Monday, 30 September 2013

Game 35: Deja Vu II - A New Level of Pain

Ace Harding Journal Entry 5: "Progress is progress I guess, but damn this is tough going! I'm still no closer to getting the cash I need to save my skin, but I have managed to collect a fair amount of evidence that could put these bastards behind bars. I thought I was a gonna for a while there too, tied up in the laundry while a couple of goons asked their boss what to do with me. Somehow I got out of that nasty situation intact, and eventually gained access to the offices of Ventini and Malone. I just hope I have enough time to see where this path leaves. Stogie seems to be getting impatient and BANG..............."

 My evidence is seriously getting out of hand!

So much for good feelings! My last post finished with me being rather confident that I would now be able to enter the laundry with one of the keys collected from Thomas Bondwell’s personal items box. You can probably tell from those first two lines that this didn’t turn out to be the case, which left me starting my next session with no real clue as to what to do next. I was forced to go through each item in my inventory, hunting for any leads that I hadn’t yet actioned. I had a receipt and a license collected from June Boeding, yet her address was in St. Louis, which was not yet accessible to me. I wasn’t even sure if it ever would be, and was starting to think that perhaps it was a red herring. I had a letter from my informant, named Vinnie Talusso, telling me about the goings on at a shoe factory and the ice cream parlor across the road. I’d not come across a shoe factory, or an ice cream parlor, so I couldn’t see how I could investigate that either. Then there was the message from Tony Malone to Stogie, requesting he check on an overdue payment in Los Angeles, but once again that area was inaccessible to me. Finally, there was the letter and photo I’d found in Bondwell’s luggage, which seemed to be suggesting that someone with the initials of D.V. was connected to Reliant Laundry, and that they were heavily involved with Tony Malone.

Are you sure? Can I speak to management or something?

There were other items that I hadn’t used yet, such as the perfume, the pencil, the watch and the gun, but I couldn’t think of anywhere I might be supposed to use them. All of this item analysis merely strengthened my belief that the laundry must be the focus point for progress, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get in! It was then that I noted that the envelope I’d found in Thomas’ suitcase was addressed to “A. Malone” at the Lucky Dice Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Was Malone actually in the hotel somewhere!? Perhaps one of the keys in the suitcase was for one of the rooms on one of the floors in the hotel! I went to find out, visiting each floor to try all the unused keys I had on each door as I went. None of the keys fit in any of the locks, but I did find something very interesting on level 3! There was a large industrial laundry hamper with the words “Reliant Laundry Inc” on it! Aha!!!! I could hop into the hamper and be taking inside the laundry walls! I opened the lid and pressed the “go” action to make Ace get in. I found myself inside amongst all the dirty clothes, wondering what I was supposed to do next. I closed the lid, but still nothing happened. I began investigating the clothes inside, but there was nothing there either. I guess I just need to wait a while, as suddenly the dumpster was moved!

 This was difficult to find. The fact that it seems to appear randomly makes it a bit unfair!

“You can feel somebody pushing the dumpster! The dumpster stops with a jolt and a crash. It’s hoisted onto a truck. The truck’s gears grind. Good thing you don’t get car sick; it’s a long ride. Another jolt, another crash, the dumpster is unloaded from the truck. The lid is flung open. You blink as the bright light pours in. As your eyes adjust you see two burly gorillas glaring at you.” They weren’t really gorillas of course. They were a couple of goons, who frisked me, finding the letter from Bondwell to Malone in the process. Spike: “Wow, lookit that, Moose. A letter to the Big Boss, and a pitchuh of him too!” Moose: Dat’s right, Spike. Ya think dis guy’s a big shot or sumthin?” Spike: “I dunno, Moose, but I think we better tie dis guy up and go tell da Boss right away.” Moose: “Okay Spike, but after dat, let’s make him squeal like Bondwell!” They then took “some interesting items” away from me (the letter, my gun, and knife from what I could tell) and left me alone in the Laundry Room with my hands tied up with rope. I figured I had a short time to escape captivity, so began exploring my surroundings. I quickly discovered a crate nearby that had “bent nails and splinters” adorning it, yet by the time I’d operated the ropes on it and freed myself, Spike and Moose had come back.

They do actually look a bit like gorillas.

“So, ya managed t’get loose, eh? But it don’t matta ‘cuz we found ya anyway. Da Boss says he don’t know how ya got a hold of that letter, an’ since he ain’t never heard of ya, we got’s t’ kill youse.” Well that didn’t work out so well! I restored and wasted no time at all in freeing myself, then tried the two exits available to me. The chute leading outside wasn’t accessible, since it was too slippery to climb, but I was able to take the stairs leading to the Hallway. Once again there were too new exits available to me, with one being the front door and the other leading to an office. The office door was behind a closed counter, so I opened the counter and tried entering the office. I was spotted and killed...again! I figured I had to get into that office somehow, since otherwise my trip to the laundry would have been for nothing. I set about experimenting. Looking back now, it’s actually quite humorous all the things I tried. Here are some of the best. 1. I dressed up as a policeman before entering the laundry dumpster. 2. I tried hopping back into the dumpster and hiding. 3. I tried leaving my gun outside the laundry, then collected it and returned to confront them. 4. I tried not carrying the letter to Malone on me so they wouldn’t question me. 5. I tried hiding in one of the washing machines. Basically I tried everything I could think of, and died on every occasion!

 Inspector gadget arms!

 It's a bit bewildering when the door I enter a room from appears at the end of the hallway in front of me.

After over an hour of experimentation (yes, an hour!), I finally figured out what to do. I had noticed pretty early on that hopping back in the dumpster caused the thugs to look for me. Moose: “Hey Spike, dat guy musta got loose! Is he up dere?” Spike: “Nope, but it don’t look like he left, so he’s got to be around here somewhere!” They’d then found me hiding and killed me, but if I’d paid attention to what they were saying, I would have found an important clue. Spike had remained upstairs, and noting that I didn’t appear to have left the laundry, I must be hiding somewhere inside. The solution was to open the front door, making it appear as though I’d left, then to go back downstairs and hide in the dumpster. Spike and Moose then went outside to look for me instead of in the laundry room. I was thrilled to finally get past this bit as it had been killing me, but my woes were not over yet! I entered the office, finding a large desk and a dart board on the wall. There was also some tape on the floor which appeared to be a line for darts players to throw from. When I examined it, I was told that “It should be seven feet, nine and one quarter inches from the board. You find it odd that this line is much further away.” Hmmmm...I thought that might be suggesting that the dartboard and the wall it was attached to might be able to move, but couldn’t immediately see how it might.

 Yeah I guess, if an hour meets your definition of quick!

On the desk was another phone that I couldn’t use, and a picture “of the notorious gangster Anthony Malone shaking the hand of a man you don’t recognize”. There was an inscription on the picture that read “To Little Danny V., I’d trust you with my life! – T.M”. I’d seen the initials D.V. on the letter from Bondwell to Malone, but now I knew that the first initial stood for Danny. I looked inside the desk, and found an envelope, a key, and a cardboard box. There was nothing inside the envelope, meaning whatever was written on the outside was likely to be important. “Attn: Tony Malone, c/o The Lucky Dice Hotel and Casino”. I already had an envelope with that address, so I didn’t think on it any further. Inside the cardboard box was a small round magnet, which I immediately assumed must be used to move the dartboard somehow. I began trying everything I could think of, from simply operating the magnet on it to hitting it, but I couldn’t make anything happen. I became pretty frustrated at this point, having been completely stuck twice in quick succession. I began looking at all my screenshots, desperately trying to find something I might have missed, or for somewhere I might be able to use the magnet. I failed! Were there any locks in the game that I might try the key on!? Hey, there was an idea! Perhaps the envelope was telling me that Malone was indeed in one of the hotel rooms, and this new key would open the door!

 Oh how this little magnet tormented me!

On my way out of the laundry, I paused to try the key on the laundry chute, and it worked! That was actually really bad, as it meant the key I’d just discovered was pretty unlikely to work anywhere else. Opening the chute didn’t help me in any way I could fathom. Feeling perturbed, I made my way back to the hotel anyway, planning to hunt through every room to find somewhere I could use the damn magnet. When I got into the hotel elevator, I simply had to smash my palm into my forehead...hard! The buttons in the elevator looked exactly the same as the magnet!!! I operated the magnet on the panel, creating a fifth floor button, which I eagerly pressed. “Although this is the fifth floor, it doesn’t look like a hotel anymore. Office doors flank the sides of the hallway. As you step into the corridor, you read the name plates on the doors; “Anthony Malone,” notorious Las Vegas mobster and “Dan Ventini,” a name you remember seeing once or twice in the paper. It was rumoured that the District Attorney had irrefutable evidence to convict this Las Vegas “businessman” on racketeering charges. The charges were dropped, however, when the D.A. turned up dead.”

I can't be the only player to struggle to figure this out! Can I?!

 I wonder who waters the plants on the secret floor

I took the left door first, reappearing in Ventini’s office. It contained nothing more than a desk and a coat stand, yet there was a document on the desk which I found to be a dog racing form. “They don’t have nags in Vegas because of some mob disagreement. You notice that the numbers 2,7, and 10 are circled. You wonder “How much is riding on these pooches?” Personally, you’d bet on the rabbit.” I looked up “nag” on the internet to confirm that the message was suggesting there was no horseracing in Vegas (apparently it's a slang word for racehorse), but I couldn’t figure out how the numbers might be relevant. I wracked my brain for anywhere in the game where I might have seen 2, 7, and 10, but brought nothing back. I turned my attention to the ornament on the desk, immediately noting part of it resembled a dart! I tried opening the ornament, and was told that the “paperweight separates into two pieces”. I was now able to pick up both the gold base and the dart, knowing without doubt what the latter’s purpose would be. Finally, I looked inside the desk and found yet another ledger. “The ledger lists payments made to Malone via Ventini from various operations around the country. The page headed "Chicago" lists Siegel as the local head man.” I then listed the six remaining payments I’d seen in the ledger found in the slot machine at Joe’s Bar.

 This can't have been there with no purpose. Can it?

I tried to fit this new information into what I already knew. It seemed obvious that the several protection payments in Joey Siegel’s ledger (excluding the ones I believe were made to hookers) were “couriered” through Ventini to Malone. The piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t put in place was the letter from Bondwell to Malone. It had suggested that the payments in the ledger he’d recovered from Joey’s didn’t contain any of the protection payments. What ledger was Bondwell referring to and where was it now? I exited Ventini’s office, intending to enter Malone’s, only to be confronted by the hotel bouncer. “You ain’t the boss and you ain’t supposed to be here. Sorry, but I gots to kill you.” He did too, causing me to restore, and to rush through my search of Ventini’s office and skedaddle quickly across to Malone’s. There wasn’t a lot of stuff to go through this time, but I did find a pair of dice (“probably loaded”) and a finely-crafted, English-made, silver letter opener in the desk drawer. Taking my new goodies, I headed straight back over to the laundry, and operated the dart on the dartboard. Just as I’d hoped, the section of the wall containing the board moved to one side, revealing a secret room! I’d love to tell you what was in this room, but it’s here that my time finally ran out! Stogie entered the office and killed me on the spot. There was no avoiding it any longer. I was going to have to restart! Have I mentioned that I HATE TIME LIMITS IN ADVENTURE GAMES!

 Well at least he was apologetic about it

 Important? Who would know!?

 Show off!

Session Time: 3 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 8 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. I think I'm going to need some assistance soon. After restarting and playing all the way back through to the secret office, I've simply run out of things to do. I can't think of a purpose for the horse numbers, the dice, the letter opener, or anything else that I have on me. I'm beginning to think that I'm supposed to plant evidence somewhere to get the criminals caught (I seem to recall doing that in the first game but could be wrong), but I don't know whether I'm anywhere near that stage of the game anyway.

    I'm going to give it another shot tomorrow, but if anyone wants to leave me some hints / spoiler (please check the rules first if you're unsure), I think I'm going to need it. This game is really testing me!

  2. Hopefully these aren't too far off from the PC version since I played the GBC version:

    General Hint for What To Do: Lbh'er ba gur evtug genpx. Arrq gb frg fbzrbar hc gb gnxr gur snyy, naq abg lbh.

    Hint on How: Lbh fubhyq unir nyy gur vgrzf/rivqrapr lbh arrq gb perngr fhfcvpvba orgjrra gur gjb zbo obffrf. Jurer ner gur orfg cynprf gb yrnir vg gb ernpu gurve rlrf bayl?

    Hint for Hidden Dart Room: Guvf vf QI'f fcrpvny ebbz. Lbh fubhyq unir sbhaq fbzr inyhnoyr rivqrapr, ohg jub vf QI tbvat gb oynzr jura ur qvfpbiref vg'f zvffvat?

    Spoiler for End Game: Vs lbh'er pbzcyrgryl fghpx sbe jung gb qb, gura lbh arrq gb znxr QI guvax Znybar vf ba gb uvz. Nyfb, lbh arrq gb cebivqr Znybar rivqrapr gung QI vf ehaavat n enpxrg oruvaq uvf onpx. Znybar'f bssvpr qrfx vf gur orfg cynpr gb yrnir rivqrapr bs gung.

    Additional Spoiler/Walkthrough: Va gur TOP irefvba, V unq gb yrnir bayl guerr vgrzf: gjb yrggref naq n qvnel. Nal zber be yrff fubjrq V xarj gbb zhpu gb yvir. Sbe QI'f bssvpr, gur pvtne evatf jvyy pnfg fhfcvpvba ba Fgbtvr orvat gur bar jub gbbx gur erpbeqf.

    Lastly, you're missing a key item:

    Hint for Missing Item: Lbh unira'g frnepurq guebhtu nyy vgrzf, naq nppbeqvat gb gur cbfgf qvqa'g gbhpu vg ng nyy.

    Hint 2 for Missing Item: Fnl lbh ybfg fbzrguvat, znlor yrsg vg ba gur sybbe, ohg vg'f abg gurer nalzber. Jurer pbhyq vg or?

    Spoiler Location for Missing Item: Lbh tybffrq bire n ahzore bs vgrzf ng gur Pbggntr.

    Complete Spoiler for Missing Item: Qvq lbh purpx gur pbagragf bs gur Inphhz?

    Let me know if you need more specifics.

    1. Njjj, V gubhtug vg jbhyq or va gur obggbz bs zl sbbg. Gung vf jurer qvpr lbh qebc nyjnlf jvaq hc.

  3. I think I would have never guessed the purpose of the magnet. The description said it looked like a button, but I assumed it meant from a piece of clothing. And how exactly does that work on the elevator panel, I wonder?

    I have a more mundane problem now... I got the dart and the rest of the items from the offices, but I can't get back into the laundry. Apparently the door closes again behind me when I leave the screen... is there a key for that?

    1. Looks like the key for that is in the laundry office according to Trickster's run down. If you didn't check the desk, then you may be a dead man walking. In the GBC version, the key is in D.V.'s office in the hotel. Of course, if you leave the laundry place without the magnet, then that could be a problem too.

      No visual clue given in the GBC version, but when you look at the elevator buttons you get an obvious hint there's a hidden floor: something like, "there's an empty space above the top button!" So yeah, I was on the lookout for a key or something to unlock the elevator, but the magnet was obvious at that point.

    2. It seemed a little too much like this XKCD:

  4. I'm so glad I went on vacation instead of trying to play along with this one. Time constrains on the entire game and not just individual puzzles? Not my cup of tea.

    On another note, I better check with you guys after I messed up on gifting Loom instead of the Hugo pack; after Loom there's Conquests of Camelot, Earthrise, Future Wars and Les Manley before KQ1-VGA shows up. I can't find any of those in between on sale anywhere, so from Loom onwards there'll be the crappy King's Quest VGA pack from Steam up for grabs. Correct?

    1. OH! Did someone finally claim the game I was offered? I missed seeing that. I was wondering if I'd have to buy another new game when on sale and bundle them to get rid of it.

      I have boxed copies of Kings Quest IV and V. I wonder if those are worth anything.....

    2. Of course they are! Boxed copies?! They could probably fetch the price of Spectacular Spiderman #1!

    3. I've still got three copies of Loom unredeemed in my account, so I'm not sure what happened there. One is the upcoming prize for Hugo, one is the wrongly bought one for the current game, and the last one is probably the one you won?

      Trickster did have a competition regarding non-redeemed prizes, but since I've been away I don't remember what happened.

    4. Boxed copies, yes. For MSDOS. There are pictures on my blog I think.

      I don't really want the copy of Loom, and I tried to give it away, but Trickster won the that doesn't work.....

  5. Wow! It has been a long time since Trickster has needed help. This must be a damn hard game. Is everyone agreeing on that, or is Trickster just having an month?

    1. The game, like most Macventures, is a little unfair in its solutions. I'm pretty sure the ending sequence is one of the worst I've seen in an adventure game, especially random ways to die and the unknown time limit.

  6. Y'know, I always wondered about leaving initials around on shady affidavits and memos. Is this some kind of trend among criminals and people dealing with them?

    I remember in my note-passing days at school, we don't leave behind initials. We use symbols, nicknames and cartoons to depict ourselves because even kids know it's pretty stupid to leave initials on a piece of paper which could easily be tallied against the classroom attendance list.

    1. You don't have to be a moron to become a criminal, but it helps. :p

      Obviously these guys haven't watched enough cop shows.

  7. There's a new adventure game to pre-order on GOG.

  8. New game on Steam, including a 10% pre-release off on The Wolf Among Us, the new episodic adventure from Telltale: