Good Luck and God Speed
The Indomitable Cate Archer
"Alpine Intrigue" is one of the longest levels in The Operative: No One Lives Forever. It is the 12th mission of the game and the first installment in the "Alpine Quartet", which forms the great finale of the game. The mission sees Cate tailing Baroness Dumas and gaining access to her private chateau in the mountains.
If your theories are correct, the Baroness will lead you right to the list of H.A.R.M.'s intended victims. You must retrieve that list and put an end to H.A.R.M. before more innocent people die.
Time is short Archer, you must succeed.
In a small town in southern Bavaria, Cate meets a local spy who has been keeping an eye on the Baroness for her. He explains the Baroness' daily routine to Cate and informs her that she goes window shopping every afternoon before returning to her chateau. The first gondola leads to a middle landing and another gondola goes up to the mountain itself. Cate sends her contact ahead to the middle landing to scout out the area. In the meantime, Cate is going to stay on the Baroness' tail and "do some window shopping" of her own.
Cate arrives at the middle landing. The Baroness passes through a gate that is locked electronically behind her. Without setting off any alarms, Cate must sneak into the control room and use the code breaker to hack into the system, opening the gate for her.
Cate meets up with her contact who explains that there are two gondola's in this area: the first is too heavily guarded and would be to difficult to access; the other is a service gondola used for supplies only a few miles away. On way through the compound, Cate comes across a large gate which cannot be penetrated. The only way out is through the underground drainage canal. The only way to the other side is through a locked grating underwater that leads to a frozen lake. As soon as Cate lands in the freezing cold water a timer begins to countdown and the player must hurry to find a warm place before Archer freezes to death. After running a few miles through the woods, Cate finds a small cabin which contains a radio and a hot stove.
Having warmed up, Cate contacts HQ and informs Mr. Jones that she is approaching her target. She is told to "proceed as planned". She then takes the snowmobile which is standing outside and drives through the Alps in search of the gondola station, encountering heavy resistance along the way and even having to cross a minefield. The mission ends once Cate rides the gondola up the mountain.
- Even though Baroness Dumas "fires" one of her guards at the very beginning of the mission, he is still hostile to you and will shoot if he spots you. As he stands right underneath the balcony on which the mission commences, you can jump on his head without him noticing. After this you can kill him in any way you prefer.
- One of the guards in Scene 1 stands right underneath an icicle just outside a pub. It can be accessed by walking along the wall and hitting it. It will then fall down and kill the guard instantly.
- One of the civilians will walk into that very same pub after finishing his conversation. You cannot be armed and you cannot let him find the guard's body. If you follow him in, you can see him walking up a seat and onto a table before standing in the corner. He cannot be talked to.
- The whole town seems to be preparing for the Oktoberfest, which was also previously advertised in The Dive.
- In Scene 2, a guard can be overheard explaining the difference between an operative and a spy. While a spy is a more loose term used to designate anyone who sells secret information to a foreign government or organization, an operative (such as Cate Archer) is more like a secret agent who works for a specific agency on a mission-to-mission basis.
- Another guard mentions that he "prefers women singers" such as Edith Piaf, Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Sinatra, all of which were popular singers and performers throughout the middle of the century. Of all four, Bassey and Sinatra are still alive (Piaf died in 1963; Fitzgerald in 1996) and have sung the title songs of four James Bond films between them.
- A Code Breaker is needed to unlock the gate in Scene 2, but it is not obligatory to equip one at the start of the mission since one can be found in the garage.
- Near the start of Scene 3, a conversation between two guards end earlier than expected without the right voice files. This is apparent from how the guards just stand there awkwardly after the line, "Are you serious? That's pathetic", is uttered. The correct ending is actually, "Yep, I sure hope I'm there to see it."
- In Scene 4 you will encounter two electrical fences. The electricity on the first one can be turned off by shooting at the red barrels at the opposite cliff. This will cause an explosion that destroys the generator.
- Once the gondola station has been reached and you come out of the lift, there is a door to your left, leading to a few rooms containing body armor and some more enemies. This room appears to have been left underdeveloped as the sentences in a conversation between two guards are in the wrong order and even though they are supposedly using a radio, no radio can be seen anywhere.
- When activating the gondola's lever, you must get aboard quickly as it will leave without you if you take too long.
- Unlike the sequel, enemies do not use snowmobiles and this is the only time in which one appears in this game (apart from the previous training level)
- This mission also puts some moral dilemmas before the player: one guard mentions his son's upcoming birthday and invites his colleague and his family over for the party. Another guard can be heard worrying over "what would happen to my wife and little girl if I got mauled down by some superspy?" A good way to avoid having to kill them is to use the sleeping gas. Then again some people might argue that they decided to join an evil organization and should be willing to accept the consequences...
- Unlike every other mission, this is the only one to have two scenes not to feature any intelligence items. With no more than six, it is also one the few missions to feature less than 10 intel items in the game.
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