[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LA-Noire-Box-Art_3100.jpg]]

->''"In the Marine Corps, you deal with the chain of command. Mistakes get made, but you deal with 'em. You know what you're fighting for, that you're on the same team. But dealing with corruption is like chasing shadows; you never know whether the guy you're talking to is on the path, or whether it's your partner, or maybe even the Watch Commander. So who do you trust, Cole? I made up my mind a long time ago..."''
-->--'''Herschel Biggs'''

''L.A. Noire'' is a video game by [[Creator/TakeTwoInteractive Rockstar Games]] and Team Bondi, released on May 17, 2011 in North America and May 20 in Europe. You play as Cole Phelps, a ByTheBookCop in [[TheForties 1947]] UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, before the freeways and the Dodgers came over. You start out as a beat cop, slowly working your way up the ranks of the LAPD and investigating crimes that range from the lurid to the disgusting to the truly bizarre.

One of ''L.A. Noire'''s chief selling points is its use of innovative motion capture technology to digitize the actors' faces and expressions and put them into the game. Rather than serving as a gimmick, this is heavily incorporated into the gameplay; when you talk to people and engage in PerpSweating, you have to read their facial expressions in order to detect unspoken emotional cues and figure out whether or not they're being honest with you, or if they're lying or hiding something.

Not related to the TV Series ''L.A. Noir'', which has since been renamed ''Series/{{Mob City}}'' to avoid confusion to this game.
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!!This game provides examples of the following tropes:

* AccidentalMisnaming: In "The Driver's Seat", the first Traffic case, when introduced to Stefan Bekowski the watch commander pronounces it '''Ber'''kowski. Probably an actor oversight; the in-game subtitles provide the correct name.
* ActorAllusion: In "The Consul's Car", Valdez angrily calls Cole a [[MadMen madman]].
** In "The Golden Butterfly," while Moller is being interviewed at the station, he insists that the cops should "give [him] that lie test." In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', Moller's actor plays a character who ''is'' a [[{{Telepathy}} lie detector]].
** This isn't the first time Michael [=McGrady=] has played an LAPD Detective; he was Det. Daniel Salinger in {{Southland}}.
* AKA47: Averted with most of the guns, since they are long out of production, so the developers could use their real names freely.
* AdventureGame: The game have been compared quite a lot to old-school adventure titles, especially ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest''.
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler: Dr. Fontaine]] always speaks with a clam, reassuring voice and remains just as polite [[spoiler: even as he kills his own "apprentice" by forcefully injecting him an overdose of morphine and bases a woman's skull in with a blunt object.]]
* AlasPoorYorick: Cole quotes the line while holding a shrunken head prop.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: Many gamers when they first saw the "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign immeadiately believed it to be a case of BlandNameProduct. However, consistent with the [[ShownTheirWork work they've shown]] in making the world as historically correct as possible, the sign did read "HOLLYWOODLAND" Up until 1949 when the sign was refurbished and the "LAND" removed.
* AlwaysMurder: Subverted. One of the most memorable Traffic cases has Cole and Bekowsky investigating a doping allegation [[spoiler: and uncovering a pornography ring at a film prop store.]]
** Subverted even earlier in [[spoiler:the very first Traffic case, when it's discovered the "victim" used pig's blood to [[FakingTheDead commit pseudocide]].]]
** Played straight on the arson desk when a normally very boring and generally dismissed assignment suddenly becomes very exciting when [[spoiler:Cole gets demoted to it.]]
* AnachronismStew: For a game that seems to get everything else so perfect, it's kind of odd that they have so many errors, though many are admitted to be intentional. In other words, the game designers have ShownTheirWork, but the RuleOfCool made for a few cases of A Spot Of Weak Anachronism Broth On The Side.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Three of the Arson cases have you playing as [[spoiler: Jack Kelso]], an insurance investigator-turned-Special D.A. investigator and one of the members of [[spoiler:Cole's old Marine Corps unit.]]
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Two of the preorder bonus rewards are suits, and signing up with Rockstars Social Network also nets Cole a flashy set of new clothes.
** One of the other preorder bonuses is a small searchquest that gets you another suit.
** Aside from Intuition Points and hidden vehicles, new suits are the main reward for gaining ranks.
* AntagonistInMourning: [[spoiler:Roy Earle gives the eulogy at Cole's funeral]], but it's subverted since he's faking it.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Cole doesn't always list a suspect's crimes in ascending order of seriousness, leading to a sometimes exact invocation of this trope.
--> '''Cole''': [[spoiler: Jose Ramos, you are under arrest on suspicion of supply narcotics, resisting arrest, and ''malicious destruction of LAPD property''.]]
** Well, the last thing seems pretty damn serious, actually - if not as serious as the first. Resisting arrest is the least offensive of the three but still important enough to be named in a list of crimes.
* ArtisticLicenseCars: All cars have brake lights. Brake lights weren't commercially available until 1952.
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Marines don't call each other "soldier."
** The 6th Marine Regiment never fought in Okinawa. It spent the campaign as a reserve unit. Also, several Marines from Cole and Kelso's unit refer to fighting in Peleliu, another battle the 6th Marines weren't in. In reality, both battles were fought by the 1st Marine Division.
** The M1 Garand weapon fires 16 rounds before reloading in-game while in reality it held half of that.
** Able Seaman is a rank in pretty much every navy in the world, except the U.S.
* AssholeVictim: Everett Gage was a MeanBoss and an anti-Semite.
* AsYouKnow: [[spoiler: The guard at California Fire & Life helpfully tells Kelso where his own office is, for the benefit of the player.]]
* TheAtoner: Cole, who joined the LAPD to right his past wrongs committed in the Pacific Theater of WW2. [[spoiler: In Okinawa, a misunderstanding led to him ordering a cave full of injured Japanese soldiers and civilians torched with flamethrowers, necessitating that they be put out of their misery with bullets.]]
* AuthorExistenceFailure: On October 5, 2011, in the wake of an employee working conditions scandal and facing bankruptcy, Team Bondi closed its doors.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The [[spoiler: flamethrower]] you find and can use in the closing moments of the last mission, mainly because of its limited range.
** Don't try walking through the water with it either, as the added weight won't help you escape the rising water level.
* BadLiar: Several, though never as much as we'd all like. Frank Morgan has to take the cake, however.
** Not to mention Oswald Jacobs. He looks like he ate a whole lemon.
** But neither of them can top Jean Archer in the {{DLC}} Traffic Mission. Not only can she not hide any of her lies, but she even states to not knowing a ''[[INeverSaidItWasPoison James]]'' Belasco when all Cole asked if she knew a Belasco. Though after all, this mission is called ''[[MeaningfulName A Slip of the Tongue]]'' and the achievement for getting through her interview is called "Femme Imbécile".
* BadassBystander: Jack Kelso.
** Also several characters in the roadside missions. At least thrice, the victims (or some [[{{Redshirt}} redshirt-clad]] cops, for that matter) turn on and sometimes even subdue the robbers before Phelps arrives. Once, a criminal's escape from Phelps is cut short when a random guy just punches him flat for running across his lawn. Also, debatably, [[spoiler:Monroe]]'s secretary.
* BaitAndSwitch: The flashbacks initially appear to set up [[spoiler: Jack Kelso]] as [[spoiler: a villain]]. He isn't.
* BattleInTheRain: The final case.
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: But of course! Sorting through people's nonsense or knowing when they're holding out details on you is an important part of the gameplay. TruthInTelevision.
* BerserkButton: Cole apparently has one that likely relates to, naturally, withholding evidence, or corruption. Although most of the time his tough stance during interrogations seems to be controlled, at one point he threatens to break a suspect's jaw in what sounds far from his typical controlled hard-nosed spiel.
** Said case involved an underage girl being drugged and taken advantage of. It was made fairly clear throughout the case that he was disgusted by the events, [[TruthInTelevision which is true of most cops.]]
** Cole seems to have one for people bad-mouthing his war buddies, as demonstrated when Roy [[spoiler: makes fun of Courtney's death and Cole goes on a rant and says he'll blow Roy's [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] head off if he says anything else about Courtney]].
** Biggs finally snaps with the second incinerated family. He dealt with similar issues in World War I. [[spoiler: So did Phelps in World War II, and it was ''all his fault''.]]
** Captain Donnelly is the only one who can [[DoNotCallMePaul call Rusty by his real name]] without rebuke.
** Earle really doesn't like Elsa speaking "German gibberish" in his presence.
** When a witness admits that he didn't call in a murder of a woman because he was [[spoiler: kissing/fondling her corpse]] Rusty's ''immediate'' reaction was to punch him in the face.
* BigBadDuumvirate: [[spoiler:Dr. Harlan Fontaine and Leland Monroe]].
* BigNo: Cole starts shouting many of these when [[spoiler: The Intolerance set starts to collapse while he's still on it during the Quarter-Moon Murders.]]
* BilingualBonus: Elsa calls Roy an Untersturmführer. Roy calls it "German gibberish", but in fact it is a hideous insult. Elsa is essentially calling him an "[[GoshdangitToHeck effing]] [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]]", specifically an officer of the [[NaziGermany SS]].
** A minor one with Hogeboom, as translated from Dutch it means 'High tree', a reference to Ira's large size.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Cole sacrifices himself to save Elsa and Kelso, and as part of a deal struck by the Assistant DA, the charges against Cole and Jack for their vigilante hijinks in the last mission are dropped, as are Cole's adultery charges. However, the trade-off is that many of the corrupt officials involved in the Suburban Redevelopment Fund get away scot-free, and all the blame is placed on the members who either died or are going to go to jail anyway.]]
** [[spoiler: The Homicide desk also ends on one of these. You find and kill the murderer of all the victims, but due to being the half-brother of a powerful federal official, he can never be brought to justice and the identity of the true killer never gets released to the public. Meanwhile, the five innocent men on death row are all acquitted due to the prosecution sabotaging their own cases.]]
* BlackAndGrayMorality: In keeping with the FilmNoir mood, no one character is completely devoid of his or her flaws. Not even [[ByTheBookCop Cole]].
--> '''Fontaine''': Many things in life are grey, Sheldon.
* BlandNameProduct: Cola King (Though if you look at the machine you can clearly see a Coca Cola logo). Averted with the cars, all of which go by their real life make and model. You can also spy other real products (such as Kellogs Corn Flakes) in various places.
** Also occurs on the radio. American Century Broadcasting uses a modified version of the NBC chimes (with a fourth chime) and JackBenny's radio show is sponsored by "Bullseye" cigarettes, instead of the real life Lucky Strikes.
* BookDumb - Most of the partners are undereducated, especially when compared to the [[BadassBookworm Shakespeare-quoting, Shelley-reading Phelps]].
* BottomlessMagazines: You never run out of ammo for you pistol, though you still have to reload.
* [[BuddyCopShow Buddy Cop Video Game]]: [[DoubleSubversion Double-subverted]] most of the time; Cole starts out on the wrong foot with practically all of his partners throughout the game, but eventually they warm up to each other. Except for Roy Earle, for [[SmugSnake reasons]] [[{{Jerkass}} that should be]] [[DirtyCop obvious]].
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler: Cole, after the affair]]. Everyone takes it really hard, probably because [[spoiler: if a Golden Boy like Cole Phelps isn't above corruption, no one is]].
* ByTheBookCop: Cole, but he is not afraid to bend the rules if the situation calls for it.
* ButThouMust: Even if you screw up every interview, run over a bunch of civilians, and reduce every vehicle you touch to a pile of flaming wreckage, you'll still solve the case and eventually get promoted.
* CallBack: Remember [[spoiler: California Fire and Life, Instaheat, Keystone Films, and Elysian Fields and its "Building a Better California" ads?]] Yeah, they're gonna be important later on.
* TheCaper: The main story is partially driven by the theft of a large cache of military surplus supplies from a Navy ship by a group of former Marines. Cole becomes directly involved in solving a few minor ones throughout the game.
* CastingCouch: "The Fallen Idol" , where Detective Phelps investigates into the film industry. This trope is brought up more than once and one of its victims is a fifteen-year-old girl.
* TheChanteuse: Elsa Lichtmann. Subverted in that [[spoiler: far from being unattainable, or even [[BettyAndVeronica The Veronica]], she becomes TheHero's lover]].
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler: That city freeway project you hear about in the beginning of the game? The Suburban Redevelopment Fund sets up the story's underlying conspiracy in order to get in on the action]].
** Every single scene in the introduction is important in later cases.
* ChekhovsGunman: Reading the newspapers littered around the game unlocks cutscenes which reveal the actions of characters who will take prominent roles in the later cases.
** It's revealed that [[spoiler:Ira Hogeboom]], who appeared in one of the flashbacks, is the serial arsonist.
** [[spoiler: The very first guy you interview during your first Homicide case turns out to be the SerialKiller responsible for all the subsequent murders you investigate.]]
** A minor yet literal example: Felix Navarro is the bus driver in "Manifest Destiny." [[spoiler: In "A Polite Invitation", he is one of the Marines Kelso calls to raid Monroe's house.]]
* TheConspiracy: [[spoiler: Here's how the Suburban Redevelopment Fund scam works: the SRF buys up land that the city plans to repurchase through eminent domain for the new freeway project, burning down the house of anyone who refuses to sell. Then they put up cheap houses using substandard materials to boost the land's value, which will force the city to buy it back from them at a massively inflated price.]]
* CoolCar: Duh, it's the '40s! Especially the special vehicles.
* CoolOldGuy: In spades. Fire Chief Lynch, Dr. Carruthers, and Captain Donnelly to name a few.
* CopKiller: Featured in various side missions.
* CowboyCop: Technically not a cop, but [[spoiler: Jack Kelso]] as a special investigator for the D.A. otherwise fits the role.
* CreatorProvincialism: Team Bondi was based in Australia, and while they do a very good job of recreating 1947 Los Angeles, there are a few clues. For instance, the rank of Able Seaman shows up at least once, a rank that has never been used in the United States military. Also, an invoice for concrete at a construction site measures it in [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay tonnes]].
* CriminalMindGames: In the Homicide chapter, [[spoiler:The Black Dahlia killer leaves a series of clues as a taunt to the police, which Phelps uses to track him down.]]
* DaChief: Possibly several throughout the game as Phelps moves from desk to desk, optionally to the consternation of his superiors depending on the player's interest in collateral damage management in each case.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Cole is a [[FilmNoir noir]] hero, so naturally he has one of these (clearly [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadowed]] when he repeatedly refuses to talk about his past). However, he's far from the only character with such a history.
* DeadpanSnarker: All of Cole's partners, if you're a reckless driver.
** Cole also shows a snarky streak during interrogations, especially when he catches the perp smack in the middle of lying.
** Roy Earle might take the prize for this. When [[spoiler: Dr. Stoneman defenestrates himself]], Earle's reply is a dry "Didn't see that coming".
*** Upon finding the factory-sealed soup cans full of marijuana at the stash house, Roy remarks, "I'd say that's pretty good value for twelve cents."
** In the "Slip of the Tongue" DLC:
--> '''Bekowski''': *rant*
--> '''Cole''': You finished?
--> '''Bekowski''': Yes. *continues rant*
--> '''Cole''': See, I knew you weren't finished.
* {{Defictionalization}}: Hey kids, you now can get your very own [[http://www.rockstarwarehouse.com/Product.aspx?pSKU=RS-LAN-NOTEBOOKSET&vSKU=RS-LAN-NOTEBOOKSET L.A. Noire notebook, now go get cracking on those cases!]]
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: If the player wishes to, the entire game can be experienced in full black and white mode to simulate the movies of the 1940s.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The racism and sexism of the post-war era are highlighted.
** As well as political oppression, namely of communists and anarchists.
* DetectivePatsy: [[spoiler: Kelso, in the ultra-rare positive variety.]]
* DevelopmentHell: Beyond the obvious fact that the game took over seven years to make, there's a literal example here. Team Bondi was by all accounts... a shitty place to work. Plus, studio head Brendan [=McNamara=] was ''charitably'' described as "a tyrant" by most of the workers.
** Made worse when Team Bondi was [[http://kotaku.com/5847883/la-noire-studio-owes-1-million-to-employees++and-a-quarter-of-that-is-claimed-by-the-boss liquidated. Most of their employees still haven't received their back pay.]]
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: When interrogating [[spoiler:Ackermann]] you don't get the musical cues for when you ask a question. Because the man is legitimately insane and any choice you pick will result in him responding the same.
* [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu Did You Just Tell Mickey Cohen "No"?]]
--> "This Sheldon guy...I think I want him dead."
* DiscOneFinalDungeon: "The Quarter-Moon Murders" case could be mistaken for a finale. It's a very literal and traditional example of this trope in the Xbox 360 version because this case is only towards the end of the second disc out of three.
* DirtyCommunists / RedScare: It's the late 1940's, which means the RedScare is starting, and many of the suspects you meet are left-leaning or anarchists, and treated like scum for that very reason. Joseph [=McCarthy's=] speeches can be heard on the radio as well.
* DirtyCop: Seemingly the entire LAPD, aside from Cole.
* DirtyOldMan: 52-year old [[spoiler: Curtis Benson, for having an affair with a 12-year old girl. When confronted by Kelso, Benson has no qualms about it]].
** Also, [[spoiler: Argentinian Consul General Juan Francisco Valdez, who had many sexual liaisons with underage boys and kept explicit records of them in his notebook.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler: June Ballard allowed her 15 year old niece to be drugged and raped by Mark Bishop, and made sure all of this was caught on film with Bishop's face in clear view so she could blackmail him later.]] Why? Because [[spoiler: Mark didn't pick June as an actress in one of his upcoming movies.]]
* DoNotRunWithAGun: Literally, the "run" button becomes the "fire" button whenever you draw your weapon.
* [[spoiler: DownerEnding: After all, the character you've been playing for X number of days in the game is killed off.]]
* DownloadableContent: [[http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/16561/announcing-la-noire-downloadable-content-details.html A lot of it.]]
** Note: If you have the complete edition you already have it all.
* DramaticIrony: The newspapers that can be found ingame provide information to the player that Phelps himself has no knowledge of.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: The Player, [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential potentially,]] and while pursuing fleeing suspects in vehicles, very probably.
* DrivenToSuicide: In one of the street cases, the crazy man who believes the government is attempting to mind-control him and wears a tin-foil hat to 'counteract' the mind control. Also, in The Naked City, [[spoiler: Dr. Stoneman after he's found out to be Mr. Henderson under a different name, and right after he seems to be willingly turning himself in.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Stoneman:''' What have I done? *jumps out of window*]]
** Also it's speculated that [[spoiler: The reason Cole didn't jump at the end was because of his guilt over what happened in Japan boiled over.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler: Cole Phelps]].
* DropDeadGorgeous: There's a string of naked female victims in the Homicide cases. [[NauseaFuel Most of them have massive blunt force trauma on the head]]. There's also [[http://media.rockstargames.com/rockstargames/img/global/news/upload/lanoire_blond_640x360.jpg this]] promotional art, featuring the body of a glamorous woman who has apparently been killed in a car crash.
* DrugsAreBad: Most Vice cases tout this. And not only are they bad, they're worse [[spoiler: when they're stolen]]; also averted to a degree during one conversation between Cole and Roy Earle in which Earle states that some amount of illegal drugs on the street is not necessarily a bad thing.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Averted. As Cole begins solving more crimes and getting promoted, he starts taking on more high profile cases, until [[spoiler:his affair is exposed and he is [[ReassignedToAntarctica reassigned to Arson]]. He gets significantly crappier jobs afterwards]].
* EarlyBirdCameo: Every single partner you will have as a Detective, which also makes up a good chunk of the supporting cast, appear in the cutscene that preludes Cole's first case on the Traffic desk. His future Homicide partner, Rusty Galloway, is present in the first mission with his current partner at the time, Floyd Rose (who retires later, with Cole taking his place).
** Cole meets a lush outside a bar while investigating a traffic case who claims to recognize him. [[spoiler: He reappears during Cole's funeral.]]
* EmbarrassingFirstName: "Rusty" Galloway has one. It's Finbarr.
-->'''Rusty''': I don't care if you were clocked in the head, Cole. You don't call me Finbarr.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Semi-averted. Engines may catch fire after taking so much damage, but the only thing worse that you can do to a car is pop the wheels off or, during a chase, you can flip them. The part where you'll have to shoot the gasoline barrels in [[spoiler: The Fallen Idol]] and a few other missions played it straight, though.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Guess where it takes [[UsefulNotes/LosAngeles place]] and what [[FilmNoir genre]] it is!
* ExpositionBreak: Averted, since the game hinges on detective work. Any valuable information you need, you have to find it yourself. The game really only takes control during the intro and closing cutscenes of each case.
* {{Expy}}: Several from LAConfidential. Cole Phelps is Edmund Exley. Both are examples of the ambitious, GloryHound and ByTheBookCop who have frosty relationships with other detectives. Both rely on their war records (Phelps has a Silver Star and Exley a Distinguished Service Cross from World War II) but [[spoiler: both only got medals because they were the SoleSurvivor of their respective units because of cowardice and played it up]]. Captain James Donnelly is Captain Dudley Smith: both of them are [[OfficerOHara Irish Homicide Dicks]] who believe in administering "rough justice" to perps, [[spoiler:although Donnelly doesn't turn out to be the BigBad, unlike his film companion]]. Jack Vincennes and Roy Earle are both examples of a CorruptCop who deals with the Hollywood scene, although Earle is a plain JerkAss and Vincennes is a rare sympathetic dirty Cop.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: One of the [[SideQuest Street Crime]] cases requires you to subdue a deranged man running through the streets, and if you fail to catch him, [[spoiler: he leaps from a rooftop to his death]]. Although [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything the Dev Team managed to add an alternate solution]], finding it requires you to [[MoonLogicPuzzle take action that seems counterintuitive in the moment]]; the Golden Path (as detailed by [[GuideDangIt the official strategy guide]]) is to [[spoiler: watch the man plummet]]. Might be a nod to the fact that not even a Golden Boy superstar cop can fix ''everything''; Cole's bitterly disappointed face as he watches [[spoiler: the body being hauled away]] really sells it.
* FairCop:
** Cole.
** And Roy Earle. Even if he's a racist and a snake, he does have some nice suits!
* FallenHero / TurnCoat: [[spoiler: Everyone sees Cole as one or the other after his affair is made public and he is demoted to the Arson squad.]]
* FanDisservice: Some of the murder cases include naked women laying on the grass, but the rawness of the situation is less than appreciable.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Roy Earle
* FemmeFatale: Fading middle-aged actress June Ballard qualifies. Julia Randall, the victim from "The Naked City", as well. [[spoiler: Elsa]] is a subversion as [[spoiler: her initial appearances set her up as a femme fatale, and she even undergoes interrogation by Phelps, but she ends up being a loyal ally to Phelps, and even stays true to him after flirting with Jack Kelso]].
* FilmNoir: One of the main influences on the game. It's called ''L.A.'' '''''Noire''''' for a reason.
* FiveBadBand: [[spoiler:The Suburban Redevelopment Fund]]
** BigBadDuumvirate - [[spoiler: Leland Monroe and Dr. Harlan Fontaine]]
** TheDragon - [[spoiler: William Worrell]]
** EvilGenius - [[spoiler:Curtis Benson]]
** TheBrute - [[spoiler:Ira Hogeboom unwittingly]]
** TheDarkChick - [[spoiler:Roy Earle]]
** TokenGoodTeammate - [[spoiler:Courtney Sheldon]]
* FiveManBand: Formed in the last three Arson cases.
** TheHero - [[spoiler:Jack Kelso]]
** TheLancer - [[spoiler:Cole Phelps]]
** TheBigGuy - [[spoiler:Herschel Biggs]]
** TheSmartGuy - [[spoiler:Petersen]]
** TheChick - [[spoiler:Elsa Litchmann]]
* FlashedBadgeHijack: A common game mechanic. [[spoiler: Made hilarious when Kelso, an ''insurance investigator'' can pull this move ''on cops in a squad car''.]]
* {{Forgiveness}}: A subversion of sorts on ForgivenessRequiresDeath, as well. [[spoiler: Phelps is looking for forgiveness from his unit, who never forgave him for his blunder in Okinawa. When Phelps finally asks his war buddy Kelso if he forgives him, Kelso replies that he'd forgiven him all along. This is followed by Phelps saving Kelso's life in a HeroicSacrifice, but ''after'' he was forgiven]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}: the newspapers, most prominently. Each newspaper scene provides some manner of supplementary scene to a part of the plot and are all over the place chronologically, with many of them taking place in the future, explaining and detailing events that Phelps won't get background information on for some time. As a result, if the player has collected enough newspapers - and it doesn't take many - they can [[spoiler: piece together the Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspiracy long before Phelps even suspects there is foul play going on, as well as figure out easily that they are going after red herrings at several points.]]
** When [[spoiler:Kelso]] finds a flamethrower, pictures of his old unit, and maps of the Los Angeles tunnel system when tracking down the serial arsonist.
** At the beginning of the hobo's interrogation in the fourth homicide case, Cole states that the hobo got his scars from a flamethrower during the war. He also mentioned that the big guys were given flamethrower duty during the war. Throughout the newspaper cutscenes we see the story of a rather large veteran [[spoiler: that turns out to be the serial arsonist]]. Guess what he did during the war.
** Cole asks the watch commander about the marked map in the Traffic office, and learns about the freeway project that's still in the planning stages. The freeway construction [[spoiler: is how Monroe and the other members of TheConspiracy plan to get rich]].
** During "A Slip of the Tongue", Cole mentions he likes blondes. [[spoiler: Mrs. Phelps is a brunette...]]
*** [[spoiler: Oddly enough, so is Elsa.]]
** Inverted by [[spoiler: the cutscene that plays after the closing credits, which sets up the fates of all of Phelps' Marine comrades.]]
* FreudWasRight: In-universe, Rusty boils down ninety percent of the L.A. Homicides to this.
** Rusty's Razor: If he's bangin' her, he's our killer.
* GenreThrowback: To classic film noir.
* GloryHound: Phelps gets accused of this, usually from sour cops thinking he has ulterior motives.
** He ''was'' when he joined the Marines.
* GoingByTheMatchbook: Used a number of times to find new locations. Inverted when the crime scene is a nightclub and irrelevant matchbooks are scattered throughout the location.
* GoldenAgeOfHollywood: Near the tail end of it.
* GuideDangIt: If you haven't been tracking down LA landmarks, solving the Black Dahlia killer's clues fall under this. You're supposed to use the map to solve them, but the only landmarks that show up are the ones that you've already found. [[AntiFrustrationFeatures Spend enough time randomly driving around LA during the mission and Phelps will eventually solve the clues himself.]]
** Also, in lots of missions, going to some location or interrogating someone at the wrong time will mess up the mission structure, sometimes ending the mission before you got all the clues. This comes without warning and leaves you with lower scores for not guessing what order the developers had in mind.
** The golden film reels are even worse, because they are often located in obscure locations like in the middle of train tunnels or random playgrounds. Without a guide you almost literally need to cover every street, back alley, and overland area of the game map to find everything.
** And lets not forget finding all 95 vehicles in the game. A good amount are not even unlocked until certain missions. Also there is no other way to tell what vehicle you have already collected from what you don't and to find out you have to enter every single vehicle you come across unless you can recognize the slight detailed differences.
** Averted with regards to the "Complete Edition" version of the game, which includes the bonus levels previously released for download which, as a result, are not covered in the officially published game guide.
* HandshakeRefusal: During the first investigation with the Arson desk, a patrolman shows a reluctance to shake Cole's hand [[spoiler:since Cole was recently involved in a scandal after having an affair with a nightclub singer.]]
* HatDamage: Hats can still be shot in gunfights as in VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption, but they can now also be knocked off during fistfights.
** There's even an [[BraggingRightsReward achievement]] for managing to keep your hat on during a fistfight.
* HeadbuttingHeroes: Cole and Kelso.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler:After Roy sells Cole out to advance his own career and distract the public from the Vice Squad's own PR scandals, the chief of police interrupts Cole's interrogation of a suspect right as the suspect is about to confess to stealing and distributing morphine. It turns out the culprit had ties to the Suburban Redevelopment Fund, and further investigations into the morphine heist would have revealed the SRF's plans.]]
** [[spoiler: Ironically, [[NiceJobFixingItVillain this gives Cole the best position to investigate the SRF.]]]]
* [[spoiler: TheHeroDies]]: [[spoiler: This is based on the noir genre, and those stories rarely had a happy ending.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Cole breaks down late in the game and suffers several of these.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Cole gives his own life to get Kelso out of the drainage tunnel before it floods.]]
* HeyItsThatGuy: An interesting example, as the detailed facial animations elevate the actors portraying the characters beyond being simple voice actors.
** Cole Phelps is [[Television/MadMen Ken Cosgrove]].
** Bartender Dudley Lynch is [[Television/MadMen Paul Kinsey]].
* HideYourChildren: Played straight during general gameplay, insofar as children do not appear as regular pedestrians. Averted, though, with child characters appearing in cases. For example:
** 15-year-old Jessica Hamilton, the [[spoiler: rape]] and attempted murder victim in "The Fallen Idol".
** You also see Teresa Taraldsen's daughters in "The White Shoe Slaying".
** In "A Polite Invitation" a [[spoiler: naked]] 12-year-old girl is found in Benson's apartment.
** And during the Arson cases a couple of families were burned inside their houses. This includes their children, with graphically detailed charred bodies.
** [[spoiler: During the second-to-last war flashback. There were kids in that cave...]]
** Cole has two daughters, and you can see them [[spoiler:sitting in the front row with Mrs. Phelps at his funeral]].
*** In a variation, dog houses are seen throughout the neighborhoods but there are no dogs in the game.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Mickey Cohen and Johnny Stompanato. In a ShownTheirWork moment, Phelps and Stompanato (a real-life veteran) talk about fighting on Okinawa.
* HistoricalInJoke: [[spoiler: "Next you'll be telling me RichardNixon's a crook!" This is sometimes flagged as an anachronism, however in 1947 - the year this game is set - Nixon was in the midst of a high-profile campaign for election to Congress in California.]]
** There's also a joke about 3-D movies never catching on.
* {{Homage}}: A conspiracy involving a burgeoning Los Angeles' infrastructure, [[spoiler: with a beat up private investigator solving the case]]? The game pays heavy homage to ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' and ''The Two Jakes'', and even uses a a SuspiciouslySimilarSong version of ''Chinatown's'' score during the incidental music. ''LAConfidential'' is also referenced. Heck, it goes BEYOND homage, and basically turns into Chinatown: The Video Game!
** Upon playing as [[spoiler: Kelso]], the offices of [[spoiler: California Fire and Life]] bear some resemblance to the offices of [[spoiler: [[DoubleIndemnity Pacific All Risk]]]].
** Some parallels can also be drawn with ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''.
** [[spoiler: An apologetic serial killer with an origami fascination? Sounds a lot like ''HeavyRain.'']]
** A whole mess of homages to James Ellroy.
** One of the apartment buildings lists an [[Literature/NeroWolfe N Wolfe]] as one of its tenants.
* HollywoodSpelling: In "The Gas Man" Phelps runs a number of names through R&I to check if any of them was convicted. Some of the names are fairly difficult, including (but not limited to): Zurick, Kellegrew, Ramon Nieves, Acevedo and Kuttner, but the operator never asks for the spelling.
* HopelessBossFight: [[spoiler: Kelso fistfighting with 3 mooks.]]
* IAmOneOfThoseToo: During "The Naked City", [[spoiler: Henry Arnett]] lies about having been in the 6th Marines at Okinawa to an actual 6th Marine, Cole Phelps. Phelps is understandably [[{{Understatement}} unimpressed]].
* ICantReachIt: Sometimes, combinations of evidence could prove someone to be lying, but the game only allows you to use one to make the accusation.
* ILoveTheDead: Implied with Ferdinand Jamison, who is found kissing a murder victim.
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: In the "Slip of the Tongue" DLC, When you ask Jean Archer if she knows someone named Belasco, she replies she doesn't know ''James'' Belasco. Yeah, smart move. Incidentally, she's called dumb by every character before and after, and there's an xbox achievement for correctly interviewing her called "Femme Imbécile".
* InkSuitActor: '''The Game'''. This is due to the face-rendering technology used for the game's animations.
* InsufferableGenius: Grosvenor [=McCaffrey=] is a big one. [[spoiler: To a point where he flies into a violent rage towards anyone who outsmarts him.]]
* InsultBackfire: Couple of these.
-->'''[[spoiler:Roy]]''': You and your doofus partner, you have been warned.
-->'''Cole''': [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Thanks for your cooperation, Officer]].

-->'''Cole''': Your vast corrupt future is draining away as we speak.
-->'''[[spoiler:Roy]]''': ''(laughs)'' I got better things to do than argue the rub with you.
* InterfaceSpoiler: The second you open up your notebook on your first Traffic case, you'll see all the desk to which you'll eventually be assigned, in order. The descriptions for many of the achievements spoil the fact that [[spoiler:you play as an Investigator at some point.]]
* {{Irony}}: Of the "Situational" variety; Phelps excelled in the Marine Corps' Officer Candidate School while Kelso flunked out, but Kelso developed into a natural and effective leader whereas Phelps became TheNeidermeyer.
* ItNeverGetsAnyEasier: A visibly disturbed Cole says this word for word after shooting [[spoiler: Leroy Sabo]] at the end of "A Marriage Made in Heaven".
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: During the case "The Consul's Car", Phelps talks to Bekowsky about the U.S. Navy developing 3-D movies.
-->'''Bekowsky:''' That's ridiculous. You'd scare people out of the theater. Who in God's name would want that?
** Although the game is set prior to the advent of the first 3-D movie craze, which died out quickly, this is also likely a reference to the modern rise of next-generation 3-D movies.
** When Cole's investigation into Elysium Fields and Leland Monroe is first starting, the exasperated head of Arson says, "You'll be calling Richard Nixon a criminal next!"
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Phelps is a graduate of Stanford.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Surprisingly enough, there's only one usage of it during the game. [[spoiler: [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome However, this one usage is Jack Kelso shooting Leland Monroe in the leg, and then stomping on the wound a minute later.]]]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Vice Detective Roy Earle. SO much. In fact, Earle as a character is so hated that Website/YouTube has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0i9EqkxGHc loads of videos]] featuring people abusing the hell out of him via the righteous application of CarFu. Of course, because he enjoys the special protection of StoryDrivenInvulnerability / GameplayAllyImmortality, actually managing to kill him results in a NonStandardGameOver.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Rusty Galloway comes across as brash and kind of a dick, constantly spouting misogynistic put-downs about many of the women he encounters. He also appears in some of the incidental dialogue to be a genuinely caring father, and he's remarkably tender with Michelle Moller when he and Cole have to tell her that her mother is dead.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Roy Earle, Cole's crooked Vice partner who outs Cole's affair to their superiors and the press when his idealism threatens the Vice department's crooked dealings, ''and'' works as a bagman for the Suburban Redevelopment Fund cabal, not only gets off scot-free from the whole mess, but even passes himself off as Cole's friend at his funeral, much to Elsa's outrage.]]
** Also, [[spoiler:it's implied that the Chief of Police manages to escape justice after making a deal with the Assistant D.A. Mickey Cohen also gets off scot free for assassinating most of the Marines involved in the morphine theft, but he's got real-life history on his side. The Mayor is implied to have escape justice with the Chief.]]
** There can potentially be a good number of them if you manage to let a few perpetrators go free.
** The game deals with a RealLife KarmaHoudini, the Black Dahlia murderer. [[spoiler: Didn't get away with it in the game. He was killed by Cole, but his identity wasn't released because his half-brother was an influential politician.]]
** [[spoiler: June Ballard never seems to get hers for her role in getting her 15-year-old niece raped.]]
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler: Hogeboom]]'s weapon of choice is a flamethrower.
** [[spoiler: Kelso]] gets to wield a flamethrower, which is AwesomeButImpractical.
* KilledMidSentence: Hostage situations generally end like this, provided you don't miss. If the timing's right, it may also result in a CurseCutShort.
* KnightInSourArmor: Biggs and Kelso.
* KnightTemplar: Just before Cole does his first interrogation at the station, he's advised by the Homicide department's Captain James Donnelly that if he's struggling to get a confession just by questioning the suspect, it's OK to use a little violence. He is also far too happy to send criminals to the gas chamber.
* KosherNostra: Mickey Cohen shows up to provide the page quote.
* LargeHam: Captain James Donnelly and Jermaine Jones, oh so much.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Many of the [[spoiler:Marines]] who steal military-grade morphine from a supply ship and begin selling it on the black market end up getting killed off by rival drug dealers.
* LawOfConservationOfDetail: Deliberately averted. Each crime scene has a number of props lying around that Cole can interact with, but do nothing to advance the case.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: During Captain Donnelly's end-of-case congrats (or indeed his verbal beatdowns, depending on the outcome) he will occasionally glance to the camera, as though he were talking to the player.
* LeftHanging: Two plot elements seem major but are never connected to the main storyline. [[spoiler: One of the first suspects you bust as a patrolman (in the fistfighting tutorial) has a notebook with numbers and DirtyCop Floyd Rose's name on it. You later take Rose's place in Homicide, but the actual notebook is never explained. Second, the Black Dahlia killer signs one of his bodies "Tex," which you later learn is the nickname of the arsonist, Ira Hogeboom. But that connection (if any) is never explained or commented upon either.]]
** It's possible this is down to Rockstar's savage cutting down on the storyline to squeeze the game onto three discs.
* {{Lifelines}}: A non-game show example. When talking to/interrogating people, you can use "intuition points" to eliminate one of the three questioning options (truth, doubt, or lie), or see what other players selected for that option, similar to [[WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire the trope namer's]] "50/50" and "ask the audience" options.
* LittleUselessGun: Discussed. One of the cops at the precinct will constantly harp on about how he's thinking about moving up to a .45 so he can stop perps with one shot.
* UsefulNotes/LosAngeles
* MadeOfIron: Cole Phelps [[spoiler: and later Jack Kelso]] have this through their RegeneratingHealth due to GameplayStorySegregation.
** Also applies to the vehicles, which unlike [[MadeOfExplodium their GTA counterparts]] can't actually be blown up (though they can still lose their engines and, in a change, entire tires), and are generally tougher to disable. Justified because to make a car safe at the time, you'd ''need'' to build it like a tank.
* MadnessMantra: [[spoiler: "You said the houses would be ''empty!''"]]
* ManOfWealthAndTaste: Roy Earle. When first we meet him, the other characters comment on his fashion sense: "He dresses like a movie star!" He'll also complain if you should try, whilst partnered with him, to drive a vehicle that he feels is beneath his status.
* MeaningfulName: Looks like Mr Leitvol in fact was [[spoiler: the ''Leitwolf'' of the whole racket]].
** Most of the various outfits fall into this:
*** "Golden Boy": Cole's default outfit as depicted in the cover artwork (see above). This is Cole's in-game nickname and refers to his shining example of what a cop, and the LAPD as a whole, should be.
*** "Sword Of Justice", Cole's suit for the Homicide desk. Represents his status as a weapon of the LAPD, particularly KnightTemplar Captain Donnelly.
*** "Sunset Strip": Cole changes into this suit when he joins the Vice squad in Hollywood.
*** "Outsider": Cole's suit for the Arson desk. Represents his [[spoiler: fall from grace]], specifically how [[spoiler: all his old colleagues shun him]].
*** "Sharpshooter": ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin; increases accuracy with certain weapons.
*** "Chicago Lightning": increaces accuracy with certain weapons including the Thompson (Tommy gun), which is stereotypically associated with the Chicago mobs.
*** Also toyed with in regards to the "Button Man" (which gives increased ammo). The name is ostensibly a reference to mob hitmen, although you never play as a hitman.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: You can kill any bad guy (when you are able to) with no problems, however shooting a woman (who is just as guilty as the men) will cause the mission to fail or in a cut scene you will just knock her out.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: Kelso kills an irretrievably insane Hogeboom.]]
** [[spoiler: Cole orders his men to do this to the burning Japanese civilians during the final flashback. Courtney Sheldon is also seen scrambling over a ridge to put a wounded marine out of his misery in an earlier one.]]
* MercyMode: The game includes an "Action Skip" mechanic which, if you fail an action-oriented objective (like a car/foot chase or a shootout) multiple times, will skip it entirely and continue with the story. Your rating at the end of the case will not reflect this, but you obviously lose out on XP you'd have earned.
* MomentKiller: Cole Phelps is one in one of the [[SideQuest street crime cases]].
* MoonLogicPuzzle: The Interrogations, in some instances.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Fontaine.
* MoreHeroThanThou: [[spoiler: Cole and Jack Kelso briefly have this moment in the sewer over who will boost the other up and out]].
* NamesTheSame: Amusingly, this is the ''second'' major story-driven action game set in the 1940's/1950's era with a BigBad named [[spoiler: [[VideoGame/BioShock1 Fontaine]]]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: During WWII, Phelps' men nicknamed him the "Shadow of Death"[[spoiler:, due to his penchant for getting his men killed]].
* NarratorAllAlong: [[spoiler: Herschel Biggs]]. After the opening monologue, you don't even meet him or hear him speak until [[spoiler: after you get busted down to Arson, where he and Phelps fight against the corruption Biggs talks about in the opening monologue]].
* Narm: The screams [[spoiler:Jack Kelso]] makes if killed during the bulldozer chase in "House of Sticks"
* TheNeidermeyer: Phelps is commonly seen as one by the Marines under his command.
** And, in one of the flashbacks [[spoiler: he gets shot by one of his own men, though he lives.]]
* {{Newsreel}}: Used to showcase an important story element regarding [[spoiler: the Suburban Redevlopment Fund]].
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailers do an excellent job of not talking about the real villain, [[spoiler: the Suburban Redevelopment Fund]]. The trailers also make it seem like the Black Dahlia Killer/Stuart Ackerman is the main antagonist, and the cases are not shown to be split up into desks.
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler: Cole Phelps...that we can see.]]
* NiceHat: Considering it's a piece of Noir fiction set in the 40's, just about everyone of importance sports one. If for some reason (say, a fight) your hat should fall, you can pick it back up if it's not back on after a cutscene. There's even an achievement for winning a brawl without losing your hat.
** There's even a hilarious nod to this: If Cole should lose his hat in a fight he'll pause to lament "That was a ''twelve-dollar'' hat!"
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler:By [[WhatAnIdiot having an affair with Elsa]], Cole's career heads into a downward spiral...]]
** Even more dramatically [[spoiler: Cole's leadership during the war is so poor that it winds up two of the main story arcs. Corpsman Courtney Sheldon becomes totally disgusted by Cole's rapid rise through the LAPD that he arranges the US Army ship heist. Cpl. Hogeboom gets PTSD from Cole's order to burn out a cave which turned out to be a hospital, and becomes the firebug that he chases in the Arson desk. And, as noted above, Hogeboom may have also had an unrevealed connection to the Black Dahlia murders, too.]]
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: ...however, Cole's reassignment to arson due to said affair puts him on the trail of the serial arsonist linked to the conspiracy that is the focus of the main plot. Note that his reassignment had been partially carried out by members of the same conspiracy in order to deflect publicity from their corrupt dealings (the police officials involved were trying to distract the press from a prostitution scandal).]] Thank you, [[spoiler:Roy Earle]].
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Detective Galloway's attitude towards women [[StayInTheKitchen isn't exactly enlightened.]]
* NoDeadBodyPoops: The coroner will refer to the "usual evacuation smell" while investigating one of the homicide victims' bodies.
* NoExportForYou: A free PS3-exclusive DLC Case isn't available outside North America, for the Xbox 360 or the PS3.
* NoFlowInCGI: It's particularly obvious that the motion capture technology used to create facial animations can't pick up hair animations properly, so everyone has short hair that's almost entirely restricted to the top of their head. This gets particularly funny-looking with women, given that they all have the same rolled up hair style. Justified in that this was somewhat the popular hair style back then.
* NoobCave: The entire street cop section at the beginning of the game is this, which serves as nothing more than to introduce you to the game's mechanics (interrogation, crime scene investigation, and fighting). If you screw up the interrogations, you're allowed to redo them, though this is the only time you are allowed to do so since all future interrogations are one shot only.
* NoticeThis: The piano key that plays whenever you approach a piece of evidence.
* NotMeThisTime: Herbert Chapman, a firebug, insists this when you meet up with him during the Arson desk. [[spoiler: In true L.A. Noire fashion, the evidence points to him and he violently resists arrest, but later turns out not to be the guy.]]
* OfficerOHara: There are plenty of police officers with Irish surnames, but [[DaChief Capt. Donnelly]] of the Homicide Desk is OfficerOHara gone ''retro''. He has a thick ([[MostWonderfulSound and catchy]]) Irish accent, calls Phelps "''ludd''" or "''boyo''", refers to criminals and the Japanese that Phelps fought against as "heathens", and calls the work at the homicide desk something along the lines of "God's work". Furthermore, he is fond of shouting and drinking on duty. Well, not that no one else is...
* OffOnATechnicality: Donnelly [[spoiler: assures Cole this will happen to the innocent men arrested for the Werewolf killings during the Homicide arc.]]
* OmniscientDatabase: R&I is almost never without the ability to find answers for any questions about names, addresses, or histories that Cole asks, no matter how obscure. Even better, they can almost always produce an answer within seconds. This was Lampshaded when [=GameSpot=] had a retired LAPD Detective play the game to see if it was accurate - the real R&I obviously had business hours and couldn't be rung up at 2:30 AM, and often took hours or days to get back to you. And this was in the 1980's.
* OneShotCharacter: Joe Pesci has a brief appearance as a taxi driver during "The White Shoe Slaying". After that, he's never seen or heard again.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. A number of minor characters are named Dudley.
* OnlyAFleshWound: [[spoiler: Jack Kelso gets one in the last two cases, as his shot up left arm never seems to bother him that much.]]
** Can also be said of Phelps as well when he takes obvious bullet damage during gunfights but appears to shrug it off.
* OptionalTrafficLaws: You will never get pulled over during the normal course of events, even though you're in a non-marked police car. This is justified if use a car with a siren though (plus, you ''are'' playing a cop, after all).
** Particularly evident during the Jack Kelso cases, since the same applies and Kelso isn't even a cop!
* PaedoHunt: One of the Homicide cases has a paroled child sex offender as one of the prime suspects. Despite all of the evidence pointing to the victim's husband as the killer, your captain chews you out if you don't charge the pedophile, and it's impossible to get a perfect rating if you charge the husband. Rusty even lampshades it, saying that while the husband is no threat to anyone else, the pedophile is a constant threat to a local high school and they need to get him off the streets.
** [[spoiler: But it doesn't matter either way, since it turns out neither of them were the real killer.]]
* PerpSweating: A key gameplay feature.
* PoliceProcedural: Much of the game is focused on investigating crimes, and will require the player to collect evidence, [[PerpSweating interrogate suspects]], and perform other police work.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Averted. Racism and double standards are prevalent, with special hatred directed towards the Japanese and Germans given the war still fresh in everyone's mind. However, Phelps seems to be a man out of his time - he treats black people and women far better than his compatriots, and reflects the attitude of the 21st Century. He also expresses deeper understanding of the Japanese in the war flashbacks.
** Not to say that there weren't others who supported race/gender equality back then, but if they'd been too vocal about such progressive ideas at the time, they'd most likely have been labeled Communists by everyone else. Bekowski even calls Cole's belief in equality communistic, during some of the incidental conversations.
* PopTheTires: In the car chase sequences your partner can do this if you drive into position and give him a clear shot. At the climax of one arson case you end up chasing [[spoiler: a tram]] where this isn't an option.
* PostClimaxConfrontation: [[spoiler: The Suburban Redevelopment Fund is deftly derailed by Jack Kelso in the penultimate story. The finale is a matter of hunting down Dr. Fontaine's clueless patsy, rescuing the kidnapped DistressedDamsel in the process.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: Plenty of these later on in the game.
** Even early on, Cole gets one during a profile of Hopgood during "The Fallen Idol" case, bringing up the evidence of chloral hydrate:
--->Cole: A fifteen year old girl told me how she was drugged and molested at a casting house, I found the chloral hydrate in your drinks cabinet. You give me something or I will break your ''fucking'' jaw, Hopgood!
** Cole has one when telling off Roy for speaking ill of the late [[spoiler: Courtney]].
--->Cole: "He was a better man than you'll ever know. You say ''one more thing'' about him and '''I WILL BLOW YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF!'''"
** Kelso pulls one when Cole has bought him to the police station for interrogation.
--->Kelso: You pick me up in front of my apartment like a common criminal and expect small talk? ''Fuck'' you.
* [[PreorderBonus Preorder Bonuses]]: Ranging from [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman suits that affect gameplay]] to [[BonusLevel additional cases]], depending on who you bought the game from. Rockstar have said they'll eventually put these items up for sale on XBL and PSN, so players won't have to miss anything.
** A "Complete Edition" of the game was released for PS3 and other platforms in 2011, containing the bonus missions.
* PrettyInMink: Some of the novels based on the game have covers with women wearing evening dresses and white fur wraps.
* PrivateEyeMonologue: During the opening, [[spoiler: Biggs]].
* PromotionNotPunishment: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] at the beginning after the protagonist grabs the shotgun from his patrol car, when he and his partner note that using the shotgun generally means they're either going to be fired or promoted.
* PsychoForHire: [[spoiler: Hogeboom]], and as usual for the Trope, he turns on his master.
* PunBasedTitle: "La noire" is literally "The black" in French.
** Specifically, how "noire" is the feminine spelling of the word. I see what you did there. Bondi...
* PyrrhicVictory: The final case for the Homicide desk ends with [[spoiler: Phelps and Galloway killing the Black Dahlia murderer, AKA Garret Mason. However, due to Mason being the half brother of a highly ranked official in the country, Donnelly tells Phelps and Galloway that the case being solved will not go public due to the implications it could bring on the other brother and the police department for locking up the wrong people. As far as the public is aware, the Black Dahlia is still at large.]]
* RRatedOpening: The first Homicide case immediately opens at the scene of a brutal murder, with the victim, a young, naked girl, sprawled on the street.
* RealEstateScam: [[spoiler:The Suburban Redevelopment Fund]].
* ReassignedToAntarctica: After [[spoiler:being accused of adultery, Phelps]] is banished to the Arson desk. However...
* ReassignmentBackfire: ...this merely puts him on the trail of a serial arsonist and a deeper conspiracy behind it. Note: [[spoiler: Made worse/better by the fact that this was done by the same conspiracy in order to distract the media from an impending scandal that would reveal their dealings.]]
* RegeneratingHealth: As you take damage, the sound of a beating heart and a change from color to black and white on the screen will tell you to hide for a few seconds so Cole can shrug off his bullet wounds.
** This also applies to Kelso though, [[spoiler: oddly, not the bullet wound to his arm he suffers near the end of the game]].
* RedHerring: Some of the clues you collect are never used to disprove a lie and there's also the bits of sometimes significant looking detritus you'll find at crime scenes.
* RedOniBlueOni: Most of Cole's partners are red, and Cole himself is blue.
* RedshirtArmy: The LAPD Patrol Division.
* {{Retirony}}: Averted with Biggs. He's close to retirement [[spoiler: but he survives while Phelps dies.]]
* ReturningWarVet: Phelps and Kelso. Phelps does it of his own accord, Kelso is dragged into it.
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Averted with Cole's 1911 and Jack's Browning Hi-Power. Played straight with all the partners.
** Played straight in order to get the ''Roscoe and Friends'' achievement, during the patrol assignment "Armed and Dangerous," Cole has to drop the shotgun he automatically picks up and instead use his service revolver. It's the only time in the game he ever has the opportunity to use it.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The assault on [[spoiler: Leland Monroe's mansion]].
* RoomFullOfCrazy: [[spoiler: The arsonist's origami crane room.]]
* RousingSpeech: [[spoiler: Kelso]] gives one in the post-credits cutscene, declaring his ethics, an interesting contrast to [[spoiler: Phelps]] who wanted to prove his ethics, but still fell for a FemmeFatale and left his family.
* RuleOfCool: Aside from all the previously mentioned examples of AnachronismStew, it rains more often in the game than it does in actual LA, usually for dramatic purposes.
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: Trailers were running for this game for at least four years before its release, and judging from the increase in [[SignatureStyle "Rockstarisms"]] in the later trailers, it underwent many design changes.
* ScareChord: The sound that plays upon getting an interrogation question wrong.
* SceneryPorn / RealPlaceBackground: Team Bondi has been able to create a very accurate representation of late 1940s Los Angeles, and it seems that the research and attention to detail has paid off.
** Here's a fun GameWithinAGame: Walk Phelps down some of the real-life streets in the game, and simultaneously have the Google Street View of the same locations up on your phone or laptop. Especially in some of the largely unchanged sections of town (e.g., Hollywood), it's actually rather alarming how much of the architecture is still standing, and how accurate the in-game models of those buildings are.
*** Although, strangely, the reproduction of the Chinese Theatre omits the famous celebrity cement imprints.
* SemperFi: Cole was a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps before joining LAPD. Flashbacks are periodically shown involving his service. Many other important characters in the story are also Marine veterans.
* SerialKiller: [[spoiler: Garrett Mason and Ira Hogeboom.]]
* SharpDressedMan: Every character in the game; it's the 1940's. Some of the suits are particularly notable, such as Roy's pink and gray two-tone getup (which gets [[ManOfWealthAndTaste lampshaded]], and Mark Bishop's blood-red affair.
** A number of different suits for Cole are unlocked as the game progresses, with several of them providing additional abilities.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Cole and Biggs, to a degree. [[spoiler: Ira Hogeboom more severely.]]
* ShootTheHostageTaker: This is the usual way for [[PlayerCharacter Cole Phelps]] to resolve a hostage situation. Don't take too long to line up a shot or you'll lose.
* ShoutOut: In one of the DLC missions, you run into a used car salesman who is a dead ringer for [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Foghorn Leghorn]], talking like him and even directly quoting him at several points.
** In one Arson Case, you can hear a bystander state that [[TheRedGreenShow "If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."]]
** The man who [[spoiler:kills Dr. Fontaine]] is described as a "Creator/BorisKarloff type". When examining the [[spoiler:doctor's body]], Cole muses that [[spoiler:he has heard the story about [[FrankensteinsMonster a doctor been killed by his own creation]] before]]. The final mission is also a clear ShoutOut to ''Film/TheThirdMan'', which also ends with [[spoiler:a chase through sewer tunnels, resulting in the death of one of the main characters]].
** A few cases are named after famous noir films, such as ''The Black Caesar'' and ''The Naked City''. Additionally, a DLC case is named after the (in)famous 1930s anti-drug film, ''Film/ReeferMadness''.
** In the Vice case "The Set Up," you enter a hotel to find that your suspect, along with may other guests, have signed in under fake names. Among the people supposedly staying there are ShirleyTemple, OrsonWelles, and WinstonChurchill
** The offices of California Fire and Life look almost exactly like the offices of Walter Neff's insurance company in DoubleIndemnity.
** At the beginning of the Homicide case "The Silk Stocking Murder," [[RedDeadRedemption John Marston's hat]] can be found in one of the garbage cans near the crime scene.
* ShownTheirWork: Team Bondi used hundreds of photographs and maps of 1947 Los Angeles in order to perfectly re-create the city as it existed then. The first order of business? Getting rid of LA's freeway system.
** According to [[http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/24/entertainment/la-ca-noir-city-20110424 this news article]], Team Bondi used ''180,000 photos'' to create the map for L.A. Noire.
* ShowWithinAShow: The game continues Rockstar's tradition of including in-game radio programming. Though not as extensive as what you'd find in any of the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' games, the broadcasts include original vintage scripted radio shows, such as an episode of TheBickersons.
* ShrunkenHead: A case features a shrunken head as a prominent clue. However, being a movie prop, it isn't actually real.
* SmugSnake: Too many to list.
* SpiritualSuccessor: It's practically ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}: The Video Game'', complete with an OpeningNarration reminiscent of Jack Webb's more verbose intros from the 1967 revival.
** In terms of gameplay, the whole PoliceProcedural as opposed to CowboyCop style of gameplay is reminiscent of the ''PoliceQuest'' series.
* TheStinger: A final flashback after the credits reveals that [[spoiler: the theft from the SS Coleridge was motivated in large part by their outrage at their hated lieutenant Cole waltzing into a plum job as a poster boy for the LAPD.]]
* StoryBreadcrumbs: The newspapers, and Cole's WorldWarII {{Flashback}}s.
* StoryOverwrite: No matter what car you're currently driving, it gets replaced by your current default police car during important scenes like chases.
* ThisIsAWorkOfFiction: A disclaimer of the back of the game's box reads as follows:
-->''This is a fictional story set in 1940s Los Angeles depicting invented and fictionalized historical characters, groups, locations, scenes and events in a manner that is not historically accurate and should not be interpreted to be factual.''
* ThousandOrigamiCranes: The opening of a case shows a man in a dark room folding origami cranes amongst many others. Later on, Phelps makes reference to this particular legend when he sees the room.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Doctor Fontaine]] seems to be able to induce this in his patients. [[spoiler: Courtney]] accepting his (transparently shady) deal is possibly justified by his desperation and trust for his therapist, but what the hell did [[spoiler: Elsa]] think she was doing!? She knows the man's involved in the conspiracy, and goes to confront him, alone, on his home territory, without telling anyone where she's gone, without a weapon, and she turns her back on him ''after'' telling him that she knows he's involved in getting people killed.
* TragicHero: Cole Phelps. [[spoiler: Survived a WW2 battle due to cowardice, and became a decorated war hero because of it since the rest of his squad were dead. Later committed (unwittingly, it's implied) a grotesque war crime and, in his panicked attempt to correct it, only made it worse]]. He's also [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking abrasive and distant with his co-workers]], who see him as a selfish GloryHound (and they're not entirely wrong). What keeps Cole relatable and sympathetic is that he himself recognizes his flaws and past mistakes, is deeply haunted by them and determined to atone; sadly, he only continues the pattern of making bad choices which end up hurting innocent people.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: In addition to revealing the culprits of several cases, at least one trailer spoils [[spoiler: Cole and Elsa's affair.]]
* TrailersAlwaysLie: Some of the commercials and trailers make the game out to be more GTA in the 40s, rather than a slower narrative game in the vein of HeavyRain.
* TrialAndErrorGameplay: While the game makes it so you can complete cases no matter how many questions you respond to correctly, getting a 5-star rating can feel like this due to the subjective nature of evaluating people's statements.
* TrueCrime: All of the criminal cases you investigate are based on real crimes that occurred in 1940s Los Angeles. Additionally, a few cases pit Phelps against notorious real-life L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen.
** [[spoiler: The game provides a fictional solution to the real-life unsolved Black Dahlia case: The murderer is Garrett Mason, a bartender you meet in your first Homicide case who works as a temp at all the bars the murder victims attended. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the half-brother of a powerful federal official, so all the previous suspects are quietly released through a series of department tricks, the truth is covered up, and the original case is left open. Still a BittersweetEnding though, since you know you've put a stop to his murder spree for good by killing him.]]
* TrueCompanions: The Sixth Marines [[spoiler:(at least for Kelso)]].
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: The Homicide desk cases pretty much fall squarely here, as it centers around the real-live unsolved Black Dahlia murders. [[spoiler: Loosely Based On because you actually ''do'' find and stop the killer, but you can't out him to public light, due to his brother being an influential politician.]]
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Good luck solving "The Quarter Moon Murders" if you're not either a citizen of Los Angeles, ''exceedingly'' well-versed in both the geography ''and'' history of the city, [[GuideDangIt or using a walkthrough.]]
** Almost all the cases in the game are based on actual crimes that occurred in L.A. in the 1940s.
* VillainousRescue: More like [[AntiVillain Anti-villainous]] rescue, but near the end of the game [[spoiler:Ira Hogeboom saves Elsa from Fontaine.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Cole has a Type II relationship with most of his partners. [[spoiler: But not so much with Earle after he sells Cole out.]]
* WaistcoatOfStyle: The last unlock-able outfit is exactly this, even allowing Cole to take more damage.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: In the very first tutorial mission, it is heavily implied that Detective Floyd Rose had ''something'' to do with the murder, and may have in fact framed the man who ultimately gets arrested for it. Aside from being told that he retires when Cole gets promoted to Homicide, this is never brought up again.
** Unlike Cole's other partners, Ralph Dunn never shows up again after Cole's initial promotion.
** In The Naked City, after [[spoiler: Henry Arnett is arrested for conspiring in burglary]], it's never shown what happens to his girlfriend, Heather, nor is there any mention of her. [[spoiler: And that poor assistant to Stoneman...]]
** The only SRF members [[spoiler:not attending Cole's funeral]] are the D.A. and the editor of Los Angeles Times. [[spoiler:Either they're going to jail like Monroe and Benson or they walk away free from the scandal]]. Your pick.
* WhatTheHellHero: Arresting [[spoiler: Varley instead of Ryan]] during The Gas Man results in you being chewed out pretty badly: "How is it you can bring no less than three suspects in to the station ''and still manage to charge the wrong [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] guy?!''"
** [[spoiler: How everyone reacts after Cole's affair with Elsa is revealed to the press.]]
** [[spoiler: Elsa to Cole about not asking Kelso's help but instead con him into helping them without giving him the opportunity to back out, relying on Kelso's nature to do the right thing.]]
** Captain Donnelly will also voice his displeasure should you [[spoiler: charge Moller instead of Rooney]] at the end of The Golden Butterfly.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: Your partners will know when you're screwing around with them - like driving off without them or being a bad driver.
* WideOpenSandbox: Admittedly, the sandbox is not quite as wide open as Rockstar's other games, although there is a ''hell'' of a lot of Los Angeles that can be explored which the storyline and on-the-street crime missions otherwise never touch. There just isn't that much to do other than drive around and enjoy the scenery.
* WideEyedIdealist: Cole revels in the trope, playing as huge contrast to the jaded veterans that he is partnered with. He believes that every case can be solved and playing by the rules is the best way to handle things. [[spoiler: Cole's idealism is a mask to hide the fact that he was such a bad leader in WorldWarII that he gotten many of his men killed, got shot in the back by his own men for his troubles, and accidentally fried a cave full of women and children. After Cole's fall from grace when he is caught having affairs with a singer, he starts tackling cases that need to be solved rather than solving cases just to make him look good and starts to understand that not everything can be resolved from playing by the rules.]]
* WorldWarI: Biggs fought in it, and had a particularly disturbing encounter with German flamethrowers during the Battle of Belleau Wood.
* WorldWarII: Cole is a veteran of it (Okinawa), like most men his age.
* WhamEpisode: "Manifest Destiny".
** The newspapers would also count.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:''Your wife's attorney has pictures of you and the German.'']]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The game was originally supposed to have a Burglary and Fraud Division Cole played through but were cut in the final release. Rumors were spread that they might later turn up in a {{DLC}} but that was later canceled due to other issues.
** Not to mention that for the Burglary Desk it is assumed that Cole's partner would have been Harold Caldwell, seeing as they have "catching up" to do. The kicker: Harold Caldwell was voiced by Brandon Keener, a.k.a [[Franchise/MassEffect Garrus Vakarian]].
* WhenItAllBegan: WorldWarII in the 6th Marines: the OCS, the Okinawa campaign, and the boat home.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: Ira Hogeboom. After his experience on Okinawa left him seriously damaged, it was easy for Fontaine to manipulate him into torching the homes of those who refused to sell to Suburban Redevelopment. When he realized he had killed again, he completely loses it and withdraws into a fantasy of another 'war'. You can't help but feel sorry for him, and even agree with Kelso's decision to put him out of his misery.]]
* WorldOfBuxom: applies to virtually every ''adult'' female character due to the way their bodies are animated. In-game this is only acknowledged in the downloaded level "Reefer Madness" (also available in the Complete Edition version) with the appearance of a buxom secretary who flirts with Phelps at the soup factory office (and who is portrayed by a Playboy model).
* WouldHitAGirl: Roy Earle, misogynist and all around scumbag, smacks Elsa Lichtmann for talking back to him (while she's grieving, no less). Jack Kelso, in a more justified moment, punches out Miss Cansino after she shoots him in the arm.
** [[spoiler:Harlan Fontaine]] strikes Elsa with a glass ball in an attempt to kill her.
** Generally averted with regards to the suspects Cole encounters. Although he shoots dead ''many'' male suspects, he never lays a hand on any female suspects. A potential exception is in one of the optional street crime missions in which the option exists for Cole to shoot and kill a fleeing female burglar, but the case is failed if this happens.
* WritingIndentationClue: Cole uses this trick to gather evidence for a few cases.
* XMeetsY: ''LAConfidential'' meets ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' meets ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto''.
* [[YouAreNumberSix You are Number 1247:]] Cole Phelp's badge number, you'll hear it whenever he makes a phone call, which is a lot
* YoungerThanTheyLook: The 12 year old girl who shows up during one of the final cases has the same body model as two other teenage girls Phelps encountered before that, both of whom were over 15.
** [[spoiler: Kelso]] was able to catch on to it though when she lies about her age, and he asks her to restate it in which she tells the truth.
* YoungFutureFamousPeople: Among other banners strung across the streets advertising movies and requesting citizens to drive safely, you also see campaign ads for a rookie congressman named RichardNixon.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler: Which gave Cole a nasty demotion from Vice to Arson, and put him on the waiting list for a board hearing, since adultery was a crime in 1947.]]
** In many places it still is, though it's very rarely prosecuted anymore (in the US, it probably can't be anymore due to Lawrence v. Texas and similar cases in the Supreme Court). However, there are countries where you can be sentenced to death for it.
* ZipMode: If you delegate driving chores to your partner, a trip all the way across town can be accomplished instantaneously (after any relevant conversations have run their course). The downside to this is that you cannot locate any landmarks or street crimes unless you are driving, and there is one case where you will miss an entire line of investigation and, subsequently, a lot of clues.
** Oddly enough, [[spoiler:Jack Kelso]] can do this as well, even though [[spoiler:he doesn't have a partner to delegate to]].
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