Deja Vu (NES) Walkthrough

Click here to view the Deja Vu (NES) description page for reviews, save files, and more information. 

Deja Vu (NES) Walkthrough

~by tankMage (February 2020) 

About this Walkthrough

My primary goal in writing this guide was to give players concise and efficient steps for completing the game. As a result, many of the features of Deja Vu are ignored by the walkthrough, because they are not necessary to complete the game. In cases where performing certain actions can prevent the player from solving the mystery, I attempted to include warnings, but there are so many things that can go wrong in this game that I surely missed something. With that in mind, it’s best to follow this or another walkthrough closely if you need help with a certain section of the game.


I. The Heads Up Display

    1. Cursor

    2. Goods/Inventory/Address

    3. Note

    4. Self

    5. Save

    6. Mini-Map

    7. Environment

II. Commands

    1. Exam.

    2. Speak 

    3. Move

    4. Take

    5. Use

    6. Open

    7. Leave

    8. Hit 

    9. Close

III. Tips

    1. Save Often and Make a Backup Save…or Two.

    2. Use Common Sense.

    3. Always Carry a Few Coins.

    4. Take Notes.

IV. Walkthrough 

    1. Joe’s Bar

    2. Peoria St.

    3. Stanford Arms, Kedzie St., and Sherman St.

    4. Clearing Your Name

I. The Heads Up Display

All of Deja Vu’s gameplay takes place on a menu based HUD. Below is a list of descriptions for each element of the HUD. See Section II. Commands for information on the in-game commands.

1. Cursor: Looks like a floating hand, used to activate Commands and click on things in the environment.

2. Goods/Inventory/Address: a list of items in the player’s possession or in containers like pockets and trash cans. Also displays addresses the player has learned.

3. Note: Click this to move the pages in Goods/Inventory left or right using the arrows. Clicking all the way left will bring up the Address book.  

4. Self: Click on this to use an item or command on yourself. Be careful with this one.

5. Save: Saves your current position in the game.

6. Mini-Map: Provides a rough outline of the location of doors and other exits. Clicking on the blue squares with the Move command active will make you change locations, given that the portal you are trying to move through is not closed or locked. Using the open or close command on the squares will perform the chosen action on the portal when applicable.

7. Environment: The world of Deja Vu. Use commands to interact with it.

II. Commands

To select a command, move the cursor onto it and press the A Button. With a command selected, you can interact with the environment, your inventory, and objects like file cabinets.

1. Exam. : Short for examine. Brings up a description of an object on screen or in an inventory. Examining a letter, sign, etc. will read out its written content.

2. Speak: Talk to a character on screen.

3. Move: Changes your location. You can click on things like open doors or ladders to transition to a new screen or click on a square on the mini-map to move.

4. Take: Remove an item from the environment or an inventory and place it in your goods.

5. Use: Some items can be applied to other items or objects in the environment. For example, a key can be used on a door to unlock it.

6. Open: Exactly as the name implies, this command opens things like doors, drawers, and boxes.

7. Leave: Drops an item in your possession. There are very few places where you can use this command.

8. Hit: Click on a person or object with this active to throw a punch. In the case of objects like buttons and switches, using Hit will merely press the button or flick the switch.

9. Close: Shuts drawers, doors, windows, and anything else that can be opened.

III. Tips

The world of Deja Vu is a dangerous one and it helps to have a few good rules of thumb to live by. The following tips will help players complete the game.

1. Save Often and Make a Backup Save…or Two.

It’s very possible to make a mistake in this game and die. Even worse, you can get permanently caught in a situation where you keep dying or can’t progress if you save at the wrong time. Save frequently and keep a secondary save in parts of the game you know are safe to prevent the headache of having to go through the game again to get to where you left off.

2. Use Common Sense.

Deja Vu tries to emulate real life, so you will often need to do things as you would in reality. For example, you cannot take a letter out of an envelope without first using the Open command on the envelope. Secondly, it’s wise to be careful of how you use certain items. The gun in particular is about as dangerous as it is useful and while it can be used to open doors, it can also get you in trouble if you go around shooting everyone you meet.

3. Always Carry a Few Coins.

Coins are very important if you want to complete this game. Every cab ride you take will cost 3 coins and you’ll need at least 15-18 coins to visit all of the necessary areas. Take some time to gamble in the Casino at Joe’s Bar early on so you have enough money. Don’t be shy about going back to the casino if you think you will need more money.

4. Take Notes.

This isn’t so necessary if you are using this guide, but it helps to jot things that seem important for future reference… this is a detective game after all. Taking notes will also make it easier to pick up where you left off.

IV. Walkthrough 

This walkthrough glosses over many of the game’s features, but you can complete Deja Vu rather quickly and with ease if you follow it closely.

1. Joe’s Bar

Key Items: Coat, Gun1, 7 Coins, Card, Key1, Bill, Key2, Capsules, Pencil, Key3

Bathroom Stall

-Examine the trench coat hanging from the hook in front of you to find that it has a pocket with a few items.

-Take the Coat and you will see that a holstered .38 is also hanging from the door, Take that as well to get Gun1.

-Press the Note button on the lower right to get into the coat pocket, then Take the 7 Coins and Wallet out of the pocket. 

-Open the wallet and take the $20-Bill, Card, and Key1.

-Now select the Open command and click the door in front of you to open it.

-Select the Move command and click on the open door to enter the main part of the bathroom.


-Examine the bathroom mirror and a brief cutscene of sorts will commence. 

-Open the door to the right and Move through it.


-There’s nothing in the room to the left (explore it if you wish) or in this hallway for that matter.

-Open the door in the upper right corner and Move through it to get to the bar.


-There’s nothing much here either, so Move up the steps to the left.

Second Floor Hallway

-Examine the smallest poster on the wall, just to the right of the door. Remember the name “Ace Harding”.

-Open the door up ahead and Move through it.

Reception Room

-A desk occupies much of this room, Examine it to find a drawer, then use the Open command to open the drawer.

-Open the Envel.1 in the drawer, then Take the Bill inside.

-Examine the bill, which has some info about a doctor and some drugs, as well as an address (Sherman) that the game will automatically note on the Address tab.

-Use Key1 on the door to the left (which should automatically open) and Move through it to the next room.


-Use the Open command on the body slumped over the office desk and take the Key2. 

-Open the desk and Take the Pencil and the Key3.

-Open the window behind the corpse and Move through it to reach the fire escape.

Fire Escape

-With Move selected, click the top square on the mini-map or the area up ahead to climb up one level.

-Open the window in the upper right after climbing up and Move through it to the next room.

Interrogation Room

-This room is dominated by a chair with restraints attached to it. Examine the medicine bottles on the shelf near the chair if you like, but don’t bother taking them. 

-DO NOT use the Medrezine bottle on yourself under any circumstances, it will kill you.

-Open the waste basket next to the chair and Take the Capsules from it. Do not put anything in these capsules before saving, because you will not be able to empty them out and they are very important.

-A blueish button that looks kind of like a light switch is just above the waste basket, use the Hit command on the button to open up an elevator. Move into the elevator.


The elevator will take you to several locations in and under Joe’s Bar. Hit one of the buttons right of the elevator door to go to a different floor. Here are where the buttons take you from top to bottom:

Button 1: Interrogation Room.

Button 2: Office. This is a one way trip, the doors will close behind you.

Button 3: Casino.

Button 4: Sewer.

-Hit the very last button in the elevator to go down into the sewer.


-The only thing on the first screen of this area is a large pipe, crawl into it with the Move command.

-Use Move once again to climb the ladder after going through the pipe.

-There are two doors in the room at the top of the ladder, Open the round door, then Move to the room on the other side of it.


-You can Use a coin on the slot machines in the casino to win some money. Try to gamble a bit at the slot machine until you have at least 15 coins, you will need them for cab rides later. The machines only pay out if you match all three reels, but you’ll usually win a fair amount when you hit.

-You will occasionally find a Coin if you examine the slot machines if you are broke.

-Highlighting the blue square on the bottom of the mini-map with the Move command selected will take you to the elevator.

-For now, exit the casino through the round door to return to the small hallway that leads to the sewer.

-Open the door on the right and Move into the wine cellar beyond it.

Wine Cellar

-Nothing of importance is in here, but you can open a shortcut that you can use to reach the casino from the bar by selecting Open and clicking on the blue square at the bottom of the mini-map. This will open a door you cannot see.

-Use the Move command on the same square to enter the bar.


-Save your game, the world outside of the bar is dangerous.

-Use Key3 on the front door of the bar to unlock it.

-Move through the door to get to Peoria St.

2. Peoria St.

Key Items: Note2, Map, Snapshot 

The game gets more dangerous now that you are outside and exposed to various threats, so save often here.


You will randomly encounter Muggers on Peoria St. One mugger is very large and your only option is to give him your money (activate the use command, select your $20 and Use it on him) or he will beat you up and take it anyway. The other mugger is a smaller guy with a gun. You can give him your money or use the Hit command on him to drive him away. He may return, but you can punch him three times. After that you will have to pay him to avoid dying. Do not shoot either mugger or the police will arrest you, which will lead to a Game Over.


-Open the front door of the black car sitting outside of Joe’s Bar by Using Key2 on it.

-Get inside the car by using the Move command on the interior of the car once the door is open.

-DO NOT Hit the circular switch in the lower left, it will make the car explode and end your adventure prematurely.

-Open the dashboard on the right to find the Note2, Map, and Snapshot. Take all of these things and Examine them.

-Examining the note will enter the West End address in your book. Examine the Map and Snapshot as well.

-Move out of the car to get back onto Peoria St.

Peoria St. East Side

It’s not really worth visiting the east side of Peoria St. at this point in the game. That said, some players may want to visit it just to meet the woman in red (and take her belongings) or see some death scenes. 

-If you go down the right side of the street from Joe’s Bar, you may randomly encounter a mysterious woman in a red dress.* You will have to Hit her right away or she will shoot you. Rummage through her purse once she is unconscious to get a $20-Bill and Gun2. The Cosmetic is worthless.

*Note: She seems more likely to appear if you enter the car before visiting the east end of Peoria.

-If you do not encounter the woman in red, you will arrive at the police station. Do not enter, the police will arrest you if you open the door. 

-DO NOT go to the right of the police station, you will automatically stumble into a construction site and die.

Peoria St. West Side

Warning: Do not ride the cabs if you have less than six coins. Each trip will cost you three coins, so you will need six to get to where you want to go and return. The cab drivers will call the cops if you cannot pay them, which will end the game. This means it is possible to get stuck and have to restart from scratch. It’s best to have 15 coins, so you can visit every location you need to explore in one trip. The yellow cabby is a bit more forgiving and will let you exit the cab at Peoria St. if you are broke. Visit the casino if you need more coins.

-Move west from Joe’s Bar and you will see a news stand. The paperboy will give you some info if you talk to him and you can even take a Newspaper from the lower right section of the stand, but none of this is necessary.

-Move west again and you will either run into a bum or see a gun shop. Give the bum a coin and he will tell you some interesting plot related stuff.

-The gun store, Pete’s All Nite Gun Palace, sells a gun for $20. You can also buy ammo here. Do not try to Hit the clerk or Use a gun on him, because he will kill you.

-Back on Peoria St., in front of the gun store, go west again to find a taxi cab. In fact, there’s another cab left of this one, but it doesn’t matter which one you take. Simply Move into the cab to enter it, the door is already open.

-Speak to the cabby and select Westend from the address book to go to Joe Siegel’s apartment. 

-You will have to give the driver three coins after you arrive at your destination. Select the Use command, then select coins from goods, and click on the “Pay Here” slot on the backside of the front seat to pay him.

-Move onto the street by selecting the square on the lower right side of the mini-map.

3. Stanford Arms, Kedzie St., and Sherman St.

Key Items: Note3, Note4, Key5, Diary, Bisodiumitis x3 (Medic.6), Pntothal (Medic.1), File5


-Open the door at the front of the apartment building and Move inside.

-You will see a private elevator in the lobby. Next to it is a slot for a card. Remember the wallet you found in the coat in the bathroom stall when the game started? Use that card on the slot to open the elevator. 

-Step inside the elevator and Use the card again on the slot inside the elevator to go up to Joe’s  penthouse.

Joe Siegal’s Penthouse

-Have a look around if you wish, but the only thing of importance can be found by Examining the rectangle (which is supposed to be a photo) on top of the fireplace to get the Kedzie address.

-Use the Move command on the blue square at the bottom of the mini-map to return to the elevator and Use the card to get back to the cab outside.

-Once inside the cab, Speak to the driver and give him the Kedzie address. Feed three more coins into the slot to leave the cab.

Kedzie St.

-After exiting the cab, activate Use and pick the gun from your inventory, then click on the door to shoot it open.

-Go inside the bungalow and Take the slips of paper, Note3 and Note4, from the small desk. Examining the papers will show that they are safe combinations.

-Open the desk drawer to find Key5 and the Diary. Take both items.

-Use the Open command on the Diary, and Take the Bookmark from it. You should Examine both the Diary and Bookmark afterwards.

-Go back to the cab and Speak to the driver. This time, give him the Sherman St. address.

Sherman St.

-Exit the cab and Open the door to the building it’s parked in front of so you can enter it.

-There’s a hallway to the right of the steps, Move into it.

Dr. Brody’s Office

-Use Key5 on the door that reads “Dr. Brody” and Move to the doctor’s office.

-Look for the black file cabinet in the lower right and shoot it with the gun to open it. The game implies there’s a combination to open it, but this is untrue.

-Read the files in the cabinet with the Examine command after you open it. All of the files are interesting, but File 4 is the most important. It will tell you that Bisodiumitis is the antidote to your memory loss.

-Look for the Bisodiumitis (Medic.6) on the medicine shelf next to the cabinet. It’s the shortest of the bottles on the shelf and there should be three of them in total. Take all three. Examine the bottles if you are unsure of what they are, taking the wrong one can be fatal.

-Use the Bisodiumitis, which appears as (Medic.6) in your inventory on the Capsule you found in the interrogation room trash can on the 3rd floor of the bar, then use the Capsule on yourself with the Self option. Your memory should start to return. Repeat this process two more times to fully cure yourself.

-Before leaving, take a bottle of Pntothal (Medic.1) from the medicine shelf.

-Return to the entrance of the office and Move up the steps.

Ace Harding’s Office 

-Upon reaching the second floor, you will notice an office door with someone standing on the other side of it. Use the gun on the silhouette behind the window before opening the door. Otherwise, you will be killed by a hitman who is waiting in your office.

-Next, Use Key5 on the door lock and Move into the office.

-Open the file cabinet and Take File5. Examine the other files to read them if you like.

-You can also Open the desk to get an Ammocase that you can use to reload your gun. You’ll need to open the ammocase to use the bullets.

-Return to the cab and Speak to the driver. Ask him to take you back to Peoria St.

4. Clearing Your Name

Key Items: Note1, Key4, Letter1, Memo, Letter2

It’s a good idea to visit the casino and do some gambling if you have less than six coins. You can always find more coins by Examining the slot machines if you are completely out of money.

Joe’s Bar

-Return to Joey Siegel’s office on the second floor of Joe’s Bar.

-There’s a wall safe in the upper left corner of the room with Joe’s corpse. Use Note3 on the safe to unlock it and open it.

-Open the Folder in the safe and take Note1 out of it, then Open the Box. Take Key4 from the box.


-Head back onto Peoria St. and take a look at the automobile parked outside of Joe’s Bar.

-There are a lot of blue squares on the mini-map for this area. Look for one near the center left of the map and click on it to Move to the car’s trunk.

-Use Key4 on the trunk to open it. Mrs. Sternwood is stuffed inside the trunk. 

-Examine her, then choose the Take command and click on the Gag around her mouth to remove it.

-Use the Pntothal (Medic.1) that you took from Dr. Brody’s office on the Capsules, then use the Capsules on Mrs. Sternwood.

-After being given the Sodium Pentathol, Sternwood will give you the AuburnRd. address.

-Make sure you have at least six coins and use one of the taxis on the west end of Peoria St. to go to Auburn Rd.

Auburn Rd.

-While outside of the house, Open the mailbox marked 626, then open the Envel.2 that’s inside. Take the Letter1 from the envelope and Examine it.

-Move up to the mansion door and select the Hit command, then click on the knocker. A butler will open the door.

-There’s no way the butler will let you in, so Hit him to knock him out and Move up the large staircase.

-There’s a hallway with two doors at the top of the steps, Open both doors and enter the one on the left.

Guest Room 

-You will see a woman who looks familiar sleeping in a bed in the room on the left. A night table is next to her bed. Open the table and Take the Memo.

-Use the pencil from Joe’s Bar on the Memo. The pencil will shade in the indentations on the memo and you can now read what was written on the paper that was torn off of it by using the Examine command. This memo will explain how you were framed.

Master Bedroom 

-Open the door right of the sleeping woman and Move into it to get to the master bedroom.

-Ignore the man sleeping in the bed and Open the night table next to him.

-Open the Envel.3 and Take the Letter2 out of it. Examine the letter.

-Leave the mansion and return to Peoria St.

-Save your game.


With all of the evidence collected, you can now clear your name, BUT you will have to dispose of the evidence they planted on you! This means entering the sewers and dumping a bunch of items.

Warning: Make sure you have a loaded gun before entering the Sewers, it’s possible to encounter an alligator that will eat you unless you shoot it. It’s a good idea to buy an extra gun at Pete’s gun store, since you’ll have to drop Gun1.

-Head back to where the car is sitting in front of Joe’s Bar. 

-Open the manhole cover and Move into the sewer. 

-Move south two squares to go deeper in the tunnel where you will see a stream of water, then start Leaving items using the Leave command. 

-You must leave the following items or the cops will arrest you when you go to the police station and you’ll get the bad ending:





-Move north three times to leave the sewers after dropping the planted evidence.

Police Station

-The Police Station is to the right of Joe’s Bar on Peoria St. Take the Memo, Letter1, and the Diary over to the station.

-Open the door to the station to complete the game!

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