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Video Game / Chicken Police

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Chicken Police is a Film Noir styled detective game, released in November 2020.

Detective Santino "Sonny" Featherland is under suspension when he is approached by Deborah Ibanez, personal assistant to famous nightclub singer Natasha Catzenko. Natasha is receiving threatening messages, and she needs someone to look into the matter unofficially. Sonny is bored, so he takes the case, and persuades his estranged partner Marty McChicken to help him. The case takes them all over the city of Clawville, from high society to the gutters.

And one more thing... everyone is a Little Bit Beastly.


Tropes in this game:

  • Affably Evil: Small time hoods and neutral underworld figures like Zipp, Mort, and Doctor Bubo can be genuinely charming due to old age softening them somewhat.
  • The Alcoholic: Sonny's drinking problems hit their apex roughly a year before the events of the game, and they got so bad that Bloodboyle put him on furlough to get his act together.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Police receptionist Monica demands that Sonny and Marty repay her many acts of help by buying her shoes. Black, high heels, size 35.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: To get a good score in the interrogation mini-game, you have to pick questions that match the subjects' weaknesses.
  • Brains and Brawn: Sonny and Marty have this dynamic with Sonny performing most of the interrogations and analysis, and Marty doing most of the fighting and intimidating. However, Sonny can put up his dukes in a pinch and Marty is far from stupid.
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  • Cain and Abel: Albert and Ibn Wessler. Shockingly, between the failed painter and the ruthless gangster, it's the former that you should watch out for.
  • Creepy Good: Professor Quetzal.
  • Da Chief: Chief Bloodboyle is a racist and can't stand Sonny. On the other hand, he cannot be bribed, and Sonny worries about what will happen to the city when Bloodboyle retires.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Almost entirely in black and white, but with the occasional Splash of Colour.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Lightly deconstructed with how the cast is confused as to why Control Freak Ibn Wessler would cede so much authority of his criminal empire to Mick, his top lieutenant. It soon transpires that this is because "Ibn" doesn't know how his brother's various rackets operate.
  • Dying Clue: Deborah unintentionally gives the protagonists one due to how she was killed with no signs of a struggle, implying that either her murderer was exceptionally stealthy or that she knew them well and thought she was safe around them.
  • Eats Babies: One of the worst crimes to come out of the insect Hive neighborhood involves mothers selling their infant larvae on the black market to be eaten as illegal cuisine for particularly macabre clientele.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Ibn truly loved his mother. Albert killing her in a jealous rage is what finally got his brother to have him committed to a mental institution.
  • Fantastic Racism: The various animal people often refer to each other in casually insulting ways, and there are occasional references to the Separatists, who don't believe that different species should live together. Clawville's insect population have been forcibly confined into a ghetto.
  • Femme Fatale: Natasha Catzenko is sexy and mysterious, and trouble follows her.
    Sonny: I knew she was trouble the first time I saw her. She wore danger like a perfume. It was simply part of her being, and it attracted me like light attracts the moth people.
  • The Ghost: Mick, Laura, and Officers Moses & Plato are frequently mentioned but never appear onscreen.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Marty goes through the trouble of lugging around his shotgun under his coat for a majority of the game, but outside of brandishing it to threaten information out of persons of interest, he never gets to fire it.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Meat War, which happened about 100 years ago. It lasted 27 years, 80-90 million animals died, and 27 species were declared extinct after the war. Some people are worried that a second Meat War is brewing.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: An optional dialogue option that can be experienced in Act 4 if the player chooses to reenter the Weekend House has Marty reveal that he only tagged along with Sonny after the murder to see him screw up, fail, and potentially die during the case. Working with him over the course of the two days and reconciling helps him gradually overcome this disdain.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Two women in the game used to work at the "Sweltering Nile" brothel, which is only open to the rich and well-connected.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Bubo muses that he had a bright medical career ahead of him. It's not enough for him to feel sorry for all his black market dealings and experiments that got his license revoked, however.
  • I Have Many Names: "Filmar Low" is one of Filmar's many aliases, all of which are just basic permutations of his actual name (Marlowe) since that makes them easier to remember and keep track of.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Natasha Catzenko and her gangster lover Ibn Wessler: cat woman and rat man.
    • Doctor Bubo and Ursula Fragaria: owl man and bear woman.
    • Marty and Laura: chicken man and wolf woman.
    • Sonny and Molly: chicken man and dove woman.
  • Karma Houdini: Marty faced no consequences for shooting Sonny roughly a year before the events of the game since his partner, despite his injury, didn't want his relatively spotless record tarnished by an impulsive act he himself provoked.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After solving a puzzle to open a hidden door in Madam Zaiwass' office, Marty says "It's something I've never understood. Why isn't a key good enough? You can take that with you, but riddles can be solved by anyone."
  • Left Hanging: There are a number of lingering questions left unanswered by the end which prevent Sonny and Marty from experiencing full closure. To wit, who hired Filmar to tail them, who broke the maimed Ibn Wessler out of the asylum, and was Natasha actually royalty in her home country?
  • Little Bit Beastly: Everyone has a human body, with an animal head and maybe tail. Humans are mythical creatures.
  • Mad Doctor: Bubo might have put propped up his father's skeleton in his office for anatomical reference, and he might have experimented with grafting insect appendages on animals. He might be joking about both, but the Chicken Police would rather not investigate the possibilities.
  • Man Bites Man: The primary focus of the Predatory Division of the police department. They not only investigate cases of direct murder and cannibalism, but also black market trafficking that facilitates the same. Due to the force being so understaffed, they are sometimes called to assist in more conventional major crimes like basic murder and theft.
  • Mood Whiplash: At first it's all about snarky dialogue and mysterious dames and glamorous nightclubs, and then Sonny and Marty find a body.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: Pretty much all of the cops encountered in the game. They're even mildly racist towards each other. Marty at least tries to be more politically correct, but he has his lapses.
  • Noodle Incident: The Chicken Police broke up after Marty shot Sonny. The scene which reveals why Marty shot Sonny, and why Sonny thinks he deserved it, is well hidden.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten Sonny getting shot in the hip by Marty. Notably, everyone who knows about it puts the blame firmly on Sonny, including Sonny himself.
  • Painting the Medium: The Deliberately Monochrome interface is in fact merely a reflection of how Sonny's depression seems to make everything miserable. When he's particularly struck by something, or feeling better in general, there's more color.
  • Preppy Name: Before Deborah introduces herself to Sonny, he thinks "Elizabeth or Charlotte? I was sure she'd have a sophisticated sounding name."
  • Red Herring: Many of the people you wind up investigating have ties to the royal family and espionage, but in the end, the actual threats and murder have nothing to do with the government or any sort of larger conspiracy; Sonny even refers to the whole subject by this trope name when Marty entertains the idea of looking into it further after their near-death experience with the burning ship. But again, it could be part of the Sequel Hook...
  • Sequel Hook: The Hive situation is starting to get out of control, Sonny may or may not get together with Natasha eventually, and numerous loose ends regarding backstory are left unresolved.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Species Surname: most people have plain surnames, but there are a few exceptions.
    • Marty McChicken and Natasha Catzenko play it straight.
    • Doctor Bubo is an owl man, and Bubo Bubo is the Latin name for the eagle owl.
    • Ursula Fragaria has a species given name: she is a bear woman, and Ursula means "little she-bear."
  • Spotting the Thread: The nature of the clue that Natasha recognized, as she recognized that the handwriting of the threatening notes and graffiti matched that of Albert Wessler's monogram from the paintings he did of her.
  • Title Drop: The game's full title is Chicken Police: Paint it RED. Towards the end of the game, Sonny has a dream in which Natasha tells him "Paint it red."
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: It is a leisurely point-and-click game, with the following exceptions:
    • A puzzle where you have to save the heroes from burning by undoing the ropes binding them. This is simulated by tracing the tangled, knotted rope. With a controller. Against the clock.
    • Two sections where you shoot up a car that is chasing you, taking cover every time the passenger with a machine gun lets rip. At least there's an Achievement for shooting out its headlights.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: At the start of the game, Sonny has Lewis personally drive Deborah to wherever she needs be dropped off at since the hotel they're staying at is in a rough neighborhood. Unfortunately, this results in her being at the Wessler Weekend House just in time to catch Albert vandalizing the place, and she's subsequently killed by him to protect to cover up his crime. Sonny is horrified at learning this, and to make it worse, the resulting clues from her death don't really provide much vital information.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Mort is an old, blind, petty criminal, who has been thrown out by his much younger boyfriend. You can get him a room for the night.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Sonny's coat is buttoned suffocatingly taut to show how uptight and guarded he is. In the game's final cinematic, he finally unbuttons it as he has a more relaxed and emotionally open conversation with Natasha.
  • A World Half Full: Clawville isn't wonderful, but it isn't terrible either. The people that we don't meet are probably mostly doing alright, and there are people in Clawville and nations in the wider world who are doing very well. However, you also don't have to look far to find poverty and oppression.
  • Yandere: Albert Wessler, who is a broiling and unstable kudzu of emotions that's always on the cusp of lethally bludgeoning those around him with the thin line between love and hate.
  • You Owe Me: Lacking much in the way of money, the Chicken Police trades mostly in favors. They have an outstanding balance against Bubo and Zipp, are heavily indebted to Lewis, and Monica actually cashes them out to have them just buy her shoes when she gets fed up with covering for their not strictly legal activities.