So, uh, have you ever wondered what it would be like if someone had made a game like The Last Express but in FMV with real actors? Oh, and the historic 1914 Europe setting is replaced by a bunch of Japanese schoolgirls and their teachers on a school trip? Well then, wonder no more, because I present to you: Murder on the Eurasia Express!
Wait, what even is this?
Murder on the Eurasia Express is a game published in 1998 by Enix on PlayStation 1 and, like I said, it concerns the situation where the (unnamed) player character has to solve a murder on a train. Other passengers are a bunch of Japanese high school students and their teachers who are on a school trip, riding the Eurasia Express from Shanghai to London. The game is played in first person, and you need to solve the case before the train reaches the next station, Hangzhou, which is indeed about 2 hours from Shanghai by train. Despite its relatively short length (2 hours progress in real time), the game was distributed on no less than 4 CDs! Well, I guess you need space for all that high quality (?) video.
The gameplay itself is actually pretty simple, so the challenge here comes more from the tight time limit and the need to put things together about what happened. Because, yes, there will be a test at the end!
Anyway, here is a short introductory paragraph, freely quoted from the manual!
The Eurasia Express departs Shanghai on time and heads west across mainland China. At 10:35, a murder occurs in Room 106. The school trip, which was supposed to be fun, is turned upside down... Who did it and why? The murderer is in this train car. You have two hours until the next stop. Can you solve the mystery?
Can we, indeed. Well, we can certainly try!
Of course, the main part will be presented in video format with English subtitles provided for your convenience. I've tried to make the video look semi-decent on modern screens, but we are dealing here with a highly compressed, blocky source, so there is a definite limit to how good it can actually look in the end.
Since the game itself contains no subtitles of any kind whatsoever, not even Japanese, mistakes in translation are definitely possible, but hopefully nothing too bad. This was in 1998, before game companies realised that just because your game is fully voiced it doesn't mean you shouldn't include subtitles anyway. Since we'll occasionally have to also deal with various written notebooks and documents that our character comes across, mostly I will post those as images directly in the update when it's not critical that we look at it immediately during the video part.
So, who's up for some 1990s FMV cheese? I know I am, so let's get to it! Oh, and please refrain from posting spoilers, of course!