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September 30, 2015

Wow I Can't Believe It's Yet Another Updated List Of Games

So, I decided to update - yet again - the list of games that I own. Quite a few new games have been added to my collection since the last time. However, I also got a few video game films added to my collection, so I'll be able to review them in future VGFlicks segments. For the sake of not having too many lists, I just combined the two; video games first, movies second.

Crash Purple/Spyro Orange Superpack
Mario Pinball Land
Pokémon FireRed
Garfield: The Search For Pooky
The Simpsons: Road Rage
Rayman: Hoodlum's Revenge
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards

Big Brain Academy
Desktop Tower Defense
Thrillville: Off The Rails
Midnight Play Pack
Purr Pals
Flash Focus
Master of Illusion
The Simpsons Game
Puzzler Collection
Cartoon Network Racing
WarioWare: Touched!
New Super Mario Bros.
Drawn To Life
WarioWare: D.I.Y.
Rock Band 3
Mario Party DS
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
Super Scribblenauts
Mario Kart DS
Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Fossil Fighters
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Picross 3D
Pokémon HeartGold
Pokémon White
Spectral Force Genesis (NEW!!)
Super Mario 64 DS

Pokémon X (NEW!)
Rabbids Rumble

Castle of Shikigami III
How To Train Your Dragon
Wii Sports
Wii Music
Just Dance 3
Kirby's Epic Yarn
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic Colors
Wii Sports Resort
Super Paper Mario
Fishing Master: World Tour
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
Just Dance 2014 (NEW!!)
Just Dance 2015
Kirby's Dream Collection (See below)
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario Super Sluggers
Muramasa The Demon Blade
Naruto Ckash of Ninja Revolution
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
No More Heroes
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Rabbids Go Home (NEW!!)
Rise of the Guardians
Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space
Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic Unleashed
Spectrobes Origins (NEW!!)
Super Mario Galaxy
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Duel Transer
Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby's Adventure
Kirby's Dream Land 2
Kirby Super Star
Kirby's Dream Land 3
Challenge Stages

Super Contra
Pokémon Snap
Final Fantasy
Mario Party 2
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Super Mario World
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
Mega Man
Paper Mario
Phantasy Star
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Metroid

Yard Sale: Hidden Treasures Sunnyville
Pokémon Rumble
Reel Fishing: Ocean Challenge
Bit Boy!!
Pop-Up Pursuit
WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase
Play With Birds
Defend Your Castle
Art of Balance
Deer Drive Legends
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Sexy Poker
Sonic 4 Episode 1

Bugs Bunny: Lost In Time
Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter (DS)
Anubis II

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
Spy Kids 3D: Gamer Over
Super Mario Bros. The Movie
Wreck-It Ralph
Scott Pilgrim VS. The World
Pixels (Look, my review of it had enough depth and covered everything I had to say about it. I am not reviewing it again once it comes out on DVD.)
Pokémon The Fiurst Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back
Ender's Game
Max Payne
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
TRON: Legacy

Code Lyoko
Kirby: Right Back At Ya!
Rabbids Invasion
Sonic Boom

September 28, 2015

VGFlicks: Pokémon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (Part 2)

Missed Part 1? Go read it here!

This boat just doesn't look safe.
One would think the journey is cut short by the mighty storm outside. How will Ash, Misty and Brock get to the mysterious island? Thankfully, a duo of Vikings appear on a wooden boat, with a cat as their figurehead, offering them a ride to the island. It’s friggin’ Team Rocket trying to snatch Pikachu again, but at least they’re helping move the plot forward, so Ash’s team embarks. Water or boredom; the choice is simple. That’s the age-old tabletop RPG dilemma; you know there’s something in the water just waiting to rip you, your comrades, and the ship apart, but it’s either that or the adventurers just sit on their asses and the journey comes to a halt. And frankly, I doubt seeing Ash and Co. play Monopoly in the public area while waiting for the storm to calm down would make for an interesting film. If the main conflict is that Togepi is chewing on a hotel piece from one of Ash’s properties…

Okay, enough with the silly tangent.

Truly a lair to inspire the greatest
bastards in all of fiction.
So, the trio bites hook, line and sinker in Team Rocket’s plan, but it fails rather quickly after a large wave hits the boat and causes their disguises to fall off. But the bad guys don’t have time to recite their motto as a second wave strikes, sending everyone into the water. Ash, Brock and Misty get out of this alive using their trusty Water-type Pokémon, and reach the island, where it’s unusually calm in comparison to everywhere else. Also, wow, what an island. This place could give most spy film villains a run for their money.

This place looks suspicious.
"There is no reason to feel any suspicion."
They are welcomed on the docks by that woman from the holographic invitation card. To say her acting is a bit wooden is like saying a Snorlax is just a bit overweight. Brock immediately recognizes the woman as the Nurse Joy who went missing in the nearby town. Well, he’s better than I am. To me, it could have been just about any of the other 40+ Nurse Joys in the Pokémon world. Ash, Misty and Brock are permitted inside the lair the hideout the respectable creepy-looking good-looking mansion of the “Strongest Trainer in the world”. What nobody knows, however, is that another guest has arrived; a flying pink kitten…

As they enter the main room, our protagonists see that only three other Trainers fought the storm to get to the island. Our heroes are asked to release their Pokémon from their balls, and then the doors close in what is totally not some conspicuous CGI, I swear.

September 25, 2015

VGFlicks: Pokémon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (Part 1)

Now with more species than the human
brain can remember!
Today begins a new theme month: The second edition of Poké-Month! Yes, I know, we’re not quite in October yet. I know that. But despite offering only two reviews in October, I felt like I needed to start early. Reviewing a main series Pokémon game can be extremely long and arduous, so I will try to shorten the resulting review, but I can’t make many promises. Either way, I decided to open this new edition of Poké-Month by taking a look at the first entry in the cinematographic side of the Pokémon anime. So far, there has been 18 movies in the franchise, and no, I am not gonna review all of them. Just one. Maybe another one much, much later if I’m running out of video game films to review. The latest film in the series, titled Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, involves Hoopa the Ring Pokémon, and a dark version of himself, fighting into what becomes a full-blown war in which they pull just about every other Legendary. This can only end well. The anime franchise also includes 27 Pikachu shorts (and please understand that, for the sake of shortness, I won’t review the one that came with today’s movie) and 890 episodes, and then there’s the second (very short) series named Pokémon Origins, all the side-games and spin-offs, and who knows just how many manga series, both amateur and professional… Just who wouldn’t panic at the thought of going through all of this?

Long story short, I’m only reviewing one Pokémon movie for now, and it’s the first one. And I know I’m probably the 1000th critic do be reviewing this particular film. Almost everything has already been said about it. Pretty sure that, if you’re a Pokémon fan, you know everything about it. So, don’t complain if I’m doing something that’s been done. We never know, I might actually bring some new points. I guess I’m writing this review for anyone who doesn’t know much about the franchise… and also because, due to being an adaptation of a video game series, I had to talk at one point or another about the Pokémon anime, and give my thoughts about it. Think of this as a review that covers enough ground for the newcomers and makes many precise jabs at the franchise for those who know it inside and out.

As is the case for many “First Movies”, there was a world to set in place. There had to be an explanation of the special elements of the universe depicted here. As a result, Pokémon: The First Movie was dubbed with the intention to explain everything in great detail, to make sure every newcomer to the franchise could watch and learn, immerse themselves into this odd world of colorful and mythical creatures, and...

September 21, 2015

Pokémon X&Y: Why Team Flare's Plan Sucks

So, I bought Pokémon X about four weeks ago. Great game. I might review it sometimes later. The gameplay is awesome, Pokémon-Amie is a lot of fun, I love a lot of the new species, I’m slightly warming up to Mega Evolutions (but very very very very very slightly; I at least went through the troubles of getting all the Mega Stones and use all the Mega Evolutions once in battle), and it’s probably the first Pokémon game in which I complete the Pokédex since the third Generation. Which, since it has almost twice as many Pokémon as there were back then, is quite the achievement. But there is one thing that annoys me: Team Flare.

Those outfits are so ugly.
You'd have to pay me to wear these.
Not that they'd fit on me, anyway.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They’re a creative group of villains; their leader, Lysandre, desires to keep the world in perpetual stasis and become immortal at the same time (in Pokémon X, anyway). Oh, and only members of his Team Flare will survive in this world, along with a few species of Pokémon. See, Lysandre starts off with honorable intentions; with the increasing population of the world and the decreasing number of resources, eventually a large part of mankind, and numerous species of Pokémon, will have to go, “if we want everyone to have enough resources”. *cough*bullshit*cough* So yeah, Lysandre’s plan is to trigger a genocide with an ancient superweapon that would annihilate every human in Kalos (and the rest of the world) who isn’t himself or a member of Team Flare, as well as many species of Pokémon living in the wilderness. Talk about extreme, huh? Considering the sheer number of similarities with the Nazis (which is kind of an obvious comparison, seeing as these games take place in the Poké-World version of Europe), it makes me wonder if the first Pokémon species they get rid of is Nosepass and Probopass. It also makes me wonder if Lysandre wasn’t a liberal arts major before helping Professor Sycamore… Okay, I try to lighten the mood with jokes here, because the rest of this article will be very dark.

But Lysandre’s plans suffer from plenty of problems. More than I can count, actually. First off, their Team, despite definitely becoming a threat after the seventh Gym in the game, is taken as a joke by most Kalosians. What's more, the only thing that even links Lysandre to Team Flare by that point is his flaming hair and his long-winded passionate diatribes that oddly enough seem to say just what the Flare grunts encountered so far seemed to imply. And even up to that point, Team Flare’s plans seemed just… weak. Like they were just looking for more money to pull off their bigger plans. Like an even lamer version of Team Rocket. Then again, I can probably understand why the Flares want to make money; after all, they had to shell out 5 million Pokédollars to join Team Flare…

September 18, 2015

Top 12 Power-Ups in the Mario Series

Like I said last week, the Mario series is gigantic. With over 20 platformers, over 10 Mario Party games, 9 RPGs with another one on the way (Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam), quite a number of edutainment games, ports, re-releases, spin-off sport series (such as Kart, Golf, Sluggers, Tennis, Hoops)… and don’t get me started on all the supplementary material, like the Super Mario Bros. Super Show and its sequels, the large number of comics, and the movie! And since the 30th anniversary of the franchise was last Sunday, I decided to dedicate a second week to the Mario series.

A gigantic franchise like this means a lot of characters, a lot of enemies and bosses, and thus a lot of items… that is, a lot of power-ups. The Super Mushroom and the Fire Flower are incredibly popular. But there’s always going to be power-ups that are overlooked. Or some that become forgotten over time. Some are recent, others are old. They're all supposed to be useful, though some of them may be more difficult to master. Today, I’m counting down what I consider the 12 best power-ups in the Mario series!

Keep in mind that this is MY list. MY opinion. You’re free to disagree with it all you want. And if you were to choose different power-ups for such a list, I’m all ears; just don’t be all superior about it. Okay, we’re counting down!

12. Flight (Multiple items)
Always getting a little closer to Asterix.
I believe I can fly; all I need if a whole bunch of power-ups. Flight is one of Mario’s most common abilities, though unlike the Fire Flower, our hero can choose among many objects that let him soar the skies. It’s like it changes in every game. The Super Leaf gives Mario a raccoon tail that can also be used to attack enemies. The P-Wing is a “Skip Level” power-up, a rare item to use when you find a level way too difficult and you’d prefer to just fly over it. The Cape Feather, as I said in Super Mario World, can be used to “bounce” in the skies and skip portions of certain levels. It also allows a slower descent when Mario jumps down from a high ledge. The Wing Cap doesn’t give an additional ability, and activating flight may be tricky if you can’t triple jump. Thank goodness there are cannons all over Super Mario 64. The Red Star from Super Mario Galaxy is pretty cool too, but it doesn’t do much. The Propeller Mushroom puts the Bros (and some Toads) in jumpsuits and propeller hats. It’s not quite flight, but it’s useful to reach very high ledges, and pressing down while in the air causes the character to ground pound. Of course, those are not the only power-ups that allow flight, but the other ones that appear later on this list have something more that makes them stand out.

September 11, 2015

Super Mario World

The Mario brothers go on vacation with Princess Peach. Princess Peach gets kidnapped. The brothers find a new ally who turns out to be extremely useful. The culprit? Bowser. Need I go on and cross more items on the list of obvious Mario tropes?

Seriously though, what is it with me and the Mario series? I adore this franchise, I absolutely love it, and yet I just can’t stop bashing it. Whether it’s my mega-review of Super Paper Mario, or the Mario Party games (and even then, I actually liked the DS one), I just can’t seem to be able to give it a break. Is that normal? I have no friggin’ idea. But all things considered, most of my problems with Mario games… have ironically nothing to do with Mario! My annoyance with the series is less the series itself and the fact that, by a streak of bad luck, it always seems to showcase gameplay and diegetic elements that I dislike, things that could be found anywhere else!

So, in an attempt to make peace with the Mario series, I decided to, once again, review a platforming Mario game. But then you’ll say, “But Nicolas! You reviewed New Super Mario Bros., didn’t you? Why not the Wii sequel?” Uh… maybe later. For the moment, I’m in the mood for some retro gaming. So, Super Mario World.

September 7, 2015

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Part 4)

In Part 3, we told an old woman her son was gone, we berated a guy for being a piss-poor parent and husband, and we learned more about the resident Princess. Oh, also we’re for some reason on a quest for five paintings of apples scattered around the hotel.

Kyle checks the painting in Room 215 and finds a Y hidden in one of the five apples. The other paintings have one to four apples (one for each number), and each one hides a letter. Thus we find three additional letters. It only starts getting troublesome when we get to the fifth painting. It seems to be hidden rather well. On the other hand, Louie has news for us: The key we found in the potted plant? It opens the wine cellar!

But we'll see that later; now, it's time to go see Rosa again. Kyle reveals to her that Mila’s father is a guy named Robert Evans, and then asks about the final painting. It’s in Room 111, a special room at the end of the lobby on the first floor, one of the few rooms we haven’t seen yet. Rosa promises to get Kyle into Room 111. But Dunning is watching the lobby at the moment, and Kyle walking around with Mila past midnight would seem very suspicious. And creepy. So we have to sneak around the lobby, going up a set of stairs, down the other, we enter Room 111 and meet with Rosa. At last, we get the final painting and put the letters in the right order: JENNY. That’s when Mila falls to the ground. Kyle has to give her CPR... and for this, you need to close the DS so Kyle and Mila’s faces meet. Good luck figuring that one out by yourself. And, to our surprise, when she wakes...

September 4, 2015

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Part 3)

If you just now began reading this review, I strongly suggest you read Parts 1 and 2 first. What's being discussed here won't make sense otherwise.

So, we’re still in Hotel Dusk, we learned some things about Louie’s past, we reassured a young girl about her mother, we got a guy who stole his friend’s story and profited off it to cry, and we told a rich brat to go home. That’s a good day in my book. And the day is not over yet; in fact, it’s barely 9:00. You know what that means? Time to get drunk. Louie’s bar just opened. But before that, a long talk with Ed from Red Crown. And now we can go.

You can tell Kyle liked that bourbon.
Ooh, this Seven Stars bar looks neat. And look, Louie’s the barman, too. That’s his favorite job in the entire hotel. Kyle orders a bourbon – wait, I just realized: Alcohol in a Nintendo DS game. Sweet mercy, finally a video game that doesn’t dance around the issue. And I think that’s the second time we see Kyle with a big smile on his face. This bar has quite a number of things, too; a jukebox (actually a Sound Test comprising all the tunes in this game) and a puzzle with matches made by Louie himself. I doubt drunk people can solve that sort of thing, but hey, it’s in the game, so Kyle will have to do them. Can’t escape it. Also, Louie says that the “Kyle Hyde” who stayed at the hotel six months prior did so at a moment where both Rosa and Louie were on vacation. Only Dunning saw that guy. Bizarre.

That’s when Helen Parker enters the bar. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but I can’t think of a punchline. “An ex-cop and an old woman with an eyepatch walk into a bar... The aristocrats?” Kyle gets a chance to speak with Helen, and learns that she stays at this hotel once every ten years, and that she’s alone at the moment, but she had a family. Also, she used to work as a magician in Las Vegas. You heard that right: a magician. Now that's one awesome elderly lady. But we don’t get more as Mrs. Parker decides to head back to her room, and Louie goes to help her. He leaves Kyle alone in the bar.

She sure is the more colorful character in this picture.

That’s when Iris and Martin Summer enter. Iris leaves quickly, and Martin says he thinks he’s seen her before, though he can’t remember where. Summer then tries to deduce Kyle’s past, and fails. What an author... Kyle tells him to piss off, and Martin leaves. Louie comes back, and Kyle leaves the Seven Stars. But there's still one unanswered question about this bar: Is there a legend to this place?

"Legend of the Seven Stars"... geddit?

He meets Rosa on his way to the second floor, and she tells him this bar was opened to celebrate the hotel’s tenth anniversary, in 1969. But she still dismissed the traumatizing event that took place at this hotel 10 years ago as merely a rumor, so if we want to know more, we need to ask Dunning. He’s in the restaurant at the moment, looking at pictures hung over the stage in the restaurant where there’s also a piano.

A chat with him teaches us that Dunning has been running this place for 5 years, but he refuses to say what he’s been doing before buying the hotel. Dunning says Jeff “found his ‘stolen’ stuff in his room” and won’t annoy them any longer.

I never heard of wine label collectors. Then again, I guess
there's a collector for anything.
Moments later, Kyle is stopped on the way by Rosa. Wow, I didn’t know this was “Stop Kyle Hyde On His Way To Somewhere Else And Ask Him A Favor" Day; surely, every guest around here is in the spirit of this obscure holiday. Rosa asks Kyle to deliver a wine bottle label to Mrs. Helen Parker. The maid also mentions that she feels Mrs. Parker may have come to the hotel with a son in the past. This encourages Rosa to tell us about her own son, who works on Wall Street and does well enough that she could quit her job. But she doesn’t because she just loves working. Hey, the world needs maids. Oh, and of course, there are actually three bottles of wine that were emptied tonight, but Rosa can’t remember which one was Helen Parker’s. Just great, huh?

Good thing we had adhesive remover in Kyle’s package from Red Crown. Such coincidences are miraculous. So, we ask around and deduce Mrs. Parker had red wine for dinner, so we peel off the label on the bottle and bring it to her. And you guessed it: Interrogation Time. The person she shared that wine with, ten years ago, was her only son, a certain... Alan Parker. And she betrayed him – Wait, wasn’t that the name on the pen we handed back to Martin Summer? Time to take a certain thing from a certain Summer, and then we head back to Helen Parker’s room. That's when we learn she gave her son that pen ten years ago, as a gift for their reunion. Kyle explains how Alan vanished about ten years ago.

Some scribbler I keep making fun of. He had it.
This shocks Helen, and brings her to reveal her past; she had a son, but quickly abandoned her family to do the magician gig in Las Vegas. But she began missing them. One day, she was performing at the grand opening of a certain hotel. Take a guess which one. You can't miss it. Alan forgave his mother for leaving him, and they met again ten years later. Sadly, not this time; and Kyle knows why. He explains what happened after Alan had his manuscript stolen. Thankfully, now Helen knows about her son’s disappearance. Thus ends Chapter 6. This one was longer to explain than I expected...

I can see why. You're one Hell of a talented barman,
Ooh, I wonder who we get to interrogate in Chapter 7? Time to get drunk again. Not shitfaced, though. Just feel that comfortable numbness described in that vinyl that came out last month. As he drinks, Kyle hears from Louie how being a barman is a dream he had ever since he left the streets. And that Kyle himself brought him to wishing this job, one day Louie had been caught by the police for pickpocketing again. He convinced the punk that doing time is worse than earning an honest salary. And hey, Louie does a mighty fine job at this bar. The ex-pickpocket invites Kyle to play bowling in one of the hotel's halls at 11. I smell the bad idea that hasn’t washed for weeks. It’s stinking like a horde of skunks. But hey, it's plot-relevant, so we have to play along.

That’s when Summer comes into the bar. After ordering a drink, he tells Kyle his plans to reveal his plagiarism to the media, in hopes it will help him retrieve Alan Parker. Kyle also reveals that he told the story to Alan’s mother, who’s staying in this hotel tonight. Needless to say, the author is shocked. Summer then says he remembered about Iris; he feels she resembles an actress, Cecily Lee.

For them, it's Christmas three days late.
For me, it's Christmas a few months too early.
Kyle leaves the bar and stumbles upon Melissa Woodward; her father is gone again, and she’s fed up with it. They didn’t even celebrate Christmas this year. Well, they’re catching up on “Stop Kyle Hyde On His Way To Somewhere Else And Ask Him A Favor" Day. Can’t say they’re not participating to that one. Then Melissa goes back to her room. On the way to the second floor, we meet Rosa again and explain how Melissa didn’t get a good Christmas (This is the late 70s. We have no place for the cultural sensitivity of saying “Happy Holidays” yet!). Rosa gets the idea to organize a mini-Christmas party for her. Guess who she tasks with retrieving the tree. Yep, Kyle Hyde, the one and only. We find the tree in the storage room, and when Melissa shows up, she helps decorate it. Then Mila comes in. Then Louie. Here goes our Christmas episode, everyone; in September. Clearly I didn’t plan all that wisely for this review.

Mila just looks at the tree like a kid in awe. Melissa gets sleepy, so Louie brings her back to her room. Aw, that’s such a sweet picture; for once, Kyle is not the one doing all the work! After Louie and Melissa leave, Kyle asks Mila who she spent the Holidays with. She writes in his notebook that she has no one. Oh great, now I’m sad. This game tugs at your heartstrings. However, Mila knows where her father works: Gallery May, in Santa Monica. That’s when Rosa comes in, admires the tree, and leaves with Mila again. When Kyle leaves, he sees the door to Dunning’s room is a bit open, so he sneaks in and finds a picture of a young girl. That’s when Dunning comes in, and luckily, while Kyle gets kicked out of the room, he doesn’t get kicked out of the hotel. Some luck, huh? We go back to the lobby and meet a very drunk Kevin Woodward.

...Shopping for apartments? I'm a salesman, I got
stuff for sale? There's no good reason, is it?

The best way to know what happened is to head back to the bar. Iris is leaving the place at that moment. Turns out Kevin was drinking with her, and Louie overheard them discuss some Gallery May in Santa Monica. Wait, again? Either way, we don’t get more info, so we have to talk to Iris and then to Kevin. When talking to Iris, she says someone snuck into her room and stole a small envelope given to her by a certain Grace, a friend of hers who works at – you guessed it – Gallery May. And Grace is Kevin's wife. I’d say it’s time to put the surgeon under the bistoury of our questions.

Interrogation time! Kevin blames himself for Grace leaving their household. Two years ago (so, in 1977), he lost a patient in the operating room, was sued for malpractice, and lost. The patient's family demanded an insane amount of money; Kevin’s first plan was to divorce from Grace, which she refused. After which she managed to pay off the debt, but kept the secret on how she got all that money. He’d keep asking, she’d keep her mouth shut. That’s when their relationship declined to such a degree. Until Grace left. Kevin still blames himself for asking. He found a matchbook from Hotel Dusk in Grace’s purse, so he came to the hotel in hopes of finding her. And he’s been absent around Melissa because he was searching for clues on where his wife may be. That’s all we need to know. This art gallery is taking more and more place in the story. Ends Chapter 7.

Though I guess having parents who were in their forties
in the 90s kinda helped when it came to me knowing
the old technologies.
Chapter 8, 11:00 PM. Time to retrieve Iris’ envelope, and then go bowling with Louie. Gotta get the priorities straight. We hear noise around the utility closet at the end of the hall, so Kyle looks in there and finds Iris’ envelope. It contained a tape cassette, though the tape is all unwound. Don’t know what a tape cassette is? Hmpf. Kids these days. I was born in 1992 and even I know what it is. Anyway, it might contain something of interest, so we need to wind the tape back in and then listen to the tape. Thankfully, Louie has a deck in his room, so we can use it, though he mentions Dunning, too, wanted to use it earlier. We wind the tape back in, then listen to the cassette; some shady thing about painting supplies and having to work faster, for some last oeuvre... Time to ask Iris some questions.

After Kyle slips up and admits to listening to the tape, Iris explains that Grace is the one who asked her to bring it to Hotel Dusk, and that’s why a Princess like her is staying in this Hotel Dust (heh, that joke never gets old). Iris is searching for Grace. Kyle explains the story with Kevin Woodward, the malpractice lawsuit, the money, and how they split up. Iris was supposed to give the tape to a man in the place... the “man who painted the angel”. We finally get a shocking swerve: Iris is Grace’s half-sister. Oh my God I didn’t see that coming. Their mother died in a plane crash in 1960. Due to their father at the moment being a total jackass, he took the money the girls received and then put them in separate orphanages. Wow. Congratulations, game, you make me want to use my service weapon on a man.

Years later, Iris and Grace met again; Grace was already museum curator at Gallery May. Iris didn’t stay near her sister and left again to pursue her dream of becoming an actress (which she seemed to achieve under the nickname Cecily Lee). Still, two years later, Grace found her and explained how she needed money, but Iris couldn’t help. Six months before the events in this game, she received a letter from Grace which asked her to bring the tape to this hotel after Christmas if Grace didn’t show up in the following six months. It appears Grace wants the tape to be given to a “man who paints angels”, as insurance, and that man is in the hotel.

Sorry to break it to you, Iris, but I doubt you'll find an artist here.
Well, we've got Martin Summer the bullshit artist, Louie the cocktail
artist, and Dunning the insult artist; but no painter.

Roll call, how many men around here? Kyle, Dunning, Louie, Martin Summer, Kevin Woodward and Jeff Damon. One of them would be the mystery painter? ...Impossible. Every one of them gets crossed off the list in no time.

We’ll think about this later, now’s time to play bowling with Louie. It starts well, but on the third game, Louie throws his bowling ball and breaks a potted plant; Dunning’s favorite potted plant. Gee, congrats, Genius. But we find a key hidden in the pot, something we would have never found has Louie not royally fucked up. Then Rosa comes in, doesn’t notice the plant, berates Louie, then says Mila left her room and didn’t come back. You know what that means; we gotta find her. It turns out she’s on the rooftop. Through Kyle’s notebook, Mila explains that Rosa asked her who she was looking for. Rosa said she knew Mila’s father. Odd. We bring the teenage girl back to Rosa and wait for a moment.

The hair doesn't lie; this is Rosa.
But her husband looks a lot
like Dunning Smith...
Kyle waits in the backroom and looks at the pictures; it’s Rosa on her wedding. We learn this when Rosa finally comes in to talk. She says her husband was a sailor, and she last saw him five years ago, when she started working at the hotel. Take a guess who we’re interrogating next. Yep, it’s Rosa’s turn. Looks like everybody in this hotel will get questions.

It takes quite a bit of convincing, but Rosa finally spills what she knows. The brochure Mila came to the hotel with was more than five years old; it predates Rosa becoming the maid at Dusk, it even predates Dunning becoming the owner. In fact, a similar brochure was in Dunning’s room. So, Mila was here a long time ago? We also learn from Rosa that Dunning has a family, including a daughter, so Rosa thought Dunning might be Mila’s father. The maid also mentions that Dunning might have stayed at this hotel in the past with his family. Kyle explains a bit to Rosa but doesn’t mention the guy’s name, Robert Evans. And Rosa adds that, for some odd reason, Dunning has been avoiding Mila like she’s a plague. He even instructed Rosa to bring Mila to the police!

When Kyle asks about an angel painting, Rosa says all she’s seen in here were five paintings of apples. That’s all we get. Kyle leaves, and his pager starts beeping, so it’s time to head back to Room 215 and call Red Crown. Ed explains to Kyle that Gallery May closed down seven years ago, that Robert Evans had inherited it from his grandfather, and that Evans vanished after the gallery closed down. The gallery made a lot of money thanks to Evans discovering plenty of great painters. Ed also drops that Robert Evans’ wife Mary died in a plane crash in 1960. They had one daughter: Mila. That’s all we get for now. It feels like every new Chapter has the plot thicken, and more questions have to be asked. More missing people, more unknown people, more pieces to this enormous puzzle... When will this end?

Oh yeah, I, too, contemplate the phone when thinking about other people's
children... though I can't help but think that the last pieces of the puzzle
lie in the existence of this new character.

In Part 4, next Monday.