First Trial is the fifth scene of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number and the first scene in Act Two: Rising. This scene takes place on November 5th, 1991, and is the first scene featuring Evan Wright as the player character. Evan Wright is also the player character at the start of Act Four: Falling and Act Five: Intermission.
The scene begins with the trial of Jacket underway. Jacket is rolling a small green ball back and forth, and several members of the jury are visibly bored. The Prosecutor is currently questioning the new Police Chief about the veracity of Jacket's claims of receiving various threatening phone calls (which Jacket still believes were from the Russian mafia) that ordered him to kill. The Police Chief answers that they investigated Jacket's phone, but were unable to find any physical evidence of the phone messages as Jacket's tape had been removed (possibly by Richter, who collected his 50 Blessings message tapes but never went to trial). The Prosecutor rests and Jacket's Lawyer jumps in to cross-examine the Police Chief.
Lawyer asks the Police Chief about obtaining phone records from Phone Hom. The Police Chief then states they investigated Jacket's phone records and did find calls that match the date and time-frames of the killings. The calls were all traced to a night club called The Golden Truckstop, which had been tenuously linked to Russian Mafia activity in the past. The Police Chief begins to qualify this statement, but is cut off by Lawyer who asks for no further questions. The Judge then asks the Police Chief to step down from the stand and adjourns court for the day.
The player then takes control of Evan Wright, who is watching and taking notes on the day's proceedings from the front row of the gallery. He stands up and walks to a phone booth outside the court room, phoning his friend in the MPD, Detective Manny Pardo, who's apparently in the middle of something. Evan says he's at the court house researching the "Mask Maniac," prompting Pardo to respond "What's that got to do with me?" Evan explains the court's mentioning of The Golden Truckstop and asks for a lead on someone connected to it and the mob. Annoyed that Evan has called him at work and is expecting him to jeopardize his own job by disclosing information on an open case, Pardo tells him he can't give out any leads.
Evan then twists Pardo's arm with an unspecified favor the detective owes him. Evan's reluctantly given Petrov's location in a Russian owned bath house and casino on North West 37th Avenue. He then leaves the courthouse, going past a large amount of news reporters, gossiping police men (otherwise seen in Final Cut and Caught), guards, and finally some demonstrators outside being recorded by a news camera (Alex & Ash) to a cab waiting for him. Notably, Evan is a former reporter and is shown as being allowed into the actual court room where the news cameras can't go, implying his place there its a perk of leaving his old job. Biker is shown standing off to the side of the courthouse entrance behind some apparent military veterans, likely also bikers.
Bath House Edit
At North West 37th Avenue, Evan attempts to enter the building by going up the guard and telling him Detective Pardo sent him. He's curtly denied entrance for not being a VIP. Evan decides to knock out the guard to get past him, but hits him once too many and accidentally kills him, urgently attempting CPR before rushing inside shouting for someone to call an ambulance as there's been an "accident." The lack of reaction of the other guards leads him to fight his way up to Petrov on the top floor, by default only maiming the mobsters with melee attacks.
Writer finally reaches Petrov, who asks who Evan is. Evan almost tells him but stops himself, choosing instead to explain that he's a friend of Detective Pardo. Petrov comments that Pardo mustn't be a very good friend to send Evan to such a dangerous place, and Writer agrees. Writer tells Petrov about the book he's writing on the Mask Maniac. Petrov is impressed with Evan's balls and dedication to his book, and allows Wright to ask two questions.
Evan asks whether Petrov believes the wave of masked killers who attacked the Russian mob in 1989 were in fact vigilantes. Petrov doesn't think so, saying they were far too organized and had too much insight into the operations of the Russian mob. The second question Evan asks is about why the killers targeted the Russian mob in particular. Petrov doesn't know, but explains they effectively destroyed the Russian mob's entire operation and also adds that none of the masked killers they caught ever talked. Petrov then says he's done answering questions and tells Evan to "get the hell out of my sight."
Evan Wright and Manny Pardo are sitting at a table at a small bar (HipsterBar in the files). Evan dodges details on his day but says he has trouble seeing Petrov, prompting Manny to say he's surprised Evan actually went there. Evan wonders when Pardo became such a douchebag, and Pardo says that he already suggested that Evan write about the Miami Mutilator instead, commenting on how it's a more sophisticated case and he also wouldn't have to talk to the mob, and emphasizing that people will have forgotten all about the masked killers by the time Evan's book's out. Manny tries to make up for sending Evan to Petrov's by stating he bought Evan a beer, but Evan says he still owes him a favor. Pardo offers to drive Evan home, and Evan says he'll risk the bus, likely because Pardo's been drinking.
- The 2nd floor does not have to be cleared in order to complete the level. The only goal on the 2nd floor is to get to Petrov in the sauna.
- Getting to Petrov in the sauna before clearing out the entire floor will make the remaining enemies surround Evan as he's talking to Petrov. However, they won't attack and will be friendly for the rest of the level.
- It is possible to kill guards by doing an unarmed ground finisher with Writer reluctantly punching the guards to death.The screen will gradually redden until Writer's finisher is replaced with a head stomp and he is able to wield lethal weapons. This has no effect on the story however.
- The tribunal building is somewhat broken, it's not possible to return to Jacket's trial once leaving it, the corridor supposed to lead to it will instead lett the player out of the map.
- With Jacket, the Fans, Evan Wright, Biker and Manny Pardo, the intro is one of the biggest gathering of protagonist to happen (outside of the Table Sequence and the Bar of Broken Heroes which are hallucinations).
- If you press right click a number of times while Evan attempts to give CPR to the guard outside, he will leave the guard alone before the animation is finished. If you do this, and walk into the first floor Evan's dialogue doesn't play and enemies don't attack. Instead, all enemies will be frozen to their place if standing still, and won't fire or swing at you. This also seals all the doors from opening. This bug is fixed once you go to the second floor however.
- In the Courthouse room with the blue carpet, you can continue to walk up and out of the building.
- "Interlude" by Chromacle plays during the intro of the level at the courthouse.
- "New Wave Hookers" by Vestron Vulture plays as the main track of the level.
- "Around" by Modulogeek plays in the outro with Evan and Pardo at the bar.
[16:56 / November 5th, 1991 / Miami, Florida]
[Camera pans up over crowd like in Final Cut, with Evan sitting cross-legged in the front row similar to Richard as he watches the proceedings of Jacket's trial, taking notes. Jacket is playing with a green ball by rolling it from hand to hand across papers on the table. A blonde courtroom typist is seated near the prosecution table and several members of the jury are disinterestedly fidgeting or coughing. The Judge is drumming his fingers on his stand. The Police Chief is at the witness stand and Prosecutor is standing and gesticulating.]
Prosecutor: Now, the defendant claims that he was ordered to commit these murders... through messages left on his answering machine. Did you investigate these claims?
Police Chief: Yes, we did.
Prosecutor: And what did you find?
Police Chief: Well, the defendant's answering machine was empty, the tape had been removed.
Prosecutor: Did you find anything supporting these claims of 'threatening phone calls'?
Police Chief: No, sir. We did not.
Prosecutor: I see... No further questions.
[Prosecutor sits, Jacket's Lawyer stands]
Lawyer: You say you found no physical evidence supporting my client's claims. Then what about phone records? Surely the police would have no difficulty accessing such information?
Police Chief: Indeed. We did investigate the defendant's phone records.
Lawyer: And did you find any calls on record that could support my client's claims?
Police Chief: We did, sir. The defendant seems to have received phone calls that match the time frame which he suggests. But...
Lawyer: Did you manage to trace these calls? If so, where did they come from?
Police Chief: We traced the calls to a night club called the Golden Truck Stop, yes.
Lawyer: Now my client claims that he was coerced by the Russian Mafia... to commit the crimes for which he is now being prosecuted. Do the police have any knowledge of ties between the Golden Truck Stop and the Russian Mafia that could support my client's claims?
Police Chief: The venue has been linked to several mob-related crimes in the past, yes. However...
Lawyer: That would be all, thank you. No further questions.
Judge: The witness may step down. The court will now be adjourned. Proceedings will continue tomorrow at 11 AM. Meanwhile the defendant will remain in police custody.
[Evan stands up, leaves the courtroom and uses a pay phone]
Secretary: You have reached the Miami Police Department, how may I help you?
Evan: I would like to talk to Detective Pardo, tell him it's from Evan.
Secretary: One moment please... *CLICK*
Pardo: What do you want, Evan? I'm in the middle of something here...
Evan: Hi Manny, I'm at the court house, doing research on that mask maniac.
Pardo: What's that got to do with me? ...
Evan: Well, they mentioned The Golden Truck Stop. Something about mob connections.
Pardo: So? ...
Evan: I was wondering if you know anyone there that I can talk to.
Pardo: That's privileged information. You know I can't talk about things like that. Look, I'm really busy here...
Evan: Don't be like that now! You owe me one, remember?
Pardo: Fine. Go to North West 37th Avenue, ask for Petrov and tell him I sent you. Can't promise he'll talk, but it's the only name I've got. Don't call me at work again, OK? No more favors.
[Evan hangs up and exits the court house to a taxi, passing many newscasters, protesters, and Biker]
[Evan arrives at a Bath House and approaches the bouncer.]
VIP Guard: Hold it right there, sir. You need an invitation to get in.
Evan: I'm here to see Petrov. Tell him Detective Pardo sent me.
VIP Guard: I don't think so. If you don't have an invitation you better leave.
[Evan punches the VIP Guard several times, continuing to hit him until he's visibly bruised and bloody. Evan checks for a pulse and grips his head as he mouths something to the effect of 'oh my god.' He attempts CPR but fails to resuscitate the VIP Guard before entering the bath house and shouting for help.]
Evan: Help! Somebody call an ambulance! There's been an accident... ... Is there anyone here?
[Evan fights his way upstairs to Petrov, who is in a sauna sweating.]
Petrov: ... Who the hell are you?
Evan: I'm... ... Are you Petrov? ... I'm writing a book about the mask maniac. Detective Pardo told me I could talk to you about it.
Petrov: Detective Pardo told you that? He a friend of yours?
Evan: That's right, sir.
Petrov: Not a very good friend, I take it. Sending you here of all places.
Evan: No. I reckon you're right about that, sir.
Petrov: This book you're writing, it must be very important to you. Risking your life to come talk to me. You sure got balls. Well what is it you want to know? You get two questions. Then you get the fuck out of here!
Evan: Alright. ... The police claims the masked murderers were a part of a vigilante movement. Are you of the same opinion?
Petrov: No. ... I don't think they were vigilantes. They were much too organized. They knew our exact locations, and insight into our inner workings. I don't know what they were a part of, but it was no group of vigilantes.
Evan: Why do you think they targeted the Russian Mafia specifically? What were they after? ...
Petrov: I can't tell you what they were after, but... they effectively destroyed our whole organization. And then they were gone. They knew what they were doing, and they seemed to be trained very well. We caught a couple of them alive, tried to break them. None of them talked. Not a single one. Alright, no more questions. Get the hell out of my sight.
[Evan returns to the Taxi]
[Evan and Manny Pardo are sitting together at a completely empty Hipster Bar. Pardo is regularly drinking but Evan is just thumbing his beer.]
Evan: ... What a day! ...
Pardo: What? Did something happen?
Evan: No. Well... yeah. That guy, Petrov. He wouldn't see me. Almost got beaten up just trying to get in.
Pardo: Heh, you actually went there? Didn't figure you would.
Evan: Man, sometimes I wonder why I hang out with you... When did you become such a douchebag?
Pardo: Well, I did tell you to write about the 'Miami Mutilator' instead, didn't I? A much more sophisticated case, really. And you wouldn't have to talk to the mob. People will have forgotten about those vigilantes by the time your book's out. ... Besides, I bought you beer, right? And you didn't really get hurt, did you? Let's call it even, huh?
Evan: Thanks for the beer and all, but you still owe me one.
Pardo: All right, all right. Don't forget I'm putting my job on the line... If anyone finds out I'm giving you leads that'll be it for me.
Evan: You'll be fired for incompetence or misconduct before that happens. I'm surprised they haven't fired you already... ... I'm tired, let's get out of here, okay?
Pardo: Yeah, I should get some sleep too. You want a ride?
Evan: I'll take my chances on the bus. ...
[Player controls Pardo. Evan follows but leaves player alone and walks off into the void if they near the doorway.]
- Biker, Alex and Ash can all be seen outside the courthouse, one as a bystander and the other two protesting, respectively.
- If the player reaches to talk with Petrov, but doesn't kill/neutralize the remaining mobsters, when the dialogue with Petrov is over, the mobsters will aim to Evan, but will not shoot him or chase him, this done as a sign of respect.
- The pay phone has a light grey dialogue sprite for its first line of dialogue, but immediately changes to a dark black dialogue sprite for the rest of the conversation.
- Aside from Manny Pardo's diner introduction in Homicide, Writer is the first player character to be introduced in a location they neither frequent nor live in. In Writer's case this establishes him as avoiding his family life.
- The inspectorwitness sprite and unused inspector face in the game files imply the testimony of a MPD inspector was originally planned to take place in the intro as well.
- This is one of two appearances of Petrov and the VIP Guard, the other being in one of two outros to Withdrawal.
- Petrov and the VIP Guard are shown to be in the extremely large Downtown Relaxation bath house in 1989. Their being in a relatively paltry two screen bath house and casino is likely a product of the lessened status of the Russian mob.
- The outro to First Trial resembles to intro to Ambush, with two friends leaving a bar together (though Evan immediately breaks off alone). The bar being a "Hipster Bar" hints that it's superficially emulating something else with an interest in getting attention, something that both Manny Pardo and Evan do (Pardo with violence, Evan with his book on a popular topic).
- The outro the first instance of Modulogeek's Around in the series, perhaps implying Pardo and Evan had a genuine friendship that's fallen apart. Pardo is desperately trying to rekindle the friendship (possibly simply for book coverage, but Evan alludes to him not always being a douchebag).
- In earlier builds of Hotline Miami 2, the level was originally named Trial & Error, but was changed most likely due to the "&" character not being supported by Shogun Clan's Font(The Font used for Title Card).
- The font for the pixel cover in this level is based on the famous series "Law & Order"
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Exposed (bonus) · Highball (bonus)
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