The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure



Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Brain Game publishing & 3d-io

Publisher:    Viva Media

Released:  July 2008

PC Requirements:   1024 MB RAM for Windows XP, 2048 MB RAM for Windows Vista, NVidia GeForce 6600 GT 256 MB / ATI 9600 XT (or better) 256 MB, 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 CPU (or similar), 3.5 GB free hard drive space, ATI / Nvidia graphic driver installed, 100% DirectX 9.0 compatible soundcard, Mouse and a keyboard, DVD-ROM drive

Walkthrough   Walkthrough





by nickie


This game treats us to some gorgeous opening scenes, including a foreshadowing of two humanoids discussing their quest for power. In another scene, robots are attacking an athletic female, who twists off the head of one of the robots. Cleverly written, both of these locations will be recognized later during game play, including the discovery by the main character of the robot head.

Cut to the Solar Residence which is under attack. Perry Rhodan, the hero of our game, learns that he has been confined to the damaged station for his own safety until further notice from his good friend, the Minister of Defense. The problem is -- Perry’s estranged companion, Mondra Diamond, has been kidnapped. So Perry is going to have to go against orders and find a way to leave the station and track her down. Perry will travel across the galaxy to discover who has attacked his world and why. Who can be trusted, and who has a secret agenda that has made for divided loyalties? What is the mysterious source that is sending Perry messages and seems to be assisting him on his quest?

“Beam me up, Scotty” – a phrase that made its way into pop culture associated with the science fiction television series Star Trek, although the exact phrase was never actually spoken in any television episode or film—Wikipedia. 

Game play begins in this third person perspective adventure game with Perry inspecting the damage to the station, talking to everyone that he can, and figuring out how to elude his own well-meaning security forces. Movement is via point and click, utilizing movement icons which appear when the cursor is swept across the screen. Double clicking the mouse makes Perry run, a welcome feature because there is quite a bit of ground to cover as Perry goes back and forth securing items for use in another location. Items that can be useful or people with whom communication is possible will likewise have appropriate icons associated with them. Inventory items can be accessed at the bottom of the screen. A simple left click accesses an item, and a right click will give more information about the item.

An interesting method of furthering dialogue choices and game play (that I don’t recall seeing since the first Broken Sword game) is that some information gained will also go into inventory for further use. It can then be used like any other inventory item on another character in an effort to obtain more information on the topic. Dialogue can be speeded through by clicking the space bar, although you may miss clues by doing so.

Permanently in inventory is a futuristic wristband that may be helpful if you’re stuck in the game or curious about Perry’s ideas on the investigation at any point. A left click will open it to show a notebook which includes investigation notes and, often, clues about what needs to be accomplished next in the game. Although you don’t have to click on the wristband first, it has other features, including a scan mode which enables you to tap the “s” key on your keyboard to be briefly shown objects and exits available on screen. It also has the ability to change Perry’s DNA and disguise him to the masses, although it never fools the other main characters (or us, of course).

Another feature of the game is that pop-up windows appear when nearing an entrance to a location you have previously visited. This is helpful in a couple of places where numerous rooms adjoin a main room. Right clicking will move Perry instantly into that other location.

I didn’t encounter any glitches and the game ran smoothly. There are a couple of areas where an action needs to be completed that are a bit finicky. On a couple of occasions the scan feature did not appear to identify an object with which interaction was possible.

As the player moves Perry around the station in an effort to discover more clues about the attack and to find a way to leave to find Mondra, there is a display to be accessed which briefly chronicles Perry’s previous exploits. This gives some welcome background information on your character, especially if you neglected to read the on-disc manual. In addition, as play continues, information necessary to play is gained through an intelligence system called a positronic.

Just a wee note here: as a player I would prefer a physical manual that I can hold in my hand and refer to if necessary. Having it on disc on an Acrobat Reader also makes the assumption that the player has access to a reader that functions correctly. If you don’t read the manual, you may not be aware that the wristband can be accessed as a notebook, that you can scan the room for clues, or a variety of other helpful information tidbits including a partial walkthrough of the first chapter.

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it by not dying” – Woody Allen

There’s a lot to take in at once as you begin play. Fortunately, you can play as slowly as you like, with no action or timed sequences appearing at all. And also, happily, although you are obviously in a futuristic setting, it is much like your everyday setting with futuristic gadgets and alien beings interspersed in it. In other words, you don’t have to struggle with a planet or dimension that doesn’t adhere to the same use of physical senses that you are used to, as time and space are not distorted. There are space ships and strange objects and robots galore, but it never feels uncomfortably foreign to play. In addition, game play is (for the most part) very linear, and characters with whom you speak will give clues for needed investigation on your part.

The developers have been massively ambitious in attempting to bring us up to speed with the “Perryverse”. Although Perry Rhodan is well known to Europe and other parts of the world, he is virtually unknown to North America. Perry made his first appearance in Germany in 1961, and in almost fifty years has been the subject of some two thousand weekly serialized novellas, countless novels, spin-offs and other associated paraphernalia. While European gamers are probably very comfortable with this world, it may be the first time a North American gamer has heard of this Perryverse.

While the developers have made a valiant effort to provide enough back story to familiarize the players with this world, I can’t help thinking it feels an awful lot like opening a book in the middle and trying to understand the whole of it. There is nothing about the characters to draw us to them, to make us care enough to want to help them reach their goals. I think it might have been a better tactic to make this game a sequel, and in the first game show the events that made Perry who he is, and how his relationships are important to him through experiences shared. At least, much could be done with flashbacks to make us understand Perry and his motivations a little better.

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world…and the real world?”—The Matrix

By way of background, the original story had Perry and his crew of the Stardust spaceship landing on the moon. Thinking themselves the first to do so, they instead encounter Arkonide astronauts who are stranded there. Perry is able to make peace with them through a romantic encounter (a museum is dedicated to this character in our game), and thus gains technology that is thousands of years more developed than that on Earth. With this technology, Perry is able to avert a third world war, unite the countries on Earth and neighboring planets into Terra. An immortal being gives Perry and his closest friends the gift of immortality to assist them in bringing peace to the Milky Way galaxy. One of these friends is Reginald Bull, who appears in this game as the Minister of Defense.

The game never tells you this in its entirety, so motivations of characters are unclear. Why Perry trusts Bull is never understood, why Perry is willing to go against orders to find Mondra is never appreciated, and especially why Perry makes the choices he does toward the ending of our game are a puzzle. His limited immortality is hazy at best.

Avoiding spoilers makes it impossible to elaborate here, but essentially I was disappointed with the ending because I didn’t understand the back story. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that the last chapter of the game feels rushed and incomplete, which is unfortunate because it had the potential to be the most interesting part of the game. 

While there is little to draw you to the main characters, there is curiously personality galore in some of the bit players of this game. Between the somewhat tedious beginning (after the enthralling opening cinematic) and the rushed ending, Perry travels to the land of Elmo Dater, where the developers show glimmerings of brilliance. There is the organized crime boss who is a Unither, a being whose most prominent physical characteristic is a flexible trunk, and who is obviously popular with the ladies. There are the cookie-headed Blues, who adore their little dolls. There’s even a tough female who owns the trading post that is lovesick for a missing miner.

“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”- Tom Clancy

One of my favorite parts of the game takes place in an odor bar. Instead of serving liquor, patrons are served various aromas that have knockout potential. These potent odors give Perry (and us) a visual feast of multi-colored exploding fireworks.

Also visually memorable in a previous chapter is Thora’s museum. Stained glass windows, huge towers, and a colossal robot are all well designed. The graphics are lovely in this game with much attention paid to detail. The graphics settings selection has lighting, shadows, background characters, anti-aliasing, texture size and vertical synchronizing available according to your preferences and the strength of your video card.

“Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don’t work, those that break down and those that get lost.”—Russell Baker

Also in Thora’s museum is a dilly of a color tile puzzle which requires the use of logic and the ability to see the different colors. Most of the other puzzles are far simpler, and are inventory and occasionally logic based. There is one puzzle that utilizes the sound of crystals, but hearing it isn’t necessary to solve it. There is a maze where you manipulate a robot through its paces. There are no slider puzzles. As I mentioned, there are no action or timed sequences, and your character cannot die.

There are seven save slots, and one additional slot each for an automatic game save and a quick save. This isn’t enough if you are like me and wish to revisit various locations. You can save anywhere in the game outside of cut scenes or dialogue exchanges.

The accompanying music for the game is orchestral in nature, appropriately changing by scene. Never overbearing, it is magical and cinematic in scope in some places, such as the main theme. Voice work is well done and professional, as is the ambient sound. Spaceships zoom by, footfalls sound different according to the terrain.

There has obviously been so much work put into this game that it has to be appreciated. I only wish that I had been able to establish a connection with the main characters, and that the ending had been better developed with the time it deserved after an otherwise detailed game.

Quick list:

Third person perspective, point and click science fiction adventure game.

No action or timed sequences. Your character cannot die.

Inventory and logic puzzles, including a maze.

Save at will, but limited save slots.

The game released on DVD, and the disk must be in the drive when you play.

No glitches, and those with a powerhouse video card can take advantage of special features, including shading and lighting. Regardless of this, those with a video card that meets the recommended specs will still enjoy graphic goodness.

A professionally written story with above average voice overs.

B +

August 2008

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