MORE RELOADING... ... ... EVEN MORE RELOADING... ... ...
Before I leave Earth via the smuggler's base I return to the jungle for a seemingly innocuous and nonsensically buried newspaper advertisement. This ad somehow opens up many new avenues of investigation. I'm sure I'm now on the right track in my search for Alexis Alexander.
Last time I controlled our hero, Tex Murphy, I was killed by saying the wrong things to Big Dick.
So I went for my usual 'systematically try each possible option of dialogue until one works' process.
The way I do it made this the easiest dialogue 'puzzle' to solve.
I started with Response 1, then chose Response 1, then Response 1 again, and I'd suddenly won the dialogue on my first attempt! Thumbs up for Murphy's System for Dialogue Organisational Success! I should trademark MSDOS immediately.
|Well, that was easy.|
I can't leave via the door.
|For a game that otherwise delights in killing me, it seems like they got a Lucasarts designer just for the trying to leave the office via the door interaction.|
Next to Big Dick's picture is a vent. Fortunately I don't need any items to open it, so I do open it and get to the dreaded Duct Maze.
|I'm guessing this would be much harder if I didn't have the blueprints.|
I decided to visit the other locations on Mars that I'd discovered back on Earth.
First stop, Dr. Lawrence Barkley. His secretary lets me in and tells me the doctor will be in shortly. I naturally try to take everything in the room.
|The Orange Box (TM) is a brown Kevlar “Identifier” box, whatever the hell that is. As soon as I take it, Doctor Barkley arrives.|
|It seems Mr Alexander looked a lot differently 20 years ago. I wonder why he was trying to hide his identity.|
As I attempt to travel, my comlink beeps with a message from Mac Malden
|I'm going to have to get another mortgage on my office to pay for the interplanetary global roaming charges on this thing.|
|I need a security card to enter the Restricted Area, but I can open the door to the left.|
|The blue pixels in the lab coat are a security pass card, which I take. I don't find anything else to do here apart from talking to the man.|
|From this description I'm expecting a hard-looking, unfriendly man.|
|But what I get is a guy who looks like the “PC” from the “Mac Vs PC” ads.|
|Ferris is the only person I've asked who doesn't know who he is.|
After speaking to Ferris, I go back to the entrance and use my new security pass to open the door to the Restricted Area.
I pick up a monkey wrench on the ground, and stand on top of the trap door to see if I can get killed.
|P.I. Rule number 6: Fear of heights is a survival mechanism – DON'T ignore it.|
|Couldn't you have told me this BEFORE I escaped from his office.|
I make my way back to Big Dick's and go back into his office. I don't last long.
|P.I. Rule number 18: When people threaten to kill you, STOP going back into their office.|
I enter the passageway, which is much larger than it seems, and find an alarm control box.
|But what if I ask nicely?|
I expect death, but what kind of adventurer would I be without trying anyway. I step on what is apparently one of the pressure sensitive pads.
|P.I. Rule number 34: Watch your step in secret alarmed vaults.|
|P.I. Rule number 35: See previous rule.|
In the restricted area I have a thought: What if I can get myself attracted to the giant magnet?
I try using my wrench on the magnet. It takes a while to time it correctly, but eventually...
|P.I. rule number 7: Sometimes it's best to ignore rule #6.|
|Thank you, Marty Mc-Fly|
|And it seemed so promising too.|
|A half-smoked cigar. Very familiar.|
Also in the bathroom I can open the vent with my newly aquired allen keys (another entrance to Big Dick's office? Perhaps I didn't need to reload so far back earlier) and I notice that trying to MOVE the mirror get a strangely placed but somewhat amusing Blonde joke.
|Yeah, I already knew that.|
|Well that information might be useful if I had the slightest idea who the hell Bradley Ericson was!|
I got confirmation from Ilmari that now would be a good time to read Fry's clues and I did
The first clue translated as:
- General: do you have the address for the Aerobis Academy?
Time for the next clue:
- Specific: reload to the jungle hut, dig up the mound of dirt outside the hut using the shovel
At this point I'll admit I became a little annoyed at the game.
I've had enough of this game about investigating the kidnapping of a major character's child that takes place in post-apocalyptic America. I'm playing Fallout 4 instead.
|I tried to replicate the pressure plate/laser trap from Martian Memorandum but then I thought - close enough!|
- I travel to the jungle, cross the quicksand (Die 7 times) , dig...
|That small mound of earth seems a lot more obvious now that I know it's there.|
|THIS is what I went back for. THIS???!!!|
- … cross the quicksand the other way, go back to the smuggler's base, get stone, throw stone at jug, walk through rock wall (Die 5 times) go inside base, hide behind crate, wait for worker to come and go, move across room, get food and remote. Walk back. Use remote to open crate door, GOTO crate, arrive at Mars, GOTO alley, move rag and board, get flashlight, look at password, TRAVEL, see “Aerobics Academy” on list, sigh, TRAVEL to Aerobics Academy...
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE PRESENT:
At the Aerobics Academy I see Jane Mansfield running exercises in the corner, so I TALK to her. She is clearly a friend of Alexis, and among other things tells me that Alexis hasn't been to Mars for a year.
|I can tell by her shifty expression she's not being totally truthful here. L.A. Noire, eat your heart out.|
|It seems 4:3 T.V. Screens will be making a comeback in the next century|
|And don't destroy this note after reading it, just shove it under a cushion or something. I'm sure the people looking for me won't think to look there|
After reading the note, The game decides I need a hint. “Why did Jane lie to you? Maybe if you had proof Alexis was here, she'd tell a better story.”
So I need to return to Jane. Thanks, Access!
Before leaving, I take the letter as proof and open the closet and find a suitcase with "Alexis Alexander" written on its name tag. I also turn on the TV.
|Another address for my collection.|
Deaths: 4 (14 total) - Falling death, Eyebrow-parting goon death, Pressure plate death, Laser death.
Inventory: Gun, Cash, Comlink, Paper, Boots, Keys, Remote Control, Food and Water, Flashlight, Letter, Film. Since my previous post, I've lost my shovel by digging in the jungle, and lost my Big Dick Card and Blueprints because I didn't get them yet after my reload. But I've gained a letter from Alexis.
Session time: 1 hour 43 minutes
Total time: 6 hours 33 minutes
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 CAPs will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one.