Celine Kalante (kjorteo) wrote in videogame_tales,
Celine Kalante

The Dagger of Amon Ra, Part 2: Offensive stereotypes

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After bravely defying the odds and surviving the introductory cutscene, it is now time for the next installment of Laura Bow in: The Dagger of Amon Ra! Note that I'm actually controlling the character, now, which means that my odds of survival decrease dramatically.

NOTE: I am using a walkthrough for this. It's not that I'm averse to figuring out things in adventure games--if this game were remotely fair, I would actually love to stumble through it and puzzle everything together. However,

Trial and error is generally discouraged in games like this. If I tried to play it unassisted, I would make the game unwinnable by missing some vital clue way back in the first ten seconds of the game and have to start all over, because that is Sierra's idea of fun.

Thus, it's not like I want to cheat my way through this game without even trying to solve it legitimately, but I honestly kind of have to.

Anyway, let's begin!

Step one is to look around at absolutely everything. Upon examining Rube, I have discovered that he is actually the perfect metaphor for the schizophrenic murders-with-gags presentation of this game itself.

Let's try looking out the windows....

Ah, thanks for clearing that up.

So, according to my walkthrough, I should be sitting at my desk, which will bring up a closeup of its surface...

...and if I randomly decide to poke at the lower-right corner of it...

Wait, is that ... why are there bones in the corners of the text window now? There weren't before!

Anyway, I have the key, which I can use to...

Oh, for ... All right, so I picked up the key and immediately stashed it away in my inventory. I guess I now have to access my inventory just to get it again. I am now envisioning Laura picking up this key, opening her purse, putting her newfound key in the purse, closing the purse, and sitting there feeling accomplished for about half a second before realizing "oh, right," opening her purse again....

And all of this for a one-time-use-only key that was just there to unlock the drawer from the same screen, so that both can disappear forever. You know, you could just not had that drawer locked! Was that puzzle really necessary?

Our reward for going through all of that is...

A PRESS (your pants at Lo Fat's Chinese Laundry) PASS. HOORAY.

Oh, but we're not done rummaging through things yet!

Who throws a baseball away!?

All right, now we're done rummaging through things.

The walkthrough says that I should now ask Rube about absolutely everything. Doing so brings up a notebook with conversation topics.

This is a fairly major mechanic in this game. Asking everyone about everything will occasionally get you clues in the form of more names of people and places and things to put in the notebook, and thus more things to ask people about.

Rube handwaves away the fact that the notebook starts with topics I've never heard of already there as if I have (Flower Shop, 12th Street Docks) by saying that it was his notebook with his notes into the investigation he had started, before the museum robbery story got pulled from him and reassigned to you (he is extremely bitter about this.) That just brings up an even bigger question about why it came with an entry for "John Bow (Dad)," though.

Oh, well. Time to ask him about things!

His thoughts on Dr. Pippin Carter:

His thoughts on Dr. Archibald Carrington:

Ah, now here is an interesting clue! Dr. Carrington has only been in charge of the Leyendecker Museum for about a month, and a priceless artifact has already been stolen, and he seems suspiciously nonchalant about this. Keep in mind, we already know that, at the very least (questions of who put it there and why aside for now,) there is a dead body in Dr. Carrington's trunk. Here is someone who definitely warrants further investigation.

His thoughts on Crodfoller Rhubarb (himself):

So Sierra knows, then.

We can obtain even more information about Doctors Carter and Carrington via a more roundabout route (asking Rube about the Leyendecker Museum instead of either of them individually.)

The "he" in question is Dr. Carter, so that explains his involvement in the case thus far. Carter is an archaeologist who found the Dagger in the first place (hence that argument with the cartoon Egyptian man in the introduction.)

And unlike Dr. Carrington, he is not happy about this theft. That seems fairly in character, given what we saw of his temperament.

Anyway, Rube on the Flower Shop:

And hey, sure enough, that gives us a new name!

In a game as murderous as this one, I have to ask: is it tempting the game if the game itself is doing it?

I tried to ask him about the press pass, because it's a topic in my notebook, and he said that he doesn't know what I'm talking about unless I physically show it to him. Really? Really? Fine....

Amazingly, and against all better logic, this thing apparently somehow does work as a real press pass. I suppose that will come in handy, then.

Finally, Rube on Egyptology:

I took one wild lucky guess on a multiple choice question about Gods, and by "lucky" I mean "I think my copy of this game is hacked to accept all answers as correct." (If guessing wrong acts like guessing right but silently creates an unwinnable scenario later or something, I'm going to scream.) If that puts me on equal footing as you, then no wonder this case didn't get very far before I took it over.

And with that, it is time to go outside! In typical Sierra fashion, step one is to look at everything, but the game seems to punish you for that by providing sarcastic, condescending descriptions everywhere it can.

I swear, it's like this game heard that I had mentioned being traumatized by it before, and is now going out of its way to make it look as stupid as possible just to make me look as stupid as possible for ever having been afraid of this. IT GETS GORIER, I SWEAR.

Hey, wait a minute, the accents on the text boxes changed!

Anyway, let's try giving that TAXI sign a try.

"You can do it! You can totally reach that destination!"


Oh. Well, that was disappointing.

I show him my press pass, and we're off!

And just to simulate the experience of riding in a Taxi, every single time you use it, you just sit here like this while it plays a little driving song. You will not appear at your destination until the song is over. You cannot skip it. You just sit through the song. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Just, you know, thought you should know.

Well, the walkthrough said to go to the Police Station, and we have finally made it.

It also said to go literally poke that homeless guy.

Well, that got him to roll over, which the walkthrough assures me is important.

Meanwhile, let's walk into the police station!

Or ... let's try opening the door, I guess.

I entered the station and forgot to take a screenshot of me with the hand icon over the door, so I stepped back outside to go get it, and in the half a second I was in there, the homeless guy disappeared.

And he left his coupon behind! My coupon now.

Anyway, let's try that station again.

The accents changed again!

Oh, whatever.

Sergeant Dennis O'Flaherty, you say? Well, that's fine. I have the utmost faith that his country of origin will be treated with subtlety and resp--

Damn it.

Sgt. O'Flaherty basically tells me to go away because he's too hungry to put up with my nonsense right now. Hmm, if only I had some means of acquiring a sandwich....

Eh, well, I'll sove that puzzle later. For now, I'm curious what his reaction is if I try to just brazenly walk past him and enter that door behind him. I'm sure he's not going to let--




Well, let's glean as much information as we can before this game remembers who made it, I guess.

Well, that didn't take long.

I swear it's just a matter of chance what in-between frame comes up when I'm taking screenshots in the middle of fully animated talking motions, and that I didn't mean to capture Laura looking this unimpressed.

Anyway, Detective O'Riley tells me that's all he has so far, and go away.

And the Desk Sergeant won't talk to me until I feed him, so now we have to solve that puzzle.

So, we just need to find Luigi. According to the walkthrough, he has now randomly appeared back outside the Tribune building. Which means...


You know you're in for a culturally-sensitive portrayal of Italian people when just being on the same screen as this guy changes the music to Tarantella Napoletana. All right, Luigi, let's get this over with.


Right, then. Back to the police station!


This had better be worth it.

All right, I can finally open the notebook and question him! Let's see what sort of priceless wisdom he has to offer.


There is precisely one useful piece of information you can acquire from O'Flaherty. Can you guess what it is? Hint: This man is a police officer, and you are just some random person he's never met before who claims to be a member of the press. The only connection whatsoever you have to him is that you just gave him a sandwich.

So, naturally he gives you the password to the speakeasy. I mean, it's just so obvious.

All right, one more question....


Whatever. I have my stupid speakeasy password. I am done with you people.

You know, when I got davidn to try this game, he told me that he had died mere seconds into it by getting struck by a car when attempting to cross the street. I boggled at that fact, not because he lasted under ten seconds in a Sierra game (that's about average, really,) but because you can try to cross the street!? Now that I think about it, I wonder....

Well, how about that! I never knew.

I did know that, though.

Right, so, according to David, you actually literally have to look both ways, and then that stops the traffic from killing you.

Like so! So, now that I've unlocked the ability to do that, directly across the street from the Police Station is....


You mean, all this time...




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