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Video Game / Jack Orlando

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Jack Orlando is an Adventure Game published in 1997 (with a Director's Cut edition released in 2001). It was made by TopWare's development studio in Poland.

The game is set in the 1930s, and follows an American private detective named Jack Orlando as he tries to foil a criminal conspiracy and prove his own innocence.

This game provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Orlando, while once lauded as a hero, has turned into this by the start of the game, spending much of his time in cheap bars.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: The Chinese man in front of the laundry is like this, including an l/r swap.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The English translation is... very weird, especially when it comes to character dialogue. Conversations don't quite flow naturally, neither party's dialogue matching up very well with the other's, or are just confusing on their own.
  • Broken Aesop: At least one character claims that Biff, Orlando's big black neighbor is a guy who prefers to solve all of his problems with brute force and thus should be taught a lesson. While Biff certainly isn't the nicest character we encounter in the game, it is Orlando who first tries to steal the crank from his car, subsequently knocking Biff out in an unfair fight. (And don't forget: Biff will leave Orlando be if he feels like Orlando won't attempt anything like it again.) Is it really so surprising that, at their next meeting, Biff is more than anxious to knock the living shit out of Orlando?
  • The Chanteuse: The Night O'Granis bar has one of these in the background.
  • Da Chief: Inspector Tom Rogers, an old friend of Orlando who uses his position to let Orlando investigate the murder he's accused of. (Except that Rogers doesn't actually want it solved, because he's taking the conspirators' money.)
  • Clear My Name: When Orlando is accused of murder at the start of the game, the Inspector (citing his friendship with Orlando and the good work he did in the past) gives Orlando forty-eight hours to find the real murderer - but if he can't, it's going to be assumed he did it.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The bad guys planned this for Bellinger after he killed Major Reynolds for them. The man Bellinger was meeting to receive his payment was in fact another killer.
  • The Corpse Stops Here:
    • At the start of the game, a drunken Orlando sees a shooting in an alley, and is then knocked out himself. When the police find him and the corpse, their assumption is that he's the killer. (They don't quite get around to explaining why, if that's the case, Orlando was unconscious himself.)
    • It then happens again. When someone kills Bellinger in a drive-by shooting, Orlando pulls out his gun and fires back... just in time for someone to come out of a nearby building and see him standing over a corpse with said gun. And to cap it off, the policeman who shows up is the same one who was present the first time.
  • Covers Always Lie: Elizabeth looks way younger and prettier on the box than she does in the actual game.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: By modern standards, Orlando is a massive bigot. By the standards of the game's time period, he's nothing unusual.
  • Detective Mole: Inspector Tom Rogers.
  • Detective Patsy: It looks like the Inspector is doing Orlando a favour in letting him try to prove his innocence, but since the Inspector is actually in on the crime, he isn't intending Orlando to get anywhere. Part way through the game, Orlando gets in trouble again and is told to wait for the Inspector - if he does, the Inspector decides that he's making too much progress and locks him up, resulting in a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Dirty Cop: Inspector Tom Rogers turns out to be one of these, taking bribes from the villains to protect them.
  • The Don: Don Scaletti is apparently in charge of most of the crime in town, and is one of the parties to the central conspiracy.
  • Evil Pays Better: The only reason why Tom Rogers decided to team up with the Mafia is that he was unsatisified with the money he made as a police inspector.
  • Going by the Matchbook: Orlando knows to investigate a certain bar when he finds a matchbook from it near the crime scene.
  • The Great Depression: Not an explicit focus of the game, but evident from the generally decrepit state of the surroundings (run-down and abandoned buildings, homeless people, and so forth).
  • Film Noir: It's set a bit before the heyday, but it certainly has similarities.
  • He Knows Too Much: The initial murder, that of Major Pete Reynolds, is partly because he knows enough to threaten the conspirators and now says he wants out. Don Scaletti also says this of Orlando.
  • Hollywood Law: Inspector Rogers provides Orlando with forty-eight hours to clear his name (see above) despite the fact that the crime scene gives absolutely no indication that he is the actual culprit; the only defense Orlando can produce against such absurd accusations is something along the lines of "I know it looks bad but I ain't done it" and he doesn't even bother to quesion why the hell would he be lying all night long next to the body of the guy he supposedly killed, and if he had, what happened to the gun?
  • Informed Attractiveness: Kind of, though related to fame rather than looks. The opening cutscene goes out of its way to show how much of a celebrity Jack Orlando used to be back in the day, making front pages, being the mayor's favorite etc. However, at the time when the actual game takes place, hardly anyone, including his very neighbors, recognizes Jack Orlando as an erstwhile hero of the city; in fact, other than Inspector Tom Rogers, the only people who seem to have any idea about Orlando's past are the thugs he had once encountered.
  • Interface Spoiler: At least some rare variation of it: towards the end of the game it is revealed that Orlando's friend and a police inspector Tom Rogers is taking money from the Mafia. We can actually find that out sooner if we happen to lose the game at a particular point; when Belinger is shot dead on the street, if Orlando doesn't leave the scene before Tom arrives, he will be arrested. Cut to Orlando bashing his fist against the bars of a cell door and throwing curses at Tom who is smirking at him from the other side, claiming that "justice triumphs only in fairy tales."
  • Key Under the Doormat: Orlando's own apartment.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Orlando can pick up pretty much anything that isn't nailed down. Particularly egregious since most items are completely useless.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: To an extent, Elizabeth. She appears, and her help is necessary, but she doesn't have the prominence that she gets on the cover. (She's there when Orlando meets Don Scaletti, she helps him escape in the next scene, and then is absent until the epilogue.)
  • The Mafia: One half of the conspiracy. They're buying weapons from a corrupt major in the US army, and arranged for the initial murder (which is what draws Orlando in) to keep it quiet.
    • Mafia Princess: Elizabeth. She rebels against her family after the death of her boyfriend, Bellinger, and helps free Orlando from the Mafia.
  • Maybe Ever After: Orlando and Elizabeth, at the end of the game. They seem interested in getting to know each other, and walk off together towards her place, but to avoid any "misunderstandings", she makes it explicit that Orlando is sleeping on the couch. (Given that they barely know each other, a full-fledged Last-Minute Hookup might have seemed a bit implausible.)
  • Officer O'Hara: Alex Mulligan, who twice chances to arrive on scenes which don't look good for Orlando.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Orlando will expose the real culprit of the crime charged against him and the conspiracy behind it, but boy, is he a product of his time, having very unflattering interpretations of women, African-Americans, Chinese, and gay people.
  • Private Detective: What Orlando is - or at least, used to be. He was once well-known, being front page news and being rewarded for his various deeds by the mayor, but by the start of the game, it's not clear how much work he's doing - he seems more interested in getting drunk.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Don Scaletti has one, quite likely as a Shout-Out to Don Corleone's cat.
  • Spinning Paper: Used in the introduction to display some of Orlando's past successes (which contrast with his current state).
  • Token Minority: Biff, Orlando's supposedly unstable African-American neighbor, and the owner of the Chinese laundry seem to be the only people of non-European ancestry in the entire city.
  • Updated Re-release: A Director's Cut of the game was released some time after the original. It didn't add much additional content though, which is quite surprising, considering the fact that the original game has like dozens of characters and locations you can talk to and visit that have no bearing on your ability to beat the game whatsoever. What you get instead is, well, a medieval castle hidden beneath a ruined house in the middle of an American city. Oh, and when you leave said castle, you'll end up in a bar full of 1970s TV sets. The bar is an obvious visual reference to Full Throttle, but the rest... don't ask.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The bad guys seem to have this attitude, combining it with He Knows Too Much in the case of Major Reynolds (who is both useless to them and a potential threat when he wants out of the conspiracy).