Tesla Effect Chronology (your input requested!)

Last edited by ASimpson on May 25, 2014 • 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
(Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead! Like literally every spoiler you could possibly think of.)

Hey all,

Super long post here, with a super long preamble.

So my name's AJ Simpson... longtime Tex fan, Mutant League member, and very occasional poster on this and other Tex-related message boards. (I used to post here under a different username that I don't even remember anymore, and haven't posted anything on this particular board in at least 7 years, so yeah, VERY occasional.)

Anyway... after playing through Tesla Effect several times over the last couple of weeks, I became intrigued by the complexity of the plot. I'm a huge fan of film noir and have actually studied it extensively in an academic environment, and like most great examples of noir, Tesla Effect has an extremely complicated story. (This, by the way, is actually a compliment rather than a put-down.) To satisfy my own curiosity, I eventually decided that I'd put together a timeline of events, spanning from the late 19th Century to Day 12 of the game and beyond.

As you can probably tell from the length of this post, it kind of got out of hand.

The timeline I ended up with clocks in at around 6400 words and took me about a day and a half of my life to make. I had originally intended to do it just for myself, but once I realized how expansive the project was becoming, I figured that other people might be interested as well. In addition, many questions arose that I though might be clarified through the contribution of other hardcore Tex fans.

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated, and I have no doubt that there are tons of errors in the chronology, both of the temporal and typographical variety. Let me know what you think, and if there are any changes to be made, maybe we can make them together and, I dunno, eventually put this someone where future Tex fans can find it? (Also, if you have any formatting ideas, i.e. a better way to handle overlapping years/stretches of time or events that could have happened at any time within a certain range, those would also be excellent.)

A couple specific issues that could use some input:

- I'm totally confused by Dalton's history. At some point I came upon the idea of him being a leader/member of a doomsday cult (the same cult that sets up shop at Sesen), and at this point I honestly can't even remember where I got that from. (This is kind of thing that happens when you fill your brain up to the brim with plot minutiae.) A lot of that stuff could be wrong, and any help would be great.

- the timeline of the Tex/Taylor relationship and Tex's residency at The Resort. There's a lengthy explanation of my questions on that front in the chronology below, so I won't say any more on that for now.

- The history/nature of the New Mexico facility. Donnelly clearly had a room there, which indicates that Tesla probably used it as as a base of operations, but we also know that in the 1950s -- not too long after Tesla's death and Donnelly's disappearance -- the cavern was used for U.S. nuclear tests. How did the facility survive the nuclear blasts? Was the Tesla stuff only moved there after the fact, meaning that Tesla never actually went there at all? I'm befuddled.

Here we go:

Late 19th/Early 20th Century:

Nikola Tesla, one of the most prolific inventors of all time, develops all sorts of futuristic technology, including his so-called “Death Ray,” the Spirit Radio, and cryotechnology.

1893: Tesla reveals a copper egg, aka the Egg of Columbus, aka the Tesla Egg, at the Chicago World’s Fair. It is believed that the Egg is “the very heart of a small prototype that some say would become Tesla’s most notorious invention,” the “Death Ray.”

1898-99: Tesla conducts an experiment and creates a resonance frequency that “nearly [takes] out a whole chunk of New York City.” (Note: the game gives conflicting dates for this incident. In Margaret Leonard’s video journal, she states that it occurred in 1899. The video at the Tesla Institute, however, states that it occurred in 1898. Archie Ellis, a wise man if ever I saw one, simply states that it occurred in the 1890s.)

1909: Tesla’s work on the “Death Ray” (technically called a teleforce beam) leads to a catastrophic event in Tunguska, Russia in 1908: an explosion about 1000 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

In the early 20th Century, Edgar Cayce, a prominent psychic known as the “Sleeping Prophet,” makes a “compelling case for the belief that most of us have lived past lives.” He also seems to have a fascination with Atlantis.


Nikola Tesla hires J.T. Donnelly (a P.I. and former stunt man), ostensibly to find and retrieve his copper egg, aka the Tesla Egg, which had apparently gone missing sometime after the Chicago World’s Fair. At some unknown point, Donnelly is successful in locating and taking possession of the Egg. (Note: this could have happened earlier, but Arhcie states that Donnelly was hired “not long” before Tesla died, so 1943 seems like a reasonable estimate. The details of the loss of the Tesla Egg, and Donnelly’s subsequent retrieval of it, remain a mystery.)

In San Francisco, Donnelly meets up with a Russian woman, who may be Anastasia Romanov, the supposedly dead former Grand Duchess of the Russian Empire. The woman is likely in possession of a very valuable Faberge egg, while Donnelly is in possession of the Tesla Egg, which he stashes in the walls of a room he has rented at the Ritz Hotel (the same room that will eventually be Tex Murphy’s apartment).

Later, Donnelly and the woman chat near the Golden Gate Bridge. The relationship between Donnelly and the woman seems to be contentious, with the woman asking Donnelly if he’s there to “protect [her] or kill [her],” and Donnelly countering by saying that she has “no idea who is after [her].” Donnelly informs the woman that they won’t be returning to his hotel. Instead, a man named Yang will collect their belongings and store them at a warehouse called the Blue Dragon until they can return for them. By this point in time, the woman doesn’t know what has happened to the Faberge egg, indicating that Donnelly may have hidden it as well. Donnelly reminds the woman that they’ve got a train to catch, and they presumably depart. (Note: the timing of the two flashbacks referred to in this paragraph remains somewhat in question. The openly hostile part of the conversation could take place before they go to the Ritz.)

On board the train, Donnelly becomes aware that three dangerous men are slowly searching the vehicle, presumably for the Russian woman. He brings the woman up to speed and says that while he “checks something out” she should lock the door of the cabin and not open it for anyone, including him.

Donnelly is eventually confronted by the three men, who offer him $50,000 (remember that number) to hand over the Russian woman. They appear to be interested in the woman’s Faberge egg. Donnelly tells them that the woman doesn’t have the egg, but that “fifty grand is fifty grand.” They presumably discuss the arrangement further.

Back in the Russian woman’s cabin, she tries to seduce Donnelly in order to gain his favor, but he says that he’s only interested in money. He then asks her about the “Treasure of the Czars,” a “legendary treasure trove hidden in a cave chock-full of unimaginable wealth,” but she claims ignorance. (Note: I’m completely confused about the timing of the scenes on board the train, and this order could be completely wrong. Any help sorting it out would be greatly appreciated.)

At some point, Donnelly and the Russian woman get off the train in the “middle of nowhere.” Donnelly implores her to move faster in order to get away from the “three stooges,” presumably the three men who had confronted him earlier.

J.T. Donnelly disappears, having presumably headed for the Tesla facility in New Mexico. He lives there for some time and likely undergoes cryostasis, though the details of this remain murky. His last known address was the apartment at the Ritz. The fate of the Russian woman is unknown.

(Note: I remain entirely confused about the relationship between Donnelly and the would-be princess. The modern day Russian woman who appears on the vidphone and at the Blue Dragon Warehouse seems to think that Donnelly betrayed the princess, but the flashback of them escaping the train seems to indicate otherwise. The photograph found and assembled at the warehouse also seems to indicate some kind of connection between the woman and Nikola Tesla, but the details of this relationship remain a mystery.)

Nikola Tesla dies. The FBI swoops in and confiscates his work, which becomes known as the Tesla Cache.

2012 (and soon thereafter):

The Tesla Cache is stolen by Charles Johansson, an American FBI agent with a Swedish name and an English accent. (I kid, I kid.) Soon thereafter, Johansson quits the FBI and joins the Tesla Legacy Society, a group “dedicated to making the world better through technology”.

At the Tesla Legacy Society, Johansson meets Margaret Leonard, and they fall in love, get married, and have a daughter.

A couple of years later, Johansson dies of cancer, but not before he and Margaret Leonard arrange to put him in cryostasis in hopes that he can one day be cured and brought back to life. Several other members of the Tesla Legacy Society, including Mantus, also volunteer to be put into cryostasis. (Note: I’m somewhat confused about the timing of Mantus’ cryostasis. He tells Tex that he’s a “founding member of the Tesla Legacy Society,” an organization that existed as early as 2012, but he also states that his wife was killed in Big Jim Slade’s attack on the Tesla Institute, which occurs only a few years before Tesla Effect. That only leaves two possibilities, as far as I can tell: either Mantus’ wife married him after he had already become a Morlock, which seems possible but kind of unlikely, or he went into cryostasis well after Charles Johansson, though given his apparent age this would necessitate him having founded the Tesla Legacy Society as a VERY young man. For now, I’m going with the former theory, but any input on this matter would be appreciated.)

Leonard, not feeling able to raise a child alone, leaves her daughter with a mutant family, the Bandos. This daughter grows up to be Chelsee Bando.

After that, Margaret Leonard, now almost certainly in possession of the stolen Tesla Cache, essentially “drop[s] out of circulation.” She continues her Tesla-related work in private, with funding from Gideon Enterprises. She keeps a very low profile until the 2040s.

2020 (or thereabouts):

A controversial new therapy is developed: the Trance Inducer. Nanites are “used to target specific memories, blocking brain signals” and “essentially erasing traumatic memories.” In order to undo the effects of the Trance Inducer, one must have another serum, the Trance Interrupter, and the Trance Key, a short trigger phrase.


Big Jim Slade helps Dalton Fiske, an employee of Gideon Enterprises, rise through the ranks of that organization. The nature of their relationship and the circumstances of their meeting are unknown, but may have something to do with Slade’s involvement in the Overlord case.


The flashback portions of Tex Murphy: Overseer.

2037-2043 (sometime between the Overseer flashbacks and the Overseer frame story):

Tex Murphy, a P.I. who was likely J.T. Donnelly in a past life, is subconsciously drawn to Donnelly’s old apartment and takes up residence at the Ritz. (Note: there seems to be an ongoing debate between people who believe that Tex was Donnelly in a past life and people who believe that Tex is literally Donnelly, i.e. that Donnelly spent time in the cryogenic chamber seen in New Mexico and emerged sometime in the 21st Century as Tex Murphy. Given the Tex games’ frequent references to Tex’s childhood and pre-Overseer history, I’m erring on the side of past life, but you’re free to make up your own mind.)

Margaret Leonard begins renting an apartment at the Ritz. (Note: this could actually have happened at any point before 2043, but this is my best guess and it doesn’t really matter anyway.) Over time, she reconnects with Chelsee and becomes friends and business associates with Rook. She continues to partly reside at her Swamp House.

Dalton Fiske, by this point a manager at Gideon Enterprises, becomes aware of Margaret Leonard, Charles Johansson, and the Tesla Cache. Dalton eventually becomes determined to reanimate Charles Johansson, presumably to find the Cache, and joins (or forms) a doomsday cult devoted to Tesla’s work.

Dalton Fiske breaks Big Jim Slade out of prison.

Mason Bauers, a neurologist and expert in memory modification, joins Dalton Fiske’s doomsday cult. (It’s unclear if Dalton is the leader or not, though he’s clearly an influential member.)

Margaret Leonard begins trying to reanimate former members of the Tesla Legacy Society, with frequently tragic results.

Dalton Fiske begins to pressure Margaret Leonard to reanimate Charles Johansson, but she refuses, believing (with good reason) that it isn’t yet safe. Margaret goes further underground.


March 18: Margaret Leonard makes a video journal entry indicating that she has assembled Tesla’s Spirit Radio in an attempt to contact her dead husband, Charles Johansson.

June 11: Another journal entry. Leonard indicates that the Spirit Radio is working, but that the voices she hears are incoherent. She muses that there “must be some way to amplify the power.”

September 26: Yet another journal entry. Leonard says that her last attempt “was a near disaster.” The frequency caused a vibration that almost split the house in two. She had to smash the Spirit Radio.

Tex and a woman named Ariel have a brief fling in Mexico City. Unbeknownst to Tex, Ariel works for an organization called the White Guard.


April 12: Another entry in Margaret Leonard’s video diary. By this point, she has rebuilt the Spirit Radio and made contact with Charles Johansson, though his words are still unclear. She intensified the signal by bringing the Radio close to Charles’ cryo-chamber.

December: The events of Under a Killing Moon.


February 2: Another entry in Margaret Leonard’s video journal. By this point, she has recorded hours of Charles Johansson’s garbled voice and had it analyzed. The only words that can be made out are “void,” “return,” and “immortal.”

April: The events of The Pandora Directive.

Tex begins to experience strange and disturbing dreams involving all sorts of imagery, including Faberge eggs and various visions from the past. These dreams presumably continue all the way up to the beginning of Tesla Effect.

The frame story portions of Tex Murphy: Overseer. By this point, Dalton has discovered that Chelsee is Margaret Leonard’s daughter, and in an attempt to force Margaret out of hiding, Dalton and his associates steal Tex’s speeder while he and Chelsee are at the Golden Pagoda. Dalton, posing as a helpful bystander, offers to give them a lift to the “cop shop” and shoots them both when they get in the car, presumably with some kind of tranquilizer. Tex and Chelsee are then taken to a facility where their memories are searched (likely by Mason Bauers) for leads as to Margaret Leonard’s whereabouts. These efforts fail.

In a last-ditch effort to force Margaret Leonard out of hiding, Dalton stages Chelsee’s death by abandoning Tex’s speeder, burning it, and planting Chelsee’s DNA at the scene. This DNA is enough for the coroner and police commissioner to pronounce her legally dead. Leonard doesn’t fall for the ruse and remains in hiding. Chelsee is eventually released.

November 4: Another entry in Margaret Leonard’s video journal. She states that she has reached an impasse in attempting to contact Charles, and wonders if the Tesla Egg might be able to further amplify the Spirit Radio’s power.

November or December: Mason Bauers completes the reanimation of Charles Johansson on behalf of Dalton Fiske and the doomsday cult. (Note: the timing of this is an estimate based on Margaret Leonard’s comments in her video journal, but it seems to fit with other known facts.)

December 21: Another entry in Margaret Leonard’s video journal. She states that it’s been weeks since she last made contact with Charles Johansson through the Spirit Radio, and wonders if the “Gideon parasites” have reanimated him without her blessing.


Tex, having presumably been released by Dalton, shows up on Chandler Avenue “out of nowhere,” but leaves again after only a couple of days. (Note: this may refer to Tex’s return to the Brew & Stew in Radio Theater, but I’m not sure about the canonicity of those events at this point.) Tex then “drops out of circulation,” as Clint puts it. Both Rook and Louie recall that Tex went away for a long time. (Note: the timing of this is an estimate, but fits with other known information/dates.)

2043-2050 (sometime between the end of Overseer and the beginning of Tesla Effect):

Tex goes to Rook looking for leads on some valuable items, including a lost Faberge egg. (Note: the timing of this is left somewhat ambiguous, but it sounds like it happened not too long after the events of Overseer, perhaps during the couple of days he spent on the street before leaving again.)

Tex rents out a second apartment at the Ritz to store Chelsee’s possessions, eventually turning it into a de facto shrine. (Note: it’s likely that this occurred not long after the events of Overseer, perhaps during the aforementioned couple of days. It’s clear from Tex’s conversations with Taylor, however, that Chelsee’s “death” continues to bother Tex even after he returns to the street as a changed man.)

Tex encounters Chelsee’s brother and an English woman named Juliette. The details of these meetings remain a mystery (though they may relate to the events of Radio Theater).

Carlos Maldonado, another P.I., opens an office on Chandler Avenue.

The Golden Gate Hotel is sold and renovated. Holly Graham, a hologram, works the front desk. She and Tex don’t exactly hit it off. (Oh, Tex… such a typical tangible.)

Inspector Burns’ BBQ opens a new location on the site of the old Slice O’ Heaven pizza joint. Mordecai Josephus, alias MoJo, works there, and he becomes obsessed with Tex’s exploits.

The Fuchsia Flamingo closes down and Emily winds up posing for Playbub magazine.

Clint has a relapse of his chocolate addition, closes down the Cocoa Cabana, is helped through a rehab program by the soon-to-be-departed Crazy Gary Lee, and buys the Ritz Hotel from Nilo.

Saffyre, a “domineering escort,” moves into the Ritz Hotel and becomes friendly with Tex. She loves spunk.

Morlocks, a new type of mutant, begin to be seen in the area around Chandler Avenue. In reality, they are reanimated and severely deformed former members of the Tesla Legacy Society who have been awakened and are drawn to Margaret Leonard’s presence at the Ritz Hotel.

An ad-hoc group called the Nights Templar (without a ‘K’) is formed, with the members committed to hunting down Morlocks in the area. They base themselves out of the abandoned Rusty’s Fun Masks.

Rook begins to acquire a fair number of items from the Tesla Cache, and he develops a reputation amongst collectors. These items are presumably sold to him by Margaret Leonard.

Charles Johansson, now known as The Translator and claiming to know the will of Tesla, develops a grandiose scheme to combine Tesla’s “Death Ray,” Sprit Radio, and the Tesla Egg into a creation he dubs The Immortal Coil. (Like the Morlocks, The Translator’s sanity may have been compromised by his prolonged cryosleep.) He reveals these plans to both the Tesla Legacy Society and Dalton’s doomsday cult. He is ultimately banished from the Tesla Legacy Society. Months later, Big Jim Slade and a professional strike team attack the Tesla Institute (the Tesla Legacy Society’s research facility) under orders from The Translator. They murder everyone at the facility and steal most of the Institute’s files and equipment.

Margaret Leonard begins to feel great regret about the work she’s done and how it might contribute to The Translator’s nefarious scheme. She vows to find the Tesla Egg before they do and begins to work with Mason Bauers, who starts to feed her information from within The Translator’s organization once she convinces him that The Translators plans are “too risky.” (Note: As far as I can tell, this could take place at any point after The Translator’s reanimation, and may in fact take place as early as 2044-45, if that’s when Bauers and Leonard conducted their neural experiments on Tex.)

At the request of Mason Bauers, Thompson Ault, a friend of Mason’s, begins to look after Chelsee. Eventually, they grow “quite fond of each other” and get married, though they are never truly in love. Margaret Leonard doesn’t want to know what happens to her, presumably out of concern for her safety.

Tex begins to work with Margaret Leonard and Mason Bauers. (Note: the genesis of their relationship is unclear, as is its timing.)

Margaret Leonard and Mason Bauers likely conduct “neural experiments”, potentially including “interfacing brain surgery,” on Tex, possibly with his consent. (Margaret makes mention of them in the video journal entry found in her apartment.) (Note: the timing of this is somewhat up in the air. My best guess is that it occurred at some point during the couple of years when Tex was away from Chandler Avenue, which would place it in either 2044 or 2045, but since I don’t believe there’s any information in the game that conclusively ties it to any one time period, I’ve placed it here for now. If the experiments did take place during the “lost years,” however, they may account, in part or in whole, for Tex’s change in personality.)


Tex returns to Chandler Avenue after his long absence. Rook and Louie describe him as being different than he was before – darker, harder, meaner. (Note: the timing of this is an estimate, but fits with other known information/dates.)

2046-2050 (sometime after Tex’s return):

Tex tells Louie to “never say nothing” about Chelsee again. (Note: the timing of this is unclear, but it stands to reason that Tex would only say this after he’d become a meaner person.) The two gradually have a falling out.

Tex and Big Jim Slade develop a working relationship.

Rook starts to become quite fond of Tex, owing to Tex’s newly gruff demeanor and abundance of cash.

Tex has dealings with Zack Williams, the operator of the Electronics Shop, that are sufficient to make Zack terrified of Tex despite Zack’s mob connections.

A serial killer called the Nitro-Stalker starts murdering people by shooting them with a freeze gun and smashing them. Tex steals the freeze gun and presumably kills the Nitro-Stalker in the same manner. It’s Tex’s coolest case ever. He then pawns the freeze gun, and it’s bought by the Night’s Templar (without a ‘K’), who hide it in the water tower on the rooftop of Rusty’s.


Tex’s Smart Alex rolls off the assembly line in “a factory with truly horrible working conditions.”

August: Tex presumably beats up street informant Beek Nariz, who had given information on Tex to the police. Beek is hospitalized, refuses to name his assailant, and no charges are ever filed.


November: Jen Lee, a suspected extortionist, leaves the Golden Pagoda with Tex and is never seen again. The case remains unsolved.


A “big” earthquake hits San Francisco.


The recent past (sometime prior to Day 0):

A few months before Tesla Effect, Archie Ellie moves back to San Francisco and opens up Three Cards to Midnight, his new shop on Chandler Avenue.

Count St. Germaine takes up residence at the Golden Gate Hotel. He claims to be a collector in search of a particular Faberge egg, and also claims to be familiar with “certain techniques,” like “channeling and regression.”

Count St. Germaine meets with Rook and expresses interest in items from the Tesla Cache. He also asks Rook who supplies him with Tesla items, but Rook remains tight-lipped. (St. Germaine hopes to find a clue as to the whereabouts of the Faberge egg in question somewhere in Tesla’s notes and letters.)

Margaret Leonard and Count St. Germaine meet and possibly compare notes. (St. Germaine’s business card is found in Margaret Leonard’s apartment at the Ritz.)

Tex meets Taylor LaMintz, Louie’s niece and a reporter for the Bay City Mirror. They become very close (*ahem*). Tex asks Taylor to look into previous tenants at the Ritz going as far back as possible. Taylor eventually finds out about J.T. Donnelly. (Note: the placement of this and subsequent events in the Tex/Taylor relationship seems to be something of an open question, aside from the fact that they occur after Tex’s return. On Day 3, Taylor mentions that she and Tex have been working closely together for the past “couple of weeks,” and Margaret’s video journal entry at her apartment makes it seem like Tex’s discovery of the Tesla Egg – which presumably occurred the night he tore the holes in his walls – is a relatively recent development. Other narrative and voice-over elements [Clint’s comments about Tex’s residency at the Ritz, the voice-over before Tex explores The Resort on the Taylor path, etc.], however, seem to indicate that they’ve known each other for much longer than that, and that Tex has perhaps been living at The Resort for several years. As such, this placement represents little more than a best guess.)

Tex’s dreams get so bad that he starts to look into psychometry, the belief that an object can contain a person’s energy or memories.

Late one night, Tex calls Taylor and begins raving like a lunatic, talking about how the “walls [are] talking.” When Taylor arrives, she sees that Tex has smashed holes in walls all over his apartment, presumably (and probably unconsciously) in search of the Tesla Egg, which he finds. After this, Tex refuses to sleep at the Ritz.

Tex gets a second place at The Resort, an “upscale condo community.” He begins to live there almost exclusively.

Margaret Leonard begins to consult with party or parties unknown (perhaps scientists at the Tesla Institute?) in an attempt to develop a treatment to suppress the rage of the Morlocks. One researcher leaves a message on her answering machine at the Swamp House indicating that they still have a lot of work to do.

May 11: Margaret Leonard makes the final entry in her video journal. She seems to be aware that she will die soon, and implores anyone who sees the video to stop The Translator. (Note: the placement of this event relative to other recent events is unclear, but it appears to have taken place before Margaret and Mason had their falling-out.)

Mason Bauers and Margaret Leonard have a major falling-out. Bauers believes that Tex is with them, but Margaret is wary of his motives and believes that they must get the Tesla Egg away from him.

Tex comes to an agreement with The Translator and his associates (Big Jim Slade and Dalton Fiske) to betray Mason Bauers and Margaret Leonard. $50,000 (a familiar number, no?) is his “thirty pieces of silver” for delivering the Tesla Egg.

Margaret Leonard steals the Tesla Egg from Tex. Tex informs his partners (The Translator, Big Jim Slade, and Dalton Fiske) of the theft. (Note: the circumstances of this event are very murky.) For Mason, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back; he comes to believe that Margaret is going to give the Tesla Egg to The Translator, though this is likely a misinterpretation of her intentions.

Margaret Leonard gives the Tesla Egg to Mantus for safekeeping. (He later stows it in a storage container at Coit Tower.) She then returns to her apartment at the Ritz and makes an entry in her video diary (the final one shown when Tex gains access to her apartment on Day 3), in which she muses that she wishes she could destroy the Egg but would like to try “one more time” to use the Egg to achieve the glorious future they’d envisioned. (Note: like the stealing of the Egg itself, the timing of this event is nebulous.)

Margaret, already planning to erase Tex’s memories of the past seven years, leaves a clue for him at Rook’s pawn shop in hopes that it will help him stop The Translator if something should happen to her.

Margaret Leonard gives Tex’s Trance Key (the one that she plans to use on him on Day 0) and presumably a dose of the Trance Interrupter serum to Chelsee, giving Chelsee the power to decide what should become of Tex’s memories if something were to happen to Margaret.

Mason Bauers hires P.I. Carlos Maldonado to conduct surveillance on the Ritz Hotel in hopes that Margaret Leonard will show up. Maldonado then makes a deal with Zack Williams to rent a room above the Electronics Shop, which he uses for the stakeout. Mason promises Tex an extra $5000 if he can work with Maldonado peacefully.

Carlos Maldonado, presumably acting under orders from Mason Bauers, tries to bribe and threaten Rook into revealing the source of his Tesla items, but Rook doesn’t oblige. (Note: Mason and Maldonado’s motives here are a bit unclear, since Mason presumably already would have known that Margaret was in possession of the Tesla Cache, but perhaps they were hoping to use Rook to track her down.)

Mason gives Thompson Ault a Trance Inducer, to be used “in an emergency.”

Archie Ellis heads out of town for a few days.

Mason gives Maldonado a cryo-chamber, to be used to store Margaret Leonard’s head and protect her memories if killing her becomes necessary.

Mason sends a flash drive to Maldonado with instructions on what to do (on Day 0): Maldonado is to call Mason if Margaret Leonard shows up at the Ritz, detaining her if necessary. Mason believes that the Tesla Egg is in Margaret’s possession and that she won’t give it up willingly, but he nonetheless wants to talk to her first. Mason reiterates that killing Margaret should be a last resort. Finally, Mason says that if anything happens to him, Maldonado should contact a friend of his, presumably Thompson Ault.

Day 0 (the day before Tesla Effect officially begins, covered partially by the game’s opening video and various in-game information and flashbacks):

By this point, Tex is “known for being a man who gets things done, no matter the cost.” Having struck a deal with The Translator and his associates, Tex flies home to his office on Chandler Avenue, briefcase full of money in hand. Five hours later, he is confronted by Margaret Leonard and Mantus in his apartment. Mantus knocks Tex out cold (giving him a nasty cut on his forehead) and Margaret injects him with the Trance Inducer, blocking Tex’s memories of the previous seven years. Soon thereafter, Mason Bauers (who had presumably been informed of Margaret’s arrival by Maldonado, who was following the instructions given to him via flash drive earlier) arrives and tears through Tex’s apartment in pursuit of Margaret. Maldonado’s surveillance equipment records this entire confrontation, and that video eventually winds up in the hands of the police.

Mason Bauers catches up to Margaret Leonard at the front door of her apartment and confronts her. She proceeds to drop dead of a presumed heart attack. Bauers ransacks her apartment in search of the Tesla Egg, to no avail. Bauers calls Maldonado and instructs him to cut off her head and store it in the cyro-chamber so that they can eventually access her memories and find out where the Egg is hidden. While Maldonado does that, Bauers attempts to distract The Translator’s thugs, who have arrived on the scene. (Note: It’s unclear how The Translator’s thugs knew to show up at this moment, but they may have been conducting surveillance on Margaret, Mason, Tex, or the Ritz.) He leads them on a chase which results in a shootout outside the Electronics Shop and eventually Mason’s capture, but not before he injects himself with a Trance Inducer to protect the information he knows about Margaret Leonard’s work. Several cards reading “Four of Clubs”, the phrase Mason selects as his Trance Key, are left behind at the scene and are later collected by Zack Williams. At some point in the melee, Carlos Maldonado is killed (either one of the henchmen shoots him through the window and Maldonado stumbles back to his chair before dying, or the henchman makes his way up to the surveillance room and shoots him there instead).

Day 1:

Tex wakes up on his fire escape with a nasty bruise on his head, injection marks in his arm, and no memory of the last seven years. He notices that certain things are amiss: his office and bedroom look different, he has no recollection of his Smart Alex, there are holes in the walls of his apartment, and there’s a briefcase full of cash on the floor.

Eventually, Tex makes his way over to the Brew & Stew, where Louie helps him realize that his memories have been tampered with and tells him a bit about the person he’d become over the previous seven years. He also “meets” Taylor, who he doesn’t remember.

The day ends with Tex discovering Maldonado’s body in the apartment above the Electronics Shop before getting caught in a laser net.

Day 2:

At the start of the day, and with Tex still trapped in the laser net, Thompson Ault arrives, though Tex doesn’t know his name at the time. He was sent there by Mason to meet with Maldonado and collect the cryogenic canister that, unbeknownst to Tex, holds Margaret Leonard’s preserved head. Ault eventually releases Tex from the laser net on the condition that he tries to find Mason, whom Ault believes to be in serious trouble. Tex agrees.

As Tex tries to escape down the ladder, he’s arrested by two police officers and taken down to the station. There, he speaks with Lt. Danwicz, the new head of the department, who eventually cuts him lose.

Tex gets further acquainted with the residents of Chandler Avenue, both new and old, and eventually finds his way into Carlos Maldonado’s office. There, he receives a strange phone call from a woman (Ariel, though Tex doesn’t know that yet) who is trying to reach Maldonado. The woman clearly knows Tex but hangs up once she realizes that Tex doesn’t recognize her.

Tex eventually tracks the mysterious woman to a Beach House, which he discovers is Mason Bauers’ home.

Day 3:

In Mason Bauers’ secret lab, Tex encounters the woman again, her gun drawn. She claims to be Ariel Bauers, Mason’s wife. (In reality, Ariel isn’t actually Mason’s wife; she’s looking for him, too.) Ariel leaves and Tex learns that Mason was interested in purchasing Tesla artifacts from Rook’s pawn shop.

Upon returning to his office, Tex receives a vidphone message from a Russian woman. She asks if he is with the White Russians or against them, and says that a White Guard member (Ariel, we later learn) is close by. Before hanging up, she says that they will “reveal the truth” to Tex if he proves his loyalty. (Note: the Russian woman looks exactly like the woman presumed to be Anastasia Romanov in Tex/Donnelly’s flashbacks.)

Tex re-acquires the freeze gun he had stolen from the Nitro-Stalker and trades it to MoJo in exchange for his help in decrypting a flash drive Tex had found in Maldonado’s stakeout area above the Electronics Shop. The drive contains the video Mason had sent to Maldonado. Tex decides that he has to track down both Mason and Margaret Leonard.

Tex heads back to his office and finds Taylor waiting there for him. She fills him in on the dreams and visions he was having and sums up their history together, including her work finding out about J.T. Donnelly. Tex is faced with his first crucial decision of the game: Taylor, Chelsee, or neither.

Eventually, Tex discovers that Margaret has been living at the Ritz. He gains access to her apartment using a hint left for him by Margaret at Rook’s. Inside, he discovers a part of a video recording, in which Margaret mentions that she left the Tesla Egg with “the one who prays” (Mantus). Finally, Tex discovers Margaret’s decapitated body in the bathtub.

Day 4:

When Tex leaves Margaret Leonard’s apartment, he’s once again arrested by the police and taken down to the station. There, Lt. Danwicz places a tracking device on Tex’s Smart Alex.

Tex has a brief meeting with Count St. Germaine, who claims to be willing to pay Tex a fortune if he can help him find the Faberge egg he’s looking for.

With the help of Danwicz and various sources on Chandler Avenue, Tex is able to track the speeder used in Bauers’ kidnapping to a place called Sesen, a training facility for followers of The Translator. Upon his arrival, he sets off all sorts of alarms and returns to his office. There, he receives a mysterious fax instructing him to go to the top of Coit Tower. He obliges and finds Big Jim Slade there, who gives him a token that can be used to gain entry to Sesen.

Day 5:

After passing a series of tests, Tex is able to make his way to the dungeons of Sesen, which are used for the mental conditioning of recruits. There, he finds Mason Bauers, who doesn’t have any recollection of Tex. Tex takes two passcards that Bauers has on him and departs, vowing to return and free him.

Day 6:

Using Bauers’ passcards on a safe in Bauers’ home, Tex procures one dose of the Trance Interrupter. After a brief stop at the Electronics Shop to pick up a laser blade and learn about Mason Bauers’ Trance Key, Tex returns to Sesen to free Mason.

Tex uses the Trance Interrupter on Mason and Mason’s memories return. As Tex scrambles to free them from the cell, Mason recaps the events of the night of his abduction and tells Tex that he doesn’t have a wife. Before the two men can escape, Dalton shows up. Mason, knowing that The Translator would be able to pry information from him now that his memories have returned, leaps to his presumed death out the window.

Dalton leads Tex back upstairs, where they are joined by Big Jim Slade and The Translator. The three villains reveal to Tex the details of their arrangement, which are then confirmed by Smart Alex once Tex is allowed to leave.

Day 7:

Tex meets with Count St. Germaine and Ariel. Ariel reveals to him that she works for an organization based out of St. Petersburg, Russia (the White Guard), and that, like St. Germaine, she is in search of a particular Faberge egg.

[Ariel path only] Ariel provides information to Tex that leads him to the Blue Dragon Warehouse, where he is confronted by the Russian woman who left him a cryptic vidphone message earlier. She asks him if he “now knows the seeds of [his] betrayal,” but says that there “may be a chance for redemption.” She departs and Tex explores the warehouse, discovering several artifacts that trigger memories of his life as J.T. Donnelly.

Later, Tex is able to discover the location of Margaret Leonard’s Swamp House. There, he encounters an out-of-control Mantus. Tex accesses Leonard’s video logs and is able to formulate some medicine for Mantus, who reveals The Translator’s plan and says that he will tell Tex the location of the hidden Tesla Egg if and when Tex can retrieve the frequencies needed to operate (and destroy) the Spirit Radio from the Tesla Institute.

Before he heads off to the Tesla Institute, Tex visits Thompson Ault. There, Ault fills in much of the backstory for Tex, including what happened to Chelsee (though the level of detail he provides varies depending on the player’s path). Their meeting is interrupted, however, by Big Jim Slade, who shoots Ault and steals the cyro-chamber containing Margaret Leonard’s head. Believing that he can beat Slade to the Tesla Egg if he does what Mantus asked, Tex takes off for the Tesla Institute.

Day 8:

Tex is able to gain access to the Tesla Institute and power up the facility. He also learns that if left untreated, Morlocks become zombie-like cannibals.

Day 9:

Tex successfully prevents the Tesla Institute’s Titan Reactor from melting down and is able to get his hands on the much-needed Spirit Radio frequencies.

Day 10:

Tex goes back to the Swamp House to talk to Mantus. Mantus says that the Tesla Egg is hidden at Coit Tower and implores Tex to set up a meeting with Big Jim Slade there. Tex obliges, finds the Egg, and at the ensuing meeting Mantus tackles Slade and the two of them fall to their deaths. Tex returns to his office and is knocked out cold by Dalton Fiske, who was waiting for him.

Day 11:

Tex is taken to The Translator’s base of operations in New Mexico. There, The Translator’s organization has assembled the Immortal Coil, a huge tower reminiscent of Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower. The Translator tells Tex that he used to be J.T. Donnelly and shows him the cell where Donnelly presumably lived (and likely underwent cryostasis) after he disappeared in 1943. Tex, under the guise of trying to contact Margaret Leonard to get his memories back, uses the Spirit Radio frequencies he found at the Tesla Institute to destroy the Immortal Coil. At the last moment, the voice of Margaret Leonard calls out to Charles Johansson to join her, and he is presumably killed as he attempts to do so. Dalton survives but disappears.

Day 12:

Tex survives and returns to the surface, where he encounters Lt. Danwicz, who has tracked him there and suspects him of having killed Slade and Mantus. After that… well, it depends.

10 Months Later:

(All paths except Chelsee’s) New San Francisco Voice reports that the Nights Templar (without a ‘K’) have been found dead in the sewers of Chandler Avenue. They “probably killed each other on accident.”

Tex is pretty much back to being his old self again, and seems eager to see what the future has in store.
Last edited by silvermitt on May 25, 2014 • 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wow, just...wow. I enjoyed reading this. Since I haven't been able to play the game just yet, I can't say your right or wrong.

I would like to ask if you could elaborate on day 10 for me? Your wrote, ..."having killed Slade and Mantus. After that… well, it depends." Please, please, please...write these up and email directly to me if you don't want to post it here. :)

[email protected]


Hey! I just wanted to say I posted a link to this on Conners forum. Since you requested input, he's your man.
One Mean, Green-Eyed Fitch.
I'm only partway through, but I had to stop and say Aaron would be very proud of you. :D

Ok back up to finish.
First of all I salute your efforts in this chronology. Would you happen by chance to be the person responsible for the Tex Murphy Wiki? If so, let me again send you my thanks. It's a valuable tool I've used in the past. Keep chugging on if so. :mrgreen:

Everything you've written makes a whole lot of sense and utilizes all the information available at the moment. I hope you have pre-ordered the novelization, as I'm completely sure more will be revealed there. :D

One of my only impression that seems off from yours is about Dalton. I've always imagined that Dalton is part of the group, but certainly not in a leadership role. I assumed he was brought on as a hired gun; find the Tesla egg, search for the Faberge egg, find Margret Leonard, kidnap Chelsee, etc. I always figured that he moved higher up in the ranks (Gideon or the offshoot Tesla cult) by doing the dirty work, but without any real authority. He seems disdained by most and for good reason. The bastard :evil:
Solid work, AJ! I'm very impressed with both your thoroughness and deductive abilities.

I'd like to add a few comments:

1) There have always been discrepancies between the canon of the games and the books. In past stories, most discrepancies resulted from the game pathing (variations in the storyline) and the interactive nature of the gameplay (tweaking story elements to work better in the game setting). Stories always evolve as they're adapted into the game. I wrote the Pandora Directive novel before we produced the game and there were still some significant differences.

2) For the "Tesla Effect", it was even harder to minimize the differences. This time around, I wasn't able to oversee how the story was edited and adapted in the game (due to the conflict of interest with my job at EA - it prevented me being directly involved). I provided a story outline for Chris Jones, which he adapted for the game while I was working (independently) on the novel. As the game developed, Chris made some changes and added some things to provide differences in the narrative paths, patch gameplay holes, etc. Fortunately, most of the differences between the stories in the game and book are fairly minor. Overall, Chris did a great job with a very complicated plot, filling the role I handled in the previous three games.

3) That being said, my novel, "Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect" - which will be released this week (!) - will provide the full, original story. In my opinion, the novel story is the canon. If we get to do another game, it will follow the story as it's presented in the book. Best of all, I think you'll be pleased to know that many of your unanswered questions are addressed in the book.

Last, but not least...

I'm hoping that this new novel will be successful enough to justify doing two more. The first (Novel #4) would be the story of what happened from the end of "The Pandora Directive" (the holo-date ending, as in the book), through the "Tex Murphy Radio Theater" episodes, and into the exciting events that followed. This novel would explain why and how Tex disappeared, but not all the events of that missing five-year period.

The final novel (#5) would pick up from the end of "Tesla Effect" (the ending found in the book), fill in the lingering important details of Tex's "lost years" (i.e. what happened that changed him into the bastard he is at that start of "Tesla Effect"), and then send Tex off into his last great adventure, which would connect all the stories together. Many of your observations will play into that final story.

I don't want to give away more than that, but it's very gratifying to know that you're enjoying the story enough to dig this deep into it. I'm very excited to tell the other parts of the story and I think you and the other Tex fans will be pleased and satisfied!

Nice work on the timeline, and I'm definitely looking forward to the book. I hope it will fill in some of the J.T. Donnelly plot elements. Something I've been wondering about since my first play through, and this might turn out to be some insignificant trivia (but the writer in me couldn't help noticing a setup); Tex explains to Mojo how his real name is James Tiberius (J.T), which made his mom call him Tibby, etc. Mojo says it's the ultimate Tex Murphy trivia. Now, this could be Tex being funny, but I sensed more than a coincidence there. Very curious to see how that plays out... :)
Thanks for the nice replies everyone, especially Aaron!

To answer a few questions that have been asked:

1) I haven't ordered it yet, but I'll definitely be getting the book at some point. It was my assumption all along that the book would probably fill in some of the gaps in the timeline, so it's nice to know that that's indeed the case. Also, HOORAY to the news that there might be two more books! I re-read the UAKM and PD books in the lead-up to Tesla Effect and enjoyed them immensely.

2) Silvermitt (or anyone else interested in the endings): I'm hesitant to add details about the end of the game, simply because a) that's where the story diverges the most, meaning that, at least until the book is released, there's no such thing as an "official" version of events, and b) people can just play through the game themselves to see all the different endings, which makes a recap kind of superfluous. If you're still interested in the details of the various endings, though, you can find most or all of them in videos on YouTube. That would bring you up to speed better than I ever could.

3) Jen: Nope, I'm not the person responsible for the Tex wiki, though I did stumble across it in my quest to find dates for various things. It actually occurred to me that this timeline could eventually be integrated into the wiki's existing timeline, which is a little light on Tesla Effect details right now, though that's probably something to consider down the road when we know more details (i.e. after the book is released). And re: Dalton, I don't think we actually disagree too much... I'm just generally confused. :)
I'm a big big BIG fan of hardcover books. Has anyone given thought to a compilation setup of all books in a HARDCOVER? Yeah, all caps, I literally drooled like Pavlov's dogs when mention made of more books. I might turn rabid over hardcover.


I actually have spoken to my husband about getting paperbacks turned into hardcover at a local bindery, but I'd so much rather have it officially produced by AC & his publishers. I don't have a huge library, but what I do have is mostly hardback. I've got the whole Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series like this, even the coveted 5th book which only about 5k were made, I think.
One Mean, Green-Eyed Fitch.
Great chronology and a great reference. There have been many times over the years where we have had questions about the chronology of the storyline and as AC says it's the books that are the defining storyline, and it all seems to fit chronologically.

Like AC says you will find differences in the game compared to the book. A great effort - thanks for this.
Great job on that timeline :D Wow, you even has some of the little events that are only mentioned briefly.
Wow this is great. As the creator, contributor and perhaps spammer (sorry!) of the Tex Murphy wiki, I would encourage you to contribute some information there as well. You clearly have a good grasp of the timeline.
Can I suggest that perhaps Captain Donelly's plane was shot down over France during the First World War? Maybe 1918? That was about the time Anastasia Romanov disappeared, too.
Ian Regan wrote:Can I suggest that perhaps Captain Donelly's plane was shot down over France during the First World War? Maybe 1918? That was about the time Anastasia Romanov disappeared, too.
Good call, though like I mentioned in the chronology somewhere, I'm not really sure what the canonicity of Radio Theater is right now. If it is considered to be canon, though, then there are a bunch of other things that could probably also be added.