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Old 01-05-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default (spoilers) THE LAST EXPRESS - everything about this gem game

Discuss characters, cutscenes, dialogues, music, Easter Eggs, story, post links to related interviews and sites, feel free to ask whatever you want...





Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. The Orient Express is now departing for Strassburg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Sofia and Constantinople. All passengers should be on board.


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Old 01-05-2009, 01:14 AM   #2
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FEW LINKS TO INTERESTING INTERVIEWS, SITES AND VIDEOS:

1. http://jordanmechner.com/last-express/ - Jordan Mechner´s website is interesting
2. http://lastexpress.markmoran.net/ - a mirror of TLE Official Website
3. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3862/the_last_express_revisiting_an_.php - recent interview with Mark Moran and Mark Netter
4a. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20041224/rouse_01.shtml - interview with Jordan Mechner, part 1
4b. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20041224/rouse_02.shtml - interview with Jordan Mechner, part 2
5. http://personal.markmoran.net/Programming/LastExpress.html - Mark Moran´s site on TLE
6. http://personal.markmoran.net/Programming/GamesDomainInterview.html - interview with Mark Moran
7. http://personal.markmoran.net/Archive/Interview%20-%20MeriStation/express1i.htm - interview with Mark Moran
For the great August Schmidt fans I include this:
8. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0856604/resume - Teuber´s profile on IMDb
9. http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ - Teuber´s Flickr photostream

10. Computer Graphics in Games - 2004 lecture, three famous game designers, including Jordan Mechner, talk about interesting things - it has more than 2 hours, JM´s contribution starts at 55:40
11. GameTap trailer on YouTube
12. Making of... video
13. TLE trailer

LIST OF BOOKS AND FILMS WHICH INSPIRED CREATING ´THE LAST EXPRESS´:

Books:
Rebecca West - The Birds Fall Down
Graham Greene books
Russian fairy tales
Robert Graves - his autobiography: Goodbye to All That
William Butler Yeates - The Second Coming (its falcon turning in the widening gyre gave Tomi Pierce the idea for the Firebird)

Quote:
(...) There's a nice line from Barbara Tuchman in The Proud Tower. The
book is about Europe just before 1914, describing what life was like at the end
of that era. At one point, she says, "The Great War of 1914-18 lies like a band
of scorched earth dividing that time from ours." (...)
Quote:
(...) Also, we drew on the great 18th- and 19th-century interest in mechanical
objects, automata of natural forms in machines. E.T.A. Hoffmann, mechanical birds, the Faberge eggs and all that (...)
Films:
Jiri Menzel - Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Lars von Trier - Zentropa (1991, a.k.a Europa)
Alfred Hitchcock - The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Michael Curtiz - Casablanca (1942)
Carol Reed - The Third Man (1949)

Quote:
The story was very much like a 1940s noir, like The Maltese Falcon, or Casablanca -- Casablanca in the mix of characters, and The Maltese Falcon in the mysterious object, which in this game is also a bird.

Sources:
Barba, Rick. The Last Express: The Official Strategy Guide. Prima Publishing, California 1997.
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...siting_an_.php

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Hi veruncheek !

Great idea for a thread !

The Last Express has a special place in my adventure games TOP 10 list.

You mentioned one scene you´ve discovered for the first time whilst your
40th(+) playthrough in another thread.

Please let me know !
Curiosity is killing me
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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I pop in just to say that finally, after having lost the game, I bought it back from eBay and today it arrived to my home. I just tried and it worked smoothly under Windows XP with no problem whatsoever.

I had forgotten how beautiful the introduction is, and now I can't wait to replay the game, even if it probably will have to wait a bit!
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaDraco83 View Post
I pop in just to say that finally, after having lost the game, I bought it back from eBay and today it arrived to my home. I just tried and it worked smoothly under Windows XP with no problem whatsoever.

I had forgotten how beautiful the introduction is, and now I can't wait to replay the game, even if it probably will have to wait a bit!
Enjoy it. I have my original since 1997. When we were cleaning recently, I looked at the box after long time. It is so beautiful - Anna looks so real and the corridor of the train behind her is so deep. Real art.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default CD 1 - Schmidt - Cath conversations

VARIOUS CUTSCENES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
spoilers included

CD1: CATH - AUGUST SCHMIDT conversations

- you can ask both conductors (oh, so many things on my mind... when talking about conductors, you can try to go to Kronos´ private car, when René is in his possition, it will give you another fine cutscene), where is compartment 1, well, you do not believe them, let´s go ask another person :-) see below:

-> you can go right to August Schmidt (in Dining Car) after the beginning of the game, still as Robert Cath

-> you can let Schmidt have a nice waiting for you to come, so wait (now in disguise) in your compartment, conductor will tell you Schmidt is waiting for you; if you do not go there, Schmidt will come to you or you can go to his compartment... You can wait until he is "outpinning" his compliments to Anna Wolff in Dining Car and pop in, which will give you another funny cutscene, which is different from the one you are used to...


CD1: CATH - ANNA WOLFF conversations

- first you can catch her coming for dinner in the corridor, ask her for light
- then you can try to dine with her
- showing her scarf: there are many possibilities, she reacts differently if you were introduced by Schmidt or if you weren´t (you can ask her 2 times and in 3 places)
- "Are you reading about Madame Caillaux?" scene has also 2 versions depending on /not/ introducing


CD2: CATH - AUGUST SCHMIDT conversations

- after you wake up, go to the Dining Car, you´ll se Tatiana, you can talk to her, but talk to Schmidt first, he is sitting on Anna Wolff´s spot
- when time for lunch, go check the Dining Car to see Schmidt sitting on his spot, waiting... you can talk to him again
- then there are few "do not bother me" answers from him, when you try to talk to him - in, for him, not very proper time


CD2: THE EGG / SEARCHING conversations

- you can be caught by Tatiana, if you try to go through her compartment, while she is nearby
- you can be also asked by conductor what were you doing there, if he is nearby at the time
- you can show the Egg to François during the concert
- you can get caught (without the Egg, of course) in Anna´s compartment, after she goes back from the concert
- try to give the Egg to August after the concert


00000 EASTER EGGS 000000

CD 1, 2, 3: While in your compartment, go to the bathroom and click on the glasses on the right, now you can see it closer. Click by "inactive cursor" on the brim of the upper glass and you will see.

CD 2: When in August Schmidt's compartment, open his suitcase. You see photos. Click on them

CD 1, 2: ??? There is one more Easter Egg I was not able to open, so if you can try it, I will be glad. It is at the trainmaster´s office, behind the red curtain. When he is gone, check his documents. It is boring, small letters, in French, but somewhere there should be that Easter Egg, I know what it is, but do not want to spoil it for you. But as I say, I was not able to see it in game, but I am pretty sure it is there... ???


CD3: CATH - AUGUST conversation

- I am sure most of you enjoyed this scene, but for sure: before you go to sleep, be sure to check drunk August in the Smoking Car


CD3: CATH - ANNA conversation

There are 3 possibilities of cutscene with Anna after you win the fist fight against one of Serbs:

1. they kiss and Anna goes to stop the train

2. they quarel, Cath explains both she and Schmidt were set up and Anna goes to stop the train, with Cath saying: "Anna, wait"

3. Cath says "it doesn´t matter" and Anna goes to stop the train - this is the shortes cutscene from these three

It depends what you do in her compartment, I guess. In The Official Strategy Guide there is a mention about first 2 possibilities... If you read a letter in her drawer, you get the second option, I guess. If you don´t, you get the first. Well, I can say that I read the letter and also got caught in her compartment and strangely enough I got 3rd option. For the first time after so many replays...


LOSING SCENES

CD 1

1. Meet August too early, before taking on Tyler´s identity.
2. Milos or conductor see the body.
3. You are seen in blood-stained jacket.
4. You are discovered by police.

CD 2

1. You give the Egg to Kronos.
2. You don´t show money to August.
3. You don´t return the suitcase to Kronos.
4. You go to the Baggage Car too late and see Anna murdered.
5. Trainmaster finds Anna murdered.

CD 3

1. You do not manage to take Alexei´s bomb from his suitcase.
2. After the real nightmare you go to chat with Abbot.
3. You do not detach sleeping cars and try to go on the journey.
4. You obey Kronos´ order and close the Egg.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veruncheek View Post
Well, I am pretty sure there are MANY cutscenes you did not see. I do not want to underestimate you, but the real time aspect makes it so rich and there are many possibilities.
No, no you´re absolutely right.
I played through the game only 3 or 4 times over the course of 10 years.
(I too own an original copy )

The game is installed on my system.
I´ll have to start it up soon enough

Once again:

Great thread !!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:33 AM   #8
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Wow! Going to check out your links, veruncheek.

Don't know what happened to the TLE fans who were here before... they must have crawled back into the woodwork.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiocfaidh View Post
Hi veruncheek !

Great idea for a thread !

The Last Express has a special place in my adventure games TOP 10 list.

You mentioned one scene you´ve discovered for the first time whilst your
40th(+) playthrough in another thread.

Please let me know !
Curiosity is killing me

The scene I´ve mentioned is on CD3, will write it down soon to my post about Not seen cutscenes... Btw. I have written down all non-subtitled dialogues from CD1 so far. I think it can be helpful for lots of people... I might put it down somewhere and post link, but I do not know when I will be able to write down CD 2 and 3, especially CD 2 has lots of possible dialogues.

I am glad you find this thread interesting!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fienepien View Post
Wow! Going to check out your links, veruncheek.

Don't know what happened to the TLE fans who were here before... they must have crawled back into the woodwork.

Never mind, I saw six or seven people looking at this thread at the moment, so it is not that bad. I am sure more people will write down their thoughts and so.

Btw. I edited my posts on Not seen cutscenes and Interesting links.

And I looked through Top 10 thread, you are right, many people who have TLE in Top 10 are not here anymore...

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Old 01-06-2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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Just my two cents.
Actually there exists a "Preview CD" of this game and if you are a fan it's very special including many features, but most importantly, it includes a behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the game.

Though not in my collection -- anybody here having this special CD?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallymian View Post
Just my two cents.
Actually there exists a "Preview CD" of this game and if you are a fan it's very special including many features, but most importantly, it includes a behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the game.

Though not in my collection -- anybody here having this special CD?

Behind the scene docu is also on the original The Last Express release, on the first cd. And it is also on YouTube and official TLE site mirror. If it is different and there are other goodies, I am interested. Thanks for the info. First time I hear about this...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As I can no longer edit my older posts and do not want to double post, I put here illustrations to already mentioned Easter Eggs:

CD 1, 2, 3: While in your compartment, go to the bathroom and click on the glasses on the right, now you can see it closer. Click by "inactive cursor" on the brim of the upper glass and you will see.



CD 2: When in August Schmidt's compartment, open his suitcase. You see photos. Click on them.



CD 1, 2: There is one more Easter Egg I was not able to open, so if you can try it, I will be glad. It is at the trainmaster´s office, behind the red curtain. When he is gone, check his documents. It is boring, small letters, in French, but somewhere there should be that Easter Egg, I know what it is, but do not want to spoil it for you. But as I say, I was not able to see it in game, but I am pretty sure it is there... (as it is in background files on game CDs)


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Old 03-06-2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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hey guys was gonna start a new topic but this one will do..just been playing this game and a couple of Qs..

does anyone know what happens when/if..

a. You give the egg to Kronos straight after the concert. How does that end?

and likewise for;

b. You don't show the german the suitcase of gold. Presumably he leaves the train but then what?
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #13
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well I got b in the end

regarding a though...im guessing it's the same ending you get if you don't hide the egg where the dog is..i.e Kronos leaves with it in hand..game over. Bit of a stupid hiding place, surely the conductor would notice it when he takes the dog back! also I wonder what happens if you stay in your apartment or you carry the egg with you all the time until you reach Vienna. Probably the same cutscene anyway right with Kronos leaving with it and end of game?

I dont think there is a losing scene for NOT giving the gold back to kronos is there? Unless it happens later? In fact now, if I rewind to the concert again I dont even get a chance to give him it back.

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Old 03-07-2009, 02:40 AM   #14
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You have to keep ALL parties happy, so the consequences depend on what you did with both the egg and the gold.

If you don't show the gold to Schmidt (before returning it to Kronos), he will leave the train at Vienna and take his guns with him. This will anger the Checzs who see you as a traitor... dear Vesna will put a knife between your ribs.

If you don't return the gold to Kronos in time, like Kahina told you to in the corridor, she will kill you. Same thing happens if you show up in Kronos' car without either the gold or the egg.

If you give the egg to Kronos or Kahina steals it from your compartment, that will make Kronos very happy. He will let you have the gold in return and your journey ends in Vienna (provided you've shown the gold to Schmidt first). Not very satisfactory, but hey! you're alive and rich.

There's also the possibility that, after you've done all the right things, you arrive too late in the baggage car to save Anna's life.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:52 AM   #15
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If you hold on to the egg though all the time do you know if it still ends that way, with Kronos leaving with it. Trivial thing I know..
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #16
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This game really is amazing, I wish there were other adventure games like this that had the whole real time thing going on..
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annoymous Broccoli View Post
If you hold on to the egg though all the time do you know if it still ends that way, with Kronos leaving with it. Trivial thing I know..
I don't understand your question.

You cannot carry the egg and the briefcase at the same time, they're both bulky objects. Showing the gold to Schmidt is crucial, otherwise you're dead. So you have to put the egg away when you visit his compartment. But when you walk out of the concert with the briefcase in plain sight, you cannot escape Kahina. She will either find the egg in your compartment when you are elsewhere (and let you keep the briefcase in exchange), or fail to find the egg in the dog's kennel and force you to see Kronos. If you visit Kronos holding the egg, you will automatically hand it over. If you evade Kronos, you're dead too.

PS: Have you finished the game or are you still playing?
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #18
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Do you think this game will work on Vista? I was thinking about getting the game sometime.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:13 PM   #19
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Do you think this game will work on Vista? I was thinking about getting the game sometime.
The demo does. I'd like to find this sometime.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fienepien View Post
I don't understand your question.

You cannot carry the egg and the briefcase at the same time, they're both bulky objects. Showing the gold to Schmidt is crucial, otherwise you're dead. So you have to put the egg away when you visit his compartment. But when you walk out of the concert with the briefcase in plain sight, you cannot escape Kahina. She will either find the egg in your compartment when you are elsewhere (and let you keep the briefcase in exchange), or fail to find the egg in the dog's kennel and force you to see Kronos. If you visit Kronos holding the egg, you will automatically hand it over. If you evade Kronos, you're dead too.

PS: Have you finished the game or are you still playing?
yeah what I meant was after you have shown Schmidt the briefcase and you then get threatened, you then stay in your apartment until Vienna with the egg in your inventory. jw how that works out..

Not finished it yet, still playing. Just got the bomb.
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