The Labyrinth of Time
From the ancient past to the distant future. The web of history is the ultimate labyrinth.
was a 1993 Adventure Game
made by Terra Nova Development.
You're an office worker living a dull, dreary life, but on the subway ride home one gray Friday the ghost of Daedalus
suddenly pulls you out of the normal world. He explains King Minos has enslaved him to build a Labyrinth even greater than the one he built in the ancient days of Crete. This one bridges time and space, and allows Minos to invade all eras and conquer them with his supernatural powers. Daedalus begs the player to find a way to the heart of the labyrinth and destroy it before Minos can finalize his conquest.
Unfortunately for Terra Nova they released the game at about the same time
and The 7th Guest
, leaving Labyrinth of Time
virtually ignored. To this day only hardcore adventure fans are likely to know it even exists.
Currently freely available for Amiga
, and available for purchase on all major computer platforms
as well as iOS
The Labyrinth of Time provides examples of:
- Alien Geometries: The Surreal Maze maps roughly to the shape of a sphere despite nothing even remotely suggesting that shape.
- Individual rooms in the Surreal Maze, however, are symmetrical and highly geometric... just not by any geometry known to man.
- All Myths Are True: Greek mythology? Yep. Mayan sorcerers? Sure! King Arthur? That too.
- Ancient Tomb: The discovery of King Minos's tomb is critical to the plot. Because of the labyrinth construction, his tomb is now located in a hotel.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Until Daedalus grabs you.
- Fifteen Puzzle: One of them acts as a door between one of the first areas in the game and one of the last.
- Hell Hotel: A seemingly deserted, unnamed hotel near the beginning of the game that abruptly cuts off and drops into nothingness.
- The Ghost: You never actually encounter Minos; the most you hear about him is a note in an orbital library after he gives the world an ultimatum.
- Malt Shop: There's one of these among the many incongruous locations in the game. It's sandwiched between the Medieval maze and the hedge maze, naturally.
- The Maze: The game is essentially one large maze. The final area, located in the center of the game map, is even called Maze Center. The re-release made this even more explicit by adding "breadcrumbs" you can follow.
- Missing Secret: Some doors can never be unlocked. Given the game's convoluted layout, this is probably intentional.
- Useless Items are everywhere, maliciously so. In fact, roughly half the items in the game serve no purpose. The champions of this are the sword (conspicuously placed at the end of a large puzzle, possibly to distract you from the invaluable lantern nearby) and the alien belt (incredibly ornamental and interactive, does nothing).
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Spoofed with the sword in the stone. You can pull it out, but there's no use for it.
- Patchwork World: Parts of the past, present, and future have been jammed together in chaotic ways.
- Place Beyond Time: Destroying the labyrinth causes time and space to unravel, leaving you in an empty void outside of existence.
- The unmade sequel's title implies that this is actually Dream Land.
- Self-Insert Fic: According to an article in a futuristic library, Terra Nova Development (the company that created the game) eventually became the space travel conglomerate New Worlds Development, which set up space stations and moon colonies and essentially controls the world. All in part because of the resounding success of Labyrinth.
- Turns into Death by Cameo. The library article later mentions the gruesome deaths of the Terra Nova Development team at the hands of an unruly car.
- Sinister Geometry: The Maze Center building is topped with a striking pyramid fractal. Sure enough, it's the site of the keystone that holds the Labyrinth together (and it's also the game's iOS icon).
- Shout-Out: The makers apparently liked The Wizard of Oz, The Maltese Falcon and the Marx Brothers.
- Solve the Soup Cans: Downplayed. There are a number of inexplicable mazes scattered throughout the game that you are required to complete multiple times. But come on, this is a game about labyrinths.
- Unwinnable by Design: Don't use your quarter in the fortunetelling game... make a phone call. Not as bad as it might be since it's so close to the beginning of the game.
- Towards the middle/end of the game, if you enter the Surreal Maze without taking a lantern hidden behind the open door that you entered a room through, you're stuck. This is especially cruel given that the confusing maze is a natural point to stop playing and resume later.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The ominous Maze Center, which can be seen throughout the game.
- World of Chaos: The Surreal Maze which defies your map and goes on infinitely unless you can find the one way out.