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Video Game / Blue Force

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Blue Force is a 1993 DOS game. The game is as a spiritual successor to the Police Quest series of adventure games by former series creator, Jim Walls, who had moved on to working for Tsunami Games following the release of Police Quest III: The Kindred.

The game follows a rookie police officer, Jake Ryan, whose parents were slain ten years prior in an unsolved murder. However, when new evidence begins turning up, Jake Ryan teams up with his father's former partner in order to solve this crime once and for all and put his parents' murderers behind bars.

The game runs on the TsACE engine. Jake's movements are controlled with icons selectable from a badge menu, while the inventory is accessed by cycling through items at the bottom, with four of them displayed at a time. Graphics use digitised photos of real-life people and locations are displayed in VGA. A soundtrack by Ken Allen plays throughout the game.

Blue Force provides examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: Why the murder case was unsolved.
  • All There in the Manual: Carrying on the tradition of Police Quest and other adventure games, the means of progressing in the game is in the manual.
  • Always Identical Twins: Barry and Larry. Barry works at the police department in evidence, and Larry works at the city jail. Lampshaded by Jake.
    Jake: You guys sure do look alike!
  • Angry Guard Dog: There's an aggressive dog guarding the villains' warehouse. You have to throw a net to get past it for the first time and use a dog whistle to scare it off later on. Failure to do so results in it tearing into your throat and a close-casket funeral.
  • Bookcase Passage: A late puzzle in the game involved uncovering a hidden room using a generator.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Once again, like Police Quest, you will have to try to uphold the law to the best of your abilities. Don't forget to read your offenders their rights!
    • Deconstructed by Lyle, who explains that a private investigator can bend a few rules that a cop has to abide by to help in his investigations.
    Lyle: Bein' a PI is a lot different than being a cop, Jake. We can bend the rules a little and get away with it.
  • Character Portrait: A character has their portait shown on the bottom-left or bottom-right corner while talking.
  • Closet Shuffle: Jake hides in a closet when his parents tell him to and before Nico shoots them. A few flashbacks are shown from his perspective there.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. Carter, who runs a boat rental business and is always friendly towards Jake.
  • Cowboy Cop: The briefing starts with the white board that immediately discourages you from invoking this trope.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The game's intro and several flashbacks are in monochrome, likely to make the colored credits stand out better for the former. The ending is monochrome as well, to show how bleak the prison and the fates of the three antagonists are.
  • Digitized Sprites: Not a bad example of one too.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: One of the things found on the officers' desk during the briefing is a donut.
  • Driven to Suicide: Bradford, when forced out of the future wave, carries a hand grenade with the pin pulled, intent on taking Jake and Lyle with him. Fortunately, some convincing reveals that Bradford isn't that suicidal and gives up peacefully.
  • Flashback Cut: Jake experiences a couple of things about his parents murder.
  • Go Fetch: Jake can play fetch with his dog. The dog eventually brings over a piece of a wooden supply crate, which happens to be part of a heist that took place.
  • Have a Nice Death: Typical adventure game flair. Half of them are actual deaths, the other half are simply Jake losing work and having to work as a mall cop, or spending time in jail for murder.
  • Hostage Situation: Your first real assignment is dealing with one. See You Have No Chance to Survive below.
  • Idiot Ball: Try cleaning your loaded gun.
  • Implied Love Interest: Jake Ryan has been hitting on Ms. McCoy at the county jail. She has been receptive too.
  • Improbable Weapon User: A non-weapon example: An extension cable as handcuffs.
  • Inescapable Net: You will need to toss one over a dog to avoid getting mauled.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • In the end game, after taking care of one gang banger, Lyle had already flanked and dispatched the other.
    • Forbes, the ATF agent, mentioned having to take care of a couple of snipers on the way there. The ATF doesn't mess around.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Bradford is smarter than he looks in this regard.
  • Loophole Abuse: Implied as to how Stuart Cox kept the bad guys out of prison.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The game goes from dealing with domestic abuse to uncovering an unsolved gun smuggling case.
    • And the unsolved gun smuggling case is related to Jake's parents being murdered, as Jake eventually uncovers clues to discover who was the real murderer.
  • Momma's Boy: Jake lives with his grand mother. He's glad to have family being able to raise him.
    Kate: Have your got your own place, Jake?
    Jake: No, I live with my grandmother.
    Kate: Too bad.
  • Mood-Swinger: Minor example: Doug looks a little bored or unhappy (Jake even lampshades that Doug might not care very much of himself). However, he seems quite happy when he pulls over a drunk driver, likely because he's having fun with the driver's act.
  • Near-Death Experience: Jake Ryan gets caught in an accident on his second day at work. He's been hospitalized for weeks, and put on disability leave until he heals up.
  • No Ending: The game just ends with the three antagonists being escorted to prison, having received their sentences. After that, it just ends. No long term resolution or even a mention of what Jake Ryan is doing after that.
  • Non Standard Game Over: After taking an M4 from a hidden room at the warehouse, Jake then decides that he must cover his tracks before leaving. Failure to reverse all of his actions (including locking the doors and taking the net back) will have the game go along normally, until Jake wakes up the next day to be informed that Lyle and the ATF found the complex completely cleaned out, with Jake cursing himself for making the mistake.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Suggestions and tips, as well as codes for your radio.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Lyle and Jake, though technically, Lyle is a private investigator, and Jake is a cop who is on disability leave half way in the game.
    • Lyle makes Jake his official partner after finding crucial evidence that they needed.
    Lyle: Why not? Your name's already on the stationary.
  • Parental Substitute: Jake's grandmother, and his dad's best friend and partner, Lyle.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Jake accesses blueprints and ledger pages on the computer that used to belong to his father by typing in "JACKIE", the name of John's wife/Jake's mother, as the password.
  • Point-and-Click Map: You only have to click on a place on the city map to drive there.
  • Private Detective: Lyle Jamieson is one.
  • The Reveal: Jake and Lyle eventually apprehend Nico Dillon, who Jake suddenly recognizes as his parents' murderer.
  • Scare Chord: A loud twang plays right as the screen goes black and before you get a game over.
  • Scoring Points: There is a points counter that goes up as you progress, though it works in increments of 10 and exceeds 3000 by the end.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The game's boxart has a guy's face and his hand holding a gun pointing straight at the viewer.
  • Smoldering Shoes: Game overs that involve an explosion show only the protagonist's shoes and smoke coming from them.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Lyle will express how proud he is of Ryan to make it as a cop.
    • Clean your gun before inspection, and the sergeant will express how Jake's dad would have been proud of him for coming out great at inspection.
  • Sorry Ociffer: Doug pulls over a drunk driver that Jake has to help deal with.
    "Sorry 'bout the locked door thing, osifers."
  • Spell My Name with an S: The game cannot make up its mind whether the DA is to be referred to as Staurt, Stuart or Stewart Cox.
  • Spiritual Successor: Of the Police Quest series.
  • Standard Cop Backstory: Jake became a cop because his dad was one.
  • Symbol Swearing: Present here. Averted once with one of the gangbangers.
  • Taking You with Me: Bradford Green holds a live grenade and will drop it if Jake tries shooting him.
  • Time Skip:
    • The game's intro shows what happened in 1984 with the murder of Jake's parents, then cuts to eleven years later when he's become a top-level police academy student and the game's events happen.
    • After Jake gets hit by a car in an accident, the game skips a few weeks ahead until he mostly recovers and Lyle talks to him.
  • Training Montage: You get to see a brief one with Ryan in the introduction.
  • Two First Names: Jake Ryan, the playable main character.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Nico Dillon is to get a lethal injection, Bradford Green is imprisoned for 20 years without parole, and Stuart Cox is imprisoned for 15 years without parole.
  • White Gangbangers: And some of the cheesiest pair to boot!
    "You get in my face an' I'll pop you, man!"
  • Would Hurt a Child: Bradford Green give Skip a black eye.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive: Bradford will threaten to kill the Laura Dixon (the woman he's holding hostage), and orders Jake and Doug to drop their weapons. Doug chose to drop it, but Jake (if you make him talk) will inform Bradford that he will not survive the encounter if he does hurt that woman. Finally realizing how this will end, he will finally give it up and allow himself to be arrested.
    Jake: They'll need a bucket and a shovel to pick up all that'll be left of you, scumbag!