Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Game 35: Deja Vu II - Stumbling Around in the Dark

Ace Harding Journal Entry 3: "I really wasted some time today! After aimlessly wandering through Joe's Bar with my increasingly powerless torch, I found absolutely nothing worth writing about. I was pretty determined to get into Joey's office though, as there was bound to be something in there I could use in my current predicament. After a just-as-pointless trip to the morgue, I eventually found my way in, but it was one I really wasn't expecting. Oh well, all is well that ends well! Let's hope the next few hours are more productive."

 What's behind door number one?

Déjà Vu II is a testing game! For the first time in quite a while, I was a whisker away from asking for assistance during this session, only to find my way forward at the very last minute. As much as I find some of it pretty tedious, there’s also something immensely satisfying about making progress against the odds. I said the same thing about Neuromancer though, and that game undoubtedly overstayed its welcome, so as long as Déjà Vu II is considerably shorter than that one, it might yet get a decent rating. The very short amount of time that Stogie gives me to come up with the money suggests it isn’t on the long side, but then there’s every chance it continues on past that particular challenge. I’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. My last post finished with me breaking into Joe’s Bar, which is a place I spent plenty of time in during game one. This time however, I found myself in complete darkness when I entered. I operated my torch, only to find that the bathrooms I’d investigated in the first game where now boarded up and inaccessible. I tried “operating” the boards, and even “hitting” them, but there seemed no way to get in. The door to the main bar section wasn’t boarded up though, so I made my through unopposed.

Now that you mention it, I haven't actually seen my hand at all yet.

 Let's hope the batteries last more than a couple of minutes...oh crap!

The bar was empty, and there were cobwebs over things, suggesting it hadn’t seen much use in recent times. I could find nothing to interact with, but I did have two exits from the room that required exploring. The first one was a set of stairs leading up to the office where I’d found Joey Siegel’s body in Deja Vu 1, and the second was a door leading into the Wine Cellar. I chose to check out the wine cellar, remembering that there was a secret door somewhere down there. As soon as I got down there I saw the specific wine bottle that I was able to “operate” to open the passage, so I did so. The rack of bottles slid away, and I walked through into the secret room. Once again I was not able to enter the manhole due to crocodiles, but there was a round door out of the room that I was able to open and move through. Doing so took me to a familiar hidden Casino, which I seem to recall making a fair amount of money in last time I was there. My torch was dimming rapidly at this point, so I quickly inserted a quarter into one of the pokies and operated it. “The slot machine clangs away! The wheels spin! The excitement builds! You come up a loser. Gambling doesn’t pay.”

Unless of course you don't have a wine cellar!

This bottle Is much more obvious in VGA than it was in CGA

Except if you know the dealer, ii which case it pays very well indeed!

Before I could attempt anything else, my torch batteries ran out, leaving me in complete darkness. I didn’t have any replacements, so I restored my game and rushed through to the same point. I did this a couple more times, but simply wasn’t able to find anything to do in the hidden casino. Playing the pokies continually resulted in a loss, and interacting with anything else failed to achieve anything. There was an elevator leading up out of the room, but the lack of power meant that was useless too, leaving me to wonder why I was able to access this section of the game at all. I decided to ignore it for now, and restored my game with the intention of checking out the upstairs area instead. Much to my distress, this also led to failure, as Joey’s office was locked. None of my keys opened the door, and I wasn’t able to do anything with the paintings in the hallway either. I had to wonder what the purpose of me visiting Joe’s Bar was?! I couldn’t find anything to do either upstairs or downstairs, and there was nowhere else to go. All I could do was restore to back outside so as to save my batteries, then continue my exploration of the alley.

 What are you suggesting?!

It was then I remembered the fire escape! I clicked on it and was given a display that had three exits on it. The first one led straight back down into the alley, the second was a boarded up window leading into Joey’s office, and the third was the fire escape ladder itself. I tried climbing the ladder: “The ladder is much too corroded to be climbed and would easily give way if you were to climb it.” I tried entering the boarded window: “The boards prevent you from reaching the window.” Huh!? I tried “operating” the boards, but just as with all the others I’d seen in the game so far, I didn’t appear to be able to do anything about them. With my tail between my legs, I made my way back out to the street, wondering whether the Mercedes key I’d discovered in the garbage can was the only purpose to this entire visit to Joe’s. I’d yet to take a look down the street though, so perhaps I would find something useful down that way. Travelling to the right of screen left me standing in front of the Police Station, so I saved my game and tried entering. As expected, this little experiment ended badly, with the boys in blue arresting and detaining me long enough that I was immediately set upon and killed by Stogie on my release.

Another path blocked! You'd think someone didn't want me to go in there!

 What exactly have I done to deserve being arrested?

Restoring my game once again, I bypassed the Police Station and continued past it to the Cemetery. Continuing my failed attempts at making progress, I wasn’t even able to get through the gate to Stonehaven, nor could I see any reason I might want to. I was completely out of locations to visit in Chicago, and with so little going for me, I decided to catch a train to anywhere that I could afford and try my luck there. Perhaps I would find something in Los Angeles, St. Louis or New York that would help me achieve something at Joe’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of cash, so wasn't able to afford a $35 ticket to New York. I did have enough to try one of the other destinations though, so I hopped on a train to St. Louis, paid the $15, and settled in for the ride. All of a sudden I was confronted by Stogie: “After riding off in the wrong direction and ignoring Malone’s instructions, you find that Stogie Martin has caught up with you to administer the coup de grace. Too bad, pal!” GAME OVER!!! Wrong direction? When was I told where I can or can’t travel? I had a quick read through the game’s intro and the various documents I’d collected, but could find nothing that stated where I was allowed to go while trying to get my hands on the cash. Booooooooo!!!!!!!

I can't even remember some of these locations from the first game, but I assume they were there.

 Give me a break Stogie! I'm trying to get your damn money!

I restored (yep, again!), wondering what in hell I was going to do now! Clearly I was going to have to go over everything I knew and try to figure out what I’d missed. Perhaps now was a good time to restart and re-explore all the environments. I was going to have to do it at some point. I was standing in the Chicago train station while I was considering all my options, and I suddenly got thinking about the newspaper headline I’d read there earlier. It had mentioned a morgue, but since it mentioned no address, I’d not given it a second thought. I examined one of the newspapers again, only to find a completely different headline this time! “The paper says something about some dead mafia guy, his possible connection with Joey Siegel and gives the address of the city morgue.” WTF! I examined the newspaper repeatedly, finding that the game cycles through different takes of the same article. It didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t given the actual address to the morgue, since showing Gabby the cab driver anything with an address on it would automatically take me there. I gave the blind man a quarter, and then took a paper, heading straight outside to try out my theory. “Gabby recognizes the address.” Fist pumps all round in the Trickster House!

 The Magic Paper tells the reader something different every time they look at it!

I soon arrived at the Morgue Entrance, stepping out of the cab with recovered confidence. Inside I found a clerk, sitting at the counter reading a book. There was a door in the distance that apparently led to an insulated freezer, but I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be able to just waltz on in there. There was a skull next to the clerk, but it appeared to be nothing more than a paperweight. There was also a noticeboard on the wall containing obituary notices for the recently deceased. I read through all of them, but they appeared to be nothing more than decent attempts at humour. “It’s an obituary notice for Lenny “the Weasle” Wolf, who tragically choked to death on his own words” is a good example. Finally, there was a clipboard behind the counter listing unclaimed bodies: “There are two names that you can read; Alison and Durga.” I turned my attention to the clerk, noticing that he was reading Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe. I tried speaking to him about all sorts of things, ranging from “Siegel” to “murder”, but he didn’t give me anything. I then tried typing “Alison” and “Durga”, to which he responded with “Sorry mac, but we are not allowed to give out personal effects to any bum who walks in off the street”.

That's what the Restore button is for right?

 Actually, that is pretty funny.

I decided I might be able to prove that I was a detective and gain entrance to the freezer, so I showed my license to the clerk. “Oh, Private Dick, eh? Sorry, only Uniforms are allowed in the back.” Uniforms? I wondered whether I was supposed to pretend to be a cop somehow? My attempts to get into the police station had failed miserably, and I couldn’t think of any other way I might convince the clerk that I was an officer. The only other thing I could do was try to force my way past him, so I tried to open the gate. “No civilians allowed, except dead ones.” I was genuinely at a loss as to what I was supposed to do at this point, and after shooting the clerk in the head at point blank range for the heck of it, I turned off the game and had a break. I thought about my predicament while I went to sleep that night, trying to figure out where I’d missed something important. I kept coming back to the fact that I’d found nothing in Joe’s Bar, and that there was no way the game would give me a torch and let me in there for no reason at all. The last thing I thought before I lost consciousness was that I would give it another shot before asking the readers for assistance. I’m The Adventure Gamer damn it! I can do this! I just need to....zzzzzz

 Did I mention that I have a gun?

The next night I restarted the game, determined to rush through as quickly as possible to make more efficient use of the limited time. I did spend a little bit of time on each screen looking for something I might not have noticed previously, with a couple of successes. The first thing that I discovered was that I was able to enter the elevator in the hotel! I have no idea why I didn’t try it during my first session, but pressing the button next to the elevator doors makes them open, giving me access to levels 2, 3 and 4. As exciting as this find was, there was absolutely nothing to do on any of the other floors, all of which contained a bunch of locked hotel rooms. The second thing I discovered was a way to make more money at the casino! In the first session I’d played other dealers before reaching Rudy, but this time I went straight to him. This meant I was able to win three hands against him before he was replaced, whereas before it was only two. I beat him twice, collected the six chips that I could in the small amount of time he gave me, then bet three of them to collect another six. I walked out of the casino with close to $50 this time, which was about ten more than I’d managed the first time. Everything else played out the same way it has previously, right up to the point where I arrived at Joe’s Bar.

It was a lovely ride, but it served no purpose.

 I really took Rudy to the cleaners this time!

After another failed venture through the bar and the connecting rooms, I once again checked out the fire escape. I had to be able to get into Siegel’s office somehow! I felt sure I’d tried everything I could earlier, but I began messing around with the boards on the window again. When I selected “HIT” and then clicked one of the boards, it fell off!!!! “You knock a board off, uncovering a hole big enough for you to squeeze through.” It seems really obvious in hindsight, but hitting boards blocking other doors and windows in the game had no effect, so I hadn’t really expected anything to happen. I still can’t believe that I didn’t try it earlier though, as I felt like I’d been really thorough. Regardless, I’d found the way forward, and boy was I happy about it! I actually left my laptop temporarily, and interrupted my wife’s reading to inform her that her husband had brilliantly solved a seemingly impossible puzzle, and that he deserved praise of the highest order. She smiled and told me how truly wonderful that was, then returned to her book. This didn’t feel like a response proportional to what I’d just achieved, but at least it meant I could return to Déjà Vu II and continue my journey onwards. Join me in a few days time to share my path to victory with me...or more realistically, to laugh at my next inevitable struggles.

 I did!? Oh...hey, I did!!!!

Session Time: 2 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 4 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. Good going Trickster!!

    I was biting my lip reading that you hadn't been able to "operate" the wooden board, when it worked for me perfectly (just checked and still does). I wonder what's up with that. Then again, I didn't use the pen knife on the alley door, blasting the lock instead, so I guess some puzzles admit more than one verb/action.

    I'm very interested in seeing how you go from here, as I seem to be hopelessly stuck :-(
    For reference, let's just say I haven't been able to enter the morgue yet.

    1. I wonder if you have to click on the exact right board? I definitely tried doing things with the boards earlier, as you can see by my screenshot.

      I didn't have any trouble getting into the morgue though Charles. Here are a couple of questions to put you on track, and a spoiler if you need it.

      Qvq lbh svaq gur xrl va Wbrl'f bssvpr?

      Vs lbh qvq svaq vg, qvq lbh svther bhg jurer gb hfr vg?

      Spoiler: Tnzoyvat qbrfa'g cnl, ohg gur cbxre znpuvarf fgvyy freir n checbfr.

    2. Had to look. Dooohhh! Yes to the first two, but I hadn't tried the third. It makes good sense, though. Hope I can make it without any more requests! Thank you!

  2. GOG.com sale: The Adventures of Shuggy, VVVVVV, Gateways, Time, Gentlemen Please! + Ben There, Dan That!, and Escape Goat


    Some of those are adventure games.

    1. Correction, only one of those (Time, Gentlemen Please! + Ben There, Dan That) is an adventure game. Still save some money by buying them all, or only save a little buying the one.

    2. Escape Goat? Is that a new breed of Myotonic Goats?

    3. I love that video Kenny! Makes me laugh every time!

    4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CC_9aFuEkA

      How about cats?

  3. Not sure if this works with this version of the game but I just checked the Amiga Version and it works there ... not sure if I need to Rot13 this but better safe than sorry ... regarding the chips:

    Lbh fubhyq or noyr gb fryrpg zhygvcyr ng bapr ol ubyqvat fuvsg naq gura qent gur jubyr fgnpx vagb gur vairagbel fb lbh trg nyy gur puvcf.
    Whfg znxr fher abg gb qbhoyr pyvpx nppvqragnyyl....

    1. That seems like it would be pretty safe to not Rot13

    2. To Rot13 or not to Rot13: that is the question!

      Nah you are right it´s not really a Puzzle spoiler, I just didn´t want my first post to be like "OMG YOU SPOILED A PUZZLE!!!" xD

      @Trickster You should be able to select multiple Items by holding Shift while clicking on them, which doesn´t eat up a "turn" so you should be able to select multiple Tokens / Chips after gambling and drag them all at once in the inventory :D At least it works in the Amiga Version, don´t see why it shouldn´t work in the Dos Version as well.

    3. This works!!!!

      It probably wouldn't have helped (I had enough cash), but would have saved me a lot of anxiety. CAPs coming your way Elanarae LP!

  4. I had the same problem with the boarded window! Have you been enjoying this one more than the other Macventures so far?

    1. Well it's nice to know that I wasn't alone with that particular struggle. :)

      So far I think I am enjoying it more than the other ones. I think that probably has more to do with the improved graphics than anything else. The interface is still really annoying and everything is very similar to the first one. Given the name of the game, perhaps it's supposed to be!

  5. There's a new adventure game on GOG (emphasis on new).


  6. Oh yeah, I forgot to post this; An article on Myst's history and it suprising lack of a legacy and imitators given how successful it was. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9713372/looking-back-game-myst-20th-anniversary

    1. Also another great adventure game hitting the big two-oh: http://store.steampowered.com/app/233550/

    2. Another World? That's a cinematic platformer, not an adventure game.

    3. More like side-scrolling action adventure. ;)

    4. Well, yeah, cinematic platformers are pretty much the 2D precursor to action-adventures. They share many of the tropes.

  7. NEW ADVENTURE GAME KICKSTARTER: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1409430337/shades-of-sanity-psychological-horror-game

    Also I'd like to point out that FTL only asked for $10K. They GOT $200K, but just saying.

    1. Not really new. They're left with 33 hours and counting to get at least $185K.

      I think the 1st person-horror adventures are saturating... like zombie-themed and voxel games on Kickstarter, to the point where no one wants them that much anymore.

    2. Kenny: You are right, there are a ton of those from smaller devs on Steam as well.

      I wonder why? I get the point of doing a horror game in first-person with a minimal UI: you get drawn in more, and it is thus scarier. Also, I think I see why they add the adventure game bits; You can't have a good horror game if you can effectively fight back, so you need to challenge the player in some other way. You can go the shock, run away route, but suppose you are going for more atmospheric horror. Thus: Puzzles.
      Does that make sense? Also: A lot of people are complaining about the lack of AAA horror games, so it FEELS like a niche, even if it isn't.
      This is just a theory, am I crazy?

  8. Eagerly awaiting your next post. I'm thoroughly stumped at this point. I'm banging my head on the game as much as I can (I did find one item I missed the first time), but can't think of how to progress. Hopefully I get a breakthrough before I need to get a hint. I'm only slightly ahead of this post.

    1. Alright, spent more time on this than I should have tonight, but I completed it. The ending was aggravating me, so I looked up a spoiler just to figure out jung vgrzf gb yrnir va Znybar'f qrfx. Nccneragyl lbh pna yrnir gbb znal, naq gura gurl guvax lbh'er tbvat gb oynpxznvy uvz be fbzrguvat! Pna'g yrnir gur erpbeqf. V jbaqre vs gung'f tbvat gb gevc hc Gevpxfgre orpnhfr V qvqa'g abgvpr n uvagf nobhg gung. Abg fher vs vg'f gur fnzr va gur CP irefvba fvapr gur svefg SND V ybbxrq ng fnvq gb qhzc nyy rivqrapr va gur qrfx. It's too bad I couldn't get through it without a spoiler, but I just knew I was right at the end.

    2. Too bad I didn't catch you before you looked, Zenic. Wanted to see if we were stuck at the same place. Was your character perchance culfvpnyyl erfgenvarq? That's where I'm currently at.

    3. Nah, I got past that part. I was stuck literally right before the end. It's a BS reason, and if it's in the PC version, then luck be with Trickster (and you for that matter).

      If you're still stuck there here are some hints:

      Hint 1: Guvax bs nyy gur npgvbaf lbh pna qb jvgubhg trggvat pnhtug.

      Hint 2: Jung'f gur frpbaq orfg jnl bs rfpncvat?

      Spoiler: Vs lbh pna'g npghnyyl qb fbzrguvat, znlor lbh pna znxr gurz oryvrir lbh qvq naljnl.

      Walkthrough: Phg gur ebcr ba gur obk, bcra gur sebag qbbe, pyvzo vagb gur ynhaqel onfxrg, naq jnvg.

    4. Thank you Zenic. I'll fiddle with it a bit more before taking a peek. Will let you know if I encounter any BS near the end...

    5. So I managed to get out of that particular pickle on my own, but only to be immediately riddled with bullets by Stogie. Turns out my time was up. I guess it's another clean restart for me, sheesh...

  9. Steam sales:

    Syberia Bundle, 75% off: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/8224/?snr=1_4_4__106_2

    Doorways (Ends in 15 hours): http://store.steampowered.com/app/248470/?snr=1_4_4__106_4

    The Night of the Rabbit: Fancy bundle stuff: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/28005/?snr=1_4_4__106_4

    1953 - KGB Unleashed: 15% off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/248490/?snr=1_4_4__106_5

    The Secret World 50% off: http://store.steampowered.com/app/215280/