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So, on the finale mission, I'm trying it the payoff way rather than the revenge way, and I get to the mission Revenger's Tragedy, and I get going in the motorboat, chasing the helicopter, and Jacob is supposed to show up with his helicopter, and I get the message that he's coming, but I don't even see his helicopter --- there's a cyan arrow showing he's off to the right somewhere, over land, and meanwhile, chasing the bad guy helicopter, it eventually goes over land where I can't get to it, and Jacob doesn't come to pick me up, so Demetri gets away. Is there a trick to getting Jacob to swoop in with the helicopter?
I see others have trouble jumping onto the helicopter, but it's not even an option yet, since it's nowhere to be found.
Ok, I think I solved my problem, and I'll post it here so others can learn from my pain.
So this is weird.
I got to the final mission in GTA IV on the PC (Well, the "cinematic" final mission, the one where, when you finish it, you get the end credits of the game).
You have to make a decision whether to make a deal or go for revenge.
A. When you make a deal, there's a point where you're in a speedboat, and you're supposed to leap onto the landing skids of your friend's helicopter to continue the chase. Only....your friend is nowhere to be seen, the radar shows his helicopter is off to the right somewhere, but, you lose the bad guy before he ever shows up. And have to replay the lengthy mission from the beginning, only to fail again. And again. And again.
B. So I tried it the revenge route. This time, I got further, in this variant, you're on a motorcycle, and there's a point where you have to jump off a ramp and again leap onto the landing skids of your friend's helicopter. I could manage this. But then you're supposed to hit SPACEBAR like crazy to get on the helicopter, and....it wouldn't happen. I'd jam on the spacebar. To no avail. And fail the mission, have to restart from the beginning. And again. And again.
I finally began to realize, you know, I am actually capable of hitting the SPACEBAR pretty fast, it almost seems like there's something wrong with the game here.
So, a little web research, and some, but not all people were having the same problem.
What it seems is, my 2011 computer is just too much for this 2008 game, and some combination of hardware and/or Windows 7 just isn't causing the game to behave properly.
So, I tried a suggestion that some people had success with: They were using a demo program called FRAPS that allows you to capture video from games. Basically, you start it running, go back in the game, it displays your framerate in the upper left of the game in yellow (mine is usually in the 70s) and, when you want to capture video, you hit F9 and that upper left framerate text turns red and reduces to 30 fps (i.e., video capture speed).
So I tried this, and it worked. In the A. scenario, when the speedboat versus helicopter chase starts, I just kept hitting F9 every 30 seconds (in the demo of FRAPS, that's all it records, 30 seconds), and when I did that, my friend's helicopter showed up at the right time in the right place, and I was able to make the leap to it.
Then in the B. scenario, once I leaped onto the helicopter skids from the motorcycle jump, hitting F9 to start FRAPS video capture and slow things down to 30 fps also enabled my spacebar-hitting to successfully work.
So...cool...I can continue with the game (despite that being the "finale", there's still plenty of side missions I can do, I'm only at 61.80% completion).
But still, pretty annoying to discover that the game, unaltered, cannot be solved on my computer.