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Video Game / Amazon: Guardians of Eden

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Amazon: Guardians of Eden is an adventure video game for DOS by Access Software released in 1992. In it, you play as Jason Roberts, a researcher. His brother, Allen Roberts, has gone missing in an expedition to Amazon. After reading a coded message from him, Jason sets off to rescue him from "forces who will stop at nothing to get the information he has". Along the way, our hero meets Maya, a woman who seems to be more than meets the eye...

The game uses simple point-and-click controls with Look, Move, Take, Items, Climb, Talk, Exit icons. Movement is done with the arrow keys. There are points where you switch control between Jason and Maya, or when you have to canoe down the river. This is also one of the first games to support SVGA, beating even Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!, Sierra's first SVGA adventure game.

This game provides examples of:

  • The All-American Boy: The game says that Jason is considered by some to be an all-American boy. He is idealistic and somewhat athletic, managing to get through the Amazon to help his brother and later on to not let his brother's sacrifice go in vain, but he doesn't appear to have blue eyes, possibly due to graphic limitations.
  • Ant Assault: In the last playable chapter, a huge ant appears and it will cut Jason in half and devour him with ease should he get too close.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear shows up early on. It may eat Jason if he gets too close, but can be fooled somewhat easily with a garbage can.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: A huge ant appears near the end which is larger than even your character and can eat him with ease.
  • Cliffhanger: Every major section ends with a cliffhanger saying "Don't miss our next exciting chapter!"
  • Dialogue Tree: Certain conversations have you pick one of two or three responses. Sometimes it doesn't matter what you answer, sometimes it determines whether you progress or die. You can also offer items if necessary.
  • Digitized Sprites: Every character in the game is an actor turned into a sprite, though sometimes their eyes and faces in general are digitally altered.
  • Does Not Like Men: Maya seems to be disgusted by men, as seen when Jason rescues her and, when he says he did so because he needs her help, she tells him that she knew all men are pigs. That's because she's a scout of the Amazon tribe Jason is seeking, and the men they have met have always treated them badly, including rape and theft. She does feel compassion towards Allen and eventually Jason, though.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Chapter 5 is called "Flight of Doom". It's also the only one with "Doom" in the title.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Darlene is afraid of rats which is why she hates Jason's work. When a rat is placed next to her by him, she shrieks, lifts her hands, and runs away.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Colonel Sanchez is the evil man who took control of the village and antagonises the heroes, but his actor puts the most emotion into his lines, especially when he shouts "Kill them all!".
  • Fat Bastard: Colonel Sanchez is the portliest character in the game as well as a corrupt man who terrorises the poor people of the region, plus he wants to kill the heroes and later on take the treasure for himself.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: After being given a meal with a handful of Cayenne peppers (1000 times stronger than the Jalapeno), El Loco is shown breathing fire from his mouth with a pretty crude effect.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Maya leaves Jason with such a decision. In the end, will he take a precious emerald and leave them with a promise that he'll never reveal their people and mission to the outside world, or will he stay with her as his wife in Eden. Ultimately, Jason chooses to stay with her.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The robot's name is B.O.B., which stands for "Binary Overseer Biped".
  • God Test: When a tribe thinks Jason and Maya are a pair of fair-skinned gods while their shaman thinks they're demons, a medicine man tells them to prove they're gods. They accomplish this by throwing fireworks into a fire, which impresses the natives but the medicine man remains suspicious. He tells them to heal the sick boy, which they do and receive a canoe as well as some supplies. Failure to do either of these things results in the main duo getting eaten by the natives.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Allen gets shot while trying to cross a rope bridge, and cuts the bridge to protect Jason and Maya.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Jason occasionally steals stuff when the characters are not looking. The narrator even chews him out if he takes the cook's tips.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator has a tendency to narrate things in a snarky way. The most obvious is his response when you look at a plant: "It's a plant, stupid."
  • The Many Deaths of You: Your character can die in many ways, like being eaten by piranhas, falling off a plane, crashing a plane, getting shot, and getting cooked. The game always displays a "SHOCK WARNING!" message before showing the death, even if the picture/description is not necessarily shocking.
  • Meanwhile Scene:
    • At the end of Chapter 3, After Jason leaves the lab and drives to the airport, the game switches viewpoint to show a grunt speaking to Colonel Sanchez about the lack of success in finding the package and the fact that Allen's brother is still alive. Sanchez proclaims that he must be found.
    • Much later, at the end of Chapter 10, Sanchez is furious that Jason and Maya have not been killed at the bridge, but turns happy once he finds out they were spotted near their campsite.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The message at the end "The producers wish you to inform you that no insects were harmed in the making of this game." Considering you've killed an enormous ant not long before...
  • Nominal Importance: A very strange inversion, as with very few exceptions (primarily secondary protagonist Maya and minor antagonist Tony Martin; even Hans Stroheim is only referred to as "Archaeologist" when you're actually talking to him), every character you meet after the third chapter either has a name and elaborate backstory or a voice and plot importance beyond a single interaction, never both. Chapter 6 is the high point, where the shopkeeper Arturo Ascension is given a name and reasons for why he won't sell you anything except the items you actually need to beat the game (the canned food is all reserved for other customers, he's holding onto coffee beans waiting for an "upturn in the coffee market", etc.), and as such the game goes out of its way to awkwardly Third-Person Person all of his interactions with you.
  • No, You: When Jason tells the archeologist when he refuses to listen "Listen old man, this is your last chance!", the latter retorts by saying "No, young man, it is yours!" before Jason gets eaten by the village natives.
  • Piranha Problem: Some of the protagonist's deaths feature piranhas, with a majority of them showing his bitten off face.
  • Pop Quiz: Maya asks a few questions about Jason himself to make his identity certain.
  • Random Events Plot: Although there's an overarching plot of Colonel Sanchez trying to track down Jason and kill him, almost none of the various challenges Jason faces actually have anything to do with Sanchez - they're all individual things that just happen to be getting in Jason's way independently, everything from the captain of a slaver ship kidnapping Maya to a backwater village's local bully refusing access to his village's sole telephone. The two don't even technically meet until chapter 12 of 13, and there are at most two other challenges before then that have anything to do with him (his men taking shots at Jason's group and possibly Tony Martin being paid to off Jason).
  • Scenery Porn: The game does try to pull off rather impressive shots of the Amazon, with rich colors and backgrounds. Plus, this was one of the earliest games to support SVGA, albeit not to enhance the scenery (though it would make it less pixelated by focusing a smaller part of the screen on it).
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The Roberts brothers are mentioned to be complete opposites. Allen is a confident and curious researcher who travels all over the world to conduct his work, while Jason is a young and naive researcher who initially works only in his lab with rats.
  • Tin-Can Robot: B.O.B. looks like two trash cans with added feet and will actually think you're also B.O.B. if you put a trashcan on your head. He was made in the 1950s, after all.
  • To Be Continued... Right Now: After clearing an episode, the game says "Don't miss our next exciting episode!" Shortly after, the next episode starts with a title card and recap. You don't even get a prompt to save.
  • Unwinnable by Design: There are times where it will be impossible to progress if you forget a certain item. For example, in Chapter 7, if Allen dies while trying to block shots, the game will mention that additional ammo rounds should have been purchased in Chapter 6 (though this will also happen if you did buy them but didn't give them to Allen).