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  • Locked thread
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

If you got the thread title reference without Google, sing while you can, and watch it all in colour.

Let's play 15 Days

The Exhibit
Developed by House of Tales Entertainment and published by dtp Entertainment in 2009 (2010 for the English version), 15 Days is a German point & click adventure game about some British art thieves. Despite the names of the releasing companies it features little intentional entertainment, mainly because it's poo poo.
From what I've found, two German YouTubers tried to LP it. Neither got past the 30 minute mark before bailing out. It's that effective. :magical:

What to expect simply warns us


Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, avoid 15 Days.
There's a review there, too. Complete with comments bitching about "low ratings killing the genre". Note, that 15 Days managed to score there lower than Mystery of the Druids by the same devs.

Buggery of the Druids
The studio's Mystery of the Druids featured a puzzle in which the main character, a Scotland Yard detective, steals 60p from a homeless beggar to pay for a phone call.
Our hero can't call from his office or from his home, he has to do it from a payphone in Oxford, but his wallet is missing. The only source of money in the entire world is a homeless guy who wants a proper drink. With only some apple juice and no alcohol at hand our detective teleports back to Scotland Yard and stumbles into a crime lab. There he looks at a row of bottles and won't take the one labelled "C2H5OH" because he's an utter failure, so instead he wipes them all clean. Then he talks to his colleague running the lab, and casually shifts the subject to how good it is to have alcohol. The chemist replies that pure alcohol is dangerous to drink, then offers some. After regaining consciousness our detective dusts the bottles for prints finding the one with the magic nectar. Then he mixes a lot of it with the apple juice in a flask, teleports to the loaded beggar and offers him some "apple cider". As the beggar instantly passes out, our hero takes the change, makes a call, has a cutscene and books a flight to Europe. My guess is, he raises the cash by gassing an orphanage.

This is the official cover art for Mystery of the Druids.

Releasing something like that could have killed a lesser studio, but for House of Tales team it was the starting point. Thanks to the lax quality standards in the genre they proceeded to make a dull sci-fi spy thriller Moment of Silence, and an interactive movie about hosed up children, Overclocked: A History of Violence. 15 Days finally did them in. Within four months after the release both founders bailed out. The studio made a single hidden object game in 2010 and was dissolved in 2012.

Where to buy
Gamersgate. Their screenshot line-up contains an obvious spoiler, by the way.

Spoiler policy?
If you've played this, my condolences. Don't directly spoil the game, let's traumatise the audience at a proper pace.
Tell us more about Mystery of the Druids instead.

Part 1: One Big Plot Dump
Part 2: Two Wacky Sidekicks
Part 3: Three Phone Calls
Part 4: Four playable characters
Part 5. Five Beers, Please
Part 6. Deep Six
Part 7: Seven Digits to Dial
Part 8: Eighth blunder of the world
Part 9: Nine Inch Snails
Part 10: Ten Feet Under
Part 11: Dial the Stupid to Eleven
Part 12: The Clock Strikes Twelve, Repeatedly
Part 13: Lucky Thirteen
Part 14: Plot Held Together By Fourteen Litres of Spit
Part 15: Fifteen Shades of Gameplay
Part 16: Sweet Sixteen

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at 18:18 on Dec 20, 2014


Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Part 1: One Big Plot Dump

Let's start playing 15 Days by clicking the shortcut

We're greeted by the launcher. 15 Days needs it because we can't change the graphics settings from inside the game, and also starting it directly will throw you right into the intro, as there is no title menu.
Anyway, the intro.

A pixelized cigarette pack is not the best logo for your company image.

Incidentally, does anyone remember the logo of Cryo Interactive?

I think, they want to kiss. Anyway...

We are, probably, in London.

Call it a hunch.

The Big Ben is assaulted by a man with a drill.

And the man has backup.

Meanwhile, the first review of 15 Days is in.

And it's not favourable. By the way, this will be the talking head for the LPer in dialogues.

Going by the spelling, we're no longer in Britain.

Done! This should fetch a us a million or two.

Meanhwile, a woman-like 3D model is climbing up a wall. No, the top right section of the screen is not used.

Meanhwile, someone is softly hitting a lock in the best pre-rendered scene of the entire game.

The lock opens and the screen does that TV splitting thing.

What's in the case?

: Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours and denominations, like people.

These letters are inedible, and won't fit on the cake. And what can you spell with F F I F?

A phone! A hand! Gasp!

A beard texture close-up... the intro is really going downhill, but it's almost over.
Well, the pre-rendered part is over anyway.

We're back in London.jpg. These panoramic shots are pretty bad throughout the game. As the camera swings left to right the depth effect is created by parallax scrolling. It utterly fails to hide the fact that the Tower Bridge is a big sprite sliding over a few smaller ones.

I remember 2009 like it was five years ago.

: It's a game character.

: Now, I'd like to point out that I can barely hear the male voice reading the blue line here. 15 Days has hilariously atrocious sound balancing, observing which is easily the best part of the playing experience.

: I can't hear if there was any voice for this sub. But it's nice for the game to assign different colours to different characters.

: Huh sweetheart? Sleep well?

: Next question.

: For a cinematic adventure the game's shot framing is already something fantastic, and it will get better. Wait till we get to facial animation.

Downstairs we see the portrait of a Roman emperor as Robin Hood. Enjoy the "dude in shades" poster, too.

: Did I miss a line?

: Keeping it as a full shot to highlight the fact that the developers do not separate addresses with commas.

(coming up from behind): Careful what you say... Madame is indisposed.

: The guy takes a step into the frame in the previous shot and immediately ends up on a chair when the camera switches. However, he starts speaking as he walks, and his voice is completely uninterrupted by the switch. It's bizarre.

: Listen guys, don't get on my nerves, OK?

: Up there.

: It's probably gone cold...

: Shut up Mike.

: I'm already gone!

Yes, we get to watch her walk to the stairs and toggle the screen transition. You get to watch everyone walk in this game.

: "House of Tales shuts down"
No, we don't actually learn what's said in the paper in this cutscene. We'll have to read it after we gain control.
Speaking of.

Clicking on massive icon in the corner allows us to access the map....

...which is useless at the moment and will remain so for most of the game.

To get either the game's options menu, or the inventory you need to hover your cursor over the map icon and then slide it along the side of the screen. For some inexplicable reason you can't just poke the left or the bottom of the screen for the menus.

At last, the title screen! With a "new game" option, in case you missed the intro.

The default audio settings have everything cranked up to maximum. I'm keeping them.

On to the inventory. Her name's Cathryn, apparently.

That is the most disinterested "Look" icon I've ever seen.

: My mobile, with a matching headset.

: Now I press a key and you can, technically, see every active spot in the room highlighted with barely visible grey icons. This is one of the most interactive rooms of the game.

Let's take a look at the projection screen.

Pardon, let's "Investigate".

: The projection screen.

: Genius! By the way, did I mention that the game boasts five hours of voiced dialogue? Not counting the pauses easily as long as the voiced lines.

OK, what about the birthday cake?

: The guys are really sweet.

: But not the cake, that's why no one took a bite out of it. Also, if you bake a cake, and it's not a Sacher, you're doing it wrong. Also, Cathryn is... five?

Ready for more exposition? Answering machine time!

: Our answering machine.

: You have two new messages.

: Cathryn.

: I... got your number from your friend Tom. He didn't want to give it to me at first. But I told him it was important. And it is, isn't it? I've only got one daughter. And you've only got one dad. Well... I would rather have spoken to you in person... But, oh well, this will have to do. Happy birthday, I wish you all the best. I... have no idea what kind of life you live now...

: Please, don't stare at the subtitles.

: Yeah, well... By the way, Spot died last year. Cancer. I had to let them put him to sleep. He didn't feel a thing. And hey: the tree that we planted behind the house, remember? It's eight metres tall now! Eight meters. Sometimes I look at it and think about how old you were back then and... wonder if we...

: Gah, the shadows!

: God, I hate these machines. Can't you pick this up? OK. I guess you're out. Well. Take care my girl. Have a good time. I'll try again soon. Happy birthday.

Alas, there were two messages...

: You have one new message.

: Hi Cathryn, this is Tom. Happy birthday!

: Come on, I can even tell that over the phone. You could get in touch with me sometime you know. Jacqueline is pregnant and we're getting married soon. I'd like to go on one last bender with you Jeff, and Nancy before all that happens. Yeah, once the little rug rat arrives I won't have time again for at least ten years. And york isn't really that far away. Think about it!

: The game keeps switching between the two camera angles every time a new portion of Tom's subtitles loads i.e. every couple of sentences. It gets annoying.

: He'd already gone through half the school's address book trying to find it. Yeah, and... I gave it to him. I hope you're not angry... You know, he looked really desperate. Perhaps you should give him another chance Cathryn. He's involved in some pretty nasty business, I agree, but he's your father and he loves you. Anyway. Just don't be angry, OK? Give me a call back, when you've got time.

: It's over. Now it's time for the final bit of exposition, the newspaper.

But first!

When a hotspot action is highlighted Cathryn locks onto it with her upper torso.

And now, the newspaper.

: Hmhm.

: While I cook the next update, hopefully covering more than ten minutes of cutscenes, try to find everything that's wrong with this image.

P.S. Here are some supplementary video clips for those who want to hear and see the intro in motion. Also, watch the answering machine scene to take in how well Cathryn moves and emotes.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at 09:22 on Jan 8, 2015

Feb 26, 2007

Taco Defender
I don't know why I'm so amused that one of the first characters we see is a pudgy dude in plaid jorts, but I am.

I love me some good LPs of bad games. :allears:

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Part 2: Two Wacky Sidekicks

: There's a door leading out. Let's escape to the promenade.

: Hmm...

: No, we're going on an adventure.

On this screen we can try to get into the team's van.

: The signs tell us not to dive, and... not to stand near water? Let's check out the pier.

Nothing to do here but watch Cathryn hover above water. The screen is decently animated - the boat is rocking on the waves a little.

: London is under attack by obviously edited in seagulls.

Let's go in and head upstairs.

We won't go there yet. Also, the site of the memorable cold tea drinking scene does not have a single interactive object.

We won't go see Mike yet either.

Cathryn's room is a bit of a mess. Let's take everything that's not nailed down and examine the rest. Such as the climbing wall.

: I really ought to train more. I'll start tomorrow.

: Let's look at the torch.


: What about the compass on the desk?

: A simple compass.

: The painting?

: When it comes to painting, I'm always going to be a dilettante.

: What's in the book case?

: I hardly get time to read anymore.

: Clicking the mouse button when it's shaped like an arrow will show us the other side of the room.

The usual junk, some ballet gear and the t-shirt guy.
Let's check out the faded photograph.

: The picture shows my mother, just before her accident.

: Now for the "Ballet things". That's the name of the item

: That's a long time ago.

: At this point I decided to visit Mike's room.

When you click the door the camera zooms in but the hotspot icons don't shift with the objects.

: What!

: Why are you locking up?

: Got things to do!

: Hmm.

: Maybe Bernard will get the plot started?

He's got a personal wine rack.

: Hmm... Wine, Bernie's really getting old.

: And a personal house of cards!

: Hey, I thought he would've thrown the cards away. He'll never do it...

: While we're on this screen, let's examine the Diploma

: He's hung up his maths diploma. He must be having a mid-life crisis.

: Is there more wine in the "Old porcelain vase"?

: From Michelle's mother, I think. I don't know why he still keeps the thing. He just can't chuck it out.

: And now it's time to examine the "Small bronze sculpture".

: A memento of his father. He was a Belgian Miner.

: Pictured: Belgian Miners.

Back in the first screen of the room there's a magnifying glass.

: There's my magnifying glass.

: We can also check out the chess game not in progress.

: Obviously not a game for gamblers. But he always says it calms him down.

: Bernard might be a gambler. Let's talk to him about horse racing and slot machines.

: Hey, Bernard.

: A comma? Wow!

: Hi.

: Here's the dialogue interface. We get two subjects to talks about, including "Quit".

: See you later.

: Nah, let's try this again.

: Hey, Bernard.

: Hi.

: I'm sorry about before. I wasn't completely awake.

: I think you're really sweet when you're got a hangover.

: I read the paper. You guys are really completely crazy.

: I know.

: You could've been caught.

: It's your birthday! We didn't want to get you a blender!

: I told him it would increase his chances with you.

: You didn't say that.

: I did.

: You didn't!

: He did!

: He's been secretly training for ten days. Haven't you noticed how thin he's got?

: Oh God. You two really are crazy.

: And what's he doing now so secretly?

: Preparing the big surprise. Top secret.

: Ahha. And is it a... nice surprise? Or another one that could get you arrested?

: Both.

: Ahha. That sounds great... Now tell me what it is.

: Wait until Mike's here. He'll be finished soon. Go to your room and we'll call you.

: Huh. Alright then... See you later.

: Back to Cathryn's room we go! Thankfully you can make her run and also skip most transits by double clicking. The dialogue with Mike's door doesn't change at this point.

: And she barely waits.

: Ah, at last...

: But first I grab the compass off the desk and examine both the magnifying glass and the compass in the inventory.

: Bernard's magnifying glass. I think he lifted it from the office.

: Dad's old hiking compass. I nicked it from him.

: Property is theft, right, therefore theft is property, therefore this ship is mine.

Let's check out the surprise.

: That's what you get trying to use the doors upstairs.

Let's talk to Bernard, again.

The conversation topic with the question mark is called "Information"

: Well?

: A really big one. AND it's a home game. Here in London.

: Not my capitalisation. The game starts to add it at this point.

: In 20 minutes? Great. What will he pay?

: Double.

: At least. He hasn't named any figures as yet, but I think he's dripping with cash. We were thinking of giving it to Homes not Bombs UK. What do you think?

: Which painting is it then?

: It's upstairs on my desk. I've only just finished it... Bring it down.

: A toy, right... ?

: Don't worry, it's nothing out of the ordinary. It looks like a remote control,

: Hmm, you're really building up the excitement. Alright then.

: What if ask them for more "Information" right now?

: And?

: What now? We gotta go soon.

: I quit.

: Alright. See you soon.

: You're only going upstairs!

Time to hit Mike's cave.

Mike is the team's fat whiny tech wizard gamer guy.

The right desk offers a screen without any traces of interactivity.

Examining his computer results in

: Not bad.

: I see "Collector's action figures" on the shelf above the desk

: Mike is and remains a child at heart. But a sweet one.

: The left desk is littered with stuff and a special flash stick.

: Mike's USB stick. 20 gigabytes. He always has to go over the top.

: I can't examine the controller in the corner, but it looks painful.

Outside of the desk area there's the sink.

With a pair of rubber gloves I can't take.

: A pair of rubber gloves.

: Professional game writing from industry veterans.

The arcade cabinet is called an "antique gaming machine".

: That's a cool thing.

: What is that game anyway?

Finally, in the corner there is a thing labelled "Transmitter", that we can examine and pocket.

: Hmm... That looks like a small gaming console.

: Let's play with it in the inventory.

: That's a cool thing.

: gently caress it, I'm leaving.

Cathryn returns to the starting point of her quest.

: Thing? That's not a thing. That's a masterpiece of illegal remote control electronics!

: Ahha. And... what can it do?

: It can control the Ferris wheel remotely. Mike has hacked into the WLAN. We can stop or turn the wheel at the touch of a button.

: Our very own conference room above the clouds. Extremely clandestine and unbelievably cool. Only a genius could construct a transmitter like this.

: And... this thing works, right..?

: I haven't tried it out yet. But I've calculated everything. It MUST work. We'll soon see.

: So we're gonna meet this African guy IN the London Eye?

: Not we, you. Mike will control the wheel. From the ground.

: Kids, this is gonna be the deal of our lives. With an unobstructed view. And? Whadda you say?

: (Pause)

: Yes "(Pause)" is spelled out in the subtitles

: You're crazy.

: I knew you'd like it. Come on, let's go. We're late. Pack your things. I've gotta quickly do something on the computer.

: A new conversation piece!

: Did you read this? Henston, the Foreign Secretary, is dead. Collapsed as his desk.

: Lucky bastard...

: I've been sadder.

: Come on Mike. (commas:cripes:). You can't talk about him like that. He had a family. Three children.

: The people of the countries, whose exploitation he was responsible for, also had children. He wasn't undeserving.

: Don't be so cynical. That's not going to make the world any better.

: Now, stealing poo poo, on the other hand...

: Mike, we always said we WOULDN'T become like these people. If you don't care whether there are deaths or not...

: :anarchists:

: ...then I'd be like Henston, certainly. And that's why I say it's not a shame that he's dead. Where does your sudden love for this guy come from?

: Just because I don't wish death upon him, doesn't mean...

: Can we discuss this in the car? You've gotta go.

: Thank you, Bernard.

: Cathryn would rather got to Minister Henston's funeral to plant some flowers.

: That's enough Mike.

: That's enough Cathryn, too.

: OK, OK. Not on my birthday.

: They were already going, why do you stop me for one click, game? Now I can open the car door of the van.

: What?

Apparently, I need to go chat with Mike.

: So, everything ready?

: That's what I was gonna ask you. "Quickly do something on the computer", huh?

: Have you seen the paper?

: No, not again!

: Certainly have.

: Well? It's a good shot of me, isn't it?

: Going back to the previous update...

Which of those guys is Mike? I see two Bernards.

: If Spiderman did an office job.

: Come on, that's not nice. I've lost four kilos. Otherwise I wouldn't have made it even half way up the tower!

: I'm assuming he took the stairs.

: Tell me I was good.

: You were great. But a kitchen blender would also have been alright. I don't want to celebrate my next birthday in jail. Have you got your phone?

: Sure.

: Your keys?

: Yes mum. And YOU? Have YOU got your phone?

: Of course.

: OK. I'll be down in a minute.

: Quit

: Hurry up. I'll wait downstairs.

: Is there anything Bernard would like to discuss?

: Hey, Bernard.

: Hi.

: See you later.

: Evidently not. Let's leave.

: The walk animations are silly. See video.

Oh, I have to click again?
The car warps us to the London Eye.

: OK. And now?

: How did you come in contact with this guy?

: Well, that's a funny story. He heard about our South Africa deal and then he got in touch with Bernard.

: HE got in touch with us? Where did he get the number?

: No idea. Bernard said he had a message on his mailbox. That's how it came about.

: And you're certain this isn't a trap?

: Well, let's see... what do the Gamersgate promo screenshots for the game tell us?

: Welp

: Almost certain.

: Oh great. Come on. Let's go back.

: Nonsense, keep calm. I've checked him out. He's got at least five diplomatic passports, all of them fake. He's no cop.

: And I'm supposed to hang around with him in that pod on my own?

: Oh, look. There's a visitor to the London Eye. How unusual.

: Really?

: Yeah. The guy in the white suit.

: Could you be more specific, Mike? ... I would understand this exchange if this tourist trap in central London had any people near it. The way it does in real life.

: I don't know. I've got a bad feeling about this.

: Go on. You'll be OK.

: Oh alright.

: The team stick the headsets into their ears.

: This line is inaudible. Basically, from this point on every line Mike says in the scene literally sounds like it's coming from Cathryn's headset, with distance and volume taken into account. The sound engineer for this game was either absent or an idiot.

: Of course.

: That sounds like muttering of someone five meters away from you.

: Yep. Totally inconspicuous.

: Let's get started.

: I'm getting in now.

: gently caress it. I'm going to strike through every phrase that's inaudible.

: I'm with you. You're doing great.

: Mike spawns his remote control for a highly visible major landmark.

Here's the first puzzle of the game. We need to screw around with the parameters of the two waves to make their combined result look like the required pattern.

: The moment the puzzle is solved the device goes away with a loud clang.

: Just look at all these people. Every one of them has a dream, and every one of them is working towards it.

: The ride is accompanied by a tune YouTube recognizes as "Klangfreiheit / Sonic Liberty-KF010304_London_Eye-Dynamedion Music". The game had original music composed for it, and it's registered with YT apparently. I was lucky to visit the actual wheel untainted by muzak, when it was run by British Airways and had adorable "in flight" announcements.

Right after I compliment House of Tales of some effort, let me show you this.

Distant planes, birds, and some other fast moving stuff in the backgrounds of 15 Days are animated like this, and the gif is running nearly at full speed.

: As busy as termites, right? Millions of souls building proud ornate towers.

: Cathryn.

: Mrs. Cathryn. In our country termites are seen as the incarnation of the dead. The holes in their towers lead to the spirit world. Isn't that strange? No matter how high the towers grow, they still lead to the underworld. And no matter how high this big wheel turns, its foundations remain the dust of the earth, the mud, the dirt.

: Whoa... The guy's a loony. Shall I bring you down?

: You... you wanted to make us a business proposal?

: Business - that's an ugly word. You can help us. You can free a soul.

: I don't fully understand.

: Cathryn? Shall I get you down now?

: In case you failed to notice something...

Yes, they've put the background jpg too close to the models.

: Not just one lunatic, but two.

: That's a lot of money for a painting.

: It is fitting for this painting. My client doesn't calculate according to the market price.

: He'll know what he's doing.

: Or not.

: You don't need to worry about that. The picture is of great worth to him, and it should be for you too. Two million in advance, the rest on delivery. Is that acceptable?

: Don't say the wrong thing now.

: Is the money in the suitcase?

: We need about a week. If we fail, you get the money back, minus our expenses.

: You won't fail.

: We'll do what we can.

: That's enough now.

: Now I can barely hear Cathryn.

: He says to no one in particular.

: I'm counting on you, don't forget that.

: I'll keep it in mind.

: Good grief. What a charming fella. Let's get out of here.

: Yes, we sill hear Mike through her headset.

: And I'm back in control to examine stuff. Like the snack van.

: I'm not hungry.

: The balloons?

: Nice.

: And what is Cathryn's opinion on "The Giant Wheel"?

: Wow!

: Finally, the chalk drawing.

: I don't see what it's supposed to represent.

: No need to lash out just because you fail at painting. Let's get into the car.

: OK.

: A perfect time to take a break. We're only 30 minutes into the game :suicide:

P.S. Bonus clips. There's the scene of the team explaining Cathryn they've got a new job, which sends the game deep into uncanny valley thanks to the arm gestures, and there's the start of the meeting with Odila, complete with goofy walking and awful sound.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at 09:36 on Jan 8, 2015

May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.
I have no idea what I'm watching, or where this will go.

Actually, I do know what I'm watching - this thread!

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless
Good grief.

I keep asking myself... How much worse can it get?

EDIT: The museum must be the Tate Modern museum.

I'm not finding a portrait of Churchill there though.

No Gravitas fucked around with this message at 07:57 on Nov 27, 2014

Oct 24, 2007

Your life and your quest end here.

And you're telling me that the two previous attempts to LP this game stopped at this point? I can't imagine why. :iiam:

Bible Ian Black
Jul 16, 2009


I'm kind of at a loss for words already so I'm just gonna keep reading this until I go mute.

Jul 17, 2013
I'm not an expert but I'm pretty sure you can't control the London Eye wirelessly. I just have this crazy feeling that it does not work that way.

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Part 3: Three Phone Calls

: The screen fades as Cathryn awkwardly stands near the stairs. Come to think of it, I don't remember her having any stair walking animations. Hmm...

: The cash is stashed.

: Bernie... ?

: Bernie... !

(from the red couch upstairs): Isn't there... !

: Not on the ceiling. He's not Macavity.

: Yeah, just quick... bank business.

: Well, then you could have come with us.

: So? What did he say? What's the job? There is a job, isn't there?

: London Modern. A portrait of Churchill. Two million as down-payment.

: Two million pounds? He'll give us that much for THAT painting? Pah! He must be crazy.

: That he is.

: He wants it this week. Can we manage that?

: Why? What's happened? When did you see him last?

: Err, yeah well, I was at his place last week. He seemed somehow... unhinged

: Oh dear. Then I'll go and see how he is later on.

: Alright then. I'd better get to work on the computer...

: I'm back in control. There are no new items to check out and no new messages.

: We have to leave Bernard to his drinking/gambling/Belgian Mining. We can, however, pester Mike some more.

: Hey Mike.

: Can you sort that out straight away?

: Sure... Just a second. Have a look for the USB stick please.

: USB stick. OK. Just a moment.

: Information.

: What about the stick?

: OK, OK...

: Quit.

: See you later.

: After saying goodbye we look at the left desk and...

: Gameplay!

: Hey Mike.

: Here it is.

: Wait a minute, yeah... ?

: Oh, poo poo.

Welcome to the game's fake PC interface. The graphs on the left scroll to imitate activity, although the core temperature is stuck.

LaserDial is a "laser unit configurator", LeetRoute is a "hacking tool", ThunderBolt is a "mail client" and IceBear is a "Ryzoom Browser". It has to be IceBear, not WetPussy, or GroundHog.

That's Mike's mailbox. It's empty.

This is the browser we'll occasionally use to search for stuff. Let's inquire about "house of tales".

"Some firewood is harvested in woodlots". Yeah, sounds like their careers after this game. The way this search works is simple. All plot-relevant inputs produce one proper link, while all other words get a selection of pseudo-random articles. Take "dongs" for example.

"dongs: This has brought about newer programming". An unexpected insight into this game's development.

Anyway, loving around with random words for too long is one of the several things that make 15 Days crash. Actually "somethingawful" has made 15 Days crash. However I have a save just before using the computer, so you can suggest more words to look up.

"churchill" is the key word at this point. "As safeguards, all pellet stoves" looks intriguing, but we need the first, non-random, item.

Informative. Now for the Ryzoom Art Library link.

There we have it, the only portrait of Churchill in existence. Do we download it? No, we hit the "Shut down computer" star button in the bottom left corner.

: OK. I've got it.

: Wow, that was quick. Great

: Not sure why but the game started occasionally forgetting periods at the ends of sentences.

: I'll go to McBride's place now. You look for the plans of the building in the meantime. And see if you can find out any more about this Odila guy. By the way, the rubbish needs taking out as well. And we're out of toiler paper!

: Great! Anything else? What about Bernard, is he gonna do anything?

: Good question. So far Bernard's role in the whole thing has been getting an email from Odila.

: Why don't you ask him?

: See you later guys.

: Cathryn, any comments on the chair?

: Tourist rubbish. And not at all cheap!

: Robert! It's me!

: She does repeat the line.

: No, he's a 15 Days character.

: Cathryn! It's nice that you came over...

: What's wrong with you? You're really pale. And you've lost weight.

: Melancholic music kicks in here almost entirely drowning out parts of the dialogue.

: Yeah, well. An old chap like me can afford to lose a few stone.

: Have you been ill? You should have told me! I could have cooked for you.

: No, no, I'm fine. I'm just not sleeping very well.

: You worry too much. You didn't call on my birthday either.

: Oh no. What day is it today?

: Wednesday. The 1st of July. My birthday.

: This is the point I decided the scene goes into a video bonus.

: Or at least in this studio.

: Don't be so sure, Cathryn.

: I haven't got anything for you.

: Yeah, you have. We've got a job. You've got a week to do the copy. Can you manage it?

: A week? I hope it's a least something a bit challenging...

: I wouldn't get too excited. I've got it with me, wait. This projector still work?

: If it doesn't, give it a bang - I don't know why...

: We can check out the studio, starting with the oil painting.

: A Michelangelo.

: No, it's a McBride. The chair has some "books with paint flecks".

: Oh dear. They're all long overdue.

: Small pot plants?

: Everything's falling apart... He really isn't doing too good.

: Painting utensils?

: What a mess.

: You know, it's like whoever wrote the item comments had no idea what they would look like beyond a general concept: "some books", "mess", "a photo". Anyway, there's one more item.

: Robert's projector. He uses it to project the original - for the preliminary drawing...

: It's time for the first use of an inventory item in 15 Days. So far we haven't used the map once. Why is it easier to access?

: Mike's USB stick. The picture data for Robert is already on it.

: Can you do that in a week?

: Hmm. Who the hell wants this amateur crap?

: Some insane collector. I was a bit surprised myself. He sent along a rather mysterious middleman.

: I could paint that blindfolded. Any old street painter can do this inane portrait realism.

: But not to such a standard that it's good enough for a museum. Only you can do that.

: You could say that. He'll give us 5 million.

: Five million pounds for this... What's happened to the art market?

: It certainly hasn't become more rational. All the better for us.

: Cathryn removes the USB stick with the painting's jpeg downloaded off Usenet, surely fit to make a perfect copy.

: We can chat with Robert now. Well, we have to.

: Robert... ?

: You really aren't looking good. Come on, tell me. What's wrong?

: Hmm, what's wrong? I told you, I'm not sleeping well.

: Are you... depressed? Alone? Lonely?

: Hungry? Thirsty? Horny?

: No. More the opposite. Listen Cathryn. I'm going to tell you something, but you mustn't make fun of me, you hear?

: I promise.

: There's someone here.

: What? What do you mean? Who is it?

: Not now. Not when I'm here. There's someone here in my studio. I can see it in little details. I'm not alone here.

: It's probably the orchestra.

: Come on... that's nonsense... who'd break into your studio? Is anything missing?

: No. Nothing. But I can feel it. Someone comes in when I'm not here - When I come back, a cloth is lying a millimetre to the left or a book is open at another page, or a canvas is leaning at a slightly different angle against the wall.

: No. Rubbish. You're imagining it.

: You see, you're making fun of me! You think I'm mad, right?

: That... no, no, not at all. It's terrible if you're scared. I only... I only wanted to reassure you. you're probably mistaken - that's what I wanted to say.

: Our little chat is not over. For the first time in the game it's branching. Let's start with

: Shall we get you anything? Do you need paints - or canvas?

: I've still got the key for the faculty. I'll have a look in the storeroom later.

: Does anybody not chronically steal poo poo in this game?

: Hmm. We'd better buy that stuff. They'll realise if something goes missing. The new chancellor has got every single pencil itemised.

: Not in the storeroom. I spoke to Dawson and Trevor. They don't touch the storeroom. Thy say that the old stuff before 2005 is worthless. It doesn't even exist according to the new inventory. They'll be throwing it all out.

: Throwing it away? Everything? The paintings from past students? You're not serious!

: Shall I have a look to see if there are still some of your works in there?

: The picture of my father... perhaps that's still lying around...

: You want that back?

: He called today.

: Gosh. And? What did he say?

: I didn't pick up. He said - he said "all the best for your birthday"...

: Mmm... That's more that I said... Are you going to call back?

: I don't know.

: Music! Anyway, let's ask about the painting.

: Where's the painting of Jessica? It was always back there in the corner.

: I... burned it.

: You did what?!

: Her eyes changed over the years. She looked at me like a stranger.

: But... it was just a picture.

: Exactly. That's why I burned it. I don't need that stare. I want to keep Jessica in my memories, just like I knew her.

: Robert. That painting looked like at always did.

: That's what I saw in her eyes. And that's what I didn't want to see any more. The painting didn't become alien to me. I became alien to the painting.

: I'm worried about you. Won't you come round for dinner tonight?

: Don't worry. I've got soup from yesterday.

: And some jam to-morrow.

: You can't live on that.

: But you can't die from it either. I'll be fine.

: Quit!

: Listen, I've gotta go. You really won't come over for some dinner?

: I'd rather do some work.

: OK. Then... take care, alright? Look after yourself. I'll be in touch.

: And she bites his neck, or pecks him on the cheek, or sniffs his ear. Can't tell with these models.

Here's the first time I need to use the map.

I click to go in and start another cutscene.

: Hey.

: Yes. But he isn't well.

: I told you. He's slowly reaching that age...

: You should know.

: He burned the painting of Jessica.

: Seriously?

: Was Jessica his dog? Seriously, the only thing we know about "her" is that "she" had "eyes".

: He says he's changed. He can't stand seeing the picture anymore. He also thinks he's being followed. He said that when he's not there, people go snooping around in his studio.

: Why do I, the player, have to be present for this recap?

: Heck. So he really has changed. He's gone all paranoid, then? Or could there be some truth in it? Has he got any evidence?

: He said he KNOWS that it's true. He can see it in certain details.

: Hmm. Well, that doesn't sound good at all. If he's right we've got a serious problem.

: We've got a problem, Mike, because he's UNWELL. He's our friend. We've got to help him.

: OK, OK, but how? I've never been particularly pally with him. You're his favourite. Tell us what we can do for the old boy and we'll do it.

: I'll do it.

: That's nice of you.

: Take the rubbish out with you, OK?

: Weren't YOU gonna do that?

: Hey, I had things to do! The London Museum plan? Forgotten already?

: And? Have you got it?

: Ha! What do YOU think? Of course - NOT! But I know where we can get it. The building was designed by the architects Wilbur & Thompson. I've already been on their server.

: But...?

: But Mike is full of poo poo, because Tate Modern was redesigned from the Bankside Power Station by Herzog & de Meuron.

: OK. The we'll go to the museum tomorrow and gave a look around.

: Suddenly, a scene transition.


: Oh. Chief. Hey Chief, how's it going? Sorry, I, I... I didn't see it was you. What can I do for you?

: Jack. How long have you been working for us?

: Oh, come on Chief. I'm sorry! I! My phone's ringing all day... I just wanted to... errm.

: How long.

: Eleven years.

: More music. :toot:

: And do you want to continue working for us?

: Yes Chief.

: Then don't hang-up again before I tell you to.

: No Chief.

: Blink animations are rare in 15 Days. It seems, they had to be explicitly set in the dialogue scripting, so characters don't blink outside of conversations. The same applies to eye movement, but it's worse as it's not used in 99% of the scenes.

: You read the files, travel to London, have a look at this thing and then write a report. Immediately. Questions?

: No Chief.

: Then fine. Now you may hang-up.

: Thanks Chief.

: Another room to examine. Don't worry, the game will stop giving us optional hotspots long before it ends.

More junk.

: My badge.

: Fancy. Cigarettes?

: I've given up giving it up.

: There's mail on the desk too.

: I urgently ought to sort my mail out.

: Jack, would you describe your lighter as "My lighter"?

: Susan's father gave it to me as a wedding present. And then after the divorce, he wanted it back. The old tight rear end.

: Not more family stories! What about the PC?

: Frazier's old computer. Hah, the Chief loves me.

: Is he a tight rear end?

The new icon for RegPol, "registration number search", can't be used. We need the mail.

: Back in the room all of the the numerous piles of files produce the same comment.

: I've been hoping for years that this place would burn down...

: Maybe the beer cans are preventing that?

: And I just love headaches.

: And I click on the bag with clothing.

: My apartment.

: The dried up plant? Your garden?

: Hah, I said that they oughta put cacti in the offices.

: The map won't be of much help. Nothing in 15 Days happens in Washington. Not in this sense at least.

: Checking out the inventory I see the phone lets me... call some guy's tamagotchi?

Let's examine stuff first.

: My work phone.

: Hey... that's my passport. Here in the case is a another special little tool. My bump key. Very useful. Works rather faster than a search warrant.

: "a another" is a sub typo.

: You can open almost any lock with a bump key.

: Time to make a phone call.

: Jack Stern, International Police Washington. Hi Jordan! So, how's the weather over there?

: It's raining. Do you know how late it is here Mr. Stern?

: Yeah of course! I'm not disturbing you am I?

: I assume you're calling about the Henston case. Your boss gave me advance warning.

: Exactly. I know. It's a real whodunit! We'd like to get an idea of this this at first hand.

: Our whole department has been working non stop for the past 48 hours. I'm on my way home. I've just come from the pathologist.

: OK. I'll keep it short. I plan to fly out today. I'd be there tomorrow morning. Does that suit you?

: Not particularly. But it can be organised.

: And... can you arrange a set of wheels for me?

: What to you have in mind?

: A van would be good. One of those surveillance vans.

: That's do-able. Any particular features or fittings?

: If you had a sleeping bag... ?

: Sure.

: And... perhaps a steering wheel on the right side... ?

: British sense of humour, huh? Very good... So, I'm flying to London Cental and then I'll come out to you.

: No one will be able to pick you up. We'll park your van in the airport car park and leave the key for you at the check-in. I'll send you an e-mail with a password soon. You have my mobile number just in case.

: Wonderful.

: Then good night. See you tomorrow.

: Let's use the door

: What now? Oh, right, another phone call...

: Jacks Stern, International Police Washington. I have a business account with you.

: Yes, Mr. Stern, I've found you. What can I do for you?

: I need a seat on the next plane to London.

: That would be the direct flight at 2:30pm Sir. Business class?

: Definitely and give me a seat next to the aisle. And a parachute.

: Aisle seat Sir. I've made a note of that. That will be 2,500 dollars. Where should I send your E-Ticket?

: Send it to my e-mail address.

: The ticket's on its way. Please be at the check-in in Terminal 2 no later that 2pm. United Airways wishes you a pleasant flight.

: Thanks.

: Packing means yanking the ticket from the printer.

: And so in this update we delivered one USB stick and booked one flight in painful detail. Joy. Next time we'll see more adventures of an American in Britain in a game from a German studio.

Jack won't be as awesome as this.

P.S. For bonus clips today there is the first stage of meeting Robert, and the Transatlantic call featuring close up shots of dead soulless faces.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at 09:50 on Jan 8, 2015

Mar 30, 2010

Thanks for linking the videos. I could not follow that intro cutscene with just the pictures. What was that?

Nov 17, 2012

"It's video games, Scully."
Video games?"
"He enlists the help of strangers to make his perfect video game. When he gets bored of an idea, he murders them and moves on to the next, learning nothing in the process."
"Hmm... interesting."
This game, or more correctly, this LP is making me inexplicably happy.

Okay, the animations look like they were either made in the Sims, or the developers used the Sims as reference. Because actual actors probably didn't want to associate with them. Which brings me to my second point - the athletic guy, probably Bernard, sounds like he's voiced by the Google voice synthesizer. And since I don't believe that a person could act so poorly, I think the actor actually tried to sound as bland and unconvincing as he could, and achieved a marvelous success.

Ninja: Sudden new update. Well, I bet this analysis is still relevant.

Oct 24, 2007

Your life and your quest end here.

SelenicMartian posted:

: A van would be good. One of those surveillance vans.

: That's do-able. Any particular features or fittings?

: If you had a sleeping bag... ?

: Sure.

: And... perhaps a steering wheel on the right side... ?

: British sense of humour, huh?
This "joke" is so clunky I had to read it several times to even get it. Jordan Bellicoe is correct in every sense; the steering wheel is on the right (not left) side of the car in England, and that is the right (correct) side for it to be on in countries where you drive on the left. He's not making a joke, he's stating a fact.

Mar 7, 2010

College Slice

Tiggum posted:

This "joke" is so clunky I had to read it several times to even get it. Jordan Bellicoe is correct in every sense; the steering wheel is on the right (not left) side of the car in England, and that is the right (correct) side for it to be on in countries where you drive on the left. He's not making a joke, he's stating a fact.

No you see he's saying that beca:suicide:

Three updates in and I still want to just stop reading. No offense OP, it's just that this game is boring as all hell. Nothing interesting has happened so far.

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

Selenic, you're doing God's work (or you lost a bet.)

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Hitlers Gay Secret posted:

Three updates in and I still want to just stop reading. No offense OP, it's just that this game is boring as all hell. Nothing interesting has happened so far.
The game starts padded to hell and back with stupid details and then the writers get brain rot leaving plot threads dangling and characters blacking out.

Also, the thefts themselves are pretty drat amazing, as is everything related to technology and science. Kojima had better research in the '80s than House of Tales managed to achieve in 2009.

Jun 24, 2007

Bringing the forums together with the greatest thread!

Tiggum posted:

This "joke" is so clunky I had to read it several times to even get it. Jordan Bellicoe is correct in every sense; the steering wheel is on the right (not left) side of the car in England, and that is the right (correct) side for it to be on in countries where you drive on the left. He's not making a joke, he's stating a fact.

Huh, I actually thought this was the first even mildly amusing thing in this game so far. Guess I just have a terribly dry sense of humour. :v:

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

So, any ideas for the search engine? Asking mainly because I'd love to get to the next page for the next update.
There's stuff there, like investigation, crime, and people moving.

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless

SelenicMartian posted:

So, any ideas for the search engine? Asking mainly because I'd love to get to the next page for the next update.
There's stuff there, like investigation, crime, and people moving.

Umm... I guess the authors have never seen a human move?

Ugh. I'm going to be sick.

Mar 7, 2010

College Slice
gently caress it, let's see what "Hitler" comes up with. Also try the developer's name.

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Hitlers Gay Secret posted:

gently caress it, let's see what "Hitler" comes up with. Also try the developer's name.
I did the developer's name in the update. They're gathering firewood.


Hitler: The environmental impact of using... :godwinning:

No Gravitas posted:

Umm... I guess the authors have never seen a human move?
You haven't seen half of the wonderful moves of the next update.

Anyway. Searching for "human"

human: The operational definition of jazz.

I also had an old search from the "dongs" times

penis: was the first mode of production.

I'm starting to thing the developers rolled half a dozen long-ish encyclopaedia articles into the search engine. Each word gets attached to a random sentence in the article using stuff like length, or maybe the letters, for the randomiser seed.

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless

SelenicMartian posted:

I'm starting to thing the developers rolled half a dozen long-ish encyclopaedia articles into the search engine. Each word gets attached to a random sentence in the article using stuff like length, or maybe the letters, for the randomiser seed.

I used to be known for plagiarism detection in my TA job.

Check #4 above and compare with the bolded below.

Wikipedia article on game music posted:

Taking entirely pre-recorded music had many advantages over sequencing for sound quality. Music could be produced freely with any kind and number of instruments, allowing developers to simply record one track to be played back during the game. Quality was only limited by the effort put into mastering the track itself. Memory space costs that was previously a concern was somewhat addressed with optical media becoming the dominant media for software games. CD quality audio allowed for music and voice that had the potential to be truly indistinguishable from any other source or genre of music.

Well, at least they take from a legal source.

Oct 11, 2009

Just to help bump this along: I have a ,love affair with LPs of lovely adventure games. I'd never play them myself but watching them is a special treat. You're doing a great job so far, and I'm along for the ride. Search terms: "your mom" and "Obama"

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless
I'm seeing a Markov chain in #5 of the Hitler search.

It starts from here.

Wikipedia article on time posted:

The most common devices in day-to-day life are the clock, for periods less than a day, and the calendar, for periods longer than
a day. Clocks can range from watches, to more exotic varieties such as the Clock of the Long Now.

But then it goes into this:

Wikipedia article on Jazz posted:

A broader definition that encompasses all of the radically different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: he states that "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being open to different musical possibilities".

See the overlap in "such as"? Yeah, this is a possible key to finding out what they did.

This technique starts up a sentence and then tries to randomly continue it in a logical way by finding something likely. It often has a topic shift on a connector such as "such as".

Of course this could all be hand-rolled or more crudely randomized... But I can dream, right?

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

100Dachshunds posted:

Search terms: "your mom" and "Obama"

your mom: Wood has been used for ages

Obama: The hole pattern represented

No Gravitas posted:

Of course this could all be hand-rolled or more crudely randomized... But I can dream, right?

Obama #1 loops on itself, possibly because it picked random strings to fuse at "the use of"

Oh poo poo, I just noticed human #1. All work and no play...

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Part 4: Four Playable Characters
aka "screw it, I just want to see everyone's reaction to the game"

: Jack promptly starts investigating London.

: Darned confusing here.

: Let's go talk to the creature at the counter.

: Come on, game, you've switched the camera already. Why do I have to click her again to start talking? So that I could stand here and enjoy the view? Well, good job. Now I noticed that this character never ever blinks.

: Hello.

: One dialogue tree of one real option later...

: My name's Jack Stern. You have a message for me.

: Your passport please Sir.

: Sure.

: I don't use the passport item. It's scripted.

: Thank you very much. The password for receiving the message please.

: The password is 53A2LW5.

: If nothing else, Jack has good memory.

: Well then.

: Have a nice day Sir.

: The elevator whisks us away to the car park. Where we should have cut to in the first place.

: Puzzling. So the doctors don't have a clue either. Who would have had a motive? He must have had enemies, for sure. I'm going to ask Bellicoe. Maybe I should do a search on the web for Henston at the same time. I ought to have Internet access in the van.

: None of this made sense probably. Well, the thing is... I forgot to read the "Henston file" attached to the very first email. Yes, the game shows the plane booking in detail, but also lets you fly to London without any idea of the situation there. At least we haven't poisoned any beggars, yet.

: That must be it. Not bad.

: My van.

: Can't use the bump key on the van. The van key though...

: OK...

: Right then: welcome home.

: They've rendered two interior shots of the van, where nothing happens.

As Jack said, we search for Henston.

: "Secondary fermentation is complete".

: The game dumps Cecil Rhodes on us. His figure might important to the whole plot. Anyway, let's roll.

: It has to be him.

: A member of the government kicked the bucket and there are no reporters around.

: Ah, here's the first out of many dialogues which lock you in them until you're done, and don't give you an option to quit.

: Hi. You must be Jordan, right?... Jack Stern. It's a pleasure.

: So far 15 Days has used "... ?" and "..?", and now we get "?...".

: Did you have a pleasant flight?

: Everything alright with the car?

: Oh... yeah... drat, you caught me. Where do I hand in my driving licence?

: To me, for example.

: Hey. Jordan, Come on now. I'm completely sober. You wouldn't make things difficult for a fellow policeman, now would you?

: Like I said Jack, your boss warned me about you.

: Oh, he thinks a lot of you. But he also said that you're not so hot on following the rules.

: All the better. Because you're in Great Britain now, Jack. You'll respect the law here. ALL the laws, including the ones that concern "Driving Under the Influence". Is that clear?

: Crystal clear.

: Oh, he doesn't get a face icon? Even I could make one.

: OK, now tell me. What happened to the poor guy?

: And checked. All negative thus far. It would appear that he really did just fall down dead. Organ failure.

: The flute was a huge success though.

: Did he take drugs?

: Well - cocaine, uppers, sleeping pills and he was an alcoholic. Be no critical blood values. He went to the doctor regularly. The results were all in order.

: Wow. Almost sounds as though the mas was more afraid of flying than me, huh?

: Indeed, but his consumption patterns are unfortunately not uncommon for a top ranking politician.

: I suppose I don't really need to ask if he had enemies?

: It would be quicker to list his friends. You followed the coverage of the demonstrations over the G8 summit?

: Sure.

: Then you've seen a few hundred thousand of his enemies. Our first thought was political murder, but we can't find a thing. No weapon, no injuries, no bacteria, no poison.

: Did he have family?

: Wife, ex-wife, three children, Golden Retriever. And a girlfriend of course, his blond assistant. She's going to inherit everything, if I'm not mistaken.

: 22. Can't count to five but looks like Miss Universe.

: We must be doing something wrong, Jordan.

: Look at the cuffs! And...

: We are alive, the conversation is ending.

: I'd like to have a look around in there now.

: Of course. I've already informed the officers. You have access to the offices at any time. Your colleagues from France have also been here, by the way. Took off again yesterday.

: Are you coming in with me?

: I'm not sure he has a walking animation, Jack.

: Sorry, I've got too much to do. We're putting a special commission together. You've got my mobile number. So if you find anything...

: You'll be the first to know.

: And JB does walk away.

: OK. Off we go.

: What's up with the statue?

: Admiral Nelson... or someone.

: The "Imposing façade"?

: Swanky box.

: And into the Foreign Office we go.

Wh... what? Not the typo in the room name, no.

WATCH. THIS. NOW.:siren:

Eh... Swanky, indeed. Anyway, let's check out the portraits.

: A regular wife of Dracula.

: An old trooper.

: The Neanderthal bust?

: Gotta be one of Henston's predecessors.

: The painting on the right?

: Well, it's a piece of something.

: What?

: One helluva boat.

: The filing cabinet under the model sailors?

: Files.

: We can examine the open diary on the desk.

: Look at this. Henston's organiser.

: There's some background traffic hum and this line is quieter that the comments about the boat. There's also a bloodstain.

: Yep, not much gets left behind. Not even of the "high and mighty".

: Let's grab the organizer.

: I call it shortening the chain of command.

: There's a little more to the room, like the home bar.

: Now would anyone notice if I just took a sip...

: The portrait can be both looked at AND investigated.

: Nice... but not my taste

: Hmm. I know this old guy from somewhere. Colonial politician I think.

: Finally, the diary/organiser.

: Minister Henston's organiser. I think I ought to do a bit of research on these entries.

: The purple text looks perfect on tan.

: And then he had a meeting with a company called ArtTrans... in his office...

: That's a new option...

: I'll have to do that on the computer.

: What? OK, if you say so...

: The only Internet-famous Nancy Jenkins.

: This looks like choice and gameplay, but we need to call all three numbers, obviously. gently caress...

: Nancy Jenkins.

: Hello Mrs. Jenkins. This is Jack Stern from the International Police. I'd like to ask you a few questions. Do you have a moment for me?

: International who?

: I assume you've heard about that.

: Hmm, well I never! So he's dead is he?

: You don't know anything about it?

: Listen Mr. International thingamajig...

: My name is Stern.

: James Henston was a pure-bred sod and didn't deserve any better. I hope it was a slow and painful death.

: Oh. We're... still working that out.

: Do you have to cut him up into little pieces for that?

: Oh, well... I think something like that will be done.

: Good. Very good. If you need any help with that...

: You didn't like Mr. Henston very much? Why did you go to dinner with him then?

: Because he paid for it. It's my job. Escort service, you see.

: Why do you have such a bad opinion of him?

: He was a pig. Don't you want to ask me if I killed him?

: No. I don't think so. I... I'm sorry if I put you in an awkward position.

: That's her job.

: Not at all. It was a pleasure.

: Err, yea. Good. So then, thank you very much for now.

: Nancy was lovely. But still, I tried to end it all and drive off.

: OK...

During the chat with Nancy Jack was sitting somewhere in his van. Apparently, that is the only place he can make his calls from, because when you try to use his mobile phone from this screen nothing happens. There's no comment, it just doesn't work.

gently caress House of Tales.

: Myers?

: Hi Mrs. Myers. This is Jack Stern from the International Police.

: International Police? Well I never. So word of mouth does work.

: Wait a minute. What's this about please.

: I have a few questions. About the death of James Henston.

: Oh. I see. Yes, that was a terrible thing. I was out for a meal with him just the day before he died.

: That's exactly why I'm calling. What was the purpose of your date?

: Business. Contract extension.

: Mr. Henston was a customer of your... service?

: For many years... He had a bit of a difficult marriage.

: I can imagine. So you supplied him with fitting alibis for his marital difficulties?

: Exactly. Have you got a problem with that?

: Not at all. Did Mr. Henston have any other difficulties, apart from with his marriage?

: Well, with a job like his you always have a lot of difficulties. He travelled a lot and not all of his destinations were meant to be public knowledge.

: Did you always know where he was going when he needed and alibi?

: No. We don't ask our customers questions. We give them answers.

: Where were you when Mr. Henston died?

: You're asking for my alibi?

: I'm quite sure you have one.

: I've got twenty.

: One's enough for me.

: Would you like to know his name?

: Perhaps I better not.

: I thought not.

: Good. Well, thanks a lot for now.

: Nothing at all Mr. Stern. And... if you ever need an alibi...

: I know. Have a nice day.

: What makes these conversations even more unbearable is that the only thing Jack does, apart from smacking his lips and blinking, is very slowly rotate a few degrees left and right as if he's got a shaft stuck up his arse. Anyway, ArtTrans, which is not a posh gender change clinic.

: Hi Mr Travis, Jack Stern here from the International Police. I have a question about of of your customers. James Henston.

: Oh yes. The minister. He just died, didn't he?

: That's right. There's a not in his diary suggesting he had an appointment with you the day before his death.

: One moment, let me just check.

: There a brief pause as Jack keeps rotating on the van's shaft.

: Yes, that's right. His ministry had loaned out a picture for a special exhibition in the London Modern. We brought it back on that day. To his office, if I'm not mistaken.

: Aha. Which picture was it?

: The portrait if Cecil Rhodes, by William James Thurber.

: How many people did you send?

: Two. Like always.

: What are their names?

: No, I'm not calling any more numbers. This is a bad enough radio drama already.

: I can't tell you exactly. I haven't received all of the papers yet, they're still in the post. But you could ask at the museum, our people have to sign transport documents there.

: OK. I'll do that. Thanks for now. Good bye.

: It all went off. National Guard and everything. I'll take a closer look at it on the Web.

: To the search engine!

There's a theory in the thread that the fake articles are composed out of bits of several Wikipedia paragraphs. I'm not entirely sold on it, because it implies the developer knew how to use Wikipedia, and we'll see a lot of evidence to the contrary.

: No.

: OK. About time we got out to see some people. I'll speak to Henston's widow tomorrow. And with his... 'assistant'. Let's see how she's coping with her new wealth. And I still have to get to the museum, what with this art shipper and all. Better do that now, before they close.

: Oh, joy. Wait, weren't the thieves going to case the joint today?

: Blimey, I haven't been here for ages... they've redone the whole forecourt.

: We've already got enough pigs there. So shall we go in?

: Bernard, you can't make jokes when the wacky music drowns you out.

: Hmm. What am I going to do if one of my old colleagues recognizes me?

: You say hello! This is a museum. They'll be expecting visitors.

: I just don't want anyone to ask awkward questions.

: Come on. Mike's right. They'd be happy to see you. We're not doing anything illegal.

: Not yet anyway. So, off you go. I'll get my hands on the building plans in the meantime.

: Good. Bernard, you check the camera system. I'll look for the painting. Is your phone on?

: Of course.

: Hey, I see a random human being in the shot!

: Good luck.

: Originally the Tate Modern building was the Bankside Power Station, which produced electricity by burning coal. In the middle of London. Naturally, as the fight for clean air went on, it was shut down and stripped of all equipment. By the mid '70s it became a popular venue for underground artists and performers, primarily thanks to the large and empty turbine hall. Among the regulars was a shock-art group COUM Transmissions whose performances included self mutilation, sex, drinking piss and blood, and stitching open wounds on stage. Their musical act developed into a band Throbbing Gristle, making this place the crib of industrial music. Not to be confused with concrete music (Musique concrète). That's a French invention.:science:

Anyway... back to the game... Cathryn won't chat up the girl, but we can examine the building and the pigs. Ignore the canal sign.

: Impressive...

: Cute... somehow...

: We enter the museum and...

: ...through a long-range scene transition...

: ...find ourselves indoors. Huh?

: You'll manage. I'll concentrate on the cameras.

: Headsets in means poo poo got real.

: Let's go. We'll split up... he'll only be able to follow one of us.

: The guard immediately takes off after Cathryn, who slides across the floor because her animation doesn't match the walking speed.

: What do you know, we've found the painting.

: OK. Let's do it.

: For the first time I'm in control of Bernard. He can examine poo poo, like the absolutely metal sculpture.

: Not really my thing.

: What about the orange mess in the background?

: It looks like a stylised camp fire.

: On the unmanned reception desk there's a brochure.

: The museum building plan.

: Might as well look at the cameras.

: There's one.

: Aha...

: Is Bernard's inventory of a phone and a pen as bland as his personality?

: My mobile. Old, but it still works.

: I think Mike pinched it from Megabase.

: Exit to the bottom of the screen.


: OK, let's hear the comments on the "plastic ants", the "threatening statue" and the golf ball respectively.

: Strange.

: Kind of threatening.

: Hmm...

: Time to actually solve the "puzzle" by taking the brochure.


: Cathryn?

: Here. OK. Stay on the line. I'm still in the corridor...

: No, you're not.

: Lots of cameras here. Is it a new system?

: Well, it wasn't there when I worked here.

: There used to be a security room on the ground floor. That could be it.

: We continue by observing that the font does not follow the perspective.

Anyway, we use either the plan or the pen on a camera.

Yes, Bernard stands right in front of it and marks the position on the plan. You have to do it with every camera in the building.

: Hmhm...

: Got it.

: What?

: It's a lock with fingerprint authentication. Only certain guards can get in there.

: Can Mike crack that thing?

: Mike can crack anything.

: A fingerprint lock? We'd best be off if we had the finger that fits.

: I've got some bolt cutters and bandages if you want?

: Funny.

: A fingerprint would be enough, right?

: Absolutely.

: OK. We've gotta find out which of the guards go in and out of there. Mike?

: What.

: Meanwhile, Bernard is taking a stroll.

: I can't right now. I'm in the middle of penetrating the architect's server.

: We'll manage without you.

: Quiet now, I've got to concentrate.

: I'll talk to one of the security guards.

: You do that. I'm turning you off.

: The back passage contains some junk...

: They're storing stuff here for the next rubbish collection, definitely.

: Just a heap of old crap.

: ...a door...

: Hmm... The loo most probably.

: ...and more cameras.

: Noted.

(wearing French accent): Oh mon dieu. You gave me a shock.

: Err, yeah. Exactly...

: Toilets are upstairs. Now out of here, alright?

: Alright, alright. Excuse me.

: Problems Bernie?

(still a bit French): A guard. He's gone again... I'm in the cellar, gotta come upstairs again.

: Come to think of it, every line Bernard says in this cellar has a bit of a French accent, even the hotspot comments.

: OK. Then I'll go through to the other exhibition room.

: This time Cathryn gets no personal space.

: Excited, Bernie proceeds to mark the remaining cameras.

: Good.

: OK...

: OK.

: There are quite a few...

: Alright, then let's meet outside. Mike, what about the server... ?

: Woosh!

: Just about ready, jeez... Aw, come on, stupid thing... I don't believe it. Does this damned admin want to give me a proper work-out, or what?

: I can switch the camera angle, but Mike's notebook in the only interactive point in the scene.

: My notebook. Everything soldered together myself. Blindfolded.

: I'd like to watch him hook up the power cord to an AT motherboard blindfolded.

Mike's got the same desktop on all of his PCs. Today we use LeetRoute.

Oh. That looks complicated. I'll leave it for next time.

P.S. In addition to the swanky box theme earlier, here's Bernard going French.

SelenicMartian fucked around with this message at 13:55 on Nov 29, 2014

May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.
Why the insistence on saying "International Police" every time, when "InterPol" is faster and a bit more obvious to people like me?

Also, that sound balancing. :wtf:

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless

A little bit later...

SelenicMartian posted:

: Wife, ex-wife, three children, Golden Retriever. And a girlfriend of course, his blond assistant. She's going to inherit everything, if I'm not mistaken.

: 22. Can't count to five but looks like Miss Universe.

: We must be doing something wrong, Jordan.

Either the encyclopedia article is inaccurate, the wife just gave birth in the last half-hour or someone cannot count to two/three.

And there actually is even more wrong here. Back to the first update:

SelenicMartian posted:

: While I cook the next update, hopefully covering more than ten minutes of cutscenes, try to find everything that's wrong with this image.

The newspaper came out on the 1st. The encyclopedia tells us that the guy died on the 29th. I guess he could have died late on the 29th, had his body found late on the 30th and then the papers would publish it on the 1st. Still, I wonder.

EDIT: On a reread of the paper: "On Monday morning". So body found on the 29th. Why not publish the news on the 30th then? The clock digit theft was "yesterday", so that would make that the 30th. No problem, that gets published.

No Gravitas fucked around with this message at 20:36 on Nov 29, 2014

Mar 7, 2010

College Slice
Did anything happen in that update? I got three pictures in and... then I was typing this post. Boy, it's like my mind is blocking this turd from my memory.

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

No Gravitas posted:

The newspaper came out on the 1st. The encyclopedia tells us that the guy died on the 29th. I guess he could have died late on the 29th, had his body found late on the 30th and then the papers would publish it on the 1st. Still, I wonder.

EDIT: On a reread of the paper: "On Monday morning". So body found on the 29th. Why not publish the news on the 30th then? The clock digit theft was "yesterday", so that would make that the 30th. No problem, that gets published.
This is both amazing and sad. Amazing because this game's writing is even worse that I thought, and sad because the answer "the newspaper is printed on cardboard and has a dual front page" would've been sufficient.

There's actually a plot convenience reason all this is happening early in July.

Dec 21, 2012


I can't understand these kinds of games, and not getting it bugs me almost as much as me being weird
What do you get for searching for druids?
Or hell, mode of production or one of the other half dozen repeated phrases?
It's like spam email.

Rockopolis fucked around with this message at 07:56 on Dec 1, 2014

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

The Quest for the Holy Page 2 continues.

Rockopolis posted:

What do you get for searching for druids?
Or hell, mode of production or one of the other half dozen repeated phrases?
It's like spam email.

druids: Marx and Engels :ussr:

In addition to producing alcohol, of course.

Mode of production: TIE fighter.

I wonder if the developers themselves knew their robo-text mentions much better titles.

Sep 26, 2013
I don't have anything to say about the game that anyone here hasn't already said, but let's search for the Holy Page 2.

May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"
"Druids: Larger, bent, or deformed" does rather fit with many of the (modern) druids I have met over the years...

Oct 11, 2009

Onward to page 2. If nothing else, I really like the art theives' dockside apartment. That place is ballin.

Nov 4, 2014

I won this avatar on a technicality this thick.
Search "Something Awful".

5 more until page 2.

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

Indiiea posted:

let's search for the Holy Page 2.

Mraagvpeine posted:

Search "Something Awful".

The declining living conditions are a theme.

I triple-checked and "somethingawful" still instantly crashes the game.

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless

SelenicMartian posted:

I triple-checked and "somethingawful" still instantly crashes the game.

Does it allow character combos such as:

May crash the search engine with a funny message and candy may come out posted:

// # -- ; ? " ' . ! $

Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

No Gravitas posted:

Does it allow character combos such as:
It doesn't allow me to type in some of them, doesn't crash with the others. Yet . . .

I tried it only in the very first search sequence. Typing in # alone or in a string gives you the usual random articles. However, when I quit the PC right after that, Mike reported that he'd found the picture and the plot moved on. I didn't even see the required article in the results.


Nov 4, 2014

I won this avatar on a technicality this thick.
One more filler post. Hope it helps.

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