Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Walkthrough v1.4 - The Lost Gamer
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Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Walkthrough

by The Lost Gamer   Updated to v1.4 on
Version 1.4 12/27/08                   DDDDD
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Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill Walkthrough
A Walkthrough by Michael Gray
AKA The Lost Gamer (
Videogame humor:
Copyright 2008

Table of Contents:
001.  General information
002.  Walkthrough
003.  Credits

001-General Information

This is a walkthrough for the PC game called Nancy Drew:
Secrets Can Kill.  It's the first game in the Nancy Drew
series, in which you play as Nancy Drew and go around
and solve mysteries.

If you want to contact me, e-mail, but make the subject blank
if you do.  If you want to reproduce this guide in some
fashion, you should contact me before doing so.

002-Video Guide

Hey! Want to see how to beat the game instead of reading 
about it? Well, I've got a video walkthrough, and you can 
see it at...

The video comes complete with my commentary and such.


In this game, you can choose one of three levels, junior
detective, senior detective, and master detective. The 
difference between the three is negligible.

"Dear Dad,

Who would have guessed that taking a semester off to 
visit Aunt Eloise in Florida would result in another 
case? It seems a student was murdered at the high school 
last night, and Daryl Gray, the Student Council 
President, found the body.

When Aunt Eloise heard, she rushed me right over and 
introduced me to the principal. He asked if I would try 
to find out who did it and why.

So it's undercover I go! My only contact is Daryl. So I'm 
off to solve a murder! I'm calling this case 'Secrets Can 


The game starts out in Aunt Eloise's apartment. There are 
several things you can do here, but most of it (such as 
looking at all the paintings on the walls) is optional.

Right in front of you is a desk-table. On top of it is a 
message from Aunt Eloise. She's left the key to the 
library in the safe, and the combination is hidden in the 
house. The safe is behind the tapestry in that little 
niche in the corner.

You can open the drawer on the desk, and inside is a 
phone card. Pick it up if you feel like calling someone 
in this game.

In the little side-room, you can look around. The coffee 
table has a jewelry box you can open and look at. You can 
look at some pictures of Aunt Eloise by the lamp, and you 
can look at the book of flowers on a side-table (the book 
has the word MITCH on it, written in green).

Aunt Eloise has a TV, with bookshelves on either side. 
You can look at a map of Florida on the left bookshelf, 
which has the message "Blade up on glass / gets you in 
class" in Morse Code written on the border). You can open 
a book on the right bookshelf to find the key to the 
chest in the corner. Inside this chest, you can pick up a 
quarter. You don't have to do this to beat the game.

What you HAVE to do is open the drawer on a side desk. In 
here, you must take the TV remote and read Aunt Eloise's 
letter from sigma phi kappa delta.

Sigma phi kappa delta is the combination to the safe, so 
press those four letters in that order (which Aunt Eloise 
helpfully wrote down at the top of her paper for all 
those people who don't read Greek) onto the safe.

Once the safe is open, take the spare key to the library. 
Click on the little box with a picture of flowers on it.

It's a slider puzzle. On junior mode, it's a 3 by 3 
puzzle. The way to beat it is by getting the top row into 
place. Now without moving the top row, get the two left-
hand pieces into place. From there, rotate the remaining 
three pieces, and you're done.

On senior/master mode, it's a four-by-four puzzle, which 
requires more strategy. Here's my four-by-four slider 
puzzle strategy.


The key to every sliding puzzle is the order you put the 
pieces in. When the puzzle is solved, the missing piece 
goes in the upper/right corner. For some reason, this 
means you have to solve the lower/right corner first.

Using my fancy diagram up there, do the following:

Put piece 1 into place. Never move this piece again.
Put piece 2 into place. Never move this piece again.
Put piece 3 into place. Never move this piece again.
Put piece 4 into place. Never move this piece again.

Hmmm, was it really necessary for me to list out each 
piece separately? Maybe not. Oh well, now you've got the 
lower/left quadrant done. You don't need to touch any of 
those pieces again.


Find piece #2. Put it in spot #1.
Find piece #1. Put it in spot #3.

Now, you can move the empty square to spot #2, and from 
there, slide pieces 1 and 2 into their correct spot. You 
don't need to touch either of those pieces again.

We repeat the process.


Find piece #2. Put it in spot #1.
Find piece #1. Put it in spot #3.

Now, you can move the empty square to spot #2, and from 
there, slide pieces 1 and 2 into their correct spot. You 
don't need to touch either of those pieces again. Now the 
entire left-hand side is done!


Find piece #1. Put it in spot #2.
Find piece #2. Put it in spot #3.

Now, you can move the empty square to spot #1, and from 
there, slide pieces 1 and 2 into their correct spot. You 
don't need to touch either of those pieces again. As you 
might have guessed, you repeat the process.


Find piece #1. Put it in spot #2.
Find piece #2. Put it in spot #3.

Now, you can move the empty square to spot #1, and from 
there, slide pieces 1 and 2 into their correct spot. Now 
just mix around the final three pieces until they're in 

Inside the slider puzzle box is Aunt Eloise's computer 

Name: Eloise Drew.
Password: O Wise Elder.

Aunt Eloise's computer logon is really all you need to 
get from her apartment. Now you can leave.

Head to Maxine's. There you can talk with Daryl Gray, 
your contact. If you got a quarter at Aunt Eloise's, you 
can use it on the jukebox player and the pinball machine.

There are several hidden messages here at Maxine's. The 
menu behind Daryl is a simple message--read the red 
letters to spell out "soup ladle bolt cutter". Do the 
same sort of thing with a menu on a table--the red 
letters spell "danger," while the purple letters spell 

Head to the kitchen area behind Daryl. Under a "safety 
first" sign is a black container with the soup ladle 
inside. Under the "danger flammable materials" is a bolt 
cutter. This is what the sign behind Daryl was referring 
to. Take the bolt cutter and replace it with the soup 

If you don't put the soup ladle in place, the diner 
explodes due to a gas leak. Personally, I think it's 
really stupid for the diner to use soup ladles and bolt 
cutters to prevent gas leaks, but whatever.

The only other thing to do at Maxine's (besides see the 
list of chores that the employees must do) is check the 
work calendar. See the numbers at the bottom? That's a 
simple alphanumeric code. 1=a, 2=b, 3=c, etc.

The code spells out "Jake's fate happened deliberately / 
gravity was not his worst enemy". Um...yeah, all the 
clues in this game are poems.

This same code is used on one of the napkin dispensers at 
Maxine's, but all it spells is "JAKE", which isn't much 
help at all.

Once you have the bolt cutter, head to Paseo Del Mar High 
School. You have to switch CDs to do this.

Map of school:

                            Boiler Room
Jake's                             |
          |                        |
          |                        |---Phone Room
          |                        |
          |-------Library------Study Hall

The high school is FILLED with hidden messages, most on 
bulletin boards. The one on the board near Jake's locker 
is a simple code--rearrange the spaces to spell out this 

Find the morning edition
And discover another crime
The answer is in black and white
To who will do the time.

The bulletin board in the gym has three messages. One is 
upside down:

He did what it took
To make the grade
Even if it meant cheating
To keep up his charade

One is flipped vertically and horizontally:

Nowhere to turn to,
Nowhere to hide,
Let the books in the library
Be your answer guide.

And the third one is written from right to left, and 
bottom to top:

A symbol of Kanji
Worn with great pride
Reflects a big secret
That someone must hide

The eye chart in the gym needs to be read backwards:

If you can read this,
Then make no mistake
A genuine first class
Detective you'll make.

The bulletin board in crossroads that leads to the gym 
and the library is an upside-down note:

In the face of danger
Against a killer if you dare
A very unlikely couple
Could be a helpful pair

The bulletin board in front of the library is an upside-
down note:

When things go astray
Tonight at Vandelay
It will not help to run
So you must grab the gun

The other bulletin board by the library spells out a clue 
if you rearrange the spaces:

There's more than one way
To remove a chain so thick
Aside from the combination
Mel's bolt cutter can do the trick.

The bulletin board in study hall has a message written 
from right to left:

Jake's locker combo
Was a part of his fame
Just find a phone
To decode his name

The bulletin board in the phone area has a flyer with a 
checkered border. There are letters in the border which 
spell out SIDE OF SCHOOL over and over again.

The bulletin board outside of the phone area has 
underlined letters:


The SAT Prep Sheet on the librarian's desk in the library 
has several words that are bolded and in italics:

Sabotage should cause concern
But with the gloves you will not burn

The book on dream symbols in the library has a message 
spelled out in purple:

Don't run, Nancy.

The paper in the lowest map drawer in the library has 
blue and green letters. Read the blue letters, then the 
green letters:

The bolt cutter you must take
Or you could be the next Jake

The sign language book in the library highlights the 
letters J A K E and the numbers 5 2 3.

The letters of the Principal's name on the dedication 
plaque in the library can be rearranged to spell "Boiler 
Room Door".

The note on the notepad upstairs in the library has a 
backwards alphabet code (Z=A, Y=B, X=C, etc.):

The one with the temper
And the iron fist
Is more than a suspect
On Jake's blackmail list

The list of teacher's names in the teacher's lounge 
spells out something with the first letter of each 
teacher's name:

Tanaka cheats

The "while you were out" pad in the teacher's lounge has 
a message where you read out numbers and letters:

Before you see the enemy,
Examine the elevator

The alphanumeric code is repeated for the message at the 
bottom of the security report you can print in the 
teacher's lounge:

Braille keypad

There are highlighted letters on the periodic table of 
the elements in the teacher's lounge:

Search behind boiler

The map in the teacher's lounge has writing on the top 
and bottom:

A trophy was not the only prize
But also money of a great size

The sign language note inside a book in the teacher's 
lounge is a color-coded anagram:

O was innocent = Connie Watson

Yep, there's a lot of hidden messages. Good thing I wrote 
them all out for you, so you don't have to waste time 
decoding them.

You can talk with Hulk Sanchez at the gym. Hulk is the 
star football player for four years in a row. He doesn't 
like Jake.

Hal Tanaka, the exchange student, is studying in the 
study hall. He tells you that Daryl's family recently 
lost a lot of money.

You can talk to Connie Watson in the phone room. She 
doesn't like Jake Rogers, and she has a thing for Daryl 

Talking to the characters lets you talk to them about 
each other. Hulk and Connie think Hal studies too much. 
Hal tells you that Hulk was recently injured, and that 
Connie was dating Jake.

The library has a lot of books that you can look at. Most 
contain completely unnecessary information.
You can check the card catalog to note that the book Jake 
checked out from the library is, um, from the library. 
Helpful, I guess.

The only thing you HAVE to do is check out the area on 
the side, which has tiny bookshelves that hold 
encyclopedia sets. The upper/left encyclopedia set lets 
you look at K for Kanji. Nancy notes that the Kanji 
symbol Connie is wearing stands for Crane.

The lower/middle encyclopedia set lets you read B for 
Braille. That comes in handy later on.

You can use the phone card from the drawer in Aunt 
Eloise's room to use a phone in the phone room. Using the 
phone, you can call Nancy's friends for hints.

One of the hidden messages said to check a phone for 
Jake's name or something like that. What it means is that 
you can look at a phone, such as the one in the phone 
room. J A K E on a phone layout it 5 2 5 3. That's the 
combination to Jake's locker. The book in the library on 
sign language also hinted at this.

Open Jake's locker. Inside is a VHS tape box, a library 
book and a judo magazine. Look at all of them. 
Apparently, a mystery competitor won the male judo 

Look at the bottom of Jake's locker. There's a newspaper 
about somebody stealing steroids from the Vandelay 
Pharmaceutical building. There's also a video camera and 
a glass cutter. Pick up the glass cutter!

You can use the glass cutter to break into the teacher's 
lounge. Leave the school, then go back to it, so you're 
at the place where you see the outside of the school.

Look for a place on the right hand side of the screen. 
Yes, you can go on the side of the school, as one of the 
hidden messages said. You can follow another secret 
message by using Jake's paper cutter to cut a hole in the 
third window from the left.

Using the hole, open the window to get in the teacher's 
lounge. You can log onto the computer in the lounge with 
Aunt Eloise's log-on. Look at the key on the computer to 
learn that the code for the boiler/maintenance room is 

You can print out a security report if you want, which 
tells you some unneeded plot information that nobody 
mentions in the game.

Open the drawer of senior final papers to read Hal's 
essay. It's the same as the one in the book in Jake's 
locker! Hal is a cheater!

You can now enter the boiler room, now that you know the 
password. It's in Braille, and you can use the book in 
the library to decode it. NOTE in Braille looks like 

 ..   .    .
  .    .  ..   .
.     .   .     .

You have to switch CDs to go inside, which is a hassle. 
Go in, and ride the elevator down. Check out the boiler 
and all the stuff in this area. Open the toolbox for 
gloves. That is all you're supposed to do at this point 
in time.

Leave the school to talk to Daryl. Talk to him about 
whatever you want, but do not ask "Pressure the 
suspects?" or your game will mess up and not move on to 
the next part of the plot, which is...

Daryl has a note for you if you've been in the boiler 
room. The note says to go BACK to the boiler room. 

Go back to the boiler room. Oh no! The boiler is about to 
explode! You can rip off the chain with the bolt cutters, 
or use the combination on the wall (1967) to open the 
lock (you have to use the gloves to do so, though).

You need to set the boiler levers to the position labeled 
on the wall. Pull the left lever twice, the right lever 
twice, and the left lever a third time.

That solves the puzzle. You can't leave via the elevator, 
so leave through the grate behind the boiler. Crawl 
through it, and Nancy finds a VHS tape.

Go back to Aunt Eloise's. Turn on the TV with the remote 
and stick in the tape.

OH MY!!!

Jake's tape has footage of Hulk stealing drugs! Hal 
cheating on his senior essay! Connie entering the judo 
competition by cross-dressing! And Daryl was...SELLING 
THINGS TO A MYSTERIOUS SMOKER? Oh, no, say it isn't so!

Talk to Hal, Connie and Hulk about being blackmailed. 
Talk to them about everything.
Then go to Maxine's and talk to Daryl. He's not there if 
you haven't talk to everyone else. Daryl says he's a drug 
runner for a scumbag named Mitch.

Mitch killed Jake.

Daryl says he'll confront Mitch tonight, and recruits 
Nancy as backup. Go to the school and talk to everyone 
about everything. No one agrees to help with Mitch.

Leave school and the game skips to later that night. Go 
to Vandelay. Daryl gets in a fight with Mitch.

Mitch pulls out a gun, but Connie comes to save the day. 
Yay! The gun is knocked aside and automatically lands in 
Nancy's inventory. Immediately use the gun on Mitch to 
make him surrender, or else he kills you.

Once Mitch sees you have a gun, he puts his hands up. The 
game the ends, and it's a happy ending for everyone! Yay! 
I suppose a happy ending was needed after all that heavy 
plot about murder, drugs and blackmail.


This FAQ is copyright of The Lost Gamer, 2008.  If you want
to use any part of this FAQ, ask me first (instructions
under general information)