The importance of talking to the Dead cannot be overstressed. You cannot win without doing so. The Dead provide vital clues for accessing certain levels and finding items that are essential to survival. In addition they sometimes warn you about monsters and their potential weaknesses. The Dead also have a story to tell.
One can gain some idea of the importance Bungie placed on talking to the Dead by noting that it is referred to in the Manual on no less than five separate occasions. Here are the relevant pieces:
Previously Living Sentient Beings (PLSB's). You will meet many people that have entered the pyramid before you, unfortunately most of them are dead. You can search the bodies by clicking the Search Button while standing on top of them. The CIA has provided intelligence of a German expedition in the late 1930's. Apparently the Nazis were looking for a "secret weapon", but none of them ever returned from the pyramid. If only there were a way to talk to them...
It is not known how many kinds of crystals you will come across, nor what the effects of most of them are. HINT: The Yellow Crystal is used to talk to dead people. Discharging the yellow crystal while standing on a dead person will initiate a conversation.
In Pathways, you can talk to dead people. To initiate a conversation with a dead person, walk towards them until the message, "You see a dead [X]" appears in the message window and then discharge the Yellow Crystal. Conversations take place through the Conversation Dialog. Type a word into the edit box and click the Speak Button to get a response.
All dead people respond to the words "name" and "death" by telling you their name and how they died, respectively. Dead people can provide valuable clues to solving some of Pathways' puzzles. Try asking the dead person about things he has already mentioned.See the example screenshot from page 17 of the Manual.
Talk to all dead people. Discharging the Yellow Crystal while standing on a dead person's body will initiate a conversation.
I can't talk to any of the dead people.
Make sure you have the Yellow Crystal and it is ready (double click on it to ready it). Walk toward the person you wish to speak to until the message, "You see a dead [X]" appears in the message window. Once you are standing on the dead person pressing the Tab Key discharges the crystal and initiates the conversation (also, remember the power bar must be full before you press the Tab key).
At this stage it should be obvious that you need the Yellow Crystal to talk to the Dead. Bungie didn't make finding this an easy task however. When you start the game you have a 50/50 chance of finding the Yellow Crystal early on. If you choose wrong you can waste valuable time by proceeding along a path to certain death.
Even when you have the Yellow Crystal talking to the dead can be a time consuming and tricky business. The manual offers some useful advice here:
All dead people respond to the words "name" and "death" by telling you their name and how they died, respectively.and
Try asking the dead person about things he has already mentioned.
These can be thought of as word 'triggers'. There are actually three types of word triggers in the game:
- Default Triggers: "Name" and "Death".
- Internal Triggers: words used by the dead person.
- External Triggers: words used by other dead people. In a few cases words 'seemingly' not used by any dead person can trigger a conversation. For example in this comp.sys.mac.games post Jason Jones reveals the external trigger "Street Fighter". And Tuncer Deniz revealed the external trigger "Pathways" in his Strategy & Tactics: Pathways Into Darkness article.
In addition you have a first meeting remark and in some cases a second meeting remark which automatically appear when you discharge the Yellow Crystal over a dead person.
Some dead people are extremely talkative and you can be quickly be swamped with information. It helps to record parts of a Conversation since the information can be of value later on.
Points to note:
On Oct 23, 2000 Jacob Aberg <Jacob_Aberg@excite.com> made this interesting observation:
Just thought I'd tell you that using a combination of Resedit and Pathways Into Cheating (but nobody uses that, of course), one can alter the first dead person you meet to use the script of any other, and then, unless you don't have the alien pipe (or can't be arsed with it), can cheat it into your possession, and as such be able to talk to every undead in the game.
"So what?" you might ask. Well Jacob has just handed us a way to read those encrypted 'scri' resources in the demo v1.0 and v2.0 and also the 'scri' resource associated with the headless Carlos in the full game. It's a simple copy and paste job folks.
What story secrets lie in those demo 'scri' resources? Only the dead know! :-)
Here's one for a start... Muller originally started out as a Sergeant! But I've revealed too much... go find out the rest for yourself that's 77% of the fun!
On Feb 15, 2012 Hopper <firstname.lastname@example.org> pointied out that Loren Petrich had created a Script Reader for Pathways Into Darkness. You can get it from Loren's page here. It works perfectly (thanks Loren and Ron Hunsinger). So without further ado here are the Dead scripts for:
Pathways Into Darkness v2.0 (Yes, they are slightly different from v1.1)
Pathways Into Darkness Demo v2.0 (Pretty much the same as the full game v2.0)
Pathways Into Darkness v1.1 (The original uncensored version)
Pathways Into Darkness Demo vA1 (some interesting bits!)
Now you can find out more about Sergeant Muller and why his men hated him so much. For example:
Muller, damn him. This is all his fault. I'm sure he's dead, somewhere- if you see him, crack his skull for me.
Ouch... desecration of the dead. :(