I try the X-Files DVD games so you don't have to

Alright, I'm feeling excited about this. No, really. There aren't a ton of games based on The X-Files. There's a PlayStation/PC game that's good, a PlayStation 2 game that's way overpriced, and a J2ME game that I can't find. I don't know what to expect from these DVD games.


Right away there's a problem. Shockwave is required but not included on the DVD. The URL it's looking for is long gone.

Shockwave required

This is not a crisis though as everything is on archive.org. I would not install something from archive.org on a PC I cared about but this is a virtual machine.

Shockwave installer

The loading screen, which I suspect isn't loading anything at all, has a book ad. The X-Files was lacking in video games but definitely not in books about the lore or episode guides.

Book ad

At the beginning you need to register a name. I don't think anything you enter here matters.

Registration screen

I found the interface confusing. You land on a map with this PDA device on the right. None of the buttons on it go anywhere that makes sense. I think clicking on the blinking red dot is the right way to start.

Map screen

OK, getting somewhere.. that goes to a screen with some case files to review and an obvious link to follow.

Case files

This leads to a quiz screen. I looked up this answer on the internet, on the internet I tell you, and it was wrong. Maybe multiple dates were given throughout the run of the show and the internet only has a "canon" answer that is different than the "canon" answer when this DVD was produced. No worries though because clicking the submit link enough times eventually advances the game.

First quiz

Next there are some autopsy reports to review. It turns out you need to because there are trivia questions about them later. See that little puzzle piece in the corner... every time one appears it needs to be dragged into the black box on the PDA. This stores it for later use.

Autopsy reports

A few more reports to read through and we'll be on to the first puzzle.

More autopsy reports

Before that - a quiz about something in the autopsy reports. There are a couple different questions but they are all easy like this.

Autopsy quiz

The first puzzle involves decoding words inscribed in code on the infamous metal implants. It starts with one example translation.

First puzzle

Clicking on the letter grid shows a second example. Neat, also helpful.

First puzzle but larger

OK, the book tie-in is coming together now. The solutions are all references to things in episode scripts. All the episode transcripts can be found online now, hosted by a page owned by the same corporate overlord that owns GameFAQs.

Second puzzle but larger

After solving a puzzle, the names need to be dragged over to the empty box on the PDA thing. They then appear in the evidence bin.

Evidence bin

With those strings decoded, it's time to move on to the next case.

More case files

A new map destination can now be reached. It's possible to return to the previous case if (like me) you missed a puzzle piece.

Second map destination

On the second quiz I found it is a little picky about how answers are worded.

Second quiz

This leads to the second set of case files.

Second set of case files

I don't know what's going on here. The map now has all kinds of points. The red ones are travel locations and the orange ones are.. uh, I guess links to episode recaps?

Map with many points

Choosing the next map destination leads to another quiz.

Third quiz

This next game is difficult and likely would have been a nightmare on a Windows 98 PC. I was only able to solve it through the magic of screenshots, resizing, and color adjustments. All those could be done on Windows 98, it's just a lot easier 25 years later.

Sound analysis game

The audio itself is just static. The goal is to find hidden words in the audio analysis. A colorblind person could not handle this puzzle. I had to capture and enhance the image to find it.

First hidden word

Solving it creates another piece of evidence. It's also clear at this point that these solutions will be keywords from episodes.

Evidence from audio clip

Seriously, how are you supposed to see this?

Second audio clip

This one doesn't even enhance well. It looks like "MOW SIGMAI" to me.


The next one is at least easy to make out if you mess around with the colors.


Here are all the solutions so you don't have to figure them out if you ever play this.

Audio solutions

OK, on to the next case file.

On to the next case file

Time for another trivia question.

Time for another trivia question

There are some new photos to review.

Photos to review

And one more trivia question.

And one more trivia question

This puzzle can... well, I'll try to keep this site as clean as I can. Let's say this is a no good puzzle that I don't care for. It involves decoding a message inscribed on a tissue sample.

Tissue sample puzzle

After staring at it a while, I decided to start at the root node and go left for a 0 and right for a 1. When it hits a terminating node that means we've found the letter.

Attempt to solve

Alright, that produced a name which is good. Since I'm so nice, here's a list of all the letters:


This approach did not pan out for the other two codes.

The other two codes

Luckily, once you solve the first you can assume what the other names might be based on the episode it's referencing.

Solution to this puzzle

Now we have a whole bunch of evidence. It turns out none of it really matters. Solving the game just requires finding all the puzzle pieces.

A whole bunch of evidence

While clicking through everything again to find puzzle pieces I missed, I ran into another trivia question.

Last trivia question

Once you have all the puzzle pieces you go to the clueboard and assemble them.

Assemble the puzzle

So this looks totally finished to me.

What appears to be a finished puzzle.

The game disagreed though and said I only had 34 of 35 pieces.

34 out of 35

After taking every piece off.. and clicking the submit button after re-adding each piece to make sure the count incremented.. the game is over.

Game ending

Those were some obtuse puzzles. Not the worst ever, just kind of mildly confusing. I wonder if this improves in the later games...