The Pandora Directive
The Pandora Directive(1996) is the fourth installment in the Tex Murphy series of adventure games produced by Access Software. In The Pandora Directive Tex again fights the forces of evil as he tries to stop a derilict spaceship from falling into the wrong hands and potentially destroy the world. The Pandora Directive combined full motion video (FMV) cutscenes with a 3D virtual world to explore.
The Pandora Directive was one of the first games to have multiple endings with the players choices at various key points affecting which one of eight endings they could get.This consisted of three types of endings:Mission Street which contained the best endings ,Lombard Street which contained grey morality endings and Boulavard of Broken Dreams which contained the evil endings.
Background[edit | edit source]
Like all Tex Murphy games, The Pandora Directive takes place in post-World War III San Francisco in April 2043. After the devastating events of WWIII, many major cities have been rebuilt (as is the case with New San Francisco), though certain areas still remain as they were before the war (as in Old San Francisco). WWIII also left another mark on the world: the formation of two classes of citizens. Specifically, the Mutants and the Norms. After the events of Under a Killing Moon, tensions between the two groups have begun to diminish. The end to the Crusade for Genetic Purity was a turning point in the relations between Mutants and "Norms".
Tex still lives on Chandler Ave., which recently underwent a city-funded cleanup. The events of WWIII still left the planet with no ozone layer, and to protect their citizens many countries adopted a time reversal. Instead of sleeping at night, and being awake in the day, humans have become nocturnal, in a manner of speaking. Though Tex lives in what is considered a Mutant area of town, he himself is a "Norm".In The Pandora Directive, Tex Murphy (Chris Jones) is hired by Gordon Fitzpatrick (Kevin McCarthy) to find his friend, Thomas Malloy (John Agar). Tex quickly discovers that Fitzpatrick is not the only one who is looking for Malloy and finds himself dragged into a dangerous situation. With few he can trust, Tex must try and unravel the mystery surrounding Malloy, and along the way he'll learn the devastating truth behind the greatest government conspiracy of all time collecting puzzle boxes along the way. The game has a large cast of characters ranging from the deranged to deadly. Several well-known actors starred, including Barry Corbin and Tanya Roberts.The title refers to the myth of Pandora's box with the secret hidden in the puzzle boxes found by Tex containg a danger that could threaten the world
Storyline[edit | edit source]
The story begins with a man in black infiltrating a woman's bedroom before strangling her.Tex is at Louie's with Chelsee who is flirting with him and giving hints to go on a date with him.She leaves the oblivious Tex who is confronted by Gordon Fitzpatrick who seeks Tex's help to search for Thomas Malloy who he had seen in a newspaper picture taken at San Francisco Technical University.He looks around the university but no-one recognises the name or face and when he is about to give up Sandra Collins, a college lab researcher who was working with his old collegue contacts him and tells him Malloy was working with her under the name Tyson Matthews.They arrange to meet but she doesnt show up and ends up dead few days later. Gordon gives Tex $4,000 to as a helping and he heads out on his new adventure.After searching around town and sorting out some errands and finding a chisel in the sewers Tex heads to Chelsees newstand where he arranges to meet Chelsee Bando for dinner at her place but after investigating Malloy's room at The Ritz, he is knocked unconscious by the man in black who had killed Sandra.
After investigating the room he is left with a letter from Oliver Edsen with a section written in Mayan ,another from a man named David Wright inviting Malloy to a cabin in Oreogan,a business card form the ACME Warehouse a pawn receipt from Rook's Pawnshop,some photos(one of a small girl named Reagan,another of Malloy with a Llama), a scarf and a book about the "Airport of the Gods".Upon leaving he realises he has been knocked out for 16 hours and slept through their dinner date .He goes to Rook to cash in the receipt from Malloy's room at the Ritz to get a black dagger.His investigations about the scarf lead him to a young blonde girl who was with Malloy whose name was Emily from Louie who in turn directs him to Clint who may be able to translate the letter in Yucatan as he spent time at the area.At the Electronics Shop Tex is held at gunpoint by the new owner Zack Williams and has his credit card shot and forced to pay $1,230(including $623 in interest) for late payments.He buys the Visual Analyzer Apparatus and heads to Clints Coca Cobana at Coit Tower.Clint is unable to translate the letter only have a amateur grasp of the language but does reveal the owner of the scarf as belonging a dancer at the Fuschia Flamingo named Luci Luv aka Emily.He reveals that the owner Gus Leach who owns the club came in with her and dropped a key which he gives to Murphy that leads to the delivery room of the club.After meeting the owner of the club through a back door he returns the scarf he determines that Emily does indeed work there.Tex then returns to Chelsee's apartment to get to the Fuchsia Flamingo after showing her his injuries from the night before .Black Arrow Killer" which is dangerous terriotory and has moved his operations to San Fransisco.He also hands Tex the Key to Krusty's Funhouse.At Wrights cabin he realises that something is amiss and there finds a CD and blood spattered around the place with a hole in the window.Behind a painting he finds a security keypad for a door.Back at his office he enters the CD into his laptop to solve a puzzle to get the code to the security door as well as information on the Mayans,their calender,religion,langauge and references to "Outsideres" inside the door he finds a map of the Yucatan Peninsula,and the body of David Wright under a floorboard.He also finds some old film and a projector and views a video of an alien autopsy similar to the fake one from the Roswell incident of the 1950's.Lucia Pernell.Investigating Rusty's Funhouse to find the police have already searched the place and the water cooler locked.In an alley next to the ACME warehouse Tex meets Crazy Gary and after giving him some scotch from the Slice of Heaven Pizza Parlour, Tex gets a key he had seen dropped from Malloy to a warehouse belonging to Malloy wherein he finds a tapestry, a photo of the Plains of Nazca and a map of Asia amongst other items. At Rooks he buys a book called "Yucatec Made Easy" as well as a business card belonging to Lucia as she interviewed him regarding a series of burgularies in the area.He reads the letter which details about Oliver Edsen's journey to Yucatan Peninsula where he was given a phrase(translated as 4 AHAW .8 KUMAK'U .BLACK SUN SKY. 4 GODS. DIVINE BIRD.MOUNTAIN) from a native who brought him to a holy place never seen by anyone in centuries.He also mentions to send a box to his Sak Pakall Hotel in California.Back at his office Tex arranges a meeting with Lucia Pernell at Louies after calling her number.She explains to Murphy that the real Black Arrow Killer Leroy Kettler was caught in Arizona and apparently killed himself in jail after being visited by two NSA agents and that his confession was covered up by the NSA to the media.This was before the recent murder of Sandra Collins with the same modus operandi and reveals that back in Arizona there was also P.I. who asked alot of questions who eventually ended up dead of an apparent suicide. Jackson Cross, a NSA agent who reveals that Dag Horton, a fellow agent was allegedly posing as the Black Arrow Killer to clamp down on drugs trafficking in the Fuchsia Flamingo.Tex lets him in on what he knows with regards to Emily and the box which is then taken into the AUTOTEC headquarters. After being dropped off at his office, Tex is meets the Brunette woman Regan Madsen who reveals herself to be Malloy's daughter and that their are several puzzle boxes like Emily's that are others floating around and they have items that worth a large fortune. She leaves after giving Tex her phone number. Tex talks to Chelsee briefly and she says shell be back in a week and has a special present for him. Using the data on the envelope wrapper with help from Mac Malden Tex was able to trace the clues to his next location , the post office on Mission Street where a loiter upon seeing the photo of Malloy tells him to check out some of the boarding houses.After and hour he finds the Garden House apartments where Malloy is staying. Inside he finds a CD, an anagram book from the Lucia Pernell newspaper and Cosmic Connection magazine. After attempting to access the CD at his office, Tex heads back to the Garden House where he finds that Malloy has headed to the Waterfront Warehouse. Here Tex meets Malloy who reveals that he and Fitzpatrick worked in Roswell in the 1980's examining the wreckage and technology from the alien spacecraft that crashed landed there. These include examining both hieroglyphics and they found a device that could generate minute amounts of anti-hydrogen particles which the government used as weapons against the middle east in the early 1990s that led to World War III resulting in the contamination and damage to the biosphere. At the end of their conversation, two NSA agents appear and after Malloy gets his gun out he kills one the other kills Malloy in a standoff that releases gasoline from a barrel. Tex sets fire to the remaining barrels of gasoline with a cigarette to escape the agents. The next night Tex meets up with Fitzpatrick and informs him of Malloy' s death. Tex presses Fitzpatrick about the work done at Roswell and the events after World War III in China. It is revealed that Malloy was deciphering the hieroglyphs on the wreckage but was unable to translate one of them: the black sun. Furthermore it is revealed that he deciphered that a second ship had arrived on Earth some time ago. Both of these were common motifs on the hieroglyphs. Fitzpatrick fears that the government intends on finding the ship in order to secure the technology also reveals that not only he has a box himself but that Tex should also retrieve the one he lost so they can continue their research. Tex admits he is more likely to trust Fitzpatrick than Regan after Gordon explains that because he has acquired a great deal of wealth his only concern in life is to finish Malloys work and find out what needs to be done with the spacecraft . Back at the Waterfront Warehouse after buying the Robco Safe Buster from the Zack ,Tex finds notes in a safe from Malloy about Item 186 and that he sent out exactly five boxes to his friends and family from a postal receipt. Furthermore in the safe, he finds a diagram relating to a containment chamber as well as key for his closet in the Garden House. This leads to a book called “Messages From Outer Space” by JI Thelwitt with attempts at an anagram inside, a photo of The Gate To the Sun as well as a notebook in a briefcase.Tex meets Regan at the Imperial Hotel where he breaks the bad news to her after she details her childhood and hands over her box in exchange for her notebook. Archie Ellis, editor of the Cosmic Connection who is contacted by Tex. A distorted image and voice awaits Tex asking about the author of "There are Messages from Space", the alien landing strips at Mexico and the structure at Tia Juana (JI Thelwitt's Plains of Nazca and Gate of the Sun).He is then led to Archie Ellis, an expert in UFO’s and writer for the Cosmic Connection who had met and recorded an interview with Malloy.
1.Mission Street: Date with Chelsee
Everyone boards the ship.Fitzpatrick traps Reagan and Jackson Cross in the Power Cell Room, but not before Cross fatally wounds Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick urges Tex to activate the anti-hydrogen bomb inside and reveals to Tex that he will be able to fly the ship away from earth as he can control it as he reveals that his father was in fact one of the aliens who impregnated his mother.Tex sets the bomb off with a button denoted by the black sun, and leaves the ship before it takes off. Elijah Witt appears The dinner at Chelsee's place finally comes to pass, she is hesitant to believe his story or indeed any of his stories but she rewards Tex with a somewhat unorthodox striptease as a cowgirl.
To get this Tex did all the right things with Chelsee: take her offer to dinner at her house, apologize and show the bump on your body after being knocked out by Dag Horton,decided not to take her to the Fuschia Flamingo and fought off Regan's attempts to seduce him. He also managed to keep on the right side of most of the Chandler St. denizens ie. saving Emily and Archie and sending the money to the orphanage.This is considered canon as Archie and Emily are alive in 2050 and the lasso appears in the Chelsee shrine.
2.Mission Street: Holodate
The same events occur but Chelsee reveals that she isn’t ready to take their relationship to the next level and that she is going on a date with a Clark Gable hologram suggesting Tex do the same. He does the same with Jayne Mansfield and Anna Nicole Smith holograms. He comments that things could be worse off.
To get this Tex must do all the right things with Chelsee like before and fought off Regan's attempts to seduce you but did not keep on the right side of the denizens of Chandler St. ie. allow Emily to die.
Same sequence of events on the ship and 'holodate' ending, but with a different variation on the dialogue.
To get this ending Tex messed up with Chelsee being a schmuck with her, but was nice enough to the rest of the citizens of Chandler Avenue.
4.Lombard: Tears of a Clown
Everyone boards the ship. Regan and Jackson Cross get themselves trapped in the Power Cell Room, but Cross shoots Tex in the leg first. Fitzpatrick allows Tex to limp off the ship, then sets the controls himself and destroys the ship.Tex is picked up by Elijah Witt to a hospital and winds up as a disillusioned clown!
To get this ending Tex got it wrong with Chelsee, but was nice enough to most other people and also slept with Regan.
5.Boulavard of Broken Dreams: Tears Of a Clown
When Fitzpatrick arrives Cross asks Tex to prove his loyalty by killing him.He refuses and they enter the spaceship where the same events as earlier carry out with Tex being shot in the leg. He escapes and decides to become a clown.
To get this ending Tex must blow it with Chelsee, mess up generally early on (Allow Emily to die), but pull yourself together in the end by helping some people and refusing Regan's offer for sex.
6.Boulavard of Broken Dreams: Tex’s Achilles Heel
When Cross asks Tex to shoot Fitzpatrick, he chooses to drop the gun. Everyone boards the ship. Fitzpatrick traps Cross and Regan in the Power Cell Room, but Cross shoots Tex in the leg before the door closes. There is no time for Tex to get off the ship before Fitzpatrick destroys it.
To get this ending Tex must blow it with Chelsee and save Emily and refuse Reagan.
7.Boulavard of Broken Dreams:Carte Blanche
When on the evil path given the option to shoot Fitzpatrick Tex decides to shoot Cross instead. The gun is revealed to be empty and Cross kills Tex where he stands.
8.Boulavard of Broken Dreams: The Lowest of the Low
Tex to shoot Fitzpatrick under orders from Cross only to find out the gun is empty. Everyone boards the ship. Fitzpatrick traps Cross, Regan and Tex in the Power Cell Room. Tex helps them to escape using his penknife, but it's too late as they've left the Earth's atmosphere and Fitzpatrick destroys the ship with everyone aboard. The now dead Tex ponders his actions and briefly converse with God.
To do this he must be evil in every way possible like taking the orphanage and Nilos money as well as letting Emily die.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
The Pandora Directive is the second game to make use of Under a Killing Moon's engine, and featured real-time 3D graphics. Players explore environments from a first-person perspective and can click to examine objects or interact using a variety of verbs. In addition to verb interaction, players can gather, use, and combine items to solve a variety of puzzles, and must also solve self-contained logic puzzles. Character interaction consists of two primary modes: asking characters about a universal list of topics available to the player, and branching dialog trees. These dialog trees were unusual at the time in that they did not display Tex's full response, but rather a short and sometimes humorous description, a convention later popularized by Bioware.
The Pandora Directive was one of the first adventure games to feature branching narratives and multiple endings. The player could take Tex down "Mission Street" where he takes the high road and wins the love of his long time crush, Chelsee Bando. Mission Street has three possible endings. Down "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", Tex is a selfish and cynical jerk worrying only about the big payoff. Boulevard of Broken Dreams leads to four possible endings. If the player chooses neither path, Tex will go down "Lombard Street". On this path, he's not really a nice guy, but he's not mean either. Lombard Street leads to two possible endings, both of which are common to Mission Street. The "best" Mission Street ending is achieved when the player has taken the high road every time he was given the choice, and by exactly following two conversation paths earlier in the game.The Pandora Directive provided two difficulty settings, Entertainment and Game Players mode. On Entertainment, hints were available and the player could bypass certain puzzles if the player so chose. Some minor objects and video scenes were available on this setting that were not available on Game Players
Like "Under A Killing Moon" it is separated into "Days" and allows players some freedom as to the choice as to when certain events are carried out.
Soundtrack[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- David Wright is also the name of one of the Artists working on the game.
- Emily Sue Patterson sings the original song 'Body and Soul'.
- Beside the fireplace in David Wright's cabin where the painting falls. There are the initials BA. These are the initials of Beau Anderson, one of the VR designers.
- Tex's guitar is signed by Richie Havens.
- The Surgeon General's warning says: "When you smoke you suck" and there is a little sign underneath which says Larsen. Nathan Larsen is one of the Art Director's of the Pandora Directive.
Pop culture references[edit | edit source]
- At the beginning of the game, the Black Arrow Killer throws a copy of Under a Killing Moon off Sandra Collins' shelf.
- In the Fuchsia Flamingo, there is game box of Amazon.
- Company names are parodied: Sony = Sany, Camel cigarettes = Llama cigarettes. Llama advertisement also has a rhyme written beside (Hey kids,/Don't Let Llama Clause down,/start smoking his cigs/before he hits town!)
- If you look at the painting at the bottom of the stairwell in the Ritz Hotel, Tex will mention Sam and Max, the characters from a LucasArts adventure game and animated television series.
- If you look at the orange painting on the wall in Tex's office (to the right of the front door) Tex says, "This alien landscape reminds me of the Old Star Trek episode where they get that distress call, then Captain Kirk meets that beautiful woman, then he and Spock barely escape, then Kirk makes that funny joke right at the end." (which sums up the formula of most Star Trek TOS episodes)
- In the lobby of Autotech, there is a magazine with a picture of the Under a Killing Moon box on the front cover.
- The alley behind Rook's Pawnshop is marked with spray can. One mark on the left say "No Key" (where Tex found a key in the previous game). The one on the right says "Choco Man" (where Tex found Clint in a dumpster).
- At the morgue, Tex can find Pug's head in a jar, having been decapitated by the Chameleon, and his head stuffed in Tex's water cooler.
- In the article "Movies and Shakers" from the newspaper from Rook's trashcan it mentions a 91-year-old Bruce Willis working on Die Hard XVII: Still Alive and Kicking in which there is a terrorist plot to take over a Fort Lauderdale retirement community. Also in this article it says that the 1995 film "Waterworld" starring Kevin Costner finally broke even.
- In the Electronics Shop there are "Geordi LaForge visors" named after a main character from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- In Storage Room 102 at Roswell there is something that resembles a bowling ball on the shelf which reminds Tex of a Fred Flintstone's bowling ball.
- In the Metallurgy Lab at Roswell (accessed via the ventilation shaft) there is a tank in one corner of the room about which Tex says, "I haven't seen tanks like this before, except on Seaquest."
- In the Miscellaneous Storage room of the third level of Roswell, there is an object sitting on top of the crate with the striker about which Tex says, "Looks like a leg fell off an Imperial Walker."
- When Tex calls Archie Ellis, there is a possible response called "Hobbit Humor". When you select this Tex says "I am Gandalf, Wielder of the Glamdring and Slayer of the Balrog." the left is a shot of Gandalf facing the Balrog in the movie adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring.