As of this writing, Project Fedora, the Tex Murphy Kickstarter, has 12 days to go and is sitting at 77% of the funds they need. I've decided it's finally time to get off my ass and play the original games that I bought from GOG.com a few years back. Going off the recommendation of someone else I started with Under a Killing Moon, the third game in the series, instead of Mean Streets, the first. It was good and I understood what was going on pretty well but there were a fair number of references to a "Martian Memorandum case" so now I want to play from the start of the series. Unfortunately, a problem quickly asserted itself.
When I play old games I like to have a walkthrough on hand. I'll play through a bit then consult the guide to see if I missed anything. Nothing is more frustrating than missing a 4-pixel thing that looks like a background object but turns out to be an essential object that you only have one opportunity to pick up.
GameFAQs has one walkthrough for Mean Streets written by a one Lord Ironwolffe. In the first paragraph he promises to keep story spoilers to a minimum. In the second he reveals the larger plot that our investigation leads too.
Ironwolffe you motherfucking asshole.
Not content with spoiling the game's plot, a really big part of the allure of playing a detective game, he then tells you the bare minimum steps to get to the ending screen with cutting out all the parts involving hunting for clues and piecing them together.
God damn motherfucking asshole.
Enter this blog. Mean Streets doesn't track any info you gather. The manual straight up tells you to write things down as you learn them. Here I can keep track of my notes and as a bonus makes them available for anyone that wants a guide not designed around speedrunning. I'll keep information organized as best I can but this is probably going to be a bit messy. I'm not sure if I can edit blog posts after they're made so the worst case scenario is I sum up information from the previous entries at the start of the next.
Holy fuck that's a lot of words not about what happens in the game. I should start playing before I think ASCII art logos are a good thing to include.
"YOU'RE JOB IS TO SOLVE THE CASE." - Mean Streets introduction screen
Let's start with going to Carl Linsky's workplace at the University of San Fransisco. NC Code 4663
OH GOD A FAX IN MY CAR but I don't think there's anything useful in it. I'll take screenshots anyway.
I'm at the U of SF and a whole bunch of words popped up saying I wasted my time coming here. Great. I think I'll try interviewing Carl's fiancee, Delores Lightbody. NC Code 4920
Good, she's here and not at the 7-11 or whatever. She told me that Carl's home was at NC Code 4660 and suspected his last job to be government related. I asked her about Sylvia Linsky, Carl's daughter and the woman that hired me. She dropped the name of Peter Dull, Carl's insurance agent. When questioned about Dull, Delores told me he can be found at NC Code 4674. I think I'm done with her for now.
Carl's home: NC Code 4660
First order of business: taste the fax machine.
Seriously though, the fax holds a letter from someone named Sandra Larson. In the cabinet in the center of the room there's a key and a book written by Carl. The description says there's a page marked but I can't figure out how to read it. The painting can be moved to reveal a safe. Wow, I don't need a key or combination for it! There's a thousand dollars inside! Cha-ching!
Damn, I wish I checked the on/off message for the money.
Moving the the left, there's a key to the desk on top of the chair. The description to the display case said I need a slot screwdriver to open it. I'll have to remember that. Looking in the trash can there's a letter written to Delores about ending their relationship and that Sandra Larson has nothing to do with it. Sounds like there was an affair going on. There's also a lease for a warehouse rented by Carl at NC Code 4675. That looks important.
Inside the desk was a digital audio tape and a grading sheet. The grading sheet if for an Advanced Psychology course and a student named Blaze Weiner is circled and has a grade of E.
A tape player is next. Turning it on makes Tex inset the tape from earlier into the player. The tape contains someone, probably Carl, screaming "They're in my head!"
The coffee table has a chess set with a missing bishop. It's also bolted down to the table because I can't take it. There's also a note that says "I'm going to get you for failing me, Linsky" There's also a plant a plant I can move but it doesn't seem to do anything.
The bar on the right held some whiskey and a piece of paper that reads as follows:
|Professor, I have the possible nexus system passwords to be decoded: ISBPHO, UEQNE, LASENTOLW, NODGAR, GNOP, NIKG, OORK, NAPW, EHCETMACK, BMGTAI, ETSAELMAT, SLCTAE, NIKTGH, CLBAK, TEWIH. I'll be in touch. -S.F.|
I think I'm done here. I'm going to check out his warehouse.
Carl's Warehouse: NC Code 4675
Right when I enter I can interact with a forklift, rat trap, and a crate. The forklift seems inoperable and useless. I picked up the trap and got bitten by a rat when investigating the crate. If there's a way to use the trap with the crate I don't see it.
Heading down I find an Alpha-Wave Processor and another crate. The processor can be turned on to no noticeable effect and there's ammunition in the crate.
Moving towards the computer on the left I read the newspaper which has an article about a scientist named Cal Davis dying in an accident circled. There's another fax machine here with a message from someone named Sonny Fletcher warning Carl to go into hiding. The computer says won't work without a passcard and the printer does nothing.
The desk above the computer proves to be more useful. There's a watch in a desk drawer, a ledger saying that Carl's last depsoit came from MTC Corporation and his last check was written to Sonny Fletcher, Private Investigator. Inside a cabinet is some product placement. A half empty bottle Pepto Bismol, Johnson & Johnson edible Band-Aids and radiation pills that expire in 2011 and must be generic because there's no brand name on them. I take all three and find a nexus passcard among the band-Aids.
A calendar has October 3rd, 2033 circled and marked "DOOMSDAY" written on it.
The file cabinet has a fan that does nothing and I can open the drawer with the key I found in Carl's home. Inside is a list of scientist that are suspected to be working on something called Overlord. Their names are John Klaus, Maurice Gribble and David Pope.
Nudging myself a little towards the left reveals a safe but I lack the key for it. That probably means it has two thousand dollars in it. There's a box out of my reach. I think that's a step ladder on the far right of the screen.
Yep, it's a ladder and I pick it up. I also find some 3-1 oil and a key to a safe. On a shelf I find "blue-bishop" written on some masking tape. I move back to the left and examine the previously out of reach box. It says it's from England and there's a lamp inside. It has a cash value in the description so I guess that means it's only for pawning off. The safe opens with the key I just acquired and there's an insurance policy inside. It says in the event of Carl's death Sylvia would get one million dollars.
Going back to the computer, looking at it zooms me in on the monitor where I insert the blue passcard. It asked me for the password and I put in bishop, like what was written on the masking tape. The password checks out and rewards me with lots of text.
I'm going to call it for this entry. The manual says I've got contacts I can talk to with the videophone in my car so I'll see what they have to say next time.
Edit: Added bold and underlines to information I learned that I might need to know later. Typo correction too.