Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Portopia Serial Murder Case (NES) - Guest Post

Guest contributor GreatOldOne returns with another ancient NES game. This is easily the oldest game on the site so far in fact.

This is a REALLY old school adventure game where you try to solve a murder with the help of an assistant. Unfortunately, I was spoiled on the identity of the murderer before I started playing, but it should still be an interesting experience, right?

This is Yasu. He's your partner on the case, and most of the game is made up of ordering him to do things in order to solve the case.

Um, what? What incident? What are we investigating? You didn't tell me anything!

Just for the hell of it, I immediately try the 'Arrest' option, but Yasu won't let me have my fun.

So instead, I try the 'Ask' option, and Yasu immediately finds a possible suspect for the murder of... um...

Drats. I tried looking for our suspect, but it seems he has made a clean getaway. Or maybe I should get out of here.

Trying out the 'Move' options gives me a whole bunch of locations to go to. I'll head for the Police Station first, get all the facts we need first. Like, who on Earth was murdered?

Yasu immediately takes me to the Interrogation Room, and there are apparently no other places in the station to visit. Oh well, time to start calling in suspects.

I call in Mr. Komiya (whoever that is) and immediately ask him about his Alibi. Apparently even the in-game characters don't actually know anything about the case. At least I know the name of the victim now.

I start badgering this random old man about his relation to the victim, but he isn't exactly very helpful. I decided to try and 'Investigate Someone'

Kouzou is one of the names on the list, so I immediately check him out and ask about his Job. Yasu is very helpful, even giving me another suspect to eventually question. Although I wonder why his nephew is so important and not his sibling?

Yasu tells me about his Personal Life next. Looks like quite a few people might have a motive here!

Finally, I ask Yasu to tell me about Kouzou's Alibi. The response is as expected.

I decided to try and 'Show' something to Mr. Komiya, in order to make him more cooperative, but apparently we don't actually have any sort of evidence yet. What kind of cops are these? They immediately go around calling interrogations to drill people on the murder of a man they forgot to look up.

I call in the other two suspects, Fumie and Toshi, but neither of them seem to have a motive. Time to go visit the MANSION, which I assume is the scene of the crime.

I assumed correctly. I try and call someone in, but Yasu shuts that down pretty quickly. I can't Ask anyone anything either, so this room is a bit pointless. I head into the Living Room instead.

While in the Living Room, I accidentally hit the B button after trying to cancel out of a bit of dialogue from Yasu, and discover a whole other menu of options. Well, damn.

I make like a good Detective and try to start INVESTIGATING things. Magnifying Glass? I don't see a...

Okay, so Magnifying Glass actually makes an icon appear onscreen that you can direct somewhere. I check a spot on the wall but Yasu tricks me into thinking I actually found something. The text actually pauses for a bit after his first line.

I hit the painting, but nothing happens. Also, the icon for Hitting things is a hammer, which is awesome. More detective need to solve crimes by beating the crap out of walls with hammers.

Next, I take the painting, revealing a SECRET BUTTON underneath. NOW we're getting somewhere!

I order Yasu to beat the button into the wall with a hammer, but nothing happens. What a waste of time.


While I'm here, I decide to try investigating things, like a good Detective should. And voila, I FINALLY have the time of death! Now I can start drilling people for their Alibis. I also find out that he was found dead with a knife in his hand, and he died of a stab wound to the neck. Possible suicide? Yasu mentions nothing about fingerprints on the knife.

Looking at the weird thing on the table, I find a matchbox.

Looking at that, I get a phone number! We're getting clues by the dozen, here!

FFF--, and it looks like I'm supposed to jot down what the matchbox said, then dial in the number manually. Well fortunately, I lucked out! The game crashed after I pressed the one of the buttons! Case closed, Kouzou commited suicide, and this was a huge waste of time.

(I kinda like the game though).

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