Ripper is a 1996 FMV adventure computer game developed by Take-Two Interactive, and released for MS-DOS-based personal computers. The game has a cast that includes celebrities such as Christopher Walken, Scott Cohen, Tahnee Welch, Burgess Meredith, Karen Allen, David Patrick Kelly, John Rhys-Davies, Jimmie Walker, Anna Levine and Paul Giamatti. It also featured the hit Blue Öyster Cult song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper".
It was notable in that there was no definite canonical answer on who the villain would be, since this was decided by the game at random, out of the main characters. Clues and puzzles changed accordingly, in order for the player to decide.
Plot synopsis[edit | edit source]
Ripper takes place in New York City in the year 2040. It opens with the investigation of the recent murder of Renee Stein, the third victim of a serial killer known as "The Ripper", largely out of the modus operandi similarity to Jack the Ripper. The player assumes the role of Jake Quinlan, a reporter for the Virtual Herald, whom The Ripper sends messages to detailing his murders (an act attributed to Jack the Ripper, although no letters have been proven to come from him), who along with the police, namely Detective Vincent Magnotta, is seeking The Ripper's true identity.
After investigating Renee Stein's murder, Quinlan receives a message from The Ripper, who warns Quinlan that his girlfriend, Catherine Powell, will be the next victim, as she has gotten too close to discovering "his" identity. Quinlan manages to find Powell still alive, but in a coma "deeper than anyone thought possible." Cybersurgeon Claire Burton at the Meta-Cognition Center of the Tribeca Center Hospital manages to retrieve a distorted image of Powell's attacker, but requires additional information from Quinlan to make it clearer (This is also a reference to Jack the Ripper, as the police hypothesized that they might be able to get an image of the killer from the retinas of the victims). He provides this through investigating into what Powell was on to in her investigation and investigating three possible suspects for The Ripper's murders. In order to transmit this information into Powell's brain directly, he enlists the help of Joey Falconetti, a hacker who specializes in interfacing directly with the human brain.
Quinlan's investigation leads him to discover that all of The Ripper's victims and all of those associated with the investigation of The Ripper were part of an old gaming group known as the Web Runners, and also played a game based on Jack the Ripper which somehow caused one of the players to die in real life. The player that died happened to be Catherine Powell's mother. Assistance from a pathologist named Vic Farley also reveals that The Ripper's murders were done by placing a code into a victim's brain while in cyberspace that caused their internal body pressure to rise to a point of explosion, which consequently happens to Farley after providing his explanation. Quinlan also finds a cyberspace weapon developed by a murdered cyberarchitect named Hamilton Wofford, designed specifically to kill The Ripper inside a virtual recreation of the historic White Chapel district of London, where Jack the Ripper's murders took place. After assembling the weapon and gathering the necessary protection from The Ripper's weapon, Quinlan enters cyberspace, kills The Ripper, and manages to escape the virtual White Chapel in time to escape its destruction.
After accumulating all of the necessary clues, The Ripper can be one of four possible suspects: Joey Falconetti, Claire Burton, Vincent Magnotta, or Catherine Powell. With each play-through, the clues and actual identity of The Ripper will vary.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Christopher Walken as Detective Vince Magnotta
- Burgess Meredith as Hamilton Wofford / Covington Wofford
- Karen Allen as Doctor Clare Burton
- David Patrick Kelly as Joey Falconetti
- Scott Cohen as Jake Quinlan
- Ossie Davis as Ben Dodds
- John Rhys-Davies as Vigo Haman
- Tahnee Welch as Catherine Powell
- Jimmie Walker as Soap Beatty
- Paul Giamatti as Doctor Bud Cable