Before Chinatown Detective Agency’s main menu opens, a disclaimer appears on the screen. It states, “General Interactive, Co. will bear no responsibility…and we neither confirm nor deny possessing insider information from secret societies pulling the strings of a new world order.” So, as you can see, the mysteries contained in this game run deep.
Your first case, A Picnic At Midnight, conveys this tone excellently with secret clients, coded messages, and intense stand-offs. Furthermore, this case teaches the basics of the game, including how to use transportation tools like HORUS and the online research requirements to decode clues.
Finding The Bodhi Tree
Your first client in Chinatown Detective Agency is somewhat mysterious. They haven’t given you a name, but they have given you conditions for your first meeting:
“A picnic at midnight, under the shade of a tree where a man became one with the universe.”
This message may seem hard to interpret. Luckily, the game’s tutorial will give you the answer to this one. The sender is requesting you meet them under a Bodhi tree. For reference, a Bodhi tree is the same type of tree that Buddha sat under when he reached enlightenment through meditation.
To find the Bodhi tree, you need to access the game’s Subway Map. Doing so will reveal several locations, including the Botanic Gardens. This location is where you need to go.
When you arrive at the Botanic Gardens, you’ll have to hack into the gate’s security at Swan Lake to enter. After all, the gardens are closed at this time of night.
Hacking in this game usually consists of memory match games where you will pair two identical symbols. Wrong guesses will fill a warning meter to the right of the puzzle. Too many wrong guesses, and you’ll whiff your attempt.
The solution to the Swan Lake gate hack looks like this:
Once you enter Swan Lake, you’ll meet your first client, Rupert Zhou, who will give you the assignment to find Philip Ng, Everlyf’s financial controller, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Your only lead is this message:
“Of all men’s miseries, the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.”
Rupert suggests that this message is from a book Philip checked out at the National Library, the last location of Philip’s phone before going silent. Therefore, your next task is to find this book.
Finding The Last Book Read By Philip Ng
Your first step to finding the last book read by Philip Ng is to get to the National Library. First, you’ll need to open the subway map and head to the Civic District. From there, click on the National Library to enter.
There are a lot of individuals to talk to in the lobby. However, these are run-of-the-mill NPC conversations that will not affect your case. So, you can ignore them.
Once you enter the library, approach the computer monitor on the desk in the lobby center. This computer is an AI that directs people to specific books, basically a directory. This moment is where the game starts to get tricky.
The AI asks for the author associated with the book. Then the game’s tutorial will instruct you to research this question yourself using the internet.
Upon inspection, you’ll learn the quote left by Philip Ng is from The Histories by Herodotus. After entering your answer into the directory, the AI will direct you to the basement.
As you walk through the basement floor, you will meet Mei Ting, a librarian, who will give you the info on who checked out the book last and where they live. The person in question is Genevieve Goh, who resides at 42 Bedok North Avenue, Unit 12-4081.
Tracking Down Genevieve Goh
Your search for Genevieve Goh will lead you to the apartment we mentioned earlier. But, first, enter the subway map and head to Bedok. Once you arrive, click on Block 42.
Of course, you can’t barge into a stranger’s apartment with no key, especially in dystopian Singapore, so you’ll have to hack your way inside. So here is the solution to the Block 42 puzzle:
Once inside the apartment, you will find an unattended computer. Investigate the computer to discover an email from Philip Ng to Genevieve Goh containing a long string of numbers.
Translating The Cipher
After finding this email, take this information to Mei Ting at the National Library. She will explain that the highlighted letters on each book page and the numbers are correlated. Then, use the code provided to solve the problem: Ludstown Wednesday Six Forty.
This message is a clue about where Philip and Genevieve traveled.
Booking Your Flight To Ludstown
This case section will introduce you to HORUS, the game’s flight booking system. You can also use HORUS to check previous flight schedules. Amira will perform part of the work, revealing that three flights departed at 6:40 that day: Istanbul, London, and Osaka. Your job is to figure out where Ludstown is.
Your research should conclude that Ludstown is the original name of London, based on the mythical King Lud. So, you’ll have to head to London.
Set the departing city, arrival city, and date in HORUS to book a flight. After inputting your flight information, the HORUS will show a list of available flights. Then, click on the flight you wish to take to book it.
It’s imperative to keep track of time, so you do not miss your flight. Furthermore, you can board a flight three hours before departure. If you arrive earlier, you can use the WAIT function in your UI to pass the time faster.
After booking your flight, take the subway to Changi Airport. You’ll see an icon, similar to other locations, that you can click on to get on board.
The Stand-Off With Philip Ng
Once you arrive in London, Rupert will need to track Philip and Genevieve to discover where they are. After an hour, Rupert will contact you to let you know that the couple is at the Canary Wharf Apartment. Once you enter the apartment, you’ll discover that Philip is holding Genevieve hostage, ready to kill her and himself.
At this point, a crosshair icon will appear over Amira’s head. That icon indicates you’ll have to unholster your gun and prepare for a Shootout.
A shootout is when you must disable a violent individual by shooting them with your gun. The goal is never to kill someone but to disarm them by shooting their hand or arm. Hesitating to shoot will cause Amira to kill her perp.
In this instance, your aim is essential. Your crosshair is a rectangle that will shake while moving. Therefore, your aim is not as steady as you can accomplish in an FPS. But, essentially, you’ll feel like you are handling a real gun.
Philip Ng will partially shield himself with Genevieve, so it is also imperative that you do not shoot Genevieve while you aim for Philip.
However, do not hesitate once you lock on target, or your crosshair may shift and impair your aim. Luckily, since this is a tutorial mission, the shootout is not too brutal.
From that point, your case will end successfully, and the game will autosave. However, your next autosave will not occur until you solve the following case, A Stamp Of Approval.
Next: Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Chinatown Detective Agency
8 Things We Wish We Knew Before Playing Chinatown Detective Agency
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