Dale Vandermeer is a homicide detective. He is one of the main protagonists of Cube Escape, and makes several appearances throughout the series.
Cube Escape: Case 23[edit | edit source]
During the Fall of 1971, Dale leads the investigation on the murder of the Woman. He finds the Woman's dead body lying on the floor, with a trail of blood leading into the Room. When he tries to enter, the door disappears. Looking around, he notices a newspaper on the coffee table, advertising a trip to Rusty Lake. He calls the number on the paper, and is answered by Mr. Crow, who does not provide any answers. After the phone conversation, Dale discovers the Woman's body hanging upside down. Black moths come out of her mouth as her body rises out of sight. The moths fly in formation to spell out the code to her safe, which contains the key to the Rusty Lake archive.
For months, Dale cannot focus on anything other than the events that occurred after he found the Woman's body. In the Summer of 1972, he decides to collect all of the information he can about Rusty Lake, and locks himself in his office in order to try and learn more about the Lake. In his office he has a mysterious television, with a device attached to change its channels. When he inputs 247 into the TV, Bob in handcuffs appears on the screen, who reveals that he is a Corrupted Soul. After killing the accompanying Policeman, Bob lunges at the window. He breaks the window pane and disappears, leaving a black cube. After inputting the code 746 into the TV, the Woman appears on the screen. She reaches through the top of the TV and gives Dale a white cube. With both cubes collected he inputs 392 into the TV and places the cubes into two slots on the screen. A light on the strange machine next to the TV lights up. shooting a beam of light to the ceiling fan. Slowly the ceiling fades away as the fan spins faster, and Dale falls into a deep sleep.
When Dale wakes up, he finds himself on the floor of the Chapel. Outside of the chapel door there is a boatman in the distance, whom Dale calls with torch signals. By cutting the boatman's sewed mouth open with scissors, the boatman's mouth widens to reveal Mr. Crow. He rows Dale to a small island in the middle of the Lake, and drops him off at the Cabin. Mr. Crow leaves him without another word, and Dale does not understand what to do. However, while at first all seems serene, the longer he spends in the Cabin, the more disturbed things become. The deer standing outside will become decapitated, and be replaced by a Corrupted Soul with antlers. Dale hurries to activate the elevator hidden within the Cabin, and rides it into the Lake as the Soul watches in silence.
Cube Escape: The Mill[edit | edit source]
Mr. Owl has left Mr. Crow a note on the top floor of the Mill in 1972, revealing that he believes Dale may be the one who can stop the Corrupted Souls who are wandering the Lake. It says that if Dale can find the two cubes, Mr. Owl will bring the storm and Mr. Crow must take Dale to the Cabin.
Dale is seen through the TV screen on the Mill's top floor, when he picked up the phone to call "Rusty Lake Mental Health and Fishing" in Case 23, and speaks to Mr. Crow. After this conversation is finished, Dale places the black and white cubes into the TV screen, from whence he disappears in a bright flash. Outside of the Mill's window there is a beam of light shining down by the Chapel, which falls upon Dale's unconscious body. Mr. Owl steps towards him, and causes him to rise mysteriously and begin a storm.
Rusty Lake Hotel[edit | edit source]
In 1893, once the player has delivered the five black cubes to Mr. Owl, he explains that the memories stored in these cubes are not only the key to the past, but also to the future. Underneath the plate cover is a white cube, which leads to a foggy Forest with Corrupted Souls wandering aimlessly around. Further into the forest an elevator is seen rising up in the distance. Dale stands inside, staring silently as the elevator continues to ride up into the Rusty Lake Hotel.
Cube Escape: Birthday[edit | edit source]
Dale is riding up the elevator in 1972, and he reveals that he has been reliving his memories, which have been captured in the cubes. One of the cubes appears in front of him, and takes him back to his home in 1939, when he was a child celebrating his ninth birthday. He receives a letter from Mr. Owl, which warns him that today will be the darkest day of his life, but the present he left for him would help him "turn his day around". In a sudden turn of events, Mr. Rabbit breaks down the door and shoots Dale's family dead. He leaves on the table a letter explaining that this substance from one of his past lives is his only chance of escaping his state. Dale also finds a postcard from Harvey in his father's jacket, with a photo of the Rusty Lake Hotel on the front.
After assembling Mr. Owl's present, he is given a blue cube, which, when placed into the clock, reverses time and resurrects his family. His grandfather asks him to get him the gun from his chest, which he then uses to shoot Mr. Rabbit as he breaks into the house. Dale's family survives, and Dale follows a blood trail out the door to find Mr. Rabbit, and watches as he is absorbed into the tree he is resting upon. A black cube is situated at the top of the tree, and it is turned to white as he is taken back out of the cube. He continues his ride on the elevator.
Cube Escape: Theatre[edit | edit source]
Dale is still on the elevator. He claims that the Lake is changing his memories, and that is past is not what it seems to be. He decides to let the cubes guide him, as a cube stops in front of him and takes him to the year of 1971 at the Rusty Lake Theatre. Dale looks into a mirror, and his reflection is split up. When it is reassembled, he briefly becomes a Corrupted Soul and says, "What is happening to me?" Behind the curtains, a man dressed as Mr. Owl steps forward, explaining that there are six plays that Dale must watch to continue his journey. By finishing five of the plays, the man returns, now wearing a mask of Dale's face. The man explains to him that Bob's memories now belong to the Lake, and that extracting the memories caused the Corrupted Soul, one of the six stages of the wheel. Upon completing the sixth play, the man congratulates Dale because his mind is "reaching a higher state of consciousness", and that he is learning about his past and future, on what he may become.
A lone man, Bob, sits at the bar. He has a letter from the Woman in his pocket. After Dale serves him a Bloody Mary, Bob shoots himself in the head, allowing Dale to travel into his mind to retrieve cubes to finish the fifth play. With the fifth play done, Bob leaves the bar to go sit in the bathroom. He leaves a coaster on the bar counter with the following: "I feel dead inside, why did you take my memory?". When trying to approach him, he lifts his head up revealing that he is corrupted, and shuts the door. The Corrupted Soul reemerges to watch Dale as he enters the elevator to continue his ride.
Cube Escape: The Cave[edit | edit source]
In 1972, he appears in the white cube in the depths of the Forest. He is strapped into a chair, and a contraption is lowered onto his head. Flipping the switch to the contraption briefly corrupts him. After a golden cube is created by the larger machine his chair is connected to, he stands up and walks over to the elevator. However, his eyes remain closed, and he continues to temporarily become corrupt. After the player gives him the golden cube he goes into the elevator, holding the cube as he continues his journey upwards.
Dale also has cameo appearances in the Cave itself. He in is mentioned in the Book found in a cupboard within it, and features heavily in one of the chapters. The second chapter is titled "The Detective", and Dale is labelled as "The Traveler". This chapter explains that Dale's blue cube is used in combination with the Woman's black and white cubes to create the golden cube. A second appearance comes from one of the wall murals; Dale comes down on the elevator to the Forest. With Mr. Owl in his diving suit hovering over the black cubes, he walks through the Corrupted Souls to the white cube he is found in at the end of the game.
Cube Escape: Paradox[edit | edit source]
In 1972, Dale awakens in the Paradox Room, with no memory of how he got there but with the feeling that he had been there before. He is determined to find the Woman, and believes that Case 23 is the key to escaping his mind. After looking into the mirror he sees his Corrupted Soul and loses consciousness, having to rearrange his memories to wake up. Solving the room's puzzles, he takes a drink from the red vial and spits out the key to escape the room. Now in the Forest, he navigates through the trees with a map from Mr. Crow and comes to the edge of Rusty Lake, to watch Laura be killed by the Corrupted Soul and leave behind a black cube. He looks into it and sees himself inside, lying in the room as before.
He reawakens in the room, discovering that his time at Rusty Lake has been part of a psychiatric evaluation. He removes his brain and places it into a jar, learning that his "old mind" suffered severe damage from stress and anxiety causing it to become useless. Solving more puzzles he finds his "present mind" and puts it into his head, now seeing Mr. Crow sitting in the room. He tells Dale that he is there to examine his current mind, and after completing the test he is given his psychological file and his "mind of the past". After putting the past mind in his head, he is taken back to his birthday in 1939. He phones the magician, who pops out of his birthday present and kills his parents. Inside the present is a locked box, which contains his "mind of the future". With the future mind he finally meets the Woman, who informs him that one of them will die, and the other will be enlightened. He gets a black egg from Harvey, and takes out his mind again. Handing the egg to a figure behind a curtain, it is revealed to be Mr. Owl. He gives all of his minds to Mr. Owl, who then tells him that finding his Corrupted Soul is the final test, and hints that he needs a successor to rule the Lake. Dale takes a drink from the blue vial and turns into a Corrupted Soul, leaving the room into the Forest. As he walks through the Forest, he comes upon a dead Dale for a map, and takes the knife from Mr. Crow. Along the way he talks to a half-corrupted Dale, who tells him to embrace his Corrupted Soul, and a deer-headed Dale, who tells him that he knows he already made his choice. He also comes across an older Dale, who has hung himself from a tree, and the real-life Dale, who tells him that they are all trapped. At the edge of Rusty Lake, he goes behind the Woman and kills her, as another Dale watches. He looks into the black cube left by the Woman and sees himself inside the real-life room.
In an alternate ending, Dale drinks from the green vial and loses consciousness. Inside his mind, he learns that he cannot save the Woman unless he sacrifices himself to the Lake. In another alternate ending, he opens a locked cabinet to retrieve two diamond eyes and a golden cube. He places the eyes into a deer skull on the wall, which reveal the elevator behind the wall. With the golden cube in hand, Dale walks onto the elevator.
The White Door[edit | edit source]
During Bob's stay at The White Door in 1972, he relives his memories each night in his dreams. In his fourth dream, he remembers sitting at the bar in the Rusty Lake Theatre, drinking his sorrows away after learning of the Woman's death. After taking the pistol from the barman, Dale sits down beside him and asks for some matches to light his cigar. He tells Bob not to worry because he will find the Woman.
In Bob's fifth dream, he goes to The Lost Soul club after shooting himself in the head and forgetting everything. Inside he is greeted by deer-headed Dale, who asks what he has on his face as he can almost look through him. Bob puts his finger into the bullet wound in his head and remembers meeting Dale before, at the Police Station. Dale watches from behind the window, opening the blinds as Bob suddenly becomes corrupted and kills the Policeman. He tells Bob that he needs his memory, just as Bob's Corrupted Soul touches the window glass and shatters it.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In all games preceding Cube Escape: Paradox, he is voiced by Infant Tyrone. In following games and the short film he is voiced by David Bowles.
- His first name, "Dale", is also the name of the detective in Twin Peaks
- His family name, "Vandermeer", means "from the lake" in Dutch.
- So far, he is the player character in four games, making him the Rusty Lake character with the most games from their point of view.
- In Rusty Lake: Roots, it is revealed that Dale's birthdate is December 18th, 1930. Finding this in the Steam version of Rusty Lake: Roots will earn the player an achievement.
- In Cube Escape: Birthday, it states that it was Dale's 9th birthday. However, in Cube Escape: Paradox, the newspaper article states that it was Dale's 11th birthday.
- In Dale's psychological evaluation, it is revealed that he suffers from anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), and ichthyophobia (fear of fish). He suffers from youth trauma, substantial fears, anxieties, and a sense of loss. He is losing sight of reality in a recent murder case, which triggered several unprocessed memories.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See also: Dale Vandermeer/Gallery
|Dale Vandermeer • Mr. Vandermeer • Mrs. Vandermeer • Dale's Grandfather|