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The player assumes the role of Marîd Audran, a private detective. The game is set in "The Budayeen", an entertainment/criminal quarter in an unnamed city somewhere in the Mideast that is a seedy reflection of modern-day New Orleans. While running a series of errands/"business deals" for "Saied the Half-Hajj", a friend of Marîd's, Marîd is framed for the murder of a man named Kenji Carter. Although Marîd's influential patron Friedlander Bey clears him with the local police, Bey asks him to look into Carter's death. Doing so leads Marîd deep into the criminal underworld of the Budayeen.