Tuesday 11 February 2014

Guest Game 1: Circuit's Edge - Success Brings Much Confusion

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

Night 4: "I found the star sapphire! With it safely back in the jewelers hands, he eagerly parted with his Japanese language chip. I feel like this is my first quest completed. My reward, however, is about as helpful as any other lead I've received: near zero at current. My immediate leads are a bullet, a ransom note, and a black key. I learned Tamara is Kenji's daughter, and suspect she's behind the killings. Based on the holodisk I believe she is a he now, and exacting some kind of revenge or covering her trail. I'm not sure how I'll track her/him down."

Apparently it means 300 kiam and a Japanese chip to you.

Here we are once again, following another night of clues in the hope it leads somewhere. I chose the most obvious to follow, and headed for the Shimaal Mosque. I was fortunate to arrive at 12:30 am, and only had to wait another 30 minutes. Waiting in deadly silence at a Mosque in the middle of the night somehow unsettles Marid. To kill some time I asked Bill about some random things in my notes. "Tamara" generated something interesting. "Tamara Carter?" he said, "Never met her." Well, that was a bit of a surprise. The same Tamara that was involved with Manny is the daughter of Kenji. Well, it's almost 1 am; I suppose I should wait inside.

Which Carter are we talking about now?

Back in the Budayeen no one seems to know who Marco is, and no one has ever met Tamara. I started asking around about the cop computer since I have a password. Chiri suggested I might find Marco in that computer if I could learn his last name. Hmmm, where could I find a police computer? The police station possibly? At the very least I could ask Hajjar, although I was certain he would just brush me. I was right, Hajjar was no help, but in the corner was a computer, accessible through the action menu. Good job interface.

Officers only... good thing I picked up this badge.

From the computer I learned that Tamara was last known to stay at The Red Dunes Apartments, and confirmed Kenji Carter was her father. I asked around about Red Dunes, but no one knew where it was. My map revealed no current business by that name; however, a place called The Sahara seemed close. My hunch was correct. Just my luck though as she no longer lived there, and left no forwarding address. Cycling through my notes I realized I never paid Guido a visit. He might be interested to learn his hired hand had been severed.

Manny's dead? Marid, do you want a job?

Apparently Guido isn't too broken up about Manny's demise. Asking about Marco and Tamara met with the same lack of information. Instead I got a job to visit Persian Rugs to collect some money, a job Manny was in the middle of before he died. Sounds safe, let's do it. Persian Rugs was closed at the time, so I took a nap. I awoke with a start as my phone went off. Mahmoud, the owner of Hassan's (a shady operation dealing in import/export of any item desired), asked me to come over immediately. When I arrived he said everything was fine; however, the young boy that normally tends his store was strangely absent.

What more can you tell me about Abdul's disappearance?

Would it kill anyone to date their time sensitive messages?

Persian Rugs was still closed, so I rested until it opened. Abu Salah was quite amiable about the situation and happily retrieved the 1,000 kiam he owed Guido. On my way out I ran into a man that looked familiar somehow. Like I'd seen him before, briefly. Almost like I could make the connection, but Marid could not.

You look familiar. Have you ever killed Kenji Carter before, or hit me over the head in his apartment?

Do I need to whip out the ransom letter and smell it again?

I returned to Guido, and found him in a good mood. Seems getting his money will do that for him. He let drop that Abu isn't on the up and up (but who is in the Budayeen). He went on to say Abu recently hired two heavies, brothers, Marco and Alejandro Herrera. He suggested I should break into his shop and check it out. Guido gave me my 10% cut for delivery of the cash, and bid me well. Back at Persian Rugs I found the lock easily broken with an electronic lock breaker I bought during one of my spending sprees. In the back of the shop were notes about various people in the Budayeen. Among them the name McDix was crossed out, and the numbers 1409 written above. Next to that were scenes of medieval torture, and a black key. I noted the connection to the plot, and stored the key safely on my person.

This database sucks. Why isn't the information just cross-referenced?

With a new mysterious key, and the number 1409 appearing once again in connection with McDix, I've reached a new level of lost. I figured I could look up Marco at the police station now. The information they had was about as close to useless as I expected. Next, I tried to look up Alejandro Herrera; however, before the readout came up, a scripted event occurred. An officer who knew me kicked me off the computer and took my badge. I guess I can't get back on that computer now.

Another way you say?

Back at my apartment I sorted through all the junk on the floor. I grabbed my Data Terminal and Uplink Cables, jack in my Rad Hacker moddie, and dial up the cop computer. It asks for my remote login code: Gravity. With that out of the way, I now had unlimited access. Alejandro Herrera was living at the Medinah, and that's where I'll find Marco as well. When I arrived I found the door locked, and the landlord happily took my 100 kiam "bribe" without offering to open up the door. I picked up The Phantom moddie back at my place, swapped it for the Hacker I had left in, and deftly picked the lock back at Marco's place.

Are the bodies wearing name tags?

Well, there goes Marco. I carefully looked around the apartment. Clenched in the corpse's fist I caught a glint of light. The star sapphire! I pocketed it quickly. Before heading out I fished out a bullet slug from the wall. I quickly took the gem to the jeweler, and collected my reward. The 300 kiam is nice, but the Japanese daddie goes right in once I returned to my apartment. Now for my prize...

Sorry, I didn't catch your name... first and last please.

If I'm to believe Tamara has had a sex change, then this is probably not her, although I might be mistaken by the clues. The holodisk has her saying, "one last look before the new me." Her landlord mentioned her saying there were big changes in her life before she moved out. However, I can't think of any other female voice that would be speaking Japanese on Kenji's machine. Maybe her voice hasn't changed yet. In any case, I tried the apartments I've visited, and I can't enter any of them anymore. Seems I'll have to set this line aside once again. Abdul-Hassan is still missing with no leads as well. My one follow up is this bullet slug I retrieved from the Herrera's wall. Maybe Crazy Abdul can identify the gun this exact bullet went to, and suggest who owns it. Nah, that's probably too crazy for this game, but it's what I'll try next time I start out.

Session Time: 1 hour 30 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 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. This game reminds me a little bit of the Manhunter series in that solving a puzzle usually results in the player gaining an item or piece of information that rarely makes sense at first. You have to work really hard to make consistent progress!

    I did feel a real sense of satisfaction when I made progress in Manhunter though. Are you getting the same sense with Circuit's Edge Zenic, or does it all just feel a bit of a chore with not much result?

    1. There's very little satisfaction because the puzzles are so obtuse yet at the same time completely obvious once you hit them. An example, I got the password for the cop computer before I knew I even needed it, and once I did it was right there. I was lost for so long buying up random items that I have nearly everything I need, I just need to encounter the need for them. I'm glad I did buy them though because having to hunt down random street dealers would have been just as, if not more, annoying. This McDix = 1409 is so ingrained now that I'm sure I'll understand it only when it makes sense. It's like giving the answer away before the question was asked, but matching them up is trivial latter.

      The only satisfying bit I feel I accomplished was returning that gem. I'll be glad when this game is over. I wouldn't say it's a bad game, but definitely not my cup of tea. I also have a sneaking suspicion that when all is said and done, the solution to the game is less than an hour long and possibly available from the beginning.

    2. My cryptography mind says that MCDIX/1409 is most likely either a time (2 PM) which seems unlikely - a floor number of an apartment building (floor 14 room 9) or a safe lock (14 roght, back to 0 left, 9 right).

      But then again, maybe he's just a relative of Old McDonald.

    3. Isn't that sort of a staple of noir though, getting things before they make sense?

    4. Actually only a detective badge and 1 other thing you didn't obtain yet are needed from street dealers. Everything else you can buy in shops or find during scripted events.

  2. The game appears to want you to make some more or less logical deductions at this point - basically you'l have to guess what places to visit. I'll give you a couple of cryptic hints in ROT13:

    SYBENY fprag vf fbzrguvat lbh pbhyq frnepu va jung fubc?

    Vs fbzrbar'f tbvat guebhtu n znwbe yvsr-punatvat bcrengvba, jurer jbhyq guvf zbfg yvxryl unccra?

    1. Sybjre fubc?
      Ubfcvgny? Gung be n frrql onpx-nyyl pyvavp.

    2. Canageek: Evtug ba obgu nppbhagf.

  3. I'm caught up!

    Also: What the heck guys, I take some time off to play with my new computer, and you lot all go silent! I mean, less then ten posts a page? Did we all get busy at once?

    1. I saw a few tumbleweeds blowing across the blog earlier in the week. I can only assume that people don't have much to say about the two games we're playing or they're just not that interesting.

      Not sure Les Manley is going to change things either...

    2. I had a rather severe server crash a couple of weeks ago that I've been busy cleaning up. About 1.8 TB of data went bye-bye as well, including my complete Adventure Gamer repository. Seems to be mostly up and running now though, which means I have a bit more time from here on to comment and be annoying.

    3. And I was in bloody Japan last 2 weeks!

      Also, seeing as Zenic didn't have as much fun as I did with the game, I couldn't comment much about it.

      Perhaps its just me holding out my hand over the moon, thinking that I had created a lunar eclipse for everyone.

  4. We're still here! I've never played or even heard of the two games that were being blogged. I did play Les Manley way back when. Never got anywhere. I remember getting to a carnival or a fair and getting stuck. That's like 10 minutes in.

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Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's 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 the reviewer requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game...unless they really obviously need the help...or they specifically request assistance.

If this is a game introduction post: This is your opportunity for readers to bet 10 CAPs (only if they already have them) that the reviewer won't be able to solve a puzzle without putting in an official Request for Assistance: remember to use ROT13 for betting. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with 50 CAPs in return.
It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All score votes and puzzle bets must be placed before the next gameplay post appears. The winner will be awarded 10 CAPs.