A Charlotte update

April 9, 2009 - 9:16 pm Comments Off on A Charlotte update

A month after receiving the mysterious tape recorder of mystery from P.Martin in San Diego, the game still plays on. Here are my impressions, sprinkled with some search terms in case there are others receiving items in the mail or phone calls and trying to figure out why. If you want a real guide, check out Rowan’s site as she’s done an excellent job at it.

By the way, this game is based on Therapy by German author Sebastian Fitzek, a diabolical man. I ordered and read the book almost immediately after the whole tape recorder incident and enjoyed it very much. Extremely twisted tale. It’s a fast read of a dark psychological thriller. I’m looking forward to his next English release.

Quite honestly, we still don’t have very many answers at all as to why P.Martin sent out those tapes, or why he wanted to point us to Ivan Krotzler’s website. We had some contact with his somewhat ditzy and disturbed assistant, Penny Farmer, who was apparently hired due to the fact that she shared the name of Krotzler’s favorite author, Penelope Farmer (who penned a children’s book called Charlotte Sometimes, which The Cure used as inspiration for their single of the same name).

Penny, although she worked for Krotzler for some time, really had no idea about the man’s personal life or habits and was fairly unhelpful in that regard. One fateful evening she went over to check his garden for evidence of a dog at a player’s request and apparently found something awful and dog-related there that sent her straight into the loony bin for a few days.

At that point we started talking to Jimmy the IT Guy, who was even less helpful, but at least he was able to operate a scanner and sent us clearer pictures of some documents that dippy Penny had attempted to send earlier. Jimmy also helpfully doctored the documents. Weird.

A player in San Diego recognized some locations in Krotzler’s Facebook photos and spent a couple of days searching around there, eventually to be rewarded with a new tape player and recording describing the brutal murder of a dog. Only the dog was imaginary. Weird.

Those of us who had signed up as contacts on Krotzler’s site started receiving postcards from Germany from someone named Anna addressed to “My Dear Ear.” She was sorry to have left without continuing the conversation, but we knew where to find her.

Postcard from Anna

Application of a little heat revealed the message that had been written in invisible ink:


Earlier we had found a hidden directory on Krotzler’s website and had tried seemingly everything to get in there. Turns out we needed to put a space in the Username.
Username: Ivan Krotzler
Password: Sindbad

Lots of neat stuff in there, right? Digging around found this threatening-looking note saying “I know who you are, Ivan!” There were also three screenshots of videos from The Cure. Plus a 0 and 1. After much deliberation, it turns out that if you take the exact times that the image appeared in the videos, put the 0 in front and the 1 in back, and switched it all around, you get a telephone number: 1-646-736-1140. That is an answering machine with an outgoing message from Isabell. (Eek! She’s the wife in the book!)

Several days pass. No contact from anyone. Penny posted a note on Facebook promising to get back to everyone within a two days, but four days later, there was nothing. The players were getting out their torches, pitchforks, flamethrowers, and angry mob etiquette books. The next day, there were even rumors that the whole cast of characters was eaten by wild dogs.

This afternoon I got a telephone call from a blocked number. Letting out a whoop, I fumbled the digital recorder I’ve been carrying around with me like a teddy bear since I left a message on Isabell’s machine days ago and tried to answer the phone, speak coherently, and record everything. Here it is, me running up the stairs as I spoke, trying to evade the curious family who was trying to figure out what in the hell I was doing. I think both my interrogator and I were equally nervous, but we both did well under the circumstances.

So that’s where we stand. Now, here’s the kicker – After listening to German podcasts of Sebastian Fitzek, many of the players are convinced that he’s the man on the tape as well as the man I spoke to today. Considering this is a man who showed up at a book reading in a straitjacket and showed up at a live event in an abandoned hospital bound and gagged, well…

I’ve got to get him to sign my book. 😉

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