Part 16: Episode XV: The Detective
Welcome back... When last we left Captain Benjamin Briggs he was promoted to Detective of Darkmere due to the influence of a clearly intoxicated Irishman's recommendation about his prowess in puzzle solving shit the man in question never actually witnessed. With that said, it's time to do some investigating to unravel the mystery of the Soul Taker's identity!
Nevermind that we already saw the thing and it was some pissed skeleton ghost demon thinger. We're going to get to the bottom of this, dammit!
The newest victim of the serial soul stealer is the kindly drunken deputy mayor from back in the Inn of Sin. It turns out clothing is directly fused to one's soul when worn. Huh. Who knew?
Leading away from the body of the departed are shoes with soles molded to the shape of the pharmacy symbol Bowl of Hygeia. Said suspect apparently possesses two right feet as well. That will probably narrow down suspects.
The trail leads to a door marked with the same symbol. I'm guessing these are related in some way. I'd say that's worthy of investigating, don't you? Yup...sure is...
Too bad the door is locked and it's going to be for-fucking-ever before it is unbarred. Briggs doesn't even attempt to get anyone's attention behind the blocked path or to get the Mayor's help to demand entry. There's a CLOSED sign hanging on the door so there's no way we're getting in. This will become a bit of a theme with this chpater.
By the way, I'd just like to go on record that I fucking hate this chapter. You want to know why? Sure, I'll tell you. You know how in Chapter 1 there was so much bullshit backtracking that I made a video about it (I've got one for Chapter 2 too I need to finish editing as well.) Well, for Chapter 3 they cut out the middle man of endless retracing steps. They did this in the shittiest way they could think of:
Behold! A world map! Yes, Darkmere is apparently expansive enough that it requires and entirely separate map screen
- Town Hall
- Inn of Sin
- Darkmere Prison
- An Abattoir
- A Dead End??
- The Stables
- Town Square
- Some shit called the "Bric a Brac Shoppe"
- Cutters' Alley
If Ben goes to one of these areas, he has to wander around to every room in said area (each and every one have a useless entrance) before it is crossed off the list of places to visit and becomes inaccessible. So where do we go first, you ask? Good question. All we have to go on is someone in the pharmacy business walked away from the scene of the crime into a pharmacist night club.
Is it the Town Hall to get the mayor to give access to the joint? Nope. Town Hall is locked. Maybe the Registrar to look up as to who works in medicine? Nope. That's closed too.
It's actually the shop we want. But, not for the reasons you think. Oh no. We've some pointless shit to do before we make progress.
The Bric a Brac has a notice out front. This is actually on the front of every door in the area (except the ones with the CLOSED signs on front.)
I think the actual notice image is supposed to imply whoever wrote it is kind of retarded and couldn't spell worth shit. It amuses me the subtitles actually get right a word that is supposed to be wrong in this case (lose and lost.)
That said, why did Ben get tossed in prison and not burned at the stake? That is downright discriminating!
Entering the shop. No, I am not using Ye Olde time spelling.
Could they not have at least downloaded that one plug-in for Oblivion that made the indoor areas' windows display accurate times of day (i.e. night)? It helped my immersion while playing it and I wasn't ripping off assets to make a shoddy adventure game.
"Errr...actually. It's Mister not Miss!"
"Eh? What?? ...You can't be my sister, I haven't even got a sister!"
"No not Sister.... Mister! ................I am a man!"
This is not remotely amusing. Please stop this. Why are we even here?
What? That's why we're here?! You're too lazy to draw that little symbol on the door to do further investigating? Why do you even have that fucking pen and legal pad?!
I believe this is Briggs Speak for "fuck this noise, time to steal shit". Ten minutes into being a fully fledged detective and it's time to resort to petty theft. Nice.
"I'll just be here having parts of me self clipping horribly through other parts of me self."
Right, then. There is a piece of paper with a lump of charcoal just resting on a chair by the door. They're not even trying anymore, are they?
Well, it's not like it's a real shop anyway. My pot dealer's house looks more akin to a store than this set-up. Couldn't they have at least stolen from one of the actual shops in Oblivion? There was at least four in every town in the game that nobody ever set foot into. Sheesh.
Continuing on... Before we can progress, Briggs must return to the scene of the crime to trace that marking on the locked door since he apparently cannot draw what is honestly a really basic symbol. I even did an "am I being too cynical right now?" test for this turn of events (which translates to asking my kid to solve a similar problem given the same tools.)
She drew a crude but recognizable sketch of the picture instead of scrawling over the in-print of the crappy lighthouse magnet print on the refrigerator. Briggs is worse than a small child. Science has proven it.
The worst part about this stupid shit is that I had no idea where the hell the crime scene actually was out of the over half dozen options. I figured it was probably just outside of Town Hall. Nope. Well, maybe past the Inn of Sin since I saw the jerk there last? Nope. Err...the Dead End?? Since Briggs didn't know if it was a dead end trail, hence the question marks. Well, maybe Cutters' Alley. I mean, Batman's parents were murdered in Crime Alley. Seems a likely enough place for a death. Also no.
Nope. Turned out that despite the lack of horses, stables, and implications of pharmacy practice...it was actual a stable. Huh...
Right... So using the charcoal and paper on the door symbol results in Briggs tracing the image to the paper like so. Alright...now let us just stop right here. Why the fuck is the charcoal print nearly the same color as the original print? Charcoal is black. This is a basic bit of knowledge. And, I am not even going to let you pricks get away with being lazy this time.
There is straight up a basic crappy Photoshop filter that makes things look like a charcoal sketch and it looks better than this.
I spent 30 seconds on this. The workload was opening Photoshop and:
Load Batman47.jpg > Filter > Sketch > Chalk & Charcoal > OK > Highlight main area > Image > Crop > Highlight top right corner of cropped picture > Copy > Paste > Move section to bottom right corner > Rotate 180 degrees > Confirm Transformation > Merge Layers > Save As lazycunts.jpg > Upload
Right then, so who do we take this nonsense to in order to continue our investigation?
Welp, it turns out a Cobbler has now become available on the map screen. You see, the real fun thing about the whole world map is the game gives absolutely no indication as to when new areas are accessible. Queue several wasted minutes fucking around in circles until that became apparent.
Sadly there is no Peach or Thief involved in the proceedings.
There is merely a man with a very unfortunately shaped head.
"Have you ever considered the possibility of wearing a mask to bring in business? Perhaps even a paper bag?"
"No sir... Cannot say I rightly have..."
He did at least until the Wal-Mart corporation rolled in.
"So what's your business, son?"
"Not much. Just returning a pair of shoes."
"I regret nothing..."
"Wait wait wait! I was just joking. I'm a detective! Good lord, man! Do you have that extreme a reaction every time someone wants to return purchase."
"Look, fellow. We're a tight knit community here in Limbo. And by that I mean there are not even two dozen of us here. I need to step up my game occasionally. To stay competitive."
I suppose knowing the identity of the two-right-footed man (third cousin twice removed of the one armed man from The Fugitive) would be a bit helpful.
Unfortunately, Briggs lacks any sort of initiative and just glares me down until I present the charcoal drawing of the symbol from the crime scene.
OK then. Let us review. Two out of the three men with the silly top hat lined with crosses have become victims of the Soul Taker. By my powers of deduction (I am Irish and I've solved almost all the "puzzles" in this game by myself ergo I can declare myself master detective) I am going to take a wild guess and assume the Mayor of Darkmere himself is actually the Soul Taker.
There will not be a big enough facepalm in existence if I am right about this.
You may want to point out that Benjamin is a really shitty detective. Don't get me wrong - he is. It's just, we now have the fact there is a hidden clubhouse occupied by a secret cult that is literally such common as fuck knowledge that a guy that dicks around with people who are too cheap to buy a new pair of shoes' footwear all day and even he knows about it. This might be the wrong man for the job...
The Cobbler's most recent subtitle may be the worst one yet in the game. There is also not actually any such thing in-game as an "Entry Row".
"No. None at all. He just sort of stuck out his coin pan until the person giving him instructions emptied their coin purse to progress the narrative. He's pretty peculiar like that..."
So he had the smell of rotting corpses and spilled blood along with the smell of horse shit? I've got to hand it to the Cobbler. Guy has one hell of a sense of smell despite his very unfortunate shape of nose...
Ben jots all this down in his note pad. Do you want to see something REALLY fucking aggravating about this?
He actually does scribble a crude but recognizable sketch of that symbol from earlier. That whole trainwreck attempt at humor with the hard of hearing/sight shopkeeper in the clearly-not-a-store market was utterly pointless.
Briggs automatically leaves the informant's domicile upon gaining the necessary data out of him for the investigation. Indeed, he does that in every single point he finishes a conversation. Even if it makes fuck all sense to do so...
In any case, some is waiting outside to update him.
Good job, Benny. Your dicking around stealing sketching utensils from an old woman has literally resulted in someone getting murdered.
An automatic trip to the crime scene later...
I swear I did not alter the following exchange whatsoever.
<to the corpse> "Can you hear me? Who is responsible for these terrible things?"
"Well.... It will be that old Soul Taker I figure!"
"Ahhh...well that's that solved then!!"
Detective Briggs then loots the body like an RPG item drop and snakes the freshly slain corpse's pimp cane...
...and then he automatically wanders off back to the map screen. Apparently that detective badge bestowed upon him the ability to ignore our actions and be even more of an asshole than before. Terrific.
Sorry Ben, but you're going to march your ass back there and properly investigate the area this time, you lazy tool.
The sad part is I ended up looking around a half dozen other areas assuming this one was already taken care of in that cutscene. Little did I know that Ben was just indeed an ass and you still needed to hold his hand outside cutscenes.
Sadly, it appears the newest victim of the Soul Taker Son of Sam was the beggar from the beginning of the stage that gave us a shake down. Now that he'd actually be somewhat useful, he's dead. Thanks Limbo of the Lost.
I am assuming the following objects were supposed to be hidden in the hobo's cane Ben picked up. They are just kind of thrust into our inventory following that scene. First up:
There is a parchment that displays some tanning tips...
...as well as a glass door that has some manner of Metroid-esque monster stuck within it. Both of these are useless to us right now. Oh well...let's see if the actual Blacksmith heard anything.
Entering the blacksmith's shop...
Oh terrific... The blacksmith is the guy with Thor's Duplicate Hammer and the little maybe ghost kid that got us locked in jail. I know this conversation is going places!
Benny Briggs' secret membership in Team Jacob is revealed to all. This is most embarrassing.
"You all think I don't know what's going on. But I see, I see all, even with my burnt out eyes, oh yes! I see all! Now be gone from this place and take your dark secrets with you!"
Really, muscleman. This chucklefuck couldn't text "KGB" for a shitty vague answer to a dumb question asked whilst shitfaced. A master spy and adeptness and evading detection isn't exactly his strong suit...
This little brat sure took a big turnaround from turning us into the Gestapo to fully believing Ben's innocence in the last fifteen minutes. At least Limbo of the Lost, if nothing, successfully maintains the realistic fact that most children are pretty dumb.
I am going to assume this Rob Liefeld designed looking jerk is telling exactly the truth because the mayor is the fucking Soul Taker. The whole 0.34 of you who actually played this crappy game are not to spoiler this.
That...? That is really the line of question you are going with, Ben? The Mayor never leaves City Hall and masks himself from detection when he leaves the comforts of home is mentioned and you pay attention to the fact the hulking blacksmith is very observant despite his apparent age...?
"Which two brothers?"
Welp...we'd best be heading dpwn there, shouldn't w3?
Briggs takes the opportunity to sass the business owner before departing. He's a class act, that one.
You are literally the worst fucking detective ever, Benjamin Spooner Briggs.
Shop Owner Nonsense
Crime Scene Investigation