The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 13

First Person Shooter

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 27, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
303 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Lone Gunmen call Mulder and Scully to a Virtual Reality development lab where they learn that one of the program testers was killed inside the computer generated game environment by the digital image of a woman. Needing to get his yah-yah's, Mulder enters the game to fight the woman but Scully must step in to save him.moreless

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  • FPS X-Files

    Some people on other sites have given this stand alone episode bad reviews (avg. D grade) but as an avid gamer and X File fan it stands up to me as a decent stand as alone episode
  • First Person Shooter

    First Person Shooter was a superb and pretty entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was interesting as it dealt with a virtual reality game. It was nice to see the Lone Gunmen again and it was hilarious to see how Scully initially reacted to being summoned by them. There was action, some drama and a little character development. It was fun watching every one try to figure out what was going on. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • An episode with a lot of promise falls flat on its face.

    One of my friends a long time ago told me he loved the "First Person Shooter" episode of "The X-Files." I'm pretty sure I should've known right away that he had a biased view, because he was obsessed with F.P.S video games, but sure enough, I took his word for it and went into this episode expecting a great hour of TV. Instead, while I could see how potentially great the episode could be, the premise couldn't match up to the execution.

    A company that created a new virtual reality game ends up crashing about a week before its release because there's a character in the game that appears and kills people both in the game and in real life. The game creators are confused and horrified, and since The Lone Gunmen are stockholders in the game, they feel compelled to call Mulder and Scully in to investigate.

    This is where part of the problem is. The first twenty five minutes or so is all build-up, but not the interesting kind that pays off in the end. I know that William Gibson and Tom Maddox are perfectly competent writers, so it's frustrating to see them stumble so much over themselves in the early moments of the episode. The real excitement starts when Mulder enters the game, but to be honest, I was assuming that both Mulder and Scully would pop in and be stuck in there, fighting their way through enemies. Instead, Mulder gets stuck, and there's a whole lot of scenes cutting back and forth from Mulder being stuck and Scully arguing with people to help him. It's a bit infuriating and half of the scenes here could've been used to build up the intensity of the episode. If there was ever an opportunity to have an episode with a giant amount of action, this was the one.

    I supposed I'm rating this episode a bit low because it didn't meet up with my expectations, which is unfair, but the truth is, there is a lot wrong with the episode and not as many truly great moments that other episodes this season have had.moreless
  • A very fun, interesting episode.

    Being a gamer, I loved this episode. Games are already progressing to the virtual reality stage so this episode was pretty ahead of it's time. Though I do enjoy first person shooters – my fav is still Doom 3 – I do prefer an actual storyline instead of the mindless shooting game portrayed here, however, it does look like a great way to de-stress!

    The Goddess was awesome and the concept of her becoming almost sentient was fascinating. Mulder looked pretty hot in that outfit and I never would have pegged him for a gamer! My favourite was that Scully – as usual – had to save Mulder yet again!

    Loved this episode – the characters, the storylines, the game itself and Mulder/Scully's forays into the virtual world. Very cool.moreless
  • Could've been great, but they just tanked it.

    This episode could have been up there with the classic comedy episodes, but several factors made it seem silly, unreal, and ridiculous. First of all, the guest stars were not cast well - they seemed like caricatures of mad scientist and moody dark girl. They added nothing to the tension of the story at all. If they had picked an actor with a little more credibility, the role would have been taken a lot more seriously. Instead, we see a kid with a game that we can't really believe he's old enough to have created. His dedication to the game seems shrill and overwrought, unrealistic and totally over dramatic. The girl also seems ridiculously young, and her moodiness does nothing to create any sort of credible tension when we find out she has created a woman character as her "Goddess." This brings me to the next factor that made this episode horrible - the writing. The writing is trite, cliched and unimaginative. Everyone is walking around spouting formulaic dialogue that I could've written in my sleep. It's actually making me pretty angry, because I think this could have been a great X-File if properly done. It would've helped if the video game was composed of more than just standing there and shooting things. The final scene with Scully shooting at the cowboy girls and tanks was not tense at all. Scully and Mulder were in no real danger, apparently standing behind that half-wall means you don't get shot. The girl never approached to harm them, she just stood far away and let Scully run out of ammo. There's a major plot hole when Mulder is confronted by the girl and she doesn't kill him. She leaves him alone once her sword gets stuck in the wall, then she walks around and does gymnastic flips. And I'm really very sorry to say it, but you can tell that it is a very inexperienced Chris Carter at the director's chair. So many of the shots are boring, plain talking heads and straight-on dialogue, unimaginative directing at its plainest. I really wish Chris had written this episode and Rob Bowman had directed it. I miss Rob Bowman and his complex, beautiful shots. There were some feeble attempts at fun conversation between Mulder and Scully, and the only reason they got pulled off was because David and Gillian know their characters so well. The autopsy scene is great, as is Mulder's video game excitement. Overall, a really sad episode. And it seriously could've been so so so much better.moreless
Krista Allen

Krista Allen

Jade Blue Afterglow/Maitreya

Guest Star

Jamie Marsh

Jamie Marsh


Guest Star

Constance Zimmer

Constance Zimmer


Guest Star

Tom Braidwood

Tom Braidwood


Recurring Role

Dean Haglund

Dean Haglund


Recurring Role

Bruce Harwood

Bruce Harwood


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At the end of the show, we see that the elevator is at the opposite end of the staircase, and the staircase is apparently the only entrance to the game platform. Does this mean that Scully and Mulder walked through the game platform (when it was operating) before they got into the elevator?

    • When Maitreya first creates doubles of herself Mulder drops his sword, but when Scully enters the game he has the sword in his hand again.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Scully: What's your business here?
      Langly: Our business?
      Scully: Yeah.
      Mulder: Uh-huh.
      Frohike: We're consultants to F.P.S.
      Byers: Langly did some programming for them. He created all of the bad guys.
      Langly: Only the Euro goons.
      Frohike: We don't want to give you the idea that we're major profit participants.
      Mulder: Cash or stock options?
      Langly: Options... preferred rate. Vesting immediately with a short-term exercise against venture collateral to bypass S.E.C. regs.
      Byers: The IPO's in a week.

    • Scully: Preliminary external examination of deceased, a 20-ish male, name listed only as "Retro." Offers no additional clues as for actual cause of death.
      (Turns off recorder. Long pause. Turns on recorder.)
      Scully: Scratch that. Cause of death is from a large entry wound at the sternum resulting in trauma to the internal organs and blood loss. Wound is consistent with a high velocity impact from a large projectile which passed through a 3-ply Kevlar jacket.
      (Turns off recorder. Long pause. Turns on recorder.)
      Scully: Wound is result of high velocity impact from an unknown object which, even if it did enter the body, left no damn trace evidence whatsoever. No powder burns, no chemical signatures of any kind of explosive propellant.

    • Scully: Mulder, why does this game have the effect of reducing grown men back to moony adolescence?
      Mulder: (Dead-pan face, then overly excited) It's Darryl Musashi!!

    • Mulder: You have to admit, though, Scully, this is a pretty amazing piece of technology.
      Scully: Yeah, wasted on a stupid game.
      Mulder: Stupid?
      Scully: Dressing up like high-tech warriors to play a futuristic version of Cowboys and Indians? What kind of moron gets his ya-yas out like that? Mulder, what - what purpose does this game serve except to add to a culture of violence in a country that's already out of control?

    • Mulder: Maybe the game provided an outlet for certain impulses, that it fills a void in our genetic makeup that the more civilizing effects of society fail to provide for us.
      Scully: Well that must be why men feel the great need to blast the crap out of stuff.

    • Mulder: I've got a birthday coming up. (holds suit up covered in paint and blood and smiles)

    • Mulder: We came, we saw, we conquered. And if the taste of victory is sweet, then the taste of virtual victory is not sweet 'N Lo. Nor the bullets made of sugar. Maybe out past where the imagination ends, our true natures lie, waiting to be confronted on their own terms. Out where the intellect is at war with the primitive brain... in the hostile territory of the digital world... where laws are silent and the rules disappear in the midst of arms. Born in anarchy with an unquenchable bloodthirst, we shudder to think what might rise up from the darkness.

    • Mulder: I don't know about you, Scully, but I... feel the great need to blast the crap out of something.

    • Scully: FPS?
      Mulder: First Person Shooter.
      Scully: Video games...
      Mulder: Digital entertainment...
      Scully: I can get into the Pentagon easier than this.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The episode won 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.

    • A 'First Person Shooter' is actually a computer game 'genre'. Examples of such are Doom, Halo & Half-Life.

    • Scully comments that she can get into the Pentagon easier than into the FPS offices, possibly referring to Mulder's infiltration of the Pentagon in the Season 5 premiere episode 'Redux'.

    • The door that leads to the "game world" was supposed to appear heavier, but the actors forgot to fake it while filming

    • Maitreya says "Watashiga korekara surukotowo yurushitene" to Musashi just before she kills him - it is Japanese for "Forgive me for what I am about to do."

    • Maitreya means "loving one" in the Sanskrit language (in which it is written मैत्रेय). It is the name given to a Bodhisattva who is a future manifestation of Buddha who will bring peace and final enlightenment to the world. In some temples, the name has been applied to any manifestation of Buddha. Maitreya is typically depicted as seated, with his feet on the ground. The most commonly known such is the popular Laughing Buddha, based on an image of the Chinese monk Budai. Westerners often think of Maitreya as the Buddhist equivalent of a Messiah.

      The naming of the vengeful female figure for the compassionate Maitreya is evidently an ironic point.


    • Jade Blue Afterglow uncrossed and then recrossed her legs and then a pan of Mulder's titillated look in the police station. This is an obvious allusion to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct where she flashes the interrogators a view sans undergarments.