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Video Game / Earthrise: A Guild Investigation

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Earthrise: A Guild Investigation is a 1990 sci fi graphic adventure game by Interstel for DOS PC's. In the future, the Terran Mining Guild has lost contact with an asteroid-based mining colony of Solus, which is now hurtling uncontrollably towards Earth. You, an unnamed TMG astronaut, are assigned to travel to Solus, land on its surface to ascertain what has happened, and stop the asteroid on its collision course. Once on the surface, you soon find the base overrun with a variety of hostile alien creatures that have killed the inhabitants, and now you must figure out how to overcome them and survive if you are to complete your mission...

Earthrise is made in a style similar to Sierra's early titles, with blocky EGA graphics, text parser interface, scoring system, and Everything Trying to Kill You at every turn. It remains obscure, but can be played online at the Internet Archive.


Earthrise provides examples of:

  • All Webbed Up: Your fate should you get too close to the spider.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Eric is able to sting the Zeld dozens of times in a row and return to his jar with no ill effects. In reality, a bee would lodge its stinger in another being with one sting and kill itself in the process. Of course, Rule of Funny is in full effect here.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: Eric, a friendly African bee in a jar, goes absolutely ballistic when you release it in front of the Zeld and proceeds to angrily sting it to death.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The piece of cake you find in the mess hall proves instrumental in killing the final creature.
  • Decontamination Chamber: One awaits in the entrance to the base. Using the 'equipment' setting instead of the 'personnel' setting earns you a game over.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The base is littered with corpses everywhere, giving the impression that the aliens killed everyone. The ending reveals a small contingent of survivors had managed to barricade themselves in the living quarters and were rescued later.
  • Explosive Decompression:
  • Featureless Protagonist / Heroic Mime / No Name Given: The player character's only distinguishing marks are his caucasian skin and brown hair; he never speaks nor is his identity ever alluded to.
  • Giant Spider
  • Gorn: The game's death scenes are about as detailed in this regard as a low-res 16 color game can possibly be.
  • Have a Nice Death: The game gives you a snarky assessment whenever you die, punctuated with a one-line summary about how "you have been impaled/eaten/decompressed/etc.".
  • High-Pressure Blood: Oh so much of it whenever your character bites the dust. Getting impaled by the porcupine-like Brelt especially has you spraying blood all over the place like a fountain. In another hilarious death scene, cutting your finger while out on the asteroid's surface causes the resulting blood spray to propel you directly into space.
  • Hollywood Acid: On two occasions you can run into some leaking battery acid which rapidly melts you. Similarly, the blobby Tymak will digest you in seconds if it gets a hold of you.
  • Human Popsicle: The trip to and from Solus requires you to cryogenically freeze yourself for the duration.
  • Joke Item: Throughout the game you can find several items like a smelly sock, a comb, and an unloaded handgun that award you points for picking them up, but are never used anywhere.
  • Kaizo Trap: After you've completed your mission and head back to your shuttle to leave, there's an easily missable slime creature hanging from the ceiling that'll suffocate you unless you deal with it first.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Impalement, Explosive Decompression, melting, and that's just in the first ten minutes!
  • Press X to Die: Trying to fire a laser through a reflective glass barrier causes the beam to bounce back towards you and bisect you.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Right at the start of the game, you can activate the Automated Return on your shuttle and head right back to Earth without even starting your mission... upon which you're branded a coward and given a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Second-Person Narration
  • Shout-Out:
    • Getting eaten by the alien venus flytrap will have the narrator quip: "Now you know where Audrey II comes from!".
    • Eric the bee might be one to the Monty Python song "Eric the Half-a-Bee".
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • You can take Eric the bee out into a vacuum and watch him explode into red mist, but the game promptly docks you ALL your points as the game becomes unwinnable without him. Annoyingly, this happens immediately upon entering a decompressed area whether you intended it or not.
    • When you store Eric in an airtight cylinder to avoid this, make sure to put him back in his jar ASAP or he suffocates.
  • Unwinnable by Design:
    • You can fall down into the depths of your shuttle's engine compartment, which you survive, but promptly find there's no way to climb back out again.
    • Notably averted at one point: you can eat the cake in the mess hall, which does earn you a few points. Rather than the cake being lost forever as a result, you can simply take another piece for later, and the game will say you're not hungry anymore if you try to eat it.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • The mantis-like Glitten drops dead at the merest whiff of oxygen.
    • The slime creature you encounter at the very end is killed when you feed it cake.
  • Your Head Asplode: See Explosive Decompression above.