I wouldn't want to lose this. "That robe over there! Yeah, the brown one!"
My first Manhunter 2 gameplay post had covered only as far as the Bank of Canton. I felt like I’d found everything I was going to find there, but then my experience with the first Manhunter game told me that was likely a false sense of security. Still, I felt ready to open up my MAD and see where the suspect travelled next after murdering Tad Timov in the bank and a second Dragon member on the pavement outside. I opened up the tracker and watched as the suspect left the bank area and travelled north east until they arrived at a warehouse. Its here that something surprising happened which made me realise I’d been misinterpreting things during my first game session. I’d questioned why the suspect’s marker in the tracker recording was both red and yellow, and it turns out I wasn’t looking at a suspect at all. I was looking at two suspects! I figured this out when the red and yellow markers got into a scuffle (at least I assumed that’s what happened) at the warehouse entrance and then went separate directions.
The yellow and red markers close together are two separate people
It’s at this point that I also remembered that I was able to change which marker I was following in Manhunter 1 by clicking on them, and the same applied here. The yellow marker was simply the city occupant I was following at the time! So now I had to decide whether to follow the suspect that entered the warehouse or to remain focussed on the other one that left the area. I decided to follow the suspect into the warehouse as that location would already be marked out on my map. I watched as they weaved their way through the warehouse, paused in a small room in the bottom left corner, and then made their way back out of the building. What did they do there? Time to find out! As soon as I opened up the map screen to look for the warehouse I noticed a flashing yellow marker that hadn’t been there before. I moved my cursor over it and was surprised to find it was Tad Timov’s apartment! Of course! I’d forgotten that discovering addresses of city occupants in Manhunter had then made their homes available to visit on the map screen. Since I’d found Tad’s profile on my MAD, I was now able to visit his apartment.
I thought Bat Vomit would have a cave somewhere!
I decided to visit Tad’s apartment before checking out the warehouse. It’s safe to say that Tad didn’t live in the nicest part of town, with strip clubs and graffiti covered buildings all around the entrance to his abode. I could find nothing to do apart from entering it, so that’s what I did. I got only the briefest glimpse inside before a vicious dog appeared in the fireplace and then charged at me, knocking me to the ground. The Murry’s then appeared to inform me that what occurred off screen was so disgusting even they wouldn’t show it! I restored and entered the apartment several more times, thinking I might be able to use an item in my inventory or find something in the room and get out before the dog could attack, but every attempt ended in my death. I figured I was missing something I needed to distract the dog, and therefore moved on to check out the warehouse.
I really hope I find some doggie biscuits somewhere
I entered the warehouse on arrival, as I could find nothing else to interact with outside. Once inside I came across a rather disturbing site. There was a large container with what appeared to be body parts swirling around in it. On the side was written four different types of “cuisine”, being face filets, flesh fries, finger food and poopsicles, and since flesh fries had an asterisk next to it, I could only assume that’s what I could see within this particular container. On the floor in front of the container was a “bloody clumpy of coarse hair”, which I figured must have been a result of the scuffle I’d witnessed on the tracker recording. Since I appeared to be able to do nothing with either the container or the hair, I moved on past it into the warehouse. Here I faced my first arcade mini-game in Manhunter 2. There were four robots roaming the container filled room, and my goal appeared to be to reach the door at the opposite end while evading them. It was made more difficult by the fact that the robots rapidly approached me if I ever got within their “line of sight”, so the trick was to hide between crates temporarily and to time my movements precisely. It took a while (I got crushed numerous times), but I made it through!
It's like Pac-Man...but with robots and crates of body parts all over the place!
The small room that the suspect entered briefly turned out to be an office. There was a large mallet leaning against the wall, which I was able to pick up. There was a schedule on the wall that read “Experimental station needs 5 crates – no New York shipment. Can’t make contact.” I’d noticed that the crate containing the flesh fries had New York written on it, but I couldn’t make any sense out of the schedule otherwise. The only other thing of interest I could find in the office was a message on the table written in blood. “Zac – me hurt me got it. Traiter mic me at den” What does that mean? Whose Zac? What did he get? Is Mic short for Mike? Is he a traitor? What’s the den? Why did the suspect come into the warehouse? Was it just so he could leave this message for Zac? So many questions! No answers! Tucking all this away into memory, I left the office, made my way back through the arcade mini-game (eventually) and left the warehouse.
I opened up my tracker to see where this injured suspect went next, and the answer turned out to be Hyde Street Pier. It seemed from the recording that they climbed down a ladder at the pier and entered something in the side of the wall. This is where the target signal was lost and the recording terminated. I opened up the map screen and set out in a north-west direction towards where I expected the pier to be. Once again I came across a flashing yellow marker that I hadn’t expected to find, and this time it turned out to be the manhunter’s apartment! There was no address that I could see on Peter Brown’s ID card, nor had his profile come up on the MAD. I can only assume it was on the back of the card. Regardless of how I know the address, I decided to check out the manhunter’s pad before paying a visit to the pier.
At least it looks like Manhunters are fairly well paid
Thankfully there was no dog waiting for me inside, so I was able to look around. Out the window I could see “The Transamerica Pyramid” and “Coit Tower”, but I could find no real purpose for being able to do that. However, inside one of the drawers I found a piece of cloth with a Chinese symbol, two fish and a ying yang symbol on it. It also had a note attached to it that read “Rub jewel of heaven”. I picked up the cloth, but had no idea what it could possibly be useful for. There was nothing else of interest in the room, although putting the cursor on the hammock informed me that “it is too early to go to bed”. I can only assume that at some point I’ll be coming back here to sleep the way I did in Manhunter 1, although on that occasion the apartment was my own. I left the apartment and made my way north to Hyde Street Pier.
I ain't rubbin' no jewels of heaven man!
The pier not only had the ladder going down to the beach, it also had a storage area behind a metal fence and a large ship docked close by. I was able to get a close up of the fence and some of the crates within, but didn’t seem to be to interact with any of it. Perhaps I’ll be able to cut the fence at some stage? The box closest to the fence had Medical Supplies written on it, but there seemed no way to open it or move it. I climbed down the ladder the way the suspect did and my view changed to a third person perspective. The pipe coming out of the wall was clearly where the suspect went when they disappeared off the scanner, but the blood dripping out of it suggested it wasn’t a great idea to climb in. Still, you never know if you never go, so I saved my game and hopped inside. Moments later a creature with large teeth killed me on the spot, spitting out my robe and a couple of the larger bones. Interestingly, the game over screen read “you should let a sleeping rat lie!” Was that thing actually supposed to be a rat? Perhaps it was a mutant monkey-rat!?
I know! I'll just stick my head into this pipe that has blood flowing out of it!
Before leaving the pier, I did one more thorough pixel hunt. I found something too, which was that I could interact with one of the pillars beneath it. Pressing the magnifying glass on it caused my character to wade through the water and climb most of the way up it. My perspective then changed back to a first person one, and I found myself staring up through a hole into the storage area. Sadly, one of the crates was sitting on top of the hole, so I wasn’t able to climb up and explore. I’d already tried using items such as the mallet on the crate while looking through the fence, and I tried again here without luck. In the end I had no choice but to open up my MAD to see where the second suspect went after the warehouse. I’d followed the first suspect as far as the tracker recording went, and had literally run out of things to try along that path. Hopefully following the other path for a while would give me some answers.
Somebody help me! The brown will run straight out of this robe!
Cranking up the MAD again, I soon found out that the other suspect made their way over to the Ferry Building, which is where Phil Cook was seen landing his alien craft in the game’s introduction. They paused temporarily near the entrance before entering a room, where they paused again, then left the building altogether. I opened up my travel map, and found the Ferry Building to the east. Once there I found I was only able to enter the building as nothing else on the screen gave me any interaction features. Inside was a staircase leading up to three sets of locked glass doors. I thoroughly pixel hunted this screen as the suspect seemed to enter a room to the left, but I couldn’t find anything other than a sign saying “Attention!! Return the Viewer! Special Reward. By Order of the Orb Alliance” It seemed to me that the suspect had paused in front of this sign before entering the room, so I spent quite a bit of time trying things in front of it. I thought maybe Tad’s note (“The R3 is the L1 to R4”) might have something to do with it, but I couldn’t find anything in the message. Eventually I had to admit defeat and moved on.
I can only imagine how "special" that reward would be.
So where did the suspect go after the Ferry Building? The answer is some place called Embarcadero Fountain. The odd thing was that once they arrived there, they spun in a circle around a central point before entering a short passageway (of course I was watching this on the tracker recording). Once they reached the end of that passageway, the tracker recording stopped with a “target movement ends at this point” message. I suddenly realised that this was the only solid lead I had left as I’d not yet really been able to solve anything at all. There were no other suspects to follow so I really hoped something in the Embarcadero Fountain gave me another lead. I travelled there and found myself standing in front of a strange labyrinth of tubes and what looked like a square swimming pool. I clicked on the pool and watched as my character spun around a central point, just the way the suspect did, with the only difference being that my character disappeared down the little hole at the bottom to their death. Hmmmm…was I supposed to do something?!
I don't know art, but I know what looks terrible!
After a restore I noticed it said “Press <ENTER> to spinout” at the bottom of the screen, so I started pressing it. Apparently spinning out whilst descending down a slope causes you to move out towards the edge of the screen, so I had to try to time it just right so I’d spinout into the corridor off to the side. Not spinning out fast enough would result in me falling down the hole, but spinning out too much or at the wrong time would result in me launching out of the opening altogether. I made it after just a few tries, at which point I appeared in the corridor with a third person sideways perspective. There were controls at the bottom of the screen which described how to walk, punch and stomp, and I had to put them into use almost immediately. Bats began flying at my head and rats ran at my feet! Thankfully, punching and kicking them was very straight forward, and I reached the end on my first attempt.
Why does everything want to eat me around here!?
The room at the end of the corridor was a horrific site to say the least. There was yet another corpse lying on a mattress, yet this one was grey and rotting. There was a message on the wall that said “me be man again someday”, which matched the inkling I had that this creature may not have been entirely human. Pixel hunting the room revealed a driver’s license next to the mattress, which I picked up, hoping to find an address that I could go to. Sadly, the license was badly damaged; meaning only the last name of the owner was visible (Stone). I wondered whether I might have some first names to try alongside Stone in my MAD, but decided to check out the corpse before putting any thought into it. The creature lying dead was definitely not human, at least not anymore! I immediately thought of the Mutant Pig-Monkey newspaper clipping again, but this thing looked more like a werewolf than anything else. There was a bottle next to its hand, which I picked up. Taking a closer look at it, the bottle said “REMEDY” on it, so combining this information along with the scrawl on the wall, it was pretty clear that whatever this thing was used the bottle’s previous contents to commit suicide.
The sex change operation ended in disaster
I’ll save my puzzling over what’s really going on in the recordings for my next post. For now I’ll simply say that I’m enjoying Manhunter 2 as much as the first one so far. Possibly even more for the simple reason that I understand the game mechanics from the outset and can therefore focus purely on figuring things out. I’m yet to really figure out the meaning behind very much at all though and am conscious of the many comments stating how illogical the puzzles are, but for now I’m just going to try to enjoy the challenge. In fact, just now while I was thinking about what Stone’s first name might be, I managed to solve it! I’d tried Noah (from the newspaper clipping) and Zac (from the desk in the warehouse), but neither worked. That message on the desk seemed interesting though! “Zac – me hurt me got it. Traiter mic me at den.” Could the traitor be named Mic? It would make sense since whoever was lying on this mattress was the “person” that had a fight with the suspect that wrote the message. I typed “mic stone” into the MAD and it worked! It’s moments like this one that make me love adventure games!
Um...Zac Stone?...uuhhh...Noah Stone?...hmmmm...Mic Stone! Yes! Damn I'm good!! It's hard goddamn work being this good!!!!
Session Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've 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!