The Let's Play Archive

L.A. Noire

by Occultatio, Mott514

Part 1: Contest Entries

Entries in the "Make L.A. Noirer" contest!

NOTE: These entries contain spoilers, some mild and some specific, for most of the game. If you would prefer to go into the LP blind, just scroll past really fast or something.

First Place: Pops!

Pops posted:

Noir LA

The weather's nice. All those clear, cloudless, sunny days, and it's easy to believe the world's moving on up. Life's getting better now. The world's taking the mud and the bugs and the blood and the horror of the war, and moving on with life. All those warm days, with clear honest daylight beaming down on the new buildings going up, the gleaming cars, the clean streets, and the sharp-pressed suits, and you can almost believe it.


Every day I meet someone on the single worst day of their life, and it's never an accident. Every day I sit down with people whose lives have just been ruined on purpose, and I have to make them to think real hard, to remember every excruciating detail of the worst thing that ever happened to them. They don't always want to, and I guess that's understandable, but it wears on me when every single one of them tries to lie to me about something. Sometimes it's pride, sometimes it's misplaced manners, sometimes it's actual guilt, but it never helps anything when they keep things from me.

And so I have to shout at the shattered survivor of what had been a happy marriage, or rough up someone who just lost their best friend, or threaten someone who had been a doting parent until a couple hours before, and that bright, cheery sun shines down on everything as blissfully indifferent as it did before.

At least nighttime is honest. The faded yellows of the streetlights make everything look washed-out and hollow against the deep black of the sky, and it's easier to see the truth. Everyone has something they want to keep quiet, the happy illusion of honest daylight be damned. Most of the time it's something merely bad or embarrassing, like drinking at work or screwing with a work order priority. Other times it's worse, like running a peep show film ring or prescribing something extra on the side. Sometimes it's much worse.

But in that shallow buzzing yellow light, it's somehow easier to take. The lie goes away because this is how things are supposed to look. Maybe it's because the neon light and the crime are both artificial, maybe it's because it's easier to imagine threats in shadowy alleys. Maybe it's because it's late and most people are off the clock, done with their honest day's work. Hell, maybe the Padre was right, and the night feels different because it doesn't feel like God is watching. There were certainly enough nights like that on Okinawa. That's when the really dirty stuff happened, and I went right along with it: reality pushed on my image of how things are supposed to be, and I caved.

I dunno. Maybe I should have taken Rusty's advice and had a drink. Smoked a cigarette, or something. Maybe Bekowsky was right and I just need to lie down. Maybe I should just go home, maybe let Marie know what I've had to put up with all this time. But it's too late for that right now, I've already knocked on Elsa's door and I can hear her coming. We'll talk, and I'll get a better handle on things. She'll understand; she has her own demons to contend with.

Who knows: maybe I'll even figure out how to tell Marie about these cases, how no matter how many lowlifes I send to San Quentin or the morgue, there's always gonna be some new batch of creeps to chase, how they always, always run.

The sun's going to shine its lie down on this city again tomorrow. It's going to be one more big lie, another bunch of ruined lives, with one little lie after another.

But at least the weather's nice.

Second place: Belgaer!

Belgaer posted:

I don't know what I'm doing.

Let's Watch Horrible Noir Parodies L.A. Noire

Part ??: The Golden Butterfly

In which Cole drones endlessly over 5 minutes of gameplay.


And now, the runners up!

Pops's impromptu summary of the game through the end of Vice which inspired the whole thing:

Pops posted:

Dammit, Roy. I knew you were a jerk from day one, but there's a big jump from 'jerk who gets things done' to 'dirty cop who sells out his partner'. Cole's a straight shooter - everything he's done on the force screams it. You got nervous because he was about to bust that cozy little deal you've got running with Mickey Cohen wide open, wasn't he? I can just picture it: he slips you a cut of the action, maybe feeds you a couple lowlifes to put away every now and then, and you look the other way on the big stuff, is that it? Nice and smooth, and the dope trade in LA is in the hands of somebody who knows how to deal. And besides, Cole personally cost you fifty bucks on that boxing match, so screw him.

But when Cole turns out to be Mr. Law and Order and starts sniffing around the devil you know, you decide things are getting hot enough and blindside him through that singer you introduced him to. You know she'll play ball because she knows you'll shut her and her club right the fuck down - and, more to the point, shut off her supply - if she doesn't. Cole won't know what hit him, since his whole rep is built on being some sort of Boy Scout right up until the chips are down, and then he freezes like a deer in the headlights. The brass are always getting themselves in trouble dick-first one way or another, so it's not like you can't feed them a convenient scapegoat for their crisis of the month.

The only sticking point is gonna be that Homicide lieutenant, he's an avenging Puritan of Justice of the first water. So, you had to make sure to bring him on board before you threw Cole under the bus. Once you did that, though, it's cake: the investigation grinds to a stop, the evidence starts disappearing, the roaches run back to the shadows... And everything goes back to the good old days.

Was it worth it, Roy? Wrecking a good cop's life and getting innocent people hooked on stolen GI morphine so you can drive the expensive cars, wear the expensive suits, slap people around just because you feel like it? How about the prison time, is that worth it? What are you gonna do, say the biggest mob boss in the city's a criminal? We already knew that one, genius. Say the mayor and chief of police were hiding flings on the side? They drive much bigger buses than you, so you can probably guess who's gonna wind up under which one.

Oh, you think you'll walk? Well, maybe, if the DA likes you, or he gets leaned on by the right people. So sure. You could walk. But none of your hoodlum friends are gonna want to come near you for a long time while the heat dies down. That means they do deals, and you're not there to get a cut. That means you maybe don't matter so much anymore, and I bet that just sticks in your craw, the idea that people just don't fucking care who you are.

More to the point, walking doesn't mean you can run. Not forever. And Cole? Well, he doesn't have much more to lose. You playing games cost him his family, his buddies from the war, and his rep with the force - because of that ice queen of a drugged-up kraut that you introduced him to. You ruined him with the frame job, Roy, and that was a real slick piece of work, to be sure. But you made one big mistake: you left him alive to do the math.

Samizdata examines the darker side of pipe installation:

Samizdata posted:

I was sitting in my office. The red neon from the sign outside my window was giving me a headache. That was okay though, the bottle of scotch I was working my way through was killing the pain just fine.

Then she entered my office. A long tall drink of water she was, with hair and lips as red as sin, and a body that just couldn't quit.

"Can you help me?" she husked, with a deep voice you felt all the way from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

"The name is Parkinson, Reid Parkinson, private gasman. What's your problem, doll?"

"I have an Instaheat 700...."

"Don't say any more. I've seen plenty of those Instaheats in my time, and every one was trouble. Keep that 700, and you'll be taking the big sleep soon enough..."

gschmidl probably didn't intend this as a serious entry but it made me laugh:

gschmidl posted:

From the moment I laid eye on the diaphragm, I knew she was going to be trouble. I pondered for a moment in the rain, pretending to wait for my eyes to adjust to the darkness -- but really, I wondered whether or not to bring out the old hipflask. My oldest and truest friend.

"Ah, screw it," I muttered to myself, then suppressed a harsh laugh as I realized my inadvertent pun; if I didn't unscrew that pressure adjustment handle REAL careful, we were all screwed. If I was going to be blown to Kingdom Come, it would be on enough alcohol that my hands stopped shaking again.

"Alright, Poppet," I said. My companion looked at me askance. "Not you, puppet," I dismissed her.

I eyed the inlet and outlet gauges, the numbers swimming before my eyes. Concentrate, dammit! I popped another cigarette between my lips and li

Tax Refund actually manages to keep his tongue entirely out of his cheek:

Tax Refund posted:

LA Noir

The Blue Room has three things going for it. Jazz, scotch, and Elsa Lichtmann.

Elsa. What can I say about Elsa? Emerald eyes, chocolate hair, a voice like whiskey, and a body like sin.

I come to the Blue Room every week. I tell myself it's for the eighteen-year-old Scotch, but deep down, I know better. I really come here for the thirty-year-old German. Her singing has a way of making a man forget. Forget that this is a city where directors screw hopeful teenagers. Where brutal murders go unsolved because someone's half brother is in politics. Where wives constantly nag husbands about bloodstained bullet holes in thirty-dollar suits.

I take another gulp of the Glenmorangie. It burns, going down, like all the fires of hell. I can't keep doing this. I have to break it off. But I know I won't.

Now I know what the morphine junkies feel like. There's only one thing in the world that numbs the pain, and you'd do anything, betray anybody, to get it. Tonight I'll embrace sweet damnation once again, and float through a few blissful hours of forgetfulness. Tomorrow I may curse myself for a fool, but tomorrow can worry about itself. Sufficient unto each day is the evil thereof.

Marie must never find out about this.

John Liver crosses Cole with Deckard in our first piece of actual fanart(!):

John Liver posted:

"He say you under arrest, Mr. Phelps."

"Lófasz. Nehogy már."

"He say you Homicide Detective."

WampaLord shows us how it all makes a sort of final, horrible sense:

WampaLord posted:

"The Golden Doorknob"

Two months. Two months at this job, cleaning up the trash of this god-forsaken city. Solve a murder, get a commendation, get promoted, seemed so easy, right? They don't tell you about the part where the job becomes personal. The part where the badge becomes your life. The part where I have to live by the department's rules.

Two months without seeing my family. My beautiful wife, Marie, and my two little girls. And why? Just because we don't have a goddamned golden doorknob installed! It started to drive me mad, not being home. So I took to drinking at the Blue Room. One night after her set, Elsa saddled up to my table. A dame like this could get a lot of men in trouble, and I was no exception. I tried to hold out, I really did, but something inside me made me ask. Maybe it was the scotch, maybe it was the maddening loneliness from a life filled with work, maybe it was not seeing my family for so long, but I heard myself utter those fateful words:

"Does your place have a gold doorknob?"

Now I'm at home, being screamed at by Marie, and all I'm begging for is a chance to go inside. To see my little girls, to talk about this. Just to go back in my goddamned house for once since I started this job. To be able to sleep in my own bed, to have a meal in my own kitchen. And she slams the door in my face. I was so close. But now I just stare at the doorknob, it's wooden finish taunting me.

gyrobot gets Biblical on our asses:

gyrobot posted:

Running into Tartarus

The moment I started working on the Arson cases was the moment when LA starting becoming a lot greyer. No longer the sunny city it used to be but instead a dark shadow is casting over everyone. It was like god was mocking me, finally preparing to strike judgement into who was the last damn pure soul in this wretched town.

Ever since my fall from grace, I have been getting a lot of arson cases involving Elysian fields. What was supposed to be paradise is now becoming a burning hell for the countless of soldiers coming home...coming home with their wives, some whom saw their old homes burnt by the horrors of war. Instead what they got was burning death and the rains do little to squelch the flames of destruction.

Elsa is Eurydice incarnate, when I went to "check" back on her I had lost everything. Before I had met her, I was in the real Elysium, a good home, a family and the embodiment of a dream. But that's why they call it dream. It only takes one thought in your mind, one thought to turn everything to a nightmare. And now the rain is coming to remind me of how even an exemplar of justice can fall like the rest of them.

After all, it was the brightest one whom fell from heaven. Except there is no heaven in LA, only different levels of hell.

Unknown Quantity finds a... fascinating metaphor:

Unknown Quantity posted:

C.A.T. Noire
It was another day at the office. My partner was like a housecat: struttin' around like he owned the place in his fancy fur coat. He'd been like that every case, including this one, but I left him to his scratching post while I got my work done. The business at hand was important, everything was in place to finish this case. The evidence was on the table, the suspects were right in the room, and I was one statement away from tossing him into the slammer myself...and then the kitten dug its claws right into me. The captain had come in and pulled me out, and said I was through. I never would have thought Roy would cough up a hairball on me like that.