Here are some synonyms for “crazy” I looked up and found on Thesaurus.com:
- mentally ill
- mentally incompetent
- not all there
- nutty as a fruitcake
- off one’s rocker
- off the wall
- out of one’s mind
- out to lunch
- stark raving mad
Still, when I read comments like this and this and this and this and this and this and this, I am not filled with hope.
Alex Romanov liked it though! So did Leo Vellés! Ditto LeftHanded Matt! So maybe I’m not as balmy, batty, bananas, etc., as I feel. Only time will tell.
If you recall from last post, I had just finished booking Mr. Bradford Green, caught beating Laura Dixon’s young son skip, booked the bastard, submitted the evidence with Barry back at the station, cleaned Jake’s gun (after a grisly death where I forgot to unload and Jake shot himself in the face), and had said: “In retrospect, I think I should have also paid a visit to Child Protective Services. I’ll ride over there when I pick the game back up.”
So that’s where I began, leaving the station to head to CPS. On the way, though, Jake pulled over a pickup truck that was driving recklessly and seemed to be avoiding him, and the game mentioned that this took place in the dreaded Tower District, specifically called out in day one’s briefing as a dangerous place where all officers should call for back-up in. NO DIRTY HARRY’S!
Well, this being the Tower District, I head back to Jake’s bike and call dispatch, letting them know the situation, running a check on the plates, and calling in for backup, getting points for each of these. While waiting for reinforcements, I order the punk out of the truck, and before I can do anything, back-up arrives.
Honestly, I’d rather take my chances two-against-one. Seriously, what’s Doug here going to do when the proverbial S hits the proverbial F? Toss his gun and run away crying for his momma? Tell Jake “Golly gee, maybe we ought to give up!” Or maybe he’ll slap on a yellow headband and join the gang, turning against Jake because why not, they’re going to lose anyway?
Maybe I can just shoot Officer Doug now?
(PROTIP: No, you can’t).
|Not gonna lie: I kind of understand where this dude is coming from. What is Jake’s probable cause other than “They looked like they were trying to avoid me”?|
I search the truck. I find three bullets in the dash, which raise red flags given the rap sheet on Forest Follet and the ammo he stole from Strathmore Armory.
Doug actually does something useful and brings Tyrone and Frank down to the lock-up while Jake calls everything in for more points. I know the Jail should be my next stop to complete the booking, but I stop at Child Protective Services on the way to see if I can follow-up with little Skip Dixon.
|Me too, Jake. Me too|
|Ha ha, losers.|
Of course, out in the parking lot, there are only police bikes. It took me a while to realize that if you hover the mouse cursor on the right side of the screen—where Jake rode his bike into during the game’s introductory cinema, there’s an arrow showing that Jake can exit the screen that way (more on me missing such arrows later). You do that, and Jake zips off on his personal motorcycle and the world is yours!
So naturally, I go to Bikini Hut and am immediately disappointed by the lack of bikinis and attractive women wearing them.
I head to Grandma Frannie’s instead, and pull up to this nice pink house. Jake heads right into the automatically opening garage door and says hi to his grandma, whom he lives with. How cute!
Grandma also has Jake’s new side-quest: a baseball card hunt!
Grandma does the classic grandma thing by guilt-tripping Jake, saying he was raised better than that, that he should know better, should know what it feels like also having no father (ouch!) and that he should remember when Jake’s dear, departed dad got Jake a special baseball card when Jake broke his leg.
Man, what a tongue-lashing. We sure this isn’t a Greek family?
Jake gives in, and then invites Skip and his mother to dinner.
|Oh goodness, he really is Greek.|
|Jake, apparently, has a few ideas.|
|Baseball card quest!|
Anyway, I can’t find any baseball cards here or on the screen with the Future Wave. In fact, I can’t even open the door to the Future Wave. It’s locked, and Jake can’t even knock. Where else would this baseball card be? What am I missing?
Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said I noticed an exit from the police station parking lot I hadn’t noticed before? Well, here in the Marina if you hover the cursor on the left side of the screen sort of on or above the blue railing, the cursor turns into an arrow pointing due west and not the southwestern pointing arrow you get when the cursor is on the edge of the screen below that railing, which exits the Marina. This isn’t a huge deal and more a result of my own failure to investigate rather than poor game design, but it made me wonder if I missed anything by not going here during Jake’s first trip to the Marina.
I could reload back to that point, but nah.
Come to think of it, the Internet is public too, and that doesn’t stop anybody from posting lewd, vulgar, or otherwise uncouth messages.
Anyway, back to baseball cards.
In any event, sidequest solved! I say this half-jokingly, because what is an adventure game besides a series of fetch quests? However, in contrast to RPGs, where the fun comes from killing monsters, exploring dungeons, and gaining levels and fetch quests are somewhat of a distraction from the core gameplay elements, fetch quests are the core gameplay elements of adventure games. That, and ridiculous puzzles (not this one though).
Baseball card in hand, it’s off to Child Protective Services I go! Laura and Skip are waiting . . . Skip for his baseball card, and Laura for her knight in shining leather jacket.
|Control yourself, Jake!|
|Down boy! And I’m not talking to the dog.|
After some more small talk, the sound of Waylon’s barking can be heard. The dog had ran off with Skip, so Jake informs Laura he’ll be right back. The screen scrolls to the left, revealing a nice shot of the beach.
I’ll tell you what: it looks like it’s from a U.S. Army crate! Strathmore Armory, anyone? Jake suggests they all head back up to the house, and look who’s here! It’s Jake’s father’s old partner and the man who acted like a father to Jake, Lyle Jamison!
Anyway, after making small talk I decide to click the piece of shipping crate on Lyle. And it works! Jake explains his suspicions that it has something to do with Strathmore and the murder of Jake’s parents. Lyle gently chastises Jake about always jumping to that conclusion and also expresses his frustration about the case as well. Still, he tells Jake to stop by his office (Lyle’s a private detective, as we learned in the manual) on the way to work if he finds anything else interesting.
Speaking of touching, if you click the “Action” icon on Lyle . . .
I sit at the computer next and get points for turning it on. Even though it’s a DOS prompt, you just click on files and executables to navigate. Early touch screen technology—and wow! The computer is by Tsunami! They were totally ahead of their time!
|One of three multi-screen plugs.|
It didn’t hit me until later that the password was probably “Jackie,” and that the letter to Jackie being in the same directory was probably a clue. More on that next post.
Anyway, the box on the shelf contains a bunch of baseball cards and a small safe, which the game calls a “bank.” So it’s like a piggy bank shaped like a block. “Block Bank” doesn’t sound very good though, so bank it is.
After this, I could not figure out how to shut the bank and go back to the shoebox screen with the baseball cards. So I never figured out if I could interact with the baseball cards. I reloaded and replayed a bunch of the earlier part to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and no—the baseball cards are a red herring. For whatever reason, the game wants you to get the nickel at this point.
Fine by me. I leave the den and chat with grandma. She comments that it’s getting late. Jake agrees and decides to turn in, noting that he has an early day tomorrow—and an inspection after the briefing!
|Not the David Bowie album.|
So maybe I am disturbed, flaky, foolish, etc., but I’m looking forward to playing more Blue Force. L.A. Law this ain’t. It’s not as bad as Lure of the Temptress either (reminder: that game was bad). On the other hand, Blue Force, so far, is also no Conquests of the Longbow—I mean, what is?
|“No, I totally get it, bro.”|
Session Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Inventory: Gun w/ 2 clips, handcuffs, ticket book, Miranda card, briefing, telescoping boat hook, ID, piece of shipping crate, Indian head nickel, boat rental coupons