The Let's Play Archive

Bureau 13

by Bacter

Part 3: We are good at talking our way past guards

Speaking of worse, here we go!

Suggested Listening: Sex Pistols - Holidays in the Sun

Let's clear up some errant bits first.

When we last left our intrepid agents, they had dug up some dirt on Withers, mainly that he's been using an overdrawn Bureau 13 Credit card to buy explosives parts, and using his real name to do so.

Secret agents!

I also learned for the first time that Isaac has something interesting to say about that revelation...

fit his personality profile at all.

Having played this game through a bunch of times, I have no idea if this is supposed to be hinting at anything in particular. We might surmise that he's getting desperate?

Before we take off, we manage to snag some wire cutters. Never know when those might come in handy!

I also wanted to point this out as a minor gripe. Remember how last time we searched the counter to find a missing tape? If you look at the counter you get this. I know search is supposed to be looking closer than look, but having the two directly contradict each other isn't very nice

raging inferno! Ha ha ha!

Wow, Father Blank is kind of a jerk! I just included that because it's my favorite reaction of all time.

Hokay! On to the REAL update! "Abandoned car lot" won out as our next place to investigate. I don't know if I've pointed this out, but moving your cursor at the edge of the screen withh make yellow text giving the name of next screen over (if there is one) appear. So the abandoned RV lot is to our south!

Yes, I know this is an RV lot, not a car lot, but if you haven't learned to just roll with the punches yet, you'll never get through this LP.

...Wait, how did they get those two RVs on the sides in there?

All of the RVs yield this same message.

What's different about the MIDDLE RV is that it has the "open" icon appear when your cursor moves over it, and sometimes yellow text saying "interior of RV". This tells me that in there is a new area! So let's get in!

Hmmmm what's this? the smash icon appears over the RV?

Delilah, no!
And yet, YES!
But that isn't even the door!

vehicle. Please step away.

And for all that, nothing.

I am

Hmmmmm. So it's both controlled by a computer and able to withstand a full-on assault by a battlemech? I'm GUESSING this might be one of those "Battle RVs" we were told we could never have ever because they were too suspicious.

...How did this get in a used RV lot?

Anyway, I guess subtlety is required over brute force here.


What say you don't make fun of me, and I don't mention THIS.
Ugh, DEAL.


vehicle's anti-tampering systems. This looks quite dangerous!

Oh so... so it's Withers' car for sure? Because you sure never told me that! I mean how could we POSSIBLY know that it's his for sure? (remember this question for later)

Welp, thief, you're up!

Come on now, you didn't REALLY think this'd work?

Eh, worth a shot!

Also, what's the deal with Blank's posture? I mean there's upright, and then there's... THAT. It's like reverse scoliosis?

I am upright in my ways, that I may gaze upon the ruins of this tattered world with all the more clarity my b-

God, what I wouldn't give for a smoke bomb.

Alright, so by hook nor crook can we get into this RV at the present moment. Our superstar team of elite agents is totally foiled by a fancy car alarm.

Let's go next door!

Where... do they SELL these RVs?

Well who knows, maybe it'll be profitable to look in here!

Aaaand then again maybe not.

This guy is awesome.
He is rocking out EXTREMELY INTENSELY. How intensely you might ask?


Well, this guy seems pretty chill. Let's get some info out of him.


I love this guy so much. He wasn't talking before. He's just piping up now because ANY INTERRUPTIONS TO THE ROCK MUST BE SQUASHED.

Jimmy can be relied on to be the "cool" agent, he knows the hep cats and can pick up what gets put down. This particular band is going to be brought up multiple times, and is also referenced as the band that pens the soundtrack to the game.

So uh, imagine a guy rocking out to THAT. THAT takes some doing.

Alright, let's give the professional talker a chance. Says in his personality profile he can get through to people. Father Blank, go!

- Son, I wonder if ye have but a moment of yer time to discuss with this humble clergym-


Yeah, you've got no chance, padre.

Well, let's see if the book he's sitting near has anything interesting in it.

storage about three weeks ago. he hasn't yet retrieved them.

Hm. So we know we need to get in here, and that's it for now.

IN ORDER TO SIMULATE REAL PLAYING CONDITIONS I offered you guys everything that we might logically do, even some options that we don't have the materials for yet. Like getting into the RV! Now imagine this part of the update, but with 45 minutes of fruitless clicking in case you missed something.

Welp, we're stymied here! Let's go to voted-for option #2, checking out Advanced Instrumentation, AI. Withers stole some bomb parts from them, and they've been VERY unhelpful.

Despite being directly right of the electronics store, the aesthetic is TOTALLY different. This looks like a large corporate office.

If you're just a dumb witch (no pun intended), this looks like a glass door.

actually made from a recently developed plastic. This plastic is exceptionally resistant to most forms of physical force.

However, under the keen tactical eye of the hacker or battlemech, we see it for what it is.

Most forms of damage, eh?! Well Delilah Littlepanther is NOT most forms of

Oh. . 0 for 2 this update!

Hahahahahah you are honestly a federal agent. Like, paid by the government.

Oh, I'm just kidding. I hate it too, Littlepants.

Misting under yields predictable results.

Remember this if your town is ever beset by Vampires. Weather sealing.
We are losing street cred at an ALARMING rate here.

Well, let's try ringing the doorbell there.

I'm... not sure this is how large corporate headquarters work.

Pictured: Isaac is sort of a jerk. I don't think this really even fits!

Further pictured. Yes, "blow your cover" is a dialogue option. And yes, it yields the most interesting information (that military hardware was targeted by the breakin). And no, it doesn't affect your points. Not like leaving a door open would.

Well, everybody's special powers have failed, and so has talking. Time to use nearby object...


field and selectively filter the data!

Pictured: a fairly sad and transparent attempt by Isaac to regain a measure of dignity after both his technical prowess (there is no option to hack the buzzer) and interpersonal kills were effortless bested by magic.

Well! Let's see how our OTHER operatives handle this one.

They handle it first by going one screen right...

And dumpster diving! Although not without getting petulant about it.
This is a technology company. It's not like it's a Greek Restaurant's dumpster. This will probably just have boxes and...

Yeah, just boxes.

How we know Mr. Simpson's identity is a mystery, but he'll be important, so hang onto his name.

Shut up, Selma. And who are you TALKING to? There's a max of one other squad member, so who is "friends"?

Well, now we've got an opened box addressed to the vice president. I guess we're going to... show it to the guard? In full tuxedo/battlesuit? That opened box?

Well, not before he tells us to come back in the daylight.

Ah ah ah.

leave it on the receptionist's desk.

I'd say this is stupidly easy, but you know, that's sort of an overall theme. Incidentally, THIS is a place where Isaac's "your apathy is admirable. thanks" line WOULD fit, because there's no reason this guard couldn't just drop it off himself.

So obviously this means we can now enter and leave AI as many times as we want to, forever.

It wasn't hard getting in, Alex. But yes, getting out will technically be easier.

Meanwhile, our thief strikes out again.

And uh, makes a.... pretty open threat to the security guard. Good thing he's a moron.

One package later and we're all inside. This next part is (almost) identical for every group, so I'll showcase it with team Subtlety, because they amuse me so.

Look at that LOGO. Of COURSE this is an evil company.
Anyway, I got their memo.

Hm. I bet that will be relevant in this office, where it's being circulated! (It's not. There is no reason a secretary would ever, ever go where this is being used. The list of people that would go there is so small that a MEMO for it is insane. We'll get there!)

Thanks to us putting some points into Office Survival skills, Alex knows to check the copier for documents people forgot to take out.

subsequent theft of plastic explosives should ask you any questions, say absolutely nothing. The issue of a matter of national security, and the federal government has arranged to investigate it. Most importantly, do not mention the security videotape of the break-in. It is being kept safe until the FBI can arrange to pick it up. Failure to comply with this memo will result in your
immediate dismissal."

So nobody, working at this company, would read the memo "Don't say anything to the police about the crime that was committed, because the FBI is coming and the police aren't allowed to help!" as being odd, or want to check it somehow?

Furthermore, why is the tape mentioned? I'm fairly sure "don't say anything or you're fired" would be sufficient to deter people from talking about the tape. I mean, they mentioned it AND how it's being kept super safe. I'm fairly sure the company is going to destroy it, but why they haven't done so already is a mystery we'll never solve.


Ok, let's check out the security office! It's the rightmost door.

Not MUCH here. The window looks out on an alleyway, and so is insanely superfluous. Of more interest are the three tapes. Let's roll 'em!

Tape 1

Tape 2
What on EARTH is that painting?


Why on EARTH is that carpet radiation purple?

And they've conveniently recorded for us the exact phrase needed to open Ted's safe, and nothing else. This is a fishy security department!

Alright enough, let's go into the far left door in the main room.

It's... sort of weird.

All your characters reference this as being sumptuous and luxurious. Father Blank in particular says "Such decadance! And to think all of this was purchased with the profits o' war!"

I... guess... the wood paneling must be nice? It's kind of BARE.

Honestly, everything in this room screams "premade 3D models because we ran out of time". I mean, twin OIL lamps?

Well that painting sure looks custom!

is difficult to explain why Mr. Simpson would have any knowledge of such an obscure demonic figure, especially since there have been no known followers of this cult for almost a century.

Everybody else just sees a random reptile man in a cloak. Hmmmmmm.... so Ted has an unhealthy interest in Skillrex, eh?


So let's take inventory. On the desk:

A highly secret-looking huge red button,

a remote control which we snag,

and a phone book. And that's all.

Well, might as well hit the button.




And since we saw in the video tape (and we aren't morons), we know there's a safe behind the painting.

Alex is so contemptuous.

So this isn't really a thinker of a puzzle. We have a videotape with the audio code needed to open the safe. There's a VCR and stereo in the room. Picking the lock, breaking it open, hacking it, all don't work.

So, we put the tape in the VCR, hit play, and...

Yaaaaay pointless puzzles that advance nothing and are insultingly easy!

That line makes me with I was dead.

So we open up the fire alarm on the right side of the wall there, and

Kind of a pyromania theme going so far, isn't there? I mean this little bit wasn't NECESSARY, they just had us take batteries out of a fire alarm for basically no reason. Why a fire alarm? Why not a digital clock? Somebody who made this game needs help. Or needed help. I guess the issue's probably resolved one way or the other by now.


We hit play, that springs the safe,

And we get the scene of the crime video!

We see the RV pull away, and... what was that license plate?


I was afraid of this. So our super secret mystery man that nobody can get a lead on is Agent J.P. Withers. Who has been using his real name, using a Bureau 13 official credit card until it breaks and then after, driving around in a battle RV which, if you'll remember, we were not issued because it's too visible.

And, just the damned, twisted cherry on top, he has actually bought a vanity plate, which is his last name. On the battle RV. That he uses to steal explosives.


So we've plundered AI's corporate headquarters for all it's worth. Count on it showing up in the future though!

For now, we head to the packing company, where the box might have come from!

See you guys next update! Keep writing for the contest! Or suggesting prompts or some such.

More updates on the Bureau 13 source materials and world soon to follow, as well as a more logical, central location for story contest submissions!