From the Database of Home of the Underdogs
Copyright 1998, Team Shikamaru
Famicom Detective Club Part II (“Famicom Tantei Kubaru Part II” in Japanese) is a fun detective adventure game released only in Japan. The game is a Super Nintendo remake of one of Nintendo’s most famous Famicom Disk System (FDS, the floppy disk add-on to NES console) titles, and was more recently remade again for the Gameboy console. The game casts you as a rising protege of Shunsuke Utsugi, a famous private detective, who was taken under Utsugi’s wing after he found you escaping from the police. After a lengthy introduction that explains how you came to live with Utsugi, the game proper opens with a new case: a schoolgirl was murdered near a waterway. Your job, naturally, is to find out who did it and why.
Similar to traditional point-and-click games, you will explore multiple locations, interrogate suspects, and collect clues and evidence from the crime scenes. Like most Japanese adventure games, you interact with the game by selecting the action verb (for example: “ASK ABOUT…,” “TAKE,” and “GO TO…”) from the menu on the right of the view screen. Like most Japanese multi-path adventure games, the “THINK” command is used to see what your alter ego is thinking about the case. It is a good way to summarize what you know about the case so far, and deduce facts from evidence. Using this command is also the only way to advance the story in many occasions – if you have selected every verb and talked to everyone but can’t seem to “unlock” any new verbs/characters/locations to explore, it is most likely you haven’t ‘thought’ about the case enough. FDCPII also has two additional features that are unique to this series: the “CHECK” and “VIEW” commands. “CHECK” lets you move the cursor around the view screen to examine objects of interest more closely, while “VIEW” lets you view the case logbook that keeps track of important clues and facts.
Released only in Japanese, the game has since been superbly translated into English by enthusiasts who go by the name of “Neo Demiforce” and “Tomato.” The “click everything on the screen and all the verbs” nature of this extremely linear game may make it tiring at first, but once you interview the first few people and uncover the first few clues, the intriguing plot of FDCPII begins to unfold, the story gets better and better, and you will be willing to ignore or forgive the limited interface to see how it ends. The game is also relatively easy, making it ideal for beginnners to adventure genre. Highly recommended for fans of detective games.