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Video Game / Altered Destiny

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Altered Destiny is a Point-and-Click Game (though the player interacts with it via Text Parser) released by Accolade in 1990 for the Amiga and IBM Personal Computer.
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Picking up his TV from the repair shop the night of his stay at home date, Yuppie middle manager PJ Barrett is alarmed to find his set was mixed up with the one belonging to the Conan lookalike leaving the store as he drove up. He's sucked in and transported to the planet Daltere, where he learns the omnipotent Jewel of Light has driven the alien Helmar insane. If PJ wants to make his date, he'll have to stop Helmar from destroying the world.


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This game provides examples of:

  • Acid Pool: The main hazard PJ has to negotiate in the Dream Sequence.
  • An Axe to Grind: A weapon PJ can wield.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Jewel of Light drove Helmar crazy and it kills PJ if he even touches it.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Lantra, who nurtures crystals with the light her body gives off.
  • Blind Without 'Em: The wise but nearsighted keeper of the scrolls, Towhee. Gives PJ an extra vital clue that he wouldn't otherwise in return for a lens to aid his eyesight.
  • Cain and Abel: Helmar and JonQuah, the alien who accidentally summoned PJ, although it's mostly Helmar being driven insane under the influence of the Jewel of Light. After his brother's freed the two of them are able to safely control its power together.
  • Covered in Gunge: PJ has to cover himself in alien slime to keep from being killed by thorn-shooting plants in the last area.
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  • For Want of a Nail: Instead of the rugged warrior Daltere was expecting, PJ has to save their planet because the guy at the repair shop mixed up their TVs, giving us our title.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: You'll probably die from falling off ledges more than everything else put together.
  • Guide Dang It!: As is to be expected from an early-90s graphic adventure game, a lot of the puzzles are extremely obtuse and can only be reasonably solved through trial-and-error.
  • Heli-Critter: Birds on Daltere fly by spinning their tails like rotors.
  • Hub Level: The crossroads under the island in the sky. It connects every major area in the game.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The aptly-named Canyons of Fear (although the actual meaning of the name is pretty literal), where it's one of the easiest places to die in the game.
  • Light Is Not Good: As noted the source of both the villain's power and his insanity is the Jewel of Light.
  • Literal Metaphor: When Vindah warns you watch out for natural springs he means spring-like creatures called Hoppa. When he talks about facing your fear he means floating blobs called Fears
  • Man in a Kilt: PJ squeezes an alien like bagpipes to drive off danger near the end of the game, gaining a kilt and tam o'shanter out of nowhere in the process.
  • Meaningful Name: Because of the circumstances involving his transportation, PJ spends the entire game in his silk pajamas. Likewise the Silencer, a device that deadens noises that kill you if you don't have it.
  • Mirrors Reflect Everything: PJ needs to use a mirror he found earlier to reflect Helmar's attack with the Jewel of Light to win the final confrontation.
  • Noodle Incident: What's the story with the Barbarian Hero who JonQuah meant to summon?
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: PJ, as he gets sucked through the portal right before his girlfriend's sleepover date.
  • Power Crystal: Apparently a semi-common thing on Daltere; the Jewel of Light that corrupted Helmar proved a dangerously powerful example of its kind.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: When you bring Vindah a bird for him to do a divination, "Puttin' on the Ritz" plays over it.
  • Satchel Switcheroo: PJ ends up having to save the universe because the TV repair guy accidentally mixed up his tag with the warrior the people of Daltere were actually hoping for.
  • Seers: Vindah, the oracle who offers PJ advice at various points throughout the game (and also the gatekeeper on the game's Copy Protection).
  • Shout-Out: Before the game's Dream Sequence level, PJ dreams of a bunch of old TV shows, including Gilligan's Island, I Spy, My Three Sons, and The Lone Ranger.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: What PJ's girlfriend says she'll be doing while he's firing up the TV and gets sucked to Daltere.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Accidentally, since PJ ended up with the interdimensional TV the actual hero they were hoping for was supposed to get (hence the title).
  • Taught by Television: Because of all the PBS specials he's watched on foreign languages, PJ can read the alien writing used on Daltere.
  • Television Portal: PJ gets sucked to Daltere through his borrowed TV set.
  • Transflormation: PJ will start turning into a tree if he gets Hoppa pollen on him.
  • Trapped in Another World: PJ is given the wrong TV at a repair shop in the opening Cut Scene. When turned on at his home, it literally pulls him inside and transports him into an alien realm. This is not what he thought the salesman meant by "You'll be sucked right into the screen"...
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Alnar, whose hands secrete acid to shape metal, and who can make an elaborate cage trap for you in what appears to be the span of a few minutes.
  • Worthy Opponent: How Helmar sees PJ for making it all the way to the end, and gives him a fair chance to defend himself instead of just blowing him away.
  • Wrecked Weapon: If PJ uses his sword to chop down trees to solve one puzzle, it works, but renders the sword useless for a duel with a monster later in the game.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: At the end of the game JonQuah and Helmar note PJ's girlfriend won't even know he's been gone after they send him back.


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