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PC98 Policenauts w/ pics (spoilers) 
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Post PC98 Policenauts w/ pics (spoilers)
Well, I finally got this thing working on my PC98! Expect a full report soon.


Last edited by Marc on Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:16 pm
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Congratulations on that achievement man, it is great you got it running on the real thing. I can't wait to get the full report and some pics.

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Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:25 pm
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Hey did you see my post in the 'current status' thread about the videos of the PC9821 version on youtube? Unless those were infact yours, that is. :P

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:32 pm
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Yeah, I saw your post. Funny coincidence with the timing. :) But no, I didn't make those. Those were made under emulation, remember.


Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:36 pm
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Osiris wrote:
Yeah, I saw your post. Funny coincidence with the timing. :) But no, I didn't make those. Those were made under emulation, remember.


Oh thats right, my bad. Of course, it being all in Japanese does me no good, of course :P

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:41 pm
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I finished my first run through the game the other day. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how the game changed after this first version. Here’s a basic rundown, accompanied with pictures. Sorry they’re not direct feed, but I don’t have the equipment to do that here. And most of them turned out fine, but a few are kinda wonky, so my apologies. The game runs fine on my monitor, but some distortion gets thrown in during the photographing process (most noticably the text becoming blurred). Snake Plissken's direct feed captures (http://forums.junkerhq.net/viewtopic.php?t=1048) will give you a better idea of the image nature of the game (though I also like the softer look these photos give it).

Again, there are some spoilers in the summary and pictures; you'll be okay if you've played the game once, though.

First, as most of you know there are no anime sequences in the game, so in that sense it’s a lot like Snatcher. There is movement (like the driving sequences and such), but the scenes that were later turned into anime are presented using a series of hand-drawn images.

A big difference is the way it starts. The game begins in Old LA, without any narration regarding Beyond Coast. You hear about the accident from Jonathan’s monologue and read about it in the newspaper clippings on the wall in his office. I actually prefer it this way, since you aren’t given any idea it was sabotaged, and by one of the Policenauts. When you go to the Beyond Corner in AMM and click on the Yuri, you see a flashback to the accident. You see the same flashback in Act 5 when Salvatore reveals he sabotaged it.

Another thing I like about this version is that all the graphics are hand-drawn, meaning no CG. I like the consistency that has. Most characters also look slightly different than the later versions, as AIC redesigned the characters to adapt them for the anime sequences. You can see these differences in the pictures. Also present is motion in the stills not found in the console versions. Characters’ earrings dangle back and forth, Jonathan’s finger is fidgeting around on the spaceplane, Gatse’s hand moves when you talk to him, etc. As you can see in the pictures, many locations look different, too. Because of this, there are some clickable objects present not found in the console versions, and vice versa. You also have the nice talking head portraits, but no subtitles. However, after you’ve finished the game once, you do get the option to turn the voice and heads off and play through the game with clickable subtitles.

The music is pretty much the same, though some placement is different. When Lorraine first appears, you hear Call Your Name instead of L’Amour Impossible, for instance. Some songs from the later versions are missing, like Still Walking (as there’s no summary screen when you load a file) and Home (the very end of Act 7). Speaking of which, you can actually read many of the titles (printed in English) on the sides of the CDs in Karen’s house. There is also English voice in the game! When you arrive at the airport, you can hear the PA system saying things like, "Ladies and gentlemen, Metro Airways Flight 566 is now ready for boarding at Gate 16. Metro Airways Flight 566 now boarding at Gate 16" and "This is the final call for TransEurope Express Flight 106 to Paris, Frankfurt, and Rome now boarding at Gate 12. Final call for Trans Europe Express, Gate 12" etc.

There is also a lot of dialogue present in this version that was removed in later versions for space and tempo; I’d say about an hour’s worth. It’s actually all worthwhile stuff, fleshing out the world and giving you more information about the characters. A lot of the text in the game is slightly different, too. Here’s a comparison of Jonathan’s opening monologue:

PC98

Jonathan: My name's Jonathan Ingram. 30 years ago, I was a Policenaut on the space colony known as Beyond Coast. Of course, it feels like it was practically yesterday, thanks to that EMPS accident that sent me drifting through space. They're vivid memories. I’m a regular Taro Urashima, except in my case I didn’t get any fancy souvenirs. That accident took everything from me. Now I'm a private eye-cum-negotiator in this sinner's paradise, Old LA. My wife, friends, my job... I left them all behind. Here I am 30 years later, all by myself. Now all my memories involve this city. In the past, being a private eye mainly meant spying on adulterers and searching for runaways. In today’s LA, we negotiate with child kidnappers and human traffickers, intermediate ransom exchanges, track down escaped cons, support insurance investigators... It's dangerous work.

Snow in LA... Gives new meaning to the word "Homesick". Me, this city, Home... We’ve all gone nuts. But for a gumshoe at the end of his rope like me, if that kinda scum didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to make a living. I guess I just have to keep taking it one day at a time...

Consoles

J: My name's Jonathan Ingram. 30 years ago, I was a Policenaut on the space colony known as Beyond Coast. Of course, it feels like it was practically yesterday, thanks to that EMPS accident that sent me drifting through space. They're vivid memories. I had a wife, friends, a job... I left them all behind. That accident took everything from me. Now I'm a private eye-cum-negotiator in this sinner's paradise, Old LA. I negotiate with child kidnappers and human traffickers, intermediate ransom exchanges, track down escaped cons... It's dangerous work. But for a guy at the end of his rope like me, if that kinda scum didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to make a living. I guess I just have to keep taking it one day at a time...

Then the start of Act 7:

PC98

Meryl: How’s the chief doing?
Jonathan: He still hasn’t regained consciousness.
M: Jonathan, APs and EMPS have gathered at the Tokugawa Building.
J: Yeah. They’re waiting for me. They wouldn’t come shoot up a hospital.
M: It looks like Tokugawa completely controls BCP. Even this hospital, too... It’s just you and me now. We can’t stand up to Tokugawa or Gatse here. I tried calling some guys at BCP for backup, but...
J: It’s no use.
M: They’re all looking the other way. They’re too afraid of them. Jonathan, we have to get off Beyond. I know a couple of smuggling routes.
J: But what about Anna and Marc? And Karen and Ed?
M: We can take them with us.
J: No, we can’t move Karen or Ed in their conditions.
M: We’ll be killed! These guys are totally above the law. No one’s gonna help us.
J: Meryl, have you ever seen the movie "High Noon"? It’s an old Western from the 20th century.
M: Don’t tell me you’re going?
J: I’ve always run away from my problems in the past. Like with Lorraine...
M: What are you talking about?!
J: There are things I gotta do. I have to keep my promise to Lorraine.
M: Jonathan, you don’t stand a chance! You dying won’t help anything! They’ll have won.
J: I can’t let them get away with this. As a Policenaut.
M: Don’t be a fool! The Policenauts are over!
J: The Policenauts mean a hell of a lot to me! Besides, we have to get Gatse’s marrow to save Karen.
M: Jonathan, it’s a trap! Think about it.
J: No, they’ve gone too far. I’m going to fight.
M: ...All right. Count me in, then. I hate hanging around hospitals.
J: Meryl, there’s something I want to give you.
M: Don’t talk like that.
J: My cigarettes.
M: Your cigarettes?
J: Think of them as...everything I’ve lived with until now.
M: ...Okay.
J: Thanks.

Consoles

M: How’s the chief doing?
J: He still hasn’t regained consciousness.
M: Jonathan, APs and EMPS have gathered at the Tokugawa Building.
J: Yeah. They’re waiting for me.
M: It’s just you and me now. We can’t stand up to Tokugawa or Gatse here. I tried calling some guys at BCP for backup, but...
J: It’s no use.
M: They’re all looking the other way. They’re too afraid of them. Jonathan, we have to get off Beyond.
J: No, we can’t just leave Karen and Ed like this.
M: We’ll be killed! No one’s gonna help us.
J: I’ve always run away from my problems in the past. Like with Lorraine...
M: What are you talking about?!
J: There are things I gotta do. I have to keep my promise to Lorraine.
M: Jonathan, you don’t stand a chance!
J: I can’t let them get away with this. As a Policenaut.
M: Don’t be a fool! The Policenauts are over!
J: The Policenauts mean a hell of a lot to me! Besides, we have to get Gatse’s marrow to save Karen.
M: Jonathan, it’s a trap! Think about it.
J: No, they’ve gone too far. I’m going to fight.
M: ...All right. Count me in, then. I hate hanging around hospitals.
J: Meryl, there’s something I want to give you.
M: Don’t talk like that.
J: My cigarettes.
M: Your cigarettes?
J: Think of them as...everything I’ve lived with until now.
M: ...Okay.
J: Thanks.

Some scenes play out differently as well. When Karen comes on to Jonathan in Act 3, you have the option to accept or reject her advances. If you choose accept, you see the two of them moving in to kiss each other, with the screen fading out just before they meet. Then the phone rings and when Jonathan picks up he says to Ed, "You always interrupt things for me." Then afterwards there’s the scene where Karen is pointing the gun at Jonathan, then at the end she says, "Now get your butt over here...and give me another kiss" so it seems they do kiss the first time. There are other extra elements like this scattered around the game – when Jonathan and Ed retrieve the capsules and leaf from Redwood in Act 2, Redwood makes Jonathan sign for them. They then used his signature to forge documents for smuggled cargo containing the motorcycle on the ASL flight. The astronaut also talks to Ed just before Redwood shoots him at AMM in Act 6. Then when Jonathan confronts Chris at the end of Act 6, they talk about the linear rail incident, and how she was on the train.

The bomb defusal is also slightly different. Not only does Anna arrive in a squad car before Ed tells Jonathan it’s fake, but the bomb is shown on the screen at a 45 degree angle, making the maze more difficult. There is no red blinking light for the screws, though, and the cords at the end are easier to follow.

Well, I guess that’s about it. I’ve started a second play-through -- any requests for pictures?

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Lorraine looks somewhat more aged here.
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Much more snow on the street in this version.
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You see this one-still flashback when you examine the Yuri on display in AMM. It also appears again in Act 5.
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Still images don't do the car chase scene justice. The animation is incredibly smooth; I prefer it much more than the CG in the console versions.
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The bodies are suspended by wires, some attached directly into their bones.
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Last edited by Marc on Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:46 pm, edited 6 times in total.



Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:09 pm
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nice screens and info! it was quite a read so I'll come back to look at it again later but those pics look good. I assume the shooting sequences use the mouse, much like the later 3DO/PSX versions?

DT


Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:58 pm
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Yeah, the entire game requires a mouse to run. You use it for everything, not just the shooting sequences.


Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:01 pm
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The only thing Ed didn't miss about his dead wife was her cooking.

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Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:30 pm
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No, man, it's Anna's cooking that sucks. That character trait of hers is actually an homage to the housewife in Frenzy.


Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:41 pm
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Osiris wrote:
No, man, it's Anna's cooking that sucks. That character trait of hers is actually an homage to the housewife in Frenzy.


LOL ^_^, and possibly Glover's wife in Lethal Weapon.

Roger Murtaugh: That's pretty fucking thin.
Martin Riggs: That's very thin.
Roger Murtaugh: What the hell, thin is my middle name.
Martin Riggs: Your wife's cooking, I'm not surprised.
Roger Murtaugh: What?
Martin Riggs: Nothin'.
Roger Murtaugh: Remarks like that will not get you invited to Christmas dinner.
Martin Riggs: My luck's changing for the better every day.

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Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:42 am
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Snake Plissken wrote:
Osiris wrote:
No, man, it's Anna's cooking that sucks. That character trait of hers is actually an homage to the housewife in Frenzy.


LOL ^_^, and possibly Glover's wife in Lethal Weapon.

Roger Murtaugh: That's pretty fucking thin.
Martin Riggs: That's very thin.
Roger Murtaugh: What the hell, thin is my middle name.
Martin Riggs: Your wife's cooking, I'm not surprised.
Roger Murtaugh: What?
Martin Riggs: Nothin'.
Roger Murtaugh: Remarks like that will not get you invited to Christmas dinner.
Martin Riggs: My luck's changing for the better every day.


Well, given that the main characters are homages to Riggs and Murtaugh, (If what I heard about the game is correct) I'd say that you're right on the money. :P

DT


Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:47 am
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Snake Plissken wrote:
Osiris wrote:
No, man, it's Anna's cooking that sucks. That character trait of hers is actually an homage to the housewife in Frenzy.


LOL ^_^, and possibly Glover's wife in Lethal Weapon.


Haha, I totally forgot about that! Kojima only mentioned Frenzy, but it has to be part Lethal Weapon, too.


Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:36 am
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Osiris wrote:
Snake Plissken wrote:
Osiris wrote:
No, man, it's Anna's cooking that sucks. That character trait of hers is actually an homage to the housewife in Frenzy.


LOL ^_^, and possibly Glover's wife in Lethal Weapon.


Haha, I totally forgot about that! Kojima only mentioned Frenzy, but it has to be part Lethal Weapon, too.


LMAO!! Kojima's a little firecracker. I also keep hearing from people that it homages the "X-Files" somewhere in some way, is this true? I haven't went through the whole PN story in psychology-events in a coon's age.

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Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:29 pm
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Well, the guy in the BCP lobby is a police drama fanatic. He likes to pretend he's a cop, and spits out all these lines with famous cops from film and TV. One line is...

"You happen to know Agents Scully and Mulder? We got a serious problem here."

That's about all I can think of. But the game references many films -- Lethal Weapon, Blade Runner, 2001, Bad Blood, New Rose Hotel, Bullitt, Frenzy, Die Hard... When people play the translation they'll probably be able to point out others I don't know.


Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:03 pm
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Ha! I like Jonathan's reference to High Noon, though I think he took it out of context considering his situation. In High Noon, Gary Cooper tried to enlist the forces of the townspeople in order to rid his town of killers. But the townspeople turned his back on him, and he had to decide for himself whether fighting these men was morally the right thing to do. It doesn't sound so much like Jonathan is worried about his morality, but more his own survival. Plus, there's never any questioning that Gary Cooper is doing what's right. In Jonathan's situation, because he's fighting the law themselves, he takes more of the outlaw's position (even though the law, who are supposed to be protecting the common citizens, are really the ones who are corrupt). Because of that, I think perhaps a Stagecoach reference would have been more appropriate. But that's neither here nor there; I don't mean to over-analyze it. I commend Kojima for adding the reference in the first place and am sorry to see it lost in the console versions.

Thank you, Osiris, for a nicely detailed translation. And just out of curiosity, what are the references to Bullitt?


Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:15 pm
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Glad you enjoyed it.

Kojima just said that he made the houses in the game the type seen in San Francisco because of police movies like Bullit that take place there. So not a major reason, really.


Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:29 pm
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Where do you buy a PC98? I really want one, now.

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Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:11 am
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I don't know of any places outside Japan that sell PC-98 systems and parts. I do know of a store in Japan that will ship overseas and whose owner can communicate in English. It's going to cost you quite a bit, though (more than a deluxe PS3), so be warned. You can save quite a bit if you go for surface shipping over EMS, but there's less security that way.

The site is http://www.pasocomclub.co.jp/. If you're seriously up for buying everything you'll need (system, monitor, mouse, etc.), I can help you pick the one you'll need to run the game.


Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:38 am
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Osiris wrote:
I don't know of any places outside Japan that sell PC-98 systems and parts. I do know of a store in Japan that will ship overseas and whose owner can communicate in English. It's going to cost you quite a bit, though (more than a deluxe PS3), so be warned. You can save quite a bit if you go for surface shipping over EMS, but there's less security that way.

The site is http://www.pasocomclub.co.jp/. If you're seriously up for buying everything you'll need (system, monitor, mouse, etc.), I can help you pick the one you'll need to run the game.


Ooooh. I'm in Okinawa right now (and will be for the next 6 months). Know of any places around Kadena (Okinawa City) or prehaps Naha?


Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:48 am
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Wow, that's great, man. Have fun!

I don't know of any off-hand, but I'll see if I can find any. You could always just order from that store. Shipping won't be as bad to Okinawa (especially if you don't mind using surface mail).


Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:19 am
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I got about 200 new pics from my second playthrough (plus a short movie). I don't know when I'll be able to upload them, but hopefully sometime soon.


Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:49 pm
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That's be great Osiris =)

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Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:26 pm
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Hi,

Nice report. I'll just add that the console versions are in low-res 320x200 while the original PC-9821 is in hi-res 640x400. No cheap FMV, no dirty compression, no crappy Floyd-Steinberg dithering. Every picture is in pure, good old 16 colours like Mom used to draw. As Osiris said, there are a lot of tiny anims in the background, à la Snatcher on the PC Engine, which make the graphics very lively and immersive.

You'll also notice that the chara design of the console versions (in which Kojima didn't directly participate) is completely different and, IMHO, largely inferior. I've always considered the 9821 version as the director's cut, and I think the reason is obvious.

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Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:43 pm
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Hey, welcome to the forums. :) Do you have a PC-98 by any chance?

I think the PC-98 version has its good points, yes, but so do the console versions (Kojima did participate as writer/director in all of them, by the way; maybe you're thinking of the 32-bit Snatcher ports?).

While stills from the console anime sequences won't look as sharp as the equivalent scenes in the PC-98 version, the in-game graphics look very nice, in their own way, in the console versions (particularly after the 3DO version, when they dropped Cinepak compression and consequently shook off the graininess that came with it).

Yes, the characters were redrawn (some more drastically than others) for the console versions, to accomodate the inclusion of anime in the game. I feel some designs, particularly Redwood, actually look better in the console versions than the original. He's taller and more intimidating, whereas he's short and chubby-ish in the PC-98.

One thing I do like much more in the PC-98 is how everything is hand-drawn, including the cut-scenes of Victor's analysis and the CD-ROM demo, as well as the little portraits of items that get displayed on-screen throughout the game. It looks very nice. And of course, all that extra dialogue, too. :) It really does explain just about every mystery or question that remains in the game otherwise. Also, having the game open in Old LA, I think, works better. That way you don't know Jonathan's accident was the result of sabotage, and Beyond Coast is more mysterious up until you arrive there.

However, my overall favorite version (and Kojima's) is the Saturn version, with the PC-98 a close second. It just feels like the extra time between the original and last versions gave the team time to think about the optimum way of expressing the story they wanted to (certain elements were tweaked, like relationships Redwood has with other characters).

Anyway, I hope to get those other pics up soon... (the number is a little daunting, that's all).

One other thing I like in the PC-98 that you don't find anywhere else is the end, where you see the stars twinkling in the sky as Jonathan's plane heads back to Earth. The way they're depicted is exactly the way the first snowflakes look in the intro (hanging in mid-air), so it then becomes clear, if it wasn't before, that the snowflakes in the intro are symbolizing stars. It's a nice moment.

But you're right, the cut dialogue and text is enough to call it a director's cut of sorts. Some of it was removed for disc space, some for brevity, but it's still really interesting stuff. Hopefully people will be able to play most, if not all the versions in English (and maybe other languages too) someday.


Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:03 pm
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