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File:AW-DeezNauts.jpg
Is it a challenge from man to space? Or a challenge from space against mankind?
—Tagline.

Spiritual Successor to Hideo Kojima's interactive Visual Novel cult classic Snatcher, Policenauts is basically what you get when you let Konami's resident sci-fi author retell the story of Rip Van Winkle using the characters from Lethal Weapon...then forget to tell America for about a decade until Comrade Slowbeef and pals whang the fandom upside the head with the digital equivalent of the Rosetta Stone.

In the year 2010, the United Nations handpicks five police officers from around the world to undergo astronaut training and become Policenauts, specially trained to bring law and order to Earth's first orbital colony Beyond Coast. But tragedy strikes in 2013, when LAPD representative Jonathan Ingram (above, with mullet) has an accident with his "Yuri" spacewalking vehicle and spends the next 25 years drifting in low Earth orbit thanks to his suit's emergency cold sleep system. Upon finally being recovered by the probe Propaganda, he returns to Earth and sets up a floundering Private Detective agency after developing a severe case of cosmophobia.

Fast forward three years after that, to 2040. Jonathan's ex-wife Lorraine, having exhausted all her options on Beyond, turns to him for assistance in finding her new husband, high-ranking Tokugawa Pharmaceuticals scientist Kenzo Hojo. Shortly after bequeathing to him the only clues to his absence - a cut leaf and some pills with a defaced watermark - Lorraine is killed by a white-bleeding motorcyclist's car bomb. Convinced that this is much more than a simple missing persons case, Jonathan must put aside his cosmophobia and return to Beyond - a radically changed place where the Policenauts are a faded memory, their BCPD replacements utilize Powered Armor and in-vitro-fertilized "Frozeners", and the Tokugawa conglomerate runs enough of the show that Ingram can only draw upon the resources of the long-obsolete Vice unit, headed up by fellow ex-LAPD ex-Policenaut Ed Brown (above, without mullet). The good news is, the Vice unit also includes Meryl Silverburgh, temporary FOXHOUND tattoo and all.

Building on many of Snatcher's strengths (the Visual Novel interface with shooting segments sprinkled in for good measure), Policenauts was first released for the NEC PC-9821 computer platform in 1994, with console ports for the 3DO, Play Station, and Sega Saturn following soon after. Konami announced an English localization of the Sega Saturn version in 1996 (two years before Metal Gear Solid), but ultimately choose to cancel it when the developers allegedly (according to an interview with Kojima in the official strategy guide) found themselves unable to properly sync the English dialogue to the game's pre-animated FMV cutscenes. The Fan Translation linked above is actually of the PS version - an ordeal in itself, voice recording notwithstanding, as translators ran up against a variety of oddly compressed graphics and sequences that would go outside the grain for only one or two parts of the game. The patch finally came out on Hideo Kojima's 46th birthday (August 24, 2009), though, in what Something Awful forumer Slowbeef (the "Comrade" part was appended following a Russian site catching wind of the project) calls a Beta release: aside from the Japanese-only audio, the game is not only completely playable in English but is polished enough to be considered as good as any official release could have been.


LOOK > TROPES

 "Of course, just as Metal Gear Solid was screaming "NUKES ARE BAD" at the top of its lungs, the prevailing theme in Policenauts is "SPACE IS BAD", which is pounded into your head on several occasions."

  Ed: There's an extra planet here. I count 10 planets.

  • Secret Keeper: While visiting Karen at the hospital, her doctor recognizes Jonathan as a wanted fugitive. Luckily, he's a nice fellow and decides not to turn Jonathan in.
  • Sexy Stewardess: Zero gravity has many advantages.
  • Shout-Out: The shooting range's combat mode lifts several distinct sound effects from Konami's light gun game Lethal Enforcers.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: The Redwood siblings are named after Tony and Ridley Scott.
    • The original EMPS prototype is named Yuri Gagarin, named after the first man in space, while the three later models (Goddard, Oberth, and Von Braun) are named after real rocket scientists.
  • Shown Their Work: Kojima pulled together a lot of conjecture about the effects of zero gravity and cosmic radiation on space-bound humans, along with the rigid environmental conditions needed to keep an O'Neill Cylinder running...then capped it off with his own speculation about what zero gravity and virtual reality could do for sex tourism, legal or otherwise.
  • Sickbed Slaying: Chris tries to kill Ed while he's unconscious in the hospital, but gets caught in the act.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Jonathan, noting how smoking is frowned upon in the future, indulges in a "smokeless" brand of cigarettes. Even that isn't enough for Ed, who constantly reminds Jonathan that all smoking is outlawed on Beyond.
    • Jonathan doesn't indulge in smokeless cigarettes, specifically stating he like second-hand smoke. What Jonathan does is keep a cigarette in his mouth that he doesn't smoke, and he only lights it once.
  • Snowy Screen of Death: When Ed gets shot on-camera, Jonathan's monitor briefly turns to static.
  • The Speechless: Marc watched his father get gunned down, and was rendered mute by the trauma. He communicates mostly through drawing pictures.
  • Streetwalker: Hanging out at the BCP's front desk.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: BCCH.
  • Technology Marches On: Subverted. A key MacGuffin is stored on a CD-ROM, precisely because it's an "archaic format" which nobody would look twice at.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • One of the big giveaways that Kenzo Hojo won't be showing up alive is the fact that he's the only main character without a credited voice actor.
    • The cover illustrations for the PS1 and Saturn versions don't make any attempt to hide the fact that Redwood isn't exactly a friendly character.
  • Transplant: Meryl, into MGS.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Anna Brown. Good lord, Anna Brown.
  • Wait Here
  • We Have Become Complacent: This is the gist of Gates' Motive Rant.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Space?: Jonathan's spacewalking accident 25 years ago left him riddled with cosmophobia.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Nuthin's gonna break Redwood's stride. No matter how many bullets Jonathan seems to put in him.
  • Wire Dilemma : The bomb planted inside an Elles designer bag -- which is stashed inside a counterfeit Elles bag store. Jonathan suggests they use Anna's bag as a litmus test, but the plan goes sour when Ed confides that the bag (a birthday gift from him) is yet another fake.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Redwood.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Jonathan literally has blue hair, along with Tokugawa (whose hair is green) and Ed's children. Redwood's hair is purple, although in that case it's a side-effect of his biology.
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