Video Game / Eco Quest
EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus

EcoQuest is a series of two adventure games by Sierra, designed primarily for younger audiences. The story follows Adam Greene, a young boy and son of an ecologist, who has a remarkable tendency to meet talking animals and be recruited to save their dying animal kingdoms from some hazard inflicted by mankind.

In the first game, "The Search for Cetus", Adam meets a talking Dolphin that's been nursed back to health at a Marine Biological Institution after being trapped in a fishing net. He releases the dolphin back into the wild, but the dolphin later comes back to request his aid. Adam travels to an underwater kingdom, consisting mostly of ancient grecian ruins, and populated by a wide variety of talking marine life (anything from manatees to clownfish seem to be able to hold an intelligent conversation here). It appears that the ruler of this kingdom, an old and wise sperm whale, has gone missing, and Adam must find him. To make matters worse, a gigantic manta ray mutated by a hidden underwater radioactive waste dump, has been terrorizing the kingdom and must be stopped. It is also notable for being the first game designed by Jane Jensen, creator of the Gabriel Knight series.

In the second game, Lost Secret of the Rainforest, Adam and his father travel to South America, where the father is going to work on developing sustainable nut agriculture. Adam falls asleep in a rowboat, and is quietly taken downriver by... you guessed it... a pair of talking river otters. He is now tasked with saving a gigantic ancient tree called "The Heart of the World" which is slowly dying. Adam meets a slew of talking amazonian wildlife, as well as a hidden village of natives. When the village and the huge tree are burned down by a ruthless and greedy poacher and his thugs, Adam travels to an ancient Inca city to retrieve a unique sapling which could one day grow to become a new "Heart of the World".

Both games are characterized by cartoonish character portraits and accessibility to children, and are some of the rare examples of Sierra games where the protagonist cannot die (no Have a Nice Death screen, otherwise a Sierra adventure staple). Both games also have a pixel-hunt side-quest where Adam must pick up litter (in both games) or record wildlife and ecological disturbances (in the second game). Expect a lot of Ecological Aesops, and yeah, talking animals.


  • A Boy and His X: Adam and Delphineus in the first game.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Several in the first game:
    • Adam's oxygen tank never runs out of air when underwater.
    • Adam can talk underwater.
    • Pressure depth doesn't have any effects on him.
  • Banana Republic: EcoQuest 2 is set in one, if how easily Slaughter bribes the guard at the beginning is any indication.
  • City of Gold: What Slaughter is after in EcoQuest 2. Subverted in that the true treasure is not gold, but Forest Heart's seedling.
  • Copy Protection: In EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus, the door's security code in the beginning of the game. In EcoQuest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest, the Shaman's face paint patterns.
  • Cutting the Knot: A few puzzles in the first game tempt you with complicated adventure game combining-items solutions, but can be solved by just literally cutting through something.
  • Everything Sensor: The Ecorder.
  • Evil Poacher: Maxim Slaughter, the villain in EcoQuest 2. His room is full of various endangered animal trophies.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The first game's antagonist is called "Flesh-Eater". It's made clear that the name is not just for fun.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: Befriending a dolphin is what leads the main character on his adventure.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Playing EcoQuest 2 with a computer that is too fast results in an "888.pal not found" error at a certain point in the game. This bug can be averted by using a slowdown utility.
  • Game Over: Unlike the vast majority of adventure games by Sierra, it's impossible to die or lose the game (except... see Unwinnable by Mistake, below).
  • Green Aesop: It's the whole point. Expect several of these per minute.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Delphineus makes these like they're going out of style.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Flesh-Eater seems to have brutally killed the pirate crew who harpooned Cetus.
  • Last Lousy Point: Each of the two games has a pixel-hunting minigame which requires you to keep your eyes open constantly.
  • Magical Native American: The Grove People.
  • Meaningful Name: Adam and Noah Greene. Considering these are games based around Green Aesops...
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Flesh Eater in the first game. Maxim Slaughter in EcoQuest 2.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: The Search for Cetus features a number of ocean creatures that are able to communicate with the human protagonist. The first one he meets is an injured dolphin named Delphineus.
  • Scare Chord: Flesh-Eater's theme from the first game.
  • Shout-Out: In EcoQuest 2: "All that is gold does not glitter." A reference to The Lord of the Rings.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The irradiated waste dump in the first game.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Adam spends 95% of the first game underwater. He's only wearing a couple of tiny oxygen tanks, but these will last indefinitely.
  • Talking Animal: Many, many, many, many.
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • Superfluous, the "Great Senator" hermit crab.
    • The sea turtle named "Erroneous". Also a Meaningful Name since you have to save him from his mistakes.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Do NOT forget to pick up the oil-dissolving bacteria at the start of the game. Pretty harsh considering that this is a game for children.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Adam spends the entire first game shirtless. Granted, he's wearing scuba gear the whole time...
  • Wham Line: "I got it!"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Flesh-Eater isn't really responsible for his actions, given that his mind has been mutated by toxic waste. It's suggested that once the poison is removed, he may return to being a harmless manta.
  • World Tree: The Forest Heart in the second game. You need to find a new one 'cause the old one's about to die. Oh and by the way - for some reason it can talk.