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The Great MSR Missing Persons Poster Hunt - Part 2: We Found Them!

Some time ago - in September 2017 to be precise - we published a story here at the Junkyard about a lesser known mystery involving Metropolis Street Racer, something hitherto only known about by a very small number of people. During that period I was on a bit of an MSR streak, posting multiple articles about the game, so you'd be forgiven if you missed the post in question.

Titled 'The Great MSR Missing Persons Poster Hunt,' it told the story of a chap named Grant, who had been friends with one of the artists, Mark Sharratt, during the development of MSR. For convenience, here's what Grant told us back then:

The back story is that one of my best mates 'back in the day,' was a guy called Mark Sharratt. He was working for Bizarre Creations and was one of the lead artists for Metropolis Street Racer and even got to travel to San Francisco and Tokyo as part of research for the game. He took photos of my friend, brother and myself and then secretly scanned them into the game, uploading them into the game as 'missing persons' posters, of which two were hidden in San Francisco and one in Tokyo (if I remember correctly). 

As it is with most people, friends move and lose contact over time, so unfortunately I cannot get the exact locations of the posters. I think you would be the first person to point out the missing posters if you did include them in your story, as they have been a secret between friends ever since the game came out all those years ago.

Basically, Mark took photos of Grant, his brother and their friend (on a Gameboy Camera by the looks of things), turned them into fake 'Missing' posters and secretly placed the low res scans into the final version of MSR, presumably without permission or alerting anyone to their existence. We only knew the exact location of one of these elusive posters...until now, that is.

I must admit that I had been meaning to scour MSR even more than I already have over the past couple of decades to try to find the other two posters, but we literally had no clue as to where they could be squirrelled away within Metropolis Street Racer's sprawling labyrinthine courses (other than Grant's dim recollection that two were in San Francisco and one was in Tokyo); and I was fully expecting to have to go meticulously around every circuit in those locations, looking at every facade and down every alley in the hope of catching a glimpse of the infamous posters. Alas, it seems that somebody else has done at least some of the work for me, as a second Missing poster has now been found!

Yes, just as Grant alluded to, the second poster has been found in the San Francisco area...on the very same circuit as the first poster! Kudos for this discovery goes to Dan Murray, who contacted us on Twitter to let us know he had made the amazing discovery:

What's amazing to me is that I had already been around the same circuit (in the Pacific Heights district of San Francisco, on the Gough North track) multiple times while searching for the initial poster found...so how I missed the other one I have no idea! Here's the poster and the locations of posters 1 and 2 on the map, along with a better shot of the first poster:

So yes - massive thanks to Dan Murray for reigniting this search. It gets better though, oh yes. While searching for the second poster that Dan had found on the very same circuit, I inadvertantly stumbled upon the third and final one too! It appears that the Tokyo link was a red herring after all, and Mark Sharratt had hidden all three of the Missing posters in the same place, and there they remained, hidden in plain sight for the best part of two decades! So here, we present to you the third and final Missing poster (and location), locked in time:

Due to the fact that I took these shots using the DCHDMI, we can now even make out the text under the mugshots, which reads 'last seen 31.12.99' which is the British date format (Bizarre Creations were based in Liverpool), and this all marries up with the fact that Mark Sharratt is listed as the artist responsible for the San Francisco environment in the MSR credits. Video of locations below:

What we'd love to see is the people in these photos (who must all be adults by now) recreate these poses for a new set of missing posters...we'll see what we can do! For now though, another Dreamcast mystery is solved, and there's nothing more satisying than that.

An artist's impression of a red herring.

What do you think? Is this one of the best Dreamcast Easter Eggs ever, or are there better ones still yet to be discovered? Let us know in the comments!


Related MSR themed articles:

3 comments:

  1. Another excellent quest complete. Maybe in 2021 you'll find the "this is a Dreamcast disc" lady.

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  2. Who got the last "special" console that Bellfield was talking about: "And here's something special; the last one that ship, there will be a very special last Dreamcast and I would love to know who's getting that one."
    The IGN article

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  3. Very cool! Also not just taken on the Gameboy camera, but printed on its printer and then scanned from the looks of it!

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