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I promised to go through all the characters and current mysteries as of the end of Act 3/beginning of Act 4, to refresh everyone's memory (including mine.) Here we go!
Name: Laura Bow
Stereotype: None, surprisingly. She has an obvious Southern Belle accent in the CD version, but she is far more level-headed and capable than that might imply, not once so far having required a fainting couch for her vapors. In the floppy version, she doesn't even have that, or at least not in obvious visible typing-things-phonetically renders in her text boxes. (You can probably figure it out since she's clearly shown as having come from Louisiana, though.)
Status: Still alive, though only because I usually save first.
Notes: Our protagonist, hero, and player character. She is a newspaper reporter working on the story of the burglary and disappearance of the Dagger of Amon Ra, though she's pretending to be there to write a social fluff piece because women?? In journalism???? In her quest to get to the bottom of the burglary, and in true adventure game fashion, she has merrily helped herself to everything else the museum has to offer, including vital evidence from the crime scenes of various murders and even the Dagger of Amon Ra itself.
Name: Dr. Archibald Carrington, III
Stereotype: None we could see, but he was only in the game for about thirty seconds.
Status: Murdered (without the usual title and writeup for it) in Part 1.
Notes: A European archaeologist or museum curator or some sort of authority in some sort of field like that, though (being European) no one among the current Leyendecker museum staff had actually met or knew him before his appearance, with the sole exception of Dr. Carter. Dr. Carrington was named the new president of the Leyendecker Museum in New York after the death of former president Sterling Waldorf-Carlton. However, he never actually made it to New York; he was murdered on board the Andrea Doria while still out at sea. The real Dr. Carrington was never actually in this game beyond that brief scene of him dying in the prologue. For the in-game character impersonating and generally referred to as Dr. Carrington, see Watney Little.
Name: Dr. Pippin Carter
Stereotype: Imperialist British racist, probably complaining about the local savages while hunting tigers and the like.
Status: DAGGER'D!!! in Part 5.
Notes: The archaeologist who originally discovered the Dagger of Amon Ra while digging in Egypt. The only person in the cast who actually knew the real Dr. Carrington before this whole mess started. An racist, sexist, and generally stuck-up jerk, very few people actually liked him but he was especially on Mortal Enemy terms with Dr. Smith.
Name: Yvette Delacroix
Stereotype: French floozy
Status: Shockingly, not dead yet (or at least we haven't found her body yet.) However, she was last scene in a heated argument with the person we now know is at least a if not the killer. Give it time.
Notes: Wantonly promiscuous; has been directly caught in the act with Det. O'Riley and Ernie Leach, has had very strong implications that something's probably going on with at least half the cast, and is at least generally flirty with the other half. She was the deeply loyal servant of "Dr. Carrington" early on, but it is unclear whether she knew that was Watney Little (and was in on his scheme) or if she was just deceived and serving the person she thought was her boss. She does not get along with the Countess; Yvette (rightly) fears her, because she knows the previous president was murdered. As to everyone else, she dances a delicate dance of sex and power, but her ultimate goal is unclear. Is she playing the part of an uncontrollable sex fiend to get in close with influential people and amass power? Or is she amassing power to get access to people so she can be an uncontrollable sex fiend? We've seen evidence of both so far.
Stereotype: Guy from cover of cheesy romance novel
Status: Still alive
Notes: Looks like a Ken doll, acts like a walking highlight reel of Jimmy Stewart's hoaky meek-but-charming "aw, shucks, I'm just a poor boy and a dreamer, but I love you~" moments. A lowly dock worker who snuck into the museum because he just had to see Laura again because of course he did, in a scene so corny that they're currently researching ways to turn clips of it into ethanol. I've been making a running joke out of giving him Space Mutiny-esque names every time he appears, but if you think I'm being unfair or going too far, THIS IS HIS ACTUAL THEME SONG. However, he pretty much disappeared from the game after that scene; a brief mention in someone else's dialogue (Det. O'Riley accused Yvette of sleeping with Steve, Yvette angrily denied ever having touched him) is the only current proof that he ever even existed.
Name: Wolf Heimlich
Stereotype: Actual Nazi
Status: Still alive
Notes: The chief of security in the Leyendecker museum, though apparently not very good at his job if the Dagger theft, an art smuggling/forging scheme, and four murders and counting have all happened under his watch. He is currently in the world's creepiest relationship with Dr. Myklos, though (of course) he's apparently seeing Yvette on the side.
Name: Ernie Leach
Stereotype: Working-class black guy, though any actual stereotypes other than those outside his personal character (such as him being poor and generally not respected by everyone else around him) are surprisingly averted.
Status: MASTADON'D!!! in Part 11.
Notes: Was the groundskeeper for the museum. On the side, he racked up severe gambling debts to a criminal named "Icepick" and took to fencing stolen goods to raise money to cover them. But other than that he was a decent and respectable fellow by this game's standards. Killed by what was very heavily implied to be Det. O'Riley for "seeing something he shouldn't."
Name: Watney Little
Stereotype: Stuck-up British chap, like a not-quite-as-bad Dr. Carter. (Note, though, that this was him impersonating Dr. Carrington. His actual personality is unknown.)
Status: PORCUPINE'D!!! in Part 8.
Notes: A notorious con man who recently escaped from Dartmoor Prison; he murdered the real Dr. Carrington in the prologue and assumed his identity in the actual game. Someone (probably Det. O'Riley) had a hand in covering his tracks, even pulling his police file and giving it to him with a note that read, "Remember our deal." Had an art smuggling/forging scheme going with the Countess, and (hearsay but probably true) was behind the theft of the Dagger of Amon Ra along with Det. O'Riley.
Name: Dr. Olympia Myklos
Stereotype: Greek Morticia Addams. Those two things have nothing to do with each other. I think Sierra was just too lazy to look up what the disparaging stereotype for Greek-Americans was supposed to be, so they just made her the creepy one instead.
Status: Still alive
Notes: Morbid, loves working in the museum because she loves dead things. Her idea of hitting on people is asking to see their scars, a subject that never fails to fascinate her. Has a pet ferret, Daisy, that randomly roams around downstairs. Also has a pet deadly poisonous cobra, Barney, in her office. Is currently in the world's most terrifying relationship with Wolf Heimlich. While she has at least been present for most of the game (unlike, say, Steve,) she doesn't seem to be involved in any plot events or really serve any purpose in this story whatsoever, other than being a place for Sierra to insert their usual gallows humor.
Name: Rameses Najeer
Stereotype: If Clark Kent's secret identity was a fanatical cultist...?
Status: Still alive
Notes: The museum's dull, mild-mannered accountant, though he does get passionate about Egyptian stuff such as how the Dagger of Amon Ra is a sacred national treasure and should be returned. (He is not a fan of Dr. Carter.) Thpeakth with a lithp for no discernable reason--he's not gay; he has a wife and kids (all of whom have names like "Anubis") and is in the "seeing Yvette on the side" club. Is heavily implied to be in some sort of secret Ancient Egyptian cult, which meets and practices in some hidden sub-level of the museum. (Yvette secretly allows this, and once used the fact that she's doing this for him as leverage to get in Rameses' pants.)
Name: Detective Ryan Hanrahan O'Riley
Stereotype: Irish cop
Status: Still alive
Notes: The detective in charge of investigating the museum burglary. Spent much of the game as a relatively uninvolved investigator-type character before rocketing up the prime suspects list so fast and hard that I'm amazed he didn't get whiplash. It's a somewhat interesting choice for culprit--on the surface it technically voilates Rule #4 of S.S. van Dyne's twenty rules for writing detective stories, but I feel like some of the overheard eavesdropping conversations and such do a fair enough job making O'Riley a "real" character who is part of the frey and not above suspicion. (Besides, Rule #3 got it way worse.) Anyway, Det. O'Riley likely sprang Watney Little from prison and pulled his file in exchange for getting in on the scheme to steal the Dagger of Amon Ra, he very obviously murdered Ernie Leach, and he easily could have murdered just about everyone else (except the real Dr. Carrington.)
Name: Dr. Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith
Status: Still alive
Notes: It's not a stereotype, but his character is definitely is a one-note gimmick, and that one note is "HOW DARE YOU STEAL EGYPT'S PRECIOUS ARTIFACTS THESE NEED TO BE RETURNED TO EGYPT AT ONCE HOW DARE YOU!!!!" (Which, to be fair, is a valid point.) Set up as an early red herring when Dr. Carter died (because obviously those two hated each other,) but hasn't really been seen or involved in the game much since then.
Name: Countess Lavinia Waldorf-Carlton
Stereotype: Gold-digging black widow; speaks like a long-lost Gabor sister
Status: Still alive
Notes: Married former museum president Sterling Waldorf-Carlton and then killed him two months later in hopes of gaining his inheritance. Arranged for Watney Little to come over from Europe and serve as the new museum president so that the two of them could get into an art smuggling/forging scheme. Also had some sort of matter to discuss with Ziggy but who even knows how many levels deep her schemes and co-conspirators run at this point. She is notably hostile toward Yvette, probably because Yvette knows or suspects Sterling was murdered, but really, how privileged information is that these days? The Countess is barely even trying to hide it.
Stereotype: Joisey... something. Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs, at least in the floppy version. Inexplicably remade into a twitchy manic Igor type in the CD version.
Status: PTERODACTYL'D!!! in Part 7; LIFE MASK'D!!! in Part 8.
Notes: A low-life creep with connections and information for a price. He knew about Watney Little being in town, and allegedly knew about his scheme with Det. O'Riley. It was probably only a matter of time before someone decided he knew too much. He was scheduled to meet with the Countess to discuss something but didn't live that long. (Note: This might have been a game mistake. The Countess definitely still attends that meeting unaware that the other party has died, and Laura catches her, and it's the part where the art smuggling/forging scheme is revealed. This play-through covered it in Part 10. However, that was suddenly retconned into being an attempted meeting with Watney Little, not Ziggy.)
- The murder in the prologue: Was Watney Little killing the real Dr. Carrington, obviously.
- The theft of the Dagger of Amon Ra: Yvette claimed that Ziggy told her that "Dr. Carrington" and Det. O'Riley conspired to steal the Dagger. This is going through two levels of "if this character is telling the truth," of course, but it's a very plausible theory that makes a lot of other events make sense. I'm going with it for now.
- The murder of Dr. Carter: I'm torn on this one. There's way-too-blatant, obviously-planted evidence suggesting Dr. Smith (his ankh was found at the scene,) much more believable evidence suggesting Yvette (a bloody high-heeled footprint was found at the scene and Dr. Carter's notebook mentioned a meeting with Yvette at almost the exact time he died,) the fact that he actually knew the real Dr. Carrington (and was also making moves on Dr. Carrington's job using his fame and prestige from having discovered the Dagger) made him a threat to Watney Little, and his being the original discoverer of the Dagger made him a threat to Little and Det. O'Riley if those two were behind its theft. Currently, "Yvette did it on Watney Little's orders" is the most evidence-supported theory. However, if the game is trying to push toward their being one single killer rather than everyone murdering someone, Det. O'Riley is the one in role and he certainly could have gotten Dr. Carter too.
- The murder of Ziggy: Another tough one. Being beaked to death and beheaded is a completely impossible death and something tells me that's never going to be explained; the game will just expect us to take its word that this somehow happened. The paper cutter in Yvette's office became bloody right when the murder happened, which suggests that he was beheaded with it, and Yvette is clearly covering up something as she literally had the suspicious red stains on her carpet covered up later. She also has close relationships with two people who might have wanted him dead (he and Ernie Leach did not get along, and he was also a direct threat to Watney Little's cover.) She could have done it on either of their orders... unless all of this is a red herring. (I can't even say with 100% certainty that it was the paper cutter that beheaded Ziggy and not some giant coincidental timing, especially because beheading someone with a paper cutter is ridiculous.) This theory also starts to fall apart when one considers Yvette's overheard conversation near the end of Act 3. Ziggy told Yvette about the Little/O'Riley/Dagger scheme, and Yvette indirectly passive-agressively accused O'Riley of killing Ziggy over it. Would she sound like that if she were the one who did it? Maybe, if she were a really good actor, but probably not. Det. O'Riley would have reason to want Ziggy dead if he knew about the Dagger scheme. I honestly can't say anything for sure at this point, but the sheer narrative flow of how the plot is unfolding seems to be pushing toward O'Riley being the universal "The Killer" at this point, even if the actual evidence hasn't quite caught up yet. I am therefore very hesitantly going with O'Riley for now.
- The murder of Watney Little: Compared to the others, this one makes a lot more sense in light of Det. O'Riley's recent push toward being the killer. Little left a "C.P." message in his own blood as he died, which referred to Crime and Punishment, the book in which he hid his own police file that O'Riley likely pulled for him to cover his escape. The one that said "Remember our deal" in it. Considering that he was there to impersonate Dr. Carrington, why on Earth would he attempt to guide anyone toward the file that would give him away? My only guess is that O'Riley betrayed him (either to take his share of the scheme or simply to keep him quiet,) so he tried to bring O'Riley's scheme to light as a dying act of revenge.
- The murder of Ernie Leach: Finally, an easy one. It is painfully obvious that Det. O'Riley is behind this one, due to the fumes from the alcohol lab giving him away. That one's such a giveaway that it's not even the interesting part. The interesting part is that, before he died, Leach was worried because he "saw something he shouldn't" and that he would probably become a target for that. In the end, he was right. We already knew that O'Riley killed Leach, but this comment establishes why, and even more importantly, it also implicates O'Riley in at least one of the other murders (because that had to have been what Ernie saw.) This is the main reason why I'm starting to shift away from the other theories even though some of them have solid supporting evidence and toward "O'Riley killed everyone except the real Dr. Carrington."
All right, I think that covers everything. My head is starting to hurt from all this speculating, so we'll if anything becomes clearer as we move forward into Act 4. Next time!