Atlantis: The Lost Tales
Atlantis: The Lost Tales is a fantasy adventure computer game developed by Cryo Interactive and published by Dreamcatcher Interactive, and released on September 30, 1997. The game is named after its initial and most important setting, Atlantis. It is the first in a Myst-like series, and is followed by Atlantis II (Beyond Atlantis outside Europe), Atlantis III: The New World (Beyond Atlantis II), Atlantis Evolution and The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy.
Story[edit | edit source]
The game begins with Seth, the protagonist, joining the Queen's Companions, the personal guardians of the Queen of Atlantis. He discovers after he arrives that the Queen disappeared shortly before he joined. As the story progresses, Seth learns that a power struggle is taking place between the Queen and the Guards of the Consul. The leader of the Guards, Creon, wishes to supplant Ammu, the goddess of the moon, as the most worshiped of Atlanis' gods, replacing her with Sa'at, the sun god; he then wants to conquer the world in the name of Sa'at, using a new weapon that he has developed.
The weapon is revealed to be half of a crystal that is capable of granting immense knowledge to its holder. Long ago, the crystal was split into Light and Dark halves, and the halves were hidden in Easter Island and Stonehenge, respectively. Creon found the Dark Crystal, which has a side effect of driving it's holder mad.
Seth retrieves the Light crystal from Easter Island, then returns to Atlantis to face Creon. After Creon's defeat, the weapon he build causes a volcano on Atlantis to erupt. Seth and a few survivors are seen sailing away from Atlantis as it is destroyed by the volcano.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Atlantis is a first-person perspective puzzle game. The entire game is in 3-D. The HUD is basically a 'window' into the world of Atlantis, except for instead of moving a mouse around the screen, moving the mouse actually moves the screen itself. To interact with the world, the player must position the item, NPC or thing into the middle of the screen. Some critics have found this annoying, as there is no crosshair in the middle of the screen. This means the player must guess where the centre is, and move the screen accordingly. This has since been fixed in Beyond Atlantis and Beyond Atlantis II, where a crosshair is apparent.
Progression through the game involves solving various puzzles of varying difficulty. Some puzzles are extremely abstract and the solution is completely unexpected, whereas other puzzles are very simple. Another feature of Atlantis is having periods where the player must react quickly to certain events happening in the game. For example, in one section guards chase the player away from a certain area. If the player hesitates in moving backwards and looking for shelter, then the player will lose and will have to restart from the beginning of the scene. This can also be frustrating, as there is only one particular path the player may take, and taking any other part results in capture, death and restarting.
Engine[edit | edit source]
The game features a number of proprietary technologies developed by Cryo. One such technology is called OMNI 3D which provides a smooth, panoramic 360-degree first-person view of the game environment. Unfortunately, this view tends to be less crisp looking than the movement clips that are pre-rendered in the game. All the character animations are motion captured and feature another technology called OMNI SYNC to ensure proper lip synchronization with audio speech.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
Various specimina of 'Atlantean' script in the scenery are actually Tengwar but they have no specific meaning.
References[edit | edit source]
- 1. Atlantis Review, Quandary/Quandaryland
- 2. Atlantis Review of Gameplay and Engine, Adventure Classic Gaming
- 3. Dreamcatcher games (Note: Cryo Interactive has as of 2006[update] ceased to exist, and has been incorporated into Dreamcatcher Games)