Video Game: Innocent Until Caught

Innocent Until Caught is a graphical sci-fi adventure game, originally released in 1993 and published by Psygnosis. It was followed by Guilty, originally released in 1995.

The first game takes place in a space-borne setting, in the year 2171. Jack T. Ladd is a thief, his hunting-ground is the whole galaxy, and at the moment, he's in big trouble. He's told by the IRDS (Interstellar Revenue Decimation Service) he's got 28 days to pay his taxes - or else the interstellar tax agency will hunt him down. Termination is a viable punishment for tax offenders in these days. Stranded blank on the barren, run-down planet Tayte, Jack decides that he has to make some cash.

The second game's two main characters are Agent Ysanne Andropath and Jack T. Ladd. Ysanne, who works for the Federation Police and pilots the space ship Relentless, is a tough feminist/misandrist redhead, while Jack is a notorious thief and womanizer. The game starts with Ysanne capturing Jack for his crimes, when the player gets to choose one of the characters to play the game as. The locations and evolving plot are largely the same both ways, but the player can experience two sides of the story, and will be solving different puzzles.

Tropes featured:

  • Emotionally Tongue Tied: After you are bailed out of jail by Narm (no, really, that's his name), you have an option to thank him for it. The protagonist, after a few attempts, refuses, considering that Narm is life-defyingly stupid.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The first game begins with the protagonist being captured by the I.R.D.S. (Interstellar Revenue Decimation Service) and being threatened with Cruel and Unusual Death unless he can pay his back taxes within 28 days.
  • Passive Rescue: When Jack T. Ladd is imprisoned, a machine able to disintegrate walls is sent by the Tax Office to his jail, so that he can escape and they can use him as a pawn to fight tax evasion.
  • Pixel Hunt: The game has obtainable objects that are literally two (VGA-) pixels small (such as a tiny chewing gum under a table).
  • Through His Stomach: The second game starts with Lovable Rogue Jack T. Ladd being arrested by Cowboy Cop Ysanne Andropath. She refuses to feed him until she drops him in jail, he reminds her that "the path to a man's heart is through his stomach", but she replies that she prefers more direct ways. Like disembowelment with a blaster ray.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: In the second game, at some point the policewoman protagonist asks the criminal protagonist Jack T. Ladd what were his parents thinking when they named him Jack Theodore. He believes they were fully aware of the joke.