Paris in the fall. The last months of the year, and the end of the millenium. The city holds many memories for me. Of cafés, of music, of love...and of death.
Broken Sword is an adventure game series created by game designer Charles Cecil of Revolution Software. The game series revolves around the adventures of George Stobbart and Nico Collard in several fictitious stories based on history and mythology. The first two games in the series are controlled by a traditional point-and-click interface. The third and fourth installments are based on a 3D graphics engine, with the third game using a direct control mechanism. The fourth game returns to the standard point-and-click interface but within the 3D environment. A film, based on the first Broken Sword game, has been planned and is ready to be written.The games in the series are:
Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror (1997) — set in Central America, the Caribbean, London and France. Features Aztec mythology.
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (2003) — set in England, France, Prague and Egypt. Features Arthurian legend.
Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (2006) — set in New York, Istanbul, Rome and the Vatican City. Features The Knights Templar again.
A fifth game in the series, Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse, is in early production and slated for a potential 2013 release. The developers have successfully secured enough funding through a Kickstarter campaign.
Angry Guard Dog: Faced in the second and third game. The first game has an Angry Guard Goat.
Artifact Title: The Broken Sword artifact/place is not referenced in the second game at all, and only serves as a minor background element in the third. The german title, Baphomet's Fluch/Curse, is even more this.
Bag of Holding: Nico has a small bag to keep all the items they collect along the way. George has his handy pockets. Note that said pocket managed to somehow hold, at the same time during the second game, a folded surveying Theodolite, a bucket of maple syrup, a fish, and Mayan artifacts, among other items.
Book Ends: The first game begins and ends with an explosion, even apparently reusing parts of the same animation. Averted in the Director's Cut, in which the game starts with Nico witnessing a politician being shot instead.
Chekhov's Boomerang: The manhole-opening tool in the first game. It's one of the very first objects you pick up, after which you immediately use it for its intended purpose... and then continue to carry around this bulky piece of metal, making Double Entendres about your "tool" all the way. You eventually find a use for it near the end of the game, in a situation where any thin pole would probably have done.
Chekhov's Gun: Early in the first game, you get a prank item that shocks whoever shakes your hand. You know it's going to come in handy at some point.
Deadpan Snarker: George, Nico and André are most prominent examples. The last two with added Frenchness.
Also, a lot of the random junk you could examine in the original is taken out in the Director's Cut, averting it here as well. A lot of the time, it really is just some funny observations or unimportant descriptions. But an entire character gets cut at one point.
At one point in Sleeping Dragon you find a "large iron key" twenty feet away from a "large iron gate". Response to using one on the other: "There was no reason to try that"... A Red Herring is one thing, but you'd think it could at least get a unique line of dialogue.
Double Entendre: In the first game, George shifts the conversation into talking about a drain cover tool, which nobody is remotely interested in. Upon showing it to someone a second time, he tends to say things like;
Flanderisation: In the Director's Cut of the first game, all new significant pieces of dialogue added for George focused on his foolish aspects. So instead of the dramatic opening in the original, we get a silly rant how he's "really angry" about the café blowing up.
George also dons a colourful shirt when heading for tropical climes.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: It usually doesn't take much to fool a guard or escape from a guard in the game. In the second game, Nico managed to start an elevator generator right next to a bunch of armed guards, and none of them saw fit to ask what she was doing.
Privateer: Two NPCs are the descendants of a privateer (not a pirate) who claim he was falsely accused of acting without the correct papers by a governor and hung in order to get at his fortune.
Reforged Blade: The first game has the antagonists trying to reforge the eponymous weapon in the belief it will restore their order to glory. The heroes stop them.
Shout Out: George Stobbart's similarity to another famous adventurer fond of ancient semi-mythical artefacts is lampshaded by the line: "Evil Monks. I hate those guys".
Shut Up And Save Me: Nico's response if you choose to talk to her rather than untie her in Smoking Mirror. She's not in any immediate danger, she's just sick of being tied up.
Starving Student: Nico mentions that she had to drop out of university because of this trope (she couldn't afford art supplies, although she was able to eat potatoes when she was doing printing with them).
Stealth-Based Mission: a few times in Sleeping Dragon, despite the game having no camera controls whatsoever.
Updated Rerelease (Broken Sword: The Director's Cut, released in 2009 for the Nintendo Wii and DS, with additional content, updated controls and artwork by Dave Gibbons.)
It can be a little jarring on the PC version though. The new voice for Nico is strange at first, but fine. But the new gameplay sections use higher resolution models and backgrounds than the rest of the game. When you see the new Nico model interacting with the old scenery it looks weird. Plus things like the characters no longer walk to the edge of the screen, it just changes.
Also, some of the random things that can be examined are cut out, leaving players of the original slightly uneasy about whether the new version's an improvement.