The player takes the role of Sherlock Holmes for the majority of the game, though there are also sections in which they control Dr. Watson and one where Toby, a basset hound, is controlled. The majority of the game involves exploring crime scenes and examining clues. An ability called 'sixth sense' is available, which will briefly highlight all the objects which can be interacted with in the player's field of view; this ability must then be allowed to recharge before it can be used again. Once discovered, clues are added to a 'deduction board', a gameplay mechanic which involves linking pieces of information and select from a number of possible deductions. Once all clues are discovered and the correct deductions selected, the story progresses. There are also several puzzles which must be solved, most of which take the form of locked puzzle boxes.
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Like his name suggests, Herlock Sholmes tends to just barely miss the mark, giving the player a chance to visualize his thought process and then take it a step further. The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures deserves a spot on this list for such a creative adaptation of the beloved detective, even as a side character.
Part two of the Chronicles compilation, The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve also features the eccentric character Herlock Sholmes, but this time the overarching story moves toward a dramatic, emotional climax that puts it just ahead of Adventures. Not only that, but in Resolve every one of the five cases feels both enjoyable to play and critical to the plot.
While the game itself may be playable by pretty much anyone, the real difficulty spike here comes from the regular puzzles and leaps of logic that punctuate the game. Somewhat akin to those found in the Professor Layton adventures, one puzzle requires you to move a knight around a chess board in such a way as that every square gets stepped on once only, whereas another requires you to spot some fairly obscure patterns between number sequences and enter the missing the number to unlock a box. And while you can skip the puzzles, you can't skip over the deductions you're asked to do upon leaving each crime scene, and drawing the right connections between the right people, and putting everything you've learnt together to find the right motives for the crimes is challenging.
Sherlock Holmes (phone): You're interrupting my preparations.Joan Watson (phone): Too bad. The auditions are about to start. You gotta get down here before these symphony people find out I can't play the tuba.Holmes (phone): Is our quarry there yet? Watson (phone): I'm looking at Mr. Marinko as we speak. Holmes (phone): Does he have the stolen instrument with him? Watson (phone): There's a big lock on his case. It's pretty weird if he's just got any old flute. But if we're right and he stole one that belonged to the greatest flautist of all time...Holmes (phone): Oh, please. Jean Pierre Rampal was, at best, the third greatest flautist to ever purse his lips.Watson (phone): Whatever. I'm telling you, we've got maybe an hour to steal this thing back for our client before Marinko takes it home to Slovenia.Holmes (phone): Fine. I'll hurry.David Horowitz: Hello. Uh, I'm David Horowitz. I'm sorry. I'm looking for Sherlock Holmes, the detective.Holmes: I also apologize. I don't have time to talk to you at the moment. Perhaps you could make an appointment.David: No, Mr. Holmes, please. I just need a minute. I think it might be a matter of life and death. Uh, a couple of months ago, my brother Norman passed away. Um, they said it was an overdose.Holmes: You suspect foul play? David: No, no. My brother was schizophrenic. He took a lot of pills. Not all of them were prescribed by doctors. So many barbiturates in his system, we think he probably just mixed up his meds. No, I'm here because of something Norman wrote before he died.Holmes: Matter of life and death, you said.David: Uh, about a year ago, I, I helped him get a job. I thought it would be good for him. He started writing obituaries for a small local paper. He really liked it. In fact, he liked it so much, he wrote a bunch of obituaries for people who hadn't died yet.Holmes: Well, that's normal practice in the newspaper business, isn't it? So they're ready when the news breaks.David: Sure, they do it for politicians, celebrities, but Norman did hundreds of write-ups for, like, random citizens. People he didn't know. And all these obits included how and when they died. The paper sent them all back.Holmes: Well, you did say he was schizophrenic.David: Yeah. Norman was crazy. But not as crazy as this. In the time since he died, Norman's predictions have gone three for three. He's been right about everything, the dates, the causes of death.Holmes: While I'm sure there's a mundane explanation for all of this, I confess to not seeing it yet. That being said, you've come to the right place. I'll take your case.David: Oh. Uh, no, I'm sorry. I didn't come to hire you. I came to warn you. My brother predicted your death, too. If he's right again, you're gonna be killed three days from now.David: You must be Dr. Watson. Please come in. I'm David Horowitz.Watson: Uh, is it okay if I leave this here? Holmes: Finally. There you are.Watson: There you are. You never showed. I had to grab this on my own. Two ladies with bassoons tried to take my head off.Holmes: I'm sorry. There's no time for you to regale us, Watson. According to Mr. Horowitz's late brother, I am to be gunned down in the street on Friday.Luz: I'm so sorry about all of this.Holmes: There's no need for apologies, Mrs. Horowitz. I'm not yet resigned to the fate that your brother-in-law foresaw.Watson: I'm sorry. I'm a little behind.Holmes: David's brother was an obituary writer. He was a schizophrenic, and he made all sorts of uncanny predictions about the deaths of strangers, including mine. Tell me more about Norman.David: He was always brilliant. Ever since we were kids. He wrote a sci-fi novel in college. There were publishers interested. But then he started hearing voices. Luz was really great. Insisted we take him in. Helped him turn the basement into a little apartment.Holmes: So you had intimate knowledge of his comings and goings. Did he get out much? Luz: Oh, sure. He was pretty outgoing for someone with his disease. Why do you ask?Holmes: I'm hoping for a small social circle. Most likely, that's our pool of suspects.Luz: You agree with David. You think someone is trying to make Norman look like some sort of prophet.Holmes: It's the only possibility. Your brother-in-law could not see the future. Someone is killing the people whose deaths he predicted.David: When I found those last week, the first two deaths had already happened. I figured maybe it was just a crazy coincidence. But, then when this woman jumped off a building yesterday, just the way he said she would, I thought I should find the next person he said was gonna die. I only wish I'd warned her, too.Watson: You did the right thing calling us.David: I think there's something you should see.David: Sorry for the mess. We just started going through it all. Norman's room was always as cluttered as his mind.Watson: Looks like your brother subscribed to every science and technology journal out there.Luz: That was his thing. He was always reading, coming up with weird theories to explain his disease.Holmes: Well, that's fairly typical. In the 1950s, many schizophrenics thought the Soviets were controlling their mind via radio waves. In the '90s, it was popular to blame aliens because the search for extraterrestrial life had become a popular subject.David: Yeah. For Norman, it was all explained by Simulation Theory. I could be wrong, but I, I think that's what this is all about.Watson: I've heard about that. God is a computer programmer or something? None of us is real.David: None of this is real. We're all just strings of ones and zeros on the hard drive of some superior intelligence. He would talk about how we went from Pong to 3-D video games in just 40 years. If the trend holds, he'd say, it's only a matter of time before we can't tell the difference between reality and virtual reality.Luz: Norman thought most of us were just background characters in a video game.Watson: "Most of us"? David: Well, not every character in a video game is the same, right? Some are just extras, they're fillers, but some have powers. Norman thought he was special, like all these prophets before him.Holmes: Nostradamus, Rasputin, Norman Horowitz.David: Yeah, they were all programmed differently than people like you and me. They could see flashes of the future. I told him it was crazy, but, you know, not an effective argument with him.Luz: The whole thing is absurd.Holmes: Well, in my experience, the more absurd a belief, the more dangerous its adherents tend to be.Luz: Norman would go to these, um...David: Oh. Simulation Symposiums. He met other people who liked to think about this stuff. He talked to them online, went to meet-ups. We were happy he had friends. He was excited his theories about prophets and schizophrenia were catching on with some of them.Holmes: Perhaps one of them killed three innocent people to stir up interest in their theory.David: I couldn't tell you who. Norman knew we thought it was all nonsense. He never introduced us to his buddies.Watson: This is weird. Looks like your brother kept a copy of correspondence with one of our old clients. Apparently another fan of Simulation Theory.Holmes: Would that be a certain billionaire that we saved from a robotic hellhound? Henry Baskerville: Oh, you two look great.Watson: Thanks for seeing us, Mr. Baskerville.Baskerville: Oh, please, call me Henry. I'm still alive because of you guys. So, to what do I owe the pleasure? Holmes: Multiple homicides. I know you're a busy man. You've got patents to poach and a tech empire to run. So I'll be direct. What can you tell us about your relationship with a man named Norman Horowitz? Baskerville: This is someone I know? Watson: We found letters he wrote you. And you responded to one, thanking him for his kind words about a talk you gave.Baskerville: Oh, yeah. That guy. He cornered me at an event that we sponsor. To be honest, I think he might be a little nuts.Holmes: Well, he was schizophrenic. He passed away. Before he died, he foretold a number of untimely deaths, and his predictions keep coming true.Watson: Norman was obsessed with Simulation Theory. He thought it explained psychic phenomena. We think somebody's killing people, carrying out a hoax, to prove that he was right. We think that the killer also believes in Simulation Theory, and since you're so plugged into that world, we think you can understand why we'd ask for your help.Baskerville: Well, actually, I don't think I do. I mean, Simulation Theory isn't just some fringe thing for fanatics and cranks. It's probably the most logical explanation for existence ever devised. There's Nobel winners who believe in this.Holmes: And at least one murderer. We think we're looking for someone that Norman shared his predictions with, and that person is now violently committed to changing the fundamental paradigm through which existence is understood.Baskerville: What do you mean? Holmes: Many people have been murdered in God's name, but this wouldn't be the first time that an atheist has killed to undermine religious faith. Our killer is a zealot, but just not the kind we're used to.Baskerville: Well, if you're right, their plot's gonna backfire big-time. Simulation Theory will take a hit if they get exposed.Holmes: If they get exposed. I imagine they plan to succeed. And their chances will certainly improve if the next name on the list gets crossed off, 'cause it's mine.Baskerville: He wrote your obituary, too? Did you know him? Holmes: No. He may have gotten my name from the phone book. But it's more likely that he came across my name when he was reading up on you.Watson: There was a lot of press about the work we did for you.Baskerville: Look, obviously, I want to be helpful. And a lot of crazy people go to these Simulation Symposiums, unfortunately. Would it help if I gave you a list of their names? Baskerville: Thanks, Greg. This is kind of our no-fly list. People who got a little too aggressive trying to sell me their ideas over the years, an ex or two who engaged in some light stalking. It's pretty much anyone and everyone that my security is supposed to watch out for.Watson: Including the strange people you met at the Symposiums.Baskerville: Mm-hmm.Holmes: Are those individuals clearly marked? Baskerville: Yeah, I hate to say, there's quite a few, but you'll see who's who in the notes. Is there anything else I can do? Watson: No, this is great. Thanks.Baskerville: Uh, before you go, can I ask you one question? Do you know for sure that those three people were murdered? Holmes: The alternative is that Norman Horowitz could see the future.Baskerville: Yeah, it is. Will you let me know what you find? Holmes: So, if you have a moment, there's a plan I'd like to discuss.Watson: Actually, I'm a little ahead of you. I think you should lie low. Stay here and go over the list that Baskerville gave us. I looped Marcus in. He and I are gonna look into one of these deaths.Holmes: I think, if we solve one of them, we'll solve them all. That's a reasonable assumption and an acceptable division of labor, but it's not what I meant. We need to talk about what happens after I die.Watson: "The Last Will and Testament of Sherlock Holmes"? Holmes: According to Mr. Horowitz, in three days time, I am to be riddled with bullets by an unknown assailant in an unnamed part of the city. While I doubt that will happen, reading it did remind me that you should have a copy of the appropriate paperwork to ensure a smooth probate.Watson: You didn't write all this up today.Holmes: No, I wrote it several years ago when we formalized our partnership. I just didn't give you a copy.Watson: Am I reading this right? You left me everything? Holmes: You're surprised? Watson: Uh, I guess I'm touched.Holmes: There are some directives in the back that you should review.Watson: Instructions on what to do with your cerebellum?Holmes: Mmm. Also my bees. They will need a proper home.Watson: Uh, it says here that I'm supposed to sell the Brownstone if I can't pay the taxes on your foreign equities. This is a very valuable home. What kind of taxes are we talking about? Holmes: When I came of age, my father bequeathed me some stocks which are traded on the Nikkei. The holdings were quite substantial then. I suspect they still are.Watson: You suspect? Okay, I don't mean to be crass, but if you are murdered, how many reasons will the police have to suspect me? Holmes: Feel free to check the balance on my brokerage account. The log-in should be in the appendix. As for the threats that Baskerville identified, I suppose I should prioritize the most recent incidents.Watson: Um, I think there's a problem. Holmes: Did you type everything correctly? Watson: Yeah. There's your name. This is definitely your account.Holmes: Then I've been robbed. How offensive.Watson: You don't seem that surprised.Holmes: No. I have an idea who did this.Watson: Oh, it's Marcus. He's ready to meet up. I should go.Holmes: Did you decide which murder to solve? Watson: Christina Dawson. She's the woman who supposedly jumped off her own roof. It's the most violent and the most recent.Jonathan Dawson: I should have offered you something. Do you need a drink or...Watson: No, no. We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.Dawson: It's no problem. I was just planning Christina's funeral.Bell: The cops who came out yesterday, they put down that your wife didn't leave a note.Dawson: No. Believe me, I've been looking for one. Something to explain this. It makes no sense.Watson: It sounds like you have doubts about what happened.Dawson: I don't know. I, I never thought she would hurt herself. But that ledge up there on the roof, it's tall, and I don't know why she'd go up there in the first place. I can't see how this was an accident.Bell: Well, the file here says you were out of town on a business trip. Can you think of anyone Christina had plans to see the night she died? Dawson: Why? Do you think that...did those other cops miss something? Bell: Maybe not, but we want to take another look. There's a coincidence we can't really explain.Watson: A few months ago, a disturbed man wrote some obituaries, predicting some people would die on certain days.Bell: He's not a suspect. He died a couple months ago. His name was Norman Horowitz. Did you or your wife happen to know him? Dawson: No, I, I don't think so. Are you saying he knew Christina was gonna die? Watson: He predicted that she would take her own life on the day that she did. It's possible that someone else is making those predictions come true.Dawson: I don't understand. Do you think she was pushed? Bell: We don't know what to think yet. We're just trying to get to the bottom of it.Watson: Would it be possible for you to take us to the roof so we can take a look around? Dawson: These are the keys, but, uh, I'm sorry. I can't go up there. Not ever again.Bell: The file says she went over the side right over there. We should watch where we're walking. We're leaving tracks.Watson: It's kind of hard not to. There's soot everywhere. We should get CSU up here to take pictures.Bell: Yeah, we're a day late on that. Looks like they did a square dance all over the crime scene. Assuming this is a crime scene.Watson: Well, MLI and first responders obviously did not think so. Do we know what kind of shoes she was wearing? Bell: Uh, she was dressed for a night out. Had on, like, wedges, I guess you'd call them.Watson: Okay, so these are hers. And then one of these other sets of prints has gotta be our killer's.Bell: I'll find out who worked the scene yesterday, ask them what shoes they were wearing so we can eliminate them.Watson: Actually, that might not be necessary. Check out that lounge area over there. Looks like a community space, not just one person's patio. The building looks new. I mean, they might have security cameras up there.Bell: If they do, one of them might have caught the murder on tape.Holmes: At the top here, this is the edge she went over? Bell: Yeah. This is the angle from the building next door. Whatever happened should be on here.Watson: Any luck, we'll get a good look at the person's face who wanted the world to think that Norman Horowitz was clairvoyant.Holmes: Whoever it is, I doubt they'll be a match for anyone on Baskerville's list of suspects.Watson: You didn't like any of them? Holmes: None seemed capable of serial murder. Serial onanism, on the other hand...Bell: There. There she is. I don't see anyone up there with her. You? Watson: Give it a second. If she knew the killer, then he might have told her to meet him on the roof. She really jumped.Bell: Okay, if no one else is gonna say it, I will. Norman Horowitz could see the future.Watson: You didn't sleep.Holmes: I'm scheduled to be gunned down tomorrow. I thought solving this case would be a better use of my time. And it would have been, had I managed to do so.Watson: Still no idea how to explain Christina Dawson jumping? Watson: My favorite theory involves a sonic cannon. The killer could have purloined one from the DARPA warehouse in New Jersey, and with certain modifications...Watson: Okay, let's stop right there. If a sonic cannon is on your short list, then I think it'd just be easier to admit that we're living in a computer simulation and that Norman Horowitz could see the future.Holmes: I confess, it's not yet clear how to apply Occam's razor to this case. Neither of the other two deaths that Norman predicted have offered any helpful handholds. I looked.Watson: So nothing on Kamal Mehta, the guy who supposedly died of bone cancer? Holmes: In a hospice facility with no security cameras. Obviously, there wasn't an autopsy.Watson: What about Patrick Chen, car crash guy? Holmes: How many ways might one orchestrate a single-vehicle car crash? The car was scrapped, so we'll never know.Holmes (phone): Mr. Horowitz, we were just discussing your case.David (phone): I'm sorry to call so early. I just I need to know, did you talk to a reporter about my brother? Holmes (phone): No, of course not. Why? David (phone): Because I've got six news vans parked in front of my house. Everyone wants to know about Norman.Debora Garissi (Reporter): Friends say the troubled obituary writer claimed the visions came to him because of how he was programmed. They say Horowitz himself grappled for an understanding of his gift and thought something called Simulation Theory might hold the key.Holmes: It's remarkable, every television journalist applies an identical patina of smarm, no matter the story. Watson: I'll give this woman one thing, she's got great sources. Check it out. They published a bunch of obits that Norman Horowitz wrote so that viewers can check if they're next on the list. It's a Channel 10 exclusive.Holmes: There must not be a single moral human at that television station. Surely they must suspect that they're promoting a killer and promulgating his beliefs.Watson: Yeah, and getting a zillion clicks. I don't recognize half the names on this list.Holmes: That's because you've never seen them before. Neither of us has. David didn't provide them, and those obituaries were not in Norman's room.Watson: Then he must have handed some of them to a friend before he died.Holmes: Friend and co-conspirator are interchangeable in this case, I think.Watson: You look pleased.Holmes: Well, I'm mostly disgusted. But there's every chance that whoever leaked this information is our killer.Holmes: Ms. Garrisi. Just the person I came to see. Uh, Sherlock Holmes. I'm executive producer, BBC World News America.Garissi: A pleasure. How can I help you? Holmes: Uh, could we speak in private? Thank you. Thank you so much. Garissi: Can I first just say how much I love your show? Holmes: And I admire your work. That's why I'm here. I saw the piece that you did on the prophet character, Norman Horowitz.Garissi: Oh, that's great. We're proud of that one.Holmes: You should be. Incredible get. How did you come by it? I mean, who sent you all those obituaries? Garissi: You know I can't reveal a source.Holmes: Even to your new employer? We're always looking for fresh talent. You seem like you're ready for a move up to the big leagues. I've just got to know, how did you break that story? Garissi: You're not from the BBC.Holmes: I'm not? Garissi: I've been working in this dump for eight years, and I can't even get on the anchor desk. The BBC is about nine rungs up the ladder. You're either trying to sleep with me or...Holmes: I work with the NYPD. You're in a position to aid our investigation.Garissi: By scrapping the Fourth Amendment and burning my source? No, thanks. I have to get back to work.Holmes: I'll make you a real offer. You must suspect the truth. Someone's killing people in order to make Horowitz's predictions come true. He wanted an audience, and you gave him one.Garissi: I thought you were gonna make me an offer, not try to guilt-trip me.Holmes: Tell me who sent you the obituaries, and I'll be your next source. We're gonna find this person, a serial killer, mind you, and when we do, that story can either go to you, or it can go to your competition.Bell: Sherlock says this reporter got the tip from an anonymous caller.Captain Gregson: Blocked number? Bell: Burner. Guy disguised his voice, too. Told her where to find the obits online. Didn't give a name.Gregson: So, all of these obituaries Mr. Horowitz wrote, they were already floating around on the Internet? Bell: More like they were buried in a private chat room. RealityIsnt.net. Gregson: Dot net? Haven't heard that in a few years.Bell: It's not a real hangout for the cool kids. I registered an account so I could take a look. There's 40 members, mostly anonymous. They're Simulation Theory believers who like to speculate about whether the universe is real. Couple days ago, a new user joined, "WokeBaeBae." First and only post they ever made was to upload all of Norman Horowitz's predictions about who was gonna die. They didn't get any response. Nobody paid any attention until Channel 10 got the tip.Gregson: Sounds like whoever posted this stuff decided to up the ante and make sure that the news spread. Any chatter on the site about who did this? Bell: Nobody knows. They're all guessing, pointing fingers.Gregson: Who runs the site? They gotta have the IP addresses of all the users.Bell: I'm checking the URL registry, trying to I.D. the board's moderator, Commander Deez. That guy is on the top of my list. He's made 15,000 posts ranting about Simulation Theory. I'm wondering if he got tired of preaching to his echo chamber. Maybe he decided to take his message to a wider audience.Holmes: Watson? Watson: Yeah, I'm here.Holmes: We've talked about this. You know I loathe orange highlighters.Watson: So do I. Everyone does. It's extra motivation to solve this so we can pull it all down before you're shot to death by some lunatic. So, you said Marcus was gonna hunt down the message board moderator. I thought we'd get there faster by searching the Internet for other sites with accounts with the same username. Turns out there are hundreds of WokeBaeBaes out there, all posting up a storm.Holmes: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." And Yeats never even saw the Internet.Watson: I know it's a slog, but maybe we find our killer because he always uses the same handle and semantics. I mean, could be that one of these other BaeBaes is our guy and some review he wrote about a corndog stand will give him away.Holmes: Hello? Armored Truck Driver: It's him. Mr. Holmes, would you like me to secure the premises before we deliver? Holmes: No. Deliver what? Driver: Not real smart, you ask me. Keeping all this in a private home. I hope you know what you're doing. Sign here.Watson: Is that gold in these boxes? Driver: Be back in a sec with the rest.Watson: There's more? There's a lot more.Holmes: Well, I found the money that was stolen from me.Watson: Well, that much I figured.Holmes: I never did trust my father's estate attorney. He's not the kind of man who can be trusted. Which, ironically, is a job requirement when representing Morland Holmes' legal interests.Watson: So, your father's lawyer embezzled everything in your trust? Holmes: He claims he didn't, although he did confess to moving everything into vice stocks without my permission. My inheritance was supporting all kinds of immoral corporate slime. Naturally, it grew substantially, though I suspect he was skimming off most of the gains.Watson: So you called him on it, and then he was like, "Gee, I'm sorry, I'll just send you some gold?" Holmes: He evinced a great affinity for his lower extremities when I suggested they might be at risk. He promised I would be made whole within 12 hours. I doubted he would be able to move such a large amount of cash so quickly, but I see he was well motivated.Baskerville: Oh. Got a lot of gold there, huh? Holmes: Henry. How unexpected. Uh, please.Baskerville: Oh. Yeah, sorry to, uh, intrude. I just I had an update.Watson: Oh, great.Baskerville: Yeah, some guy called me a couple hours ago. Really weird. Like, changed his voice to sound like, you know, Darth Vader or something, and he told me to put on Channel 10 'cause they had a report.Watson: We saw it. Did he call your cell phone? Baskerville: Uh, yeah, he did. Um, that's his number on the top right there. Holmes: It's the same caller who leaked the story to the reporter. No doubt he's hoping you'll help boost his message, drum up more interest in Norman Horowitz amongst Simulation Theorists. I do hope you won't oblige.Baskerville: Wait a minute. Is that Christina Dawson, the woman who died the other night? She's alone, isn't she? Watson: Sorry. You should not have seen that.Baskerville: Yeah, okay, but she did jump, didn't she? Norman Horowitz saw the future.Holmes: No, he did not. There will be a logical explanation. The realm of what is possible is not infinite.Baskerville: Oh, okay, well, I agree with you there, but do you think that you're arguing against Simulation Theory or for it? Watson: It's Marcus. He's got the name of the owner of that message board, Terry Weaver.Baskerville: Wait, I know that name. That was on the list that I gave you, I'm sure.Holmes: He was also on a second list. Terry Weaver is one of the subjects of Norman Horowitz's obituaries. Mr. Weaver is to be abducted and tortured to death in about three weeks time.Watson: I think the NYPD is gonna want to talk to him before then.Bell: Mr. Weaver, open up! We know you're home. We saw the curtains move. Might have to come back with a warrant. Come on! We just want to talk! We have to take the door, now. Damn it. Who's got a knife? Don't kick. Hey, hey, hurry up! We gotta cut him down.Bell: What's going on, man? What was that about? Terry Weaver: I'm gonna die.Bell: Sure, if you hang yourself.Weaver: I was just trying to take the easy way out, okay? 20 more seconds, it would have worked. If you hadn't come in here...Bell: Hey, hey, if you're asking me to apologize...Weaver: No, I'm I'm not. We're both just playing our roles. It's all part of the grand design.Bell: What are you talking about? Weaver: I shouldn't have bothered. Norman knew. Norman knew everything. Today wasn't my day to die. Weaver: It hurts to talk. Why won't you all leave me alone? Holmes: Because I feel little sympathy for you, Mr. Weaver. More suspicion.Weaver: Didn't you tell them what happened? Watson: We know you tried to hang yourself. What we don't know is whether you did it because you feared Norman's prediction about you being tortured would come true or because you heard the police banging on your door and you knew it was over.Weaver: What was over? Holmes: The hoax you're perpetrating. I think you and Norman hatched a plan. Between his passing and yours, you would leave a string of inexplicable deaths, all in accordance with his prophecies.Bell: Great way to recruit for your cause, right? Draw more folks to Simulation Theory? Weaver: That's crazy.Holmes: I agree. But crazy seems to be your whole purview. You have written endless screeds online against religion, social structure, against latex paint.Watson: Would it be worth it to kill a few people if it would make a few million question their faith? Weaver: Of course not. I'm a pacifist. I don't even play violent video games, because well, that's that's exactly what I'm afraid they're doing to us.Bell: Who? Weaver: Whoever is running this simulation we're all in. You and I, we're just entertainment to them. My favorite video game is golf. I play it all the time. My friends and I, we stream our sessions. If you think the three people who died were killed, I'll bet there's video out there that'll alibi me for at least one of their deaths.Bell: Let's say you're telling the truth. Keep going. Tell us who did it.Holmes: You own the site where the obituaries were uploaded. It should be a simple matter to see who posted them.Weaver: I tried, okay? The account was new. WokeBaeBae? They used a VPN to mask their IP. I swear, I don't know any more about it than you.Bell: Well, you know more Simulation Theorists than we do, so tell us, which one of them do you think is capable of this? Weaver: None of them. They're my friends. But look, if, if Norman did set this up, maybe it was with his editor.Watson: At the newspaper where he worked? Weaver: No. I asked. He said it was a friend. He wouldn't tell me who. All I know is Norman was working on his masterpiece. A big book of predictions. He called it "Visions". He would talk about it, but he wouldn't let anyone read it. One time, though, he let me sneak a peek at it just for a second. It was handwritten on black paper in white ink. It looked awesome.Watson: But he wouldn't let anyone read it.Weaver: He said his editor wanted him to keep it all hush-hush. This guy was helping him polish it and then get it published. Norman said the guy didn't want anyone seeing it till they were ready. I don't know, maybe all this is happening now because they finally were ready.Bell: Guess I'll check the video golf alibi, but do we really think that guy's a killer? Holmes: I suspect he's not, but that book he mentioned is intriguing.Bell: Yeah, that mystery editor sounds exactly like the kind of paranoid wack job we're looking for. Assuming he's real and not just a voice in Norman's head, that is.Watson: David and his wife might have some idea if he was working with someone. I'll go see them. You should go home with a police escort.Holmes: What?Bell: She's right. Nobody's saying Norman really was programmed to see the future, but until we find out whoever's killing people on his list, today's a bad day for you to be on the street.Holmes: Fine. It'll give me a chance to attend to that pile of gold we left in the kitchen.Watson: I'm still not seeing anything that looks like a manuscript.David: Me, neither.Luz: I promise I'll stop asking, but are you sure you can trust this Terry person? I keep thinking, if Norman wrote a book, he would have told us.Watson: Maybe, maybe not.David: I should have thought of that. Norman was always telling us to shred our bills. He worried about identity theft.Watson: Black paper, white ink. Looks like he worried about people reading his book, too.Luz: I'm sorry.Watson: No, no, no. It's okay. I mean, it might not look like much, but it could give us an idea who he was working with.Holmes: 20 minutes I've been waiting. It's impossible to get anyone on the phone at the Federal Reserve. I don't know why converting bullion to usable currency has to be so difficult.Watson: You know, I think Rumpelstiltskin used to say the same thing.Holmes: Mock me all you want. I'm doing this for your golden years.Watson: I thought I got it a lot sooner than that. You're due on a slab in the morgue in the next three hours if Norman Horowitz was right.Holmes: Well, heaven forbid I draw my last breath listening to Muzak.Watson: I think this is gonna make you feel better.Holmes: Did Norman list his murderous editor in the acknowledgements? Watson: No. This is a page from Chapter One. Or at least it used to be. The left side is jagged. I think he ripped out the page because the Chicago Cubs did not repeat. In fact, none of the predictions on this page came true.Holmes: Well, that's great. But it doesn't get us any closer to identifying his murderous, book-editing accomplice.Holmes (phone): Marcus.Bell (phone): Hey, thought you and Joan would want to know, somebody just pulled a fire alarm at Grand Central Station. Caused a panic. Everybody ran out of there.Holmes (phone): And you thought we'd want to know this because? Bell (phone): Guy who did it, his name's Greg Haden. He says his boss put him up to it. He works for your buddy, Henry Baskerville.Baskerville: My lawyers don't want me to talk to you, but, you know, I feel you deserve an explanation.Holmes: Trust that sensation, Henry. We absolutely deserve to know what you've been up to.Baskerville: Did they tell you about Greg Haden? Watson: Your head of security sent Grand Central Station into a panic. He's in lockup right now.Baskerville: No, I know, I know. I'm working on it. I mean, they should be throwing him a parade. He nixed a terrorist attack. Or maybe just postponed it. We don't really know. We have to wait and see if the terrorists want to try again.Watson: You lost me.Baskerville: Well, I sent him over there. He pulled the alarm. He sent people running so they wouldn't be a bunch of sitting ducks for psychos with assault rifles.Holmes: To which psychos are you referring? Baskerville: Well, the book doesn't really say. Here. Holmes: That's Norman Horowitz's book, "Visions". Baskerville: Yeah. You've heard of it? Watson: Henry, were you helping Norman with this? Were you editing this book for him? Baskerville: Oh, no, no, I just got this. Yeah, no, it's kind of a crazy story. I am uh, I'm trying to find a publisher just to recoup my costs, but I mostly bought this as a public service.Holmes: You purchased it today? Baskerville: $4 million. I mean, I think I had to. Honestly, I think uh, Norman's brother was overwhelmed with the responsibility of having the future laid out in front of him. Can you change it? Should you change it? He was thinking of burning this, which...Holmes: David Horowitz sold that to you? Baskerville: Yeah.Holmes (phone): Captain, you need to send a tactical unit to David Horowitz's home immediately.Bell: Sometimes when you leave in a hurry, you forget stuff.Gregson: Well, that ought to slow them down. About time we caught a break. We were late. David and his wife were gone by the time we got here. Closets are empty.Bell: Took most of the family photos off the wall, too. I don't think they're planning on coming back.Gregson: How'd you figure these guys out? Holmes: I didn't. In fact, I helped them sell their load of nonsense.Bell: I don't know about that. Didn't you just prove Norman Horowitz was no visionary by living out the day? Holmes: This was never about tricking the public. The whole show was for an audience of one man, Henry Baskerville. David sold him a load of magic beans with the help of three murders and two unwitting detectives.Gregson: What do you mean? Wtson: Henry dropped our names in interviews a few years ago. When David read about us, he knew how he'd sell his brother's book.Holmes: It was the whole reason he came to us in the first place. He knew that we would go straight to Baskerville and prime the pump for him. We were played for fools by a craven killer.Gregson: That's not a happy face.Bell: Talked to TSA, New Jersey State Police, Homeland Security, everyone I could think of. Nothing.Gregson: It's been 48 hours. If the Horowitzes were gonna pop up on the grid, I tend to think they would have by now.Bell: Every agency I talked to is going to the wall. They know these two are persons of interest in three homicides.Gregson: Maybe we can add a fourth. No way to know whether Norman himself got bumped off to get all this rolling.Bell: I don't know how much that'll turn up the heat on the search, but I'll give it a shot. I really thought we caught a break when they forgot their passports.Gregson: I guess $4 million and a four-hour head start was enough to get them out of Dodge. Bell: Anything from Sherlock or Joan? Gregson: They got nothing. She said they'll be here tomorrow, ready to get back on the horse.Bell: Good. Bet he'll be in a fun mood.Gregson: Yeah.Watson: It was the orange highlighter. It's always bad luck.Holmes: It was sloth and stupidity and weakness and lack of imagination.Watson: You're really still blaming yourself? Holmes: I point the finger at guilty people all the time. No reason to stop today.Watson: David Horowitz could have gotten Baskerville's attention with or without you.Holmes: We lent his brother's prophecies an air of intrigue, credibility even. Do you really think that if we hadn't piqued Henry's interest, he would have written a huge check for a book of incoherent ramblings? Watson: They might still turn up.Holmes: No. They're gone. We lost. Where did this one come from? I've not seen this one.Watson: Oh, David and Luz took most of their family photos when they ran, so Marcus had the guys grabbing every picture that was left. For BOLOs, things like that. I took a copy of everything home, just in case they turned up and we had to build a case.Holmes: Norman Horowitz was no visionary. He didn't have a clue about the future. But you, Watson, you're very prescient.Bell: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford one, one will be appointed to you.Luz: They said you told them where to find us. How did you know? How did you know where we were? Holmes: It came to me in a vision.Bell: All right. That was a cute line back there, but you gotta tell me, how the hell did you know to search the hold of that boat? Holmes: Actually, it really did come to me in a flash. It was a picture that David left behind of him and his brother standing in front of a borrachero tree. Beautiful plant with trumpet-shaped flowers. Now, the borrachero only grows in a narrow band in Colombia and Venezuela. It's highly illegal everywhere else because its seeds are used to make scopolamine. Hideous drug.Bell: I read about this. They call it Devil's Breath, right? Holmes: Mmm. Blown into its victim's face or sprinkled in their drink, it is harder to trace and more powerful than Rohypnol. Victims are rendered highly susceptible to suggestion.Bell: That's how he did it.Holmes: Mmm. Now, the victims display few outward signs, but their central cortex is basically hijacked. In essence, they lose their free will. You can convince them to do anything. Even jump off a bloody building. Now, the presence of the borrachero also suggested something else. An answer to the question of why they decided to leave without their passports.Bell: How so? Holmes: The tree is native to Colombia and highly illegal in the States. Its presence in a Flushing backyard led me to question its origin.Bell: Luz, the wife, she's from Colombia.Holmes: That's where I started. Took a closer look at her. Turns out her brother is a crooked import-exporter. That's his boat. It's due to leave for Bogota in two days' time. They were going to wait it out, and then just float away.Bell: You don't need a passport to be a stowaway.Holmes: They had $4 million to craft a new life in Bogota, so why not start with new identities? Bell: I guess they'll get a chance to do that anyway. Everybody gets a cool nickname in prison.Holmes: My last will and testament, revised.Watson: This one's a lot lighter.Holmes: My estate. You'll be inheriting a lot less of it. You'll still get the house, of course, and my brain.Watson: Mmm. There's always that.Holmes: Hope you're not offended.Watson: It's your money. You can do what you want with it.Holmes: Well, that's just it, you see. I never wanted any part of it. Everything my father had seemed ill-gotten, dirty, so I turned my back on it. But then, yesterday, seeing all that gold, I realized how untenable that position is. It would just sit in an account, waiting to be transferred to you when I died, and then again sitting there waiting for you to die. Gave it all away.Watson: To who? Holmes: Charities. I borrowed quite liberally from your holiday giving list.Watson: I'm proud of you.Holmes: I think you'll be pleased with a new venture we're funding for the NYPD. Gun buy-back programs have reduced the number of firearms fatalities everywhere they've been attempted. I thought it fitting to make that donation in your name.Watson: We're buying a few thousand guns? Holmes: With any luck, enough New Yorkers will decide to sell back their weapons that we'll be a little less busy in years to come. Perhaps you'll be able to relax in your dotage. There's your inheritance, Watson. 2b1af7f3a8