Secret Files is a series of Adventure Games created by Deep Silver, the video game department of the Koch Media group based in Germany. There are three games in the series.The first game, Secret Files Tsugunska (named after the explosion caused in 1908 in Siberia) follows Nina Kalkenkov, an average Russian woman, visiting her father, Vladimir, at his office in a Berlin museum only to find him missing and his office a wreck. The police being singularly unhelpful, she tackles the problem herself, aided by one of her father's co-workers, and later boyfriend, Max Gruber. The two uncover an investigation he undertook to Tsugunska in the 1950's, as well as a world domination scheme that's also interested in the same investigation.The second game, Puritas Cortis, taking place shortly after the first, begins with several members of the Catholic church, a vicar and then a bishop, being attacked and murdered over a strange parchment found while the vicar's church was undergoing renovation, referring to a prophet named Zandona, known for his gloom-and-doom prophecies. Meanwhile, Nina and Max have split up. Nina is taking a cruise to relax, while Max is headed to Indonesia to visit a former classmate, Sam Peters, at her dig site where she's uncovered an ancient temple. Both of them end up involved in thwarting an Ancient Conspiracy and their plan to create natural disasters to manipulate Zandona's prophecies.The third game, simply title Secret Files 3, Nina and Max have gotten back together, and are planning to be married. However, before this happens, Max is taken by the police under charges of suspected terrorism. As it turns out, these men are not the actual police, and Nina finds herself embroiled in a plot to save him, and the world, yet again.The game's approach resolves around solving puzzles and combining items to achieve the desired results. One may have a puzzle, like a very large, multi-colored symbol one must determine the smaller symbols that make it up, and can tell by changing the color of a lamp by tinting it with other inventory objects, as well as different puzzles and riddles to solve.
The Alcoholic: Foley the fisherman. Max comments that all he'd need to do is breathe over the water, and the fish would get so drunk they'd be easily caught. In the third game, Max comments that he drinks ten beers whenever he goes out to eat. And Nina comments that she wishes she had a glass of booze while inside of a flaming church.
And Now for Someone Completely Different: Nina and Max switch perspectives in both games, and sometimes, you can switch between them. In the second game, there are four characters: Nina, Max, Sam, and Bishop Chester Parrey. Bishop Parrey dies once his chapter is over, sort of an introduction to how to play the game, and Sam is only usable to switch with Max in his first two chapters. The third game is almost always Nina, but a few other characters will be controlled, namely Menis-Ra, Max, Emre, and Jane.
Adventurer Archaeologist: Max is one, Sam is a rare female version of one, and Vladimir used to be one, or at least, an Adventure Geologist.
All Women Are Lustful: Nina lusts after a few guys, but the real offender is Romanova, the female Russian guard at the train station. She has pictures of many different handsome men in her locker, and she's only allowed to take her cigarette breaks with Yushin, because she'll flirt shamlessly with anyone else.
Ancient Conspiracy: Puritas Cordis. The Guardians appear to be this, although it's actually positive, because they are protecting humanity from killing themselves.
Chekhov's Gun: The stove door Max gets when he's kidnapped by the cult. Pat Shelton, angry that Nina won't tell him the information he wants (that Nina doesn't have) angrily shoots Max in the chest and leaves him in a shallow grave. The bullet is stopped by the door.
Chekhov's Volcano: At Sam's dig site in Indonesia. She even says it is dormant and will never erupt. Of course, Puritas Cortis drops a nuclear bomb in it to make it happen.
Contrived Coincidence: Jay Shelton believes this, and believes that there is no way Nina and Max, who know each other, simply stumbled onto his plans in two different places halfway around the world in the second game. Truth is, he's wrong, it was a complete accident.
Cult: There is a cult in all of the games, both have the hooded robes standard of cults. In the first game, they are good guys, who keep Vladimir and Max safe. In the second, it's your standard evil cult. The third game, the same cult from the first game, are good guys again.
Deadpan Snarker: Max and especially Nina are. For the supporting cast, there is Fleming, the tour guide when Nina turns in her model of the Atomium, as well as O'Brien, the bartender Max meets in Ireland, as well as Menis-Ra.
Did Not Die That Way: it is implied that the death of Nina's mother was the result of her father's research, while Nina thought she had died in a car accident.
The Determinator: Nina treks halfway across the world (Germany, Russia, Cuba, and then China then Antartica, but that's because she was kidnapped), and endures craploads of abuse just to find her father.
Dreaming of Things to Come: Nina has vivid dreams of the Guardians, and sees lots of fire and ruin. They are actually warnings for Nina to prevent.
Large Ham: Practically everyone on the cruise ship, but the bartender especially qualifies. After all, Evil Is Hammy. In the third game, Menis-Ra is especially over the top.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Nina is quite aware she's in a video game, and laments after she ruins a guy's car, that if she doesn't help him feel better, she'll only be cast as villains in the future.
Limited Wardrobe: Nina only changes her clothes twice in the first game, Max never changes them at all. He goes all the way from Germany to Ireland and doesn't change them. At least in the second and third games, he gets kidnapped and has an excuse not to change them. In the second game, Nina and David change their clothes after escaping the ship, and then are kidnapped or killed. She only changes her clothes once in the third game, and treks across the world.
Love at First Sight: Nina and Max. How else could you explain his willingness to bust her out of a Russian hospital within one day of meeting her.
MacGyvering: The primary way the game, when controlling Nina, solves puzzles. Nina expertly builds a boat motor out of an alternator, a damaged motorcycle, and some life vests, to name an example. She lampshades this in the third game.
Made of Iron: Max survives a tent exploding right next to him and being shot, although that was due to the stove door he hid in his chest pocket as a weapon.
Nice Hat: Max sports a safari hat in the second game. It stays on his head during explosions and when he gets shot in the chest
Only in It for the Money: Menis-Re subverts this doubly in the third game. He is only interested in the money and doesn't care that the Guardians want him to torch Archimedes's scroll. But just before he does so, he is curious, and takes a peek. When he doesn't understand it, he shrugs and burns them anyway.
Perma Stubble: Max, especially in the second game, as well as David Korell.
Punch Clock Villain: It's quite clear that most of the "bad guys" are actually fairly decent people.
Real Men Wear Pink: Max took a needlework course in college and is accomplished at sewing.
Red Shirt: Mocked at the end of the second game with all the people who died in it wearing red Starfleet uniforms. David is more of a Mauve Shirt though, and the bad guys, the bartender and Shelton, don't qualify.
Sadistic Choice: Nina is offered one by Jay Shelton: Tell him about the Church Intelligence Services conspiracy or he kills Max. Nina, having stumbled onto the plan, knows nothing. Cue Jay shooting Max. Jane Cunningham offers Nina another one in the third game Get her a radioactive element called deterrium or Max dies.
Shown Their Work: The first game references the Tsunguska catastrophe, a legitimate mystery that happened in 1908. The third game references the siege of Alexandria in 47 BC, when Caesar and Cleopatra were barricaded in the palace by Achillas's army.
Stay in the Kitchen: Mocked by Nina in internal monologue in the first two games when the player has her clean something.
Straight Gay: Comrade Yushin in the first game. Strong, manly, loves to smoke. He didn't respond to Nina's flirting, but one could argue he was just dense until Romanova comments that she enjoys Yushin's company, as they both agree men make better lovers.
Supreme Chef: Nina cooks in the first two games, and her food is raved about. Of course, the first one was laxative jam to get a guy out of the room...
Unlucky Childhood Friend: Sam. In the credits she tried to get Max to go on adventures with her, but Nina protested heavily.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Nina can potentially abandon both Cassandra and Max. The former is put into suspended animation, and the latter is saved anyway, but if you don't save him, Nina calls off their wedding.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Michael Anderson, a painting restorer from San Fransisco in the third game, is in suspended animation on the CERN ship. He's...sorta just left there. Also, the ancient civilization Max was researching in the third game. It's mentioned that nuclear fallout wiped them out deliberately, but it's left ambiguous what actually happened.