The Let's Play Archive

15 Days

by SelenicMartian

Part 11: Dial the Stupid to Eleven

: Yeah, that's a decent plot summary for the previous episode.

: Of course.

: But it wasn't cool. Now you can let me speak, OK?

: That must be this Francois. Now pay attention and just see how well I get on with the guy. I'm quite relaxed. In ten minutes time, that guy and me will be best mates, OK?

: OK, I'm paying attention.

: Mike?

: This is a perfect time to mention that the disco has loud music in it.

: Whoa. Don't make me jump like that.

: You didn't jump.

: I think you're quite relaxed.

: Yes I am. So what do you want?

: And this is where the music kicks up a notch, and I barely hear Mike's or anyone else's normal voice.

: I just wanted to say: Don't mess up.

: You guys are really great, you know.

: Ah, exploration. This hole has more exciting stuff to examine than the Catacombs. Such as the "comfy armchair" on the right.

: Not a soul here. We are so uncool.

: Are the beer taps cool?

: That's stuff's not nice without Coke.

: The Espresso machine behind the barman's butt?

: Pure caffeine. My thing exactly.

: As someone who can doze off after a cup of coffee, I'm always amused by people's worship of this substance.

: There's a thing here too.

: Not my thing.

: Well, after finding out about Mike's things let's go chat us up a Frenchman.

: This screen exists specifically for this conversation. One character is barely in the shot, the other has his forehead as the centrepiece. At least he blinks.

: Oh, dear...

: Hey man. How's things?

: What you say?

: Er yeah. How's it hanging. Everything cool? Great club you've got here. We, er... We're from London. You know. London, UK. Massive club scene and all that. But your place here, it's banging, man.

: London is a shithole.

: Bernard's had enough of that and is coming to the rescue.

: Great, now I've got another scalp-only character in the shot.

: ... I think it's well kinda cool. If well, maybe not quite as cool as here. Man!

: This is getting good!

: Hmm... well...

: Hey! Who let you two clowns in here?

: The door was open.

: Where's Gerard?

: Gone to the loo. Seemed to be a bit urgent. Can you get a drink here, or is everything just for decoration?

: Is that emotion on his face or just bad model rigging?

: Minor brightness adjustment reveals more details.

: Never again.

: We'd like two beers, please.

: OK! Sorry, for a moment there, I thought you guys were totally uncool. Cops or whatever.

: No, no. My pal Mike here is totally OK. You just have to ignore his cool teen-style bullshit. Then he's great.

: Gotcha.

: I swear, the fucking music is getting louder.

: Nice disco you got here.

: Disco? Cool... Only you're here a bit too early. Later on, in three or four hours, it'll be mobbed.

: We'll be in bed by then.

: Yeah. Me too. Bertrand carries on for me. We need our sleep at our age.

This has to be a bad dream.

: How long have you been doing this here?

: Five years? Six? I've built the whole thing up myself.

: How come? You were in jail?

: No, no, for chrissakes. Not here, anyway. (Pauses)

: Thanks for telling me, game. I can't even hear when they start and stop talking.

: The building was a refugee centre. Asylum-seekers. There was a real riot when it got to be full. The locals didn't want a house full of blacks round the corner from them.

: Hmm... Yeah, it's the same back home.

: Well, they got rid of most of us at the time.

: And you?

: I was allowed to stay. There was still a war going on in Surinawa.

: Surinawa? That's where you come from?

: From Kalingi. The most beautiful town in the world. Well it was back then.

: How you get out?

: With all my limbs still attached, luckily for me. I got on one of the last boats. Just a barge. Maybe licensed for 100 passengers. There were 650 of us... 245 of them never finished the trip.

: Oh god.

: The barman is really enjoying that paper. It's called "Newstime".

: I think I saw that in the news.

: Um, guys, the catacombs?

: What's he called, that dictator?

: Elengi. Raila Elengi. When the massacre took place, the cowardly rat was already on his way to the Pacific. He bought himself an island there. When the western alliance came in, he was already sitting on his yacht. But his orders were still being carried out. All refugees were to be killed by the government troops. The old Surinawa was supposed to die in battle. Nothing to be left to fall into enemy hands.

: And the government troops did that? Those were their own countrymen. Their families.

: They spared no one. They ripped the bandages off the children that had been taken care of by the western troops, so they bled to death.

: The horror. The horror. I'm talking about the audio, and the "governmnet" in the subtitles.

: Why not, when they'd already lost everything?

: He did not want them to. And they followed him... to the death.

: How come he had so much power over them?

: He promised them revenge. Revenge for the colonial period. For the rape of Africa.

: Yeah, well you can't maintain a state like that.

: Elengi could. And he was willing to destroy it all, when he failed. To him it wasn't about people. It was about an idea.

: That's not an idea. It's madness. Nothing more.

: Of course! That's why I got out. I didn't want to die for the ideals of a madman.

: And you've survived.

: Well, I'm not dead. It's not the same thing.

: No, maybe not!

: (silent)

: You might be wondering, what the fuck does this little story have to do with the plot. Yes.

: At last!

: We... We heard your club puts on parties in the catacombs.

: Heard? Where?

: Is that not right?

: Depends who told you.

: I get it. My unusually quiet friend here found out. Research...

: And we were in the catacombs this afternoon and we saw some graffiti.

: OK, accepted. Maybe we do. Why d'you want to know?

: Let's say, we just want to go for a bit of a wander about in the catacombs.

: What gives you that idea?

: Then I'm happy...

: Yeah, the publically available maps are a bit Mickey-mouse. And we thought that...

: Aha, You thought

: We're getting closer!

: You could help us?

: Hmm... Put it this way: There is a map.

: But?

: There's no way I can let it out of my hands. Betrand and the guys worked on if for months. They took the old maps the Nazis made and referenced them with the ones from the Resistance. And then of course they walked around down there themselves, with a torch and a compass.

: It must be tough employing both a Bertrand and a Betrand.

: Just a look at the map would be enough for us.

: Oh, I don't know... You could get up to quite a bit of mischief with that map. There are old arms dumps from the Resistance down there. You could blow yourselves up. And when something caves in down there, the houses up here start wobbling.

: Don't worry about any of that. We're only looking for... a few routes.

: Where to then, if I might ask?

: Business secret. Come on, let's have a look at it.

: Oh, OK.

: Francois?!

: What.

: Have they gone?

: The police! The cops outside... have they gone now?

: Sure!

: I'm not paying you to sit on the can, you skiver.

: The pigs are up there. Just go and see if they're gone.

: You got your pills with you again? I've told you, stop selling that crap in you're working for me. Go on. Flush them away.

: Will you just go take a look?

: And the bouncer flushes. I can tell, because the flush sound is louder than the music.

: All of 'em.


: Happy?

: This is not Francois talking. It's Cathryn. They use almost the same subtitle colour.

: Gerard? There's nobody up there.

: You sure?

: Yes, quite sure, And now you get your ass up there where you supposed to be working.

: I'm in control of one of those guys. There's the plan on the desk.

: So, that's the map of the catacombs.

: Apparently, I control Mike.

: My phone. Runs on ScummVM.

: I'm sorry... what?

: HOW? Anyway, let's use the phone on the map.

: Then I want to take a quick photo as a memento...

: That's not how you photograph documents.

Then Mike sits down and there's a 6-8 second pause during which absolutely nothing happens. Then we fade to black.

: We already had the pleasure.

: So, you've seen what you wanted to, I take it. Well I hope you've got good memories. You're going to get lost otherwise.

: We'll be alright.

: OK, can we go now?

: You're not really the talkative type, eh?

: Let's go, Bernie.

: Don't do anything silly guys.

: Yeah, stay cool man!

: They walk up to the door and stop to let me click on it.

: Calm down, man. Just be glad you've got a decent boss.

: Hang on. What've you been up to there, you dirty snoopers?

: Ask your boss.

: And better keep your hands off the pills in the future. They seem to have something of a laxative effect.

: (silent)

: Where did (keeps quiet) go? Did they fire change the editor?

: Come on Mike. We need to go. I'd rather not be here if they come back again.

: And the scene just ends.

: We'd better get out of here.

: Mike, you did photograph the map, didn't you?

: Our Mike's gone rather quiet all of a sudden, hasn't he? But it's also the pits, being so uncool.

: Idiot.

: Heck, you two really can't be left on your own, can you? Come on then! Let's go and look at these catacombs again. This time WITH a map!

: Oh, Jack has almost caught up with our "heroes". He's about to become relevant to the "plot". But first he'll examine the panorama and the club.

: Wonderful...

: Club Electronique... The address is right.

: What address? Wasn't Jack following Mike's phone location? Anyway, let's talk to Gerard.

: So, what have we got here. Hey, you!

: You what?

: No offence. They're definitely all real muscles.

: As if.. No... I'm er, just looking for a few friends of mine.

: Friends?

: Yes, a little nerd with a black van. Maybe got some company with him. They in there?

: So they're your friends then?

: Yeah, sure. We're the very best of pals. Are they inside? Hey, can I go have a quick look?

: Aha. And what would that be?

: Holy shit, Gerard is awesome!

: Again! Again!

: Best. Jack's. Section. Ever. ... So, why is he in the story anyway?

Here's the video of the entire exchange

: You got your torch?

: Of course. Oh, wait.

: Don't tell me they've put an item check after the first section where we had to use it.

: Right then. Let's go!

: And it's afternoon already.

: In this room we can now examine the bowl (from the Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp) and the plaque.

: Looks like a sacrificial bowl.

: This is where it says which cemetery the bones came from.

: Hold it. The skulls in the walls look oversized. Let's see... The Internet suggests that the tunnel ceilings are less that 2m high. Don't me the the catacombs are upscaled to avoid animating leaning... Although, that's exactly what lazy hacks would do.

: The photo of the catacombs map is brilliant. Now we've just got to work out where the museum is.

: We can't go in until we combine the tourist and the club maps for the perfect mapping experience.

: Let's see if I can work out how to use it.

: The map is rather confusing, but where there's a will...

: In we go.

: Here we can examine one object.

: It's empty.

: Now we're inside the 15 Days catacombs puzzle, which is the only place in the entire game where the quick access to the map is convenient.

: That's the map. Clicking the blue icon teleports Cathryn to the entrance here.

: Pictured: Cathryn examining a terrified skull.

: Here's the actual start of the maze portion. As you see, we have a compass. Made by people who had never used a compass in their lives. I assume, that the arrow points north, but no one bothers to rotate the compass' dial to match it.

The actual way to navigate this shithole is to note from which exit Cathryn enters the room and plan her moves relative to her facing. To help navigation the map has markers for some very distinctive terrain features.

Like the ladder...

...the wheel...

...or the dead rat. Yeah. Probably a marker from the Nazis' map. Good job, Francois & Co. The only sane method to get anywhere is to assume Cathryn faces north at the entrance of the maze and plan the trip as a sequence of "forward", "left" and "right". The one thing that might throw you off is that while the map shows all the tunnels it does not show all the exits.

It's a corner on the map and a 3-way crossing on location. The way ahead will probably warp you into a different room. I don't care enough to test this rubbish.

Anyway, our goals are the obviously marked museum in the top left and the rectangle in the top right.

: Here's the approach to the museum. The dungeon is amazingly well-lit.

: We can warp to the museum now, but there's no reason to do so. I restart and head for the other place.

: And save, because this is where the game loves to crash when the you use the torch.

: The oddly-shaped light follows the cursor, and I'm immediately reminded of Nocturne which combined Resident Evil-style cameras with 3D aiming, flashlight and laser sight effects. You could also dual-wield pistols and fire at two different targets simultaneously.

: Come to think of it, how the fuck does one make a square-shaped light cone? This has to be non-default behaviour in pretty much any engine, right?

: Brill!

: I wonder if this decades-old hideout has electricity. Like the rest of this place does.

: OK, first let's get out of here.

: Here's the plan:

: Yes, we're waiting for the last day of the exhibition when people might be packing up the painting for transportation.

: We go in and we split up. I go as far as the rock wall and drill the holes. Bernard puts together a couple of explosive charges in the Resistance camp.

: Mike parks himself with the van in front of the museum, logs into the security system and watches the fireworks. Then we wait for the climax of the firework display, the pressure sensors are being turned off for that. When it gets to that point Mike gives us the signal and we set off the charges. I go in and sneak up to the exhibition space.

: In the meantime, I swap over the pictures and whizz off straight back into the catacombs. Then I meet you two guys back outside the catacombs' exit and then off we go. And that's it. Any questions?

: I could...

: I'm doing that.

: Aha. Mmh, still got to go 'into town'?

: OK Bernard, then you do it. You've still got an appointment in London anyway. Haven't you?

: He has. With who then?

: With his past.

: Aha.

: Come on.

: If you thought the plan was stupid, wait till you see it in action.

P.S.: The 4-minute video of flushing at the disco, horrid sound, me struggling with the inventory, and what it says on the tin.