"Sometimes a woman with nothing good left to die for can live with nothing to lose."
- Mona Temple, Temple of Pain 2Name:
Gritty Third Person ShooterWorld:
Temple of PainBio:
Mona Temple is the extremely popular heroine of the Temple of Payne series of shooters, a game series that practically created 'bullet time' and made it a staple in shooters to come. Mona was one of the first heroes that could slow down time and pick off enemies while she dove through the air, guns blazing. Her games also were praised for their dark, noire-like storytelling and twisting plots with recurring characters. She was one of the first female game characters to be admired not for her looks, but for her raw skill and ability. To put it simply; she kicked ass. While some gamers found her to be too brooding, others loved the series' take on police drama and revenge stories. The Temple of Pain series has just launched it's third game to high acclaim and rumors stir about DLC content down the pipes. The series has put it's star through a lot and she's changed along with it. The Mona of today would be unrecognizable from the character from the first game. -Temple of Pain-"The warning signs had been everywhere, screaming at me not to do this, to turn my back and pick up the pieces of my life. I'd ignored them and the fates were now rebelling against me, screaming in my ears while flames licked up the walls, eating away at the warehouse and my chances for survival like a hungry beast."
- Mona Temple
-Temple of Pain 2: The Fall of Mona Temple-"You fucking bitch! Why the FUCK won't you DIE?! What the hell ARE you?!"
The game opened with a flashback of the car accident that took Jack and Anna Temple away from their daughters Julie and Mona. Brief flashes of twisted steel, screams, fire. Mona and Julie were raised in an orphanage. The nuns there beat Mona on a regular basis. She often acted out and got into trouble, earning further punishment. In stark contrast, Julie was an angel, polite and behaved. The nuns could not seperate the sisters and give them away to different homes, but Mona's consistantly bad behavior scared away prospective parents. After a while Mona herself realized she was hurting her little sister's chances of finding a family, so she ran away. The nuns, happy to be rid of Mona, declared her missing and called the police. Mona lived on the streets, stealing to survive. Eventually, the search was called off and Mona declared deceased. Julie was quickly adopted.
Mona watched her sister from a distance, the little girl living happily with a new family, memories of their real parents too far and too few to be a hindrance. Mona herself joined The East Street Brawlers for the shelter and protection and started on a life of crime. The game's tutorial starts on the faithful day that the Brawlers decide to try and join 'the big time' and rob a bank. The tutorial level, players control Mona, learning to use a weapon as the gang robs First Street National. The police show up quickly, thanks to the silent alarm. The Brawlers betray Mona and the player, sending her to fetch one last bag of cash while they speed off in the getaway car at the behest of the gang leader, Victor Mendez. The police catch Mona and arrest her... but they have a deal.
Mona is sent back to the gang's hideout wearing a wire. She pretends to have escaped custody. The gang doesn't buy it and the wire is found. A gunfight begins, the first real level of the game is a fast-paced, adrenaline pumping level where Mona fights off the entire gang by herself while the warehouse burns down around her. It is still refered to in gaming publications as one of the best shooter levels in recent memory. Mendez is nowhere to be found, but Mona emerges victorious. Pleased and willing to write off the deaths as 'gang violence' (which will be but a side-story on the nightly news and swept aside for cute puppy stories) NYPD Detective Winters offer Mona a job as a hit woman of sorts. The criminals that the police cannot get to due to various technicalities, will be given to Mona as targets. Criminals killing criminals, they say. Nobody will care. She takes the job.
Each level from then on has Mona hunting down various criminal targets, storming their hideouts and shooting up the place. She gradually grows more skilled, using 'Skill Points' earned through smooth gunplay to get new moves like slow-motion dives, faster reloads, a balisong to use in melee combat, and more. Each mission awards Mona money that she can spend on upgrades to her safehouse and weapon cache, making her a gradually more deadly force to be reckoned with. Eventually, she tracks down Mendez and the final mission takes place inside of an abandoned factory which is set ablaze during the struggle, mirroring the first mission in the game. This time, Mona is the only one to leave alive.
- Salvatore Lupino
-Temple of Pain 3: Tomorrows-"I think of what happened yesterday, what's happening today, and it all makes me want to put a gun in my mouth. You know what keeps me going? Hope. Hope that, you know, maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe."
Mona, now quite wealthy from all her 'work' with the police, is living in an expansive loft apartment and armed to the teeth. She's been doing dirty work for law enforcement for a few years now and is a skilled shooter and melee combatant. The Skill Point system from the previous game is gone and it is now more of a straight shooter, though Mona retains every ability she had earned in the previous title. The high life makes the heroine sloppy, though, and she ends up leaving a paper trail. The game opens as Mona lies on wet pavement, slick with her own blood, thoughts of how she'd gotten here drifting through her head, so close to the bullet that was now lodged inside of it.
A note had been waiting under her door. "We have Ben," it said, "Come alone or we make it worse", it promised. Captain (formerly Detective) Ben Winters, her closest friend in the NYPD. One of the only people she could, in fact, call a friend. Someone had kidnapped him. The address was a warehouse. Sharp-eyed players would recognize it as the warehouse the first game opened in. Inside what little remained of the rotting, burned structure, sat Ben Winters, seemingly alone. The player enters, prepared to fight off hordes of thugs, but just as they cross the doorway, Winters is shot dead by an assassin hiding in the shadows. There was never any chance of saving him. They just wanted Mona to watch him die.
Following the gunshot, the player chases the assassin through buildings and over rooftops in what would be another iconic level of the series. The killer gets away, but leaves a vital clue that points to the Russian Mob. They have a minor presence in the city at best, only using the docks as a place to import drugs. It's good enough to go on. But as Mona returns home she finds her apartment set ablaze, everything she owns, destroyed. Another note awaits her, this one even more grim. "We have Julie", it says, "Come alone or we make it worse," it promises.
Left with only her CZ75 (Mona's trademark handgun) and her balisong, she arrives at the docks to find Julie held hostage by two thugs; Salvatore Lupino, a hitman for the Mafia, and Vladimir Radinov, a mid-level drug dealer for the Russian Mob. Players expect this fight to go in Mona's favor, for her to beat the odds and find a way to rescue her kid sister. That's not what happened. In a controversial plot twist that is still talked about today, after Mona gives up her weapons in exchange for her sister's life, Salvatore shoots Julie in the head anyway. Enraged, Mona lunges at Vladimir and is herself shot through the left eye. This brings us back to the opening of the game. The screen fades to black on the sound of the gangsters laughing, rolling Julie's body into the water.
It opens up again in a hospital bed. Mona has survived. What follows is a quest for revenge that takes Mona and the players through New York City, facing down hordes of mobsters as she hunts down Sal and Vlad. The player first encounters Vlad, which boasts one of the first uses of Quick-Time Events. Mona engages in a titanic hand-to-hand struggle with a coked-up Vladimir, the mountain of a man leaving a jagged scar on Mona's right cheek with a razorblade. Eventually, using her knife, she manages to stab Vlad and shove him out of a window, where he lands on his own parked car.
The end of the game comes a few levels later, with the player stalking Sal Lupino as he exits a card game, then finally cornering and killing him, much to his disbelief. The moment is cathartic and gave players and critics a satisfying ending. Beating the game on 'Nightmare' difficulty unlocks an extended ending that shows Mona in an empty apartment with a gun to her head. Nothing left to live for. The screen goes black. Suddenly, a phone call. Silence. Then, "....I'll take the job." The end.
- Mona Temple
Skills and Arsenal:
The third game opens up on that mysterious 'job' that had left gamers guessing at the end of the second game. Mona is no longer an assassin. She is a Detective for the NYPD. The job offer had given her hope and a purpose in life. She fights now to prevent the scum of the city from doing to others what they'd done to her. She fights to protect those that can't protect themselves. She might be on the side of the law now, but that doesn't mean she's not going to go in with guns blazing. Gamers, worried after seeing previews that the series might be 'losing it's edge' were delighted to see the gritty nature of the game intact. In fact, it had been expanded upon. Now the Temple series was more than a linear shooter. It was a fully open world, set in NYC, where Mona was free to roam as she pleased. She could visit bars, take side-missions from various contacts, upgrade her new home, and even play mini-games like shooting pool and darts. She could only use her weapons while in designated mission areas but the open nature let players explore and experience a living, breathing environment.
The story unfolds as Mona picks apart, piece by piece, the Chinese Triads infesting the streets of New York. She takes apart their operations and battles the lieutenants of The Mountain Cloud Boys, getting closer and closer to their boss with every mission. Mid-way through the game, Mona discovers evidence that proves that the Triad leader, Wu Zi Huang, was the one that organized the kidnappings of Ben and Julie, as well as her apartment fire. Fed up with Mona taking apart the criminal element in the city, Huang had united the Triads, Mafia, and Russian Mob to ruin Mona's life. He had then let his dogs do the dirty work while he kept himself as far away as possible. Not anymore.
Mona set off on a quest for revenge, to give back tenfold what Huang had given her. She (and the player) continue to dismantle the Triad, while exacting personal revenge. She torches Wu Zi Huang's home, making sure to leave a burning pile of his money on his manicured front lawn, with a note just off to the side.
"I am going to make it worse," it promises.
The climax of the game sees Huang attempting to escape the city under the cover of the Chinese New Year's Day parade. Mona chases him through the streets but loses him. She manages to find out that he is planning to leave the city via boat. Racing against the timer, Mona makes it to the docks, fights off Huangs men, steals a boat, and crashes it into the Triad leader's yacht. What follows is an intense shootout aboard the yacht as it begins to burn and slowly sink. On the top deck, Mona and Huang face each other. Huang tosses Mona a sword, asking for 'an honorable end to a years-long conflict'. Mona agrees, but Huang is a much more skilled swordfighter. He leaves a deep slash on her left cheek and pins her by her shoulder to the deck.
"No last words, Detective? What is that look on your face? Is it defeat? Resignation? What are you going to do?" asks Huang.
"Cheat," says Mona, who unveils a .25 DuO on a spring-loaded trigger hidden under her sleeve. She shoots him in the chest, pulls the sword out of her other arm, then ditches him by leaping into the water as the boat burns and sinks.
"This isn't over! This will never be over until you are dead, Mona Temple!" howls Huang, sure to drown or burn aboard his own ship.
Mona is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, with great speed and physical agility, and is an expert but reckless driver. Although she does not always respect the letter of the law, she has a strong moral sense of right and wrong and is reluctant to kill unless absolutely necessary. An excellent marksman, she often targets her opponents' trigger fingers or crucial components of their guns in combat rather than going for a lethal shot. As a result, she has sometimes been hunted by criminals angry at their mutilation at her hands. Her signature melee weapon is her balisong, with which she is extremely skilled. She often flips or twirls it just for practice, but more often than not only does this at home. She generally keeps the weapon concealed in a pocket.
She also usually carries a .25 DuO (made by the same company as the CZ-75) with the trigger guard removed, mounted on a spring-loaded frame strapped to her arm for quick access in a tight spot. When her CZ-75 has been unavailable, she relies on a SIG P210, another very high quality weapon, and sometimes carries a back-up gun in an ankle holster. She keeps a precision rifle and shotgun in the trunk of her Shelby Cobra; these have included a Walther WA2000 and a SIG 550 Sniper variant.Appearance:
Mona stands about five foot eight, with brown eyes and black, pixie-cut hair that is usually a little messy. She has several distinguishing features; an eyepatch from a gunshot wound, two facial scars from different blades, and a criss-crossing series of scars along her left arm from when she punched her way through a car window and pulled a man back through it in her second game. Her first and second games had Mona dressing in punk-ish attire, but now that the third game is out and she is an NYPD Detective, she dresses more formally. Mona traditionally wears a black vest and red tie with a white long-sleeved button-up shirt under it, both to conceal the scars on her left arm and the hidden DuO she keeps strapped to her right. Her CZ-75 is kept in a shoulder holster she always wears. Her outfit is completed by black slacks and shoes. She keeps her badge clipped to her belt.