Part 6: Meet Ed BrownUpdate 5
And today, over two years later, I finally post the next update to LP Policenauts. Thank you for your patience.
Beyond Coast... Where the heavens meet the earth. Not a bit less mysterious than before.
This is the interior of an O'Neill Cylinder, Kojima style. They added that vertical tower (called "The Prop") and I'm sorry for the photo seam, but this is a movie file and there's a constant "fog" going through. That "fog" is actually... well, clouds. O'Neill Cylinders are a pretty awesome space colony with the landmass of roughly Switzerland that can feature actual (scheduled) precipitation.
True to the tech, locations on an O'Neill space station are intended to look as they do on Earth. And here's the most interesting part of a space colony: The spaceport!
My negotiator privileges probably don't apply here. I'm not sure I wanna look for Hojo by myself anyway. I should see if I can get Ed's help. I bet he'll be happy to do it. Ed should be at the main police station. He'll be in his mid-fifties too. He's been there all these years, so he must be doing pretty well for himself by now. BCP shouldn't be that far from here. Well, first things first. Time to see Ed.
Before we do that, though, there's a TV up there which means we get another news story.
Three employees of Gold Pictures have been arrested for allegedly producing and distributing pornographic PVR software, or AVR. Two actresses starring in the software have also been charged. The culmination of a long investigation, Gold Pictures has to date released over fifty such titles, with annual sales totaling over 5 billion yen. This marks the first time that AVR porn actresses have been arrested. The driving force behind the crackdown is its effect on minors, since AVR is easily used in the home.
Looks like VR porn's just as big a problem out here.
We have an option... sorta. We can right-click and Move to BCP, or Hojo's House... except Jonathan remembers that he doesn't know where Hojo lives, so well, I guess it's BCP or nothing.
Okay, I want to show you the Japanese version. Watch closely and see if you can spot the game's graphical error.
Notice the mech's foot? If not, look at the mech's foot closest to the B.C.P.D. sign (the left mech, its right foot). There's a shadow that disappears when the telop comes onscreen.
This is really weird. Telop graphics support transparency, but for some reason or another, Konami drew a couple - not all mind you - of the telops with the backgrounds they appear upon. I guess in this case, one of the artists changed the background, adding a shadow to a mech's leg, but forgot to change the telop.
My theory is that the telops didn't originally support transparency, and when it came later, the artists didn't add in transparency for all the telops.
Not to worry. We fixed it.
Now I just gotta find Ed.
We can look at the mechs, and note Jonathan's surprise that it's police equipment (since he thinks it looks more like something you'd go to war with), but you can right click and head into the BCP lobby.
But you'll notice the sign says "BCPD" but all the characters refer to it as "BCP." The game itself is a little inconsistent here. In the movies, etc. you'll see the characters have "BCP" logos. Marc did want to change the logos to consistently say BCPD, and this is one of the big changes I said no to.
One movie in particular (in Act 3) has a BCP logo that moves a lot - it'd require a lot of work, even if we figured out the codec, to frame-by-frame edit it and still have it look good. I'll show it off when the time comes.
Marc did compromise in one way though. He added this expository text if you examine the sign:
Wanna know the reason it says "BCPD" but we call ourselves "BCP"? Well, that sign's been there since the building opened. Eventually we dropped the "D" from the name, though we kept the sign around. Kind of a superstition, I guess.
Quite a lobby these guys have.
Can I help you? You here to file a police report?
That guy on the left in the brown jacket has some interesting dialogue. If you look at him, Jonathan thinks he's undercover. But if you "Talk" to him:
I'm Detective Starsky. I'm waitin' for Detective Foley and Sergeant Riggs.
Or, succeeding times:
Hey, you seen Detective Doyle or Deputy Marshall McCloud?
You know where Lieutenant Brannigan is? Detective Book's lookin' for him.
Detective McClane! Sergeant Powell wants you! Yeah, it's another bunch of terrorists!
Now where did Agent Cooper go off to? Diane's lookin' for him.
You happen to know Agents Scully and Mulder? Got a bit of an unusual situation here.
Later on, we'll learn that man is not a cop, he's just a crazy person.
The woman on the right - the one without a damn waist - is actually a call girl. (No, you cannot "bounce" her.)
So, let's just move things along and talk to the cop.
Hi there. My name's Jonathan Ingram. I'm a private eye from Home.
This is Bob. I do not know why Bob, like the stewardess, gets a voice actor. I also do not know, unlike the stewardess, why Bob gets both a name and a telop. And I cannot stand that he gets a telop because while we had a problem with "Chiyoko Kawashima" being a much longer name in English, well look at Bob's original telop.
How the hell did our compression algorithm make the new giant English telop small enough? IT DIDN'T. Look closely at the English telop. I removed one line of pixels between "Bob" and "Nobutoshi Canna" because we were way over on that one. I actually never told anyone. I wanted to see if the beta testers noticed. No one did.
Now you know, and now you can log a bug about it.
So what brings you all the way out here?
I'm actually an alum of this place, I guess.
Is that right. Of which side of the bars?
Also Bob is a dick.
I was a cop, wiseguy. I'm here to see my old partner.
There a class reunion I don't know about? So what can I do for you?
Also like the stewardess, Bob is a damn infobomb.
Ask About; Security on Beyond
So how's the crime situation here these days?
It's been 30 years. What do you expect? They try to tell you it's a safe place and everything, but in reality Beyond's the same as any major city on Home.
Just like Lorraine said. [note: optional text, depending on what you talked to Lorraine about]
Of course you're gonna get crime if you've got a million people living together. Theft, prostitution, drugs, murder.... Take your pick. The work never stops around here. We get paid next to nothing too.
Ask About; BCP
It's been over 20 years since this place got started. Times change. AP does all the real work nowadays. They're the ones that hit the street.
Ask About; "AP"
"AP" stands for "Advanced Police". It's the elite unit the chief created. It employs the latest EMPS, as well as Frozeners. The AP Unit's got a total of thirty members and twenty EMPS.
Ask About; EMPS
EMPS are police suits developed by Tokugawa Heavy Industries and BCP for use in and around the colony. "EMPS" stands for "Extravehicular Mobility Police Suit".
Now that you mention it, I think I saw a couple of machines standing out front there. Those are the Goddard model. Each one alone costs tens of billions of yen, but price ain't an issue. We could never go back to the way things were before we started using them.
Ask About; Frozeners
They're the guys born from the fertilized eggs the government's got. Normally they get sent to the military, but the chief uses them in AP too.
Yeah, they use that white artificial blood, right?
Lately we've seen Frozeners sent here from various militaries on Home.
And finally, to move things along:
Ask About; Ed
I'm here to see Ed Brown. You know, the former Policenaut.
Ed? Ed Brown? THAT's who you're here to see? Jesus, you came all the way from Home to see him? He's down in the Junkyard.
Yeah, Vice. BCP's dump. He's in charge there.
Ask About; Vice
You said "Vice"?
If guys like us have the BS work, you can imagine the fun they have. AP handles just about everything they used to do. I don't know why they still call it "Vice". It's down in the basement. The Cave, as we call it.
It's dark, smelly, and weird stuff grows on the walls.
That's what Ed does now...?
Thanks for the help.
You might not be thanking me later.
And why is that?
Oh, I think you'll find out. Hey, maybe you can cheer that loser up.
Hey, give Ed a message for me. Tell him the sooner he retires, the sooner he can stop pretending to do any work.
I'm not your secretary. Go do it yourself, you prick.
This has been another chapter of "Making Friends, The Jonathan Ingram Way". (To be fair, Bob is kind of a douchebag.)
Anyhow, off to Vice.
Don't everybody get up at once.
So yeah, this is Vice. On the left is a character I unapologetically love, and on the right is Meryl Silverbergh, a character Kojima liked so much, he recycled her for the Metal Gear Solids. Note that there is no continuity, and Policenauts Meryl is not the same as MGS Meryl.
We can talk to them about Godzilla and burgers, but they won't introduce themselves yet. Who's that guy in the back, and could this question possibly be more rhetorical?
Look; Man in Back
Is that... Ed? I can't make out the face.
Yeah, that's Ed alright. Hey, Ed!
He's out cold. Unbelievable.
Yo, Ed! Get up, dammit!
Once again, you can end this update by watching a video, or read some screens below of what happens.
No way anyone's tired this early.
Oh man, I don't believe this!
Like the telop says, meet Ed Brown. His is the second telop to appear during a pre-rendered movie scene. Strangely, his and Jonathan's are the only ones to do that in game.
Hell, now I actually have something to do. What do you say I show you around the new Beyond?
Yeah. I want your help on this thing I'm working on. Lorraine's husband has gone missing here. Guy called Kenzo Hojo. He works for Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals. Lorraine asked me to find him.
It doesn't seem like Ed wants to help, though.
Sorry, Jonathan, but I can't help you with that.
This thing's gotta be huge!
We don't have jurisdiction over what happened to Lorraine. Leave it to the guys on Home.
You know what they call this place upstairs, Jonathan?
The old Ed don't work here anymore, huh? The Ed I know.
The Ed you KNEW was the young Ed. Things are different now. I got a family and a mortgage.
Afraid of screwing up, you give in more easily. I ain't like Gates. He knows what he's doing.
All I... all I have left is here at this desk, in this dirty old basement.
Can't let Meryl have all the fun. Count me in.
Finished? What do you call this, chief?
If it's any consolation, at least now Ed can't be more of a carbon copy of Danny Glover.
Of course I lied. We're even going to get a "three more years to retirement" speech! Sheesh, Hideo, what won't you crib off of?
Even I groaned a little at that one.
Come on, it's me! Don't worry!
Hearing that from you worries me the most. And Meryl, Dave.... You stay out of this, alright? This is personal.
She's all yours, chief.
Moral support accepted?
Christ almighty.... Oh, sorry, Jonathan. Lemme introduce you to these two.
Meryl was born and raised on Home. You're looking at the last member of High-Tech Special Forces Unit FOXHOUND. She took part in the fall of Zanzibarland.
I thought that was a Home accent I heard.
It's an honor, Policenaut.
How's it going, Jonathan? It's always great having another Terrestrial here. Home's such an incredible place. I've applied to immigrate there, you know.
Nice meeting you guys.
So what do you wanna do? Why don't I show you around the station first? I know I'd be curious if I were you.
I think that's a pretty sizable update, but I would like to mention two things before we close.
Dave and Meryl are supposed to be symbolic. Besides the Home t-shirt and affinity, Dave is actually indicative of Beyond. He's younger than Meryl, kinda flighty, etc.
Meryl, however, is a lot different from her MGS1 incarnation - she's battle hardened, very tall and confident. She's supposed to be dependable and matronly, representative of Home. That's why they gave her the biggest boobs in the game.
I didn't make that up. The Policenauts Artbook specifically calls it out as an intentional, artistic choice. Alright.
At any rate, it kinda doesn't matter what we do next - we'll have to visit all parts of BCP, so next time, we'll find some more hidden content you may have missed in your playthroughs, meet another Policenaut and stop talking about tits for one damn update.