| Frank Carlson |
First Class Passenger
|Residence||9 Stanley Crescent, London W11|
|Aboard the Titanic|
|Boarded ship||Cherbourg, France (10 April, 1912)|
|Loyalty||British Secret Service|
Frank Carlson is the player character and protagonist of Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time. A former agent for the British Secret Service, Carlson's failure to complete an assigned mission aboard the RMS Titanic on the night of its sinking in 1912 had dire ramifications for the future. A violent catalyst during the events of World War II, however, gives Carlson a second chance at preventing disaster.
Carlson himself is only seen very briefly in shadow during one cutscene in the game, as the player sees everything from his point of view. He wears a French-cut tuxedo during his Titanic mission, as noted by Beatrix Conkling.
In the original timeline, Carlson was booked passage on board the Titanic and instructed to remain in his cabin for the entire voyage until further instructions from his contact, Penny Pringle. On the fateful night of April 14th 1912, he left his cabin to meet his past lover, Lady Georgia Lambeth, who had asked to meet him on deck. It is assumed that because of this, Carlson missed his meeting with Penny and his mission was therefore cancelled. Later that night, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,500 lives, while Carlson escaped the sinking ship in a lifeboat.
Due to Carlson's failure to carry out his mission, the early twentieth century was subsequently embroiled in two World Wars and witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of fascism, embodied in Adolf Hitler.
London 1942 - World War IIEdit
Despite the failure of his mission, Carlson continued to work for the Secret Service for another two years after the Titanic disaster. With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, however, the War Office realized the severity of the consequences of the failed mission and could no longer ignore it. The Service fired Carlson to act as a scapegoat to take the blame, though his severance letter states that Penny testified on his behalf, considering him a loyal agent. Carlson was left destitute, with no pay off or pension provided. For the next 30 years, he led a broken life, making a hobby of fixing old watches and clocks and even traveling on the Hindenburg's fateful voyage in 1937.
By April 1942, Carlson is an old man, struggling to pay rent in a run down East London apartment and being threatened by his landlady of eviction onto the streets. Surrounded by various artifacts and remnants from that fateful mission, he thinks back to that night 30 years previous and wonders if there was anything that he could have done in order to change history.
As he does so, a siren sounds off with the threat of a German air raid and a bomb is dropped right on top of Carlson's apartment. It appears to kill him, but the explosion instead hurtles him backward in time 30 years to the night of the Titanic disaster.
Awakening on April 14th 1912 in his cabin aboard the Titanic, Carlson realizes he has been given a second chance to complete his mission. Depending on how he acts throughout the night, there are a number of outcomes in the game.
By meeting with Penny in the Gymnasium as instructed, Carlson learns that his mission is to recover a copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, stolen two months before from Paris, and that it currently in the possession of a German Colonel named Alfred Zeitel. Depending on his actions, Carlson can either obtain the Ruibaiyat before it is taken by stowaway Vlad Demonic as part of a deal between Zeitel and his Titanic contact Sasha Barbicon, or fail to take it off the ship as in the original timeline.
Regardless of outcome, Carlson learns from Penny that Zeitel's deal with Sasha was to trade the Rubaiyat for a specific painting of high importance to the German High Command. He also learns that Zeitel's protege and travelling companion, Willi von Haderlitz, is suspected of being a traitor and that steps are being taken to ensure that the Colonel's plans are not foiled. If Carlson is quick enough, he can either obtain the painting from the cargo hold before Willi takes it for himself or it can be missing from the crate. Carlson learns from Penny that the painting contains secret plans for British troop deployments in northern France and the Low Countries, signifying its importance to Germany if war were to ever break out.
Carlson, like in the original timeline, can also meet with Georgia in various places on the ship and learns of her ailing marriage to Lord Charles Lambeth and her previous affair with Sasha. She gifts him her diamond necklace for safekeeping, intending to use it to escape her marriage and start a new life. Conversing with Charles later, however, informs Carlson that Georgia's necklace is fake. The real necklace is being kept by Sasha in his cabin where it is to be sold to pay off Charles' debts and then have Georgia put away. Though the necklace is not part of Carlson's mission, it is one of the main objects in the game that must be saved from the ship to change the future for the better.
During his mission, Carlson can also engage in interactions with other passengers on board the Titanic, such as Eric Burns or Andrew Conkling, to take part in optional side stories that expand some plot points and provide additional activities to take part in.
After resolving the painting part of his mission, Carlson is called to meet with Willi in the Squash Court to fence with. Playing a few matches with him, Willi hints that he has other friends besides Zeitel and gives Carlson a ring for luck. Shortly afterward, Penny informs Carlson that Willi has been found dead in the Turkish Bath and that she suspects Zeitel has murdered him. Through following various clues left behind by Willi and speaking with his lover Claris Limehouse, Carlson learns of a notebook that Willi has hidden on board the ship. The notebook contains a list of Russian Revolutionaries, a group of men who plan to overthrow the Czar that Germany is actively encouraging in order to weaken Russia as a state. Willi was in fact a Russian agent who was planning to turn the names over to the Okrana, Russia's secret police.
Retrieving the notebook from the top of Titanic's fourth smokestack, Carlson is confronted by Zeitel at gun point who confirms the notebook's importance. Before a deal can be made, the Titanic makes its fateful impact with the iceberg and Carlson either has the option of giving the notebook to the Colonel or knocking him out with the Gas Pen. Regardless of the choice, Carlson is subsequently incapacitated by either Zeitel shooting him or Vlad knocking him out when he leaves the smokestack.
Deleted dialogue, located in the games .pup files, shows that Vlad carried him back to the cabin and bandaged Carlson up.
Carlson wakes an hour later in his cabin at 1:05 AM. Penny arrives and informs him that the Titanic is sinking, with little over an hour left before she founders. Carlson then has to find a way off of the ship with as many of his important mission items as he can before the Titanic sinks, either through getting a seat in a lifeboat from Officer Morrow, obtaining the Boat Pass from Buick Riviera, or from being given a seat from the Gorse-Jonses. If he is unable to do so, then he goes down with the ship.
London 1942 - Peace or...?Edit
- Main article: Possible Outcomes
Returning back to his London apartment after escaping the Titanic, Carlson will examine his "Memories" book on the shelf to see what he has managed to change with his second mission. The first page, a newspaper article published about the Titanic sinking, is unchanged, but the following pages detail the key items from the mission where Carlson will narrate what happened to them and the consequences that their acquisition/loss have had on history.
Depending on the combination of objects that were saved or lost, drastic changes to history can occur that either result in Carlson's death in 1942 from various sources or a peaceful and content retirement in a world of peace.
- The Boat Pass appears in Carlson's apartment in the original timeline, hinting that it was the method he used to escape the Titanic during his failed first mission.
- Also in Carlson's apartment is a copy of The Wreck Of The Titan: Or Futility by Morgan Robertson, bookmarked with an obituary to Charles and Georgia. Futility tells the story of a grand ocean liner called the Titan, the largest of its day, that sinks in April in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. The book was published fourteen years before the Titanic's own fateful voyage and the book has a number of other uncanny similarities between the Titan and the Titanic.
- Carlson's pocket watch in the apartment is stopped on 2:20 AM, the same time that the Titanic sank.
|Passengers of the RMS Titanic|
|First Class||Sasha Barbicon | Eric Burns | Stephanie Burns | Frank Carlson | Daisy Cashmore | George Quincy Clifford | Andrew Conkling | Beatrix Conkling | Henry Gorse-Jones | Ribeena Gorse-Jones | Bruce Ismay | Georgia Lambeth | Charles Lambeth | Claris Limehouse | Mrs. Limehouse | Buick Riviera | Max Seidelmann | Isidor Straus | Leyland Trask | Willi von Haderlitz | Alfred Zeitel|
|Second Class||Penny Pringle | Edgar Troutt|
|Third Class||Edward Hacker | Jack Hacker | Shailagh Hacker|
|Crew||Lift Attendant | Third Officer Morrow | Seaman 1 | Seaman 2 | Seaman 3 | John Smethells | Stoker | The Purser|