This page remains quite slim, as FAQ pages go, probably because the Japanese version of the game isn't really that difficult once you get into the swing of things. There are a few points that seem to fox just about everyone, though, and it's for this reason (mainly) that this page exists. If you have a question that's not answered below, email me, and I'll do my best to answer. Of course, playing the English patched version is far simpler, so even these FAQs may become redundant...
Q: OK, you've got me interested in
this game... Where can I
A: Specific to the UK, it might be worthwhile looking on the Computer Exchange website. Back in the 90s, I found both Saturn and Playstation versions in there, but they don't tend to carry 'retro' stuff in the shops anymore. There are lots of specialist retro game suppliers - I discovered Allan's Japanese Retro Game Sales at an MCM Comic Con in London, for example.
Alternatively, and for the rest of the world, if you have similar second-hand software outlets, start digging through their stock. Ebay is also well worth a look - you might even find the Limited Edition package, with its small artbook. Retroplace might also be worth investigating though, at the time of writing, Policenauts is in a handful of collections and wish lists, but no-one's actually selling it.
Q: What about this English Patch you mentioned? Doesn't it require a bit of technical know-how to apply?
A: An English patch was released for the PlayStation version on 24th August 2009, with the Saturn version following on 6th October 2016 (with a revised version arriving on 29th November that same year). If you wish to apply the patch yourself, you'll need:
I only have any experience of the Saturn version, so I can't offer much help on how the PlayStation patch works out. I wasn't able to patch the game myself because I'm not that technical when it comes to dealing with this kind of thing and don't have the relevant software. However, if you know what you're doing and follow the detailed instructions, it should be easy enough to apply.
Even then, the discs aren't be playable on a standard Saturn, so a FreeSaturn or PseudoSaturn cartridge or some other modification is required to allow the discs to work. The cartridges can be found by searching online (and are essentially hacked Action Replay carts)... getting the modification might be a bit more complicated these days.
There are vendors on a certain artisan craft-y website that are selling ready-patched copies of Policenauts for the Saturn. While you won't get a translated instruction booklet, you do get the game in a sturdy plastic case with a decent quality colour-printed insert and each disc features an on-body print replicating the appearance of the originals.
It's also worth noting that the patch appears to change the region of the disc, so you'll need either an American Saturn or a converted machine set for US compatibility, as well as one of the cartridges mentioned above.
Q: I have just arrived at the Beyond
Department (BCPD). I'm at the reception area. The desk
sergeant is sitting down
behind his desk, with a couple of other people standing around. What do
I do to advance?
A: When you enter the building, the desk sergeant immediately notices you and says something. When you talk to him, you get a close up of his face, then you can start questioning him. The important thing to do would be to select option 1, then 3, to ask about Ed. When you're done talking, when you choose to move to a new location, Ed's office will be the newly available option.
Q: What's the pass-code to the Tokugawa
computer system (T-GEAR99)?
There's a table of symbols and I have no idea what they all mean...
A: For this code, you need to refer to the Kamon List in the manual, and click on the symbol which matches the name given by the computer. Below is a representation of the T-GEAR99 code screen, with the relevant names added...
...For example, the sequence might be:
Note that the screen display and the sequence is random, changing every time you play. If you get any wrong, it resets, and display a newly randomised screen. There seems to be no limitation to the number of times you can do this, because it's necessary to the game that you view the contents of the CD. Once you've entered the correct sequence, insert the CD by clicking on the vertical slot on the tower unit of the machine and you're into the DDS/NARC presentation.
Q: I'm at the Astronauts Memorial
I've found a beheaded body in a spacesuit and now I'm being attacked by
a swarm of
mosquitoes. What do I do?
A: The sticky end of Jun Ishida... After a brief period of trying to shoot the little buggers flying around you, Jonathan should give up. Move off to the Apollo Exhibit, and you'll suddenly find yourself being shot at by another guy in a space suit. It only takes a few hits to put him down, luckily, because having been hit by the mozzies, your life bar will already be somewhat depleted. Once he's on the floor, examine him, then the fire extinguisher on the wall. Eventually, you'll take it. Move now to the Reception area, examine the rock in the middle of the screen, and Jonathan will shoot it, attracting and killing all the robot mosquitoes.
Q: I've got to this bit where there's a
bomb in a bag shop.
How do I defuse the bomb?
A: There's a complete guide to defusing the bomb, written by Chris Hoffman, available here as a text file. I was intending to do a full HTML version, including annotated screenshots, but still haven't got round to it. There is, however, a YouTube video guide - made back in 2013 by SegaCDUniverse - which covers it all.
Q: I'm at the AMM again, after
Marc's been kidnapped.
What is the monitor code so I can spot him?
A: In Karen's BBC van, you can switch between eight camera views of various areas of the museum. Ed and Meryl are in place on cameras 5 and 1 respectively. Use the buttons by the monitors to mount a surveillance on the museum. Soon enough, cameras 3 and 4 go on the blink, so send Meryl in to investigate. Shortly the picture comes back, and Meryl is now on camera 3. Talk to her to see what happened (not that you'll understand it). She'll then disappear. Check on Ed to keep him informed and you'll soon see a familiar face (or should I say mask?) appear on camera 3. Examine this new appearance, then let Ed know and he'll be on his way there, but not quick enough, as the guy will disappear very shortly. Flick through the monitors until Ed appears on camera 3 and Meryl appears on camera 7. Talk to both to keep them informed, and you'll soon find Marc on camera 1, accompanied by a man in a space suit. Let Meryl and Ed know, and Meryl will speed off to that location. Again, not fast enough, as they'll have moved long before she get there, and reappear on camera 7. Talk to either Meryl or Ed to inform both of them, and they'll try to outflank the bad guy and rescue Marc.
Q: Where can I get some 'spoiler'
information about this
A: Right here, in fact. My Policenauts Spoiler Zone is packed full of information, advice, character detail, facts, and more that a little conjecture. It was never truly completed, nor has it yet been updated with any additional information from the English patched version, but I still hope to turn it into a full-blown Policenauts resource... Eventually.
Q: Is there an anime series based on
A: As far as I'm aware, there is no Policenauts anime. This isn't saying much, though, as I'm sure there's plenty of anime in Japan that never makes it out of Japan. Let's say that it's unlikely, which is a shame, as the universe created for the game holds a lot of potential.
Q: There are two endings to
the original Metal
Gear Solid - one where Meryl Silverburgh dies, one where she survives -
but only one
'true' ending. Since it seems that Meryl will not be appearing in MGS2:
Sons of Liberty,
but does appear in Policenauts, this must mean she lives
through the game, right?
A: The best answer I can give is that Meryl does live through Metal Gear Solid. That's the only way she can possibly end up working for the Beyond Coast Police Department in Policenauts.
My only source of confusion and doubt is the timescale: Policenauts is set in 2042, but aren't the Metal Gear games set in the here-and-now? Or in the very near future..? If Meryl's 24 years old in Policenauts, she was born in 2018. This would have to mean that Metal Gear Solid is set sometime shortly before 2038. Following this timeline, by the time of MGS2, she must already be working on Beyond Coast. The strange thing about this is that it means Solid Snake must be the oldest sneaker in the business - likely to be in his 60s or 70s, since the earlier Metal Gear games were set in the 1990s.
I'll have to check again to be sure, but there's even the possibility that it's not the same Meryl Silverburgh... She mentions that her tattoo isn't actually real, and that she has to get it re-done every so often.
Q: Did Konami ever release an English translation on any console?
A: According to the UK press, the English 3DO version was published, but it's never been seen... the website Gamefan somehow reviewed what they claimed was the English Sega Saturn version, shortly before it was canned but, as far as I'm aware, there's no real evidence that it was in progress... I'd have expected the Playstation version to have surfaced if there was such a translation.