|Plot details follow, read at your own risk.|
Persons of Interest
- Arson Suspect - Serial arsonist responsible for death and destruction of property.
- Doctor Harlan Fontaine - Clinical psychiatrist and Suburban Redevelopment Fund investor, deceased.
- Identify 'Bug Sprayer' Arsonist
- Track Down 'Bug Sprayer' Arsonist
- Investigate Murder Scene
- Investigate Rancho Rincon
- Escort Jack Kelso to LA River Tunnels
- Reach LA River Tunnels
Part I: Jack Kelso
In the first part of the case, you play as Jack Kelso. Jack is shown outside the Los Angeles International Speedway. Jack figures out that the arsonist must have worked at one of three pest control agencies in the city, due to the use of mosquito coils in the arson fires.
- Travel to Rapid Exterminators, get the Newspaper on the counter inside the store. Enter the Red Rapid Exterminator Truck parked outside while you are here if needed for the Auto Fanatic achievement.
- You can choose travel to Nuclear, but there are no clues to be found there. Talk to the guy behind the counter to cross the location off your list.
- Travel to the Westlake Pest Control Company and talk to the employee behind the counter. The employee tells Kelso that a large cowboy works there and lives at an abandoned bunkhouse at the old abandoned Rancho Rincon, north of Downtown in the hills. This will lead into the next section through a cutscene.
Part II: Cole Phelps
The next section of the case takes you back to the previous day. You play as Cole Phelps again, last playable in A Walk in Elysian Fields (or Nicholson Electroplating, a DLC case). Cole and Biggs are called in by Rusty Galloway to investigate the murder of Dr. Harlan Fontaine at his home office by one of his patients, as well as the kidnapping of Elsa Lichtmann. Phelps must examine the crime scene for evidence and clues. The list of clues and locations below is what you need to examine in order to continue on in the case:
- On the desk, get the Newspaper.
- Next to the Newspaper is blank piece of paper. Shade the paper, then place the ripped newspaper page over the shaded paper to get a Freeway Route.
- Now head to the doorway you came in and to the left is a small table. Examine the file and tap the small yellow Note. Next flip over the small yellow note and tap on the name "Sawyer" for the next clue.
- Examine the body, look at the neck for marks and his right hand for a lighter.
- Next, in front of the file cabinets, there is a crystal ball with blood on it.
- Finally, head out of the room, in the hallway near the office the PC just exited, view the medical cabinet, and examine the Morphine inside for the final clue in this case.
Cole quickly comes to the decision that government-built highways/ freeways were going to be built on the exact spots as the new housing developments for G.I.'s built by Leland Monroe. The houses would be built for next to nothing, and a false, higher value would be declared by California Fire and Life. As soon as the the federal government reclaims the land legally to approve the highway's construction in order of mayor Fletcher Bowron, and this improved value is to be paid to Leland Monroe and associates. Eventually, the G.I.'s that invested and or bought a house would get their money back that they originally paid for the house. Cole then comes to the conclusion that Fontaine had forced his patient to burn down the houses under the orders of Monroe, the same patient who killed him due to the fact that he unknowingly killed two families in the process.
Part III: Jack Kelso
The third section of the case involves playing as Jack Kelso again. Kelso checks out the bunkhouse at the old Rancho Rincon. It is located in the hills, north of Downtown, Los Angeles. Approach the house and kick the door in.
- Find a Flamethrower to the right on the workbench.
- Find a Thompson M1 to the right in the main bedroom on the floor.
- Examine the Photograph on the wall of Cole's former Marine Unit (in the room with the cranes).
- In the bedroom filled with orgami cranes, find the origami crane on the workbench and the blueprint plan of the tunnels which is on the wall to the left of the crane.
Jack soon realizes that the arsonist and occupant of the bunkhouse is his and Cole's former fellow Marine, Ira Hogeboom, responsible for burning out a cave of innocent civilians during the war under Cole's orders. He had since lost his mind and had gone to Dr. Fontaine for help. Fontaine, however, working with Leland Monroe had Ira burn out the homes in the Arson cases The Gas Man and A Walk in Elysian Fields, killing a family of four in the process. When Dr. Fontaine knocked out Elsa Lichtmann in his office, Hogeboom burst in and strangled the doctor, the former patient who Herschel Biggs told to Jack had killed Fontaine. Jack also finds a map of the Los Angeles River Tunnels, coming to the conclusion that that's where Hogeboom is, with Elsa as his hostage.
Jack phones Assistant D.A. Petersen and Phelps and tells them to meet him at the L.A. River Tunnel Entrance near 1st St. in the Warehouse District of Downtown.
Part IV: Vehicle Escort
After Jack tells the Assistant D.A. and Phelps to meet him at the tunnels, Cole and Biggs receive the message broadcasted over KGPL at the Wilshire Police Station from Jack. Then, a second broadcast is made about a police pursuit, in which corrupt Patrol and detective units are chasing Jack's car. At the end of the cutscene, Phelps and Biggs are shown on Olive St. in Downtown, between The Biltmore Hotel and Pershing Square. Jack and the corrupt officers speed by Phelps.
- Follow the car icon that is White on the mini-map. Avoid/Eliminate the car icons that are Red.
Part V: Tunnel Shootout and Finale
The final section of the case and of the game is played as Jack Kelso. Jack, Phelps, and Biggs reach the river tunnels in the pouring rain. Petersen meets the trio there. As Cole and Jack enter the tunnel in a cutscene, the Police Chief and detectives pull up to the scene, proceeding to arrest everyone there. Petersen quickly explains the situation and blackmails the chief with the information he has, explaining that everything that's going on goes as high up as City Hall and implies that the chief might be involved. The chief complies and accepts Petersen's terms.
Next comes the final and largest shootout of the game. Take out all of the men in the tunnel system in pursuit of Ira, who is armed with a Flamethrower in his Marine uniform. This includes wading through rising water to get between walkways. Jack will eventually get to an ammunition storage room in the tunnel and be able to pick up the Flamethrower, BAR, M1 Garand, or Thompson.
- Tip: You should kill at least one enemy with the Flamethrower and the BAR if you wish to progress towards the Roscoe and Friends Achievement/Trophy. This mission is the only time you have the ability to use those two weapons, although you can also find the BAR in the alley when you go to the meeting place during the Manifest Destiny mission and in some Street Crimes. One quick way to get the Flamethrower kill is once you are in the tunnel before the ammunition storage room, there will be three enemies, kill one or two and then run into the room towards the Flamethrower, triggering a cutscene. The cutscene will show Jack putting on the Flamethrower, after the cutscene, quickly kill the last enemy with it.
Note that once Jack picks up the Flamethrower, he cannot pick up enemies' weapons. It will only be used a short time, but can be used on the remaining shooters in the tunnel. It is not necessary to pick up Flamethrower here; BAR is the best weapon to survive due to its ammo capacity, range, rate of fire, and good damage. Once Jack descends to the lower tunnel, the water will rise. There will be two catwalks (can be seen before Jack descends) in which the handrails are still visible. You should walk on these two in order to get to the other side; otherwise, you will drown. It is better to walk on the right one; you will be easier to avoid enemies' gunfire. After you climb up to the other side of the tunnel, the last six enemies will be waiting for you.
In another cutscene, Jack leaves behind the Flamethrower and finds Elsa and Ira. Ira, clearly insane, doesn't want to hurt Elsa and realizes that it's his former Marine Sergeant Kelso who has been after him. Cole quickly joins the three and Ira tells Cole that he was the reason that he went insane, claiming that Cole's orders for him to burn out the caves in the war--which, unbeknownst to Cole, turned out to contain innocent people--caused him to lose his mind. Going to Dr. Fontaine only made matters worse. Cole helps Elsa through the rising water out of the area, claiming that he needs Ira for his case. Jack, explaining that Ira had been through enough already, shoots and kills Ira to put him out of his misery.
Finally, Cole and Elsa reach a street grate about the rising water in the tunnel, with Jack close behind. As the water rises and becomes more violent, Biggs opens the grate above and hauls Elsa and Jack up, with the help of Cole. However, before Cole can jump to safety, an explosive and powerful surge of water comes upon him and sweeps him away, killing him, just as he manages to say "Goodbye."
The surging water explodes out of the street grates, throwing Jack, Biggs, and Elsa onto the ground. Jack stands in the mud, looking up at the rain in despair while Elsa breaks down crying.
Later, Phelps' funeral takes place at Chichester Chapel in a cutscene. All are in attendance, including Cole's wife and two daughters. Roy Earle gives a eulogy at a closed, American Flag-draped casket, with Cole's picture next to it. Earlier, upon arrival at the tunnels, the player should notice that after being successfully blackmailed by Peterson the Police Chief states that he's willing to listen to Peterson's "terms." Here at the funeral, it is implied that the assistant D.A. insisted that Phelps be exonorated upon his death of all previous accusations of wrongdoing in return for leaving the senior leadership (including Roy Earle) of the LAPD and city of Los Angeles unscathed. This is further substantiated by Earle's mention of Leland Monroe and Dr. Harlan Fontaine as the primary culprits of wrongdoing, as well as a subtle handshake between Peterson and Earle after he has completed his eulogy remarks. When Earle denounces the accusations made against Cole for his affair with Elsa, Elsa leaves the church, angry ("Swine! You belittle his memory!"). Jack tells Biggs to go to her. Biggs then tells Jack that he was "Never his [Cole's] friend." Jack replies, "I was never his enemy." Biggs responds that he feels that Cole knew that.
After the credits roll, there is a final flashback showing the events just prior to robbery of the cargo ship containing government-issued morphine shortly after the war, when Phelps was just starting out in the LAPD. Courtney Sheldon tells the rest of Cole's Marine unit present that they could make a lot of money in selling morphine on the street. The members of the unit are jealous of Cole's success as a policeman and are bitter at not being recognized as heroes. Jack Kelso eventually says that every one of the guys there are heroes to him, and even though Phelps became famous from a fluke, they are all famous to him and should recognize that themselves. He finally says that if they take part in the robbery, they will no longer be heroes to him. However, the robbery still takes place, laying the foundation for the entire plot.
"The Doctor is dead, Benson is finished and Leland Monroe is going to limp his way into a jail cell. Safe to say the Suburban Redevelopment Fund isn't going to be around for much longer. All that's left is the guy who has Elsa, the maniac who burned the houses for Fontaine. I know he's a cowboy, I know he works pest control, but otherwise he's a nobody."
- When escorting Jack Kelso through Downtown, Los Angeles to the Los Angeles River, the pursuing officers are driving Detective cars rather than Patrol cars, even though they are patrolmen and Patrol cars would normally be involved in such a pursuit.
- When looking at your notebook as Jack Kelso, you can notice blood dripping in the background underneath.
- This is the only case that allows the player to take control of both Cole Phelps and Jack Kelso.
- This is the only Arson case that has no case report or star ratings, so the player can do anything necessary to complete this case without worrying about any penalties. However, this means that you cannot gain the Public Menace achievement on this case.
- This and The White Shoe Slaying are the only cases (as opposed to flashbacks) which feature Military Mistakes .
- There is a glitch in this case: no matter what outfit you make Cole wear, in the end, he will always be wearing the "The Outsider" outfit.
- Cole Phelps' death is very similar to the death of Charlton Heston's character in the 1974 movie " Earthquake".
- At Cole's funeral, his casket is closed. This could be because either his body was badly mangled by the violent rushing water, or his body was never recovered. However, it is most likely that that the LAPD wanted Cole's casket to be closed so they could place the American flag over it because he was killed in the line of duty.
- A bit of irony is that the people giving Cole's eulogy are the corrupt people who Cole tried to expose and put out of power, especially Roy Earle, whom Cole never cared for due to all of his dishonest traits and illegal activities. Also, despite claiming to be his friend, Roy is the one who sold out Cole to the press and corrupt leadership about his affair with Elsa.
- Another bit of irony is that the end credits, after the epilogue, start with Elsa singing, "I Always Kill the Things I Love." Cole dies rescuing Elsa, and this may be a subtle reference to that fact. Once Elsa finishes "I Always Kill the Things I Love", she starts the song "Guilty", which may allude to the fact that she's feeling guilty of killing "the things [she] loves".
- This is one of two cases that has all of Cole's detective partners present. Roy Earle gives a eulogy, Herschel Biggs sits next to Elsa, Rusty Galloway sits behind Herschel and Elsa, and Stefan Bekowsky sits nearby; the other case is "The Driver's Seat."
- This is the only case that has all of Phelps' past superior officers are present.
- Although in church, every man at Cole's funeral has his hat on.
- Even though they are at a funeral, Rusty Galloway and Stefan Bekowsky are not wearing black.
- This is the only case, besides all the Patrol cases, that give no star ratings in L.A. Noire.
- Another possible reference to Red Dead Redemption is if you look closely on the wall of Rancho Rincon, you can see the double action revolver.
- In the credits, under Production Team, you can see the name "Lazlow. " Lazlow's first appearance was GTA III and has since worked on many Rockstar games.
- This is the only case where Cole's daughters are seen.
- This is the third case to feature rain, the first being The White Shoe Slaying, and the second being The Quarter Moon Murders.
- In the river tunnels before the final cutscene, Hogeboom may spawn. He has a friendly cursor, thus shooting him gives a mission failure.
- This case, along with the first three cases on the Patrol desk and the last case on the Homicide desk, are the only ones where Phelps doesn't conduct any interviews.