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Broken Sword 2.5 The Return of the Templars is an unofficial part of the Broken Sword series. Developed and released by German company MindFactory on 28 September 2008 as freeware for Windows, it is a game created by fans to explain what happens during the time between Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror and Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. It took eight years to develop, starting in 2000 as a response to the gap in the story that fans saw between the second and third game. It was originally released in German, but through 2009 and 2010, it was translated (via subtitles) to English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Croatian, Portuguese, Russian and French, with an English voice pack released in 2010. As might be expected of a fan project, it is a free, short game that stays relatively true to the story and feeling of the series.

It is available for free here

Plot[]

On a connecting flight between Madrid and Paris, George Stobbart examines a telegram from an unknown sender telling him that his girlfriend Nicole Collard is dead. George and Nico have been living separately since George returned to the US to look after his dying grandfather, but the telegram brings him back to Paris.

Upon arriving, George is surprised to find Nico still alive and not at all interested in talking to him. Unable to get any answers from her, he starts investigating Nico's strange behaviour. An old acquaintance, André Lobineau, informs him that Nico has been implicated in an assassination attempt on the Mayor of Paris, as well as involvement with the cult of the Neo-Templars, who apparently were not destroyed at Bannockburn during the events of Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars.

After piecing together the evidence that the Neo-Templars indeed still exist and that Nico has joined their ranks, George confronts Nico and she confesses that she infiltrated the Neo-Templars because her uncle had been brainwashed by them and she wanted to rescue him. Fearing that the Neo-Templars are involved in another nefarious plot to dominate the world, George and Nico agree to continue their investigation into Neo-Templar activities. Their best lead is an English historian named Jimmy McLaugh, whose research specialises in the Templars and who had given Nico some useful information on them in the past.

George leaves for York, England, to check on Jimmy McLaugh. At McLaugh's mansion in York, George is captured by Guido and Flap, who are revealed to be in the employ of McLaugh, implying that he is working with the Neo-Templars. While George is held captive in McLaugh's basement, he discovers to his shock that he has a fellow prisoner, Khan, who attempted to assassinate McLaugh and was also detained.

After not hearing from George after his arrival in York, Nico travels to England to look for him. She eventually tracks him down, and after breaking George and Khan out of captivity, the three of them escape onto an underground train in York. While on the train, Khan reveals to George and Nico that he wore a bulletproof vest years ago in Scotland, thus surviving the gunshot from Eklund (although this violates the canon established by the official games).

While the train is travelling, it suddenly derails due to sabotage on the tracks ahead. George is knocked unconscious by the incident, and when he awakens he discovers that Nico and Khan are gone, and the train doors are jammed with no way to escape. While investigating the train carriage and talking to the other passengers still stuck on the train, George finds a ticking time bomb under a seat next to a wounded and elderly Chinese man. It's implied that the bomb was planted by this man, but he dies while George is questioning him. After searching his body, George finds a letter revealing the man to be the bodyguard of a Chinese prince (referred to as "Xi Hang") who apparently has ties to the Neo-Templars.

George takes the time bomb and uses it to blow open the doors of the train, which allows him and the other passengers to escape. Taking refuge in a nearby pub, George discovers from the pub owner that there is an exhibition in Paris about the Templars which may reveal more about what the Neo-Templars are planning to do. Upon his return to Paris, George locates the exhibition and learns that there is an archaeological site in Tomar, Portugal, which may be the location of an ancient lost artefact possessing special powers that belonged to the Templars. Arriving in Tomar, George encounters a scholar called Professor Arruda at a dig site. Arruda reveals that the lost artefact, an ancient seal, has the power to allow time travel, and that the Neo-Templars may be attempting to go 700 years into the past, from the year 2007 to 1307, taking modern weapons with them to prevent the destruction of the Templars and completely reshape the world order in favour of the Neo-Templars.

After further investigation, George locates the Templars' seal in an abandoned well, and escapes another encounter with Flap and Guido. Returning to Paris, he finds that Nico is still alive and has left a message for him at her apartment telling him to take the next flight to Beijing, China, and to ask for a man called Christophe Brai on the plane. George locates Brai and discovers that he has links to the Chinese Prince of "Xi Hang". In an extended conversation, Brai explains that he works for the French Secret Service and had been tracking the Neo-Templars and their ally the Chinese Prince for some time. Brai had discovered Nico's interest in the Neo-Templars while she was trying to rescue her uncle from them, and Brai and Nico had worked together to learn of the Neo-Templars' activities. Nico had discovered the time travel plot and recommended getting George involved to stop it, but they needed a way to attract George back to Paris without arousing the suspicions of the Neo-Templars, who were closely monitoring Nico, hence the telegram faking Nico's death.

Brai also explains that the Neo-Templars had wanted Nico to kill their enemy, the Mayor of Paris, as a test of loyalty, but that she had not gone through with it. Brai goes on to tell George that he had tried to protect George from the Neo-Templars, implying that Brai had orchestrated a deliberate low-speed train derailment in York to extract George, Nico and Khan from being recaptured or killed by the Neo-Templars, but that they had been unable to find George in the confusion of the crash. Brai tells George that upon arrival in China, they will meet up with Khan and Nico, and then go to an archaeological site containing a special portal that allows travel into the past if used in conjunction with the ancient Templar seal. Brai's plan is to destroy the portal with explosives.

At the time portal, George encounters a group of Neo-Templars led by Professor Arruda, who had previously concealed his true identity as a Neo-Templar. Arruda congratulates George on bringing the seal to them, as it will be needed for the ceremony, but George uses the seal to strike down Arruda as Brai plants explosives to destroy the time portal. The game ends with George, Nico, Khan and Brai emerging from the dig site and discussing where each of them will go for their next adventure.

Gallery[]

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