Monday, 12 January 2015

Missed Classic 4: The Scoop - For Whom the Bell Tolls

Written by Kenny McCormick

Kenny’s filthy notebook (with stick figures animating his favorite pornography in the top right-hand corner) legible page #9: Yes! I found what those losers in Scotland Yard couldn’t! I’m like CSI! Who~~~~ are you? Who, who? Who, who? Wait a minute… what happened to the last guy who found the weapon? Oh, shiiiii~~~

So, here we have the weapon that had opened up a couple of new orifices in a woman and a man. Probably without their permission. My first impulse was to get back to Bond Street and show it to the owner of Araby’s. But you know I’m dumber than that. It’s time to explore the entire confines in the game since finding the murder weapon (and corrupting it with my fingerprints all over) is akin to winning half the battle.

Come roam the game with me, fellow adventurers! First up, the Hove.

Oh, now you tell me.

Sometimes, these cabbies will give you little tidbits of helpful information. Here we have Mr. Taxi telling us that Fat Fishy Fisher was leaving town for London on Monday at 8.30pm. Ooh… the intrigue!
Mmm… Catsby. I like cats. Yup. Love myself some pussy.

I seem to recall that Mrs. Catsby was Gladys Sharp’s ex-employer. So, it would be good to ask her about that conniving and greedy witch. Probably about all the other rich and famous people in the game as well since they would be in the same upper snobbish echelon of society.
Oh, I know some shit about that.

My word! What a bitc- uh… bitcoin worth of character this Gladys Sharp has!

Yes. She could have wound up with me. Between her leg- uh… legendary Tupperware parties.

The stifling air of bourgeois arrogance is so thick around here; 
you could cut it with a plasma knife.

With nothing else to see here, I took a cab and left for North Avenue. Check it out! A newsstand! What does my newspaper, the glorious Daily Courier, have to say?

Hmm… I wonder what the newsboy’s name would be. Could it be Oswald? Cornelius? Manfred? Huxley, maybe? I’m very sure it’s going to be one of those quaint English names you could only get in Great Britain since this game is ba-
Goddammit, Telarium!

Yes, that’s a very fitting name for a… uh… newsboy. Another thing I like about this game. It operates financial transactions in the form of Wealth in D20 Modern RPG system. You can afford anything in the game as long as it’s within the means of your character. Because you can take all the buses, trains and taxis you want, that’s why.
Mr. Wrightwell is more than happy to pay for your cross-country bumbling attempt to apprehend a murderer, who is escalating into the ranks of a serial killer. Since you will be the one who gets stabbity-stabbed in the face if you fail as he prints his paper to lament the loss of his progeny reporter and probably charge your moms and pops for the obituary space, the bastard. I hope your paper never sells.

Anyway, I’ve still got the whole of London to explore. Hold it. What’s this?


And? And? Not getting any?

Dammit, where are the gems that Fisher got from Gladys who got them from Geraldine who got them from Tracey who got them from… er…

Ooh. What’s this?


I told you (well, not literally) that I’m gonna rob you blind, Fisher. I am the master thief (and most well-groomed man) of London! Gem pouches are as easy to grab as nut pouches!

What? Where’s the doorman? Is this one of those haunted hotels that the UK is notorious for?

Look at who we have here. One of your dirty dealings to feed your gambling habits again, Gladys? Terrible. But not as terrible as that maitre’d over there.
Another victim claimed by the God of Bald Pates in London.

Let’s eavesdrop on them sordid little affairs again, shall we? No? Screw you. I’m the one playing here and that’s what I wanna do, you hacks. Sorry. Gotta do something about my Tourette’s Syndrome.

Ha! Little do they know that I already hold the pieces they are bartering! Since this pair is here, I reckon that this may be one of their usual hangouts. Might as well check with the waiter to see if he knows anything.

It’s funny you should mention that, Mr… uh… Waiter. I was wondering whether I should slap that ugly mug of yours which only a thrice-blind mother could love. And how the fu- uh, fudge did you know my name?

Are… are we playing Ultima V? Is it something this British eatery staffs do? You’ve never played Ultima? What are you, five? Okay, anyway, start digging for information with my Petty Cash Of Infinity +12.
Ah… the fat jokes.

I remember that he have some inheritance from a dead uncle, so, thanks for trying to throw me off.

Wednesdays, eh? Oh, will you look at that! It is Wednesday today.

Oh the indecency!

Wait. This is strange. Fisher (or, at least, his car) was spotted racing towards London at 8.30pm on Monday. How could he be in his office eating a meal meant for two from 8.15pm to 8.30pm, rush out for God knows what (possibly murder?) and return by 9pm?
Fisher deserves a harder look. I don’t believe that he’s the killer but someone (Agatha Christie, you feisty tease, you) is trying all out to frame his rotund rump. Time to check out his house for some clues.
*grumble* Rich uppity gem-dealing bastard who lives in a nice house while I dwell in squalor beside a 2-bit reporter while working as a 3rd rate reporter. *mutter*

Nothing?! WTF?!

After turning up short, I figured I might as well go check out the weapon with Araby’s. Which is probably what I should have done in the first place.
Coo! Coo! Bang! F*ck, I’m dead! – Guess a movie quote.

What did I tell you about the Bald Pated Plague of London?

I want that monocle!

Fisher! Really? No, that’s really too obvious. This is Agatha Christie, for crying out loud. It has got to be someone else. But who?! Who are you? Who, who? Who, who? Damn, I hate that song. I know you hate it too, which is why I’m going to insert it here now and then.

Out of leads to follow, I figured I might as well go see what my rival has gotten so far. To the Morning Star! And, oh, who’s this looker at the Reception?

Dammit! I missed eavesdrop- er… “observing” them.

Oh… a dear “friend”, eh? What did I do to get all those inside dope from you? Did I have to dope something inside you in exchange?

Speculative, not even circumstantial.

True, but he ain’t no killer.

That’s actually pretty insightful

Yep, she is a bi- uh… damn… I ran out of words that start with “bi”.

Why does he want to fire Johnson? It’s not like he could threaten his career. Unless Hemingway didn’t want a reporter smarter and more experienced than Johnson to chase after the story and uncover the true killer! <- Speculative, not even circumstantial.

Hmm… Redman never even showed up in my suspect list so far… which means! Dun dun dun!

Yeah. She just needs a real man to give her some deep dic- uh…
dichotomous enunciation. Yes. That.

Is there anybody you don’t know?

And now, he’s like a dead dog. Geddit? Because he’s dead?
And he was a horndog? Fine, I’ll come up with a better one next time.

Whoa, I’m not that rich. Unless you’re planning to hook up with someone who is while me and you cook up a scheme to siphon his wealth off as you get knifed by the jealous husband with a jade pin. Wait, what was I saying?

Oh, you were, weren’t you? Can’t get enough of blowin’ the ol’ Scottish Bagpipe, eh?

We did? The entire evening? Wow… I didn’t know I could last that long. I mean, of course I did!

No. Don’t think so. It is used because it’s easily identifiable so that it makes it easier to incriminate the actual owner.

Accountants, secretaries, graphic artists and… editors? So, now my list of suspects is finally reduced to the following: Fisher (private business owner; accounting done by self), Irene (Receptionist), Beryl (Secretary), Hemingway (Day Editor of Morning Star), Redman (Night Editor of Morning Star) and… Wrightwell (Editor of Daily Courier)!
Ha! You’re a funny one, Irene! That really turns me on…

I believe he’s actually Tracey but I don’t think he’s the killer.

Hmm… You’re right, Irene. My list of suspects is again reduced to the following to incorporate only Morning Star staff: Irene (Receptionist), Beryl (Secretary), Hemingway (Day Editor) and Redman (Night Editor).
Yeah, he’s a total @$hole. Unlike me. Give Beryl my number, will ya?
I will try my best to… “console” her.

To be loved is to not to know you were holding it until you have lost it.
– Rare non-sexual and sentimental moment from Kenny McCormick.

Oh, so that’s what this item is used for; a poontang magnet

See? I knew it wasn’t just me and my perverted outlook of life!

He didn’t. But Johnson sure did… with a River God Jade Hairpin!

Ah ha! Redman, you sneaky killing bastard! But no. I can’t link him with Geraldine’s death at all, even if he might have the means and motive to do in Johnson.

Wow, Irene sure is a verbose one. I’ll make sure to put that tattling mouth of hers to good use on my ol’ Scottish Bagpipe later. That said, since the killer is somewhere here in the Morning Star, I might as well check out the rest of the place. Lo! There be Ernest Hemingway! Pulitzer Prize Winner, Nobel Prize Winner, celebrated author and venerated journalist! Why the heck did this Yank end up in London as an editor is anybody’s guess. Mine is that he’s up to no good.
Look at him. Just like the real McCoy. Look at me. Just like the real McCormick.

Do you teach him murder as well?

Wait, aren’t you the one who sent him out on this assignment?
If you are going to doubt his ability, why send him at all?

Listened to Lord Mayor’s Concert at 10pm? Hmm… I’ll check with BBC.

Sounds fishy… No alibi in the evening.

Wow. Fisher this, Fisher that. It’s like you knew. Or you framed.

Again, Fisher this, Fisher that. You’re the one getting fishier, Hemingway.

With nothing else to do, I thought I should follow the people I’ve just met back to their homes to unlock new areas in the game. I figured I might as well start with Irene.
Follow that cab! I’ve never had the opportunity to say that

I nominate Aperama, TBD and Joe Pranevich for the next Mop Bucket Challenge!

They are neighbors?! How did I miss exploring that area?! What a waste of time! I could have followed Hemingway, who’s the Prime Suspect #1, home instead! Better get back to The Morning Star again and see if he’s still there!
Argh! Shift has changed?!

Fine. Whatever. I’ll just interrogate Redman instead since he’s Prime Suspect #2.

Oh yeah? Well, you leave a skank everywhere.

I figured that, since Redman wouldn’t want to talk to me, I might as well explore the environs around The Morning Star instead for clues since I’ve narrowed the killer to be either a staff or someone who frequents this place on an extremely regular basis. To the left of the building’s entrance, I found the place where, if you fell from the scaffolding above, you would end up in.

A knothole? Not a glorious one?

With the dead-end, I proceeded to go back eastwards.

Look at that florist! Isn’t that sweet? He must be the killer!

Oh ho! What have here, old chap? It’s a nice little boy selling flowers! I’d bet he’ll have a name like Benny, Robbie, Tommy or some such. Y’know, because this game is based in London and there ar-

Goddammit, Telarium!

There must be some kind of terrible kid-hating parent groups with equally terrible last names lurking out there in London who just can’t wait to spawn ill-fated kids destined to fulfil their uninspiring and unsurprising namesakes. They ought to have an Unfortunately-Named Anonymous support group for such kids.

Guy 1: “Hi, my name is Foreman Printer. I work as a Foreman Printer.”
All: “Hello, Foreman.”
Guy 2: “Hi, my name is Bestiality Pornstar. I work as a Be-”
All: “Holy shi-”
Guy 2: “-ekeeper.”

Jokes aside, there’s a lot you can glean from florists situated beside any workplace if they do not honor any business transaction confidentiality. Any man buying flowers are definitely in it for the punani, so you could easily find out who’s getting horny just by knowing if they had been buying flowers.
Hemingway; Prime Suspect #1. Again more likely now.

That’s for Beryl. Nothing strange.

Redman is officially struck off my list of Suspects. Now I’m only left with Hemingway since the shoeprints at Geraldine’s house already confirms that the killer is too large to belong to either Irene or Beryl

Er… Good to know?

Eh… Nice to know too?

Of course he did. Else I’d kick his dead ass for being a pansy.

Speaking of pansies…

Further down the road, I chanced upon a pub named Cheshire Cheese. Mmm... I love cheese.

Ah ha! More sh!t going on, I see!

Yeah, thanks to yours truly. Wait, how did you guys know?!

Yeah, mine.

 This is the 1920’s, sucker. Fingerprints aren’t in vogue yet, let alone a database of prints to correlate them to. And how the hell could they check when the pin’s still with me?!

I don’t wear gloves! How could the pin not have my prints?! Also, the pin is still with me!

Hah! Ahead of you, losers!

And yet, my boss still didn’t run my story on our paper. What an idiot. It’s not like I don’t repo...r...t...

Okay, seriously, I have to get back to The Daily Courier today or tomorrow at the latest. But first, let’s check out what the pub keeper with a probably very jazzy name (like Caleb Coolridge, Angus Deloitte, Terrence Gottfried or some such, because London) has to say.

Yup. Cool name. F*ck you, Telarium.

 I prefer GIMLETs.

 Ha! Stupid Yanks, amirite? Uh... I mean; Pip pip, tally-ho, cheerio and all that, old chap!
By the way, have you heard of the Hair-Loss Epidemic of London?

 Kidney pie? I’ve... I’ve never heard of any offal confectioneries before. Has anyone ever tried that?

 Hah! The funny ones are always the ugly ones. Which is why I have absolutely no sense of humor.

Oh, you NPCs trying to throw me off my scent again. It’s almost adorable the way you try it.

Oh, really? Wait till I impress her with me ol’ Scottish Bagpipes.

At least, it’s her ears that are open and not her legs.

 Hahaha! Johnson! Under his belt! Hahaha! Johnson getting on your nerves!
Hahaha! You are one funny barkeep!

 Hmm... Oliver must have heard the news about Johnson and came here to gulp down a drink before heading out to Victoria Station.

And Redman is off the hook.

Finalizing my findings, I checked with Oliver whom is still in the pub to exchange our ideas on a strictly professional basis, reporter-to-reporter.

Yes, he most probably did. May I ask how did you and Redman know about this when I’m the one who found and hoarded it thus far without anyone knowing about it?
Did someone film me with a cellphone and upload it on Youtube or something?

Oh, you did not just bring me moms into this, you ugly rat-faced sonofabi-

Know what? I had better get back to the Daily Courier to check on things. I forgot I was a crime reporter for a moment and was totally immersed by the sheer amount of details of this game.

Look at that smug mug. If this had been a modern open-world game

But first! To BBC!

Oh, why didn’t such shit happen in RPGs where money actually matters?

No kidding! I’m at the illustrious Savoy Hill where The Scoop radio plays were recorded prior to its relocation in 1932. Looks pretty small compared to the real thing though.

Well, that’s just disrespectful. You should have given him a full beard.

Look at that guy with purple tinted glasses. I wore that shit in my teens and thought it was cool! I didn’t know they had that in the early 1920s! This guy reminded me of Elton John, actually. I guess he should be a prominently named character then. Jelton On, maybe?

I think tee-tum-tee-tum is great because Brits sure love their tea-tum.

Are you sure it’s your dream and not what your parents wanted?
Naming you like that will really limit your aspirations.

Damn! Hemingway’s testimony and family alibi takes him off the hook!

Hmm… not much clue to be had for Saturday night here.

Finally, I’m dead-ended. I am left with a single suspect and he has an ironclad alibi. Right. I had better get my ass back to Wrightley or Wrightwell or Whoever-My-Boss-Is. He could probably point me to the correct direction.

Joke’s on you, fatboy! All-expense-paid cross-London escapade! ZING!

Ha! You’re so funny! Also, you don’t need to pay him his last paycheck since he’s dead, right?

I have a photo of Manwaring wearing bikini that you could run.

Wait, what?! Give it to Scotland Yard?! Could have told me so earlier! Oh… er…

Wait, what?! Give it to Scotland Yard?! Could have told me so earlier! Oh… Déjà vu…

It would help if you actually print anything to sell.
  Or are we running an e-news website where Canageek lives?

He’s an @$hole, that’s why.

How could I? Because I can.

Yeah, well, the bugger wouldn’t even talk to me and I can’t stand him.

After checking everything new I could with fatboy, the time was close to 1am. So I went back home to sleep.

Yeah, yeah. Been there, done that.

The game continues to provide hints through dreams to get you access to certain areas of the game if you had not been able to find them before. Which is a first, again. However, since I’ve already been to Araby’s, I opted to get my ass straight to Scotland Yard and hand in my ill-gotten gains (sans the gems, of course).
Oh, yes. Yes, it is. Can I have it back? I needs it. I wants it. My precious…
Filthy thieving hobbitses.

That worked out better than I thought.

After being arrested, I learnt a valuable lesson that stealing (especially from cops) is wrong. Oh, so very wrong.



Following my boss’ advice last night (or this early morning), I went to The Morning Star to find Oliver and found him in deep conversation with his boss.

Potts! I forgot about that sisterfuc- er… guy!

Since I just came from Scotland Yard, I opted to take a journey to Southampton instead to track down Arthur Potts. He may not be the killer but I’m sure he will be of great help to unravel this tangled ball of intrigue. Seriously, having 6 people writing the same story will cause a gigantic clusterfuc- uh… well… you know what I mean.

A wireless radio? Rich @$hole.

Am I the only one to think that he looks like Popeye with a different color scheme?

And with that, he shut me off. I lost an entire day tracking him down to hear that load of bull. Saturday? Okay, then. Let’s see what you have to say then. But, back to bed!

Forsooth! I canst see yonder across temporal and spatial realms!

I guess I must have missed a clue or the chance to follow Hemingway home when he knocks off from work. At least, now I know where Prime Suspect #1 lives. On to his home!

Editors make good living.

Wireless radio again! Rich @$hole.

Hmm… broken tubes. I guess that radio ain’t gonna be of any use anytime soon. Might as well speak to that old wrinkly thing knitting… something.

Uh… Monday, eh? Beethoven’s 5th… That’s what Hemingway said too.

A tube? Not 3? That’s a little strange…

Wait a goddamn minute. That doesn’t sound right.
So, Hemingway wasn’t the one who killed Johnson?!

So do bad ones, Mrs. Kent. So do bad ones.

Being an uppity high-society ex-socialite, Mrs. Kent could not offer any other information except that Hemingway was home during both murders.

8:10pm? Killing time!

Why, if it isn’t Mrs. Hemingway herself. Certainly looks less than pleasing. I don’t think she is the recipient of those flowers that Hemingway bought from Flower Boy. Best to check with her on her possibly philandering husband.
It sure is. I doubt clocks have a habit of stopping whenever Hemingway sat down for dinner unless his ass is Magneto.

Kent? It sure is distinguished, alright. Especially in Romania.

Oh, don’t you worry. He is definitely scoring some holes.

Like a moth to an open flame, no doubt.

Yes. That horrible green turtleneck does that to people.

Sounds like acting to me.

10:15pm? Bullshit time!

How do you tell time when both the clock AND radio are down for the count? A sundial?

Oh, hey, big guy. Don’t mind me.

Notice that the Search command is greyed out. Shit like this happens when someone is there to stop you from rummaging around. Now, I’ll just have to annoy him constantly until he leaves the home or use the Wait command which is more convenient and spends less game time. Being me, I chose the former.

Haha! Too late! I’m gonna be here till you move your fat ass out of your own bedroom!

Unable to deal with my incessant questioning and provoking, Hemingway hightailed out of his own home for me to commit multiple counts of larceny in the name of... something… good but… unlawful. Perhaps a hitherto unknown Chaotic Good deity or some such? I shall now christen said deity as Kilroy; because I hate Roy.


Holy shiiii…

And Bingo was his name-o. This is probably what those two womenfolk had heard. The radio must have already been tampered with earlier on since there were actually 3 tubes and not 1 tube broken within. Now, to tally what those people in the household heard with BBC. Back to Savoy Hill!

Wait, his name is Turnkey? Why the hell didn’t you just put that as his official name on the top-left hand corner then, Telarium!?

Turnkey might not know why someone would wish to fake that signal but I do.

Well, well, well. What have we here? Hemingway, you bullshit artist, you.

Hemingway is the only person that corresponds to all my clues to be the killer. Except that I can’t find the motive or prove that he actually killed Geraldine and/or Johnson. I am missing something very important but I can’t find it anywhere. I seriously believe it has something to do with Gladys Sharp or Arthur Potts but the former is too tight-lipped to talk about anything important while Potts is too damn elusive to offer much help.

But, I’m sure Inspector Smart of Scotland Yard would be smart enough to figure this shit out. He is the fuzz, anyway, not me. If the world had to rely on crime reporters to solve them, we won’t need cops. So, off to Scotland Yard with this evidence!

Yay. Hooray for ineptitude of useless police worldwide. Now I have to do your job, Inspector? Can I get your pay as well? Do I get a gun and a badge? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for the last game post before the Final Ratings.

Also, it has come to my attention that the Digital Antiquarian had written a piece that had something to do with The Scoop. Well, f*ck that. Royally. I’m enjoying this game thoroughly regardless of whatever your opinions of what a masterpiece is. It doesn’t even sound like he tried.


  1. Holy cow that is a lot of images. The Crow is what you were quoting, and another 'bi' would be 'biscuit'. (It's British for 'cookie'.)

    1. Hooray! You solved the puzzle! I get 5 CAPs for that! Uh... is that how it works? No? Fine. Admins, please help to transfer 5 CAPs from my account to Aperama's.


      Take that, you birrotch!

      That's right, I'm calling you a vibrant whirring sound. Deal with it!

    3. Bite sized chunk of badness? Bit of crumpet? This feels like a contest.

    4. It sure is. I'm offering 10 CAPs from my measly treasury to the most creative SINGLE word which is a noun that starts with "b-i". Bonus 5 CAPs is it's funny as a bicorn.

    5. Since you didn't say it had to be used as a prefix, just start with bi....

      bibacious, adj.
      Addicted to, or fond of, drinking; bibulous.
      See also: What you are after playing The Scoop.

      ˈbibbing, adj.
      1. That bibs; given to drinking.
      1594 R. Carew tr. J. Huarte Exam. Mens Wits xiv. 253 If the same be gluttonous, greedy, and bibbing.
      1656 tr. J. A. Comenius Latinæ Linguæ Janua Reserata: Gate Lat. Tongue Unlocked lxiv. §623 Ravening and bibbing belly-gods.
      Do I even need to add a funny comment about the scoop to this one? I mean, you can even turn it into bibbery! There are a ton more of these! I think Kenny was bibbling while writing these posts, for example.

      bibble-babble, n.
      Idle or empty talk; prating. (Very common in 16th c.)
      1532 T. More Confut. Barnes in Wks. (1557) 754/1, I..will cutte of all his bybell babbel.
      This one seems apropriate to the blog...

      bicched, adj.
      Forms: Also ME–15 byched, 15 bychyde, biched.
      Etymology: Origin unknown.... (Show More)
      a. Precise meaning unknown: in general the sense ‘Cursed, execrable, shrewed,’ suits the context.
      A word that know one knows the exact meaning of, but has the form 'biched'? Kenny should love this one! Also, I looked it up and it was too funny not to post.

      And finally for Kenny, in case he only takes words with bi- as the prefix:
      bicipitous, adj.
      Having two heads or terminal extremities.
      1646 Sir T. Browne Pseudodoxia Epidemica iii. v. 141 Bicipitous Serpents with the head at each extreme.
      Which means that yes, you could construct and animal with two asses and it would be bicipitous.

    6. Hmm... a biched bicipitous bicorn bibbing bibulously? Bibble-babble!

  2. Grim Fandango Remastered available for pre-order now on GOG for the weirdly random price of $14.19, with full release due in 2 weeks!

    Most notable addition for people who own the old version (like me) is director's commentary.

    1. Dammit, I should learn to post things before going to work.
      Twin Sector -70% CDN$ 5.49 > CDN$ 1.64
      Do physics adventures count?

      Countless Rooms of Death -10% CDN$ 7.79 > CDN$ 7.01

  3. I'm sorry, but wouldn't they print the radio schedual ahead of time in the Newspaper like they do with the TV guide? Or couldn't the killer have asked someone else what had been on? I guess the bit with tricking the witnesses as to the time is clever though.