Friday, July 29, 2016

Murder on the Orient Express - Ending

I just finished playing Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express. The ending was so convoluted and ridiculous that it made me want to scream. I can only hope that the book had a better ending. At the very least, I hope it has an ending where someone other than Poirot talks, 'cause the game has thirty minutes of Poirot monologuing to a stone-faced audience.

Granted, the ending would have been much longer if everyone talked at the appropriate moments, but still.

The solution to the mystery is "everyone did it". Every single suspect stabbed the victim, as part of a complicated plan, ten years in the making. They formulated this plan down to the tiniest detail, complete with a fakeout suspect! They very neatly pinned the crime on a third party, with a lot of fake evidence to prove their guilt.

And indeed, that's how the game ends. The police accuse the imaginary third party of being the culprit, and the murderers get away, scot-free.

Even though they went through the trouble of creating the perfect murder plot, everyone decides to throw the plan out the window, and they make up a bunch of random crap at the last second. So for example, Culprit A decides to dress up as a Japanese woman and parade around for no reason. Culprit B imitates the victim speaking French, to frame the Frenchman. Culprit C leaves a handkerchief at the crime scene, in order to frame Culprit D, who leaves behind a pipe cleaner to frame Culprit E. So on and so forth.

None of this was in the plan. Why? WHY DIDN'T ANY OF THEM STICK TO THE PLAN? They went through all the trouble of framing a third party, then changed their minds and decided to frame each other. The whole POINT of the plan was to have everyone get away with murder. Why undermine this plan that you spent TEN YEARS working on?

Based on the dialogue, none of them knew about it, either. As in, they all independently decided to frame each other! Quite a remarkable coincidence! They all turned on each other, at the exact same time!

...Or at least, Culprit F apologizes to Culprit G for framing her. Maybe some of the other culprits did plan to frame each other, just to confuse the detective.

Culprit B: Oh, hey, Culprit H, I know the plan says to frame a third party, but I changed my mind. I'm gonna frame you instead.
Culprit H: Oh, cool! I was gonna frame you, too! Guess that works out.
Culprit G: Whoa, are we all framing each other? I want in on this action! Can I frame Culprit I?

The detective being onboard wasn't part of the plan, by the way. Ha! They blocked out every room on the train except for one, and what do you know, a famous detective takes that room. Again, quite a remarkable coincidence! The mastermind is probably kicking herself for not thinking of blocking out ALL the rooms.

Basically, the game tries to have its cake and eat it, too. It says that everyone was corroborating on a complex plot, AND everyone made stuff up without talking to each other. That is impossible. Either the culprits worked together, or they didn't. Either they planned everything, or they improvised everything. If there is an in between--some stuff was improvised, some wasn't--then you need to be CLEAR about that, instead of making blanket statements that everything was planned and unplanned at the same time.


Jo said...

Yay! Can't wait until the videos are up!

I do agree that the ending was kind of weird, but I really love the game itself.
I personally find Evil Under The Sun more enjoyable though.

Shannon said...

Just finished watching your videos playing And Then There Were None. Great job! A suggestion for a game you'd enjoy is Clue Chronicles: Fatal Illusion. A bit dated, but good story and puzzles. I know you already have a backlog, but maybe consider adding this game when the list starts to run low. Thanks!

Anna said...

Haven't checked in on your walkthroughs for a while and when I did, I was so happy to see that you played the Agatha Christie games! I like And Then There Were None best. Murder on the Orient Express is ridiculous at times but still good.

The book that this game is based on does have a slightly different ending, not as dramatic as what's in the game, but still far-fetched.

Are you planning to play Evil Under the Sun as well?

Grace Howell said...

I actually guessed whodunit the first time I watched the movie, and I was right! I think I prefer the original ending, because it has more emotional value than the one they did in the game. Also, I would've preferred to play as Poirot, like you can in 'Evil Under the Sun'. Damn. Now I want to play the games again.