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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is a critically acclaimed third-person stealth-based video game developed and published by Ubisoft. Chaos Theory is the third game in the Splinter Cell series endorsed by writer Tom Clancy.

The game follows the covert activities of Sam Fisher, an agent working for a black-ops branch of the NSA called "Third Echelon." Though originally announced for release in Fall of 2004, the actual release date was March of 2005 for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube and PC. Handheld versions for the Nintendo DS and Nokia N-Gage have also been released. A version for the Game Boy Advance was planned, but cancelled. Actor Michael Ironside still plays Sam, while Don Jordan returns from the original game to voice Lambert, having been replaced by Dennis Haysbert in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. The game went gold on March 22, 2005 for all platforms. The Official Xbox Magazine rated Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Xbox "Game of the Year" (2005) for its outstanding gameplay and lifelike graphics. Because this game depicts a war between North and South Korea, it was banned in South Korea, along with many other games, until late 2006.

Engine and gameplay

The graphics in Chaos Theory feature a number of improvements, including the addition of normal mapping, HDR lighting, and parallax mapping. The game also features a number of major changes and improvements to the series' basic gameplay. Chaos Theory is also the first game in the Splinter Cell series to use ragdoll physics.

Stealth Mechanics

Chaos Theory features refined stealth mechanics. In addition to the standard light bar, the game also features an aural monitor that measures the noise that Sam makes, along with the ambient noise of the environment. It is important for Sam to make less noise than his surroundings; otherwise, the enemy guards will hear him.

The AI detection has been altered as well. In former titles, after Sam would leave a certain area, the game would do a sweep of the previous area for all unconscious or dead bodies in a well-lit spot. If any were found, an alarm would be triggered. In Chaos Theory, the bodies have to be discovered by a patrolling guard in order to trigger an alarm.

Being spotted by enemies will still trigger alarms, and alarms will still cause enemies to become more alert and combat-ready (such as causing them to wear flak jackets and helmets). However, triggering too many alarms will no longer cause the game to end automatically. Even killing civilians or friendly soldiers won't cause Fisher to fail the mission, although doing so will cause Fisher to be seriously chastised by his superior, and cost him significantly in his mission score as well as canceling certain mission objectives, such as tapping phonelines and locating bugs.

Chaos Theory is also the first game in the series to keep track of mission performance. Missions are summarized upon completion with various statistics such as the number of times detected or the number of guards killed.

Close-Quarters Combat

Chaos Theory adds a combat knife to Sam's close-quarters combat abilities. Sam can use the knife in multiple ways, such as threatening an enemy during an interrogation, or killing an enemy in close-quarters combat. Also, it no longer matters what direction Sam attacks from when using melee attacks, nor does it matter if enemies are aware of his presence, as opposed to earlier entries in the series where he had to attack from behind and the enemy could not be alerted to him in order to take them down in one hit. He also has the option of using lethal or non-lethal force when ending an interrogation. As an expansion on Sam's ability to shoot while hanging upside down (introduced in Pandora Tomorrow), he can choke down or break the neck of enemies below him. He also has the ability to pull people over railings while hanging off a ledge and throw bodies off of cliffs or over railings, even onto other guards. However, the ability to shoot around corners has been removed, although this is balanced by being able to switch the side of Sam's body the gun is on while in a firing position.


Fisher is now able to choose from one of three different equipment "kits." There is Redding's recommended kit, an assault kit, and stealth kit. Redding's Recommendation gives Sam an even balance between ammunition and non-lethal weaponry. Assault provides more ammunition at the expense of non-lethal weapons while the Stealth kit contains more non-lethal weaponry at the expense of brute force, lethal weaponry, and spare magazines/clips. On missions where an objective is to cause no fatalities, the player is unable to choose the Assault option.

The 5.7x28 mm pistol (realistically identified as the FN Five-seveN) returns with a new feature: the Optically Channeled Potentiator, or the OCP. When fired at certain electronics, the OCP can disable them for a limited time. Fisher can disable lights, security cameras, and more. If the device cannot be disabled, it will temporarily malfunction instead, such as causing the blue screen of death when attacking computer towers. When Fisher successfully disables the electronic device he aimed at, a green light appears on the pistol; if he misses, a red light appears. In both cases Fisher must wait a period of time for the OCP to recharge and become ready for use again.

The SC-20K modular assault rifle (realistically identified as the FN F2000) returns with a multitude of new attachments, such as a fore grip that reduces recoil and increases accuracy, a launcher that fires non-lethal weaponry, an under mount shotgun attachment for close quarters firing, and a 20 mm sniper attachment for long-range combat. The SC-20K's standard scope now only zooms to 1.5x magnification, while the sniper scope allows from 1.5x to 3.5x magnification.

A large variety of non-lethal weaponry can be fired from the SC-20K launcher, such as the Sticky Camera, the Sticky Shocker, and the Airfoil Round, and Gas Grenade. The Sticky Camera will reveal an image of the area in which you shot it. In addition, it can make a clicking sound that will attract enemies, and also emit a CS gas that will render unconscious any enemies in the immediate area. The Sticky Shocker will shock and incapacitate its target when fired. If shot into a body of water, the shocker will incapacitate all targets in the water. The Airfoil Round is a hollow metal ring that will knock out the target. It is still possible for an unconscious enemy to die if shot, dropped from a considerable height or dropped into water, no matter how shallow. Non-lethal weaponry is important in missions in which Fisher is forbidden to kill anyone.

Fisher also has multiple types of grenades. There is the Gas Grenade, which emits a CS gas that knocks enemies unconscious, the Smoke Grenade, which provides Fisher with a cloud of smoke to hide in, the flashbang, which will temporarily blind and deafen any enemy near it, and the Fragmentation Grenade, which will kill any enemy within its blast radius, and send objects flying in all directions.


Enemy AI has been improved, with enemies taking cover, leaning around corners, using squad-based tactics. As in Pandora Tomorrow, enemies will also react to changes in the environment; if a light switch is turned off, an enemy may become concerned, more so if the light is shot out. However, this behavior has been enhanced so that enemies may even become so frightened as to start firing wildly into shadows, or throw a flare onto the ground next to them, making it difficult to sneak up on them. They will also open fire on Fisher if they walk into him, or if he is seen in the light. They will fire a large amount of rounds at his last known location, so if detected, the player is advised to reposition themselves and attempt to sneak past or eliminate the enemy.

Plot Summary

Main story

The plot of Chaos Theory sees a return to the original Splinter Cell's theme of information warfare, with Sam on the trail of the Masse Kernels used by Georgian President Kombayn Nikoladze to attack America's infrastructure. The main focus in this game revolves around Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.

The main focus of the game takes place in East Asia, 2007, with tensions running high between China, North Korea, and Japan, following Japan's formation of an Information Self Defense Force (I-SDF) (an event mentioned in a news report in Pandora Tomorrow). Considering this to be a violation of the Post-World War II Constitution, Chinese and North Korean forces establish a blockade in the Yellow Sea against Japanese shipping. Because Japan and the I-SDF are allies of the US and Third Echelon, the U.S. Navy dispatches its most advanced cruiser, the USS Clarence E Walsh, to the Sea of Japan. The U.S. hopes this show of strength will get China and North Korea to back down.

Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated incident, Sam Fisher is dispatched to locate Bruce Morgenholt, a missing computer programmer who was captured by a Peruvian separatist group called "The People's Voice", led by Hugo Lacerda, and worked on deciphering Phillip Masse's algorithms. Masse, whom Sam assassinated in the original Splinter Cell, was a genius far ahead of his time, and the algorithms he used to launch his attacks on America have been extensively studied by the UN. The resulting Masse Kernels are being touted as the superweapon of the 21st century. Sam is tasked with making sure they do not fall into the wrong hands.

Sam arrives too late to prevent Morgenholt's death. He is also unsuccessful in stopping the release of the Masse Kernels. Sam is told to go on board the Maria Narcissa to assassinate Hugo Lacerda and track the weapon deliveries so they can find out who they are dealing with. After completing the mission, and a mission in a Panamanian bank, unknown parties use the algorithms to black out Japan and the Eastern Seaboard, including New York City. Japan has previously suffered similar attacks that crashed its economy, and Admiral Otomo of the I-SDF contacts Third Echelon and warns them that North Korea and China are probably responsible. Meanwhile, following a lead discovered in a bank in Panama, Sam travels to New York to investigate Abrahim Zherkhezi, a man who worked with Morgenholt on Project Watson. He finds that Displace International, owned by Douglas Shetland is protecting him. He breaks into the Displace offices and learns of one Milan Nedich, later identified as "Milos Nowak", a Bosnian war criminal. Fisher finds that Nowak secretly relocated him to Hokkaido.

Sam travels to Hokkaido and meets with Shetland, who claims that Nedich is clean. Regardless, Fisher infiltrates the hideout that Zherkezi is being held in. There, Sam kills Nedich, and witnesses Shetland murdering Zherkezi with either a pistol or katana. Shetland escapes and goes underground.

Meanwhile, the American show of force backfires when the Walsh is sunk by a North Korean anti-ship missile on July 4, initiating a war between North Korea and South Korea/United States. Since North Korea claims the missile was launched unintentionally, Sam is sent to the Korean Peninsula (including the South Korean capital city of Seoul), to determine if North Korea is truly responsible for sinking the Walsh, or if the Masse Kernels are involved. (Note that the sinking of the Walsh and the U.S.-North Korea war is the plot for the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube versions of Ghost Recon 2.)

Sam eventually learns that the entire war has been orchestrated by American private security corporation Displace International. Displace used the Masse Kernels gained from Zherkhezi to hijack North Korea's missile systems, and sink the Walsh, in order to draw the U.S. into a war from which Displace could profit through its status as a leading American PMC. Sam also realizes the mastermind behind the entire plot is none other than his old war comrade and friend, Douglas Shetland. Ultimately, Third Echelon sends him to spy on a meeting between Shetland and Shetland's unknown accomplices, who shockingly turn out to be the I-SDF. At the meeting, the I-SDF betray Shetland, and a firefight subsequently breaks out between Shetland's soldiers and I-SDF assault troops. Amidst the chaos, Sam pursues Shetland to the roof, where, after a tense Mexican standoff, Sam kills Shetland.

Even after Shetland's death, one loose end remains. Admiral Otomo of the I-SDF has acquired a copy of the Masse Kernels from Shetland, and attempts to return Japan to Imperial rule by blackmailing the Japanese government officials and senior JSDF officers. He threatens to use the algorithms to launch a North Korean missile against a Japanese city. Because North Korea would be supported by China, and Japan would be backed by the U.S, the incident would spark World War III. Although Otomo's loyalist I-SDF soldiers manage to fight off the JGSDF commandos sent to stop him, Sam infiltrates the I-SDF's lowest levels and manages to put an end to Otomo's plans, possibly after being captured and interrogated by, and escaping from, I-SDF troops. Otomo attempts to commit seppuku, but Sam saves his life and captures him. Otomo stands trial at the UN and takes full responsibility for the entire Korean crisis, returning stability to the Far East.

Co-op storyline

Two NSA operatives start off the campaign with basic training, introducing the players to the game-play elements of the cooperative play. Uncharacteristically, they are given similar weapons as Sam Fisher, boosting them to lethal status. After passing training, the operatives are sent to Panama, tying up the loose ends and clues that Sam Fisher picked up from Hugo Lacerda. The Operatives interrogate the Vice President of the bank and sifted through all available records to find out that other than aiding Hugo Lacerda, the bank had aided North Korea in smuggling nuclear and chemical weapons through Panama. A name, Jong-Pom-Chu appears in the records. Shortly after completing the mission, Lambert promotes the operatives into "Splinter Cells-in-Training."

The action then picks up in a war-torn South Korea, with the operatives trying to locate Jong-Pom-Chu. The operatives were tasked to destroy any anti-air vehicles and look for the Korean scientist. Unfortunately he was moved during the mission, and Sam Fisher needed to interrogate a North Korean Special Forces soldier to find out where. The operatives dismiss the idea that he is another Splinter Cell, as they believe they are the first. The trainees eventually evacuate Jong in a truck.

The operatives were then sent to a chemical missile bunker in North Korea, sometime after the end of the single-player campaign. The operatives were tasked to investigate what type of weapons development Jong was involved with. The operatives then later found out that the North Koreans were developing viral weapons, using monkeys as the guinea pigs. Lambert ultimately gives the order to create an anti-virus and retrieve a viral sample from a warhead. The operatives managed to exfiltrate by boat.

The operatives were then placed in New York City, tasked to disarming bombs in the train systems planted by rogue North Korean personnel attempting to recover a virus stashed in a locker. With help from Jong, the operatives recover the virus and manage to thwart the investigating North Korean soldiers.

The operatives are sent on a return trip back to North Korea, this time investigating a nuclear power plant. The operatives were tasked to finding out who helped Kim, the leading North Korean officer behind the weapons fiasco.

The operatives' final mission ends up at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, putting a stop to a now-desperate Kim's plan to blow up the building before an important meeting takes place. The operatives kill Kim and disarm the bomb the North Korean agents planted.


Like its predecessor Pandora Tomorrow, Chaos Theory includes a competitive multiplayer component. Chaos Theory expands its multiplayer by including cooperative play allowing for two agents to play through a unique 7 mission story mode which parallels the single player campaign. It is playable via system link play, or over Xbox Live.

The cooperative campaign follows the story of two Splinter Cells in training, merely known as Agent One and Agent Two. Their training is interrupted when a world crisis occurs that requires the Shadownet division of NSA to deploy additional resources, even including agents not fully trained. The missions become a trial by fire for the two new agents.

The gameplay is built on the same design as the single player campaign. It introduces new techniques for the two-player gameplay, such as one spy kneeling down to give the second spy a boost over a wall.

Though players can operate alone, the level design is such that it encourages teamwork. For example, there may be a switch down a long shaft that will unlock a door. One player will stand atop the shaft and extend a rope down the length of it while the second player will descend the shaft, hit the switch, and then return up the rope.

The cooperative campaign was popular enough that Ubisoft developed two additional levels for download for the PC and Xbox versions. The Nuclear Plant and UN Headquarters missions are meant to end the story for the cooperative component.

The popular (Shadownet) Spy vs. (ARGUS) Mercenary game mode returns from Pandora Tomorrow with many improvements. These include new gadgets for both teams, cooperative moves for the spy team, and improved close quarters combat for the mercenaries.

Spies are armed with non-lethal weaponry so they rely on stealth, skill, and gadgets. Spies can only kill mercenaries by breaking their necks, dropping on them (depending on how much health the mercenary has left), and hanging from a ledge and pulling him down. The spies' gadgets also do not affect other spies (excepting the shock gun, which stuns anyone it hits).

  • Vision Modes: SHADOWNET Spies are equipped with goggles with two different viewing types. Spies using the goggles are visible to mercenaries using EMF vision.
    • Night Vision: Illuminates dark areas. Bright areas will appear washed-out.
    • Thermal Vision: Scans the area for any heat signatures. It is commonly used to help see through walls and smoke, but makes the shock gun harder to aim.
  • Shock Gun: The shock gun is relatively versatile with the ability to launch special objects similar to the SC-20K of the single player mode. Spies have no crosshairs, and must rely on a laser pointer to help them aim. Though spies can see the entirety of the laser beam, mercs are only able to see the end of it. This laser can be turned off for stealth, but it makes it harder for the spies to aim. The main projectile is an electric burst with unlimited range that has many uses. It can be used to temporarily deactivate most security measures and stun mercenaries for a few seconds. A head shot will temporarily shut down the merc's HUD. Interestingly, a merc whose HUD is shut down cannot reload. In addition, spies can detonate merc-placed mines with a well-placed shot from the shock gun (excepting the poison mine, which simply disappears). The shock gun doesn't use ammo, but rather a rechargeable energy cell. The spy will appear clearly on the merc's EMF while they have this gun out.
  • Flash Grenade: Flash bangs can either be launched from the shock gun or a spy can drop it at his feet with the gun holstered, where it will explode on impact. Any mercenary looking in the direction of the grenade will be temporarily blinded. Spies are immune to their own and their teammates' flashbangs.
  • Smoke Grenade: Smoke grenades are deployed the same way as flash grenades, but have a completely different effect. Upon detonation, it releases a cloud of opaque gas which severely slows any mercs caught in the area and blurs their vision. If he stays in the cloud for too long, he will fall asleep for 5 seconds or so before a jolt from his suit wakes him back up. Using smoke grenades is a popular tactic to prevent mercenaries from deactivating a bomb that the spies set up.
  • Chaff Grenade: Just like the other grenades, chaff either comes out of the gun or at the user's feet. Chaff temporarily deactivates all manner of electronic security measures, such as lasers, mines, certain cameras, and spy detectors. Mercenaries in a chaff cloud will have their HUD disrupted and will be unable to utilize any of their special visions. Strangely, they will also be unable to reload.
  • Spy Bullet: The spy bullet can only be fired from the shock gun. When it hits a mercenary, the user can track his movements on radar and hack into his radio conversations by holding the button highlighted next to the word "Hack." Mercenaries can remove spy bullets from each other. If the bullet misses, it will attach to any surface and track mercenaries within a certain proximity. It can be seen and shot but it will stop giving information after 90 seconds when it touches its target
  • Sticky Camera: Deployed through the shock gun, the sticky camera will stick to a wall and allow the spy to remotely recon. Like in single player, the sticky camera can shoot a cloud of gas similar to the smoke grenade, but it knocks out mercs almost instantly. Unlike in single player, the camera cannot make noise. The camera will still monitor for the spy even when the gas is expelled.
  • Camo Suit: A spy wearing tactical suit will be able to activate it at will, causing them to blend in to his surroundings and sneak past inattentive mercenaries with ease. It consumes energy from the same cell as the shock gun and will malfunction if the user moves too fast, gets shot, or is exposed to rainfall. In addition, pulling out the shock gun shuts down the suit. Mercenaries can also see the user clearly if he is using EMF vision.
  • Heartbeat Sensor: When equipped, it attaches itself to the end of the user's gun and can detect any living being up to 15 meters in front of him. The radar will usually be able to differentiate between friendly and hostile units.
  • Alarm Snare: The alarm snare is fired just like the sticky camera, but instead of placing a camera, it places a noise maker. This can be used to distract or mislead mercenaries. Some players will fire an alarm snare and place a sticky camera next to it to lure mercs in for a knock-out gassing, much like the single player sticky camera. Works for 40 seconds.

It should be noted that if a spy attempts to leap on top of a mercenary who is being electrocuted (either by the spy's shock gun, the jolt which wakes up mercenaries, or a friendly fire from the merc taser), the spy will be violently thrown back and killed instantly.

Mercenaries are the heavily-armed enemies of the SHADOWNET spies. They deal in hunting, tracking, and lethal techniques. They are more limited in terms of where they can go. For example, they can't climb poles, fences, or even rails. In addition to their equipment, mercenaries are physically tough and pack quite a punch with melee attacks. Standing still and pressing the attack button will spin the merc around, knocking down anyone around him, which is useful for preventing spies from breaking his neck. Of course, a knocked down spy is easy picking for the merc.

  • Vision Modes: Mercenaries have special goggles like the spies, but have different functions. The visor contains a HUD that includes crosshairs, an ammunition counter linked to their guns, and a visual sound locater that shows the merc where a noise originated from in relation to their current position. Merc goggles can be jammed with chaff or head shots with shock guns.
    • Motion Sensor: The motion sensor goggles turn the entire screen red and blinds the user to everything except fast moving objects and large obstructions. Anybody moving too quickly will have a visual box appear around them. Mercs using this vision mode are immune to flash grenades.
    • EMF Vision: EMF vision is taken straight from the single player mode and turns the screen blue. Anything with an electromagnetic field (EMF) around it will appear white to the user. Spies who have their shock gun out or are using a vision mode or a tactical suit will be clearly visible. Otherwise, they will be next to impossible to track. Other mercenaries will always appear. Mercs using this vision mode are immune to flash grenades.
  • Torchlight: The torchlight attaches to the helmet and is used to flush spies out of dark areas. Obviously, the torchlight's beam is visible to friend and foe alike, which can make the merc easier to spot.
  • Laser: The laser pointer doesn't just point at the target, it will also scan anybody it connects with. Their name and status (friend or foe) will be displayed. They will also be tracked on radar if the beam is on them long enough. The full length of the laser's beam is visible to friend and foe alike. While the laser is active, the merc's crosshairs disappear (as the laser is now the aiming device) and the visual sound locater will also be disabled (the merc can still hear with their own ears, however). The laser can be active at the same time as EMF and Motion Tracking (but not torchlight), unlike other vision modes.
  • Guns: The mercenaries have a selection of three different types of guns. They all have differences, but they also have a launcher just like the shock gun.
    • Assault Rifle: Has rapid fire, but only fires 3 rounds per second. It can also be switched between full auto and 3-round burst. The advantage of the assault rifle is the ability to use it as a sniper weapon.
    • Submachine Gun: The submachine gun is effective in short, medium, and long-range combat to a degree. It fires very rapidly and can mow down a spy in seconds.
    • Shotgun: The shotgun is very ineffective at anything farther than very close-range, but reigns supreme in the latter.
  • Frag Grenade: The powerhouse of the mercenary arsenal, it goes into nooks, crannies, and everything in between. The resulting explosion is usually enough to kill any spy caught in the blast. Obviously, a mercenary cannot just drop it at his feet, it has to be launched from his gun.
  • Spy Detector: When placed against a wall, it will emit a laser that will track any spy who trips it. The device itself is usually hard to spot if the user is careful enough. However, though the beam is invisible to the naked eye, it will show up clearly on a spy's thermal vision. Mercenaries can pass through the laser without effect. The secondary function of the Spy Detector is a proximity detector very similar to the secondary function of the Spy's Spy Bullet.
  • Mines: There are three settings for mines, which are detailed below. Mercenaries cannot set off the mines, unless they shoot one. Mercenaries should be wary around mines though, as they can be injured or killed as well.
    • Proximity Mine: Spies who move too quickly while too close to a proximity mine will be killed instantly in the resulting blast. It does tend to stand out more than the spy detector with its blinking light and beeping noise.
    • Laser: Laser mines detonate when a spy crosses its beam at any distance, at any speed. Laser mines need to be placed with care, because the beam extends on until it reaches an obstacle, creating the possibility of a detection area far out of the blast radius. Laser mines blink like proximity mines, but do not beep. Just like the spy detector, the laser mine's beam is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by a spy using thermal vision.
    • Poison: Poison mines also use laser detectors, but are very difficult for spies to see with the lack of blinking light and beeping noise. Any spy who trips the laser will be hit with a dart that gradually drains their health. A poisoned spy can be cured by another spy or by going to a medkit. The dart has seemingly unlimited range. Just like the other two laser-producing gadgets, the beam is invisible to spies not using thermal vision. Poison mines do not trigger if fired upon, instead, they are simply destroyed.
  • Backpack: The backpack allows a mercenary to track his allies supplies and resupply everyone (including himself) once per life. Unlike ammo boxes, the backpack will resupply gadgets instead of bullets.
  • Camera Network: This allows the user to tap into a special camera system using his wrist computer. He will be blind to anything going on around him, but can keep an eye on major sections of the base. Both vision modes are usable in camera view, as well as the torchlight and laser scanner. Unlike passive security cameras, Camera Network cams cannot be knocked out by chaff grenades or the spy's shock gun.
  • Taser: Knocks out the spy, but only goes a few feet and does not need to recharge.
  • Flare: Flares fire from the user's gun and will shine a bright light over a large radius for about 30 seconds and cannot be deactivated by spies.
  • Gasmask: Even when worn, the user must press the alternate fire button for it to activate. It has a short lifespan of 30 seconds of use, and is ineffective if activated while already in smoke. Aside from that, will negate all negative effects of standing in smoke.


The soundtrack for the game released January 26, 2005 on Ninja tune record label—is composed by breakbeat artist Amon Tobin. Composer Jesper Kyd, best known for his work on the Hitman third-person stealth shooter series, composed the music for the game's cinematics.


Chaos Theory has enjoyed very positive critical reception with an average score of 94 percent on Game Rankings, a MobyRank of 95, and rating of 94 at Metacritic.

Protection and other hidden software

The game is protected with StarForce protection and as of January 17, 2006 does not work with Windows XP 64-bit Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition though it can be circumvented using third party tools.

The game features in-game advertising provided by Massive Incorporated. The adverts can be placed anywhere as posters or on the back of trucks. This has drawn some criticism as some ads are placed in strange locations such as a North Korean missile battery where advertisements for American movies and products would be highly unlikely. These ads can be disabled by not allowing internet access to the ad streaming server.

Limited Collector's Edition

A Limited Collector's Edition is available for PC, PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. Each version is packaged in a collectible tin, and the PC, PS2, and Xbox versions include the following bonus features on an extra disc:

  • Exclusive G4 "Making Of" Video
  • Music from the official Chaos Theory soundtrack by Amon Tobin
  • Development Team video diaries
  • Penny Arcade Comics
  • Mega 64 Videos

The PC version also contains the version 1.3 patch for the original Splinter Cell to add the Kola Cell, Vselka Infiltration, and Vselka Submarine missions that were original only available as downloads on Xbox Live. The bonus disc can also be obtained with the Game Cube version by contacting via e-mail.

Real-world References and Easter Eggs

There are many references to other video games placed throughout the game, often as easter eggs.

  • The music for the Hotel level of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow is being played within one of the tents in level 1, "Lighthouse". This game was also developed by Ubisoft's Montreal office.
  • At the start of level 2, when Lambert informs Fisher about the alarm system on the ship, Fisher says: "Don't tell me... three alarms and the mission is over." This makes Lambert respond: "Of course not. This is no video game Fisher..." This is a reference to the game's predecessor, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, where the missions often ended as failed after the player had triggered the alarm three times.
  • Toward the end of level 4, "Penthouse", a TV screen near the old man is displaying an advertisement for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, and next to the TV is Prima's official game guide for Pandora Tomorrow.
  • In level 5, "Displace", two guards can be overheard discussing "the new Prince of Persia", in reference to Prince of Persia: Warrior Within which was also developed by Ubisoft Montreal.
  • Also, in level 5, after riding the elevator, if you exit, head right, and enter the break room, you can interrogate a man who mentions tuxedoes. Fisher then says, "I'm not a tuxedo guy", and the man responds with, "But you are a spy." This is a reference to James Bond
  • In level 6, "Hokkaido", a guard can be overheard telling another guard that their new vehicle has a 640 GB MP3 player. The other replies that no one will ever need 640 GB. A widely held rumor is that Bill Gates claimed that no one would ever need more than 640 KB of RAM, though he has stated he never made such a claim. (For reference, one of the minimum system requirements for Chaos Theory is 256 MB of RAM; over 400 times as much as 640 KB).
  • In level 6,if you listen to the guards just past the two cars, you can overhear one of the guards talking how he was contracted to protect an oil rig during the Georgia conflict and was attacked by a ninja, a reference to the first game Splinter Cell.
  • In level 7, "Battery", after Sam says he hasn't brought a crowbar, Grimsdottir replies, "Crowbars are for geeky video game characters", a reference to Gordon Freeman from Half-Life and Half-Life 2, whose beginning weapon in both games is a crowbar.
  • When Sam interrogates the guards in the basement of level 10, "Kokubo Sosho", about their Sticky Shockers, they reply with some humorous quips about ammunition in reference to Metal Gear Solid--most notably a reference to the ability to shake enemies, making them drop their ammunition.


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