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The Secret of Alamut
Continuation of  "The Legend of the Prophet and the Assassin
"
by Arxel Tribe/Wanadoo

A review by slydos   24. May 2001

 

The menu
The menu

Who, like me, played the first part of the game - "The Legend of the Prophet and the Assassin", is downright forced to buy and play this second part of the story too, the continuation by the name of "The Secret of Alamut", to finally learn, if Tancred de Nérac will manage to find and kill the prophet Simon de Lancroix whom he hated and pursued.

By the way Simon de Lancroix is the hero of the 1997 by Arxel Tribe under the cooperation of Paulo Coelho developed adventure "Pilgrim". Through Legend 1and 2 we get to know that young, sense-seeking Simon must have matured to a prophet, although not loved by everyone.

Here again the story about Tancred de Nčrac, a man, driven by destiny and searching for freedom:
Tancred has lived several lives, once reverential and righteous, he turned his back upon his knightly order and lead together with his companion Caradoc a gang of robbers and plunderers. From that time on - after his curved sword - he was called As Sayf. But with each victory hopelesness grew in his heart. When he then heard about the legendary city of Jébus, founded by Simon de Lancroix, where all people would live in harmony - he believed this could give his live a new sense. But again he became heavily disappointed, because the city was abandoned and Simon never moved in. Therefore he swore revenge to the false prophet and started a hard and dangerous search for him.

In the first game (The Legend of  ...) his search lead him from Jčbus to Jerusalem and finally into the desert, where he joined a caravan. Here the game stopped very abruptly and the story is taken up by Part 2 (The Secret of Alamut) at this very point after the repetition of the end scene.

As Sayf or Tancred assumed, that Simon was hiding in the citadel of the assassins in Alamut. We will accompany him on his perilous way to get there. Will he find Simon? Will he finally face his biggest enemy, namely himself? The story of As-Sayf is told in 5 chapters by the poet and vagabond Kyot.

 

with care and speed
with care and speed

Loading a saved game
Loading a saved game

Camp-fire of the caravan
Camp-fire of the caravan

After the very easy installation of the game, which requires 290 MB on hard disk, we again find the well-known user interface from part 1, which is very comfortable and easy to handle. The game is throughly mouse-driven. The cursor changes its shape depending on the possibilities, which are available at certain locations. It shows, in which direction you can move, if you can talk to characters, if you can take or use objects or can interact in any way.

A click with the right mouse button brings up the two-pieced inventory at the top of the screen. It consists of the areas "Bag" and "Action". In the "Bag" objects, which you receive or find, are stowed away and they could also be combined here with each other. In the area "Action" you can find the two weapons of Tancred and a shield with which you can place questions or give answers if necessary.

On the very right you find a symbol that leads to the main menu. There you can create unlimited savegames, which are stored together with the text and a screenshot.

The game inspires by fantastic graphics and animations, drawing a beautiful picture of the partly wonderful, partly merciless desert world! 1001 nights meets Laurence of Arabia - no exaggeration. It's an eye-candy to move in 360-degrees-vision through the fabulous locations. The videoclips and camera movements are really movie-like,  supported by the different, perfect fitting arab-oriental music themes in 3D-sound.

The promised lip-synchronicity was kept almost throughout, nevertheless the characters look stiff in the whole, since except the face there is no moving, no gesture. That could be worked out more.

The story of As-Sayf is excitingly and suspenseful told from the first to the last minute and keeps some surprises ready. It's simply impossible to get bored by this story. You can never be sure what is lurking behind the next corner - is it a wonder or death! Therefore I must recommend to save the game often. Tancred can die a multiplicity of deaths - each time commentated by our story teller Kyot.

The secret of Alamut hardly has direct action parts, where you have to show your reaction skills with the exception of a few timed sequences, where you simply have to do the right things fast. But don't be afraid - these sequences are rare and require in the first line thinking and combination.

The puzzles are throughout logical and are increasing smoothly in their difficulty level until the end of the game. It is important to really examine everything. Most of the puzzles are inventory- or object-based.

The exciting story as well as the fantastic graphics and the puzzles which seamlessly fit, make a total enjoyment. There is no raised educative index finger (e. g. no integrated historical encyclopedia like in Pilgrim). The flowing and ongoing of the game is not interrupted here by looking up and reading,   you can rather dive into the pictures and the story, which are so involving from the beginning. Although The Secret of Alamut takes place in the historical background of the time after the crusades, it is more a story about morals, ethics, psychology and emotions. By the example of one man the destiny of many people is reflected, who are seeking for the meaning of life or perhaps at last for their personal luck in religion, fight and crime.

With which I must come to the negative point: I played The Secret of Alamut from the beginning to the end in 11 hours without assistance! It is simply because they made two games out of one just because of business reasons. Shame on you - Arxel Tribe! If they would have sold the whole game (The Legend of the Prophet and the Assassin and The Secret of Alamut) as one, the price of 70,-- to 80,-- DM would have been fair. But here the gamers are forced - to understand the story - to fetch their purses a second time. This is pure cut-throating and besides this a homogeneous game is simply cut into pieces for double money! Who doesn't want to support this kind of business, should hold back with buying the game until there will be a cheaper double-pack available.

However I enjoyed the game very much, a total of 11 hours of gameplay doesn't correspond to a whole price - sorry, but it's only half a game. I give a total rating of  71%.

Rating system:

  • 80% - 100%  excellent game, very recommendable
  • 70% - 79%    good game, recommendable
  • 60% - 69%    satisfactory, restricted recommendable
  • 50% - 59%    sufficient (not very recommendable)
  • 40% - 49%    rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only)
  • 0%  -  39%    worst (don't put your fingers on it)

 

Homepage
Boxshots
Review The Legend of the Prophet and the Assassin
Review Pilgrim

 

 

Minimal system requirements:

  • Windows 95/98 or 2000
  • 32 MB
  • 16 bit- colour graphic card (recommended 24 bits)
  • Soundcard compatible with Soundblaster
  • Pentium 200 MMX or higher
  • Hard disk space 290 MB
  • 2 MB video RAM

played on:

  • Windows 95
  • P II 233 Mhz
  • 64 MB RAM
  • 4 MB graphic card

Copyright © slydos for Adventure-Archiv, 24. May 2001

A heavenly beauty
A heavenly beauty

The facial lineaments of tis mysterious man remind of the seducer Mephisto (Faust - The 7 Games of the Soul)
The facial lineaments of tis mysterious man remind of the seducer Mephisto (Faust - The 7 Games of the Soul)

A fine seat
A fine seat

Monestary of St. Katharina
Monestary of St. Katharina

Ghostly hour
Ghostly hour

The city of the dead warriors
The city of the dead warriors

Only a likeness of Simon
Only a likeness of Simon

Duplicate or original?
Duplicate or original?

More screenshots

 

 

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