Tuesday, 4 April 2017

KGB - Backtrack’s Back Alright

Written by Torch

The observant reader may remember that I mentioned the backtrack function in the intro post. Well, I’ll have you know that I became quite familiar with that particular mechanic over the course of this next session. The possibilities for failure in this game are numerous, but whereas the first mission was pretty forgiving and didn’t kill me at the drop of a hat, the gloves came off pretty quickly once I got to Kursk street.

Before I dive in, here’s a quick plot summary. Our guy, Maksim Rukov has been sent to Kursk street to further investigate the death of former KGB agent, now private investigator Pyotr Golitsin, who was supposed to meet tonight with a contact going by the codename “Hollywood”. Golitsin would present himself as “Buyer2”, and the meeting was arranged by someone called “Romeo”. I’ve been given a fake identity for the purpose of this undercover mission. My fake name is to be Kliment Kruglov, and I’m a bicycle brake repairman.

I arrive on Kursk street, outside a bar with the curtains closed.

A classy-looking establishment


Just as I head in the bartender shouts something to one of the ( two ) guests. I can’t help but notice that he calls him Romeo. Hey, that must be Golitsin’s contact. Now what was it that colonel Galushkin told me before I left…? “Make sure you…. mention Buyer2 or Hollywood to the right people”..? Yeah, that must be it:




That wasn’t it

Ok, I admit I kind of did that on purpose. But at least we’re getting ourselves familiar with the backtrack option. I use it to go back to when I first entered the bar. This time I avoid mentioning “Hollywood” or “Buyer2” to Romeo.

He isn’t very loose-lipped now. We’re both mostly just beating about the bush, trying to see if the other one has any interesting information, but I don’t get anything out of him. I try talking to the bartender, who informs me that the bar closes at 22:30, and that there are some apartments around the back of the building. I also find out that the Enthusiastic Progress club is located upstairs, but I’m not allowed to go up; I have to go around the back and apply for membership. Of course, being an ex-Spetznaz badass, I try the staircase anyway, but the barkeeper won’t let me. If I try too many times, I’m attacked and beaten until the militia arrives and saves me, after which Vovlov transfers me to a remote island. In other words: game over. So much for Spetznaz.

Backtrack time again. There’s also a door at the back, but I’m not allowed through there either, so I head out again to find my way around the building. I go around left and come upon a door, which I enter. Inside, it’s dark, so I switch on the lights... Bad idea:

I was looking for the toilet, but not anymore. Oh, and don’t look in that barrel over there...

I actually manage to talk my way out of this one. I’m kicked out, but with all bones intact. Needless to say I head right back in again. This time I light a match instead of turning on the light. I don’t find anything useful, so I head up the staircase. It’s dark here as well, and since I’m not the brightest knife in the shed, I switch on the lights...

Maybe I should’ve seen this coming

Ok ok, broken ribs, transfer to Siberia, yada yada yada, backtrack, up again, light a match and search the room. I find a clipboard, which I take. At least something for my troubles. The match doesn’t last very long, by the way, and I notice that the amount of matches that I have seem to have decremented. I now have 6, where before I had 8. So there could be a potential dead-end scenario there, if I’m not careful.

Match or no match, I head back out and continue around the building until I reach a new door that leads inside to a hallway. Now this looks like the apartments the bartender mentioned. By the way, since I picked up some clothes at uncle Vanya’s I put them on instead of the grey suit. Not sure if it will make a difference, but I think they make me look slightly more ordinary ( not that I would know what 90’s moscovites considered ordinary ).

Hi! I’m selling these fine leather jackets

Now this next bit consists of me talking to a lot of people, so I’ll try to condense it a bit by making a summary of the various characters and what I learned from them, but I’ll have you know that I had to use the backtrack option again several times, as I managed to alienate several of the residents at the offset, some even before they’d opened the door. Most of my opening lines consisted of me pretending to be doing an opinion poll or being a member of the local citizens “Stamp out crime” movement, but a wrong dialog choice here could make them go back in and refuse to open the door again, possibly dead-ending me.

As a side note this section sort of plays out like one of those crime investigator TV shows, where everybody’s hiding something, and they have to find out everybody’s secrets to make them crack and point you in the direction of the next culprit, until there are no more suspects left, in which case the last guy was the murderer. Do note that I spent a great deal of time going back and forth here, so I’m presenting them roughly in the order of the information chain, if that makes any sense.

The apartment dwellers:

Ulyanovs (apt. 1): Old couple, retired teachers. Nothing much interesting to say.

Yasakev (apt. 2): This guy is a few kopeks short of a ruble... He mostly talks gibberish and is obsessed with the dark one. Oh, and numbers ( he is/was a book keeper ). He reacts negatively to the name “Hollywood”, but doesn’t offer any information on him. He also mentions that some bad guys in the building wear Lenin’s real name. I decide to look that up and find that Lenin’s real last name was Ulyanov.. So he doesn’t like the old couple in apartment 1..? Not sure if it means anything, but I’ll make a note of if.

But... One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do

Roman Nakhimov and wife (apt. 3): A slightly younger couple. I don’t get anything useful out of them at first.

Klara Ponomareva and Zhanna Chizkhova (apt 7): Two girls living together. They let me into their apartment after I tell them I’m doing an opinion poll on the opposite sex. I fake a couple of appropriate questions, but eventually tell them I’m investigating a crime in the building. They’re actually quite helpful, and deliver some info on some of the other neighbours. Most importantly, they reveal that Pavel Belussov in apartment 5 has spent some time in prison. Also, one of them is clearly having an affair with Roman Nakhimov in apartment 3

Chevchenkova (apt. 8): An old lady. Not interested in talking to me, but according to the girls in apt. 7, she’s a bit deaf and goes out every night to feed stray cats.

Pavel Belussov (apt 5): As I learned from the girls, he spent time in Lefortvo prison for theft. After he got out, he got a factory job from his brother-in-law and a Moscow work permit. I use this information to apply some light pressure right where it hurts, and he spills the beans on Edik Ryumin in apartment 4, who did time on Wrangel Island, a labour camp for traitors. Thanks, Pavel!
Edik and Luda Ryumin (apt 4): At first glance, a normal elderly couple, but I know better. Upon mentioning Wrangel Island, he lets me in to question him further. He’s not overly fond of the other neighbours, but most importantly, he tells me that Anatoli Sytenko in apartment 6 runs a meatshop that never has any meat in it. According to Ryumin the only people visiting it are gangsters and black-marketeers.

Anatoli Sytenko ( apt. 6 ): I try pressuring Sytenko the same way as the others, but I don’t have anything substantial on him. Also, if I push too hard, it backfires. He gets nervous, and triggers a tiny walking dead scenario, where the game doesn’t end right away, but after walking around for a while, the ugly twins from before will appear and beat me up.

But we good, right? Right?

I don’t know if there’s any way to back up after this. I certainly can’t backtrack far enough, so I have to restore. Anyway, I guess I’ll have to come back with some more hard evidence. The meat shop is located on street level and seems to have a main and a back entrance, but I can’t open either of them, so I’ll have to find a key ( or something ) and come back later.

Besides all the apartments in the building, there’s also a toilet on each floor, and the last door leads to…. drum roll… The Enthusiastic Progress club!

As I enter, I’m welcomed by a friendly...

Wait what? How did you know… Isn’t that hidden safely in my unlimited space parallel dimension pockets?

As I enter without the clipboard I’m welcomed by a friendly manager. Oh, how did I get rid of the clipboard? Well, a nice feature about the game is that you can just drop stuff in a location, and it will remain there indefinitely ( or as long as I bothered waiting to check ). So I went to the toilet on the second floor and just left the clipboard there.

Back to the club. The downstairs bartender told me that there was a three day wait to gain membership into the club, but I guess that rule only applies to applicants who don’t carry around hard cash ( US dollars only ). A $20 bill helps me fast track my admission application.

Told you he was friendly

The club is filled with various (mostly) men of low moral fiber. One guy wants to sell me a video tape of “The Maltese Falcon” for $5. I buy it, if for no other reason than to fill up my roomy inventory. He also warns me to stay clear of the ugly twins in the next room. Gee, where were you three broken ribs ago?

One particular young man seems to be a drug dealer. I try to convince him that drugs are bad, but he argues that alcohol is much worse. Seeing as Russia has a very high rate of alcohol related deaths ( 30% of deaths in 2012 were alcohol related ), it’s hard to argue against him. I don’t buy anything, though. He’s not THAT convincing.

There are 2 doors at the back of the second room. The twins are blocking one, and the other is a toilet. I check it out and decide that some of the members here must be very rich, because they left $200 in the trashcan. Well, if they don’t want ‘em, I’ll take ‘em. Hopefully nobody has been wiping themselves with them... After I leave the bathroom, the young dealer goes in, then comes back out and start shouting something about some missing cash. Uh oh. Guess who just intercepted a drug deal.

Oh sorry, I had borscht for lunch, and you know...

Of course, the ugly twins are there, so you can probably guess what happens next.

Backtrack

This time I wait and let the guy go in first. After he comes out, the game tells me I need to use the toilet….

I’ll say.… That’s quite an advanced feature for a game, though I DID have a soda and…. Ohhh they mean Rukov! Well if this doesn’t pass for a hint, I don’t know what does. I make sure to SAVE my game, head into the bathroom again and search around. This time I find a small plastic bag in the trashcan. I pick it up and have a look at it. It contains cocaine.

I have a hard time picturing any innocent citizens making their way in here…

Rukov’s inner Jiminy Cricket all but spells out that I I’m supposed to take the drugs, and not the money. So I stick with this plan, and hightail it out of here again. I’ve exhausted all dialogue options around the club, so I leave before anybody comes looking for the drugs.

While out of the club and traipsing around, I witness two guys enter the building

Now what could this be about?

They head to the club, I take my chances and go after them. They seem to be a classic Brains & Brawns duo, where Lyonka is the big, stupid guy, and Petka is the little, smart guy. They offer to take me to a party, so I go with them. What could possibly go wrong? As soon as we exit the building, they want to look in my pockets. Because reasons. I have a few options here, like talking, running and just giving them what they want. But this time I’m fed up with stupid thugs pushing Rukov around….

Spetznaz CHOP!

I can choose to fight either Lyonka or Petka, and since they seem to be expecting their victims to “always go for the little guy”, I do the opposite and introduce Lyonka’s face to the sidewalk. His little buddy decides to make like a mouse and cheese it. Great success!

It would seem however, that Rukov had a lot of pent up anger, since Lyonka is now dead as a doornail. Whoopsie! Well, I search his body and find a lockpick. Perhaps it will help me enter the meat shop…?

By the way, to save us all some time here, let me just say that I found out the hard way that leaving a dead body on the sidewalk is not conducive to a successful undercover operation. I move the body along the street until I find a garbage can in which to hide it. THEN it’s time to test my lockpicking skills.

The main entrance is bolted from the inside, but the side entrance is helpless against my newly aqcuired lockpick. Inside there’s what seems like a break room, the main shop area and a cold room. Now, I remember this part. Or at least I THINK I remember it. The shop is dark, and Rukov won’t turn on the lights, from fear of being discovered ( now where would he get THAT idea? ), but I can enter the cold room, and inside are bags of meat hanging from the room. Only it’s not animal meat…. ( Warning! Parental guidance recommended! )

Eugh…

Now, for some reason, I remember that if I stay in here for too long, someone will come and lock the door to the cold room from the outside, leaving me to freeze to death in here. So I hurry back out and make my way up to comrade Sytenko to use this new information to pressure him into spilling some beans. But when I get up there and knock on his door, there’s no answer…. Huh? Did I take too long? Did I scare him the first time? Did he mistake me for Jehovah’s witnesses? From memory I was pretty sure this was the right course of action, so I try forwarding time and hanging around the hallway. Except for catching Roman Nakhimov in the act of sneaking out to visit apartment 7, I don’t get anything useful out of that, so I find a suitable restore point and play a good chunk of this chapter again, but faster. Nope. No dice.

Then it hits me! I did recall that someone would come and lock the door to the cold room if I waited too long, but I didn’t consider how they would know I was there! Like I said, I can’t turn on the light in the meat shop, but I still have some matches left. While searching the dimly lit room I discover an alarm hidden under the counter and connected to the cold room door. D’oh! There’s a switch on it, so I flick it. Just to make sure I’m on the right track, I enter the cold room and stay there for a while. Nothing. Great! I head up to Sytenko again, and this time he comes to the door. I let him know what I saw in his cold room, and that I disabled the alarm. He’s like meatloaf in my hands.

Would you like to come in and meat the family?

Of course, Sytenko isn’t the real bad guy here either. A while ago his daughter Vera was kidnapped. The kidnappers started demanding money first, then more and more money. After a while he and his wife Oksana received some photos of their daughter, drugged and being molested, which gave Oksana a fatal heart attack... This plot is getting pretty serious... The kidnappers let Vera go, but threatened to release more photos of her if Sytenko were to refuse their demands. He says they wore masks, and one had a KGB uniform, and for some reason, they’ve been using his cold room to hide dead bodies. And now for the grand reveal: They’re still in the building, staying with old lady Chevchenkova, the “deaf” lady in apartment 8! The main guy is called Verto, I’m told.

Now, I know where to go next…

Yes, that IS a lockpick in my pocket, and yes, I AM happy to see you…. leave

Well, look who decided to take her nightly stroll. How very convenient of her. As soon as she’s gone, I whip out my trusty lockpick and make my way inside her apartment. Not surprisingly, it’s dark inside. Against my better judgment, I flick the light switch, and…. Aaaaand???

Hmm.. nobody came to kill me. Light switches 2 - Rukov 1. I’m in her living room, which looks like any old Russian lady’s apartment… not that I’ve been in one... Aside from some standard furniture, there’s a dresser, which I search and find some polaroid photos and a piece of white paper. Strange. I take a closer look at it in my inventory.

Nah, it’s probably nothing

Oh well, I put the paper back in my pocket and go on to sear…

OH COME ON!

Suddenly the living room is filled with trouble. Romeo, the ugly twins and a guy with an eye patch, which I quickly realize is Hollywood. He presents himself as Verto. So this is the guy who kidnapped Sytenko’s daughter. In other words NOT a nice comrade. Despite catching me red-handed, they don’t kill me ( for now ). Instead they lock me in one of the rooms in the apartment and lay out their plans for tomorrow. They seem to want to interrogate me while filming it, and making sure that I give them the answers they want. The twins joke about playing stick the piggy with my lockpick. ( They’re probably not joking.. )

A nice little detail I notice, is that Verto’s dialogue ( well, monologue ) here changes depending on stuff I may have in my inventory, or what I say to him when they surprise me. If I have the newspaper cutting from Golitsin’s office or I call him Hollywood before the others do, he’ll tie me to Golitsin in different ways. There may be other variations that I didn’t discover.

Anyway, they take some photos of me and leave. The room I’m in is empty except for a table and two chairs. I search around a bit and find a surveillance bug under the table. My once overflowing inventory is now but a shell of its former self. ( Fun fact: They took my US dollars, but didn’t care about my 90 rubles. ). Over the door is some sort of alarm system, that Rukov can’t or won’t do anything about. With nothing more to do, I wait. After a couple of minutes, the door opens and a girl comes in.

She probably has a cold from walking around with no pants on.

At first she seems to be another victim of the cruel gang, claiming to have been lured by Romeo to go to a party, but ending up here instead. She starts asking a whole bunch of questions, claiming we’re about to die anyway, so what’s the point in not talking. If I give her the answers she wants, she gets to leave the room, and I’m killed, so she’s obviously in cahoots with the thugs. Ok, backtrack. I do my best to dodge her questions for a while, and suddenly the door opens, and a new contender enters the stage

Oh yeah? Well, if you’re so well-informed, why are you locked in here with me?

A denim clad guy with an American accent joins us. He seems to know the girl, and suggests we should just break her neck. I assume he’s bluffing, so I go along with it. She gets afraid and shouts for the thugs to let her out, which they do. Rukov and the American measure each other up for a bit, but we’re interrupted by shouting coming from outside the room. Verto’s sending away the twins and the old lady, who is actually his mom, ( sounds like a healthy mother-son relationship ). Romeo is also away, so I think our chance of getting out of here alive just increased significantly. Ok, what to do, what to do? There’s not a lot of things in the room that I can interact with, and the American still doesn’t trust me.

Before I continue… You remember I was talking about getting acquainted with the backtrack option? Well, this next bit was fraught with trial and error. I’ll spare you some of the details, but the game practically kills you at the drop of a hat at this point. If I fail to say the right thing to mr. denim, we’re dead. We don’t figure out in time what to do, we’re dead. And so on. Luckily the backtrack function makes it less painful. Basically what I do is destroy the bug I found under the table and show it to the American. He finally decides to trust me, and when I now look at the alarm above the door, he suggests we should tinker with it and try to set it off. The alarm is likely connected to the cold room storage, so it might lure Verto away. Great idea! Except for the fact that I didn’t turn the alarm back on again before I left the meat shop! Drat… Luckily I saved the game right before I went into the cold room, so I restore back and play from there up to this part again. This time, it works! Verto storms out to check on the meat shop.

Rita’s alone in the apartment. Now’s our chance! I try calling Rita to the door... but she’s high on cocaine, so she doesn’t respond in any fashion we can work with. I try a lot of random options before it dawns on me that she might be under the influence of the cocaine I picked up from the club toilet. The thugs must’ve got it off me. This time I made a save game right before I entered the apartment, so I restore, go into the hallway bathroom and flush the bag of drugs down the toilet. Wee!!
When back in the room, I can now overhear an extra bit of conversation, where Verto explains that the usual drug deal didn’t come through tonight, so he doesn’t have any coke for Rita. Which makes me feel like a right responsible citizen. I can now call Rita to the door, but since I went along with the American’s suggestion of breaking her neck, she doesn’t want to talk to me… Gah… But at least I can backtrack to the start of the room and do over. Yay!

After going soft on Rita, and telling mr. denim to just let her go, she is more forthcoming. I tell her that I was the one who took the coke, and I know where it is, so she agrees to let me out, holding me at gun point, but she’s soon made to regret her decision, when I tell her…

What the heck is a settee?

She screams with anger, and shoots me. Dang! Backtrack. The next time, I skip all attempts at a conversation and just charge her right away. She falls backwards and slams her head on the table. Oops, I did it again... She’s dead. And the American grabbed the gun. Luckily he’s still somewhat on my side. At least he doesn’t want to kill me right now.

Should I stay or should I go? Nana nana nana na!

He splits, and I’m left alone, in the knowledge that Verto is probably on his way up again. Well, I don’t have a gun, and he does, so what I need to do, is attack Verto before he can attack me, and I don’t have much time to set up an ambush. What follows now is a round of backtrackmania. I must’ve backtracked somewhere between 20 and 30 times, and when I finally found the ( fairly simple ) solution, I smacked my forehead so hard, it looked like Gorbachev’s ( google it ) for an hour afterwards. There are three rooms in the apartment ( none of them is a bedroom, strangely ), and I try hiding Rita’s body all around the place, then hide in all the rooms and wait out Verto, but he always discovers me and shoots me dead. What finally did the trick was just moving Rita’s body away from the living room, turning off the light ( for once ) and hiding behind the door to the hallway. Bam! Verto’s down! Unlike the others he’s not dead, so I take his gun and finish the job... What? Don’t look at me like that! I mean… if there’s ONE thing that movies have taught us…

Finally time to search the apartment at my own pace. I get all my stuff back and find a polaroid picture and a blue piece of paper on Verto. The picture’s one they took of me. In the last room, there’s a whole semi-professional film studio setup. I find some video cassettes and a polaroid camera. There’s a TV and a VCR, so I play one of the videos….

I’d rather not describe the content in detail, but it involves two guys dressed in KGB uniforms and a naked girl, and it would qualify as what I believe is called “snuff”. In other words, it’s bad. Really bad. To round it up, I find a dossier containing pictures of Rukov’s parents and uncle. One where they’re getting into a car, and one where the car blows up! What the h…? Who ARE these people?

Believing I’ve found all I can, I return to Department P, where I’m received as a hero…

Erm..but but but…

Oh, turns out I wasn’t supposed to kill all the bad guys, just spy on them. Can’t backtrack far enough to unkill Verto, so I have to play the whole apartment bit again. This time, I just leave Verto unconscious.

The coded message that I… oh right, yes… yes, the coded... message… I knew about that.

Seems like I should have discovered something more. I can actually backtrack to Kursk street. I fiddle around with my inventory and remember that I picked up a polaroid camera. It must be useful for something..? After some trial and error I succeed in taking a picture of the white and blue pieces of paper that I found. Must be some sort of super secret spy camera, because the photos show the pieces of paper to have letters. I guess I’m supposed to do this and return the paper, so I try that. Unfortunately, when I go back to apartment 8 and try to put the paper back where I found it, Verto wakes up again, and no action except shooting him will lead to anything else but me dying. Aaand since I didn’t have any newer savegames, I have to play the whole apartment section again. Luckily, it’s pretty quick when you know what to do. This time, I leave Verto knocked out, photograph the blue and white paper, and put them back.

The letters on the photos spell out “EIGAAG6PLDGPR.” and “LNNRDU13MAOAAK.” When I merge these “words”, I get “LENINGRADAUG163PMLADOGAPARK..” Try saying that 10 times fast.

I head back to Department P again. I would be exaggerating if I told you that Vovlov was happy now, but at least he doesn’t assign me to some random position in Siberia. He’s rather cross with me for cooperating with the American and letting him escape, but I insist that he was a “mere pawn in my strategy”, and he actually sort of accepts that explanation. Whew! Before he lets me off the hook, however, I get a thorough scolding for the negative reports he’s received concerning my attitude. Let’s see, the list includes obsession with sexual matters, needless complaining, questioning the correctness of my superiors, an excessive taste for western ideas, foot-dragging attitudes, a tendency to deny approved historical facts, inconsiderate playboyerism, and finally a disregard for production in the agricultural complex! Wow!

Oh, so getting beat up, locked up and almost killed is a privilege?

I’m thinking this is a result of my conversation choices so far. I’m also thinking that this review would be negative no matter what choices I made during the game. He finally sends me off to colonel Galushkin, who is ever more friendly. He commends me on a job well done, but is devoid of information as to where the investigation should continue. I get some multiple choice options to help decide:

Don’t fail me now, magic 8-ball

Whilst viewing the options I get, I recognize some of them from the coded message, which when properly split reads: “Leningrad, aug 16, 3 pm Ladoga park.” I don’t explain how I obtained this information, but colonel Galushkin nevertheless agrees with my suggestion and sends me off to Leningrad to investigate further. Before I leave, he warns me about the Leningrad KGB and particularly their leader colonel Kusnetsov, who has yet to warm to new thinking.

Finally, I get to visit Guzenko, who is Department P’s equivalent to James Bond’s Q, in other words, I get to take some bona fide spy gear with me. I receive a transmitter with a microphone and a receiver with a tape recorder. The tape recorder’s playback function can be activated by Rukov’s voice uttering the word “TALK”. I also receive a camera. Hmm… no laser watch or acid squirting pens? Not even an invisible car? What a rip-off! I hope this trip to Leningrad will be worth my while.

Whew! That was a long post. Hope you managed to stay awake the whole time. See you next time in Leningrad!

8 comments:

  1. Ah, the old "murder the protagonist" style of adventure game, I see.

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    1. Quite.

      Maybe I should've kept count of all the deaths or other instant ends, though I walked into some of them on purpose just to see what would happen. The backtrack function usually makes it trivial to experiment like that.

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  2. Adding a couple things:
    The "negative report" Vovlov got on you came from Belov, and is based on what you told him earlier. It's just flavor and doesn't affect anything.
    You seem to have missed what the clipboard is for, but you need it to sell your bluff about doing an opinion poll, which is the only way to get into Zhanna's apartment.
    Running out of matches before you do everything you need them for is indeed a game ender. It's actually pretty ridiculous for such a rather realistic game to not let Rukov just ask some randoms on the street to buy a match for a dollar or so. You're actually able to bug some of them for free smokes.
    Changing your clothes affects absolutely nothing, it's just flavor.
    Denim mentioned he "saw you at Golitsin's" If you look out the window at Golitsin's office when you're there, you'll spot him spying on you and will recognize him when he's thrown into the room (remember the phone bug in the office being western-made? He's the one that planted it, which is why he's here and knows more or less the same as you). Also, you seem to have missed his passport with his (probably not real) name located alongside your stuff in Verto's apartment.
    There's a LOT of optional content in Kursk Street. Here's a few highlights:
    *Butter up Belussov just right and he'll let you into his apartment to meet his rather dysfunctional family.
    *Ask Mr. Ryumin the right questions and you'll learn that he's a deeply religious man and that the "act of treason" he was arrested for was distributing bibles to his friends.
    *Sneak into the bar's backroom right after it closes and you can kill(!) the bartender and steal his money and key, which you can use to enter the bar and the club ater they close.
    *You can use Verto's gun to shoot up the locks on the other apartment doors and sneak around in people's apartments ater they've gone to bed.

    Unfortunately the game gets consideraly more linear after chapter 1. The different chapters feel like they were written by different people.

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    1. I did actually know what the clipboard was for, but since I summarized the part with the tenants, I guess I never explained it.

      Wow, that's a lot of extra content you don't have to do. Maybe I'll go back later and try out some of the optional stuff. I'm on chapter 2 now, and I've used all my save game slots there, so no going back to Kursk street without restarting the game...

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  4. I think your cover story is too weirdly specific to be realistic.

    Bicycle brake repairman? I'm all for specialization but if I crash my bike do I have to go to multiple repair shops to fix the brakes, handlebars and tyres?

    I also having issues with a covert codename being Buyer2. You might as well call him ShadyGuy14.

    As far as the gameplay game, I love that it gives you clues as to what you didn't do optimally, like showing you Rita's high on cocaine to give you the clue to get rid of the cocaine. Way to go KGB!

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    1. Well, brake guy, tyre guy and handlebar guy could all be working at the same shop, but yeah, I see your point :)

      I think Buyer2 is to give the impression that there may be a Buyer1 as well. And maybe 3 and 4. Possibly to drive up the price in a bidding scenario

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  5. For the still curious and confused, 'settee' is another word for 'couch', mostly used in the UK ;)

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