Lost Eden tells the story of Adam of Mo, a young human prince tasked with rebuilding the severed alliances between dinosaurs and man and uniting the world under a single banner in order to defy the evil Moorkus Rex, leader of a tyrannosaur army threatening to subjugate the entire world. Except... he didnít really look like a t-rex? That part was a little weird.
The point is, the t-rexes were the bad guys, and the velociraptors were the good guys. As a youth devoted to the point of obsession with Jurassic Park, this was clearly right up my alley.
Lost Eden was not a particularly great adventure game. It didnít have the unique humor of a LucasArts title, nor did it have the compelling arhitecture or attention to detail found in Myst. It didn't even really possess the charm of a Kingís Quest. What it did have was dinosaurs. A generous helping of dinosaurs.
While the gameplay and puzzles were not particularly interesting or challenging, there were a couple of elements that worked well. Its narrative, while mostly predictable (itís called Lost Eden, you play a guy named Adam... is anybody surprised when Eve shows up?), does have a couple of poignant moments: the reaction of your dinosaur companions to the discovery that their cultureís great prophecy for the future spells doom for their races has the appropriate gravitas, and a moment in which the hero poisons himself to journey to the land of the dead is pretty cool.
The game also had a really interesting new-agey score by Stephane Picq. Some of the tracks sound like B-sides from Pure Moods, but on the whole, they contribute greatly to the gameís excellent, brooding atmosphere. Also there is a track called ďVelociraptor Ride,Ē which, come on. It was compelling enough that I actually tracked down the soundtrack on the internet five or six years after playing the game and had it shipped from France. Importantly, because CD-ROM games were a relatively new phenomenon, the music sounded unbelievably different than anything else I was used to hearing in games.
Here are a couple tracks, to show you what Iím talking about:
The main theme:
Would I recommend that other people track down Lost Eden and give it a go for themselves? Eh, probably not. Weíre busy people, and it isnít what Iíd call a forgotten classic. Itís important to me, however, because it demonstrates just how varied our gaming histories are--none of us can claim to have played all of the classics, for one, but all of us--especially those of us who have been gaming since we were very small--have played many, many games. As children, when we were less discerning, we exposed ourselves to a higher-than-usual proportion of flawed-but-interesting pieces.
As someone whoís interested in the whole history of the medium, Iím fascinated by all of the forgotten games of our collective childhoods. How many games have you played that were, by all accounts, not great--but have stuck in your memory anyway, informing your tastes as a gamer and occupying a special place in your heart? Iíd be willing to bet that each of us has quite a few.
Anyhow, hereís ďVelociraptor Ride.Ē
This post originally appeared at The Lost Levels.