The Let's Play Archive

Police Quest 1

by idonotlikepeas

Thanks! We like it too.Why not check out some similar LPs from our recommendations?
What would you like to tag this LP as?

Original Thread: We got a 10-54 in an 11-54 at 7-11. Let's play Police Quest!



The founders of Sierra On-line, Ken and Roberta Williams, developed the first graphical adventure game, Mystery House, in 1980. It was originally a side project, but its success ended up driving their new business in the direction of graphical adventure games, which were their bread and butter right up until Sierra's sale in 1996. The Sierra name shambled on, zombielike, for a decade after that, but the original Sierra never really made it into the new millennium.

But in the 1980s and the early 90s, Sierra On-line was the house you went to for adventure games. By 1987 they already had King's Quest and Space Quest under their belts, as well as a host of less famous titles and licensed games (including The Dark Crystal and the Black Cauldron), and they were looking to expand their market by finding new types of game environments. 1987 saw the release of the first Leisure Suit Larry game, and also another game called...

The principal writer and designer for this game was a man named Jim Walls. Legend has it that Ken met him by chance; Jim's wife was a beautician and Ken happened to get a haircut at her place and somehow ended up talking about his idea for a more real-world themed adventure game. She brought up Jim's background, and Ken invited him over, kicked his ass on his home raquetball court, and offered him a job. Jim had no prior experience with game development whatsoever (in his words, he had to be shown where the on/off switch for his computer was), but he was a fifteen-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol. He was put on 4800 (disability and evaluation) leave after being traumatized by an incident that occurred the year before, the exact details of which are somewhat elusive but apparently involve a fatal shootout.

Mr. Walls, working with several veteran programmers from Sierra, put together an adventure game based on his experiences on the force, and the real-world knowledge shows. The game is a somewhat intimate look at the (fairly idealized) life of a police officer, and most of the puzzles are based on appropriate police procedure for a CHP unit at the time.

Now, I am going to be totally serious for what I hope to be both the first and last time in this thread: you can lose this game in many, many ridiculous ways due to failure to follow regulations. I intend to poke fun at them. But I am not intending to poke fun at the idea of police following proper procedure in the real world. The police are given a great deal of authority and, in return, they are required to follow a very large number of rules defining how they are allowed to use that authority. Those rules exist for our protection and theirs. When those rules are not followed, things happen that are much worse than losing an adventure game.

The structure of this LP will be as follows: a regular update, followed by an update showing various ways to fail in the previous update. Occasionally I will intersperse informational updates if I want to explain certain concepts or just blather on and on about trivial details. For those who were along for my last LP, just want to let you know that this one is going to be a lot slower. I'm also not doing full-on audience participation this time, but if there's something you'd like to see me try, shout out between updates and I'll try to accommodate you.

And now, without further ado...

The story you are about to hear is true; it is one of eight million stories of the criminal justice system in the naked city, a city that knows how to keep its secrets. Some are innocent victims of blind justice, some are public enemies even the G-men can't touch, some are cops gone bad, and some have gotten out on what we call "bail" and run like hell. But you are a vital tool in the fight against crime, and you capture the best and worst. You are the first man they look for and the last they want to meet.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Archive Index