Friday, 17 January 2014

Guest Game 1: Circuit's Edge - One Long Night

Trickster's Note: The below post (and indeed all posts for Circuit's Edge) was written by guest blogger Zenic Reverie.

Night 1 (continued): "The night wasn't through with me yet. After being hassled by the police, what could be worse than getting lost in the city. Luckily I met a friendly lady at Chiriga's. Unfortunately that luck turned when I arrived at her place. Something about meeting people at their apartments means bad news in this town."


Each session will start and end at Marid's apartment. That's because it's the only location where I'm allowed to save the game. There's also only a single save slot, so there's no chance of keeping a backup game either. Guess I'll have to be sure of each action I take, lest it come back to bite me down the road. Since the police station is outside the city, I decided to stop by the morgue to see about getting Kenji's belongings. The morgue is described as an overly bright place that clashes with gloomy nature. The attendant keeps a watchful eye, and requires a police pass to gather up any belongings.

The lights aren't the only thing that clash here.

The police station is a short taxi ride just outside. As I enter I notice Bill idling illegally just outside as he waits to take me back. Lt. Hajjar is the only character around, and he pretends not to see me the first time I hail him. The good officer gives in eventually, passing along the answering machine chip, but fails to disclose what's on it. He mentions the rest was waiting at the morgue. I had to press him further to get a police pass, and asking anymore questions was pointless after that. We're on the same side this time, but he definitely doesn't wish it was that way.

Wouldn't the 'answerer' be the machine?

Back at the morgue I picked up Kenji's effects: a tattered wallet that held a pawn shop ticket and a holodisk. All are currently dead-ends. I don't know how to listen to the answering machine chip, I've failed to find a way to play the holodisk, and Mustafa's Pawn Shop appears to be permanently closed. Visiting the shop suggests someone, somewhere, may know what happened to the shop, but gives no clues as to who. At least I got one break during the night. I decided to stop by Chiriga's and ask about everything I had on me. Before I left empty handed, I only asked about MCDIX as a last resort.

This seems more like a coincidence, but it's the best lead I've had all night.

A beautiful woman asks for your number, you give it to her, right?

So, the killer may or may not be Mack Dixon. At the very least it was a person of interest. I guess it's one more thing to randomly ask of people as I shove the pawn ticket and holodisk in their face. I also asked about Holodisks from Chiri, and she suggested an adult holovid store. Speaking of randomly asking for people, I decided to head back to Kenji's apartment. Maybe the police left behind the answering machine I could use to play this chip on. Seemed promising.

You were his landlord! You know, the dead guy from earlier...

Holovideos are a small, thin silver disk, about three inches in diameter. It's used to store animated holograms, often accompanied by short audio. In the center of the disk are two small holes that stabilize it in the viewing device. I arrived at Adult Video Holos ready to watch the one I already had in hand. Hologames and More had shut down, so this was the only place I found that had "holo" in the name. For the life of me I could not figure out how to use the viewers in the booths to play this movie. Upon entering I'm given the option to rent a video and time in a booth. After that's done I have the option to watch the video or not. No mater which options I go through though I can't put the holodisk in my inventory into the viewer.

Any chance I can get directions to here?

Yes, I do mean all the options, and yes, that's as far as it plays.

It's hard to believe I've gotten nowhere with any of my leads. I can't even figure out how to watch the holodisk after I've watched a different holodisk... I'm not sure I can deal with this game. At least the story seems to keep moving on its own. After spending way too much time trying to get anywhere with my current inventory, I received a call from that girl I met earlier. She wanted me to come over to her place for a chat; said she had something for me.

McDix strikes again!

The poor woman didn't stand a chance. The scene goes into quite a bit of detail. Strangled from behind, stab marks that look like they were made by an icepick. Same weapon used on Kenji. There was a photograph next to her. Careful not to touch anything, I was able to see it was of Kenji Carter. What was the connection? I looked around further and noticed a samurai tattoo on her arm with the initials "KC" under it. As I pondered how the two knew each other, the game surprised me more than it had with the holodisk fiasco.

I see you're probably robbing the place, can I have a bit of that action?

Little did I suspect Mack Dixon would pose as a street beggar.

Seriously, a random NPC encounter in the middle of investigating this mess? Also, how does the body get to one end of the room after writing "McDix" in blood on the other side? I don't know if that's an intended inconsistency, or just poor design. Based on the rest of the game so far, I'm leaning towards the latter. With little left to do, I left. Marid comments on how the police arrive just as he leaves, and how he is glad not to get wrapped up in another "McDix" murder. Who called the police in the first place? I'm definitely out of leads. Sorry for the overall delay. Been dealing with a heavy workload this week, and I had planned to get this out last week, but ended up catching the flu. I'll post in the comments if I end up running around in circles for more than a couple hours and need some assistance. Hopefully it won't come to that on my very first game for this blog.

Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 3 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 Zenic requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for him...unless he really obviously needs the help...or he specifically requests assistance. In this instance, he's not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!


  1. I come back, and the blog is exploding with spam? :(

    This game feels a little like it's going to be an issue of using the interface moreso than following what's going on. Assuredly, if one of the characters in the game expressly tells you to go to the adult video store to watch a holodisk - if it IS a red herring, it has to be considered a pretty stupid one, right? (It's possible you'll run into a random 'holodisk player' somewhere in your travels.. but I always feel it's the game slightly at fault whenever these things tend to happen.)

    1. The interface isn't one that allows me to use one item on another. The only option is 'use item', and it seems unless I'm in the exact correct location the game doesn't let me use an item even though it would make logical sense. Looking forward to cracking the game wide open before I break down and need assistance.

    2. Just watched Let's play of the game around the spot you are struggling with. Seems to involve lot of pointless walking around questioning various people in order to get even a scrap of hint where to go next. I am glad I am not playing this.

    3. Well, that's the plan I guess, randomly asking everyone about everything. We'll see how it goes. It's a bit strange how I didn't get any new hints from that last encounter. I didn't even catch the name of the hooker.

    4. If you find you are permanently stuck, here's couple of hints I managed to discover (although sometimes the solution might be closer than you think):

      Pawn shop:
      Nudge 1: Gur bjare bs n oebgury arneol Zhfgnsn'f pybfrq cnja fubc zvtug xabj jung unccrarq gb gur fubc.
      Nudge 2: Gur cebcevrgbe bs NNN frpherq ybnaf xabjf gur anzr bs gur thl jub obhtug Zhfgnsn'f fghss.

      Nudge 1: Lbh npghnyyl jngpurq gur ubybqvfx lbh jnagrq, gung'f fhccbfrq gb or n pyhr.
      Nudge 2: Gur tvey va gur ivq vf Wncnarfr; naq Xrawv vf n Wncnarfr anzr -> zvtug gurer or fbzr pbaarpgvba?
      Nudge 3: "Bar ynfg ybbx orsber gur arj zr", fb fur'f tbvat gb ybbx qvssrerag fbba. Jung unf qnqql obhtug gb ure yvggyr tvey?

  2. I've deleted the spam. Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come.

    1. Must be the game, should probably mercy kill it. ;)

  3. Great post! Also, when I saw the "You consider sliding it in" with the picture, well.... *cough*

    So, the world seems better then the gameplay so far?

    1. I concur. Will do my best to get some hours in on it today.

  4. Trickster: Have you considered spacing out the updates instead of posting two on the same day? Would flatten out the boom/bust cycle of posts.

    1. Also, what does it feel like to be able to read about an adventure game instead of playing it? You should come chat in ROT13 with us and see what it is like on the other side of the screen!

    2. I'd consider doing the same ROT13 thing to Zenic but I doubt he'd fall for it like Trix.

  5. Reminds me of Honey Pilar. Mm mm... Tasty piece of nasty work.

  6. MCDIX is also the number 1409 in modern usage of Roman numerals. I expected it to be a number in-story, not a name :P

  7. The best way to gather information about a closed place is to ask the neighborhood. They should now what happened next door. It would save your time from wandering around the city looking for an information.