Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
This game is unique and remarkable in several ways. For one thing, it is the first time that anyone has ever based an adventure game on a world famous opera. We would have wanted to play it for that reason alone, since excerpts from the great Classical music of that opera are used as the soundtrack (conducted by the renowned Sir Georg Solti). But we soon found ourselves also captivated by the superb presentation of the ancient myth itself.
Based on Wagner's opera by the same name, the story symbolically depicts 4 days in the creation of the Cosmos, as told in the great oral epic of the Germanic people: the Eddas. It presents, as characters, those 4 traits that man has made his 'gods' since time immemorial (his faults and his virtues) and so is designed to illustrate the complexity of the human soul and the root cause of man's ultimate success or failure.
In this fascinating adaptation, you are ISH, a human 'metascient' in some far distant future. Earth, along with all of its written archives, has been destroyed by enemies known as the 'Four'. The few remaining enslaved humans are therefore born with no 'identity', since they have no planet or history of their own. And so, as the game begins, you are chosen by the Goddess (who represents Erda, the Earth Mother) to take on the daunting task of reconstituting humanity's heritage.
You must use the science of 'Mnemogenetics' to explore the hidden crevices of your own memory for humanity's forgotten beginnings in the ancient past so that you can better understand your own nature and, hopefully, avoid the same mistakes in the future. But in order to truly understand both Good and Evil, and know which to choose and why, you must yourself be both hero and villain, actually becoming each of the 4 ancient 'gods' with their motivations and their physical and emotional challenges: Alberich (greed), Loge (deceit), Siegmund (heroism), and Brunnhilde (selfless love).
The game is primarily 1st person, point and click, and includes 22 different characters with a full hour of video animation. The music, of course, is spectacular, and the full screen graphics are detailed and stunning: both the sets and the costumes were created by award-winning illustrator Druillet. The puzzles are varied and challenging, integrated into the story, and some must be solved by using your current character's usual approach to problems (brutality, flame throwing, the wolf instinct, or lightning bolts from a magic lance).
As Alberich the dwarf tyrant, you must steal the Magic Gold from the Rhine maidens to regain control of your kingdom. As Loge the enslaved but arrogant fire spirit, you must enter the Nibelheim (the mine) and steal the Ring from Alberich to pay the giants to construct Walhalla. As Siegmund the half man / half wolf, you must find the traces of your past and save your sister. And as Brunnhilde the proud Walkyrie warrior fleeing the wrath of her father for love of Loge, you must defeat a terrible monster in the Necropolis.
The game is nonlinear and the 4 different worlds may be visited in any order preferred, but we would recommend following the preceding order to better understand the unfolding story. And in Loge's world, take care that you don't kill off a certain character before you gain the information contained in his story.
It is an epic drama that was designed to underscore the importance of remembering all that we have learned about ourselves through hard experience. For as ISH says: "The greatest threat lies in 'forget'. Any horror, any cataclysm, can repeat itself!"
Developed by Arxel Tribe (1998) and was published by Cryo Interactive Entertainment in Europe and Red Orb Entertainment (1999) in North America.
Arxel Tribe is now publishing and selling Ring themselves in Europe.
Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!
PC: Pentium 133 MHz Processor; Windows 95 / 98; 16 MB RAM; 8X CD ROM Drive; 250 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; Sound Card; Video Card Supporting 65,000 Colors; Mouse
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