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Chaos Theory: Where in The Secret World is Carmen Sandiego?

MJ Guthrie

OK, so I openly admit that the title's reference probably predates the majority of you (unless you've happened upon the Facebook puzzle game, which apparently there is one!), but sometimes oldies are goodies. Or they just have catchy theme songs you can't get out of your head no matter how many decades you try...

So what does the older game featuring the notorious Carmen Sandiego have to do with The Secret World? For starters, it involves solving clues to complete the objective, just as investigations missions do in the newer game. Basically, both involve using your head to continue in the story. And both also use various locales around the world as the backdrop for the adventures. It's this last one specifically that my mind has been mulling over for a bit, especially in light of recent changes.

You see, even with the roadmap sketched out for the release of the next six updates (including Tokyo, woo!), some folks are worried about TSW's smaller centralized team. There is concern that there won't be enough resources to devote to the game and that it will languish. This is so where I come in. Instead of seeing the negative, I see opportunity: Iin order to free up more developer time and energy to focus on the nuts and bolts of creating the game, I'll provide the team with new ideas for future issues. This week, let's see where in the world we'll go.

TSW screenshot
A whole new world
Our world is definitely a rich and diverse place, with plenty of locales ripe for a conspiracy story to be woven in. And with the detail the team puts into the game, it can be like actually having a bit of a vacation traveling to this various places. Mind you, this vacation includes fighting demons, monsters, and other assorted vile and destructive creatures bent on destroying you. But then again, anyone who has had to go through airport security has already done the same. Oh, how those memories make me so grateful the bee-born have Agartha!

So where are my first picks for future TSW adventure hotspots? With Agartha, any place is in the realm of possibility! The travel conduit is already set up with tons of entry points into the world, so nothing is off-limits. The trouble really comes in narrowing the choices down. With that in mind, here are some of my choices. Devs: These ideas can be implemented in any order you like!

Issues #13 - ?
TSW screenshotRoswell, N.M

This one is a given. So maybe TSW isn't big on aliens per se, but if there's a place that knows weird goings-on with obvious cover ups, Roswell is it. The location is rife with conspiracy history that could easily be exploited for the game. And besides, who says that the craziness being unleashed upon the world wasn't first seen right there in New Mexico and mistaken for aliens?

The Outback

No, I am in no way referring to the restaurant here; I want to go to the land down under. (Ha, got another song stuck in your head, didn't I?) Imagine taking a walkabout and meeting up with filth-contaminated crocs, koalas, and kangaroos! It would be a perfect place to introduce a Crocodile Dundee-inspired weapon: The "That's not a knife. That's a knife!" knife. Boomerangs wouldn't be terribly out of place, either. Looky there, a two-for-one deal -- I am tossing in some new auxiliary weapon ideas as well!

Midwest farmland, U.S.A.

OK, so I do not have an exact location for this one, but it just has to be open farmlands -- preferably corn. Why? If you need to ask, go watch Children of the Corn. No, seriously! Rent it, stream it, whatever. Nothing screams spooky crazy stuff like a cornfield. End of story.


Besides the other cool things to see in Tibet, let's bring the Yeti on board. We already have Bigfoot's family in The Blue Mountain, so why don't we have the Abominable Snowman?

Picture of Moscow metro station

If you are hoping for a Mother Russia joke, I am going to disappoint you here. This city is actually included because I would personally love to return and walk the streets there again, even if only in the virtual world. The old country feel here, the atmosphere of secrecy... it all lends itself very well to The Secret World. And you have just got to see the central metro stations to believe them! Opulent is putting it mildly, with the chandeliers, massive ornate mosaics, marble floors and columns, gorgeous works of art, and stained glass. Seriously, who needed to go to a museum when I could just hang in the capital's subways?

Picture of Route 66Route 66

Good ol' Will Rogers Highway. Now who didn't think of this one at some point in their musings of new places to go? I mean, doesn't everyone have some urge to travel this iconic highway? The game wouldn't have to include the original route from Chicago all the way to L.A., but it could incorporate some preserved scenic parts, especially through the dusty desert areas in New Mexico and Arizona. It's pure Americana. And plenty of strange happenings could occur along the long stretches of deserted roads punctuated by abandoned buildings neglected since the inception of the interstate highway system.


As a west coast girl, I knew I wanted to get California in the game some how, but how to narrow down the choices? I finally settled on the one place where the truly strange, bizarre, and creepy could walk the streets in broad daylight with nary a flinch from anyone: Hollywood! And I'd personally love to roam through old movie lots. Just think of all the stories you could weave in those; there are plenty of local legends of haunted movie sets. And let's not forget the plethora of rumors swirling about. That star who hasn't aged in the last 30 years? Well, maybe s/he can give Said a few pointers!

Well, that should be enough for the devs to chew on for a while. I have plenty more ideas where those came from -- including weapons, plot lines, and colorful characters -- so I can keep them coming as needed. Just doing my part to help out a game I love. Next up, converting The Secret World to a game show with a really catchy tune...

How about you -- what places would you suggest for us to romp and roam through? Or do you have any other ideas of what could be implemented in game? Help the devs out and share your ideas in the comments below.

Conspiracies, paranoia, secrets, and chaos -- the breakfast of champions! Feast on a bowlful with MJ every Monday as she infiltrates The Secret World to bring you the latest word on the streets of Gaia in Chaos Theory. Heard some juicy whispers or have a few leads you want followed? Send them to and she'll jump on the case!

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