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There will be craploads of shout-outs to the original radio show Dragnet and possibly Mad Men

I am so hoping for someone in the police department to be named Joe Friday — that would make my life. Especially since L.A. Noire is pretty much Dragnet the Video Game - a crime drama based on real cases from the 1940s (the radio show Dragnet ran from 1949-1957). And considering that this game is slowly turning into a Mad Men reunion...

Meaningful Name: Elysian Fields

"Elysian Fields", a company which buys land to build settlements on it only so they can be burned down by a hired madman so the company can sack the insurance money? Reminds some of these tropers really much of the "Phlegraeian Fields", a region with very high and unstable subterranean vulcanic activity in northern Italy near the infamous Vesuvius. It is predicted to blow up in near future and cover the entire Napoletanian coast with fire and ashes. Or how did Ira Hogeboom call it?
Ira Hogeboom: Oh, the fires are only the beginning, doctor... After the fires, everything will be beautiful and clean. Everything will be erased; The world will be fresh and new.

  • The Elysian Fields are another name for Elysium in Greek mythology. It's a good kind of afterlife. That's probably the likely reference.
    • It was also the name of a cemetery in which Sarah Fisher was supposed to be buried in Splinter Cell Essentials.

Red Dead Redemption will be referenced in some way, as will GTA.

Well, considering Bully is apparently in the same universe as Grand Theft Auto, establishing a certain precedent for Rockstar games all being in the same universe, it seems rather likely someone will mention John Marsten, or even Jack may show up in some way. I'm also expecting offhand references to Liberty City, just to cement the Shared Universe.
  • Given that great pains have been taken to recreate the real 1940's Los Angeles from the ground up rather than substituting a look-alike (as with LC for NYC and the border territories of Red Dead for the real Western frontiers), it seems unlikely anything that isn't real world will be referenced, at least not in the context of a shared universe. That said, California was mentioned in places of Red Dead Redemption, leaving a Shared Universe as a possible, if unlikely possibility.
  • Confirmed.
    • Or maybe that's just an old hat.
      • Doubt it. In real life there are coincidences all the time but in video games, someone had to model and texture that hat from scratch and then stick it in the game somewhere.

Phelps will run afoul of corrupt higher-ups

A lot of promotional material has focused on the corruption of the LAPD during the setting. Because Cole is a By-the-Book Cop, he'll be demoted out of the way at some point. Most likely, this will be the reason for progressing from the prestigous Vice desk, to the somewhat less glamorous Arson, as at some point during the Vice arc Phelps will start to come dangerously close to exposing the department's corruption. Thereafter, the Arson arc will probably be almost entirely dedicated to Cole's own motivation of getting back at the people who dead-ended his career, rather than the 'crime of the week' cases that will probably fill the Patrol, Traffic and Homicide desks.
  • Confirmed with a vengeance.

Captain Donnelly will be one of said corrupt higher-ups

He's featured in the trailers as the devoted, hardassed captain who fast tracks Cole into the Traffic Department. Given how extremely faithful to his job he seems, from what little we've seen of him, he'll turn out to either a Knight Templar being manipulated by his superiors, or he'll have been putting on an over the top act all along.
  • Captain Dudley Smith of L.A. Confidential and James Ellroy's other books from the L.A. Quartet springs to mind- an Irish captain who's apparently on a crusade of justice that includes skirting the edges of the law, seemingly for the greater good. Add to that Smith was somewhat involved with Homicide in the LAPD, and it may turn out Captain Donnelly is actually an Expy, in which case corruption is to be expected.
  • Actually, there's no indication that Donnelly is crooked at all, just a little too enthusiastic about his job and aware of the realities of the politics involved.
    • Actually, there is one. In one of the homicide case, he took the box of liquor from the market. He's not near the level of Suburban Development Fund but taking some merchandise from your suspect is not a lawful thing to do.
      • Rule of Funny excuses that though!
      • That might be unlawful, but it's not actually corrupt. It's like the difference between someone spraying graffiti on a wall and someone committing a murder. Sure, they're both crimes, but honestly, which act are you going to be calling evil and which act are you going to consider basically harmless?
      • Donnelly’s handling of the Black Dahlia case could be described as corrupt because even before he decides to cover up the identity of the Black Dahlia his main concern was avoiding embarrassment by admitting they had arrested innocent men and that a serial killer was on the loose. Yes the innocent suspects will be released but they’re getting off on legal technicalities their reputations have already been dragged through the mud by the press. There are arrests on their records they will have to explain to future employers. Donnelly is prepared to let these men have their lives ruined to avoid embarrassing a prominent politician and the LAPD.

There will be a Downer Ending

As a piece of Noir fiction, and having had Rockstar take part in production (who don't have much of a good track record when it comes to happy endings) to boot, this seems almost like a sure thing. The specifics of the ending may be anything from:
  • Cole getting killed during the final case
  • Cole getting run out of the force for digging too deep into LAPD corruption
  • Cole not being able to deal with his past WWII demons and ending up a wreck, compounded by all of the grisly cases he's worked on throughout the story.

Alternatively, the game will be full of mini Downer Endings

Just as in real life, some of the cases might lead to the player running into dead ends, leaving them unsolved. And there will be nothing the player can do about it, regardless of skill or number of replays.

Mrs. Phelps will feature as a key plot point

If one looks closely at all of the preview screens and videos, Phelps can be seen wearing what looks like a wedding band on his ring finger. Presumably, this means he's married. It seems that during the Vice arc, Cole begins a relationship with German singer Elsa Lichtmann despite his partners warnings to "stay away". Somehow, through a little detective work of her own, Mrs. Phelps finds out about the affair and makes it public, ruining Cole's reputation and getting him swept under the rug to Arson to try and live down the controversy it causes the LAPD when their recruitment poster boy is outed as unfaithful to his wife.
  • Alternatively, he's a widower or divorced?
  • Scary how close this came to being true.

Sometime late in the game, Cole leaves the LAPD to become a private investigator

Some of the game's leaked achievements are oddly specific, with descriptions such as "knock out an enemy without losing your hat as an LAPD Detective or Investigator"
  • Seconded, although it crossed this tropers mind that the Investigator part might just apply to getting said achievment(s) during the Patrol desk when Cole isn't technically a detective, or during the Arson desk when his proper title will probably change to Arson Investigator, rather than detective.
  • Jossed due to And Now for Someone Completely Different; The Investigator refers to Jack Kelso, Insurance Investigator and someone Cole Phelps knew from the War.

The entire game is Cole Phelps' Dying Dream

During the penultimate flashback to Okinawa, Courtney shoots the then Lieutenant Phelps in a fit of rage due to his orders that led to burning alive numerous wounded civilians in a field hospital. Even though Jack Kelso gives the order for the squad to get him to an aid station, Phelps either never made it or died on arrival. From there, the entire game is his Dying Dream which encompasses his imaginings of what life would be like once he made it back to the USA. All of the partners he's paired up with on the desks are the various elements of his subconscious:
  • Stefan Bekowsky is his urge to be more liked by the men under his command, as evidenced by Stefans friendly banter with the patrolman in the 'Fallen Idol' case and his general demeanour. He's also representative of how Phelps thinks he might have turned out (and wished he did) if he hadn't enlisted with the Marines during the war, as indicated by the argument they have over where Stefan was during the war shortly after they first meet.
  • Rusty Galloway is an affirmation of how his privileged background as a college student has meant nothing of real value during his time in the war. Rusty even explicitly brings up the point of why his 'old man' bothered in paying for college tuition for Cole in the first place. By the end of this particular sequence however, his pride steps in, hence the reason why the crux of the final homicide case rests on Cole's knowledge of classical poetry. However, the fact that they have to kill the Dahlia killer, and that it gets covered up to boot is actually a final indication of Cole fully acknowledging that his education meant nothing of value as an officer, who should have cared more about the men under his command than the idiosyncrasies of the politics going on behind the war.
  • Roy Earle is a manifestation of who Cole has, by this point, realized the men under his command see him as; as dishonest crook concerned only with furthering his own agenda. Furthermore, the affair with Elsa is a sign of Cole's respect for cultures that he should have no business caring about, as seen during the flashback to his interrogation of the two captured Japanese soldiers. His own nature (Earle) eventually betrays him, a sign of Cole finally accepting his own ruthlessness and what an awful officer he has been to his men. Arson is his attempt to discover redemption within himself, and the final manifestation of his personality;
  • Herschel Biggs guides him along. Biggs IS basically Cole. A jaded war veteran without many friends to his name, and a 'social basketcase' as the arson captain puts it, the two are identical, hence this is a sign of Cole fully accepting the need to discover the better parts of his own personality, and a more realistic interpretation of who Cole is compared the exaggerated nature of Earle.
  • Finally, as Jack Kelso takes a more prominent role in the story, he acts as a sort of nirvana that Cole wishes he could have reached. His regrets are washed away by the act of saving Kelso, in which he admits to himself Jack is the person he wished he could be. Other interesting notes include Captain Donnelly, who in acting as a father figure, is actually a manifestation of Cole's real father. His declaration that Cole was 'one of my favourite sons' wasn't at all figurative, it is actually Cole imagining his fathers pride, and subsequent disappointment in his actions. The main crux of the plot includes all of Cole's old unit, who he naturally works into his dream as they are the last people he saw before being mortally wounded. Various inconsistencies such as the L.A. palm tree's being larger than they should have been in 1947 and the presence of the Intolerance set are all accounted for as Cole's own imaginings of what life would be like for him in 1947 crossed with fevered misremembering. The specific details of each case are all constructed so as to allow Cole to progress and solve each one, and the fact that he rises from patrol to detective in such a short time is also explained by the disjointed sense of time within his dream. The fact that events he couldn't have known about back in 1945 such as the Black Dahlia killings can be hand-waved as an eerily accurate prediction or some sort of limited clairvoyance.
    • Aditionally, Cole's first partner Ralph Dunn is a manifestation of how Cole sees the soldiers that served under him. Which is why he was very much The Generic Guy and the fact that he never took the initiative but instead lets him decide on where they're going. Kind of like a soldier waits for the officer to decide what the unit would do.

Jack Kelso was the protagonist all along

And this is probably true. Look a the structure of L.A. Noire: you're playing the backstory. If this were a film noir movie, how does it begin? With the Femme Fatale walking into the PI or investigator's office and setting the events in motion. This is exactly what happens with Kelso. He's an insurance investigator. A sexy dame walks into his office with a strange request (turn down a hefty insurance policy). He falls for the dame, but it turns out she's the sweetheart of his old army commander who is a publicly shamed police detective, and one that there's some serious animosity towards. The last 1/5th of the game plays out in the classic Film Noir - the broken police detective atones for his mistakes by getting killed, and the PI is forced to watch some of the perpetrators get away. This is driven home by the fact that it's KELSO who delivers the last speech in the post-credits cutscene saying he'll never compromise his value system. Oh, and by the way, if there's an LA Noire 2, guess who will have to be the protagonist, who just happens to be a PI - hint: it ain't Herschel Biggs. However, the way the ending is set up, Biggs would probably be either his Friend on the Force or his assistant. Funny how things work out, huh?
  • Building upon this, the game effectively becomes a deconstruction of tropes such as The Cape and Wide-Eyed Idealist, represented in the game by Cole. Cole is honest, upright and strictly adheres to law and procedure. These are portrayed as admirable, but unpragmatic traits. This is particularly noticeable in the WW2 flashbacks where Cole is shown to be a rigid, inflexible and overall poor commanding officer. In the game itself, Cole's idealism leaves him ill-equipped to combat the institutional corruption of the LAPD and of LA in general. It is only by turning to the less rigid Kelso (as noted above, a far more typical protagonist for a noir story, being an Anti-Hero) that he is able to achieve anything. Kelso is the hero of the game, because he's the sort of hero that is needed in a noir style plot- more of a Sam Spade, less of a Dudley Do-Right like Cole. And yes, I'm aware how close this is coming to ripping off Gordon's speech at the end of The Dark Knight.
    • Uncomfirmed rumours state that LA Noire started out where Kelso began. They had originally had you going backwards in time, but it turned out to be clunky. They figured out it was better to have you play out Cole's rise and fall in the police force, and found it made the game much longer and intriguing. So, you experience Cole's rise and fall for the first 15 hours, then the last 2 hours plays like an actual film plot. If an ounce of this is true, it's no wonder this game was in development hell for so long.
      • I think new enlightening facts about the development process of the game bring to mind the idea that: any ideas regarding the story that were made in the very early days before Rockstar picked up the product can be safely written off as something that wasn't considered in mind when the ending was being made. It's far more likely Rockstar just wanted their new property to have an action climax and couldn't think of any other way to do it, despite the mood of the rest of the game clashing with the ending considerably.

Cole is alive

I think its possible, if unlikely. His body was probably never recovered, considering the manner of his death and the closed casket at his funeral. Maybe I'm just being overly optimistic/attached. Who knows?
  • Well, I believe you. If he survived the drowning, he would have taken a new identity to investigate the corruption of the LAPD and kill Roy Earle for starting all of this.
  • Wouldn't Cole have learned how to swim? It seems like basic police training and Marine training.
    • I don't think Cole's swimming ability would have made any difference - notice how incredibly powerful that stream is as it shoots up through the grates. I actually winced when I first watched it, figuring Cole was probably crushed the moment he hit an obstacle down there...
  • He may well be secretly alive after the ending because he appears in "The Streets of LA," part of the Arson files, which shows up after you complete the ending. "The Streets of LA" segments of each desk (Patrol doesn't have this free roam segment) show up after completing all the cases in the given desk.

This page is full of Word Of Gods and/or was mostly written by either a member of Rockstar or Team Bondi

I mean look at how many of the WMG's from before the games were accurate, and how accurate they were. Almost as if they were written by someone with inside knowledge...

This game might be difficult for people with Asperger's Syndrome to play.

  • Judging from the description that says you need to be able to read facial expressions and other bodily clues from characters in the game.
    • OK, now I'm curious, someone have someone test this out! Science demands an answer!
      • Probably Jossed considering even making wrong choices will still let you proceed.
    • I heard somewhere it's being used for exactly that. Just a rumor, though.
  • Actually, not as much as you might believe. The game has a number of ways to allow people who can't read people to effectively play. For one, there's a little tone after each Truth/Doubt/Lie junction, which will tell you if your choice was correct or not. Also, Cole will make a different mark in his notebook depending on whether your choice was correct. What's more, if someone is Lying, the game mechanics dictate that you will have a piece of evidence on hand to prove otherwise. This troper has Asperger's (diagnosed by a professional, though he considered it lighter than usual Aspies), and he's played about half the game, having minimal problems making the correct choice. Of course, the fact that one of this troper's favorite areas of interest is detective stories and the like may have something to do with it...
    • I believe the original poster was positing that it may be more difficult for players with Asperger's to deduce somebody's intention through facial tells, not their ability to progress in the game.
    • Another diagnosed Aspie here, the thing to understand is that the game is NOT subtle about when someone is lying. There are simple rules (do they look away, do they shift around) that let you guess it every time. In a way, reading people in LA Noire is how Aspies WISH people in real life acted.

Rusty Galloway is Mr. Galloway's grandfather.

One of Rusty's daughters, grown up and sick of him, moved to Bullworth with her husband. Sometime in the early 50s, she would give birth to a son. Not wanting him to turn out like his boorish grandpa, she made sure he got a decent education, though he would inherit Rusty's passion for the drink.

Roy Earle had a particularly close friend or family member die in the War

He gets angry at Elsa whenever she speaks German and seems like the type closeminded enough to tar all Germans with the same brush.
  • Roy fought in the European theater, which means he was probably fighting the Germans.

The majority of DLC cases will be for the Vice desk

I mean, come on! It was only three levels long (barring The Naked City)!
  • Two confirmed DLC are in the Vice squad. Another is in Traffic, another is in Arson.
    • The idea was to have 5 cases for each desk. Traffic ended up with three, Homicide had five, Vice had three, and Arson had 4 (plus the final case, which wasn't really a case). The DLC brings each desk to five: The Consul's Car (PS3 exclusive) and A Slip of the Tongue for Traffic, Reefer Madness and The Naked City for Vice and Nicholson Electroplating for Arson. According to The Other Wiki, some of the DLC cases were cut from the original game to make it fit on three Xbox 360 discs.

Jon Hamm will show up in one of the DLC cases

Because everyone else vaguely associated with that show seems to be in the game.

Cole Phelps is mildly psychic.

The real reason he doesn't wear gloves while investigating is because he can tell via touch whether or whether not an item is important to the case. That's why he'll say something to the lines of 'nope, not important' when he picks up something irrelevant. This is supported in game in one of the traffic cases, where Phelps finds a knife and his partner says that anyone could have thrown that out and that they're investigating a hit-and-run. Cole knows it's important, he just doesn't know how, yet.
  • I love this idea, and the fact that Kelso doesn't seem to make the same kinds of comments on items he picks up would support the idea that Phelps has abilities the other protagonist doesn't.
  • It's known as psychometry, and I'm seconding the love for this idea. It's brilliant, and it makes a ton of sense. This is now canon in my mind.
  • The newspaper cutscenes are just extended trances Cole goes into when touching the related articles.

Dr. Fontaine is a Death Seeker.

Because of having a Villainous BSoD of how he is almost nice to everyone, that would make him want to die. So he arranges to almost have Hedgeboom to be killed and trying to get Elsa to kill him by attacking her.

The next batch of DLC will be...

The Burglary desk which had been cut out, which probably explains why Rusty's old partner took an "early retirement."

The reason Roy Earle gave them the dirt on Cole was to...

Get revenge for all the times you smashed his car while driving it (and recover the costs while he's at it).
  • I personally think that Roy was just still pissed off about Cole losing his fifty dollars.
  • Maybe he feels like it's Nothing Personal. He was in with the corrupt higher ups after all, so maybe he knew throwing Cole under the bus would get him a fancy reward. After all, the smear campaign was done for no other reason then to throw off the media attention the guys in charge were getting by giving them something better to focus on. This might explain why Roy is still trying to be buddy buddy with Cole later on even after he ruined his life. And of course, there's always the fan theory that Roy did what he did because he knew Cole would uncover the Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspiracy, and he knew the disgraced Cole would be in the right position to get the job done once he was thrown into the Arson Desk.
    • Nothing Personal is my take on it, too. I got the feeling that for all that Roy knows that Cole's a By-the-Book Cop who is never going to go over to the dark side, Roy likes Cole just fine, and found his affair with Elsa more amusing than anything else; he just likes his cushy Vice job and the rep that comes with it much better, and Cole was in the perfect position to take one for the team. If it hadn't been for the pressure on Vice, I doubt he would have said anything.
  • He was jealous. By progressing in the desk Roy was getting silently butthurt by the shiny boy he himself helped to bring in.

Cole's death was no accident.

Think about it. Sure, the circumstances that led to his death were not under his control — he didn't go out looking to die — but when he had a chance to live, he didn't take it. He didn't attempt to jump up to where Jack was offering his hand. Cole looked up at Jack, took a long look at the water, and then glanced up again.
He had enough time to do all that, and yet he didn't have enough time to jump? I call bullshit. His life was in ruins. The public despised him, his career was over, his marriage was destroyed, he was about to be dragged in front of a court for the crime of adultery, etc.
On the other hand, he'd just been told that the one thing he'd wanted was something he did, in fact, have: Forgiveness for the wrongs he'd committed as a leader during the war. He had the forgiveness of Jack Kelso, the man he felt he'd wronged above all, Elsa was safe, he'd brought to light a massive conspiracy, the arsonist was taken care of, and he'd just boosted the injured Jack to safety. If Cole died right then, his last moments would have been spent saving the life of the man he'd wronged so badly. Jack may have forgiven Cole, but this was a way for Cole to forgive himself, and die as the hero that everyone had once believed him to be. Cole's wife and children would also be provided for after his death. Couple that with the likelihood that no one would speak ill of the dead, not after what he'd been killed while doing, and why wouldn't he choose to die?
  • This makes sense regarding his character as someone who wants people to think highly of him, but on the other hand, he doesn't seem like the type to let himself die. Folding this theory in with the one about him NOT being dead would work amazing well, since he could very well take on a new identity and simply go off doing what he does elsewhere while still being remembered as a hero for his actions during the game. All that time he spent waiting for the water to hit him seems less like he's feeling satisfied with his life and is accepting death, and more like planning for how to get out of that situation alive and keep on keeping on while still knowing he'd accomplished all the stuff listed above.
    • You make a good point about his character. It'd be the perfect out, and I can definitely see him deciding that the chance of a new identity that's free of all of Cole Phelps' mistakes is more than worth the risking of dying. Either way, he gets to be a hero. The only problem is that this new person would also be free of all of Cole Phelps' successes, but that's easily brushed aside by his Character Development of becoming less of a Glory Hound, as well as the fact that he could build up a new golden boy reputation elsewhere.
      • He had seconds, tops and the water was up to his armpits when it hit. There was no way he could've made the jump, even if he had wanted to.
      • It's not a question of whether or not he could have, it's that he didn't try. He didn't jump, didn't reach up, didn't look around for another way, nothing. If someone actually wanted to live — or, perhaps more accurately, did not want to die — you'd think they'd have more of a reaction to impending death than simply the equivalent of shrugging it off. It's obviously a matter of personal interpretation, but once that water starting rising, I don't think he had any real intentions of surviving if push came to shove. He'd already decided that although death wasn't his goal, it wasn't an entirely undesirable outcome.
      • What's important to note was how Cole said "goodbye." Suggesting how crappy his life had started becoming and how his affair ruined his public image, and how he still couldn't forgive himself after what happened during the war, maybe he committed suicide to escape this kind of life. During the cutscene, it just seemed that he wasn't interested in survival. If he was interested, he would be jumping and would seem desperate to take Jack's hand and escape. Cole does seem like he should know how to swim. It feels like its part of police heck Marine training.

Cole Phelps is a Terminator.

This is very much a, "YMMV" view, but throughout the game, Cole seems to act strange in certain situations, especially in interrogations. Most of the time he's cool and calm, never showing any strong emotions, but during interrogations and certain moments, he seems to become bi-polar, getting violently angry or cruel for no real reason (doubting someone, for example, can have Cole basically accuse them of being a scum-sucking murderer). Furthermore, his affair with Elsa which comes out of nowhere, makes little sense. Why would he do such a thing? Because he is really a terminator sent back through time to try and learn about human relationships and dynamics.

Upon arriving in 1947 Los Angeles, the terminator kills the real Cole and then takes over his life, watching humans, their emotions, and attempting to replicate and understand them. While it has an easy time being cool and controlled, emotions such as anger and doubt make no sense to it, thus, the exaggerated responses and accusations are really it practicing those emotions. Furthermore, it's attempts to understand love fail, so it starts an affair with Elsa, wanting practice at having intimate relationships with human beings, unaware of the effect on Cole's marriage, and dealing with the fallout allows it to analyze the effects. While it has to pretend to be easily wounded by gunfire and not being able to easily catch someone running away, the experience as a whole is a great success, and the terminator is able to gain a great understanding about the darker side of humans and their interactions with each other.

Upon gathering enough information, it heads out on the final mission, but once in the tunnels, it realizes that the sudden flood is the perfect cover: By making it look like Cole died, the terminator managed to slip away unseen, and then hide for decades before returning to Skynet, uploading it's data, and allowing the machines to understand humans better. Because of that upload, the T-850 model comes pre-packaged with an understanding of human psychology, which allows it to aid John Conner in "Rise of the Machines."

The Assistant DA is Garrett Mason's mysterious half-brother

  • At the end of the game the Assistant DA makes a deal with the chief of police, exposes and captures about half of the SRF and lets the Chief and Earle go. I think the ADA was the one who made the call to keep Mason's crimes concealed, as he'd be in the perfect position to discover what was going on with the investigation and intervene. The Chief was calling in his marker to get out from under the SRF prosecution.

The antagonist in the sequel will be Elsa Litchmann

Filled with bitterness over Cole's death, Elsa will have a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the corrupt LAPD and the officials. One of them who will be killed is Roy Earle.
  • If this is true, she may not be personally involved in the killings: some hired goons may be more fitting for the job.

Cole Phelps is an Assassin.

Not only him, but also his non-crooked partners Ralph Dunn, Stefan Bekowsky, Rusty Galloway, and Herschel Biggs. Jack Kelso is an addition of being a Assassin. The crooked cops like Roy Earle and the Police Chief, as well as the other corrupt officials are the Templars.

If this game ever gets a sequel the protagonist will be.....

A:Herschel BiggsB:Jack KelsoC:Elsa

Roy Earle was working for Internal Affairs !!

Considering how corrupt the fraking precinct is, it's not impossible for IA to take an interest in it. They get their hooks into someone who is corrupt but can easily persuade with favors and put a wire on him. After the homicide case they want to know why all five of the convicted murderers were let go, so Roy pulls strings with them to get Cole to work with him and hopefully let something slip. Because of the wire IA finds out about the affair and make him sell out Cole as part of a Gambit to get him to pin the SRF. Roy knows how dangerous it is so tries to warn Cole despite them not wanting him to. At endgame when he finds out the assistant DA is corrupt he gets on his good side so they can get all the bad guys in one go.

Cole Phelps is an ancestor of Norman Jayden.

Both of them are cops who follow by the rules and really honest, working alongside corrupt/incompetent cops, and partner with a cop they don't like because of being corrupt/useless he really is. They don't have a love life, although Cole has a wife, there are no other scenes of them getting together before she kicks him out for his affair with Elsa. Lastly, both of them die saving people from drowning from rainwater, although for Norman's case, it depends on the player.
  • Maybe it's a case of not ancestry, but Reincarnation.

Even if Cole's affair with Elsa is not exposed, the SRF is still screwed.


The events of the game is a book written by Herschel Biggs.

In the intro and the patrol cases, he narrates, but he doesn't in the other cases.

Earle is secretly gay, and in love with Cole.

Look at his face when Phelps announces he's going to follow Elsa. He makes several homo-erotic jokes which seem to squick Cole out, and has anyone else noticed he's actually nicer to him than anyone else? That, and he wears a pink blazer.
  • If we're going to base this on stereotypes, his concern about his personal appearance would fit too, and his dislike of women. Slightly less stereotypical is his comments about how he and Cole look together, and his criticisms about Cole old partners sound like a jealous boyfriend.
    • Also, during A Walk in Elysian Fields Before he started trying to warn Cole he acted like they'd had a lover's spat.
    • Jossed, because even if he were secretly gay and in love with Phelps, he still sold the man out.
    • He only sold Phelps out because he was having an affair with someone who was A: A woman and B: Not him. So, he decided that if [[Yandere he couldn't have him, no one could]]...
    • The fact that he was doing the eulogy for Cole implies it. Even if he's faking the praise, you just don't get to do someone's eulogy by random chance, especially not when others available candidates are people like Bekowsky, Rusty or Kelso.
    • This is definitely my head canon; In my mind, Roy Earle is petty enough to sell out Cole for not noticing him. And remember; this was an era when being gay was basically illegal, and was enough to brand you a girly sissy. Maybe pining, with some choice flirting, was the best Roy could hope for.

Fontaine has a relative.

His name is Frank.

Ira Hogeboom was the straw that broke Cole Phelps' back.

This one works pretty well with the Cole's Death Was No Accident WMG above. So, if you'll indulge the armchair psychology for a moment...

True, Cole Phelps' life is in ruins after the affair and he's pretty much at rock bottom; nonetheless, he continues trying to atone for past wrongs while on the Arson desk. Furthermore, he ultimately gains something he'd always wanted but never thought he'd get: Jack Kelo's forgiveness for his past mistakes. At this point Cole's life begins to turn around and perhaps he feels he can finally take Kelo's advice to put the past behind him. He didn't go into the sewers looking to die, but to rescue elsa and help Kelso.

Unfortunately, the appearance of Ira Hogeboom in the sewers erased all of that with one swift stroke. Confronted by Hogeboom, the instrument of Cole's war crime in Okinawa, Cole finally came to realize that he would never be able to outrun his past, that the guilt would follow him for the rest of his life, inevitably rising up to accuse him anew and slap him in the face with the consequences of his actions. When Cole told Elsa that Kelso executing Hogeboom was a favor, he really meant it, but also, he was applying it to himself; he had come to the conclusion that death would be the only way to escape the guilt. Therefore he helped his companions escape danger, and then allowed death to finally erase his sins.

Note that this also works as a counter-argument to those who feel the Downer Ending was tacked on gratuitously; this theory posits that Cole had, in fact, found the courage to live, but Hogeboom took that away from him. Had Hogeboom not been there (or if Cole had never confronted him), Cole might still be alive. In other words, the presence of Hogeboom lends credence to the Downer Ending.

Garret Mason's half brother is...

J. Edgar Hoover.

Phelps' introduction to Elsa wasn't a mere coincidence...

Notice who introduces Phelps to Elsa? Roy Earle. Since Roy was yelling at Elsa for being a "German Junkie Whore" practically seconds before Phelps walked into the room, it was obvious Roy wasn't introducing Phelps to Elsa thinking they would make a cute couple. As to why Roy did it, he recognized how much of a potential threat a By-the-Book Cop that was solving cases in record time would be to him, especially if Phelps got wind of the corruption on the Vice Squad and/or its connection to the SRF, and wanted to play some junior Chessmaster by gaining potential blackmail material on Phelps if and when he and Elsa made it to third base - "just in case". As to how Roy figured Phelps' weakness would be for a woman like Elsa, he might have shaken some hints about Phelps' tense marriage from Bekowsky (y'know Phelps' partner on the Traffic Desk, just before Phelps and Elsa met), or went on a wild guess that managed to hit the mark.
  • I was under the impression that Cole's marriage only started to strain after his last case on murder desk, that would be his "case that breaks you", even if he technically did solve it, but that gave him no closure.

Phelps is one of two LAPD officers to have received the Silver Star.

The other? Herschel Biggs.
  • The other is actually a reference to Real Life. Lynn "Buck" Compton, a member of the decorated Easy Company 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division (as seen in Band of Brothers) also became a cop after returning from the war.

The Dahlia killer was also a patient of Fontaine's.

Even before the game starts, Fontaine is a sleazy Dr. Feelgood with a reputation for catering to rich and famous clients and keeping mum about all the depravity they get up to. Just the sort of doctor a prominent politician might go to if a relative had turned out to be a homicidal maniac and wanted him treated while keeping it out of the press. This would explain the references to "Tex", Hogeboom's nickname in the lipstick messages. Presumably they met while in Fontaine's care. Mason's killing spree started right around the same time the arsons did, indicating Fontaine may have turned him loose to distract the papers from what was going on with the house fires. This, then, ties directly into Cole being reassigned to Vice. Cole was assigned to be partners with the conspiracy's legman so that Roy could keep tabs on him while looking for an opportunity to screw him over in retribution for getting rid of Mason and use him as an impromptu replacement.

Elsa Lichtmann did something terrible during the War, and Roy Earle knows it.

Perhaps she sold out some Jews, perhaps she was an informant for the Nazi regime, perhaps she just inadvertently let slip information that lead to the death of Allied spies or soldiers, something along those lines. She may have been the lover of a high-ranking Nazi. Or she may have just done what she felt she needed to do to survive. She may have just made a terrible mistake or gotten involved in something and got in over her head, if you want to look at her sympathetically, but whatever she did, it weighs upon her conscience. Somehow or other, Roy found out about it, and he's using that secret to his advantage. Elsa fears that she'll be deported, imprisoned, or at the very least have her reputation destroyed if this gets out. Right before Cole hooks up with Elsa, Roy comments on the prostitution scandal troubling the LAPD, and decides that some other scandal could take the heat off him. So Roy, knowing that Cole is a sympathetic sort and wouldn't tolerate a woman being abused, does exactly that to instigate feelings for Elsa, then has Elsa reel him in.

Detective Floyd Rose killed Scooter Peyton and Framed Errol Schroeder.

Detective Rose and the names of several other LAPD patrolmen and detectives all appeared in Errol Schroeder's Ledger. Meaning they were either taking bribes or owed him or his outfit money. So to cover his own ass Rose stole Schroeder’s gun used it to kill Peyton and then threw up the roof. He wanted the Patrolmen to find the gun so that he could then identify the gun. At which point he would kill Schroeder for “resisting arrest.”

What he didn’t expect however was that Cole Phelps would track down the gun’s owner personally, ruining his plan. This is why Rose was working the Traffic Desk and then decided to take early retirement. Donnelly found out what happened and to avoid a massive corruption scandal demoted Rose and forced him out. Which is also why Rusty was so cagey about why Rose took early retirement when asked.