Video Game / The Dame Was Loaded

The Dame Was Loaded is a first person, point-and-click adventure game for the PC platform created by Australian developer Beam Software (now Melbourne House) and first published in 1995 by Philips Interactive Media domestically, then in 1996 world wide. The game is a detective Film Noir set in the 1940's and combined live action cinematic's with pre-rendered point and click game play much like previous games in the genre like Under A Killing Moon and Myst. The live action was outsourced to Vixen Films and at the time was the largest multimedia production ever made in Australia.

The game is non-linear, having nine possible endings, featuring over thirty characters to interact with, and over an hour of FMV cinematics.

This game contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: Joel Jones' goons interrogate you in one after they kidnap you. Your arms are tied, but luckily there's fire alarm with glass cover nearby...
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A tuxedo is needed at one point to get into the Blue Angels nightclub. If you miss it the first time, thereís an alternative route planned to save you from having to reload.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Jakeís Joint. Itís number one target for police raids for a reason.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Late in the game Louise Creel will offer you to have sex in your car ... only to shoot you with a gun she has hidden in her purse if you accept.
  • Blatant Lies: When you're kidnapped by Joel Jones' goons, they will ask you where you hid the diamond. You can name any of the places you went to during the game, including the police station. They're '''not''' impressed if you choose that option.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Youíre only allowed to save in the protagonistís office. This would be fair enough in most adventure games, but here the entire game is timed, and going back to save takes up some of the time. On the plus side, this approach deals with Save Scumming.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: You find Carl Brewer's corpse early on in the game, crushed under some equipment in the foundry.
  • Dialogue Tree: Used for some conversations. Sometimes, there are only semantic differences, but sometimes you get instant Game Over for particularly bad decisions.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In order to unofficially find information in a copís office, you need to buy a donut in a diner and give it to him. This will get him to leave for a lunch break and leave you alone in the office. Notably, if you carry it for too long, itíll get stale and cop will refuse it!
  • Femme Fatale: Louise Creel.
  • Fixing the Game: One of the Joel Jones criminal activities is fixing horse races. You can discover a note where a race has been rigged so that the slowest horse on track would win.
  • Flung Clothing: Your detective will toss his hat at the rack Sean Connery-style every time he enters the office. Thereís a random chance of missing, in which case you can try again and doing so saves your life at Day 6, as shadow of the hat distracts a person who would otherwise have shot you dead.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: The one you get will always work on any lock. However, it will also only last three times and the game becomes Unwinnable by Mistake if you use it too often. A pity you can't just buy a new one.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: It is possible to ask Francine to marry you and give her your engagement ring at one point in the game. In the end, you can choose to follow through with it.
  • Hyperspace: Averted: thereís an inventory limit of 15 items. Luckily, surplus items can be stored in the drawer or in the Dan Smallís locker at the railway station.
  • Infallible Babble: Downplayed with Mackís barber shop. Your character can get fresh news and rumour from him every morning. While some of it is useful, most of it is just generated for fun.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Francine is said to be one and behaves like one initially. however, things do get a lot murkier later on...
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: You can interact with over 30 main and supporting characters, ranging from the humble hotel concierge to femme fatale Louise Creel.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted with the main character, who can also wear a tuxedo, which is needed at one point to get into a nightclub. Played straight with most other characters.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Of all the surnames he could have chosen, Dan Klein went for Small, which is direct translation of Dutch word Klein.
  • Multiple Endings: Nine endings in total, which stem from the combination of these three variables:
    • Fate of Francine: [ either you let her turn herself in for shooting Angela or keep quiet about her involvement and leave. There's a third option where you will marry her and live in peace.
    • Whether you get Red Randall Hannah arrested for his crimes.
    • Whether you let Louise Greer go after she attempts to kill you or get her arrested.
  • Murder Mystery: You are initially contacted to solve one, before the plot grows more complex.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted: the two goons that work for Joel Jones and kidnap you unsuccessfully are both named Charlie.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted. In order to enter the Blue Angel Club undetected you need to have four things done: wear a tuxedo (and make sure it's in good condition if it got damaged earlier), get your beard shaved and wear a fake mustache. Finally, you also need to cover upthe bruises you got from being beaten by thugs with make-up.
  • Private Investigator: The main character is one, and thereís also Carl Brewer, who was killed earlier doing the same investigation.
  • Robbing the Dead: You can pick up Carl Brewerís money, gun and PIís licence from his corpse.
  • Tap on the Head: Youíll get hit on the head and knocked unconscious for two hours at the Palm Tree Motel if you try to force your way into a room instead of lockpicking. It remains the preferable option because there are no further ill effects from it, while lockpicking requires the use of hairpin, which breaks after itís used the third time.
    • Later, you get knocked out by two goons and wake up in a warehouse. Again, no ill effects.
  • Timed Mission: The entire game is timed. Initially, you're given three days of game time to solve the case and youíll get a Game Over if you donít make it in time to the next section of the game. Said next section is timed too as you're ransomed with the life of Francine.
    • Smaller segments of the game are timed too. Had that donut with you for too long? Too bad, itís now stale and Denton will refuse it from you. Delivered it in time, but was too slow in his office? He returns and catches you in the act. And that is just the very beginning of the game.
  • Time Skip: Turning your watch forward will let you skip to the time you chose.