Week 1 Questions

4

Cole Phelps: I’ve chosen Phelps, as he is the protagonist and considering the relatively small amount of time I’ve been playing LA Noire; his presence has been a constant so far. You follow Phelps’ promotions in his career as a Detective, while at the same time learning small fragments of his past from flashbacks to his days in the army. He very much stands apart from the other characters around him, as he shows compassion where others are almost always either too timid (like in the case of his first partner, Ralph Dunn) or too angry (like Rusty Galloway, another partner). This is especially shown in one flashback of his war-days, when he doesn’t join in with the anger directed at the Japanese and instead says he respects them, much to the dismay of his troupe.

While I was playing, I found that I was starting to compare Phelps to many vigilante characters in films, such as Max Payne, although I’ve only been playing for a short time, he seemed to me to be very much like the stereotypical, troubled Detective, with a dark past and an extreme desire to enforce justice.

Rusty Galloway: Finbarr ‘Rusty’ Galloway is someone I have only just met myself, but he seems already to be a very dislikeable person, he drinks on the job, doesn’t care who he arrests as long as the case seems sound, he seems very angry and incapable of controlling his anger, which shows itself especially when talking about his ex-wives who he openly admits to beating.

Although Rusty doesn’t really remind me of anyone right now, one of the first things he says to Phelps during their first meeting, is how he doesn’t need a partner, which immediately reminded me of many different films, such as in Se7en (1995), Léon: The Professional (1994), Eraser (1996) and even in the Disney film The Incredibles (2004), where the typical ‘I work alone’ or ‘I don’t need a partner’ is used. This soloist, lone wolf attitude can be seen everywhere, in many different mediums, I hope that I can find some better examples than these too, at some point.

 

Edit: After finishing ”The Quater Moon Murders” my feeling about it being quite like the film Se7en increased dramatically, especially when looking at the one ‘dumb’ detective who is lead around by the well read and highly intelligent detective who then solves the case through his use of intellect.

I haven’t read many detective novels that I could comfortably compare this game with. One of the major problems I faced with the game, as an avid gamer, Literature and Film student is that not much character building occurs and as a result, anything we learn about the characters tends, to me anyway, to feel more assumed rather than it being a slow process of learning. The partners especially don’t seem to leave any lasting impression, quite like the series The L Word, where new people would be introduced in every episode but would vanish soon after, barely leaving so much as a memory behind.

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Comments

  1. chrisd148 / Mar 17th, 2012 0:29 Quote

    Your analysis and feelings on Phelps seem to fit in line with mine but I’m intrigued by your dislike of Rusty. He is indeed not the nicest character to ever grace a video game, but compared to other people you meet in your adventure I’m amazed he still seems to be such a bad person. Would this be perhaps because you compare his character to the ideals and attributes of a modern man rather than that of a man of the early 1900′s? I would be interested to see if your opinion on him changes after you have met other NPCs.

  2. Thomas / Mar 18th, 2012 18:22 Quote

    I find ytour thoughts on the character of Phelps interesting. I think the player is biased towards Phelps, not only because he’s a protagionist, but since video games are an interactrive medium of story telling, the player “is” Phelps for his journey.

    I can understand your attitude towards Rusty. Although the drunken cop character might be amusing to us, as the audience, it’s easy to imagine being his partner, or someone put in danger by his actions, and why Phelps would find his behaviour troubling.

  3. Lieutenant Sam / Mar 18th, 2012 22:17 Quote

    I agree with what you found out about Phelps, he strives for good despite other characters trailing around nonsensically uncaring. He learn lots during game play of Phelps through flashbacks but little of other characters such as partners where we only learn through vocals. Through this we being to criticize them on impressions from an outside view, but with Phelps we know he is troubled from his past yet through inside knowledge we learn more about him and begin to understand and forgive his flaws. This works the same way a novel does in the sense that we know more about the protagonist than other characters, and in most cases we know more than the actually character does. This also focuses our attention of the main character and the development of them in particular whilst learning little of partnering pieces such as in LA Noire. This is also evident in that we come across different people yet we always follow Phelps. I also liked that you compared him to Max Payne which I can also see where your coming from. Max Payne inhabits similar traits in that he also has a troubled past which is unraveled throughout the story, a cop who’s occupation and past events make them who they are.

    Sam

  4. MaddieS / Mar 23rd, 2012 20:56 Quote

    From the looks of it our perceptions of Phelps differ somewhat: although I would agree that Phelps shows a degree of compassion to the vulnerable (the Japanese, female victims etc.) and not as aggressive as characters like Rusty Galloway or Roy Earle, the flashbacks show a different side to Phelps, one that is consumed by authority and dismisses anyone who challenges his perceivably ‘Divine Right’ to command, as seen in the flashback to the bridge warfare in Japan when Kelso tries to tell Phelps how to direct his men and Phelps asks for his details under heavy fire. I do however completely agree with your comparison with Phelps and another character like Max Payne because of his aggressive determination to solve his cases.

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