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Video Game / Casebook Trilogy

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"Come on Partner. We got work to do."
— John Burton
The Casebook Trilogy is a Full Motion Video mystery game set in New Zealand. It is composed of three episodes named Kidnapped, The Watcher and The Snake in the Grass and was released in 2010 (though the first episode became available back in 2009.

You play as a a rookie detective who is a man of few words. Your partner is Burton, a veteran of the force. The game starts off with you on your first day on the job trying to solve a Kidnapping Case. You mainly do so through taking photos of a fully 3d real life room. You then take those photos and have them examined by the Lab Rat and do minigames (more than 20 in total) to see results and match analyzed clues together.

The kidnapping from the first episode then leads to a murder investigation, and then things get even worse. Three more episodes were once planned to follow up the trilogy, but none have materialized by this point.


Tropes present in this game:

  • AFGNCAAP: This hold true from most FMV games however it's hinted in Case One that you're male.
    • Which is odd since in Episode Zero it clearly shows you as a brunette woman wearing sunglasses.
  • All There in the Manual: Episode Zero gives Burton a lot more backstory since it takes place at his aunts's (and his uncle's house.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game has a ability called Intuition. It points the camera at the next clue or the next link. However it subtracts points for using it.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Case Two first victim made these. It gets rather startling when you see him get knocked out then the murderer turns off the camera.
  • Bedlam House: The apartments in the second case used to be one then were made into an apartment complex. Burton says that the people staying there haven't change at all.
  • Cassandra Truth: First Case Two victim: "Someone keeps breaking into my apartment."
  • Cowboy Cop: Subverted by Burton. He doesn't act at all like this. Until the Big Bad breaks into his house and leaves him a painting.
    • Subverted yet again when Burton's Cowboy Cop actions in the third case gets him suspended. This sets up the next three cases.
  • The CSI Effect: invoked Played with. The results are way too fast but that can easily be explained by Acceptable Breaks from Reality. What causes it to be played with is that partials are pretty much useless and results can take a while to get back.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Burton is this. This leads to a lot of hilarious comments. Especially when you find a Forensics for Dummies book in The Big Bad's apartment.
    (Sacrastic) "He knows all our secrets."
  • Development Hell: Episodes 4-6 probably won't happen for a long time. Closest we've gotten is a synopsis and screen shots of Episode 4.
  • Evil Is Petty: The supposed reason that the BigBad killed the first case two Victim is that he didn't say thank you. It quite obvious that he's using it as an excuse to find his victims.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Big Bad gets away in the second case. Then Burton's actions in the third get him suspended.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Interesting in that it's Burton who does this by himself.
  • Idiot Ball: The kidnapper in Case One has a firm grip on it. However it's Justified in that it's in character for him and he's murdered by his accomplish for holding it.
  • Instant Sedation: The kids were knocked out at first with Chloroform. Then again it might be justified in that they are around ten years old and rather small.
  • It's Personal:
    "He made it personal once he broke into my house and left that painting."
  • Just for Pun: Burton makes one in Episode Zero.
    (Looking at an old Fan) "I gave that to Aunt Margaret. It was my biggest fan. Now I got a bigger one."
  • Mad Artist: The Big Bad makes a painting out the blood of his victims.
  • Oh, Crap!: On the above mentioned Apocalyptic Log when the victim realizes that the murderer is right behind him. He doesn't even get a chance to turn around.
  • Properly Paranoid: The first victim in case two is this but since he has a history of mental troubles no one will believe him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Used humorously, by Burton, without saying a word when his two aunts start arguing whether or not one of them sleep walks. He just quietly leaves the room through the door behind him.
  • Serial Killer: The Big Bad. The problem is that he doesn't fit any of the patterns of one. It can be viewed as he's smart enough to intentionally hide them.
  • Shown Their Work: The whole 3D room concept required them to have created new technology in the form a camera system and robot that would move along a grid system and take photos from every angle and digitally stitch them together.
  • Slipping a Mickey: How the kidnapper keeps the kids sedated in Case One. However the Lab Rat points out at the doses that kids are getting the pills will start putting their organs to sleep.
  • Updated Re-release: The Casebook Trilogy is one. They got the first two Cases out. Listened to fans comments on the game. Made Case three have these changes. Then decided to go back, update the other two, and release them as one game.
  • Warrior Poet: Not the straightest example but Burton does read a lot.
  • Wicked Stepmother