The X-Files Collectible Card Game
|Designers||Duncan Macdonell, Ron Kent, David Frank, David May, Andy Graumann, NXT Games|
|Publishers||US Playing Card Company|
|Setup time||< 1 minute|
|Playing time||~1 hour|
|Skills required||Resource management, Deck optimization, Planning|
The X-Files Collectible Card Game is an out-of-print collectible card game based on The X-Files fictional universe. It was developed by NXT Games and published by the US Playing Card Company (USPCC).
A game of The X-Files is played between two players using decks of cards representing characters, equipment, events, and locations from the television show. At the beginning of the game, each player selects an X-File card and places it face down, and the winner of the game is the first player to correctly guess the identity of the opponent's X-File. To gather clues about the X-File card, players play Site cards and move Agent cards to those locations. If they can fulfill the investigation requirements of the Site, they can ask a yes or no question about the opponent's X-File card. Players can attempt to interfere in their opponent's investigations by playing Event, Bluff, and Adversary cards of their own.
The Premier Set was released in 1996 and debuted at Gen Con. Initially, 80 million cards were shipped on November 1st, 1996. Over the next year, USPCC would create the first expansion, 101361, a 2nd edition set known as The Truth Is Out There, and a number of promotional cards. The second expansion, 22364 was apparently finished and ready to be produced, when the game was terminated in 1997. Three collector sets were also cancelled.
Full expansion sets
The following full sets were created by USPCC:
- Premier (1996) – This was the first set for the X-Files CCG, sold in both 60 card starter decks and 15 card booster packs. The set contained 354 distinct cards. Card images and concepts were taken from the first two seasons of the X-Files.
- The starter decks came with both Basic and Advanced rule booklets, with some cards being marked with a green "X" in the upper left corner indicating they were intended for Advanced games only. Each starter deck came with one of five 20-card banded packs, plus 40 random common, uncommon and rare cards. Only the basic agents could be found in the starter decks.
- Booster packs contained 15 random cards. Ultra-rare cards could be found only in booster packs, randomly replacing one of the rares in the pack. Ultra-rare cards included photo variants of Agents Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Alex Krycek and Assistant Director Walter Skinner, as well as cards for Deep Throat, X, the Lone Gunmen, and pivotal events in the first two seasons.
- 101361 (1997) – This 125-card set, named after Fox Mulder's birthday, contained images and concepts from the third season of the X-Files. The set included five ultra-rare cards, and was notable for including no Combat or X-File cards.
- The Truth Is Out There (1997) – This 354-card set, named after the tagline from the show, is the second edition of the core set. Thirty cards were removed from the Premier list, including all ultra-rares and some problematic rares, and replaced with a new set of rare and ultra-rare cards.
- To correct collation problems, and general complaints about the Premier starters and boosters, a number of changes were made. First, X-File cards were only available in the starter decks. This cut down on collectors pulling an unnecessary amount of X-Files from booster packs. In addition, the 50-card banded packs were better organized, and each starter deck box had a hole in the back, revealing a number 1 through 5, letting the buyer know which starter they were purchasing.
- Also, to make collecting more attractive, and to make some harder-to-find cards more available, the rarity of a number of cards (most notably the Sites) had their rarity changed from rare to uncommon, or vice versa.
The following promotional cards were created by USPC Games:
- The Gen Con Deck (1996) – At Gen Con '96, these decks were used to demo the game to potential players. After the demonstrations were done, these decks were supposed to be destroyed, but it is apparent that a number of them were not. There are two versions of the deck, one that was banded together, and the other that came in a white box labelled "Top Secret/Classified". There are a number of unique features that make both versions of the deck highly sought after.
- Cards feature early layout designs, and rough-looking Conspiracy and Resource Point images.
- Two future promotional cards, "Alien Technology" and "Fighter Interceptor", are included in the deck.
- A number of cards have alternate names or alternate images.
- Includes "Scully's Dream, Georgetown, MD", not included in any other sets.
- Backs of the cards read "For Demonstration Purposes Only".
- Each card is individually numbered, in the format "XF96-00XX GCon".
Cards and items that were designed, but never saw official release, are discussed below:
- Pewter Agents Mulder and Scully (1997?) – Little information is known about these cards. According to one source, these cards were intended to be sold as a special promotion or collector set, and orders were already being taken, when the game was canceled. A prototype card apparently appeared on eBay somewhere between December 2004 and January 2005, and one viewer mentioned "the asking price had too many zeros".
There were a total of 5 pewter cards made. 3 for Fox Mulder and 2 for Dana Scully (also referred to as the medusa due to unflattering look of Gillian Andersons character). The whereabouts of 4 of these pewters is currently known with the 5th being, "somewhere in Europe" as stated by David May. 
- Varney, Allen (May 1996), "Reports on Trading Card Games", The Duelist, no. #10, p. 9
- Varney, Allen (December 1997), "Inside the Industry", The Duelist, no. #20, p. 92
- Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, pp. 651–655.
- "X-Files Collectible Card Game Quick Start Rules". NXT Games. Archived from the original on 1996-11-12. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Butcher, Andy (January 1997), "The X-Files Collectable Card Game review" (PDF), Arcane, no. #15, pp. 66–67
- "Inside the Industry", The Duelist, no. #12, p. 74, September 1996
- Varney, Allen (February 1997), "Inside the Industry", The Duelist, no. #15, p. 84
- Varney, Allen (January 1998), "Game News & Updates", The Duelist, no. #21, p. 87
- "The X-Files CCG: Premiere Edition".
- How Complete Is Your Set? [https://web.archive.org/web/20071009073224/http://www.chirographum.com/tolenmar/?p=119 Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
- "Backstab Magazine (French) Issue 01".