Dead Secret is a point-and-click horror game.
Kansas, 1965. When the body of Professor Harris Bullard is found dead in his home, it's ruled to be due to natural causes and his ex-wife inherits the estate.
Wanting some gossip on the scandalous rumors surrounding the professor and his young, live-in assistant, reporter Patricia Gable is sent to the scene of the crime by her supervisor. But she is intent on taking this story seriously and proving her gut instinct that Harris Bullard's death was actually a murder.
While investigating the house, she finds out more about the professor and his research on neuroscience and also begins to get stalked by a Japanese demon-masked stalker...
A sequel, Dead Secret Circle, was released in 2018, continuing the adventures of Patricia Gable as she investigates another mysterious case, while also dealing with returning echos from the Bullard affair.
Contains Examples Of
- Asshole Victim: Graham Wellington from everything we learn about him was a conniving piece of trash, so it's hard to feel bad for him when he gets murdered. Also, Bullard may be one himself, since it is implied he murdered Rosanna Turner to keep his secret safe.
- Bookcase Passage: In this case, a passage built behind the wall of Josie's wardrobe.
- Cymbal-Banging Monkey: One turns up in a dream sequence, then in the house itself, and again in a Jump Scare.
- Dark Secret: Harris Bullard is being blackmailed by the Woodcutter because of one.
- Dead Person Impersonation: James Lowry took on the identity of Harris Bullard, another soldier of his squad that had died.
- Death by Pragmatism: Bullard realized somebody was stalking him and planned accordingly, advising Josie to do the same and taking several precautions whilst planning to leave his home forever. Too bad Josie was the killer.
- Disappeared Dad: Josie Herrera's father left for the military and never came back, presumed to have died in service.
- Easily Forgiven: Patricia has the choice to save Josie from the burning building despite this person having spent the entire game trying to murder her.
- Foreshadowing: One of the first things Patricia finds is a story about a young man who meets a mysterious woman who murders his father by freezing him to death. He later settles down and marries, only to find out his wife was the woman the whole time. The woman Bullard was living with, Josie, is the murderer, and killed him by locking him in the freezer. Josie herself may have learned that the man she'd thought might be her father had murdered her mother.
- Handicapped Badass: Patricial Gable, who investigates a crime scene, solves puzzles and evades the Woodcutter by jumping out windows, all while having a broken arm in a sling.
- Happily Adopted: Josie Herrera loves her adoptive parents.
- Invisible Writing: A couple of the game's many, many documents appear as blank paper initially.
- Jerkass: Bullard admittedly wasn't the nicest guy around.
- Locked in a Freezer: This is the cause of death and explains how hypothermia can occur in a hot summer.
- Luke, I Might Be Your Father: The reason why Josie Herrera was so intent on moving in with Harris Bullard, after he retired, was to figure out whether he is actually her father.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The Woodcutter always wears a Japanese Noh mask◊, has killed Harris Bullard and Graham Wellington and is implied to kill Patricia, if she is caught. On the other hand, the spirit of a man, implied to be Harris Bullard, repeatedly appears wearing a Japanese Oni mask◊. However, he is not a danger and more serves to give spiritual clues.
- Mirror Scare: Your first glimpse of the masked killer.
- Multiple Endings: Five in total, given Rank names from S to D.
- Ending S: The True ending. The house burns down and Josie is revealed to be the Woodcutter. Patricia helps an injured Josie and the two leave the house, with Josie being arrested for the murders of Harris Bullard and Graham Wellington. Harris Bullard's documents and research burn down along with the house. Patricia's story of the events was a big hit and she soon begins a new job with the Chicago Tribune. Dead Secret Circle seems to indicate that this is the canon ending.
- Ending A: Similar to Ending S. Except Patricia does not help an injured Josie, who ends up dying in the burning house. Patricia still publishes her story of the events and will start a job at the Chicago Tribune soon.
- Ending B: Patricia ends up in a snowy area and ends up lost. A newspaper gives a brief report on how the search for her has been stopped after two weeks.
- Ending C: Patricia leaves Bullard's house before solving the mystery and remains in her dead-end job. This ending can be obtained as soon as the game begins; simply click on the front door until Patricia decides to exit.
- Ending D: A glorified Game Over, this one is obtained if Patricia is caught by the Woodcutter at any point.
- Never My Fault: Cynthia Peckman blames her ex-husband Bullard for her debts, when it is in fact her own gambling addiction which is to blame.
- Nice Guy: Bobby Sawyer seems like one. And he is one, being the only suspect with absolutely nothing to hide.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The game runs on this. But then The Woodcutter is always around...
- Police are Useless: And apparently chalk a guy dying of hypothermia in the dead of summer up to 'natural causes.'
- Red Herring: Much is made of Bullard's research, and he concludes it is The Woodcutter's motive. It isn't.
- The Reveal: When Patricia finds a certain piece of evidence, she concludes Graham Wellington is The Woodcutter and the person who's been stalking her. Then she finds his body...
- Samus Is a Girl: The Woodcutter is Josie Herrera.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: The fifth ending, which can occur halfway through the game if Josie follows a certain onscreen prompt. She flees from the farm, escapes from the Woodcutter, and goes back to her job as a gossip columnist. She lives out a safe, boring life and never leaves her Kansas town. But she always regrets not seeing the murder story through to its conclusion.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Bullard may or may not have murdered Josie's mother, and took her father's identity after he died in the war, denying her any sort of closure. Graham Wellington was also a sleazy prick who was trying to blackmail Bullard.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: In one instance, the only save hiding spot for the reporter is inside the tube of an unknown machine, with a glass window in it. And the Woodcutter is fully aware that she is in there.
- Subordinate Excuse: Most people think that Harris Bullard is sleeping with his assistant, Josie Herrera, since she lives with him. It's untrue.
- Survivor's Guilt: James Lowry blames himself for the real Harris Bullard's death, because he asked him to take James' place on the submarine on the day it sank.