concludes by stating the murderer's identity...which she is completely wrong about. She's interrupted halfway through by the actual culprit.
Mattie JensonThe actress you're staying with, who brings Nancy in on the case. She's renting out Nancy's aunt's apartment.
- Voiced by: Moriah Seebold Angeline
- Nice Girl: Incredibly sweet to Nancy. Her wonderful personality has won her a couple of hearts, unfortunately including Dwayne, who is psychotically obsessed with her.
- Informed Ability: Supposedly a phenomenal actress, with awards in her room to show for it. Not that you could guess that from seeing her act during the game.
- Stage Mom: Has one. A letter from her involves a lot of ranting about how Mattie isn’t involving her enough in the show’s events, Rick has too much screentime over her, and that she owes her for paying for all of her acting lessons.
Treasure in the Royal Tower
A photojournalist at the castle writing about old Midwestern mansions, with a penchant for gossiping.
- Voiced by: Tara V Smith
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lisa is nice to Nancy at first, but she is the culprit and swears revenge on Nancy.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: After she blinds Nancy with pepper spray, she mentions that by the time Nancy gets her sight back, she’ll be long gone. How does Nancy stop her? By getting her to gloat and use up all of her time.
- Evil Redhead: The culprit, who tries to kill Nancy for the treasure.
- Intrepid Reporter: A reporter who comes out to old mansions and castles to research her pieces.
The Final Scene
Simone MuellerA publicity agent who is not afraid to go to extremes to protect her clients' reputation and career.
- Voiced by: Keri Healey
- Jerk Ass: She uses a person being kidnapped and put in danger of being killed when the building’s demolished as good publicity for a movie.
- Slave to PR: Is willing to do anything to make Maya's kidnapping a huge national news story, including buying an ominous funeral wreath
Brady ArmstrongThe star of Vanishing Destiny.
- Voiced by: David S. Hogan
- Man Child: His agent responds to the emails he receives for him.
Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
Emily GriffenA shopkeeper who sells supplies to Moon Lake's inhabitants.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: As a consequence of the area's remoteness. None of the other characters really like Emily, yet they often need to buy stuff from her.
- Money, Dear Boy: She illegally trawls the lake bed because many of the artifacts she finds there are valuable.
- Nice Girl: She comforted Emily after the latter's house was attacked, and readily accepts work instead of money from Nancy. Her true nature subverts this trope.
Mickey MaloneA deceased gangster who lived in Sally's house during the 1920s.
- Animal Motifs: The furniture and ornaments in his house (and speakeasy) are heavily dog-themed.
- Arch-Enemy: Of the government agent Waldo Mathias. Waldo pursued him for about seven years, knowing that Malone was a criminal but unable to prove it.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster : His luxurious lifestyle and wild parties are described in great detail.
- Leitmotif: His titular theme, which is elegant, suspenseful, and distinctly old-fashioned. It plays while Nancy is exploring his speakeasy.
- Morality Pet: Literal pets in this case; he owned four rottweilers and loved them deeply, going so far as to commission a line of special food for them. Their reaction to his imprisonment is considered tragic even in-universe.Sally: (laughs) That Malone! Bad as he was, he sure loved those dogs.
The Haunted Carousel
Harlan BishopThe park's security guard.
- The Atoner: After getting imprisoned for burglary, he resolved to turn his life around and become a contributing member of society.
- Deadpan Snarker: Harlan gets pretty tetchy with Nancy after she implies that his checkered past makes him more of a suspect.
- Undying Loyalty: To his boss, Paula Santos, as she hired him despite his criminal record. This is why he stays on at Captain's Cove even after getting famous for apprehending its saboteur.
Danger on Deception Island
Jenna DeblinOwner of the Hot Kettle Cafe.
- Dark Secret: Jenna's ancestors kidnapped some of their customers and forced them into crewing pirate ships.
- Gossipy Hens: Has a tendency to eavesdrop, which she attributes to having grown up in the cafe business.
- Hot-Blooded: Within minutes of first talking to Jenna, she's ranting about how wrong Katie's views on the whale are and casually accusing her of illegal activity.
- Properly Paranoid: Her belief that Katie is feeding the orca is baseless and correct.
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
The ranch cook. Incredibly talkative and gossipy, he loves cooking even though he’s awful at it. He dislikes people from the city, and is always looking for a way to get rich.
- Voiced by: Jonah von Spreecken
The Curse of Blackmoor Manor
Linda PenvellynThe main subject of the game, a resident of the US who recently moved to England after her marriage. She’s convinced that she’s cursed, and refuses to let anyone see her face.
- Voiced by: Jenn Ruzumna
- Damsel in Distress: Nancy is asked to investigate her descent into paranoia, initiating the main plot.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The photo accompanying Nancy's opening letter shows Linda to be one. She's seen in silhouette otherwise, but the trope still fits her character.
- Horror Hunger: The idea of this trope is used as Nightmare Fuel. As her paranoia increases, she takes to eating raw meat. What else would a werewolf eat?Nancy: Can I get you anything?
Linda: A glass of water would be good. I get so thirsty sometimes. And I get so hungry...
- Second Love: Hugh married Linda after divorcing another woman. Jane deeply resents her for this.
- The Voice: She hides herself in a curtained bed, refusing to leave her room at all. Nancy only interacts with her in a handful of conversations.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: She acts feral because she believes she is transforming into a werewolf. Jane's manipulations, combined with the manor's threatening atmosphere, created a very strong placebo effect.
A young girl who's the daughter of Hugh and his first wife. Is very knowledgeable about the manor's secrets, and loves to play games whenever she gets the chance.
- Voiced by: Conni Ellern
- Creepy Child: The result of her intelligence and eagerness to learn about her family history mixed with the troubling, creepy air of the manor itself and the secrets the Penvellyn line holds. She's also the culprit.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: She tries to remove the treasure from its hiding place, ignoring Nancy's protests. This triggers a weight-activated switch, trapping her.
- Dramatic Irony: In Blackmoor Manor she remarks that computer games are boring. In Danger By Design, several games later, she has created a website devoted to them.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: She assumes that the Penvellyn treasure must be a literal treasure, and is promptly punished for her greed. Her age justifies this somewhat- not many preteens can understand that It's the Journey That Counts.
- Ms. Exposition: She has a family tree in her room, and will happily detail specific members of it.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: She tries to deflect questions about the family by acting childish- for example, changing the subject to Brady Armstrong when Nancy asks about the Mutus Liber. Because she's talking to Nancy, however, her attempts fall flat.
- Older Than They Look: She is actually 12.
- Too Clever by Half: Jane's quite bright for a 12-year-old, but lacks common sense. This gets her into more trouble than she would have otherwise. For example, she's so cunning that her plot to hurt Linda isn't discovered until it's had serious consequences.Nancy: I saw your kitchen. What happened to it?
Jane: I guess you could say I happened to it. But it was Ethel's fault. She inspired me to study the oxidation rates of different kinds of cookie doughs.
Mrs. Drake (Leticia)
Hugh's elderly aunt. She can be found in the conservatory.
- Voiced by: Amy Broomhall
- Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult: She's not mean, unlike most examples of the trope, but her Establishing Character Moment involves warning Nancy not to cause a ruckus."I know how much you teenagers like your televisions and loud stereos..."
- Grande Dame: Stern, wealthy, obnoxiously British. She fits the trope.
- Memento MacGuffin: The conservatory fountain, which reminds Leticia of her brother. She's very happy when it starts flowing again.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Her hairstyle is as straight-laced as she is.
- Refused by the Call: She has no idea that the Penvellyn treasure is real, much less that Jane is being taught to protect it. This is because Penvellyn superstition forbids telling certain generations about their secret.
- Talking to Plants: Being an avid gardener, she has Flavor Text along these lines.Mrs. Drake: Who's hungry? Who's ready for some nummies?Nancy: Did you say something, Mrs. Drake?Leticia: Not to you, dear.
Nigel MookerjeeA scholar who's writing a book about the Penvellyns.
- Voiced by: Stephen Hando
- Captain Obvious: His memoirs begin: "I was very very small when I was born..."
- Mr. Exposition: Nigel mostly exists to provide information on the Penvellyn family. At times, his place in the narrative is literally replaced by a laptop.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When the Mercury statue in the library starts moving, seemingly of its own accord (due to Nancy's tinkering in a passageway) he screams and runs away. It's hard to blame him.
Jane's tutor, who is only seen in cutscenes. She is well-versed in Penvellyn history and protective of the clan.
- Voiced by: Sarah Papineau
- The Mentor: Teaches Jane various subjects, such as the family rituals and history. Its full history, not the watered-down version outsiders are told.
- Shame If Something Happened: Her response if the player chooses to be honest about their investigation."Well, we wouldn't want you to end up like the proverbial cat, would we- Nancy."
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Both of Ethel's conversations with Nancy start with her appearing out of nowhere. note Nancy even lampshades this.
LoulouA chatty parrot who's lived in the manor for decades. She provides hints to the player.
- Voiced by: Lani Minella
- Big Eater: No matter how many seed cakes Nancy feeds her, she always wants more.
- Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: Used to be one, having picked up "unsuitable words" for sailors. The Penvellyns eventually trained her not to use them.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Talks at "Polly want a cracker" level around everyone except Jane and Nancy.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: She’s able to understand Nancy’s questions and provide obscure hints to whatever she needs to know.
- Talking Animal
- Third-Person Person: "Loulou hungry! Loulou want cake first!"
- Troll: In her first appearance, she deliberately imitates a ghost- and then laughs when Nancy is scared.
Elinor PenvellynA deceased Penvellyn who is rumoured to have been a witch.
The Secret of the Old Clock
Emily CrandallA young woman who's proprietor of the Lilac Inn. After her mother passes away, she calls Nancy out to the Inn, asking for a favour.
- Voiced by: Walayn Sharples
- Damsel in Distress: Emily's financial woes (and deterioriating mental stability) have left her largely unwilling to investigate Crowley's will, even though it's the only thing that could possibly improve her situation. Her role is mostly limited to giving Nancy exposition.Emily: No. That's wishful thinking. And I refuse to get my hopes up again because they'll probably just get dashed again.
- Sanity Slippage: She and Jane believe that her grief over Gloria's death has led her to hallucinate voices. After experiencing what she thinks is a mental blackout, Emily panics and orders Nancy to leave the Inn. Fortunately, Nancy soon finds proof that Jane has been gaslighting Emily.
- Trauma Conga Line: Nancy arrives in the middle of Emily's. First, her mother dies. Then Emily starts hearing voices. Then her kitchen catches fire, destroying her livelihood. Then her mother's jewelry is stolen. And all of the above occurs during the Great Depression.Jane: (about Emily) It's just too much, that's all. Who wouldn't go a little off their nut?
- Troubled Fetal Position: Spends 90% of the game sitting like this in her bedroom alcove, for reasons detailed in the Trauma Conga Line entry.
- Woman in White: Wears a white dressing gown which- ironically- resembles that of a mental patient. This is because she's not in the mood for company.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Though only 17, she accepts the responsibility of running the Lilac Inn, and has kept it afloat for months before the game starts. Jane claims that the stress of doing so is making Emily crack, but turns out to be wrong- there really is someone talking to Emily and moving stuff around in her room.
Jane WilloughbyEmily's legal guardian and a friend of her mother.
- Voiced by: Sarah Papineau
- Evil Redhead: Has bright red hair and is the true villain of the game.
- Jive Turkey: Uses a lot of 30s slang in her speech, such as "butterfly's boots" and "dumb Dora".
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Jane is largely clueless when it comes to dealing with Emily, but not for lack of trying. The finale reveals her to be a subversion. She's using that act as a cover to gaslight Emily and steal from her.
- Terms of Endangerment: Upon being exposed as a fraud, she growls "It's been swell knowing ya, sister." and drives away.
Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon
The rich, beautiful girl that sets up a party on the haunted train with a set of ghost hunters and detectives. She disappears shortly after the game begins.
- Voiced by: Sarah Papineau
- Attention Whore: Lori has done crazy publicity stunts, including faking her disappearance on the train.
- Birds of a Feather: With her ex-boyfriend, Tino- a man who's as shallow and selfish as she is.
- Dumb Blonde: A bubblehead blonde party girl who can't seem to remember Nancy's name. Subverted. She’s intelligent enough to fake a kidnapping and use Nancy to find the treasure. It’s implied she relies on this image as an act to throw suspicion away from herself.
- Hero Worship: She gushes over the novelist Charleena Purcell, and her Idle Animation shows her reading one of Purcell's books.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: She’s based off of Paris Hilton. Well, everything up to her being a backstabbing thief and murderer.
Danger by Design
An incredibly talented, but temperamental, fashion designer. She’s been acting very strange lately, wearing a mask, firing assistants, and throwing fits almost at random.
- Voiced by: Shawnmarie Yates
- Bad Boss: She’s impossible to predict, fires assistants for the slightest infractions, and is an actual criminal. Very few people want to deal with her.
- Evil Redhead: Aside from having a nasty personality, she’s the villain of the game, and actually attacks Nancy at the end.
- The Faceless: She always wears a white mask to so no one can see her face. It’s knocked off at the very end of the game, however.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It’s very, very easy to get her angry. Everyone has to walk on eggshells around her or risk her wrath.
- White Mask of Doom: She’s always wearing a stark white mask on her face— it’s a recent addition, and no one has any idea why she started wearing it. In the end it’s revealed that it had nothing to do with any of her crimes. She was hiding a lame tattoo.
Heather Mc KayMinette's senior assistant and a budding fashion designer.
- All Love Is Unrequited: She likes Dieter, who likes Minette (who broke up with Dieter but actually likes him back). Nobody is happy.
- Famed In-Story: A TV program in Trail of the Twister reveals that she's become a famous designer.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The player has the option of invoking this on Heather. After learning that she sent a threatening letter to Minette, Nancy may reveal this and get Heather fired.
- Nice Girl: She's a patient, levelheaded person who advises Nancy on how to deal with Minette. Of course, her unethical methods of blowing off steam may subvert the trope.
The White Wolf of Icicle Creek
A middle-aged fisherman who can be found at the Lodge's Fox-and-Geese table.
- Voiced by: Jonah von Spreecken
- Distinguishing Mark: A tear-shaped birthmark on his cheek. It allows Nancy to identify him in the stolen photos.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Lou, a college student. It involves a lot of bickering and playing Fox-and-Geese.
- Odd Friendship: In addition to their age gaps, their bonding is odd considering that Bill is a Canadian ice fisher and Lou an art student from California. They even have polar opposite opinions of the wolf.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Believes that the Lodge's accidents are this."The Moiques are just getting what's coming to them."
A birdwatcher staying at the Lodge.
- Voiced by: Kate Wisniewski
- I Did What I Had to Do: Does not regret sabotaging Ollie and Bill's hunting tools.Guadalupe: I've done worse while working on behalf of Run And Grow Free, believe me.
- Meaningful Name: Her nickname Lupe means wolf. One early implication that she’s really there to protect the wolf instead of seeing birds.
- Men Can't Keep House: Remarks that her room will be the easiest to clean, as "the other guests are all men. Single men."
- Ms. Exposition: Nancy has the option of asking her multiple questions about wolves.
- Soapbox Sadie: She's quite outspoken about environmentalism, even before her cover is blown. In actuality, she's a left-wing activist who's trying to protect and rehome Isis.
- Spotting the Thread: An observant player will notice that none of the birds Guadalupe claims to have seen in Icicle Creek fit the season. This is an early hint that she's hiding something.
- Women Are Wiser: Out of the five people at the lodge, she seems to be the only one with any intelligence.
IsisThe eponymous wolf, who is considered a bad omen. Despite being a wild animal, she is not afraid of humans.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: Displays a great deal of intelligence, obedience, and perception regarding humans for a wild wolf. Even considering her time living with McQuade, she took to her training remarkably well.
- Big Damn Heroes: She digs Nancy out of an avalanche at Chicken Ridge.
- Bittersweet Ending: The game ends with Isis being removed from her home. But she's being taken to a wolf sanctuary where she can be with her own kind, and protected from hunters.
- Chekhov's Skill: Julius trained her to, among other things, identify the scent an object carried. This skill is what reveals the saboteur.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Her parents were killed by hunters, and most of McQuade's journal is about his growing friendship with her.
- Meaningful Name: One she shares with the Egyptian goddess of wisdom.
- Not So Above It All: Despite the pretty looks of a female wolf, she is lonely without Julius. She also gets adopted at the end. This is actually Reality Is Unrealistic. A wolf, female or not, does have feelings.
- Noble Wolf: She saves Nancy's life twice over the course of the game. Guadalupe points out how odd this is.
- Only Friend: She was Julius McQuade's only companion, and shared his shack.
FreddieOllie's small daughter. She's built an elaborate snow fort, and demands that all passersby have snowball fights with her.
- Voiced by: Lani Minella
- I Just Want to Have Friends: There aren't any kids at the Lodge, and not much for her to do. So she badgers adults and teenagers into playing with her.
- Insistent Terminology: Declares that she is "the Snow Princess" when Nancy calls her Freddie.
- Writing Lines: "I will not throw ice balls at windows, I will not throw ice balls at windows..."
The Legend of the Crystal Skull
Henry Bolet Jr.
Bruno’s great-nephew, who was left a sizable portion of his estate after he died and is still sorting through all of it. A rather dour young man who has several secrets under his belt.
- Voiced by: Brian Neel
- Fashionable Asymmetry: He wears a fingerless glove on one hand.
- Goth: Wears black makeup, has black fingernails, and a carries generally apathetic disposition. On the surface, anyway.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Nancy discovers that he’s been stealing from Bruno’s property and selling it to make his girlfriend happy. When pressed about it, he admits that he knows she’s just interested in getting money and presents out of him, but he really wants someone to love him.
Shadow at the Water’s Edge
The receptionist at the Ryokan Hiei. Kasumi’s youngest daughter. Very dedicated to her family and traditional Japanese values.
- Voiced by: Mikano Fukaya
- The Dutiful Daughter: Unlike Yumi, she abides her familial obligations, choosing to stay at the inn despite it losing customers and making her unhappy.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible to Yumi’s foolish, although her duties leave her high-strung and unwilling to help Nancy solve the ryokan’s problems.
- Meganekko: Cute, shy, and bespectacled.
- Shrinking Violet: She’s very shy and polite, rarely standing up for herself (unless you’ve made her angry).
A friend of the Shimizu family, Miwako’s boyfriend, and the ryokan’s resident handyman. A bit goofy and odd, but friendly. He’s very into robotics and puzzles.
- Voiced by: Marc Biagi
- Adorkable: A mix of his earnest nature and quirky mannerisms. Even being the culprit doesn’t dispel this, as he did so out of a misguided urge to help Miwako.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Incredibly awkward and socially inept, and would rather spend his time with machines than people. But it's never outright said he has any social disorders.
- Asian and Nerdy: Although all the other characters in the game are Japanese as well, he’s the one who fits the stereotype, with his fixation on robotics and awful social skills.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: If he really cared about Miwako, he'd know that she loves her family and job. It's having her work taken for granted that she resents. But instead he justifies his own crimes by claiming their end result will make Miwako happy. Nancy is not convinced.
- Freudian Slip: While talking to Nancy, he accidentally mentions the Ryokan Hiei's spooky reputation- something Takae has forbidden employees to talk about. Given The Reveal, it may instead be a Fauxdian Slip.
- Love Makes You Evil: He’s the one behind the hauntings. Not out of any malice, but because he wants Miwako to move away from the ryokan and live in the city with him, and feels she won’t do it because she’s too afraid of disobeying her family.
Kasumi’s oldest daughter, a bento stand owner who lives in the inner city. As the eldest she is the one to inherit the Ryokan— but she wants no part of it. She’s estranged from her family for her rebellious attitude.
- Voiced by: Kira Lauren
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: She’s seen dressed up in this style, although she’s more of a Sweet Lolita from her favoring of the color pink.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: From her family’s perspective, Yumi is the foolish to Miwako’s responsible. Rebellious or not, she owns her own business, pays for her own place out in the city, and is legitimately trying to help Nancy’s investigation.
- Motor Mouth: Speaks in a swift, high-pitched manner, partly to sell her cute persona and partly to trick Nancy into doing errands for her.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The cutesy selfies she periodically sends Nancy when placed side by side, reveal a safe combination. She never openly admits to having this knowledge, and politely deflects all of Nancy's attempts to thank her.
- Pink Means Feminine: She wears pink and decks out her whole room in pink, playing up the cute image she puts on for her design work and bento stand.
Nagai TakaeYumi and Miwako’s grandmother, who grew up in the ryokan. She’s heavily invested in tradition.
- Voiced by: Waylayn Sharples
- It's All My Fault: Blames herself for Kasumi’s death. On the night she drowned, Kasumi was supposed to go see her American pen pal. Takae disapproved, so pretended she was too sick to clean the bath so she’d have to stay and work. Kasumi lost her footing and hit her head, something the more experienced Takae would not have done.
- Kimono Is Traditional: The most set in her ways of the whole cast, and also the only one wearing a kimono.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: She will occasionally fall asleep while Nancy is in the room with her.
- Technologically Blind Elders: Enforced. She’s very set in the importance of tradition, both as a personal preference and to maintain the atmosphere of the ryokan. She’s never seen handling the computer sign in and should Rentaro stay to modernize the ryokan it’ll only be in “small, Takae approved ways”.
Allegedly the ghost that haunts the ryokan. She was the daughter of Takae and the mother of sisters Yumi and Miwako.
- Action Mom: Part of the inheritance she leaves her daughters is a katana.
- Dying Alone: One of the reasons why the family is so ashamed for her death. They were all at the ryokan but no one was with her when she drowned.
- Posthumous Character: She’s already dead by the time the game starts. Nancy learns about her from letters she left with her family and whatever they’re willing to tell about her.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: What her ghost manifests as. Or rather, what we’re led to believe is her ghost. Appropriate, considering how she died.
Alibi in Ashes
Brenda CarltonThe crime reporter for the River Heights Nine News Team. A sensationalist who often exaggerates details to sell papers, regardless of who she hurts with the story.
- Voiced by: Megan Jones
- Intrepid Reporter: Can cover some serious ground when hunting for details on a story. It’s actually a plot point—she gets places quickly by using a secret underground tunnel network.
- Parental Neglect: An offhand remark she makes in one of her dialogues suggests that her father wasn’t very attentive or sympathetic to her emotional needs. She brushes over it very quickly, but considering how she turned out it’s not surprising.
- Strawman News Media: Engages in unethical, invasive, and illegal methods for gaining information, only to turn it into fluff pieces or outright lies. Deconstructed, however—she can’t get a job anywhere else because her lax standards make her a terrible reporter.
Alexei MarkovicThe reclusive and eccentric owner of the antiques store in River Heights, and a former kid detective himself.
- Voiced by: Gene Thorkildsen
- Deadpan Snarker: When he’s not angry he likes to make snarky comments in discussion with Nancy’s friends.
- Fallen Hero: What he’s played up to be the more you learn about him, a former kid detective who was convicted for theft and seeks revenge on the town that spurned him. He’s not nearly as evil as all that, but he is fairly bitter about the whole ordeal.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Used to believe in helping everyone, regardless of how little they could pay him or how mundane it was. Then he tried to fight the corruption in city hall and was struck so hard with cynicism that he claims in a diary entry that he hates everything about River Heights and wants to watch it burn. He also makes the claim that ALL politicians are always lying.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He’s short tempered, bitter, and rude, but at the end of the day he’s thrilled Nancy was able to clear her name because he doesn’t want to see another promising young detective fall the way he did.
The Ghost of Thornton Hall
Colton BirchfieldJessalyn’s fiancée, strangely calm about Jessalyn’s disappearance. He’s friendly and charming, but has a few issues he’s not talking about.
- Voiced by: Dave Rivas
- Ambiguous Disorder: It’s implied several times that he struggles with anxiety and depression, but nothing is said outright.
- Better as Friends: He and Jessalyn. Getting engaged to her was his parents’ and Clara’s idea. Jessalyn’s not too choked up to hear he has a girlfriend he wants to get back together with.
- Childhood Friend Romance: He and Jessalyn have known each other since they were little. Subverted, however. They were never really in love with each other. Just friends.
- Your Cheating Heart: It looks like this when Nancy finds out that he may have a girlfriend. Turns out she was the one he wanted to marry all along—he and Jessalyn were close friends, but that’s all that either of them really wanted to be to each other.
The Thornton Family matriarch, CEO of the family business, and Jessalyn’s mother. Cold, standoffish, and strict. Even distraught about Jessalyn’s disappearance, she remains distant from Nancy and unhelpful.
- Voiced by: Sharon Yamada-Heidner
- Beneath the Mask: A stern and cold, manipulative mother on the outside, but when her crimes are revealed she breaks down and shows that she’s been lonely her entire life and living in guilt ever since she started the fire, putting up a façade to keep people from finding out.
- Berserk Button: Bringing up her absent father is a good way to tick her off. Also anything to do with the night Charlotte died. The latter is likely a result of her guilt.
- Driven by Envy: She set the fire because she was jealous of Charlotte’s place in the family, having been ostracized her whole life.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Has a hairstyle as tightly wound as her personality.
- The Unfavorite: While she was only cousins with Charlotte, due to the closeness of the family the trope still applies. Her feelings of resentment for being in her shadow is part of what caused her to set the fire on Charlotte's birthday.
The estranged black sheep of the family, said to be crazy and violent. Charlotte’s sister. Eccentric behavior aside, she believes Charlotte was murdered, and is clearly hiding a secret or two.
- Voiced by: Keri Healey
- Cassandra Truth: She kept telling people Clara started the fire that killed Charlotte, but no one believed her.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her sister, Charlotte, died in a fire that she saw Clara light. She's been through years of estrangement and pain in the fallout of that.
- Gaslighting: She’s not behind all of the hauntings, but she is at least partially to blame for the aspects of it that affect Clara, wanting to break her into confessing by reminding her of Charlotte’s death. Naturally, she's also the victim of this from Clara, trying to convince her she's crazy.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Fakes her insanity at least in part, if not completely. It’s a cover for her plot to drive Clara insane with guilt so she’ll confess to killing Charlotte, as well as uncover what it was that Charlotte was hiding.
- Quirky Curls: The wackiest of the cast, with wild, springy hair forming almost an afro on her head.
The much beloved Charlotte, and the bloodthirsty ghost that haunts the manor. She perished the night of a terrible fire on her birthday, and Nancy must investigate both her death and her haunting.
- Accidental Murder: The fire was never supposed to kill Charlotte, just scare her. But it got out of control.
- Complexity Addiction: While she had reasons to be suspicious, crafting a significant chunk of the puzzles in the game to hide her will might have been a bit extreme.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: When her skin isn’t outright blue, it’s a ghostly white to contrast with her red dress and dark, dark hair.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While Charlotte’s hauntings and visions of her inside the mansion can be somewhat explained by the carbon monoxide poisoning, the visions in the graveyard and the ruins where there is no carbon monoxide are not so easy to wave away.
- Posthumous Character: Everything you learn about her comes from things she left behind and the things her loved ones say about her.
- Unfinished Business: At first everyone believes that Charlotte’s haunting the place because Thornton Hall is just evil, and she’s upset about the fire. But the more Nancy looks into her death, the more it becomes apparent that she was upset about something before it happened.
Labyrinth of Lies
ThanosThe man playing Hades.
- Voiced by:
- Bad Liar: He's absolutely terrible at acting like someone who isn't part of the Greek mafia, and makes threats even during casual conversation.
- The Dragon: What Xenia secretly considers Thanos- a strong right hand who keeps her other subordinates in line. He's valuable, but not an equal. She lies to him about the latter.
- The Quiet One: He outright ignores Nancy's questions most of the time, and doesn't care that this makes her suspicious of him.
Sea of Darkness
Dagny SilvaA foreign treasure hunter who, along with Magnus, is funding the Heerlijkheid's restoration. When Magnus disappears, she enlists Nancy to find him.
- Mr. Vice Guy: She is unashamedly greedy, especially where the treasure is concerned- but she never actually harms anyone in pursuit of it, and is generally a polite person.
- Straight Gay: She alludes to being divorced, but it's only a brief email exchange that reveals her ex's name: Alicia.
- Walking the Earth: She enjoys her travel-intensive job, and deals with breakups by moving between continents.