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Take-Two Interactive Software, 1996,Action, Adventure,
1st-Person Perspective, Cyberpunk / Dark Sci-Fi,
Detective / Mystery, Horror, Interactive Movie, Sci-Fi / Futuristic.
November 18, 2040
Another body, another byline. That’s the saying in my business; its the way your name gets recognized. Well, my stories are running in the Virtual Herald a lot these days and my name is finally out there. I should be happy, but who am I kidding? See, there’s a catch to my newfound success. I owe it all to the Ripper.
What is it about this guy? I mean this is New York City. It hasn’t changed in a hundred years. There are crazies around every corner and murders everyday. It takes a special breed of psycho to stand apart from the crowd in this town, but the Ripper has managed to pull it off; he has clearly differentiated himself from a thousand other lunatics who share his hobby.
This is the kind of story that only comes along once in a career, full of mystery, murder, intrigue, and big loud headlines that scream for attention. This Ripper is an arrogant killer who loves his work, who boasts and takes pride in the fact that he eviscerates his victims and seemingly vanishes without trace. The police are stumped and the public is hooked. I don’t even have to try; the story is practically writing itself.
It started a few weeks ago when a nobody who owned a dry cleaning business in the Bowery was torn to shreds. I’ve covered my share of murders, but I’ve never seen anything like it. He was sliced open from crotch to throat, his organs and blood splattered all over the room like some grotesque work of art. Even Detective Magnotta, the lead investigator in the case, shed his ball- breaking, fearless-cop persona long enough to admit that it was the worst murder he had ever seen in all his years on the force, and he’s seen his share, up close and personal.
Then came the letter, sent to me over my WAC. Some lunatic was taking credit for the murder. The image of the confessor was distorted, as was the eerie voice that addressed me as “Boss.” “You are the writer of words. I am the taker of souls,” started what would become an ongoing communication between us. He added, “Of all the writers, great and small, I chose you to spread my word. You are my pen-pal, my voice. And you will hear from me from time to time, like any true friend.” He later went on, “Maybe you know me, maybe you don’t. Perhaps we’ll meet. Someday, you might stare me in the eye, and you’ll know.” He signed off, “Yours truly, Ripper.”
This “Ripper” was obviously patterning himself after the original Jack the Ripper, who also used to address his boastful letters to the press “Dear Boss.” But unlike the original Jack the Ripper, this killer’s first victim wasn’t a prostitute, but rather an honest, likable dry cleaner who had a reputation for being an all around nice guy in the neighborhood. It didn’t add up.
Why did he pick me to write to? That question still gnaws at me. I didn’t like the way he said, “Maybe you know me.” Why would he say that? Could there be a chance that I have met him?
I’ve met a lot of crazy people, but they’re not usually the ones to fear. It’s the calm, peaceful, gentle souls who are secretly driven by dark obsessions that are the really dangerous ones. The ones with equal doses of brilliance, creativity, charisma, hate, and insanity. No matter how well you think you can read people, there’s never any way of ever really knowing what kind of madness lies behind even the most serene eyes. My job keeps me on my feet; I meet people every day, some good, some bad. Maybe I have crossed paths with the Ripper. Who knows?
A short time later he struck again. This time it was Karl Estevez, a computer programmer for a religious software company in Soho. The Ripper tore him to shreds right in his office, and again, no witnesses, despite the fact that a few night owls were still hanging around the building.
No one heard or saw a thing. None of the entrances or exits were accessed. There was no trail of blood leading from Estevez’s office to anywhere. It’s as if the Ripper suddenly materialized, savagely butchered his victim, and vanished into thin air.
Magnotta was even more stumped about this murder than the previous one. There was no appar¬ent connection between the victims and no one in the police force could speculate as to what the murder weapon might be.
My editor, Ben Dodds, saw this as one of those unique stories that could carry a paper for months. He put me on it full time and assigned Catherine Powell to be my assistant. Catherine. What can I say? She joined the paper several months ago, and it didn’t take long for ours to become more than a professional relationship. Mixing love and work can get messy, and it hasn’t been easy to differentiate the two. She has her ways of approaching a story and I have mine, and we seldom find common ground. Were making the most of it.
Things have begun to quiet down. Some people would take that as a good sign, that maybe the Ripper has vanished for good. But I know better. He’s still out there, ready to strike, and it’s up to me to stop him.
- Jake Quinlan
A. Your Objective
1. The Plot
The year is 2040, and you are Jake Quinlan, veteran crime reporter for the New York Virtual Herald. A mysterious serial killer who calls himself Ripper is stalking the streets of New York, murdering in the same fashion as the legendary Jack the Ripper.
And like the original Jack the Ripper, no one has a clue to the identity of this new psycho killer.
2. The Game
It’s up to you to weave your way through a complex story structured into a prologue and four acts. Along the way you’ll be moving throughout a beautifully rendered 3D world, meeting and conversing with characters, solving puzzles, uncovering clues, and decking into the surreal nether¬world of cyberspace where you’ll battle your way through numerous combat sequences.
3. The Finale
As the plot unfolds, you’ll be compiling your list of suspects, until the story’s climax where you’ll come face to face with all of them. Here, you have only one chance to stop who you believe to be the Ripper. Choose wisely.
4. Playing the Game Again: A New Ripper
After you win the game, the adventure is not over. You can play the game three more times. In these different scenarios, one of the other suspects will now be the Ripper. Can you track down the clues and discover the identity of the other Rippers in the other three scenarios?
B. The Game play icons
When you pass the mouse cursor over the top portion of the screen, the game icons will appear.
If you click on an icon, you can access its specific functions. The icons are:
1. World Map Icon
When you click on the World Map Icon, the New York City game map appears on the screen.
A list of locations that you can visit appears in the bottom left window. Click on the Up and Down arrows next to this list to scroll it up and down. The box to the bottom right lists the names of rooms within the highlight¬ed location that you can explore once you arrive there. Click on one of the locations on the list to be automatically transported there.
The New York City game map can also be accessed whenever you exit a game location.
If you see the spinning globe on the main game screen, you’ll know that you’re a single click away from accessing the city map. If you enter the World Map screen and wish to return to the main game interface without traveling to a new location, click on the Power button.
2. The Inventory Icon
All of the objects that you have collected appear on this inventory screen. When you wish to use an object in your inventory, click on the Inventory icon to list the items stored there. Now click on the object that you wish to use and then on the Use option. You may also double click on an item or click on it and press the Enter key to accomplish the same thing. If you are in a location where it is appropriate to use the selected item, you will then see it being used there. If the item cannot be used in the selected location, you will be
informed of this as well. You can click on the Cancel button to exit the inventory screen without using the selected inventory item.
3. The WAC Icon
The small icon that resembles a lap-top computer accesses the WAC, your hand-held computer which can be used in several ways in the game.
Sometimes you will receive video messages from characters over your WAC. At other times you may scan objects and manipulate them with it. The database of objects that you have scanned can be accessed at any time by clicking on the WAC’s Database button. You will find that you are able to manipulate some of the scanned images in the WAC database in the same way as you would a puzzle interface (See Section C Subsection 6, ‘Solving Puzzles’). Refer to Subsection 3, ‘Exploring in the Environment’ under C. ‘GAME PLAY IN THE REAL WORLD’ for information on scanning objects with your WAC.
Clicking on the Notebook button allows you to type and review your comments or notes throughout the game. This is provided so that when you find a clue or have a hunch, you can write it down to refer to later. To exit the Notebook, Database or Help functions and return to your WAC interface, click on the glowing box found at the top left of each of these screens. Click on the Help key if you need assistance with the WAC interface. To turn off the WAC and return to the main game screen, click on the Power button.
4. Save Came Icon
You will automatically be taken to the SAVE GAME screen. At the center of this screen will be a graphic image of your current game sized to fit into one of the 20 save game boxes. This image is attached to the mouse cursor and will move around the screen with it, so that you can save your game into any box you wish. To save your current game in a box, simply move the image over that box and click the left: mouse button. If the box you have chosen contains a previously saved game, you will be given the opportunity to overwrite that game or cancel the save function. Once a saved game has been placed in a box, you will have a chance to attach a brief text description to that game before leaving the SAVE GAME screen.
5. Restore Game Icon
The Restore Game icon allows you restore one of twenty possible saved games. Clicking on this icon takes you to an exact replica of the SAVE GAME screen (see 4, ‘SAVE GAME ICON’, above). As you move your mouse cursor over the various games that you saved previously, the text descriptions that you assigned these games will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Move the mouse cursor over the image of the saved game that you want to restore and click the left mouse button to initiate the Restore function. Next, you will be asked to verify your game selection and given the option of canceling the Restore function.
6. The Game Options Icon
This icon takes you to the Ripper options screen where you can tailor game attributes such as mouse speed, video buffering, difficulty levels for combat and puzzles, subtitles, etc. You can also select hot keys for commonly used game functions in the Options screen.
7. The Remote Control Lon
In addition to the regular game options, you will also be able to alter your video display to suit your personal preferences and hardware requirements. Click on the Remote Control icon to access color, contrast, brightness and tint adjustment features without leaving the game. Master Volume as well as sound levels for Ambiant Music, Special Effects and Video Playback can be changed using the Remote Control.
8. The Help Icon
You can click on the HELP icon at anytime to receive information about how to use the Ripper interface or negotiate through a game situation. The HELP screen will describe what the various mouse cursor functions are and help you understand the situation that currently confronts you. This function is particularly useful when you find yourself entering a unexplored area of the game world or an unfamiliar puzzle interface. The HELP function does not give you game hints or strategies.
To access the HELP function from a Cyberspace location where the normal game menu bar is not available, press the FI key.
9. The Hourglass Icon
When you see the spinning Hour Glass icon, you’ll know that the computer is loading a new scene, location, character interaction, etc. In a few seconds, the game will continue.
C. Game Play in the Real World
1. The Main Game Screen
The game screen is a large view window which presents a first person view of the world as your character sees it. You will use this interface to move through the Ripper environment, participate in conversations with the various characters that you encounter, and solve puzzles that impede your progress.
2. Moving in the Ripper Game Environment
While exploring locations in 2040 New York, you will be moving along pre-defined movement paths. You control your movement left, right, straight or backward by clicking your left mouse button when the cursor changes to a dagger that points in the appropriate direction.
Generally speaking, the dagger cursor will indicate both directions that you may travel and directions you can turn to from the location where your character stands Move your mouse across the game screen. If the dagger cursor is pointing straight ahead, you can move forward; if it is pointing to the right or left, then you can choose to move or turn right or left by left clicking when the appropriate dagger is displayed. If the dagger cursor is spinning on an area of the screen, it indicates that you cannot move in any direction from that area of the room.
3. Exploring in the Environment
As you explore the Ripper game world, you will find many opportunities to interact with the people and objects that you encounter there. When you see a Magnifying Glass icon appear over an object, it indicates that you can examine that object more closely.
To do this, click the left mouse button on the indicated object. The first person view on your screen will move closer to the object so that you can see it more clearly. To zoom away from an object, click on the Dagger cursor that points back towards you.
In some instances, you will encounter an object that you can scan for your WAC database. You will be made aware of this when the WAC Scan icon appears over the object that you are inspecting.
To scan an object, left click when the Scan icon appears over it. This will transfer an image of the scanned object into your WAC database. You can then refer to that image throughout the game without actually having had to remove it from its game location. For more information on using your WAC and accessing its data base, see subsection 3, ‘The WAC Icon in the ‘Game Play Icons’ section above.
When you pass the cursor over an object that you may wish to pick up, or a fixed part of a larger object that you can manipulate in place, a metallic hand icon appears, alerting you to this opportunity.
When you see this icon, click the left mouse button to take or move the indicated object. If it can be picked up, the selected object will be transferred from its game world location into your inventory. When you add an item to your inven¬tory, the Inventory interface will appear on you screen. See subsection 2, ‘Inventory Icon’ under the ‘Game Play Icons’ section above for information on using items in your inventory.
If the item is a portion of a larger object, clicking on it will cause it to be pulled, turned, twisted or otherwise manipulated in some way. The results of this manipulation will vary from item to item, but will soon be evident to the player.
4. Interacting with Characters
As you explore Ripper game locations, you will encounter many characters to interact with. When you pass your mouse cursor over these characters, you’ll notice that the cursor becomes a Talking Skull icon. This lets you know that you can speak to the indicated character.
When you see the Talking Skull icon, click the left mouse button to initiate a conversa¬tion. The scene will shift to an interaction screen where the character appears in the main view window and the questions you can ask them or information that you can discuss will appear in a list below. If the number of questions/topics exceeds the size of the visible list, Up and Down arrow buttons will appear next to it which you can click to scroll through all of your available options.
As the story and plot progress, and new infor¬mation is discovered, the list of available questions/topics can change. Even if you have exhausted the potential questions to ask a character when you first encounter him or her, you may find that you have new conversation options with that character later in the same act when you return to speak with them.
Also, be aware that asking some questions will lead you into conversations that could exclude others. Choose your interrogation tactics wisely and tailor them to the information that you already know. The clue that you miss or the opportunity that you lose may cost Jake Quinlan his life.
5. Moving from Location to Location
You will move from location to location in the game by using the New York City Game Map.
You can access this by clicking on the spinning World Map icon.
The World Map icon can be found in one of two ways. It is on the main icon bar that appears when you pass the cursor over the top of the screen and will also automatically appear when the mouse cursor passes over an exit hot spot in a game location. When you click on the World Map icon, you’ll be transported to the New York City Game Map.
Refer to Subsection 1, ‘World Map Icon’, under Section B, ‘THE GAME PLAY ICONS’ for information on using the New York City map.
Throughout the game, you will encounter puzzles that, once solved, will offer you clues, provide you with useful information, or give you the ability to travel to new locations. Each puzzle will be accessed automatically when you examine an appropriate object or item in a location.
Puzzles will come in all shapes and sizes, but most will involve simply using your mouse on the game screen to manipulate objects, move items, etc. You will notice that the mouse cursor changes when you are zoomed in on a puzzle [from the dagger to a simple arrow]. As you move this cur¬sor around the puzzle screen, you will see it change color from white to red. A red cursor indi¬cates that the part of the puzzle that it is positioned over can be manipulated by clicking on it. Remember to access the Ripper Help Option (see 8, ‘The Help Icon under Section B, above) if you need assistance with a particular puzzle interface.
To exit a puzzle, move your cursor to the location on the screen where it becomes a Dagger icon indicating a direction that you can move or turn. Click on this icon to extricate your character from the puzzle interface...
D. Game Play in Cyberspace
1. Decking Into Cyberspace
Much of Ripper will take place in the surreal netherworld of cyberspace, the virtual non-space where computers talk to one another. Cyberspace can and will be represented in various ways. It is a true fantasy world where anything can happen.
You can deck into cyberspace through your computer in the newsroom as well as various other locations that you will discover as the game progresses. When you encounter one of these com¬puters, you’ll notice that a Decking icon will appear over it.
If you click the left mouse button when this icon appears, you will be transport¬ed to the Main Cyberspace Screen.
2. Selecting Active WELLS
At the Cyberspace interface screen, you can scroll through various WELL loca¬tions. These are actual areas of cyberspace that you can visit. To access an active WELL, click the left mouse button when the cursor stops over its icon. The selected WELL icon will then move toward you and pause to allow you click on it a second time to verify your choice. Press the Escape key to return to the main Cyberspace screen without entering the selected well.
If you have not yet encountered information concerning a particular WELL or its creator, then that WELL is considered to be inactive and the cursor will not stop over it.
Be warned however, that most WELLs require a password. Its up to you to discover what the passwords are. Once you discover a pass¬word, you need to type it in when prompted after selecting an active WELL. If the pass¬word that you have entered is incorrect, the selected WELL icon will simply return to its original position; if the password is correct, you will be admitted to the selected well without needing to verify your choice.
4. Cyberspace Combat
Some WELLs will be further protected by ICE (Intrusion Countermeasure Electronic) which prohibits unwelcome intrusion, much like a present day security system would.
If you attempt to invade a WELL protected by ICE, you will have to fight or solve a puzzle to gain access. ICE varies greatly from WELL to WELL. In one instance you may find yourself battling what appears to be an electronic security guard or armed policeman. In another WELL you may battle ICE designed to look like giant rats or other monsters. In still others you will be faced with a cryptic puzzle concocted by some eccentric decker. Don’t forget, in C-Space anything goes’
The puzzle interfaces in Cyberspace function exactly the same as those in the real world, but the combat sequences utilize different conventions.
Regardless of what kind of ICE you are battling, the method of combat will remain essentially the same. You must simply aim your cursor at an opponent and fire your weapon by pressing the left mouse button. Cyberspace foes may have certain hot spots where they are most vulnerable to damage from your attacks. It is up to you to determine where these weak points may be.
These Cyber foes have been placed in C-Space by their creators to fight intruders such as yourself, and that’s precisely what they will do. Their methods of attacking you may vary from creature to creature, but all will do damage to your Cyberspace persona unless you protect yourself. Holding down the right mouse button raises your character’s inherent shields to absorb the brunt of an opponents attacks. When your shields are raised, a blue cast will overlay your view of the game screen. Shield strength is not unlimited, however, and the wise player will use them sparingly lest he find himself unprotected at a critical moment in a prolonged combat.
To monitor the strength of your shields as well as several other key aspects of the battle in progress, refer to the gauges on the right side of your combat screen. The top left gauge keeps track of your health, while your opponent’s health is monitored by the top right one. The bottom left gauge tracks your weapon power and the one to its right gauges your shield strength. These will deplete and refresh themselves at different rates throughout the combat situation. The rate at which these fluctuations occur will vary from combat to combat and will depend directly on the difficulty level that you have selected. In combat situations where your opponents do not attack you directly, such as Eddie’s Shooting Gallery or Catherine’s brain, the monitors will not be present on the game screen. Your weapon’s strength will still be depleted by excessive use in these situations however, and could still fail, depending on the difficulty level selected.
No matter what form it takes, be aware that conventional ICE software can only damage your C-Space identity. It cannot hurt you in the real world. This means that if you are defeated by ICE in Cyberspace the worst that can happen to you is being booted out of the WELL that the ICE is protecting and forced to return to the real world.
Remember, if you are having difficulty with a particular Cyberspace puzzle or combat interface, you can access the game’s HELP function at any time. If the regular game options tool bar is not available in the C-Space location that you are in (due to a combat situation or other strange cir¬cumstance) you can still get to the HELP menu by pressing the FI key. In addition, you can exit any C-Space WELL or menu at any time by pressing the Escape key.
GLOSSARY OF USEFUL CYBERPUNK TERMS
Cyberpunk: Extremely popular sub-genre of science fiction featuring the interaction of humans and machinery, culminating in the ability to merge a human nervous system with computer circuits, projecting the mind into cyberspace. William Gibson invented the genre in his novel, Neuromancer, and Ridley Scott defined the look in his film Bladtrunrter.
Cyberspace: The virtual non-space where our computers talk to one another. A fantasy world where anything can happen.
WELL: A location in cyberspace. A place were data can be stored and manipulated.
Deck: The hand-held device that a person uses to enter cyberspace. A person who uses a deck is a decker, when someone uses it they are said to be decking.
ICE: Intrusion Countermeasure Electronic. ICE protects WELLs in cyberspace from unwel¬come intrusion. Security systems, basically.
Data Angel: A person in cyberspace is often referred to as a data angel.
STEP BY STEP WALK THROUGH OF THE PROLOGUE
This is an introduction to game strategy, including hints and puzzle solutions for the prologue. If you wish to play the game on your own, skip this section, but if you get stuck early, refer to this section if you want help.
View the mysterious murder of a young woman (Renee Stein).
Listen to the establishing voice over from Jake Quinlan (your character).
Move into the room of the murder site. When the mouse cursor (the knife) points straight ahead, click the left mouse button to walk inside.
Talk to the lead detective on the case, Vincent Magnotta. Pass the mouse cursor over Magnotta. It will turn to the communi¬cate icon (the skull). Left click to converse with Detective Magnotta. By asking him various questions you learn:
A. That the victim was 43 year old Renee Stein, a book publisher.
B. That there have been two previous Ripper murders.
C. The murder has the same M.O. as the other Ripper murders.
D. There seems to be no connection among the victims.
E. Oddly, there were no witnesses and no signs of forced entry.
F. That her computer was on and she was decked to the public library node of cyberspace.
G. That the Ripper writes to you (Jake Quinlan) after each murder.
After all questions have been asked, Magnotta breaks a piece of evidence, a mug, seemingly on purpose and then leaves the room.
Look down where Magnotta was standing to see the broken shards of the mug lying on the floor.
Scan the pieces of the mug using the WAC. Now click on the WAC icon on the menu at the top of your screen and then on the Database key. You can now reconstruct the mug by clicking on the various pieces and manipulating them on the WAC screen. This will reveal a word, Salisbury, inscribed on the mugs surface.
View the computer—It is clear that Renee Stein was decked to the public library node of cyberspace.
Talk to Karl Stasiak, a forensic photographer at the site to learn that:
A. This murder is identical to the previous ones; it has to be the same killer.
B. The Ripper kills with uncanny precision, almost supernaturally.
C. Stasiak has no idea what kind of murder weapon the Ripper is using, but it must be big and the Ripper must be a strong man to wield it.
D. Something really seems to be bothering Magnotta.
E. Vic Farley, the pathologist at the Meta-Cog, may know more about what the murder weapon might be.
Catherine Powell, your assistant at the Virtual Herald and current love interest, con¬tacts you over your WAC. She tells you something is up, but as usual, she’s vague and mysterious about what it is. She tells you to wait for her at the newsroom and further adds that if you don’t hear from her in an hour you should travel to her apartment and wait for her there.
Move your mouse cursor to the tool bar (or walk to the door) and click on the world map. Access the world map and select...
The scene automatically shifts to the newsroom where you meet with your Editor-in Chief Ben Dodds. Dodds tells you that he doesn’t know what Catherine is up to, but whatever it is it seemed important. She wouldn’t tell him where she was going, so you’ll just have to wait and see.
Suddenly, as he has done after the each of the previous murders, the Ripper sends you a message over your WAC. He boastfully takes credit for the Stein murder and tells you that his next victim will be Catherine Powell. In a state of panic, you dart from the newsroom and rush to Catherines apartment.
Catherine returns to her apartment, but something is wrong. She stumbles forward, whispering the name Ripper before passing out in your arms.
End of Prologue