Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Game 51: Rise of the Dragon - Roses Are Red

Written by Ilmari

Blade Hunter’ secret diary, part 2: I really hope these organically grown flowers will help my way back to Karyn’s heart. If they work, I have a perfect date planned - Astro Burgers, a sixpack and some cyberball on Karyn’s satlink.

Last time I had learned that a) there's been new deaths in the Pleasure Domes, b) Blade's girlfriend Karyn is mighty upset of him not appearing on their date, c) I should really get going, since some maniac is about to release dangerous substance in city’s water supplies, and d) I’ll be arrested if I try going out naked. Putting on some clothes, I made my way out of Blade’s apartment, took a quick look at the empty roof and continued down to the subway. Entering a train opened a map of the city.

L.A. of future. Someone appears to have stolen the last D in Hollywood sign

Mayor had mentioned that his daughter had been last seen in Pleasure Dome with someone named Jake, but I thought I’d first check out the City Hall - maybe I could speak with mayor some more and get some new clues. On my way from subway station to the City Hall, I met an old Chinese drunk, who went on and on about some prophetic catastrophe coming soon. I also noticed a woman selling some organic flowers, which I obviously bought.


Another poor soul has wasted his life on an infamous FPS

The city hall itself had three doors: one to Bureau of Records, one to mayor’s office and one to police headquarters. I spoke for a few minutes with mayor’s secretary, Jenni, who suggested having some good time later. Rise of the Dragon appears to have dialogue trees with real choices, so it was up to me to decide whether I wanted Blade to pursue an affair with the secretary. Since I wanted to play it nice, I declined, because Blade happens to be taken. As Karyn, Blade's lady friend, was supposed to work in Records, I decided to look at there first and see whether I could make her less angry with my fresh bouquet.


Nice to know Stallone is still in action


What wonders simple roses can do?


Dinner or astroburgers?

After making up with Karyn, I fixed a date with her - we are going to a place called L’Etoile at 7:30 PM. Karyn also gave the keys to the locked cabinet in my apartment.

Next I tried to enter Mayor’s office, but Jenni told me Mayor was too busy. I also went to police headquarters, even though Jenni tried to stop me. As I didn’t have a proper authorization, I didn’t get very far.

Are you new, dude? Don’t you recognize Captain Logan?

With nothing else to do in the city hall, I retraced my steps. At the room with the Chinese bum and flower seller, I noticed I could walk to another direction, finding myself in a warehouse complex. After few twists and turns, I found an old Chinese man, who knew me and the case I was investigating, but had otherwise nothing helpful to say.


Could you show me the crane stance?

I then finally headed to the subway and traveled to the Pleasure Dome. At the door, two burly security men wanted me to hand over my gun. I tried to be diplomatic and use witty remarks to convince them otherwise, but the results were far from optimal.


Doorman - Blade Hunter: 1 - 0


Doorman - Blade Hunter: 1 - 1


Doorman - Blade Hunter: 2 - 1

It appeared then that I had to leave my gun to the doormen, but then I remembered something from the manual - I could drop items to a specific room and pick them up later. I somehow felt that I shouldn’t probably leave my gun out on the streets, so I took a subway to my own apartment and left my gun there. At the same time I used the keys Karyn gave me to open the locked cabinet. I found some explosives, wire-tester meant for bugging phones and a chocolate bar.


I guess I should start hoarding sweets

During my visit back to home, I witnessed also a cutscene, in which the henchman from the game intro, now named as Jonny Qwong, had a conversation with a lab technician. Apparently the production of the mutant producing substance wasn’t going as fast as it should have, and Mr. Qwong threatened his employee with the wrath of Bahumat, if the production wasn’t speeded up.


Subtle reminder of the time limit

Getting back to Pleasure Dome, I now passed through the security scan with flying colors. While the place was advertised as a center for all vices, it appeared merely a huge disco. I tried to chat up with some card players, but they didn’t know either Chandra or Jake, so I proceeded to the bar.


I’ve seen wilder things happen in a kindergarten

Discussing with customers in the bar quickly revealed that Jake I was looking for was sitting at the far end of the bar. He was at first reluctant to speak with me, but when I showed him the picture of mayor’s dead daughter, he changed his mind and called me to his “office”.


I’ve just been listening this song

Jake, AKA Willard Jakeston was clearly distraught by Chandra’s death and slipped that it was probably due to hanging out with some guy called Chen. Interrogating him further made Jake spill his beans. Chen was a pump for some big guys in Chinatown, and Jake even had his address. Finally, a solid lead!






Many faces of Willard Jakeston

Getting back to city map, I noticed that Chen’s apartment had appeared in it. I then proceeded at once to Chen’s and in the hallway met a suspicious character.










Eye patch = bad guy

The door to Chen’s home was open and I could just see some movement behind the door. When I entered, I saw a man - probably Chen - slowly turning into quivering flesh and then into a skeleton. The eye patch guy had been ahead of me!


And I didn’t take it literally, when they said that TV melts your brain...

Few moments after entering Chen’s place, I witnessed another cut scene. Apparently some alarm had just went off, and a police team was alerted. If I took too much time in my investigation of Chen’s apartment, I was arrested as a murder suspect.


Luckily the mayor is on my side


Bad news is that Karyn is pissed

After some reloads, I think I managed to gather all the necessary evidence before cops had a chance to get me. I began by taking a look at Chen’s vidphone, which had a copy of only one phone call. Someone named merely “voice of Bahumat” reprimanded Chen for getting mayor’s daughter killed, because that would only turn mayor’s attention to them. The call ended with a veiled threat that a personal representative was about to come and discuss matters through with Chen.

I took Chen’s ID from the vidphone and checked out the bathroom, which contained a patch of some drug. Finally I went into Chen’s bedroom, which at first appeared to contain nothing of interest. Then I noticed a glint in the eye of a dragon statue. Pushing that eye revealed a safe behind a picture. I had no idea what the combination would be. After waiting and thinking for a while, I decided just to check all my screenshots and look for some suspicious numbers. Then I noted that a certain string of numbers was repeated again and again in Chen’s vidphone profile.


At least it isn’t 1234

That code worked perfectly and I had the chance to grab a paper with some Chinese markings and another candy bar. With nothing else to do, I left the building. It was almost the time of Blade’s date with Karyn, so I traveled to her apartment. Result was not very surprising.


Ooohh, how romantic!


On second thoughts, not that romantic

After spending the night with Karyn - and definitely not on the couch - Blade returned to his apartment, which seemed like a good place to stop. The plot appears to moving fast forward - just one day has passed and there’s already another dead body. So far there hasn’t been that much of puzzles, but I do like the game’s dialogue system, and  at least to my untrained eye, the graphics look just divine.

Session time: 1.5 hours
Total time: 2 hours

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

13 comments:

  1. Remember kids, don't do drugs - or else you'll get mutated and/or dissolved.

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  2. Deputy Van Halen? Tribute to a famous band by the programmers?

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    Replies
    1. Or then to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

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    2. Yeah, Bill and Ted's, followed by a Karate Kid reference.

      Also: a person named "Fu Bar", really? :/

      At first I thought the thought bubbles were 'shopped in by Ilmari or the editor(s), but I guess those are actually part of the game, huh?

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    3. I just now realized the Fu Bar - thing. He's pretty much just a filler, like all the poker players.

      And yes, the thought bubbles are part of the game - only the captions are mine.

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    4. I wonder if the artist's direction for Deputy Van Halen was "draw a chubby Hitler"

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    5. Yes. Fu Bar, really. I learnt about the acronym because of this game. Who said games aren't educational?

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    6. I learnt about the acronym from the fun 80s action movie "Tango and Cash"

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  3. I've been looking at these screenshots and trying to place why they felt so damned familiar. It made sense as a flash - the GUI has a different paint job, but it's the same as Willy Beamish.

    The story seems well thought out, at least. Though I do question why they're still making chocolate bars if sugar is that scarce (I mean, wouldn't you get blocks etc? Assuredly you would want something you can share amongst the family et al given it's a legal luxury.)

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    Replies
    1. I am guessing that the Fisto Company just charges a lot of those chocolate bars - if people put candy bars in safes, they must be worth a fortune. It might eve be that Fisto has just found some horde of leftovers from a richer and more sugary past, all full of artificial preservatives just to keep them fresh (they do look suspiciously like Snickers with just a different name tagged on).

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    2. I don't know why a company that thrives on the black market would even bother to have a brand name. It's like having a nickel-bag stamped with the label reading "SCHIZMO - Y'aint gonna git mo' stoned".

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  4. Thank you to whoever decided to use Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart as the example eye-patched villain.

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    Replies
    1. I knew someone would recognise him eventually!

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