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Video Game / Criminal Case: Pacific Bay

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Frank: "Are we done here? I need a drink!"
"Criminal Case: Pacific Bay" is the second game of the Criminal Case series, released in 2014. It moves the action into a new territory. The player character moves to the Pacific Bay Police Department, where they work with two different partners — Detective Frank Knight and Officer Amy Young — to assist the Pacific Bay Police Department in managing the rising crime rate in the city. Pacific Bay has ten districts, all based on a mixture of US states - Ocean Shore (Florida, primarily Miami), Bayou Bleu (Louisiana), Inner City (New York), Jazz Town (Louisiana, primarily New Orleans), White Peaks (Colorado), Ivywood (Los Angeles, California), Rhine Canyon (Arizona), Innovation Valley (Silicon Valley), Paradise City (Las Vegas, Nevada), and The Wastes.

Provides examples of:

  • Alien Episode: The entire Rhine Canyon arc qualifies as this since its Additional Investigation revolves around the question of whether or not aliens are real. They are.
  • Androids Are People, Too: This is the main focus of Innovation Valley, where robots are gaining conscience, becoming suspects and killers, agitating for more rights without any concern for humans, and one of them planning to subjugate, then exterminate, humanity with nanobots.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Inverted with Shelly Dulard, who came back from a district-long absence, then turned out to be the murderer in the same case that she returned in.
    • Played straight with David Rosenberg, an inventor from Innovation Valley who later ended up as the first victim in The Wastes.
    • Both Alden Greene and Bobby Prince invert this then play it straight. The former returns as an Unexpected Character after being put away (supposedly for good), and was discovered to be the case's killer right after his return. Before the player character could arrest him though, Frank shot him dead. The latter killed Frank in the next case and was shot dead by Amy after he was revealed to be the killer.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Inner City, it seems that Fredo Mancini, Inner Chaos' leader, will be involved in the final case of the district. He turns out to be the killer of the penultimate case of the district. And he's killed by Hannah..
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Russell and Amy, in the finale of A Killer Among Us. With animation and everything.
  • Brain Uploading: The Big Bad's ultimate plan is to build a digital Utopia where everyone's consciousness is built around a computer, and everyone would be subject to his rule.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Utopian cult, who runs a brainwashing conspiracy, could make their victims do outrageous things. This can go from pretty harmless stuffs like stealing and destroying a movie script to actually kidnapping a team member and holding them at gunpoint.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: After solving the murder in Of Rats and Men, Frank will say that he's going to either get a beer or go to bed... or perhaps he'll have a beer in bed.
  • Break the Cutie: Amy starts off the game as a naïve, inexperienced and loveable partner. When the cases move to White Peaks, she is excited as she wants to to show the main character her hometown. This goes unpleasant for her, as her high school sweetheart becomes a murderer in a case she helped investigate, her childhood friend became a victim of murder and in the district finale, she found out her brother, a former police officer who she looked up to, was a serial killer, and Amy had to arrest him. Her emotionally abusive mother who favored her brother did not help her. Upon her return from her break, she is more cold and serious, dismissing Hannah and Roxy's warm welcomes.
  • The Bus Came Back: All (except one, who happens to be Season 2's Big Bad) characters that get involved in the Wastes' chapters are returning characters (including one from Grimsborough). The characters in the final case of the Wastes (and therefore, of Season 2) are all previously indicted killers, even.
  • Chest of Medals: One of the recurring suspects in Innovation Valley, Ambassador Lee, has a uniform decorated with medals.
  • Church of Happyology: The Ivywood Hills is run by a cult (that is very obviously based on Scientology) called "The Utopians" who promises aspiring celebrities a life of eternal youth and fame for a fee. They are also responsible for more heinous activities such as brainwashing.
  • Conjoined Twins: One (Two?) of the suspects in Death at the Circus are a pair of conjoined twins.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Unlike Grimsborough, Pacific Bay appears to be a generally peaceful place with many beautiful tourist attractions, but also hides many deadly conflicts and dark secrets, such as the fake voodoo craze in Bayou Bleu, the Chinese-Russian conflict and anarchy in Inner City, the man-made hurricanes and Serial Killer in Jazz Town, the Night Walker Urban Legend of White Peaks, the Utopian cult in Ivywood, the Alien conspiracy in Rhine Canyon, the robot uprising in Innovation Valley, and ultimately the digital Utopia that the Big Bad intended to build after destroying Pacific Bay.
  • Cure Your Gays: In Of Rats and Men, the victim attempted to do this to his own son by sending him to military camp.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: The Puppeteer's MO involves dismembering parents caught arguing with their 14-year-old children and hanging them like marionettes. He did this to his own parents, who were his first victims.
  • Decomposite Character: Both of the player character's new partners seem to reflect many from their predecessor, Jones. Jones's more "innocent" side is projected in Amy, the naive idealist who is always praising everything the player character does. His "wild" side manifests in Frank, a bumbling, skirt-chasing Big Eater who constantly gets into trouble with the Chief.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Luz Lucha, a suspect in Wild Wild Death, is revealed to have a skull-shaped birthmark on her forehead, which is why she wears a mask throughout most of her entire appearances in the case.
  • Ditto Aliens: At the end of No Place Like Home, Randolph's two alien friends, as well as Randolph himself, all look identical, save for the spacesuits the other two aliens wear.
  • Dream Tells You to Wake Up: At the end of The Final Countdown, Tesla, an evil A.I., is plotting to install everyone's mind inside a virtual reality and destroy all Pacific Bay in the real world. Frank has been the last victim, and Karen died in an earlier episode, but their minds (and their late children) had been uploaded to the virtual reality. The player character and Amy have the means to destroy Tesla and his virtual world, but that would mean "killing" Frank a second time. What does Frank say? Do it. Kill Tesla, end all this. The Knight family accepts that they are all dead, and that their existence within a virtual reality is meaningless.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: In the Additional Investigation for No Place Like Home, Randolph's true form, a tiny green alien, sports no clothing. Averted for the other two aliens who appear, since they wear spacesuits.
  • Fan Disservice: Briefly played in Case 14, Spineless, where the player character found a picture of Shelly Dulard, who is fat and not at all pretty, in a sexy/seductive pose. Lampshaded by Frank Knight.
    Frank: Yikes, this can't be unseen!
  • Fat Bitch: Shelly Dulard is an overweight woman who is unfriendly and constantly makes insulting remarks towards "skinny girls" like Amy.
  • Fat Slob: Roberto Vasquez was implied to be this in his first appearance when his jerkass brother is killed. Seems to be averted in his later appearances, though, as he's mostly seen as normal fat guy.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The districts in Pacific Bay are based on various locations in the United States.
    • Ocean Shore's general mood reflects on real life California and New Jersey with its reality shows, night scene, and more.
    • Bayou Bleu is quite obviously one to traditional voodoo magic in the bayous of Louisiana.
    • Inner City features many festivals and cultures, referencing real life New York City.
    • Jazz Town and its hurricane are one to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, respective.
    • White Peaks is one to Colorado's mountains.
    • Ivywood Hills is an obvious one to Hollywood.
    • Rhine Canyon and the allusions to aliens is one to the legend of Area 51.
    • Innovation Valley is a stand in for Silicon Valley.
    • Paradise City is for Las Vegas.
    • The Wastes is based on the Nevada Test Site.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Dinah Cooper, a cabaret dancer from Jazz Town, has a rather tenuous relationship with her 14-year-old son Louie. At the same time, a serial killer known as the Puppeteer reemerges after 10 years and is known to kill parents caught arguing with their 14-year-old children. Guess who becomes the Puppeteer's last victim before their eventual arrest.
    • When we meet Amy and Duncan's mother — Miriam Young, Frank wonders how a such a harpy can raise two decent kids without one of them ending up as a sociopath. In the very next case, it was revealed that Duncan is the Night Walker, after all.
    • In Easy Prey, Frank drops a line that foreshadows his betrayal of the Pacific Bay PD and eventual death at the end of the season:
    Frank: What the hell, <player>... What's happened to Harvey?! Stay in the force long enough and it feels like you've just got a choice between dying a hero or becoming a monster!
  • Gold Digger: Carly Lewis, the wife of the first PB victim, is a pretty blatant one. When she was informed of her celebrity husband's death, the only thing she cares about is how he would no longer be able to buy her expensive new things. And when Amy tried to console her by saying she shouldn't be taking the loss too badly, she immediately tried to capitalize on his death by hosting a grand season finale of their reality show.
  • Got Volunteered: When the Pacific Bay police station was attacked by looters in Of Rats and Men, Chief Marquez asked for a volunteer to assess the station's damage. Roxie and Hannah immediately nominates Frank for the task without his consent.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: The aggressive roller derby skater, Mona Middlefinger, is secretly a Nice Girl who volunteers in hospitals to entertain sick kids, and donates money to charities. When confronted by the player character about this, she makes them promise not to tell anyone about this fact, because she needs to keep her reputation as a strong, ruthless derby girl.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Bayou Bleu is full of this because of a local voodoo craze. All the voodoo is fake, and it was used by a "priestess" to conceal the serial murders she committed.
  • House Husband: One of the suspects in Deadly Legacy (who happens to be the victim's husband) had to leave his job to raise his child by himself because his wife is a very busy movie director.
  • I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Velma Bannister is a beautiful Femme Fatale who is used to charming her ways to get what she wants. When she realized that her sex appeal is only going to fade as she gets older, she decided to usurp the Utopians' brainwashing plans and use her own brainwash tape to ensure that everyone in Ivywood will worship her beauty forever.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The killer, Amy's high school sweetheart Bobby Prince, in The Hunger Planes roasted the victim alive over a pit of lava and then cannibalized him.
  • Irish Priest: The murder victim of Spineless is the local priest of Inner City and a member of the Irish community residing in that district.
  • It's All My Fault: Tiffany Dunn, a drug addict from Crystal Death, was a teen prodigy who blamed herself for her parents' deaths in a car accident when she stayed after school one day and they came to pick her up.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The casino heist in Paradise City was supposedly led by Louis de Rico, but after his death it was revealed that the true mastermind behind the operation was Karen Knight, who intended to steal plutonium from the casino's vault through the heist. Then, it was further revealed that Karen herself was being manipulated by Albert Tesla, who ordered her to get the plutonium to power up his computer, in exchange for Karen's daughter, who is currently in a coma.
  • Mistaken Death Confirmation: One case ends with a suspect, Holly Hopper, apparently committing suicide by shooting herself, to avoid being arrested for being a cult leader and brainwashing people. Having witnessed it, the police are convinced she's dead. One week later in the next case, the player character finds a mobile phone, which turns out to belong to Holly and had been used that day. The team's tech expert tracks down where it had been used, and the player then finds Holly alive and well. Of course she gets arrested at that point.
  • Money Mauling: In Smart Money, the victim was suffocated to death when the killer stuffed him full of cash.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As regular investigation was useless to find the Puppeteer, a serial killer from several years ago, Yann defied him in an open letter in the newspaper. The puppeteer accepted the dare and killed again.
  • Pretty Boy: The two figure skaters introduced in Hearts of Ice: Juan Rodrigo Vasquez and Dimitrios Moustaki. Every woman featured in the case seemed to be gawking at their attractiveness, and even Roxie forgoes her usual wisecracking during her autopsy on Juan Rodrigo's body to bemoan about what a waste it was to have such a beautiful young thing murdered.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Puppeteer believed that children should be free and that parents who hinder their freedom only get their joy from restricting their children and therefore must be killed.
  • Recycled In Space: An In-Universe example. A film producer in The Young and the Lifeless wanted to make a TV show featuring the player character's investigations called "Criminal Space", where the investigations will be set in space.
  • Revisiting the Cold Case: Yann took advantage of the time at Jazz Town to investigate again the case of the Puppeteer, a serial killer who killed his parents at his young age. He was never found, and Yann thinks that now that's a police officer and not just a scared teenager he may be able to solve the crime.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Played with in The Ship of Dreams, where the murder victim is a poor artist trying to pursue romance with an actress, who is already engaged to a wealthy but possessive movie producer. Unlike most examples, however, the actress decided that she loves her glamorous lifestyle (and, by extension, her rich fiance) more than she does the poor suitor and she killed him to cut off her ties with him.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The Puppeteer's first murder was that of their parents.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The murderer in Easy Prey of Pacific Bay killed a bank representative to stop her from demolishing the local theme park only to have the owner of the theme park sell it to the bank anyway, after his arrest.
  • Skip to the End: In The Root of All Evil, Frank asked Honorable Dante to sentence the killer after the latter rambled about his fondness for plants.
  • Smart Cop, Dumb Cop: Downplayed with the player's on-field partners, Amy Young and Frank Knight. The former is a Naïve Newcomer Junior Officer, who is quite attentive to the player and can make keen observations as she gains more experience. The latter is an alcoholic who would prefer to be drinking in a bar than accompany the player, and frequently dismisses the players' findings before being proven wrong later.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The ongoing conflict between the Chinese and Russian communities in the Inner City makes it virtually impossible for any relationship between a Chinese and a Russian to work out.
    • In the first case of the district, Heartless a Russian man eloped with a Chinese woman, and the girl ended up being murdered by her husband's sister, who refused to let Chinese blood get mixed into her heritage.
    • Apparently the leader of the Russians, Nikolai Kamarov, and the leader of the Chinese, Sue Xiong, used to be lovers and even had a child together, but the peer pressure from their families and friends causes them to part ways and abandon their son.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Amy's mother, Miriam Young, is just like an older version of Amy (right down to the hair) — if Amy also happens to be a bespectacled, sour harpy that is.
    • Likewise, Russell looks very similar to his father, Jupiter.
  • Suddenly Shouting: In The Root of All Evil, the player character is implied to lose their patience and yell at Frank when he's reluctant to help with a clue.
    Frank: Alright, alright, I'll help out, don't yell! That bag looks pretty straightforward, let's have a look inside.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In The Root of All Evil, Hannah hacked the computers of a nearby military base and was subsequently detained by Colonel Spangler. Fortunately, she was released because of Chief Marquez's intervention.
  • Tainted Tobacco: In Dead Carpet, the victim ends up dead when he smokes a poisoned cigarette.
  • Theme Serial Killer: The victim of the Puppeteer, a retired serial killer that returned, was cut in several pieces and those pieces were assembled back with metal bars... as if it was an actual puppet.
  • Trophy Wife: Hubert Bannister is an old, balding cripple who is nonetheless a very well-respected and influential member of the Utopians. He is married to a 27-year-old Femme Fatale who is about the same age as (or perhaps even younger than) his daughter.
  • The Unapologetic: One being discovered and forced to drop the facade, The Puppeteer was really proud of his murders, and even when seen behind bars it's with a broad smile in the face.
  • Unishment: The killer in Uncivil Rights was overjoyed to receive a job in prison even though it was the worst job there was, so his sentence was increased to 40 years.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Amy and Russell quite obviously have feelings towards one another: they constantly praise each other's works, and get exceedingly worried whenever the other is in trouble (in Deadly Legacy Amy freaks out when Russell went missing, while Russell gets uncharacteristically infuriated when the Utopians brainwashed Amy in Dead Carpet). However, aside from their occasional flirtings, nothing explicit ever happens between the two. Until A Killer Among Us, that is.
  • Yandere: By the time The Final Countdown rolls around, Bobby Prince has degenerated into one of these. He was willing to commit murder so that he could be with Amy, and when she tells him that she already has a boyfriend, he threatened to shoot her.