Hotel Dusk was one of my favorite Nintendo DS games. Anyone who’s played the game may be able to tell that from the Kyle Hyde avatar I use here. It is generally regarded as the best game released by Cing, a developer best known for a string of visual novel-type adventure games released on Nintendo platforms which included most prominently Hotel Dusk and Another Code (aka Trace Memory). Unfortunately, I don’t think Cing ever really found commercial success, and their doors were closed in 2010.
Hotel Dusk tells the story of Kyle Hyde, a detective in search of his long missing partner, Brian Bradley, and whose investigation leads him to check in to the decaying Hotel Dusk outside of Los Angeles. The game is exclusively set in the rundown hotel, and its guests and staff serve as the cast of characters. In some ways, Hotel Dusk can be thought of like a more serious, more story-focused Professor Layton game. Kyle spends his time exploring the hotel, secretly searching for clues, while also engaging the other guests in conversation. As the night wears on, Kyle increasingly begins to realize that, although the guests are strangers to one another, they all have profoundly interconnected histories and fates. Often, Kyle encounters brainteaser-like puzzles that must be solved to progress the story, but it is not nearly as puzzle-focused as the Layton games.
A sequel to Kyle Hyde’s story was later released in Japan and Europe, and I’ve regrettably never played it. Cing would go bankrupt shortly after release, and that would be that. Recently though, former Cing talent have resurfaced with a new game slated for the Japanese 3DS eshop entitled (here goes) –Chase-: Unsolved Cases Investigation Division – Distant Memories. This new title promises to be a mystery novel game in the same vain of Hotel Dusk. Unfortunately, nothing’s been announced yet in the way of localization, and the game is currently Japan-only.
Chase’s main character also looks a bit familiar:
Am I crazy or does he look like a Japanese version of Kyle Hyde?
The stories that Cing told always felt very idiosyncratic and unique to me. Both fate and the weight of the past play heavy roles, both as themes and actors, in their tales. I’m very much hoping we’ll see an English localization of the game down the road, but I’m afraid I have no certainty that we will. But …. it does make me feel like Kyle Hyde looking to reunite with his old friend from the past.