Well, it's been more than a few days -- but I'm done! Without further ado, here's mission four. Enjoy, I've already begun number five.
The Gordian Knot
We fade in to Doug sitting on his apartment steps, puffing away at a smoke stub and watching his neighbors come and go along the cobblestone sidewalk. As an argument breaks out in one of the sh*tty digs across the street, a window cracks open a few stories up.
Joanna's head pops out: "You said you were taking out the trash!"
Doug pats a garbage bag sitting next to him. "I am!"
The window slams closed with a dejected grunt. Splinters of wood fall to the sidewalk.
Doug grabs the bag and huffs over to the common trash cans; dented and overflowing with sh*t, he tosses it and his cig into a pile of undoubtedly rank waste and begins to walk back up the stairs just as a blue Corrida screeches up to the curb. A gaunt guy of questionable ethnicity steps out the door and almost gets swept away by a speeding dump truck.
"D-Dog!" he howls, pretending it didn't happen and patting the hood. "Long time no see."
"Ah, whatever. How you doin'? Admiring our impeccably kept trash area?"
"That's it. Whats new, Wink?"
"Great things are afoot, that's what." He points to the Corrida. "That things about to get swapped in for a Benefactor. You know Harry?"
Doug leans on the railing. "He finally take his destiny head-on and become a used car salesman?"
"Not exactly. His 24-karat carcass washed up in Holt Bay this morning. No fingers."
"Harry, huh? Sounds like a gas."
"I had to go I.D. the poor f*ck's body and book it before they booked me. Real gas."
Doug doesn't ask the $64,000 question. "So what now?"
"We can talk in the car. You free?"
Doug about-faces to the window and back. "As the mary up on Elwood."
Segue to gameplay - enter the passenger side and let Winky drive. Notice the stacked, banged-up crates in the truck bed.
"Again - so what now?"
"All hands on deck is what now, D-Dog. Harry was a prick, but he held a decent rank with the Tongs. He promised he'd talk me up to the head honchos way back when, and I'd like to think he made good on that."
"Level with me - you think you're gonna replace him?"Doug stifles a chuckle.
"I didn't say that, you fickle old f*ck."
A lull - although its not yet time to make use of them, familiarize yourself with the passenger controls.
Winky: "You carrying?"
"You know the answer to that."
"Don't be naive."
"Fine, don't answer. I got you a little gift anyway."
Little gift - a rusty old revolver.
"Oh, that's swell. I think my great grandad fought the gold rush with this thing."
"Anytime. Listen up."
Winky explains the situation - Harry was a well-established Tong with his fingers in one too many local drug rings, so someone cut them off, slit his throat and tossed him into the bay. Before he even hit the riverbed Winks received a ring requesting a meet - the Triads needing a new heroin supplier, preferably local. Pink Dilian parking lot, Chinatown. Pronto.
As Winky drives under the Chinatown arch, notice the packed liveliness of the district - food vendors, antique stores, arguing Asians and cheap pawn shops crowding the sidewalks. The Pink Dillian's imperial not-so-pink facade beckons forth and he explains:
"Come to think of it, I don't think they'll be too hot on me bringing a number two."
"It's a bit too late for that, amigo."
"Nix that. Climb the fire escape over there and watch the meet from the roof."
The camera focuses on a nearby rusty fire escape - it leads to a stubby building just tall enough to oversee the parking lot.
"What the hell use am I up there?"
"Oh, I got a rifle in the back."
"And your olive branch was an age-old revolver. Your foresight is f*cking admirable."
Right before he turns the alleyway, Doug exits the car and heads to the back. The weapon selection works just like Little Jacob's in IV - for now, grab the rifle and a pair of binoculars from one of those boxes and hit the fire escape as Winky crawls the Corrida into the parking lot. Through the windows on the fire escape you can peek through some apartment curtains, creep some Oriental interiors. Get to the creaky roof and switch to the binoculars as Wink comes to a stop near a grey Classique Tango. You'll receive directives on how to switch between the lenses and the rifle and how to zoom - notice a dirty white Granger parked in the shadows up ahead. Make a preemptive choice; focus on them or the meet itself.
Winky hops out his pickup as a group of four exit the Tango. A short Chinaman with a shirt more abstract than an Adam Biggs canvas steps out with a red envelope of cash in one hand and a mystic knot in the other.
Ready your sights; hold your breath. Just in case.
Winky and cashman get to talking, the others holding the line Secret Service-like. The pair turn round the back of Winky's ride and he cracks one of the boxes open with a crowbar. Laugh laugh, handshake and a handover of the cash; the other goons grab two crates and heave them into the back of the Tong sedan. All's well, but does it ever last? As the meeting wraps up, a distant rumbling grows louder until everyone notices - cashman yells "F*ck!"as a half dozen motorcycles pull into the alleyway, operators armed to the teeth.
Muzzles light up as Doug echoes the Triads sentiments - open fire on the bikers and keep Winky safe as he hides behind his truck. Pop them with sniper fire or go down personal - you've got your gifted revolver and perennially-held pistol, after all. Rush back down the fire escape or take a leap of faith off the roof onto a protruding garage below. Every time you jump off a high surface wielding weapons youll activate a bullet-time freefall regardless of who you're playing as - use it to take some potshots at the bikers. Scramble for cover once you're down there and finish them off with the help of the Triads, including the sneaks in the Granger; take notice of the mixture of ragdoll and more inventive scripted death animations as you do.
Wrap up, cutscene - the cashman puts his gun to Winky's head and the bodyguards fidget uncertainly as Wink rambles on. Doug approaches calm, hands up: "Nothing hasty, fellas."
Winky blubbers: "F*ck, Damon, what the f*ck, do I look like I'd get along with those pricks, f*ck, man, this was my deal!"
Doug comes closer, shows his bare hands. "The gatecrashers are dead, amigo. Let's try to keep our fingers off the triggers for a jiffy."
Cashman - Damon, lets the pistol go limp and wipes his forehead.
"Apologies."Prying eyes converge at the head of the alleyway as Damon eyes Winky.
"These deadbeats are becoming an issue."
"No f*cking sh*t."
"And you,"Damon gestures crookedly at Doug, "Consider us grateful, but who the f*ck are you?"
He feigns surprise. "I'm Doug."
To Winky this time: "Who is he?"
Wink starts to pace and stops short of the Tong goons."I mean, Christ, Damon, we live in the same building and his wife ain't that hot on me because we used to work together like a long ti-"
The monologue gets cut short as two not-so-dead bikers make an eleventh-hour decision - a prone one readies his sights at Winky, another steadies himself to a knife charge at Damon. And it's ultimately up to you - Doug's sharp instincts can blow one of them away. Shoot the gunman and Winky'll drop prostrate as Damon's men annihilate the other. Vice versa, save Damon's ass and his men will prevent Winky's demise. No deaths, sure, but your choice will be remembered.
Everyone on edge, Damon orders his men around in Cantonese. They flip vests, check pockets of the bikers as Winky stands shaky. Doug and Damon make eye contact, neither backing down as Doug lights a cigarette.
One of the men hands Damon a card, close up: Stanislaw Choppers, Dutch Flatlands SF - The Road Starts Here.
He speaks to no one: "What kind of tar snake crew orders business cards?"
Ripping it in two, he faces Winky. "Let's table your story, Ying. I'll be in touch."
Doug makes a face. Ying?
"You can cash in later." He shrugs, hops in the Corrida and takes off through the crowd of squarejohns still gathered.
With a final stern order, the Triad men hop into the Tango as sirens converge in the distance. Damon opens the back door to enter but pauses to face Doug, leaning casually against the frame.
"You're a skilled shot, Doug."
"So I've heard."
"The question is, since you've clearly no stake in the inner workings of this deal, where do your loyalties lie?"
Straight: "They lie where the money flows."
"I tend to shoot men with that mindset."
Doug takes a prolonged puff of his cigarette. "I'd appreciate you putting that idea on ice, considering what just happened."
Damon pretends to consider, Doug cuts his response off: "I enjoy this song and dance if its done timely, but those sirens are getting mighty loud. Maybe it'd suit you better to do this over dinner or something, I hear you fellas enjoy that."
"You'll quickly find that I have no tolerance for insolence, Mr-"
"It's Pryor, and don't you get sanctimonious on me, Damon."
"Mr. Leung. You're lucky you're such a good shot, Mr. Pryor. May I reach you through Ying when were in need?"
A slow nod in victory pose; Damon slugs into the backseat and the sedan flies by, target on him fingering the gaps of his mystic knot. Doug smokes, casually glancing over the half dozen corpses abound, before tossing the cigarette and making headway down the alley exit absent of onlookers. He gives a cursory wave to the Triads slinking in the Rancher watching him as he mutters:
Post-mission phone call(s)
Any time you approach a payphone in the city after a mission, you'll receive a prompt once you're 50¢ short: in this case, a call to Doug's wife Joanna. Make 'em or you'll miss 'em. If you don't make a call necessary to advance the story, you'll receive it at the protagonist's safehouse instead.
1st - Joanna Pryor (optional)
Doug: It's me.
Joanna: Hm, thought maybe you ran out for good. You bring the trash to the landfill yourself?
Doug: Trash's in the trash. I was with Marcus.
Joanna: That's interesting, 'cause Marcus just came over and borrowed some eggs. You think I didn't see you leave with Winky?
Doug: What do you want from me, Jo? He's got work and he pays, that alone puts him above half the jackasses in this city. Besides, there are more dangerous dogs in the kennel.
Joanna: I don't need the bill of goods. Just be home for dinner.
Doug: We'll see.
2nd - Winky Marquez (mandatory)
Winky: I get the right number this time?
Doug: If you were trying to ring me instead of just coming upstairs, yes.
Winky: Oh, and run into your wife? I wanna jump into the bull pen, I'll wear red.
Doug: What is it?
Winky: Well, it turns out I underestimated the workload involved in Oriental dealings. I can't handle it myself. I tried, really, but I can't.
Doug: Too bad Harry's not around, he would've been keen for it.
Winky: As-f*ckin'-if. Try this olive branch for size - I'm gonna need help running the day-to-day and I know you need work.
Doug: Well, it's a more valuable branch than the revolver, I can tell you that.
Winky: Primo, we'll give it the ol' college try. Ring me up when you need something to get done or I'll come see you when I need something done.
Side-mission unlocked: Winky's Wetwork