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Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill

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Title Screen

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill

Developer: Her Interactive
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: December 23, 1998

DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MovieIcon.png This game has unused cinematics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.

In Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill, you must discover who murdered high school student Jake Rogers by questioning classmates, searching for clues, and avoiding being killed yourself. Or, as an alternative, you could figure out whodunit by reading your aunt's book on flowers. Whatever works, really.

Saw an updated release in 2010 for the 80th anniversary of Nancy Drew as Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill: Remastered.


Nd01 sck jukebox thumb.png
Unused Audio
Get down with the Drew Crew!

Developer Messages

Hidden in BOOT.dat (the file used to start the game, found in CifTree.dat) is a collection of quotes from the developers of the game. Lines are broken up in the file by a series of null characters.

If it's Friday, there must be Clam
-- T. Ray

You're not going to take that out - not if you
want a very mad pregnant woman on your hands...
-- Tina

Ben: Hey, guys... doescalataikadongle?
John and Gryph: Huh?
Ben: Look, which word don't you understand?
I only get my dongle before lunch,
then it goes away.
-- Harley

Sounds like everyone is suffering from
the Cindy Brady syndrome.
-- Robert

Cool Cube!
-- Everyone refering to Christee's
Silly Putty cube

I can paint realistic people, I just
can't paint cracks!
-- Leslie

Hey, I've got kind of an impractical,
cumbersome idea...
-- Ben

Whenever I try to talk to her, her head
turns into a big black hole
-- Wayne, fighting the video player

Sheri: Phil, have you seen Ben's tool?
Drew:   Yeah, and you should see the demo.
-- loonies discussing a snazzy art utility

Ahh! It's an SGI. I'm afraid of it!
-- Leslie (and others)

My code is flawless!  I was just trying to
solve the wrong problem.
-- Ben

You just can't polish a turd...
-- Wayne's response while reviewing
some badly written code

Its not a bug - that's just the way it works...
-- Wayne, concerning an 'undocumented feature'
in the game engine

Our previous game was VD, this game is SCK as
in SICK, and our next game is STD. What's up
with that?  -- Robert

Sometimes I really wonder who Drew is
channelling for....
-- Gryph

I would rather sit here and get soggy.
-- Harley, comparing the virtues of going inside
vs staying outside when it starts raining.

Condense fact from the vapor of nuance
-- On John's to-do list

Josh, put the ear back...
-- Wayne

Yuck! That feels like being licked by an earthworm!
-- Wayne, on StickyHands

I hate computers.  I just hate them.
-- Gryph, having a bad code day.

Drew, you do the perfect jitter!
-- Maida

That must be it. Space aliens abducted my data.
-- Gryph, while having yet another mysteriously
vanished file restored from backup.

A man who can do a nice sharp spit... it's kinda
sexy, really.
-- Maida

Leslie: You told us that?
Gryph : I did! You never listen to me... boo hoo...
Maida : I listen to you. Then I tell you to shut up!

For the first time I woke up without my head.
-- Maida, not quite finishing a thought
about headaches.

Spegs lives in the cemetary.
-- Sheri, explaining file placement

It's Our Lady of Bugalupe
-- Maida, explaining the candle on her monitor.

You're not an idiot.  You just have nice soft
pants on.
-- T.Ray

I feel like I've married my Dad.
-- Leslie

I want to get Mrs. Flowers alone...
-- T. Ray

I can't drive
in these eyes.
-- Sheri, in her scary red eyes at

Unused Graphics

Who knows The Secret of this Old Clock? An unused stopwatch cursor icon appears in both OBJECT0.tga and TOOLCUR1.tga (both in CifTree.dat). This would have most likely been used as a wait indicator.

These pictures are used as part of a testing mode that evaluates your computer's handling of the game. To access this testing mode, change the line in game.ini from



There's no signal. Must've just missed The Final Scene.

static1.avf is this static animation, which would've been used between clips on Jake's video. static2.avf is used instead for this purpose. The only perceptible difference is a split-second of a stutter in the unused animation where the snow apparently stops moving.

An area of the game that isn't a Danger by Design.

This closeup image of a bookshelf is never used, despite another useless bookshelf that can be zoomed-in on in the game.

Computers are the best way to Stay Tuned for Danger these days. (I'll stop.)

These are the selected versions of the icons on the computer in the teacher's lounge. These are never used, because the various shots of the computer screen already show the proper icon as selected.

I see three pieces of paper in that safe more important than that scrap of legal pad paper. And you thought 4x4 was hard!

These two pictures show off an unused 5x5 variation of the slider puzzle in Aunt Eloise's safe. Aside from the tiles, the only other remnant is this shot of the 5x5 version after it's been opened (no closed version exists like for the 3x3 and 4x4 versions).

This would suggest that, originally, Junior Detective mode would have the 3x3 puzzle, Senior Detective would have the 4x4, and Master Detective the 5x5. Instead, the final gives the 3x3 to Junior and Senior Detective, and the 4x4 to Master Detective. The reason for the removal is unclear, but difficulty considerations are a possibility.

Changed Graphics

Early Final
Stupid novelty padlock and its "Pixelated Tumblers" TRU-LOCK Advanced Edition™

On Disc 2, there's an earlier version of Jake's padlock. It has placeholder graphics for the tumblers (the final game has the tumblers separate from the image, which is why the final's tumblers are blank), and lacks the polish of the final render.

Early Final
Without the burger With the burger
Early Final
Without the burger With the burger. Now you know.

D06.avf and D2.avf are unused versions of D6.avf and D02.avf, respectively. The difference is the lack of a burger in the picture hanging in the upper-left.

Early Final
I see the light. Great, guess I didn't make it out of the boiler. Florida! I'm alive!

There is an unused version of the vent exit, where the outside scenery isn't visible.

Early Final
Bye, deathtrap! The Cup of Inflated Significance

The lighting of the boiler room from the vent entrance is different, highlighting the cup on the crate in the final. The vent grate off to the side is also different.

Vampire Diaries Leftovers

Her Interactive's previous game was Vampire Diaries, and there are some leftovers from this game. Note that these images originally had a green background. This has been changed to black for your sanity.

Nd01 sck unused 2FONT.png Nd01 sck unused 4FONT.png These two gothic fonts (2FONT.tga and 4FONT.tga) don't appear in the game, but seem appropriate for Vampire Diaries.

These 6(!) credits images, CRED02.tga through CRED07.tga, are in a very different style from the actual game's credits (in CRED01.tga). As evidenced by the last image, these come from Vampire Diaries. Interestingly, the song "Precious Life" still exists in this game, as "Twist and Fall" on the jukebox.