The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript

The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript

26 August 2018

Copyright © 2018 Balmoral Software ( Portions copyright © 2006 by Elecktro Games/Nobilis/Totem Studio/Kheops Studio/MZone Studio. All rights reserved. Republication, redistribution or conversion is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Balmoral Software.

Table of Contents


The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript is a 2006 point-and-click adventure from Nobilis and Kheops Studios, creators of such games as The Secrets of Atlantis and Safecracker. You play a fictional character tasked with finding a manuscript written by Leonardo da Vinci within the castle in France in which he spent the last years of his life.

Graphics throughout the game are excellent, very detailed and realistic. A remarkably-accurate virtual creation of Chateau Cloux (pronounced "clue") has a variety of areas to explore. See the section below for a comparison of the simulated and present-day structure. Although there are only a few cyberpuppet characters in the game, they are well-executed and have excellent voice acting.

Gameplay covers a period of four days, and individual objectives throughout the game can be done in different orders, in different ways and at different times, in some cases extending over multiple days. For example, ingredients in a combination of inventory items may be substituted with other choices available in different areas or at different times in the game. There are a variety of side activities, but some are not essential to moving along the plot of the game. Although there is a great deal of non-linearity, there still are trigger events required to advance to the next chapter (day) in the story, and some of these can be obscure. A diary that contains lists of goals for each day may not be of much help since a frequent occurrence is that all current goals are completed but the game doesn't seem to progress. There is also a scoring feature with bonus points and a dashboard that's supposed to rate the good/evil characteristics of your character based on the choices he makes, but these devices didn't add much to the enjoyment of the game.

With this degree of non-linearity, there is no one "best" path through the game. The walkthrough below provides a short path through the essential parts of the game (possibly not the shortest), but excludes some of those optional side activities not essential to advance the gameplay. Gameplay possibilities are sensitive to the dialog choices made previously. There's no way to repeat dialog, so you must pay close attention or take screenshots if subtitles are turned on.

The inventory interface is accessed with a right-click of the mouse, and is relatively straightforward although the sheer number of items can be a bit cumbersome. There is generally no way to dump inventory items. Unfortunately, pickable inventory items cannot be identified with a mouseover prior to adding them to an already-cluttered inventory. In several cases, there are alternate locations of inventory items, and some inventory items can be replaced with a little effort by the player. Also, several inventory items can be replenished from their original locations, or multiple copies of an item taken at one time. A portfolio feature in the inventory interface allows examination of written materials gathered in the game, and many of its pages are interactive in some way. The portfolio allows the use of three specific tools after the corresponding item is added to the inventory.

The mouse cursor was very sluggish at the game Save/Load screens and main menu. You can hold down the up and down triangle icons to scroll through the list of saved games. If the keyboard arrow keys are used, saved-game screenshots are shown while moving through the list. We experienced system lock-ups if the game was left inactive at the Load Game screen.

But all in all, The Secrets of Da Vinci is a fun and immersive experience within a (mostly) historically-accurate environment with an intriguing gameplay and interesting characters.

Day 1: 22 September 1522

Rooms shown in italics in Chateau Cloux are identified on the maps of each floor.

New Game


Valdo's Room

Open desk drawer

Take Knife & Charcoal crayon

Open lower drawer of chest

Take Brandy


Take bottle of Oil next to lit candle

On the other side of the candle, take Egg

Dining Room

Take Bottle of water from the table


Take stick

Put the stick onto the saw and operate the foot pedal to cut it in two

Take the two Small sticks from the saw

From the Workshop, make your way upstairs using the main staircase

At the top of the stairs, there's a dead-end hallway to the left, but nothing much happens there

Leonardo's Bedroom

Take Mirror from the decorative cabinet to the left of the fireplace

Take Sheet of paper with triangles on it from the nightstand and load it into the portfolio

In the portfolio, use the mirror to translate the writing under at least one of the triangle symbols

On the reverse side of that page, use the charcoal crayon to reveal two sections of embossed writing

Translate the result to identify the riddle "At the foot of the sacred fire of the house of dreams"

Go to the other side of the room and identify the Fire symbol at the top of the bed

Move carpet

Use Knife on floorboard

Take Sheet of paper & Key mould

When loaded into the portfolio and translated, the paper indicates that bronze is made from copper and tin

Examine the top of the John the Baptist painting to the right of the fireplace and get Key

Use Key to open door to Study

(An alternate way of entering the Study is through the door from Babou's Bedroom using a repaired ladder in the courtyard)


Examine Leonardo's self-portrait by the left-hand window

Take the Sheet of paper and load it into the portfolio

Solve the gears puzzle by correctly placing large and small gears:

Gears Puzzle
Operate the clock by clicking on the lower left gear


Day 2: 23 September 1522


Take Ladder


Take 3 Charcoal

Take Split logs

Take Pliers

Go up ladder

Take Grains of wheat

Take Broom


Take Thyme

Take Lemon


Saw Broom into Wooden shaft & Short broom

Take large Gear at the foot of the wooden printing press

From mantel, take Iron box, Lighter & large Drill bit

Use Pliers on paper above mantel to get Sheet of paper & Nail

Add Sheet of paper to portfolio

Solve the pump puzzle by correctly placing the movable parts:

Pump Puzzle   (final positions shown)
Click on the complicated device in the box at center left, then click on the Archimedean screw at lower right to operate the fountain at the top


Turn around and move toward the crooked door

Turn around and take the small star-shaped Gear on the floor

Make a note of the position (page, row, column) of any engraved plate(s) in your inventory since they are indistinguishable

Take the Engraved plate lying on top of the wooden box

This is the only engraved plate you must have in the game

Make a note of the position (page, row, column) of the workshop engraved plate just added to your inventory (the position of an inventory item generally doesn't change until the item is used)

Put the large Gear into the drill press

Attach the large Drill bit

Use the crank

Take the Perforated gear

Put the small Gear into the drill press

Use the crank

Take the Perforated gear

Take Crank

Attach the star-shaped small gear to the jack on top of the wooden box

Take Jack


Click on the door to see that it is locked (required much later to advance in the game)


Exit the house through the main entrance and make your way forward into the garden area, where you will encounter a large rotating bridge

Add Perforated gear to one of the windlasses

Take Iron bar

Use the other windlass

Cross bridge

Go past a beehive to a brick structure designed for housing birds


Take Copper object

Take Long rope

Go up ladder

Take Pewter dish

Return to the small footbridge just in front of the big rotating bridge

Place ladder across stream to mill

Cross over ladder -- oops!

Put Small stick on ladder

Put Small stick on ladder

Cross stream

Turn left

Cut weeds with Knife to get a Reed

Return outside the mill

Wear Reed (snorkel)

Dive into water near the waterwheel

Use Knife to free debris from waterwheel

Exit from underwater

Take Dead leaves


Take and wear Gloves

Put Copper object into crucible

Put Pewter dish into crucible

Put Dead leaves into fireplace

Put Split logs into fireplace

Ignite wood

Put crucible into fireplace

Cover and cook

Remove crucible from fireplace

Put Key mould on table

Pour crucible

Open mould and take Bronze key

(You could alternatively have purchased ready-made bronze from Saturnin, for a price)

Move lever at right to turn millstone above

Put Grains of wheat into funnel

Take Flour

Take Beekeeper's veil

Exit Mill and take Dead leaves


Don Beekeeper's veil

Open lid of gray smoker at right

Insert Dead leaves


Take Bee smoker

Use Bee smoker on beehive

Remove lid from beehive and set aside to the left

Take two Honeybee combs

Doff veil

Saturnin's Room

Take Fountain system

Click twice on bowl of (white) sugar on table

Give 2 gold coins to Saturnin

Take Sugar

Click on sheet of paper

Give 1 gold coin to Saturnin

Take Sheet of paper

Give 1 gold coin to Saturnin

Take Sheet of paper

Exit to courtyard

Put Fountain system into the pool



Get an Engraved plate from Babou

Go to the work table in the corner

Take Empty phial of ink (dirty glass) & light-green Phial of sulphur from lower shelf

Take sheet of paper affixed to the wall behind the two phials you just took

Add sheet to portfolio and translate the text above the curved-hand sketch to identify the ingredients for black ink: Egg, Powdered charcoal & Water

Make Powdered charcoal in mortar and pestle

Add Charcoal powder, Egg & Bottle of water to yellow plate at right

Use Empty phial of ink on plate

Talk to Babou

Of course, I'm listening!
Take Lyre

Identifying the strings from left to right as A B C D E, click on the strings

A B C, then D B B A


Slide out drawer underneath printing press

Open lid of drawer

Place the Engraved plate from the inventory position noted previously

Use Phial of ink on plate

Put Blank sheet of paper on inked plate

Close lid of drawer

Push drawer back under press

Click on press screw twice

Retrieve printed paper from drawer and load into portfolio

Translate to obtain fumagent (smoke bomb) recipe: heat Water, Sugar & Saltpetre

Many of the portfolio sheets are animated, and this one is no exception -- click on the 2 cannon at lower right of the left-hand page

Translate to obtain gunpowder ingredients: Saltpetre, Sulphur & Charcoal

Outside Storeroom

Talk to Saturnin

Madam de la Bourdaisiere has lost her voice, I wondered whether you knew of a good remedy?
Obtain remedy ingredients: Honey, Thyme, Lemon & Water

Talk to Saturnin again

I found two frames in the beehive. Do you know how to extract the honey?
Saturnin needs some time to prepare the honey, so visit the Dining Room or the front of the house and return to him to get Honey


Take Monocle & Blood stone from drawer of desk in front of the fireplace

Take Empty bowl from the table near the sofa

Go to the workbench in the corner

Make remedy:

Open stove door

Insert Charcoal


Close stove door

Remove Gooseneck

Add Honey, Thyme, Lemon & Water to copper pot

Use Empty bowl on copper pot

Give Bowl full of syrup to Babou

Get access to Babou's sitting room

Sitting Room

It's incongruous to have a telescope in this room since it wasn't invented until 1608, some 86 years later

Use telescope and learn about Salai

Open hatch in telescope

Use Knife on telescope, get Broken lens

Put Monocle into telescope

Zoom in on telescope eyepiece to see Saturnin hiding a boat


Day 3: 24 September 1522

Now in Valdo's Room


Move bags from trapdoor

Attach Long rope to pulley overhead

Attach Crank to wheel on wall

Use Crank to raise trapdoor

Take Crank

Ignite lamp on underside of trapdoor

Take lit lamp

Use Lamp

Descend steps into cellar


Take Saltpetre from wall

Take Saltpetre from wall

Move forward, turn around and ignite candles overhead

Put Wooden shaft onto flying machine

At the other end of the cellar, look at dirty plate leaning against the table (not the barrels)

Put Flour onto dirty plate

A Blank sheet of paper in inventory is used

Leonardo's Bedroom

Solve Leonardo's cabinet puzzle:

Use Bronze key in keyhole of decorative cabinet

Note that each of 16 symbols is defined by the position of a white diamond in one of four positions. These diamonds are controlled by the buttons around the perimeter of the cabinet. The objective is to get all of the diamonds at the top, as shown by the 17th reference symbol below the keyhole:

Leonardo's Cabinet
To reset the puzzle, step away to another location in the room

Using the following notation for the diamond-shaped buttons clockwise around the perimeter:

	  A B  C D 
	.          E
	H          .
	.          F
	G          .
press the 10-move sequence
in any order. This is the shortest solution to open the cabinet, and also the fewest different buttons to press (5).

Take the Roll of parchment. Nothing else is needed from the cabinet unless additional gold coins are required.

Take Bronze key

Load the Roll of parchment into the portfolio to disclose a map of the Chateau with four directional dials in the corners corresponding to the Sun, Star, Moon & Saturn symbols

Sitting Room

Put Oil on telescope

Rotate telescope using its arm

Look into telescope

Burn poster on the wall (click Lighter on woman's forehead)

Talk to Babou

You're right. Leonardo did use his telescope to look at the sky, but not necessarily the one we thought!
Leonardo's Bedroom

Face the bookshelf in the corner

Spell out the name S A L A I by pressing:

S on Row 2, the 4th book from the left
A L on Row 3, the 5th and 3rd books from the right
A I on Row 1, the 7th and 4th books from the left
If this is done correctly, the books stay pushed back until the word is finished

This opens a shortcut to the stairs outside Valdo's room

Outside Storeroom

Move forward to the pool

Use the Empty bottle of water on the pool to refill it

Turn around and approach Saturnin

Talk to Saturnin

Give Brandy to Saturnin

Your thoughts are running wild. I was just trying to be pleasant!
Take 2 multicolored Lenses from closed cabinet in Saturnin's Room

Sitting Room

Put 2 Lenses onto telescope

Look through telescope 3 times after selecting unique pairs of unequal colors on the lenses


Solve the globe puzzle:

Rotate blue globe to see lines of diamond shape under bands

Rotate band extending to lower left until 2 stars are precisely centered

Rotate band extending to lower right until 2 stars are precisely centered

Rotate horizontal band until globe opens up

Take Medallion


Outside Storeroom (via bookshelf)

Click on black cat

Sitting Room

Talk to Babou

Does Alkahest's name mean anything to you?
Dovecot (via gangway)

Go up ladder

Put on Gloves if not already wearing them

Take Medallion from cat


Use Jack at bottom of askew door

Attach Crank to jack

Use crank

Take Jack & Crank

Close door

Open metal cabinet

Solve the marble puzzle:

The goal of this puzzle is to alternately place 7 Red and 6 Yellow balls into the labeled receptacles at the bottom. It helps to make a note of each ball color that is deposited so that you can ensure they are alternating in color (the first ball is Red). The buttons in the centers of the circles control their rotation:

	Left circle:         Right circle:

	Clockwise            Counterclockwise
	Counterclockwise     Clockwise
The practical limit is 4 balls loaded onto the left circle at one time. The weight at upper right can be pulled to rotate the outer ring of balls and load them into the left circle if it has an opening. Step away to another location in the room to reset the puzzle to its starting configuration.

When the desired sequence R Y R Y R Y R Y R Y R Y R of 13 balls is correctly deposited into the receptacles at the bottom, a clicking sound is heard and the red and yellow bowls at the bottom rebalance. Pull the wooden lever at lower right to disclose an elevator.

Enter the elevator, turn around and use the lever to descend



Proceed forward through the tunnel until it ends and you can turn left

Use Short broom on floor patterns

Use incomplete Sheet of paper on floor patterns, then apply Charcoal crayon to it

Take Sheet of paper and add to portfolio

Proceed into the room

Turn right and use both Medallions on the corresponding places on the door plate

Use Lamp

Descend stone steps

Rotate slightly right to a dark oval with a jagged left edge, and move forward

Rotate left and pass through a framed opening in the metal bars

Rotate left and move into a dark tunnel that has no metal bars visible

Move forward towards a torch burning in the distance

An optional jewel can be found here

Turn left and enter the side chamber

Open the metal door hatch

It squeaks loudly after moving a little bit

Use Oil on the hatch

The Oil icon at upper left disappears to show it's been applied

Open the hatch the rest of the way


Retrace your steps through 3 intermediate nodes (now moving slightly right each time) until the stone steps are visible ahead

Click on the steps to hear Babou call to you


Get a signet ring & marked Sheet of paper from the King

Day 4: 25 September 1522


Sitting Room

Babou tells you about the guards surrounding the chateau

Put the marked Sheet of paper into the portfolio:

Dials Puzzle
Click on each symbol on the right page to turn it orange, then on the corresponding number at left

The first time this is done on each line, a white smudge will appear at right

When all symbols have been turned orange, click each white area with the Blood stone to record the complete number, using the triangular pointer of the gears icon, not the point of the crayon

When finished, the symbol/number associations top to bottom are:

	Sun        120
	Star       240
	Moon        60
	Saturn     310
Turn one page to the right in the portfolio to show the Chateau map, which now has gray rays extending from each of the four corner dials

Dial in the proper ray angles using the number of degrees above and the directional arrows surrounding each dial (10 degrees per mouse click, clockwise from 0 degrees at north)

This discloses a red X somewhere outside the main entrance to the Chateau

Kitchen (via bookshelf)

Saturnin talks to Valdo

Babou's Bedroom

Take key from mannequin

Sitting Room

Solve Babou's cabinet puzzle:

Use Key (with string attached) in keyhole of cabinet

Note that each of the 16 multi-colored symbols is defined by two pointers, one white and the other yellow. These pointers are independently controlled by separate groups of buttons around the perimeter of the cabinet, and so this puzzle is actually a combination of two puzzles, each of which is similar to that of Leonardo's cabinet. The yellow pointers are controlled by the tan-colored buttons on the left side and top of the cabinet, and the white pointers are controlled by the gray-colored buttons on the other two sides. The objective is to get all of the yellow pointers at the top and all of the white ones at the bottom, as shown by the reference symbol below the keyhole:

Babou's Cabinet
To reset the puzzle, step away to another location in the room

Using the following notation for the diamond-shaped buttons clockwise around the perimeter:

	  A B  C D
	P          E
	O          F
	N          G
	M          H
	  L K  J I
press the 13-move sequence
in any order. This is the shortest solution to open the cabinet, and also the fewest different buttons to press (8).

In the drawer, move the mask over the center of three sheets


Go to the far end of the gangway

Take Pebbles from the floor, if needed

Select Pebbles from inventory so that an icon is showing at upper left

When both guards are visible and facing away, throw Pebbles at the chapel, then quickly go downstairs and on to the bridge

Turn right and cross into the brush between the mill and the windlass

Pick up the brush and move it to the far right

Go onto boat

Navigate the boat towards the dovecot, picking up the Ladder along the way

When the dovecot is seen ahead, rotate left and throw a Pebble under the footbridge to distract the guard

Quickly dock the boat and enter the dovecot

There are more pebbles here if you're out

Take cloth Sheet & The Mona Lisa

Go up ladder

When you can see the guard through the window, throw a Pebble onto the board to attract him

After the guard appears below, use Iron bar or Short broom on the barrel

Go down ladder and take the Guard's uniform

Wear Guard's uniform

Return to the front of the house, and another guard will accost you

Leave me alone, I know what I've got to do!

Talk to Saturnin

I can't hold on any longer Saturnin. I'll never succeed in solving Leonardo's puzzles in time! I'll end up in the hands of the guards outside.
Saturnin describes corrections that must be made to the angle dials on the Chateau map:

	Sun                 no change
	Star                -10
	Moon                +10
	Saturn (planet)     -10
The new angles then are:

	Sun        120
	Star       230
	Moon        70
	Saturn     300
Enter these new angles on the Chateau map in the portfolio to show that the red-X position of Leonardo's codex is actually in the chapel

Talk to Saturnin

The door to the chapel is closed. Have you got the key?

Take Charcoal


Make smoke bomb (fumigant):

Put Saltpetre, Sugar & Water into the copper pot on the stove

Open stove door

Insert Charcoal


Close stove door

Use Iron box on copper pot to get Fumigant

Make gunpowder:

Make Powdered charcoal in mortar and pestle

Put Charcoal powder, Saltpetre & Phial of sulphur onto yellow plate at right

Take (gun)Powder

Use Bronze key to open the locked cabinet with glass doors

Take Red paint, Blue paint, Yellow paint & Varnish (paint thinner)

Sitting Room

Babou talks to Valdo

Me either, I must admit. But I need your help.
Get chapel Key


Use Key to unlock chapel door and enter

There is no door at left corresponding to the big one seen outside!

Chapel Interior Chapel Exterior

Put the Ring into the altar hole

Take the Sceptre and put it on the ring

Get Manuscript

Take Sceptre & Ring


Go up ladder

Put Ring on black bird


Put Red paint, Yellow paint, Blue paint & Varnish into the holes in the bottom of the right-hand easel

Open the metal panel behind the door leading to the chapel hallway

Pull the lever at lower right to raise the elevator

Take the elevator down and exit into the tunnel


The Manuscript is given to Hector

Take the elevator back to the Workshop


Talk to Saturnin and get a Wooden bow


Saturnin inexplicably refers to 300 years ago:

It was 1st May 1519.
Leonardo died the day after,
a little over three hundred years ago.
But Leonardo died only 3 years before the current year of the game (1522), which is also confirmed by the information in the opening scene of the game that Valdo was recently a pupil of Francesco Melzi (1491-1568)

The Fumigant (smoke bomb) is given to Saturnin


Put the Wooden bow into the drill press

Remove the large Drill bit and replace it with the thinner one in your inventory

Attach the Crank

Use the crank

Take the Crank

Take the Bow made of perforated wood


Put the Bow made of perforated wood onto the flying machine

Saturnin's Room

Take Sewing spool from far left side of table (have to try twice)


Copy the Mona Lisa:

Remove sheet from right-hand easel

Put the Mona Lisa onto the left-hand easel

Put the Nail onto the left-hand easel

Put the Sewing spool onto the left-hand easel

Use the black crayon at the bottom of the right-hand easel on the following squares:

Mona Lisa Sketch
(There are three other solutions due to rotational symmetries)

This completes a charcoal drawing of the Mona Lisa

Click once on each of the 25 colored squares to disclose a jumbled version of the painting:

Jumbled Mona Lisa
A shortcut to solve the puzzle is to use Alt-Tab to return to the desktop, then Alt-Shift-Tab to return to the game. The puzzle is instantly solved!
Unjumbled Mona Lisa
Pick up the brush from the right-hand easel

Dip the brush into the red paint

Thin out the color by dipping the paint-tipped brush into the jar of clear varnish

Click the brush on the painting several times until Valdo speaks

Wipe off the brush using the rag at lower right

Repeat the above 4 steps for the Yellow paint and Blue paint until the painting is finished

Take the copy from the right-hand easel

Take the original & Sewing spool from the left-hand easel


At the bottom of the steps, take the Cannonball

At the far end of the cellar, use the Jack on the broken cannon

Apply the Crank to the jack

Use the crank

Open the small lid on the top of the cannon

Insert (gun)Powder

Insert the cannonball into the muzzle of the cannon

Ignite the far right end of the cannon

Enter the Tunnel corridor through the hole in the wall

Hector was knocked out by the blast, but if you'd already opened the cellar wall previously, you can knock him out with the Iron bar

Take Manuscript from Hector


Leave the original Mona Lisa in the corner

Sitting Room

Talk to Babou


Game crashes on exiting from the credits

Engraved Plates

From Babou: Revolving bridge (optional)

In Workshop: Recipe for fumagent (smoke bomb) & gunpowder (required to advance gameplay)

In Cellar: Alberti's grid (optional)

There is enough Ink in one creation for all three Engraved Plates


Ink: Egg, Powdered charcoal & Water

Gunpowder: Saltpetre, Sulphur & Charcoal

Fumigant (smoke bomb): Heat Water, Sugar & Saltpetre

Brandy: Heat and distill Wine

Perfume: Heat and distill Flower & Water

Comparison of Virtual and Actual Worlds

As can be seen in the screenshots and photos below, the game's virtual creation of Chateau Cloux (now a museum called Chateau du Clos Luce) is remarkably accurate:

Simulated Chateau
Cloux Exterior Actual Chateau
Cloux Exterior

Bedroom Actual


Chateau de Cloux Second Floor Map

Chateau de Cloux First Floor Map

Chateau de Cloux Cellar Map

Table of Contents


Copyright © 2018 Balmoral Software ( Portions copyright © 2006 by Elecktro Games/Nobilis/Totem Studio/Kheops Studio/MZone Studio. All rights reserved. Republication, redistribution or conversion is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Balmoral Software.