2. Deadly Premonition (EU/JP) General hints and tips

The Key Item Disappearance Bug

There is a game-breaking bug that can potentially cause you to be unable to continue the adventure. This is known as the "key item disappearance" bug, and if it occurs it will cause you to lose key items necessary to continue with the story permanently, without the possibility to get them again unless you start a brand new playthrough.

The bug occurs when you do this:

- Get a Key Item in the Chapter you're currently playing
- Save the game after getting the Key Item
- Quit back to Title Screen menu. Then instead of Resuming the game from where you left when you saved, you use the Chapter Select menu to replay another Chapter
- You complete the Chapter Replay
- You Resume the Chapter that you were originally playing. You will resume where you left, but the Key Item(s) you obtained before saving will be gone

In order to avoid the bug therefore you must avoid saving and quitting the current Chapter to replay a previous Chapter if you obtained a Key Item in the Chapter you're currently playing.

For obvious reasons, if you have a chance to do so it's also strongly advised to make backups of your saves every now and then (every new Episode maybe), so even if this accidentally happens you won't have to restart completely from scratch.

Difficulty Setting

For three different and non-stackable achievements you need to complete the game on Hard, Normal, and Easy, the three difficulty settings available. Difficulty affects York's and the enemies' health, and fundamentally nothing more than that (very few random items in the dungeons might be different from difficulty to difficulty, but they are irrelevant and very rare exceptions).

For another achievement you need to collect all the Trading Cards of the game. Therefore you'll be asking yourself whether you should do the collection of Trading Cards on Easy rather than Hard. My advice is to do them on Hard, and the reason for this is that the things you need to do to acquire Trading Cards are usually not related to fighting situations (most of the Trading Cards are simply obtained by exploring areas or completing non-fighting sections).

Therefore, in these situations it won't make any difference whether you do it on Easy rather than Hard. For this reason, there isn't really a reason to prefer Easy on Hard: the collection of Trading Cards won't be easier on Easy, with very few exceptions (just a few Trading Cards acquired by replaying some dungeons will require you to kill some enemies to acquire them, but they are definitely the minority of the cases).

On the other hand there are reasons why you may prefer to get Trading Cards on Hard. In particular, some of the Trading Cards will require the completion of quests that will also allow you to get, more or less directly, important/useful items. For example, the very good "Weather Doll" item is acquired after doing a quest that becomes available after doing two other quests, and these two other quests are associated with Trading Cards. Therefore if you wanted to get the Weather Doll you would still need to do those two quests that will earn you a Trading Card, and this is why you basically kill two birds with one stone if you do it on Hard: doing those quests will give you the Trading Cards you need, and also make you progress through the quests necessary to obtain the Weather Doll. In other words, since doing side activities for Trading Cards will naturally make you acquire useful (for the purpose of beating the game more easily) items, you might as well do those side activities [only] in the playthrough where you'll need help the most, that is to say the Hard playthrough.

This is why I suggest doing the Trading Cards collection on Hard instead of Easy. The few Trading Cards that would be obtained slightly more easily/quickly on Easy (the very few that require fighting Shadows) are not enough to compensate for the advantage of doing useful quests to obtain useful items (on the way of acquiring Trading Cards) on Hard.

Radio, Wrench (Infinite), Weather Doll

The three most important optional items that can give you an advantage in the game are the Radio, the Wrench (Infinite) and the Weather Doll. We'll do the side missions to acquire all of them in the Story Walkthrough page.

The Radio is a "fast-travel" device that allows you to revisit most of the locations of Greenvale after visiting them in a previous Chapter. I suggest getting the Radio on all of your playthroughs. Please keep in mind that when you do a Chapter Replay the locations you can select with the Radio (for fast-traveling) are limited to the locations you had visited when you originally entered that Chapter. Also keep in mind that any location visited during a Chapter Replay will be added to the "Radio list" (i.e. the list of locations you can fast-travel to, with the Radio) temporarily during that Chapter Replay, but the new additions (the new locations that you visited and therefore added to the Radio list) will not be saved and kept once the Chapter Replay is over. For this reason (the Radio list doesn't get updated permanently retroactively, but only after completing the first-run (= non-Chapter Replay) Chapter where you visit a new location) it might be advisable to visit all possible locations as early as possible, if you intend to add them all to the Radio list. In the Story Walkthrough page I'll take care of the proper exploration for this purpose, so you don't have to worry about it, but just keep this in mind as a general info.

The Wrench (Infinite) is simply the best weapon against all regular Shadows: it's fast, it hits their upper half (thus causing them to be stunned), and it's also moderately powerful. With the sole exception of Crawling Shadows and boss fights, the Wrench (Infinite) is always the best choice to fight. To be honest there are also better weapons, but either the effort it takes to get them doesn't justify their use (Legendary Guitar Grecotch, Wesley Special), or they can be obtained only basically at the end of the game (Grass Cutter, RPG). I suggest getting the Wrench (Infinite) at least on your Normal and Hard playthroughs. It's not as important on Easy, but it still helps much enough to justify the trouble to get it.

The Weather Doll is a great healing device that automatically regenerates your Health, and it also lowers the rate at which the Pulse gauge fills, while also speeding up the rate at which it goes down. Having the Weather Doll basically means that you will never have to use a First Aid Kit in the entire game. It's extremely useful for the Hard playthrough, obviously. It's not particularly necessary for the Normal/Easy playthroughs though, and I would recommend against it for those difficulty settings (it can be obtained only after three slightly time-consuming missions, and it's not worth it on lower difficulty settings).

Weather and Time Conditions

Many things in Greenvale are dependent on the Weather Conditions and Time Conditions. The weather in the game dynamically changes, and it's virtually always possible to get any weather condition in any moment of the game. There seem to be exceptions though. For instance there are some locations that are only open under certain weather conditions and must be visited during a certain story Chapter. In this case, when you are supposed to visit these locations during the story you may not be able to get the "wrong" weather condition because the game wants to prevent you from being unable to continue with the story (even if just temporarily) whenever you want.

The weather in Greenvale has several different variations, but the only thing that matters is rain. Therefore I'll often be referring to these two conditions only: Rainy and non-Rainy. Even if the sky is extremely cloudy, this still counts as non-Rainy.

"Time Conditions" refers to the hour of the day. It's a very intuitive concept, and it's important to keep in mind that characters in this game have [very ordinary] daily schedules. This means that some buildings are open only at certain hours, and that some characters can be found in some specific buildings only at certain hours.

It's also worth pointing out that the "Otherworld" (the enemies) will come out in the open during Night. The "Night" hours are marked in-game with red numbers (instead of the usual white numbers), and they are basically 00:00-06:00. You won't be wandering off at this time of the night on a regular playthrough, but beware of it, just for your information. The only "practical" thing that this affects is the series of Side Missions associated with the character "Roaming" Sigourney, since she can be found at any hour of the day except the "Night" hours.

Another thing you may be wondering is if, during the main story, the time of the day has practical consequences. The answer is "no, but...". The thing is, most of the story events can only take place in specific areas in a specific time of the day, which can range from a several-hours span to a one-hour span. On the other hand, there is no penalty if you delay the story events, and you can delay them as much as you want. It's even possible to detour for side missions and random activities, sleeping for entire days before proceeding with the story, even if the story characters gave you an appointment in a specific day at a specific time. This is quite weird, but also very handy, since it means that you [almost] never have to proceed with the main story events if you want to do other things first.

As always, we'll be discussing the right time of the day and weather conditions for story events and side missions in due time in the Story Walkthrough page, so it's not something you should worry about too much.

The best way to change weather is by Sleeping, and the best way to advance time is also by sleeping. The second-best way to advance with time (especially small amounts, like just a few hours) is by Smoking.

Hunger and Tiredness - Sleeping, Eating, Smoking

In the "pause menu" (press Start to access it) you can see two green gauges in the bottom-right corner of the screen, in the "status tab" (the first, left-most option in the pause menu). One has the icon of fork + knife, and the other has the icon of a "Zzz". The former indicates the "stomach repletion", while the latter indicates your "awakeness". If they are full (green) it means that you are not hungry, and that you are not sleepy. Note that these two gauges are often referred-to as "Hunger and Sleep" meters; that's technically the opposite of what they indicate, though I have to admit that the words "Hunger" and "Sleep" convey the message a bit more easily than "stomach repletion" and "awakeness" :p

Semantics aside, the Hunger and Sleep needs of York's are quite intuitive, and also very important. Emptying the Hunger (or Stomach Repletion, however you want to call it) gauge will cause York to gradually lose health, and this will eventually kill him. Moreover, if you are Smoking (more info below), York will automatically cease to Smoke once his Hunger reaches critical values (a good bit before it's completely empty).

Emptying the Sleep (or "Awakeness") gauge will have less important consequences. York won't simply "collapse", but he will only have a worse "Pulse gauge" rate. This practically means that he will fatigue more quickly when he runs or does other actions that fill up the Pulse gauge, and he will recover from the fatigue more slowly. Since the Pulse gauge is not bad on its own, not-Sleeping will virtually cause no practical penalty. York may also cease to Smoke automatically if he's getting too Sleepy (just like when he's getting Hungry).

In order to replenish your stomach you need to Eat. You can Eat free "snacks" at any time from your inventory, provided that of course you have a "Food" item to consume. In the game there are plenty of miscellaneous food items, which range from the Lollipops to the Turkey Sandwich. Some of the food items will refill your stomach more than others, and as a general rule they are all pretty bad at that.

Another way to replenish your stomach is by Eating prepared meals at various locations. These include the A & G Diner, the Greenvale Sheriff's Department, the Galaxy of Terror/SWERY 65' taverns. In this case the Eating/$ rate is much better than the one from random snacks, and a couple of larger meals will give you a full refill.

It's important to know that Eating is a major issue, especially in the playthrough where you will need to do side missions. This is because York's Hunger will realistically depend on the in-game hours. Since for many of the Side Missions you need to wait for the right weather conditions (and therefore Sleep a lot), you will often "wake up" after Sleeping with an empty stomach (York's stomach will "work" during your sleep). For this reason it's important that you remember to Eat when you wake up after sleeping.

Don't do so every time you wake up though; just Eat after you wake up with the right conditions (weather/time of the day) you want. The thing is, sleeping also recovers your health, so there is no point in eating every time you wake up and you already know that you have to sleep again: even if York will lose a bit of health between your first awakening (with the wrong weather/time conditions) and his next Sleep (which you will use to advance time to get the weather/time of the day you want), he will recover the lost health with the last Sleep. Do remember to Eat when you finally wake up with the right conditions though.

In order to Sleep you must find a Bed. Beds are marked in the game with the icon of a blue pillow, and are widely available in every dungeon and most of the main locations. When sleeping you can advance through time instantly by 3, 6, 9, or 12 hours at the time, which is ideal to change Weather Conditions since you need to wait many hours before the weather can actually change.

The best Sleeping location is probably The Tree of Anna (visited during the story in Chapter 04, and available at any time from then on): it's in the open (so you can check the Weather immediately), it's near a fast-travel location that you can reach with the Radio (The Tree of Anna is actually on the Radio list, but the sleeping location is a few meters away from where you spawn when you fast-travel there), and there is a respawning supply of Can of Pickles near the sleeping location which you can consume as much as you want after you wake up with the right weather/time conditions.

It's also possible to recover from "tiredness" by drinking things such as Coffee and Root Beer. There are also drinks available at the various taverns.

To Smoke you need to own the Cigarette (Heavy) item; you can carry up to 20x of them at once, and you can restock at Polly's shop in the Great Deer Yard Hotel, as well as at several other location (Milk Barn to name one). To use a Cigarette (Heavy), and therefore "Smoke", press Start, then select this item from the "Item" menu, and decide to Use it. While smoking the time will rapidly advance, and you will see a clock on the upper-right corner of the screen showing you the fast advancement through the hours of the game. You can "stop" smoking whenever you want by pressing B.

Missable Things

Although none of the achievements of the game can be missed, and although most of the things can be done/replayed via Chapter Select menu, there is one thing in the game that can be missed: it's the .357 Magnum (Infinite) weapon. The reason why it's missable is that if you start the mission to obtain this weapon (side mission # 11) when you don't have all the seven "bones" available in Greenvale, you will receive a different reward when you complete side mission # 11, and not the .357 Magnum (Infinite). Please refer to Side Mission # 11 in the Side Missions page for more info.

For your information, the game prevents you from "Throwing Away" unique items, such as the Radio or the "Infinite" weapons. This is a great "restriction" actually.

There is only one exception to this: the Legendary Guitar Grecotch (Infinite) can be "lost" (given away) permanently if you complete Side Mission No.017. It's a unique item, so if you hand it over to complete that mission you won't have another chance to get it.

Greenvale

Below is a list of "maps" of Greenvale containing points of interest. In particular, the list contains all the possible visitable locations in Greenvale, as well as maps for some particular kinds of collectibles. The purpose of these maps is to show you where on the map a certain area is; doing this in-game can be a bit confusing since the zoom-out of the in-game map is extremely limited (so you can't get a full view of the map. In the maps below you can). In the Story Walkthrough page I will give you specific indications every time you have to go in a specific place for any reason, so the list below is a generic reference that you shouldn't need if you follow the Story Walkthrough page.

Visitable Locations

Those preceeded with an asterisk ( * ) are locations that can be added to the Radio list.

*A & G Diner (open from 09:00-21:00, but only on non-Rainy days).
Albireo's Graveyard.
*Anna's House.
*Becky's House.
Bergamot Farm (uninteresting location).
Book Mountain Bank (uninteresting location).
Brian's House.
Cope's Tunnel.
Darius Inc. G.V. Electrical Substation.
*Emily's House.
Forest Keeper's Cabin.
*G.V. Community Center (Mercury Theater).
*Galaxy of Terror (open from 19:00-06:00. It's also a tavern).
*George's House.
*Great Deer Yard Hotel.
Greenvale Forest Park.
*Greenvale General Hospital (open from 09:00-21:00. You can buy First Aid Kits inside).
*Greenvale Sheriff's Department (open from 09:00-17:00).
Harry's Mansion and *Harry's Mansion gates (the Radio only takes you to the "gates").
*Heaven & Hell Gas Station (open from 10:00-22:00. It's the only place where you can refill the gas of your cars and repair them from damage).
Juniper Farm (uninteresting location).
Keith's House.
*Lysander's Junkyard (open from 06:00-24:00, but only on non-Rainy days, starting from Chapter 07. It's the car store).
*Milk Barn (open from 07:30-12:00 and 13:00-18:00, but only on non-Rainy days. It's the main "food store" of the game).
Moyer's Lumbermill.
*Muses Gallery.
Nick's House.
*Panda Bear (open from 20:00-06:00, starting from Chapter 07. It's the gun store).
*Richard's House and *Quint's House.
Sigourney's House.
*SWERY 65' (open from 18:00-06:00. It's also a tavern where you can play Darts).
*The Tree of Anna ("unlocked" in Chapter 04. Best location to sleep for weather/time change purposes).
*Thomas' House, Carol's House, Fiona's House.
Ushah's House (uninteresting location).
Velvet Falls (can only be reached in Chapter 17).
White Spruce Farm (uninteresting location).

Other Maps

The seventeen Trading Cards.

The three Races (each one opens access to a Trading Card; in particular, Trading Cards No.17, 23, 35).

The nine Fishing Spots associated with seven Trading Cards.

The seven Bones (for Side Mission No.011).

The three Spirit Map locations (for Side Mission No.014, 015, 016).

WARNING: you may find the Otherworld Replays locations "spoilerish". They don't really mean anything on their own, but beware of it, just in case.

Miscellaneous Info

The "Pulse" gauge/meter is the second gauge on the upper-left corner of the screen (the first one indicates your health). The Pulse meter will go up when you run, use the siren of the police cars, and also when you auto-aim firearms with LT. If you cause the Pulse meter to go up too much the controller will start vibrating. If you completely fill it, there will be a rather long "cooldown" period during which York will be fatigued. Try to avoid this by ceasing to do the action that is causing the raise of Pulse meter before the gauge is completely full.

During the story there will be several (a dozen of) groups of "Keyflags" to find during mini-investigations. Keyflags are basically "clues" that you need to find to re-enact in York's mind what happened in some locations. All of the Keyflags are story-related, un-missable, and necessary to proceed. However, it might be worth pointing out that not all of them are obtained in chronological order in the same order as they are displayed on the screen. For example, in some situations you will obtain what is in-game the "fourth" Keyflag of a case before what is in-game the "first" Keyflag of a case. This isn't important, but just beware that sometimes it may look like you're obtaining Keyflags in the "wrong" order even though this isn't even technically possible in most of the cases. In any case, Keyflags are unmissable and story-related, so don't worry about missing them.

If for any reason you want to change the controls scheme in the game, you need to press Start, then Option, and then change the Controller Settings from here. Although the "on-foot" scheme is not the best of all (hold X to run isn't exactly ideal), it's best if you don't change the settings. This is because the "in-car" control scheme is directly dependent on the on-foot scheme, and you can't change the one without automatically changing the other. The in-car control scheme is very classic and optimal (RT to accelerate, LT to break and go backwards, etc.), so if you were to "fix" the on-foot scheme (for instance assigning the LT button to run instead of X) you would actually mess up the good in-car scheme. You'll learn to deal with the controls of the game soon enough anyway.

York's appearance in the game is affected by two things: Suits and Beard. Suits are mostly just for fashion (the only exceptions are the Suits "Passion Red" and "Dancing All Night"; more info in the Weapons, Cars, Suits page), while the Beard is completely just for fashion. Changing Suits is possible whenever you find and access a "white Suitcase" such as the one in the hotel room. Accessing the Suitcase allows you to change the Suit you're wearing and send for Cleaning those that you are not wearing.

As far as the "beard" is concerned, in most of the bathrooms of the game you will see the icon of a razor, which indicates points where you can shave. The only thing that will change is whether or not York will grow a beard.

There are several "time-saving" things that you can do during the normal course of the game:

- Press Start during cutscenes to skip them
- Press Start when you get in or out of a car to skip the animation of getting in/out of the car
- Press Start when you pick up or buy an item to skip the animation of getting the item
- Press and hold B when a black text box of dialogue appears (typically in the upper-right corner of the screen) to speed it up
- Use X to run instead of walking
- "Run"/"ram" into doors instead of opening them normally. This means holding X and pressing A (while still holding X to run) to "ram" into a door and go through it more quickly than you would do if you just opened it by pressing A without running into it

If you press Back you can access the in-game map. In the open world of Greenvale you can also use RT/LT (while viewing the map) to toggle between known locations on the map. This is not particularly useful, but pressing RT once will move the cursor to where your story destination is, and you may want to do so.

While viewing the map you can also press RB to access the Side Missions list.

York's salary (and cash availability) is not updated immediately as you see the $ rewards on the screen, but only either at the end of a Chapter/Chapter Replay or after picking up the "Payment details" papers. The "Payment details" can be found on the floor of the your hotel room and on the floor of the Northeastern room of the Greenvale Sheriff's Department. Once you pick up the "Payment details", you will receive the salary earlier instead than at the end of the Chapter/Chapter Replay. Note that the Payment details will only become available after spending enough time in the same Chapter (typically after 24 in-game hours).

Cash is hardly important in the game, and you will never really need it (the few things that you want to buy can be bought with the money you will get automatically during the course of a normal playthrough).

You can carry 4 weapons and 15 items max by default. If you complete Side Mission No.030 (first available in Chapter 02) you can increase the amount of weapons you can carry up to 10. If you complete Side Mission No.025 (first available in Chapter 13) you can increase the amount of items you can carry up to 44.

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