We%26rsquo;ve already considered armed conflict, stealth and gadgets as essential parts of the super spy%26rsquo;s armoury, but there%26rsquo;s one more vital component which no successful operative can ignore and that%26rsquo;s the language d%26rsquo;amour; or to put it another way, the ability to sweet talk thehoneys into giving you just what you require.
Perhaps you need to pump them for information, maybe you need to convert them to your cause, or possibly you need to seduce them to secure practical benefits like the weapons or muscle at their disposal. Many of Alpha Protocol%26rsquo;s most intriguing encounters are based on how well you do with the fairer sex and the choices that open up for you in game.
Naturally it%26rsquo;s here that suave, smooth talking operatives come to the fore. But be warned, whether you%26rsquo;re a Bond level Lothario or an Austin Powers-style Spy Who Shagged Me, choose your bed mates with care, as hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Base of operations: Classified
Could be: Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale)
Mina Tang is one of the first women you%26rsquo;ll discover in the game, not surprising as she acts as your initial handler back at orientation and she%26rsquo;s the voice in your ear from day one. Recruited from the NSA into Alpha Protocol, Mina is a multi-skilled agent though she specialises more in analysis and tactics rather than operational assignments and will prove useful for gaining valuable intelligence and tactical info.
A colleague of Alan Park, Mina also occasionally trains agents in firearms basics, but it was her data analysis skills which led to the discovery of missing missile prototypes which led to operation Desert Spear, the mission to deal with Sheikh Ali Shaheed.
To win her, you%26rsquo;ll have to use all your espionage skills to fend off a local rival if you want any chance of an office romance. Despite her background and apparent loyalty, there%26rsquo;s something about Mina that just doesn%26rsquo;t sit right.
Mina Tang is voiced by Adrienne Wilkinson who also appeared as voice talent in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Command and Conquer 3: Kane%26rsquo;s Wrath as the Zone Raider.
Base of operations: Taipei
Could be: Tiffanny Case (Diamonds Are Forever) or Strawberry Fields (Quantum of Solace)
"A new problem or a new opportunity?", ponders Thorton when he first encounters this fiery red-headed news reporter on a plane out to Taiwan, although Scarlet Lake initially sees him as just another good opportunity for a headline. One of the hottest news room talents around, Lake is a good example of why they say redheads are complicated, however in the end, Lake begins to see Thorton as much more than just another routine assignment. But is Lake everything she appears to be and who%26rsquo;s she really working for? You%26rsquo;ll need all your suavest lines and smoothest seduction skills to ultimately find out, but this is one newshound definitely worth getting to know.
Scarlet Lake is voiced by Courtenay Taylor, who played Jack and Subject Zero in Mass Effect 2 and also stared as Farinden in Dragon Age: Origins.
Nationality: East German
Base of Operations: Moscow
Could be: Xenia Onatopp (GoldenEye)
Sie is all woman, an East German ex-Stasi who kills for a living and has run ops in East Berlin, North Korea and currently, Moscow. Over six foot tall, her favoured weapons are a shoulder mounted M40 with a pair of bazookas to match. Sie will do virtually anything for the right price and especially enjoys wet work, her stock in trade of killing and assassination turning her on. She%26rsquo;s already notched up over 30 confirmed kills and probably many more unconfirmed by the Thorton encounters her in Moscow.GPS locator
An ultra predatory cougar, you won%26rsquo;t have to so much as romance Sie up as fight her off and she certainly has some of the most brilliant double-entendre laden dialogue in the game. Some quick samples include: "Seeing you in action makes me want to debrief you" and "I%26rsquo;ve taken down plenty of men like you and some even enjoyed it." Forming an alliance with Sie however will bring you plenty of practical benefits like extra weapons and even her mercenary cohorts on some missions.
Sie is voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn who also starred as Nora Estheim in Final Fantasy XIII and Nina Williams in Tekken 6.
Madison Saint James
Base of Operations: Unknown
Occupation: Executive Assistant
Intelligence on Madison St James is partial and incomplete, but indications are that she could prove vital to your mission. Madison has been in Italy less than ayear, but her resume on file at the Veteran Combat Initiative lists her as fluent in Italian and passable at a few other languages, enough to land her a part-time job working for the VCI as a translator and file clerk. Nothing in her file lists her as being anything but professional in carrying out her duties. However careful surveillance, observation and even fraternization may be required to get past Madison%26rsquo;s carefully constructed cover.
Madison St. James is voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey a games industry voice work veteran, who also starred in Final Fantasy XIII, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Pyschonauts.
Achievements and Trophies
There%26rsquo;s four potential bedmates for you to encounter in Alpha Protocol and you%26rsquo;ll get individual awards and achievements for your success with each, but there%26rsquo;s also overall awards for how successful or unsuccessful you are in wooing the ladies.
The things I do for my country. Possibly the most satisfying achievement in the game, as you rack up four notches on your bedpost and complete the set of lovely spy ladies. When you%26rsquo;re sitting in happy retirement in the spies old folks home, you%26rsquo;ll be able to look back on your career and sigh, %26lsquo;ah, good times%26rsquo;, before your afternoon cocoa..
No time for Love
Abstinence achievement, if you manage to get through the entire game without erm bestowing your favours on the ladies, then this dubious honour becomes your very own. Apparently one of the hardest achievements to score in the game, you have to pick a very delicate path through your various romantic entanglements to make it happen. You may end up having a nutsack like a melon farm during harvest time, but bask in the erm glory of saving it for Miss Right, rather than Miss Right Now.
You gained the affection of Sie and allowed her to consummate her lust.
Hold the front page! A special one on one which sees you enjoying the favours of newshound Scarlet Lake.
A touch close to home and it could turn into some awkward silences in the canteen, but your working relationship with Mina Tang turned into something more.
Arrivederci Roma, the romance of the eternal city works wonders as you become more than just good friends with Madison St James.
That concludesour in-depth Alpha Protocol coverage. See below for a rundown of any info you might have missed:
The art of smooth talking
Combat and Weapons
Gadgets and Gizmos
The art of silent killing
The Femme Fatales
And remember: once you've found the final hidden word in this page, you're ready to enter ourAlpha Protocol competition. Use the above links to find any you are missing.
Once you have found all five, enter by DMing us on Twitter or via email to email@example.com subject line 'Alpha Protocol competition'. (This competition is only open to UK and NI residents. For full information and terms and conditions head to ourAlpha Protocol competition page.)
May 6, 2010