The prologue is written by Nancy in a letter to her friend, Bess Marvin, saying she is going to St. Louis with a friend from high school, Maya Nguyen, to interview Brady Armstrong at the Royal Palladium Theater in St. Louis. Brady is the heartthrob actor who plays the lead role in the "Vanishing Destiny", a new movie, which is set to be the last screening ever at the Royal Palladium. The theater has been a landmark since 1925. Due to its failing structure it is scheduled to be demolished in three days. In the 1920s great magicians, such as Harry Houdini performed there.
When they first arrive, Maya goes to interview Brady, and Nancy decides to check out the snacks. Nancy hears a scream and rushes to Brady's room to find that Maya is missing. Nancy then receives a threatening phone call, telling her:
|“||Listen carefully: If they knock the theater down the girl goes with it.||”|
On the first day, Nancy explores the theater and meets the star of Vanishing Destiny, Brady Armstrong, his agent, Simone Mueller, the theater's caretaker, Joseph Hughes, and protesting group HADIT's (which is protesting against the demolition) leader, Nicolas Falcone. After Nancy calls the police, the police refuse to get involved with the kidnapping unless Maya has been missing for twenty four hours. Nancy is then determined to find evidence of Maya's kidnapping and begins to search the theater. At the end of day 1, Brady discovers Maya's press pass, and gives it to Joseph, who gives it to Nancy. Nancy calls the police to tell them of the evidence-however, the police still refuse to get involved because they aren't convinced that Maya was really kidnapped. Nancy then goes to the hotel she is staying at, and the game progresses to Day 2.
Day 2 begins with Nancy seeing a funeral wreath that the kidnapper sent. The funeral wreath suggests that Maya will die if Nancy doesn't stop the demolition. Nancy then discovers that someone unknown has printed and posted "Missing" fliers of Maya and has posted them all over the theater. The day progresses as Nancy finds the magician's room, and see Maya's feet for a second before Maya is moved to another location. Nancy then gets stuck as she tries to get into the magician's room, and once she gets in there, Maya is gone. However, there is evidence she was there - Nancy finds empty pizza boxes and Maya's shoe. She then calls the police with the evidence, only to find out they won't be there until morning. The game progresses to the final day.
Day 3 begins with Joseph explaining that the police searched the magicians room, but they never found any of the pizza boxes, or Maya's shoe. He tries to convince Nancy that she had dreamed up the pizza boxes. At the time of the demolition, Nancy hides out while everyone evacuates the theater, in order to continue her investigating. Nancy finds out that the "owner" of the theater, who is planning the demolition, does not contain full ownership of the theater. After she discovers this, she encounters the culprit. He/she locks Nancy into the projection room and she then has to escape, and then, find Maya and stop the demolition.
Maya Nguyen - Maya is Nancy's reporter friend that she came with to see the premiere of Vanishing Destiny before the theater is demolished. She was scheduled to interview the star, Brady Armstrong, for her college newspaper before she was kidnapped.
Brady Armstrong - Brady is the star of the movie Vanishing Destiny that Maya and Nancy have gone to interview. Maya was kidnapped from his dressing room. His life and appearance are often in control of his agent. Is he really as dependent as he seems?
Simone Mueller - Simone is Brady's self-centered agent who is always on the phone in the woman's dressing room. When Maya disappears she decides to cancel "Vanishing Destiny" and make it look as though Brady is trying to save her. Is she just trying to rake in the publicity, or did she cause it in the first place?
Joseph Hughes - Joseph is the caretaker of the Royal Palladium who works in the projector room. He is very open and friendly. He is deeply connected to the theater, but acts as though he is fine with its demolition.
Nicholas Falcone - Nicholas is the leader of "H.A.D I.T" or "Humans Against the Destruction of Illustrious Theaters". They are leading a protest against the demolition of The Royal Palladium. He acts like he's innocent and only wants to help but the police say they have found him faking a kidnapping before to save a theater....is he doing an encore performance?
Eustacia Andropov - Harry Houdini's cousin by marriage whom Nancy talks to about the Royal Palladium. You can only speak to her by phone.
- Nancy Drew -- Lani Minella
- Joseph Hughes/Sergeant Mac Ramsey -- Bob Heath
- Brady Armstrong -- David S. Hogan
- Nicholas Falcone/Construction Worker -- Alan Smythe
- Simone Mueller -- Keri Healey
- Bess Marvin -- Punchy LaRue
- George Fayne -- Maureen Nelson
- Ned Nickerson/Sherman Trout -- Scott Carty
- The Amazing Monty -- David S. Hogan
- Eustacia Andrapov -- Alena Saunders
Deaths in the Nancy Drew games are mistakes that don't always lead to death, but are serious enough to get Nancy off the case. In the Nancy Drew games, fatal errors can be done over through the second chance option.
- Attempting to get the gear on the second level without the wand and falling.
- Not pulling the box above the trap door up high enough, so that it falls and kills you when you try to go to the basement
- Punching in the gate's code without wearing the rubber gloves.
- Getting hit by the falling lamp.
- Not hiding from the police in the wardrobe in time and getting caught.
- Not stopping the demolition in time.
- Simone Muller suggests that Nancy's stage name be 'Samantha Quick'. Samantha Quick is later mentioned in The Phantom of Venice, and she actually calls Nancy on the phone in that game.
- Brady Armstrong is mentioned in the Curse of Blackmoor Manor, and his face appears in the game "Model Match" from Jane's Game Portal in Danger By Design.
- When you are in the ladies dressing room (where Simone Muller is) you can find a Her Interactive cup.
- In a later Nancy Drew computer game, Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake, Eustacia Andropov is someone that you may speak with on the phone after you have spoken with Mickey Malone's old girlfriend.
- At the end of the game, it shows a magazine with a newsflash on the cover, describing thefts involving a scarlet hand. This is a reference to the next Nancy Drew game, Secret of the Scarlet Hand
- First game to include the timer feature, and still is the only one to have it.
- Punchy LaRue is mentioned again in The Phantom of Venice when Nancy must acquire a costume by dancing, the director tells her her stagename is "Punchy LaRue".
- In the hallway that wraps around the theater, one of the pictures advertises the American musical Nebraska, by Rogers & Cumberstum. This may be a tribute to the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!.
- When you poking around in Brady's bag where you get the pencil from on day 3 you find Maya's notebook which leads to a scene which revels Brady's REAL last name.