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Visual Novel / Last Window

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"I had no idea that everything would go downhill from there. No idea Ed would finally snap and fire me, no idea that my apartment block was due to be demolished. And that was only the beginning."

Last Window: The Secret of Cape Westnote  is the 2010 sequel to the Visual Novel DS game Hotel Dusk: Room 215. This installment again features Kyle Hyde, now in Los Angeles in 1980. After waking up from a day spent sleeping in his car, he gets a message on his pager and calls his employer to find out he's been fired. His troubles compound when he returns to his home at the Cape West Apartments, only to learn the building is scheduled to be demolished at the end of the month. As Kyle begins to gather his thoughts about this, he receives an anonymous letter requesting that he find something called the Scarlet Star in the apartments. He soon realizes that the apartments are connected to his father's death, and begins investigating.

Though Cing's bankruptcy earlier that year initially threatened No Export for You, it was eventually confirmed for an EU release in September 2010. Although there was no North American release, the fact that the game has no region locking means North American gamers can play an imported copy with no problems, especially since English, French, and Spanish are among the languages that version of the game can be played in.

Last Window provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: The 4th floor was never renovated, so the power is off, the furniture is old and covered in sheets, and the whole area is dusty and musty.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The in-game novel adds snippets of dialogue and features an extended ending which ties up loose ends.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Besides Kyle's parents, there's also Margaret and George. However, his evil acts overwhelmed her love for him and she ends up living with guilt over knowing about all he did and allowing it to happen.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The European cover changes the time of day from dawn to midnight. This kinda leads to a Lost in Translation Mythology Gag since the Japanese subtitle is "Midnight Promise." There's also the fact that while Kyle at one point goes for a walk outside early in the morning, he never does the same at night. What once depicted an actual scene from the game became just a bit of promotional art.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Do you still love your wife?
  • The Bartender: Sidney Reagan, and a very friendly one at that.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kyle finds out the truth about his father's death, but his pain remains. Cape West is demolished and Marie, Rex and Dylan are on the run from Nile, which is all but brought down. However, as in the last game, the story still ends on a positive note as Hugh Speck loses the election and is soon to be exposed for his crimes by Frank, Sidney's family is back together, Tony is headed towards success once more and Kyle sends the Scarlet Star to a museum, leaving his past behind him. The extended epilogue reveals he's happy with his life after all.
  • Bookcase Passage: The elevator has a really elaborate one, which grants access to a secret room between the fourth and fifth floors.
  • Book Ends:
    • As in the first game, the player's first and final act is to open the door to Cape West Apartments.
    • Just prior to the start of any actual game play, Kyle is seen falling asleep in his car. The extended epilogue ends with him falling asleep in his car, too.
  • But Thou Must!: Whenever making either a non-Game Over worthy choice or presenting evidence followed by a deduction.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 7, in which Kyle reunites with Mila, then later celebrates Christmas Eve at Lucky's Cafe with his fellow tenants.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kyle receives an anonymous letter and has to find a stolen item.
    • Playing billiards (instead of bowling) with a friend.
    • Kyle and a friend getting attacked at the beginning of the last chapter.
    • Kyle has to find a secret room.
    • Some puzzles are structured similarly to ones from Hotel Dusk: Room 215, like the one with the dual switches to cut the power off, which was done in reverse in the last game.
  • Captain Obvious: Kyle, as he can still comment on everyday items.
  • Climax Boss: There are two characters whose confrontations are actually resolutions for two of the game's main plotlines, while directly leading to major Plot Twists: Will White, a.k.a Will McGrath, the son of Hotel Cape West's former owner, who kickstarts the plot and essentially drives it with his letters and calls until Kyle exposes him (which results in Will bringing a clearer picture about the past incidents of Cape West), and then there's Dylan, whose increasingly suspicious activities and stalkerish presence start negatively affecting several of the tenants (Margaret, Charles, Frank and especially Marie), finally culminating in The Reveal that he is working for Nile. Appropriately, both confrontations have Kyle being under the danger of being shot.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kyle said this word to word to Sidney when he told what a real fans are.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Bradley is mentioned several times in the in-game novel.
    • Mila shows up in Chapter 7 and Kyle recalls her story.
  • Controllable Helplessness: After Kyle is knocked out, he starts Chapter 10 tied up in a room and has to free himself.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Kyle lives in the apartments in which his father took One Last Job. Rex subtly lampshades the improbability of such a thing.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Kyle is still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but he has visibly softened up somewhat. This is probably because of what happened in Hotel Dusk, and also the fact that the events of Last Window are much more personal for him.
  • Dialogue Tree: As per the norm, but one puzzle near the end requires asking the questions in a very specific order to avoid an instant failure.
  • Event Flag: A particularly jarring one occurs when you have to identify someone on a set of pictures and to do that you must note a particular piece of jewelry on them. Your attention is brought to this piece of jewelry (a necklace) in a conversation with its owner, but you can't identify the person in the pictures until you answer your pager (that beeps just as you finish that conversation), even though the conversation that takes place when you answer the pager has no relation to the jewelry nor the photos.
  • Expy: Tony has a lot in common with Louie from Hotel Dusk. Both are womanizing, long-haired slackers with hearts of gold and criminal records. Like Louie, Tony also looks up to Kyle.
  • The Faceless: Ed again. Kyle's mother is also shown faceless during the scenes set in the present, but it's shown during flashbacks.
  • First-Person Smartass: Kyle.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: How Marie fell in love with her late husband, as well as Kyle's parents.
  • Foil: Will White is in many ways an antithesis of Kyle. Both are salesmen, but Will is much better at charming people (the official website describes him as a "gentlemanly smooth-talker"). Also, like Kyle, Will asks a lot of questions, he pries around in other people's private business and has a dead parent.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The in-game novel is basically an e-book that narrates the events that happened while you played the chapter, including your actions and the branches of the Dialogue Tree that you followed. However, there are points in the gameplay where you can choose two paths, and no matter which one you choose the novel only narrates one (you can, for example, bother Charles when you have to sell stuff to your neighbors, but the novel skips to the two people that are mandatory to advance the plot). There is also dialogue that never happens during the gameplay but is described in the novel (for example, Claire commenting on your high score on the Pinkie Rabbit game on Christmas Eve).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Nile, who were using Condor for their own goals. Also, Nile informant Hugh Speck by extension, who had a huge involvement in a past conspiracy which directly affected Cape West, some of its tenants and even Kyle's father himself, yet he plays no actual role in present time besides running for mayor and thus attempting to expand Nile's influence.
  • The Grinch: Kyle is a mild version, due to an overdose of Christmas cheer shortly after his father's death. He at least has the decency to not let it ruin the holiday for others.
  • Guide Dang It!: Quite a few puzzles, but most notably getting the Condor Key and finding the secret room.
    • Some instant Game Overs are very difficult to avoid without knowing they're coming beforehand. Examples include ignoring Tony in order to avoid giving him the money for the rent and stopping rewinding Frank's tape before it breaks. The latter is hinted at in a secret file, but the game itself discourages opening them, since it prevents 100% Completion.
    • The final puzzle is simply fiendish, even if you do cut open the relevant envelope.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: Ed ends up having a dream of Kyle lying dead on the road a few days after firing him. It's enough to convince Ed to give Kyle a second chance.
  • Have a Nice Death: Triggering a Game Over scene will set off this music. And in a bit of Mood Whiplash, as you move to the Game Over screen itself, you get this music.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Nile is behind Condor, and thus is responsible for the plot once more - to an even greater extent this time, given that one of their moles is a major character who you interact with.
  • In-Game Novel: The in-game Last Window novel, written by Martin Summer from Hotel Dusk.
  • In-Game TV: Kyle has a working TV in his apartment and he ends up catching a show or two with information about the election, which ties into the plot.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Toned down since Hotel Dusk, but still present.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • At one point, Frank ponders if Kyle's investigating is a left-over from his detective days. Kyle claims it is, saying he's "forced to ask these questions".
    • In the final confrontation with Rex, Rex likens the goings-on to a puzzle. Kyle complains that he's been "rather inundated with puzzles lately".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Even after getting canned, Kyle still dresses in his usual suit and tie. He lampshades it at one point by commenting on how little time it takes for him to pick his outfit.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Hyde is tasked from the first chapter with finding The Scarlet Star, which is later revealed to be a diamond.
  • The Mole: Dylan Fitchar was sent by Condor to keep an eye on Cape West Apartments since its re-opening, due to it previously being the location of Condor's headquarters. This is the reason why he's always asking questions.
  • Motif:
    • Windows, unsurprisingly. Kyle spends a lot of time looking out windows, observing the city below him, and metaphorically, it refers to how every character in the building is watching and observing each other (ie Dylan for Nile, Charles for his screenplay, Frank to clear his name) from a distance, no one truly connecting with each other until Kyle forces them to confront their issues straight on, therefore "opening the window."
    • The theme of reflections, particularly how Kyle has parallels with Will McGrath and Rex Foster. All three tirelessly searched for the truth without letting themselves stop to form personal relationships... Except by the time Last Window takes place, Kyle's main demon of finding Bradley is settled. You instead get to see the toll from the outside tha single-minded revenge and their desperation for the truth has taken. It's not pretty.
  • Multiple Endings: There are some slight ending variations depending on your actions.
  • My Greatest Failure: Frank holds himself accountable for the death of Kyle's dad.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Notably in Chapter 10. If you go to Frank's room and accuse him of spraying you on the 4th floor in Chapter 9, no matter what you do after that point, you will eventually head back to Room 406 only to be sprayed again, resulting in a Game Over. You're actually supposed to go to Margaret's room and accuse her instead, but the game in the previous chapter leads you to believe that it's Frank who's up to no good.
  • One Last Job: Chris Hyde was going to turn straight after one last diamond theft, but unfortunately, he was killed.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: Ed decides to give Kyle another chance after an odd dream he has.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The vending machine prize, but this time you have multiple occasions to get it and you're even required to try once. The other is the one you get by not opening the secret files in the novel (again, you're told you'll get something if you don't).
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Averted. Kyle actually has to get rehired and do his job as a salesman as part of the plot.
    • It essentially flips the Decon-Recon Switch on this trope. The deconstruction part is obvious in that Kyle got fired for never doing his job, but it gets reconstructed when he's rehired and he works out a deal with Ed to work on a time frame that's more suited to the order for finding the Scarlet Star.
  • Secret Room: There is a secret room hidden between floors accessible via a hidden hatch in the elevator.
  • Ship Tease: Exponentially increased between Kyle and Rachel. Even more so between him and Mila, since three characters (including his mother) mistake her for his girlfriend, she seems a little too fond of his Christmas present and when they're on the rooftop he gives her an heartfelt speech about how he'll always come to her rescue should the darkness of life trouble her. In typical writing fashion, all the hints are turned up to eleven in the novel. A grand total of four characters, actually. Tony, Jeanie (Hyde's mother), Charles and Margaret (in this order) all have their own remarks to make to Kyle regarding him and his "pretty girlfriend".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Solve the Soup Cans: Subverted. Solving the Lucky's CafĂ© crosswords puzzle later nets Kyle a thousand dollars.
  • The Syndicate: Nile, the art-trafficking ring from the previous game, is back. There's also Condor, later revealed to be a subsidary of Nile, which specializes in selling stolen jewellery.
  • Twisted Christmas: Kyle's dad was bumped off around this time. This Christmas isn't terribly cheery either.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: One late game puzzle involves retrieving a key from a music box. The DS essentially acts as the lid and the interior of the box, which turns off when the two halves are sufficiently closed. The trick is using this at just the right time in order to pop out a key when the internal mechanisms are aligned in such a way as to let it out, which is assigned to one of the shoulder buttons.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kyle invokes this on Dylan to keep him from reporting to Nile, pointing out that a mole who got found out so easily isn't one that Nile would want to keep around.

Alternative Title(s): Last Window The Secret Of Cape West