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"The past, forever locked in regret. But what if the past could be changed?"
Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is a somewhat obscure point-click adventure game set on the Titanic. You begin the game as Frank Carlson, a British ex-secret agent currently not enjoying retirement during the London Blitz of World War 2, having been fired over failing his duty to uncover a conspiracy upon the Titanic thirty years ago. As he wistfully ponders upon his failure, his apartment is hit by the blitz, and he burns to death. Oh well.But wait, there's more! Carlson has been given a second chance by unseen forces to travel back in time to the Titanic, on that fateful night when it sank, in order to complete his mission. Despite not understanding how he's managed to return back to the past, he must now strive to set things right and, by completing his mission properly, change the future for the better. Literally.Set within a first-person perspective similar to that of DOOM, you must navigate across the Titanic obtaining stolen items that you and your contact have been sent to recover, as well as deal with various other little objectives from both friends and mutual interests. In the end, you must escape the ship with all of your assigned objective items either intact with you or in someone else's good care, before the ship itself meets its fate. The game has a similar style to (and seems to take place in the same universe as) Dust: A Tale Of The Wired West from the same company.
This game provides examples of:
Aborted Arc: Close inspection of the subtitle files on the first disc reveal that two scenarios were cut from the sinking levels; one where you helped the photographer get his wife onto a lifeboat, and one where you somehow manage to get a ship to reach the Titanic before it sinks.
Alternate History: What the game essentially becomes, as well as six of the game's endings.
Avoiding The Great War: The player must recover three items from the Titanic before it sinks. One of the items recovered prevents the Black Hand from getting funds, and thus World War I never happens. Of course, depending on if you recover the other two items, this will impact how well Hitler or the Soviets do twenty years later.
Bag of Holding: Your bag, obviously. The Purser also becomes this; he will store any items you want to give him. This is useful when you want to hide away any items you DON'T want stolen off you, such as the Rubaiyat.
Cosmic Keystone: The painting, the notebook and the diamond necklace are all absolutely vital in obtaining for the best ending, for the sake of the future.
Each of these objects are directly linked to a major war of the 20th century. Obtaining the painting prevents World War II because the painting was made by Hitler, and the following fame from his painting surviving the Titanic will encourage him to not become a bitter dictator.
The notebook contains a list of anti-Czarists and as such will prevent the Russian Revolution.
The real necklace taken from Georgia Lambeth, if not taken back from Sascha Barbicon, will be used to fund the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, causing the first World War.
Deadpan Snarker: Mr. Gorse-Jones. His wife tries to be one, with...mixed results.
Good Old Fisticuffs: The fight with Vlad in the boiler room is nothing but straight-up pugilism...at least until after knocking him out when you try to head back through the boiler room and he bludgeons you with a wrench.
Good Shepherd: The Reverend Edgar Troutt, returning from a religious mission in Nyasaland. He refuses to leave the ship while there are women and children on board and as such, goes down with the ship dutifully consoling the doomed passengers until the very end. He also confesses to the player that he actually bought his ticket for the Titanic by siphoning funds from the mission in Nyasaland.
Hostage for MacGuffin: During the last chapter, Zeitel demands you hand over the painting in exchange for the antidote to save Georgia Lambeth.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: For a colonel, Zeitel's a poor shot, as you may find out first-hand up in the smokestack. His aim improves considerably, however, if you refuse to trade the painting for the antidote to save Georgia.
Kubrick Stare: Vlad Demonic's got one, and he never lets upon it.
MacGuffin: First the Rubaiyat, THEN the painting, THEN the notebook become this. One of them is not needed at the end, and another item, the necklace at first looks like a side-quest, but is absolutely vital in obtaining.
The item in question is the Rubaiyat. Despite it being your entire mission on the ship, it is actually not needed to get the best ending, even if you can take it with you. It can however be used to play a high-stakes game with Buick Riviera for the La Morte tarot card. The best ending requires you to obtain the painting, the notebook and the real necklace...or at least keep it out of the villains' hands.
Maybe Ever After: One of the stokers - talking with any of them brings up the same person - implies that he's in or pursuing a relationship with Shailagh Hacker, but the game endings make no mention of whether he survived the sinking and got together with her.
Motor Mouth: "But my dear it's Daisy Cashmore, don't you remember me, I simply must tell you the latest news about-OH can't talk there's the Gorse-Jones waddling away, ta-ra dear!"
Mrs. Exposition: Penny Pringle, your contact onboard the Titanic, relays you information on what your current objectives are.
Multiple Endings: The best ending is a perfect future without World War 1, 2 or the Russian Revolution. The worst ending is you drowning with the ship. Every other ending inbetween you will die in your apartment from either the Blitz (again), Nazis, Soviets or the Atomic Bomb.
Also, in the ending in which you recover none of the items, yet manage to make it off the ship, history plays out as it did in real life.
Red Herring: Despite being quite a prevalent storyline, what happens to Shailagh Hacker's baby has absolutely no effect on what ending you get, other than a small note of what happens to the baby in the ending. However, if you don't have the painting at that point, Jack Hacker will have it, and trade you it for getting the baby back.
Shown Their Work: Frank Carlson was an actual passenger on the Titanic, but he was not a secret agent. He actually never made it onto the ship due to a delay but his name is still in the passenger register.
There actually WAS a priceless copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam onboard the Titanic. It still remains lost to this day.
The final sinking animation was so detailed (given the graphical limitations of mid-1990s home computers) and so faithful to actual accounts of the sinking that clips from it were used in at least several documentaries about the Titanic.
Somewhat averted by a few errors concerning the layout of the ship, such as most of the first class public rooms in the game actually being borrowed from the Titanic's sister ship Olympic, or the fact that the control room in the stern did not exist. Also, the real ship's Third Officer was named Pitman, not Morrow, and survived the sinking. But considering everything else it got right, it's forgiveable.
Sword Fight: At one point, you get to fence with Willie von Haderlitz.
Timed Mission: In the last part of the game, you have until 2:00am to find all of the items you've been looking for, and escape the sinking Titanic upon a lifeboat. If you don't reach a boat by then, you will be left behind to eventually drown with the ship itself.
Not only is this rather realistic as the last lifeboat from the actual Titanic was launched around 2:00am, but also, like in the game, it took several minutes for the ship itself to actually sink after that. Just like in real life, you will drown with the ship at 2:10am. Yes, the game actually gives you full control of yourself to try and run all over the ship while waiting for your inevitable fate.
Videogame Caring Potential: You don't need to find and rescue Shailagh Hacker's baby OR save Georgia Lambeth. But if you can get more people off this ship, why shouldn't you?
You Can't Fight Fate: Generally averted with this game, except for the fact that no matter what you do, you will NEVER be able to prevent the Titanic from sinking. Even if you go into the bridge and turn the wheel yourself, the most that you'll do is get kicked out and the ship being put back on course.
This is also true for Andrew Conkling. No matter what he does, he's always doomed to die; either by being shot in the last hours or by being trapped aboard the Titanic when all the boats are gone.