The Longest JourneyEdit
The boarding house in Venice where April, Emma, Charlie and Zack Lee live. It is run by Fiona and Mickey - Fiona handles the cleaning and looks after the people who live in the Border House (including the unpleasant - but fun - job of kicking people out when necessary), while Mickey focuses on the maintenance. The building itself has several bedrooms, of varying sizes - April says Charlie's room is twice the size of hers with its own bathroom - a kitchen, a communal bathroom, a downstairs living room with a sofa, Screen and noticeboard, and a basement. Everyone in the house chips in when it comes to chores and cooking duties.Situated near the Venice Bridges, the outside wall of the Border House is decorated with a strange mural of trees, a dragon, and a cloaked figure; April wonders what happened to the artist, and decides he or she is probably 'making a fortune from cheesy fantasy calendars and book covers'. There is a number "4" above the lintel, and nearby is a bench where Cortez usually sits, reading.
The Border House and the Fringe Cafe share similar names: they seem to be 'on the edge'. Fiona says the Border House was named because she sees it on the border between two worlds "art and spirit on the one hand, and science and technology on the other." It may not be a coincidence, therefore, that many of the strange occurrences that happen in Venice happen at one of these two places, including Fiona glimpsing an undersea city in the canal outside the Border House and a rainforest appearing in the living room during a nature documentary.
According to Fiona, the Border House used to be a factory (no doubt a remnant of Venice's industrial past). While she and Mickey were looking at the building, another company was planning to turn it into a bar and nightclub, but the Venice borough council decided to sell it to them at a reduced price provided they promised to offer cheap accomodation to students. Fiona says they knew the building was perfect as soon as they saw it.
- Although it appears to be a glitch, if you hover your cursor just to the left of the noticeboard the tool-tip "Painting" comes up. Clicking on this elicits April's comment: "It's a reproduction of an early Lebowski. Not a particular favorite of mine, but there you are", and a second click "It's an early Lebowski." As there is no real-world artist called Lebowski, this appears to be a reference to the film The Big Lebowski (1998), in which the character Maude Lebowski (played by Julianne Moore) is a painter whose work "has been commended as strongly vaginal." As Ragnar undoubtedly saw this subject matter as too strong for his game, the painting (visible during the cut-scene in which the living room becomes a rainforest) is a portrait of a woman who could be described as resembling Julianne Moore's character in the film.
- An early trailer for TLJ is available by finding and clicking the hidden button on the back of the stand for the Screen.
DreamfallEditIn Dreamfall, Charlie explains to Zoë Castillo that the Border House has been converted into the so-called 'Victory Hotel', but, as Zoë discovers, it is not a hotel at all. It is being used as an experimental facility by WATI to test the Dreamer Console. Surveillance equipment has been installed and the rooms have been stripped, with only mattresses and diagnostic equipment left behind. The only room left intact is April's, which is now inhabited by the supervisor, April's old friend Marcus Crozier. One of the test subjects, Ivar, is wandering the upstairs floors, while another unnamed woman follows Zoe on the lower floors, holding out her hands as if asking for help.
There is no sign of Fiona and Mickey, and internally the Border House is now virtually unrecognisable, with peeling paint on the walls and a secure door with a DNA lock. However Cortez's old bench, though broken, is still on the path out the front, and the mural April admired is still on the wall outside, not quite obscured by the graffiti. (One piece of graffiti gives the imaginative gang name "Venice Street Thugs" - the rest is illegible.)
In Dreamfall we also find out that April's room was 201, and the Border House was on at least five storeys, including a large basement and storage area. The kitchen was attached to the front room, and there is a garden in the back, as well as a set of train tracks which may or may not have been there when April was a resident. In Charlie's directions to Zoe for how to get there, he calls the 'street' the Border House is on "The Brink".One inconsistency between the Border House in TLJ and Dreamfall is that the room numbers in the latter are on the outer wall next to the door. In TLJ they were on the door itself. Also, the "mystifying" machine that controlled the water pressure is gone entirely, although it is possible it was salvaged for scrap. The lamp post has also moved closer to the house, now behind and to the right of the bench.