Last Window: Midnight Promise: Opening Kyle’s Second Case

By Laura . February 2, 2010 . 5:28pm

image The year is 1980.  Setting, Los Angeles.  It is dark, and a man steps out of the wagon stopped in front of Cape West Apartments.  The man slams the car door shut with a scowl, and he drags his feet up the steps.  Along the way, he passes a strange woman with sunglasses, despite the darkness of night, and a wide-brimmed hat, but he gives her little more than a glance.  He has more on his mind tonight.

 

One year has passed since the events in Hotel Dusk: Room 215, and things have been going on as usual.  Perhaps too much as usual, because Ed, Kyle’s boss, suddenly gets sick of his employee’s slacking.  All the sleeping in cars when he should be working and the lack of calls finally got to his nerves, and the next time Kyle finally decides to phone in, the only words he gets in return are “You’re fired!” 

 

Shocked, Kyle makes it back to the apartment, where he had been living in on and off for four years, still with the vague hopes that Ed was just kidding.  With nothing else to do, Kyle can only stay at “home.”  Due to his job, Kyle had never spent much time around here before, so he didn’t really know any of the inhabitants well.  Nor did he know about the eviction notice either, which stated that he would have to move by the end of the year because the building was being demolished.

 

imageThen Kyle got another letter. As Kyle learns, even being kicked out of Red Crown doesn’t stop requests from coming in, as he is suddenly asked to “Search for the Red Star that was lost 25 years ago.” This was particularly odd because such requests should never have gone straight to him even when he was with the company and especially not now, when he was off the job, but it all only got stranger when he finally decided to look into the apartments in hopes of a hint to the object in question.  It was no secret that up until only 13 years ago, the Cape West Apartments actually went by Hotel Cape West, so searching for an object that had disappeared before that would be neigh impossible.

 

But what Kyle doesn’t realize is that not only does the Red Star exist, it is right under his nose, and his journey to find it will lead him to discover the truth behind two interconnected murders – one 13 years ago, and another 25 years ago.  The former is a direct consequence of the latter, and the latter deals intricately with Kyle’s past.  Kyle will finally, now that he is the same age as his father was when he died, unravel the truth behind his parent’s death.

 

image Most of the mechanics of Hotel Dusk were carried over to Last Window: Midnight Promise. The game is more or less split between: walking around, solving a multitude of puzzles using the touch screen, finding evidence, and interrogating characters with a visual-style interface for dialogue. However, Cing added many small details that just made the game a better experience.  The sound of Kyle’s footsteps change as he walks over hardwood, then carpet, then down the empty cement basement.  Almost every person’s gestures are, as usual, extremely well-animated, but now it’s almost like you can sense a person’s personality from the way he or she smiles.  There is also a new choice you can choose whenever you are given the chance to interrupt someone.  Instead of being given no choice but to cut in, you can ignore what he or she is saying, prompting him/her to continue.  This may seem like a trivial aspect, but at times this will be the only way to deal with your conversation partner and to avoid a game over.

 

There are some additional differences in focus.  The story in Hotel Dusk focused on Kyle’s own past – the reason why he quit the police force four years ago – while that in Last Window looks more at the past before Kyle – his father’s past, to be more precise.  A heavier emphasis is placed on family, as we meet Kyle’s mother for the first time and learn about Kyle’s childhood, somewhat.  This pattern carries over to the side characters as well, as the great majority of their problems stem from family-related issues as well.

 

image This game also has more of a hardboiled voice than its prequel did.  The dialogue enforces this, as well as the narration, with Kyle’s attitude and the short sentences sometimes employed.  However, even more obvious is that everything Kyle does is written in a novel form after you finish the chapter.  The novel can be accessed from the menu easily, so if you haven’t played the game in a while, it’s a great way to catch up with what had happened.  The only problem is that, since it’s moderately detailed (not every line of dialogue is shown) the chapters can be long (the first chapter was 85 pages long).  This link between book and game is a nice touch and adds to the flavor of the game.  In fact, one of the (only) extras you get at the end of the game is every chapter to the book, including the epilogue, so you can read it at your own leisure to whatever background music you want.

 

The art in the sequel has improved greatly since the first game.  The gestures are fuller, and the watercolors used in the background creates a unique feel.  Indeed, the best place where the art shines is during the opening, where you have a full minute or so of animation, colored purely in watercolors (or what looks like it, at least).  You can see a montage of it, more or less, in this trailer.

 

 

Last Window is similar enough to Hotel Dusk for fans to enjoy, and engaging enough for them to rejoice about.


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  • Kris

    Has Nintendo announced this for the US yet, or has NoA decided to drop their support of this like they did with Trace Memory?
    Edit: Damn, I’m cynical lately.

    • Tokyo Guy

      But Trace Memory was released, no? Or do you mean the Wii version? Was the Wii game not released in North America?

      • Kris

        Nope, no wii version for the US!

  • EvilAkito

    Loved Hotel Dusk. I’ll be pretty pissed off if Last Window does not see a US release.

  • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

    This would make me actually re-purchase and re-play Hotel Dusk. I usually trade those types of games back in, due to no replay value whatsoever, but… since it’s a persistent world and story… I wanna know as much as I can.

  • kylehyde

    I swear, I will burn NOA’s headquarters and steal Reggie’s shoes if they don’t bring this sequel.

    • Aoshi00

      So Reggie is the guy that has the final say to what comes here or not? It’s really silly.. both Disaster Day of Crisis and the Trace Memory sequel are perfectly fine games (I even got the Jpn Wii to play them).. if he doesn’t think it’s worth the full $50, just price them at $30 or $40. Don’t tell me it’s his idea that ASH is not localized..I could always import this, but playing a game w/ such Western setting in Jpn would be really weird (plus I don’t want to get this for over $60 and find out it would be out in 2 months for $30).. I forgot this game is even out alrdy!

      • kylehyde

        I really don’t know who is the one that decides what games comes and I don’t f*ck!ng care, but someone has to pay if this game doesn0t receive a localization and since NOA headquearters are closer than Japan headquartes well is more easy for me to try to set fire on them.

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        It would be a shame if, for some reason, they don’t see this game “fit” for release. The trailer looks beautiful and there’s an audience for that on the DS. If it’s denied for any reason I’d like to know why since I’m stumped (then again, I’m still pushing for titles like Idolm@ster, so maybe that plan is moot).

        What I’d really like to know is what NoA thinks of fans doing translation work for Fatal Frame 4. I can’t imagine too many people picked up copies of the already hard to get game (still scouting a copy for myself), but they had to have seen the demand in the release in the complete translation itself. I didn’t think they’d ever release it, but I’m glad I was wrong. It’s good to know there are dedicated fans out there that would do that, but it might not work out like that for each title NoA stomps on.

      • Joanna

        I think Japan has last say. Girl’s mode was really pushed by Iwata for international release. So yes, NOA does have a say, but NOJ has the final say.

        I missed Siliconera, glad to have more spare time again :)

  • http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org shirokiryuu

    I really hope this’ll come over… I’m really excited for this..

  • john411

    I don’t care who brings it over, just being it over.

    NOA do it!

  • JeremyR

    I hope in a few more sequels, when it will be the right year, he can turn on a TV in the game see a certain A-ha video.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not the only one to use that sort of style. A Queen video, I think for Save Me, used it too. But still, would be cool)

    • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

      Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, too, I think.

      But, yeah, I want to see him get chased in a maze by a crazy driver with a wrench.

    • Jaxx-Leviathan

      That got me laughing out loud, why didn’t I think of that before? ^^

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    I never got around to chck out Hotel Dusk but this has me really intrigued, might have to pick it up sometime and then hope for this to be localized. By the way, really nice writing, the narration part you did in the start, Laura. It got me interested in what might happen next.

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      Thanks =) I tried to get into the style of the writing that may appear in Last Window even though I’ve never written anything remotely mystery-like before.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        P…p…

        *crawls away into a corner*

        • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

          Project… Come on, Ish, you can say it. Just a word (or two, in this case) =P

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            N-no! I…I’m scared…

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2012

    Colour me interested.

  • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

    Awesome playtest! I can’t wait for this to get localized. Hopefully, they’re quick about it. Poor Kyle sounds really down in the dumps.

    Haha, they should’ve brought this out when we were still bang in the middle of recession and people were being laid off left and right. Might’ve raised the spirits of a few thousand people. :)

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

      Either that or gotten them really depressed that even game characters were getting laid off. And that the only way to get their job back may be to wait for a murder. No, don’t go off causing one!

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Which means he gets it back? ZOMMGGG SPOILERRRRRRRRR!!!!!

  • pitaru

    Hello everyone.

    Just a ‘peep’ for you North American fans in await.

    http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/5834/osterzone.gif

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