Explore the limits of Adventure ... And Beyond
Besides being the "father" of the satellite communications, Arthur C. Clarke
has the particularity of being one of the most popular science-fiction writers of the 20th century. His novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, brought to Hollywood by director Stanley Kubrick in 1968, encountered tremendous success from the public, which, with the long series of science-fiction books he published later, raised the reputation of Clarke to a worldwide awareness. Published by Sierra On Line
and inspired by the series of the same name, Rama is the first game based on Clarke's work. The series started with "Rendez-vous with Rama
" and today contains three additional titles co-written in a period of ten years by Gentry Lee, Clarke's friend and ex-NASA engineer. Lee is the person responsible for the idea to create a game that would propel players into the mystical universe of Rama. With the help and contribution of Clarke himself, the Rama project became a reality, and is now available as an adventure game that is truly captivating.
Rama is the name given to a huge cylindrical space ship that one day entered into our solar system. Even though the time is 200 hundreds years in the future ahead of our time, there has been no contacts with extraterrestrial life yet. For many, Rama represented the only hope to establish contact with another intelligent life form. For this purpose, a multi-disciplinary team was organized and intensely trained to be ready for the exploration of the city-size vessel. Still, when the date of the departure arrived, none of the team's members were prepared for the amazing encounters they would make in Rama, nor the fascinating world they would explore. The International Space Agency (ISA) did not plan for you would become a part of the mission, but the brutal and mysterious death of the mission commander Valeriy Borzov had for consequence that you were sent as a replacement astronaut to join the crew on Rama. When looking through the window of your ship as it was approaching the enormous black structure of Rama, you wondered what would await you in Rama. Somehow, you hoped you would find an answer to the essential questions you kept asking yourself. Why was it sent, and by who?
This game provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: Janos Tabori and Hiro Yamanaka although the two characters are said to be present in some unseen capacity. Another character explains the reason for this in-Universe. This game already had an impressively large cast for its time. And it would have been cost prohibitive to cast more actors.
- Alien Geometries: There's a sense of this, the interior of Rama using cylindrical coordinates. 'Up' and 'down' are towards and away from its rotation axis. Gravity reducing to zero at the hub doesn't help.
- Alternative Number System: Involves solving mathematical puzzles based on the native number systems of the Avians (base 16) and Octospiders (base 8).
- Ambient: The music, composed by Charles Barth, definitely fits the atmosphere.
- Ascended Extra: Irina Turgenyev
- Big Dumb Object: Rama
- Clarke's Third Law
- Convenient Replacement Character: You are the replacement after the death of a fellow astronaut.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Octospiders.
- Featureless Protagonist
- The Game of the Book: Rendezvous with Rama (specifically, the sequel Rama II).
- Gossipy Hen: Irinia Turgenyev. Very unlike her counterpart from the book.
- Have a Nice Death: If you run out of time for the time bomb Clarke himself tells you that there is a way to stop them.
- Hidden Depths: Turgenyev is the most unlike her book counterpart. Probably because the book gave her little characterization other than to say how quiet she was.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: If its on the ground or in someones locker pick it up and take it with you.
- Medium Blending: CGI and live-action.
- Museum of the Strange and Unusual: There is one on borad with staple items from each alien race.
- Nuclear Option: Three nuclear bombs are placed inside Rama as a safe guard against it being a threat to earth.
- Pixel Hunt: Items needed to progress the game are often small often overlooked spots in your vision.
- Reactionless Drive
- Redundant Researcher: Played With: While you cant complete the game without help from the npcs(who get work done when your not around), its up to you to do the heavy lifting(read: puzzle solving).
- Scenery Porn
- Sequel Hook: Unlike the book which the author never planed sequels, Clarke tells the player that in the not to distant future, that well have another chance of visiting Rama.
- Shout-Out: Pigeons from Hell
- Sinister Silhouettes: The intro.
- Solve the Soup Cans: Solve the number or shape sequence.
- Songs in the Key of Lock: Avian voice player and tuning forks are used as keys late in the game.
- Starfish Language: Used as another puzzle element.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
- Time Abyss: The Rama.
- Timed Mission
- Woolseyism: The less likeable aspects of some of the characters Sabatini, Wilson, Brown are left out of the game. David Brown, however, still does come off as a bit of aJerkass.