Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Dagger of Amon Ra - Night at the Museum

By Deimar

Laura’s Journal Entry #2: "So my boss has asked me to investigate the burglary of the dagger of Amon Ra from the Leyendecker museum by attending to a fundraising party there tonight, masquerading as a social events reporter. To be honest, I think I would have gotten a really good article about the upper class shenanigans with plenty of shady deals, femme fatales, impersonators and more. However, this whole thing about a murder has focused me again in the problem at hand, discovering where is the dagger of Amon Ra.”

Act 2 begins with Laura at night in front of the museum, which is now open and guarded by a German who is one svastika away of ending this walkthrough by means of Godwin’s law. He is apparently the chief of security but right now there is not much that can be extracted from him. We just have to give him our press pass (which he keeps for some strange reason) and he lets us in. This makes a clock appear in the upper left corner of the screen signaling that it is 7PM. Oh my god, I just got shivers from thinking about Colonel’s Bequest. I really hope I won’t miss key information due to simply walking into a room and making the clock advance.

I am going to be very sad if after so many stereotypes there is not a bullfighter somewhere in the game...

The real party starts inside the museum. As we enter we can see a big bust of Rameses II and several tables with refreshments. There is a group of men surrounding a blonde woman which seem interesting. Specially because our friend Ziggy is there. What is a crook doing in an upper class party? And who is all these people? Time to socialize!! The woman introduces herself as Yvette Delacroix.





By any chance, do you have some cheese? Did you have a flat with views to the Eiffel tower?

Then we have the pompous British guy from the introduction. He presents himself as Dr. Pippin Carter, the archeologist who discovered the dagger in Egypt.

Go figure. It seems like a VIP is just someone who says “important” a lot...

Then we have Rameses Najeer...

I don’t even know where this accent is supposed to be from…

And finally Dr. Archibald Carrington III, the current president of the museum who we also know from the introduction, as he is the owner of the corpse-filled trunk.

Ah, Colonel Sanders, how nice of you to provide the food for tonight’s gala...

As a compulsive adventure gamer, my strategy here is simple. I will just keep spamming all topics in the notebook and see what I can get from them. I didn’t complain too much about the interface in the previous post but I’m going to do it now. Feel free to jump this paragraph. And probably a few more. Talking is ridiculous in this game. First, you have to start every topic by clicking on the person you are talking to. All fine but for the little detail that Laura tends to position herself in front of said person, making you walk away or pixel hunt for the spot where you can click on to keep the conversation going. Then, in the notebook you have to select the topic and then select the exit icon in the menu (or right click to get to it and then left click). During the first act this wasn’t too much of a bother but here you are only talking with everybody about everything and it gets tiring. Also, the topics do not change but if you ask someone something you already asked her, she just dismisses you. So any information you don’t record the first time it’s lost.

Another thing I should have mentioned in the previous post regarding the interface is that Laura walks extremely slow. The animation is very nice but so slow I just couldn’t get anywhere without cranking up the speed to the maximum.

In any case, asking these people about the topics at our disposal is only mildly interesting. Ziggy claims to be the brother of a Broadway producer and to know who stole the dagger, but he is saying nothing. However, he does get suspiciously defensive when asked about the countess, so maybe there is something here.

Yep, definitely nothing to do with you..

Yvette warns Laura about the very same countess also. Apparently she knew her late husband and he told her that he was afraid. Now, the countess seems to be after Dr. Carrington’s money. A black widow maybe? In any case, we get some backstory from her. She used to work in the speakeasy as a hostess but now she works for Dr. Carrington but she doesn’t say what she actually does, only that someday she will become the president. Somehow in this conversation I realize that there is a new name, a Wolf Heimlich, that appears in the notebook. How that got there is a mystery to me, but he is apparently the German we found at the entrance.

Dr. Carter is as interesting as he looks. Which is nothing at all. But he does drop that he and Dr. Carrington met a few years back but he doesn’t seem to recognise him and has changed so much that Dr. Carper almost didn’t either. There might be an impersonator here tonight, so maybe he killed the true Dr. Carrington and that’s the corpse in the trunk. Apparently, he didn’t even know they were traveling in the same ship.

When asked about Dr. Carter, Mr. Najeer reacts with fury, as he is Egyptian and not very fond of tomb robbers. For some strange reason, it is the fourth person that knows Steve Dorian, the stevedore at the docks, which surprises me as the guy shouldn’t be that well-connected. The interrogation of Dr. Carrington didn’t bring anything new to the table, so time to move to the right and see…

Another part of the museum hall with more guests. Yay, more exposition!. There are several couples here but they are all decoration. The only one important enough here to have a name and a portrait is an old very well dressed lady, the countes… sorry… COUNTESS Lavinia Waldorf-Carlton.

I am surprised such big egos all fit together in this “small” museum...

At first, she denies knowing Dr. Carrington but after being pressed she finally admits to having met him at the docks alleging that their families have a relationship since of the War of the Roses. Being a war fought almost 500 years before the current year, I find that very unlikely. Maybe she is “in” in the murder also, although their motives are unclear at the moment. As a black widow, with her last husband having died this very same year, this could be a plot to get the good doctor’s money. Or it could have something to do with the burglary, but I think there should be easier ways of stealing something from a museum other than killing its president and impersonate him.

Having nothing else to do here, I leave the room by a door to the right, which takes me to the museum shop. Here I notice for the first time that you can get two different descriptions of something. First by using the “look” icon, and the second one by using the magnifying glasses on the item. Although interesting, this doesn’t lead me anywhere, as there is nothing too remarkable here but for a collection of fake daggers of Amon Ra.

As I left the shop it dawned on me that it is kind of strange that you get such a close up of a random dagger in the shop. It could be simply so that I note that fake daggers have the “Made in Pittsburgh” (of all places) inscription but my gut was telling me to look at each of them individually. And voilah, as soon as I started from the far end of the row of daggers, there was one without the inscription.

7.30 and it’s already finished. Time to spent the rest of the night drinking by myself!

Case closed. Laura, you are a genious. Let’s wrap up, call the police and let them process fingerprints and the like. What? Nothing is happening? Why? I just discovered the real dagger among the fake ones. Why hasn’t the game ended yet? Seems unfair. The only thing that happens is that the clock now announces it is 7.30 PM and that Mr. Heimlich enters the room and kicks us out. My joy is now officially killed. By a na… German, no less.

Nothing seems to have changed in the hall so I continue my exploration. In the first room when we entered the museum there is a gate leading north, but when I try to enter the room I am kicked out by Mr. Heimlich again. Who seems to have teleportation powers. Must be nice for a security guard. Wondering how the dagger could have been stolen with such a mighty superhero as its guardian.

Going left from the main hall we reach the other end of the room, where more members of the cast are awaiting presentation. First we have Dr. Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith, the Egyptian guy from the introduction. And he is not very interesting, as he just talks and talks about recovering Egypt’s legacy from the museum and threatens Dr. Carter when mentioned.

Now, all together: IMHOTEP! IMNH… erm… SHOULD BE IN EGYPT!! SHOULD BE IN EGYPT!!

The woman he is talking to is Dr. Olympia Mykos. A greek curator at the museum with a weird fixation on death things, death in general and scars. But otherwise she doesn’t say that much.

Oh, no, bitch. You keep away from my Dorian

The third man in this party is none other than detective O’Reily. By this point, I have been told by many guests that the good detective is a master drunk, another stereotype checked, by even by that description I am surprised he was invited to a fund raiser party. This should be the ideal opportunity to get some information from him, but he is as helpful as he was at the station, so no dice.

And how could I trust a drunk detective that wears more eye-liner than I do?

And… there I was, kind of stuck. I had talked with everyone, all the doors were now closed and there was nothing else I could do. Well, take a glass from one of the tables, but beside that, nothing to do. It was by pure accident that I moved behind a table next to the group with Yvette and the others and discovered that you can actually listen to their conversations.

And Laura is super discreet about it

Not that the conversation is that interesting, as it is just Dr. Carter being a peacock about how he discovered the dagger, but the conversation ends when Yvette decides to leave the group, probably bored to death. Immediately after, we can listen to the conversation the four are having. About Yvette and how everyone of them would shag her. Cool, I guess.

Let me sum up how the rest of the act goes. Laura gets close to a group, listen to their conversation and then the people moves around, forming new groups in any of the three screens. These are the conversations I managed to listen to:
  • Yvette and O’Reily: Yvette wants to shag O’Reily. Badly. 
  • O’Reily and Tut: Interrogation about the burglary. Nothing interesting I think. 
  • Najeer and the countess: The countess affirms that the dagger was stolen by a group of Egyptian worshippers of Ra. Seems nonsense to be honest, but this is a Sierra game after all. 
  • Ziggy and the countess: They talk about some kind of deal but as Laura is immediately spotted, they quickly shut up. 
  • Ziggy and Yvette: Ziggy claims to know Yvette… intimately. But she plays the “I don’t know what you are talking about” card. 
  • Yvette and Dr. Carrington: Sexual innuendo. Boy is this girl being sold as a sex bomb. 
  • O’Reily and Ziggy: O’Reily being O’Reily with Ziggy. But he can defend himself. 

And tonight, playing the role of Fifi, Yvette Delacroix. What’s with these games and french women?

Here I made a stop to ask Ziggy about Yvette and I got a new response. Apparently she was a streetworker before getting this job. I try to ask other people about new topics I didn’t have the chance to talk about but to no avail. Let’s continue our peeping tour:
  • Yvette, Tut and Najeer: More sexual innuendo. I’m betting Yvette shags no less than four members of the male cast. Probably also at least one of the female ones. 
  • Yvette, Dr. Myklos and the countess: Now, this one is more interesting. Apparently the countess married the late president of the museum just one month after meeting him in an offshore casino, and the poor fellow lasted only two months after that. He probably suspected something as the countess states that there is a problem with the inheritance because the poor man died in the process of changing his will. 
  • Yvette and Dr. Carter: Guess what? 

Although we now have an appointment. At 3AM (who works so late the night after a party?) in Yvette’s office. Wherever that is.
  • Dr. Carter and Tut: “The dagger should be at Egypt”, “The dagger belongs to me”, blablabla you know the drill. The only interesting tidbit is that the dagger was stolen but there are no signs of the robbery. As if the case was simply opened and the dagger taken. An inside job? 
  • Yvette and Dorian… Wait? What? Dorian? I can hardly understand the crook and the detective being here, but the stevedore? Man, this club sucks. No upper east side party this is. And guess what? This is another opportunity for Yvette to throw some more innuendo around. 

I am guessing your union card was enough for the chief of security...

Well, well, well. Mr. Dorian has some explaining to do. At least he is obviously out of place, because with the tuxedo he is wearing some working boots. He approaches Laura and takes her outside to talk. And here I was thinking it had been a while since the last time I saved and I was being taken outside, where no prying eyes could see us and none around could hear a woman’s scream in the middle of the night… But all in vain. Dorian just wants to explain who he really is…

Is that mistletoe?

He is… STEVE DORIAN. Yeah, big reveal. He is a hard-working stevedore by day, and a crime fighter by night, patrolling the streets of New York, not allowing any criminal escape the sight of… TUXEDO MASK!!. Or maybe he is just a stevedore by day and a aspiring artists by night. Cool story, bro. And you say that you have spent all your saving renting a tuxedo to meet Laura here and that’s why you are wearing boots? Because you had no more money to rent some shoes? My girl Laura and I can smell fishy from a mile away. We won’t fall for this love-interest wannabe with dubious intentions. Right, Laura? Laura? What are you doing?

Must be mistletoe. Definitely.

At least someone is having fun at the party. When we get inside again, there is none of the important characters around anymore, but the gate north of the main hall is now accessible. Not very interesting, but accessible. This is an exhibition about dinosaurs but there is nothing we can do here. Trying to go left from this room leads to another encounter with the teleporting security chief, so we are obliged to go right. This leads to another room with more dinosaurs and nothing to do.

There are two exits from this room: north and left. Going north leads to a dead end that has two interesting things. The first one is a friking talking tyrannosaurus rex. It doesn’t say anything remotely useful but it is impressive for 1926 nonetheless. The other is a dinosaur bone exposed in the open without a case. You know, a precious 65 million years or more old bone that could be taken by any kleptomaniac aspiring reporter that happens to visit the museum after closing hours.

I expected this. Was disappointed.

Exiting left leads to a medieval exhibit with armours and tapices. I notice two things here. The first one is that Laura can hide behind a tapice. I wait a while hidden but nothing seems to happen so I guess that will be useful later on. The other is that I can close the door I came from and bar it. There will be blood. Or at least a chase scene.

Going south from here we reach the hall of life mask, human faces. A girl could be no one here. But a girl has shivers remembering how boring that part of the books is so a girl prefers to leave as quickly as possible. Going back and north of the medieval exhibit takes us to a hallway with a very old door which barely reads employees only and that is closed. So I kept going north to reach the Egyptian exhibit.

The room contains a mummy, a model of one of the pyramids, several murals and the case where the dagger was stolen from. I decided to investigate the case but as soon as you touch it, Laura drops the case and it shatters. Well, at least I had examined it with the magnifying glasses before, although there were no fingerprints nor signs of forced entry, as Tut stated.

Never wiser words were spoken

Going left leads to the end of the exhibit with some sarcophaguses and… wait… is that blood on the floor? There is an ankh with the initials “P.S.” covered in blood in the floor. Tut can be seen in several screenshot wearing an ankh, and those are his initials so I am pretty sure this is his. Next to it, there is a footprint of a high-heeled woman shoe. That should be Yvette’s, but there was no description of each women’s shoes so who knows.

With the blood being so close to the coffins, there is just one thing left to do. Opening the rightmost coffin shows me what I was looking for. A corpse. Although not the one I expected. But first, let’s take a look at Laura’s reaction, who by this point in her short life has already seen more gruesome deaths than Jack the Ripper in his whole career.

Her hair even grew longer. That’s true dedication to the acting

But to be honest, the corpse’s expression is even better

Holy dagger, Batman! Someone killed the penguin!

Dr. Carter has kicked the bucket. Good riddance I say. We can now examine the body, so time to put our detective skills to the test. It seems like he died from a stab to the chest. Ok, let’s pack it, I cracked the case. Na, just kidding, but there is not that much else to do here. It seems like the dagger is one of the fakes, as it has the inscription. The only useful thing I could find was a notebook in his pocket. Although the last sheet has been torn, there are traces in the previous one, so I guess I will have to find a pencil. Shouldn’t be difficult for a reporter. Apart from that, there is nothing more.

And with that we advance the clock to 8.15 PM. O’Reily takes his sweet time but finally arrives at the scene of the crime, asks Laura if he has seen the murderer and lets us go. Seriously, how did this man make it to detective?. In any case, this wraps up this chapter.

I feel like I have to apologize for this long post. I am trying to cover any potential clue and what I find could be interesting in the future so you can follow my train of thought, but this chapter has just been an exposition bomb and at this point I am still kind of confused about who is who and what is that they do, at least their public faces. I also feel like I must be missing something again, as I have the feeling I have just been trolling around with no real purpose and no agency, hitting the key points by merely luck. In any case, just let me know if you think I should be brief with the descriptions of the dialogue and the potential clues. See you next time, when we try to uncover who killed Dr. Carter, who robbed the dagger and who Yvette is going to hunt next.

Session Time: 1h 30m
Total Time: 3h 40m

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 points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

6 comments:

  1. This really makes me want to grab that bundle off GOG and play these games again. It's crazy how frustrating and out of your control they are yet I still find them charming in their clunkiness.

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    1. I agree. I started despising the game, because I felt the game had a life of its own independent of my actions. However, with time it has grown on me and I kinda like it. It has a certain charm that is difficult to describe...

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  2. The second act is just railroading and it's unlikely you missed anything crucial yet. That bit about the eavesdropping was a big stumbling block, when I first played the game, since it's not very clear you should be hanging around the party goers after you've interrogated them - it just happened by chance.

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    1. It is not very intuitive at all. And it seems to occur too fast. Once I discovered I could listen to the conversations, I had all of the act done in a very short time, with too much exposition dump on me. Didn't feel quite right

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  3. Najeer's accent reminds me of the Igors in Discworld.

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  4. "It seems like a VIP is just someone who says “important” a lot"

    This made me laugh. :)

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