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Let's Play: My Sims Agents (Wii)
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Total posts: [62]
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Let's Play: MySims Agents (Wii):

 1 Nyperold, Tue, 22nd Dec '09 12:34:47 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Hello, and welcome to my second liveblogging, that of My Sims Agents for the Wii!

My Sims Agents, like the other games in the series, was made by EA, and released in 2009. In it, you play a detective-turned-agent who goes around solving cases: cases which seem to have a common thread...

What Will I Be Doing, And Not Doing?

I will not be posting pictures, video, audio, or links to same. I will be trying to describe important and interesting things along the way. I'll be deliberately following false leads, even when I don't have to, just so I can report on what they say. I will also be giving you more things to decide as the game goes on. I won't describe how I solved any of the puzzles along the way (that's for a walkthrough to do), but I'll describe how each element works, and tell you more as new mechanics are introduced.

The Game

The game opens with a man who introduces himself as Buddy. He is the artist behind a series of comics called "Special Agent Comics". He based his comic on actual events involving him and his best friend. At first, however, his friend was just a detective. Boy, good thing he didn't name his comics after that phase of his friend's career, huh? By the way, Buddy studiously avoids using gender-based pronouns before you create your Sim, preferring the singular "they" when he absolutely has to.

Choice time!

Here, I'm going to let you readers make a few decisions for me:

  • Gender (male or female)
  • Voice type (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Voice pitch (Low, Medium Low, Medium, Medium High, High)
  • Name (12 characters; A-Z, 0-9, hyphen, underscore, colon, semicolon, comma, period, question mark, exclamation mark, apostrophe, quote mark, slash, pipe, tilde, plus, asterisk, caret, left parenthesis, right parenthesis, equal, less than, greater than, at, ampersand, octothorpe, simoleon sign, percent sign, left kitty whisker, and right kitty whisker. Yes, you read right. There's also the set of letters so that other European languages such as Spanish, German, French, and so on may be represented.)

For gender and voice type and pitch, I'll just go with the first one given and not wait for votes. The name, however, will be the first one I like. That's crucial, because I'm not sending my Sim around the world of MSA with a name I don't like. Also, if you're going to suggest a name that's not originally from a Latin-based language, try to write it using Latin-based letters, anyway. Scatological references, sexual references, and things of that nature will be rejected.

Going back before the voice type is chosen, rather than try to describe all the hairstyle, hair color, eye style, eye color, mouth shape, and outfits I can choose from, I'm going to hit the Random button and go with it. I'll try to describe what it comes up with, but as I'm not that much into clothes and hair, I might not be able to.

So! Get to choosing!

 2 Game Guru GG, Tue, 22nd Dec '09 12:38:33 PM from Nerima Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Amazon
Agent 42

edited 22nd Dec '09 12:39:38 PM by GameGuruGG

UTINNI!
"Man"

Oh, wait, it's "Special Agent" comics? I thought it was "Secret Agent" comics. Hmm, that kind of ax's that idea.

Uh..."Jay"? "Kay"? "Bishop"? "Pawn"

 4 rjung, Tue, 22nd Dec '09 1:58:15 PM from 4th and Main.
Playing tricks on EVIL!
I'm just curious over why you picked My Sims Agents, myself.

—R.J.

 5 Game Guru GG, Tue, 22nd Dec '09 3:09:30 PM from Nerima Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Amazon
"Bishop"? "Pawn"

Rook!
 6 Nyperold, Tue, 22nd Dec '09 4:17:21 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
I see some names that I might go with, but I'm still lacking in the other stuff I requested.

Female
Logging off, Dr Thinker, a.k.a, Mad Writter
 8 Nyperold, Sat, 26th Dec '09 7:16:22 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Oh good, female. Gives me something cute to see for much of the game. :) Hopefully...

Okay, I guess I'll just let the Random button choose her voice as well as appearance. Hitting Random...

  • SKIN: Dark, But Not Too Black
  • HAIR: Black, shoulder-length
  • EYES: Brown with sunglasses
  • MOUTH: Frown
  • OUTFIT: Light green dress with white trim; yellow belt and pink flower buckle; white boots with zipper
  • VOICE: Type 2, mid-pitch. Nice to listen to.

Her name... is Rook.

ROOK: And before you ask, no, it's not after the chess piece. My parents just like card games too much.

Okay.

ROOK: It's true. You should meet my twin brothers, Skip and Bo.

I believe you. Say, don't you have an actual baby brother?

ROOK: Yeah. Emile. PLEASE don't ask when he was born.

Understood. So Buddy relates has he was just starting as an artist, but he helped out the Rook Detective Agency however he could.

ROOK: Ah, looks like that panel shows the one time he was actually able to pay for his meal.

So the rest of the time, you had to take the... check?

ROOK: ...I'll throttle you. I don't know how, but I will find a way.

...Anyway, since Rook and Buddy didn't have their own office, they had to eat at Gino's Pizzeria to have a place to work. They were optimistic about the future, at least.

(Okay, from this point on, dialogue that's actually from the game will be in italics.)

ROOK: It's gonna happen, Buddy. Any day now, we're going to get that big case!

BUDDY: Yeah! But what's wrong with the cases we take now?

ROOK: Nothing! Well, except for the fact that they just barely pay for our meals, and therefore, our office space... I just know we could do more. If I could just prove myself on one really big case... Maybe I'd even make Special Agent one day.

BUDDY: Ooh, that would be so cool! I'm going to draw you as a Special Agent!

ROOK: Travis came in just about then.

TRAVIS: Hey, Gino. I'm looking for a summer job. Do you have any openings in your restaurant?

GINO: I don't know... are you a world-famous master chef?

TRAVIS: Um, no. But I have this really cool Master Chef app on my cell phone! Does that count?

GINO: Um, no. Then I do not have any openings for you.

ROOK: Solving mysteries around the neighborhood is great, but if I was a Special Agent, we could go anywhere!

Yeah, and maybe one of those places could teach you the subjunctive mood.

ROOK: ...Hush. Think of it!

BUDDY: Yeah! Now I'm drawing you as a Special Agent on the moon! Do you think they'll have a special tunnel that takes you there?

ROOK: Ummm... no. We'd need a rocket or something.

TRAVIS: Hey, guys. What's going on?

ROOK: Not much, Trav. Just waiting for the next big case. Maybe a cat'll get stuck up a tree or something. Hey, let's see how that drawing is going. Mm-hmm... Hah! That's pretty good, Buddy. But who is it? I hope you don't think that's me...

BUDDY: Nope! That's my old imaginary friend.

ROOK: Ooookay. Someday, my friend, someday...

ROOK: Then Poppy came in, all frantic.

POPPY: ROOK!!

ROOK: Being of poor eyesight, but too poor to buy glasses, she started calling toward obviously empty parts of the room.

POPPY: ROOK!!

ROOK: She finally got pointed in the right direction, but couldn't tell I was there.

POPPY: HELLLLP!!

ROOK: Hey Poppy, a couple of feet over this way.

ROOK: She finally found us, and started crying.

Awwww... :(

ROOK: What's the matter, Poppy?

POPPY: A mean man took my dog and he won't give him back!

BUDDY: Omigosh! Pal! This is it! Our big case!

ROOK: Well, I'm not sure that it's quite the career-maker I was talking about. Don't worry though, Poppy, we'll take the case. Where's your dog now?

POPPY: He's over in the park with that meanie man! Please come as soon as you can.

ROOK: She left.

ROOK: Alright, Buddy. I'm heading over to the park. I should talk to everybody there and see what I can piece together.

BUDDY: I'm here if you need me, pal!

TRAVIS: Let me know if I can help. I'll work for pizza!

Next time: The Case of the Collared Dog begins!

ROOK: I hope you're not doing that for all of them...

edited 28th Dec '09 11:37:14 AM by Nyperold

 9 Nyperold, Sun, 27th Dec '09 6:42:21 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: So I left Gino's and—

Hold on. Gotta get some gameplay info in.

ROOK: WHAT?!? Oh, whatever.

(Every once in a while, a yellow box with text in it pops up at the top of the screen. You may, but don't have to (except the first one), click on it with the remote to see what it's saying in full. It'll dim the screen and put a yellow text box over it, which is identified by the first one as a tutorial. You press A again to close it. The second one comes right after the first and says "B Run". Basically, you hold B while you're moving the Control Stick to run. This is in contrast to My Sims and My Sims Kingdom for the Wii, where you just hold the Control Stick farther from center.)

ROOK: Done?

For now.

ROOK: ... Okay, so from there, I ran over to the park. I stopped at a trash can and reached in. ... Hey, you never know.

ROOK: That is either a human brain in there, or a pile of spaghetti. I'm gonna go with spaghetti.

Did you eat it?

ROOK: Ew! This is My Sims Agents, not Earthbound! I entered the park, and there was Poppy and a man with spiky hair and a wicked goatee. There was a dog beside the man.

ROOK: Hey, Poppy. So, explain this dog situation to me.

POPPY: Well, I was minding my own business here pruning flowers... and then, when my back was turned, this bad man stole Dogwood!

MORCUBUS: Hmph! What nonsense. The name's Morcubus, and the little girl is simply a sore loser.

ROOK: Hello.

MORCUBUS: While she spins an interesting tale, the dog is mine! And his name isn't Dogwood... it's Killfang, dog-disciple of shadow and flame!

ROOK: Wouldn't the flame... never mind.

POPPY: No! That name is sad and bad! He's my Dogwood! He's always with me, and was with me right up until this bad man stole him!

ROOK: The dog walked a little bit forward, and Morcubus matched him.

MORCUBUS: Ah, Killfang. See how he flocks to me? Obviously he is mine! He has been mine since the dawn of time!

ROOK: He let off one of those evil laughs of his.

POPPY: No he's not!!!

MORCUBUS: Well, then prove it, little girl!

POPPY: Um...OK...well, I know Dogwood best...

ROOK: Morcubus shook his head.

POPPY: ...and he loves his pink squishy ball!

ROOK: Can I see this ball you're talking about? Perhaps I can...

POPPY: ...I lost it...

ROOK: Okay, you two. Let me get to the bottom of this. I'll determine who's telling the truth here.

ROOK: I figured I needed to find the ball. I checked the fountain. The sound of the water was peaceful, but there was no ball inside. I checked some of the bushes. There was a boxwood. It would have been amusing to find Dogwood's ball there, but no such luck. There was a spider in the next one, and grubs in the one after that. Finally, the one by the trash can by the exit to the forest area of the park yielded the ball. I held it up to Dogwood. He seemed to take to it. Score one for Poppy. I wondered about the dog's prints. I took out my magnifying glass—

By pressing up on the Directional Pad.

ROOK: ...Pressing what, now?

Nothing, nothing.

ROOK: Anyway, I started looking at them. They seemed to be heading that way just because the dog wanted to go there. Could be a point for Morcubus. I put away my magnifying glass—

By pressing down.

ROOK: Are you going to do that every time I take out my magnifying glass and put it away?

No.

ROOK: Good.

Just with new stuff.

ROOK: Argh. Okay. I opened my case book. I could check for more footprints, talk to Morcubus, or talk to Killwood. Dogfang. Whatever. So I started with asking the dog.

ROOK: Why are you freaking out over here, boy? is it because you love Morcubus?

???: Grr...yipyip!!!

ROOK: Oh. You don't seem to like him. What is it, then?

???: Yip yip yip! ...*drool*

ROOK: Oh yeah? Something over there? Okay...I think...

ROOK: I guessed that his real desire might be for something out behind Gino's. I decided to ask the two about it, starting with Morcubus.

ROOK: So, Morcubus, what do you know about the dog's habits?

MORCUBUS: First off, the dog is named Killfang. Secondly, he loves destroying bones!

ROOK: I didn't say he wasn't Killfang. Is this what you, the owner, normally let him do?

MORCUBUS: HAHAHA! Why, yes! My work provides me with many leftover bones to give to my stalwart mutt!'

ROOK: I was afraid to ask what it was he does, at that point.

ROOK: Alright then, we'll see how much he enjoys them. I'll be back...

ROOK: Then I talked to Poppy.

ROOK: Poppy, are you sure you were in the park the whole time?

ROOK: Oddly, not the question I wanted to ask.

Yeah, I couldn't choose it from the list of questions.

ROOK: Yeah, okay, that makes — WHAT?!?

Never mind.

ROOK: I'll try not to.

POPPY: Yeah Rook, I wandered a bit, but I've been here the whole time. I promise.

ROOK: OK Poppy, I'll keep looking around for answers.

ROOK: I wanted to believe her, but on a whim, I used my magnifying glass. Her prints lead out of the park and up to Gino's. I'd have to ask him about this, especially as the dog's prints didn't seem to accompany them. Maybe he'd also have some bones or know where I could get one. Inside, I saw Travis was there, so I figured, why not.

ROOK: Do you know who owns the dog in the park?

TRAVIS: I'm not sure!

ROOK: Okay, Trav. Thanks for nothin'!

TRAVIS: Heh, sorry dude!

ROOK: So, I moved on to Gino.

ROOK: Hi Gino. Have you seen Poppy and her dog recently?

GINO: Poppy? Why yes! She came in here just recently to eat lunch.

ROOK: I see. And did you see her dog with her?

GINO: Her dog? No, I didn't see a dog with her.

ROOK: Thank you very much, Gino.

ROOK: I wondered why she had lied about that. I'd have to talk to her about that later. But first...

ROOK: Oh! Gino, there's one more thing...

GINO: Yes?

ROOK: Do you have any leftover bones?

GINO: Leftover bones are immediately discarded out behind my pizzeria! It's in the city health codes, you know.

ROOK: Thanks again, Gino. I'll go back to the dumpster and help myself.

GINO: That's truly disgusting!

ROOK: Hey, Gino...solving mysteries is messy work sometimes.

ROOK: So I went around back. There was the dumpster... and a few crates. I wondered what was in them, so I took out my trusty crowbar... *sigh* Go ahead...

Huh? Oh! By pressing left on the Directional Pad.

ROOK: Glad that's over. I used it to pry the lid open—

By pressing A, then shaking the remote.

ROOK: Oh brother. Anyway, the first crate I searched had cookware in it. The next, cheese. Mmm... The last one had... jerky in it. I took one, figuring that was a possible lure for the dog if it turned out not to be the bones. I did find a likely bone in the dumpster, and went back to the park. I had to talk to Poppy, because her lie bugged me.

ROOK: Poppy, about your visit to Gino's... earlier on you said the dog was always with you. But I spoke with Gino, and he claims that you went into his pizzeria to get lunch, and he didn't see a dog with you.

POPPY: Ooooh....! Yes, It's true...I left Dogwood by himself. But it was just for a moment! I promise!

ROOK: I remembered that she promised she'd been there the whole time, too, but I decided not to press it.

POPPY: My big sister Violet said that I'm too young to take care of a dog, and I didn't want to disappoint her...that's why I lied...

ROOK: I decided to be gentle with her. What else could I do?

Well, there was the "scare her straight" option, but I usually can't bring myself to pick it.

ROOK: ... Okay.

ROOK: That's okay, Poppy. But remember, I'm trying to help you. I need to know the truth!

POPPY: Okay! Sorry, Rook...

ROOK: I decided to test the dog's reactions to the two items.

ROOK: Here, boy! Have a bone!

???: *Grrrrrrrr....*

ROOK: He didn't seem to like the bones. So...

ROOK: Here, boy...is this jerky what you were looking for? And if so, why didn't you just, you know, go around the wall? It's not like there's a gate...

???: *Nom nom nom*

ROOK: Well, that settled it. It was time to report my findings.

ROOK: Poppy, I've solved the case! Oh, and I guess this involves you, too, Morcubus...

POPPY: That's great!

ROOK: Dogwood definitely belongs to Poppy.

POPPY: Hooray! Come here, Dogwood! Here, boy!

ROOK: Dogwood immediately leapt into her arms.

MORCUBUS: This is an outrage! I demand an explanation!

ROOK: You told me that Dogwood loved chewing bones, but clearly he does not.

MORCUBUS: What?! Who doesn't love chewing on bones?

Search me as to why he decided to use that as proof if he thought that.

ROOK: No kidding. And I was really afraid to ask his line of work at that point.

ROOK: It was Poppy who identified Dogwood's favorite toy: this pink ball.

ROOK: I gave her the ball, and she started playing with Dogwood.

MORCUBUS: But that little girl lied about me taking the dog! He just walked up to me!

ROOK: He was just hungry. He only walked your way because he was trying to get over to Gino's jerky.

ROOK: Poppy and the dog ran off together.

MORCUBUS: Feel pretty clever, don't you, detective? Well don't! You've made a very powerful enemy today.

ROOK: It's just a dog.

MORCUBUS: I don't care about the dog! That was just entertainment.

ROOK: As in, the scene where the villain is mean?

MORCUBUS: ...Sure. But you... you tried to make me look like a fool.

No great feat there.

ROOK: Shh! I'll handle this! I didn't do anything except find the truth.

MORCUBUS: The "truth" is I'll kill you if I can. And believe me, I can.

ROOK: ... I'm not sure you were supposed to be quoting "Code of Honor" there...

MORCUBUS: Oh, right. Ahem. The "truth" is you'll rue the day you crossed... the infernal Morcubus!!

ROOK: More laughter. He left.

ROOK: Yikes. What's the deal with that guy? I better head back to Gino's.

Next time: we meet someone new!

edited 14th Jan '10 11:58:42 PM by Nyperold

 10 Nyperold, Sun, 3rd Jan '10 7:36:10 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: I went to Gino's. Inside, a man approached me. He had brown hair in a neat cut, lower-half-circle eyes, a straight mouth, and a spiffy dark blue suit.

ROOK: Hi. Can I help you?

WALKER: Very impressive, Rook! Most people wouldn't stand up to Morcubus like that.

ROOK: Who's this Morcubus guy, anyway? What's the big deal?

WALKER: He's the CEO of Morcucorp, which owns most of the city.

ROOK: Oh yeah, I saw that name on the plate at the entrance to the park. D'oh, okay, I should've made the connection earlier.

WALKER: Yes, well, he's one of the most powerful men in the world.

ROOK: I was just helping a little girl get her dog back.

Given that pretty much everyone's the same height, I'm not sure what the basis for comparison is.

ROOK: Hey, Morcubus called her little and you never said anything!

Yes, well, Morcubus is at least metaphorically big. Besides, I, um... didn't think of it then.

WALKER: AHEM. Right, you're a detective, aren't you? And a pretty good one, according to your application.

ROOK: Then a pertinent question came to mind.

ROOK: Wait, who are you? How do you know about my application to the Sim Protection Agency?

Because the eyes of the Ranger are upon you...

ROOK: Quiet! He said not a word. Then it hit me.

ROOK: You're a special agent! You're with the S.P.A.!

WALKER: Special Agent Walker. Pleased to meet you, Rook.

ROOK: He had probably been testing my ability to figure it out for myself.

WALKER: I'm here to open a new branch of the S.P.A. in this city.

ROOK: Really?! Well, I'm happy to help in any way I can!

WALKER: Well, that's good news, since I'm approving your application. You are going to be this city's Special Agent.

ROOK: W-what?! Really? I got the job?!

BUDDY: Ha ha! I told you this would be our big case, pal!

WALKER: I'll have to start you off as a Junior Agent. You'll solve a few cases around the city while I observe. But I want to promote you fully to Special Agent as soon as you're ready. The agency needs someone who is willing to take a stand against Morcubus.

BUDDY: Why? Is he stealing more dogs?

WALKER: To be honest, we're not sure what he's doing. He's far too smart to get his own hands dirty, but he has associates all over the city. They're looking for something; we just don't know what. If Morcubus wants it that badly though, it can't be good.

ROOK: Alright, sign me up. I'll do everything I can.

WALKER: I know you will, Agent Rook.

ROOK: So what should I do first?

WALKER: For now, go get some rest. And go get a shower. You smell like you've been rooting around in a dumpster.

ROOK: What! That's... actually pretty accurate.

WALKER: Come back here tomorrow and comb the city for new cases to work. And please don't take that literally. And keep your eyes open for anything that might lead back to Morcubus.

ROOK: The next day, Buddy and I stood on the train platform.

ROOK: Okay, Buddy, today's the day! Our destiny lies just down those stairs. Let's get down there and find some fresh cases!

(New tutorial! It tells you that someone who needs help will have an exclamation mark over his head.)

ROOK: I talked to Luis near the turnstile.

ROOK: Anything in the news, Luis?

LUIS: Oh, hey Rook, did you hear?! Dogwood was almost dognapped! I sure am glad that someone was there to help Poppy out.

ROOK: Ummm... yes. So it doesn't say who helped?

LUIS: Mmmm... not that I can tell.

ROOK: Huh. Okay, just checking.

ROOK: I had to wonder why my name didn't get mentioned. It was probably for my own protection, but it still seemed weird. At any rate, I looked around. Both Shirley the hairdresser and Gino looked to be in need of help. I wondered whose case I should tackle first. Then I smelled smoke. Had there been a fire? I figured Gino should be helped first. There was a fire in his eyes, anyway.

Yeah, I saw it.

ROOK: Hi Gino, how are you?

GINO: Terrible! You have to help me! Rook, I've lost my maps!

ROOK: Maps?! Not tomatoes, this time? Okay, I'm in! Don't worry, Gino, I'll find those maps!

GINO: Oh, Rook, I'm ruined! There was a fire!

ROOK: In your restaurant?

GINO: Yes. Derek, Shirley, and Patrick were all having dinner. Suddenly, smoke and flame started pouring out of my stove!

ROOK: You were the first out of your restaurant?

GINO: Yes! But the others soon followed. After the flames died down, I went back in to confirm that I was ruined. Not only was my stove destroyed, but my safe was open! Someone took my maps!!

ROOK: You kept maps in a safe?

GINO: Of course! Those maps show the secret locations where I find my arcane herbs and forbidden cheeses.

ROOK: How did they get the combination to your safe?

GINO: I don't lock it.

ROOK: So basically, he kept these maps in a box that's basically a sign saying "Hey! There's something valuable in here!" and didn't take advantage of its ability to lock.

ROOK: Okay. So either Derek, Shirley, or Patrick "cracked" your safe during the fire...

ROOK: I went inside. First, I decided to check the source of the fire: the stove. It was very badly damaged. I'd have to repair it first. I figured I could salvage some spare parts from around the pizzeria to repair it. I... oh no... equipped my wrench...

By pushing right.

ROOK: ...and salvaged some spare parts from the tiny oven next to the plant...

By pressing A.

ROOK: That's it? No hokey-pokey with the remote or anything.

That's it. Simple as that.

ROOK: Wow. Okay, so I went back over to the stove and began repairing it. Not only would I be able to find out the cause, but I'd also be helping Gino be able to use it again. In the stove was a motor turning a gear, which turned another gear. There were two other gears off to the right, not connected to each other or to the turning gears. I had a belt and a gear at my disposal.

I'll explain the rest.

(This is a repair puzzle. In a repair puzzle, the board will start with fixed parts ("fixed" meaning you can't move them), and give you spare parts to place, which you can move if you are not satisfied with their location. You press A to pick up a part, and either A to place it or B to put it back in the spare part inventory. The goal of each puzzle is to get all the red parts going somehow. In this case, the red gear needs to spin. A gear will spin if: a powered motor is attached to its axle; a gear that's above, below, to the left, or to the right is spinning; or if there's a belt attached to its axle. When a red part is properly interacted with, it turns green. Now, belts. A belt can only attach to the axles of unoccupied gears or motors, not other belts like in MSK. So here, you would span the larger gap with a belt and the smaller with a gear. I'm not going to give you the solution to these, but if there are new kinds of parts, I'll tell you how they work.)

ROOK: ...Okay. I discovered that the fire was caused by lack of ventilation. I decided to tell Gino, but one bit of business as I left: I equipped my magnifying glass and went over to the safe. There were footprints leading to the trash can. Hmmm... well, I'm no stranger to the cans, so I reached in and pulled out... one of Gino's maps! I wondered if other maps had been discarded. I went outside and talked to Gino.

ROOK: Gino, your fire was caused by a lack of ventilation. Your chimneys must be blocked!

GINO: Impossible! I clean my chimneys all the time! I even affect a funny little Cockney accent when I do it!

ROOK: Well, there's something fishy going on. How can I access the chimneys to check them out?

GINO: Climb the ladder behind my building! But hold the ladder tight, Rook, it's slippery with delicious pizza grease!

ROOK: Oh right, I saw that.

ROOK: I climbed the ladder he indicated, and jumped onto some crates—

Using Z.

ROOK: —yes, okay, using Z, whatever, and up to the roof. Two of the chimneys were clear, but the one over the door had a baseball in it. I pulled it out. I figured that the owner of the baseball probably started the Fi-IIIII-OOF! OW! Hey! Why did I just walk off that roof?!

That would be my doing.

ROOK: ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!?

No; you can't die in My Sims Agents!

ROOK: But that HURT! Why did you do that?

Because it's shorter than having you drop down to the crates, down to the fire escape, and climb down the ladder.

ROOK: Mrrrgh!

Okay, okay. Instead of making you fall just to save time, I'll take you the long way down. But just to warn you, that drop didn't save as much time as others would have.

ROOK: I'll risk the waste. Anyway, I updated Gino.

ROOK: Gino, this baseball was clogging up your chimney! This is what started the fire!

GINO: What?! That's crazy! I don't even like baseball! Who would do such a thing to me and my pizza?

ROOK: That's what I need to find out, Gino. Does anyone play baseball around here?

GINO: No one! Wait! Yes! Lots of people! Just last month that rotten kid Derek put his smelly baseball glove on my nice clean table! I chased him out with a broom!

ROOK: An interesting bit of info. I then used the magnifying glass to follow the footprints. The faded as they went into the street, but picked up, heading for the can outside the park. Another map! The footprints went into the park and around into the forest area behind. The can just inside the forest area... had a map in it!

So there's a trash can in the park next to the forest entrance, and one on the forest side a couple of yards away. That's efficient.

ROOK: Yes, well, I decided to return the maps I had.

ROOK: Gino, I found your maps!

GINO: Oh, fantastico!! You're a life saver, Agent Rook!

Are you certain of that?

ROOK: ARGH.

GINO: What?

ROOK: My narrator's a Pungeon Master.

GINO: Ah. ...Oh, but...one is missing! My map of the mountains!

ROOK: Fascinating. They were only interested in one of your maps, Gino. You see, these had all been discarded.

GINO: I'm ruined!!!

ROOK: Gino, this is a solid lead. I'll get to the bottom of this.

ROOK: I decided to question the other three people who were in the restaurant at the time of the fire.

ROOK: So, what happened in there, Shirley?

SHIRLEY: I was sitting there, eating my salad, when I hear Derek yell out "Fire! Get out!"

ROOK: And you left immediately?

SHIRLEY: Dropped my fork and bolted! I've been here ever since.

ROOK: With the amount of hair spray and other chemicals that woman uses, that was probably the wisest thing.

ROOK: Thanks, Shirley. Good to know. Oh, but Shirley, do you know whose baseball this is?

SHIRLEY: Sorry, hon, I don't. But I just love baseball players! So rugged! I dated one once, you know. He couldn't resist my hair.

ROOK: I gotta go, Shirley, but before I do, I have one more question. Heard any news about mountains lately?

SHIRLEY: Mountains, hon? Hmmmm....

ROOK: Don't worry, Shirley. If you haven't heard anything, that's fine.

SHIRLEY: Yeah, sorry hon! Nothing comes to mind.

ROOK: No problem. Thanks.

ROOK: So Shirley was a wash. I moved on.

ROOK: So, what happened in there, Patrick?

PATRICK: Well, I was diggin' into a slice of Gino's Ultimate Meatball Pizza. Then, all of a sudden, there was smoke everywhere!

ROOK: I see, it happened very suddenly.

PATRICK: I couldn't even breathe, but I managed to finish my slice on the way outside.

ROOK: What? You finished your pizza, even though there was a fire?

PATRICK: Meatballs are too tasty to waste, sport. Who needs to breathe when you can eat?

ROOK: I see. So, heard any news about mountains lately, Patrick?

PATRICK: Huh! As a matter of fact, Derek has been goin' on nonstop about mountains.

ROOK: Is that so?

PATRICK: Yeah! Kid must have gotten into snowboardin' or something.

ROOK: Thanks, Patrick. Very useful to know.

ROOK: Then, I had to ask Derek about all this.

ROOK: So, what happened in there, Derek?

DEREK: Buzz off, Agent Moron!

ROOK: Derek, you need to answer my questions. I want to learn what caused the fire.

DEREK: Why should I care?

ROOK: Derek, I think this fire might not have been an accident.

DEREK: Your face is an accident! I'm not talking to you, Agent Face-Accident.

ROOK: ...Nice.

That's... not too far off the mark, actually.

ROOK: SHUT! UP! Deep breaths, girl... I had to press the matter.

ROOK: Derek, let's talk about baseballs.

DEREK: What? What are you talking about? I love baseballs.

ROOK: I'll bet you do. So, is this your baseball?

DEREK: Yeah, my Vintage Pro 2004 baseball! It's the one I stuck in the... ...nowhere.

Yeah, nothing says lovin' like a baseball in the oven... chimney.

ROOK: You're not very good at this whole "criminal" thing, are you, Derek? Not to mention baseball care... One more thing... heard any news about mountains lately, Derek?

DEREK: What? Mountains? Go away, Agent Loser!

ROOK: Derek, if you'd just help me out here a minute...

DEREK: What do you want from me? I don't know anything about anything. Buzz off!

ROOK: I don't know why I expected him to help further. Maybe I thought he'd slip up and tell me something else, but either I was too direct, or he was on his guard after talking about baseballs, or something. Anyway, I had another lead to pursue. My mind went back to the footprints. I wondered if they went anywhere else after the garbage can in the forest. They lead up to a ledge, but I noticed a potential path farther up which I would be remiss in not pursuing. So I jumped over and crossed a log... wait... are there any mechanics that you have to explain?

Oh, yes.

ROOK: Thought so.

Yes, this is the balancing part, and you'll be doing it quite a bit, actually. When you go to cross a tree branch or vine or girder, the player has to press the Control Stick in the direction of the other end. The camera will, as appropriate, rotate so that the other end is the far end or the near end, so the player has to push up or down. Now, as you balance your way across, you'll start to lean over, and if you lean over too far, you'll stop moving in the direction you're headed, and if left like that, you fall. Usually, you won't fall to the place below, but to the near end of the thing you're crossing. This particular place, however, you fall to the area below the log. But if you want to progress, the player generally has to compensate by pressing the direction opposite the one you're leaning.

ROOK: ...Right. Well, from the other end, I jumped to a large stump and from there to another ledge, and passed to a meditation area. Why anyone who needs meditation would want to go through all that to get there, I don't know, but anyway. There was a piece of paper on the monolith. I decided to knock it down with my crowbar. Anything weird you had to do to make it happen?

Naw, it's just like prying something open.

ROOK: ...I don't know whether that makes it less weird or more. Turns out, the paper was a letter from Morcu Corp thanking Derek for his delivery! It was probably the missing mountain map! I went back to report to Gino.

ROOK: I've got great news for you, Gino! I've saved hundreds of instances of being hit with rotten fruit by not doing a lame Geico joke! Also, I've discovered who stole your maps!

ROOK: We talked inside.

GINO: So, what happened, Rook? Who stole my maps?

ROOK: All signs point to Derek being the thief, Gino.

GINO: What? That Derek is the cause of my ruination?! Why? How?

ROOK: Well, it seems that Derek was hired by Morcu Corp to steal your maps. Derek stuffed a baseball in your chimney to start the fire... When the firet started he stole the maps and ran off, dumping the maps along the way that Morcubus didn't want. He then left your mountain map in the forest at a pickup site for Morcu Corp operatives to pick up. I'm sorry, Gino. I'm afraid there's no way to track the map down any further.

ROOK: Gino stood there, stunned at the news. Poor guy... and then who should have the audacity to walk in but Derek.

DEREK: Gino, I want a slice of sausage and pepperoni...and make it quick! I'm busy!

ROOK: The guy had a lot of nerve, demanding pizza from his recent victim. But I suppose he figured Morcu Corp had his back. Gino's fire returned with a vengeance.

The one in his eyes?

ROOK: Yeah, that one. Come to think of it, I almost actually saw it myself...

GINO: YOU ARE BANNED FOREVER!!!

DEREK: Wha? No! I love your pizza, Gino! You can't do that to me! I'm a loyal customer!

GINO: YOU WILL NEVER EAT MY PIZZA EVER AGAIN... MAP THIEF!!!

DEREK: Aw, man!

ROOK: He left.

GINO: That was great! I've been looking for a reason to ban him for so long! You're a lifesaver, Rook!

ROOK: Make another candy joke with that, and...

...I'll be good.

ROOK: Well, Gino, I guess that's case closed!

Next time: we talk to Shirley!

edited 15th Jan '10 12:07:52 AM by Nyperold

 11 Nyperold, Sun, 3rd Jan '10 12:11:32 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
When we last left our heroine, she had just solved the case of the pizzeria fire, and was pounding the streets looking for another case.

ROOK: So like I said, Shirley looked like she needed help.

ROOK: What's wrong, Shirley?

SHIRLEY: Somebody left me some mysterious flowers...will ya help me out, 'hon?

ROOK: Yes, I'm on the case!

SHIRLEY: Wonderful hon, I have something I want to show you...

ROOK: You mean those entirely conspicuous flowers a couple of yards away, don't you?

SHIRLEY: Yes. Here's what I wanted to show you. Someone knocked on the door, but when I opened it I just found these flowers!

ROOK: Looks like you have a secret admirer, Shirley!

SHIRLEY: We gotta find out who it is, hon! In case ya ain't noticed, I usually don't like to do things subtle.

ROOK: Alright, I'll see what I can find out.

ROOK: I noticed Poppy, who had gone up to the nearby fruit stand while I was talking to Shirley. If anyone could identify flowers...

ROOK: Hey, Poppy!

POPPY: Hiya, Rook!

ROOK: Do you recognize this bouquet?

POPPY: Of course! That's the Number 27 — the Secret Love Bouquet!

SHIRLEY: Well, who did you sell it too, hon?

POPPY: Today? Umm...Gino. And Patrick. And Mayor Skip.

ROOK: They all bought the Secret Love Bouquet?

POPPY: It's a popular bouquet.

ROOK: She left. I turned to Shirley.

ROOK: Alright. Looks like I need to investigate Gino, Patrick, and Skip.

SHIRLEY: Eh, I'd be fine with any of 'em.

ROOK: I figured I could check for evidence around the storefront, or ask them about their flowers. I picked up the flowers and started looking for footprints. The first noteworthy set I found led from her bushes all the way to Patrick's trailer in the construction site! Before I confronted him about it, however, I noticed something strange under his trailer... medical garb? I took it with me in case I needed to infiltrate a hospital or something. Then I went inside and talked to Patrick.

ROOK: Were you hiding in the salon's bushes?

PATRICK: I wasn't hiding. I fell off the roof into those bushes.

ROOK: Why were you on the salon's roof?

PATRICK: Fixing the air conditioning! My tool chest should still be up there if you need proof.

ROOK: I decided to look into Patrick's claim. I didn't see a direct way of getting up there, but I noticed some wires hanging between the buildings, so maybe... bingo! I saw some crates between the site and a house. I jumped up there and crossed a power line. This roof had a nice place to sit and watch the train go by... as long as the wind wasn't blowing sunflower pollen my way. I crossed some boards. This roof had a sunlight which I declined to peek in. I used the unit to get onto a higher roof with another nice place to sit... and a chest? It had street clothes in it, perfect for both a bright spring day or a crisp fall afternoon. Also, some paints. I had no idea where I was going to use them, but eh, I'd find something. Besides, they made me feel like a real detective. I crossed another wire and found... Patrick's tool chest. Okay. So I went to Gino's.

ROOK: Gino, did you buy any flowers from Poppy?

GINO: Yes I did! Roses!

ROOK: Oh really? Why did you buy them? Some...romantic interest, perhaps?

GINO: Yes, it was very romantic... I use the rose petals to decorate my newest pizza experiment — The Paris Pizza!

ROOK: Oh...ok...nevermind.

ROOK: I hoped by "romantic" he was referring to the tomatoes, but rose pizza?

I've had rose-flavored cake before. It was good.

ROOK: ...Okay. I decided to look around for this pizza. I found it. Next stop: Town Hall.

ROOK: Did you buy any flowers from Poppy, Mr. Mayor?

SKIP: I sure did! They're right over there in that vase.

ROOK: I looked at the vase, and there they were. I asked him what he thought of her.

ROOK: Hey Skip, what do you think of Shirley?

SKIP: Um... she's um...

ROOK: Yes?

SKIP: Um... she does a really great job with my hair!

ROOK: Okay. He seems like he was hiding admiration, but nothing I could really trace to the flowers in question. I left the hall, and happened upon Poppy.

ROOK: Hi, Poppy. Do you remember anything else about the flowers you sold yesterday?

POPPY: Sorry, no, Rook.

ROOK: Did anyone say anything about Shirley?

POPPY: I think Patrick mentioned he was doing some work for her. That's all I remember though, Rook.

ROOK: She left. I already confirmed that, but her mention of him reminded me to ask him directly about the flowers he ordered.

ROOK: Hey Patrick! I found your tools on Shirley's roof.

PATRICK: Yeah, I have to go back and finish up, but I got hungry.

ROOK: Oh, and Patrick, did you buy flowers?

PATRICK: Sure did! I ordered them yesterday.

ROOK: Ordered them? For delivery?

PATRICK: Yup, but they never came! All I got was a form from the City Board of Flower Requisition. Whatever that is!

ROOK: What? A flower requisition form? Can I see it?

PATRICK: Sure, if you can find it. I didn't open it. Just tossed it somewhere in my trailer.

ROOK: I had to see this letter. I found it in the trash can after a careful search. I decided to talk to Skip, but as I passed the salon, something on a bush caught my eye.

Love letter! Love letter love letter, lubby-dubby-dubby love letter love letter, love letter la-la-la...

ROOK: *blink*

Carry on.

ROOK: Okay. I headed back to Patrick's trailer.

You were going to Town Hall, were you not?

ROOK: I want to be thorough.

ROOK: Can I get a sample of your handwriting?

PATRICK: I have to write all sorts of stuff on my blueprints. You might want to check there.

ROOK: Thanks, Patrick.

ROOK: I looked at the blueprints. The handwriting was not a match. I went to Gino's.

ROOK: Can I get a sample of your handwriting?

GINO: Handwriting? Like my handwritten daily specials list I use to advertise outside my restaurant?

ROOK: That would work. I'll go check it out. Thanks Gino!

ROOK: Once outside, I looked at the sign. Not only did Gino misspell "prosciutto", but the handwriting didn't match. On to Town Hall!

ROOK: Skip, tell me about this "City Board of Flower Requisition".

SKIP: What? Yes! That's totally a branch of our government.

ROOK: So...you requisitioned Patrick's flowers? For the city?

SKIP: I never said any such thing! No, the CBFR has nothing to do with me.

ROOK: ...Indeed.

ROOK: I decided to check the computer, but the files were encrypted! No biggie. I could just use my mad hacking skills—

To navigate a scrolling maze.

ROOK: —yes, to navigate a scrolling maze. Under a time limit. Which depleted more rapidly if I got stuck off the lit path. And, as I discovered, the CBFR was formed by Skip in the first place, just to requisition Patrick's flowers! But I knew this wouldn't be enough to go on.

ROOK: Can I see some of your handwriting?

SKIP: Why, I keep all of my forms in my safe, but you are not allowed in there...

ROOK: I saw no safe in his office. I knew I'd have to poke around. Finally, as I was looking at some books that looked like they'd never been taken off the shelf, I activated a panel which slid up, revealing the safe! But, unlike Gino's, it was locked.

ROOK: I'd like the combination to your safe, please.

SKIP: Certainly not! That combination is a secret! I only open it in private!

ROOK: He wanted privacy, so I decided to give him some... or appear to. I left the office. I saw a window that I could use to see it, but first, I'd have to cross some awnings and ledges. I went all the way to the end of the street, where there was a service station. I saw a ladder, but I also saw a crate. Crowbar time! I found a jack-in-the-box—

Jack-in-the-Box. 1 point of Paranormal.

ROOK: Wait, what?

I'll explain later.

ROOK: Whatever. I also found some paints in lively patterns. I climbed the ladder.

Wait. Stop.

ROOK: What? I'm climbing a ladder here!

The station's logo is an orange triceratops?

ROOK: ...That's the Simclair station.

Oh, no...

ROOK: ...What?

Never mind...

ROOK: Well. Across a couple of ledges and awnings, I finally got to Skip's window and peeked in. He opened the safe, looked at his papers, put them back, and closed it up again. 12-34-22. Got it. Before I went down to try it, however, I spotted another chest! Inside were some paints ranging from brick to wood to... cow? Anyway, down I went, and from there, I went inside and opened the safe. Inside was... a letter thanking Morcubus for a donation, and assuring him that he will not close down Morcubus's evil factory? Interesting info, but for now, his handwriting is the key. It's a match. With this evidence, I decided to report to Shirley.

ROOK: Hi! Shirley, I know who your admirer is!

SHIRLEY: So, what's the deal, hon? Who's my loverboy?

ROOK: Looks like Mayor Skip is the one who left the flowers!

SHIRLEY: Really? Ooh, a man with money and looks. I like it! But, how did you find out it was him?

ROOK: Well, he made it tough. Matching his handwriting to a love note was key.

SHIRLEY: A love note came, too? Can I see it?

ROOK: Sure. It had blown into the bushes.

ROOK: I gave it to her.

SHIRLEY: He says my eyes are deeper than the moon! I like this guy's style!

ROOK: Well, his style was tough to track down. He certainly didn't want anybody to know it was him.

SHIRLEY: He's shy! Aww, how cute!

ROOK: Well, cute's a relative term. I mean, he formed a puppet department of our government to cover up his flower purchases, and he...

SHIRLEY: Thanks, Rook!!! I'm gonna go invite that hunk out on a hot date!

ROOK: She ran off...

ROOK: ''But...he's also corrupt...and he's working with Morcubus...

What's that they say about multiple exclamation marks?

ROOK: Normally, I'd call three about the limit, but in this case, I'd agree they're right. Oh well. Good luck, Shirley!

ROOK: I got some hairstyles out of the deal. And I uncovered some more over by the hair dryers. Don't think I'll use 'em, but hey.

Next time: A new HQ!

edited 15th Jan '10 12:18:08 AM by Nyperold

 12 Nyperold, Sun, 3rd Jan '10 4:32:08 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: As I approached Town Square, Agent Walker called us over.

WALKER: Hey, Rook! Buddy! Over here!

ROOK: We went up to him.

ROOK: Agent Walker!

WALKER: Very impressive work. Who knew that Mayor Rogers was so closely associated with Morcubus? The agency will be keeping an eye on him from now on.

ROOK: We should also figure out why the mountains so important to Morcu Corp.

WALKER: And we will, but first...

ROOK: He led us over to the turnstile.

WALKER: Rook, you're ready now. I am promoting you to the rank of Special Agent. I'm assigning you to your own headquarters, right here in the city.

BUDDY: Our own headquarters! Now Gino can actually use both of his tables, pal!

WALKER: You'll have to take the train to get there. I'll meet you at your headquarters later. I have some agency business to take care of first.

ROOK: I decided before I went to go talk to people. In town square...

ROOK: Anything in the news, Luis?

LUIS: Fires, secret love, stolen maps and apparently a hint of corruption in the mayor's office. Nothing unusual.

ROOK: At town hall...

ROOK: Good afternoon, Mayor Rogers.

SKIP: Oh! Hmm... Rook, do you have some chaps I could borrow?

ROOK: What?!

SKIP: Shirley asked me out for a date. And she wants to go to a rodeo.

ROOK: Not much else of interest. Gino thanking me; Patrick, as well; Derek asking if I came to gloat; flower status update; Shirley getting ready for her date; Rhonda concerned about her... I decided to go on that train ride.

Now, at each station, there's a kiosk which, when you interact with it, shows a map of locations on the train route that you can get to. Right now, you can only go to headquarters or stay here.

BUDDY: I can't believe we're getting our own HQ! I can't wait to move in! ...Assuming the building passes my 24-point inspection. ...Point 17: Fridge must be big enough to fit 32 pounds of bacon.

(That took a few passes to transcribe, as it automatically moves to the next part of the conversation or monologue when you're in the train... or jet.)

ROOK: Outside headquarters, there was this girl dressed in a red and gray jumpsuit. She was simultaneously cute and freaky.

ROOK: Um... may I help you?

YUKI: Not spying, that's for sure! Oh, wait, I mean...stay back! Or I'll bite your face!

ROOK: We entered the building.

BUDDY: Wow! This is amazing! I'm going to draw you as a special agent in a cool headquarters like this one.

ROOK: I think...I think I am a special agent in a cool headquarters like this one!

ROOK: Agent Walker was already there, along with a girl wearing a lab coat over yellow-and-black stripes. She had antennae, which I assume are just costumery.

Aww! She's so cute!

ROOK: Yeah, I guess she is. But back to the story.

WALKER: That's right, this is all yours.

The curtains?

ROOK: No, not the curtains...

WALKER: Roxie here will show you around.

ROXIE: Hi, Rook, welcome to your new home! It's the standard setup: 5 floors, basic equipment package, built in Fenergy vents... it even has vaulted ceilings and a jet plane up on the roof!

ROOK: Whoa, seriously?

ROXIE: Seriously, vaulted ceilings. They really make the place feel roomy—

ROOK: No, I mean, do I really get my own jet?

ROXIE: Oh, sure. Just take the elevator to the top floor. It leads out to the landing pad.

ROOK: Another girl came over. Okay, what do you think of her?

Well, she's kinda cute. Though her expression doesn't help her appearance right now.

ROXIE: You also get your very own agency-issue secretary: Jenny.

JENNY: Temp secretary. "Temp" being the operative word here. As soon as my Fan Fiction takes off, I'll get a sweet publishing deal and then I'm outta here.

ROXIE: Ha ha! Good one. She's kidding, of course.

JENNY: No, I'm not.

ROXIE: Do not abandon your post!!! If you'll follow me, please.

ROOK: We went over to an elevated portion of the floor.

JENNY: Yikes! Don't take this job too seriously or anything...

ROXIE: This is the center of operations for your HQ. You can do a variety of things here... ...such as changing your outfit in this Derobenator 3000.

BUDDY: Sweet! Can I try it?

ROXIE: Actually, that's for agents only.

ROOK: Buddy's not an agent?

ROXIE: Not unless he can provide a crimefighting tool.

ROOK: Umm...he's my sketch artist!

BUDDY: Yeah!

ROXIE: ...Alright, fine.

BUDDY: Yes!

ROOK: The Derobenator opened, Buddy spun around in front of it, and in an instant, he had much more official-looking duds on!

BUDDY: Ha! So what do you think, Rook?

ROOK: Looking good, Buddy.

BUDDY: Hecks yeah! Did you see these glasses? Now people will take me more seriously!

ROXIE: This is my station. When you're out on a case, I can give you real-time updates from here. I can help you chemically analyze any number of things you might encounter on your missions.

BUDDY: Neat, science stuff!

ROXIE: Don't touch anything! You're covered in germs and it takes me 16 hours to sanitize this station.

ROOK: So if I need to analyze something...I should just call you on the phone?

ROXIE: Yup! The analyzer fits right in your phone. It will allow you to scan any suspicious material and send the results directly to me! Now there's something else we should discuss.

ROOK: Agent Walker was back, and Jenny came out from behind the desk to get a look at Buddy.

JENNY: Whoa! Buddy! Check you out! Did those come from the Derobenator?

BUDDY: Uh-huh.

JENNY: So it just gives out free clothes? I'n going on break so I can go browse.

ROXIE: Agents only!!! Besides, you have more important things to do. Jenny is going to help you recruit more agents.

Tch. That's not true. You'll see.

JENNY: When I'm on the clock. Right now I'm taking my break.

ROOK: Wait...I can hire my own agents?

WALKER: Of course! Preserving liberty is everyone's duty!

Well, if she gets rid of that venomous snake of hers, she might just live longer...

ROOK: ...Who might?

Never mind.

WALKER: Just talk to Jenny and she'll explain how to get some new recruits. Thank you, Roxie. Well done. Looks like you're all set, Rook.

ROOK: He walked over to the stairs of the Center of Operation, which I'm just going to call the C.O. from now on and hope you get it from context.

WALKER: Well, that's it, Rook. It's all up to up now.

ROOK: Where are you going to be?

WALKER: I need to return to my own city. But don't worry, I'm confident that you're the right one for the job.

ROOK: He sniffed the air.

WALKER: You smell that? That's Justice! No smell is sweeter.

Dude kinda smells of sweat and crabs, but to each his own.

ROOK: I'm trying not to mind you, Narrator, but you're making it difficult.

JENNY: ...I guess.

WALKER: I'll be sure to drop in if there are any new upgrades for your special agent tools. For now, explore the HQ. Get to know the place. When you're ready, talk to Jenny and try to recruit a new agent.

ROOK: We shook hands, and he left.

BUDDY: Wow! Take a look at us, Rook!

JENNY: Congratulations! You should give me the rest of the day off to celebrate.

ROXIE: One more thing, if you have someone in mind you want to recruit as an agent, just give them a call on the office phone.

ROOK: Did you just explain what you and Walker both told me Jenny would explain?

ROXIE: Yes.

JENNY: Hey, no complaints here.

Next time: missions and more missions!

edited 15th Jan '10 12:20:45 AM by Nyperold

 13 Nyperold, Tue, 12th Jan '10 9:31:12 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: After all that, I also got even more new outfits and a new haircut. I went over to the phone. There was only one person available for recruiting: Travis. I checked his message:

TRAVIS: No way, you can make me an official agent?! That's so cool! I'm in! Hey, so does this mean you're getting me that pizza?

Travis, by the way, has 3 Charisma and 2 Smarts.

ROOK: ...Ooookay. I recruited him and set him up on the top floor.

ROOK: Welcome to the team!

TRAVIS: What's up, guys? Let's do this!

ROOK: Then I talked to Jenny.

ROOK: Any clients with dispatch missions?

JENNY: You want a dispatch mission? Just choose one and let's get this over with.

ROOK: Well, there was only one to choose: "Deploy!". Agent Walker had called it in:

WALKER: All right, Rook, . It's time to delegate! You won't have time to do everything — that's what your loyal agents are for! We've got a cat stuck in a tree. Send that new recruit of yours, Travis, to take care of it and I'll keep you updated on his progress.

ROOK: It was rated a difficulty of 1 star, would probably take about 10 minutes, and would use the skills of both Charisma and Smarts. If Travis was successful, I would gain new outfits and have more dispatch missions. I selected the mission and chose the Floor 3 squad which consisted of... Travis. He had a fair chance.

JENNY: That's it! You just sent Travis off on his first mission.

ROOK: I hope he'll be okay... cats can be vicious, sometimes.

JENNY: Dispatch agents will always check in with a quick text message to let you know how the mission is going. Make sure you keep an eye out for any updates on your cell phone.

ROOK: Right. That's a good way for us to keep in touch.

JENNY: Yeah, it means you don't have to hand around HQ to get dispatch updates. You're free to search the city for new cases. ... Seriously, you can go now. I'll work real hard while you're gone.

On your blog, that is.

JENNY: No, as a matter of fact, I don't mean on my blog.

Okay.

JENNY: On my Starcruiser X fanfiction.

That was my next guess.

ROOK: Anyway, just then, a woman came in. Green eyes, short red hair, red dress, red shoes. Gold bracelet, tattoo on upper arm.

She looks okay, I guess.

JENNY: Hey, you can't just barge in here without an appointment! Rook, do something!

EVELYN: Rook, is it? My name is Evelyn Gray. I understand you help people with mysteries.

I think her thumbnail picture is cuter, now that I get a look at it.

ROOK: I try to.

EVELYN: Well, I have a mystery. I think someone was in my apartment while I wasn't there.

ROOK: And why do you think that?

EVELYN: Because they completely wrecked the place before they left.

JENNY: Whoa. I'd say that's pretty compelling evidence!

EVELYN: Yes. The door was open when I got home, and when I went inside... it was awful!

ROOK: She started crying.

ROOK: Did they take anything? What did they want?

EVELYN: Well, I don't know what they wanted. That's why I'm hiring you.

ROOK: I went over to talk to Buddy and Jenny.

JENNY: I don't like her. Her shoes are way too casual for that outfit.

BUDDY: I think we should help. Do you think Derek has moved up to burglary now?

ROOK: No, this sounds way too big for the neighborhood bully.

ROOK: Why did I say that?! He intentionally induced a fire and stole someone's maps, for crying out loud!

ROOK: I wonder... Evelyn, did you see anybody strange around your apartment?

EVELYN: Well, there was a girl...I didn't get a good look. She was wearing a red and gray Morcu Corp jumpsuit...

ROOK: Morcu Corp?! The girl outside! Evelyn, I'll take the case!

EVELYN: Thank you, Rook. When you are ready, I'll meet you outside of my apartment. I'm...still a little scared to go inside.

ROOK: Don't worry. Whoever did this, I'm sure they're long gone. But in the meantime, you probably shouldn't disturb the crime scene until I get a good look at it. We'll be there soon.

EVELYN: Okay.

ROOK: She left.

BUDDY: She seems nice.

ROOK: Yeah. I wonder who would want to scare her like that.

BUDDY: I dunno. A mummy?

JENNY: Rook, be careful. If this was one of my stories, I'd make this the part where you take a seemingly simple case from a mysterious stranger... but get drawn into something far more dangerous!

ROOK: You might be right, Jenny. I get the feeling we're about to step into something big...

(Okay, from now on, except when it's way more convenient to keep pressing on, my updates will be primarily based around the dispatch missions. I'll explain how they work at the end of this one. For now, just know that Agent Walker and Travis will be checking in every once in a while.)

ROOK: I headed out the door and to the train kiosk. I selected Main Street. As Buddy and I rode to our old neighborhood, I had some time to think.

ROOK: (thinking) Evelyn Gray is a very mysterious woman. She seemed genuinely frightened, but... was Jenny right about her? I can't shake the feeling that Evelyn knows more than she's letting on. I wonder what Buddy thought of our enigmatic guest?

BUDDY: I had a hamster named Evelyn once!

ROOK: I figured the best place to start was by talking to Evelyn. Along the way, I talked to the Sims I encountered. Luis...

ROOK: Hi Luis. Have you heard about the break-in at Evelyn's apartment?

LUIS: I did! I think it's going to be in tomorrow's paper! Speaking of papers, would you like to buy one?

ROOK: Maybe later, Luis. I'm still on the job.

LUIS: If I had a quarter for everyone who said that to me, I'd have enough for college already! Haha! Just kidding!

ROOK: Rhonda...

ROOK: Hi, Rhonda. Do you have any idea who ransacked Evelyn's apartment?

RHONDA: No! And I don't want to know! Stay away from creepy apartment-ransacking criminals — that's my motto!

ROOK: Okay, thanks Rhonda.

If you had talked to her during the secret admirer case, you would have heard her tell you a different motto about not messing with someone's secret admirer or something.

ROOK: Shirley... actually, I admit to entering her salon to talk to her.

ROOK: Hello, Shirley. Did you hear about Evelyn's apartment being ransacked?

SHIRLEY: Oh my gosh, yes, hon! It's so scary! What if he had broken into my salon and stolen my new olallieberry hair gel?

ROOK: That is terrifying to think about.

SHIRLEY: I know, right? Anyway, good luck with the case, Rook!

ROOK: Thanks, Shirley!

ROOK: I met up with Evelyn outside her apartment.

ROOK: Hello, Evelyn. I have a couple of questions.

EVELYN: Okay, Agent Rook.

ROOK: Any additional info you can give me about the perp you saw escaping?

EVELYN: Not really, just that she was wearing that red and gray Morcu Corp uniform.

ROOK: Have you had any problems with Morcu Corp in the past?

EVELYN: No...never!

ROOK: So whatever interest they have in you...it's new. Do you have any idea if they took anything?

EVELYN: Yes! I took a quick inventory. It looks like they took some jewelry and some other random stuff.

ROOK: What 'random stuff' did they take?

EVELYN: Oh, they also took some of my dad's old stuff: a letter and one of his research journals.

ROOK: Aha! If this was a simple burlgary, they wouldn't have had use for those. I'm on it, Evelyn. That's a solid lead.

ROOK: Of course, I'd need to check her apartment, but before I could, I got a message:

WALKER: Travis has arrived and is looking up at the cat, trying to decide what to do. I've mentioned that gaining a cat's trust is harder than it looks.

ROOK: I entered. The place was a mess! Scattered papers, plants knocked over, tilted pictures... and why did the intruder have to treat all the books so poorly? There was no reason to throw them around! I found a receipt for Shirley's on the desk, and a coupon for Gino's under the bed.

TRAVIS: OK, I'm going to try to communicate with the cat — gain its trust. I know! I'll use my phone to play some bird or squirrel noises. Which should I play? If I don't hear from you within a few minutes, I'll choose one randomly.

ROOK: I chose the bird noises and got back to the case. I also noticed... spilled ink. Hmmm... I took out my magnifying glass. Aha! As I thought! Footprints! They led across the bed and to the dresser. She left through the window. To follow the prints, I'll have to go outside. On the way out, I notice that the grandfather clock's hands aren't moving. Huh. I wonder if it was broken during the break-in... I went outside and talked to Evelyn.

ROOK: Is this your pizza coupon?

EVELYN: Nope. I'm allergic to tomatoes, so I never go to Gino's place.

ROOK: Ah. Must have come from one of the culprits, then. I love it when criminals drop things. So is this your salon receipt?

EVELYN: Yeah, that's mine. I went to Shirley's yesterday to get my hair done.

ROOK: It looks nice. Thanks for the info.

ROOK: I decided to go ask Gino and, on the way, follow those footprints. They lead into town square, fading away as they did. I decided to take a dive in the local dumpster behind Gino's. Dr. Gray's letter! I didn't see any more footprints, but I knew where to go: Gino's. But as I approached the door, Travis texted me.

TRAVIS: Well, the cat didn't like that at all! It's giving me a really distrustful look now.

Don't worry about it. The squirrel noise would've produced the same result.

ROOK: I guess. Cats aren't that fond of digital recordings of animal noises, I suppose. I went inside.

ROOK: Serve anyone new recently?

GINO: Yes, actually! A young woman in a red and gray uniform. She had some of my filet mignon pizza, and I gave her a coupon!

ROOK: Oh really? Where did she sit?

GINO: At the table against the wall, near the door.

ROOK: I examined it, and found... a napkin with a note: "Meet in the forest." So, I went to the forest. Poppy, Derek, and Dogwood were there. Dogwood was digging holes.

ROOK: Hi, Dogwood!

DOGWOOD: Woof!

ROOK: Yeah, I know. Things are getting pretty crazy with Morcu Corp...

DOGWOOD: Grrr... woof woof!

ROOK: Right, that's what worries me. But we'll just have to wait and see...take care, Dogwood. Derek, I need to speak with you.

DEREK: No way! I don't wanna talk to you.

ROOK: Look, kid. This is serious. Start talking or things ore gonna get unpleasant.

DEREK: Wh...what? Are you threatening me?

ROOK: You think your Aunt Shirley will be happy about the damage you caused at Gino's?

DEREK: Whoa whoa...let's not do that, okay?

Aunt? That's interesting, and in part for a reason I'll bring up later.

ROOK: I'll... keep that in mind.

ROOK: Just tell me about the meeting.

DEREK: Okay, okay. It was the Morcu Corp goons. They robbed the apartment, and they gave some guy a book at the meeting. That's all.

ROOK: A book exchange. Who's this guy who took it?

DEREK: I don't know him! I promise!

ROOK: Fine. We're done here.

You could also have played on his ego and gotten him to mention Esma.

ROOK: ...I suppose, but I didn't feel like it. I wondered if that was all they wanted. Clearly the letter was of no interest to them, or they got all they wanted out of it. But what about the jewelry? Pawn it? Use it in some kind of laser? I went to talk to Poppy.

ROOK: Hey Poppy. Anything weird going on in the forest?

POPPY: Hmm...I don't think I've seen anything "weird."

ROOK: Okay, thanks Poppy.

ROOK: I hadn't thought so. I got back to—

POPPY: OH NO WAIT A SECOND!!!

ROOK: Whoa! Okay...what is it?

POPPY: Derek did give me a bunch of shiny rocks to hold onto, but I just gave them to Dogwood 'cuz he likes shiny things.

ROOK: Fantastic. Thanks, Poppy.

ROOK: Figures I'd have to go digging. I decided to start at the far end and work my way toward the entrance. As I reached that end, however, I saw a chest... and got a text.

WALKER: Travis is looking for a good way to get up to the cat now. I told him he could just climb the tree, but he located a ladder rental service nearby.

ROOK: Okay. When I opened the chest, I collected a stove and a pizza oven.

Stove: 1 Nature, 1 Charismatic. Pizza Oven: 2 Charismatic.

ROOK: Whatever. I tucked them into hammerspace and set to finding spots that looked dug up. In the first spot, I dug up... a new recruit? His name was Leaf. ...Narrator?

I'll tell you his skill stats when you go back to the HQ. It's not important now.

ROOK: Okay then. A nearby spot yielded... the jewelry! It was time to report back to Evelyn. She hadn't left the front of her apartment.

ROOK: I figured out what Morcubus was after!

EVELYN: Really?! What was it?

ROOK: Evelyn, I've got good news and bad news.

EVELYN: I'll take the good news first.

ROOK: The good news is that I found the letter and the jewelry. Here you are...

ROOK: I returned them.

EVELYN: Oh! Wah-nee! And the bad news?

ROOK: They took your journal. Apparently there was an exchange between the Morcu Corp goons and an unknown male recipient in the forest.

EVELYN: My father's journal?! It had all of his research notes in it. Who would want to steal it?

ROOK: My guess? The mayor, Skip Rogers. I've already connected him to dealings with Morcubus.

You know, Rook, that's kind of iffy, telling your clients your guesses like that.

ROOK: Oh yeah? Why's that?

EVELYN: Well, let's go arrest him! Throw him in prison! Let him sit in a cell!

Because of that. What if you're wrong? You've tainted her perception of him.

ROOK: Well, am I wrong, Mr. Narrator?

That's for you to discover...

ROOK: Fine. Not so fast, Evelyn. I need concrete proof — and I intend to find it.

EVELYN: I'll be waiting outside city hall. I want to be there when this goes down.

ROOK: I went inside.

ROOK: Hello, Mayor Rogers. A moment of your time...

SKIP: Certainly. What can I do for you, citizen?

ROOK: I assume you're aware of the fact that Evelyn Gray's apartment was ransacked.

SKIP: Yes, a sorry business. To think that could happen in my precious city...

ROOK: I think you know more than you're letting on.

SKIP: What? Certainly not. What are you implying?

ROOK: I'm implying you met with the burglars in the forest this afternoon.

SKIP: What? You can't prove that. I'm the mayor!

ROOK: Position is no alibi.

ROOK: I wondered if he left anything behind. As I entered the forest, though...

WALKER: The ladder's up, but the cat keeps backing away from it. Should we have Travis go up the ladder or try to climb up the tree directly? Choose soon, or I'm making the choice for you, Rook.

ROOK: I advised him to climb the tree and got back to what I was doing. I started checking trash cans. I found an allergy inhaler in one of them.

ROOK: Roxie, can you analyze this inhaler? See if you can tell who it belongs to, or what allergy it's for.

(So this is the forensic analysis puzzle. It's a 6x6 grid that you place atoms into. It may or may not already have atoms in it. The ones that are already there cannot be moved; the ones you place can. The idea is to place all the atoms from the test tubes onto the grid so that none of them have dots inside, or the "no" symbol.

So how do you know where to put them? Well, each atom has dots in it. The number of dots in an atom tells you how many more atoms it should be bonded to. If you bond too many, the atom gets the "no" symbol inside.

A fair number of times, there's more than one solution, but not here. There's one fixed atom that needs to be bonded to 4 atoms. You just happen to have exactly that many atoms in your test tube that can't handle more than 1 bond each. So, they go top, bottom, left, and right. Done! There aren't any real surprises from this kind of puzzle, so I'll just skip from Rook's phoning in for analysis to Roxie's response from now on.)

ROXIE: The inhaler is for a very rare allergy to dandelions. Also, based on hair analysis, the last person to use it probably had a beard.

ROOK: Dandelions, huh? Good thing Poppy's nearby.

ROOK: Do you know where I can get some dandelions?

POPPY: Of course! You can find some in my flower stands. Help yourself!

ROOK: I left the forest and snagged one from her stands. Off to city hall to cause a reaction...

ROOK: Hey, Skip, I got you a flower!

ROOK: I blew it at his face. As predicted, it made him sneeze.

ROOK: Aha! You do have flower allergies!

SKIP: That proves nothing!

ROOK: The inhaler found at the site of the meeting matches your rare allergy. You were there, Skip.

SKIP: I lost that inhaler weeks ago! Besides, I was at Gino's during the break-in.

ROOK: I'll have to confirm your alibi. I'll be back, Skip.

ROOK: I needed to find out when the break-in occurred. The clock! It was broken during the break-in; it would have the time! I went back to Evelyn's. The clock told the tale: 7:02 PM. I headed to the pizzeria to ask Gino, but en route...

WALKER: OK, Travis made it up to the cat, but the branch is starting to look a little shaky. Ho looks confident, although he keeps checking his phone. We should have a resolution soon.

ROOK: I entered the pizzeria.

ROOK: Do you know exactly when Skip came in here yesterday?

GINO: ''I'm sorry, Rook...it was very busy in here yesterday! I don't remember when he came in.'

ROOK: Do you remember any details about Gino's visit?

GINO: Well, he ordered a large vanilla clam pizza. He couldn't finish it, so he took the leftovers back to his office!

ROOK: Leftovers? That's perfect, Gino! Thanks!

ROOK: Back at city hall, I looked around. I remembered having seen a pizza, and there it was on the filing cabinet, but... wait... could it really be that he kept that pizza unrefrigerated from yesterday? A pizza with clam on it? Ew, but convenient.

ROOK: Roxie, can you analyze this pizza slice? I want to know how old it is.

ROXIE: It looks like that slice was freshly baked yesterday at lunchtime.

ROOK: Even more ew, but at least it proves that Skip was lying. I went outside to tell Evelyn.

ROOK: I've got the proof that it was Skip at the meeting.

EVELYN: Nice work, Rook! Let's go stick it to the man!

ROOK: I entered again, this time with Evelyn and Buddy.

ROOK: Hello again, Skip.

SKIP: What? You again? I've already told you everything I know.

ROOK: Yes, you did. Of course it was all lies, so I thought we might try again.

SKIP: What?! You better have proof, making accusations like that!

BUDDY: According to your alibi you had dinner at Gino's yesterday, but we know that's not true.

ROOK: You were at Gino's yesterday, but it was for lunch! Our forensic scientists — all one of them — tracked the development of mold colonies on your leftover pizza.

SKIP: What? You did...science... on my pizza?!

ROOK: Well, you weren't eating it, and I, who don't mind dumpster diving for clues, retch at the thought of eating a pizza that's been left out for a day, so I figured a little science couldn't hurt. Anyway, yes. It pegs the cooking time to 12:30 PM. Lunchtime.

BUDDY: Plus or minus two minutes.

EVELYN: And they know you found my father's journal because they found your inhaler at the drop-off site!

SKIP: Ah, I see... Look, I didn't ask how they were getting the book. I was just supposed to hold it for a while.

EVELYN: Really? Well you're done holding it now.

ROOK: Skip reluctantly handed over the book.

ROOK: Why did Morcubus steal the journal? What's he after?

SKIP: I can tell you, but I don't want this going public. Tell nobody about this incident!

BUDDY: No way! We don't make deals with villains!

ROOK: It's okay, Buddy. Morcubus is the one behind this. We have bigger fish to fry than Skip Rogers.

EVELYN: Even if he is corrupt and pathetic.

SKIP: Look, here's what I know...Yes, Morcubus wanted that journal. He needed as much information as possible on the whereabouts of a man who used to work with Evelyn's father.

EVELYN: What! Who is he? What does he know about my dad?!

SKIP: I don't know. I just know his initials are P.W. — and now Morcubus has tracked him down to the mountains.

BUDDY: The maps, pal!

ROOK: This P.W. could be in danger.

EVELYN: We've got to get to him before Morcubus!

ROOK: Evelyn, Buddy...let's go. It's time to fire up the jet!

And that little sequence unlocked some guy named Roger. Isn't that random? You never met the guy before, and yet, here he is. Also, new dispatch missions by Walker, Patrick, and Pinky.

ROOK: I headed back to HQ. On the way...

ROOK: Anything in the news, Luis?

LUIS: ''"Rumors of city corruption force Flower Requisition Board to shut doors! Mayor is quoted to say it was no bed of roses!

ROOK: I also stopped in at the salon.

ROOK: Hey Shirley, how are you?

SHIRLEY: I think Skip is avoiding me. We went to a rodeo and had a wonderful time, but I haven't seen him since our date...

ROOK: Probably because he's been too busy helping thugs break into people's houses. because he's a criminal.

SHIRLEY: So, what, he can't even call me?

ROOK: I also ran into Poppy.

ROOK: Hi Poppy!

POPPY: Rook! I can't believe I was part of your investigation team! Am I an agent now?!

ROOK: Um, what?

POPPY: My flowers broke your case wide open! Anytime you need me, Rook, Just ask... call me Agent Flowers!

ROOK: Oh, OK Poppy. I mean Agent Poppy Flowers.

ROOK: I hoped she wouldn't get the wrong idea. But speaking of agents, Walker contacted me again.

WALKER: Mission accomplished! Travis successfully rescued the cat, and I guess he ordered a pizza for the fire crew while he was on the tree. Talk to Jenny for a debriefing... and a reward!

ROOK: I took the train back to HQ.

And got a cold weather parka.

ROOK: Yuki was still there. Her name only served to remind me how cold it would probably get.

ROOK: Um, can I help you?

YUKI: Yuki is OK. But Yuki would like you to know you have a very biteable face.

ROOK: Inside, I talked to Jenny.

ROOK: I need a mission debriefing. What was the result?

JENNY: Good job! It looks like your first dispatch mission was successful. I'm sure it only gets harder from here.

And that unlocked dispatch missions from Gino, Elmira, and Poppy. Also, it gave me evil-looking shades and classic sunglasses.

Okay, it's time for you to choose dispatch missions!

Here's how they work: there are four squads, with each floor except the lobby being a squad. Each floor, and therefore each squad, can have up to three agents, but may have as few as one.

Each agents has 5 skill points, you might say. They're assigned to the 5 skills in different combinations. Some agents have all their points in one skill, while the rest have them more and more spread out. I haven't seen an agent with one point in each skill, but who knows. Each agent contributes the strengths of his skills to the squad. There will be another factor that will help, but not for a little while yet.

So what about the skills? Why do they matter? Because of the dispatch missions. Each mission is suited to two skills. The more skilled the agents in the squad are in these skills, the more likely the mission is to be a success.

Currently, the missions available are:

  • Legendary Cheese

GINO: I need a new pizza for my menu, but my cheeses just aren't inspiring me. If only I could obtain some of the milk of the rare blackfooted goat. There's only one problem — they're only found at 10, 000 feet!

The difficulty is rated 1 star. It's estimated that it will take 15 minutes. The interests that will be helpful are Athletic and Nature. The rewards are new outfits and a trophy.

  • I Drilled Too Deep

PATRICK: I've done a bad thing, Rook. I was drilling underneath my building to solidify its foundation, and I drilled too deeply. I may have...released an underground fire beast. Send help!

The difficulty was rated 2 stars. It will take about 15 minutes, and should appeal to Paranormal and Nature interests. The reward will be new outfits.

  • Assistant Librarian

ELMIRA: This library is such a mess! I could use some help cleaning the floors, fixing bookshelves, and quietly getting the books in order. Normally I'd do it all myself, but I'm not getting any younger and I need my beauty sleep.

1 star, 10 minutes. Smarts/Athletic. New outfits and a new recruit.

  • Blue Thing!

PINKY: I found a blue thing! But...I don't know what it is. Rook, send your best team immediately! I need to know what that blue thing is doing here!

2 stars, 15 minutes. Paranormal/Charismatic. New outfits and a new recruit.

WALKER: I've got my eye on this warehouse that I suspect is a front for the insidious Morcu Corp, but I just don't have enough manpower to keep it under constant surveillance. I'll need an extremely patient crew for this mission.

1 star, 15 minutes. Smarts/Athletic. A new dispatch mission.

  • The Sadness Parade

POPPY: Hi Rook! It's me, Poppy! I'm really glad you're a special agent now, because I need some help bad!!! Somebody stole my float for the citywide Flower Parade! I need you to find out who did it, and where they put it!

2 stars, 10 minutes. Charismatic/Paranormal. New outfits.

And now, the new recruitable Sims. Remember that Travis is back.

LEAF: I'm Leaf. Yes, the Leaf, the Elven Highlord of rock. So you should hire me into your agency. I have no experience fighting crime, but think of the publicity we'd get!

3 Nature, 2 Charismatic.

ROGER: Hey, Rook, I need to intensify my routine. Not even Morcu Corp's "Flabdominator 3000" gets me a decent workout anymore. Can I be an agent?

5 Athletic.

Now then. What I'd like you to do is tell me what missions I should send them on first. I can send each of them on a separate mission, I can send two of them on one mission and one of them on the other, I can send all three on the same mission... I can even wait to send them on missions at all until I have more recruits, if you wish. My placement can be changed as I desire it, so don't feel like you're locking me into anything.

Also, there's a time limit. I'm going to finish the preliminaries for my Let's Read of Ichigo Mashimaro, and do Episode 11. If nobody tells me otherwise, I'm going to wait until Rook returns from her next leg of the mission to send anybody.

So, as a reminder:

  • Dispatch missions:
    • Legendary Cheese
    • I Drilled Too Deep
    • Assistant Librarian
    • Blue Thing!
    • Morcu Corp Stakeout
    • The Sadness Parade
  • Recruits and Recruitables
    • Leaf
    • Roger
    • Travis

Next time: Are we there yeti?

UTINNI!
I just want to say right now that I'm really enjoying the way you're doing this liveblog, what with the side narration and semi-4th wall breaking you have going between yourself (the narrator) and Rook. Fun stuff, and it really helps keep it interesting.

 15 Nyperold, Thu, 14th Jan '10 1:47:33 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Thanks, I was hoping it would be good done that way. I was... I guess mostly inspired by the Let's Play of Alice in Wonderland for the Commodore 64, in which the player did something like that. And it's one of my favorites so far. (Interestingly, the narrator is a Waddle Dee, at least as far as the LP is concerned.)

 16 Nyperold, Thu, 14th Jan '10 1:53:02 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Oh, and as a reminder to readers: I've finished the new installment of Ichigo Mashimaro, but I'm going into town for a little bit. If somebody tells me to send our recruits on a mission or two or three before I get back, I'll do what I'm told. Otherwise, not until Rook returns to HQ.

UTINNI!
Personally, I'd like to see someone take a look at "I Drilled Too Deep" (Though it might be better to wait on that one, since I'm not sure if your dispatch agents have the skills to handle it right now, unless I'm failing to understand how it works), "Morcu Corp Stakeout", and, since I'm so curious and intrigued as to just what it could be, "Blue Thing!". What is this blue...thing? The reader(s?) want(s) to know!

 18 Nyperold, Thu, 14th Jan '10 11:40:49 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
I have a limited understanding of it, myself. But I'll do it.

Since you didn't recommend anybody, I'll just go with:

  • Leaf for I Drilled Too Deep, since he's the only one with Nature interests
  • Roger for Morcu Corp Stakeout, since he's the only one with Athletic interests
  • Travis for Blue Thing, since he's the only one that's left... and he happens to have more Charismatic interests than Leaf, which is good.

But... *yawn* ...I'll do it during the day.

edited 14th Jan '10 11:41:44 PM by Nyperold

 19 Nyperold, Sat, 16th Jan '10 10:09:40 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
So, based on feedback from Space Jawa...

ROOK: I recruited Leaf...

ROOK: Welcome to the team!

LEAF: What's up, people?! Are we ready to rock...LEAF STYLE?

ROOK: ...and Roger.

ROOK: Welcome to the team!

ROGER: Good to be here! Let's sweat!

ROOK: I sent Leaf to deal with the fire beast, Roger to stake out the warehouse, and Travis to figure out the blue thing, for fair chances all around. I put on a green parka, white mittens—

—or gloves. Sim hand structure makes the distinction practically nil.

ROOK: —BLUE PANTS, and white and light gray boots. I went up to the hangar on the roof.

I saved because I knew the dialogue might take a few passes.

ROOK: Buddy, Evelyn, and I got in the jet and took off for the mountains.

BUDDY: I can't believe we're flying in our very own jet! Hey, I should draw us flying in a super-cool jet!

ROOK: I landed in the parking lot, and we got out of the plane.

BUDDY: Wow, it's cold up here!

ROOK: Well, hopefully this won't take very long, Buddy.

EVELYN: Yes, we should find "P.W." quickly and find out what he knows. I hope we're not too late!

ROOK: Just then, we heard a voice from the chalet ahead.

BEEBEE: PRESTON! Where are you, sweetie?! PREEEESTON!!!

ROOK: We ran in the direction of the source of the voice.

AGENT ROSALYN: Um, Beebee, how is that going to help us find your missing boyfriend?

BEEBEE: You said I should try calling Preston.

AGENT ROSALYN: Yeah, I meant on his phone. Have you tried that yet?

BEEBEE: Oh. No, I haven't. I always just leave my phone with Preston.

AGENT ROSALYN: Okay, maybe you should just leave this to us. We're professionals.

AGENT VIC: I think he was kidnapped by a yeti! Ordinarily I'd say aliens, but given the snowy terrain, we can't ignore the yeti factor.

AGENT ROSALYN: Except that yes, we can, because that's completely illogical.

AGENT VIC: Life's illogical! I'm filing this case under "Y" for yeti!

BEEBEE: I should have known the yeti was real! The lodge owner won't stop talking about it!

AGENT VIC: I know! She claims she's actually seen the yeti using her hot tub on cold mountain nights...

AGENT ROSALYN: For once, let's try to solve this case using facts instead of ghost stories, okay? We're doing this one by the book, Agent Vic.

AGENT VIC: Alright, Agent Rosalyn.

BUDDY: Hey, pal! This guy who's missing—they said his name was "Preston!"

ROOK: Right. Starts with "P". This might be worth investigating, Buddy.

Yeah, whereas if his name started with some other letter, y'know, why bother?

ROOK: ...That's not what I meant and you know it.

ROOK: Hello. I might be able to assist you with your case. I'm Special Agent Rook.

AGENT ROSALYN: Ooh, a "Special" Agent. I'm afraid we're just plain old, regular agents. We're with the government.

You'd think she thought they were called "special" just to make them feel better about the fact that they were amateur detectives just two days prior.

ROOK: Yeah! I know! ... Heyyy...

AGENT VIC: I've never met a real special agent before! Hey, maybe you could help!

AGENT ROSALYN: Yes, well, Miss Beebee here—

Awwwwwwwwwww...

ROOK: ...What?

She's... so... cuuuuute!

ROOK: Well, yeah, sure. ...You okay out there?

Yeah... I'm okay. But the view is focused on her, and... well... *melts*

AGENT ROSALYN: Ahem... if I may continue... Miss Beebee here called us to find Preston Winthrop, so we'll just leave it as a government matter for now. Agent Vector, let's speak to the owner of the lodge again.

AGENT VIC: The old lady? I like her. She's nutty!

BEEBEE: Please, please find my boyfriend. I just want to know he's okay!

AGENT VIC: ''We'll do everything we can, Beebee, But I think it's only fair to tell you that no human has ever survived a yeti attack.

BEEBEE: EEEK!

AGENT ROSALYN: 'VIC!

AGENT VIC: What? Look it up! It's true.

ROOK: The agents left.

ROOK: Don't worry, Beebee. I'm sure Preston is fine. We'll do everything we can to find him.

BEEBEE: Then you have to find the yeti! Those agents won't even try as long as Rosalyn is in charge. I just know that bearded guy is right. The yeti has my poor Prezzy-Wezzy!

ROOK: If there's a yeti on this mountain, we'll track him down. It's important for us to find Preston, too.

BUDDY: But if he was mauled by the yeti, you'd want the remains, right?

BEEBEE: I would.

ROOK: Okay, Beebee's scaring me with how... how happy she looks, considering we're talking about potentially finding his dead body.

BUDDY: I'll run back to the jet and grab some big, plastic bags.

ROOK: Let's not cross that bridge just yet, Buddy. Beebee, where did you last see Preston?

BEEBEE: Right through there, by the path going up the mountain.

ROOK: Every second counts, now. Let's get over there and see if we can pick up the yeti's trail...

ROOK: We headed over to the mid-mountain slopes. I decided to look for clues connected to Preston's disappearance. I also pried open a crate with music players in it.

"Sparkling Snow", 2 Nature. I forget what this is called, 2 Athletic. Music-type space concerns. ...I'll explain later.

ROOK: You'd better. I examined the picnic blanket. Good a place as any to start. I started finding what looked like they could be yeti prints nearby. Near the trail, I found Preston's journal. The latest entry said "Stupid snow picnic. It's so cold and lame and OH NO A YETI ARRRRGH!" I followed the trail up the path to the ski lift gate. I can't use the ski lift, however. I decided to check out that other gate I saw. It was locked, so I approached Rosalyn.

ROOK: Hey Rosalyn! Do you have the key to this gate?

AGENT ROSALYN: Yes, I've been entrusted with it and I can't just go around giving it to anyone who asks. That includes you.

ROOK: We're just trying to help with the investigation!

AGENT ROSALYN: If you can show me some sort of official documentation, then maybe I would consider letting you borrow it.

ROOK: Official documentation...? Fine, I'll be back with the proper documents.

ROOK: I wondered where I'd be able to get them. Just then...

PATRICK: Hey, sport, thanks for sending your team, but I don't feel completely comfortable having them go up against the beast. They don't seem like experts on this stuff.

ROOK: I shrugged. Leaf was the best I had at the moment. He'd just have to do.

WALKER: The team is in place. Unfortunately, they don't look like the sharpest knives in the drawer. Oh well, let's scope this warehouse out. Morcu Corp will never see it coming... I hope.

ROOK: I had chosen him for his athleticism, not his smarts.

PINKY: The team you sent hasn't really made me feel too blue. All they're doing is poking at the blue thing, and I don't think it likes it!

ROOK: I couldn't help but notice that all three clients referred to the agent they received in the plural. Huh. I decided to talk to Vic.

ROOK: Rosalyn says she needs documentation before I can get through that gate.

AGENT VIC: Abominable!

Ba-dum-tish!

AGENT VIC: Thank you, I'll be here all day. I'll help you find your documents, and furthermore, the yeti!

ROOK: I could probably get an official warrant from HQ, but how can I contact them from out here?

AGENT VIC: We're living in the future, man! I'm sure you could get a warrant if you could just find a computer around here.

ROOK: A computer! I think there's one in the lodge... I mean, I haven't been inside, but it seems logical...

Ba-dum-tish!

ROOK: ...Oh no, now you've got me doing it!

ROOK: I headed for the lodge and went inside. Indeed, there was a computer there! However, the satellite signal was too weak. I'd need to supercharge it, but I'd need to find some spare parts first. The snowcone machine and cash register were good sources, but I'd need more. I went back to the mid-mountain slopes and got parts from the air conditioning unit and snowblower. I estimated that one more source would do the trick. The drink machine turned out to be that source. I'd need to get up on the roof and—

PATRICK: The team is about to go underground. I've equipped them well, but I'm nervous. I'll wait here and let you know as soon as I know anything.

TRAVIS: I used the new app on my phone - Bluething - and took a picture of it. Now the whole internet is trying to identify it!

ROGER: How long are we watching this place for? Think anyone will notice if I just run in place for a few hours?

ROOK: Well, that's done for now. As I was saying, I'd need to get up on the roof and soup up the satellite. I didn't see a ladder, but some crates, a vehicle, and two large stumps would make a suitable path. Once up there, I opened a chest with a moose head inside.

1 Nature. Needs a wall.

ROOK: Yyyyeah. I used a nearby crate to get up there and began repair work.

(Now you have wires to work with. Straight wires, elbow wires, and T-wires.)

ROOK: I finished quickly enough, and got off the roof. And, uh, thanks for not simply dropping me off the roof, even though I would've gotten to the door more quickly that way.

You're welcome.

ROOK: I went inside and headed for the computer. I got my warrant, but would Rosalyn accept it? I headed back to find out.

ROOK: OK, Rosalyn. Here's your document. Can I have the key now?

AGENT ROSALYN: Hm...well, this looks official enough. According to the agency guidelines on verbal agreement, I need to give you this key.

ROOK: She did so reluctantly.

ROOK: Thanks, Rosalyn. I hope to work with you again in the future.

AGENT ROSALYN: Likewise. In the distant future.

Next Sunday A.D....

ROOK: ... I opened up the gate, and walked through, the agents following.

LEAF: This mission is a true quest for a true elf! I will provide ranged protection for the team and we shall celebrate by going hot tubbing later!

ROOK: I pondered this. I sent him out alone. Who's he going to hot tub with? Patrick?

PINKY: We've determined that the blue thing can move! Your team is going to try talking to it.

WALKER: Things are going pretty slow — so far we've monitored a few dozen shipments of paper towels. I'm sure they're critically important paper towels, though!

ROOK: I saw a snow dozer. It seemed to have skated on some thin ice mid-plow. I'll bet someone got fired for that one! I balanced and jumped my way over to a chest with a soda machine...

One Athletic.

ROOK: ...and a refrigerator.

One Smarts, one Athletic.

ROOK: I hopped my way to another chest, this one with paints inspired by pigs. Then I hopped across a broken bridge and encountered... a wolf!

Oh no!

ROOK: ...Pfft. This one wasn't scary.

ROOK: Oh! Hey there, little guy!

WOLFAH: Yip yip!

ROOK: I saw a scarf on a nearby bench.

ROOK: Hey, can I see that, boy?

WOLFAH: Yip!

ROOK: I looked it over.

ROOK: Whoa, this scarf is monogrammed with the letters P.W.! Preston must have dropped this while being dragged off by the yeti!

WOLFAH: Yip!

ROOK: Can you get the scent for me, boy? Can you show me where Preston is?

ROOK: He sniffed.

WOLFAH: Yip!

ROOK: Wait up, little guy!

ROOK: To follow him, I'd have to get the ski lift working again. No salvaging, just straight to belt placement. Now I can get up and down the mountain without so much work! For now, my direction was up. At the end of the line, I saw my new pal trapped in a wooden cage!

PATRICK: Hm...it's been a while since I've seen your team. Should I go in after them, sport?

ROOK: I advised against it.

PINKY: The blue thing is responding! We're going to try to ask it something. But should we ask it where it came from or why it's here?

ROOK: I made like Number 6 and tried "Why?"

WALKER: We've reached a critical point in our stakeout! Someone at the warehouse seems to have ordered pizza. Should we stop the driver and check the delivery, or catch the driver on the way out to question him?

ROOK: I decided to have them check the driver. I approached the cage... Stop! Crowbar time!

ROOK: Hey, boy! so, where to?

WOLFAH: ...Woof...

ROOK: Hm...looks like you've lost the scent. Let's see if I can find something to help.

ROOK: I poked around and found a yeti doll in a pile of snow. I tested it on Wolfah, but no go. Same with an unidentified bone.

WALKER: Well, the bad news is that we may have blown our cover in order to investigate the pizza delivery guy. The good news: we know the warehouse like pepperoni!

PINKY: The blue thing seems to have shown up because it's looking for a new home. Or some kind of shelter?

ROOK: I found a ski suit in another pile. Farther along, a chest with a hot tub...

2 Charismatic.

ROOK: ...and a piano.

1 Nature, 1 Smarts.

ROOK: I found a tuft of fur in the snow.

ROOK: Roxie, can you analyze this? I think it may be fur.

ROXIE: Hm...I'm actually unsure what this is. I can tell you that it is not synthetic and it comes from no known animal.

ROOK: I guessed it was probably the yeti, and went back to Wolfah.

ROOK: Here's some fur! Can you follow the smell?

WOLFAH: <sniff> Ruff! Ruff!

ROOK: I guess so. Show me where this came from!

WOLFAH: Yip! Yip!

ROOK: He went up a cliff, howled, and dropped a ladder. A few hops, and I was near the mouth of the cave. A pile of snow yielded a television.

1 Charismatic.

The mouth of the cave was blocked by icicles. Which were easily removed. But before I got inside...

PATRICK: Hooray! We managed to vanquish the creature! I can go back to working on my building's foundation without worrying about random attacks! For now.

WALKER: Bad news, I'm afraid. Surveillance footage showed that our stakeout team was disorganized and let coverage slip for a few critical minutes. We'll have to start all over again!

PINKY: Your team figured it out! It's one of Dr. F's new blue immersion blenders! It somehow managed to damage one of its wings and landed in here to try to recover, but then went into hibernate mode. I think I'll just teach it to follow me around and blend things!

ROOK: So, two of the missions were accomplished, and one was failed. I decided to go back to HQ before plunging into the cave. Once back, I asked Jenny about the results.

JENNY: So, I hear the team figured out that some blue thing was apparently one of Dr. F's mysterious inventions. Well, I guess Pinky was happy.

ROOK: Pinky became available for recruiting. And I got more outfits!

JENNY: Looks like the team got a bit lazy on Agent Walker's stakeout. Me? I'd never sleep on the job. At least, not while my boss was watching. And whoa, the team defeated a fire beast? I'm impressed. Patrick sends his thanks, along with these rewards, and a promise not to drill too deep again.

ROOK: I got baggy pants and construction gear.

  • Missions
    • Legendary Cheese
    • Assistant Librarian
    • Morcu Corp Stakeout
    • The Sadness Parade

Yes, folks, Morcu Corp Stakeout is back. I might be able to accomplish it by choosing the other choice, or by setting more than one agent with the needed skills to the mission. Or both! I'll probably try the other choice, anyway. I'll likely not retype the texts I've already received.

On the bright side, my readership got its wish and we now know what the blue thing is! Yaaaaaay!

  • Recruits and Recruitables
    • Leaf
    • Roger
    • Travis
    • Pinky (New!)

Yes, that's right, our first female recruitable!

PINKY: Hooray! I'm Pinky! I'm totally ready to combat evil. Also, I understand that agents are issued blue uniforms? Those would look great on me.

1 Paranormal, 4 Charismatic.

So now, we can assign agents to all four currently outstanding missions, if we wish. Or have two tackle one and one each tackle two. Or two each tackle two. Or three tackle one and one tackle another. Or whatever, as long as it falls within given parameters.

edited 16th Jan '10 10:11:39 PM by Nyperold

UTINNI!
Yay, I did! But now I wish I knew what a "blue immersion blender" looked like. But oh well, never mind.

As far as Leaf goes and his hot tubbing, does he look anything like Legolas or anything like that? Because it might suggest he has secret fangirls following him around that he's just not telling you about...

Let's see...I'm going to suggest...(Have to go back and look at your previous agent/mission summeries)...

Legendary Cheese (Athletic and Nature/new outfits and a trophy) Assistant Librarian (Smarts and Athletic/New outfits and a new recruit) Morcu Corp Stakeout (Smarts and Athletic/new dispatch mission) The Sadness Parade (Charismatic and Paranormal/New outfits)

Leaf: 3 Nature/2 Charismatic Roger: 5 Athletic Travis: 3 Charisma/2 Smarts Pinky: 1 Paranormal/4 Charismatic

(BTW, is there a limit on the number of agents you can recruit in total?)

Let's see, I'm going to suggest Roger and Travis for "Assistant Librarian" (I'm betting you get to recruit Elmira for it. And I'm guessing she'll probably have a high Smarts rating); and that Leaf and Pinky get assigned to "The Sadness Parade" (if only because that seems to match up best with their stats).

Agents are...GO!

(<_< Sorry, couldn't help myself)

 21 Nyperold, Sun, 17th Jan '10 6:44:50 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Yeah, it's too bad we don't get pictures of what's going on with these guys.

Well... Leaf doesn't look like any of the people Jackson hired to play elves. That's about as much as I can say as far as that goes.

The limit on the number of agents I can have recruited at once is 12, in 4 squads.

Yeah, any mission for which a new recruit is your reward, the recruit is the client, so you do indeed gain Elmira as a recruit from that mission. I forget her interests, but I do know Smarts is among them.

Don't forget that you can also assign based on whose reaction to the mission you think would be most interesting. For example, I know I'll be able to recruit Poppy's sister once I finish with a different part of the story; if you still want to have "The Sadness Parade" done here, I'll do it, but if you want to see what she says, you'll have to wait.

UTINNI!
In that case, I think I'd prefer you wait on that one.

I'm not sure how I'd assign the agents otherwise, but I'll see if I get a chance to think about it and post new ideas before you get to the mission.

 23 Nyperold, Thu, 28th Jan '10 2:46:51 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: I decided to go ahead and send Roger and Travis on the "Assistant Librarian" Mission. They have a good chance, anyway. I also decided to hold off on "The Sadness Parade" on the say-so of some random guy my narrator knows. I don't know. Anyway, back to the mountains, and the cave. It was fairly well furnished. Inside, I was startled to see... a yeti in a recliner! I got his attention.

ROOK: Ummmm...

YETI: Oh, hey! Wasn't expecting company. Come on in, man!

ROOK: Uh...thanks! I'm Rook. Listen, you haven't seen a guy named Preston, have you?

YETI: Preston? Nah, don't know him. Like I said, though, don't get a lot of company up here.

ROOK: I looked around. There certainly didn't seem to be any sign that Preston had been here. I wondered where he might be, and if it was too late.

YETI: What seems to be the problem there, Rook?

ROOK: Someone's looking for a "P.W." in these mountains, but it's important that I find him first.

YETI: Oh yeah? wonder if they were looking for me. Guess I should introduce myself. Name's Paul. Paul Wisniewski.

(By the way, his name does appear as "Paul" above his speech boxes, but I put "Yeti" instead. To preserve the mystery a bit longer, y'know?)

ROOK: Seriously? You're a P.W.? Any idea what a man named Morcubus would want with you?

PAUL: Morcubus?! Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time...a long time.

ROOK: So you do know him!

PAUL: I think I used to work in his lab. It's fuzzy...I have trouble remembering my life before I was a yeti.

ROOK: You weren't always a yeti?! Wait, let's slow down...tell me what you can remember.

PAUL: I was...I was a lab assistant. Way back. I helped do research for Morcubus. One of our experiments was really important. There was...there was a crown. We made a crown. It had a special power that was going to change the world...

ROOK: What happened?

PAUL: There was an accident. The crown didn't do what it was supposed to do. It did terrible things! They called it...they called it... the Crown of Nightmares.

ROOK: Yikes. Where is this crown now?

PAUL: I don't know. There was a fight. They fought about what to do with the crown. Morcubus wanted to keep it, but the others—

ROOK: What others? Who?

PAUL: I...can't remember. The crown went away, but Morcubus didn't get it. He was so mad. And something bad happened to our lab. But...was it me? Did I do it? It's too hard to remember! I wandered for days... The next thing I know, I'm stumbling into this cave. But it's nice and cozy in here, so I don't mind. I mean, there's gotta be worse caves than this, right?

ROOK: Paul, you should really come down to the lodge. Everyone thinks you did something to Preston.

PAUL: The lodge? I don't know, man. Me and public places don't really mix so well.

ROOK: It'll be okay. We'll prove you didn't kidnap Preston, and then the agents down there can focus their search in the right places.

PAUL: Huh. Well, as long as you have my back, Rook. Heck, I could even help with the search. It can get cold out here!

ROOK: Thanks, Paul.

ROOK: I started for the entrance.

ROOK: It's starting to get dark already. I'll get a room at the lodge for the night. Come down tomorrow morning and I'll introduce you to everybody.

PAUL: Okay, if you think it will help!

ROOK: I left and went down to the lodge. Good thing I got those lifts working, huh? I got a room and slept like a log. The next morning, I waited with Evelyn out front. Then Buddy came out.

BUDDY: Morning, guys! Who wants pancakes?

ROOK: As good as that sounded, I knew we should wait.

ROOK: Maybe later, Buddy. We should be around when Paul gets here. We wouldn't want anybody to panic.

3...2...1...

NOVA: Oh NOOOOOOOO!!! EVERYBODY PANIC!

ROOK: Did...did you count the "o"s?

Yes. Yes I did.

ROOK: ...

BUDDY: Uh-oh.

ROOK: We rushed over to where Nova was standing by a smashed ski rack. Beebee and Agent Vic were nearby.

NOVA: Who did this to my lodge?! The ski racks, the trash cans...even the hot tub! Destroyed!!

AGENT VIC: Oh, wow, look at all this stuff! A yeti so did all this damage! Yeah, you'd have to be pretty strong to break this stuff. And everybody knows that yetis get all smashy when they're mad.

NOVA: No, I refuse to believe that.

ROOK: Agent Rosalyn approached with a boy, probably the missing Preston.

AGENT ROSALYN: Well, then you should probably listen to this.

PRESTON: I was attacked by a yeti! It was awful! I barely escaped with my life!''

AGENT VIC: What?! Preston? Where was he?!

BEEBEE: PREZZY!!

ROOK: Beebee ran over to him.

AGENT ROSALYN: I found him lying in the snow in front of one of the ranger's stations.

BEEBEE: Oh! Oh, Preston, you're back! Oh, Prezzy-Wezzy, I was so worried!

PRESTON: Yeesh. Can we do this later, Beebee? I'm a little busy right now.

ROOK: She ran in place with excitement.

PRESTON: So anyway... there's a big, terrible yeti up in the mountains! He dragged me away yesterday, but I managed to get away when he wasn't looking.

NOVA: That's...that's...

AGENT VIC: AWESOME!! Hey, did you happen to get a sample of his fur or saliva?

EVELYN: This doesn't make any sense, Rook.

ROOK: Yeah, I didn't see Preston anywhere near Paul's cave yesterday...

PRESTON: This lodge is dangerous! You've got a yeti infestation! You should be shut down!

NOVA: Hmph. Yetis are the noble gentlemen of the north! If you made one mad, it must be because of something you did!

PRESTON: That beast almost tore me apart! He should be destroyed!

PAUL: Hey, guys! What are we talking about?

ROOK: All eyes turned to him.

PRESTON: ...what?

NOVA: He's beautiful!

BEEBEE: Eww! Somebody taze it!

ROOK: Nova approached Paul.

NOVA: Majestic creature, I bring you greetings! We are all your friends! You are welcome here!

ROOK: Which is, of course, how you greet a yeti who introduces himself by saying, "Hey guys! What are we talking about?" Then Agent Rosalyn came up, carrying handcuffs that are way too big for a Sim's wrists. For a Sim who didn't believe, she sure was prepared...

AGENT ROSALYN: Yeah, you're under arrest.

ROOK: She put the cuffs on him.

AGENT VIC: Hey, Rosalyn...c'mon!

ROOK: I really don't think that's necessary, agent.

AGENT ROSALYN: Well, I've got the key to the handcuffs right here when you can actually prove that this creature's safe.

NOVA: Please, Rook, you must rescue this beautiful beast!

PAUL: Wait, what just happened?

EVELYN: Rook, this is awful! I can't talk to Paul as long as he's in custody.

ROOK: Don't worry, Evelyn. We'll help him.

ROOK: I started with where I was. A quick sweep with the magnifying glass revealed two sets of yeti prints! Huh.

ELMIRA: This team you sent me is in adequate physical condition, but they certainly need to work on their posture. Hmph, I suppose it will have to do...

ROOK: Both sets came from the lift gates, and both went to the hot tub. However, while one set went straight there, the other made stops at the ski racks to wreck them. An examination of the hot tub revealed some water.

ROOK: Roxie, can you analyze this water? We might find some trace evidence.

ROXIE: I found traces of fur. Yeti fur, to be exact. Paul's yeti fur, to be overwhelmingly precise.

ROOK: Uh oh. I followed one of the pairs of tracks. It went by the trash cans.

ROGER: *huff puff* Whew! You know, nothing beats a good stack of books for weight-lifting exercises. Just remember to get a good grip, and lift with your legs!

ROOK: They continued to a pile of snow. I dug and found a broken baseball bat!

I hope you didn't get splinters from it.

ROOK: Well, I didn't, thanks. I decided to stop in at the lodge to ask a few questions.

ROOK: Have you ever seen a second yeti around?

NOVA: A second yeti? Heavens, no! Is there one?

ROOK: I'm beginning to suspect there's more yeti than meets the eye with this case.

NOVA: A second yeti! Imagine the possibilities! I could finally create the his-and-her "I'm With Yeti" clothing line I've been dreaming about!

ROOK: Let's not get carried away. I'm not sure about this other yeti yet. But hey, Nova, do you recognize this bat?

NOVA: Of course! Those are novelty baseball bats that we sell here to support our off-season minor league baseball team, the Yetis!

ROOK: Have you sold a bat like this to anyone recently?

NOVA: Hm....not that I can recall. But we sell lots of these bats, so I imagine anyone could have found a spare one somewhere on the mountain.

ROOK: Anyone? *sigh* I'll never find out who destroyed the hot tub.

NOVA: Oh, if they destroyed the hot tub, you can probably just review the security camera footage.

ROOK: What?! You have a security camera??

NOVA: Yes, it's up on the roof. I had it installed by SecureRoom last year, but they never taught me how to use it!

ROOK: Thanks, Nova. I'll check it out.

ROOK: Whoa. Good thing I didn't say "ski racks". I headed up to the roof and hacked the camera. The footage I saw showed someone destroying the hot tub, but it didn't look like Paul. It didn't sound like Paul, either.

ELMIRA: Hmph. Typical incompetence. One of your team members filed an icthyology book in the herpetology section of the library. Since when are fish considered reptiles?! I've banished your team to my barn out back, to feed the pigs.

ROOK: Roger, probably. She should've had him do the gruntwork while Travis did the smartwork. I went inside to talk to Preston.

ROOK: Any idea what happened to the lodge?

PRESTON: How would I know? I just got away from the yeti! I was in his cave all night and all day!

ROOK: Paul held you prisoner? In his cave?

PRESTON: Yeah! It was scary and empty and dark! He knocked me out and ripped my shirt!

ROOK: I was in the yeti's cave yesterday and I didn't see you anywhere.

PRESTON: Wait...what? You were in its cave? Maybe there are two yeti caves on the mountain!

ROOK: I only saw one. How did you escape?

PRESTON: The yeti tied me up, but when it went out sometime this morning I managed to loosen the ropes and run down the mountain.

ROOK: I have a few more questions for you. Your shirt looks fine now. Did you change?

PRESTON: Well, yeah! I wasn't going to show up looking like that! I stuffed the ripped shirt into my luggage before I ran out to warn everyone.

ROOK: Would you mind showing me the ripped shirt in your luggage? Just to confirm your story?

PRESTON: No! I don't have to show you anything! The yeti is the threat here, not me!

ROOK: Fine. I'll find out what happened without your help.

ROOK: Are you sure that Paul was the one who took you?

PRESTON: Yes! I'm certain! ...Why?

ROOK: Well, it now looks like there may be more than one yeti.

PRESTON: Multiple yetis! I knew it would take great forces to cause this kind of destruction to the lodge!

ROOK: Did you see any other yetis when Paul took you?

PRESTON: Yeah! Yeah! Now that I think of it, there were tons of yetis in that cave!

ROOK: Tons of yetis? I find that dubious. Thanks for your time.

ROOK: I figured I'd have to go through his bags myself. Upon doing so, I found an utter lack of ripped shirts, but one very interesting ledger. Turns out he's the CEO of a water bottling company! I'll have to ask about that.

TRAVIS: Being in this library totally reminds me of that one time I was in detention. At first I didn't know the other kids there, but then we all became friends and we played this great practical joke on the principal!

ROOK: A little bird told me that you're a water bottle mogul. Any comment?

PRESTON: Water bottles? Did you go through my luggage? How dare you!

ROOK: Hey, I'm just curious if what I heard was true.

PRESTON: What? Well, yeah! I do run a bottled water company. Who doesn't?

Your employees, people who are too busy getting rich from other industries, fire elementals...

ROOK: Thanks for your time.

ROOK: I went over and talked to Beebee.

ROOK: Beebee, do you know anything about Preston's water bottling company?

BEEBEE: Of course! Prestie's going to be a water bottle king! He's already started building his empire.

ROOK: An empire? Do you mean he already owns several factories?

BEEBEE: Yes, but he's looking to build one more right at the source! He wants to find a snow-capped mountain where clean water flows.

ROOK: Like...this place?

BEEBEE: Maybe? All I know is that Preston keeps all of his real estate paperwork in his car.

ROOK: Very interesting. And precise. Thank you, Beebee.''

ROOK: I'd have to check that out, but the mention of a "snow-capped mountain" reminded me that I should try to trace the prints back, if possible. Maybe I can determine which set goes back to Paul's cave. I should probably investigate there, as well, even if the prints don't lead back. I took the ski lift. There were no tracks on the other side. Too bad. I pressed on anyway.

  • rimshot*

ROOK: I just got up the ladder when Elmira texted me again.

ELMIRA: Rook, I'm in a bit of a quandry. It's already two hours before dawn, and we still have to feed Pigglez and Porkz. But there are still ten thousand books that need stamping before the library opens. What shall I have your team do?

ROOK: I advised them to stamp books, and continued up to the cave. Once inside, I poked around. I saw a picture that I figured was a relative of P.W.'s, but then I realized for that to be true, his "turned into a yeti by the Crown of Nightmares" story wouldn't hold up. I filed it away mentally. There was a piece of cloth sticking out of a bookcase that turned out to be a bunny costume...? What the? "P.W." skis? What an active yeti! Very old school.

Yeah, I would've pegged him for snowboarding on a frozen leaf.

ROOK: ... Oh, but I did find a snowboard. I wonder what P.W. enjoys more; snowboarding or skiing? Most professionals prefer skis due to their precision control. I snagged a trophy from the recliner. Then there were the lawn ornaments. Flamingos? Here? Flamingos hate the cold. Good thing they're plastic. Nice coffee table gnome. The extreme cold must make it hard to keep garden gnomes here; I haven't seen a single garden.

ELMIRA: Phew! All ten thousand books done! So what if everyone has blisters on their hands? It builds character!

ROOK: I went back down the mountain and to the lot. I didn't know which car was Preston's, only that the jet wasn't it, heh. You know, a convertible really doesn't seen very practical in this type of weather.

ELMIRA: Well, I certainly had my doubts, but your team managed to complete their assignments without burning the library down. Hmph, I suppose miracles really do happen. Thank you, Rook.

ROOK: I went back and checked in with Jenny.

JENNY: Way to go! Your team helped clean a library. Doesn't sound terribly fun, but Elmira's now willing to work for us.

ELMIRA: Hmph. I am thoroughly unimpressed with the quality and size of this agency's library. You need to hire me. My formidable brain is like a living reference section.

1 Paranormal, 1 Nature, 3 Smarts.

(In addition, there are new overalls and skirts in the Derobeinator.)

  • Missions
    • Legendary Cheese
    • Morcu Corp Stakeout
    • The Sadness Parade (on hold, waiting for Poppy's sister)

  • Recruits and Recruitables
    • Elmira (New!)
    • Leaf
    • Roger
    • Travis
    • Pinky

'Next time: Rook continues checking out cars!

UTINNI!
I recommend sending Roger, Travis, and Elmira to the Morcu Corp Stakeout.

 25 Nyperold, Fri, 29th Jan '10 3:05:33 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
ROOK: I hired Elmira...

ROOK: Welcome to the team!

ELMIRA: Quiet down, punks! Elmira has arrived!

ROOK: ...and assigned her to the 3rd floor, where Roger and Travis were. I sent them out on the Morcu Corp Stakeout, and returned to the mountains, feeling the squad had a good chance. I checked out the red car. The closest thing to paperwork was a parking ticket. I guess cops just love red cars. Finally, the blue one. Score! One deed. According to it, Preston owns all the land around the chalet. Rather suspicious... I decided to follow those tracks again. They led me past the ranger station and through the gate. Thankfully, there were patches of snow on the ice with footprints in them. They lead to the cabin. I had to get in, but the door was boarded up! However, there was a stack of crates nearby. I climbed up. I'd have to pull a Santa Claus and slide down the chimney. First order of business: clear the ice. Once inside, I found it deserted. I made sure I could get out again if I needed to, then continued my investigation.

You put your finger on the side of your nose and gave a nod, didn't you?

ROOK: ...No! ...Well... okay, I did. Anyway, there were random notes on the desk, a sharp-yet-dusty axe, a shelf unit with nothing of note—

WALKER: The team is in place, and they look sharp. Let's scope this warehouse out. Morcu Corp will never see it coming.

ROOK: ...Well, he seems pleased at the choice. More than Roger alone, definitely. Anyway, I also found a trap door. A stubborn trap door. But the crowbar was more than a match. In I went.

All right! This section, and a few others like it, are 2D platforming sections. You can still see in 3D, but for all practical purposes...

ROOK: Yes, well, I examined this mazelike place as I went. Turned out, it was a mine. An early offshoot path had shaky supports and was blocked at the end, besides. I pressed on, through freezing water, up ladders and down shafts. I found viking outfits down here. Weird. I continued until I found another door.

ELMIRA: I'm perfectly happy working on the case. I'd prefer a bit more, you know, toil, but you can't have everything.

ROOK: Once through the door, I found myself inside another cabin! There was a crate nearby which I opened to discover... video games? A table at the other end had a lot of water bottles, which seemed to point to Preston, but I wasn't going to take it as hard evidence yet... even if the contents were hardening. There was a filthy shelf, but more interesting was the yeti suit on the floor nearby. I took it with me. Whoever was wearing this costume was the one who wrecked everything. And I pretty much knew who it fit. I unlocked the door and headed back to talk to Rosalyn about freeing Paul.

(By the way, for those of you who play this game, telling Rosalyn the following line is a Point of No Return for this area. If there's anything you left behind, it's Lost Forever. In fact, every place you go to by jet is like this. So make sure.)

ROOK: Paul's innocent, agent!

AGENT ROSALYN: What? Impossible!

ROOK: Everybody was assembled, so it was time to present.

ROOK: Well, Agent Marshall, we've got your proof. You'll have to let Paul go.

NOVA: WHOOOOOOOOOO!! IN YO' FACE!

ROOK: You're scaring me with your counting of "O"s.

Get used to it.

NOVA: Ooh, sorry. Go ahead, Rook.

ROOK: Preston wasn't really missing. He was hiding out in one of the ranger's stations the whole time.

BUDDY: We know from the security footage we recovered that a baseball bat was used to attack the lodge.

AGENT ROSALYN: But that footage also showed a yeti destroying Professor Nova's property. A yeti that left yeti tracks.

Professor? I know she was a professor — well, ex-professor — in My Sims... is she also a professor here, in addition to being a lodge owner?

ROOK: A yeti wouldn't need a baseball bat to smash a hot tub. He would just use his hands.

BUDDY: And besides, yetis hate baseball. They're more into cricket.

PAUL: That's true.

Wait a minute, he was turned into a yeti! Did this transformation imbue him with a preference for cricket? Did a pre-existing preference for cricket influence the crown toward turning him into a yeti? What's going on here?

ROOK: Anyways, more important are the boots which we discovered. Someone dressed up in a yeti costume to leave misleading footprints.

PRESTON: HA! You can't prove that it's my yeti costume!

BUDDY: We could make you put it on to make sure it fits.

ROOK: Beebee seemed to like that idea. I wondered if she understood what it would mean if it fit...

PRESTON: Oh, ummm...

ROOK: Put the costume on, Preston.

ROOK: At first, he refused, but then...

PRESTON: ...Fine.

ROOK: He put it on.

BUDDY: A perfect fit!

PAUL: Not a very good likeness, though...

BEEBEE: Oh, Preston, don't you look adorable?

ROOK: Indeed, she was clueless to what that meant, and just wanted to see him in an adorable costume. Preston went to take it off again, but... the zipper stuck.

PRESTON: Oh, great, now I can't even get it off!

AGENT VIC: Wow! Nice sleuthing, Rook! But why'd he do it? What did Preston have against Nova's lodge?

ROOK: I suspect it had something to do with this.

ROOK: I pulled out the deed.

ROOK: This deed proves that Preston recently purchased all of the surrounding land in these mountains. The only holdout was this lodge. Of course, if Nova's lodge suddenly had to close due to yeti attacks, the land would be much easier to acquire.

NOVA: And what exactly were you going to do with my lodge once you had it?!

PRESTON: ...Bulldoze it and build a bottled water factory.

PAUL: Well that's just tasteless.

BEEBEE: I think it's fantastic!! You're so amazing, Preston!

ROOK: Okay, this kid has a lot to learn about right and wrong. She couldn't really approve of Preston's actions that much... could she...?

AGENT ROSALYN: Well, I guess you've solved the case, Rook. We'll let the yeti go right away.

ROOK: She went to do so.

AGENT VIC: And Preston, you'll be paying for all the damage you did to this lodge.

PRESTON: Awww...but Daddy said if I borrow any more money he'll cut me off!

AGENT VIC: That's awful. No, seriously, you're breaking my heart here. Again, really excellent work, Special Agent Rook!

AGENT ROSALYN: Alright, Vic.

AGENT VIC: I mean, you sure made us look like chumps!

AGENT ROSALYN: ALRIGHT, VIC!

ROOK: They left.

NOVA: Rook, Buddy, I can't thank you enough. You've saved my lodge... and you gave me the chance to chat with this handsome yeti!

PAUL: She said I can use the hot tub anytime I want!

NOVA: I'll go call the hot tub repairman right now!

ROOK: She left, leaving us to talk with Paul.

EVELYN: Paul? My name is Evelyn Gray. I think you knew my father?

PAUL: Evelyn Gray? Is that...is that little Evie?

EVELYN: You know me?

PAUL: I think... yes! Evie! You used to scurry around the lab all the time back when I worked with your dad!

ROOK: That sounds safe.

PAUL: Man, you've grown!

EVELYN: So you really knew my father? You and he were researchers together?

PAUL: Yeah...yeah, that's right! He helped make the Nightmare Crown! But after the crown disappeared I didn't see him anymore...he was a good guy.

EVELYN: Paul, why is Morcubus looking for you? Does he think you have the crown?

PAUL: I don't know what happened to the crown. Morcubus knows that. I just helped him make it.

EVELYN: Wait! What if Morcubus wanted to make a new crown. Is that possible?

PAUL: He'd need the raw resources...and a ton of money. But yeah, that would explain why he wants to talk to me!

EVELYN: Rook, please, we have to find out more about the Nightmare Crown! Maybe we can even figure out what happened to my father...

BUDDY: Don't worry, Evelyn! We'll do everything we can to help you.

EVELYN: Thank you, Buddy.

ROOK: Paul, thank you for your help. Please let us know if you remember anything else.

PAUL: No sweat! Thanks for clearing things up with those crazy agents!

ROOK: Let's head back to HQ.

ROOK: So we did.

BUDDY: These cases keep going by so quickly, pal! Today I took some time to sit down and appreciate the beauty of freshly-fallen snow. Good thing this jet has heated seats!

(A yeti boot trophy! A sculpture of Preston in a yeti suit! And new recruitables: Vic, Rosalyn, Beebee, Preston, Nova, and our first non-humanoid, Wolfah! New agent outfits, a cold weather sweater/skirt outfit, a bunny hat and a yeti suit! New clients, as well!)

ROOK: Agent Walker returned.

AGENT WALKER: Agent Rook! Great work up at Nova's lodge.

ROOK: Thanks, Agent Walker. What's new?

AGENT WALKER: I just wanted to come by and drop off a couple of upgrades. First, that crowbar has to go. You're an agent, not a thug.

ROOK: I kinda like the crowbar.

AGENT WALKER: Don't worry, the F-Space Manipulator does everything the crowbar did, plus much more. I'm also replacing your old wrench with the agency's patented Techno-Tool.

ROOK: Ooh, now that sounds like an upgrade.

AGENT WALKER: Indeed. It will still allow you to salvage, but now you can also pick locks!

ROOK: Should be handy.

AGENT WALKER: You know, you might want to train on that F-Space Manipulatora bit before you take it into the field. Why don't you head up to the hangar and try it out? The manipulator runs on fenergy and there should be a fenergy vent up there.

ROOK: '"Fenergy vent" up in the hangar... got it.''

AGENT WALKER: Now if you'll excuse me, I'm late for my daily haircut.

ROOK: Of course.

The F-Space Manipulator is awesome, not the least because, well, you know all those objects we've been hauling around? Now we get to place them. This is not merely decorative, but functional. Each object has 5 interest slots, like agents do... although up to 4 may be empty. You can place up to 15 objects on each floor. Careful, though, some objects have special needs. Some are large. In a similar vein, some are interactive, which means you need space for a Sim to walk up to it. Some require walls, and only half the available floors have them. Each floor has a special desk-like thing that you can move but unlike all other objects, not remove. It's especially for music players. Only one may be placed on any floor, so you can't double up... even though you may want to later. I'll be handling this part based on what missions are to be selected. But I'll still tell you what interests each object contributes to.

Also, we can paint with those paints. It doesn't help in gameplay, but it can add a touch — or flood — of whatever to your HQ floors.

Anyway, here are your new recruitables:

BEEBEE: Oh, hi, Rook. So, I guess you're looking for agents and stuff? If you recruited me, do you think it would impress Preston?

1 Nature, 1 Athletic, 3 Charismatic.

NOVA: Finding Paul has reminded me how much there is still left to discover: aliens, sasquatch, krakens... with your resources and my theories, I know we can do it!

2 Paranormal, 1 Nature, 2 Smarts.

PRESTON: Rook, please don't hire me. Vic and Rosalyn are making me volunteer with the S.P.A. as part of my community service! Have mercy!

1 Athletic, 3 Charismatic, 1 Smarts.

I guess he has a bit of Smarts where she has a bit of Nature.

AGENT ROSALYN: ''Agent Rosalyn P. Marshall reporting for duty! Just fill out the necessary requisition forms, expense reports, and agency transfer documents (in triplicate).

2 Paranormal, 3 Smarts.

AGENT VIC: Dude, you rock. I've gotta become a special agent! Can you train me to find footprints and analyze evidence and lift rocks with my mind and stuff?!

3 Paranormal, 1 Charismatic, 1 Smarts.

WOLFAH: Grrr...yip! Yip yip? Grrrrolf! Yip!

3 Nature, 2 Athletic

Rook, what was that?

ROOK: Oh, he's excited to be able to be part of the agency, and... he said that Paul's trained him not to "go" while he's inside.

Oh. Well, that's good. Roxie should be especially pleased.

The new missions:

  • Yeti Begins

PAUL: It's time I took stock of my life and faced my past. Can you send a team to help me find out if there was anything particularly good, bad, or just plain important that I did before I became a yeti? I'll try my best to help, but there's only so much I can remember.

2 stars. 15 minutes. Paranormal/Nature. New objects and a paint.

  • Pig, Camera, Action!

RENÉE: Hey, Rook! I'm trying to go to the movies with my pigs, but there's too much traffic! Do you think you can help me and my pigs get around all these pesky cars?

1 star. 20 minutes. Nature/Charismatic. New outfits, new recruit.

  • Snack Thief

ROXIE: There's a thief on the loose in our HQ — my icecream sandwiches keep going missing! The thought of unauthorized fingers all over my food gives me the creeps. Please help!

3 stars. 20 minutes. Smarts/Charismatic. New outfits, an object, and a trophy.

  • Episode X

JENNY: Starcruiser X is having a contest for the best fan-written episode, and they're hiring the winner to work on the show. Could you spare a few agents to help me brainstorm?

2 stars. 15 minutes. Smarts/Paranormal. A new object and a trophy.

  • Tainted Broth

HOPPER: My Hopper Broth has been tasting funny lately, and my froggy friends won't play with me. Help me figure out what's up, sproing?!

3 stars. 15 minutes. Paranormal/Natural. New object, paint, and recruit.

  • Missions
    • Yeti Begins
    • Legendary Cheese
    • Pig, Camera, Action!
    • Snack Thief
    • Episode X
    • Tainted Broth
    • The Sadness Parade (ON HOLD)

As far as "Yeti Begins" is concerned, there will be some recruits all the way up to the fruits of Rook's last mission that may be interesting to send to help him. On the other hand, there are interesting recruits now, so if you can't wait or just want to get those objects (and paint; who knows?), that'll work.

One interesting thing is that if you send agents on Roxie or Jenny's missions, there will be no evidence in the office that the mission is going on, but you'll still receive texts. Eerie...

  • Recruits and Recruitables
    • Beebee
    • Leaf
    • Nova
    • Pinky
    • Preston
    • Agent Rosalyn
    • Agent Vic
    • Wolfah

Travis, Roger, and Elmira are still on the mission, of course.

'Next time: A lesson in manipulation, and more!

edited 30th Jan '10 7:24:48 PM by Nyperold

Total posts: 62
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