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Video Game / Hector: Badge of Carnage

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Hector: Badge of Carnage is a three part adventure game by Telltale Games and Straandlooper.

Clapper's Wreake is a small city in the British Midlands. It also happens to be the worst city in the world. Crime, vice, perversion, corruption, and all other kinds of nasty, nasty things. You name it, it has it, and there's one man who's had enough and plans to do something about it.

This man... is not our hero. He is a terrorist that has taken a building full of civilians hostage until he can find someone to clean up the city's reputation. All attempts to negotiate have ended with the negotiator minus a head, and the police blew most of their "We Negotiate With Terrorists" fund on last year's policeman's ball.

Enter our real hero; Hector, an alcoholic, cynical detective inspector, called in to help after all the other negotiators are killed. He's on the case... right after he figures out how to get out of his cell/office...and finds his trousers...and gets his car started.

Anyway, Hector eventually makes it to the scene, and after some back and forth, the terrorist agrees to release the hostages...on the condition that three tasks that the terrorist believes will help the town are completed first. And since he believes that it's mostly the police's fault Clapper's Wreake is such a shithole (and let's face it, he has a point), he wants Hector to do them. So begins Hector's quest to clean up the town, save the hostages and arrest the terrorist so he can go back to bed.

It is worth noting that this is one of Telltale's darker games. The humor is much more adult and Black Comedy centric than their past works, mostly due to the fact that this is the first series not directed by them (Straandlooper is the brains behind Hector, with Telltale publishing and funding it). Despite this, it has received very positive reception.

Episode 1, We Negotiate With Terrorists, was initially released on iOS in June, 2010, and was released on PC and Mac via Steam one year later. Episode 2, Senseless Acts of Justice, was released in late August 2011. The third and final episode, Beyond Reasonable Doom, was released on September 22.

This game contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Lambert is temporarily playable in the prologues of episodes 2 and 3. The 2nd episode's description in the iTunes App Store apologises for this.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Hector thinks of Doreen as this, and doesn't make much of an effort to hide it.
  • Affably Evil: Barnesly Noble
    • The Beefmart owner. Jovial, funloving, and always willing to give a helping hand. He's also heavily implied to murder any health inspector that comes through his door and hiding the evidence by selling their bodies as meat.
  • The Alcoholic: Hector.
  • The Alleged Car: The Clapheap.
  • Ax-Crazy: The old lady at the bus stop.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Hector himself is implied to be somewhat well-endowed, if his dialogue when he discovers his used condom at the start of Episode 1 is any indication.
    Hector: "Wow! That condom's huge! Er, of course it is. It's mine."
  • Black Comedy
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Non-evil characters are seen as selfish jerks and the only reason Hector tries to stop the terrorist from winning isn't out of concern for the citizens of Clapper's Wreake; he just wants to spite him.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Lambert. Even the sections of episode 2 and 3 where the player controls him directly makes him look like a nearly-useless fool. It's even lampshaded by a guy he ends up rescuing in episode 2, who thinks that walking back home in cement shoes is quicker and more reliable than letting Lambert try to get them off.
  • Catchphrase: Hector has "ballbags" and "retardation". Lampshaded in the third episode where it's one of the option for the codeword to distract Barnsley. (Not that it matters.)
  • Cement Shoes: Early in episode 2, Lambert rescues someone wearing concrete shoes from a crashed car.
  • Chekhov's Gun: the Who Cares? badges
  • Cliffhanger: Episode 1 ends with the terrorist holding Hector at gunpoint.
    • Episode 2 ends with Barnesly Noble being revealed as the Terrorist, and knocking Hector and Lambert out.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Lambert. His overwhelming obliviousness is probably the main thing keeping him from being as nasty and spiteful as most of the rest of the Clapper's Wreake population.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Omnipresent. Made all the easier by the fact that virtually nobody in Clapper's Wreake is even slightly sympathetic.
  • Corrupt Church: The "church" in episode 2 turns out to be a front for a whorehouse.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: After Hector blows up Exotcia he finds an afro wig.
    Hector: Huh. If I had found that earlier I wouldn't have had to blow up the building.
  • Crapsack World: Clapper's Wreake might be one of the more literal examples of the trope. It's not just a dystopian hellhole: it's a DISGUSTING dystopian hellhole. The town's sanitation workers might actually be more worthless than the police.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hector. Lambert also gets some snarky lines in episode 3.
  • The Ditz: Lambert, Hector's Pants-on-head retarded sidekick.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Lambert is used as a hint system so a lot of what he says actually is right no matter how much of a naive idiot he is otherwise.
  • Easily Forgiven: Filthy Rich isn't particularly upset with Hector destroying his XXX shop in episode one, since he got a sizeable payout from the insurance afterwards. He isn't even upset about having both of his legs amputated during the rescue.
  • Electrified Bathtub: At one point, the Terrorist handcuffs Lambert in a bathtub with a live toaster suspended above it. When Hector asks Lambert if he knows what happens when the toaster drops, Lambert replies "Soggy Toast?"
  • Fat Bastard: Our hero.
  • Fly in the Soup: Hector can use a handful of dead flies in Chez LeBouffett to justify getting a new plate of food from the waiter.
  • Foreshadowing: Throughout the first two episodes, it became increasingly likely that Barnsely Noble, the tourist guide, was the terrorist before it was confirmed. Let's see, in the first game their speech text color were identical to each other, the Guide vanished in a most mysterious way after getting his money, the Terrorist uses an Evil Laugh very similar to the Guide at the start of Episode 2, and to top it all of, the "Who Cares" badge gets shaped up to be a MacGuffin. Not to mention that, as the story goes on, more and more people are seen wearing those damn buttons.
    • Lampshaded in Episode 3:
      Hector: "I had you pegged as a baddie from the first time I met you in Episode 1."
  • Even Hector Has Standards: Despite openly admitting to being a Dirty Cop, Hector has some strong words for a few of Clapper's Wreake's citizens who particularly disgust him.
    • Despite all the disgusting things Hector has to do in the game he will not touch the food in Chez LeBouffett. There are also certain things that even he's unwilling to do, in which case he makes Lambert do it.
    • When seeing Fatia servicing John.
    "O God! Can I unsee something?"
  • Gratuitous French: The Chez LeBoeuffet gets these by the ton, its name alone which slips the french word for beef, boeuf, into its name while still retaining a french pronunciation that comes to "buffet".
    • Its waiter rolls both Bilingual Bonus and Stealth Insult into a single line when he gets the cancellation call from the footballer's wife and calls her ma petite debile which translates as my little retard.
  • Gross-Out Show: Features alcohol, porn, (British)toilet humor and such and such.
  • Guttural Growler: Hector. Understandable, given his implied alcoholism and his habit of chain-smoking in his sleep.
  • Hate Plague: Barnsely's plan is to unleash Arsenol, a gas that he created that turns everyone into raving bastards, upon the town so that the citizens of Clapper's Wreake destroy themselves, thus wiping the slate clean and allowing him to create a new, better city.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Hector. Fond of brutality, kickbacks, obviously illegal solutions to legal problems, and pointless abuse of his loyal sidekick.
    Hector: "I don't feel comfortable opening a terrorist's mail. Hmm... I'll make Lambert do it."
  • Hidden Depths: Episode 3 reveals that Lambert is quite skilled in mechanics.
  • Idiot Hero: Lambert's one of the few characters that isn't an utter jerkass. He's also for the most part quite a ditz, though occasionally a Genius Ditz.
  • Improvised Lockpick: Hector can pick locks with things like paperclips and the pieces of a broken toaster.
  • Interface Spoiler: The on-by-default closed captions assign color coding to each character's speech. When you see that the Terrorist and the Beautification Project guy share the same text color...
  • Invisible to Adults: One of the characters in Episode 3 is a Leprechaun that only Lambert can see.
  • It's All About Me: Hector stops just short of voicing this sentiment aloud. He never stops expressing his contempt for most people and most things, and weighs the deaths of 37 cops as less bothersome than the assorted inconveniences that the terrorist causes him. So why does he fight so hard to save Clapper's Wreake? Spite, probably.
  • Jail Bake: One of the stalls at the Clapper's Wreake festival in episode 3 is called "Jailbake" and sells baked goods that are intended to be given as gifts to incarcerated loved ones. One of the customers breaks their teeth after eating a cake with a file baked into it.
  • Jerkass: Everyone. Except Lambert and that one guy trying to start the Clappers's Wreake beautification project. At least until its revealed he's the Terrorist.
    • The French waiter at the Chez LeBouffett may top them all, however.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Hector comments on the number of puzzles in the game that involve toilets:
    Hector: "Somehow it always comes back to toilets."
    • When Hector comments that some of the ideas he has are "flippin' brilliant", Lambert muses that it's almost like thy're channelled through him from a higher being.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Barnsley Noble's ultimate fate at the end of Episode 3
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Said on several occasions, such as when Hector uses a condom to retrieve a paperclip from a toilet bowl.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Filthy Rich suffers an off-screen example of this. When he became trapped in the basement of his destroyed XXX shop, the rescuers had to amputate his legs to get him out of the wreckage.
  • Moral Guardians: One of the Terrorist's demands of Hector is that he finds away to close down Exotico, Clapper's Wreake's XXX shop.
  • Motive Rant: Parodied. Barnsley even has slides set up.
  • Motor Mouth: Doreen
  • Nausea Fuel: In-Universe and Out. A lot of the solutions to puzzles either are gross themselves or a way of getting Hector to touch something he really rather not.
  • Neat Freak: Lambert
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Everything Hector did in the first episode ended up helping the Terrorist with his plan.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted and Lampshaded.
  • No Fourth Wall: Hector insults you or is lazy about incorrect item/item and item/person combinations, talks about his inventory, insults you for failures of common sense, and appears to read character subtitles (including his own). Episodes 2 and 3 begin with Hector being fully aware of being messed with by the tutorials, including telling you not to follow the suggestions. You have to. In episode 3, Hector and Lambert discuss putting each other in their inventories, and another character refers to Hector's "inverted commas".
  • Only Sane Man: Hector seems to be the only sane and competent cop in the entire town and he is a Sociopathic Hero at best. Additionally, he may be a bit of a scumbag himself, and certainly not the only person who thinks Clapper's Wreake is a shithole, but he's the only person who sees the town for what it really is: an irredeemable shithole. He has a better sense than anyone of just how horrible it is.
  • Pet the Dog: In spite of all the abuse Hector heaps on Lambert, he actually gives him the 1st place ribbon from the Strictly Come Gurning contest.
    • Then again, considering that the contest is basically a contest for "Ugliest Person", it's a bit of a backhanded compliment. Still, coming from Hector, who normally just bullies Lambert around this is still quite a change of pace.
    • Blind Ali is shown to be using his blow up doll as a surrogate girlfriend. Even having a romantic dinner with it.
  • Phone-Trace Race: Done in episode 2 to get the location of a takeaway delivery driver with information on one of Hector's leads.
  • Police Are Useless: Hell yes. The terrorist even goes so far to claim that the town's corruption is entirely their fault, and he's probably right.
    • Episode 3 has the entire force drunk in a tent when Hector shows up, yelling about how the terrorist will kill them all. They do nothing useful during the episode.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Pretty much the whole point, you'll be spending all three episodes making Hector or Lambert do disgusting things to advance the plot. At least three of those tasks involve toilets.
  • Robotic Reveal: At the end of Episode 1, Hector confronts the Terrorist, only to find a facial recognizing sniper rifle hooked to a voice-scrambled laptop.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The owner of Beefmart implies that this is the fate of any health inspectors who threaten to close him down, and advises Hector not to purchase any meat from a particular bucket of "veal".
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of Episode 3, Hector mentions that he's only removed one criminal from Clapper's Wreake. The town is too much of a shithole for our favourite fat arse's story to be done.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Both Episode 1 and 2 have you spend a lot of time doing tasks that ultimately do not matter, much to Hector's frustration. Hector barely avoids it turning into a Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Stealth Pun: One of the puzzles in Episode 3 involves learning how to fight like a dairy farmer.
    • During the dinner at Chez Le Boeuffet, Doreen calls Hector a clever linguist when he mentions speaking four languages (five if you count profanity).
  • Street Urchin: In the beginning of episode 2 Lambert meets one who is living in an abandoned fridge, lost his hand in a shoe shining accident and had it replaced by a hook. After he helps Lambert, Lambert ends up adopting him.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: Said by Barnesly to Hector. Specifically, he demands that Hector "release him." Well...
  • Unreliable Narrator: Hector provides his own narration. Filtered through his cynical, alcoholic pessimism and occasional sugar-coating of the less savory aspects of Clapper's Wreake.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: To nobody's surprise, it's Hector again.
  • Shout-Out: The terrorist's plan closely resembles that of Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins, while his Plan B for executing it brings to mind the Joker's escape from jail in The Dark Knight.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Hector escapes from his horrible date with Doreen by hiding sleeping tablets in her food.
  • Stout Strength: Hector's a pretty strong guy, capable of lifting an entire cow over his head. In parts where both he and Lambert are playable, the player will need to utilize his strength to get past obstacles that the limpwristed Lambert can't, or the inverse due to Hector's inability to hold back.
  • The Unreveal: The "Thing".
  • Title Drop: First used literally with the "Who Cares?" badges filled with arsenol that are detonated by the musical note sequence B-A-D-G-E, and then turned into an Incredibly Lame Pun with the inflated "Badger of Carnage" in episode 3.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many of the inhabitants of Clapper's Wreake would qualify but special mention goes to the police officers who keep sending in negotiators even though it always ends with the negotiator getting shot in the head. They lose 37 before Hector is called in.
    • Prevelant in the third episode—The chief says that Barnsley can use his free call...and let Barnsley activate his plan to purify Clappers Wreake!!!
  • Trivially Obvious: The nicest thing Hector ever says about Lambert -
    Hector: "Of all the partners I've had, Lambert is the most... recent."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The terrorist claims to be sick and tired of Clapper's Wreake's debauchery, and wants to clean up the town...through terrorism and extortion.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Hector notices this much after being placed in a Death Trap by Barnesly.
    Hector: "I am flattered that he went through all that trouble for me, but I am wondering why he didn't just club me to death, while I was out cold."
  • Wretched Hive: Clapper's Wreake is described as "The Crime Capital of Britain", and it shows.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Pretty much the relationship between Lambert and Hector with type 1 as the prominent side. Hector will abuse Lambert and Lambert ambles about but they have a 'deep' friendship with each other.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A haggish lady is seen repeatedly vomiting.
    • Barnsley projectile vomits while riding the Regurgitator.