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.
Due to the age of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, I am using a widescreen fix, as well as the PlayStation 3 texture pack, both of which are available at http://thirteenag.github.io/wfp#scpt . It was released in 2004, and from just the opening cutscene the graphical improvement is obvious.
Having assassinated former-President Nikoladze, ousted leader of Georgia, Sam was apparently kept in the office doing paperwork. As such, his first field assignment “in a while” was when terrorists attacked the American embassy in East Timor. They were being led by someone that Fisher recognised -- Sadono, and Colonel Lambert sent him in to check it out.
When he arrived, the building was still on fire from an explosion, and I had to make my way through a village a short distance from the embassy. I had arrived by boat, presumably to remain inconspicuous; as I went, I was re-introduced to Lambert and Anna Grímstóttir (the tech), as well as the new face of D.P. Brunton, the new inter-agency consultant. I also discovered that mines were probably going to be an ongoing problem, since they put them right in the first part of the opening mission...
The first person I met, I distracted by shooting out a light, then throttling him and chucking him in a dark corner. I was under a strict no-killing rule, so my bullets were only good for breaking things… I then had to sneak through a river, but rather than avoid the man patrolling on the other bank, I whistled (Sam seems to have learnt how since 2002) to get his attention, and knocked him out behind a van.
Heading down river, as I was supposed to avoid the main entrance, I came across another guy. This one I had to interrogate. I still dragged him into a dark corner before I did so, and he told me about how they had escorted someone for Sadono, but didn’t know the name. I thanked him and knocked him out, just as his mate left the nearby bunk room to chat. He went back inside a few seconds later, so I followed him and knocked him out for good measure. I then scaled the pipe attached to the compound wall, and was inside the embassy grounds.
I climbed a couple of ladders and hugged the wall to avoid being seen by a man with binoculars. Lambert told me to freeze, as Sadono was interrogating a hostage. The hostage explained that all he heard was someone shout “Pandora Tomorrow”. Sadono shot him and checked with his men that Douglas Shetland was being held separate for interrogation; luckily, that was Sam’s consultant friend whom he was trying to get in contact with. I went along the balcony and across a ledge where the balcony was missing/on fire. The next room I came across was, luckily enough, holding Douglas, so I knocked out his interrogator and Sam had a chat with him.
Douglas handed over a memory stick (alluded to have been hidden inside his arse), which had an encrypted email on it. Grímstóttir cracked it easily, but it was in a foreign language which Brunton said was Timorese Mambae. Luckily, there was a CIA linguist in the embassy -- and unluckily not in America -- called Ingrid Karlthson. She was being held in a tower behind the embassy grounds, and I had to get her.
I went downstairs and shot out a light to get one of the patrolling men’s attention, before grabbing him and knocking him out. There were two men looking at something on the ground, or maybe betting at jacks it wasn’t easy to tell. I threw a bottle to distract them, but it went wrong and they spotted me. Luckily, I managed to get out of sight and disappear out the back door in the next hallway, unseen.
The courtyard between myself and Ingrid had two spotlights, and a guard with a night vision headset on. Lambert was right that I wouldn’t like his idea when he suggested I walk in the spotlight to avoid the night vision. It did work as planned, however, and I went up the tower stairs to knock him out before speaking to Ingrid in the room. She translated the email, reading out coordinates, and a date. It was signed off by Mortified_Penguin, who even Third Echelon’s resources couldn’t identify, other than having ties to lots of nasty people.
Lambert told me that I had to meet up with Coen in the Osprey -- the black helicopter Sam used to get around -- and that I was welcome to shoot anyone who got in my way. The embassy was about to be raided by Delta Force, so no casualties would be tied to me.
I went back downstairs, and out the back door. The Osprey couldn’t land until I took out the power to all of the spotlights in the area, so I shot everyone between myself and the jetty, then went back to disable the two power supplies. I then went to meet Coen, and find out where Mortified_Penguin was going to strike…