island of Atlantis. Some believe it’s a mythical place; others are not so
sure. The stories and legends of this wondrous utopian continent have been
around since Plato. It is said to exist somewhere beyond the Pillars of
Hercules. It certainly exists throughout the adventure gaming community …
in many of the adventures we play. That seemingly unattainable locale,
where the streets are paved with gold and the rivers run effortlessly with
the nectar of the gods.
The developers of this new offering, Bruno Martin, Eric Safar and
Ressot are no strangers to this theme. They all had a hand in it at
Cryo Interactive, which produced Atlantis: The Lost Tales,
Beyond Atlantis and Beyond Atlantis II. These intrepid few
banded together after the demise of Cryo for the purposes of carrying on
the quest, and they are now known as Atlantis Interactive Entertainment.
Two years ago they developed Atlantis Evolution – hmmm that could
also be known as Atlantis IV couldn’t it? It had lots of promise (or
should I say it just promised a lot?) but at the end of the day
Atlantis IV fell short of the mark theatrically and musically. However,
temerarious adventurers they are,
Atlantis Interactive Entertainment decided to give it another go. The
Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy was born.
...Sometimes perseverance pays off.
story opens with a “water shot” of what looks to be the underwater ruins
of the mythical island of Atlantis. The voice we hear is that of our hero,
Howard Brooks, the brilliant and witty (as we are soon to find out)
aeronautical engineer who works for a zeppelin airship company. Howard is
retelling his amazing experiences during the spring of 1937. He muses
about Atlantis -- what if the legends are more than fiction? What if the
lost island of Atlantis really does exist?
ponders this esoteric question we are taken back in time to April of that
year and the deck of the Hindenburg, where Howard is travelling from
Germany to the U.S. Apparently, the first two days out of port went well
for the passengers on the great airship. But … as luck (and the game
developers) would have it, near the end of the second day there are
technical issues aboard the zeppelin, and all passengers are asked to
report to their cabins for safety.
Howard rises from his seat two thugs accost him. They ask him if he is
indeed “Howard Brooks” and when he replies “yes,” they immediately knock
him out. We see these maniacs leaving in a bi-plane tethered under the
Hindenburg. When we return to the deck of the airship, we find that we
have entered into the game universe as Howard Brooks and are seemingly
alone with one ‘beaut’ of a headache. Howard is plunged into a world of
intrigue and mystery straight out of the gate. The course of his journey
will take him to some interesting and exotic locales, but the first order
of business will be to fix the Hindenburg and discover why he was
than this I simply cannot tell you without giving the “secrets” away. So
don’t ask … my lips are sealed.
The Main Characters
The hero of our story.
Howard is an aeronautical engineer who works for the Zeppelin Airship
Company. Could he be one of the heirs to a fantastic fortune? Is fortune
always monetary, or could this be a fortune of a different nature? Is he
secretly a distant relative of Indiana Jones?
A millionaire with a penchant for antiquities.
Foster knew our hero’s father many years ago. His actions are the catalyst
which will propel Howard into a journey of knowledge and power beyond all
A salvage man and
ne’er-do-well. He lives in the moment; he is a sociopath and a member of
an occult sect. Ruined during the Great Depression, Elliot feels the world
owes him something and he’s made up his mind to collect.
hero from the Great War to end all wars.
A truly mysterious
character, the captain is indeed wise beyond his years. His ability to
trust others was shattered by the horrors of the trenches. Is he friend?
A woman who knows herself and the world well.
Kate is a renowned
archeologist specializing in the Mesopotamian period. Her weapons are her
intelligence and her beauty. Will she prove to be our hero's strongest
ally or will she just use and then discard him like a spent hanky?
a first person point and click adventure, though the cutscenes are all
third person animation. For the most part, the game is puzzle based and
seems to be “inventory puzzle” based at that. There are plenty of
inventory, combination-in-inventory, mechanical, logical substitution, and
slider puzzles. Most of them are organic and grow from the story base
itself. One can “die” in this game – but not to worry, resurrection is
quite easy and offered as an option.
Secrets of Atlantis
features 360º panning, and movement is made throughout the game by using
the mouse. Left clicking on the white footstep icon will allow you to
advance through the environments. Right clicking brings up the inventory.
While in inventory mode, right clicking on the small red cross icon on the
documents you collect will allow you to examine them more closely. There
are over thirty characters to speak with, from whom you will glean hints
and information to further speed you toward your goal. There are also many
documents to read and plenty of objects to collect. Saving seemed to be
rather shortchanged however as there are only ten slots.
The Art Work
The locations are as beautiful as they are fascinating -- whether
they be the innards of the Empire State Building, the smoky gambling junk
in Macao with a twilight sky straight out of a Venus Paradise coloring
set, the exotic Palace of Satyavrata, the Hall of Truths in India or the
starkly arid and foreboding Temple on Mount Nisir. The backdrops and
pre-rendered scenery are breathtaking to look at, quite skillfully
mastered by Angel Bautista and Martial Brard. It is interesting to note
that while the adventure is in color, all the cutscenes involving the main
characters have a distinct Film Noir look about them.
I found the
underscore packed with breathtaking music by
Brand. The music
fit the various scenes and locales perfectly for me, heightening the
suspense when it needed to be emphasized and providing calm for those few
moments where tranquility is appropriate. The Foley executed by Laurent
Frick was also well done and adds to the total immersion for the gamer. I
noticed that the “sounds” noted when a puzzle was successful still blended
My one complaint
however, was the lack of credits for the voice over cast. I hope that this
will be updated for the game’s North American release. The voiceovers are
extremely well done and believable. All of the actors caught their
characters on target; their names should have been mentioned.
Would I recommend this
adventure to my fellow gamers? Absolutely. It offers a completely
different experience than the Atlantis games of previous years. With a
captivating storyline, beautiful worlds to wander around in, and
interesting puzzles to entice the mind, this adventure is well worth the
fifteen hours it took to complete. One thing I will say -- there needs to
be a sequel … no, let me rephrase that … there had better be a sequel. I
hope that the developers are listening.
Minimum system requirements:
Operating System: Windows98SE,
2000 and XP (this game is not compatible with Windows ME)
Processor: PIII (1GHz)
Free Disk Space: 2Gig
Graphics: 32Mb – DirectX
Sound: DirectX compatible
DirectX: Version 9.0c (use the
which comes with the game)
Peripherals: Mouse and keyboard