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Video Game / Pharaoh's Tomb

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Pharaoh's Tomb is a DOS platform game created by George Broussard and published by Apogee Software. The protagonist, Nevada Smith, is an archaeologist and adventurer who is exploring an Egyptian pyramid.

The game features CGA graphics based on the FAST (Fluid Animation Software Technology) engine. Notoriously, objects' positions are determined by their bounding volumes, not their exact positions on screen.

Pharaoh's Tomb was distributed as shareware. The game consists of four episodes, with only the first episode distributed as shareware, and the rest available commercially. There are 20 levels in each episode, each level consisting of a single room. The episodes are:

  • Raiders of the Lost Tomb
  • Pharaoh's Curse
  • Temple of Terror
  • Nevada's Revenge

The game was discontinued on March 2, 2000, and was released as freeware on March 20, 2009.


A sequel, Arctic Adventure, based on the same engine, features Nevada Smith as the protagonist and has similar gameplay.

This video game contains examples of:

  • Hitbox Dissonance: Possibly the most remembered thing about the game — the game engine only supported rectangular hitboxes, which could result in Nevada Smith being killed by something he apparently wasn't even touching when the corners of their hitboxes overlapped. There were also several places where, in order to jump over a wide gap, he had to walk right out onto the edge of a ledge until only the last pixel-column of his hitbox was still on the ledge — at which point he appeared to be standing several pixels out into thin air.
    • It was also possible to actually walk on top of a moving monster.
  • Inspiration Nod: Mention is made of Nevada Smith's mentor Dr. Jones.
  • One Hitpoint Wonder: Any damage at all kills Nevada Smith instantly and causes the current level to restart.
  • 1-Up: An extra life is awarded when the player collects 100 coins or 5 gold masks.
  • Tyop on the Cover: Notoriously, Broussard spelled his own name wrong on the title screen. Averted in Arctic Adventure, however.


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