"I didn't realize it when I started this trip, but as I pull up to Hotel Dusk, I get the feeling I'm going to find something. Something that will lead me to Bradley."
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Wish Room: Angel's Memory in Japan) is an Adventure Game for the Nintendo DS. In it you play as an ex-cop, Kyle Hyde, who arrives in a small hotel in the middle of nowhere — the eponymous Hotel Dusk. Kyle left the force after shooting Brian Bradley, his former partner who betrayed him and joined a criminal syndicate. Bradley's body was never found, but Kyle is sure that Bradley is alive and is searching for him, hoping to understand what happened.Kyle soon runs into the staff and residents of the hotel. There's the initially bratty kid with her father, an old lady who wears an eye patch, a girl wearing white who doesn't speak, and many others. All have tragic secrets hidden in their pasts, which is not a surprise in a game like this, and these secrets start to lead Kyle closer to finding Bradley.The game can be played almost entirely with the touch-screen of the DS and, in some of the puzzles you have to solve, uses some of the more unconventional abilities of the machine (remember that puzzle in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass that took you an hour to solve? Hotel Dusk did it first, and twice). You move around the hotel as Kyle, pick up things and speak with other characters, asking them questions. The game is divided into ten chapters, each culminating in interrogation of one of the characters. A game over can result by asking the wrong questions or by being caught doing something you shouldn't do. (It is a hotel, so you shouldn't wander around in the kitchen or other areas marked 'Staff Only', but usually this just gets you some angry looks. Lucky you.)Visually, backgrounds are in 3D and fully coloured, but the characters are in 2D and most of the time black and white. There is no voice-acting, but background music is on most of time and different characters and situations have their own theme-tunes.A sequel was released in early 2010 titled Last Window: Midnight Promise, again featuring Kyle, now in Los Angeles in 1980.The Another Code series takes place in the same universe, twenty-five years later.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Kyle just can't help but help. One of his monologues in the first game calls it a hold-over from his cop days.
The Confidant: Kyle Hyde. He lampshades it at one point by asking Louie why everyone wants to dump their problems on him.
Continuity Nod: There are a lot of them to Hotel Dusk in Last Window and both games feature some Shout Outs to the Another Code games that indicate that the games take place in the same world, which was later confirmed in an interview.
Contrived Coincidence: All these people connected to each other in some way meeting in the same place on the same day can be a bit ridiculous.
Guide Dang It: Both games have their moments, but especially in Hotel Dusk where it's easy to forget what you were doing and get stuck.
It's a Wonderful Failure: Whenever you get a game over in either game, Kyle will flash back to the exact moment he screwed up, bar one or two exceptions, namely dying in the basement in Hotel Dusk and getting knocked out again on the fourth floor in Last Window.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Very little is spelled out until the end. Half the fun is figuring it out.
One Degree of Separation: Every guest staying at Hotel Dusk tonight is connected to Kyle, Bradley, and/or one of the other guests. No exceptions.
One Hit Point Wonder: If you get even one question wrong in an interrogation segment (save for one question involving Martin's signature), you're pretty much dead in the water. And the game doesn't tell you until you've asked every question. It's like Ace Attorney's Psyche-Lock sequences, only with no Life Meter.
Early confrontations will let you get one or two questions wrong and still complete the interrogation successfully, but by chapter 6 or 7 or so this trope is in full force.
The track (in the first game) that plays during the final chapter, where you finally figure out the whole mystery is called "The Last Sleep" which undoubtedly references The Big Sleep by none other than Raymond Chandler.
Soapland Christmas: The first game takes place slightly after, but it still has some effect on the plot. The second takes place before, during and after Christmas.
Sound Test: The jukebox in the bar of the first game or the cafe of the second.
The Stinger: Mostly to wrap up some unfinished plot points. Finish the first game without getting anyone angry on a New Game Plus, and you get an extra ending scene providing closure for two of the characters.
What Could Have Been: Game designer Rika Suzuki once commented she would like to have seen Ashley from Another Code and Kyle Hyde meet up, presumably in a crossover game. Sadly, with the company of both games having gone under, it will never be.
You Lose At Zero Trust: Justified, as you need to learn about everyone in order to get to the bottom of the mysteries.
Bittersweet Ending: Bradley's sister was murdered by Mila's father, who has been killed by Bradley in return. Bradley is being chased by Nile. Grace is still missing, and nobody has any idea how to find her. Alan is still missing, and nobody has any idea where he is. While at first this seems like a full-on Downer Ending, the game still ends on a positive note with Kyle and Mila leaving to restart their lives, Jenny being returned to Dunning, and, quite simply, all the characters being ready to take on whatever else the world throws at them.
Butt Monkey: Louis - the poor guy just kind of gets bitchslapped by life, again and again.
Guide Dang It: Good luck getting that secret item from the vending machine without using one.
However, there's no penalty for just putting in numbers until you get the prize. Still, good luck getting the coins.
Ironic Nickname: Each room in Hotel Dusk has a nickname. By extreme coincidence, each guest on the day that Kyle stays at the hotel is in the room with a name that describes the particular virtue he or she is lacking.
Martin Summer is in "Honor." He stole his best friend's manuscript, his dream, to become famous.
Jeff Angel is in "Trust." He does not trust his father, who has ties to Nile, to the point of refusing to use the old man's surname.
Helen Parker is in "Angel." She does not view herself this way: She is eaten by guilt over having walked out on her family.
Kevin Woodward is in "Courage." His cowardice is why his wife left him. When his wife somehow managed to raise enough money to pay off a malpractice suit, he was afraid of how she may have gotten that money, and couldn't leave it alone, even when she told him never to ask about it.
Iris is in "Success." After her mother died, she never really got much of a successful job, or had much of a life, to the point of being ashamed when her sister, who had become far more successful, met up with her again.
Even the empty rooms have appropriately ironic names:
Room 218, where Melissa gets trapped, drops into a blackout. It's called "Daybreak."
Room 217, where Bradley once stayed, is named "Prayer." Aside from "Angel", there's no name more fitting for the room where Bradley left "Angel Opening A Door" behind.
Also ironic to his situation. His little sister Mila dead, having killed (other) Mila's father, being chased by Nile, being chased by police, having his cop partner hate him, etc. As one person put it, he's beyond "Prayer" now.
I Will Show You X: Rosa gives the remark of "I'll aggravate YOU!" when Kyle gives the serious questioning.
Jerk Ass: Kyle Hyde. Though he softens up a bit as he goes through the game. He's especially kind when talking to Helen Parker (because even he's not gonna be a jerk to an elderly woman) and Melissa (the poor kid has enough to deal with from her Jerk Ass father). Even when he's laying down some tough love on Jeff or shaking the truth out of Louie, it's ultimately for their own good (and obviously, his), and he knows it. He's not an asshole just for the sake of being one, he's more of a 'take your medicine dammit, you'll feel better, now stop whining!' guy.
Mukokuseki: Oddly inverted. Most of the younger female characters have distinctly Japanese-looking facial features despite the game taking place in America and there being nothing to indicate any of them have any Asian heritage.
Non Standard Game Over: If you check too many items while locked up in a airtight room at one point in chapter 10, Kyle will run out of oxygen and die. Interestingly, the Game Over screen still shows Kyle leaving the hotel. Also, if you lie to Summer in the bar at the beginning of chapter 7, you'll get a very bizarre Game Over sequence.
There are also several non-confrontation points in each chapter where if you lie to someone, pester them, perform the wrong action, or act like a general jerk/creep, Dunning will give you heat and boot you out of the hotel or Kyle will spend the rest of the night brooding in his room. Thankfully, each one can be side-stepped by picking a neutral or apologetic conversation branch or just doing what the NPCs tell you to do.
One Steve Limit: Averted. Mila is the name of both the girl at the hotel and Bradley's sister.
Pay Evil unto Evil: It's implied that Bradley had Robert Evans killed as payback for his deeds with Nile.
The Plan: As revealed in a letter at the end of the game, Bradley set up almost all of the events in order for Kyle to solve the secrets plaguing the hotel and its guests and to get Kyle to stop chasing Bradley.
Batman Gambit: None of this would have worked if Bradley hadn't figured Kyle would still be after him for so long.
Present Day Past: It's 1979, and Hyde has a digital pager. While early pagers were around in the late '70s, they were bulky, lacked digital displays, were very short-ranged, and generally weren't in use outside of hospitals and fire departments.
Private Detective: Kyle Hyde, who even speaks like a hard-boiled 1940s private eye despite the fact that the game is set during the late '70s.
Lampshaded by a few characters at different points in the story, who all call out Hyde on his out of date cop lingo ("Who talks like that anymore?"), generally as he gets ready to interrogate them.
Puzzle Reset: All puzzles have this feature. Doing it at one point in chapter 9 will result in a Game Over.
The Reveal: Spoiler for chapter 10: learning who Osterzone really is.