“Order! Order! SILENCE in court! Now then, Blue Toad Murder Files you stand accused of….of…what was it again? Ah, yes! You stand accused of bringing original, light-hearted, episodic-based gaming to the PlayStation Network. How do you plead?” said Judge Joody.
“…” said Blue Toad Murder Files’ Dickens.
“HOW DO YOU PLEAD?”
“Er, your Honour, sir. Er, you asked for silence, sir. Sorry, sir,” said the court clerk, Weevil.
“Bah! Blue Toad Murder Files; How do you plead? You may answer. With noise.”
“Ah! They always say innocent…pardon, what?”
“Guilty, your Honour.”
“Well let’s look at the evidence shall we, hmm?”
“It says here that you are very presentable, nay colourful in nature, well turned out, polite and well spoken,” said Judge Joody.
“Yes, your Honour, thank you,” said Dickens.
“I fail to see anything original in that.”
“No, your Honour.”
“Apparently, you tell a good story, but you’re a bit of a windbag and take a godforsaken amount of time to actually get anywhere with the tale. Not like me, who runs this court like a Swiss timepiece, only more accurately. Why, I remember the time we had the county dinner in our own little village, and I positively regaled the guests with my humorous tales of court-room intrigue. In fact, it was only last Thursday that another tale unfolded before me, with all the grace of a beached whale, but nevertheless…yes, what is it, Weevil?”
“Er, the case, your Honour, sir. We really ought to be getting on.”
“Quite right, stop prattling and let me get to it then!”
“This story telling of yours, Dickens, you intersperse it with a smattering of puzzles, I hear. Puzzles designed to confound and confuse, but do they have any real bearing on anything, hmm?”
“I believe so, your Honour. With careful listening and attention, any sleuth will be able to deduce the goings on in Little Riddle. A bit like, a-ha, a little riddle, your Honour,” Dickens said.
“ENOUGH OF THAT! This is a court of law! You think a gentle tale, a few puzzles and a…what’s this…a quiz every few minutes asking questions to ensure the sleuth is keeping up is enough to keep people amused? A few tests of logic, some mathematics, and having the fortitude to listen to old gossips giving clues? Is that really what you think?”
“I do, your Honour.”
“Well, basing the Hotel manager on that Fawlty Towers clown was, at least, a somewhat competent idea.”
“Thank you, your Honour.”
“Paying attention is key, it seems, if you don’t wish to fall foul of the sarcastic narrator. Good job you’re keen to retell any part of the story if the sleuth needs to hear it again. But I find your use of a Gold, Silver, Bronze reward for the sleuth’s detective skills to be somewhat lacking as a trophy.”
“We offer real Trophies, your Honour.”
“You do, hmm? Are they big, gleaming, golden orbs of radiance?”
“No, your Honour. They are sort of imaginatively named pinging sounds, your Honour.”
“I am now ready to give my verdict. All stand!” said Judge Joody.
“Er, your Honour, sir. Er, we’ve only read out the one charge. There are five more to go before we can fully consider this case,” said Weevil.
“Ye Gods! Five more of these things I must sit through. It’s been entertaining enough as a diversion, Weevil but I’m not sure I can stomach another five. The puzzles are, well, puzzling. Naturally, I solved them all, but then I solved the case and failed to see how the puzzles offered any assistance. Most troubling.”
“Perhaps, your Honour, you could interest up to three of your Judge friends in taking a look at the case? I believe it may be more fun that way, sir.”
“Hmm, what? Yes, of course – I must take a look at the second charge with a friend or two. Excellent idea, Weevil – see to it! Dickens, you are to be remanded in custody while we get to the bottom of this. Good day!”