The Let's Play Archive

Blade Runner

by Scorchy

Part 13: Act II - Useless Cameos Galore

Act II - Useless Cameos Galore

We’re going to head downstairs to talk to Lieutenant Guzza. We noticed the security camera at Animoid Row caught him there at the same time as some Replicants, but that’s not really enough evidence to confront him yet.

He’s referring to retiring the sushi chef, not the botched job on Izo.

Blade Runners get bonus money every time to retire a Rep, which is already a bit iffy on the morality scale, and makes them more bounty hunters than real cops. People now already get pissed off at the notion of traffic cops having a quota to fill; what about the police getting rich by offing the underclass?

Here we can also confess to murdering the bum.

 Fuck that. 

This is the completely optional trip to the Tyrell building, aka. the Mayan temple of the gods.

In comes Rachael, Tyrell’s assistant. Bit of a cold fish, with bad taste in men.

They actually brought in the original actress, Sean Young, and scanned her face in for this. This was in the early days of 3D in games, when those scanners had just moved from industrial use to more widespread adoption by other software fields, so stuff like facial scans and motion capture were suddenly all the rage. And Sean Young, well, her career was pretty much done by this point, short of trying to accost Tim Burton in a Catwoman suit and a turn as Finkle/Einhorn in Ace Ventura, so she probably said yes in a heartbeat.

All that effort, and this little rendered walk in scene lasts a bit under 2 seconds.

“Sidney’s” is another one of those references thrown in here for no reason at all but to make a callback to the original Philip K. Dick book. He’s talking about Sidney’s catalog, which was suppose to be this regularly published handbook that listed the exact prices of how much each animal is worth, based on how rare and endangered they were. Kind of like baseball cards. The catalog would have also listed the owl as extinct, as they were the first species wiped out after the war.

Deckard, who had this weird fetish with tying animals to his self-worth, went around carrying a Sidney’s catalog and threatening people who had an advanced copy of the next issue. It was weird.

This meeting is actually one of those wall-of-text set pieces in a game. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t really offer much in terms of clues. Or interactivity. The whole thing is on rails and you can’t control what you say here.

To be honest, I think they just looked at the original film and asked around to see if the original actors were available. Joe Turkel was like 80 years old and probably in a rocking chair somewhere, so they just brought them in, shoved their heads in a scanner, recorded a few lines, and wrote them into the game, even if it wasn’t particularly necessary.

That’s suppose to be some foreshadowing (backshadowing?), alluding to Tyrell’s death in the film at the hands of a Replicant. There’s of course the whole playing God/Dr. Frankenstein/Oedipal angle to it where the creator is unmade by his own creation. Maybe it didn’t start with Blade Runner, but the whole ‘sentient machines turns against makers’ thing is pretty much a sci-fi cliché at this point. I was playing Mass Effect yesterday and it struck me that the same idea was just all over the place in that game.

The major problem with the game was that it probably adhered too closely to the book/film. It just throws in characters and concepts and assumes the players automatically know who they are, and their significance is. This whole scene was pretty typical of that mentality – let’s have Rachael and Tyrell make a cameo! It’ll be a great bone to throw to the fans of the film!

That’s cute and fine, but when half the game is comprised of these ‘bones’ then it starts getting tiresome and inaccessible. Maybe it’s not such a big deal when you’re producing some shovelware shit to coincide with the release of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean flick or whatever, but the Blade Runner movie was released in 1982. The game was on shelves in 1997. They ended up really narrowing their audience to fans of a 15 year old film.