Monday 5 January 2015

Missed Classic 4: The Scoop - Marathon Encore

Written by Kenny McCormick

Admin's note: Surprise, surprise! Due to a number of urgent pleas from our readers (and a visitation from a bunch of angry bearded gnomes with rusty pitchforks) we've decided to extend The Scoop -marathon by one day. Enjoy!

Kenny’s filthy notebook (with poorly illustrated stick figures depicting the whole Karma Sutra) legible page #8: Wow… great view from the scaffolding. Vertigo feels awesome!

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty stupid of myself that I couldn’t recall what I had played more than 20 years ago. In Hemingway’s note, he stated that the weapon was from Bond Street, not Brighton Street. With that clue, the game will open up Bond Street as one of my available traveling options via taxi.

In any case, Tuesday had been extremely packed with activities and I’m left with little time before my narcolepsy kicks in. In order not to wander too far, I hailed a cab and went to Scotland Yard to steal some evidence, if possible. That “Out Of Order” sign I want is still weighing on my mind.

F*ck tha Police.

But before I commit a serious felony in the name of a shitty underpaid job, I saw an exploration opportunity to the west. 80s or not, here I come!

Screw you kids! I’m at the forefront of 60’s London fashion!

Cool. Redman lives here. Just beside the cops. Oops! Someone left his door open too. Poms can be so careless with us Scotsmen sometimes. They should really have some PSAs about unlocked doors and impoverished Scotsmen with limited employment opportunities, even if they live just beside Scotland Yard.

Bugger is poorer than me?

With nothing else to hold my severely limited attention and this being a dead-end, I crept my way back to Scotland Yard for my prize.

F*ck yeah.

With that, my job here is done. If I ever lose my job as a reporter, I should probably turn to a life of crime – breaking & entering and stealing shit right under someone’s nose despite heavy security with absolute ease. Since it’s apparent that my character has no qualms about committing legal infringements, I simply don’t understand why his career choice is to work as lowly reporter with measly payouts. Self-righteous prick that I am.

Seeing that I still have some time to spare before bedtime, I opted to go back to the Morning Star to steal their next day’s paper. Because I can. However, I’m a little too early, I guess. To while away the time on my hands, I started to review (with the Examine command) all the clues I ‘gathered’ for the day.

The murderer will have a blue pencil and a large piece of cardboard (missing one of its corners) somewhere in his/her usual locales.

Each ‘Examine’ attempt takes up a 3-minute block. Also, this game is operating in Real Time. So, even if your character isn’t doing anything, leaving it to run while you jack off to some dwarf porn in another window will still advance the game time. Not that I found out that way, of course. Ahem.

Phone log shows that Johnson had been busy like a bee. Who’s this “Blackwood” character?

Having read everything I had in my Inventory, I chose to Wait till midnight.

I literally waited for a day to get hold of this, kids. That’s the way of life before The Internets.

I may have the shittiest employer in the field of journalism but, on the other hand, I also have the most tolerant boss in the world. He placed absolute trust in me; an unknown upstart that has zero experience whose sole previous working experience was as a shoe salesman, with the future of the company and that I’m not just lazing and gallivanting around while collecting his paychecks. And here I thought I was the idiot.

What kind of stupid non-clairvoyant dream is this?

So it seems that I can’t see the future via sleeping. I’m disappointed. I expected more from you, Agatha Christie! After crying for 2 hours at my unrealistic expectations from a dead author, I hailed a taxi (in the rain, looking for something to ease the pain) and went to Bond Street.

How do I know where to grab a cab to get to Bond Street? In the original boxed copy of the game, a map of London is included. Since mine obviously was lost in a battle against Time & Termites, I used the alternative.

Look at that classy monocle. LOOK AT IT.

Here I finally met the key person to identify the murder weap- FUUUCCC~~~*censored for the next 17 minutes* and your mother too!!! I forgot that I have absolutely nothing to show to him! Okay, my next task would be to recover the weapon or maybe a photo of the thing? Seeing that the last time the dagger was found in the vicinity of Geraldine’s murder, I have a hunch that it should also be near the latest crime scene; Victoria Station.

And with so many cops on that fateful day who only managed to find the ‘Out of Order’ sign (which I then stole in Scotland Yard), the possibility that those useless pigs probably missed a spot goes to 100. Psshhh… Brits, amirite? Anyway, since I’m here in Bond Street, I might as well check out the environs.


More nothing.

Again, noth- Hellooo~~~, there.

Why, if it isn’t Ms. Amethyst Manwaring, one of the man-wearing women in this game. Chatting with her reveals that she is working in this snooty upper-class haberdashery (good lord, it’s been years since I last used that word!). After failing all attempts to get into her panties despite her obvious sexual attraction to me, I continued with my company-sanctioned joy trip around the neighborhood.

Oh, come on. Do I look like a kleptomaniac to you? Is there no trust left in the world for us Scotsmen? Would you take away that last shred of liberty from me? Well, you may take our lives but you. Will. Never. Take. OUR FREEDOM!

I can steal crap in front of a visible policeman but I can’t search for shit in the presence of an invisible doorman. WTF? Not cool, man. Strangely, I’m still able to trespass my way into Amethyst’s home which is just beside where she works. If I can’t get into her panties, I might as well get her panties. Please do not apply patented Kenny Logic© in real life. Most of it is felonious and the rest are obscure procedures to summon Elder Gods with unpronounceable names.

In case you still have any doubt of her night-time activities.

Sadly, other than reaffirming my opinion of Amethyst, there’s nothing of note to be found here. Better to skitter out of here post-haste. Well, well… what do we have here?

Darn. Possible 3rd victim of this game?

So, this is where the last person Johnson (Teehee! Johnson!) talked to before his untimely demise (when are demises ever timely is what I’d like to know and hope to be subjected to… in time). And who could it be?

Pixelated boner rising.

And with the addition of Ms. Beryl Blackwood, the Lusty Lady Trio of The Scoop is now complete. Time for a little interview with her.

Mind if I join Oliver and Johnson (Teehee! Johnson!) to complete the Horndog Trio of The Scoop?

Looks like Oliver is back in the running as a Prime Suspect. Now he has 2 motives to kill off our unfortunately-named victim. By the way, if you notice the character portraits, this is the first adventure game to illustrate different emotions of each NPC.

A love poem? Horny and corny!

Okay, I’m done with this area. On to Southampton Station to see what other clues I could get.

Ah… absent on the day of the killing, eh, Mr. Potts?

Upon my arrival, I am clued in that A) Arthur Potts live in this area and B) he is not the murderer because Agatha Christie is just begging for me to suspect him. Oh no, you don’t. I know how you work, you sneaky woman, and I ain’t falling for it.

How could a game programmed with only 0.5 MB worth of codes have so many places to visit and so many characters to talk to?!

On one hand, I’m mighty impressed and excited with so many things to do and so much to see. Yet on the other, I’m just daunted. The Scoop makes The Colonel’s Bequest look like a game made for preschoolers.

Fancy taking a long walk off the short pier?

Aha! Look at this place! This looks like the endgame scene of a mystery thriller drama in the late ‘60s/early 70’s. Could there be a cross-London chase of the killer that ended up here where he/she would end his/her life in a watery grave?

Is this another cliffhanger? Look at that scrolling bar of the window to your right. Yeah, it’s a big NO.

Since I have no wish to end my sociopathic journalist (and part-time criminal) career prematurely, I turned back and went to the East where everything’s just more exotic and cool.

And suffers from more diseases apparently.

Another ‘filler screen’ in an adventure game? Really? With only 1.44MBs of space on a single 3.5” floppy dick, Telarium, and you’re squandering it off like that? Do you know how bad you make other developers look? Apparently, they didn’t have any f*cks left to give to have any make-believe conversation with me. So, I just went my merry way.

Another clue! Potts, you murderous maniac! It is you, isn’t it?!

There we have it: the charming abode (which is not an adobe) of Arthur Potts; the sinister sisterf*cker. Searching here, I found an empty vault. Could this be one of those vaults?

Talk about shameless self-promoting.

Wait… if this game is based on a novel by Agatha Christie and the novel is inside the game, would the outcome of the game be affected if I ask Agatha Christie in the game to write the novel, which this game is based on, to make me Superman instead of Normalman? How about if I kill Agatha Christie in the game? How about me calling up her spirit In Real Life and force her to change the outcome of the novel retroactively? Argh! My head hurts from the paradoxical possibilities and relativity issues!

Anyway, it’s not like Telarium is putting in distracting adverts about Below The Roots or having anachronistic computers running their software in the game, unlike some other more popular company named after a mountain range which I’m not going to mention here.

Right, I’ve digressed enough. Back to the game. Potts ain’t home but here we have Mrs. Hardney, their housekeep. Let’s talk to her and see what we can dig up from her, shall we?

With the absence of a radio guide, television and the Internet, being able to tell me what was on the radio at what time, the radio station can become a potent double-edged sword of an alibi for a scheming villainous mastermind.

But of course. I’m sure your uncle is busy fighting off Air Elementals as well.

The amount of possible “filler screens” is mindboggling. Entertaining, nonetheless.

I want to see… your insides.

That said, as every NPC has their own schedule, I believe that some characters may go to these “filler screens” during certain time on certain day(s). This establishment is most possibly one of them.

Pah! Londoners and their ‘orrible inflated pricings!

I am extremely sure that this screen would be visited by, at least, one character during the entire span of the game. When? I dunno. If I have more time to play, I might create an Excel spreadsheet to tail after every mother’s son and jot down their whole schedule throughout the game like what Trix tried to do in The Colonel’s Bequest. It’s, therefore, not a huge coincidence that both games are based on Agatha Christie’s novels. But a game with only 8 screens versus this behemoth that I’m handling? Trix, you sux.

Another NPC and possible murderer’s home!

Ooh… you dirty old man, you. I’m taking that for my… investigation. Yes. I’m gonna investigate several times tonight with this picture.

Wait, how did you know I’m McCormick? I don’t recall introducing myself! What? Oh, the press badge. Ha! Silly me. Now I’ll have to kill you. Silly you.

What have we here? Is it Page 3 from The Sun Newpaper?

Guess not. Is Redman gay? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s the 1920s.

Armed with the new evidence, I made my way back to Southampton Station to take a train back to Victoria Station. Since I’m passing by Pott’s place, I swooped in to show Mrs. Hardney both pieces of the new stuff I procured. But she only had something to say about the photograph.

Yes. Yes, she is. But I’m afraid she’d be coated with loads of organically produced sunblock later to show off that bathing suit.

Finally, I’m back just after lunch. Let’s check out if the cops really missed a spot, shall we?

Well, well, well. What have we here?

I may look calm and collected here but I’m doing this inwardly.

In your f*ckin’ face, Scotland Yard. I rule.

Admin's note: This is the real ending of The Scoop -marathon. The penultimate part of Kenny's odyssey will be published next Monday, 12th of January, same Scoop-time, same Scoop-channel!


  1. The murderer is Blackwood. I mean, it's gotta be, right? When has anyone with a name like Blackwood ever NOT been the villain?

    1. When the butler did it. (Duh.)

    2. My bet is on Mrs. Hardney. I mean, there's no rational reason to suspect a simple housekeep, so by the logic of detective stories, it MUST be her.

    3. I'm actually still playing it. Yet to find out who the killer is, myself.

  2. Also, I didn't even notice that the blog was updated weekly.

    I blame Trix for making it irregular.

  3. I'm not up to date, but I'm going to hijack these comments to link this site:

    It contains a library of DOS games playable from the browser (using DOSBox from what I've seen) and includes quite a few adventure games


    1. Dammit, you beat me to it Deimar. I knew I should have posted that right away. Think I can still get CAPS for finding each game that we've played and linking to it?

  4. I've got to say: It is a really good thing that we don't have advertising on this site, as I hate to think what Kenny is doing to our TRAQ score: