Video Game / The X-Files Game

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"The Truth... is out there."

The X-Files Game is a Full Motion Video Spin-Off to The X-Files, released in 1998. It is notable for not featuring Agent Mulder and Agent Scully as the protagonists. They were working on The X-Files: Fight the Future at the time. The protagonist of the story is Deadpan Snarker Seattle FBI agent named Craig Willmore.

Our story begins with Agent Willmore arriving late to work and bumping into his best friend and partner, Mark Cook, who explains that a "Big Gun from DC is [there]". Following this, you are given a choice of what to say before you are called to face your boss Shanks

You are brought into his office to meet this "Big Gun". His name is Skinner, and you are assigned to find his two missing agents, Mulder and Scully.

The game has a Visual Novel-like format, giving you three choices at certain occasions that affect the game play and how people react to you. A notable example connected to Myth Arc of the series is that you can choose what to say to X, and how he reacts. These three choices are best described as "The X track" for answers involving rage and careless responses, "Paranoid" for answers that show you are worried or serious, and "Indifferent" for answers that are apathetic. Depending on which you choose, the game can quickly devolve into a Conga of Nightmare Fuel and Paranoia Fuel.


Tropes in this work include:

  • 555: All phone numbers contain 555.
  • Abandoned Laboratory: The military facility at Alaska.
  • Agent Mulder: Believer into the paranormal
  • Agent Scully: Willmore, judging by his skeptical reaction to the whole alien thing.
  • Alien Autopsy: A video clip of it is being provided by The Lone Gunmen.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The black oil doesn't mind killing people to get back to its ship.
  • Alignment-Based Endings: At the end Astadourian is waiting for you at your apartment only if you chose to be gentle with her earlier.
  • Almost Kiss: See Strictly Professional Relationship below.
  • Amicable Exes: If you choose to answer Cook in a neutral way at the beginning of the game, Willmore's relationship with his ex-wife will be more cordial. For instance, Willmore will find a letter from his ex-wife on his Bureau desk, she will leave him messages on his answering machine ending on a "I miss you" note and will be nicer to him.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Many scenes with Willmore and Astadourian end in this. Especially after the explosion where they share... an Almost Kiss.
  • Bad End: If you do the wrong thing at stake out or don't react quickly enough, but also if you shoot people or act irresponsibly.
  • Bad Impressionists: John Amis and his Sean Connery impersonation. "It's neither illegal nor sexy."
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Russian boat in the game is called the Tarakan. "Tarakan" is Russian for Cockroach.
  • Body Surf: The alien life form is capable of switching between humanoids in its vicinity.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After Willmore rescues Mulder, NSA agents arrive and Willmore says that now that he's found Mulder and Scully, he says, "I'm outta here!" Mulder responds, "What kind of attitude is that? The game's not over yet. Don't you want to wait around for the payoff?"
  • Brown Eyes: Willmore.
  • The Charmer: Willmore tries to be charming. It's more funny than anything, though.
  • Come Alone: X requests Willmore to meet him alone.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: This happens if you choose to run away from the so-called NSA agents towards the end of the game, which results in a forest chase. Willmore can hide, chased by the agents trying to find him in the dark forest.
  • Consummate Liar: Cook. He claims that a witness saw Wong's murder, that Smolnikoff may be behind Wong's death and Mulder and Scully's disappearance, that he was attacked and that somebody stole Scully's laptop, and so on. Cook is, of course, behind all this.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: The video footage of Mulder running into a baddie at a gas station cuts off before it gets interesting.
  • Cop and Scientist: Willmore and John Amis.
  • Determinator: A normal agent would've point blank refused to continue when the aliens got involved, but Willmore...
  • Difficulty Spike: Most of your responses can be altered to be nice if you had been making Willmore become too much of a jerk (preventing a game over in most cases) and most of the suspicious characters can be avoided by just common sense or finding ways around them. By the 3rd and 4th disc of the game, the difficulty skyrockets where any mistake you make in responses will be your last, going to the wrong room can result in death, and there are at least two segments where you have to have your gun drawn at all times because enemies will pop out unexpectedly and they will kill you if you don't react fast enough.
  • Driven to Suicide: You can shoot Willmore during a cutscene if you want, which will be interpreted as a suicide and end the game. See Goodbye, Cruel World! and Heroic B.S.O.D. below.
  • Everyone's in the Loop: You can make this trope come true if you decide to send your field notes to Cook, Shank, and Skinner. They will always answer you according to what notes you sent them and sometimes thank you for keeping them informed.
  • Evil Gloating: Cook's little speech near the end of the game on why he betrayed you while he is beating you up.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: If you shoot Cook then the alien becomes you.. no exceptions... so you lose.
  • Fall Guy: Cook, willing to slow down Willmore's investigation, tells him Smolnikoff could be behind the disappearance of Mulder and Scully along with Wong's death. Of course he doesn't have anything to do with any of these events.
  • FBI Agent: Cook, Mulder, Scully, Shanks, Skinner and Willmore.
  • Foreshadowing: Plenty, we first see Rauch quite early on, Cook's dialogue is full of it and X gives us a little too. Not to mention the book on aliens in Mulder's room.
  • For the Evulz: And the money. But Cook's so jaded that he seems to enjoy giving his old best friend a completely undeserved beatdown.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Willmore's the realist, Scully's the Cynic, Mulder's the Idealist and Cook's Apathetic.
  • Good Bye Cruel World: Shooting Willmore, therefore having him commit suicide, will display his suicide note on the screen. The reasons Willmore mentions vary based on the way you answered Cook at the very beginning of the game. See Heroic B.S.O.D. below.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: The reason given if you shoot Willmore is that he's got problems.
  • Hint System: The gameplay option "Artificial Intuition" helps you find difficult items throughout the game.
  • Idiot Hero: You can turn Willmore into this by handcuffing random people (and then get fired for it), by asking a character the same question twice, who ends up wondering out loud what's the matter with you. Taking pictures of the person you are talking to is also a good means of looking like an idiot to their mind. Besides, why doesn't Willmore understand that Cook is The Mole?
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: At one point, Cook mentions Wong to you while he should not have known about him. You call him out on it, but still continue to trust him completely.
  • Jerkass: You can turn Willmore into this as well, but doing it at the wrong times can result in a game over.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The player character can meet the town's detective that is on scene for a crime investigation. The detective will hate your guts and if you decide to push it further by being a bigger jerk ass over how the investigation belongs to the FBI, you will get fired.
  • Killer Cop: Cook apparently went rogue for "money". He kills Wong and won't hesitate to kill you at the end of the game if you don't put an end to his Evil Gloating.
  • Large Ham: Cook is this when he's not busy being one big foreshadowing.
    Willmore: Cover me!
    Cook: (enthusiastically) You got it!
  • Love Interest: Astadourian for Willmore.
  • The Many Deaths of You: There are tons of ways that Willmore can die and most of them have their own unique bad ending in how you met your demise.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Willmore asks Astadourian if he can take a shower first, she asks "I don't know, can you?"
  • The Mole: Cook.
  • Multiple Endings: Willmore can die while Mulder and Scully survive, Mulder can die while Willmore and Scully survive, everybody can survive, not to mention every game over this game has to offer.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Willmore's reaction when he learns that he indirectly caused his friend Jon Amis (the bloke from the crime lab) to get radiation poisoning.
  • Mysterious Informant: X, who helps Willmore get his investigation back on track.
  • Not-So-Abandoned Building: The seemingly Abandoned Warehouse where Mulder and Scully went missing turns out to have been used for smuggling operations from time to time.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: You have to solve the railroad bum's riddle to get the video tape. If you fail, the game is over.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter:
  • Outrun the Fireball: Willmore and Astadourian running from the explosion at Gordon's Hauling.
  • The Password is Always "Swordfish":
    • Played straight early on when you try to find the password to your own computer which turns out to be a place from a postcard tagged to the wall next to your desk.
    • Subverted later when you find Scully's laptop. It's password-protected, and you can ask Skinner for suggestions on what the password might be. None of his guesses (such as "faith") are correct, and after three incorrect tries the laptop locks you out. In fact, it's impossible to gain access to the laptop. You have to send it to the FBI's IT division to get it hacked, so that it can later be stolen just before you get the information inside.
  • Pixel Hunt: Finding the bullet and the cig butt at the warehouse certainly qualify.
  • Police Brutality: This is what happens if you decide to shoot people with your service pistol. Then you go to jail.
  • Press X to Not Die:
    • Some scenes require you to shoot enemies and failure to do so will get you shot and killed.
    • Many of the multiple choice questions can result in you being killed/fired/etc if you make the wrong choice.
  • Product Placement: The MessagePad 2000 sports an Apple logo.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The black oil can control human beings.
  • Red Herring:
    • Scully's laptop. Its content seems to be plot-relevant but we never get to see any of it.
    • The Plutonium smuggler operation was a setup by Cook who tried but ultimately failed to divert Willmore's attention away from the real alien plot.
  • Sanity Meter: Choosing the "paranoid" mood response throughout the game results in seeing Wong's body move at the morgue as well a his arm falling out of the body bag. It also triggers a special game over screen where if Willmore is killed in the hauling yard explosion you see a small secret cameo from the Cigarette Smoking Man who stands over the wreckage.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    Craig Willmore: So what happened?
    Arley: Well, Agent Willmore, barring some unexpected revelation it looks like someone shot this man in the back of the head.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The receptionist at the motel. She is generally annoyed by your presence, hopes that there is no dead body in the motel because she has a final exam coming up, gets annoyed when you ask her to get a copy of the billing records, and gets ticked off if you ring the bell too many times. She'll always have some form of sass with everything she says.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Willmore and Astadourian were getting quite close half-way through the story. But then they have a falling out over Willmore not keeping her in the loop about the raid at Smolnikoff's office.
  • Sequel Hook: The good ending suggested that there will be a sequel because X orders Agent Willmore to hold on to the stilleto because he will need to use it again soon.
  • Shout-Out: See the sub-page listing Shout Outs from the whole franchise.
  • Small Reference Pools: When Willmore asks Cook if he has a warrant to attack Smolnikoff's warehouse, the latter replies by saying "Who do I look like? Mark Fuhrman? I have a federal warrant from a federal judge."
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny:
    (Willmore hands Amis a cigarette butt in an evidence bag for him to analyze)
    John Amis: No thanks, I'm trying to quit.
    Craig Willmore: That's very funny.
  • Speaking Simlish: Upon entering Smolnikoff's office, the latter can be heard speaking "Russian" on the phone just before hanging up to face Cook and Willmore. What sounds like Russian is nothing more than random Russian-sounding sounds and therefore does not mean anything.
  • Strictly Professional Relationship: The player can try to kiss detective Mary Astadourian after the explosion at Gordon's Hauling if they want to. If the player has been nice enough to her, she will flirtingly decline to kiss Willmore and tell him that they should wait before the case is wrapped before they go "tampering with the evidence". If you have been a total jackass to her and try to kiss her anyway, get ready for a humiliating rejection.
  • Time Bomb: Gordon's Hauling's bomb. See Wrong Wire below.
  • Title In: Just as in the series, all locations you are visiting are introduced via on-screen display including a timestamp.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: The two doors at the opposite ends of the isolation chamber are controlled via two push buttons that have to be pressed simultaneously.
  • Useless Item: The handcuffs have no use at all. You can use it on people to arrest them, but it results in you being fired for wrongful arrest.
  • Visual Novel: Similar to the style. It uses full motion video technology called Virtual Cinema, and it includes a large number of cut scenes.
  • Who Shot JFK??: The onsite doctor examining Wong thinks that aliens did.
  • Will They or Won't They?: A lot of tension between Astadourian and Willmore.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Astadourian, as it turns out, was way off. So was Cook, but he was lying anyway.
  • Wrong Wire: Trying to cut the Gordon's Hauling's bomb will always result in an explosion.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/TheXFilesGame