Archive for February, 2009

tohmystery33Everyone enjoys a good, long fantasy (fairy-)tale depicting the adventures of a true hero. It’s a pity then that it’s so difficult to come by an adventure game that matches this seemingly broad description. The days of regular King’s Quest and Quest for Glory entries with occasional great one-shots like my personal favorite Death Gate seem to be long over. The few new games that encompass traditional fantasy elements tend to push them towards cartoony slapstick and parody rather than offer a serious treatment of the genre.

Similarly, most new adventure games suffer from shortness, often even choosing an episodic format of publishing – not the best fit for an epic story of heroic daring-do. It is then an experience not totally unlike that of a starving hobbit coming upon a delicious feast to finally play an adventure game which not only captures the spirit of epic fantasy, but it is able to feel fresh, exciting and have a personality all of its own. It is a game that fully deserves the title Tale of a Hero. (more…)

gabetalkDeep in the Languedoc mountains… shrouded in darkness… lies Rennes-le-Chateau – the city of ancient secrets, hotels and museums in the must-play adventure game Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of The Sacred, Blood of The Damned. And it’s all based on reality… Is it?

Here’s how Gabriel Knight in person (and in Tim Curry‘s voice) described this town sometime in 1998 or 1999:

[gplayer href=”http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/2/14/2321609/gk.speaks.2.mp3″][/gplayer] (more…)

Since the very first post the blog has grown quite a bit in content and even more attractions and surprises are already in the works. In consequence, I can already see that my production diaries and the actual productions won’t be the most prominent part of The Workshop anytime soon (although they’ll certainly keep appearing and shocking everyone). Instead, I decided that there are still many facets of gaming, especially adventure gaming and particularly the indie (and almost indie) parts of adventure gaming, that I don’t get to explore in my articles for Adventure Classic Gaming, but have an excellent chance to do it here. Expect both unorthodox methodology as well as odes to old school charms. Maybe even some in-depth conversations with the creators behind the most interesting titles. (more…)

1638This original anime series of Captain Harlock from the 70s was my first direct contact with Leiji Matsumoto‘s work. Before watching it I was certainly intrigued by glimpses at the well-known creator’s unique style, but couldn’t really figure out which series from his very large and interconnected body of work was the best point to get started.

What ultimately led me to Space Pirate Captain Harlock was the composer of its music – Seiji Yokoyama – whose work I loved from the anime Saint Seiya and I was actively looking for another production that used his talents. I can right away reveal that I wasn’t disappointed by his work here either – a sometimes epic and sometimes nostalgic soundtrack perfect for illustrating the times of great battles, of great heroes and the vastness, beauty, but also loneliness and sadness of space. (more…)

nellynellyThey say there is only one true pirate adventure game/game series, the rest just tries to take a piece of its glory for themselves. They are a little bit more forgiving, though, when the game in question is intentionally a love letter to the classic adventure games of yore. Yet there also exists a certain title that is a piratey love letter in both this and a quite different meaning of the expression.

Yes, it’s all true! Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! – the game in question – was made using the freeware AGS engine specifically for the girlfriend of its creator Alasdair Beckett (but don’t worry, YOU can play it too)! Well, actually Alasdair doesn’t really try to hide who is the game’s primary addressee any more than the fact that it was heavily inspired by the Monkey Island series. How could he do that anyway, when the game even borrows the icon coin interface known from Curse of Monkey Island. A very heartfelt tribute to Monkey Island then? (more…)

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Two months have gone by as the revamped and refocused Monkey Island Speech Project started its course. The project was originally launched in October 2008 by Joe Davison and was dedicated to providing voices for the characters of Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (as the first part of the series didn’t seem to be technically viable for such a feat at the time). Amused by the sheer arrogance of the idea, mixnmojo has granted it with a nice home address. (more…)

zeroBeing a big fan of the original Captain Harlock TV series from the 70s I looked forward to the new breed of Leji Matsumoto‘s productions. Unfortunately I was mostly disappointed in the way they treated the well known characters and in the quality of storytelling in general. Cosmo Warrior Zero is one of the very few to be actually true to the origins and at the same time presenting some fresh, interesting ideas.

For Harlock fans the very premise is a treat already. We follow Captain Warrius Zero who is a sworn enemy of Captain Harlock and promises to give everything he’s got to hunt down the legendary pirate. The conflict is grounded in the different ways the two men perceive where their honor and duties lie, so it won’t be settled just by the revelation they both have good intentions and qualities they respect a lot. (more…)