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     Lack of fingerprinting 
  • Fingerprints, and while I am at it, how the crime scenes are treated in the game overall. Nobody ever wears any gloves while manipulating evidence, yet we know fingerprint identification exists because the BD killer took the precaution of washing his letters with gasoline. If Cole didn't spend roughly half the game desecrating (cause there is no other words) evidence with his bare hands, wouldn't the fingerprint on the various lug wrenches allow several suspects to walk away free?
    • This bugged me too, but I just chalked it up to Gameplay and Story Segregation. It seems like an easy fix though, since Rockstar could have just shown Cole snapping on some gloves in every "showing up at the crime scene" cutscene.
    • It's the 1940s, though. This isn't a 2011 CSI episode. Besides, having fingerprints to tie suspects to crimes would immediately rule out 90% of the gameplay and remove any need for interrogation, confession or any other clues and remove all the mystery because you'd be able to identify whether someone was a suspect or not with 100% accuracy using that. Matching fingerprints in every single case would be a dull as shit game and ruin the entire experience. There would be no thinking at all involved.
      • By the 1940s fingerprinting was a rudimentary (albeit still flawed) aspect of criminal investigation. Detectives in 1940s America going around touching all evidence they come across with their bare hands is close to parody levels of Anachronism Stew (aka people using this kind of thinking, as though they believe that everything before the year 2000 was stuck at Tudor period levels of technology). And this is also an extremely bizarre line of thinking relating to the use of fingerprints in the first place. Every single piece of mystery fiction that's ever existed in the 20th and 21st century has been able to tell their stories without forgetting that fingerprints exist, including a lot of video games.
    • Fingerprinting would have taken much longer, what with having to search for a full fingerprint on evidence and then compare it to tons of fingerprints and risk not finding anything so it's easier for Cole to just look for suspects based on the actual evidence than fingerprints. plus fingerprints would have been easier to find on a letter because you would need to touch it multiple times to mail it.

    Cole's Demotion to Arson 
  • theenglishman: What's all this nonsense about the LAPD threatening to "charge" Cole with adultery? I thought that was a moral crime, not a legal one (i.e. reasonable evidence to file divorce papers, but not to put someone behind bars).
    • California had a law that criminalized adultery as early as 1872, which wasn't repealed until 1975 with the passing of the Consenting Adult Sex Bill — the penalties ranged from a fine to jail time.
    • Also, it wouldn't look very good from a press and public viewpoint to have one of the highly assigned detective in the Vice division after it was made public that he had been cheating on his wife and children with a German (especially after World War II had just ended).
    • Especially considering it's a fairly open secret to the general public just how crooked the Vice squad is. I figure the Commissioner would jump at any opportunity to spin to the whole wide world how they're "really" a zero tolerance outfit.
  • Why, why, why would they reassign Phelps to a department where he'd be in position to discover their plot to set houses on fire to get the insurance money? The one department where he'd be in a position to unravel their whole plan? Aren't disgraced cops usually demoted to traffic duty?
    • Maybe Roy suggested Cole get reassigned to Arson since he knew Cole would be able to uncover the plot?
      • PITADOG: I refuse to believe that Roy is anything but a douche-bag. After all the things he did, and then what he said at the end, he's definitely evil to me.
      • {{Tropers/8bitnemsis}}: The way I figured it, Arson was the division where detective careers went to die. At least that's what it seemed like to me.
      • I'm thinking it wasn't anyone connected to the SRF who made the call, or at least was thinking about the consequences. Arson was just the natural place that disgraced cops go to, also they weren't worried about Cole at all. They didn't think he was anywhere near the conspiracy, just focusing on the morphine and they had Courtney and Cohen for that. The important thing was to get people looking at Cole's scandal, so the high ups could deal with the madam that was blackmailing the high-ups quietly.
      • Danny V El Acme: You're also forgetting that Cole was reassigned to Arson so he'd have something to do until his hearing on the adultery charge. His pending expulsion from the police force was a Foregone Conclusion, and they assigned him to what was pretty much the shittiest division in the force so his superiors would look good in public by not kicking him outright (he was still a damn hero cop). They just didn't count on how TALENTED a detective Cole was.
      • Once more, disgraced cops are either assigned to traffic duty or desk work. Why arson?
      • Arson is boring. Homicide has you tackling the hardest crimes and catching murderers. Vice comes with a glamorous lifestyle. Even Traffic has a variety of cases from hit-and-runs to attempted murder. Every Arson case is either an accident or a simple insurance scam.
      • Or vandalism. Or murder.
      • But the point is, there's even more boring police work out there. Ask Lester, who's painstakingly logged and filed stolen items claims for thirteen years and four months.
      • Arson is a highly technical assignment; Cole appears to have a college education, probably in English literature (judging by his knowledge of Shakespeare and Shelley) partnered up with a washed out detective who, whilst a competent arson investigator with the technical know-how, write things off as accidents or insurance scams. Perhaps they didn't expect the liberal arts educated Cole to be able to do a very good job at arson...
    • Keep in mind that Cole's demotion had nothing to do with the Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspiracy. The scandal of Cole's downfall was created to deflect attention away from another scandal, one that could have damaged City Hall and the highest ranks of the LAPD. It was sheer bad luck for the Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspiracy that Cole was placed in a division that put him in a position to bring them down. When they do realise what he's up to, they put a freeze on his activities, but they don't count on Lou Buchwalter's accidental death and Jack Kelso's subsequent involvement.
      • In addition, remember what Biggs says after Cole asks him about how many cases he normally gets. There's two arson cases a day! What are the odds that Cole and Biggs are going to catch two arson cases that are linked to the SRF at the very beginning of their careers, when Cole is looking for payback against the LAPD senior officers? A lot of Arson guys seem like burnouts, especially Biggs (at first), and it's not until the second Arson case that Cole manages to get him all riled up and on his side.
    • The final nail in the coffin here is that Arson is routinely investigated, determined to be either malicious, accidental, or fraud, and subsequently solved. There's no bad guy, and if there is, the evidence is usually incinerated in the course of the act. Arson isn't glamorous, it's paperwork. Herschel has been working in the division for years, and he looks at every arson in a "get it done" kind of way: find the evidence (if any), log it, determine cause, close the case. The fact that Cole is bitter and desperate to show up the LAPD is what turns the division into something much, much bigger, and he goes way outside his technical jurisdiction to do so (in theory, any arson case that turns into a murder case would be assigned to Homicide). Cole was assigned to Arson to watch his career die. His dogged determination to show that he's better than even the LAPD knows is what saves him, and he caught a lucky break catching on to the SRF scandal. Nothing more.
  • It was Earl who brought Cole's afair to light in the first place. Why? Was he bitter about you letting that fighter go and was this just a way to get revenge? Was he hoping to engraciate himself to the people involved in the conspiracy? Why was he tailing Cole in the first place unless he hoped to find some dirt to use against him?
    • Earle is just as guilty as the rest of the guys in that room. Remember, when you find Munroe's paybook record book, Roy's name is right there with everyone else. He may not be implicated in the scandal that they were trying to deflect (and let's be honest, the likelihood is that he was), but he certainly didn't want his bosses and fellow partners-in-bribery going down when he had a good, lucrative thing going. He offered Cole up as a patsy, maybe for personal reasons, but also to protect his own rotten ass.
      • No. In newspaper scene 9 Earle walks into the room and no one knows who he is, they even ask him what he wants in return. He only got on Munroe's paylist AFTER he sold out Cole. Which I guess answers why he sold Cole out. Though that means he had to have known about the scandel BEFORE he started following Cole on a hunch he was sleeping with Ilsa. Or maybe Earle's just the kind of guy who always makes sure he has dirt on his partners, just in case.
      • The characterization of Roy having dirt on all of his partners (and probably most of the city or police force) would certainly be in keeping with the player's introduction to Roy ("Do they (Ad Vice) all dress like movie stars?" "Roy is a movie star, and the whole of the seedy side of LA is his audience."). This could even be a bit of Foreshadowing, considering how other movie stars are portrayed in the game, with one, June Ballard more than willing to sell out a younger actress, much like how Roy sells Cole out. Getting Cole into Ad Vice is just Roy's way of staying on top - Homicide is seen the prestige desk assignment, but Roy is stuck working drug cases (thanks to a former partner now being his commander), so he pulls some strings and finagles the hotshot new detective and puts him in a hole so that spotlight remains on himself.
      • For me it was apparent that Roy was jealous of the shiny boy. You can see he was being left in his shadow in the progression of the desk. Not to discard his precaution with partners, which is very fitting. Getting involved in the schemme was just the mean, so it wasn't necessary for him to be predict the oportunity.

  • Cole went from being a highly celebrated ace detective to a disgraced investigator. Putting him in Arson makes it so even if he does discover any evidence of the conspiracy, they can just point at it as him trying to make himself big news again and dismiss the claims.

    Romance plot tumor 
  • For me, the romantic subplot make no sense for several reasons: 1) I don't understand why Cole suddenly wanted to start an affair with Elsa. He might be a Stalker with a Crush, but he is still a do-gooder and honor chaser. He should have known that it would've ruin his life. Was he possessed by Luis Lopez? 2) How the hell did Elsa fall in love with Cole that quickly? She doesn't seem to notice him before they get into bed. If it was one night stand, why did she accept him into her life so quickly?

    It doesn't make any sense. And why did Rockstar need to make it very sudden? They should have developed the Elsa/Cole relationship a little bit more before the affair happened.

    That and maybe make more than just passing reference to the fact he had a wife and kids. you only really hear about them in passing while you're driving with your partners.

    • My sentiments exactly. I just didn't understand how Cole went from asking her a few interview questions about morphine to following her home and sleeping with her. I kept on waiting and waiting for Cole to say it wasn't true that he slept with her, that it was lies, ANYTHING to explain himself as to why he would drop all his values and cheat on his wife. Seriously, What the Hell, Hero?? And even after all the bad press he gets and his wife finding out about the affair, he still goes to her apartment and sleeps with her and even risks his life for her. This bit of Character Derailment was so disappointing that it almost ruined the entire second half of the game for me. It just wasn't right; Cole is supposed to be a moral cop.

    • (this was written after the below posts but is getting put here because the rest of the discussion becomes an off-topic argument pretty quickly) Cole is far from picture of morality despite what he wants others to believe, and the narration actually goes to great lengths to show this. Cole wants to be a good person, he really does. But his time in the war shows a much more flawed individual whose questionable leadership resulted in deep tragedy. His good cop facade is his attempt to atone for his sins, mainly the hospital cave firebombing he was directly responsible for. Cole's relationship with Elsa is thus not only fulfillment of a Noir film archetype, but also strikingly in-tune with his character. As a scarred war-hero, Cole probably found himself distanced from his much more idealistic young wife. Combine his war trauma with the high-stress detective work, and an affair doesn't seem unlikely anymore (he even tells Marie "you can't imagine what I've been going through" as she throws him out). Just like the hospital bombing, Cole never meant for the affair to go public because he tries his best to sweep his mistakes under the rug and hide them through good behaviour. He would've kept up his role as LAPD poster boy forever if it weren't for Roy airing his dirty laundry behind his back. Elsa, in contrast with Marie, is a headstrong individual who has also been ravaged by the terrors of war, not to mention Cole finds her physically captivating. The affair lasted until the end of the game because it was more than an affair - Cole couldn't deny to his wife that he was in love with Elsa, and the relationship was enough for Elsa to steer off of narcotics. That's more than a flashy one-night stand gone public. Considering the game is a detective story, not Cole's personal life, there was no reason to spend more time developing their romance than they already did. Also, the exact start of the affair is debatable. It appears to have been started during Manifest Destiny, but it very well could have begun a lot earlier. After all, its not like Cole could've just hopped in the car with her to go to her apartment, and the look Elsa gives him as she opens the door implies she was expecting him.

      • When Roy first takes Cole to the clubs backstage to meet Elsa, he is visibly disturbed by the physical abuse she sustains, and in between homicide cases, we see Cole going to the club specifically to watch her sing, apparently enough times to be on good terms with the owner. I took this to mean he was smitten with her, and might even have been having the affair long before we found out about it. After all, the only time you see Cole's wife before that part of the story was in the opening cutscene, and we only learn that he has kids in a easily missable car conversation. There were plenty of story developments that took place off screen.
      • Also note that when fidelity comes, Cole is curiously quiet about it after the Homicide cases. He's outspoken about everything else, but when it comes to staying faithful, he has nothing to say. The implication is that the massive cover-up orchestrated at the end of the Homicide cases shattered his faith so badly that he sought solace in the arms of a woman who has likewise seen hardship and suffering. He specifically says to his wife "If you knew what I'd been going through these past few months." He's broken, and he doesn't know how to deal with it. He felt he couldn't talk to his wife about it. He started talking to Elsa, who sympathized, and ultimately the friendship just went a bit further. And that broke Cole more, because he wasn't being faithful. In other words, throughout the Vice cases, Cole is torn between a guilty conscience and a self-appointed moral duty to be better than he was being. It's pretty easy to see if you look for it, as he's notably more confrontational and borderline violent during the Vice cases.
      • And about the Character Derailment part, you seem to be missing the point: Cole is a human being who makes stupid mistakes. That was the entire point of the WWII flashbacks! Do a million things to the best of your ability and you'll still only be remembered for your one screw up. Jack Kelso's character exists to tell Cole that he isn't a super hero, and courage and cowardice exist in everyone, and isn't something you can turn on and off.
      • Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but Cole never said he was sorry or even stopped having the affair. It lasted until the end of the game. What's up with that? I could have forgiven him if he had actually tried to redeem himself, but all he does is basically give a shrug to his wife and starts living with Elsa.
      • You might not have noticed during every other single cutscene in the entire game, but Cole never apologizes for anything he had done. He justified his mistakes in the war and seemed to just shrug off everything Kelso calls him on. He knows apologizing isn't going to fix anything (or at worst just doesn't see fault in what he did) so he tries to karmatically balance it out with his actions. Don't you remember the ending? That was how he redeemed himself. And besides, where else was he supposed to go but to move in with Elsa? His wife kicked him out and wasn't willing to talk to him about it at all, they both knew it wouldn't have gotten anywhere. And he clearly cared about Elsa, which is why he stayed with her and recommended she go to Kelso about the settlement, so he knew if he left her alone to go mope or whatever it is you expected him to do, she would have gotten herself killed. Which, if you remember, is exactly what would have happened had Cole not been around to look out for her. It is annoying that Rockstar didn't devote more of the story to developing their relationship, but hell it got more screen time then Cole's marriage life. For all we know his wife was a drunk or an abusive bitch! There's just as much grounds for me to make that claim as there is for you to claim going off with Elsa was them being Strangled by the Red String.
      • The above poster makes a very good point, to the level of it being lampshaded in-game. Kelso is flabbergasted when Cole apologizes to him when asking for help in the case.
      • By reading from the comment above, I think there are at least two explanations for this.
      • 1) Cole suffers from Character Derailment. I don't remember if Cole comments that his wife was drunk or abusive. He seems to care about his wife too, since he defends her when Rusty offended her (he said something like "She's the mother of my children."). Yes, I know he has a crush on Elsa, but he IS a do-gooder and an honorable cop. It would be more realistic if he starts as Elsa's friend before getting into her bed, not being Edward Cullen with a badge. It wasn't reasonable either that Elsa would sleep with anyone (un)fortunate enough to knock on her door. She isn't Britney Spears, you know. However, I think that his reaction after he got kicked out of his house is reasonable enough.
      • 2) Cole has an affair off-screen. This is the more 'acceptable' theory. However, if Rockstar planned it this way, it's also annoying that they didn't show their conversation or relationship before the affair. When writing a romantic relationship in film noir, it is very important to work on a Unresolved Sexual Tension. Regardless of any explanation, it is a big failure that L.A. Noire forgets this part.
      • This is exactly what I found the problem! The other issue was that we saw close to nothing of Cole's life at home and we get so scenes between and Elsa establishing their romance. A bit down someone stated that they tried to spin it as The Reveal, but it still falls flat, being a Character Derailment for Cole and the moment where I lost sympathy for him. Had we seen some scenes between him and Elsa, this would not have happened, as it would have shown Cole's imperfections, but also establishing that he did in fact have feelings for her. Compare this to when Ed Exley sleeps with Lynn Bracken in L.A. Confidential. We see her seducing him, Syd taking the pictures and then Bud finding them. Had they gone straight to Bud, we would have lost the sympathy for Exley, as his motivation for doing it would be lost. A character can do an amoral deed without us shouting What the Hell, Hero?, as long as we see the motivation for doing it. It was lost here and Cole's reaction are so cold and bland that it's hard to keep sympathy for him. Plus it's buildup is so badly handed (no previous tension with Elsa and his wife having not been seen at all) that when it comes, it's a lot less the The Reveal and more of an Ass Pull.
      • Or you're missing the entire point of the game. No one is a hero. No one is perfect. Cole may be a morally upright man most of the time, but he is still human. There are plenty of good people in the world who make horrible, horrible mistakes, and having an affair is quite a minor one in the scheme of things. About the whole "stalking" business: I don't get that. I got a huge L.A. Confidential vibe from the game already, and the whole romance plotline lined up well with it, along with it seeming that Cole and Elsa were attracted to each other. And let me repeat: just because someone is good most of the time doesn't mean they are good ALL of the time. L.A. Noire is Black and Grey morality, not White and Black.
      • I get your meaning but my point still stand. It's TOO quick. In other classics like The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and Chinatown, they didn't have the affair THAT fast. There is a need for the protagonist to resist the sexual tension for a while and L.A. Noire blew the romance part by neglect that!!! And about Stalking, Cole traced her back home after the interrogation for no other reason than his lust. If it isn't stalking, I don't know what to call it.
      • 1: L.A. Noire is a game, games work differently than movies, so comparing the two different mediums doesn't work. 2: More than just the romance sub plot happens off screen, why you are choosing to focus on this and ignore the other stuff is rediculous. 3: They didn't tell us because they wanted it to be The Reveal, so you're supposed to feel shocked; you're just confusing that expected reaction that the story wanted you to feel with thinking that aspect of the story was poorly written. And about the stalking: it might qualify as a WMG, but I got the impression that it was sort of a game between them, or a way for Cole to avoid getting caught. Like I said, they probably have been having the affair loooong before that one time we saw it play out.
      • 1) Could you explain why comparing two Noir stories on different formats doesn't work? This game already has a bunch of shout out to several classic film noir. If you don't want to compare with with movies, let's compare with other noir-feeling games then. Max Payne 2 for example, is the example of Noir romance in videogame. 2) What is the 'other' subplot that you mention? Is it about the case, Cole's past, or something else entirely? Most of that is revealed at the end. 3) The Reveal scene means that there must be some secret to reveal in the first place. You can't assume from a couple of scenes that Phelps attending Elsa's performance that he had the affair with her either. If it's the reveal, it's a rather ambiguous one, since it doesn't answer that "Is this the first time they have the affair or not?"
      • I for one did, in fact, jumped to the immediate conclusion that Cole was having an affair with Elsa when the game showed him going to watch her performances during the Homicide cases. Maybe I'm just more genre savvy then you. I also don't see how comparing Max Payne to L.A. Noire would work since the only thing they have in common is the genre they're a part of. Max doesn't have an affair, his wife is dead. That said, the romance between Mona Sax and Max Payne is just as spontaneous as the one between Cole and Elsa. Max and Mona have known each other for two days, total, if that. At least in L.A. Noire, it's implied Cole and Elsa have been having the affair for a long time, an aspect you seem dead set on ignoring when it easily fixes everything that is supposedly head scratching about this aspect of the plot. They didn't show it on screen, that's it! You missing several key aspects of the story and thinking this is The Dulcinea Effect rearing its ugly head, and it actually being an example are two different things. Most of it happened off screen. That does not make it a plot tumor.
      • It has nothing to do with being genre savvy or ignoring what the game is showing. The fact of the matter is that we're supposed to be controlling Cole Phelps, seeing the world through his eyes and exploring the crimes and the like along with him. We're supposed to sympathize with his failings and cheer for his successes. The actual problem with this part of the plot is it's basically what amounts to an ass pull for the player. You can read into it all you like and imply all you like but the game does absolutely nothing to tell us that Cole, Mr. Upright and noble, has done something that would feel so out of character for him. The problem here is that it wouldn't seem to out of character if we, the player, had time to see the relationship grow. Even if they kept the reveal that they were actually having sex a secret to the player it appears as if this happened just so Cole could have something to angst over. From a player who is trying to get into the games story without nitpicking every single thing that goes on this goes right into the level of plot tumor and tries to crawl beyond that line. The "It happened offscreen" is a terrible damn writing excuse. Using that you can imply any million of defenses for every game on the market where we don't see 100% of a characters life, which is basically every game out there. It's a bad defense and, when it needs to be invoked, often a sign of bad writing.
      • The premise that you are Cole Phelps and supposed to be playing entirely from his perspective is wrong. You're the audience watching a Noir film and just so happen to be interacting with the plot. If we were just Phelps, we wouldn't ever play as Kelso, since most of the details of his adventures probably wouldn't have been told to Phelps. We also wouldn't see any of the cutsceens that don't include Phelps, such as most of the newspaper scenes. But we do, since the game would be much more realistic: confusing and spontaneous.
      • Again I must point out that we never see a single second of Cole's marriage life. Ever. We see his wife kissing him goodbye in the opening cutscene, and that is all. Everything else that we think we know comes from Cole talking to his partners. Taking that into account, Cole has more screen time with Elsa than he does his wife, and it seems obvious why he wouldn't talk to anyone about that little aspect of his life. This isn't a life simulator, it's Film Noir. If you want to complain about this, you might as well complain about not getting to see Cole or anyone else ever take a dump.
      • Two points I need to make:
  • 1)About Max. It's true that Max didn't cheat his wife. But you can see that he has conflict between his job and love life(aka Professional moral and passion). This conflict that denied happy love life, whether it's long or short, is important staple in almost every film noir from Maltese Falcon to Chinatown. The 'weak implied,' if it really exist, is not enough to 'understand' Phelp about why he make this choice.
  • 2) You keep telling us that we ignore the implied scene yet you never show where is this scene located. Could you enlighten us about where exactly it is?
    • I have already mentioned that all throughout the Homicide desk there are scenes of Cole going to the Blues Club where Roy first took him to introduce him to Elsa, and it is plain to see that Cole is smitten with her. By using simple retroactive logic, one can put two and two together when Cole follows Elsa home during the Manifest Destiny case and she welcomes him into her room with open arms.
      • It's true that Cole has a crush on her on that scene and just that. By that scene alone it doesn't explain "when" and more important "why". I don't even need to guess that Cole will have an affair since they already spoil us from the trailer which post several months before the game release. The player will know from the get-go that Phelp will have affair with Elsa at some point. Therefore, it is important for the storywriter to reveal 'when' and 'why' Cole decide to have affair with Elsa. At other troper state above, the writer suppose to make us understand Phelp as a person and they fail badly on that part.
      • The "why" is explained later, when Elsa has her scene with Dr. Fontaine. Cole couldn't talk to his wife about the things he had seen and done during the war, but he could do so with Elsa, the recovering addict.
      • Noted. This explain why Cole stick with Elsa but not why he 'started' talking to her on the first place.
      • He was introduced to her by Earle, who called her a junkie and smacked her across the face. It wouldn't be out of character for a white knight like Cole attempts to be to go back and talk to her after that, if only to apologize for Roy. They already knew each other and he was clearly intrigued by her singing, it's not really that huge a leap to see them hitting it off.
      • Possibly. But I wouldn't said it really happen as you said. This theory is still not proof that he have an affair throughout homicide case offscreen. Still, I can said that it pretty nice fanfix idea.
      • Boom. What you seem to be missing is Cole isn't the guy you seem to think he is. People try to white wash Cole and turn him into this perfect white knight who is out of character when he does things like intentionally incriminate the person who is the least likely to have committed the crime, or cheat on his wife, but the fact is that that's just who Cole is. The flashbacks to his time as a marine tell all: he's not trying to change who he is, he's just trying to avoid making the same mistakes that got him a reputation as a hated officer and eventually got him shot in a dingy cave full of burning japanese people. Noir stories are usually Black-and-Gray Morality, and this game is not different. You gotta look at him the same way you might look at House, for example. Good at his job, and his job is doing something good, but he's not Mr. Perfect, due in no small part to his tragic character flaw of wanting people to see him as Mr. Perfect.
      • I already watch the clip. It's true that Cole isn't perfect. However it raise another question. Since he want to maintain a 'good boy' image, why did he 'actively' persuing have an affair to begin with? I must conclude that the best explanation is that that he 'snap' from the trauma both from war and several case, but it is 'very poorly' portray by a lackluster script and character development.
      • What does "actively" mean? He was having it in secret. Wait, how do you 'passively' have an affair? And what's with the fanwank explanation? You can't go filling what you think are plot holes with bullshit. They didn't "portray it poorly" because that's not what they were portraying! You've gone from defying logic in an effort to delude yourself into thinking the romance doesn't make sense into putting physical effort into coming up with a completely baseless explanation to delude yourself into thinking Cole could only ever cheat on his wife because he has PTSD. It's not a headscratcher, the game portrayed it well enough considering it's priorities were focused on the cases and not Cole's personal life, and there have been heaps upon heaps of factual and logical explanations that you have seen fit to uselessly swat away with the barest of poor excuses. If you don't like the romance plot, fine, but at least don't act like it's the games fault.

      • Then again, there was one of other explanation about why Phelp just stand there when Earle his Elsa. If you look from the beginning Phelp is kinda social awkward guy, a little bit self-center, have no sense of humor, and not good with people. While he 'might' be a good guy, all of the above flaw prevent him from having enough 'courage' to stand up for the right thing that high people don't like.

    • My problem with this whole thing is the kids. He's a good guy, overall, but he's not perfect. I buy that. He got kicked out of his house, so Elsa's place was the obvious choice. I buy that too. But he has two daughters, and he obviously cares about them. Rather than actually defend any of his wife's traits, he says to Rusty, "She's the mother of my children." It also seems from the way he interacts with kids throughout the game ("The Golden Butterfly," "The Fallen Idol," "The White Shoe Slaying") that he's good with kids, sort of the fatherly type. So why didn't he make MORE of an effort to see them? He asks his wife one time, she says no, and that's it? He's just leaving them? That doesn't make any sense to me.
      • Times were different back then. Not only has there probably not been enough time to work out some kind of visiting rights between them, but in that time if you fucked up like that, you didn't have any right to see them again. His wife wasn't having it, if his daughters were old enough to know what was going on they wouldn't want to see him, if they were too young then Cole is too nice a guy to try and turn them to his side, and either way no judge is going to give him the time of day when it comes to that even if the remaining time frame of the game allowed for them to have gotten that far in the legal process. Remember, Adultery was a crime you could be imprisoned for back then, not just grounds for divorce. And even if you don't buy any of that, I'm still willing to pull the offscreen excuse. It's not like I don't think Rockstar making stuff happen off screen wasn't a rip off, but considering how much content is in the game already and what they really had to struggle for just to get allocated to DLC, it's completely understandable that they wouldn't be able to squeeze in EVERY aspect of the main characters daily life and whatnot.
      • Adultery was a Crime, capital C, in that era. It was prosecutable with jail time, as could be seen in one of the first traffic cases, where a cheating husband faked his death to be with his fling. Not only that, a policeman, of all people, getting caught cheating was a considered a PR nightmare back then, since this was an era when the police's public image was supremely important. The public may have been willing to look to the side on a cop beating up a perp, shooting him dead or other sorts of abuses, but they just saw this as them using harsh methods to protect the peace, the end justifies the means. An adulterer cop, however, IS a perp. Not only that, Cole was such a high profile cop (pretty much the face of the department for Joe Q. Public) that the public shame he and his family received from the adultery charge was massive. His wife told him paparazzi were constantly around the house harassing her with photos and questions. Such public humiliation is not easily forgiven and would very much hurt a young child. Cole's wife was certainly justified in not letting him near their daughters, and Cole not forcing the issue was a sensitive move on his part. As for staying with Elsa, he had nowhere else to go, and he was already accused of adultery, staying with her wouldn't have made things any worse than they already were.
      • Adding to the above comment: not only is adultery a crime and considered an unacceptable breach of credibility for a police officer, Cole cheated with Elsa Lichtmann. LAPD's golden boy cheating with a german singer/femme fatale with a drug problem (you can be sure those details went in the news) ? In 1947? Even forgetting the penal aspect of the situation, this a MASSIVE PR blunder two years after WWII, in a city plagued by drugs (which LAPD is said to fight); no wonder Phelps wouldn't be allowed near kids any more, let alone his own.
  • Earle says he has incriminating photographs of Cole and Elsa. How could he? Did they do it on the balcony or something?
    • I got the impression that he was stalking them when I heard him give Cole crap about being at The Blue Room instead at home.
  • Frankly I was very surprised to find out Cole was having an affair. Not because he was attracted to Ilsa, that was hinted at several times throughout the game. No, I was surprised because I didn't know he had a wife. I think the first time Cole even mentions he's married is in a conversation with Rusty. Which takes place in the car so depending on how you drive may have been replaced with cries of "Goddmammit Phelps!"
    • She shows up in the opening where we see Phelps leaving his house in a Patrolman uniform and his wife kisses him goodbye. She's also mentioned dozens of times before you even reach Vice, and Cole is wearing his wedding ring the entire game.
      • So you're telling me it's clear Phelps had a wife because she appears in a scene before we even know who he is, is mentioned several times in conversations that may or may not happen, and is wearing a small item that is never brought into focus during the entire game?
  • Ignoring the above debate... is there an explanation as to why Cole continues to wear his wedding ring long after the affair's gone public? Was that an oversight of the developers or what?
  • As for the on screen/off screen shenanigans that seem to have everyone upset and the suddenness of the affair, keep in mind that two entire desks, Burglary and Fraud, were cut from the game. Burglary probably would have been before Homicide and Fraud after, which would account for the spontaneous "Six months later" after Traffic, as well as the complete lack of the development of the relationship between Elsa and Phelps prior to the reveal. (source:
  • We could just mark this down as part of Team Bondi's bad development cycle and shit working conditions.

    The title.... 

  • Maybe there's a reason for this, but...why isn't it L.A. Noir? Why the e on the end?
    • There's more than one way to spell Noir -_- sorta like how you can spell "color" like that or like "colour."
      • Right, I realize there's more than one way to spell Noir, I took French for four years in college. It just struck me as odd because I've never once seen Film Noir spelled that way, nor any specific example of it, and as the game is a very clear tribute to said genre, it seemed strange.
    • Two theories: The first is that they chose the feminine "Noire" because they are referring to L.A. as a female. The other theory is that they did it for a pun where "L.A. Noire" becomes "La noire" (The black).
      • In Romance languages like French, the gender of the adjective matches the noun it is referring to. Therefore, La Noire can also be a reference to the Black Dahlia, or La Dahlia Noire, if you want to be French about it.
    • Possibly to avoid copyright issues with L.A. Noir, a 2009 book by John Buntin. It's actually a great read on its own or in conjunction with the game.
    • Actually, the extra e was a mistake on the developer's part, but they decided to keep it because they thought it looked better than "LA Noir". There's an interview where this very issue is addressed, but I'm to lazy to find it. Shouldn't be a hard find though.

    The homicide cases 

  • Okay, I loved the homicides cases arc, but they're full of headscratching stuff:
    • It's heavily implied that the true BD killer leaved evidences at the home of various suspects, such as bloody clothes or lug wrenches. How? How did he know who Cole would suspect (he spent very time little time with his victim before killing them; certainly not enough to learn about their relationships)? How is he able to get to the homes of would be suspects, breaking in, plant evidences and left without ever somebody noticing him? The timeline in each of the homicides cases is short: victim get killed during the night, found at dawn, case is closed pretty much at dusk. When did the BD killer ever find the time to plant all that evidence? Why do the suspects never think it's weird that bloody ropes and clothes pop up in their victims' houses? On that last point, the White Shoe case is spectacularly egregious.
      • It's implied that the killer did his research before killing the women. If you remember, pretty much all of the victims tended to have very public and very long running relationship issues, and frequented bars where he could have gotten information from them. Basically, he deliberately targeted women who were in relationships with men who were easy to frame.
    • The "reveal" of the true BD killer being the half-brother of someone really high in the government raise some questions. When did Donnelly learn this? Again, the timeline for the final homicide case is very short. Very few people knew (what I'm saying shall not leave this room and whatnot) that Cole and Rusty were on a fetch quest toward the true BD killer. Did Donnelly know all along? Did "someone important" give him a call during the day that boiled down to "the BD killer is really the half-bro of someone really important, so shut up if you like your career"? If so, that could mean that not only the LAPD was under surveillance, but also conversely, that the "someone" knew for a long time the truth about those crimes, and was not only happy with tossing innocents in the gas chamber, but also with the BD killer keeping on his murderous ways.
      • Conspiracies that ended up getting dozens of innocent people killed seem par for the course in an Noir story. For both of these, I just figured the time passing wasn't in real time (the "it is now blank AM/PM" when you arrive at locations notwithstanding) investigations usually don't get wrapped up in a pretty pink bow within a day like they do in the game, so they probably went that route so as to not make each case take 3 hours to complete. Not disputing these complaints, they annoyed me too, but just offering possible explanations.
      • The most likely scenario is that the serial killer's half brother was perfectly aware of the killings, but decided it was easier to cover up the murders rather than stop him. When Cole starts tracking down the clues (and let's face it, destroying the chandelier in the Hall of Records isn't exactly subtle), the anonymous half-brother probably decided to make the call at that point.
      • As I was playing the game, I started getting a distinct vibe that the otherwise likeable Irish captain (Donnelly?) was involved somehow with the Dahlia murders. He seemed overzealous in his actions ("get back in there and GET ME A CONFESSION!") and there a cutscene that takes place in a cafe with him saying he was "Over the moon" about how Cole and Finbar were handling the cases. I was even wondering if he was the killer and was attempting to manipulate the officers to not draw attention to himself, he asked for frequent updates on the cases so he'd know who was being questioned/investigated.
      • It's probable that Donnelly always knew who the BD killer was, because of his own connections. He never apprehended the killer for all the reasons he gave at the end of Homocide for why the killer's identity would never come to pass, and instead used the killings as an excuse to jail other individuals that he felt needed to be removed from the streets (look at how thrilled he is every time you bring him someone like the pedophile or the homeless killer). He sings Cole's praises every time Cole successfully manages to falsely imprison someone Donnelly probably wants off the streets. By contrast, he goes OFF on Cole if he tries to accuse one of the victims' spouses instead. So, when he found out that Cole and Rusty were actually on the trail and had managed to track the killer to his lair, he took off to head them off before they could get there. He arrived too late, and instead intercepted them on the way out to explain that everything that transpired here never happened.
      • Donnelly saw the body or heard the BD killer's name. He recognized him, and so knew that the best choice was just covering it up.
  • And for that matter, how come the BD killer managed to plant the evidence on top of the chandelier without causing it to come crashing down like Phelps? After all, they are about the same size.
    • Perhaps the chandelier's supports were at maximum strength beforehand, but after planting the clue there, it got weakened a bit. Cole's traversal was the final straw.
  • How is it possible for the BD killer to kill the woman, desecrate her body, break into her house, find the combination for the jewelry box she owns, write it down on a piece of paper, THEN go dump the body, paint a trail of red paint up to the rooftops, lay each clue in a certain way, go the market, plant the evidence so the clerk does not see it... and do all of this within at least a 4 to 12 hour time span at MOST.
    • He's a time lord.
    • Or he had a lot of time to plan it out.
    • By not doing it in that order. Short of desecrating the body, a lot of things could have been done before killing the woman, up to and including the planting of the evidence, the trail of clues, and the red paint on the rooftop. Actually killing the woman can be done last, everything else happening while she's away at the bar, and then he just needs a few minutes to head her off on the way home, kill her, desecrate her body, and take off.
  • Okay, I know that in "The Golden Butterfly," neither Rooney nor Moller is the real killer in retrospect. But when nearly all the evidence points to the latter and the former had little, if anything, to do with the actual murder, how does it make sense to charge Rooney with the crime?
    • There was a lot of evidence pointing towards Rooney. The suit easily could've been his from work, he had access and would've used the rope, and he also had the broach at the end. It also calls into question what a cop's primary duty is. If it is to protect the citizens of the city, then jailing Rooney would've fulfilled that duty. I charged Rooney without a second thought. Really, what's more important, jailing a widower who still has to take care of a child with little immediate family, or jailing a child molester?
    • It doesn't. It's a clear example of departmental politics playing into things. Putting Moller behind bars won't make for flashy news headlines, but the LAPD catching a child molester and pinning a murder rap on him, too, is a great story to sell the reporters. You can spin the evidence to implicate either man, and that's what the brass expect you to do. Rooney clearly didn't do it, but who cares? Get the perv off the streets, and get the department some good press in the process.
      • That's all well and good, but it's still a massive "F. You!" to the player when you get penalized for making the "wrong" choice at the end. It sucks having to backtrack and do the entire mission over because you decided to play the game as a straight cop and implicate the guy who all the evidence pointed to rather than the one your boss doesn't like. They're on trial for murder, not child molestation. Granted, the choice doesn't matter in the end, but you aren't supposed to know that for sure at this point (despite the evidence being blatantly planted in that case and the one before).
      • Gameplay and Story Integration.
  • During the final homicide case, you are led to the tar pits and have to quickly wade through the extremely dangerous muck on flimsy wooden planks to reach the island in the center. After you make it to the island, Rusty ferries you back across in a canoe. WHY THE HELL DIDN'T THEY JUST USE THE CANOE IN THE FIRST PLACE!?
    • He probably didn't notice it. When he did, Cole was already out in the middle of the tar pit. He probably figured, "Eh, he'll get there on his own. I'll get him out with the canoe later..."
  • I might have missed a crucial piece of information, but why was BD leading Cole to himself in the first place? He leaves clues to mess around with the cops, but he also provides a trail pointing to his whereabouts - and I don't know why. If he wanted to finally get caught, why does he try to shoot the cops that come to arrest him?

     The Final Cases and The Ending 
  • Why did the canalization flood all of a sudden?
    • There's a couple possibilities: 1) The mobsters did it to drown you, 2) The LA department in charge of the canals chose to relieve the storm drain pressure into the area where you were at a dramatically convenient moment, or 3) the water got backed up by garbage or other detritus in the system and then burst through.
  • Does anyone else feel like the game entirely lost its shit near the end? Bondi had this brilliant conspiracy plot written up, but when Kelso took command it just seems like storytelling and atmosphere were thrown out the window to make way for some half-assed actions scenes and a complete mess of an ending. What the hell happened between the Assistant D.A. and the Chief of Police? Were any of the conspirators in the Suburban Redevelopment Fund ever brought to justice? I thought Da Chief was supposed to be one of the main conspirators, yet he was at Phelps' funeral and seemed like he was fine. Are Kelso and Biggs still wanted? Who the hell was going after Hogeboom in the drain canals? They didn't look like cops, and wasn't Leland arrested? If Hogeboom and Kelso were going to be such major players in the finale, why the hell did they receive next to no screentime that established their role in the overall plot beforehand? Why was Kelso even needed? After spending so much time as the flawed hero trying to earn redemption, suddenly playing as a Mary Sue action hero who could do no wrong just annoyed the hell out of me. I understand that Noir stories almost never have happy endings and don't always have to explain everything, but it felt more like Bondi just said "Fuck it, let's wrap this up with some explosions" instead of making a proper conclusion.
    • Honestly, it is a mystery why they would take a game that was pretty much a homage to those old-style adventure games like Police Quest and suddenly give it an action finale when the shooting controls were clunky and made it impossible for the plot we actually cared about to be wrapped up. The reason we don't find out about what happened with the stuff Cole cared about was because they had switched the reins to Kelso, and yes, he didn't care. The problem with that is we, the player cared, and it left us hanging on everything that had suspense built up for it until that point. It was a big misstep, and honestly felt like they said "it's Noir right? That means it has to have a needlessly sad ending that doesn't wrap up anything that was established just because!" on top of trying to one up the whole John Marston dies thing by having us switch protagonists 2 hours before the plot proper is finished up.
    • Um... The Committee is implied to be brought to justice, it's just that Kelso isn't concerned with that sort of thing.
    • As it was stated in the Romance Plot Tumor discussion, some plot details are implied and take place behind the scenes, instead of being blatant. When Da Chief approached the Assistant D.A., the two made a deal that ensured the Assistant D.A. his position of D.A. as well as the safety of the reputations of the LAPD officers that were a part of the Suburban Redevelopment Plan. If you noticed, the games states that Fontaine, Courtney, Benson, and Monroe were fingered while Roy and Worrell got away with it. The only reason the Assistant D.A. (now just the D.A.), Worrell, and Roy were at the funeral was to improve their reputation.
  • And why the hell was ''everybody'' wearing their hats at the funeral?
    • It was 1947, dude. Times were different back then. It was most likely customary for men to wear hats during a funeral.
      • 1940's hat etiquette was rather strict, and they ignore a lot of it during the game. Entering a private residence or office men would remove their hat, and similarly in a church (usually you'd keep them on your lap or on the pew). Women would keep hats on. There were even strange rules regarding in what circumstances one removes ones hat in a lift. Hats would definitely NOT have been worn at a funeral - indeed one would have removed ones hat if one was out on the street and the funeral procession past by.
    • Also, they were spiffing hats.

  • The biggest flaw with interrogations is that selecting lie often leads to tangent questions that have nothing to do with the original question. The bad part is when these end up being the correct answers to pick. A perfect example is in the first traffic case, "The Driver's Seat". You go to meet Frank Morgan and ask him if he knows about Adrian's wrecked car. He says no and shows obvious signs of lying. Now, what would be the correct choice from here? Doubt, right? No, you select Lie which prompts Cole to say "You were there" and Frank asks you to prove it. Now, that's bad enough, but the evidence you use to "prove" Frank knows about the car is that you find a receipt with his name on it in the trunk of the car. Now how exactly does that prove anything about him being there? That could have been placed there BEFORE Adrian's accident.
    • I agree, this case in particular seems very, say, contrived. Same in quite a bit of the homicide arc, although it's justified because you have to find a culprit. The problem you describe is pretty much the same as Mass Effect's conversation system: you choose a dialogue while praying the Emperor that either Shepard or Cole won't say completely the opposite of what you wanted to say. I'd call that the "leap of faith" conversation system. I was a little schocked during the last interview of the Patrol desk, when you choose "doubt" and Cole literally burst in an uber-racist speech against the jew shopkeeper. I just wanted to doubt him, I didn't want to go nazi on him, even if it somehow result in him spilling his guts.
      • Keep in mind Donnelly's advice: you want to get a confession, no matter what tactics you have to resort to. Cole isn't the type to pull a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, so he goes with the Guile Hero approach of tricking the perp into admitting he did it. The receipt DOESN'T prove Morgan was there, but Morgan is too stupid to realize that and Cole knows it, so whipping it out will get him to admit where Adrian is. And on the flip side, Cole knows focusing on the Jew thing will get him to confess that he killed the victim. The idea is Cole isn't using evidence that he knows will condemn him in court, it's that he's using evidence that proves there's a hole in the perps story, and just letting him rip it wider and wider on his own. Remember, this is a noir story.
      • The point of the interrogation scenes is to establish a chain of events, using evidence and statements. Cole makes guesses, sure, but he never strays very far from where the evidence leads (unless you're completely wrong with which of the three options you take). He makes logical deductions based on what he has and what he knows.
    • This is a permanent issue throughout the interrogations yo be frank, and the game is often times wanting the player to make leaps of logic where it's not necessarily obvious if you should be making them or not. Or, to be a bit more specific, the game expects you to understand that you need to cut of a step in the thought process to make a piece of evidence work. To use an example from the same case; Cole finds a photo frame in Adrian Black's bedroom that has a concealed message from Adrian's secret lover, Nicole. During the interview with his wife, Cole asks about the photo, and Mrs. Black says that it's from Adrian's business trip to Seattle. The way she speaks and her expression makes it clear she's not being truthful, and sure enough you have to present the concealed message to prove it. This seems fair enough, apart from the fact that there isn't any logical reasoning behind the idea that Mrs. Black is actively lying. The game's logic is "She's lying about the photo + the photo has a concealed message from her husband's lover = she knows about the message = the message proves she's lying", which is a completely just... wrong train of thought (an instinctive logical leap maybe, but it doesn't follow proper logical reasoning; the fact that Mrs. Black is lying about the photo because she's upset about the concealed message is not proven by the concealed message's existence alone) Now, this is hardly an illogical leap for players to be expected to make, but this is just one early and rather easy to side-step instance of this kind of thing. But this kind of thing, where the game expects players to not question the middle ground between two pieces of logic which could very easy turn a lot of people off from thinking that's the right answer (in this instance a player could easily think "this isn't proof that she is lying about the photo, so maybe I should doubt it instead"), happens a lot through the game.
      • Other times though, the game is just asking one thing of you but expecting something entirely different. Another rather early example of this happens in the case ''A Slip of the Tongue". Having found out the identity of the mastermind behind the stolen car racket, you go and confront him about it. He, of course, denies it and passes the conjectural circumstances off. He tells Phelps that he'll need some proof evidence if he's going to accuse him. The player is expected to know at this point that you need to present a piece of proof that shows his motive for doing it in the first place, aka, evidence related to his gambling debts. This is not proof of any kind, it's a motive, yet the player is supposed to know to present to him as the damning evidence that he is the racket mastermind. Not only this, but the player needs to select "lie", then present the proof of his debts, even though his statement is literally just him saying that Cole needs something more then conjecture to prove his accusations. There isn't any lie in there (yes, I'm aware that the Remastered Edition changed the option names. Even so, it isn't at all telegraphed properly to the player that this is the moment when they need to pull out something to pin him with). It's presented in a way that makes the "force him to comply" tactic seem the most obvious, not the "you're the culprit dammit and I can prove it" tactic. Being suckered into picking "doubt"/"Bad Cop" at this stage is not a fault of the player overlooking their proof, it's a fault of the game not giving the player any cues that they've got to directly make an accusation/show the proof themselves at that moment in time.
      • I think this is a result of the game trying to mould realistic questioning around it's simplistic gameplay system for interrogations and doing a pretty bad job at it a lot of the time(in my opinion). To use another example from a case you've brought up: During Bigelow's interrogation when Cole asks him about Leitvol, he just points to one of the goons that was shot in the recent shoot-out and says "he's that guy over there". To both the player and to Cole in-universe this should come across as a ludicrous violation of common sense, since you and him both know that's not true at all. So what do you got to do? Play the bad cop over such an obvious lie right? No, you need to accuse him (or call out his "lie" if you're playing the OG version) and present evidence that ties Leitvol to Marquee Printing. No rationally minded player is going to understand that this is what you need to do. His lie violates the core foundations of the case, it isn't something you should have to accuse anyone over. Another example(and probably the biggest offender if you ask me) occurs in the Fallen Idol case though: Having found a pair of ripped panties in the handbag of the car's passenger, you question the driver, June Ballard, and ask her about said passenger. June tells you that the passenger, Jessica has had a rough day, and wants to break into movies then adds "what more can I say?". Somehow the game expects you to pull the fact that Jessica was raped the prior day outta thin air and understand that you've got to hit "accuse" (or lie) and present the underwear to prove this. The game doesn't even remotely imply this before this point. You just find ripped underwear in her bag and that's it. Who on the development team honestly thought it was a good idea to expect players to leap to the conclusion that Jessica was raped the prior day, then understand that "what more can I say" is the game's way of hinting at June knowing this but keeping quiet about it (she wasn't even talking about the events that happened to Jessica yesterday which might make it a little more reasonable; she's talking about what happened to her during the crash and who she is in general), and then also understand that you need to directly accuse her of lying based on the pure circumstantial crap you pulled outta a wormhole?. This moment basically epitomises the issues with the L.A. Noir's interrogation gameplay (according to the actual Rockstar social club statistics, only around 9% of players get this part right after they've already used an intuition point to eliminate one answer, which shows some serious issue with the game design when over 90% of player base doesn't understand that the game's expecting of them even after they've been given help; and bare in mind that this statistic includes EVERYONE not exuding people using walkthroughs, and cheating with online sources, ect).

  • The game lays out the prompts reasonably. You press one button when you believe they're telling you the truth. You press another button when you suspect they're lying but don't have anything to prove them wrong. The third button is when you know they're lying, know what they're lying about, and have evidence to prove it.

Think of it like in Ace Attorney. You press a witness when you suspect, you present evidence when you know.

    Cutting the morphine 
  • Since I'm no chemist, I don't know why Mickey's suggestion of putting all the morphine into a big vat and mixing it with something is likely to kill even more people than leaving it uncut. Can someone explain why "it doesn't work that way"?
    • I think the morphine they were talking about was the stolen army stuff, which is made to just stick and go. And even then, people were ODing left and right on just what's supposed to be used to fix up wounded guys in the field. Could you imagine the amount of corpse that would amount from mixing that with even more shit? You're arm would probably just melt off the instant you injected it out of sheer rebellion. Making drugs is an exact science after all, considering this is stuff that will blow up a good couple houses if you mess up while making it.
    • Cutting morphine isn't an exact science, and the morphine in the syrettes was in liquid form. When you cut morphine, you do it in powder form. Mixing it in liquid form isn't easy and is likely to result in contaminants. Not to mention the fact that the morphine in the syrettes was the perfect dose for a wonderful high followed by loss of consciousness. The problem is that addicts were double-injecting, not recognizing that the stuff they were injecting was significantly purer than the crap they were used to, and stopping their hearts as a result. What Mickey's lackey is saying in rejecting Mickey's suggestion is that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, more or less.
    • While I don't know about the particulars of hypodermic manufacture in the 1940s, I would assume that the morphine in the syrettes was aseptic. Diluting it further would only contaminate it with particles and pathogens and who-knows-what-else. Of course, hopheads desperate enough will buy and use anything, so it may have come down to having the facilities necessary to extract the fluid from the syrettes and dilute it in an efficient fashion. Repackaging into syrettes alone would have been a real nightmare.

     Suburban Redevelopment Fund: The Movie 
  • Straight from G Faqs: Why exactly the conspirators decided to channel Cobra Commander and made a movie who can be resumed with "Evil Laugh" We're so evil, so so evil, damn it we're evil! Not to mention leaving said movie in a place that any investigator ready to let go of a couple o' bucks can easily reach, and with a machine ready to use for watching said movie to add insult to injury.
    • I asked this above, here was my take on it: Why does the Suburban Redevelopment Fund film their backroom meeting and come off looking like total Jerkasses? It was filmed for a newsreel, so why would they mock the GI Bill which is at the core of the scheme AND the "suckers" coming to LA (who are his core customers, as a land developer) AND the movie industry? If it was intended for public consumption, you'd expect them to act a lot more likeable and if it wasn't, why film it?
      • I figured it was SOP for them, to make sure if anyone developed a conscience and tried to expose the SRF, then the turncoat would go down too as looking completely involved with it. "We all hang together or we'll all hang separately". They all thought it would never see the light of day and dismissed it out of hand.
    • You can also take into account that it was filmed with multiple camera angles...I guess Team Bondi thought finding out about the fund through documents just wasn't as interesting as actually watching them plot their evil schemes.
    • My personal justification, is that the film was there just to represent what the player character would have found in there. Some transcript or document or something. This is a noticeably flimsy justification, but the only one that makes sense, given the multiple camera angles and the nonsensicalness of filming your own evil plot.
      • That would make sense, except all they would have to do is show Kelso finding some incriminating documents, then show the player the same cutscene without the film reel business (ala the Newspapers).
    • This, to me, was so dreadful that I had to insist that they were parodying some B-movie device. I mean, it's simply not a newsreel. It even reminded me of an otherwise unrelated movie. Considering that this was soon followed by an out-of-tune mobster chase (and preceded by... Indiana Jones?), I was somewhat willing to accept my original thoughts.
    • Personally, I like think it was Roy Earle who recorded the film as backup blackmail. Notice how he doesn't appear on it.
    • Another suggestion might actually be the Occam's Razor one. They were planning on making a newsreel of the development fund, filmed the conversation for it and then realized they all looked like assholes so they abandoned the footage because it was unusable.

    Upon Reflection 
  • Why did Errol Schroeder have a list of names with numbers? What was the significance? Floyd Rose's name was in there, did Schroeder have some sort of proof that Rose was dirty? Was the alleyway shooting a set up to frame Schroeder for murder? After all, Schroeder does seem genuinely surprised that his gun isn't in the drawer in his apartment. If so, did Rose want you to find the gun despite saying he didn't think it was likely? Was Rusty in on any of this?
    • Your guess is as good as anyone's. It's meant to show that something dirty is going on with Rose, and Cole wanted to check it out, but his partner told him to let sleeping dogs lie.
    • It's meant to be a quick introduction into the way the LAPD works. Floyd Rose's name is found in the contact book of a murderer. Okay, so Floyd Rose is dirty. Fast-forward through Traffic, and Cole is promoted to Homicide because Floyd Rose retired. If you even remember the name at that point, it's an indication that the LAPD is not necessarily staffed with honest people, and that, while Traffic was pretty straightforward, from here, morality starts to get murky.

    The Driver's Seat 
  • The very first person you interview in this case is a man named Nate Wilkey. Now, in the list of possible questions, the correct answer is to assume Nate's telling the truth...except for the contents of the wallet in which you must doubt him. What? There is no evidence at all that he touched the wallet. Doesn't this...seem wrong? So, the game expects us to believe that Nate sees the blood and runs for the police...but first he decides to check the wallet? Also, for Margaret Black, you have to assume she's lying about the message in the photo. We know there is a message in the photo, but how could she know?
    • Nate is obviously being economical with the truth, and Cole has the evidence to back it up: the wallet has no cash in it. In 1947, cash was in every wallet: no credit cards, nothing like that. Cole asks if he took a look at the wallet based on that, and Wilkey responds by getting defensive, which implies that he did look at the wallet, and perhaps took what was inside. So Cole follows up on that, assuming that Wilkey took money from it.
    • Now, as for Mrs. Black, Cole noticed that the picture seemed out of place immediately, and found the message in a few seconds. Why wouldn't he assume that Mrs. Black found the same message, since the picture has been there for a while? It makes perfect sense: she's a housewife, she has time on her hands, she'd be curious; of course she knows about the message.
    • In terms of game mechanics, you've got to keep the facial clues in mind first and foremost during the questioning sequences. Nate doesn't have the most confident face after that question, and he even voices the answer defensively. Mrs. Black works similarly with the picture bit. Outside of game mechanics, it's working as though it's a noir contemporary to the 1940s, and so it expects the player to treat it as an interactive one.
    • I really didn't see the interrogation of Nate as a problem. You ask him straight questions, he gives you straight answers in a confident and even tone. You ask him if he touched or took something from the crime scene (which is a fairly standard, procedural question to ask) and suddenly he gets shouty, defensive and extremely fidgety. He called the cops, yes, but this also implies he's had to stay around the scene for a bit until they showed up. He's a down-on-his-luck working stiff, and he stumbled upon a wallet right there on the ground which nobody will be missing by the looks of it. Who in his position wouldn't try to scoop a couple bucks out of it ? So yeah, there's no evidence he did anything wrong, but it's a rather run-of-the-mill assumption to make and his initial reaction tells a tale of its own.
  • Did anyone ever give an explanation for "Newly Repaired Glasses" vs. "New Glasses" in that traffic case? Did someone just fuck up?
    • Yeah, the broken glasses were left at the fake murder scene, and the perp was wearing the new ones. He left the old ones there to make it look more convincing, and he got the replacements beforehand, so he could see.

    Odds and ends 
  • Why did the Argentinian consul write the commentaries in his personal journal in English? It is not like the game shied away from using Spanish words and phrases elsewhere.
    • He may have felt like writing it in English?
      • Unlikely, given how you're constantly hammered down with his ridiculous disdain for all things un-Argentinian, and especially American.
    • It was just so that the player could see that he's written disturbing descriptions about young males so they could be made aware that he's "fucking young boys", as Cole bluntly drops during the guy's interrogation.
  • Why the hell does Cole never need a warrant to search a home or business?! Granted, most people give explicit or implicit permission for him to do so, and so a warrant isn't required. But there's multiple occurrences in this game where someone specifically asks for a warrant, only to get basically shouted down until they cave and allow the search. So they explicitly conduct unwarranted searches even at the protest of the person being searched. Furthermore, nobody ever asks for a lawyer. Not once. I don't even think lawyers exist in this game at all.
    • The lack of warrants is likely an example of Shown Their Work; before a famous 1961 Supreme Court case, Mapp v. Ohio, evidence obtained without a search warrant wasn't automatically excluded at trial, so law enforcement could much more easily get away with not getting a search warrant. As for the lawyers, there are a couple of people that are interviewed that do ask for their lawyers; however, again, enforcement was weak and people who couldn't afford an attorney weren't entitled to have a lawyer provided for them (that didn't come until Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963). You'll also note that nobody gets a "Miranda warning"; that didn't come about until 1966. During the late 1940s, the procedural protections for people accused of crimes were weak at best compared to what we recognize today.
  • Shouldn't gunning down Military Police have greater repercussions than are shown in-game, even if they attacked you first?
    • Probably, but Nicholson Electroplating is the 2nd to last case. And Cole dies in the last one.
    • It's a messy situation, but no, Phelps and Biggs were lawfully pursuing a murder and arson suspect, and under normal conditions, the military police should not have tried to stop them. The problem is that Phelps and Biggs do not identify themselves as officers of the law when they chase Mapes to the airport (even though they had identified themselves earlier and were chasing Mapes with their siren on), so, any deaths are a result of poor communication. Hughes Aircraft is a privately owned airport, with military police acting as security, but it is -not- a government installation, and therefore, the army police do not have proper cause to prevent local detectives from performing their job, and gunning down the military police qualifies as self-defense.
  • Not sure about this, but the jeweler Kalou seems a bit darker than most American jews, plus his name does not sound Ashkenazi at all. It seems likelier that he would be Sephardic, so why does he spout so much Yiddish? Would real-life Sephardic Jews have been likely to act like that in 1940s Los Angeles?
    • Perhaps he's of mixed Ashkenazi/Sephardic descent.
      • There aren't a whole lot of Sephardic Jews in America. Maybe his parents came over from Europe and settled in an Ashkenazi neighborhood.
      • An Ashkenazi Jew would've looked exactly like the "other white people" around him, which depending on your interpretation might've been detrimental to the point of the case of showing off the racism inherent to 1940's American.
  • In "House of Sticks" when being chased by the bulldozer, the insurance investigator kills a man with his concealed weapon. How does he immediately goes back to work without a word from law enforcement?
    • Well, if the other man was trying to kill him, I think saying, "I had to do it to protect my well-being." or something to that effect would pass.
    • Maybe they just never figured out it was Kelso?
      • It seemed like Kelso never reported the incident through official channels, for obvious reasons.
    • Perhaps Jack Kelso shooting Frank Osterman (the site manager driving the bulldozer) isn't canon; perhaps what's canon is Jack successfully escaping.
  • In any case (especially Chapman during Arson) where you shoot and kill the suspect, what if I shoot to wound? Shouldn't Cole at the very least get a dying declaration out of them?
    • Unfortunately this is the kind of game where the dev team didn't quite think of everthing.
    • "Oh no, I just got shot numerous times! I better confess to all of the crimes I (likely didn't, considering how many people are framed in this game) did!" Yeah, not what would be going through my mind.
     Phelps and the Japanese 
  • A few things:
    While I do give points for Phelps attempting to see the war from the Japanese point of view (maybe he's the sort of guy who doesn't like seeing things as pure black-and-white), does anyone think it's stupid that he's apparently sympathetic towards them to his own men? As far as they're concerned, he's saying, 'I like the men who are killing you and torturing your friends.' Surely even he knows that the others might question his loyalty.

    OK, I admit that this is likely a dumb one. After the atrocity where he accidentally burned the cave full of Japanese civilians, why didn't he take them back to a US base? Yeah, OK, he'd have to admit what he had done and all, but at least they'd be treated and nursed back to health!

    • Uh, no. Rewatch the cutscene - there's no way in hell those people could have been saved. They were burning to death - and the only way to help them was to end their suffering - which Cole did.
    • Building on what the above says, the way military flamethrowers work is by spraying a highly pressurized burning liquid fuel at the target. Just the impact of the burning fuel on the body would be enough to cause permanent disfiguration. Even if they got immediate medical treatment most of the people in that cave would die a slow and lingering death. Getting hit by a flamethrower is the very definition of a Cruel and Unusual Death.

     Biggs and radiation 
  • So Biggs somehow knows about "...the H-Bomb..." five years before the first one was tested, but doesn't know what radiation is?

    • H-bomb is short for Hydrogen bomb, and considering the Hindenburg disaster showed how dangerous hydrogen could be, and how bombs tend to be big and loud but don't leave much dangerous residue behind, it's possible he just thought they were big bombs rather than nuclear weaponry.