|"Mafia look at little child. Mafia see loser."|
Queen Vanessa's Manor is the Act 4 of the third Chapter: Subcon Forest. It primarily consists of the path leading to the manor and the manor itself. This act is built around a horror game theme, and as such, includes loud noises. Hat abilities are disabled throughout the inside of the manor with exception to the Dweller Mask.
The Manor in-game is composed of three floors: Basement, First Floor, Second Floor, and the Attic, as well as the outside section. A fourth "Third Floor" is also present in the game files and was originally planned to had been used between the second floor and attic, but has been left unused, although the player can still access this room using console commands.
While the outside is not part of the manor per se, it does hold a bit of interest. It includes the path to the manor, starting from the frozen village, and the open area around the manor as well as the manor itself. This open area is extremely large, but unfortunately has nothing of interest outside of the frozen lake immediately seen upon entry. The manor's outside does have two Headless statues that will try to attack the player when they reach the front door. It's also worth noting that the entire manor has collision, allowing it to be climbed and rewards the player with a relic should they successfully do so. The uppermost point of the roof presumably where the attic is, is entirely reachable.
Basement is where the Hat Kid first enters in order to sneak into the Manor. The Dweller Mask can be used to see certain invisible marks. One of them seems to represent a human chained to a wall. A door is present in the basement, where it requires a key found in the adjacent room to go to First Floor. If you are too scared of Vanessa, or simply want to preserve your mental health, there’s a short cut in between two barrels.
First Floor is the second area in the manor to be in. It has kitchen, living room, and parlor connected by a short hallway with many doors. The parlor links to the locked door that leads to Second floor. Queen Vanessa will go around the kitchen and the living room mainly.
Second Floor is the third area to be in. It has Nursery, Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and upward stairs to the attic.
Attic is the final area Hat Kid enters. It contains a chest with a Time Piece.
Entering the Manor
After going a long path toward the manor, the manor appears in a vast, open area. The front door is locked, so you have to enter through the cellar doors in the back, which leads to the basement. There is a path that leads from the front door using Green Pons on the right to the back. Upon getting close to the cellar doors, it will automatically swing open and the music originally playing as you walked up to the manor will suddenly turn into a large blaring, metallic screeching. This music will continue indefinitely until the music is updated by a location change.
Upon entering the back door, you are in the basement. Upon getting to a certain point, one of the Snatcher's Minions will show up and say how you are not allowed to use Hats in the manor. You are still allowed to use the abilities of the Dweller's Mask, though. From here, you enter a door on the side, which leads you to a key. This is used to unlock the door to the right of the room, which leads you to the first floor.
Alternatively, sidling between two of the barrels in the basement and crawling into a pathway between them will advance the player directly to the Attic. This method is quick and keeps the player out of danger, but also skips out on the chest and the Relic it holds on the Second Floor.
When you enter the first floor, you are in a long hallway with three doors on the sides (not including the cellar door you came out of.) After walking close enough to one of the doors, Queen Vanessa will shout from one of the rooms, questioning you being in her manor. The cellar door then shuts permanently, and Hat Kid recoils in fear at the screaming voice of Vanessa. After a bit, Vanessa will come out of the door furthest down the hallway. If the player hasn't gone into either of the doors on the right, Vanessa will start to chase you. If at any time Hat Kid is caught by Vanessa, she'll start holding her up by her neck and then she'll turn her into ice, resulting in a death.
Entering the room with the piano will prompt a cutscene where the locked door's key is shown to be stuck in a book on the top of the shelf. To progress, the player must open the fridge for a secondary key and unlock the lid of the piano, stomping on it and avoiding Vanessa when she enters from the resulting noise. After doing this a second time, the key is dropped and the player must evade Vanessa and collect the key to unlock the door in the parlor.
The Second Floor is comprised of three rooms branching off of a main hallway where Vanessa will stalk around, with the Bathroom to the left and the Nursery and Master Bedroom to the right, with the last locked door to the left of the end of the hallway. On the opposite end of the hallway, outside of the Nursery, is a chest containing a Relic.
Progressing here is quite rudimentary, as the key requires the player to use the three balloons found in the Nursery to progressively knock down the key on top the bed's overhang. Using the first will have it pop over the candle's open flame, alerting Vanessa to your location. Hiding in the closet with the (surprisingly alive) Mafia Goon, under the nearby furniture, or hiding in the Nursery will keep the player safe. Another balloon will further knock the key to wobbling unbalance, but will not knock the key down.
Upon approach of the third balloon, it bursts and a large crashing sound is heard in the Master Bedroom. Re-entering the Bedroom will show the closet tipped over, the Mafia Goon frozen, and Vanessa leaving the room without seeing Hat Kid, taking the key with her. From here, the shower will sound and the player must enter the Bathroom to collect the key. Upon entering the Bathroom and venturing inwards a little bit, a lightning strike will have Hat Kid recoil in fear as Vanessa's silhouette becomes visible in the steam of the shower. A second lightning strike will signify Vanessa grasping for a towel as she finishes her shower, causing her to exit the shower soon after.
From here, the player can collect the key and risk being caught, or immediately exit the room and wait at the end of the hallway out of sight of Vanessa. In this post-reveal state, Vanessa will proceed to the Master Bedroom and pace between that room and the Nursery, effectively putting it off limits to the player. Either way, collect the key and unlock the last door to the Attic.
The Attic is very small and does not have much in the room for interacting or exploring. There are some crates that require the Dweller's Mask to stand on which leads to a relic hidden up in the chandelier. Open the chest in the back of the room to get this Act's Time Piece.
After each mission Hat Kid will write about it in her diary, which can be found in her room under the swimming pool of pillows. The diary will only read the entry for the last act that was completed.
That Snatcher guy is such a jerk! Ugh! This stinks - now i need to go STEAL something "of his" from some old lady's attic?
What's an old lady doing living in this spooky forest anyway? Wait... she's going to be creepy, isn't she? Old people already creep me out...
- Rough Patch - First Floor Hallway
- Thor - Second Floor Hallway
- The Shapeshifter - Bedroom
- Oldster and Shady Sunburn Guy - Nursery
- Tim, CEO of Time - Bathroom
- The concept of this act is very similar to the 3D horror game Granny, where the goal is to escape from a house needing keys hidden around the house, but unlike in Granny, the keys are always in the same places.
- The manor originally contained a third floor that was completely dark, and featured Snatcher disguised as a Hat Kid doppelganger. This was removed because it was deemed "not fun" by the developers.
- According to Jenna Brown, the 2D art director, "The floor was absolutely awful puzzle wise. It required a complete redo to make it functional. We just didn't have the time to make it cohesive enough so [we] made the call to just have 2 floors".
- Snatcher's minion states that Hat Kid is contractually obligated to not use her hats inside the Manor. However, when the player first signs the contract to accept this Act, no such clause or stipulation can be seen.
- When you using the Dweller Mask, you can see odd markings on the walls in the kitchen, entrance from the basement, game room and the attic. It's not known what they are but they seem like scratches or glyphs of an unknown language.
- 3 dots can be seen on the bed near the pillow when standing on the bed. However, it may be some of the same writing found throughout the manor that got cut off by the model of the sheet and blanket of the bed.
- A notable marking that can be spotted in the attic is that of Raz from Psychonauts. When using the Dweller Mask in front of the closet, there will be an outline of Raz on the ground in a classic police chalk outline; though the outline is a lot more detailed than a standard chalk outline.
- The attic also has cobwebs hidden behind the use of the mask.
- The Nursery has a photo on the wall facing towards the player that changes as the events of the manor progresses.
- When entering for the first time and before using the first balloon to bump the key, it's a headless portrait with a black suit.
- Upon using the balloon, the picture fills out to have a person who would resemble Hat Girl, though there is no hat or face.
- After using the second balloon, the picture fills out a creepily drawn in face with red, and the person is now holding a Dweller Mask in hand. This leads to the conclusion that the manor is portraying Hat Girl in this photo and in fact not showing that they had a kid that looked like her.
- The fact that Vanessa screams "WHO'S THERE?" upon entry would imply the house was empty, and yet you can find a very much alive and terrified Mafia Goon in the closet upstairs
- Considering one of Vanessa's voice lines is "I can hear you", It's possible that the goon has been hiding in the closet for so long and so quietly Vanessa forgot he was in the house.
- If you haven't collected the relic outside on the roof yet and you open the cellar doors, collecting the relic will update the music to play the jingle. The jingle will reset the music state to before you opened the cellar, even if you go near it again.
- Originally, Timmy was going to be in the manor if the player was playing it in single-player, but was removed due the team finding that having both Timmy and Vanessa in there “made it too much”, as well as Timmy eventually becoming out of place in the story of Subcon Forest.
- In an interview with the YouTube channel Beta64, Jonas Kaerlev revealed that in the beta, Queen Vanessa’s AI used a node system (meaning she traveled on pre-placed nodes) for traveling in the manor. The AI was since redone, and now travels freely around the rooms using a “navigation mesh system”, which is a “modeled-ish place” in each room that dictates where she can go.
- One of the paintings in the manor depicts what appears to be a rabbit on the moon. This might be a reference to the Moon Rabbit, a mythical figure in Asian folklore that was said to live on the moon.
- Several cut characters make cameos as past victims of Vanessa's ice powers. These include: