Codex Gamicus

Azrael's Tear is a 1996 first-person computer role-playing adventure game published by Mindscape and developed by Intelligent Games. Taking place in 2001, the player takes on the role of a futuristic grave robber/archaeologist called a "raptor", who has come to explore a recently opened cavern in Scotland rumored to contain the Holy Grail.

Ken Haywood produced the original concept for the game and worked with Intelligent Games's own Richard Guy on the final design. It was a richly detailed and atmospheric world with challenging puzzles.

The original design called for a Myst-style pre-rendered environment. As development progressed, the team switched to real-time 3D.

Just Adventure's Ray Ivey describes the game thus: "As I began to explore Aeternis, I was quickly mesmerized, thrilled, intrigued, and saddened by the incredible atmosphere in this creepy place. I explored mines, chapels, cathedrals, laboratories, libraries, and living quarters, all accompanied by a beautiful and evocative soundtrack that had a strong liturgical flavor (not to mention an extremely detailed and informative sound design)." Other reviewers criticised the game for having a complicated, difficult-to-learn user interface and for making some of the puzzles too difficult to complete.

Released in the UK the same week as Quake and, perhaps, suffering from an unmemorable name and a challenging user interface, Azrael's Tear was not a commercial success. However, project leader Matthew Stibbe said, in a presentation on the history of games, that it is the only game he produced that got fan mail.

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