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Classic Cryo games - general discussion

Posted By: RichAlexis

Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 12/30/14 12:53 PM

I've got a question for Marian, or anyone else familiar with these Cryo games. Do you happen to know who the prominent English voice actor is of these games with the sonorous voice, with a slight metallic, husky quality, a bit like James Mason? He sounds 'trans-Atlantic' to me.

He's the Shambhalan guru of Atlantis II, the narrator and Heriseus of the Odyssey, and the narrator of Arthur's Knights Tales Of Chivalry. I find him quite intriguing.

As far as I know, only the original French cast gets credited in these games.

Rich
Posted By: Marian

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 12/30/14 04:44 PM

Rich, I can't find any info about the voice of the narrator in these games. I too would like to know who it is.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 12/31/14 04:29 PM

I think it's the same actor who voices Hermes at the end of Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses, but his voice is pitched higher, as he's just a boy. This would mean the dialogue between Heriseus and Hermes is by one and the same guy!

Now, this could mean simply cutting production costs, but I feel it's deliberate, as Greek gods, like Pallas Athena, often assume the appearance of humans, and Hermes is about to travel to Calypso in the guise of Heriseus, so it's really the same person. If so, it's a clever trick.

I also solved another little Odyssey mystery. Inside the Forest of Oblivion, Heriseus meets Pallas Athena (at least I believe it's her) with her shield. She utters what sounds like backwards speech, and it is. However, it's nothing very revealing or even appropriate. She says: "and promise them one hundred more upon your return to Ithaca", which is simply a bit of Circe's 'libation instructions' played backwards.

Rich
Posted By: Marian

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 12/31/14 08:48 PM

Good info! thumbsup12
Posted By: Marian

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/04/15 06:04 PM

I didn't know there was a DVD version of the game; that's interesting.

It sounds like it has some of the same stability issues as Arthur's Knights. With Arthur's Knights, the game would sometimes crash when I loaded up a save - but playing the game in Virtual PC many years later, this only happened to me once in many hours of play. It was much less glitchy in Virtual PC.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/04/15 08:00 PM

Thanks Jenny for your valuable comments!

Yes, I read your Odyssey review (and most of the others online) when I was playing the game and writing mine, and found it very helpful, as well as funny - you have a great sense of humour! :lol12:

I used the multilingual DVD version, which didn't crash, thankfully, but was prone to hanging because of some poor planning or looping of the character movements. As you reported about Merops and the pigs, characters sometimes get stuck in a corner or keep bumping into each other, so you cannot continue.

I saved the game a lot, but dying was sometimes extremely trivial, when you suddenly drown in a pool, of fall down a crack in a bridge, while Heriseus normally has no problem whatsoever walking along cliffs or climbing stairs, even when you press one arrow key down too long.

Most of the screenshots I took were done with hardware acceleration for the purpose of reviewing, but while playing the game, I had to turn it off, because it caused the dialogue windows to flicker. It's true the lack of it made the image more pixellated.

I agree about the Omni-3D. I'd always thought it was 3D, but when you move around, you notice that the background gets distorted a bit like a fisheye lens, and you cannot get a different perspective, so I guess it's a static image projected onto a kind of sphere model. I worked very well though as a simulation, much better than many games developed much later (the kind of 'slideshows' you see even today especially on portable platforms), so I didn't like Cryo's move to this kind of continually shifting perspective.

You summarize it well: great topic, imaginative design, but generally poor execution. This is what plagued a number of Cryo games, especially the later ones - before they went bankrupt.

Regards,

Rich
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/04/15 08:09 PM

Yes, this is the DVD version I bought - for the symbolic price of a few cents - you actually pay mostly for shipping, so it looks like sellers would just like to get rid of it!

Amazon UK version of 'Odyssey'

They were part of a series of multilingual DVD reissues by Cryo, in collaboration with their German subsidiary Modern Games, all with the same cover design.

It was handy to switch to the original French sometimes, as you can read in my review.

Rich
Posted By: Marian

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/04/15 11:23 PM

Thanks for the link. Good to know. thumbsup12
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/05/15 01:29 AM

Cryo used to have pictures from their games that used "Omni-3D" on their website, where they advertised the "Omni-3D" aspect using projections of the entire 360 degree panoramic view. The left side of the projection would be looking one direction and the right side would be looking the other direction. These projections were extremely wide, almost like a horizontal strip, usually looking down a road (both directions) or around a plaza. I especially remember the one for China: Forbidden City. There's part of one of these projections on the back of the ***box for the CD version of China***, near the top. In overall shape they were similar to ***this picture***, though I'm not sure what that's a picture of.

I checked the web archive for examples, but the closest I found was on the ***Archived page for Versailles 1685*** where one of the ***pictures from Versailles*** is a panoramic shot -- except it's part of a collage of pictures and they chopped off half of it to make it more the shape of the other pictures. At one time you could click the small pictures to get a big one, but unfortunately the full picture is missing from the web archive. I remember the full picture as being about twice as wide, and showing views looking down both directions of the street -- all in the same picture.

It's too bad so much of Cryo's old website is missing from the web archive. Almost none of what I remember browsing through is still there.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/05/15 01:59 PM

Thanks for all the references Jenny! thumbsup

You know, I'm in the habit of following old links to these web archives myself too yes, but I nearly always end up disappointed because they generally don't store media bigger than text. So many adventure game companies have gone out of business for the past decade, it's not even funny, which means all sorts of bonuses, artwork, promotion, wallpapers, patches, specs etc. are lost. And Cryo used to have large game glossaries and even encyclopedia online!

It's a pity we can't store more of these on our site, because all outside links are bound to get lost some time.

Some quotes on Omni-3D

From the Moby Games site:
Quote:
"The Omni3D engine [was] developed by Cryo. It was mainly used for adventure games allowing for panoramic 360° rotation, but not providing free 3D movement. It is based on pasting six images as sides of a cube, simulating full rotation."

And from the ScummVM virtual machine site:
Quote:
"I'd like to discuss some in-between games, namely pseudo-3D/360 degree panoramic games where the player is placed in the middle of a big cube or a sphere, and can rotate around 2 axes. The cube has several texture images on each side, forming a room where the player can rotate the camera around a fixed point. Examples used nowadays include Google Street View and the Google Art Project. These kinds of games do not use any complex 3D graphics code, i.e. there is no complex modelling code, no shading, no lighting etc. An example is Myst 3."

Here's some Omni-3D animation (Shockwave Flash) I retrieved from the French Pompei site.

Source:

Pompei (Timescape) Omni-3D Flash animation

Download:

Pomp3D.dcr

If you open it with your web browser (right click), you can pan around 360 degrees with your mouse cursor a bit, and when it changes shape (up arrow) you can move forward, down, or click to change locations. It's very limited, but gives a very good impression, though you can't move vertically as in the real Omni-3D.

By the way, I don't think Cryo is to blame for the demise of 'Omni', well, by proxy, if you like, because they also edited and published games by others, like Arxel Tribe and In Utero. The In Utero games featured these mangled characters and wild perspective changes (Odyssey and Jekyll & Hyde). I think the very different controls, 1st person or 3rd perspectives, lip synching or not, designs etc. that came with them were very confusing, and may have hastened their demise.

I think Cryo should have set up a kind of production line, that is, if they had had the clout, where other companies could supply ideas, storylines and designs, but they were in charge of the execution according to their own standards. I think Kheops Studio later on fared a lot better in this respect - far more consistency.

Rich


Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/05/15 05:47 PM

Here's an image with all the multilingual Cryo DVD reissues that came out in 2001:

Image of Cryo games DVDs

It's the cover of a German booklet I have from Modern Games with all the game walkthroughs.

These editions may have included some patches and other improvements on the earlier CDs, but the main advantage is of course no disk swapping is required!

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/06/15 03:00 AM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Here's an image with all the multilingual Cryo DVD reissues that came out in 2001:

Image of Cryo games DVDs

It's the cover of a German booklet I have from Modern Games with all the game walkthroughs.

These editions may have included some patches and other improvements on the earlier CDs, but the main advantage is of course no disk swapping is required!

Rich


That's an interesting picture. There were also DVD's of Aztec, Atlantis II, Egypt II, and Versailles II, but I don't know when they came out. Also someone once told me the Versailles II DVD had higher resolution graphics instead of multiple languages.


The DVD for Faust had a horrible bug though -- much worse than the bug in the CD version (having a drawer open 90 degrees from where it should). In the DVD version the audio and video were mixed up in the ending sequence, so the audio for the bad ending played while the video for the good ending was playing -- and vice versa -- the audio for the good ending would play while the video for the bad ending was playing. It happened in all language versions.

There was a fix posted at ***Adventuregamers forum*** back in 2005, but it involved having access to the files from the CD version.

Originally Posted By: Kurufinwe
All right, so here's the method to fix the various problems (wrong audio in the end sequence, shooting minigame not working) with the multilingual DVD version of Faust. This works for all seven (!) languages supported by the DVD release.

1. Install the game in the language of your choice.

2. Go to the folder where the game was installed. Copy PACK.INI as well as the DATA folder from the DVD there (that's about 3 gigs!). Windows will nag about DATA already existing and that some files will get overwritten; say "yes, now shut up and do as you're told" when asked.

3. If you wish, you may remove the files for the languages you're not using. This will save a couple hundreds megs. To do that, paste the following commands into Notepad:
Code:

for /D /R %%1 in (FRA*) do rd /S /Q "%%1"
for /D /R %%1 in (GER*) do rd /S /Q "%%1"

and save the file in your install folder as remove.bat and run it. Of course, this is for the English version (which sits on the same side of the DVD as French and German); change things accordingly if you wish to remove different languages.

4. Now, you have to find a way to get the ending videos from somebody who owns the CD version. Those files are called A15S01_E07M11_2.CI2 and A15S01_E07M11_3.CI2 and are located in the \DATA\A05S03\PLA\ENG folder on CD4 (or \DATA\A05S03\PLA\FRA for a French version, etc.). Amerzone posted the English files earlier in this thread; if the link is dead, ask here and others may be able to help. Others may possibly be able to help you with other languages; if it's not the case, you can just put the English files instead, you'll get the ending sequence with English voices and subtitles in your language.

5. Rename those two files to 1505.CI2 and 1506.CI2 respectively, and put them in (Faust install folder)\DATA\A05S03\PLA, replacing the (wrong) existing files.

6. Now, you have to tell the game to use the data on your hard drive. In your installation folder, you should find a file called fl.ini. Open this file with a text editor; the second line should read something like:
Code:

CDPATH: D:\

Replace that with:
Code:

CDPATH: .\

And that's it! You can now remove the DVD (you don't need it to play anymore, which may incidentally make the video sequences run smoother) and run the game.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/06/15 06:17 PM

Hi Jenny,

Great info again, thanks! thumbsup

Quote:
There were also DVD's of Aztec, Atlantis II, Egypt II, and Versailles II, but I don't know when they came out. Also someone once told me the Versailles II DVD had higher resolution graphics instead of multiple languages.

Atlantis II already is in the picture I uploaded, along with the first Atlantis, but you are quite right about Aztec (The Sacred Amulet) being part of this series, as is shown on the MobyGames site:

Aztec multilingual DVD cover

The reason it's not in my book turns out to be quite pedestrian: no German version, for some reason or other!

I have Egypt II as a DVD release by Austrian company JoWooD. I think the main reason for all of these releases was not technical, apart from the logical switch to DVD. Cryo's assets changed hands so often after its demise that their history has become extremely messy: from Cryo (and its German subsid Modern Games) to DreamCatcher, then The Adventure Company, JoWooD, to Microïds, then Anuman, sometimes Nordic Games, now some on GOG .... crazy

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/06/15 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Hi Jenny,

Great info again, thanks! thumbsup

Quote:
There were also DVD's of Aztec, Atlantis II, Egypt II, and Versailles II, but I don't know when they came out. Also someone once told me the Versailles II DVD had higher resolution graphics instead of multiple languages.

Atlantis II already is in the picture I uploaded,


Typo -- meant to type Atlantis III -- the one with the psychopomp.

Quote:
along with the first Atlantis, but you are quite right about Aztec (The Sacred Amulet) being part of this series, as is shown on the MobyGames site:

Aztec multilingual DVD cover

The reason it's not in my book turns out to be quite pedestrian: no German version, for some reason or other!

I never noticed that before. It has 6 languages on it, but none of them German. My DVD case has a slightly different cover -- languages listed in a different order.

My Atlantis III DVD doesn't seem to be a multi-language version at all. Apparently my DVD was defective because my computer was very slow to read it. Doesn't matter now anyway, since the game is available on GOG.

Quote:
I have Egypt II as a DVD release by Austrian company JoWooD.


My Egypt II DVD is from Cryo -- no mention of JoWood on the case -- and only includes English and French languages -- no German.

Quote:
I think the main reason for all of these releases was not technical, apart from the logical switch to DVD. Cryo's assets changed hands so often after its demise that their history has become extremely messy: from Cryo (and its German subsid Modern Games) to DreamCatcher, then The Adventure Company, JoWooD, to Microïds, then Anuman, sometimes Nordic Games, now some on GOG

I wish GOG would get all of them -- and get them to play well on newer systems -- without any speed problems (like the uncontrollably fast panning in Egypt 2 and especially China), and with a repaired version of Faust.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/06/15 11:02 PM

Quote:
I wish GOG would get all of them -- and get them to play well on newer systems -- without any speed problems (like the uncontrollably fast panning in Egypt 2 and especially China), and with a repaired version of Faust.

You sum it up quite nicely, Jenny!

If companies like Anuman (via Amazon etc.) and GOG could guarantee fully ported, specified and tested downloads of these games, I'd be extremely happy! Currently there are just too many issues with all these scattered versions.

If only the original companies were still in operation, they could list all system requirements, issues, FAQs and patches per system in a proper manner.

We're in there pitching too, of course, but were not the suppliers.

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/12/15 10:42 AM

Thanks to everyone for interesting discussion! I am an avid Cryo fan and collector smile

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
At one time you could click the small pictures to get a big one, but unfortunately the full picture is missing from the web archive. I remember the full picture as being about twice as wide, and showing views looking down both directions of the street -- all in the same picture.

I have a collection of some parts of old Cryo websites smile Here is that panoramic picture for you!

Has anybody seen Versailles II DVD? It must be very rare.

I have all Cryo games running fine on Windows 7 x64 - except 'Versailles 2' and 'Mystery of Nautilus' (they need old version of Media Player to run so only VirtualPC for them). There are patches for Odyssey, Time Machine, Egypt 2, Aztec etc. so they would run fine on modern PCs, but they are for Russian versions of the game, and I am not sure they will work for English versions. But if anyone would wish to try, I can give you them!

Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/12/15 07:55 PM

Wonderful picture of the Versailles court! Thank you, Iurii!

I couldn't resist looking for the old archived sites again, and I found the source of your image, and two others! smile The Wayback Machine actually captured the Febr. 1997 version of the old Cryo site, and here they are:

Versailles artwork from Cryo, Febr. 1997

Of course I downloaded them too ... you never know ....

No, I haven't seen a DVD edition of Versailles II. The ones I've seen are all CD-ROMs.

With these Cryo games, I always experiment to see what works best. Atlantis I & II I've played both with a patch, and on a virtual PC - I happen to use Qemu myself.

If there are any spurious error messages of 'disk full', characteristic of the limited disk space of the day, I install it on a 1 GB or so USB flash drive, which works out great.

Pompei worked fine on Windows XP without any patches, Odyssey needed a lot of tweaking to get it to run on XP, but after that, I had no problems, and currently I'm playing Versailles 1685 (multilingual DVD) on virtual PC. The reason was that I couldn't adjust the extremely rapid mouth movements and 'jerky' character behaviour, otherwise I would have played it without any emulation, because there are no other bugs I've come across.

I don't have Windows 7 yet, but any patch, even Russian, could be well worth trying out!

Thanks! thumbsup

Rich
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/12/15 08:21 PM

Quote:
The reason it's not in my book turns out to be quite pedestrian: no German version for Aztec, for some reason or other!

Well, I just found out there is a single-language German version of the Cryo game Aztec aka The Sacred Amulet after all.

If there any German(-speaking) gamers among us who are interested, it's called Der Fluch der Azteken (The Curse of the Aztecs), both on PlayStation and PC, and it was released in 2000.

The PC version was published by, surprisingly, traditional game manufacturer Ravensburger, mostly known for their jigsaw puzzles and card and board games like Memory!

PC version of German Aztec game

The PlayStation version was by Koch Media, a modern company which specializes in digital media like software, CDs and DVDs:

PlayStation version of the German Aztec game

So, I suspect when all the other games were released on DVD through German Cryo subsidiary Modern Games in 2000/2001, there is was a problem, because the Aztec game was already licensed to a different company.

Rich
Posted By: looney4labs

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/13/15 03:51 AM

Thanks, Rich, I hope you get to play it wave
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/13/15 05:39 AM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Here's an image with all the multilingual Cryo DVD reissues that came out in 2001

I have all these eleven releases (plus Aztec), but I also have this Cryo ad in one of those DVD that shows some extra.

I guess that those are just unrealized plans (I have never seen Egypt II, Casanova and Arthur's Knights I on DVD - and you can note that Odyssey is pictured here with different artwork). But maybe somebody have met them?

Rich, it seems that you are lucky to have no triubles running these games on modern PC smile
In case anyone has troubles, here is Odyssey patch to try. It solves many problems for me, like instant crashing and glitches in text menus. But again, it is for a Russian CD version and I am not sure it will work for others.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
If there are any spurious error messages of 'disk full', characteristic of the limited disk space of the day, I install it on a 1 GB or so USB flash drive, which works out great.

There is a patch correcting that issue in 'Atlantis II' made several years ago by a French named Alain Bohl. I have sent him my file so he had made it for a Russian version too. But you can try his original - here it is for DVD version.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/13/15 05:56 PM

Hi Iurii,

Wow, that's an extremely interesting image of all the Cryo DVDs! I'd never even heard of a game about Casanova (but I noticed it's on MobyGames), and indeed, the artwork for Odyssey turned out differently from the one shown here. Some must have been aborted after the Dune fiasco, and the takeover by DreamCatcher, I guess?

Thanks for the Atlantis II patch. I used this patch too to avoid the 'disk full' error, so I wondered why it's different from mine - mine is 2.183.168 bytes. Well, that's easy: I have the 4 CD-version, so the patch is different. I think they were both from the Patches Scrolls site?

I put up the similar patch for the 4 CD-version here. (download from Mediafire)

I also tested the Odyssey patch for the DVD you suggested. It's exactly the same as the one I created by manually editing the file, so it's a lot easier, and it works fine. In both cases, you still have to turn down the hardware acceleration on the display to exclude the DirectX drivers, though, otherwise you get flickering dialogue images.

Is there a way to store these patches more permanently on our site, instead of on outside servers?

Thanks again! thanks

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/13/15 07:52 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
In both cases, you still have to turn down the hardware acceleration on the display to exclude the DirectX drivers, though, otherwise you get flickering dialogue images.


I don't do this - the patch fixes that bug with dialogue images for me. I have other patches as well if you want smile

'Casanova' is a very nice and pretty game of the 'alternative history' type - but it has some action elements in it (like 'Time Machine'). It is not from Cryo, but Arxel/Wanadoo games are very close to those from Cryo.

As for those unrealized DVD releases - I think they just proved to be unprofitable. Cryo issued its first DVDs in 1998 when only a few people had them, and even in 2000-2001 DVD-Roms were still not common in PCs. If you check old Cryo sites, it did promise both chapters of 'Arthur's Knights' and 'Egypt 2' to be released on DVDs 'soon' after the CD versions. It seems they did not do this after all - but later there were high-resolution versions of 'Altantis III' and 'Versailles 2' released on DVD. Too bad they are so rare - probably published in small numbers only.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/13/15 10:36 PM

Hi Iurii,

Quote:
I don't do this - the patch fixes that bug with dialogue images for me.
That's weird, your patch didn't have that effect for me on Windows XP. But never mind, I know my way around it. As for the other patches, I'll know where to find you when I need you! At the moment, I'm fine.

Quote:
It is not from Cryo, but Arxel/Wanadoo games are very close to those from Cryo.
I bet they are! Take a look at this image of the cover of the Spanish edition of the Casanova game. This indicates Cryo as one of its publishers, at least in Spain.

As you are bound to know (but other gamers may not), games developed by Arxel Tribe like Pompei (Timescape), Faust (Seven Games of the Soul), Ring (Nibelungen) and Jerusalem were also published and sometimes co-developed by Cryo.

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/14/15 06:30 AM

Hi Rich,

Of course there were Arxel Tribe games published by Cryo. But their other games, like 'Pilgrim' or 'Hitchcock', had other publishers. Russian edition of Casanova does not mention Cryo, and Mobygames lists Wanadoo as the publisher - maybe Cryo was the publisher only in some select countries.

As for 'Odyssey', the glitches you encounter may heavily depend on the type of your videocard and CPU. About 7 years ago I had once tried an nVidia card - and all CryoGen games were unplayable with characters partly invisible. That's why I always use ATI/AMD cards - all Cryo games work fine with them for me (and with patches fixing their compatibility with post-2000 CPUs and modern versions of Windows) smile

The only problem I was unable to fix (besides 'Versailles II' and 'Nautilus' not running in XP/Vista/7 with newer WMP versions) is the save system in Arxel Tribe games (Faust, Ring, Pompei, Jerusalem) that do not work for me in Windows 7 - only automatic saves work there, and even they tend to stop working after some time. Does anybody know anything about that?

Oh, I just noticed that Jenny100 and Rich have Egypt II on DVD in different editions. Could you please show some pictures of the package? Does it have any extras (like 'making-of' movies present on Atlantis I, Ring etc. DVD or even high-resolution game versions)?
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/14/15 04:36 PM

Hi Iurii,

I happen to have an ATI video card, not by design, but simply because it came on-board with my hardware. I used to have nVidia, but that was on an older Windows PC. Still, I get these flickers in Odyssey, but otherwise I have few problems, and if there are, I switch to emulation.

I can't help you with the saving problems. I hope someone else can.

My DVD edition of Egypt is a box issued in 2008 containing both Egypt II and Egypt III. It's from the Austrian company JoWooD, which took over DreamCatcher and its Cryo stock. It won't be much use to most people, because it's in German only.

Image of the JoWooD German Egypt DVD

There is, however, an English CD-version of this box from 2007:

Egypt II + III English CD box

No, there are no extras on this edition, and I think it's the low-resolution CD version, because when you look at the directory tree of the DVD, you see there are still two (empty!) CD1 and CD2 directories on it, so it looks like a straight transfer. Also, the cutscenes are somewhat blocky.

By the way, I'm not German, I'm Dutch, but I can understand other languages, which actually gives me more p(l)aying options! wink

Rich


Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/14/15 06:41 PM

I don't have any of the JoWood versions of Cryo games. I don't think JoWood bothered publishing Cryo's adventure games for the USA after acquiring Dreamcatcher. In fact, the only game I have that lists JoWood as publisher is Jack Orlando, which is nothing like a Cryo game.

My DVD versions are published by Cryo, not JoWood.
The DVD versions were never published for the USA -- not by Cryo and certainly not by JoWood.
I got some games from now-defunct UK company Software First, which was one of few companies in the UK that shipped games to the US. Pinnacle Entertainment was another company that would ship to the US, though I don't think I got any Cryo games from them. InteractCD would import games to the US, though I don't remember them selling many DVD versions. Once SoftwareFirst went under, my only source was an eBay seller who was based in Europe and was willing to ship to the USA.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+

Originally Posted By: Iurii
Oh, I just noticed that Jenny100 and Rich have Egypt II on DVD in different editions. Could you please show some pictures of the package? Does it have any extras (like 'making-of' movies present on Atlantis I, Ring etc. DVD or even high-resolution game versions)?


***Front cover of my Egypt II DVD case***

***Back cover of my Egypt II DVD case***

(It's very annoying that places like Photobucket no longer let you see "just" the screenshot and instead force people to look at a lot of garbage around the edges. You may be able to right-click and choose "View Image" from the context menu, but you can't give a direct link to the image.)

If you want a picture in higher resolution for archiving, let me know.

The DVD only has two languages -- French and English
There is no trace of any "Making Of" video on the disc. I suppose it's possible that it installs with the game, but I doubt it.

Also the DVD is one-sided.
Some of my other Cryo DVD's (Faust, for example) are double sided -- you can flip the DVD to get a different selection of languages.

My Versailles 1685 DVD, Atlantis: The Lost Tales DVD, and China DVD are in boxes -- slightly more than 9.25" x 7.5" in size -- not the small DVD-size cased boxes. I always liked that size of box.
My other Cryo games on DVD are in plastic DVD cases.

Cryo normally did not increase resolution on their DVD versions -- not on the ones I own anyway.
Mostly they just added several languages.

Originally Posted By: Iurii
Here is that panoramic picture for you!

That's a very nice picture.
I don't suppose you have the one for China.
I remember that one being super-wide, clearly showing you were looking in both directions at once.

Quote:
Has anybody seen Versailles II DVD? It must be very rare.

I have not seen it. I remember seeing a Gameboomers message from someone who had it though, and said the resolution on the DVD version was much better than on the CD version. It may have been Slydos (or another reviewer for Adventure Archive) but I can't remember for sure.

Quote:
I have all Cryo games running fine on Windows 7 x64 - except 'Versailles 2' and 'Mystery of Nautilus' (they need old version of Media Player to run so only VirtualPC for them).

I think Mystery of the Nautilus also needed DirectX 8, and doesn't always work with newer versions of DirectX. I was not impressed that the game was so dependent on certain versions of Media Player and DirectX that were certain to be "updated" in the future.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/14/15 07:39 PM

RichAlexis, Jenny100, thanks for the pictures! So Cryo did release 'Egypte II' on DVD after all!

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
I happen to have an ATI video card, not by design, but simply because it came on-board with my hardware. I used to have nVidia, but that was on an older Windows PC. Still, I get these flickers in Odyssey, but otherwise I have few problems, and if there are, I switch to emulation.


You know, I have just tried running 'Odyssee' in Windows XP - and yes, there were glitches. Not with flickering text but with invisible 3d characters - I had to disable Directx 3D in order for them to appear. So, I can recommend Windows 7 smile where everything is fine for me - the issue is probably that of ATI drivers. Also 'Versailles 1685' does not run for me in Windows XP but works fine in Windows 7 x64.

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
If you want a picture in higher resolution for archiving, let me know.

I think I want that DVD now smile But if I won't be able to find it I will ask you for higher resolution pictures!

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
The DVD only has two languages -- French and English.
There is no trace of any "Making Of" video on the disc. I suppose it's possible that it installs with the game, but I doubt it.

Hmm, that is sure waste of DVD space - just two languages and no extras! Still, I am glad this edition is real. Maybe 'Arthur's Knights' were released on DVD as well?

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
My Versailles 1685 DVD, Atlantis: The Lost Tales DVD, and China DVD are in boxes -- slightly more than 9.25" x 7.5" in size -- not the small DVD-size cased boxes. I always liked that size of box.
My other Cryo games on DVD are in plastic DVD cases.

I have Versailles 1685 DVD in a box - but it takes too much space with not much to offer - just a DVD in jewel-case, a small manual and a registration flyer. At least, my 'Versailles 1685' CD boxed edition has full-sized manual and a large map! So I bought all other games just in DVD cases (besides of Russian CD boxed editions which are my primary play-sources for Cryo adventures).

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Cryo normally did not increase resolution on their DVD versions -- not on the ones I own anyway.
Mostly they just added several languages.

That was the case with their later releases - 'Atlantis III' and 'Versailles II'. It is strange that you can't see those versions today - even GOG sells CD low-res 'Atlantis III' and not the better DVD one.

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
I don't suppose you have the one for China.
I remember that one being super-wide, clearly showing you were looking in both directions at once.


Well, I have these pictures wink Downloaded them from Cryo site back in 2000. Here is that 'fish-eye' look:



Originally Posted By: Jenny100
It may have been Slydos (or another reviewer for Adventure Archive) but I can't remember for sure.


I think that was Elena Steingrad who mentioned DVD version in her review while not actually seeing it yet.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/15/15 12:45 AM

Thanks for the China pictures. It's nice to see them again.

Here are pictures of the Egypt II DVD.

***Front of case***

***Back of case***

***the DVD itself***

***the manual***

I think Photobucket shrunk the pictures. The manual should certainly show up larger if you "right-click and choose "View Image" (or however they say it with your web browser). I may try uploading somewhere else -- or I could email them to you if you want.

Quote:
I think that was Elena Steingrad who mentioned DVD version in her review while not actually seeing it yet.

It was in a Gameboomers post from shortly after the game was released. I had the impression the person actually had the DVD version and had played it.

I remember my DVD version of Atlantis III allowed me to choose between 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 resolution. I don't know if the CD version was different.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/15/15 08:04 AM

Jenny100, thanks for the pictures! But there were high-resolution images of the disk and manual - and low-resolution of the package. Can you please send me those last two images (front/back) by e-mail? I think it is listed in my profile for everybody.

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
I remember my DVD version of Atlantis III allowed me to choose between 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 resolution. I don't know if the CD version was different.

No, that's another case. Both CD and DVD can change screen resolutions - but only DVD has the option to change texture resolutions. You can easily check it in game files - 'Atlantis III' and 'Versailles II' CD have SPW512 and WARP512 folders in their 'DATA', but DVDs should have not only SPW/WARP512, but also SPW/WARP1024 folders with (suppposedly) 2x times better graphics.
I have ordered 'Atlantis III' DVD on eBay two weeks ago - hopefully I would get it some time soon...
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 01:26 PM

Rich, I have written him two days ago, no answer yet...

And I have finally tried 'Atlantis III' DVD! It has 'making of' movies and pictures, a screensaver, and high-definition textures!
Yes, the difference is clear, 1024-textures looks much better, and it seems they updated all videos as well, as they are located in '800' folders instead of '640' in CD and GOG versions.

By the way, I wonder why DVD has separate movies/voice folders 'USA' and 'GBR' - did they do different translation into 'British' and 'American' English? smile
Update: yes, curious enough, the two English versions are somewhat different. British heroine says "What the hell is all this?", while American says "What is all this?" etc.

Here is the comparison between Low and High texture resolutions:






It seems that High textures when copied from the disk to the game folder work fine with GOG version. The only problem is that Russian movies are available only in CD resolution (HNM640) while DVD uses high-resolution HNM800... But other languages shouldn't have this problem.

Oh, and the transitions are better as well! Too bad they are made only for the first world - no transitions later on...

The old Cryo site also promised 'full game walkthrough' to be released on DVD, but I can't find it.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 06:44 PM

Iurii, well thanks a lot for passing it on. I'm in no hurry whatsoever, so take your time. Is he the 'locarno' I found on a Polish gamer forum? Not that I'm thinking of joining that or learning Polish!

It's wonderful that some media have making-ofs and extras. As all the Cryo sites are gone now and only partially archived, you hardly get to see any of the artwork. I'm glad the Versailles 1685 DVD has at least got the making-of documentary. That's one of the reasons I bought the soundtrack CDs by Pierre Estève and Stéphane Picq, because they are in fact CD-ROMs with a lot of artwork and background information! Sometimes you come across a wallpaper or two on download sites like GOG or Anuman, but that's quite rare. Well, the encyclopedias on those DVDs and CDs of course remain valuable resources.

Thanks again for all the updates and details. Yes, I can imagine that if you have enough resources and distributors, as Cryo had at some point, it pays off to even make versions in different dialects, like British and American English. As a Dutchman (i.e. from The Netherlands/Holland), I'm kind of familiar with the notion, because you sometimes have both Dutch and Flemish dubbing or subtitles, Flemish being a dialect of Dutch, given its status by being one of the official languages of Belgium.

Yes, you can clearly see the difference in texture between the two images of Atlantis III, especially if you focus on the ground and the stone surfaces.

It's great if companies still invest effort into diligently porting or even remastering these old games, like Grim Fandango, because some of them are really unique, and of a genre not likely to be produced again, like the Cryo games. Just like influential records or movies, you can't just say, well, some people enjoyed them back then, and now they're gone forever, because there's no equipment to play them. In fact, preserving the digital medium, which looks so durable and reproducible on the surface, may be one of the biggest challenges of our times.

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 07:17 PM

Hi Rich,

'locarno' is the person who asked for a Polish patch on our Russian forum (and was lucky to get it), not the one who created it.

I understand what you say about hunting for pieces of Cryo history all over the net - Internet archeology that is, and I feel very lucky to find some official Odyssey wallpaper or else smile Too bad I did not have regular Internet access in 2000 to copy the whole Cryo site. Maybe we can put it somewhere? There was a Cryo-fan site by Elena Steingrad once, I have archived some parts of it...

What CDs do you have by Pierre Estève? I have 'Atlantis II' from him, as it is my favorite game (along 'Versailles 1685').
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 07:38 PM

I see!

Well, as for old media coverage, I guess I should ask one of our moderators why this is a text-only site - apart from some avatars and such. I can understand limited disk space or traffic, but that's more or less an outdated issue, and it's really no use trying to rely on outside servers for info, pictures bigger than 25k, patches, bits of audio and the like. They may be gone any moment, or at least have dead links. Of course, we should worry about copyright infringement, and shouldn't duplicate what is on MobyGames or the Patches Scrolls for instance, but it's such a pity sometimes to see all outside links with essential data gone.

I have Atlantis I & II on CD by Estève and Picq, 'II' being my favourite too, and Lost Eden by Picq. All contain artwork, sometimes a video, and background info. Downloads don't have these extras. I have some more of them, but they are not related to games.

They can be bought from the Shooting Star Shop.

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 08:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Iurii
Too bad I did not have regular Internet access in 2000 to copy the whole Cryo site.

I had dialup back then, and not much hard drive space.
I was always having to delete things from my hard drive to free up space.

Quote:
There was a Cryo-fan site by Elena Steingrad once, I have archived some parts of it...

She still has this site http://www.history-adventures.com/
Besides Cryo it has Kheops, Arxel, Index+, Wanadoo, etc.
Visiting that site makes me want to replay some of those games.

Quote:
What CDs do you have by Pierre Estève? I have 'Atlantis II' from him, as it is my favorite game (along 'Versailles 1685').

I only have Atlantis I. I bought it many years ago from German Music Express -- a site that doesn't exist any more.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Yes, I can imagine that if you have enough resources and distributors, as Cryo had at some point, it pays off to even make versions in different dialects, like British and American English.

I have a boxed edition of '3rd Millenium' by Cryo that has separate CDs for Scottish and Welsh 'languages' smile That's the level of attention to details we like Cryo for, although I was never able to finish their non-adventure games (and it seems that they had no success either while making the company bankrupt after all)...

Yes, I bought my CD from the Shooting Star Shop as well. Too bad they are very expensive, and no extras in cheaper download versions. I have 'Atlantis I' soundtrack from GOG - but now it is not available there anymore because of legal issues with Pierre Estève.

As for preserving Cryo games - I think that's not much of a problem. Even if modern PCs with Windows 7/8/10 can't run them, there is always 'Virtual PC' we can use that does that just fine. But old sites and goodies - that's another question. Do you have any more Cryo treasures to share? smile I have a whole copy of Russian site of the company that localized Cryo games, but not many of the extras it once had in its FTP. I once had a 'Time-machine-themed' desktop clock from them but lost it with my old HDD. But I have found original Odyssey wallpapers if you don't have them - here, with some extra-watermark, but still some pieces of history smile
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
She still has this site http://www.history-adventures.com/

That's another site - luckily it is still alive!
But I meant this one, dedicated to Cryo only.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 09:09 PM

Iurii and Jenny, thanks for all the great links! thumbsup

I'd actually just come across Elena Steingrad's site, but these are all great to bookmark.

I happen to have the Odyssey wallpapers, but the Czech site is a nice find, though like others, its data are rather piecemeal. There's interesting bits scattered everywhere, also on some history or culture-related sites, the types that are related to educational resources.

Well, about saving or downloading media or sites, I used to be pretty naive until about 10 years ago, when I noticed most of my bookmarks were no longer valid. I became involved in various multimedia amd education projects where this turned out to be a huge issue, but mostly I just backed up my own local data. Now I always remind teachers and researchers to download their remote media and have them backed them up somewhere 'safe'.

I don't think I have a lot of Cryo or other game data, but I will look into that. Sorry to say, gaming has always been a sideline to my other activities .... blush

Rich
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/18/15 11:26 PM

This is all I have right now:

Full-size German advert for Cryo games from German supplier Modern Games, 2002.

Image copy of the German version of the Cryo webpage for Atlantis II, 2000.

Some Atlantis II artwork on the Anuman site. Click the diskette symbol for full-size image.

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/19/15 05:47 AM

Thanks, Rich! That's a nice picture by Modern Games - and it has Egypt II DVD, but sadly no 'Arthur's Knights'.
I don't like Anuman though - it is terrible what they have done to Atlantis II (mobile and MAC versions).

By the way, I have noticed that the code bar numbers of DVD issued by Cryo in DVD-cases form a certain pattern - they are like 35545406XXYYY, and XX numbers here seem to indicate the disk number:

1. Atlantis I.
2. Versailles 1685 (thanks to RichAlexis!).
3. Egypte I.
4. Ring.
5.
6. China.
7. Faust.
8. Aztec.
9. Atlantis II.
10. Odyssey.
11. Time Machine.
12.
13. Egypte II (thanks to Jenny100!).
14. Pompei.
15. Devil Inside (not sure - I don't have this one as it is not an adventure).
16.
17.
18.
19.
20. Atlantis III.

Maybe somebody can correct this list? I don't have 'Versailles 1685' DVD-case, only a box with different codes, but it was published in DVD-case, maybe with number 2 or something. Other missing numbers must be unrealized plans...
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/19/15 10:06 PM

Hi Iurii,

I didn't know that barcodes were part of the game puzzles! wink Looks like you can crack anything! It'd be interesting to find out what releases are missing or were even scrapped ....

Well, Versailles 1685 would be '2' then - final numbers 602325.

Yes, interesting that the German ad has Egypt II, which we now know was never released in German in this particular series!

As for Anuman, I guess the artwork was there well before Anuman! Just enjoy it!

I looked at the YouTube videos about a year ago, just thought it was nice they ported it that way, and left it at that. But now I realize they removed a lot of cutscenes, most of the transitional ones, at any rate between static 3D-positions (just zooms, which look cheap and lack orientation, plus missing out on the idea of exploration), clearly marked all the hotspots, turned all dialogues into static monologues, and what's with the loud music throughout all those dialogues!? Are there more vices I missed?

Are all Cryo ported downloads affected this way, also the ones from GOG, Big Fish and iTunes? I also read of considerable download and installation bugs from Anuman. Doesn't sound good! It's a strange 'reverse evolution' that, due to the dominance of the mobile platform, a lot of games look a lot worse now than they did 15 years ago!

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 01/20/15 01:51 AM

The Anuman ports I've tried are stripped down garbage compared to the originals. The Mac ports seem to be the same as the iPad/iPod ports in the games I've tried. Hotspots are removed. Puzzles are removed. They increased the resolution of the graphics, but so many of the nodes are removed (nodes being the places where you can stand and pan around). And they didn't just do that with Cryo games. They also did it to Microids games like Amerzone. In the original Amerzone, there's a door on the upper floor of the lighthouse. You can open the door and walk around a sort of balcony outside the upper floor of the lighthouse. In the port, the door can't be opened. There are also objects in the lighthouse that you could interact with in the original. They are only pictures of objects in the remake -- non-interactive. When you go downstairs and through the tunnel in the floor of the lighthouse, there are places you could walk in the original that are missing in the port. They simplified the computer in the basement to the point that you "solve" any puzzle connected to it just by clicking on it at random. I didn't get further than that. I was too disgusted by what they did to the game.

With Atlantis II, they removed the Mayan number puzzle. This makes the clues given by the guards confusing and meaningless. You can pick up the little stick or stone, but you just plonk it on the wall any old way -- even though it's the wrong answer to the puzzle. Anuman also removed the rainbow bridge puzzle and some inventory puzzles. The only thing they left intact was that annoying jungle maze, where you can get turned around just as badly as in the original. I didn't play any more of the game after that.

With Road to India, it seemed there was practically nothing left. No real puzzles left. You just stumble around looking at things until you're done.

It's been that way with every Anuman port I've tried for Mac or iPad/iPod versions of games by Cryo, Microids, and Kheops. I do not recommend the ports at all.

The last time I downloaded the PC version of Beyond Atlantis from GOG, it was the old version with old graphics and all the puzzles, nodes, and hotspots intact. However the Mac version that GOG had was the Anuman version. Hopefully GOG will keep the old PC version available and won't replace it with the eviscerated Anuman version. Anyway, so far the PC versions of games from GOG were the original versions last time I downloaded them. But not the Mac Versions.

You are better off playing the old PC versions in a virtual machine if you're using a Mac. Or I suppose you could use Sheepshaver with the old MacOS 8.6-9.1 version of Atlantis 2 (Beyond Atlantis) if you have it. Just don't use the new OSX version from Anuman.

I bought several Cryo and Kheops games for iPad/iPod when I saw them offered. Unfortunately I threw my money away because they'd all been gutted by Anuman. I can't stand playing them in that state.

I tried the Big Fish version of Nautilus, and that was also stripped down, with many puzzles removed. So if Anuman had anything to do with an "updated" version of a game, avoid it.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/20/15 07:31 AM

Jenny100 and Rich, thanks for the info! I edited the list adding 'Versailles 1685'. Now, to find the elusive 'Versailles II' DVD... Our Russian adventure site happens to have a small picture of it - it is just like regular CD DVD-case-in-a-sleeve version, but with the line 'PC DVD-ROM' in bottom left (like with 'Atlantis III'). I tried searching this forum for slydos messages - but it seems there are no earlier messages archived? Slydos is said to be registered in 1999, but his earliest available post is from 2007.

As for the other missing releases - 'Arthur's knights' is surely the one. The site of the game I have archived definitely promised: "Christmas 2001 – PC/DVD and Playstation 2 versions combining both chapters." I still have a little bit of hope that was released after all! Both AK chapters are the only Cryo games I have to swap the disks while playing - as I can't get it running from images.

Rich, now that this topic has taken its due place in 'Adventure discussions', maybe you can rename it? Into 'Cryo games discussion' or something? smile

I have bought only 'Aztec' for iPad/iPhone - but I never played it as it does not have Russian localization anyway. Luckily, Anuman does not mess too much with PC versions. Out of their Steam catalogue, as far as I know, only Dracula 1-2-3 and Necronomicon are terrible, bugged and stripped down mobile re-releases (not sure about Amerzone) - while Egypt III, Salammbo, Nostradamus etc. are the same good old versions we used to play in 2000s. You can easily recognize their 'bad' releases by the 'Inventory' icon in bottom right - so I think we should avoid not Anuman but rather this icon of theirs smile
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/20/15 05:50 PM

Thank you both for your extremely helpful information! I just changed the topic to a general Cryo discussion - thanks Iurii!

It's indeed a disgrace that stripped-down versions by Anuman could be produced like that. It sounds very Reader's Digest to me - To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book, but too long, let's condense it to 150 pages and replace difficult words.

Yet I realize that especially after a company has gone out of business, firms that take over its assets can pretty much do anything with them, as witnessed by lots of mangled music, film and TV series re-releases. So while I'm not too surprised, it does make me sad. Good to have detailed info on the various download options anyway!

As for Arthur's Knights, the only editions I have seen are on CD-ROM. Even the German boxed set (it takes some getting used to that in Germany, Arthur is known as Artus!) still has all 6 CDs inside its box. I suspect that the problem at the time was, that none of the original Cryo developers were around anymore to convert it properly.

German Amazon link for the 6-CD set of Arthur's Knights

By the way, Jenny, the Shooting Star webshop with the Cryo soundtracks can be quite expensive, but they do have regular 50% discount CD offers now, meaning you can order a CD for roughly 9 euros or dollars, but you still have to pay at least the same amount for shipping of course. If you're on their mailing list, you get alerted about this. In fact, they have a sale right now!

Also, I think it's a good thing all profits directly go to the composers. I actually suggested they represent more Cryo composers, but they like to keep it this way. Fair enough!

Rich
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/22/15 03:11 PM

I once again split this discussion up and moved it to Glitches. I apologize for the three threads but these are going way off topic for the forum they are in.

Please continue the discussion here for getting the games to run: Gitches.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/22/15 11:59 PM

Hi Iurii & Jenny,

I've found some more Cryo goodies on their defunct websites.

First of all, here's an Egypt listing by Microïds of Cryo's Egypt II & Egypt Kids games, and Kheops/Adventure Company's follow-up Egypt III, with fully functional Shockwave Flash-video's and a Gallery. It's even got music! It's really nice to check this out.

I've also gathered some beautiful Arthur's Knights site screenshots, and Egypt II images and artwork, a high-resolution cover design and even a working screensaver (I've tested it, no bugs, running the executable results in a *.scr file) in a zipped file as a Mediafire download.

These were the old sources, now defunct:

http://arthur.cryogame.com/
http://egypte2.cryogame.com/

As for The Devil Inside being part of the DVD reissues, this German Amazon page shows this is correct. It doesn't show the barcode, though.

This French Amazon page suggests Egypt II used to be available at one point as a multilingual DVD in more languages than Jenny's French and English copy. However, as the image is really small, it may have been copied from some Cryo catalogue, and not be an actual cover.

I have not been able to find other evidence of these versions, such as on eBay.

I hope this will pander to your feelings of nostalgia. wink

Best wishes,

Rich


Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/23/15 01:50 AM

Thanks, RichAlexis.
Very interesting links.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/23/15 04:49 AM

Thanks, Rich!
I have local copies of Arthur's Knights and Egypt II sites - and I have also found Egypt II in German and French Amazon marketplace.
But I am hesitant to buy them as those sellers do not answer any questions as for confirming they actually sell DVD versions. They do not ship to Ukraine unfortunately and when I used to buy from them through some mediators, it often turned out that the game was listed as multilingual DVD edition but what I actually got was just German-only CD version that I do not need...
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/23/15 11:13 PM

Yes, I see what you mean, Iurii. It's hard to rely on third-party sellers, when the information and product image are sketchy or even missing. And of course we in the West must remember we are privileged with a wealth of reliable services and guarantees, and lack of trading restrictions.

You said you hadn't seen Egypt II, Casanova and Arthur's Knights I on DVD yet. Are those the ones missing from your collection? Are you looking for other games or versions as well?

Rich
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/23/15 11:33 PM

Here's a very interesting - and lengthy - introduction and interview about the historical background of Egypt II: The Heliopolis Prophecy, which I salvaged from an old Cryo site. The interview hasn't been archived elsewhere on an active site, though part of it can be found in the paper or online manual. I took the liberty of making some minor corrections, based on the French original.

Rich

Introduction

Source: http://egypte2.cryogame.com/uk/uk_presse.html (archived)

From Heliopolis, the City of the Sun, the center of learning, one of the most important capitals of Egypt in 1350 BC. A frightening and horrible epidemic threatens to destroy this city devoted to the cult of the god Rê (Ra). Tifet, a young priestess of Sekhmet, the goddess of illness and medicine, sets out to find a cure to save her adoptive father and the inhabitants of Heliopolis. From mysterious revelations to strange disappearances, her adventure will lead her the heart of the temple of Atoum-Rê, where religion is power…

Of Heliopolis, nothing remains. On the site of the former religious capital of the Egyptian Empire stands an obelisk, the only remnant of a city that cast its influence over Egypt and beyond more than forty centuries ago. Reconstructing it represented an unprecedented challenge for the Cryo teams: bringing back to life the market, the port, the streets, the Temple, the inhabitants going about their daily tasks, without being able to rely on the results of excavations.

"As the excavations have not revealed anything that we would have been obliged to respect in the most absolute detail, we were then able to focus on the reconstruction of contemporary architectural details and re-exploit their structure. This practice of "recycling" was as it happens common enough in ancient Egypt to justify this approach," notes Yann Troadec, project leader of the game.

This flexibility in the reconstruction is a great advantage in terms of gameplay, since it gives greater freedom in the scriptwriting. The game's historical aspects have been validated, but it is above all a great adventure. Special care has been taken with the sound background, the light and the colors in order to recreate the most intense and realistic atmosphere possible. The practice of medicine, the status of women, the mythology: the authors have tried through these themes to give new life to the most fascinating of ancient civilizations.

Two consultants oversaw the historical accuracy of the facts related and the reconstructions:
  • Jean-Claude Golvin, director of research at the CNRS, a historian and an architect, Professor of ancient history.
  • Isabelle Franco, Doctor of Egyptology, professor of civilization and Egyptian epigraphy at the Ecole du Louvre and the Institut Kheops.


The interview

What aspects of Egyptian civilization are particularly illuminated by the game Egypt II: The Heliopolis Prophecy?

Yann Troadec, project leader for Egypt II:
"We chose to give priority to the themes of religion, beliefs and medicine. For the Egyptians, the gods personified the forces of nature, with which it is best to be at peace in order to survive. There was a constant interaction between man and the environment in which he lived, hence an omnipresence of the gods, including in everyday life. On the topic of medicine, the game reveals that the Egyptians had a good knowledge of remedies and anatomy (because of embalming). Many medical papyri which have been found give examples of their advance in this area. Furthermore, the profession of doctor was commonly exercised by women, which shows that in Egyptian civilization women had their natural place, and had not yet been given an inferior role because of cultural prohibitions."

How was the city of Heliopolis reconstructed?

Yann Troadec:
"The ancient city of Heliopolis is not well known, since it still lies under the housing and modern districts of Cairo. This enabled us to reconstruct a prestigious Egyptian city as it might have been. The absence of archeological markers meant we had great freedom in the matter of the reconstruction, without however straying from historical reality (known from other cities, such as Tell-El-Amarna). The playing evolves in an urban district (reconstruction of houses, villas and streets of this period) and in various parts of a temple (library and dispensary ("House of Life"); storage areas and shops). This gives a glimpse of urban planning, and shows the economic and cultural aspects that a temple included."

Jean-Claude Golvin, scientific consultant:
"Today of Heliopolis there remains just one of the obelisks erected by Sesostris I, around 2000 BC. The existence of great walls of the temple made of green brick is revealed by the famous Description of Egypt, published after Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt.

However, an evocation of the whole of the famous city did not seem impossible to achieve in the context of a game, provided that the geographical characteristics of the place were respected and the buildings represented had a certain resemblance with those which were constructed at that time and that we can study today at other better preserved sites.

Our Heliopolis stands on the right bank of the Nile to which it was to be connected by canals. At the Eastern limit of the city are to be found the necropolises located at the foot of the rocky peaks of Gebel Ahmar (the Red Mountain) and further off, standing on the other bank, are the pyramids of Gizeh.

The site is extremely ancient, since the cult of Rê (Ra, the sun god) goes back to the origins of the Pharaoh's civilization; we have to imagine in the New Empire a constantly changing complex city which had an irregular contour and winding streets. It can be imagined in the image of Thebes, but smaller since we know that the priesthood of Heliopolis and the domain of its temple were distinctly less important than those of the great sacred Theban domain of Karnak.

We have respected the general orientation of the temple (East-West) known from the Description of Egypt and reflected the complex development of buildings which, like at Karnak, had to be built along this line during the time from the most mythical center of the city of the sun (Helio-polis). This center was materialized by the Ben-ben, a monument whose symbolic shape is known from the sacred texts. This perfectly pure shape was that of a small pyramid oriented to the four cardinal points. It evoked the first earth mound to emerge from the waters at the world's origin.

We imagined the appearance of the Ben-ben as the heart of the famous solar temple of Abu-Gorab, a well preserved building in the center of which stands a sort of gigantic stone obelisk. The appearance of this obelisk, constructed not far from the famous city, could well have been inspired by that of the nearby real Ben-ben which also existed in the Ancient Empire. The main components of the temple as it may also have existed in the Ancient Empire are inspired by other sanctuaries from the New Empire.

The city's houses and the gardens have been imagined in the image of the buildings of Thebes, discovered in part by archeology and depicted on several tombs of the necropolises of nobles. We are well acquainted with the appearance of the residences of this period: walls of green brick, differing levels, and terraces. The palace of the Governor has been imagined in the image of the grand residences of Tell-El-Amarna, a capital whose architecture expresses the ideas of a "revolution" started as from the end of the reign of Amenophis III and led by his son (Amenophis IV-Akhenaton).

The image of imaginary Heliopolis that we have given is hypothetical yet essentially conceivable. It allows us to dream in the streets, the houses and the temple of one of the most legendary cities of Ancient Egypt. Only the context of a game allowed the freedom required for such an evocation, and offered the only chance of seeking out the lost image of the famous city of the sun."

Egypt II: The Heliopolis Prophecy: between archaeology and fiction.

Isabelle Franco, scientific consultant:
"The archaeology of Ancient Egypt offers us enough information to reconstruct the monuments and facts of civilizations, but it restricts pure knowledge when there are very few remains. It is within these limits that Egypt II:The Heliopolis Prophecy was created. We had to make choices between strict historical truth, often too arid, and the imaginary framework given to the game that had to be relocated within an actual true context.

Heliopolis, most of which lies beneath Cairo, has yielded us very few ruins. Yet an overall evocation of the famous city was not impossible to achieve in the context of a game, under certain conditions. The geographical characteristics of the place have been respected. The buildings have been reconstructed in the same style as those which were constructed at the same period and that can be studied today at other better preserved sites. Tell-El-Armana, for example, roughly contemporaneous of the period when the game takes place, supplies an excellent model of civil architecture and the decoration of this opulent century of Egyptian history, otherwise well known thanks to the tombs of Thebes. The latter allow us to rediscover costumes, jewelry and other "fashionable" accessories under Amenophis III.

Contrary to the capital of Akhenaton, the ancient city of the sun had existed for over a thousand years. Its winding streets and its sometimes dilapidated houses bear witness to the life and the evolution of the city as time goes by. We have imagined the appearance of the major sanctuary of Heliopolis, the Castle of the Ben-ben, on the basis of the famous solar temple of Abu-Gorab, a well preserved building, in the center of which stands a sort of gigantic stone obelisk. The appearance of this obelisk, constructed not far from the famous city, was itself inspired by the true Ben-ben which had existed at least since the Ancient Empire. The main components of the temple, for their part, were inspired by other sanctuaries of the New Empire.

Apart from the places, the story itself is set in a plausible framework which however in some regards strays from the strict historical truth. The characters, for example, are imaginary, but their functions, their role, but also their weaknesses are well attested to by the texts. Even in the land of the pharaohs, there were unscrupulous officials, rivalries for influence and misappropriation of property. On the other hand, the illness evoked was not known in ancient Egypt.
Click to reveal..
As for its cure, the ginkgo, this only grew at this time in China. It is quite obvious that there were no relations between the two countries at that time. Nevertheless, the numerous trade routes which crisscrossed the ancient world do not make impossible the circulation of a product between two regions so far apart. The corn of the temple alone could not put the whole of the city in danger, but the text of the prophecy (imaginary) intensifies the heroin's anxiety.


The image of Heliopolis that we have given is hypothetical but conceivable. The story that takes place there is a fictional scenario which has allowed us to evoke one of the most famous religious capitals of ancient Egypt, giving the player a plausible glimpse of a real city of the 18th dynasty. Only the framework of a game could allow the liberty needed for such a reconstruction, a unique opportunity to set off in search of the lost city of the sun and meet the men who lived in it."

The themes addressed in the documentary base

This is a mini-encyclopaedia of some 110 information sheets concerning the main characteristics of Egyptian civilization, which have been written by Isabelle Franco, scientific consultant. Each information sheet contains a short text, hypertext links and a captioned image.

The information sheets of the documentary space are written from the point of view of the heroine: this gives a representation of all the acquired knowledge, the know-how of a young Egyptian girl of the period.

The themes dealt with are urban planning, Egyptian society, the status of women, medicine, the gods, daily life and the reign of Amenothep III.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/24/15 08:31 AM

Thanks, Rich! I remember those interviews - that's the level of historical reconstruction no one was able to follow but Cryo (and later Kheops - but unfortunately they are all dead now with no new historical adventures in sight)...

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
You said you hadn't seen Egypt II, Casanova and Arthur's Knights I on DVD yet. Are those the ones missing from your collection? Are you looking for other games or versions as well?

Yes, you are right, but I think that finding 'Versailles 2' DVD would be of priority to a collector like you and me - as it offers not just a piece of history but an enhanced version of the game itself! We now now that there is 'Egypt II' DVD - but all other disks missing are not proven to exist. After all, Cryo site promised 'Jerusalem', 'Nautilus' etc. on DVDs as well - and I don't think somebody have seen those either. But it would be great if somebody will confirm that there was 'Arthur's Knights I' DVD after all.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/24/15 06:56 PM

I doubt that the average gamer appreciated the amount of research that went into creating the environments in the Cryo historical games, but I always found them interesting. In the case of Egypt 1156 B.C. I thought the encyclopedia was the best part of the game. I liked being able to click on strange objects and find out what they were and how they were used.

I missed the built-in encyclopedia in Kheops' later games. Other than Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern and The Egyptian Prophecy I don't remember any Kheops games having a built-in encyclopedia, but it's been a long time since I played them. I don't think either Nostradamus or Secrets of Da Vinci included a built-in encyclopedia, even though they were historical. I don't remember Cleopatra: A Queen's Destiny having an encyclopedia either, but I can hardly remember that game at all. Kheops games based on Jules Verne novels might not be exactly "historical," but they could have included a discussion of real 19th century technology vs the imaginary futuristic technology seen in the novels -- or a comparison with science fiction novels by other 19th century authors who wrote about similar themes.

***Web Archive of Kheops game list***
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/25/15 12:33 AM

Quote:
Thanks, Rich! I remember those interviews - that's the level of historical reconstruction no one was able to follow but Cryo (and later Kheops - but unfortunately they are all dead now with no new historical adventures in sight)...
Yes, that's sad, but at least we still have the old ones to play, also thanks to your efforts! thumbsup

Thanks again for your comments, Jenny and Iurii! Yes, it's true that Kheops extended the Jules Verne stories to what might have occurred given the technical knowledge of the era, the same way as Syberia was consistent if steampunk robotics had had its way.

You know, that's why I wrote my review for Atlantis II on this board the way I did. Nearly all the reviews I'd seen, even the thorough and glowing ones, boiled down to praise for the stunning locations, the lifelike characters, the great graphics and haunting music, all of which created this engrossing atmosphere. But they always added some barbs about the silly plot and random riddles. I wanted to redress that balance a bit.

The way the historic supernova informed and linked the separate stories was completely ignored, just as the legends of Atlantis that were cited, by the way. And of course, the origin of the Crab Nebula would be treated by Cryo as true as they could to the medieval setting, not from the present point of view. You wouldn't have some old sage or authority exclaim: "Ah, that's a marvellous exploding star outside our solar system, let's study it for scientific purposes!". Instead, they would try to cope with it in terms of their gods and myths, and see them as evil or hopeful portents.

I'm not a stickler for authenticity and detailed encyclopedia, but I often feel that the game world is too slanted to fantasy adventures or rather battles in the post-Tolkien vein, which feature any number of wizards, knights, elves, gnomes, ghosts, trolls, talking animals, and even dinosaurs, zombies, aliens or robots in any combination, which often feels totally haphazard and irrelevant.

A good story, rooted in a recognizable era, location, a plausible technology or a coherent moral universe often comes as a very welcome relief to me in that sense! Let's hope it won't be ignored completely!

Best,

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/25/15 12:35 PM

Well, Cryo always tried to make a distinction between 'Historic adventures' and 'Legends'. But you are right Rich - I also think that the ancient China presented in 'Atlantis II' is more interesting and even authentic than China in proper 'China' the game, because reconstructing mythology and legends of an epoch is no less important than reconstructing its material heritage!

I have also always wondered why some reviewers did not see how logical puzzles in 'Atlantis II' are. As the logic of medieval-poetical Christian Ireland or medieval-mythological China does not have to be equal to the modern Western-European logic smile Thanks to Johan Robson who was the mind behind those 'legendary' stories and puzzles!
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 01/26/15 11:48 PM

Hi Iurii!

Thanks for the reference to Johan Robson! I'd never paid attention to him, and now I read on MobyGames about all the work he has done, and that he is ... Dutch, or at least he appears to be, even though his name suggests a mixture of Dutch, Scandinavian and British roots! Perhaps I felt an intuitive kinship there? wink

I take my hat off to him!

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/01/15 09:05 AM

Rich, do you speak French by the way?
Maybe then you can play another Johan Robson's game called 'L'Ange et le Demon' and tell us about it smile
It is not by Cryo, but it pre-dates its historical/mythological series and takes place in Mont-Saint-Michel.
Unfortunately it was published only in French and only on Philips CD-i console.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/02/15 12:03 AM

Hi Iurii,

As a matter of fact I do speak French, though it's not a language that comes naturally to me, in other words, it takes some effort.

I don't know about the game you mentioned, and though it sounds interesting, I don't have a CD-i at my disposal! Oh, those CD-i's, one of Philips' great innovations that were abandoned almost as soon as they were introduced, in this case only 5 years later!

I think the folks at Philips were, once more, too technically advanced (and too slow on the marketing uptake) for their own good: the device could play low-res digital movies, but not that easily, when people were still using their video players, they had no experience creating games, so they were mostly substandard (apart from Burn:Cycle and Lost Eden I guess), and the controls were not very well thought out, and they'd even thought of video-on-demand and online shopping when the concept and indeed the internet itself were still in their infancy.

Anyway, to stay on topic, I have come across a French Cryo game from 1997 I'd never heard of. If I hadn't had the great, unique, wildly diverse 'Obscura' soundtrack CD by Pierre Estève, I'd never found out. I actually asked the people at Shooting Star about it, but they didn't reply, which made me think it was an unrealized game. On the CD-ROM section of the disc, it said this is the soundtrack to Deuxième Monde: Légendes Souterraines (even with a spelling error).

Well, it turns out that Deuxième Monde (Second World) was an online game, or rather an alternative universe, in this case of Paris, which was apparently the first of its kind, predating the similarly titled Second Life by 6 years! It came with a DOS-based game, which traced this virtual community to its legendary subterranean ("légendes souterraines") origins. In a storyline a bit similar to Atlantis, you are the restorer of light to the banished souls of the underworld, which is lost in obscurity, surrounded by the cities of light. I wonder if anyone from this community has ever played this before?

I managed to install the game in a DOS box within a Windows 95 emulator. It looks more like an action game to me, you have to fight enemies by collecting protection and armour as well as various lights, but the controls are kind of sketchy to me now, and I don't have a lot of time to play games right now!

But it does look like a unique atmosphere, great surrealist watercolour artwork (which is used in the game, not digitally rendered), steampunk technology and such. I'll definitely play it at some point!

Rich
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/02/15 12:38 AM

Rich, I edited your post. It is against GameBoomer policy to download abandonware or to link to an abandonware website.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/02/15 05:01 AM

Rich, thanks for the info!

I have never played or seen 'Deuxième Monde', but I once visited 'Venice' as a tourist - I mean another online MMO-adventure by Cryo. That was great game - you actially had to live in Venice in the year of 1499 amongst other people, trading arts, participating in elections etc.

But Cryo online worlds is the one thing that does not exist anymore. I have even bought a box of that game while knowing it does not and will never work frown
Posted By: frazap

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 02/09/15 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Iurii
RichAnd I have finally tried 'Atlantis III' DVD! It has 'making of' movies and pictures, a screensaver, and high-definition textures!
Yes, the difference is clear, 1024-textures looks much better, and it seems they updated all videos as well, as they are located in '800' folders instead of '640' in CD and GOG versions.

It seems that High textures when copied from the disk to the game folder work fine with GOG version. The only problem is that Russian movies are available only in CD resolution (HNM640) while DVD uses high-resolution HNM800... But other languages shouldn't have this problem.


Thanks a lot for this information Iurii! I recently tried the DVD version of Atlantis III on my Windows 7 comp but failed to get it running (didn't try too hard though, only a couple of compatibility settings to no avail). Noticed that the DVD is like 7,5 Gb large and figured there must be some higher quality graphics on there compared with the CD/GOG-version but could not find any information on the internet. I will try to use the hi-res stuff from the DVD with the GOG-version when I eventually play this game.

To me, the Atlantis games were pretty much the only decent stuff to come from Cryo as a developer, at least after the mid 90's. Only played the first two in the series so far though. The Egypt, Aztec, Versailles and Pompeii etc. games are real stinkers imo. Edutainment at its worst. It feels like they researched all the facts and created the locations first and only tacked on a simple story as an afterthought. The Atlantis series feel much more built with the story as the starting point.

Loved Faust (Seven Games of the Soul) though, but that was developed by another company and only published by Cryo.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 02/11/15 06:21 PM

Quote:
To me, the Atlantis games were pretty much the only decent stuff to come from Cryo as a developer, at least after the mid 90's. Only played the first two in the series so far though. The Egypt, Aztec, Versailles and Pompeii etc. games are real stinkers imo. Edutainment at its worst. It feels like they researched all the facts and created the locations first and only tacked on a simple story as an afterthought. The Atlantis series feel much more built with the story as the starting point.


I can see your point, Frazap! Up to a point wink. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for in games. For most people outside this site, gaming equals violent action, so any of these games would strike most people as incredibly boring, but even as an adventure gamer I agree that the Atlantis series were the most imaginative, and the others you mention, apart from Faust, were more history-driven and educational.

Though I do feel parts of Pompeii were rather weak or forced, as my review tries to point out, I really liked (and still do) the part of wandering around the city in visitor mode, or reading from the encyclopedia, just like Versailles or Aztec, but that's because I'm a history buff!

Rich
Posted By: flotsam

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/11/15 07:18 PM

Hi all
Just came across this and still reading through. I remember well my first Cryo game and the impression it made.
Will post when have looked at and absorbed all the interesting stuff in the thread
smile
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/11/15 11:54 PM

Hi Flotsam,

This discussion of Cryo games sprang from a review of their Odyssey game I had posted.

It was split up because it veered off both towards a more general discussion of Cryo games, and patches and tricks for running them on more recent platforms.

Just sayin'! wink

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/12/15 06:35 PM

According to Mobygames and the PAGODA database, "Pompeii" (aka "Timescape") was developed by Arxel Tribe, not Cryo. So "Pompeii" has the same developer as "Faust," "Pilgrim," "Legend of the Prophet," "Ring" 1 and 2, "Hitchcock: The Final Cut," "Jerusalem," and "Casanova: Duel of the Black Rose."

I didn't care much for the "game" part of "Pompeii" because of limitations to the locations you were allowed you to explore. Parts of the gameworld were only accessible during certain parts of the game. Exploration felt restricted (compared to "Versailles," for example). For someone who is interested in what "Pompeii" looked like before the eruption of Vesuvius, the "visitor mode," where you can go where you want, could be better than the game.

"Pompeii" also had fewer interactive hotspots than early historical games developed (or co-developed) by Cryo, where you could click objects to find out what they were and how they were used, or click characters to find out who they were and/or what their role in society was. For example, "Versailles 1685," "Egypt 1156 B.C.," and "Aztec" (aka "Sacred Amulet") had many of these "educational" hotspots. In later games, like "Egypt 2: The Heliopolis Prophecy," the amount of interactivity for educational purposes was reduced and more attention placed on characters and story.

I don't think fans of adventure games and fans of historical adventure games are exactly the same audience. For fans of historical adventures, simply being able to visit the historical locations adds a very important dimension to the game that is not of great interest to adventure gamers who don't care so much about the historical aspects.
Posted By: flotsam

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/13/15 05:20 AM

Hi Rich
To complete the circle then, here is my review from a very long time ago. Was from the old Quandary magazine, all of which shifted to this site when Quandary closed.
Interesting to read again.
flotsam
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/13/15 02:16 PM

Quote:
I don't think fans of adventure games and fans of historical adventure games are exactly the same audience. For fans of historical adventures, simply being able to visit the historical locations adds a very important dimension to the game that is not of great interest to adventure gamers who don't care so much about the historical aspects.
Very well put, Jenny! smile

I agree with everything you said. I don't consider myself a full-on historical gamer, having enjoyed Atlantis and Syberia a lot. I do tend to look for some inner storytelling logic, be it historical or fictional. Games that feature a host of historical, religious or horror/fantasy characters from any era or source thrown together, or games where every place you try to enter is blocked by some slider puzzle or arcade game simply don't appeal to me. Too 'random'! wink

Rich

Hi Flotsam,

Thanks for the reference! I'd actually read your detailed review before writing mine, but I didn't know it was you!

I agree pretty much with all that you said, it still holds, so while I came to similar conclusions as you, I tried not to duplicate too much and instead concentrate on the mythological aspects.

Rich
Posted By: lakerz

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/15/15 03:31 AM

What an excellent walk down memory lane in this thread! I really enjoy reading through these and hearing everyone's thoughts and memories of Cryo and Arxel Tribe. There are a lot of games from their catalogue I've yet to try. It sounds like a lot of them need a lot of tweaking to work well on newer computers. Good thing this is one of the most helpful communities I've come across for tech troubleshooting and locating old and moldy patches.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/16/15 05:57 PM

I see that in difference from, say. LucasArts, there are people who love Cryo games - and many people who don't smile

I can only say I like almost all of their games (except some later titles like 'Nautilus'), both historical and 'legendary' (as 'Atlantis') - and developed by Arxel Tribe as well.

It is even more interesting if you are able to visit the game locations in real world - for now, I have visited only the Forbidden City (in Beijing), Versailles and Pompei (and Capri of 'A Quiet weekend on Capri'/'Anacapri the Dream' fame - but that's another story)...
Posted By: SirDave

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/19/15 12:12 AM

Inspired by this thread, I decided to make another attempt to play Atlantis. However, after just a few minutes when first my character kept asking the guard if the consort was in the castle and then listening to a guard of what appears to be a pyramid-like structure respond with a distinct Scottish accent, I just couldn't rationalize the incongruity and gave up. smile
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/19/15 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: SirDave
Inspired by this thread, I decided to make another attempt to play Atlantis.

Try Atlantis 2 or Atlantis 3.
The first one had too many annoying guards.
Posted By: Mad

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/19/15 06:47 PM

I agree with Jenny100 yes

The 2nd and 3rd Atlantis games were much better than the 1st - and definitely worth a play thumbsup
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/19/15 10:09 PM

You gave up after just a few minutes?! shocked You even missed the scene of the crime? Just continue for another few moments, and watch the game open up to different locations.

And as an appetizer, if you have VLC media player (freeware!), make a playlist of the soundtrack on the disk, just to get into the mood - and get an idea of what you missed. Off the top of my head, they are the *.apc-extension files located in the directory of the same name.

Rich wink
Posted By: SirDave

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 02/20/15 03:13 AM

Yeah, I know- it's not fair to the game to give up so quickly. It was the Scottish accent...

But I'm going to try loading up Atlantis 2 next.
Posted By: lakerz

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/02/15 02:29 AM

One thing I liked about Arxel Tribe, and a few of the other developers/publishers back in the day, is that they would include various little freebies in the boxes for orders directly from their stores. I still have an Arxel Tribe pen they sent me from years back, and probably a few other little things.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/03/15 02:45 PM

lakerz, it is interesting, never heard of it, thanks.
Maybe you have some pictures of those items?
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/04/15 12:04 AM

Never heard of this either, Lakerz. It really sounds interesting! The only things I've come across so far are extras you would expect to find for movie DVDs, like Making of's, stills, artwork, booklets, wallpapers and screen savers.

And some scattered action figures from other companies, of course.

Rich
Posted By: lakerz

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/16/15 07:54 AM

Hi Iurii & RichAlexis,

To be honest, I'm not sure of what freebies I have other than the Arxel Tribe pen. The games themselves are stored away, so I would have to search them out to see what other stuff I may have stuffed in the box when the orders arrived. I do have the pen though, because I put it away in my desk drawer with my other pens, etc. I think I may have two of them actually. If you like I can upload a picture of it. They are rather plain looking though, just basic black ball point pens with yellow Arxel Tribe lettering on the side. Still cool though in my book. :-)
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/16/15 02:23 PM

Hi lakerz,
Of course, it would be nice to see the picture of that pen, if it is possible!
By the way, I have a LucasArts pen, but that should be much more common item I think smile
Posted By: lakerz

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/30/15 12:58 AM

Like I said, the pen is nothing extraordinary....but here ya go.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/clrodrick/ArxelTribe/ArxelTribePen.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/clrodrick/ArxelTribe/ArxelTribePen1.jpg
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/30/15 05:55 AM

Thanks, lakerz! Maybe nothing extraordinary, but still a piece of history.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 03/30/15 06:31 PM

Thanks from me too, Lakerz!

It does have the two-tone yellow-black design which corresponds to the corporation logo I remember so well, so in that sense it immediately evokes warm feelings of nostalgia! thumbsup

Rich
Posted By: lakerz

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 04/13/15 06:54 AM

I'm glad to do my (extremely tiny/small) part in keeping alive adventure video game history. If I stumble across any more Arxel/Cryo odds and ends, I'll upload them as well.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 09/27/15 03:01 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
I've got a question for Marian, or anyone else familiar with these Cryo games. Do you happen to know who the prominent English voice actor is of these games with the sonorous voice, with a slight metallic, husky quality, a bit like James Mason? He sounds 'trans-Atlantic' to me.

He's the Shambhalan guru of Atlantis II, the narrator and Heriseus of the Odyssey, and the narrator of Arthur's Knights Tales Of Chivalry. I find him quite intriguing.

I've been able to answer my own question:

His name is Allan Wenger. Apparently, he studied at Brooklyn College, but now resides in France. He can bend his voice into a variety of American and British-sounding accents.

I just like his voice a lot. Here's the more frantic collection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHo-J0GHjak

This is from an audio book:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpYH35z7_d4

His voice can be heard in a lot of video games and animated movies. For instance, he was Dracula in the frist two games (Resurrection and The Last Sanctuary), he voiced Sergeant Garcia and Professor Orneillo in The Shadow of Zorro, and he was also in Omikron: The Nomad Soul (the one with David Bowie's voice, likeness and music), Syberia II (voice of Hans Voralberg!), Salammbo, Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne, The Egyptian Prophecy, Aztec (as the old doctor Quilaztli), Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy), Empire: Total War and the animated movies Persepolis and the second instalment of Arthur and the Invisibles (the Minimoys).

Posted By: Marian

Re: Classic Cryo games - general discussion - 09/27/15 03:15 PM

That's very interesting, RichAlexis. Thanks for all of that information. It's nice to know whose voice I am listening to in Arthur's Knights as well as some other games. wave
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 01:55 PM

Picking up the old vintage Cryo discussion again, I just came across this Egypt III review on Steam by archaeologist-cum-game designer Jediravenclaw and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I just wanted to share.

I know Egypt III (aka The Fate of Ramses or The Egyptian Prophecy) was developed by Kheops, and released by The Adventure Company, but it was the third instalment of the Egypt series that was originally started by Cryo. It happened to be part of Cryo's legacy that changed hands during the very confusing DreamCatcher/Adventure Company/JoWooD takeover tangle. Which in a way continues to this day, with various rereleases and modified ports credited to Anuman and Microïds.

I realize this type of edutainment may not be everyone's cup of tea - some just want 'cracking' brain teasers, or exciting adventures instead of fact-based stuff or lengthy explanations, but this clearly shows all the research and attention to historical detail that went into these games, and, sadly IMHO, how rare this is in the world of adventure games, movies and graphic novels.

Quote:
Jediravenclaw Reviews
thumbsup Recommended
Posted: 6 Feb, 2016 @ 1:58am

Firstly, I have a dual degree in archaeology and history, as well as number of years under my belt working in the field as an archaeologist. This game is surprisingly accurate in many respects! It got the mythology right, which you do sometimes tend to see in games set in Egypt ... but more importantly it got the "everyday life" aspect right (which you NEVER see). The devs really did their research on this game, and it's highly appreciated!! The houses are laid out properly, the material culture is right down to the feathers on the floor and the pottery styles. Even the spells you cast are taken from ancient stories. This makes it one of the only entertainment pieces (games, movies, etc) set in ancient Egypt that has kept me entirely immersed. And I admit I'm hard to please in that aspect - my friends tend to think of me a "spoil sport" when movies or games "get things wrong".

Aside from that, the game is simply a lot of fun. It's challenging WITHOUT PIXEL HUNTING (because, amazingly, I guess people realized that this was possible), but it never had me so stumped that I was pulling my hair out.

All in all I highly recommend this game if you're in to either point and click or puzzles. And if you're not but you like this time era, pick it up anyway. $5 is very worth it. $2 even more so if you get it on sale!

P.S. Also in answer to one of the previous reviews - I don't get seizures, but I do get very frequent migraines. While blurring in other games (and Vsync - I hate Vsync so much, it causes so much ppaaaaiinnnn) do cause issues.... I didn't actually have a problem or notice the blurring in the cut scenes. In terms of migraine sufferers, it should be fine smile

P.P.S. If you're like me and played Egypt 1156 b.c. Tomb of the Pharaoh as a kid ... just buy this and try it out. The nostalgia is intoxicating. laugh

Best,

Rich
Posted By: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 03:56 PM

Frogwares does a lot of research in their games also. It's refreshing.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 05:34 PM

Originally Posted By: BrownEyedTigre
Frogwares does a lot of research in their games also. It's refreshing.
Thanks for the tip. I just looked it up. Ah, all the Sherlock Holmes titles! Interesting that the company is Ukrainian!

Their one 'lost fantasy world' title Journey to the Center of the Earth (based on Verne once more) also got quite favourable reviews, I see.

Best,

Rich
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 05:50 PM

Well, even if Frogwares are Ukrainian (although rather French as well), I cannot compare them to Cryo (and Arxel Tribe / Index+/Wanadoo) in historical accuracy.
On the contrary, their recent 'Holmes' games have almost nothing to do with real viktorian Sherlock - unlike those 'Lost files of Sherlock Holmes' by Mythos...
Posted By: oldbroad

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 05:52 PM

I've still not gotten around to playing the first two Egypt games but did play this third one (under the name The Egyptian Prophesy) which I really enjoyed. I'm hoping to play the first two in the near future and replay this third one.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 07:04 PM

Egypt 1156 B.C. was pretty bad as a game IMO.
The best part of it was the built-in encyclopedia.

Egypt 2 was a better game, but had speed issues. It played well on a 266MHz computer, but panning speed was almost too fast to be playable on a PII 400MHz computer. I suppose the speed issues were fixed in the newer download versions, but will probably be an issue with CD versions unless there is a fan-made patch somewhere.

I thought Egypt 3 was the best of the three.
If you only play one of them, play Egypt 3.

Fireflower games sells all three DRM-free.
http://fireflowergames.com/?s=egypt&post_type=product

GOG does not sell any of them.
Posted By: oldbroad

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 07:41 PM

I've got all 3 games on disc from The Adventure Company/Dreamcatcher and a (for now anyway) working XP computer if they will play in it. I know they all worked in the XP I used to use. This is a different one though. I also have the 1st game from AllVideo (on EBay)and the 2nd game downloaded from Big Fish on my Win7. I have the 3rd game from Steam. So hopefully, I am good to go, and will get around to them before that is not the case.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Egypt 2 was a better game, but had speed issues. It played well on a 266MHz computer, but panning speed was almost too fast to be playable on a PII 400MHz computer. I suppose the speed issues were fixed in the newer download versions, but will probably be an issue with CD versions unless there is a fan-made patch somewhere.
I think by panning you mean the Omni-3D engine to look around 360 degrees? I wasn't aware of any issues, especially since in both Egypt I & II, if my memory doesn't fail me, you can finetune the panning speed from very slow to very fast. At least that's how it worked for me!

I liked them all, though I evolved along with the game series. Obviously, the first one has limited playing time and very blocky graphics by today's standards. Darkness is another issue that plagues some other Cryo titles, but that may be by design - harder pixel hunting! And of course, we have to remember that with only torches and oil lamps at their disposal, old civilizations were very dark anyway, and people mostly went to bed when the sun went down.

Best,

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/24/17 11:13 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Egypt 2 was a better game, but had speed issues. It played well on a 266MHz computer, but panning speed was almost too fast to be playable on a PII 400MHz computer. I suppose the speed issues were fixed in the newer download versions, but will probably be an issue with CD versions unless there is a fan-made patch somewhere.
I think by panning you mean the Omni-3D engine to look around 360 degrees? I wasn't aware of any issues, especially since in both Egypt I & II, if my memory doesn't fail me, you can finetune the panning speed from very slow to very fast. At least that's how it worked for me!

You could only fine tune the panning if your computer was slow enough -- like 266MHz. If your computer was 400MHz, even the slow setting was too fast.

The first Egypt game did not have this speed problem (though it certainly had other problems -- like sudden, unpredictable deaths).

The only other Cryo game that was worse than Egypt 2 for speed sensitivity was China: Forbidden City, which zipped past like greased lightning. On my 400MHz computer I had to tap the mouse button as quickly as possible and hope it didn't overshoot the mark by too much. Otherwise I'd be back and forth until I got the onscreen area close enough to the relevant hotspots to click them. According to my game box, the game was made for a Pentium 90. What's strange is that my Atlantis: The Lost Tales game was also made for Pentium 90 and didn't have this panning problem (It has the problem with too-fast lip synch, but that doesn't affect gameplay). Neither did my Versailles 1685 game, which was made for 486DX/66 according to the box. Back when I played it, I didn't know about utilities like MoSlo.

If your game didn't have this problem, maybe it's restricted to the English version. There was a patch for Egypt 2, but I think it had to do with fixing a drum "puzzle" that involved timing and didn't affect the panning speed.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/25/17 04:13 PM

Quote:
You could only fine tune the panning if your computer was slow enough -- like 266MHz. If your computer was 400MHz, even the slow setting was too fast.
Jenny, thanks for all the valuable, detailed info!

I'm sorry I can no longer replicate any of this, as I'm on two virtual machines most of the time for playing these games now, and the translation of I/O-instructions back and forth between host and guests (Win 98 and Win XP in my case), and the use of virtual memory (the way I interpret it) slows down playing to such a degree that it's actually quite satisfactory!

I also have the impression virtual machine setting options like, turn 3D graphic acceleration on/off, adapt amount of graphics memory, and disable binary translation acceleration affect the performance 'favourably' as it were, if your image starts spinning.

So is this Mo'Slo (or MoSlo) software (running on guest or host?) always effective in preventing spinning 3D?

Best,

Rich

P.S. Even when I was on XP as my native system a few years ago, I played older games designed for Win 95 or Win 98 inside a QEMU emulator, if XP failed, so it's hard to say anything definite on compatibility or performance issues.
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/25/17 05:42 PM

MoSlo is an old CPU slowdown program that worked on older computers to slow them down. Turbo was another slowdown program that I tried, but it wasn't as smooth -- the game tended to chug, mouse would jerk, etc. At one time, MoSlo was considered the best, and ran the smoothest of the available slowdown programs. MoSlo was one of the CPU slowdown programs listed at the "New PC Slow Down Page" archived here...
http://web.archive.org/web/20010810163413/http://www.geocities.com/kulhain/

The current version of the website is here, and lists other programs, like DOSBox, which is not strictly a slowdown program...
http://www.geocities.ws/kulhain/

MoSlo is also mentioned at
http://www.oldskool.org/guides/oldonnew/cripple

You can use MoSlo to slow command.com on a Windows 95/98 computer before starting your DOS game from the command line. Or you can use MoSlo to slow only the game -- for example, the following works with the trial version of MoSlo...
  • First copy moslo.com to the game folder.
  • Instead of starting the game with
  • C:\game\game.exe
  • start it with
  • C:\game\moslo.com /20 game.exe
  • to run the game at 20% of your computer's processor speed.

  • or use C:\game\moslo.com /10 game.exe to run the game at 10% of your computer's processor speed.
  • or /30 for 30%, /90 for 90%, etc.
  • According to the readme, you can specify a percentage from 0.01% through 99.99%.

For a Windows game, you'd probably change the target line of the game's desktop shortcut to include the moslo.com /20 (or whatever). For something like Egypt II, using moslo.com /50 would probably work fine on a PII 400MHz computer since the game ran OK on a 266MHz computer.

The pay version of MoSlo has more options and the Windows version has a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to make things easier for people who don't like the command line.
http://www.hpaa.com/moslo/4biz.asp
MoSlo is still sold, or you can get the free trial from...
http://www.hpaa.com/moslo/

In my limited experience, slowdown programs like MoSlo and Turbo don't slow modern computers down enough to work natively with 1990's (and earlier) games that are speed sensitive. But they can make a difference if you run them from inside Virtual Machines that are already slowed down.

If you have a computer with VT-x virtualization technology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_VT#Intel_virtualization_.28VT-x.29
or AMD-V
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_VT#AMD_virtualization_.28AMD-V.29
or similar, which speeds up Virtual Machines, you may find the slowdown utilities won't slow the virtual computer enough. Sometimes you can disable the VT-x in the computer's BIOS, sometimes not.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
So is this Mo'Slo (or MoSlo) software (running on guest or host?) always effective in preventing spinning 3D?

The only Windows game I tried it with was Shivers 2, and it helped with the speed issues I was having with that game, which included panning speed. Shivers 2 was running on a Windows 98 guest inside Virtual PC 2004. The host computer was a Pentium 4 with XP Home and a 3.2GHz processor.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/26/17 12:13 PM

Wow, that's quite an extensive evaluation! Thanks! smile

It's good to know about this type of tools, and I downloaded Mo'Slo just in case I would need it in the future. Sadly, I can't install it on Windows 8.1, not even as administrator - it's clearly a rather old program, and what goes for the caveat for Windows XP and Vista at the bottom of the product page ("The publisher could not be verified - Are you sure you want to run it?") obviously goes even more for later, more restrictive systems like 7, 8 and 10.

I won't need it inside my emulators anyway, I reckon, because of intrinsic emulator slowdown, but I'm sure there will be similar applications for my host, if I happen to be able to run older games on my host where panning is an issue.

Best,

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/26/17 06:34 PM

Moslo.com is probably 16bit. It doesn't need an actual installation and you just copy it to whatever game folder you want. I don't think it would work on a 64-bit operating system outside of emulation.

I have less experience with the Windows version of MoSlo. I suppose it would work on 32-bit XP but I haven't tried it. I don't know if it uses moslo.com or if it's a separate program.

According to this comparison page...
http://www.hpaa.com/moslo/compare.asp
...MoSlo will work with Windows up through Vista, but that is probably only 32-bit Vista. Most Windows 8.1 installations are 64-bit so they can take advantage of more than 4GB of memory. You could still use MoSlo on that computer by copying it inside your virtual machine, but if the virtual machine is slowing things up enough for your game there isn't an advantage.

Where you might find MoSlo useful is for something like "Zork Nemesis," which works fine on computers (and virtual machines) that run faster than a 486 most of the time, but where there is one point in the game where you have to grab something as it goes by, and it goes by way too fast to even see it go by, let alone grab it, on computers that are much faster than a 486.

GOG integrated "Zork Nemesis" into DOSBox, so they control the speed through DOSBox and you don't need an extra slowdown utility for it. But with the original CD version, you might run into the problem.
Posted By: Iurii

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/27/17 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100

GOG integrated "Zork Nemesis" into DOSBox, so they control the speed through DOSBox and you don't need an extra slowdown utility for it. But with the original CD version, you might run into the problem.


There is a fan-made emulator to run both 'Zork Nemesis' and 'Zork Grand Inquisitor'. It is called ZEngine - currently it is integrated into ScummVM, or you can also download the earlier version separately and use with the original CD version: https://github.com/Marisa-Chan/Zengine
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/27/17 02:50 PM

Quote:
Moslo.com is probably 16bit. It doesn't need an actual installation and you just copy it to whatever game folder you want. I don't think it would work on a 64-bit operating system outside of emulation.
Exactly, Jenny.

I realized there was no need to install the program, just run it from the command line interpreter, but again Win 8 refused to run it, probably because it is 16 bit as you say.

The Mo'Slo FAQ tells me the commercial Mo'Slo 4BIZ version does run on Windows 7, 8 and 10, but it would cost me $25, and I don't see the need to buy it now, since emulators do the job for me. I will keep purchasing it in mind though, if I run up against speed problems on my host.

As we're dealing with games nearly always designed for Windows 95, 98, ME or 2000, I might also consider the free tool MySLOW, which is restricted to these platforms, if the mouse inside my Win 98 emulator still overshoots its targets.

Best,

Rich
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/27/17 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Iurii
There is a fan-made emulator to run both 'Zork Nemesis' and 'Zork Grand Inquisitor'. It is called ZEngine - currently it is integrated into ScummVM, or you can also download the earlier version separately and use with the original CD version: https://github.com/Marisa-Chan/Zengine

Then it's possible GOG is using ScummVM with Zork Nemesis now. They've switched from DOSBox to ScummVM for some of their other games.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
The Mo'Slo FAQ tells me the commercial Mo'Slo 4BIZ version does run on Windows 7, 8 and 10, but it would cost me $25, and I don't see the need to buy it now, since emulators do the job for me. I will keep purchasing it in mind though, if I run up against speed problems on my host.

I'm still not sure if it runs on 64-bit Windows. If you're using Windows 95/98 in a VM, it will certainly run on that, but so does the free version.
Posted By: RichAlexis

Re: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses - 05/27/17 09:38 PM

Quote:
I'm still not sure if it runs on 64-bit Windows. If you're using Windows 95/98 in a VM, it will certainly run on that, but so does the free version.
Yes, thanks for clarifying that. The way I phrased it, Mo'Slow or MySLOW inside an emulator are pretty much six of one and half a dozen of the other! The real issue would be finding a free or not too expensive tool for a 64 bits system, if the situation arises.

Best,

Rich
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