The Tex Murphy Wiki recognises several levels of canon. In this Wiki all information from all products are included, but in the case of conflicts and inconsistencies, lesser-canonical information is given on separate sections.
The canon division is also represented by the existence of 3 separate timelines.
The nature of the video games makes the definition of canon even more difficult. Many of the games have different paths, and endings. In most cases there is no clear way to determine that one path is more canon than the others. This wiki includes information about all alternative paths even when they contradict each other.
Tex Murphy: The Poisoned Pawn Game
This is a fan remake of Overseer with modern engine and new puzzles and areas. It has the blessing of the Ted Murphy developere including Aaron Conners, although it's unclear how much input they have included, or it it will tie into the poisoned pawn novel.
Absolute canon are the games designed by Aaron Conners from 1994 onwards: Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, Tex Murphy: Overseer, Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure including the Tex Murphy Radio Theater.
These products, where Conners establishes background and backstory, share a certain degree of continuity and don't take account much of the earlier games, excepting some minor references.
Tesla Effect has a number of flash back videos and materials that reference back to earliest game as well as from various different paths of previous ges including Pandora Directive. Certain flashbacks only appear down certain paths in the game. There may also some characters in Tesla Effect whose stories change depending which path you are on. Thompson Ault for example is Chelsea's husband on certain paths, or they never got together.
As such there is no clear "right ending" in those previous games (except obviously no evil ending). It can at least be clear that depending on the Tesla Path taken, he dated holo-women, and was unfaithful to Chelsea via the Lombard Street endings. But that he did make it up with Chelsea. But other elements seem to be taken from the Mission Street ending as well.
The question of game series being absolute may also depend on certain aspects of mixed canon, and also the novels taking over as continuation of the series in the future if no more games are made. At which point it be more clear to say that Tex Murphy has a hybrid/mixed canon.
The early games Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum do not provide much continuity and are mostly ignored in the later games. For example, UAKM establishes that Tex married Sylvia Linsky whom she met during the events of Mean Streets, however in Martian Memorandum, which represents an intermediate period, Tex Murphy is alone and there is not mention of Sylvia. In the best ending of Pandora Directive, Chelsea mentions that Tex has saved the world 4, 5 times according to his stories, after being told the story of what happened during Pandora Directive case. This is a reference to all four games up to that point (Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, UIKM, and Pandora Directive).
Overseer, which is a remake and reboot of Mean Streets, supercedes it in terms of canon. For example in Mean Streets Big Jim Slade is killed. In Overseer he is simply arrested alive, and appears again in Tesla. Mean Streets Shoot-out is an Easter egg in overseer, an arcade game in the mansion. Mean Streets also appears as a poster in Sonny Fletcher's room.
Martian Memorandum has no remake, however the mere existence of the "Martian Memorandum case" is referenced in UAKM, where it is also established that Tex had some business with Lowell Percival. There is also a minor reference to Big Dick Castro (and his Martian Casino) in Pandora Directive. In Tesla Effect a brochure for Mars can be seen in Margeruete Leaonard's Swamp House, and the Martian hoverboard is kept in Tex's storage room in Tesla Effect, and he comments it's from his Martian Memorandum case. However the bulk of the story remains unreferenced, and obscure, in terms of canon.
Perhaps a nod to some kind of mixed-canon between versions of Mean Street and Overseer. There is a newspaper article in Tex's office in Tesla that discusses that Tex is in critical condition after a shoot-out at the old warehouse district from Mean Streets (Bridgeview Warehouse), and Tex mentions it was during his first case, he was in the shoot out of his life, that he had taken a bullet and swore he would use his brains rather than his brawn. The game includes a flashback memory (video) to the events taken directly from Mean Streets (and the newspaper article includes image of Tex Murphy from the game's boxart). There is no shoot out in Overseer version of the story.
This may indicate that Tex is in part an unreliable narrator in Overseer (partially confirmed by the fact that he or Chelsea comment on Tex's deaths in Overseer), and that there is more to the actual story than he details to her.
The Tex Murphy novels are novelizations of the video games by Aaron Conners. Despite being authored by Conners, they deviate significantly from the games he designed. Some parts (like dialogues) are taken directly from the games, other parts represent earlier concepts that were dropped or altered in the process of designing the games.
The alterations range from minor (like Countess Renier being an elderly lady in the novelization), to significant deviations (like Alaynah Moore being the secretary of Lowell Percival Enterprises, who is also killed in the course of the story). There are also elements that aren't referred in the games at all (like the Crusade for Genetic Purity subplot, or the cooperation with Eddie Ching with whom Tex travels to the moon) and other elements that are absent (like the Mick Flemm case, or the Electronincs Shop).
Pandora Directive follows certain aspects of the Lombard Ending.
The Tesla Effect novel has an original ending not found in the game version of the story. In this version Tex is able to restore his memory form the missing seven years (this will tie into possible future novels or radio dramas that may cover that period.).
As such, the novels may be considered to describe some "alternate reality".
Aaron Conners has plans to continue the Tex Murphy universe via the novels including, Tex Murphy and the Romanov Enigma sequel to Pandora Directive, but before Overseer, a sequel to Tesla Effect called "Trance", and yet another retelling of Texas Murphy's first case called the The Poisoned Pawn set after Tesla Effect, in which he tells the story to Count St. Germaine while under hypnosis and regression following the events of Tesla Effect (in which Tex is supposed to remember details he had forgotten even during his account in Overseer, and see it from a different perspective). As such it seems the novels will be taking over as primary medium for the Canon.
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