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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 adds multiplayer capabilities to the series, with a versus mode and specially designed co-op levels. For the solo campaign, it adds some new moves such as shooting while hanging from pipes and a few new gadgets. Triggering alarms is even more unforgiving than in the first game. The main theme was composed by none other than Hollywood veteran composer Lalo Schifrin.

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.
  • 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...
  • Brick Joke: In the news report before the final mission of Splinter Cell, one of the items on the news ticker is that General Bartholomew Fisk has survived his third heart attack. In the news report before the penultimate mission of this game, the news ticker mentions he's suffered a fourth and then that he has died.
  • Call-Back: Even after stopping his "Pandora Tomorrow" plan 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 a lot of diplomatic troubles.
    Fisher: So what are the Joint Chiefs suggesting we do with Sadono?
    Lambert: We take him alive. We learned with Nikoladze how assassinated leaders tend to be stubborn ghosts.
  • 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.
      Fisher: Thanks, Lambert.
  • Costume Evolution: Sam's suit was fully black in the first game, changing only slightly for two missions (shortening the sleeves for the first Chinese Embassy mission and donning a balaclava for the finale). 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 activate 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: Darah Dan Doa, the primary antagonists, were originally created by the CIA to be a grassroots, anti-Communist militia opposing Suharto's regime, then fell to become a lowly drug cartel when Suharto lost power and the US had no further use for them. Then Sadono took over and rebuilt them into a nationalist terrorist organization 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.
    • After the first mission in East Timor, a news broadcast shows Delta Force extracting Shetland from the compound with him obscuring his face to avoid being publicly identified. Immediately after that, the next news topic is about Japan's new Information Self Defence Force being brought into the spotlight and harsh sanctions other countries are bringing upon them over it. Shetland's Displace, the ISDF, and the machinations of its leader Admiral Otomo all consequently unfold the events 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 could 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, and the protagonist works for "Third Echelon".
    • While those names have meaning within the story, they're all cool-sounding codephrases that don't obviously mean anything unless explained.note  Just like the names of the FOXHOUND members, in fact.
    • Also, the subnames for sister Tom Clancy series Rainbow Six included similar things like "Rogue Spear" and "Athena Sword".
  • Just Train Wrong: The Paris-Nice train 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: The game was originally planned as an expansion for the first Splinter Cell before it ended up releasing as a full game, presumably due to limitations in how an expansion could be delivered to console players at the time; the result is a solo campaign that's shorter than the original, with almost no additions to Sam's movement options or arsenal, and a plot that feels like an entirely-unrelated Gaiden Game that never gets mentioned again, compared to the closer ties between the plots of the original game and Chaos Theory; the only major change this game introduced that stuck around is the addition of a multiplayer mode.
  • No-Gear Level: The SC-20K rifle is not available in either the first level in Dili or the Paris-Nice train, because the immediate objective is not killing anybody and a rifle would be unwieldy within a 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.
  • Rank Scales with 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.
  • Take a Third Option: The ending of the game. Sam has just neutralized Soth and his thugs and secured the ND133, which has less than 15 minutes left on its detonation timer. As Third Echelon is unable to step in with the necessary equipment to properly contain the blast in such a small window of time, Lambert mentions that evacuating the airport should limit casualties to the hundreds, or if Sam can take it to the basement and make some attempt to contain it, the dozens. Sam instead opts to find an empty staff room, change into a maintenance worker's jumpsuit, and leave the bomb just behind a pair of airport security, who quickly notice the very suspicious package and manage to mobilize the LAPD bomb squad quickly enough to successfully contain the explosion.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If it weren't bad enough that a pair of soldiers in the Kundang Camp mission chose to get drunk while surrounded by land mines, one of the two takes it to the next level by then attempting to fix one of the wonky mines, which ends with him blowing himself up almost the instant his buddy leaves him to his devices.
  • 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 Due Respect: In relation to the above, Sam says as much in response to the first thing Brunton says.
    Brunton: I'll keep it brief. I'm sure you know, I'm excited to be part of the team. The Joint Chiefs want this mission kept non-lethal and alarms flat zero. We can't endanger the hostages.
    Fisher: Understood. And with some due respect, leave anything Lambert can say to Lambert.
  • 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. It doesn't end up mattering anyway, as once you pick it back up the guy says he couldn't make it any quieter without impacting its accuracy or range.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One:
    • In the first mission in Dili, you walk right past a room with 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.