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Cut, Unused or Unpolished Stuff From A Man of Influence Scene 1 (Including the Receptionist!)


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So thanks to a little article from about 7 years ago: https://www.pcgamesn.com/no-one-lives-forever-s-cutting-room-floor-revealed we know that many things were cut, not fully implemented or polished in NOLF 1. But what it doesn't tell you is that A Man of Influence has got to be the most cut, unfinished and/or unpolished mission of them all, mostly because of scene 1. Not only does it have the strictest stealth requirements of any mission in the game, but there are quite a few things that are cut, unfinished or even unclear. This mission also got the most changes in the PS2 version. Some things were made more clear or streamlined, but not the cut or unfinished stuff I'm mentioning here.

 

The Avoid Detection Objective:

About a year before that article, I made a topic asking how to achieve the "Avoid Detection" objective that remains unchecked even after the whole mission is completed. It's worth noting that an old walkthrough said that, while there does not appear to be any consequences for not achieving it, it can be achieved by having a score of Detected = 0 at the end of the whole mission. But I have tried this and it doesn't work, even with the Detected, Disturbances Caused and Bodies Found stats all at 0 (a perfect stealth score). While this objective might be intended more so as a mission parameter as called in NOLF 2, usually in NOLF 1 even objectives like that get checked off at the end of the whole mission if you achieved them.

 

Hidden or Broken Objectives:

Also in that topic, I mentioned that there's a hidden objective to "leave everything as you found it". After you find the evidence linking the Baron to Harm in his office, press the remote again so that the evidence recedes back into the floor, and then close all the other things you opened to get into the office (the metal grate, stairs and bookcase). This completed objective will appear in your objectives list, along with a new objective: "Turn the alarm system back on". However this objective can't be completed, because the lever in the security office that you used to turn the alarm system off can't be used to turn it back on. This must have been cut or unfinished. Maybe because they thought it would be too tedious or hard to get back to the front desk with the alarm system back on and a guard now in the men's restroom (he goes there after putting out a fire you create for a distraction). Even closing the metal grate of the office is a bit tedious. While neither of these objectives are required to complete the mission or get all the intelligence items, they are related to the overall narrative of not letting Harm or the Baron find out about your mission. Maybe they were also supposed to be related to the Avoid Detection objective, and maybe the intelligence item you get at the end (from Tom?) was meant to be given to you only if you complete those extra objectives, but since they were cut or not finished it's just given to you anyway.

 

The Unusable Elevator and Courtyard:

The NOLF Wiki mentions this one but I'll leave my own comments about it here. In Dumas Private Office (or the area leading to it), there's a door that leads to an elevator, but the elevator doesn't work. By glitch clipping or cheating, you can see that the elevator would have gone down to an area that connects to the courtyard outside the conference room with the scientists. From the conference room you can see the door to that area and a camera above it. Both the door and camera work, though the camera stays on even after you turn off the alarm system and can still spot you. The courtyard is a neat little area and maybe it was going to have a purpose, but there's nothing to do there and there's no way back inside without glitching or cheating.

 

The Receptionist in the Restroom:

Now for the big one. This is something I recently discovered. At the beginning of the mission, Cate slips laxatives into the receptionist's drink which causes her to run off to the woman's restroom (the door is locked and you can hear sounds coming from the restroom at certain spots). Cate says that should keep her busy for about 10 minutes, but there's no 10 minute limit or anything similar for this level. Normally this isn't unusual for a game since there's no timer to explicitly indicate that it's a timed mission. But I discovered that there's actually a trigger for the door to unlock and the receptionist to walk back to the front desk, which causes you to fail the mission and receive a "You took too long" message! The thing is, to trigger it you have to glitch clip or cheat to get into the locked restroom and use sleep (not stun) gas on the receptionist (she really is in there). Shortly after she wakes up and regains her bearings, the door will unlock and she will walk back to the front desk, as long as you don't frighten her to duck for cover (such as by shooting) or use sleep gas on her again (which makes her search and patrol like a guard after she wakes up again, despite her being friendly and not able to "find" you).

So that got me wondering if the receptionist would eventually finish up and walk back to the front desk on her own after a certain amount of time, which would mean there's a time limit for this level. You can tell how much time the game says you spent in a mission by pulling up the mission stats and looking at "time spent in mission". Nothing happened after an hour went by, so I tried an hour + 10 minutes but still nothing. So then I left the game on for awhile so that I had spent over 5 hours total in the mission, and still nothing. Even the same sounds were still coming from the restroom after all that time. This leads me to conclude that originally or at some point, it was planned for the receptionist to return to the front desk after a certain amount of time, but it was cut or never fully implemented. Maybe because they thought it would be too hard or undesirable to put a short time limit on this mission, and there's not much point in putting a long one (like an hour or more). Or maybe because of other complications, like the ways you could stop her from returning, or whether you should fail the mission if she sees you somewhere other than the front desk on her way back, and players not even being aware of her returning (without a timer or being in the same area at the time).

Another reason I wondered about that was because there are a few hand clocks on the wall in this mission that actually work. Well the minute hand does, but the hour hand doesn't and just stays on the 2. The minute hand starts on the 10 so the time on the clock looks like 1:50 (despite the opening scene of the mission stating that the time is 8:30 am). So after 10 minutes goes by it looks like 2:00, and after an hour goes by it looks like 1:50 again. But I guess it's just for show and there's no significance behind it.

Edited by CoLdOwN
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