The Let's Play Archive


by slowbeef

Part 20: Read Your Manual

Excuse me, Summary Screen, we're actually a little ahead of that. Jonathan also had bad diarrhea due to drinking too much milk. (Is that a thing with milk? I've never heard of that. Maybe it's space milk. Maybe Kojima like poo. ...Probably the last two things combined.)

Anyway, we're sneaking into BCCH and we happen upon:

We didn't think you'd be here!
I'm working a little late tonight. What are you guys doing here at this time? Something you shouldn't?
We're sorry, Chris.
We had a lead that couldn't wait. Plus the door was open.
Those are some pretty weak excuses.
Please don't tell anyone about this, Chris.
You know I couldn't do that. I'm responsible for this place.
Chris, if Gates found out about this he'd kill us.
We really are sorry we tried to sneak in here like this.
Well, I'll consider letting it go if you let me in on whatever it is you're doing.
I've always loved this kinda thing. It's like being in a mystery novel.
Okay, Chris. We'll fill you in on everything.

So let's all raise a glass to hoping that this conversation represents the nadir of incompetence for all parties involved. I mean, god damn.


Sorry we tried to sneak in here like this, Chris. There was something we just had to check.
Yeah, you told me. So what's going on?

Ask About; T-Gear99

You see, we have this CD we'd like to load. You have a T-Gear99 here, right?
A T-Gear? That's the Tokugawa Group's proprietary network terminal. It's different from our computers. But there is one in the pharmacy, yeah. Ishida manages all our drugs through Tokugawa.
Check and mate. Time to load this.

That last line was "And God said, 'Let there be win'" in the 1.0 script, but Marc changed it for 1.1. I should really get to work on that. But first, more important matters:

Ask About; Diarrhea

I think we could all learn something from Jonathan here.

Uhh, Chris, this doesn't have to do with anything else, but....
What is it?
Say you've got a sore stomach....
In what way?
Uhh, well....
He's got diarrhea, basically.
You have diarrhea?
You and your big, fat mouth!
Let me take a look at you.
No, it's not diarrhea. Sorry for bringing it up. Forget about it.

What was that thing about nadirs I was talking about earlier? Let's try to get a little more on topic:

Ask About; Bone marrow transplants

This doesn't have anything to do with our investigation, but how complex a procedure is a bone marrow transplant?
A bone marrow transplant? Well, all transplants are complex procedures, but bone marrow transplants in particular. You can't perform the transplant without a donor whose HLA matches the recipient's. Everything depends on them matching.

Enough dicking around, guys.

Move; Pharmacy

Chris, we need to use your T-Gear.
It's extremely important.
Well... you have a warrant or anything?
What do you think?
You mean you just expect me to...? Okay. I never saw anything.
Thanks, Chris.
Don't mention it. You guys have brought back a lot of nice memories. I owe you, in a way. Follow me. I'll open the door.

Here's the pharmacy, minus Ishida.
Let's hurry up and load the CD.

Before we further along the story, there's another Snatcher reference to be had: Ishida was blocking it before, but there's a Snatcher calendar on the end of the shelf facing us - it's this picture:

Look; Calendar

Looks like some kinda poster.
I don't think it's anything we need to worry about.
We couldn't see this before with Ishida in the way.
Of all the.... It's a calendar.
Wait, the year on this says 2047. That's 7 years from now.
Oh, he told me he got that as a prize from somewhere. I don't know the details, but apparently if you mailed in these tokens, this company would send you something. That's right, I think it had to do with some video game.
Why do you think it's for 2047?
An attempt at... postmodern art?
Hey, check out the guy in the middle. He looks a little like Jonathan, don't you think? If you changed the hair and the clothes.
Come to think of it, that psycho in the lobby thought you were somebody else, didn't he?
Yeah, something Seed. Real weird first name.
Well, you've got one of those even-featured faces like a lot of people.

Look; T-Gear99

Here we go, Ed!
This is it alright.
You know how to use it? I heard only Tokugawa employees can work it.
Don't worry. We got ourselves a private lesson.
And then some. Let's get to work.

Use; T-Gear99

Wait till you see this, Chris. Time for a little magic.
This is so exciting!

Now, are you ready for some awesome Konami-style 3-D rendering?

And rotate.

And scale.

Fuck yes. Eat your heart out, Finding Nemo! And now, Ed Brown: Computer Consultant.

First comes the power.

Whoa, slow down, Ed. I'm supposed to be the tech guy here. Anyway, the power button is the big gray button on the base of the monitor.

Turn On

This is the easiest part.

No exposition here, Ed? You're sure we're okay to keep going on our own?

There were subtitles for this scene, but Marc decided to throw them out and let the on-screen graphics (edited by yours truly) tell the story, since it seemed a little redundant to have both. The onscreen graphics were initially in English - well, Engrish. Here was a mockup I did:

The first line was the game's original, and the next four were fonts I tried. Marc and Artemio liked the first one best, so we went with those.

The ID card's slot is inset in the base on the left, on the other side of the power button.

Insert ID card

Now for Hojo's ID.

Not pictured: Gorgeous transitional animations.

That takes care of the card. Next it's gonna see if we're its real owner.
My heart's beating like crazy!

At least we're showing her a better time than Tokugawa's party. ...Somehow. Maybe she just doesn't use computers very often. Like ever. In her job as space hospital director. You know, forget it.

Holy shit, passwords? Chris, I think you better sit down for this!

Only Tokugawa employees are supposed to have access to these codes.
You guys know them?
Yeah, we've done our homework.

And welcome to the infamous Crests puzzle! Your goal is that you're presented with a name... somehow. It's actually appearing in the subtitle section of the screen - not vocalized, nor on the computer monitor's region. So I have no idea how this is working for Jonathan or Ed.

Suppose you're playing the game for the very first time. You're looking at this and going... "Huh? What kind of dumbass password system is this? Oh! Hojo had a crest chart. I should go back there, write down the crests, come back, solve the puzzle, and bask in my superior adventure game skillset!"

Unbelievably, you're wrong for two reasons. Don't blame me, I agreed with you!

Firstly, Hojo's crests chart only had 8 crests on it, but there's 18 here. So, you didn't have enough information even if you could get back. That brings us into the next reason.

Secondly, you couldn't get back even if you wanted. Normally to move, you click off-screen or "right-click", but doing so in the original Japanese version gave you the option to see the names in their original Japanese Kanji or, oddly, in English.

Now, since the goal of the ROMhack is to remove the Japanese, this option didn't really make sense anymore and Marc asked me to remove it - to make it so that "right-clicking" does nothing here. One catch: I had no idea how to do this.

This gets back into that compiled byte-code script Konami made that I used the DATCH to hack around. I could re-order menu options by the second-half of the project (beta), and I could remove individual menu options as well. I could even unlock them, or lock ones we didn't want to display in the options (relating to the Japanese language, for instance). But to remove all of them and just have the game do nothing, by futzing around with the random-ass numbers generated by some Konami psuedo-compiler?

Strange as it sounds, I could never figure it out without fucking up the rest of the game. Adding or removing numbers from the bytecode script screwed up the things reading the text pointers, so I had to figure out an alternative that took up the exact same amount of space.

So I suggested, we reduce it to one menu option that displayed one wholly new line of text. I know that sounds completely crazy, but again - proprietary bytecode compiled script. Plus, this menu/text-display piece of code is used for about 99% of the game, so it was scary trying to change that without inadvertently introducing bad effects elsewhere. That weird alternative was the safest thing I could work out.

Since the player would probably want to leave this screen to go back to Hojo's - which is technically not the right thing to do - we decided to reflect that. Now, right-clicking gives you a Back option, which:


We're so close, Jonathan. Don't give up.

At least now signals to the player that it's not the right thing to do.

So, what is the right thing to do?

...Somehow, it's to read the stupid game manual, where all the crests are listed for no good reason at all. I guess it was copy protection... which shouldn't be necessary for a Playstation game... and is somehow repeated in Metal Gear Solid when you have to look on the back of the CD case for Meryl's codec.

Yeah, there you go, if you care. If you select the wrong ones enough, you get a little bit of "Don't give up!" from Ed and he eventually tells you to check the manual.

Also by the end of beta, I did have these memorized. It was honestly a lot less annoying than referencing them over and over and over again.

You did it! I don't believe it!
We're just getting started.

So select the long vertical slot on the right of the computer and insert the CD.

Hey, you like video? Check out this Sales Demo Disc for Narc, and afterwards we can discuss the reasons why its production was maybe the stupidest move in all of criminality. Off the top of my head, I can think of ... say, twelve. Hundred.

Tokugawa has brought to market numerous DDS products over the years,

into developing new ways to conceal narcotics.

Unfortunately, until now we have failed to devise a DDS that would allow us to sell Narc in such a way as to be obtainable by anyone.

However, with our newest K Series DDS, we have created a product that has made this goal a reality.

Distributing Narc safely and without restriction. Presenting Tokugawa's latest development,

of the capsule containing a given product. Thus, it is possible to conceal Narc not only in prescription and over-the-counter drugs,

The sales routes are endless.

it is possible for even the individual to substitute contents quite easily. Additionally, there is one other safety mechanism in place. No matter how well Narc is hidden inside a given capsule,

However, our revolutionary technology has succeeded in chemically separating Narc itself into two. By placing these halves in different capsules, the effects of Narc are only seen after two capsules have been taken simultaneously.

This two-tiered safety system, which consists of separating Narc into two halves, and then placing the halves in different capsules, is virtually impenetrable. It also eliminates lost profits and interference by law enforcement.

(I just have to interject here: the visual is that after Narc is absorbed, the heart explodes. I do not think the Narc demo graphic designers were very well versed in... ... ...well, anything.)

There is a symbol on each capsule, which also serves as its drug identification code. That symbol is the Tokugawa crest. You will notice part of the crest is missing. Simultaneously ingesting two capsules with different missing sections will activate Narc. Taking only one capsule will not trigger any of Narc's effects whatsoever. Therefore, there is no cause for concern over accidental use. "Bringing Tokugawa together", as we like to call it. Finally, this system is also safe from all drug detection equipment. Detection by any current device is impossible. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you K-9, the Narc capsule DDS made possible only with the superior technology of the Tokugawa Group.

**** End of video

We can just take this directly to like, court, right? I mean, can't we? That is seriously a lot of evidence, and it's even presented quite helpfully for the layman. You know? Guys?

Thank you, Supercop. Did this deduction come pre or post the CD-ROM presentation?

This is what the leaf was trying to tell us.
Helluva system they've come up with.
I don't believe this.
This isn't the work of just one drug company, much less Hojo's brainchild. Somebody else is involved.
Somebody big. Like the Mafia.
But there's no proof. You need way more than this against these guys. Anyone could make something like this.
We have proof. Let's take another look at the capsules we gave Victor. Not the contents, but the capsules themselves. I owe Lorraine that much.
If what this says is true.... Man, just think about it!

You're telling me. To think you could sell these right under people's noses. It's insane. If the CD's for real, we're not just talking hospitals.
You could hide Narc in any drug.
If it got into drugstores there'd be no stopping it.
That's exactly what they have in mind. Chris, could you see if there are any K-9 samples left here?

I don't think they're stupid enough to leave them lying around, though.
Could Ishida be in on it?
Very possibly. But who with? Hojo? Tokugawa?

Whatever the case, no way he doesn't know what K-9's really about.
Thing is, if Hojo and Ishida were accomplices, wouldn't they be going after Ishida too?
Let's go pay Victor another visit.
Before we leave.... Think I could use your bathroom, Chris?
You do have diarrhea, don't you? Why didn't you just say so? I'll give you something for it when you come out.
From Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals?
Good grief, what difference does it make? Take your time this time, alright? Be sure to turn on the fan too, will you?

So, this time the game doesn't even let you do the next step. You're automatically whisked away to BCP.

And from there, we're brought to Forensics.

Victor! We know what's going on with those capsules!
Capsules? Oh, the cold pills?
They've got Narc hidden in the capsules themselves, not the inner contents. It's in the gelatin.
What?! In the gelatin? Why didn't I think of that.
And it only becomes Narc after you've taken two different capsules simultaneously. They've got it divided in half.
A binary narcotic? Is that even possible?
See for yourself. The proof's in the capsules we gave you.
I'm afraid I can't do that.

AP came and took them away. It was him. That Frozener, Redwood.
AP? But why?
Well, I assumed you'd asked them to.
Strange. We definitely never told them to do that.
Let's go get 'em back.
If you do, let me take another look at them.

Control is given back to the player, so let's make with the investigating and head to the AP Room.

Move; AP Room

Ed! A word, please.

Oh, that.
Yes, THAT. I hear Tokugawa's party wasn't such a hit.
We were just... catching up on old times.
He was tempted to sue us and you, Jonathan. Somehow we convinced him otherwise. Obviously this needs repeating - this is Tokugawa! Think before you act! Anything else happens and you're on your own. Are we clear? That'll be all. You're free to go. Just behave yourselves.

Jesus, were we lucky this time. What now?

What do you think, Ed?

Look; Redwood

Redwood's sitting over there. We need to get the capsules back from him.

Approach; Redwood

This should be fun.

It's the capsules!
You can't trust the absent-minded professor, so I had a look at them here. Zilch. Nada. Unbelievably ordinary. And you thought these had something to do with Narc?
Says who?
Everyone knows about it, the way you've been going on. Should've known better, with you two.
You fucking....
Jonathan.... Don't.
Here you go.

Ed, wait! Look at the drug codes. These aren't the capsules I got from Lorraine.
Hey, the codes are all there!
What? Those are the ones I got from the old man. Positive.
You're so full of shit.
Unlike you guys, I have work to do. We're about to review security for the anniversary parade. I don't have time for these whims of yours. Later.

Someone knew, Ed. Somebody knew.
But who? Victor? Redwood?
I'm wondering if there's anyone we can trust.
Well, so much for corroborating the CD. Any ideas?

I have one. Let's go to the Training Room and angrily shoot targets.

I get a score of over 400 on the Man Targets. Since I did not look at Meryl's boobs and activate the "Beat 500 Points In Training Mode Level 2 and You Can See Them Bounce" challenge, I get an otherwise-locked special cutscene.


Meryl at the Shooting Trainer.