TRANSMIT the PLACEBO - Let's Play The Silver Case

It’s kind of funny that I’ve LPed an (ostensibly) post-modern game set in 1999, and now I’m LPing an actual post-modern game both made and set in 1999. This is The Silver Case, and it’s Suda51’s last game before he formed Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio under which Suda made more or less every game anyone outside of Japan knows him for. It’s either the first or second game (depending on who you ask) in Suda51’s “Kill The Past” series, a theme that shows up throughout most of the stuff Suda has ever made.

This game originally released in 1999 on the PS1, but like most of the other canon Kill The Past games (which include Moonlight Syndrome, Flower Sun and Rain, and Killer7) was never released in English. That changed in 2016, when Grasshopper ported it to the PS4 and PC to promote a new sequel titled The 25th Ward.

If you’ve played Umineko or Higurashi, you’ll immediately recognize The Silver Case’s narrative structure. The game has two plot arcs, titled TRANSMITTER and PLACEBO, which are meant to be played in alternating order. TRANSMITTER was written by Suda51, while PLACEBO was written by Masahi Ooka - who worked on a number of Suda’s later games up to Travis Strikes Again.

Hopefully, this will go a lot better than that other game I started LPing only to kill it before I even finished the first update.

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newmascotresized: The game starts with a short intro movie. For now, I’ll just post a couple of shots from it.

newmascotresized: It uses stock footage, but so did a lot of stuff in the PS1 days.

newmascotresized: The first thing the game asks you is who you are. I put in Timrod for this recording, but I’ll change it to whatever everyone wants if I get responses.

newmascotresized: The game immediately throws us into Case 0, which is the first part of the TRANSMITTER arc.

newmascotresized: There’s a square cursor that moves to “type” the text, accompanied by very loud typewriter noises. What they’re talking about here is the setting for most of the game - the 24th Ward of Tokyo.

newmascotresized: In reality, Tokyo only has 23 wards.

newmascotresized: By the way, if you’ve played Travis Strikes Again, you might recognize this text layout. Suda51 ‘created’ an entire system for this game he calls the “Film Window”. We’ll see that in a bit.

![TheSilverCase 2022-01-21 22-43-14-22|690x380]
(upload://ivm9RxPEh1GqeSWgWaLxcBYhh7t.png)

newmascotresized: All of the people we saw in the intro cutscene are members of the Heinous Crimes Unit. There’s a manual that comes with the Steam version of the game that shows how the unit is organized.

newmascotresized: It’s more or less directly based on the structure of the police in Japan in reality… at least, as far as I know.

newmascotresized: This is the Film Window. It’s more or less omnipresent and resizes to accomodate dialog portraits.

Kusabi: “Fuckin’ radio. Playing nothing but shit.”

newmascotresized: Fuckin’ Hashino. Writing nothing but shit.

Kusabi: “On nights like this, weird shit happens. That’s just the way it is.”

newmascotresized: The game will highlight the portrait of whoever is talking with a blue rectangle, which we’ll see used heavily in the next scene.

Kusabi: “I got a bad feeling… a real bad feeling.”

Kusabi: “The hell is that? Aah!!”

Kusabi: “He took a shot! That fuckin’ punk.”

newmascotresized: Right away, you can tell that Suda understands cinematography and also how to write, and I fucking love it. I guess the way I’d put it is like this.

newmascotresized: When I played Death Stranding, I immediately got the sense that Hideo Kojima was kind of desperate to prove that his game was art.

newmascotresized: Suda instead goes “No, fuck you, my game is art and I can use the medium to do things I could never do anywhere else”.

newmascotresized: The downside is that Suda’s stuff doesn’t always pan out (see: Michigan) but at least he tries.

Kusabi: “Where’s Sumio?”

Chizuru: “He left.”

Kusabi: “Oh.”

Chizuru: “Something happen?”

Kusabi: “A man with a gun just fired shots and fled near the river in E Ward. Call in the closest units.”

Chizuru: “Where to?”

Kusabi: “He’s heading west in E3.”

Chizuru: “Got it, we’ll pinpoint him from here. Have you been injured?”

Kusabi: “Nope ---- I dodged the slug, watched it whiz right by.”

newmascotresized: He may as well be saying “No, I’m cool, I swear.”

Chizuru: “Huh?!”

Kusabi: “Nothing yet?”

Chizuru: “Got it!”

Kusabi: “Where? Is it within our jurisdiction?”

Chizuru: “Hold on — ‘Public Safety’? Those covert op guys…”

Kusabi: “Natsume’s guys, huh… OK, call them in.”

Chizuru: “Got it!”

Kusabi: “Shit… ‘TGIF’ my ass…”

Kusabi: “No pinpoint yet?”

Chizuru: “Target pinpointed: ‘Cauliflower’.”

Kusabi: “The private railroad satellite… perfect place to lie low. I’m gonna rush to the spot. Send the location to Natsume for me.”

Chizuru: “Got it!”

newmascotresized: Random shots of the moon are a thing in the Kill The Past games.

newmascotresized: The manual has an organizational chart for these as well. As far as I can tell, they’re all NGOs that eventually became the government for the 24th Ward.

newmascotresized: This guy is Natsume, and he heads what’s basically the black ops team for the Public Safety Department.

Natsume: “We’re currently closest to the scene. We need to pretend we just happened upon the scene. HQ confirmed the target and made the decision to get us involved.”

Natsume: “That means this is a Secret Security-authorized case. Keeping our movements under wraps is our top priority, but unfortunately a jurisdiction detective happened upon the scene, making things a bit difficult.”

Natsume: “We need to keep the amount of info let out at a minimum. You may come into contact with the detective. But avoid any unnecessary contact at all costs.”

newmascotresized: This is Sakamoto.

Natsume: “Disposal will be a problem. Keep it at Level Y or below.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

Natsume: “I’ll explain the plan simply. Save questions for afterward. Armament of level X or below has been approved. What you carry is up to you.”

Natsume: “After entering ‘Cauliflower’ in E3, lead the target to the ‘Cauliflower’ roof. Proceed with disposal. That is all. Any questions?”

Sakamoto: “Chief, how should we carry out disposal?”

Natsume: “I’ll leave that up to you. I’ll provide remote support.”

newmascotresized: And this is Inomata.

Natsume: “I believe I said that this was a Secret Security-authorized case. Do you need me to explain further?”

Inomata: “That will not be necessary.”

Natsume: “Anything else?”

Sakamoto: “That is all.”

Natsume: “Just because this is your first real night doesn’t mean you need to be overly vigilant. He who masters his own mind smiles in the end. Stay relaxed until you reach the scene.”

newmascotresized: In this shot, Sakamoto is on the left and Inomata is in the middle. The third person is our character. Their names do come up very briefly when they start speaking, but it’s hard to capture.

Sakamoto: “Can’t you calm down?”

Inomata: “I’m about to lose my shit here.”

Sakamoto: “Then force it back down.”

Inomata: “I can’t. My mind is cutting me off.”

Sakamoto: “If you can’t force it down then at least control yourself. You’re gonna die—”

Inomata: “OK…”

Sakamoto: “I’m scared, too, to be honest. It’s my first time in the flesh, you know?”

Inomata: “Sorry, but let me focus…”

Sakamoto: “This is totally different from training. Remember, Timrod? Our training maneuvers up north… it was the first time you shot real bullets, yeah? But that wasn’t the first time for me.”

Sakamoto: “Back when I was in the syndicate. Old-school bullets. They gave them to me to take Tsubaki’s head off. Of course, they were modded to the point that they might blow your goddamn hand off.”

newmascotresized: Tsubaki was also the name of the upgraded beam katana Travis could get in the first No More Heroes. I don’t know if there’s some connection, or if it’s just a Japanese name.

Sakamoto: “I’d already thrown my life away, so I didn’t care. No matter what would’ve happened… thinking about it now, being young, I should’ve been full of hope.”

Sakamoto: “But it didn’t matter then. Young, old, whatever… I got handed a piece and jumped in like a maniac. Just popping caps all over the place… I missed every shot.”

Sakamoto: “All of a sudden I was surrounded, ten guns pointed right at me. That’s when I first met the chief. Why did he choose me? He told me to put my life in his hands, and he took me in.”

Sakamoto: “Same for you too, right, Timrod? Picked up by the chief… Inomata, too. Don’t think about your own life. Believe in him. We’ll carry out our lives. We’ve put our hope in him. Don’t forget it.”

Natsume: “I’ll get instructions from HQ over the radio. You guys are basically like guinea pigs. Refrain from acting arbitrarily and prioritize the collection of sample data. Any questions…?”

newmascotresized: Gotta love how the briefing starts with “Yep, you’re all expendable, go out there and die.”

Sakamoto: “That is all.”

Natsume: “Ok, sync your watches. Sakamoto, count us down.”

Sakamoto: “Got it. Countdown to zero—”

Natsume: “Don’t forget, this is not an exercise. You need to remember that this is the real thing. Again, this is an actual fight. Come back alive. That is all. Good luck!”

Kusabi: “What a way to win us over. One of your soldiers?”

Natsume: “So it was you… I heard you were back in the field.”

Kusabi: “You too, right? Looks like one final gamble to me.”

Natsume: “I don’t gamble. I’m in the Self-Defense Unit. What about you, Kusabi?”

Kusabi: “I started that thing up, because of the ‘Silver Case’.”

Natsume: “The Heinous Crimes Unit, huh?”

Kusabi: “I thought you’d come, too. I didn’t think we’d meet up like this.”

Natsume: “I can never go back there again. I’m not as strong a man as you, Kusabi.”

Kusabi: “It’s not about that. It’s because they could use you.”

Natsume: “That’s strength.”

Kusabi: “Being young and all… just like your soldiers. You’ve got your young ones to take over the next generation. There’s still plenty of shit you gotta show them.”

Natsume: “Kusabi…”

Kusabi: “Natsume… it’s not just us anymore. Don’t overwork yourself. We still got a long ways to go.”

Natsume: “That may be true.”

Kusabi: “How’s Sakura doing?”

Natsume: “She just turned 22. She’ll be graduating college this year.”

Kusabi: “They get so big… how is she? She become a proper woman yet?”

newmascotresized: Somehow, it’s just like Suda51 that they’re doing this in the middle of a black op.

Natsume: “She takes after my wife - real stubborn. You know how she is. She’s not a little girl anymore.”

Kusabi: “That’s a good thing. Even if she acts like she hates you, your daughter’s still more precious than anything.”

Natsume: “Really.”

Sakamoto: “Chief, we’re moving in.”

Natsume: “OK. Sakamoto, go in first - then Inomata and Timrod.”

Sakamoto: “Got it!”

Kusabi: “That’s enough nostalgia for now. I’ll back you guys up, too.”

Natsume: “Thanks!”

newmascotresized: I’ll stop here for now, in case people want to decide on a name. Next time, we’ll see how this game actually plays and finish the prologue.

Summary

newmascotresized: This is the update where shit’s going to start getting weird.

Sakamoto: “Loud and clear. Inomata and Timrod are both OK.”

Natsume: “I’ll forward you the set points. Get on your respective points and get into formation.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

Natsume: “Timrod, calm down… wait for my orders. Stay in position. Inomata, do you read me? The obstacles in front of you create a blind spot. Make sure to get proper confirmation.”

Natsume: “Don’t forget that the perp is armed, or you’ll get yourselves killed…”

Inomata: “I know!”

Natsume: “Stop fucking around, you idiot! You’re in the nucleus of the 24 Wards private railroad. Innocent citizens are gonna get killed if you start shooting like a maniac.”

Inomata: “Got it.”

newmascotresized: Okay, no war crimes apart from the whole being a government hit squad thing. Got it.

Natsume: “Sakamoto, go in ahead. Relieve Timrod.”

Sakamoto: “Got it!”

Natsume: “Timrod, listen up. There’s a plate ahead of you. Check it out.”

Inomata: “Going up to the second floor, Chief.”

Natsume: “Wait, don’t move yet.”

Inomata: “Got it.”

Natsume: “OK! Timrod, get moving. It’ll take some time before you get used to the controls, and it’ll seem complicated at first. But don’t worry. You’ll get used to it.”

newmascotresized: There’s a tutorial I’m going to skip in favor of explaining it myself. In the bottom-right, you can see the menu ring. There’s three commands: Contact (which is your “interact” button), Implement (for using items) and Movement. We can try contacting Sakamoto and Inomata, but they don’t have much to say.

newmascotresized: If you turn to the left, the “plate” that Natsume is talking about is hanging on the wall. I haven’t played the PS1 version, but I’m pretty sure that in the original game, this was how you were meant to work out the puzzles in this area.

newmascotresized: Speaking of which, there are puzzles in this area. Most of the puzzles were changed from the PS1 version (ostensibly to make more sense in English) and there’s a manual included with the game that gives you the solution to most of them.

newmascotresized: The re-release also includes a “solve the puzzle automatically” button, which I will be using extensively because the puzzles in this segment are mostly time-wasters.

Sakamoto: “Maybe it’s for real estate authentication?”

Natsume: “Looks like it.”

Sakamoto: “Chief, I’ve found a switch.”

Natsume: “Probably the lights. Turn it on.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

Natsume: “There should be a control panel nearby. Check it out.”

Sakamoto: “Inomata, what’s up?”

Inomata: “I think I saw someone up above. I’m going in ahead…”

Sakamoto: “Wait, don’t act on your own.”

newmascotresized: Inomata wants to go in because this is kind of a horror game and somebody’s gotta die first.

Natsume: “Sakamoto, stand down. Let him go on ahead. Inomata, I’m gonna forward you the target point. Don’t go too far.”

Inomata: “Got it! Thank you.”

Sakamoto: “This gonna be OK…?”

Natsume: “I don’t care. If anyone’s in a hurry to die, I won’t stop them.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

newmascotresized: There’s a brief tutorial (which I skipped) where Natsume teaches you how to look up and down.

newmascotresized: If we go around the pillar in the middle and look down, there’s something we can pick up. I’m not sure what picking these up actually does, but they’re apparently missable.

newmascotresized: Comic BEAM is a real manga magazine - it’s a small monthly aimed at the ‘seinen’ audience. I did a quick search and it looks like most of what it carries is stuff that’s so niche that no one bothers to fan translate it.

newmascotresized: This here is what we’re actually after. First, we have to look down.

Sakamoto: “I’ll check…”

Natsume: “Not yet — it’s probably something that’ll change the structure. It’s for decryption code input. Until we work it out, don’t mess with it.”

Sakamoto: “Timrod, I’m gonna go back up Inomata. I’m going up, come with me.”

Natsume: “Sakamoto, I can’t pinpoint Inomata. This room is using an absorber.”

Sakamoto: “An absorber… like an anti-jamming device?”

Natsume: “Seems like it.”

Sakamoto: “That’s what the data says.”

Natsume: “It’s designated as a structure of unknown use. This sort of accident was to be expected.”

newmascotresized: I’m not sure if the weird grammar is just a localization fuckup, or if it’s intentional.

Sakamoto: “So what about Inomata…?”

Natsume: “Back him up.”

Sakamoto: “Got it!”

Natsume: “You ready, Sakamoto? You take the lead from here on out. I’ll pinpoint and set our sights on the target. Lead him up to the roof. I’ll take care of him.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

Natsume: “Timrod. There’s a door lock past here. The code input is complicated, but don’t worry. We’ve already got the info required to unlock the door. A text string needs to be decrypted.”

Natsume: “But unfortunately, we don’t have the password yet. First, find the password.”

newmascotresized: The dialog is kinda cryptic about how the puzzle actually works, and I think it worked differently on the PS1.

Inomata: “Timrod. That control panel code is a Caesar cipher. Only engineers come and go from here. That means… they would want a code with easy to memorize rules.”

Inomata: “Caesar ciphers are decrypted by shifting letters in the alphabet. You can see how this version works using the control panel. Get to the first floor quickly!”

newmascotresized: So anyway, here’s how this puzzle is supposed to work. I didn’t realize this until after I finished playing through this whole thing.

newmascotresized: You see the word “Please” on that input screen? That’s the password. What you’re supposed to do is take it down to the computer on the first floor, which then decrypts it for you.

newmascotresized: Anyway, this isn’t really a Caesar cipher. A Caesar cipher works by taking all of the letters on a page and shifting them a certain number of positions down the alphabet.

newmascotresized: The key to a Caesar cipher is that all of the letters are shifted the same number of positions, which clearly isn’t the case here because both E’s translate to a different character.

newmascotresized: The cipher used here is actually a Vigenere cipher, which is a modification to Caesar that uses a codeword (or code alphabet) to determine how many positions to shift each letter.

image

newmascotresized: Thankfully, the encryption table for the Vigenere cipher was found sometime in the late 19th century. I found the decryption alphabet to see if Suda snuck anything in, but it’s super basic. The alphabet is “BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZA”.

newmascotresized: All of this is shorthand for “this puzzle is bunk and Suda knew it, that’s why the skip puzzle button exists” and this is pretty much the only reason I’m okay with it and not screaming.

newmascotresized: This door only has one thing we need behind it.

Sakamoto: “You did it, Timrod. Do this door next.”

newmascotresized: In the 90s, I can imagine that writing a program to solve the Vigenere cipher was kind of a pain in the ass. Today, it’s relatively easy - there’s dozens of solvers out there for it.

Sakamoto: “Her heart rate is normal… she seems to be OK. Keep her warm and she should be fine. Hm…?”

newmascotresized: Sakamoto does not strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed. I’m picturing this lady bleeding out from a gut shot and Sakamoto going “It’s fine, just bit of hypothermia.”

newmascotresized: There’s a text box here that scrolls by EXTREMELY quickly. The text reads “H E L P MIKA” except the “HELP” is spaced vertically.

Sakamoto: “It’s OK. We came to rescue you. You’re gonna be OK. Don’t worry. Stay calm. We’re here to help you. Everything is fine now. Don’t worry.”

Sakamoto: “We came to help. We’ll protect you. Just stay calm.”

newmascotresized: “Don’t worry ma’am, I’m from a government black ops hit squad and I’m here to help, and by help I mean I’m not immediately going to murder you.”

Sakamoto: “This is dangerous - until she calms down, don’t let her move. Timrod, I’m gonna go help Inomata. Let’s hurry to the third floor.”

Sakamoto: “You OK?”

Inomata: “Take a fucking look… I’m pretty far from ‘OK’.”

Sakamoto: “Are you hurt pretty bad?”

Inomata: “Just a bit… but I can’t move my goddamn arm.”

Sakamoto: “You fall back — can you move on your own?”

Inomata: “Yeah. If I force it.”

Sakamoto: “Then force it.”

Inomata: “That’s not very nice. I’m injured, you know…”

Sakamoto: “You acted on your own. I got no sympathy for you. We’re getting back up now. There are survivors on the second floor. Get them out of there.”

newmascotresized: Survivors? You mean the one survivor who may or may not have been dead?

Inomata: “Got it… you heard him, Timrod. I’m going downstairs. Our guy is in the back. He’s pretty fucked up. It’s like he’s not afraid to die —”

Inomata: “No, it’s more like he’s enjoying the risk of death. He’s laughing. About the fact that he’s about to get killed. What the fuck…”

Inomata: “Laughing all cynically like that. He can’t accept his own death. A typical criminal. Timrod, kill the motherfucker. Don’t even let the world know this guy exists. Just dispose of his ass.”

Inomata: “Hey Sakamoto… you listening?”

Sakamoto: “That’s my job…”

newmascotresized: Sakamoto, psychiatrist with a gun.

Inomata: “This guy’s pretty stiff.”

Sakamoto: “Is that a problem? I don’t screw around.”

Inomata: “I’m falling back. Sakamoto, Timrod - it’s up to you guys.”

newmascotresized: This puzzle is the same as the last two - it uses the Vigenere cipher with the same code alphabet.

Sakamoto: "Christ… she was so young… Timrod, the target is up above. I can’t let this guy get away with this. I’m gonna kill the motherfucker !! Let’s move !!! "

newmascotresized: I read somewhere that all of the dead bodies in this part of the game are characters from Moonlight Syndrome, a game Suda worked on a few years earlier when he still worked for Human.

newmascotresized: Yes, that Human. The one who developed Clock Tower and gave us all the amazing trainwrecks that were Clock Tower: Ghost Head and Clock Tower 3.

newmascotresized: If we turn around, there’s another code-locked door. If we try using the same cipher as before (or, you know, just hitting the skip puzzle button)…

Sakamoto: “Inomata, do you read me?”

Inomata: “…”

Sakamoto: “Inomata! Respond!!”

Inomata: “…”

Sakamoto: “Son of a bitch - again…? We’ve just gotta roll with it… I’ll go back down and revert the control panel. Once it’s been restored, open this up. Be ready.”

newmascotresized: As soon as Sakamoto leaves, the lights in the room shut off.

Sakamoto: “Inomata, where are you? Answer me. Timrod, something’s wrong. I can’t find Inomata or the woman. There’s no sign of them. Everything OK there?”

Sakamoto: “I’m at the control panel… I’ll fix it.”

Sakamoto: “Restoration complete… but, it’s no good. The password has been changed. Looks like he switched it on us. We’re screwed…”

newmascotresized: All that’s changed is the key to the Vigenere cipher. I’m not sure how exactly you’re meant to work this out, other than maybe going down to the computer again. The new code alphabet is “GVLXKFPSEQU”.

Natsume: “This is Natsume… Timrod? I’ve got you locked. I haven’t found the target. He may be hiding in a blind spot. Move with caution.”

Natsume: "What happened to Sakamoto and Inomata? Have they gone in for backup?

newmascotresized: There’s a contact point right outside the doorway, but it’s not immediately visible.

newmascotresized: That’s because it’s another Comic BEAM. I looked up what these do and the answer is nothing.

Natsume: “What happened?!”

Natsume: “A survivor… Timrod, leave them for now. Got it? Don’t fuck this up. The target is hiding close by.”

newmascotresized: Yep, just a lady covered in blood holding what appears to be a severed head. No big deal.

newmascotresized: I feel like Persona 5 would have been a much better game if at random points during the long, pointless cutscenes they had cutaways to stock footage of the moon.

newmascotresized: Just imagine that one scene with Sumire and Akechi at the cafe, only halfway through it cuts to a moon shot and then the cutscene is over. 100% improvement.

newmascotresized: This entire thing is more or less a giant reference to Moonlight Syndrome… at least, from what I understand. Moonlight Syndrome was never localized.

newmascotresized: Supposedly, the guy working on the Eternal Punishment PSP translation (more like not working on it) is also working on doing Moonlight Syndrome. I doubt it’s ever happening.

Natsume: “Timrod!! Fire!! Don’t hesitate!! Shoot the motherfucker!!!”

newmascotresized: I get that this is supposed to be horror but it’s kinda dumb.

newmascotresized: Kusabi gives no fucks about weird horror shit.

Sakamoto: “This falls under our jurisdiction. Don’t act without our permission.”

newmascotresized: I think Sakamoto is the only person on a hit squad who is going to complain about jurisdiction.

Kusabi: “You hear that from Natsume? Is that it, Natsume?”

Sakamoto: “The chief has nothing to do with this. We hold the disposal rights for this target. This doesn’t concern you.”

Kusabi: “So this is how you wanna handle it, huh? This isn’t fuckin’ high school, Natsume. Is this what you wanted to do? Answer me, BITCH!!”

Sakamoto: “Chief, who is this asshole anyway?!”

Natsume: “The Kotobuki Syndicate.”

Sakamoto: “Kotobuki?!”

newmascotresized: Metal Gear!?

Kusabi: “Drop the shitty nicknames. It’s the 24 Wards Heinous Crimes unit - the same as you assholes. Like a disposal service.”

Sakamoto: “So, does that mean… it’s supposed to be OK? Chief?”

Natsume: “It’s the guy who cut off your lead.”

Sakamoto: “Fuck!”

Kusabi: “Well, that’s just how it is. Now clean things up here. Hey, Babyface — you there, the one that looks like a chinchilla.”

newmascotresized: It’s not a chinchilla. It’s a fluffy, bat-like monster thing.

Sakamoto: “You mean Timrod?”

Kusabi: “The fuck should I know? The chinchilla. Why the hell didn’t you fire? You frozen in fear or something? You’re gonna get your ass killed.”

Kusabi: “My face is burned into this guy’s eyeballs. These pieces of shit are fucked in the head. So don’t even leave a bit of skull. Wipe them the fuck off of this plane of existence!”

Sakamoto: “Hmph.”

Kusabi: “You listen up too, Straight-edge… why’re we disposing of these guys? Any idea?”

Sakamoto: “They’re criminals.”

Kusabi: “So?”

Sakamoto: “This guy is a killer!”

Kusabi: “I’m sick of this childish bullshit… you’re a funny guy, Natsume. You do some really unique shit. Listen up. ‘Disposal’ means cutting these motherfuckers out of this world.”

Kusabi: “Get rid of their very existence, so nobody ever has to see them again. This crime virus they’re spreading around, cut it off at the source.”

newmascotresized: We’ve already heard in the last update about “transmittable crime”, though as far as I’m aware the game never really goes into what that is - whether it’s copycat criminals or some kind of brain virus.

newmascotresized: My guess is that it’s probably a reference to a common thing in the 1990s where you had advisers to Bill Clinton warning that the violent crime rate was going to spiral out of control until society collapsed.

newmascotresized: There’s a book called Freakonomics that goes into that pretty well, but in reality by the time those people were saying that shit (and this is as late as 1995 and 1996) the crime rate was already falling.

Kusabi: “Annihilation of the self… that’s what we do — tenacious. You guys take over from here. And watch your backs.”

Kusabi: “This creepy motherfucker is at it again.”

Kusabi: “Look! This is what crimes brings. This is the demon brought on by their criminal powers.”

newmascotresized: I didn’t typo that, that’s what the game actually says.

Kusabi: “Can you shoot him, Chinchilla? Can you take them on? Fire!! Destroy this very moment!”

Sakamoto: “I finally understand… I won’t falter again. Bring the hammer down on these unforgivable bastards! Timrod, get rid of them!”

Kusabi: “So the sleeping lion has been awakened. This is gonna be a long journey…”

newmascotresized: And that’s it for Lunatics. Decoyman is the next chapter in the Transmitter arc, which we’ll do next time - this is the only time we’ll be doing two Transmitter arcs back to back.

Summary

newmascotresized: It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update to an LP and recorded more on the same day. Anyway, this is the menu for chapter selection. We haven’t unlocked the first Placebo chapter yet.

newmascotresized: This guy on the left is Ryu Munakata, who is listed in the manual as a special agent of some kind who works with the 24th Precinct Heinous Crimes Unit but isn’t actually part of it.

newmascotresized: He has a portrait, but we won’t be seeing it in this chapter, so I’ll be using a temporary one from the manual.

Kusabi: “Huh? What the hell do you mean?”

Munakata: “He’s gonna wake up.”

Kusabi: "Is this info from your place?

Munakata: “No… I don’t know that much.”

Kusabi: “Then, what?”

Munakata: “Pocket money…”

Kusabi: “How greedy… don’t overestimate civil servants. Overtime for this quarter is getting cut.”

Munakata: “Fine, never mind then.”

Kusabi: “You son of a bitch, I’ll shoot your ass dead where you stand…”

newmascotresized: Kusabi threatens pretty much every new character we meet, as we’ll see a bit later in this update.

Munakata: “Kidding, kidding… It’s just a hunch, but… I got my wisdom teeth pulled, right? At that time…”

Kusabi: “What one time?”

Munakata: “Just before the ‘Silver’ thing…”

Kusabi: “And? So what? You trying to tell me that your toothaches are supposed to be… some sort of antenna for shit about to go down or something?”

Munakata: “Exactly!”

Kusabi: “What kinda jerkoff in this day and age believes that superstitious bullshit?”

Munakata: “No really, I’m telling you… it’s accurate. You really should believe it.”

Kusabi: “Right about now, he’s taking life slow in the clink. Probably even gone and reformed himself by now…”

newmascotresized: It’s not clear why they let Kamui live when the government has two different hit squads in the area, but I’m guessing that’s probably a plot point.

Munakata: “Don’t underestimate what my teeth can do! I’m telling you, they’ve got a knack for this kind of ‘second sight’ !”

Kusabi: “OK then! I believe you! I don’t get it, but I believe you! So what am I supposed to do now?”

Munakata: “Hmm…”

newmascotresized: These shots are part of a video that’s a good 15 seconds or so long, which show nothing but a woman running through what looks like a parking garage.

newmascotresized: Interestingly, this was a stage in one of Suda’s later games - a game called Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day.

newmascotresized: I’d ask how it is a guy in a highly-secure psych ward got a harpoon gun of all things, but this game takes place in the same world as No More Heroes and Killer7. No really, it does.

newmascotresized: This particular choice is a bit strange from a timing perspective, given that we’re about to play through the events being described. I guess you could compare it to Pet Sematary in that way.

Sumio: “Excuse me?”

newmascotresized: This is Sumio, who is Kusabi’s partner in the Heinous Crimes Unit.

Kusabi: “No, it’s nothing… just talking to myself.”

newmascotresized: The game gives this guy’s name as Tachibana, but he’s not in the manual.

Tachibana: “He seemed totally fine…”

Kusabi: “So that ‘totally fine’ patient murdered his counselor and escaped? What a lovely fuckin’ story.”

Sumio: “Any problems with the system of management?”

Tachibana: “There are always two security guards present. I don’t think there are any problems…”

Kusabi: “So you got two amateur-ass rent-a-cops on a crazed serial killer? That’s basically like begging him to murder someone.”

newmascotresized: Kusabi is such a perfect asshole character, and I love every moment of it.

Tachibana: “Kamui Uehara didn’t have the capacity to take care of himself normally. He has extremely debilitating mental disorders. He does not currently possess the capacity to kill or hurt anyone.”

Kusabi: “So he’s all broken down?”

Tachibana: “That’s a prejudiced viewpoint. There are cases which are not directly linked to mental breakdown.”

newmascotresized: I think this is the only point so far where if I was writing this, I would probably have made Kusabi’s line something like “He’s so incapacitated that he got past two guards, got a harpoon gun and killed someone. Fuckin’ idiot.”

Kusabi: “Well, whatever… so the main point is ‘Kamui’s not here’ then.”

Sumio: “Thank you, doctor. We appreciate your cooperation.”

Tachibana: “I get it now… some detectives really can be somewhat ‘difficult’ individuals, just like on TV. This was fun ----.”

Kusabi: “Same here. I guess there are quack doctors everywhere too, huh.”

Tachibana: “I’d sure like to be your personal physician. Anyway…”

newmascotresized: Kusabi makes an excellent seven-word summary of YIIK, and also of the expansion bits of Persona 5 Royal.

Sumio: “It’s sort of your fault. You were pretty rude to him…”

Kusabi: “He’s been sitting here the whole time. Fuckin’ creepy…”

Sumio: “He’s the sole survivor from Special Forces. Real name unknown. No registration found. We found signs of it having been deleted. His codename is ‘Timrod’.”

newmascotresized: Well, I guess we know who the two dead people from Republic are. Too bad this isn’t a No More Heroes thing where they’ll turn up alive in two games.

Kusabi: “Sounds pretty sketchy to me. What a fucked up story.”

Sumio: “You’ve come into contact with him before, at ‘Cauliflower’.”

Kusabi: “Oh, you mean that Chinchilla… so you’re saying only he came back alive?”

Sumio: “Commander Natsume is currently in the ICU…”

Kusabi: “I know. Natsume isn’t gonna die.”

newmascotresized: It’s weird that Natsume wears his glasses when we see him in his tactical gear in the prologue, but doesn’t here.

Natsume: “Our goal is to bring Kamui Uehara in alive. The target is thought to be armed. We don’t know what sort of weapon. Armament level Z.”

newmascotresized: Considering that the last mission was Armament Level X and we only had a handgun, I assume Level Z is… I dunno, rocket launchers?

Inomata: “Bring him in…? If we’re capturing him with Z-level armaments, then why…”

newmascotresized: I’m picturing Inomata complaining, “Look, we’re a government-backed hit squad. We do hits. None of this ‘capture alive’ bullshit. You see Golgo 13 doing live captures? Fuck no you don’t.”

Natsume: “Save your questions for later. I’ll continue.”

Inomata: “But!”

Natsume: “These are orders from up top! Just follow them! Don’t think! Keep your shit together!”

Inomata: “Got it!”

Natsume: “OK.”

Natsume: “According to satellite tracking data, the target doesn’t seem to have left here. Lure the target to Point GF03 and secure him. Clean everything up within the 100-second countdown after we begin. That is all.”

Sakamoto: “About the armaments…”

Natsume: “What is it, Sakamoto?”

Sakamoto: “What if it’s difficult to bring him in alive?”

Natsume: “Our main goal is to bring him in alive.”

Inomata: “We… we’re gonna find ourselves at an extreme disadvantage…”

Natsume: “This plan needs a guaranteed unit survival rate of 60% in order to be approved. Fill in the remaining 40% yourselves.”

Sakamoto: “Got it!”

newmascotresized: We’ve got a squad of three guys, one of which got owned by a rando with a revolver. This is going to go swimmingly.

Natsume: “Depending on the situation, I may join you. Good luck.”

newmascotresized: Inomata is off-screen in this shot. The soldier in front is our character.

Sakamoto: “He’s only one guy. This’ll be no problem — right? Look at Timrod. This guy has wiped out his emotions.”

Inomata: “Don’t equate me with him. Frigid bastard…”

Sakamoto: “Then fucking control yourself. Otherwise you’re just gonna die.”

Inomata: “Die, huh… I’m gonna die? Just me…?”

Sakamoto: “Inomata!!”

Inomata: “Even at Cauliflower, only I got shot… by some regular citizen… that little punk bastard.”

Sakamoto: “It’s because you underestimate the power of crime! Even a normal citizen, if their desire to hunt a person is high enough, has the power to commit a crime.”

Sakamoto: “They can even be tougher than us. You get that, right? Inomata, you were bested in terms of that power.”

newmascotresized: Wait, is he equating crime with power levels like this is Dragon Ball or some shit?

Inomata: “It’s impossible… I can’t…”

Sakamoto: “You need to have more criminal power than the target. Disposal is the same as crime. Just hunt the target — keep that in mind!”

newmascotresized: Yes, yes he is.

Inomata: “I can’t lose! If I think of it as hunting, I can’t be beat!”

Sakamoto: “It’s the same as training. As far as the ability to secure a target goes, Inomata, you’re better than anyone.”

Inomata: “I know!”

Sakamoto: “OK… you ready, too, Timrod?”

newmascotresized: Just as a heads up for those who may not want to see it, there’s going to be some gore coming up. We already know what happens here and I’m ending the update after this segment, so you can safely skip it.

Natsume: “OK. Turn your radios to channel 2. We’ll move on my zero count. Execute the mission. We’ll enter formation once we find the target. Sakamoto, you move ahead until we find the target.”

Sakamoto: “Target found. We’re moving.”

Natsume: “OK. Spread out and lure the target to GF03.”

Sakamoto: “Got it. Inomata, get to my left. Timrod, follow the radar directions. Don’t be late.”

Inomata: “Got it.”

newmascotresized: Unlike the last gameplay segment, this is entirely on rails. The two yellow + signs are Sakamoto (on the right) and Inomata (on the left) with the red + in the middle being Kamui.

newmascotresized: You can see the green arrows - all you have to do is follow them to end this. I’m not sure if there’s dialog for going the wrong way or not.

newmascotresized: We take 10 or so steps to the North, and you can see Kamui getting closer to Sakamoto.

Natsume: “Sakamoto, you’re too close to the target. Get some distance.”

Sakamoto: “Got it.”

Natsume: “Sakamoto, do you read me? Get some distance!”

Sakamoto: “— Is this thing broken? The displayed distance and visual distance don’t match.”

Natsume: “Inomata, Timrod, do you read me? Confirm target distance with your scopes. Hurry up!”

newmascotresized: There’s no actual scope or anything. All we can do is keep moving.

Sakamoto: “Currently at… huh?!”

Inomata: “Sakamoto!! What’s going on? Sakamoto, respond! SAKAMOTOOOOOOOOO!”

newmascotresized: I don’t know if this was an intentional reference to Metal Gear Solid or not, but given that Suda has a game full of cutscenes where two characters have a podcast about Takashi Miike films…

Inomata: “CHIIIIEEEEF!!! Sakamoto’s callback…!”

Natsume: “… Continue the mission. Everyone keep your distance and follow the target. Keep this distance till I join you.”

Inomata: “CHIIIIEEEEF! YOU BASTARD…!!!”

Natsume: “Keep following the mission. Don’t fuck around, you idiot!”

Inomata: “FUCK OOOOOFF!!! I’LL HUNT HIIIIIIM!!!”

newmascotresized: Small editing note here - Inomata is using five exclamation points per sentence, but the site automatically truncates more than three.

Natsume: “Timrod. Continue following the radar!”

newmascotresized: Sakamoto’s dot appears back on the radar, and the arrows start directing us to him. This is where the gore warning comes into play.

newmascotresized: I just know Suda did this because of Event Horizon, which at the time would’ve been less than two years old.

Inomata: “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK”

Natsume: “?!”

Inomata: “Fucking Kamui!”

Natsume: “I’m heading towards Timrod’s point. Inomata, be careful and move ahead. Inomata, do you read me?”

Inomata: “…”

Natsume: “Answer me, Inomata!”

Inomata: “…”

Natsume: “Do you wanna die?!”

Inomata: “…”

Natsume: “We’re going up against Kamui! Keep calm!!”

Inomata: “…”

Natsume: “Inomata! You, too…?!”

Inomata: “I’ll kill him…”

Natsume: “Timrod, move forward! Don’t let Inomata die!”

newmascotresized: You can see that Natsume is now on the map.

Inomata: “Be sure to collect my body. Even if we end up killing each other…”

Natsume: “Inomata, get back to the mission. Don’t let Sakamoto die in vain.”

Inomata: “…”

Natsume: “Disobeying orders will get your ass done! Remain calm!”

Inomata: “Chief… thanks for everything.”

newmascotresized: At this point, all we can do is move toward Inomata’s position.

newmascotresized: I wonder what kind of bowgun removes the target’s eyes.

Natsume: “Move to point GF04. Fall back. The mission has failed. I repeat. The mission has failed.”

Natsume: “We lost two; the mission failed. There are no excuses… retreat. We can’t allow any further sacrifices. I let my subordinates die like that.”

Natsume: “Timrod… laugh at me, will you? The only thing this old man can do is get his revenge. Kamui will be showing up soon. Right here…”

Natsume: “Timrod… do you know the phrase…”

newmascotresized: Flower Sun and Rain is one of two sequels to this game. It was released on the PS2 and never localized. There’s a DS port that was localized, except it sucks.

Natsume: “The answer is inside Kamui. Don’t let him get to you. Kamui isn’t here. Kamui is right next door. Kamui is just peeking in. You get me? Timrod. It’s time we said goodbye. Take care…”

newmascotresized: Next time, we’ll get a cool nickname and solve a bullshit puzzle.

Summary

newmascotresized: Just as a heads up, this update will have Kusabi use a slur. I don’t know why they didn’t take it out for the re-release, since you already have a pretty good idea of what Kusabi’s character is.

newmascotresized: It’ll also contain an account of sexual assault. Both of these things will be at the end of the update, when the green security robot footage starts up.

Kusabi: “The Special Forces Unit was destroyed… what happened?”

Sumio: “Tetsu, come on…”

Kusabi: “What?”

Sumio: “He isn’t right…”

Kusabi: “Huh? Hey, you listening?”

Sumio: “He’s in a state of psychosis. I don’t think he can speak.”

newmascotresized: I can speak, I just don’t because I’m still taking in the concept of LPing a game where the writing doesn’t suck.

Kusabi: “Looks like it.”

Sumio: “What do we do?”

Kusabi: “I guess we got no choice…”

Sumio: “Should we head out?”

Kusabi: “The fuck are you talking about? Turn on the recorder.”

Sumio: “You’re right… hm? It won’t work, the battery’s dead.”

Kusabi: “Well that’s useless. Whatever, write all this down.”

Sumio: “OK…”

Kusabi: “Well? You even forget this guy’s face?”

Kusabi: “Sumio… quit fucking around with the recorder like a little kid.”

Sumio: “Fuck off, old man. I know.”

newmascotresized: This is what, three times now that Kusabi has threatened to kill someone?

Sumio: “Fine, whatever, just ask the questions…”

Kusabi: “I know… eight hours ago, the guy you guys were chasing. Kamui escaped to the woods near the isolation ward. Then, there was a chase. Special Forces was destroyed.”

Kusabi: “Sakamoto and Inomata were killed in the line of duty… Natsume is still out cold in the ICU…”

Sumio: “Tetsu…”

Kusabi: “Hm? So one more push, huh?”

Sumio: “Don’t.”

Kusabi: “Why not?”

Sumio: “He’s extremely delicate. Any more and…”

Kusabi: “Delicate?”

newmascotresized: It’s so nice to have a game that was made in 1999 where the characters have cell phones, as opposed to a game written in 2016 that has to explain dial-up.

Chizuru: “Where’s Kusabi?”

Sumio: “He’s here.”

Chizuru: “It’s an emergency. Get to the scene right away.”

Sumio: “Where to?”

Chizuru: “Sending it over now. See you at the scene…”

Sumio: “Wait… she fucking hung up. What should we do?”

Kusabi: “We go, obviously.”

Sumio: “No, I mean…”

Kusabi: “What?”

Sumio: “Timrod…”

Kusabi: “Hm… what do we do about this?”

Sumio: “He’s the sole witness.”

Kusabi: “So we bring him.”

Sumio: “But without Dr. Tachibana’s permission…”

Kusabi: “Fuck that guy.”

Sumio: “This isn’t something personal!”

Kusabi: “Fuck off.”

newmascotresized: I really wish Suda had done an action game with Kusabi as the protagonist, because I could see there being a button in cutscenes where Kusabi tells whoever’s talking to fuck off.

newmascotresized: This would apply doubly to plot-important cutscenes, because Kusabi has no time for plot.

Sumio: “Seriously?”

Kusabi: “Come on, we’re going! Huh? What’s up with this chinchilla, anyway…?”

Kusabi: “Chinchilla? That’s kind of a shitty nickname after all.”

newmascotresized: I hope you’re ready for my absolute favorite bit of dialog in this game so far. If this game had been localized before No More Heroes came out, it probably would’ve eclipsed the “Mr. Sir Henry Motherfucker” scene in that.

Kusabi: “In that case… maybe, like… ‘Private Dick Chinchilla’— no, that’s not it. He’s sort of a big guy… ‘Big Private Dick Chinchilla’ —?”

Kusabi: "Nope, that sucks… I got it! Just shorten it to ‘Big Dick’ ! "

Kusabi: “That’s a cool-sounding nickname. That’s it, then - Big Dick! What do you think, Sumio?”

newmascotresized: I think part of what makes me appreciate Kusabi so much as a character is having played Disco Elysium. This is basically what working with Harry Du Bois would be like.

Sumio: “That’s awesome!”

newmascotresized: Sumio being immediately in on it fucking kills me.

Kusabi: “Let’s go, Big Dick!”

newmascotresized: I didn’t capture it right, but the time is 7:35 PM… which either means it’s a really long way to the sewer from the hospital or Kusabi and Sumio were in the hospital for almost ten hours.

Sumio: “Just past this sewer.”

Kusabi: “Are the Unit 1 guys here?”

Sumio: “Yeah. Hachisuka and Morikawa should be…”

Sumio: “Let’s hurry.”

Kusabi: “Hurry up, Big Dick.”

newmascotresized: The game automatically moves you to this point, and from here, shit can get a little confusing.

newmascotresized: You can’t immediately move north - all you can do is turn around. The trick is that each direction has different characters you can contact, and you need to contact all three.

newmascotresized: The game will be giving us bios of each character soon, but this is Morikawa. He’s part of the other half of the 24th Precinct Heinous Crimes Unit, and is Hachisuka’s partner.

Kusabi: “We’re not sitting around on our asses like Unit 1.”

Morikawa: “Who’s this guy?”

Kusabi: “The witness. We brought him from the hospital.”

Morikawa: “I heard Natsume’s guys all went down…”

Kusabi: “Yeah, this guy’s the only one left.”

Morikawa: “Some sort of superhuman?”

Kusabi: “He’s Big Dick.”

Morikawa: “Nice to meet you, Big Dick!”

newmascotresized: My new theory is that the player character is actually a sentient chinchilla, which I posed to Salty Vanilla. Here’s an early artist’s rendition of what the player character looks like.

image

Morikawa: “Of course. So, who’s our guy?”

Kusabi: “You didn’t hear? It’s Kamui…”

Morikawa: “Kamui? You mean ‘Silver’ Kamui?”

Kusabi: “So you remember, huh?”

newmascotresized: I didn’t find out until when I started working on this update, but there’s a timeline of events leading up to the start of the game on the game’s website.

newmascotresized: Some of it is spoilers, which is why I won’t post it here, but according to the timeline, the Silver Case happened in March of 1979 - almost exactly 20 years before the game starts.

Morikawa: “I mean… how could I forget?”

Kusabi: “What about this one?”

Morikawa: “It’s really messed up… it’s like…”

Morikawa: “It’s been awhile since we’ve had a nasty one like this.”

Kusabi: “So it was him…”

Morikawa: “Him? Kamui did this…?”

Kusabi: “Yeah. No fuckin’ question, this was Kamui.”

Morikawa: “But how?”

Kusabi: “With that weird harpoon gun… he got four people with it.”

Morikawa: “And he gouged out the different parts… get her down now!!”

newmascotresized: I remember in Disco Elysium when you had to either shoot the body down or become a racist.

Kusabi: “Fuckin’ Christ…”

newmascotresized: Sumio and Hachisuka are over to the left.

Chizuru: “Take a look. We’re just getting started…”

Sumio: “Seems like not much time has passed…”

Chizuru: “Can you just keep quiet for me? Who’s this…?”

Sumio: “A special survivor. We brought him just in case. His name is Timrod.”

Chizuru: “OK… Hi, Timrod. My name is Hachisuka.”

Sumio: “He’s in a state of shock. He can’t speak.”

Chizuru: “Well then… good thing you brought him along then, huh?”

newmascotresized: I like to imagine that this is a conversation Hachisuka has every time Kusabi shows up to a crime scene.

Sumio: “It was Tetsu.”

Chizuru: “Kusabi…”

newmascotresized: Finally, if we turn to the right from the initial view of the sewer waterfall, we can talk to two generic cops.

Cop: “I don’t really know either, but apparently he’s some top secret serial killer.”

Cop: “But I’ve never actually heard of him…”

Cop: “It was all just rumors before. Nobody thought he was actually a real person.”

Cop: “Why is this all not publicized?”

Cop: “This world is full of the unknown.”

Cop: “I thought it was all just made-up stories…”

Cop: “There’s lots of stuff that little guys like you and I simply never know… crime is just like the darkness. It isn’t meant to be seen.”

newmascotresized: I mean, given that literal crime demons apparently exist in this universe, that’s probably a good thing.

Cop: “That makes sense.”

newmascotresized: The entire time this dialog is going on, there’s camera noises and flashes going off in the Film Window.

Morikawa: “Twelve hours…”

Kusabi: “It was Kamui. The timeframe fits…”

Sumio: “Five hours between the woods and this. That would be enough time.”

Kusabi: “Got an ID?”

Morikawa: “Not yet…”

Kusabi: “Let’s hurry and find where it happened.”

Sumio: “So he didn’t actually kill her here…?”

Kusabi: “Nope… he did it somewhere else and then left her here, so it would stand out more…”

Morikawa: “I’ll handle the ID.”

Kusabi: “Do it… Sumio, take a look around.”

Sumio: “Roger that!”

Kusabi: “Hachisuka! Where’s Hachisuka?”

Sumio: “She left.”

Kusabi: “She left?!”

Sumio: “To attend the autopsy.”

Kusabi: “Without even fucking saying anything…”

Sumio: “That sort of research is important, so…”

Kusabi: “Whatever, fuck it. How about it, Big Dick? You remember anything?”

newmascotresized: Our movement is now unlocked, so we can go past the water.

newmascotresized: There’s a contact point right ahead of us. Let’s just see…

newmascotresized: And as soon as we take another step forward…

Sumio: “It’s a doll… right?”

Kusabi: “What is this old thing doing here?”

Sumio: “No idea.”

newmascotresized: If you’re not familiar with Suda51, this is a hallmark of his writing - subverting the audience’s expectations by introducing a scene and then immediately discarding it.

newmascotresized: Ah, the tried-and-true policy tactic of not doing anything.

newmascotresized: You can tell a little bit about each character by what gun they use, so I’ll describe each one - just in case you’re not familiar.

newmascotresized: The SIG Pro is a polymer-frame handgun that was built to be a service weapon… but never really caught on anywhere except for France, where it’s the standard police sidearm.

newmascotresized: We’ve already seen most of Kusabi’s information, but they repeat it here anyway.

newmascotresized: The Colt Officer’s ACP is a short-barrel version of the M1911 developed for concealed carry and originally meant for military use. It’s not typically used by police due to a number of reliability issues.

newmascotresized: The SIG P229 is a concealed-carry variant of the SIG P226, and is a very common standard-issue sidearm among police and military units in the US.

newmascotresized: The P232 is a standard-issue gun for police officers in Japan, but is also used by a number of police departments in the US.

Nakategawa: “Kamui Uehara has escaped from the hospital isolation ward and has killed four people. He is currently still at large.”

Nakategawa: “Kamui is assumed to have made his way into the city, where he is currently in hiding. Now, three things.”

Nakategawa: “First off, there’s something I’d like everyone to be consistent with. The official name of this case is the ‘Kamui Case’. It’s a good, simple name.”

Nakategawa: “Second, I’d like you all to watch this video. Hachisuka, start the tape.”

newmascotresized: The video very slowly moves down the hallway as this is going on.

Kusabi: “Well how thorough. Fast-forward it.”

newmascotresized: Kusabi understands the Hashino-Allanson Rule of Explanations well.

Nakategawa: “I can’t. It’ll damage the tape head.”

newmascotresized: Of course the futuristic guard robot uses VHS tapes. This is 1999, and everyone thinks DVDs are the next LaserDisc.

Morikawa: “Whatever, let it play.”

Kusabi: “Yeah, so what?”

Chizuru: “What about it?”

Nakategawa: “This is where the female victim worked. At the time of the murder, she was wearing her own clothes.”

Nakategawa: “Yes.”

Kusabi: “So what does this mean?”

Kusabi: “So there was someone she wanted to see so badly she was willing to break the rules…”

Nakategawa: “She is believed to have been meeting with Kamui in secret.”

Kusabi: “The fuck is wrong with this broad…”

Nakategawa: “Lovesick, I’d assume. She works in a hospital, after all…”

Chizuru: “And? What else?”

Sumio: “So Kamui…”

Nakategawa: “Killed her. We’ve gotten some comments. Apparently the victim, Yuriko Sonoda, and Kamui were involved physically…”

Kusabi: “So they were fucking?”

Nakategawa: “And it seems it was strictly one-sided, from Sonoda. Kamui was mentally ‘impotent’, so…”

newmascotresized: God dammit, and I liked Kusabi.

Nakategawa: “To a woman, he may have been the ideal man. Like a doll with no emotions, who will never betray you. The perfect man, whom you can just set down by your side forever…”

newmascotresized: I get what the point of this scene is - it’s that you have a bunch of clueless middle-aged guys in a room discussing a woman - but still.

Chizuru: “You think so? Wouldn’t that be boring? Also, assuming all women are like that is pretty sexist.”

Morikawa: “But it’d be comfortable and easy, right?”

Chizuru: “Well,it would be easy, but still…”

Nakategawa: “Let’s get back on track. Sonoda seduced Kamui and lured him here.”

newmascotresized: This sounds less like an investigation and more like Nakategawa pushing a narrative, but I guess that’s what happens when you work for a government hit squad.

Kusabi: “Goddamn.”

Sumio: “So she seduced Kamui, and was killed…”

Chizuru: “And then she was left here.”

Kusabi: “Hold on… the lead is different, isn’t it?”

Nakategawa: “Yes. In Yuriko Sonoda’s case, the scene of the murder and the place her body was dumped were the same.”

newmascotresized: Wait, can you really call it ‘dumping the body’ if Kamui just left it there without moving it?

Nakategawa: “In Yuka Kawai’s case, it’s two separate places. After killing her in her home, he moved the body.”

Kusabi: “That’s pretty complicated for Kamui.”

Sumio: “You got something, Tetsu?”

Kusabi: “No, never mind…”

Nakategawa: “Here is the victim’s profile. The victim is Yuriko Sonoda. Twenty six years old; female. Worked as a counselor. After graduating from medical school, she started work at this hospital.”

Nakategawa: “Her most recent patient was Kamui. She had been counseling Kamui since about six months ago, recently they had been in some form of contact almost every day.”

Nakategawa: “The cause of death is his specialized harpoon gun. The body shows signs of perforation in four places. Inside her uterus we found traces of bodily fluid thought to be Kamui’s.”

Nakategawa: “We’re currently waiting for a positive ID. Estimated time of death is between 10pm and 11pm on March 27th. This matches the time the tracking satellite began tracking Kamui almost perfectly.”

Nakategawa: “Next up is the profile of the victim found in the sewer. Yuka Kawai, 25 years old. Worked at a digital media sales firm. She was in charge of the Kamui projects.”

Nakategawa: “Estimated time of death is between 3pm and 4pm on March 28th. We’re waiting on test results for further details.”

Kusabi: “I’ll leave the details to Naka. Next!”

Nakategawa: “Alright, and finally: I’ll give a simple explanation of Kamui Uehara’s history. Please take in as much of this info as you can.”

Nakategawa: “He’s not your run-of-the-mill criminal. This man has been completely overtaken by an evil darkness. Go ahead and toss ‘common sense’ right out the window for this.”

newmascotresized: Hold on, did I just walk into the writer’s room for Kingdom Hearts?

newmascotresized: Well, that explains why Kusabi showed us the photo earlier.

Nakategawa: “OK, if I may continue, with regards to how we proceed…”

Kusabi: “That’ll do! Unit 2 is the brawn, and you Unit 1 guys are the brains of the operation, right?”

Chizuru: “That makes sense.”

Nakategawa: “That’s basically right. Investigation Unit 1 is analyzing the database to try to predict how the suspect will move and where he will appear. Investigation Unit 2 will collect the data not yet in the database and investigate the areas the tracking satellite can’t reach.”

Nakategawa: “Everyone else, await orders… that’s all for now. Let’s get to it.”

newmascotresized: Next time, we’ll finish Decoyman.

Summary

Kusabi: “The fuck’re you talking about?! You whiny bitch! How about you try working your delicate little ass off day after day, huh?!”

Chizuru: “Those are your duties, aren’t they?”

newmascotresized: The first line on Kusabi’s resume is “Worked ass off day after day”.

Kusabi: “The data you pick up isn’t worth dick! This forensic investigation bullshit is old news!”

Chizuru: “Go ahead and investigate however you want if you want to just waste time! Please just stop complaining.”

Kusabi: “Complaining? Who the fuck is complaining? It’s criticism. You’re doing your goddamn job wrong!”

Chizuru: “Up to now, we’ve collected 26 pieces of useful data. How about that? If you want accurate data, we’ll need 10,000 samples. Do you understand?”

Chizuru: “Do you? Do you want to do this for us? Data on 10,000 abandoned buildings and empty rooms! Are you going to find it for us? If so, then I’ll handle the stakeout for you. Well?”

Sumio: “That’s enough, Hachisuka…”

newmascotresized: This single image could probably take the place of the entire Persona 5 Royal LP. Probably YIIK as well.

Kusabi: “Yeah yeah, I got it. You want us to handle the stakeout, right? Fine, we’ll do it.”

Sumio: “Let’s go set up the stakeout.”

Morikawa: “Tetsu, a moment…”

Morikawa: “I got this from Munakata.”

Kusabi: “Munakata? That’s rare…”

Morikawa: “It’s Kamui’s hideout.”

Kusabi: “For reals?”

Morikawa: “My info is certain, yeah.”

Kusabi: “And it’s a love letter… creepy.”

Morikawa: “It was passed on.”

newmascotresized: Kusabi is so dense that I bet if the guy’s bullet had hit him in Lunatics, it would’ve just bounced off.

Kusabi: “Sorry.”

Morikawa: “Be careful. I’ll take up the rear. Let’s meet up later…”

Kusabi: “Got it. Sumio!”

Sumio: “…”

Kusabi: “Come on!”

Sumio: “Where did it come from? That info…”

Kusabi: “Doesn’t fuckin’ matter. Come on, let’s move!”

Sumio: “It’s a stakeout. This is no time to mess around. Tetsu…”

Kusabi: “Whatever. We sit here wasting time and he’s gonna get away!”

Sumio: “But…”

Kusabi: “Just hurry up!”

newmascotresized: Yes, what about me?

newmascotresized: There’s two things we can do here before the plot progresses. The first is behind us.

newmascotresized: There’s a star marking a contact point on the bookshelf, but that’s not where it actually is.

newmascotresized: The actual contact point is the computer to the right, which you have to turn the camera to see.

newmascotresized: Hm. There’s only so many people who could’ve sent this… assuming this isn’t a ghost - that happens more often in Suda’s work (especially in the Kill the Past games) than you’d think.

newmascotresized: The total list would be Kusabi, Sumio, and possibly Natsume - unless this is the ghost of Sakamoto or Inomata, or any of those people Kusabi killed in Lunatics.

newmascotresized: I would not be surprised if Suda’s canon explanation turns out to be that Badman sent this at some point during Travis Strikes Again.

newmascotresized: There’s another contact point below the TV, but when we get close…

newmascotresized: Is this gonna be one of those things where we’re “infected” with Kamui’s crime ghost or whatever?

newmascotresized: Once we see the crime ghost, the phone starts ringing. You can let it ring like 20 times to get an achievement in the remake.

newmascotresized: If you’re achievement and/or trophy hunting, this game only has a handful of optional achievements and three of them are in Decoyman.

newmascotresized: One is for following the arrows during the scene where Kamui kills Sakamoto and Inomata without going the wrong way, and we’ll see the third in a little bit.

Kusabi: “We’ve got an emergency, get your ass to Babylon right away. That’s Babylon, got it?”

newmascotresized: I’m picturing that chinchilla Salty Vanilla drew going online and trying to figure out whether he’s buying plane tickets to Iraq or Iran.

Kusabi: “Kamui’s made a move. Just get there now. Babylon Shopping Center. Hurry!”

newmascotresized: One thing that’s kind of hard to show in stills - there are visual glitches on Kusabi’s portrait meant to show that he’s on the phone and breaking up a little.

Kusabi: “Listen, we have no time… move in ahead of me. Just don’t do anything stupid. Got it? I’m counting on you, Big Dick!”

newmascotresized: There’s a lot of dialog here, and I think it’s possible to miss some of it if you know exactly where you’re going. I had to do this area twice because I accidentally auto-solved the puzzle.

Kusabi: “Babylon is currently closed for business. If the security system is working, then the shutter for the escalator to the second floor should be closed, but most security systems have panels for unlocking. Look for that.”

Kusabi: “Work it out by the time I get there. Got it?”

newmascotresized: The camera angles in Babylon are… not the best. Most of the time, you’re looking at a wall because the escalator blocks off the center of the room - you have to go around the edges.

Kusabi: “I’ll give you the details later. Take care of the broad, Big Dick. I’m counting on you.”

Kusabi: “Kei Nanami, 23 years old. She was an underclassman of Kamui’s back when he was in art school. No idea how the fuck he did it, but he apparently lured her out of work.”

newmascotresized: You might be wondering how she could be an underclassman at the age of 23 when the Silver Case happened 20 years before this.

newmascotresized: Basically, this “Kamui Uehara” is a different person than the one Kusabi arrested 20 years ago, but they refer to him as Kamui because he’s using the same MO… at least, I think.

Kusabi: “Sumio is getting info on what she looks like. Talk later.”

newmascotresized: That big green board on the back wall is where we’re trying to reach.

Sumio: “Tetsu’s contacting her place of employment now. I’ll contact you again.”

Kusabi: “Kei Nanami was supposed to go out to meet some guys with some female coworkers tonight. Apparently these guys work for a really elite company, so she got all dolled up.”

Kusabi: “That’s about it… for now, keep an eye out for a flashy-looking broad and you should find her.”

newmascotresized: Once we get to the board, we can Contact it to access the security system. It’s kind of hard to see, but the sign has “Kill The Past” written on it.

Sumio: “Currently, that security is being hacked by Unit 1. But according to Hachisuka, it’s apparently gonna be impossible to hack it completely.”

Sumio: “The conditions I’m about to lay out are pretty much the limit. The numbers are a 4-digit combination. The security code changes every time. Input the correct code in 20 tries or less.”

Sumio: “A red lamp means a number is correct, but in the wrong location. When a location and number match, one green lamp will flash. When all four of the green lamps flash, it’ll unlock.”

Kusabi: “Quit wasting time with your fucking yapping. This’ll take me a bit longer. To summarize, just get all four green lamps on. Now get to it.”

newmascotresized: This puzzle is usually called “Bulls and Cows” but is referred to by the game as “Hits and Blows”. There have been entire books written about it, as well as a wealth of academic papers.

newmascotresized: If you’ve read the Persona 1 LP, Code Breaker is a 9-digit version of this game. I’m told it was also used in this exact format in Virtue’s Last Reward.

newmascotresized: Anyway, the cheevo is for doing this in 5 or fewer guesses. How hard is that? Well, uh… let’s go through my winning attempt and I’ll talk about it as we go.

newmascotresized: In 1990, a mathematician and computer scientist by the name of Tetsuro Tanaka did a deep dive into Bulls and Cows, and wrote an algorithm that tried to solve every possible permutation of the game as efficiently as possible.

newmascotresized: What Tanaka found was that no combination took more than 7 guesses, and that the average length was around 5.2 guesses. This means you’ll need at least some luck to get it under 5.

newmascotresized: Fortunately, today’s computers are far more powerful than what Tetsuro Tanaka had in 1990, and a number of coders have made solvers for it. The solver I used is here.

newmascotresized: By the second guess, we have one hit and one blow.

newmascotresized: This solver gets it in three, which is actually pretty impressive. The other one I tried took seven attempts.

Sumio: “I found out how she’s dressed tonight. She’s wearing a red cocktail dress, black stockings, and a black coat. Finding and securing her are our number one priorities. Get on it.”

newmascotresized: We can go up the escalator now, to one of the more confusing bits of game design in this game.

newmascotresized: Even with the security bypassed, the shutter is still down. If you look, we have the ability to move in its direction.

newmascotresized: Doing so causes us to simply lift it up and walk underneath.

Kusabi: “Another new hassle. Looks like there’s a civilian on the second floor. Secure them as soon as you find them. Don’t you accidentally fuckin’ shoot them.”

newmascotresized: I wandered around for a bit up here before I found what you’re supposed to do.

newmascotresized: One of the storefronts has a shutter that’s slightly open. You can duck under it using movement. I don’t know why they didn’t put contact points here and at the escalator to make it stick out.

newmascotresized: I have no idea if this is a reference to something or not.

newmascotresized: I think I captured this a moment too late, but he says “KAMUI” in all caps repeatedly. Anyway, meet Tokio Morishima. Tokio is the protagonist of the PLACEBO chapters.

Sumio: "Timrod, did you find the civilian? Come down to the first floor once they’re secured. Get on it.

newmascotresized: We now have to crawl back through the shutter and go back to the escalator.

newmascotresized: Unfortunately, if we try the shutter to the elevator, it’s locked again.

Sumio: “Timrod, find the emergency bell. If the building’s management system is working, the door should unlock. Now go find the emergency bell.”

newmascotresized: The fire alarm is on the other side from where we picked up Morishima. We can talk to him, but he doesn’t say anything.

newmascotresized: There’s a contact point on the wall, so let’s go check that out.

newmascotresized: What’s the deal with all these ghosts and Kamui anyway?

newmascotresized: And now Morishima’s doing it too. What the hell?

newmascotresized: Wait, what? We’re not Kamui, we’re an elite special forces chinchilla turned corrupt government hit-squad cop.

Sumio: “How’s it going? Search every nook and cranny. Don’t overlook even the slightest change!”

newmascotresized: Huh… what’s that shadow doing there? Is that supposed to be Morishima’s?

newmascotresized: Well, shi- wait a minute, this doesn’t match the description Sumio gave us. The person we were looking for was wearing a red cocktail dress.

Morikawa: “So it’s all gone to hell…”

Kusabi: “Sorry… it was my fault. I was stupid to have entrusted it to an amateur.”

Sumio: “Don’t worry about it, Timrod. It’s not your fault.”

Kusabi: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I’m not blaming you.”

Sumio: “It’s okay, Tetsu. You’ll recover. Don’t worry about it…”

Sumio: “Boss…”

Kusabi: “Sorry, old man. Go ahead and give it to me straight.”

Kotobuki: “Hm… well, you take a break. Go cool down a bit.”

Kusabi: “Roger that!”

newmascotresized: I’m trying to imagine what Kusabi looks like on break, and I can’t imagine it.

Sumio: “Anything we can do about it, boss?”

Kotobuki: “Nothing. We have to consider Unit 1, too. You want Naka to freak out?”

Kusabi: “Leave it, Sumio.”

Sumio: “…”

Kotobuki: “Sumio… you take care of this witness. Take them along on the investigation.”

newmascotresized: So wait, are we part of the investigation now, or what? Why the hell did Kusabi send a witness in alone against Kamui?

Kotobuki: “Tetsu… take Akemi outside once in a while. You don’t often get to rest. I’ve booked you into a nice inn. Go enjoy the hot springs.”

newmascotresized: I give him ten minutes before he starts threatening the hot springs with a gun.

Kusabi: “Old man…”

Chizuru: “This is all we can do… we don’t have enough samples.”

Sumio: “Point D2-08… what about this?”

Morikawa: “A place with connections to Kamui. They’re concentrated in this area.”

Sumio: “What about here?”

Chizuru: “Art Studio ‘Gladiolus’… Uehara used to work here. Apart from this place, there are several other places he used to work.”

Sumio: “On his own?”

Chizuru: “No. He and a woman named Ayame Shimohara used to work together. She’s still working there. ‘Gladiolus’ is open from 10:00am to 5:00 pm…”

Sumio: “We can make it…”

Chizuru: “You’re going?”

Sumio: “Yeah!”

Chizuru: “You shouldn’t, you know.”

Sumio: “Why not?”

Chizuru: “Why deepen her wounds further?”

Sumio: “What, you understand how she feels? That’s rare for you, Hachisuka. I didn’t think you had ‘feelings’.”

newmascotresized: Gee, Hachisuka, I assumed you were a cold, uncaring robot.

Chizuru: “We’re close in age. It’d be risky to contact her carelessly, right?”

Sumio: “How’re we supposed to investigate, then? What, you don’t like how we do things in Unit 2?”

Chizuru: “Each of our roles…”

Sumio: “We don’t have time for shit like that. Especially without Tetsu here. Right, Naka?”

Nakategawa: “Whatever you like…”

Morikawa: “Apart from this ‘Gladiolus’, Kamui is apparently involved in several other groups as well. His name is attached to eleven different digital groups.”

newmascotresized: This is 1999, so ten of those are Geocities webrings and the eleventh is an ongoing AIM chat.

newmascotresized: “Hi, I’m xxDarKamui99xx and welcome to my webpage, likes: murder, blood, harpoon guns dislikes: secret government hit squads trying to capture me, chinchillas”

Sumio: “What are the probabilities?”

Chizuru: “If we focus on the ‘Gladiolus’ art studio, chances of Kamui appearing are 001.289%.”

newmascotresized: I feel like this should’ve been one of those Jimmy Neutron “Actually, it’s salt” moments where Kusabi steps in and goes “You could just say 1.3% and this is why I hate you.”

Nakategawa: “Pretty dire.”

Morikawa: “What do we do?”

Sumio: “Let’s go, Timrod.”

Morikawa: “You sure…?”

Sumio: “I have a hunch.”

Morikawa: “Excellent.”

Sumio: “I’d like to talk to you about Kamui Uehara…”

Ayame: “Detectives? So you just show up suddenly like that?”

Sumio: “Well, yeah. Detectives don’t make appointments for this stuff.”

newmascotresized: I like to think that the chinchilla is in the process of taking out a tiny calendar to make an appointment when he says this.

Ayame: “Huh…”

Sumio: “…”

Ayame: “…”

Sumio: “Um…”

Ayame: “Yes?”

Sumio: “Do you mind? Can we come in…?”

Ayame: “Oh, yeah…”

newmascotresized: We can’t do anything in here - the first-person parts are just there to give you the opportunity to save. Interestingly, I think the PS1 version used save points.

Ayame: “Of course.”

newmascotresized: This pretty much confirms that the Kamui we’re after isn’t the same guy who Kusabi arrested twenty years ago.

Ayame: “No…”

Sumio: “You two used to work together… aren’t you somewhat close?”

Ayame: “We were just partners… we did trust each other, but that’s it.”

newmascotresized: Sumio goes from zero to “Were you two fucking?” in sixty seconds.

Sumio: “Has there been contact?”

Ayame: “What sort of contact?”

Sumio: “From Kamui. Has there been contact?”

Ayame: “To me?”

Sumio: “Yes, you.”

Ayame: “Are you seriously asking?”

Sumio: “Why?”

Ayame: “Like, here, right?”

Sumio: “Yes.”

newmascotresized: This kind of reminds me of Sae in Persona 5, except Hashino didn’t understand that his writing made Sae look like a dipshit. Suda DEFINITELY understands that.

Ayame: “Contact from Kamui?”

Sumio: “Yes.”

Ayame: “Nope.”

Sumio: “I see. So how’s Kamui been?”

Ayame: “Huh? What do you mean?”

Sumio: “I meant exactly what I said.”

Ayame: “What are you trying to say?”

Sumio: “He came here, right? Kamui…”

Ayame: “No way.”

Sumio: “I know you’ve met with him. With Kamui…”

Ayame: “Why?”

Sumio: “A feeling.”

Sumio: “Well, I am a detective.”

Ayame: “And that’s all?”

Sumio: “I’ve got a good nose… I have a sharp sense of smell. It smells like a man’s been here.”

newmascotresized: Inside, Sumio’s thinking “Damn, why didn’t I bring a dog?”

Ayame: “Lots of people come and go. Of course it smells like that.”

Sumio: “Is that so? Well then…”

newmascotresized: I’m going to cut this here, because Decoyman is a lot longer than I thought it was. In the meantime…

newmascotresized: Salty Vanilla finished our look at the canon appearance of the protagonist. They also did another picture I’ll show in the next update.

Too bad it’s the 90s so we’re not going to get the text message screenshot of Kusabi going “Big Dick’s in his Silver bum.
**case”

Summary

newmascotresized: This computer is the only thing we can use in the room, so let’s get to it.

Ayame: “What is it?”

Sumio: “What a woman…”

newmascotresized: There’s a video that plays in the background here that consists of a lot of rapid-fire text. I took enough shots so that you can get the idea.

newmascotresized: “Plot stagnation” is a pretty good way to describe Persona 5.

Ayame: “It was made at this studio. About five years ago…”

Sumio: “Was it Kamui’s?”

Ayame: “Kamui designed it, and I put it together. How nostalgic.”

Sumio: “Kamui, huh…”

newmascotresized: Before we get any further into this scene, know that the first thing I did was contact Salty Vanilla about getting a version of this scene done with Big Dick Chinchilla doing the interrogation.

Ayame: “No.”

newmascotresized: I’d ask how she could be unaware, but then you remember that Sumio just kinda barged in here and started dumping his spaghetti all over.

Sumio: “Your relationship with Kamui. Kamui’s relationship with his three victims. There was a commonality not included in the file.”

Ayame: “?”

Sumio: “You’re beautiful.”

newmascotresized: I feel like Sumio should’ve let the chinchilla handle this.

Ayame: “What is that?”

Sumio: “It’s a fact.”

Ayame: “Are you hitting on me or something?”

Sumio: “After all this gets worked out…”

Ayame: “That might be nice…”

Sumio: “In that case, I want to take Kamui in as soon as possible. Please help us.”

Ayame: “With what…?”

Sumio: “You, too, are being targeted. It was thought that Kamui randomly targeted three women at first. However, when we looked into their backgrounds, we found that all of them had some sort of contact with Kamui.”

Sumio: “His counselor, his art school underclassman, and his client. They were all relatively close to him. And they were all beautiful… they may have been Kamui’s type.”

Sumio: “We think that the person most likely to be targeted next is you, Miss Shimohara.”

Ayame: “That’s interesting… does that sort of reasoning stand?”

Sumio: “It isn’t ‘reasoning’. It’s a gut feeling.”

Ayame: “Do these ‘gut feelings’ usually pan out?”

Sumio: “They actually tend to… I mentioned that I have a good nose. I have bad ears, though, so maybe it’s because of that, but my sense of smell is sharp.”

Sumio: “Not as sharp as a police dog, but… I know Kamui was here. I can almost see his image.”

newmascotresized: Well yeah, he worked here.

Ayame: “Really…?”

Sumio: “Yeah.”

Ayame: “How?”

Sumio: “While you were out…”

Ayame: “He broke in?”

Sumio: “It’s possible.”

Ayame: “Is that all?”

Sumio: “Or…”

Ayame: “…”

newmascotresized: I believe this interrogation has now reached peak awkward.

Sumio: “Maybe… he’s here!”

Ayame: “You’re pretty sharp. What a detective. You’re really good at your job, aren’t you?”

Sumio: “???”

newmascotresized: There’s a contact point on the closet…

newmascotresized: Uh… wow. Was not expecting to see that.

Ayame: “Yes.”

Sumio: “No way?”

newmascotresized: I’m picturing Sumio going “Dammit, every time I try to hit on somebody, this shit happens. Every time.”

Ayame: “Yes way.”

Sumio: “Kamui…”

Ayame: “I told him to stay hidden…”

Sumio: “You did?”

Ayame: “Yes.”

Sumio: “Why?”

newmascotresized: Uh, maybe it’s because he’s tied up and has a ball gag in his mouth? Just a theory.

Morikawa: “The legend himself is right before our eyes.”

Nakategawa: “He’s keeping quiet.”

Sumio: " ‘Keeping quiet’ ? I get the impression that he can’t speak."

Chizuru: “Aphasic deficit? Just like his medical report. Hyposthenic disorder…”

newmascotresized: Hyposthenic disorder isn’t a real thing - the word “hyposthenic” is just a fancy term meaning “weak”.

Morikawa: “Damn. He’ll be taken away by the medical guys.”

Nakategawa: “We can buy time. We’ll lock down the station. I’ll prevent info from getting through to Central.”

Sumio: “Please do.”

Morikawa: “We’re counting on you.”

Chizuru: “What about the woman who found him?”

Sumio: “In the meeting room.”

Chizuru: “How is she?”

Sumio: “Nothing particular to report.”

Morikawa: “She doesn’t seem too shaken up. She’s got some balls on her, that one. She’d hold her own against Hachisuka.”

Chizuru: “…”

Sumio: “Hachisuka, stay with her. We don’t know when she’ll suddenly lose it.”

newmascotresized: Yes, that seems like a brilliant idea. Let’s leave Chizuru alone with the lady who had Kamui bound and gagged in her closet.

Chizuru: “Lose it?”

Sumio: “She says she locked Kamui up in order to kill him.”

Chizuru: “Kill him? What are you talking about?”

newmascotresized: Metal Gear!? Actually, wait, this is only like a year after MGS1 so the meme hadn’t really set in yet.

Sumio: “Revenge. As her partner, he betrayed her. And he started killing again, too. Those three women…”

Morikawa: “Then why didn’t she just hurry up and kill him?”

Chizuru: “Yeah… the target of her vengeance was right in front of her. So if she wanted to kill him so badly…”

Sumio: “Killing a person isn’t so simple. Just keep an eye on her for the time being.”

Chizuru: “OK.”

Sumio: “Nothing in particular. Just a few mouth movements.”

Morikawa: “You can lipread, can’t you? So what’s the word?”

Sumio: “The word ‘shelter’ over and over.”

Morikawa: “Shelter?”

Sumio: “I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean. Maybe some sort of guidance?”

Morikawa: “The shelter area?”

newmascotresized: This part is a little odd, because the shelter area is something that everyone seems to know about… but for some reason, Sumio doesn’t immediately come to that conclusion.

Sumio: “Wanna go check it out?”

Morikawa: “No, it may be a trap. We can’t move lightly.”

Sumio: “That’s true.”

Morikawa: “A clue…”

Sumio: “If Kamui can’t speak, then further detainment may be pointless…”

Morikawa: “Yeah, I agree. We’re getting nothing from Kamui. Apart from the fact that he killed someone…”

Sumio: “Then maybe we should hand him over to Central…”

Morikawa: “We can’t do that.”

Sumio: “We can’t?”

Morikawa: “According to Naka, Central knows we’ve captured Kamui.”

Sumio: “How does Central know…”

Morikawa: “He’s here on Central’s orders.”

Sumio: “What? What’s Central trying to…”

newmascotresized: Something tells me Central is applying the Weyland-Utani method of dealing with a killing machine.

Morikawa: “Maybe they’re purposely trying to keep him at arm’s length… in some sort of scheme.”

Sumio: “Scheme…? What is this, a TV show?”

Morikawa: “So it’s the end of the line… can we get anything from the girl who found him?”

Sumio: “It would be dangerous to get her close to Kamui…”

newmascotresized: Why are they so intent on keeping Kamui alive when they have what’s basically a license to kill?

Sumio: “She did try to kill him, you know…”

Morikawa: “Hold on… but she didn’t kill him, did she? Are we sure she really was trying to kill him?”

Sumio: “?”

Morikawa: “Why would she have to lock him up in her house? And why was she the only one Kamui didn’t kill?”

Sumio: “Apparently he was passed out in front of her door… maybe he was too excited from all that action?”

Morikawa: “That doesn’t make sense.”

Sumio: “That’s how he was found. I wouldn’t be surprised if he simply wasn’t able to kill her.”

Morikawa: “That’s not it… Kamui has been like that for a long time now.”

Sumio: “You mean ever since he escaped?”

Morikawa: “Yeah. He isn’t capable of killing anyone like that.”

Sumio: “He had a weapon.”

Morikawa: “That’s not what I mean; I mean he’s physically unable.”

Sumio: “Physically?”

newmascotresized: Metal Gear!?

Morikawa: “What about his medical records?”

Sumio: “I checked them.”

Morikawa: “What did they say?”

Sumio: “A lot.”

Morikawa: “No, I mean about his condition when he was apprehended.”

Sumio: “Hyposthenic disorder… incapable of living on his own.”

Morikawa: “Well then, how was he able to escape?”

Sumio: “Maybe he was faking it?”

Morikawa: “You think he’d be able to fool modern medical technology? He may be a criminal, but…”

Sumio: “Yes, that would be impossible.”

Morikawa: “Yeah, that’s just his ‘shell’. He doesn’t have the power to kill anyone. He hasn’t killed anybody.”

Sumio: “We’re talking about Kamui, though…”

Morikawa: “He isn’t some kind of ghost, you know. He’s just a man.”

Sumio: “…”

Morikawa: “A legend is a legend.”

Sumio: “Well then, who… no way…?”

Morikawa: “What was Kamui doing while he was on the run?”

Sumio: “He was locked up…”

Morikawa: “Why would he need to be locked up?”

Morikawa: “Bingo!”

Sumio: “------! Hachisuka!!”

Morikawa: “Shit!!”

newmascotresized: Wait, where the hell did Ayame get a gun? Man, this police department sucks.

Morikawa: “Oh Christ…”

Sumio: “I’ll contact the Medical Unit. Let’s go, Timrod! There’s only one place Ayame would go. The shelters!”

newmascotresized: I’m going to cut out a lot of this next part, because it’s very repetitive.

newmascotresized: The real question is why does this even exist? I don’t think bomb shelters work that way - the whole point is that they’re custom-built.

Sumio: “She’s gotta be here. Timrod, let’s split up and look for her. I’ll check around from the back. You start checking the front. Keep in contact via radio.”

newmascotresized: This part is a lot like those scenes in Snatcher and Policenauts where you just kinda have to dick around for a bit to progress the plot.

newmascotresized: The game highlights which shelter is which - numbers 1 through 4 are in the front.

newmascotresized: Here’s why I’m cutting a lot of this - all four shelters are exactly the same inside… which also makes you wonder why they needed an exhibition hall for them if they’re all identical.

newmascotresized: Each shelter has a bathroom, a TV room, and a room in the back with nothing in it. Three of them also have contact points - but the last one only appears after you’ve checked them all.

newmascotresized: Being a chinchilla and also a detective, obviously.

newmascotresized: As you can see from the thing on the top, we’re in Shelter 2. We have to go through Shelter 3, and then in Shelter 4…

newmascotresized: This must be one of those shelters for helicopter parents.

Sumio: “What the hell… looks like we’ll have to check one more time. Get on it.”

newmascotresized: Fortunately, we don’t have to check them all again - we just need to check the second one, specifically in the empty back room.

newmascotresized: I like to think that Big Dick the Chinchilla is trying to tell Sumio about the freaky bomb shelter kids, and Sumio’s pretending not to understand.

Sumio: “OK, that’s enough for that area. Check the two shelters to the left of the one in back. I’ll meet up with you later. Get on it.”

newmascotresized: All we have to do at this point is go into Shelter 5 and head to the empty room in the back.

Sumio: “What, you still don’t get it? Our mark is in the back there. Anyway, you really helped. This is my job from here on.”

Sumio: “Timrod… it sucks, huh? Not being able to protect the one you love…”

newmascotresized: This scene was used for a lot of the game’s promotional art.

Sumio: “I am a detective, so…”

Ayame: “Nice work.”

Sumio: “Thanks.”

Ayame: “…”

Sumio: “…”

Ayame: “Kill me…”

newmascotresized: Funny that we’re the one Kusabi calls a chinchilla for not immediately shooting someone.

Sumio: “?”

Ayame: “I’d be happy to have you kill me.”

Sumio: “Are you coming onto me?”

newmascotresized: I wonder, if Sumio goes to a dating agency (given this is 1999) does he accuse everyone of trying to kill him?

Ayame: “Yes, after this is all over…”

Sumio: “That would be great.”

Ayame: “Wouldn’t it?”

Sumio: “Let’s hurry and finish this. I can’t kill you.”

Ayame: “Let me go…”

Sumio: “I can’t.”

Ayame: “Hurry…”

Sumio: “I can’t.”

Ayame: “Even if I kill the kids?”

Sumio: “Don’t do it.”

Sumio: “I can’t do that, either.”

Ayame: “Aren’t you a man?”

Sumio: “Yeah, but…”

Ayame: “I don’t like this.”

Sumio: “What?”

Ayame: “This kind of thing…”

Sumio: “Are you nervous?”

Ayame: “That’s not what I mean…”

newmascotresized: I feel like both of them heard the term “shotgun wedding” once and assumed this is how it works.

Sumio: “Then what?”

Ayame: “Leaving things incomplete like this.”

Sumio: “Incomplete? What is?”

Ayame: “You’re kinda slow, huh?”

Sumio: “Me?”

Ayame: “Yeah.”

Sumio: “Slow?”

Ayame: “Slow.”

Sumio: “Things will be incomplete for me, too…”

Ayame: “I’m kinda happy.”

Sumio: “Really?”

Ayame: “Yeah…”

Sumio: “OK then, can I ask you something?”

Ayame: “What?”

Sumio: “Age.”

Ayame: “You mean, like, my age?”

Sumio: “Yes.”

Ayame: “Why?”

Sumio: “Just because.”

Ayame: “You’re asking a lady her age?”

Sumio: “I wasn’t really able to ask before, so…”

Sumio: “Same as me.”

Ayame: “You’re 26?”

Sumio: “Yeah, so there’s no need to be extra polite.”

Ayame: “Is that why you were so courteous?”

Sumio: “Well, I didn’t want to be rude.”

Ayame: “That’s weird.”

Sumio: “Yeah, it is.”

Ayame: “…”

Sumio: “…”

Sumio: “What?”

Ayame: “The kids of those women I killed…”

Sumio: “Three of them…”

Ayame: “So I got my revenge.”

Sumio: “…”

Ayame: “I was so sad… I thought about killing the kids, too, but…”

Sumio: “…”

Ayame: “I couldn’t.”

Sumio: “That’s good…”

Ayame: “I hope so…”

Sumio: “I mean, murdering someone…”

Ayame: “You really are kinda slow.”

Sumio: “Huh?”

Ayame: “I’m so glad I met you…”

Nakategawa: “What’s wrong?”

Morikawa: “No, it’s nothing. I felt I saw something in Kamui’s expression…”

Nakategawa: “In this plastic mask?”

Morikawa: “Yeah… he looked really sad.”

Nakategawa: “Morikawa, you’re such a romanticist. And good at making stuff up, too.”

Morikawa: “No, seriously. Just now, look…”

newmascotresized: And now we’re back where we started, only almost a month later. All we have to do is move forward to end Decoyman.

Nakategawa: “She’ll likely get the death penalty. Kamui’s children have been put into a facility. And… the secret of Kamui’s birth has finally been discovered.”

Morikawa: “Finally?”

Nakategawa: “Yes… it was designated top secret, so it was pretty tough. And there were casualties, but…”

Morikawa: “Someone got killed?”

Nakategawa: “Four people.”

Chizuru: “Fuck…”

Morikawa: “So where was it found?”

Nakategawa: “An FSO paper company.”

newmascotresized: The game’s touched on this before, but Japan in The Silver Case is more or less run by mega-corporations.

Chizuru: “You mean the Frontier Conservation Alliance?”

Nakategawa: “That’s their old name, but yes. The ghost of the FSO.”

Morikawa: “They had Kamui?”

Nakategawa: “They managed him. That’s where we learned where Kamui was from.”

newmascotresized: And I guess we know now why they haven’t killed him - Kamui operates off the same rules as Golgo 13.

Morikawa: “The file says Cape Kamui…”

Nakategawa: “A complete fabrication.”

Morikawa: “So his ID, they just made that up?”

Nakategawa: “Kamui was born in the shelters.”

Morikawa: “Shelters? You mean, those shelters?”

newmascotresized: We’re being introduced to a whole bunch of major story concepts that… we actually won’t see again for some time.

newmascotresized: The way I’ve seen it explained is that The Silver Case is an amalgam of a bunch of story ideas Suda had at the time, and so we don’t really pick back up on the main plot until the final Transmitter case.

Morikawa: “Possibly… you hear a lot of that stuff on the east side.”

Nakategawa: “Twenty years ago, that project was put into action. When Kamui was four years old.”

newmascotresized: I know they’ve basically outright said that the Kamui that Kusabi arrested was a different person, but I can absolutely see him trying to arrest a toddler.

newmascotresized: The real question is if he’d threaten to shoot the toddler first.

Morikawa: “So he was raised in those shelters.”

Nakategawa: “The shelter exhibition area opened twelve years ago.”

Morikawa: “It doesn’t match up.”

Nakategawa: “The exhibition area was its secondary use. After it had served its original purpose.”

Chizuru: “And so, Kamui’s kids found themselves in the shelters. Tracing back their father’s memory…”

Morikawa: “Is that even possible?”

Nakategawa: “I don’t know… but Kamui is known to favor those shelters.”

Morikawa: “Why?”

Nakategawa: “His favorite place closely resembles those shelters.”

Chizuru: “Where?”

Nakategawa: “Solitary confinement.”

newmascotresized: Wait, isn’t this that scene from the Batman movie? The meme one with Bane in it.

Nakategawa: “As a child, he lived in a wide-open yet stifling environment. As he got a bit older, Kamui’s ‘hometown’ became the shelters. A sullen, dark world where the sunlight can’t reach…”

Nakategawa: “He felt comfortable in that noisy and isolated world.”

Morikawa: “People are attracted to the underground…”

Chizuru: “Are they?”

Morikawa: “Take this job. This is a world of isolation. It’s sometimes hard to breathe.”

Chizuru: “Yeah…”