Be advised that it took me two and a half hours to leave the station and get in my car!
It was probably pretty clear from my first gameplay post that the first couple of hours of Police Quest 2 rubbed me up the wrong way. I was really struggling, and I didn’t feel like all the trouble was due to my own failure. I was not yet certain whether the game was deeply flawed or whether I’d just had a session where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The many comments of condolence and agreement that came through during the 24 hours after my post at least told me that I wasn’t alone, but I was willing to give the game the benefit of the doubt, and kick on with an open mind. I’m very happy to report that the game has become much more enjoyable since I finally made my way out of the station, and my progress has been fairly consistent if not always filled with confidence.
I'd be very surprised if Keith's lungs make it to Police Quest 3
My last post finished with Keith and I heading to the jail that Bains escaped from, hoping to find some clue as to where he might have gone. The jailer there was very concerned for his colleague Luis Pate, who Bains had kidnapped on his way out, and he also offered up the now-fugitive’s file. Inside I found another mugshot, this time showing Bains with a dodgy looking mullet, which must be the photo Captain Hall was wanting me to get my hands on. With no other clues apparent, I left the jail and hopped back in the car with Keith, intending to return the photo to the station and hopefully to receive further orders.
Cut the small talk...give me the damn file!
We didn’t get very far, as the radio called in to say the correctional officer’s vehicle had been discovered at Oak Tree Mall. We put the pedal to the metal and headed straight over there, prepared for action. We didn’t get any, but it did give me an opportunity to examine the car, looking for any evidence that could be used against Bains. I didn’t uncover anything, but a rather large woman at the site claimed her car was now missing. She couldn’t even remember her full license plate number, which wasn’t very helpful, but I did get down that it was a black 1986 compact Chevy station wagon. All we could do was hop back into the car to report our findings.
I'm sure you can remember how to get to McDonalds
Thankfully another call came through for assistance, this time requesting we go straight to Cotton Cove. On arrival we found an excited young jogger, claiming she’d found blood and drag marks down by the river. I then proceeded to follow the manual’s instructions on how to handle a homicide investigation, very much in the same way I did throughout Police Quest 1. I got as much information out of the girl as I could, drew and loaded my gun, then walked down the river to the location she’d given me. Despite being totally ready for it, I was stunned when Bains jumped out of the bushes and started shooting at me. I eventually came to my senses and fired at him, but by that stage it was too late. Bains had taken me down, and it was time to restore.
Well this restore's for you, LOSER!!!
My next attempt went much better, but I merely scared the bastard away rather than hitting the target. Moments later the black station wagon the woman had described at the mall came flying by with Bains at the wheel. It was all pretty cinematic stuff, and suddenly all the tediousness and struggle of the first session was forgotten. It was time to check out the crime scene! I opened my field kit and began collecting evidence. I took photos of the scene, took a sample of the blood, and took a plaster cast of the footprints. With all that down, I went to head back to the car, but ran into the police diver on the way. He told me he didn’t like to dive alone, but that there was no-one else available to do it. I suddenly remembered the diving certification in my wallet!
Seriously, is there any doubt who did this?
Offering my services, I quickly found myself in the back of the diver’s van, choosing gear to wear. I put on fins, a wetsuit, a mask, a belt, and then stared at the four oxygen tanks wondering which one I was supposed to choose. There was nothing in the manual about scuba diving, so I just had to take a guess. I chose tank 1, put it on, and made my way over to the river. I have no idea whether this was the most ideal tank to use or even if there’s a difference between any of them, but since I made it through the scene I can only assume I didn’t do the wrong thing. I did run out of air and die once, but I simply did everything quicker on my second attempt.
CAPs to anyone that can tell me whether it mattered what tank I chose.
The underwater scene involved swimming around and examining the items on the riverbed below me. It was mostly rubbish, but I did discover the jailer’s badge, which I planned to hand into evidence later. Eventually I made the ghastly discovery I’d been expecting, finding the body wedged between some rocks. The other diver and I grabbed hold of it and took it up to the surface and out. On further investigation I found a “bullet hole in the head and superficial cuts and scratches on the throat”, and since I didn’t seem to be able to collect any further evidence, I got changed and went back to the car, once again planning to go back to the station to hand evidence.
A scuba diving scene was an unexpected but pleasant surprise
As with the last three times I’d planned to go to the station, the radio kicked in to tell me about yet another scene I needed to investigate. The black station wagon had been spotted somewhere near the airport! I made the decision to pay a quick visit to the station to hand in all the evidence I’d acquired, worried that I might miss out on any findings that came from it if I continued to hold onto it. I gained a bunch of points for it, and then rushed over to the airport on Bains' trail. I quickly located the stolen car in the carpark, and began investigating the interior for clues. I spent a long time looking, but I couldn’t find anything in the vehicle. I still feel like I missed something here, but quickly forgot about it as I realised I could enter the airport. Hopefully I don’t regret not looking harder later in the game!
My car has more criminal evidence than this one!
Outside the airport I found a woman selling flowers. She offered single roses, a bouquet of carnations, or a pot plant. I tried purchasing each of them and received the same amount of points, so I went with the rose, thinking I might need it later with Marie. Once inside the airport, the mugshot of Bains became very useful indeed. I walked around to each person I could find, showed them my badge to get their attention, then showed them the mugshot to see if they’d seen the fugitive anywhere. One of the ticket agents responded in the affirmative, and I got out of them that he’d bought a ticket to Houston. Unfortunately his flight had left twenty minutes ago, but I decided to purchase tickets for Keith and I to follow in his footsteps.
He should be!
I didn’t have enough cash in my wallet to purchase the tickets, but after a quick call to Captain Hall by Keith, we were ready to board. I actually struggled to find the gate to board the plane, and at one point found myself in an empty bathroom, wondering why it was there in the first place. It was unusual for a Sierra game to have screens with no purpose, but since I couldn’t find anything in any of the cubicles apart from some dodgy graffiti, I moved on. Eventually I found my way to the gate, and after a quick chat with the waiting Larry Laffer, boarded the flight to Houston. I should point out that I noticed a very dodgy looking man at the bottom of the escalators before boarding, who was described as “looking unusually scruffy for a business man”, but didn’t seem to be able to interrogate him.
Seen it...was alright!
So there Keith and I were, seated on a plane to Houston, wondering how we were going to track Bains down once we reached our destination, when something unexpected happened. The flight attendant informed me that Captain Hall had called to report that Bains had not arrived on the previous flight to Houston, so was still somewhere in Lytton. Slightly confused, I found myself back in the airport, wondering whether that was supposed to happen, or whether I’d done something wrong. I suddenly thought about the scruffy looking business man, wondering whether that had actually been Bains in disguise. I spent some more time interrogating him until I was satisfied he was a red herring, before moving onto others in the vicinity.
We better bloody get a refund!
The salesman at the car hire outlet recognised my photo of Bains, and I soon got out of him that he’d rented a 1988 green CMG sedan, with license plate #C43256. This seemed to be all I needed to leave the airport and report my findings, but curiosity led me back to the men’s toilets to see if I could discover its purpose. I’m very glad for this curiosity, as a short while later I discovered the murder weapon, hidden in the top of one of the toilets. I grabbed it, and made my way straight to the station to hand it in as evidence. Feeling pretty satisfied with my efforts, I waltzed into the Homicide department, hoping to get some sort of praise from the captain. I got none, but instead I was told to go home as I’d done enough for the day.
Strangely I don't have any gloves in my field kit, meaning I've probably added my own prints to the murder weapon.
Hopping into my private vehicle brought up a message telling me that I spent “a boring and restless evening, wondering why I never called Marie for a date”. I restored back to the office, wondering if I might actually be able to call Marie from my desk phone. I rang the operator and asked for the number of Marie Wilkans, stoked when she gave it to me! I then called Marie and had a very brief conversation, resulting in her asking me to meet her at Arnie’s when I get off work. Well that sure beats a lonely evening at home, and I have to wonder what the consequences of not calling Marie actually would be. A dead end or just less points? Regardless, with my first work day over and a hundred points on the board, this seemed like a good place to stop. I’m actually quite keen to see what my night with Marie brings, not to mention day two on the job, which is not something I expected to feel after the disastrous first session. And I've only followed manual procedures once!
Sonny's employment made getting the ladies easy.
Session Time: 3 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've recently written 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!