Video Game / Still Life 2
Still Life 2
is an adventure game developed by Microïds. It is the immediate sequel to Still Life
and the final entry in a trilogy that includes spiritual predecessor Post Mortem
. Victoria McPherson is an FBI agent tracking a serial killer while fighting off the ghosts of her past. Paloma Hernandez is a television reporter chasing the story. When the killer captures Paloma, she and Vic must work together to escape.
This game provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Vic is a gun-toting police detective hot in active pursuit of the second serial killer of her career. Intrepid Reporter Paloma exhibits ingenuity and courage in her attempts to escape the traps.
- Alone with the Psycho: For starters, this is what Paloma wakes up to after being kidnapped.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Chapters switch back and forth between Vic and Paloma.
- Anyone Can Die: Virtually every character seen on screen is guaranteed to die. Even one of the leads is plot-optional.
- Arc Words: Repeated at several junctures, including by the East Coast Killer: "You only get one chance." it's a reference to the fact that the player only has one chance to solve the final puzzle, with no reload allowed.
- Booby Trap: The East Coast Killer's house is rife with these, from improvised electrical circuits to full-on land mines.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: The downside of a fingerprint lock on your PC is that once you're dead, anyone can use it.
- Bring It: How Vic takes down the killer.
- Bittersweet Ending: Vic and Paloma can beat the bad guy(s) and escape, but Vic's new partner, Garris; her old partner, Hawker; former lover Richard; the sheriff, and at least five deputies are all dead. Paloma doesn't take it nearly as hard.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The East Coast Killer is known to torture his victims before actually killing them, usually on tape. No motivation is given beyond sadism.
- Creepy Souvenir: The East Coast Killer keeps locks of hair from his victims.
- Criminal Mind Games: Between purposefully leaving evidence to taunt police, booby-trapping the house the clues point to, leaving an apparent escape route for prisoners that offers several death traps, and playing to the hero's phobia, they run all the way to the end.
- Daylight Horror: Chapter 5 takes place in the middle of a bright, sunny day investigating a farmhouse used by a serial killer. It culminates in said killer murdering a half-dozen law enforcement officers, leaving Vic alone and defenseless.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Several of the East Coast Killer's victims were street prostitutes targeted for their disposability.
- Distressed Damsel: Paloma is captured early on and held hostage as the East Coast Killer's newest victim. She tries to escape on her own, but even that's just part of the plan.
- Elaborate Underground Base: For an atomic bomb shelter, it's got an extensive network of internal surveillance cameras. And a few prison cells. And really only one room intended for living in.
- Face–Heel Turn: Hawker. Who saw that coming?
- Face Your Fears: Bizarrely, Vic is confronted with a flamethrower trap, which forces a flashback demonstrating how she got her pyrophobia including her conquering said pyrophobia, which allows her to re-conquer it in the present.
- False Innocence Trick: One of the killers introduces himself as a prisoner in the fallout shelter and asks for help getting free.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat: The East Coast Killer's public face.
- Guide Dang It!: A few, despite the fairly straightforward puzzles. Most spectacularly, the fact that allowing Paloma to die can't be fixed if you reload.
- Harassing Phone Call: The East Coast Killer to Paloma, and later text messages to Vic.
- History Repeats: The granddaughter of Gus and the grandson of Mark Ackerman mirror the roles their grandparents found themselves in years ago.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Vic succeeds in killing the East Coast Killer by baiting him into running over his own land mine.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: As is typical for an adventure game, Vic and Paloma each routinely carry a dozen or more items despite lacking any bags or large pockets.
- Intrepid Reporter: Paloma is brash and aggressive in chasing the East Coast Killer story, and displays similar attitude in her escape attempts from captivity.
- In the Back: Each of the six sheriff's deputies apparently met this fate before being dragged out and arranged in the front of the farmhouse.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: You can find a copy of Still Life late in the game. Vic comments that the main character looks and acts just like her.
- Hawker during the final puzzle also mentions that "if this were a video game, I would program it so you can not try again" referencing how the game employs a non-Save Scumming feature during this puzzle, and whatever outcome you get is final.
- Not Quite Dead: Averted. He's dead. The other guy, though...
- Oh, Crap!: Great work, you've tracked the killer to his hideout and even found enough evidence to name a suspect! Now with the underground base open, all the secrets will be known to you—and only in the fifth chapter! Until the sheriff sprouts a crossbow bolt in the chest and you suddenly realize the killer has already hunted down all five of the gun-wielding deputies and dispatched them silently with a knife.
- Pixel Hunt: Two chapters specifically revolve around CSI-style investigations of crime scenes.
- The Plan: The East Coast Killer targets our heroes, imprisons/taunts them separately, and lets them attempt to escape and outthink him on the assumption that he's covered all the angles. His backer Hawker has one as well, with different objectives.
- Red Shirt: The sheriff's deputies are given no characterization, but do drive up the body count when they're taken out by the killer.
- Revenge: Hawker claims this as his motivation for betraying Vic.
- Serial Killer: The East Coast Killer has already claimed multiple victims when the game opens.
- Shoot Out the Lock: Vic tries this on a door in the farmhouse.
- Steel Ear Drums: Vic can set off several pounds of C4 literally ten feet away in a concrete-enclosed space and walk away just fine.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: The sheriff takes an arrow in the chest in the middle of a conversation summing up your investigative findings.
- The Killer Becomes the Killed: Although Vic says she'd prefer it any other way.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Played straight with the first few, and averted after that.
- Timed Mission: A few puzzles have active timers and explode if you fail to solve them quickly.
- Time Bomb: The final puzzle in the game is an attempt to deactivate one.
- Torture Cellar: The atomic bomb shelter has been converted into this for the East Coast Killer's victims.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: Used to resolve the plot of the previous game.
- Ye Olde Nuclear Silo: Exploring the atomic bomb shelter is a central element of the later chapters.