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Video Game: Atlantis The Lost Tales
Atlantis: The Lost Tales is a fantasy adventure game from CryoInteractive, released in 1997. The game is similar to Myst, and has four sequels: Atlantis II (Beyond Atlantis outside Europe) (1999), Atlantis III: The New World (Beyond Atlantis II) (2001), Atlantis Evolution (2004) and The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy (2006). The series has a Flying Ship as its signature vessel, at least for the first three games.

The following article explains the story of the games, so watch out for SPOILERS.

Atlantis: The Lost Tales follows the story of Seth, one of the Queen's new Companions, the personal guardians of the Queen of Atlantis. He discovers after he arrives that the Queen disappeared a few days prior. It turns out a power struggle is taking place between the Queen and the Guards of the Consul. The leader of the Guards, Creon, wishes to replace the current goddess of the moon, Ammu, the most worshipped of Atlantis' gods, with Sa'at, the sun god, and ultimately wants to conquer the world in the name of Sa'at, using a new superweapon.

The weapon is revealed to be half of a crystal that is capable of granting immense knowledge to its holder. Long ago, the crystal was split into Light and Dark halves, and the halves were hidden in Easter Island and Stonehenge, respectively. Creon found the Dark Crystal, which has a side effect of driving its holder mad. Seth retrieves the Light crystal from Easter Island, then returns to Atlantis to face Creon. After Creon's defeat, the weapon he built causes a volcano on Atlantis to erupt. Seth and a few survivors are seen sailing away from Atlantis as it is destroyed by the volcano.

Atlantis II, or Beyond Atlantis, is mostly a sequel In Name Only, although Atlantis does make a short appearance in its more traditional (sunken) form. Ten, the Bearer of Light, is sent on a quest to Shambhala to confront the Bearer of Dark so that balance can be returned to the Universe. To find Shambhala, he must gather several pieces that make up the "road to Shambhala" from different locations and time periods: China, Ireland and the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.

You begin aboard a ship in the mountains of Tibet, which acts as a home base. As the pieces are found and put in place, Ten is mystically transported to exotic locations and will posess different characters. The different locations are based on local mythologies and have their own atmosphere.

The character in the Yucatán chapter is Tepec, a loyal follower of a local city's king. Tepec's kingdom is in trouble because its protector-god, Quetzalcoatl (the Feathered Serpent), has fallen asleep and as a result great misfortunes happen to the kingdom; the corn crop is dying and a rival king makes a campaign to conquer Tepec's kingdom. So Tepec is assigned with the mission to go to the land of the dead, Xibalba, and awaken Quetzalcoatl to receive chulel, the divine blood which has life giving powers.

In Ireland, Ten is transformed into Felim, a monk living in an Irish monastery in the early centuries of Christianity. He discovers a living remain of an ancient Irish king and then begins interacting with a set of characters from an old myth which is written in a book in the monastery library. His final goal is to help the characters get to the end of the story.

In the Chinese chapter, Ten is in the body of a traveling Chinese civil servant who is stuck in a monastery because a ghost-shadow is blocking the entrance. As water supplies are running short, he decides to use the help of the Master of Directions to travel to a Chinese version of the land of the dead to consult an immortal excorcism master.

Shamballa, a mythic place, is the penultimate level, which acts as a final screen of protection between the home base and the Dark's prison. Queen Rhea, the same as in the first game, is waiting there to link the story between the two games and guide Ten to the final level of the game, which is no other than the submerged Atlantis.

Atlantis III: The New World (or Beyond Atlantis II) is the next game in the series. While "Atlantis" is in the title, the name is only mentioned as the origin of the Crystal Skull that the story revolves about. Aside from this and the existance of magic crystals, there is no connection to the other games.

In the year 2020, a young archaeologist tracks Egyptian ruins in a desert fast from Egypt, near a well. She joins forces with a local nomad who wants to kill the foreigners that refuse his people access to it, the leader of which is an archaeologist who has found a Crystal Skull that contains an important secret. When the main character manages to open a door the villain couldn't, he forces her to use the skull and find the secret for him.

The story turns to other people who have had contact with the Crystal Skull, specifically a prehistoric Siberian woman and a medieval Persian thief. The three of them obtain parts of the secret, and the main character learns a way to teleport herself and communicate telepathically. She is asked to share the secret with others as she sees fit.

After CryoInteractive went under, all seemed lost for the series. However, Atlantis Interactive Entertainment picked up the series and made a sequel, titled Atlantis Evolution.

Near the beginning of the 20th century, a 25-year-old journalist named Curtis Hewitt returns home from Patagonia. On his journey, he encounters a storm, which brings him to the world of Atlantis. Here he meets the native people and embarks on a quest to free them from their tyrannical gods.

The last game in the series, The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy, takes part in 1937. Howard Brooks, a young aeronautical engineer, returns from a conference in Germany. On board the Hindenburg zeppelin taking him to New York, Howard is attacked by members of an occult sect. When Howard wakes up, he finds himself alone. Eventually he meets a man claiming to have followed him for a long time, and that he and Howard are the last ones left on the zeppelin.

He soon learns that these cultists covet the mysterious secret of a forgotten civilization of which, it seems, he is the heir. Convinced that Howard has a key element of their research, they decide to set a trap for him. Caught up by his past, Howard sets out on an adventure that leads him, by turns, to several locations: Macao, an Indian palace, a temple in Mesopotamia, the Empire State Building in New York and, finally, the lost continent of Atlantis.

Tropes found in these games:

  • Adventure Game
  • Alternate Landmark History: The Stonehenge was built to keep the Hidden Knowledge imprisoned.
  • Ancient Egypt / Ancient Greece: Atlantean architecture and clothing styles seem to be a mix of the two.
  • Anthology Film: The second and third games are the video game equivalent to this, as they tell multiple stories tied together by a few connecting threads.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: Ten, the main character in the second game has one on his left palm. The people whose bodies he possesses get it as well while he does.
  • Bound and Gagged: Anna, when the Inuits (or their ancestors) capture her to be sacrificed.
  • But Thou Must: You have the option to refuse the main quest or make the wrong choice many times during the game. It results in a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The Chinese Hell in Beyond Atlantis.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Where the Hidden Knowledge is. A ritual unearths it as a metal Oracular Head.
  • Crystal Skull: The story of the third game revolves around one.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: The origins of the statues are uncovered in the first game.
  • Evil Chancellor: Creon in the first game, who kidnaps the Queen to become King.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Ammu and Sa'at in the first game, Zanat and the other fake gods in the fourth.
  • God Guise: Seth takes a god's statue's mask and pretends to be him to scare the Inuits.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: After Anna is captured she is seen wearing a tiny metal bikini.
    Seth: I like the costume, Anna.
    Anna: So does Creon.
  • A Hell of a Time: Neither the Chinese or Mayan underworld has anything beyond mild annoyance. Occasionally.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Seth and Anna.
  • Hindenburg: It plays an important part in the fifth game and doesn't come to an unfortunate end.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Creon gets eaten by the monster he unleashed.
  • Instant Expert: In the first game, Seth acquires the power to command the crystals that power a lot of Atlantean machines. He immediately learns how to fly a flyer.
  • Matriarchy: Atlantean society considers women more important than men, without being sexist. Until the villains take over, when both of these things change.
  • No Name Given: None of the names of the characters in the third game are mentioned.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: The series goes from prehistoric (for us) times, to medieval times, to the future (2020), to the beginning of the 20th century and finally to 1937.
  • Non Standard Game Over: See But Thou Must above.
  • Power Crystal: The crystals that drive all of the Atlantean technology and also have other abilities.
  • Protagonist Without A Past: Seth, the main character in the first game, seems to be from Atlantis but is unfamiliar with the main city and no mention is made about where he came from.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Seth is the newest member of the Queen's Companions and turns out to be the one who plays an important role in history.
  • The Creon: Subverted by Creon in the first game. He's actually The Starscream to the queen.
  • The Maze: The challenge of champions. You have to remember where you saw the Minotaur too because these places are unsafe even after he's gone.

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alternative title(s): Atlantis The Lost Tales
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