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Secret Files is a series of Adventure Games created by Deep Silver, the video game department of the Koch Media group based in Germany. There are two games in the series, with a third in development.

The first game, Secret Files Tsugunska (named after the explosion caused in 1908 in Siberia) follows Nina Kalkenkov, an average Russian woman, visiting her father, Vladimir, at his office in a Berlin museum only to find him missing and his office a wreck. The police being singularly unhelpful, she tackles the problem herself, aided by one of her father's co-workers, and later boyfriend, Max Gruber. The two uncover an investigation he undertook to Tsugunska in the 1950's, as well as a world domination scheme that's also interested in the same investigation.

The second game, Puritas Cortis, taking place shortly after the first, begins with several members of the Catholic church, a vicar and then a bishop, being attacked and murdered over a strange parchment found while the vicar's church was undergoing renovation, referring to a prophet named Zandona, known for his gloom-and-doom prophecies. Meanwhile, Nina and Max have split up. Nina is taking a cruise to relax, while Max is headed to Indonesia to visit a former classmate, Sam Peters, at her dig site where she's uncovered an ancient temple. Both of them end up involved in thwarting an Ancient Conspiracy and their plan to create natural disasters to manipulate Zandona's prophecies.

The game's approach resolves around solving puzzles and combining items to achieve the desired results. One may have a puzzle, like a very large, multi-colored symbol one must determine the smaller symbols that make it up, and can tell by changing the color of a lamp by tinting it with other inventory objects, as well as different puzzles and riddles to solve.

Tropes used in Secret Files: Tunguska include:


  • Action Survivor: Nina and Max are built of this trope.
  • The Alcoholic: Foley the fisherman. Max comments that all he'd need to do is breathe over the water, and the fish would get so drunk they'd be easily caught.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Nina and Max switch perspectives in both games, and sometimes, you can switch between them. In the second game, there are four characters: Nina, Max, Sam, and Bishop Chester Parrey. Bishop Parrey dies once his chapter is over, sort of an introduction to how to play the game, and Sam is only usable to switch with Max in his first two chapters.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Max is one, Vladimir used to be one, or at least, an Adventure Geologist.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Nurse Sabrina's plan to get elected as mayor is to appeal to this. It works.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Nina lusts after a few guys, but the real offender is Romanova, the female Russian guard at the train station. She has pictures of many different handsome men in her locker, and she's only allowed to take her cigarette breaks with Yushin, because she'll flirt shamlessly with anyone else.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Puritas Cortis.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Radenkov and Fetisov, two Russian FSB soldiers, combining this with Sinister Shades. In the epilogue, the two open a clothing shop selling these types of suits.
  • Badass in Distress: In both game, Nina and Max end up kidnapped at some point.
  • Batman Gambit: While Nina tends to solve her problems with MacGyvering, Max tends to rely on these, playing on the fears of the people he outwits.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Max pulls these off in both games. Once with a crane hook, and another with a helicopter.
  • Blue Eyes: Max sports them, along with Hair of Gold. He's the good guy.
  • Bottle Fairy: Nina likes her vodka, especially in the first game.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Oskar, the ship captain's son, in the second game. He plays the bongoes just to be annoying. And plays a Fetch Quest with Nina because he's bored.
  • Busman's Holiday: Nina planned to take a vacation to get over her breakup with Max. She ends up in the middle of an Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Butt Monkey: The guard in the Siberian hospital, Spivak. In both games, Max makes a fool of him.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Rossi, the Italian outside the metro station in Paris.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The stove door Max gets when he's kidnapped by the cult. Pat Shelton, angry that Nina won't tell him the information he wants (that Nina doesn't have) angrily shoots Max in the chest and leaves him in a shallow grave. The bullet is stopped by the door.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: At Sam's dig site in Indonesia. She even says it is dormant and will never erupt. Of course, Puritas Cortis drops a nuclear bomb in it to make it happen.
  • Church Militant: Puritas Cortis, Jay Shelton, and posthumously, Zandona.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Manimisso Gartusso.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Jay Shelton believes this, and believes that there is no way Nina and Max, who know each other, simply stumbled onto his plans in two different places halfway around the world in the second game. Truth is, he's wrong, it was a complete accident.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Puritas Cortis cover features four prominent characters: Nina, Max, David, and Sam. Sam disappears after Max's first chapter and is never heard from again for the rest of the game.
  • Cult: There is a cult in both games, both have the hooded robes standard of cults. In the first game, they are good guys, who keep Vladimir and Max safe. In the second, it's your standard evil cult.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Max and especially Nina are. For the supporting cast, there is Fleming, the tour guide when Nina turns in her model of the Atomium, as well as O'Brien, the bartender Max meets in Ireland.
  • The Determinator: Nina treks halfway across the world (Germany, Russia, Cuba, and then China then Antartica, but that's because she was kidnapped), and endures craploads of abuse just to find her father.
  • Fiery Redhead: Nina.
  • First-Person Smartass: When you control a character, you hear their thoughts as well. And both Nina and Max are huge smartasses.
  • French Jerk: Nicole Charlesroi. Puritas Cortis has their base set in a chateau in France, but it's unclear if any of them are actually French.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: The game was made in 2007, and mentions, as part of the natural disasters that happened, was an earthquake in Japan. This was before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.
  • The Ghost: Vladimir Kalenkov, while especially important to the first game, is only ever seen in the credits in either game.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: The tidal wave on the cruise ship.
  • Green Eyed Red Head: Nina has the look, and she gets very jealous about Max's relationship with Sam. They're just friends.
  • Heroic BSOD: Nina goes through a big one near the end of the second game, when she believes herself responsible for the deaths of both David and Max, although Max ends up surviving.
  • Info Dump: The first game did this a lot, the second game made it easier.
  • Kick the Dog: The guard watching Sam after she is kidnapped. When she asks for fruit, he cruelly eats one of them. You cause him to trip out by hiding a psychotropic berry in one.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: An Adventure Game, so par the course.
  • Large Ham: Practically everyone on the cruise ship, but the bartender especially qualifies. After all, Evil Is Hammy.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Nina is quite aware she's in a video game, and laments after she ruins a guy's car, that if she doesn't help him feel better, she'll only be cast as villains in the future.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Nina only changes her clothes twice in the first game, Max never changes them at all. He goes all the way from Germany to Ireland and doesn't change them. At least in the second game, he gets kidnapped and has an excuse. In the second game, Nina and David change their clothes after escaping the ship, and then are kidnapped or killed.
  • Love At First Sight: Nina and Max. How else could you explain his willingness to bust her out of a Russian hospital within one day of meeting her.
  • MacGyvering: The primary way the game, when controlling Nina, solves puzzles. Nina expertly builds a boat motor out of an alternator, a damaged motorcycle, and some life vests, to name an example.
  • Made of Iron: Max survives a tent exploding right next to him and being shot, although that was due to the stove door he hid in his chest pocket as a weapon.
  • The Mole: Oleg and Sergei.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Nicole Charlesroi. The things she does to her subjects are inhuman.
  • National Stereotypes: Nina and Feng Li discuss this on the cruise ship in the second game. She questions why he doesn't mispronounce his R's. He turns that he always thoughts Russians did nothing but drink vodka. They have a laugh.
  • Nice Hat: Max sports a safari hat in the second game.
  • Paparazzi: Mr. Li in the second game.
  • Perma Stubble: Max, especially in the second game, as well as David Korell.
  • Punch Clock Villain: It's quite clear that, with the exception of Gartissmo, Charlesroi, Sergei, and Oleg in the first game, and the actual sect members of Puritas Cortis the second, all of the "bad guys" are actually fairly decent people.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Max took a needlework course in college and is accomplished at sewing.
  • Red Shirt: Mocked at the end of the second game with all the people who died in it wearing red Starfleet uniforms. David is more of a Mauve Shirt though, and the bad guys, the bartender and Shelton, don't qualify.
  • Sacrificial Lion: David in game 2.
  • Sadistic Choice: Nina is offered one by Jay Shelton: Tell him about the Church Intelligence Services conspiracy or he kills Max. Nina, having stumbled onto the plan, knows nothing. Cue Jay shooting Max.
  • Shout-Out: Makes reference to the names Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles, calling them "Red 2" and "Red 3" in the credits.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Mocked by Nina in internal monologue in both games when the player has her clean something.
  • Straight Gay: Comrade Yushin in the first game. Strong, manly, loves to smoke. Wouldn't know that he's gay until Romanova comments that she enjoys Yushin's company, as they both agree men make better lovers.
  • Supreme Chef: Nina cooks in both games, and her food is raved about. Of course, the first one was laxative jam to get a guy out of the room...
  • Trademark Favorite Food: For Spivak, cheese soup.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Sam. In the credits she tried to get Max to go on adventures with her, but Nina protested heavily.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Sister Elise writes this in her letter that David translates.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Nina really knows how to find the oddballs.
  • Wrench Wench: Nina is a skilled motorcycle mechanic.
  • Villains Never Lie: Nina is all too willing to believe Oleg.
  • You No Take Candle: Sam mocks her dimwitted captor by talking first in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, and then the trope when the guard doesn't understand her.
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