Chief of Detectives, Warren Coates, is completely convinced
that there was no foul play involved, but he wants you
to conduct a more thorough investigation all the same,
since people are, after all, suspicious by nature.
turns out, from the Inspector's Casebook provided in
the package, that Mr Robner had called the CoD a few
days before his demise to inform him that he was altering
his will. In fact, Robner was in the process of sending
the relevant papers to the CoD when this unfortunate
incident happened. Such mitigating circumstances can
only cast aspersions over a verdict of 'death by a self-administered
overdoese', so just how did Mr Robner come to
such a cruel end? Before you can actually arrest a suspect
though, you must be able to prove they had the motive,
opportunity and are lacking in an alibi . . . and you've
only got twelve hours, computer time, to do so!
begin your investigations outside the Robner house on
the South lawn. On attempting to vacate the premises
you are told that Leaving the estate would mean quitting
the case and, most probably, your job. Hmmm! It
looks as if you're here to stay . . .
search of the surrounding vicinity proves successful,
with the discovery of two strange holes in the ground
and the fact that the eccentric gardener, Mr Angus McNabb,
doesn't appreciate people treading on his roses. He
also objects quite strongly to being hit 'with a lethal
blow of the hand', as he does expire quite rapidly.
'Perhaps,' you think, 'I shouldn't have done that,'
responds the computer, after a lengthy piece of text
is given describing your arrest for the murder of Mr
you actually question the gardener to find out what's
wrong, he burbles on and on about his roses and the
influence that the bad weather is having on them! Some
responses are typical of not only this adventure, but
of all Infocom classics. This is the sort of thing,
along with massive vocabularies and detailed location
descriptions, that makes their text adventures so much
better than anyone else's. For example, kissing someone
in Deadline is met with: 'Section 204D, Paragraph
7.6 of the Connecticut Police Code of Conduct specifically
prohibits kissing suspects.'!
there are any words that the program doesn't understand,
you are told 'You don't need the word " " to solve this
mystery.' -- typical of the sort of imaginative reply
that one can expect to get when playing an Infocom game,
as even most inconceivable questions receive coherent
answers. Another example is the reaction to you trying
to arrest yourself. Sergeant Duffy, your side-kick,
strokes his chin and replies 'Excuse me, sir, but it
would cause a bit of a stir at the station to be charging
a player with murder.'!
11:00 am, an interesting letter addressed to Mrs Robner
arrives, full of suspicious comments about her late
husband and a fellow called George, ending up: 'See
you Friday as usual, Steven'. Sounds as if this could
be important and incriminating evidence!
looking around the house gives rise to more suspicion
as there are plenty of clues to be found. With aroused
curiosity and some information under your belt, you
decide it's high time to follow and maybe question a
few people, and start to draw some conclusions.
an aid to your enquires there are a number of helpful
words present in the vocabulary. EXAMINE is as
useful as ever and so is SEARCH, although this
command has been improved quite a bit to suit the game.
Not only is it possible to SEARCH someone or
something in a straightforward manner, but you can SEARCH
NEAR an object or person. This usually provides
more information than a simple EXAMINE.
asks the police laboratory to compare the fingerprints
of someone/thing with those on file at the lab (that
is, if something is worth fingerprinting -- most,
nay all, of the suspects object to this treatment
unfortunately), while ANALYZE results in a lab
performing a routine check on something.
with the other characters in the game is high, as you
can freely converse with, and question, anyone in any
way, should they be willing to talk to you. For example,
MRS JONES, TELL ME ABOUT MRS ROBNER, HEY,
MR MCNABB "WHAT'S WRONG?", MRS ROURKE, SHOW ME
THE FOOD and other such communication, all elicit
useful, and sometimes humourous, responses. This sort
of flexibility makes Deadline absorbing and rewarding
really excellent feature is the WAIT command.
It's possible to WAIT FOR or WAIT UNTIL certain
times, or even to WAIT FOR someone!
location descriptions are incredibly informative and
one needs little imagination to conjure up an image
of their surroundings. When in the garden for instance,
you can almost smell the roses!
you finally decide that you have gathered substantial
evidence, you should firstly ACCUSE your suspect,
and then ARREST them. Get it right though --
your job won't mean much if you don't, as you'll end
up losing it!
is a most unusual approach to a text adventure and
is perhaps Infocom's most absorbing to play yet. Unfortunately
it is only available on disk, but then what did I tell
you about getting a disk drive?