Murder! Murder! is an upcoming RPG/adventure video game for the Nintendo Switch. The game was developed by Amuza and is the first installment in an original series. It is a murder mystery game in which players attempt to solve unexplained and seemingly paranormal cases. The game is slated for release in 2018.
The game follows the player who works as an agent for the Secret Service in the "789 Agency". This agency is tasked with solving murder cases which were declared either as 'unsolvable' by other agents in the service, or have mysterious, seemingly paranormal leads. There are a total of 12 cases in the game, playing similar to a season of a television show. Each case sees the player traveling across the points of interest, discussing matters with relevant people, collecting evidence, and building an accusation against a suspect.
Murder! Murder! is a mixture of a number of genres. The main gameplay of solving cases play like a visual novel, reminiscent to the Ace Attorney series and the Professor Layton series. Unlike those games, there are a number of sandbox elements to Murder! Murder!. This includes the ability to fully customize the player character at salons and clothing stores, and a fully explorable isometric open-world in the form of the fictional city, Veluga. Inside this city, the player can perform a multitude of activities separate from the main game, similar to other open-world games. Racing, shopping, side-quests, and decorating the player's home are some of the things that can be done outside of the main story.
The main gameplay aspect is the murder cases the player is tasked to solve. Each murder will have its own points of interest, such as the Crime Scene, Secret Service Headquarters or public locations in town. At each location there are a number of skills the player can perform.
- Investigate: While investigating, the player can examine objects within the area in greater detail to reveal extra information. Objects that contain case relevance will be collected as evidence, and can be used to build an accusation against a person of interest.
- Interrogate: If a person of interest is nearby, they can be interrogated to further reveal more details about the case. Interrogating can lead to new testimony that can be used in building a better accusation against a person of interest.
- Accuse: This can be used to build an accusation against a person of interest. In this mode, the player can read the details of any person of interest. If their details contradict evidence or a person's testimony, this can be placed in their profile to raise the percentage of an accusation.
- Report: The report allows the player to be caught up on all the details of the case. Evidence and testimonies can be examined, as well as the investigation report which details all the breakthroughs in the case. All character profiles can be read here. The most recent dialogue can also be read when in report mode.
The player follows a set story within each case, traveling from location to location and interacting with breakthroughs in the case that further the story and lead the player closer to solving the case. Once a accusation is great enough to be a conviction, the case is deemed as solved, and the player moves on to the following case.
Murder! Murder! was inspired from media such as the television show The X-Files as well as visual novel games like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton.
The game is set similar to that of a television series rather than a video game. This is due to the game's 12 cases acting as their own separate stories, similar to an episode from a TV show in a wider season. Despite this, their is also an overall story arc which slowly unravels throughout the entire game's cases. The wider story arc is based around the government making contact with aliens, and trying to keep their existence a secret.
The art-style and game's aesthetics were inspired by the Los Angeles depicted in La La Land, with a contradicting setting that could be set in any time. The town's architecture, fashion resemble the 50's and 60's, but modern technology is also prevalent within Veluga.
The player has completely had their memories wiped and has no recollection of anything. They are introduced to their partners, Perelli and Winter. The three are called to solve the case of a murder in the woods that happened the previous night, which has a number of mysterious leads tied to it. The victim, Betty O'Redds, is a member of the richest family in Veluga. Her autopsy report showed her cause of death was undetermined, but high amounts of radioactivity were found in her blood, which peculiarly had turned her blood blue. Along with this, her hair had all fallen out, revealing a strange scar covering her scalp that depicts the solar system.
The three detectives move to inspect the crime scene. The player examines the body themselves and discovers mysterious black dots covering her back, with a neon blue cyst protruding from her spine. These spots where not originally found on the autopsy report, and the blue cyst appears to be growing in size. They discover the soil where Betty was found dead has experienced an absurd amount of growth in nature, including unidentifiable flowers. As well as this, the sides of the trees facing into the crime scene have a strange blue fungus, whilst the other side is unaffected. An old vinyl record is found nearby, but is damaged beyond repair. A trail of footprints is found by the player, which they follow to discover they lead to the O'Redds Estate.
The player and Perelli head inside, whilst Winter decides to take samples of the dirt and fungus to the lab for analysis. Perelli and the player enter the estate to investigate, beginning with the family. Unfortunately, Jennie, George and Louis have all become bedridden and nearly comatose from extreme sickness. They all reside in the lounge room, which has since been turned into an infirmary. The only family member that proves to be much help is the young daughter Greta, who is still rather sick and paralyzed. Greta helps construct a timeline of the night Betty died through her testimony. The family strangely skipped dinner that night, instead they all had chocolate milkshakes for supper at 11pm. Greta went straight to bed after her milkshake, and remembers waking up in the middle of the night to a couple of people walking around downstairs. She also had a nightmare about someone grabbing her from bed, but woke up in her bed fine the next morning. The other three family members cannot speak much, but are able to mutter a few words. Jennie remembers waking to a bright light and George not being in bed. Louis remembers going downstairs to see Betty and George, while George recalls sleeping fine through the entire night.
The two reunite with Winter in the Agency, and discover that the soil and fungus have high trace amounts of radioactivity, and the fungus is rapidly growing. The flowers that surround the crime scene are unknown and are shown to be unidentified as any other plant. The trio head down to the Morgue, and learn that Betty's hair all fell out due to radiation exposure. The scar on her scalp is shown to have occurred within the time frame of her death, and Betty had become paralyzed during or before her death. Whilst Perelli begins to wildly speculate the possibility that aliens abducted and killed Betty, Winter discredits Perelli and suggests it was one of her family members. The three decide to consult with people that were close to Betty, but her sheltered life in wealth means their best bet is her nanny, Lily-Anne James.
On the way to meet Lily-Anne, the trio of detectives continue to discuss the possible suspects, helping the player build their accusation. The group meet at Bobby Brown's Petrol & Diner and she tells the player all the secrets Betty had told her, including hearing voices, odd nightmares, waking up in strange places, and swearing that time often disappeared. When asking about people who would have possible motives, Lily-Anne truly believes that if she was murdered, it would be someone from within the family.
Upon returning to the O'Redds Estate, they find Greta has passed away from her illness. Her body was found in the woods despite having been paralyzed from her illness. One of the nurse's swears she saw Greta run into the woods. The player examines her body, and finds her hair all falls out to reveal the same odd shaped scar on her scalp. On top of this, Greta exhibits the same odd symptoms as Betty, including discolored blood, black dots down her spine, and a growing blue spot on her back. A trail of footprints found leaving the scene is once again discovered, and the player follows them to George O'Redds's room.
The detectives search through the O'Redds Estate. They discover shoes belonging to George that match the footprint trail, a vase of the same flowers from the crime scene in Greta's room, and a notebook of instructions to follow in Betty's room. The instructions are written by George, and outline how he will kill his daughter.
The player immediately stitches together that George murdered Betty. They head downstairs to arrest George, but discover that the lounge room has been emptied, and a nurse tells the group that George, Jennie and Louis were rushed off to the hospital.
The detectives rush to the hospital. As they arrive, they see a bright white light flash inside the hospital. Inside, they find George, Jennie and Louis have all miraculously recovered from their illness. The detectives arrest George for the death of Betty. Jennie and Louis seemingly have no sadness to see Geroge taken away, and they leave to return to their estate.
With the case officially solved, Perelli and Winter question the numerous loose ends to the case, including the radioactivity, the strange scars, the odd flowers, the peculiar paralysis, and George's motive.
PEOPLE OF INTEREST
The player, Perelli and Winter head to 1976 Hook Avenue, where the home owner found the Passport of the missing person, Madeleine Mackenzie. The player analyses the Passport and finds a stamp that shows it was used in Iran 3 days ago. Upon finding this out, Perelli calls the Iranian authorities who send a representative to the crime scene. The three detectives continue to search the house for any other evidence, and the player finds that someone may have been living in the Attic for a short period of time, as signalled by the Picnic Basket left in the house.
After searching the house the Iranian representative, Ahmad Motelien arrives to pass on information about Madeleine's passport being used in Iran. After reviewing the one who stamped her passport and security camera footage, they find that a young woman wearing old-fashioned clothing used the passport, and could potentially be trying to steal her identity.
All members of the authorities decide to search the perimeter around the house for any clues that Madeleine may have left behind. The player heads around the nearby area of The Highlands, and discovers an old-fashioned Umbrella, Train Ticket and Diary with some coded entries written by Madeleine presumably.
The diary however, was found to have come from Happy Days Retirement Village, and so the detectives head to the retirement village and talk to one of the nurses, Asha Pedigree. She checks through the Happy Days database and finds that a Madeleine Mackenzie had stayed at the village 25 years ago, but passed away in their care. However, her body had seemingly disappeared and was never buried or cremated.
With the case at a dead end, the player, Perelli and Winter decide to talk to the original investigator who was working the case, unfortunately he passed away long ago, but the grandson of the original investigator is still living in Veluga, and is a detective himself. The detectives meet with the grandson, Dennis Martin, at the Police Department. Fortunately, Dennis as continued his father's and grandfather's research into solving the case, and believes Madeleine has appeared three times over the past hundred years. He proves this by showing a photo of Madeleine from 25 years ago, and asking the detectives to talk to Cherrie Mann who resides at Happy Days Retirement Village.
Back at Happy Days, the detectives and Dennis meet with Cherrie, who claims to have been friends when Madeleine last appeared 25 years ago. She recalls Madeleine's odd behaviour such as only drinking milkshakes and never eating, as well as her insistence to get rid of the O'Redds Highway Nuclear Plant. Dennis shows the detectives that every 25 years for the last hundred years, the nuclear plant has been mysteriously attacked, and fears that Madeleine intends to attack the plant once again. Cherrie directs the detectives to Twofold Barns, the place where Madeleine had set up a lookout over the nuclear plant.
THe player, Perelli and Winter find a small hideout hidden among the trees around the barns that looks out over the nuclear plant, however they find no evidence that anyone was living there. As they prepare to leave, suddenly, the Nuclear Plant explodes in a fit of flames, and from the blast emerges a silhouette that immediately runs away the detectives. The player chases down the silhouette, and captures her inside the barn. The strange woman turns out to be the real Madeleine Mackenzie, alive even one hundred years later.
With the case officially solved, Perelli and Winter question the numerous peculiarities in the case, including how Madeleine is still alive, if it is the real Madeleine from one hundred years ago, and what her motive for destroying the nuclear plant was.
POINTS OF INTEREST
|The player character's appearance is entirely customisable. They are an agent working at the Secret Service in the 789 Agency, investigating unsolvable cases. At the very beginning of the game, the character's memories are wiped (unbeknowest to the player). The game follows the player as they solve cases and progressively recover their memories.|
|Cleo Perelli is one of the player character's partner-in-crime. She is a highly trained and skilled special agent, serving in the Secret Service for a number of years. Cleo was deemed by the Secret Service to show great potential, and was transferred to the 789 Agency for its creation. She has remained in the agency for its three years in operation. Cleo has been studying psychology alongside her work in the Secret Service, and has become a master at talking to people of interest. She can easily understand the big picture in cases, and believes in the good within each person she comes across. She has an open mind and is willing to listen to anything to get a better understanding of a crime. While Cleo is an expert in the area of psychology and talking to people, she has grown a fear to boldly acting in cases. In moments of high action, such as chasing down the criminal, Cleo will often freeze up. She is a notable believer towards the paranormal, and enjoys speculating on whether or not the case relates to paranormal forces.|
|Eli Winter is one of the player character's partner-in-crime. Eli has only recently graduated from his Bachelor of Forensic Science, but he is highly knowledgeable and often acts as a teacher to the player. Eli uses his skills to help solve crimes the traditional way, by performing scientific research and tests. He believes that the answer to every case is always rooted in science, and often acts as the level-headed detective in the agency. Eli is not only educated in Forensic Science, but spends his spare time reading up on history and often references history throughout cases. As well as history, Eli educates himself in other areas of science, and is constantly discussing interesting facts about the world and science. He has very high expectations of those around him, which can often cause friction in the office. However, Eli is a very traditional investigator, withholding all the rules and holding a particular distaste for believing in paranormal forces.|
- In each of the game's cases, the victim is named after a famous real-life murder case or unsolved mystery.
- The game takes heavy inspiration from the deck of Tarot cards. Each card is represented through a character, and the storyline throughout the game progresses from the start to the end of the deck.
- This case makes references to the first episode of The X-Files. This includes Greta's death mimicking Peggy O'Dell's, as they both were paralyzed but were seen running to their death.
- Bobby Brown's Petrol & Diner is named after Millie Bobby Brown, the actress from the popular TV series Stranger Things, which was one of the game's inspirations. As well as this, the singer/songwriter Bobby Brown also inspired the location, with the diner being modeled after his music videos, and similar music as his being played in the diner.
- The O'Redds last name is an anagram of Sodder, being named after the famous disappearance of the Sodder children.
- It is common for alien abductees to believe that whilst abducted, they were told by aliens to stop the use of nuclear power plants. As well as this, UFOs have been spotted near nuclear power plants for decades.
- Numerous case details relate to the 1976 Tehran UFO Incident, including Madeleline's stamp from Iran, Ahmad's hometown of Tehran, and 1976 Hook Avenue sharing the number of the year it took place.
- Each person of interest shares the direct name or an anagram of a famous missing persons case. This includes Megumi Yokota, Ahmad Motevaselian, Asha Degree, Dennis Martin, Cherrie Mahan, and Madeleine McCann