This is my ongoing exploration of the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell games, played in release order. I will chronicle my playthrough of each title in turn and discuss any recurring themes and noteworthy events.
The information retrieved from Seoul confirmed that Displace International had something to do with the sinking of the USS Walsh, so the meeting Shetland was having in Tokyo obviously couldn’t be allowed to take place…
We had no way of knowing who the meeting was involving, so that was a top priority, as well as stopping the exchange of the Masse Kernels. I was dropped a short distance from the bathhouse where the meeting was taking place. Redding passed on information that Frances Coen - the one driving Sam everywhere in the last three games - wanted the phones bugged. She was after the Red Nishin criminal organisation, so I added that to my list of objectives.
I left the alleyway I was in, and spotted someone fiddling with some kind of junction box, so I grabbed him. He was sorting out the internet for Shetland’s project, some kind of dark web alternative. I knocked him out and observed the two people patrolling the street as they split up. Moving around some boxes, I grabbed one and knocked him out in the shadows, then waited for his mate to come back before punching him out and hiding his body. I headed into a sewer and up into the bathhouse basement, being warned by Lambert not to murder any civilians.
Making my way through, someone entered and radioed that everything was fine down here, then went to turn the light on. I grabbed him and interrogated him, but he knew nothing other than the fact that he was supposed to check the basement was clear.
After dumping his unconscious body, I continued and almost stumbled into a guy chilling in a chair. I tried to distract him by hitting his fan with an EMP, but he didn’t move, so I went around some blankets and EMP’d the light. He went to check the light switch, I knocked him out and turned off the lights.
Up some steps there was a door which led into the bathhouse proper, with two men patrolling and a civilian. I turned off the light and hid behind a counter, then grabbed him and knocked him out. I turned the light off again, and grabbed his mate too, though neither knew anything interesting. I had to knock out the civilian, too, when he noticed me sneaking past him.
Lambert reminded me that I had to find out whom Shetland was meeting, when I tried to enter the locker room, so I turned around and went the opposite way. Two men were discussing what they were up to, before one went outside. A quick interrogation later, I turned the outside lights off, and stowed his unconscious body with his mate in a storage room.
After turning off the camera by hacking a computer, I went upstairs and almost stumbled into another sentry. I waited for him to get closer, to see if he would turn around, but when he started moving to collide with me I hit him with an airfoil round.
One of the doors didn’t open, a second had a sleeping civilian inside, but after hacking the code on the third, I found the information I needed in a filing cabinet. I headed back downstairs to the locker room, and grabbed a guy patrolling it. He told me that there was a pool to the left which probably wasn’t being guarded, so I let him off with a choking out.
The plastic sheet blocking the way was no match for my knife, and I entered the pool area (undergoing renovation) to find two men patrolling. I shot the overhead light with an EMP and moved through the shadows to a scaffold that had been set up, and carefully made my way over the homophobic guard and his mate. Somehow they spotted something, and wandered off together, leaving me to drop down and fiddle with the telephone exchange behind them.
Through a corridor, I was given the tip to use my thermal vision to see anyone through the steam. Who gave me that tip, was it Grim, Lambert? No, it was two more guards complaining that they couldn’t see. Unfortunately, I bumped into a civilian and his yelling alerted them. I managed to knock him out and scarper before the goons found me in the steam.
I shot an EMP at the light in the next hallway, which opened into a room with a guard and a turret. The light tricked the guard into the hallway with me, but worried that the light was about to come back on I jacked him in the face.
Of course, this was overheard by one of the guards from the previous room, so I shot the light again and intercepted him with another right hook. Which alerted the second guy from that room… I shot the light with a bullet, then went into the room with the turret. I quickly turned a valve to fill the room with steam, then sauntered past the turret easily.
I witnessed a guard armed with night vision goggles walk off down a hallway, so blew out a candle ahead of me. It wouldn’t stop him seeing me, but he would be curious. While I waited for him to return, I tapped the final phone exchange for Coen, and hid behind the desk. As I expected, the guard came over to relight the candle, and I grabbed him, and stashed him behind the desk.
Winding up in a seemingly impassable situation, I was faced with a guard who wouldn’t look away from the doorway he was guarding. If I tried to sneak around the corner, the light coming through the windows would illuminate me. I decided to risk being shot and very carefully edged around with my SC-20K drawn. I fired a sticky camera at his feet, which he noticed - but as he went to kick it I gassed him and he crumpled to the floor. I rather easily grabbed his mate who was patrolling, then went into the hot spring nextdoor.
There was a glass wall with some plants behind it which looked suspicious, so I went back there and spotted a vent. Eagerly climbing inside, it was a short distance to find the room that Shetland was having his meeting in.
I had been warned that the I-SDF (Japan’s Information Self-Defense Force) were coming in to take down Shetland, so I was on a time limit. It turned out that the intel was wrong - the I-SDF was meeting with him to buy the Masse Kernels! Lambert ordered me to not move against the Japanese when they double crossed him, while I hacked the laptop remotely from my place in the vent, finding an email titled Chaos Theory. Shetland’s men were gunned down, but he managed to shoot the three men before making a run for it.
Lambert barked for me to give chase, which I happily accepted. I reversed out of the vent shaft to the sound of explosions and gunfire as the I-SDF opened fire on the Displace mercenaries. I tried to go out the way I had come in, but there were blockades on either side, and it would put me in the crossfire. So I hugged the wall and shot the two mercs with sticky shockers. They were closer, I wasn’t choosing a side.
A vent was to one side of the hot spring, so I snuck through there and outran the soldiers firing at me, heading around to where the meeting had taken place. Despite having already hacked the laptop, I went in and shot the camera above the door with an EMP. There was ammo and a couple of grenades which I grabbed, then went through to where there was a wall mine - which I disarmed and pocketed.
The next room had several of Shetland’s men with night vision goggles on. I threw a couple of smoke bombs into the room and made a run for it, managing to get through without being spotted. Or, more importantly, without being shot. There was another wall mine around the corner, which I disarmed before going through the door.
Shetland was there, running through the boiler room, but disappeared before I could get my gun out. I broke the lock on a gate and went through as he was talking, and suddenly Lambert exclaimed that Shetland had planted bombs. I had a minute and a half to stop them.
The first was located beneath the gantry Shetland had run away on, and he taunted me some more whilst I disarmed it. I slid out of the gap to the sound of a guard investigating the lock I had broken, so I got my SC-20K ready and shot him in the back with an airfoil round once he had climbed the stairs.
The timer had begun counting down from a minute and a half again, but I reached it further along the gantry, on one of the support struts. After more taunting, I heard two men talking about the broken lock as well as the other guard I had knocked out, so I quickly climbed back onto the gantry to look for the third and final bomb.
It was located across a small gap which took me an embarrassingly large amount of attempts to jump across, but it was disarmed with time to spare. I jumped back to the gantry and rushed out through the door - the sound of a helicopter was loud and clear, and no doubt he was trying to escape like last time.
Another one of his men was on the other side of the door, so I slapped him down and ran past. I hurried up the stairs at the end of the corridor and out into the open.
Shetland pulled a gun, and Sam pulled his. The two had a fairly civilised chat about what the latter’s plans were - plummet the world into chaos in hopes of something better rising from the ashes. A helicopter circled overhead with a spotlight trained on the two, until finally Shetland lowered his weapon, having backed up to a window.
“You wouldn’t shoot an old friend.” he said confidently. So I shot him in the face.
My job wasn’t over, however, as Third Echelon still had to find out who was really behind all of this. The Japanese government, or Admiral Otomo...