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Video Game / X-Noir

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X-Noir is a mystery/action game created with RPG Maker XP. It was released in June 2012 by Volrath and ArtBane.

Eddie Humphrey was once an up-and-coming City Councilor but now he's a depressed alcoholic who has-been making a living as a private investigator. Hardly a typical film noir hero, Eddie is beset by severe anxiety, depression and low self-esteem as he balances his work with visits to the therapist and the concerns of his circle of friends. When a mysterious drug called "Chemical X" begins to play a recurring role in his investigations, Eddie realizes he is being drawn back into the twisty world of city politics whether he likes it or not.


The game is a unique combination of logic-based investigations, action RPG gameplay, black humor and science-fiction. While at first glance, X-Noir may seem like typical detective story, it is actually a thoughtful deconstruction of the noir genre. Check it out at

This series includes examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Welles and Michaelsen.
  • Arc Words: "I should have done this a long time ago".
  • Bash Brothers: If the prologue is to be believed, Eddie and Muñoz were this when they infiltrate into the hotel to take down Big Jimmy. They do it again at the end of the story to chase after Michaelsen. In the same hotel, no less!
  • Batman Gambit: The Green Dream and the recent thiefs and deaths around the city is all part of Michaelsen's plan to make Welles look bad so he could win the elections.
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  • Black and White Morality: Eddie is extremely self-righteous, and sees himself (and his friends by extension) as automatically good and his enemies (Baxter, Hastings and Welles) as automatically evil. It comes to bite him in the ass later, as he doesn’t see Michaelsen’s betrayal coming.
  • Body Horror: If someone takes too many doses of Green Dream, their body disintegrates into slime. This is the fate of Lamont Kane, Nicole Cooke and many, many unnamed junkies in the crackhouse.
  • Broken Ace: Eddie.
  • Bromantic Foil: Muñoz, Artie.
  • But Now I Must Go: Eddie does this, after faking his death and taking down Michaelsen.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A recurrent theme in Solest games. Eddie was raised by his grandparents, after his firefighter father died on the line of duty and his mother died of drug addiction. He became a Defender in the council but was discouraged by the corrupt ways of politicians and the cops. Despite bringing Big Jimmy down and helping clear Muñoz's name, he lost his seat in the council (probably due to the fact that he always got into trouble with the people in the council due to his self-righteousness). Afterwards, everyone turned his back on him until he became a depressed alcoholic. No wonder he's so broken and it takes the whole story for him to make progress of recovery.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: Interestingly, the game consists of keeping Eddie away from this, and if he takes bad decisions, his anxiety meter will increase. He still suffers some pretty major Sanity Slippage throughout the whole game, but he comes closest to this after Artie gets shot because of him. After his realization, he finally decides to truly become The Atoner, fake his death and start a new life.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Eddie has them. It's even in the title screen, together with his bright, younger, idealistic self.
  • Driven to Suicide: A running gag consists of Eddie trying to kill himself, only to back off at the last moment.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Green Dream. It's a deadly drug that makes people dissintegrate into slime if they dosed too much.
  • Foreshadowing: Welles is always seen in the pharmacy and he tells Eddie that he has a high knowledge about drugs. This hints his former job as a chemist in the military and the creator of the Green Dream.
  • Genre Savvy: Eddie will often point out certain things, including making references and even invoking tropes.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Muñoz (implied to be Mexican) who uses random Spanish words in his otherwise fully in English speech.
    Hey, amigo. How's it going?
  • Good Is Not Soft: A recurring theme of the series- those with good motives but are soft tend to fail miserably, but those who are good, but hard and pragmatic, tend to be far more successful in their goals.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The conflict between the Advocates and the Defenders are from two opposing, yet morally grey sides.
  • Hikikomori: Kat is agoraphobic and hasn't gotten out of her apartment in years. Downplayed, since she has a stable life inside her house and still has Eddie visiting her.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Subverted. Eddie is very good at discerning the true alignments and motivations of others. Thnaks to this, he's able to tell when someone is lying to him during interrogation time. And then subverted again regarding Michaelsen and Welles. Eddie's trust on Michaelsen leads to falling into a trap at the Weapon Plant and getting him and Artie almost killed. However, the one person that he consistently distrusts is Welles, because of a certain Noodle Incident in the past, but he finds out that he's not that bad compared to what has Michaelsen done.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Baxter, the chief police, may be an "officious prick," but he is quite right that Eddie, an emotionally unstable alcoholic, as a private investigator and Muñoz's informant is a bad idea.
    • For all Eddie's loathing of him, Welles is very good at his job, including trying to cover the existence of the Primedium so it won't end up in wrong hands.
  • Karma Houdini: Even though he was arrested in the end, Michalesen postponed his trial for the elections, still believed he had a chance. However, he loses the elections and his position due to Eddie proving that he was the one responsible for the Green Dream's distribution. And nobody believes his claims that Eddie faked his death.
  • Lemony Narrator: Sometimes Eddie lapses into this.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A male example and Continuity Nod from Labyrinthine Dreams. Artie is still as quirky, free-spirited and kind as ever, encouraging the gloomy Eddie to loosen up a bit. Their relationship ends tragically when Artie gets shot by Michaelsen at the exact moment Artie dragged him out of his shell. Depending on your decisions, either Eddie decides not to see him again out of guilt or he confides Artie about his new life and identity in The Stinger.
  • Maybe Ever After: The ending implies this for Eddie and Regina. She's unhappy with her marriage, clearly stil carries a torch for Eddie after all those years and he doesn't seem to dislike her attention.
  • Multiple Endings: Two, depending on Eddie's decisions during the game.
    • True Ending: After Eddie and Muñoz manage to capture Michaelsen, Eddie moves to a forest to start a new life as a park ranger. He still keeps in touch with his friends and he's visited by the Eklunds.
    • Bad Ending: Same as the above, but Eddie refuses to see Artie and Beth, still blaming himself for getting them in trouble for the Green Dream incident.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Chick Wayne is an unpleasant person and distrusts Eddie, but he genuinely cares about Nicole. After Eddie finds Nicole's necklace after she had died due to the effects of the Green Dream and gives it to Wayne, he becomes slightly nicer. At Eddie's funeral, Wayne admits that the reason he distrusted Eddie was because he's hard to read.
    • Baxter is a jerkass chief police who absolutely hates Eddie's guts and self-righteousness, but in the end, after Eddie helps Muñoz to arrest Michaelsen, he doesn't tell anyone that Eddie had faked his death. And he cares a lot about his underling Muñoz, so he's not that bad at all.
    • Eddie's friendship with Muñozand Katherine shows that he isn't a bad guy. Also, when he opens up to the Eklunds.
    • Let's admit it, Eddie defending Welles when Michaelsen tries to justify about the fact that he stole his Super Serum in order to beat him in the elections comes up as a very heartwarming moment, after Eddie had spent most of the game despising him.
  • The Power of Friendship: Despite a lot of dark themes and how many two-faced, hypocritical people are in the city, it's friendship that helps Eddie live through his problems, even if he can't exactly get over them.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A recurring theme in this series.
  • The Resenter: Eddie absolutely despises Welles and the Advocates as extension. It's revealed that during elections, the pragmatic Welles gave bad reputation to Eddie and his party in order to make his own party win the elections, resulting in Eddie losing his position. To the point he assumes the worst of him in many ocassions. Then Eddie finds that Welles created the original Green Dream, a failed Super Serum for the military and tried to dispose of it after he realized it was dangerous. And then he overhears Welles saying in the fake funeral that Eddie was Too Good for This Sinful Earth and is eager to work on a cure for the Green Dream that has been killing people in the city. No wonder Eddie changes his opinion of him and even defends him during his final confrontation with Michaelsen, establishing that even though Welles is a lying backstabber during elections, at least he's a decent politician compared to Michaelsen.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While there are multiple corrupt politicians in X Noir, some stand out as ostensibly good while not being weak, including Michaelsen, Hall and Kane (before his drug addiction). Even Welles after Eddie finds about his Hidden Depths.
  • Red Herring: When it's revealed that the one behind the Green Dream might be a politician, Eddie inmediately assumes it's Welles or Hastings, due to Hasting being fired because of Eddie's involvement during the Big Jimmy incident and Eddie's own resentment towards Welles. Turns out Welles was Good All Along and Hastings was The Dragon to the real Big Bad, Michaelsen.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Eddie, as a man blinded by Black and White Morality and politic hatred, he is certainly this.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Multiple characters believe this, but most pronounced are Baxter (who has a point given his underlings) and Eddie (who is sometimes wrong about his peers' motivations, but other times is completely right in his assessment).
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted with Mrs. Stanwyck, who's a competent psychologist who genuinely wants to help Eddie. She even suggests the "Anxiety Bar" mechanic for the game, so Eddie could meassure his anxiety.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Some of the more sinister villains are seen as actually good people by the majority of people. The biggest example of this is Michaelsen.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending. Michalesen loses his seat in the council and is arrested. Welles is still in the council and Regina got promoted. Everyone in the city believes Eddie died, with the exception of his trusted friends (and Baxter). Eddie's friends still get in touch with him, who lives a quiet life in the forest as a park ranger. And Regina still has feelings for him and (depending on the ending) the Eklunds find out that Eddie survived and visit him at his new home.
  • Wretched Hive: The city is this to a tee.

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