Still Life (video game)

Infobox VG | title = Still Life


developer = Microïds
publisher = EU MC2
NA The Adventure Company
designer =
engine = Virtools
released = NA start date|2005|4|15(WIN)
EU June 3, 2005 (WIN), (Xbox)
NA June 6, 2005 (Xbox)
genre = Adventure
modes = Single player
ratings = ESRB: M (Mature)
USK: 16+
PEGI: 18+
platforms = Microsoft Windows, Xbox
media = 2 CD-ROMs (WIN)
1 DVD (Xbox)
requirements = 800 MHz Intel Pentium CPU, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB video card RAM, 16X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 8.1b, 600 MB available hard disk space, Windows 98 (WIN)
input = Keyboard, mouse or Game controller

"Still Life" is a 2005 computer adventure game by Microïds. While not sharing its name, "Still Life" is a sequel to "Post Mortem". A sequel, "Still Life 2", was announced by Microïds on December 6, 2007.

The storytelling device of switching back and forth between two player characters is similar to "Fahrenheit" and highly reminiscent of such games as "Gabriel Knight".

A major theme throughout the game is art, especially the technique of still life that the game is named after.

Plot

The story revolves around private investigator Gustav McPherson in the late 1920s Prague and FBI Special Agent Victoria McPherson (Gus' grandchild) in the near future Chicago, and their task to hunt down what seems to be the same ritualistic and beastly serial killer, more than seventy years apart.

The game focuses around Victoria's journey to link the murders and mutilations of prostitutes in 1920s Prague to the similar murders of mistresses working at an S&M club named "Red Lantern" during Victoria's time period. The game's main nemesis is a man clad in a dark cloak, top-hat and a silver mask and is encountered by both Gus McPherson and Victoria.

Ending / sequel

A controversy surrounding the game is its lack of an ending. Originally planned as the second of a trilogyFact|date=October 2007, with "Post Mortem" as the first, "Still Life" ends without revealing the villain, setting up for a finalé which, for some time, appeared never to be made, as part of the development arm of Microïds in Canada was bought out by Ubisoft [cite web |url=http://www.ubi.com/ENCA/News/Info.aspx?nId=2028 |title=Ubisoft Montréal enters into an agreement to acquire Microïds Canada's development operations |publisher=ubi.com |date=2005-03-02 |accessdate=2008-07-03] . However, on December 6, 2007, Microïds announced the development of a sequel, "Still Life 2", which is expected to be released in Q1 2009 [cite web |url=http://www.microids.com/en/press/9/microids-to-release-still-life-sequel.html |title=Microïds announces "Still Life 2" |publisher=Microïds |date=2007-12-06 |accessdate=2008-07-03] . The mysterious antagonist's identity will apparently be revealed in the sequel. On September 19, 2008 a new "Still Life" series website was opened, covering the three games.

"Still Life: Prelude"

"Still Life: Prelude" was a section of the game which continued on the game's website, but is not online anymore. It placed you once again in control of Victoria McPherson investigating cases prior to those encountered in the main "Still Life" game plot.

Characters

Chicago

* "Victoria McPherson" - An FBI agent, Granddaughter of Gus; one of the player's characters (Sarah Leger)
* "David Miller" - Chicago Police/FBI Officer (Arthur Holden)
* "Claire Ashby" - Chicago Police/FBI Coroner (Pauline Little)
* "William Tate" - Chicago Police Officer (Terrance Scammel)
* "Todd Browning" - Chicago FBI Chief (Terrance Scammel)
* "Vaclav Kolar" - Chicago University Tutor (Harry Standjofski)
* "Patrick McPherson" - Father to Victoria, son of Gustav and Milena (A. J. Henderson)
* "Richard Valdez" - Boyfriend of Victoria; works at Chicago Art Gallery (Marcel Jeannin)
* "Bouncer Mr. Zero" - Bouncer at Chicago Red Lantern Club (Terrance Scammel)
* "Mia Holmes" - Works at Red Lantern Club; Neighbour of Kolar (Jennifer Seguin)
* "Roslyn Checa" - 1st Chicago Victim
* "Elizabeth Walmsley" - 2nd Chicago Victim
* "Shannon Braeme" - 3rd Chicago Victim
* "Natalie Kenworth" - 4th Chicago Victim
* "Cynthia Woods" - 5th Chicago Victim
* "Stephanie Wallace" - 6th Chicago Victim

Prague

* "Gustav McPherson" - Private Detective, first featured in the game "Post Mortem". (Sven Eriksson)
* "Jiří Skalnic" - Prague Police Investigator (Mark Camacho)
* "Kazimír Stašek" - Prague Police Officer (Marcel Jeannin)
* "Emil Korona" - Prague Coroner (A. J. Henderson)
* "Mark Ackerman" - American Artist (Arthur Holden)
* "The Crow Man" - Coachman in Prague (Arthur Holden)
* "Patrick Bell" - US Embassy in Prague (Marcel Jeannin)
* "Otokar Kubina" - Prague Pimp; Owns Lingerie shop (Harry Standjofski)
* "Petr Jesenský" - Henchman for Kubina in Prague; Brother of Roman (Terrance Scammel)
* "Roman Jesenský" - Henchman for Kubina in Prague; Brother of Petr (Terrance Scammel)
* "Ida Skaličková" - Prostitute in Prague; Gustav's Girlfriend (Sarah Leger)
* "Milena" - Prostitute in Prague; Gustav's wife (Claudia Besso)
* "Apolena" - Prostitute in Prague (Jennifer Seguin)
* "Vladana Tominová" - Prostitute in Prague; Benefactor for bridge (Holly Gauthier-Frankel)
* "Františka" - Prostitute/Victim in Prague
* "Anežka" - Prostitute/Missing in Prague
* "Annika Vitti" - Prostitute/Victim in Prague
* "Sasha" - Prostitute/Victim in Prague
* "Katarina Bulgari" - Prostitute/Victim in Prague
* "Nadia Burkowski" - Prostitute/Victim in Prague
* "Herbert Ackerman" - Ambassador; Father of Mark
* "Michael Harrison" - Los Angeles Police Officer

List of Mark Ackerman's works

Within the game there is a fictional artist named Mark Ackerman. Their titles and meanings are used within the game as clues to the mystery.
* Yemen
* Veiled Woman
* Streets of Prague
* The Pupil
* Empty Shell
* Moonshine Traffic
* Mob Boss
* Mindless
* LA Promenade
* Peace of Mind
* Doctor Hyde
* Abandoned
* Death Do Us Part
* Cleansing of a Soul
* Bridge Over Troubled Water
* Beatrice
* Disturbed Sanctuary

Development

"Still Life" was made with Virtools applications [cite web |url=http://www.virtools.com/made-with-virtools/demosc951.html?a=smenu1&idcat=1&catkey=GPCC&iddemo=96 |title="Still Life" project |publisher=Virtools Applications Dead link|date=February 2008] [cite web |url=http://www.virtools.com/News/pdf/2004/EN%20-%20Dec04-AdventureGamers_StillLife.pdf |title="Still Life" Review |date=2004-12-20 |publisher=Virtools Applications/ Adventure Gamers |accessdate=2008-07-03|format=PDF] ; the same software as "Post Mortem" and some other Microïds games. The point and click gameplay is also based on their previous "Syberia" games.

Lead character biographies

* Gustav McPherson is a Private Detective, who grew up in New York City. In the mid-1920s Gustav moved to Paris and took up the profession of an Artist. In 1925 a mysterious woman, Sophia Blake, hired Gustav to investigate the murders at the Orphee Hotel, of her 'sister' and brother-in-law. This mystery unfolded into a paranormal encounter with an item called the 'Head of Baphomet', which would give eternal life to its beholder. In 1929 Gustav was enlisted by his then girlfriend Ida to investigate the murders of multiple prostitutes in Prague. While uncovering that the murderer was also an artist, Ida herself was murdered causing Gustav to be distraught. Gustav, Vladanna Tominoka and Milena fled the murderer by working their way back to America. Gustav and Milena settled in Chicago, where they married and had a son, Patrick McPherson. In 1932 Gustav also stole some FBI files related to the murders, which he later passed on in 1956 to a police officer in Los Angeles, Michael Harrison. Harrison was investigating murders which were almost identical to the ones in Prague.

* Victoria McPherson is an FBI Agent working in Chicago. She is the daughter of Patrick and granddaughter of Gustav. As a child she loved listening to her grandfather's stories and would later find herself entangled in similar circumstances to one of Gustav's cases. Later in her career Victoria was sent to work in Maine.

References

External links

*
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050327080331/www.stilllife-game.com/Prelude/index.aspx?lang=en "Still Life"'s original official website] - Captured by the "Internet Archive", March 29, 2005
* [http://www.microids.com/en/catalogue/10/still-life-victoria-mcpherson-s-adventures.html "Still Life" PC] , at [http://www.microids.com Microïds]
*


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