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    Video Game/Police Quest In Pursuit Of The Death Angel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pq1front.jpg
Experience what it's really like to be a cop!

Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel is a video game developed and published by Sierra and produced by Jim Walls in 1987. It's the first installment in the Police Quest series.

Reporting for his shift at the beginning of the first game, Bonds soon becomes aware of a drug ring operating out of Lytton — masterminded by one man, Jessie Bains. Known as the Death Angel, Bains is aggressively moving in on the territory of Lytton's local dealers, and things are getting messy. Enlisting the help of a local Hooker with a Heart of Gold named Marie, Bonds is assigned to an elaborate sting operation to put Bains behind bars.

The game runs on the AGI engine. Sonny's movements are controlled with the arrow keys and commands must be typed into a text parser. Graphics are basic EGA sprites. The game features occasional overworld driving scenes.

The game was remade in 1992 in the SCI 1 engine and VGA graphics that closely resemble the ones used in Police Quest III The Kindred, with the addition of a point-and-click interface.


This game contains examples of:

  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The bikers are hogging the parking spot of the cafe next door. You have to convince the bikers to leave without resorting to lethal force.
  • Betting Mini-Game / Luck-Based Mission: You are required to play a game of poker against three other characters twice, in order to progress. In the remake, you have the option to skip this and choose to win, or even lose. Of course, you won't win the points you get for playing and winning legit.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the original, if you told your backup the room number of Bain's room before going in, they will make it just in time to save Sonny. Subverted in which it buys Sonny enough time to shoot Bains himself. Not so flashy in the remake though.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: In PQI, Jack, Sonny's fellow officer, talks about how his life is screwed up (his daughter is doing drugs (a foreshadowing for a related event), he has a drinking problem, and his wife is ready to leave him). Subverted shortly after as his depression faded with the surprise party and the gag dancer showing up to lift his spirits. Things do not get better for him, though: his daughter dies of the drug overdose, and the second game personnel files show that he quit.
  • Bribe Backfire: Helen Hots (the woman who ran the red light) will attempt to buy you off if you don't give her a ticket (and this includes sex). Telling her no is the correct course of action. She will immediately and flamboyantly lose her temper.
  • Butt-Monkey: The mysterious "Gremlin" has made Sergeant Dooley the target of several amusing (to everyone but him) practical jokes. Though the audience only gets to see two first-hand (the live chicken and the memo soaked in pepper spray), Dooley's reaction makes it clear that the prankster is a serial offender.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jason/Marvin has a tattoo on his left nipple. This becomes important twice in the game.
    • For the villains of PQI, the newspaper that shows Sonny's face. One of them manages to inform Bains sometime after the card game.
  • Compressed Time Frame: Because there's no day-night cycle and no break from any of the action, the game appears to take place in less than a single day, with the first patrol shift starting at 1pm, the second shift at 7pm, and the sting happening at night. Presumably, the timeline is quite a bit longer.
  • Dye or Die: In the first game, part of your disguise for going undercover (as a pimp!) involves a blond dye job. Apparently Sonny (or Marie) liked the look: he keeps it for the second game, going back to brown in the third.
  • Funny Background Event: The narrator of PQI enforces this by pointing out (twice) that a fellow officer uses the shower all the time because he's too cheap to use his own.
  • Gender Flip: The Hotel Bartender is a male in the original version of 1 and a woman in the VGA remake.
    • Gender Flip and a Race Lift with the judge in 1 who goes from a white female to a black man in the VGA remake.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half of the game is "a day in the life of a patrolman". The second half of the game is the setup and execution of a drug sting, and has a significantly different feel from the first half.
  • Handy Cuffs: A drunk driver will ask if you can cuff him on the front because he isn't feeling so good. Do this, and he will knock you out shortly after (or immediately in the remake).
  • Jiggle Physics: Not in the most traditional sense, but a closer look at Marie's sprites in the original game shows her chest supposedly bouncing.
  • Little Useless Gun: Averted by the derringer Sonny is given in the tricked-out cane when he goes undercover.
  • The Mall: You never go inside, but if you look at it on the map the game points out if some hostile foreign power for some reason wanted to decimate the town it would destroy the mall on any weekend.
  • Meaningful Name: A minor character in PQI is named Helen Hots. She's the only character in the game to have a fully rendered human portrait, and is also the only character who you can ask for sex from (even though it will never happen).
    • This could be a Shout-Out to Leisure Suit Larry, where when interacting with women, you are treated with a full portrait. Considering Al Lowe did uncredited work on the game, this shouldn't be that surprising.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: Helen Hots, the first person you pull over in the game, tries to talk her way out of a ticket by seducing you. When you (correctly) remain professional and write the ticket anyway, Helen delivers a series of insults and threats to Sonny that get increasingly unhinged, to the point that when you're walking away, the narrator lampshades the ridiculousness:
    You're doing your job, you're trying to promote safe driving, and then people like her have to rain on your parade.
  • Mood Whiplash: An infamous aspect of both versions. Due to Al Lowe being brought on board as a writer to "make it less depressing", there are a few instances where the change in tone shifts pretty hard. The Helen Hots moment above feels more at home in a Leisure Suit Larry game, a few officers place a molting chicken in the chief's office as a prank (which Jim Walls claimed to have happened while on the force), one officer makes a lewd joke about the difference between oral and rectal thermometers note , and probably the most jarring example is the appearance of a stripper presenting an officer's birthday cake, who reveals herself right after said officer was just complaining about how the Death Angel had personally affected his daughter.
  • Motorcycle Dominoes: "Someone has to answer to four angry people!"
  • Poor Communication Kills: A non-lethal example is not keeping Laura informed during a drug bust, which can result in the dealer running away.
    • During the sting operation at the end of the game, infiltrating the hotel is easy, but you must make sure that your backup knows what room you're in, so that they can give you a fake pen with a small transmitter in it. When you're following the Big Bad back to his room, you need to make sure they know which room it is before you go inside, because Bains is about to find out that you're a cop and kill you, and your back up needs to distract him so that you can take him down instead. Failing to do any of that will get you killed for trying to do everything on your own.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Sonny carries a .357 revolver as his police sidearm (the game was developed and released before the shift by police forces to semi-automatic handguns).
  • The Stoic: In the remake, Sonny has even more speaking parts, and his portrait is shown in a weird, robotic looking expression that never changes even when he's disguised. Try to imagine him talking like a robot the whole time.
  • Take Off Your Clothes: Can be invoked on command in PQI, where you can walk out of the locker room naked, or even type in the right command to immediately strip. You will get a game over either way.
    • You can even give your clothes to the front desk!
    "Sure, we'll take it. But you'll never get it back!"
  • Threat Backfire: The bikers will intimidate Sonny, and one will proceed to take him on. Intimidating them with the night stick will make them cower away instead.
  • Useless Item: Enforced by PQI with messages, which the game will remove almost any papers containing useful information, only to toss it immediately, forcing you to note it down or remember beforehand. The only truly useless item in the game is the briefcase, which only serves to hold your ticket book, notebook and pen (if you put the briefcase back in your locker, the game automatically returns all three items to it, so you must keep the briefcase on you through most of the game).

    Video Game/Police Quest II The Vengeance 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pq2front.jpg
Armed and dangerous!

Police Quest II: The Vengeance is a video game developed and published by Sierra and produced by Jim Walls in 1988. It's the second installment in the Police Quest series.

Bains escapes from prison, capturing (and later killing) a prison guard in the process and making it deadly clear that he will kill anyone that put him in. As the bodies start to pile up, Bonds, promoted to homicide detective, returns home to find that Bains has targeted Marie (now a retired Hooker with a Heart of Gold, and Sonny's girlfriend).

The game runs on the SCI 0 engine. Sonny's movements are controlled with the arrow keys and graphics must be typed into a text parser. Graphics receive an update from the predecessor, showing more natural sprites. There are also additional minigames, like a shooting range and cutting bomb wires.


This game contains examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Getting all the points in the game requires you to go out of your way to do things completely unrelated to your investigation, most notably accessing confidential personnel records with your Captain's log in information to find out that a colleague is under investigation by Internal Affairs and letting said colleague know so that he can go into rehab instead of getting fired. There is no hint in the game that you must do this for points.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Police Quest 2 features one. It's played down as the air is less than fresh. There are pockets of methane gas in some sections that kill you if you stick around too long. And the gas isn't visible, only the messages about teary eyes and difficulty breathing are. One of the pockets is too large to navigate safely, and will suffocate you if you can't find some way safely past it.
  • All There in the Manual: Going through the personnel files on the police station computer is not necessary to complete the gamenote , but it does tie up loose ends from the first game, including the identity of the "Gremlin".
  • Ascended Extra: Keith, a minor character from the first game, becomes your partner in the second.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: You can call Sierra customer support and let them know that you'd like help. Then the guy on the line will inform you that it actually isn't a support line and tells you to use a real phone instead.
    • You can also attempt to call the BBS line, which then tells you to call this number in real life if you actually have a modem to learn about Sierra products and promotions.
  • Buddy Cop Show: This game has shades of this, though it's downplayed.
  • The Cameo: Larry Laffer is waiting in the airport, just past the metal detector.
  • Chekhov's Skill: You are required to attend to the firing range and practice shooting and making sure your gun is aligned. You then engage in a couple of gun fights that require you to have those sights fixed before hand, especially the last one with Jessie Bains.
    "It appears that all the firing range practice has paid off."
    • Interestingly enough, at the beginning of the game, Bonds actually has less-than-acceptable firing scores, which is what necessitates the shooting range practice.
  • Cold Open: The game starts with another normal day at the office. Bonds shows up, gets his stuff from his locker, and works on his weapons training in order to pass his upcoming competency test. He's also told that Bains somehow managed to get a retrial, and he spends some time reviewing the file in preparation. Then Bains escapes, and the chase is on.
  • Compressed Time Frame: The events take place over two days, with Bains breaking out of jail and escaping on the first day, and his Roaring Rampage of Revenge happening on the second day until Sonny guns him down.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover has Bains holding Mary hostage and he has a full-beard, but in-game he only has a mustache.
  • Cultural Translation: The Japanese version has a closer to manga art style.
  • Damsel in Distress: Marie is kidnapped by Bains halfway into the game. It's possible to not notice this (although the game won't properly progress until you do).
  • Death by Irony: Try going through the metal detector at the airport while drawing your gun.
    • This is if you don't show the guard your badge, of course. If you do, then he will let you through and allow you and Keith to keep your guns, apparently confident that cops won't try to hijack the plane.
  • The Determinator: Jesse Bains will make good on his end statement in the original PQI and go after everyone involved in his conviction. Including Marie. Getting shot won't stop him at all.
    • Sonny is essentially the Light Side mirror of Bains in this department. Based on the narration and his few spoken lines, Bonds is methodical, professional, and properly detached throughout the entire game, but he will not stop for anything to bring Bains down and protect Marie.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: In the final confrontation, if you shoot first and manage to kill Bains, the review board deems Sonny's actions as unjustified and he is arrested for murder. Trickier to achieve than you'd think, as your window of opportunity for pulling this off is about two seconds, given Bains has a really itchy trigger finger.
  • First Day from Hell: Louis Pate, a correctional officer who recently started working at the Lytton jail. He had the misfortune of being Bains' Human Shield and means of escape. He then gets killed off, as Bains assumes his identity in order to rent a car and catch a flight.
  • From Bad to Worse: It starts bad when the chief of homicide informs you that Jessie Bains has managed to get a retrial based on an appeal about prosecutorial misconduct. It gets worse when he informs you that Bains has escaped from prison and taken a correctional officer hostage. When driving to the jail house, Keith laments that "s#!* has hit the fan."
    • It gets even worse as the dead bodies pile up, Marie gets captured, and you learn that Bains has a hit list. Bonds is the last name on the list, presumably because Bains wants Bonds to suffer.
  • I Have Many Names: Jessie Bains has many alias including: Death Angel, Frank Magpie, Frank Sloan and William Cole. He adds "Louis Pate" to the list to try to throw Bonds off his pursuit.
  • I'll Kill You!: You can find a note in a trunk that contained the corpse of Woody from the first game that says "You're a DEAD man, Sonny Bonds!"
  • It's Personal: Clearly, Bains feels like his quest to kill everyone that testified against him is this. And while he's a Silent Protagonist, Bonds feels the same way in trying to stop him, especially after Marie is kidnapped. However, the game makes it clear that Bonds needs to not succumb to this in order to succeed: he needs to be methodical, meticulous, and most important of all, he needs to act only in self-defense, because if he makes it personal, Bains will get away or Sonny will go to jail.
  • It's Up to You: Your partner Keith doesn't do a lot except for smoking and following you around. The worse offender is when you decide not to stop the terrorists, you get a message chewing you out for doing nothing. What about Keith?! He was sitting next to Sonny and didn't pull his gun either!
    • Somewhat a theme of the whole game, really. Sonny does rely on other people, but ultimately, it's up to him to find the evidence in the river, to go into the hotel room after SWAT gasses it, and to take down Bains in the end.
  • Last Lousy Point: Pretty standard for Sierra, and there's a number of things you can miss: most easily, you can incorrectly gather evidence, or miss evidence entirely (the scene at Cotton Cove requires so many different pieces of evidence to be collected and processed that you'll definitely miss at least onenote , and the airport immediately after is even worsenote . However, there's an incredibly minor subplot involving a Narcotics detective that's under investigation by Internal Affairs for drug use, which requires that you, without any prompting whatsoever, break into the personnel records for the department, find his file and learn about the IA investigation, and then warn him about it so that he checks into rehab at the end of the first day, instead of getting fired. The morality of this action (actively interfering in a criminal investigation) is never examined, and you'd damn well better do it if you want all of your points.
  • Leitmotif: Bains has his own leitmotif that plays whenever he's around or you discover something bad that he did.
  • Middle Eastern Terrorists: Sonny has to take out two Arab men trying to hijack his flight to Steelton in order to flee to Egypt.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Pulling your gun and shooting in the sewers is an extremely bad idea as the air is filled with methane gas. However, if you open the manhole cover, Bains shows up and shoot you dead and there aren't any explosions.
  • The Stoic: Bonds is completely unflappable, through vehicle dialogue with Keith will imply that Bonds is either fuming with anger or scared for Marie. Even at the end of the game, after fatally shooting Bains, the first thing he does is slowly and carefully check the body for a pulse, though the narration notes that his hands are shaking.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Bains escapes from PQII and is targeting people involved in the case from the last game.
    • When looking at a certain note: "This is definitely not Marie's handwriting!"
  • Oral Fixation: Your partner Keith smokes constantly while the captain of the homicide division keeps slurping ice cream. Pistachio flavour, specifically.
  • Oxygen Meter: There comes a part where you need to swim underwater, and use proper equipment too, or otherwise, invoke Super Drowning Skills. You also need to check the oxygen tanks to see if they're full of air before going under water. And yes, you DO have limited air, so save before hand and act quickly to do what you need!
    • Timed in the sewer level. Walking into an area filled with methane gas will warn you within seconds of entering, saying that you're having trouble breathing. Then a second warning stating that your vision is starting to go out. Then a few more before Sonny passes out fatally. Concentrated methane really ''is'' that dangerous.
  • Rage Against the Legal System: Bains wants revenge on those who put him in jail, namely Bonds and the three witnesses who testified against him.
  • Rare Guns: Sonny carries a 10mm 1911 variant. Presumably, when the game was released, the 10mm Auto cartridge was expected to be widely adopted by law enforcement. It did end up getting picked up by the FBI, but police departments generally stuck with the significantly less expensive 9mm.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: At the airport, there's a woman with long golden hair wearing blue jeans and a pink jacket. She has her back turned away from you. When you talk to her, you find out it's actually a bearded man and irritatedly ask you: "What's your problem man?!" There is two different versions if type look at man, he'll turn about and actually turn out to be a woman. The character is linked joke to Leisure Suit Larry who is sitting nearby who comments about the character.
  • Red Herring: When the clues point you towards the airport on the second day and you start checking flight passenger lists, there's a listing of Jesse Bains going to Houston, Texas. It's a trap: the actual name you need to look for is "Louis Pate", the correctional officer that Bains killed on the first day.
    • Even earlier than that, the first day will have you follow Bains to the airport and find the car that he was using, implying that Bains may have hopped on a plane and flown the coop. But a quick check with the booking agents will reveal that no one using any of his available aliases or looking like him booked a ticket. He went to the airport to dump his stolen gun and rent a car.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Sonny's sidearm seems to needs its sights adjusted on a daily basis. Which is probably why he's switched sidearms again for the third game. There's several possible reasons why, but given the action of the second day, it's logical to assume that the sights get knocked out of whack a couple of times and need to be readjusted.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: Police Quest 2 - The Vengeance.
  • Romance Sidequest: Marie will ask Sonny to meet her at a restaurant. If you accept, you will gain points, and have an opportunity to earn extra points. You can play off the date casually for the maximum points, or kiss Marie three times to have them ditch the place entirely for some private time together, but you won't get the max points.
  • Say My Name: Before Metal Gear Solid, there was one game over that involved Sonny getting ran over by a car and Keith shouting to him.
    Keith: Gee, Sonny, did YOU see THAT?! Sonny. Sonny? SONNY?!
  • Steel Ear Drums: Big aversion. Always wear your ear protection before you fire your gun. Otherwise, Jim himself will shout at you as to why you he had to shout.
    "FORGIVE ME FOR SHOUTING-"
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When you finally manage to track down Bains base of operations in Lytton, you call for backup, which brings in two SWAT officers armed with heavy weapons and tear gas. The fact that Bains isn't in Lytton anymore makes it a Negated Moment of Awesome.
  • Taking You with Me: After Sonny guns down the terrorists, one of them activates a time bomb before dying.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Donald Colby. Good job getting into witness protection! So what's your new name? Oh, same as your old name? Well, at least you're not making a big deal of it. Oh, you started a new business? With your name? And sent business cards and advertisements to the city where the guy who wants you dead is located? Huh.note 
  • Wire Dilemma: PQII has a plane hijacked by terrorists who claim to have a bomb on board. After dispatching said terrorists, you are then tasked to defuse the bomb. Thankfully, it isn't that well made, considering the manual you can get from one of their bodies titled "BUILDING YOUR OWN BOMB."
  • You Are Too Late: Sonny didn't make it to Marie's home on time to save her from Bains...
    • Subverted with one of the witnesses. Sonny DID warn him about Bains, and can even order a wire tapping. The witness reassures you that he's under a witness protection program and is well hidden. Bains still got to him, unfortunately.

    Video Game/Police Quest III The Kindred 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pq3front.jpg
Almost too real.

Police Quest III: The Kindred is a video game developed and published by Sierra and produced by Jim Walls in 1991. It's the third installment in the Police Quest series.

Several years later, Sonny and Marie are happily married, but there's more trouble to come from the Bains family. The Death Angel's brother has sworn revenge, and it's up to Sonny, now a Detective Sergeant, to protect his beloved Lytton, which has grown into a city. This one pulls out all the stops, with situations ranging from dirty cops to sexual assault. (Strangely enough, the revenge plot ends up being an afterthought.)

The game runs on the SCI 1 engine. Sonny is controlled with a point-and-click interface, simplifying most police procedures. Graphics receive a major upgrade thanks to VGA and sprites are now based on digitised actors. There's also a new soundtrack composed by Jan Hammer.


This game contains examples of:

  • Ambidextrous Sprite: While played straight for the rest of the series, a glaring aversion is with Pat Morales, who always holds her purse with her left arm, and it is reflected as such, no matter the angle.
  • Avenging the Villain: Michael Bains is after Sonny and his wife for the death of his brother Jessie. He also takes up his brother's drug trafficking.
  • Ass Shove: Implied where the crazy guy in his underwear was keeping his knife.
  • Backtracking: At the end of the game, you discover a crack house. No one will answer the door, so you'll drive all the way to the court house to get your search warrant. Then you have to drive back, and still receive no answer. So you drive to the court house again to arrange a raiding, and finally, you can start off the finale.
  • Based on a True Story: In the introduction, Jim Walls informs you that some of the events in this game are based on actual events that occurred during his career.
  • Beard of Evil: Michael Bains'S partner, Steven Rocklin, has a beard.
  • Berserk Button: Morales doesn't like it when things don't go her way.
  • Big Damn Heroes: An internal affairs agent can save Sonny right on time if Sonny requested an investigation on Morales.
  • Black Comedy: Leon, The Coroner. When you examine Steve's body, he will leave a note on the tag, having anticipated Sonny peeking around when he's out.
    • Could count as Leon Painting the Fourth Wall, given that said peeking around is practically a requirement in the genre.
  • Bookcase Passage: A fire place blocks a secret path inside a crack house.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Pat Morales reveals herself to Sonny at the end of the game that she is in Bains' ranks and decides to kill him! This can be prevented if Sonny managed to get internal affairs involved.
    • The key maker and army recruiting station at the mall? And the reporter that showed up at the scene of the crime? Turns out they will all be a big help to you in the game.
  • Connect the Deaths: A Game-Breaking Bug in this puzzle, which was present in the early versions of the game, often caused the game to become Unwinnable by Mistake and earned it Fanon Discontinuity status with many fans.
  • Continuity Nod: You start the game as a patrol man just like the first game, even though you are a sergeant for the homicide department. Justified: Lytton PD is low on traffic cops and just need Sonny for a day to help out. A couple of the busts are even similar to the first game with minor twists (for starters, most of your offenders not being total jerks).
    • The chief of homicide still loves his ice cream, according to Mike (who had to fix a piece of hardware due to an ice cream spill). You will also hear that familiar tune from PQII the moment you see a picture of Jessie Bains.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Marie ends up comatose, and the doctor encourages Sonny to bring in anything relating to her and interacting with her in hopes that she will wake up (and it also helps a lot if you make sure she's receiving the correct IV dosage). Doing all you can do will eventually wake her out of it, smiling at Sonny. If only it weren't for the fact that you still had a shift to cover... ]]
  • The Determinator: Bain's brother, Michael, attempts to have his revenge on Sonny for killing Jessie (in self-defense, of course). This is inverted however, since he gives up the moment he saw Sonny shoot at his men.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: There's a really evil example of this that can occur in PQIII: One of the first actions you do in the game is to evaluate a fellow officer due to her belligerent behavior. If you don't choose to sustain the complaint put against her here, you can breeze through the rest of the game perfectly, only to have her gun you down immediately before the end of the game.
    • It also occurs literally right before the ending in the same game. If you don't bring Marie's inadequate treatment to the attention of the hospital, she remains a vegetable.
  • Dirty Cop: Pat Morales, a hot-tempered police officer. According to a police psychiatric report, she hates authority figures in general and has low self-esteem which she tries to cover with a belligerent attitude. She was also suspected by Internal Affairs to have destroyed evidence on three separate occasions, but was let off due to lack of evidence for such. It turns out that Morales is a member of the Sons of Darkness cult, acting as their insider within the Lytton Police Department. She is also a Functional Addict to cocaine. Morales finally paid for her crimes when she was about to shoot Bonds with a dead cult member's gun, only to be shot in the head by a detective from Internal Affairs at the last second.
  • Easter Egg: You can find Jim (also known as James) Walls' name on the computer. He's apparently part of the Designer division of the Lytton Police Department. He's also lost some weight too. Go Jim! Also, he has the code name Ice Man.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Bain's brother used to serve in the army, but turned to drug dealing and setting out for revenge when he learned that Sonny killed Jessie.
    • Pat Morales has done this some time before the game began.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Morales, according to her file and the complaint made on her. She also demonstrates this when Sonny arrives to learn about the refusal to sign and simply asked about the situation, earning her getting frustrated with him as well.
  • Ironic Name: The name: Morales, means right and proper, or son of moral. Her behavior suggests otherwise.
    • Ironic Echo: A look at her file on the computer suggests many other things...
  • Lets See You Do Better: When interviewing Morales and trying to get the truth behind the complaint from her, she'll then tell you to try to be in her shoes before telling her how to do her job. Which you have been. And you did do better, since it got you promoted to Narcotics, then Homicide, then Detective Sergeant. And while you're helping out with the Patrol division, you again do better.
  • Mood Whiplash: In PQIII, you can beat the game, all triumphantly going to the hospital to check on Marie. If you haven't been visiting at the appropriate times, the game will cut the ending music and go straight to game over before telling you that she's a vegetable.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The message was displayed in the end credits.
  • Pixel Hunt: For a Sierra adventure game, it's inevitable that this will show up, though it's easier to make out compared to other examples. You will need to get batteries for your flash light and use it to find a piece of evidence under the car. Otherwise, it's unwinnable.
  • Properly Paranoid: Pat Morales has exhibited aggressive behavior according to a report (which you have the option to interview her) and her file, and will later show that behavior by berating a pregnant woman she stopped on the road, and berating you briefly for not agreeing with her. You will need to make a copy of her locker key to have access to her locker. Inside are some drugs. This is when you know perfectly that this is not going to end well.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: The head tech guy, Mike, loves to talk about the technology he can give you. Sonny does not care to hear about this, but ends up having to anyway.
  • Religion of Evil: Michael Bains runs it. The killings appear ritualistic and connected to one another (in which the victims have satantic carvings). They also deal drugs too. The only exception is the assault on Marie, which has been done for personal reasons.
  • The Reveal: The fact that Morales isn't on the up and up in any way at all. You find bags of cocaine she stole from the crime scene, behavior consistent with the case files against her. Learning about this pretty much makes it inevitable that her pulling a gun on you will occur at some point.
    • In another twist of events: Finding a photo of the Bains brothers!
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Michael Bains experienced PTSD after hearing about Jessie's death, eventually getting discharged due to psychological instability.
  • Something We Forgot: Forget to search the crazy man (even if he is in his underwear) and turned him into the jailer? He ends up murdering the jailer, and gets you sent to the game over screen. Oops.
  • Take That Me: When you distract Mr. Stumps, the janitor who works there, away from the womens restroom by shoving a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet, you can walk back into the men's restroom and attempt to talk with him to get this line.
    Mr. Stumps: (in reference to the clogged toilet) "Bet it was that Officer Walls again."
    • In the end credits, Jim "Pretty Boy" Walls is part of an electronic terrorist group who inhabit Lytton. Whether or not it's the same Walls that is employed in LPD is uncertain. The LPD themselves are also uncertain if they should even take the group seriously.
  • Tempting Fate: "Thanks Sonny. Hope the rest of your patrol is less exciting."
  • They Fight Crime!: Sonny Bonds is a By-the-Book Cop who assess most (if not all) situations according to procedure and is known to having played a key role in capturing a serial killer and drug runner, and then killing him in self-defense when he broke out, and has gained the reputation of being Cop of the year following Bain's arrest. Pat Morales is a female Cowboy Cop who is a loose cannon and doesn't always do things by the book and believes in harsh justice and that her partner is too soft. Sonny fights crime. She doesn't!
  • Unwinnable by Design: A cruel example. If you don't sustain the complaint against Morales in the very beginning, then at the end of the game she'll shoot you.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you pull over a black car speeding, the driver will yield but go up to you and inform you that he is an agent that's been pursuing a drug runner, and berates you for stopping him.
    • If you utilize the in-vehicle terminal to identify the vehicle, AND back off, you won't have this problem. Just make sure your sirens are not on when you do it.
  • Worst Aid: A near-fatal example: The third time Sonny visits the hospital, he is told by Marie's doctor that all they have for her to come back is hope. You will need to examine the clipboard on her bed, which reveals that her IV dosage is off. Calling the nurse and inform her about it, in which the doctor makes the necessary adjustment and lampshades this trope.
    "I don't understand this at all. I can't believe our staff could make such a serious error!"
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    Video Game/Police Quest Open Season 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pqosfront.jpg
Created by the nation's most experienced cop. (Not Jim Walls.)

Police Quest: Open Season is a video game developed and published by Sierra and produced by Daryl F. Gates in 1993. It's the fourth installment in the Police Quest series.

The protagonist is now an LAPD Homicide Detective, John Carey. Working from Parker Center, the player now had to cope with much more violent, graphic crimes. The player is introduced to Carey on the first screen, with a dead cop in an alley by a dumpster — a dumpster which, when opened so the Criminal Investigative Division can photograph it, reveals the body of a six-year-old boy.

The game runs on the SCI 2 engine. The point-and-click interface is similar to the previous game. Graphics use higher-quality digitised actors.


This game contains examples of:

  • Aerosol Flamethrower: Captured and stripped of his possessions by the killer, Carey must create one with a lighter and hairspray to vanquish him.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Mitchell Thurman has this.
  • Anti-Climax: A jarring example. The first third of the game builds up the investigation about the murder behind a cop: Bob Hickman, and a child: Bobby Washington. Emo called John about information he'd like to share about the murders, only to get caught in a shoot out. After the scene, everything is suddenly resolved off screen, as Emo survives in the hospital and reveals that Spiff wanted to use Bobby to ship his guns, killed him in cold blood, and tried to kill Emo to shut him up. Spiff will be charged swiftly for a couple of attempted murders, and the murder of Bobby. The only thing that wasn't so anti-climatic is that Spiff is not responsible for Bob's murder.
    • The conclusion with Dennis Walker and his girlfriend also ended as quickly as it came.
    John: Geez, the feds are talking with Walker right now. Apparently, he is a real special case.
    • Also, the final part of the game just ends. You find who the killer is, which becomes more obvious at this point, follow a linear path, and the game just ends with Mitchell killed while in the process of murdering(?) his newest victim, and the game abruptly ends with John in city hall, with the mayor loving him and giving him the medal of valor, and credits! Not even a "I did it, Bob" line of any kind? This should just be called Anti-Climax: The Video Game!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "I'm sorry too. I'm sorry that this city is full of dirt-bags, creeps, and losers!"
  • As You Know: The beginning of the game has Sam Nobles inform John all about him and Bob together for the past five years, and talking about how John is practically a god-father to Bob's daughter.
  • Bitch Alert: Yo Money's manager. The first thing that leaves her mouth is accusing the police department of planting the body there to hurt Yo Money's sales. She will also actively berate John for asking helpful questions.
  • But Thou Must!: A reporter will stop John to ask some questions, which he cannot answer. You cannot do anything about it besides shove her to the side, which earns her reporting physical abuse and giving the LAPD a bad name.
  • Call-Back: There is apparently a server in the LAPD named SONNY.
  • Camp Gay: There is a male prostitute that attempts to flirt with John the moment he arrives at Pine Hollywood Avenue. He also attempts to break open your car, but walks away when he sees you.
  • Captain Obvious: "Griffiti is often left behind by gangs."
  • Catchphrase / Verbal Tic: "You're <insert emphasis if any> damn lucky <insert why>. Damn lucky." -Hal Bottoms
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sherry Moore is pretty much just a pretty face working at the morgue. Oh, and she ends up revealing everything about the case in an interview to a reporter, who in turn reported her story on national television, and as a result, it got the whole townspeople in fear and even buying out gun stores! Naturally, John is not happy, and neither is the chief.
    • Lassundra Washington apparently witnessed Bob Hickman's murderer. She mentioned a woman in a red dress when you talk to her after Spiff's been apprehended.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: There is a Character named Dennis Walker in the apartment that will use the word "Fuck" if you ask him about the music. He will use the word "Fuck" if you touch his stuff or if you show him your items from your inventory.
  • Cool Old Guy: Beavis, the tow guy. Or is it Danno?
  • Da Chief: Lieutenant Block. Funny enough, it's the only Police Quest games that has this trope played out.
  • Desk Jockey: Hal Bottoms. See Old Cop, Young Cop below.
    "They're (the criminals) just god damn lucky that I'm a desk jockey. When I was on the street, I'd whip their collective disrespectful butts.
  • Deus ex Machina: In Mitchell's apartment, you can find a decapitated head and a bathroom with an empty medicine cabinet. Check those areas again, and suddenly, there is a lighter inside the head's mouth, and a hair spray can in the medicine cabinet. And Michael is in the next room down.
  • Don't Try This at Home: When you combine the aerosal can with a lighter, the narrator says this word to word.
  • Dull Surprise: John Carey sure doesn't sound upset when he's supposedly expressing shock and upset that his fellow cop and best friend is dead. Then again, it could be said that he simply had no idea what he should be feeling.
    • It's hardly that it was a dull surprise. It was the fact that he had to be told that he was Bob, his friend. Apparently, John didn't recognize his own best friend in the whole wide world whom he's known the family for quite a while. Still, he just might not know how to react to all this.
  • Exactly What I Meant To Say: Carey can question another 'witness' on the first scene named Raymond, who will constantly tell him that "I ain't seen nothin'"
    John Carey: *questioning for the third time* "So Mr. Jones, what you're telling me is you don't have anything to tell me. Is that correct?"
    Raymond Jones: That's straight up. Ain't seen nothin'. Done nothin'. Know nothin'."
  • Fake Longevity: While it's excuseable to have to note anything relating to criminal activity just so you can fill out a report later, where is the excuse in forcing a player to loosen out every slug lodged into a wall, while hearing the same line "You loosened a slug from the wall" followed by a DING! for every slug loosened off? Fifteen times? Also, you will have to bag every single slug afterward. The game is also picky where you click your mouse at.
  • Force Feeding: John can literally force feed a dog some pills to knock him out.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Open Season came out just before the appearance of high-end 486 processors. These apparently messed up the internal clock so badly, that it became impossible to pass certain points in the game without dying (specifically the neo-nazi courtroom scene). Fortunately, even before a patch came out, Sierra realized that slowing the game to a crawl before such crucial scenes would solve the bug, and made this knowledge public.
  • Generic Graffiti: There is some of this in the opening of the game and you can investigate which Gang Bangers it belongs to. Also attempting to use the chalk on any wall will cause the narrator to accuse you of being a graffiti artist.
    "Lieutenant Block doesn't want his walls covered in graffiti."
    "Graffiti at the Police Academy? Not a chance in hell!"
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Later, the city counsel and the mayor begin to question John Carey, and by extension, the LAPD's competence in dealing with a Serial Killer. In fact, John gets bombarded by questions by the general public the moment he steps up in city hall.
    • Go Look at the Distraction: This is interrupted and ended abruptly when Walker attempts to assassinate John Carey during questioning.
  • Hypocrite: Depending on your interpretation of Hal Bottoms. Of course, he might just be trying to look out for John considering what happened prior to this line..
    "Playing cowboy will only take you so far in this damn job. If you wanna make it as long as I have, you're gonna have to curb your appetite for action."
  • Implied Love Interest: Some pieces of dialogue involving Chester implies that John is trying to hook up with her. She can be monotone and blunt towards John's otherwise friendly and caring remarks.
    • Of course, Sam (at the Short Stop) pretty much told John that he and Chester might have been an object before.
    Chester: Sam, I think you had enough to drink.
  • In-Series Nickname: Hal refers to John as Junior, likely due to how he's the older partner compared to John.
  • Intrepid Reporter: There is a reporter who is actively trying to learn of the murder cases. John can shove her to the side, and give her quite a word, though this earns quite a lecture from his chief.
  • Irony: Look inside the LUCKY MINI MART dumpster...
    • Try throwing Hickman's funeral notice in the garbage can at the coroners office.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: Attempting to take a flyer advertising a bake sale from the wall in Lt Block's office will meet with the narrator telling you "Remove and face certain death".
  • Jump Scare: How does PQIV begin? If you open up that dumpster...
    • And later, if you enter a suspect's home without checking who's inside, a dog will ambush the player at blazing speed, followed by the screen fading red and the audio being the player being mangled by said dog. It happens so fast too.
    • There is a decapitated head waiting for you in the fridge. And yet, the narrator finds a way to downplay this.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator in this game can sound enthusiastic, berating, easily amused, sound like he's either asking a question when there isn't one, or simply say a sentence that is clearly incomplete by his voice. He also has a nasty habit of point out the obvious. He's also unintentionally amusing in this regard.
    • Also, in attempting to do something that could be considered criminal, the narrator will prevent you from doing it (most of the time; he won't stop you shooting the candy machine) and make a comment about you being a Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop.
  • MacGyvering: In this series of Guide Dang It! moments:
  • No-Gear Level: John is knocked out by Michael at the end and had his whole inventory confiscated. Thankfully, a can of aerosal and a lighter is not far off.
  • Not a Date: When Chester invites John to a bar, John jokingly asked if she was asking him out. She returns with "Not in your wildest dreams."
  • Note to Self: It is more important to use the notebook on any piece of the crime scene, evidence, victims, and witnesses. You will also be recording what you recorded onto different forms for extra points.
    "Recording information of the crime scene ensures accurate reports later."
  • Not What It Looks Like: When John had to shove the reporter out of the way, he attempts to explain to others that it wasn't what it looked like. No one bothers to believe him.
    • Later, John will walk into Sam "checking up" on Sherry. Sam claims that he was check for a chest cold.
  • Off the Record: Barbie politely refuses to talk to John, officially out of fear that her business may get in trouble. When he plead that they'll "talk like friends," she warms up to him.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Hal Bottoms, who is a veteran cop who got pushed to a desk job and takes care of whatever paper work he has to do for John. He also refers to John as Junior.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: A nightmare inducing example. See Infant Immortality in the general tropes section.
  • Product Placement: There is a D.A.R.E. ad in the lobby of the police department.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The elevator music in the Parker Center is the same music heard at the La Costa Lotta health resort.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: The stray dog is fiercely loyal to his master. If at the apartment, he's willing to kill. If at anywhere else, he just waits patiently.
  • Shirtless Scene: There is a stripper in the background who appears to be topless. Appears because her top is so pixelated, it's hard to tell.
  • Shoplift and Die: Try to steal from a store in Open Season, and the shopkeeper will stop you. Persist anyway, and you'll be gunned down.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: You can do this early in the game including Valerie however it won't be possible later on except for certain places like the cigarette machine or the real killer.
  • Shoot the Dog: You can choose to shoot the dog. Obviously, the game won't let you get away with that. Overlaps with Force Feeding, but that one is justified.
  • Shout-Out: You can find a scrap of newspaper in Morales' patrol car. On one side, there's an ad for a topless bar - on the other, one for a movie theater that just so happens to be showing Dirty Harry.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: You can get one out of your trunk during a shoot-out.
  • Side Quest: The local police academy is holding a marksmanship challenge, which is good if you want to earn extra points and kill some time.
  • Sir Swearsa Lot: The game is best known for the profanity used in this game. For example, the character Hal Bottoms will use the word "Goddamn" and "Bitch" in the game. Also Dennis Walker will use the word "Fuck" and "Shit" if you touch his stuff or show him items from your inventory.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Talking to Chester at the Short Stop reveals that she became a cop because her dad was one.
  • Take Our Word for It: For a heavily tortured man, Bob Hickman sure looks well perserved. Brutually inverted for the little boy though...
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked. Several developers working for Sierra at the time have stated on record that the decision to hire former Police Chief Daryl Gates, hot off the Rodney King controversy and the L.A. Riots, as a consultant for the game was by all appearances motivated by the hope that his own infamous reputation would attract some additional publicity to the project.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: That guy at the rainbow cafe who told you the police is unwelcome inside? He's working undercover, and had to blow it to provide you cover during a shoot out.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Mitchell Thurman.
  • Wham Line: "Darling, I think that red shoe would fit you better than it would fit me."
  • What Happenedtothe Mouse: After killing Mitchell Thurman in self-defense, the fate of the female victim is never truly revealed, and the game seems to imply that she did survive. What happened to her, who is she, and if she even survived is left ambiguous.
  • White Gang-Bangers: We only got to see two, but Dennis Walker and his girl friend both happen to be this, and really racist too. Both of them also attempted to kill John, for presumably... helping Yo Money?
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: "What kind of name is Emo?"
  • Would Hurt a Child: Bobby Washington (the child in the beginning) was found murdered and hidden in a dumpster.
    "He's just a child, Sam. What's happening on our streets?!"
    • Emo Jones expresses some mild sympathy about Bobby Washington, likely because he loves baseball as much as Bobby did and may have bonded with him at some point. He is ultimately the one who is able to help John close the case on the murderer, and he nearly got killed doing so.
      • Spiff.

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