The surprise sequel to the cult hit of the last decade, Deadly Premonition 2, is now out, reviving its formula of lovable, rural eccentricity paired with thriller mystery exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. Its predecessor, released in 2010, was a fairly complex game; amid its Twin Peaks-inspired tale of small-town murder was a vast world of NPC schedules, side quests, and mini-games to pad out each of its many chapters. And while keeping track of those errands and pulling them off in time was once a logistical nightmare, the new game has a few improvements that make it a bit easier. Getting the hang of them quickly will be integral to moving through the game’s events in a fluid and timely fashion.
In general, when it comes to Deadly Premonition 2, if you’re wondering when something will work or take effect, you should probably just wait, play a bit more, and see what happens. It’s difficult to figure out the pacing at first, and the temptation is to explore the greater world and see what comes of it. For the first few days however you should simply stick close to the hotel and go with the flow. Some of your questions will answer themselves.
That said, here are a few things you’ll need as you start to hit the town of Le Carré.
Your biggest issue in Deadly Premonition 2, without a doubt, is going to be passing the time. There are many time-sensitive quests and things that can only be done on certain days, so be prepared to wait on many occasions. To make the process less painful, hit up one of the many vendors in the game (like the concierge of your hotel) to purchase cigarettes, which will speed things up in different increments depending on the strength of the cigarettes you buy. Other ways to pass time include sleeping in your hotel bed, or camping out in the open world areas—but be sure to purchase a sleeping bag to do so, and keep in mind they break after each use. Be aware that certain actions that seem like they would take up time, like taxi travel or drinking cocktails, will not move the clock faster.
Good news! Deadly Premonition 2 has fast travel. No more long drives over uncertain distances, glancing at the gas tank and making deals with God. Bad news though—it costs money and you’ll have to activate the fast travel spots yourself.
Luckily the fast travel spots are abundant and will show up in locations you had to visit anyway. They look like bundles of balloons, cost $2.50 each, and work instantly, sparing you precious time. Be sure to get in as many as you can early in the game when your skateboard doesn’t take any damage.
Oh yeah, and you’ll be skateboarding this time around! After a certain point, you’ll also be able to learn new tricks, with the trade-off that your board will now take damage.
Francis York Morgan’s daily life will be expensive—the hotel alone costs $158 a day and eating out is expensive. But don’t worry, the game gives you money for just about everything, and it would be hard for you to run out. If you’re in a real bind, you can kill rare squirrels, wolves, or alligators (which will show up in alternate colors), shoot down UFOs, sell random items collected in the grass, or travel long distances (every major milestone awards the equivalent dollar amount). Just about everything awards you with cash.
Initially, you may be confused as to why it doesn’t seem to work when you try to photograph Fleur de Lis—if you activate the mission by speaking to the man in the cemetery before you’ve spoken to Raven and enacted the fast travel system, that may be part of the problem. However, when you’re in a photograph location, you need to press the down button on your left Joycon to open the gallery of photos, then scroll over to the one you’re trying to recreate. Try to find the best distance and angle to match the photo as closely as possible. If you’re in about the right spot, an exclamation point will appear over your head. Use the Concentration ability (Left Trigger) to spot the Fleur de Lis and it will automatically collect itself, but be aware that the first few tries may not work. The first Hot Spot is particularly difficult, so be sure to use key landscape details to narrow down the spot from which you should take the photo.
And be sure to stock up on Coffee so you don’t have to wait for your Concentration meter to fill back up (which takes forever).
One of the most ridiculously obtuse side quests in the game involves tracking down a few key ingredients for Alexus over at Alexus Diner and Lanes. There are no substantial clues given as to how to find any of the items she needs, so you’ll need to remember these locations: the Rice is in the bushes on the right hand side of the barn at the Clarkson Sugar Plantation, at the north of the map. The Green Bell Pepper is on a bench in front of Alexus’s house (which you can find marked on the overworld map). And the Thyme is obtained specifically by performing a side quest for Avery—meet him in the park at night (but before midnight) to get it started. Once you’re finished you’ll be rewarded with a new menu item, Jambalaya di FBI, at the diner.
During a key main story quest, York must fetch a few items for the Reverend in order to make an offering. The Canned Spinach is the hardest to find, and will not be at the initial location they send you. Instead, you’ll be sent on a wild goose chase across the map to check all the vending machines (which each show up as an icon in the overworld map). The one you’re looking for is southwest of Melvin’s house, which is on the southwest side of the river.
Once you fetch the Reverend’s ritual items, he’ll send you off to get a few more. Luckily, the first two are very close by. On the quest card, notice that the location of the first item is noted as the Park. Head next door to pick up Anaconda Skins from the ground; you will not need to kill anything to do so. Squirrels are found easily throughout the neighborhood, but be sure to kill them with a gun instead of your fists, so they do not have a chance to steal stuff from your inventory. Also note that some squirrels will not give you a tail (only fur), and they show up initially as “chickadee” (however they’re considered the same thing). Once those two are collected, a prompt for the Pressed White Guara will pop up, indicating you will need to talk to the bellhop over at the hotel to get one. After a brief runaround, you will find the flower in the first floor bathroom, on the toilet tank.
Early in the game, you’ll find that York’s shower breaks unexpectedly. The concierge will tell you that “if you’re in a hurry,” you can fix it yourself by turning the valve on the third floor. But where is that pesky thing? In the restaurant, behind the area where food can be ordered from the chef.
Holly Green is the editor-at-large of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.