I've had some trouble getting the chasers to work with the setup script... but on the plus side, I figured out how to program in some cheat codes. I can now skip to the next level or restart the current one. For testing purposes, of course.
At first I had trouble getting the script to choose a mesh based on the list in the pino file. As a temporary fix I just used one mesh as the default, which led to the player being chased by a horde of tiny bathtubs, but now I think I'm back on track to reproducing the meshes in the original game. I was using Resources.Load to select the correct mesh and load it into the script, but it kept returning Null. The problem, as it turned out, wasn't Unity's fault; some of the meshes had different names than were listed in the pino file, so I was sending Unity on a snipe hunt looking for toilet or robot when the mesh I really wanted was toilet_bowl or robot2.
Now that the script is loading the meshes properly, I don't have to go with the tedious alternative of creating a prefab for every single object. I do, however, have to make sure that the script adds all the necessary components--since I'm not using prefabs, the objects won't come with the script, collider, and tags built right in. This proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. For one thing, it turned out that the Resources folder contained both object files and Maya binaries, and they all had the same names, so half the time I would get the wrong kind of file! I moved all the object files into another folder so Unity wouldn't get confused.
For some reason, even after I fixed all this, the car object was still refusing to use physics functions. When I added rigidbodies, it disappeared entirely--I think it may have fallen through the floor. I'm still not sure what's going on there.
Oh, and in other news, I finally changed the player's collider so she can't climb the walls, but I still had a bug where the player could slip through the walls at some of the corners. I changed the walls from planes to blocks, and somehow she's still getting through. Some of the chasers are also managing to climb the walls and make mischief. At least it got rid of the weird effect where the player's aura would wake up a chaser on the opposite side of a wall.