Uses 3D system called Freescape developed by Incentive Software Ltd.
A pyramid has been built to destroy anything that blocks the sun and now a total eclipse is about to occur. Collect ankhs to open doors, shoot mummies, drink water and maybe then you solve the puzzle of pyramid. Controlling yourself in 3D world, you may change angle of your rotation and width of your steps to avoid some obstacles. Also you can use your gun to shoot some doors or to eliminate some foes.
You are an archeologist, who has discovered the terrible curse of Hahmid III. The course says that once the Sun is blackened and no longer shines on the Temple of Ra, the whole world would be destroyed. And guess what, a Total Solar Eclipse is about to happen and it will be seen right above Egypt. As you know this would mean the end of the world, you set off to find and destroy the temple (loot all the treasures on the way - to finance your expedition) and save the world in the process.
The amazing thing about the game is that it is made from the first personperspective and it uses an imitation of 3D graphics with (at the time top of the notch) 16 color EGA graphics. The sounds in the game are mostly irritating. You'll hear yourself moving about, your ever-beating heart (take care that you don't get over excited) and so forth, but at the very beginning and at the end the game will prove it can say its name (yes, it includes some speech).
As for the gameplay itself, I have to say it's rather odd. At first I must admit I really hated this game. I thought it was only natural, since I generally dislike first person 3D games, but it was mostly due to my misunderstanding of it. Once I found this WALKTHROUGH I really started enjoying this game.
You see, you enter the pyramid and must go through it. As you might imagine the pyramid is a sort of a maze, but a fairly complicated one. Every room has its own name and the names do not seem to follow logically. So from one room you may enter different rooms and end up in a different section of the pyramid. I usually like mazes, but in this case it was a bit too frustrating, so I was really more then grateful for the very detailed walkthrough.
You should also notice a few things. You have with you a jar of water. It really helps if it is full and you can fill it by walking into pools of water (there are several around the pyramid). There is also your heart rate, which should not rise dramatically as it will cause you a heart failure. You should rest if it starts beating too rapidly (pressing R). Then there's the gun (no, this game is not a shooting game) which is your main tool. Some barriers will disappear or at least move, if you shoot them; also by shooting you can open/close chests, sarcophagi, or hit targets which will trigger hidden mechanisms (if the target is incorrect you'll get a message - find a match).
The walking itself may be tricky, as there are some simply yet tedious traps (like a missing step brick), so make sure where you walk, by looking down and up (L and P buttons) and also make sure you aren't flashed (there are several things - from mummies to beacons that will do that to you), because that will increase your heart rate.
On the way you will find treasures and ankhs. Treasures will increase your points, while ankhs are most useful as they remove door barriers. Just make sure that if you can, you get around a barrier (especially at first) since you may have a greater need for an ankh in the higher levels of the game!
All in all this game is a unique gem that you should try. It may surprise you with its complexity and nice (two decades old) graphics (although dated by today's standards). You can also check out the C64 and Amiga versions and see how well/or badly (judge for your self) the PC version compares to it.
After whisking the players to far-flung galaxies in the excellent Space Station Oblivion (a.k.a. Driller) and Dark Side, Incentive brought their revolutionary Freescape 3D engine to breath life into ancient Egypt. Legend has it that Ra, the God of Sun, had placed a convenient curse upon his people: if the sun's rays to his shrine atop the pyramid are blocked by anything during daylight hours, he would obliterate the earth. The trouble, of course, is that thousands of years later you've just discovered that there will be a total eclipse of the sun in two hours-- that is, therefore, the amount of time you have to race the fiendish mazes inside the pyramid to find Ra's shrine and prevent the catastrophe.
Of course, what's a pyramid without hidden treasure to plunder? To that end, Total Eclipse is full of treasure for the taking, and your final score is based on the amount of loot you've managed to get as well as whether or not you have indeed saved the world. You are equipped with a revolver (with unlimited bullets), a wristwatch that ticks ominously towards the end of the world, a water bottle which you will need to fill constantly to satisfy your thirst. Despite a more interactive environment, this is a much more difficult games than Incentive's previous offerings and may leave a beginner frustrated. Patience to map the maze-like environs is a must in this one. Recommended, but not for the faint of heart or anyone who's unwilling to sacrifice hours to get lost in desolate ancient ruins.
People who downloaded Total Eclipse have also downloaded:
Thief: Deadly Shadows, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend, Thief: The Dark Project, Thor's Hammer, Thief 2: The Metal Age, Driller (a.k.a. Space Station Oblivion), No One Lives Forever, Castle Master
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