Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers Ad Blurbs (Nintendo 64)
Infinite Ventures conjures up ominous atmospherics in the most cerebral first-person Pak yet.
Sophisticated and surprisingly challenging, Kemco's first-person puzzler breathes new life into a classic gaming series.
Many years have passed since bold Lord Jair banished the loathsome Warlock Lord to another dimension. Now, however, a string of mysterious events foreshadows a sinister bid by unseen forces to resurrect the evil lord.
You control the half-human Del, who at game's beginning is captured by thieves and thrown into a dungeon. After a furtive conversation with the magician Agaar, Del must escape and set about unraveling the web of intrigue and deception enshrouding the moldering ruins of Castle Shadowgate.
Like its fondly remembered predecessor, Shadowgate for the NES (re-released as Shadowgate Classic for Game Boy Color), Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers tilts heavily toward puzzle-solving. You spend much of your time finding your way through the baffling labyrinth of Castle Shadowgate without drowning in sewers, plunging through false floors or being recaptured by your thuggish nemesis, the dungeon keeper.
You must scrutinize numerous books for clues and figure out what to do with dozens of bizarre items such as the Dragon Tears. Instead of battling enemies, you use your whiles to extract information and goodies from the souls populating the seemingly deserted castle. These include Rastolin, a sorcerer; elfin guards who bar your efforts to exit the castle; and even a wall adorned with a sphinx-like sculpture that, like the original Sphinx, poses baffling riddles.
The action takes place through the breadth and width of the castle, from the fetid catacombs below the dungeon, to elegant throne rooms above, to the abandoned cemetery and the network of pits surrounding the keep.
East Coast development shop Infinite Ventures reunited the original design team for Shadowgate NES and worked hard to create a brooding 3-D world. Nicely foreboding touches include rats skittering down empty halls and sumptuous tapestries in the royal quarters.
If you think quickly on your feet and crave a fantastic challenge, an engrossing adventure awaits.
Contributed by Evil Ryu (61004) on Aug 17, 2005.