No self-respecting Soviet-inspired game would be without its fair share of espionage and intrigue, and Papers, Please isn’t an exception. The 32-day story mode narrative is full of dark and tragic events that paint a bleak portrait of people fighting to survive in a tumultuous dictatorship. Controlling a border checkpoint inspector, players must make decisions that determine the fates of NPCs and the inspector alike.
Beginning on Day 8, the inspector encounters an agent of the mysterious Order of the EZIC Star. A player may choose whether to cooperate with the agent or not. Regardless of the player’s decision, EZIC plays a large role in the Papers, Please narrative. Because the game makes it almost impossible to know whom to trust, inexperienced players may encounter difficulties in understanding or executing EZIC tasks. To that end, I’ve assembled this walkthrough to help you navigate the EZIC portion of the Papers, Please story mode.
Days 8 – 10
An EZIC messenger appears, gives the inspector a card, and leaves. The back of the card reads “Corman Drex.” Watch out for Corman’s name on a passport; the character is randomly generated each playthrough. Give them the card.
In return, Corman will give the inspector a note containing some information about EZIC, which must be read and quickly returned. Upon returning Corman’s note, the inspector will receive a cipher.
If the inspector doesn’t pass along the EZIC messenger’s card to Corman Drex on Day 8, Corman will return on Day 9 and refuse to leave the window until the card has been handed over.
On the day after the inspector turns over the card to Corman, the EZIC messenger appears to give the inspector a decoder to use with Corman’s cipher. Lining these items up in the proper positions will reveal two names: Mikhail Saratov and Stepheni Graire.
EZIC operant Mikhail Saratov appears at the inspector’s window with invalid documentation. Allowing Saratov entry counts as successful completion of the first official EZIC task, and will be noticed, but you shouldn’t be penalized unless you’ve made several other mistakes before he comes along.
If you deny Saratov entry, the EZIC messenger will appear to remind the inspector about the second operative, Stepheni Graire, who appears on Day 14.
Later on, an EZIC agent offers the inspector 1000 credits. This money is automatically accepted; players who do not wish to accept the EZIC gift must uncheck it on the budget screen at the end of the day, which will cause the inspector to burn the cash. Keeping the money will result in the confiscation of the inspector’s savings.
Ministry of Information Investigator M. Vonel appears and asks the inspector for anything related to EZIC. If the player turns over EZIC documents to M. Vonel, the inspector will be arrested, unlocking Ending 3.
The EZIC agent returns again to offer the inspector a cash gift. This time, the value has doubled, and the agent will give the inspector 2000 credits. Once again, the player may decide whether the inspector should keep the money or burn it at the end of the day. And again, keeping the money will incur the loss of the inspector’s savings.
Stepheni Graire will appear on Day 14, so be ready. If the inspector accepted the EZIC gift on either Day 11 or Day 12 and denies this operative entrance to Arstotzka, the game will end on Day 15, unlocking Ending 4.
Allowing Stepheni to enter will complete the second EZIC task. Because Stepheni has invalid paperwork, completing this task will earn the inspector a citation.
An EZIC messenger appears with a second decoder and a message to allow another Order operative entrance to Arstotzka. The inspector must use the decoder on each passport to find Marie Escalli, the third EZIC operative; Marie’s passport will read E-Z-I-C when the player uses the decoder.
Allowing Marie to enter completes the third EZIC task. The inspector will receive a citation, as Marie does not have a valid ID card.
The EZIC messenger gives the inspector a packet of poison for Khaled Istom. Touching the powder will instantly kill the inspector. Players wishing to complete the fourth EZIC task should apply the poison to Khaled’s passport when he appears.
Allowing the poisoned Khaled to enter Arstotzka will kill both he and a guard. Denying him after he is poisoned will kill Khaled and sicken several bystanders.
A man in red will appear on Day 23. If Khaled was allowed to live on Day 20, an EZIC messenger will identify him as the man in red; otherwise, the man goes unnamed. The messenger will provide the inspector with a silver key, which unlocks the sniper rifle in the gun case.
When someone jumps over the fence, the inspector has the opportunity to shoot the man in red. Killing him with the sniper rifle will end the game and unlock Ending 9. Tranquilizing him will end the game and unlock Ending 10. Ignoring the man in red will allow the player’s game to continue.
An EZIC messenger will ask the inspector to confiscate Kolechian diplomat Kordon Kallo’s passport. Taking the passport, allowing Kordon to enter without it, and then handing it over to an EZIC agent will complete the fifth and final EZIC task.
Handing Kordon’s passport over to the Order will allow an EZIC operative to impersonate the diplomat. Allowing this operative to enter Arstotzka will earn the inspector a gift of 20 credits.
Welcome to the penultimate day of the Papers, Please story mode. If you have completed at least four of the five EZIC tasks, an EZIC messenger will appear today to let the inspector know that the Order plans to attack the border checkpoint today. The inspector will be safe from harm, provided the player does not turn on EZIC during the operation. Allowing EZIC to destroy the wall unscathed will unlock Ending 19. Shooting at least one EZIC agent will unlock Ending 15.
If the player has completed three EZIC tasks or fewer, the Order will attack both the wall and the inspector’s booth. Allowing an agent to destroy the booth will result in instant death, while allowing EZIC to destroy the wall will unlock Ending 13.
The inspector has the opportunity to escape to Obristan on Day 31. Failure to escape or end the game on this day will allow Papers, Please to progress to Day 32, where three endings are available.
If the inspector remains in Arstotzka and has completed 1-3 EZIC tasks, the player will unlock Ending 17. If the inspector has not completed any EZIC tasks, Ending 20 and endless mode will unlock. And if the inspector has completed at least four EZIC tasks, Ending 14 will unlock.
There you have it: the guide to EZIC tasks in Papers, Please. Got a question about the game? Leave it in the comments!