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Video Game / The Perils of Akumos

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The Interactive Fiction game The Perils of Akumos casts you as Kenneth Connell, an engineer aboard the Corolis space station. You start by performing simple chores related to the station's maintenance, and you end up uncovering a plot related to controlling earth's space program.

The game's notable for some complex world geography. This includes the space station itself, where walking north continuously eventually returns you to your starting point, and a maze of mining caverns that give players nightmares years after finishing the game.

Andrew Walters, who wrote the game in 2000, released a prequel called Trail of Anguish the following year. This smaller game was a "break" during the production of a larger sequel, Starlight Sacrifice, which underwent continuous development for the following two decades; as of 2021 a demo that represents a small cross-section of the whole game (yet is as big, if not bigger, than many other games on Adventure Games Live) is available.

The game's playable online at Adventure Games Live.

The Perils of Akumos provides examples of:

  • Bears Are Bad News: You probably wouldn't expect a bear attack on a space station. But hey, why not?
  • Commonplace Rare: Crazy future tech that can protect you from a missile? Sure, you can get that, no problem. But an apron to hold it in place? Wow. That'll take you a whole SERIES of quests to find.
  • Deflector Shields: You make your own out of the game's minerals.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: You can certainly cause unnecessary damage to a large amount of the Corolis.
  • Early Game Hell: Two very hard puzzles — the booster alignment job and the power conduit job — are the very first ones you need to solve.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: After collecting naxonite shards for a possible shield, it's a little worrying to have a shady character ask for them as payment for explosives.
  • Have a Nice Death: The game's semi-serious tone descends into outright silliness for some of the death scenes.
  • Heroic Mime: Kenneth has very few lines of dialogue,note  to the point that the game's author held a competition on the RinkWorks message board to list them all, the prize for which was getting a mention in Starlight Sacrifice.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Lampshaded when you have to carry a large potted plant. You shrug off the logical questions of where you store the plant or how you continue functioning while holding it. (Curiously, later in the game you can't jump over a stream and the game cites the large number of items you're encumbered with as a reason why, and after a non-fatal fall it says your possessions go flying everywhere.)
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Jewellery? Minerals? Clothes? Old cups? It's all good.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: This is really what the sandstone caverns add up to. But the challenge of returning to your cart adds further complications.
  • Nintendo Hard: Certainly no pushover. One of only two Adventure Games Live games to be given the maximum difficulty rating.
  • No-Gear Level: You (temporarily) lose everything in your inventory when you're taken prisoner on Akumos.
  • No OSHA Compliance: A factory in the station actually has a foreman and safety regulations. Once you head for the mines, however...
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The game has a considerable number of mathematical and spatial reasoning puzzles, including the King's Dilemma, the booster alignment job and the power conduit job.
  • Red Herring: There are several rooms you can't get into (chiefly the apartments of the other people working on the space station, but other rooms such as the restricted area of the arboretum, which in particular seems like it's going to be important later on). Some of them you can gain access to later in the game, but others you never can.
  • Set Piece Puzzle: Several, but the machine in the factory that you must learn to operate seems to best fit the bill.
  • Space Station: The main setting, complete with artificial gravity thanks to rotation. And you have to fix the rotation.
  • Story Branching: A very minor example; the "catch the cat" quest can be completed in two slightly different and mutually exclusive ways, depending on who you choose to return the cat to when you've caught it. You get a different item depending on which ending, although they are both used for the same purpose, and talking to the characters involved in the quest afterwards will get different responses depending on who you gave the cat to.
  • Timed Mission: Two of the puzzles in the mines involve jumping off your minecart, then running to catch up with it further down the track. You only have a few moves to do so.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The fight with Jean-Claude requires the player to keep careful track of which actions kill you, and when.
  • Unobtanium: Naxonite and peryolitium, whose properties remain... vague.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: There's a miner whose cart has got stuck who you can help, but it's not necessary to complete the game.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask: Once you've retrieved Jonah Fisher's coin from the vending machine there's no option to give it to him (which is not the correct thing to do, but something the player is almost certain to think of).