The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy




Genre:  Detective Adventure - Film Noir

Developer:   Atlantis Interactive Entertainment

Publisher:    Nobilis

Released:  November 2006; February 2007 (NA)

PC Requirements:   See review below






by inferno


The lost 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 Stéphane 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, being the 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.

The Story 

The 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?

As he 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.

As 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 assaulted.

More than this I simply cannot tell you without giving the “secrets” away. So don’t ask … my lips are sealed.

The Main Characters

Howard Brooks: 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?


Charles Randolph Foster: 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 reason.


James Elliot: Treasure hunter. 

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.


Captain Nathaniel Blackwood: A 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? Or villain?


Kate Sullivan: 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?


This is 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.

The Sounds

I found the underscore packed with breathtaking music by Stéphane 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 in nicely.

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.           


Grade: A-


Minimum system requirements:

Operating System: Windows98SE, 2000 and XP (this game is not compatible with Windows ME)

Processor: PIII (1GHz)

RAM: 256Mb

Free Disk Space: 2Gig


Graphics: 32Mb – DirectX compatible

Sound: DirectX compatible

DirectX: Version 9.0c (use the which comes with the game)

Peripherals: Mouse and keyboard


Played on:

OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home SP 2

CPU: Pentium D 950 3.4GHz 800MHz


Video: BFG nVidia GeForce 7600GT OC 256MB 128bit

Sound: SoundBlaster Audigy30


Monitor: Northgate 20' Flat Panel Monitor

DirectX Version: 9.0c

January 2007

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