Saturday, June 9, 2012

Retroulette #21: Déjà Vu

The dame walks into my office with the grace of a dump truck. Her figure is slim, but being composed entirely of metal will have that effect on a lady. FataleBot, she gives her name, Femme FataleBot. Clutched tightly in her claws she holds a small box. She gives me a long story but I only focus on the important parts. This is a gig. She hands me the box.

Déjà Vu, it says, for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Odd. I feel like I've played this game before...

So, this game is an old school adventure game set in the world of a 40's detective novel.

The intro screen brings you into this world of giant floating disembodied heads and hands.

Max Payne's gramps, Steve Payne.

The game begins with your character in a bathroom, like any good game. You wake up from a stupor with a massive headache.

Stop! He's on the toilet, do I really want to know?

Oh thank god! I'm just bleeding you guys. It's just blood.

Of course, right after saying he feels no wounds he rolls up his sleeve and there's a wound. So right away we've got an unreliable narrator here.

But there's a reason for this!

What's a memory!?

Amnesia! I knew it. But then I forgot.

(Buckle up, I'm sure there's more memory puns ahead.)

So this is our interface.

This is definitely old school. Back from the days when, instead of just clicking on something and the appropriate action taking place, you were required to go through a ten step process to open a door.

I examine the coat and feel something in the pocket. Instead of just showing me what it is, I then have to OPEN >> COAT.

I get some coins, a lighter and hanky with the initials J.S., some sugarless gum, a pair of sunglasses and a wallet. All the same stuff Batman has in his utility belt, surely.

I examine my surroundings a little bit more...

What? No it doesn't. Unless I brought that roll with me it means no one is using toilet paper. Am I sure that's blood on my hand?

OK. It's time to get out of here. I open the door to the stall and make my way to the bathroom proper.

Right now actually. Where's my feather duster, I'm going to clean those cracks right off the wall.
I set my eyes on that mirror.

Wait, put those SUNGLASS on, I think I might be the Unabomber.

Ok, maybe I can wash my hands off in that sink...

Yep, this room is useless. Next!

Walking out of that bathroom, I appear in a hallway. Coming out from under a door is a puddle of water.

Not in trouble. Just kind of with it.

Never one to shy away from someone with trouble, I make my way into the girl's bathroom. There's nothing out of the ordinary, other than the water on the floor. Opening the stall where it's coming from, I just find a broken toilet. I've played Silent Hill though, so I make sure there's nothing interesting with the toilet.

Yeah......yeah. Relieved...

So maybe I'll just check around a little bit...

Ok. Either this crappy rundown building has some people dedicated only to maintaining the toilet paper, or I awoke on the Planet of the Apes.

Well, that was a waste of time. Back to the hallway, and through the other door.

Yes. Very dark.
 I pick up that glass of green goo on the bar, which is a shot glass full of seltzer. Also I drink some, because why not.

Next I head up those stairs.

I decide to-MEMORY ATTACK!

*yawn* All this amnesia is making me sleepy.
So I examine the posters on the wall and-

Stop doing that! I'm sick of this guy's stupid face!

We have a name now though, "Ace Harding". That doesn't match the initials we found on the lighter and handkerchief though, so this only raises further questions. I examine another poster, and it says:


Hahahahahaha. Puff MacMuffen. Best name ever. I don't even care that Puff isn't his real name.

Time to go through that door.

We've got a door that's locked, a typewriter that doesn't do anything, and a phone I can't use. This room is a waste of both our time. I head back downstairs and through the door under the stairs. It's a wine cellar.

This guy has a Danny Tanner level obsession with cleaning.
Examining the spider web, it tells me there's no spider. Examining it again, it tells me there's nothing out of the ordinary about it. But I don't believe it, because two pixels of the spider web are blue for some reason.

Blue. Pixels. This must be a clue.
 After wasting an amount of time some could call "too much", I decide to give up on that ordinary spider web. Next I examine the wine rack. It says it's odd that the bottles on the right side have no dust on them. I agree, but there's absolutely no way to interact with them. I just know this is a secret door, but the game won't allow me to know that yet. Also you can poor wine out of that spigot , but I couldn't interact with that further either.

So I wander a bit trying to figure out where to go until I remember I never examined the wallet I got from the coat. Inside is a $20 bill, a key with the word "Office" on it, and a card with holes punched in it that says "Private Access card, Penthouse, Siegel." Now we're getting somewhere!

I go back upstairs and use that key on the office door. Inside is your every day dead body. A man lies dead with three gunshot wounds and a phone in his hand. Yes, that's all very sad, but what's in his pockets? OPEN >> MAN

He's got a key to a Mercedes Benz. Oh, that shit is mine now.

I open the shades to the window. Outside is a fire escape. I'll let the game explain from here.

Whoa whoa! Go slower. I have amnesia.
I decide to go up the fire escape and into a window on the next floor. What the shit was going on here!?

Perhaps you forgot how to not be an idiot.
There's a chair with restraints, and bottles of drugs with long names next to it. I ignore all this, and head into the elevator behind it. I get off on the next floor. What's this? An empty casino.

The Retroullete wheel? Eh? EH?

I hang out in here for a while.

Hmmmm. Maybe this isn't the best use of my time...

That door behind all the machines is locked, and hmmmmm, looks like it could lead to a wine cellar or something.

Back to the elevator!

The next floor leads to....

Of course, the Sewer Level. I find a ladder ahead that leads me to a small room.

Going in the door on the right....

Oh my goodness, I never would have thought! Ok, what's behind the other door...

You're blowing my mind here game!

Back into the sewer! I eventually make my way to the street. In front of the bar sits a Mercedes Benz.

"If only you had the ke-"

Shut the fuck up. I use the key and get inside. Inside the glove compartment I find some car registration forms made out to Joey Siegal, a map to the bar with some notes on it...

Oh my...

The last thing is a snapshot of a "four hundred pound woman", presumably a one Mrs. Sternwood. Ace feels like he should recognize her.

For awhile, I debate whether I should get out of the car and check the trunk, or just drive away. I decide I should at least look. So I get out of the ca-

Why does Sylvester Stallone need my money!?
 I'm a peaceful guy, we can talk this throu-

On second thought, that $20 wasn't that important to me.

And thus ends the Mystery of the Bloody Hand. That'll teach me to try to help people with trouble.


Damn, later on in the game you get a sweet fedora? I gave up too soon!

I'm predisposed to liking this game. Point n' Clicks are among my favorite genre. I will probably go back and try to beat this thing. Fuck Mrs. Sternwood though.


  1. Oh nice, it's in color! I played it in black and white on the old MAC computers. ...And I do mean OLD.

  2. Love Point and Clicks... Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain are tow of my favourite games of the last ten years.

  3. I feel like I've read this article before...