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Video Game / Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

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Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (or Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow) is a Stealth-Based Game and the second entry in the Splinter Cell series, released on Sixth Generation consoles and PC in 2004.

From East Timor to France, Jerusalem, Indonesia and LAX Airport, Sam Fisher must thwart a bioterrorist attack plot involving Suhadi Sadono (a Che Guevara-like Indonesian revolutionary leader) and Norman Soth, a rogue CIA agent who seeks revenge for getting betrayed by the agency he served.

The game expanded the series to multiplayer capabilities, with a versus mode and specially designed co-op levels. For the solo campaign, it added some new moves such as shooting while hanging from pipes and a few new gadgets. Triggering alarms was even more unforgiving than in the first game.

Followed by Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.


This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ass Shove: Implied in the first level in East Timor.
    Shetland: Maybe you've got a use for this storage device I pulled off the guerilla I killed.
    Fisher: Thanks. How'd you hide it from your guard?
    Shetland: Just wash your hands when you're done with it.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Sadono can kill you with one shot (from a pistol, no less); however, since he cannot be taken hostage if he spots you (a requirement to complete the mission), it's more of a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Sadono (a terrorist/revolutionary leader) is allied to Soth, a vengeful rogue CIA agent, and both are up to no good.
  • Blatant Lies: When interrogating a Timorese guard of Sadono.
    Fisher: I need information.
    Guard: I — I don't speak English!
    Fisher: I'd be willing to bet your neck that you do.
    Guard: I know a little English...
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  • Call-Back: Sam cannot risk killing Sadono and must capture him alive, because it's stated by Lambert that the last time he killed a Big Bad (Nikoladze in the first game), it caused much diplomatic troubles.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Due to an 'oversight', one of your team will announce the alarm state has returned to normal... seconds after you've heard the same thing over the radio from the bad guys.
    • Another:
      (Elevator stops.)
      Lambert: The elevator's stopped.
  • Costume Evolution: Sam's suit was fully black in the first game. When he's in East Timor and Indonesia here, he wears a suit with green camouflage to blend in with the jungles.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The controls for hanging from a pipe or ledge were completely inverted between the first game and this one. Where you once had to press 'jump' to jump down and 'crouch' to "crouch" against a pipe (i.e. pull your legs up), you later press 'jump' to bring your stance up and 'crouch' to drop down.
    • On PC, the SC-20K's sniper scope doesn't simply activates by rolling the scroll wheel upwards with default settings anymore. The scroll wheel has to be pushed this time around.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Sadono's insurance policy is to place smallpox devices on US territory. To delay the activation of the devices, he makes phone calls that postpone the releasing of the pox for one day. Should he get killed or captured, the lack of phone call would release the pox.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: The Darah Dan Doa, which started out as a grassroots, US-backed anti-Communist militia as a counter against Suharto's regime, then fell to become a lowly drug cartel when the Cold War ended and the US had no further use for them. By the time the game starts, they've evolved into a nationalist terrorist organisation led by a Che Guevara-Expy named Suhadi Sadono, with the goal of reclaiming East Timor for Indonesia and plan to detonate smallpox bombs all over the US if they try and interfere.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Late in the game, it's revealed that the US-based PMC Sadono makes his "Pandora Tomorrow" calls to is Displace International. While not a smoking gun owing to the fact that it's an obvious script error (Grim mentions the name as if she's never heard of it before despite Sam working directly with them one mission prior, nobody comments on Shetland's outfit suddenly having direct ties to Sadono, and the debriefing makes it clear the bad-guy PMC is actually the "Armed Guardian Services" from multiplayer), it does foreshadow Shetland being the Big Bad of Chaos Theory.
    • One of the news broadcasts at the start of a mission also makes reference to a Zherkezhi, who is working on reverse-engineering Philip Masse's algorithms that were used in the information crisis from the first game. Both him and the algorithms play a huge role in the plot of Chaos Theory.
  • Instant Emergency Response: Alarms are triggered instantly this time around, whereas in the first game enemies had to run to the alarms and activate them.
  • Instant Thunder: Played so straight it very well may be a parody - the Jakarta level is set during a thunderstorm in which the thunder is heard before the lightning is seen. This may be because lightning lights up everything, making you visible for a split second when out in the open, and not having any advance warning for it would be unfair.
  • Irony: Norman Soth is first identified via the alias "Mortified Penguin", a parody of the names of FOXHOUND in Metal Gear Solid. The irony comes in the fact that the game this takes place in is called Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. While both parts of the name have meaning within the story, they're both cool-sounding codephrases that don't obviously mean anything unless explained (Lambert even notes that the ridiculous sound to the name is probably the point, "like the smiley face on a cobra's hood"). Just like the names of the FOXHOUND members, in fact. Moreover, the subnames for sister Tom Clancy series Rainbow Six included similar things like "Rogue Spear" and "Athena Sword".
  • Just Train Wrong: The Paris-Nice mission sees Sam opening and closing exit doors on a high-speed train to work his way towards Norman Soth. This is impossible to do, as doors on passenger trains automatically lock when the train is in motion. Even if it were possible, you'd set off alarms, alerting the train crew.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Shetland's bio from the first mission mentions a "Bagram incident" where, back when Shetland was still with the Marines, a man under his command mistakenly shot an American soldier, causing a storm in the media. Although he was found not guilty, the Marines "promoted" him to a desk job "just shy of civilian work", which he stayed with for about three months before leaving and shortly afterward founding Displace.
  • Laser Sight: Sam's silenced FN Five-seveN is now equipped with a laser sight, which allows for much more accurate shots so long as you can see the dot.
  • Locomotive Level: The Paris-Nice high speed train level. Sam has to infiltrate it while it is in motion and check what Norman Soth (who's onboard) is up to.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: As for the solo campaign, not much was added in Sam's moves or arsenal and the game used the same engine as the first one. This would all change for Chaos Theory.
  • No-Gear Level: The SC-20K rifle is not available in either the first level in Dili or the Paris-Nice train. When Sam lands in Jerusalem, he has to retrieve the rifle at the shop of arms specialist Saul Berkovitz, who improved its suppressor to make it more silent.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: Suhadi Sadono demands that all U.S. forces leave Indonesia and East Timor.
  • Product Placement: Sam's Opsat device was apparently made by Sony Ericsson, and so is the PDA he uses to read the chip stolen by Shetland.
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the soldiers in the Kundang Camp mission attempts to fix a wonky landmine while drunk, and gets blown to bits for his troubles. Though the fact that he and his friend chose to get smashed while surrounded by landmines in the first place automatically qualified them for this trope to begin with.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The first mission is set in Timor-Leste, and there are three missions where Sam has to infiltrate Darah Dan Doa bases in the Indonesian jungle.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Dermot Brunton, the inter-agency liaison between the CIA and Third Echelon, is mostly treated this way despite how little he says. In their very first interaction in the game, Sam essentially asks him politely to shut up and let Lambert do the talking. Lambert's opinion isn't much better, as Grim's personnel file for him (where she more or less makes it clear that she's the only member of the team who actually likes the guy) mentions that she thinks Lambert wants to punch him out at times, and in one of the files she sends you in the last mission she mentions he's been "demoted to mop duty" midway through.
  • With This Herring: Sam is given the SC-20K in the second mission, but Third Echelon drops him in the fourth mission in Jerusalem without it, telling him where to pick it up. When he complains, Irving says the guy it's with was doing some modifications to the acoustics, and he's pretty much the only person nearby with those kind of skills.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: In the first mission in Dili, you walk right past a room with Big Bad Sadono, and can easily put a bullet in his head without endangering yourself or any hostages, even potentially saving one who's about to be gunned down for knowing too much (this all takes place a week before Sadono implements his "Pandora Tomorrow" scheme to release smallpox bombs if he dies). However, if you do this, you get an instant Game Over for not following orders, as Lambert wanted to leave Sadono alone until more intel could be gathered.
    • Short-circuiting the entire plot in this manner does, however, reward you with one of the more memorable Game Over exchanges:
      Lambert: Fisher, what was that?!
      Sam: I killed the bad guy.
      Lambert: It's not that simple! We can't work that way! The mission's over!
    • Similarly, in the Paris-Nice train mission, you can easily kill Norman Soth and presumably foil Sadono's smallpox scheme before it begins since Soth was the one responsible for procuring the smallpox bombs and sneaking them into America. However, if you do this you will similarly be met with a "Mission's over, Fisher!" communication from Lambert. This case is more justified, since when you do meet him the first time all evidence suggests he has heavy ties with the CIA, and nobody gets a definitive answer on whether he's gone rogue or is just in really deep cover until after you lose your shot on him.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Sadono is perceived as a hero among Indonesians and even some left-wing westerners (being an expy of Che Guevara and all), and a terrorist leader to everyone else.


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