Hidden Clues in the Paseo Del Mar High School
Being the central location in Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill, the Paseo Del Mar High School contains the most secret clues. They span across three main areas: the school corridors, the library, and the teachers room.
Most of the clues found in the corridors involve reading the many noticeboards that are present throughout the school. Every noticeboard has at least one hotspot which you can zoom in to.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #1
This notice is easy to find and solve, the spaces are simply in the wrong places. By removing all of the spaces, and inserting spaces after words using common sense, you can see that it reads “Find the morning edition, and discover another crime, the answer is in black and white to who will do the time.“ The “morning edition” is a clue to the magazines in the rest area.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #2
This pink telephone message note is harder to see amongst all the large posters, but upon finding it, you will find a message written upside down in blue ink. “In the face of danger against a killer if you dare, a very unlikely couple could be a helpful pair.“ This is a hint towards the final scene in the game.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #3
These three notices are written in various mirrored/flipped styles. In order, they read…
- “Nowhere to turn to, nowhere to hide, let the books in the library, be your answer guide.“
- “A symbol of kanji worn with great pride, reflects a big secret that someone must hide.“
- “He did what it took to make the grade, even if it meant cheating, to make up his charade.“
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #4
On a school information bulletin about the school play, is a rather out-of-place statement. “Student files under lock and key will show the lies of a doctor-to-be.“
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #5
Yearbooks coming soon? Why is this information leaflet a hotspot? For another clue, of course! Reading the underlined letters, you will see… “Search below danger sign in kitchen.“ This information will help save you from death in Maxine's Diner, and also help you get the bolt cutters.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #6
Apparently writing backwards is a commonplace activity in Paseo Del Mar. “Jake's locker combo was part of his fame, just find a phone to decode his name.“ Decoding letters into phone numbers is a recurring theme in this game.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #7
One of the harder clues to find, is the one on this bright red poster. The clue is actually hidden in the checkered squares surrounding the text, and by looking hard enough, you can read “SIDE OF SCHOOL“. Repeated far too many times just to add to its subtleness.
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #8
Pinned in a mirrored fashion onto one of the noticeboards is another message… “When things go astray, tonight at Vandelay, it will not help to run, so you must grab the gun!“ It sure is useful that these clues can predict the future, hm?
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #9
Once again, we return to a typical 'random spaces' word puzzle. “There's more than one way to remove a chain so thick, aside from the combination, Mel's bolt cutter can do the trick.“ Hooray for bolt cutters!
Hidden Noticeboard Clue #10
Finally on the bulletin boards is this oddity. The lines of text have simply been cut in half and spaced out, making it slightly more difficult to read. “A crane contestant in a masked disguise, won the prize money despite all the lies.“ followed with “The ultimate hang-out in the center of everything is the place you need to go to set up the final sting."
SAT Preparation Paper
Sure is nice of the education team to casually help puzzle-solvers via the power of italics. “Sabotage should cause concern, but with the gloves you will not burn.“ More boiler room tips for you!
The Book of Dreams
Here's another case of bolded letters on each line. “DON'T RUN NANCY.“ Okay, book. We won't.
This is located in the chest of drawers besides the filing cabinets. It's a simple wordsearch full of words that relate to your sleuthing. Nothing much of interest though, besides the second (of three) mention of the actual culprits name.
Blue and Green Lettering
This is located in the chest of drawers besides the filing cabinets… in another drawer! Oh yes, two clues in one here! Aren't you lucky? Well, this clue can be read by reading all of the blue letters only, or all of the green letters only. Simple! “The bolt cutter you must take! Or you could be the next Jake!“ is what it reads. Sound advice, really.
Upon heading up the stairs in the balcony, your view will be headed straight towards that huge plaque on the wall. It's impossible to miss… but easy to overlook its actual clue. “Principal Robile Moor Rodo” is an anagram of “Boiler Room Door“, and the “6-6-83” beneath it is the phone-code to the boiler room door.
American Sign Language, Numbers & Alphabet
Ah, more encyclopedic nonsense. The letters “JAKE” are highlighted in blue, along with the phone-code for those letters, to clue you in on Jake's locker combination. These sign language symbols are also used for a clue in the Teacher's Lounge.
Let's ignore the actual code-sentence for now, as it's nowhere near as blatantly obvious to decode as other word puzzles, and look at the first line on the page: “The first shall be last”. By spelling the alphabet backwards, so A=Z, B=Y, C=X etcetera, you will be able to decode the message… “The one with the temper, and the iron fist, is more than a prime suspect on Jake's blackmail list.“ is the overall solution.
Ah, the typical coloured letters return as an anagram. The order to read the words is red-blue-green-purple. Decoded, it reads “Mitch drops a gun“.
Finally in the library is… you guessed it… more coloured letters. Red-green-blue, “Find VCR Tape“. Easy.
More Telephone Slips
Yep, the same pink telephone message graphic returns, though this time the writing isn't upside down. Simply pronouncing the letters will read: “Before you see the enemy, examine the elevator.“.
Administration In/Out Board
A large in/out admin board is located on one of the walls, and as per usual, it has a clue. The initials of each staff member reads: “TANAKA CHEATS“. Ooh, so he does!
Mystic Sign Language
A fairly clever word puzzle is found tucked in one of the books. Decoding each symbol into a letter reads “O WAS INNOCENT“. Is that the puzzle? No! There's another puzzle within the puzzle! Notice how some of the hands are tinted red, and others are tinted black… and notice how the circles at the bottom of the paper are also in sets of red and black. Re-arranging the letters into the correct spaces results in “CONNIE WATSON“, or rather, CONNIE WATSON (o) WAS INNOCENT.
Surrounding the map in the teacher's lounge are letters in veerrrry tiny and faint light brown writing, so it is easy to miss. For the handy screenshot, the edges have been highlighted in red colouring so you can see that it reads “A TROPHY WAS NOT THE ONLY PRIZE BUT ALSO MONEY OF A GREATER SIZE“. Hooray for two conflicting clues about Connie in the same room!
The coloured anagrammed letters return to the scene! Red-Blue-Green is the order this time, or rather, “SEARCH BEHIND BOILER“. Sound advice for the boiler room.
This clue is only available once you have logged into the computer and selected the “Print” icon. At the very bottom of the printed page is the serial number BR19LL5.K5YP14. Replacing the numbers with their letter counterparts in the alphabet will read “BRAILLE KEYPAD“. It seems obvious to what the answer is even before you decode it.
Located near the gym is an opticians eye chart. Reading the letters backwards from the very bottom results in the answer “If you can read this, make no mistake, a genuine first class detective you'll make.“. Why thank you, eye chart. I appreciate your compliments!
A magazine in the resting area of the school reveals the contest winner to be a masked individual named “Nineco”… or, rather, "Connie". Anagrams sure are commonplace at this school!
The payphone located in the school is accessible with Aunt Eloise's phonecard, and it is also used to call your three friends as the supposed “in-game hint system”. Have you ever wondered where they came up with the numbers for your friends, though? They actually correspond to the words “HELP, CLUE, and HINT“ in telephone numerics.
There are many more phone numbers referenced around the school too, these are:
- 555-1204 Aunt Eloise's phone card
- 555-JUDO Crane School of Self Defence
- 555-JAKE Jake's Locker…?!
- 555-DRUG The pharmacy phone number found in the school corridors
- 555-TONY Tony's Pizza!
- 555-4855 The local police station