I start off by contacting the Hardy Boys, out of idle curiosity. I do love talking to those two, and it's always a fun balance when I end an update chatting with Bess and George, and start it off talking with Frank and Joe. Or the other way 'round.
(ACTUAL IN GAME DIALOGUE.)
Nancy: "Hi! It's me again."
Joe: "Frank! Pick up, it's Nancy! How's the case going?"
Nancy: "Well, I'm still at the park. I haven't solved anything yet."
Joe: "That's GREAT! I mean. Oh, what a shame."
(END ACTUAL IN GAME DIALOGUE)
Actually I love Joe all around here, as he goes into a Mr. Rogers routine. "Can you say "Insurance Fraud"?" (as Nancy brings up the 'injured' roller-coaster rider) and, when Frank muses that someone sabotaging the park from the inside would give the rider both a reliable witness who "checked out" the damages and someone to split the money with, Joe latches onto "New vocabulary word: MOTIVE."
Frank and Joe also agree with something -I- had suspected: That the burst of static on the tape as the carousel starts moving is no accident at all. Nancy theorizes that it might be some kind of remote control device, and Frank agrees. Joe once had a toy car that drove the TV nuts when it drove past. In any even, we wrap up the conversation there and I ponder.
I think the insurance fraud angle is kind of loose, unless Joy the bookkeeper's in on it... and she doesn't seem the dishonest type, just overworked and cranky. She practically threw her life story at Nancy when she walked in the door, I have trouble seeing Joy keeping a secret.
Plus, could you buy a sportscar (Ingrid) off that kind of split money? Granted, I don't have Elliott's angle yet. Still, something about a lead like that doesn't quite ring true to me. Not that I won't talk to the fellow should I get a chance, of course. The "hidden jewels" thing, though... that feels intuitively more likely to me. Let's phone the police department and get some notes on that old case.
Happily, Detective Perris is good friends with Paula Santos, so when he hears that Nancy is interested in that old case for -her- sake he's more than willing to share some info. The culprit, "Chas Dunning", hinted that he hid the remainder of his heist somewhere in the park, but never would say where and died in prison about a year back. In theory it could've been the horse he stuffed the jewels into. Perris decides he'll call around and see if any friends or cellmates knew anything, and Nancy gets a new name to bandy about when she meets the employees again.
I also give Paula a boop, but while we chatter on a while, nothing really gets said. I do get some information about Daryl Trent, Joy's father. He was a very charismatic man who loved laughing, and was terrible with money. Then his debts caught up with him, and he died of a heart attack in the middle of a bankruptcy court hearing. Holy -crap-. Anyway, Paula says Joy has never once even mentioned her father, or talked about being unhappy with her as a boss. Joy is a serious, polite, model employee.
Maybe Joy can keep her secrets better than I thought.
I also try punching up the number on the brochure, but that just gives the standard "call cannot be completed" spiel I've come to recognize as "You're not actually supposed to dial this". Well, back to the park! Let's talk to Joy again and see if she'll apologize to Elliott for me. In her office, Nancy leaves a note on Joy's desk... and something starts talking to her from behind.
Oh hell. Was that a Dalek? If that was a Dalek I'm going to kick it down the stairs. What was--
I have a chat with Joy's... pet robot. He refuses to answer any questions, asks who Nancy -is- (Nancy Drew, detective!) and why she's there (to leave a note) and then declares Nancy an "unneeded drain" of his power unit and shuts himself down. Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine is kind of a jerk. Let's try Ingrid again.
Ingrid is perfectly happy to let me check out the roller coaster, as soon as she's done giving it a circuit upgrade. Or Nancy could do it! She hands Nancy a "macro-resistor" and the park engineering handbook and tells her to go grab the soldiering iron she loaned to Elliott. Then tug the red tag off the box and take it back to Harlan so he'll flip the power back on.
Wow, THAT escalated quickly.
Then I ask about the Barnacle Blast arcade game, and Ingrid shrugs. If Nancy found the portable keyboard (check), she could open up the back, plug it in, and reprogram the game so it'll work right.
Well, now that we're NANCY DREW, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT --
Ingrid's celphone starts ringing. Nancy stands there and stares hopefully.
"Are you gonna answer that?"
"No. They'll call back."
Anyway, I'm not sure Joy has phoned Elliott yet, so I turn around to go to the Midway. However, as I'm trucking out there, the phone rings and it IS for me this time. George and Bess emailed a beginner's course on steganography to Nancy. Redirect: TO THE HOTEL! Just as Nancy's walking in the door there, the phone rings again.
Man, what is with all these phone calls? Do you think I LIKE spending all my time on the phone, game? DO YOU?
Oh. Wait, I do.
This time, it's Detective Perris, calling to let me know that Chas Dunning's cell mate recently (two months ago) got out of New Jersey State Prison. He's a dark-haired, clean-shaven man with a thick accent. I should be careful if I see anyone who fits that description. Nancy agrees and clicks her phone shut. Right, let's see about that email stuff. As it happens, George and Bess have gone above and beyond the call, since they found some kind of nifty Flash app that teaches you shorthand.
So, I study up. This takes kind of a -while-. There are even built-in mini-quizzes and crap. Eventually I work through the entire thing, and complete Lessons 1-4 of Learning Shorthand the Easy Way, see software vendor for additional lessons. This lets me squint at the letter again and deduce, through trial and erorr and refering back to the lesson-complete card a few times, that the sold carnival horse's name is "GLORY".
That's fantastic! I have no idea what the fuck that means or how it applies to anything whatsoever! Let's go program a video game. Out to the Midway... oh good, it looks like the manual is stuck right to the back of the arcade cabinet here. Let's take a look.
Wow, I'm glad that "Nick" guy got here before me. Okay, there's a page two...
I'm willing to bet this is how Capcom has stayed in business all these years. I'm just sayin'. Okay, so we plug the keyboard in back here... Oops, the back panel has that serial number on it, that's "KM5200", I'll need that... and there's a little terminal in there... let's just fold that down...
So I just update that to "Super" Barnacle Blast, and type in the serial number after it... Hey, I wonder if I can change this line down here to make the game spit out tokens on a game over? That would make this inane minigame crap a LOT easier. Let me--- aw, damn, I can't modify that code. Nancy cannot be that L33T. YOU HAVE FOILED ME AGAIN, GAME DEVELOPERS. Anyway, the game modifies itself to be upgraded and then spits the keyboard plug out.
(Also, I kind of love the idea of living in a world where you don't, like... burn yourself some EPROMs or anything, you just put a goddamn PC running raw C code in the back of your arcade machine. With a flux capacitor in it. Because why not.)
Barnacle Blast is not pictured here because it's Breakout. Or Arkanoid. Or whatever you call it. You hit a ball with a paddle into some targets and they go *bing* and give you points. Your goal is to knock all the targets off the screen. I manage to finish all two grueling levels of this game, thanks to my rigorous training in having played every video game humankind has ever created, and collect two tokens. Now I just need to finish Squid Toss and get the last kind of token and I can grab that harmonica.
Unfortunately my "Fun Card" has been destroyed/kept because I used up all my charges, so I head back to talk to Harlan and get a new one.
Hey, Harlan. I just came back because I needed more Fun on my Fun Ca--
He's a dark-haired, clean-shaven man with a thick accent.
dark-haired, clean-shaven man with a thick accent
OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOD
This entry was originally posted at http://xyzzysqrl.dreamwidth.org/323161.h