WMG / Zap Dramatic

The unseen player character is Mike Dawson
After Mike "solved" Rita's murder, he began to gain confidence in his abilities as a detective. Eager to solve more mysteries, Dawson had to fake his death and skip town because everyone there was either dead or hated him. The detective seems to have Dawson-level charisma and competence, and this would explain the player character's tendency to waste time instead of doing what they're supposed to be doing (since he can no longer stand in his mother's bathroom or check on Shrimp Baby, Mike decided to take constant naps instead).

Nobody is sound of mind in these games.
This is explicitly stated in the Altered States series as the entire point - you have to figure out what your target's Single-Issue Wonk is and how to work with it to get a desirable outcome for yourself.

It could easily apply to all of the other characters as well, though, as none of them seem to behave and interact like normal people.

Yale was originally going to be the murderer.
If Rolf is dying of prostate cancer why would he care about the Paxwic deal money? The only one who stood to gain was Yale, the ambitious heir to his business.

These games actually do teach you about negotiation
They show you what not to do.

  • Alternately, Negotiator is actually accurate. No, really. We think all this stuff is insane because as rational people we tend to assume that other people are rational, and most people are indeed. However, rational and logical people rarely need objective third-party negotiators to handle them. Keep in mind, the Zap Dramatic series were created as actual negotiation trainers for police and diplomatic organizations, and are intended to represent the kind of people they can expect to deal with: individuals who may be drugged up, mentally unbalanced, and (if we're being totally honest here) maybe just a little stupid. In this regard it may actually be remarkably accurate, and we just don't get it because we're not a part of that world.

Ambition and The Negotiator take place within the same continuity, and Ambition happens before The Negotiator.
The Negotiator takes place some time after Ambition's cliffhanger ending. The reason why Yale doesn't appear in any Negotiator games is because he's still in jail for Angie's murder, even though he didn't commit it. Bridget, who gets caught in a lie during Episode 8, has become somewhat traumatized by the events of the game. While she wouldn't normally have killed anyone, the whole experience has warped her, and since she especially hates liars now due to the fact that she was caught in one and it caused most of her troubles, she'd be willing to kill anyone who lies to her. Rolf Klink is still alive and well by the time "Negotiator" Episode 3 is released because he lied to Yale about having prostate cancer. Even though Yale says in "Ambition" Episode 4 that Rolf only had six months at best to live, Rolf looked pretty good for someone dying of cancer. In Episode 9, Rolf is very nonchalant about Yale cheating on his daughter, which may suggest that he knew beforehand. He could have made up having cancer as a way to test Yale, who says in Episode 4 that he'd leave Helen upon her father's death. Yale seems like the type of person who would automatically leave Helen in six months without bothering to check to see if Rolf is actually dead or not. After the events of Ambition, Ted Hadrup decided to put all the ugliness behind him and become a teacher.

Duke Crabtree is related to Mike Dawson
Maybe fashion sense and whiny voices run in the family. They also seem to like investigating murders that they themselves may have been party to.

The green light that appears when Duke Crabtree kills you with a tire iron is his Stand.
Its ability is to let Crabtree kill you with any object in any location no matter how awkwardly he swings said object, as well as lock his victims into a path of fate that will lead to a bad ending for them and allows him to recover from being kicked in the balls so damn easily. Its name? So Ambitious.

The player characters are all being possessed by a rookie Ghost of Psychology.
Retsupurae speculated on this one, but I've got it all figured out.

The player character is a rookie Ghost of Psychology, whose species (so to speak) is tasked to visit various people in tricky situations and help them get out of trouble, which is pretty much the entirety of the Negotiator series. Ambition is one of the longer-winded sessions, as the player's attempts to stop Ted from blowing everything up instead starts a large chain reaction. Due to this, the player character must advise most everyone in the plot, occasionally possessing a higher authority figure (i.e. the policeman in episodes 6-9 and the lawyer in episode 10). This explains why the plot keeps jumping around.

The rookie Ghosts, however, have a few limits put on them: once they've started helping a person they have to save them before they can leave them, explaining why the rookie doesn't abandon the characters once things turn tits-up. This particular rookie, however, is very new to Earth, as his actions tend to not make sense to humans and make things worse.

Also, Ghosts of Psychology have no real alignment, so to speak. All they do is try to get people out of trouble, regardless of their morality or the outcome of the situation (explaining why you help the "villains" of the story).

Angie clearly has some connection to the spirit realm, as she converses with the player in the beginning of episode 4 and advises you after death in episode 10.

The guitar riff that accompanies Duke killing you
is performed by an offscreen Janina

Your character in Sir Basil Pike Public School is a Reality Warper
"Persuasion Power" actually has nothing to do with how persuasive you are to the other characters, it measures your ability to "persuade" reality to change on your command. At first, you can only change it slightly, by doing such things as making Dave's friends take your side in the bike issue with nothing to back it up. Seeing as how they are Dave's friends, and (presumably) have never met you before or were only marginally aware of who you were before this, common sense would dictate that they knew what Dave's bike looked like and would assume that you stole Dave's bike and were just acting as though he stole yours. As your Persuasion Power grows, so does your influence over reality. Choosing not to use your powers at all results in Janina failing her initial musical performance. The next time around, you use them to create a guitar for her, increase her musical ability, and basically control the other students like puppets to have them dance around in order to create a music video-like environment.

Janina and the vice principal are two of Electrical Beast's time gods
When you lose Persuasive Power, they're siphoning it off for the energy to create the time rifts that allow you to redo your mistakes.

Duke in Ambition is actually the twins in a trench coat.

Luke Crabtree died sometime before the events of Ambition
Assuming that Sir Basil Pike is indeed a prequel, sometime in between the events of that game Luke Crabtree died somehow. Since he and Duke were presumably very close, seeing as how they were twin brothers and all, Luke's spirit stayed with Duke instead of moving onto the next life. The green light that appears when Duke kills you in Ambition is his brother's spirit.

Terrorist Duke
is actually Luke impersonating Duke. At some point before the events of the final chapter, he either killed or incapacitated his brother, taking his place for the purposes of the conspiracy. The real Duke is totally innocent and non-fascistic.

The prosecutor from Ambition, the butler from Move or Die and the variety store cashier from Sir Basil Pike are the same character
Soon after losing the case in Ambition, the prosecutor got disbarred. Turns out that aside from that particular biased judge, nobody really liked him too much because of his hypocrisy and constant objections for petty reasons. He ended up getting himself disbarred, and became Mrs. Grimm's butler because he knew her and he had that to fall back on. After the events of Move or Die, the only job he could get was a minimum wage cashier job.

The man in the van is Rocknight.
His skills as the Messenger of Love were mighty enough to take him to Paris and off-world, but when a fire tragically claimed the rest of his band on the planet Sid and left him with a nasty case of asthma, Rocknight retired to Canada. He now scrapes together a living by offering fraudulent automotive services, but he can finally visit his daughter Grunge Squire.

Janina's father is supplying her with drugs
When we first see Janina she seems to be a normal enough girl. On the second day she's picked up a new look and something of an anti-authority attitude, and on the third and final day she has an air of false confidence around her, while also continually pulling the sort of bizarre facial expressions that you might expect to see on a stoner. For such a rapid change in her personality and appearance to have taken place, it seems likely that her father isn't just supplying her with musical equipment, but also drugs of some description, such as weed or possibly even cocaine.
  • What's in the bag?

The Ambition Duke isn't the Duke or Luke from Sir Basil Pike, he's actually Max
Max bears more of a resemblance, both vocally and physically to the Duke from Ambition, and one can easily imagine his Jerkass personality as seen in Sir Basil Pike Public School evolving into the downright homicidal Duke seen in Ambition. As he grew older, Max probably lost weight, and took the name of one of his high school classmates (also dyeing his hair to match Duke/Luke's color) to aid him in carrying out Rolf Klink's schemes.

The male protagonist of Sir Basil Pike Public School is a long-lost relative of Duke Crabtree, and has his same superhuman powers

However, either Duke Crabtree is concealing his full power from the protagonist of Ambition (only using his powers to recover quickly from being Groin Attacked or stopping you from fleeing in court/in junkyards) or he's simply less powerful. The male protagonist of Sir Basil Pike Public School's powers give him enhanced speed, say, enough to catch up with a speeding bike, or the ability to psychically influence his peers with "Persuasive Power". The evidence is obvious- when you chase after Dave, you can see a green light.

  • Just for fun, now imagine the "get your baseball bats" scene playing out with this theory in mind.
    Player: But Max, isn't beating up kids mean? Why are you doing this?
    Max: *turns around, gives a smug look* Because I'm a terrorist!