Saturday, 6 April 2013

Game 30: Manhunter 2 - Another Day in Paradise

Manhunter Journal Entry 7: “A new day and a new set of mysteries! I’m now investigating happenings in Ghirardelli Square, where at least one more suspect has died, electrocuted while trying to evade a mutant. The mutants didn’t get off without injury though, as I’ve discovered a severed mutant hand that will surely make an impression on the shopkeeper I visited yesterday. I’ve also collected an odd ring from the man on the sign and am now heading back to the Wax Museum, where I expect to find not only another suspect, but perhaps Zac himself. I feel as though I’m close to breaking this whole situation wide open. I just need to keep following the leads, be patient, and watch out for vicious rat mutants!”

Where we ended up last post

My last post finished with me having just discovered “Zac’s Howse” in the Wax Museum, but not finding anything in there that I could interact with. Thankfully, just finding his house was the final thing I needed to do for the Orbs to get in contact with me, which they did as soon as I left the building. As usual, they told me that I’d had enough time to investigate the recording and the locations, and requested I enter the names of the two suspects in question. Unlike Day 1, I had little idea what the suspect’s names were on Day 2! The only two names I’d come up with were Zac West and Noah Goring, but I couldn’t be certain whether either of them were suspects I followed in the recordings. I typed them in anyway and was told to “Return home immediately” and to “Wait there for further orders.”

Meanwhile, back at Peter Brown's apartment...

Day 3 began just as Day 2, with an Orb entering my apartment (well, it’s mine now!) and demanding I investigate an incident. “Attention Manhunter. Human on the sign at Ghirardelli Square. Investigate.” I eagerly opened up my MAD to watch the first part of the new tracker recording. It displayed two suspects approaching the Square before one of them stopped at the entrance, presumably to stand guard. The second suspect made their way onto the rooftop and headed towards a tower in the left top corner before being confronted by another marker. A chase ensued, and I watched as the suspect led the pursuer on a complicated path up, down, left and right on the huge Ghirardelli Square sign on the roof. The chase concluded at the top of the G, where the suspect I was following remained and the pursuer descended back to the rooftop, eventually re-entering the tower.

This was quite a complicated tracker recording, and will take a while to follow all the markers

While all this was going on, two more markers came out of the square and approached the suspect that was standing guard. A scuffle resulted, and one of the attackers entered the square while the other left the screen with the suspect. There was a lot to take in, and the only way I was really going to understand what occurred was to visit Ghirardelli Square. I arrived to find a rather gruesome scene! A severed hand was lying on the ground at the bottom of a rope. There was an entrance to the square behind it, but I assumed the first suspect had climbed the rope to the rooftop. I picked up the hand, which turned out to be a mutant rat’s paw! The shopkeeper immediately came to mind, with his obsession with collecting severed mutant body parts. I decided to follow that lead before continuing on at the Square, determined to solve existing puzzles before opening up new ones.

Rigor mortis immortalized the mutant's final defiant demonstration

The shopkeeper was indeed thrilled with my disgusting new offering, and requested I join him in a game of “three aces”. I accepted, and quickly figured out that the game was basically a “three cups and a ball” style game. The shopkeeper would reveal the three cards, one of which was an ace, then turn them over and begin to shuffle them around. I watched the card that I knew was the ace as he passed it over and under the other cards for a while. Once he stopped moving them, I had to select which one was the ace. I was extremely confident that I’d watched the card like a hawk, so selected without hesitation. I was shocked to find that I was wrong! Long story short, I eventually figured out that every now and then when the shopkeeper would move the ace over or under the other cards, there would be a slight jump, as though a couple of frames were skipped. This represented when the shopkeeper was tricking me into thinking he’d moved the ace when it had in fact remained in its original position. Once I knew what to look for, it was easy to win the game three times in a row as required.

Card and dice games were all the rage in eighties adventure games

However, the reward for winning the game was more than a little bit surprising. The shopkeeper offered me one of two items, being a torch or a lantern. What made it even more interesting was that I could decline either of them and instead continue playing for something else. I saved my game and chose to continue playing three aces. After three more wins I was offered either of two similar looking rat masks, and then after yet another three wins I was offered either a key or a medallion. At this point I was not given the option to continue playing, so would have to make a decision as to which item I wanted to take with me. I had no idea which item to take out of the six! Would I be able to take more than one item over time or would accepting the wrong item dead end me? In the end I decided to restore back to the Square and only go to the shopkeeper when I had an idea which item I might need.

You don't want to offer me two items that don't serve the same purpose do you?

Before I entered the square, there was another itch that I wanted to scratch. I still had the laundry receipt in my inventory, and I was keen to know whether the Laundry might be open for business today. When I got there, the large “OPEN” sign told me I was in luck, so I entered. Inside was a woman standing beside a counter, and since there was nothing else I could interact with, I clicked on her to take a closer look. She seemed to have a large scar across her face, and sat waiting patiently for me to do something (no-one speaks in Manhunter games). I gave her the laundry receipt, which she took through a doorway into a back room. My perspective was changed to a side-on view, and things didn’t look overly promising for me. A slave was sweeping the floor with a broom, but more concerning was the man with what appeared to be a large pipe or bar in his hand. The woman showed him the receipt and then came back to stand in the doorway. She now looked seductively at me and beckoned me to follow her. has been a while! You know...with the invasion....and me being a manhunter and all...why not!?

I immediately smelt a rat, but figured not following her would have meant the laundry receipt had achieved nothing. As soon as I walked into the back room, I was shown a close-up of the slave I rescued from the Transamerica Pyramid a couple of sessions back. He looked perturbed about something, and that something became obvious when the other man in the room knocked me out with the metal bar, dragging me into yet another back room. When I awoke, I was locked in the room in the dark, but a shadowy figure entered the laundry and unlocked the door. It was pretty obvious that it was the slave repaying my earlier heroics, well before his face was finally visible. He left as soon as I was free, leaving me to explore the laundry. The only item I could find there was a walking stick, which I picked up and then left.

Mum? Is that you?

With the laundry done and dusted, I decided to go back and begin my exploration of Ghirardelli Square. I chose to take the entrance to the square rather than climb the rope, but was immediately confronted by an angry mutant. This particular mutant had a right to be angry though, as the paw I’d picked up earlier had once belonged to him. Despite having a very bloody left stump of an arm, he very quickly killed me. I restored and confronted him a few more times, but nothing I tried using seemed to make any difference. With that path seemingly a no go, I took the rope to the rooftop instead. Once again I found myself with two separate paths to choose from. I could cross a plank of wood to the rooftop sign that the suspect had climbed, or I could enter the tower that his pursuant originated from (and eventually returned to). I chose to check out the sign, eager to find out why the guy was still up there.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt!

That decision resulted in yet another third person viewed arcade mini-game, although this one could also count as a maze. My task was to climb all over the sign, just as the suspect had done in the recording, making my way up to the man hanging from the G while avoiding the numerous sparks that flew all over the place. I have to admit that I saved my progress quite a bit during this section, as the sparks seemed to be attracted to me, knocking me off the sign and forcing me to start again. It wasn’t difficult to figure out the correct path to take, so within a few restores I found myself within reaching distance of the suspect. I was given a close up of him hanging from the sign, and it soon became apparent that he’d been electrocuted. How did I know this for sure? Because when I tried to pick up the ring that was hanging around his neck on a chain, I too was fried to a crisp and forced to restore. This did however give me an idea!

Who knew finding the G spot was so treacherous!

Could the walking stick I’d just found in the laundry be the answer? It sure was, and I was able to collect the ring from the dead suspect without getting electrocuted myself. A closer view of the ring revealed that it had an odd little extension coming out of it. I figured it would slot into something down the track as I’d not seen anything that matched the shape to this point. I made my way back off the highly dangerous sign and went to check out the tower. As soon as I entered, the most comical thing happened! I watched as a very blurry little version of my manhunter climbed through a window into the tower, then literally fell and bounced down several staircases. While I was apparently unharmed in this display of incompetent dexterity, my flask of piss broke during the fall. The Murry’s also seemed amused by my clumsiness and proclaimed: “Your flask it broke and that’s no joke. To restore would be wise, we tell you no lies. You’ll be dead if you go ahead.”

If you're wondering, the rectangular thing is the window I climbed in, the blue circle is the falling flask, and blob further down is me. the bottom of the staircase was a gate, but I figured there was no real point trying to open it and move beyond as I was clearly dead-ended. At least the Murry’s had the courtesy to tell me about it! Since I still had more of the tracker recording to investigate, I decided to restore to before I entered the tower and go see if I could find something that would allow me to fall down the stairs without breaking the flask (or better yet, not fall down the stairs at all). I went back to the tracker recording. The first suspect had climbed the sign and then died, but where did the second suspect go? After the scuffle between the second suspect and the two pursuers was over, it appeared that he or she was escorted or carried off somewhere else. I selected their marker and followed them to their next destination...the wax museum! The suspect was left in one of the rooms in the museum, and then the other marker went into a different room then disappeared.

Hopefully this is the House of Wax in which Paris Hilton gets killed

Hmmm...was this marker Zac West? Was he now in his “howse”? Who is the second suspect and are they still alive? What’s down the bottom of the tower through the gate and how will I get there without breaking the flask? What do I even need a flask of urine for anyway? Which of the items from the shop do I actually need? Do I really need any of them or are they simply there to assist adventurers struggling to find the optimal solutions? If I choose the wrong item, would I be dead-ended? If I’d chosen not to follow the woman into the laundry, would I have been dead-ended? How else could I have got the ring from the man on the sign without the walking stick? What’s the ring for anyway? So many questions! Who knows whether I’ll ever know the answer to all of them? I’m off to try and figure it all out and will report back very soon. I plan to finish this game this weekend!

It's time to go smash that poor unsuspecting fisherman again!

Session Time: 1 hours 00 minutes 
Total Time: 9 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!


  1. That last paragraph perfectly explains my feelings on the Manhunter games. :)

    1. I'm not sure whether that means you like them or not. ;)

  2. Reading these, much of this game is coming back to me. Especially that falling down the stairs bit. At the time I don't think it looked as silly as it does now. We were so much more forgiving.

  3. You know, it is odd. This game has the most detailed plot of any adventure game, the most twists and turns, but in a lot of ways it is one of the silliest. Also, it is at the same time one of the darkest (murder, death, dismemberment, families starving to death!), and one of the lightest (Slapstick! The Murphies!)

    1. You're absolutely right Canageek. It's a really odd mix that I probably just accept now since I've already played through the first game. I wish someone would make a game that makes you piece such a detailed plot together, yet in a purely dark and realistic world. Perhaps they already have?

    2. Trickster: My understanding is that those games are quite popular today, given by how many dark horror adventure games I've seen on sale.

      Personally, I'd like more murder mysteries. It seems such an obvious adventure game plot, but we've not seen very many of them yet.

    3. Canageek: In just couple of more games you'll see the Murder Mystery Adventure Game (AKA Colonel's Bequest).

  4. Okay. I'm out.

    I haven't played since your previous post and I haven't felt the inclination to load up Manhunter 2 since.

    It's not that there's anything really wrong with the game - I've just felt like playing something different in my free time.

    Hell, I may even finish the game in a few months time.

    But seeing as these posts fill me in on how the story's progressing and let me avoid the more annoying action sequences, it's more likely I'll just give up.

    Good bye, Manhunter 2. You were fun while I played you.