Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Titanic: Adventure Out of Time

Go To
A race to alter history on a ship OUT OF TIME.
"The past, forever locked in regret. But what if the past could be changed?"

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is a Point And Click Adventure game from 1996 set on the Titanic.

You begin the game as Frank Carlson, a disgraced British ex-secret agent currently not enjoying retirement during the London Blitz of World War II, having been fired over failing his duty to uncover a conspiracy upon the Titanic thirty years ago. As he wistfully ponders upon his failure, his apartment is hit by the blitz, and he burns to death. Oh, well.

But Wait, There's More! Carlson has been given a second chance by unseen forces to travel back in time to the Titanic, on that fateful night when it sank, in order to complete his mission. Despite not understanding how he's managed to return back to the past, he must now strive to set things right and, by completing his mission properly, change the future for the better. Literally.

Set within a first-person perspective similar to that of Doom, you must navigate across the Titanic obtaining stolen items that you and your contact have been sent to recover, as well as deal with various other little objectives from both friends and mutual interests. In the end, you must escape the ship with all of your assigned objective items either intact with you or in someone else's good care, before the ship itself meets its fate. The game has a similar style to (and seems to take place in the same universe as) Dust: A Tale of the Wired West from the same company.

The game was relatively obscure until it enjoyed a surge in popularity due to renewed public interest in the Titanic in the wake of James Cameron's film the following year, even though the two works were completely unrelated beyond their subject matter.

Because the game was released just before the 1996 miniseries, it holds the honor of being the first fictional depiction of Titanic to show the ship splitting in two before she sank.

This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Close inspection of the subtitle files on the first disc reveal that two scenarios were cut from the sinking levels; one where you helped the photographer get his wife onto a lifeboat, and one where you somehow manage to get a ship to reach the Titanic before it sinks.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: In the best ending, Carlson- having seen at least one of the war-torn futures his actions prevented- muses grimly, "One can only imagine how bad it could have been." Of course, players don't need to imagine that...
  • Alternate History: What the game essentially becomes, as well as six of the game's endings.
  • Alternate-History Nazi Victory: 3 of the endings have Nazi Germany defeat the United Kingdom, resulting in the protagonist either being summarily executed in his house by the SS, or London being bombed with one of their nuclear devices.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The game begins in 1942, the 30th anniversary of the sinking. However, it is also stated to be the Blitz, which concluded in 1941.
    • Frank has a dinner menu in his cabin, suggesting that he's had all his meals delivered to him while he waited for his contact. However, Titanic did not have room service in the modern sense; passengers had to go to the dining saloon or the Á la Carte restaurant for lunch and dinner.
    • Willi is killed in the Turkish Bath, which was only open to men until 6pm. In fairness, Smethells does say how unusual it was to use the bath at such a late hour.
    • In a crossover with Gameplay and Story Segregation, both the player (first class) and Penny Pringle (second class) are able to access areas they would never have been allowed to. Penny is first met in the gymnasium (first class only) and the player has free access to almost everywhere on the ship, including the wireless, engine and boiler rooms, where no matter how many favors a passenger did they'd never be permitted to access.
      • And for that matter, two of those locations (the bridge wheelhouse and the wireless room) were occupied for most of the time leading up to the sinking, whereas when the player visits them they are completely deserted. This makes even less sense for the wireless room because it's stated in-game that outgoing passenger messages are backed up and yet nobody is working on the backlog.
      • In the final part of the sinking, the boat deck is nearly empty except for the remaining characters and a handful of background figures, nowhere near the 1,500 people who were still on board at that point.
    • Two of the bad endings, namely the "Nuclear Germany" and the "Communist Germany" endings.
      • In the Nuclear Germany ending, WWI never happens but Hitler still takes power in Germany after launching a successful coup against the Kaiser, and developing nuclear weapons. This is extremely implausible because without WWI Hitler would not have gone into politics, and even if he did develop his worldviews, the conservative factions and the army would stop him dead in his tracks.
      • The Communist Germany ending envisions a scenario where the Spartacists took power in Germany in a world where neither Nazism or USSR came into existence after World War I. However, it is highly unlikely that the Spartacists had a chance at taking power, and without the aftershocks of the Russian Revolution, they might have even less chance of success.
    • The painting is a real one that Hitler made... in 1914, two years after the sinking.
    • The notebook containing the names of top Bolshevik leaders is also a case of this. The Russian government at the time was already very much aware of who Lenin and Trotsky were, and as a result they were both in exile abroad during the sinking of Titanic. Stalin, meanwhile, was only a minor party official who wouldn't rise to prominence until after the Revolution. In addition, the individual in the photograph identified as Trotsky is actually Mikhail Kalinin. Finally, the picture of a supposed Russian revolutionary being killed is actually of a Volkssturm officer from the end of World War II.
  • Artistic License – Ships: Despite much of the research that was put into the Titanic, there's still a number of artistic decisions that were made.
    • The boat deck is depicted as a wide-open space. In reality, it had barriers and gates to segregate the officers', first class, engineers', and second class promenade sections.
    • There was no control room between the turbine room and the engine room, only the watertight bulkhead.
    • The corridors on board were much narrower.
    • Sasha's cabin, A-14, is equipped with windows, even though it was an interior cabin.
    • The ship's cargo is depicted being kept in store rooms, which was not the case.
    • The Grand Staircase from D Deck to E Deck goes through a door, when the real staircase was open.
    • Lifeboats 15 and 16 (the last boats for starboard and port, respectively) are swung out during the final hours before the collision. Only Lifeboats 1 and 2 were kept swung out; this was so they could be quickly launched if someone fell overboard.
    • Collapsibles C and D were kept next to Lifeboats 1 and 2, respectively, but are absent. In addition, Collapsibles A and B do not appear to be visible on top of the officers' quarters.
    • Boiler Room 6 is not present in the game.
    • The wireless room was located in the center of the officers' deckhouse, and was not immediately accessible from the boat deck.
    • The elevators in First Class went down to E Deck. The furthest down you can go in the game is D Deck.
  • As You Know: Smethells helpfully reminds Frank that his trunk and belongings are in his cabin, where he's been for the entire voyage.
  • Avoiding the Great War: The player must recover four items from the Titanic before it sinks. Two of the items recovered prevent the Black Hand from getting funds, and thus World War I never happens. Of course, depending on if you recover the other two items, this will impact how well Hitler, the Soviets, or in one ending, Commie Nazis do thirty years later.
  • Bag of Holding:
    • Your bag, obviously.
    • The Purser also becomes this; he will store any items you want to give him. This is useful when you want to hide away any items you DON'T want stolen off you, such as the Rubaiyat.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Frank Carlson, since you're essentially changing the course of the 20th century and beyond through his actions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Even though it's not immediately obvious, it's arguable that the historical ending - I.E, where Frank utterly fails to get anything from the Titanic and history ends up proceeding as it actually did - is actually one of these. In real life, the old monarchies were overthrown, the Nazis were defeated, and the USSR eventually collapsed, albeit all at the cost of millions of lives and, of course, Frank is still killed in the Luftwaffe bombing from the opening.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The two main antagonists, Zeitel and Vlad, each have their own agenda and goals. Thwarting them is key to changing history.
    • Vlad needs something to finance the Black Hand's terrorist attacks on Austria. His original plan is to exchange a painting made by a young Adolf Hitler for the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam from Colonel Zeitel and sell it for the funds, but he'll settle for the Lambeth Diamonds instead if he can get his hands on them.
    • Zeitel seeks to get his hands on the painting not for its artistic value, but rather for a more practical purpose: the rear of the painting contains secret plans detailing British troop deployments and positions in northern France and the Low Countries, which would be invaluable tactical information in the event of a war breaking out.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you ask Smethells for help, he gives you technical information as to how the game mechanics work.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The tarot card of "La Morte" in your apartment can become this if you play for it with Buick Riviera when the Titanic is going down.
    • Also, Lady Georgia Lambeth's diamond necklace. It's a fake, but it can be swapped for the real one.
  • Commie Nazis: One ending has communists instead of the Nazis rising to power in Germany. Later on, the rest of Western Europe during the Great Depression is conquered by them, eventually resulting in the protagonist getting executed by them once they take over Britain.
  • Controllable Helplessness: If you fail to leave the ship in time (see Timed Mission).
  • Cosmic Keystone: The painting, the notebook, the Rubaiyat, and the diamond necklace are all absolutely vital in obtaining for the best ending, for the sake of the future. Each of these objects are directly linked to a major war of the 20th century.
    • Obtaining the painting prevents World War II because the painting was made by Adolf Hitler, and the following fame from his painting surviving the Titanic will encourage him to not become a bitter dictator.
    • The notebook contains a list of anti-Czarists, and as such will prevent the Russian Revolution.
    • The real necklace taken from Georgia Lambeth, if not taken back from Sascha Barbicon, will be used to fund the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, causing the First World War.
    • The Rubaiyat, if it falls into Vlad's hands, results in the funding of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the same as if the player had failed to retrieve the necklace.
  • Damsel in Distress: Lady Georgia Lambeth.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mr. Gorse-Jones. His wife tries to be one, with mixed results.
    "How are you getting on?"
    "Getting on? We used gangplanks as I remember."
    "Quick as a cow, she is."
  • Deal with the Devil: What obtaining "La Morte" is portrayed as by Riviera and the sailors.
  • Distant Prologue: The depressing beginning of the game takes place in 1942, thirty years after the Titanic sank in 1912, with Frank Carlson living in a shoddy London apartment amidst World War II. He then gets thrown back in time to 1912, whereupon the main plot of the game begins.
  • Downer Beginning: The opening of the game has the Player Character, Frank Carlson, living in a run-down London apartment in the wake of a My Greatest Failure in his mission on the Titanic thirty years prior that got him canned from Britain's Secret Service in disgrace. This then goes From Bad to Worse when it turns out that the thirty years' gap means that Carlson is now in the midst of World War II, and before long air raid sirens go off, and a nearby Luftwaffe bomb destroys his apartment and seemingly him as well. This, however, is the instigating incident that sends Carlson back in timenote  to the Titanic in 1912 with a chance to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and complete his mission.
  • Downer Ending: Each of the endings apart from Frank finding all of the items and getting off the ship. One ending has Frank unable to get into a lifeboat and thus going down with the ship. Failing to find any of the items results in history as it was, and Frank dies in the bombing not knowing that the Nazis will be defeated in just over three years. Any combination of not finding at least one of the items will result in Europe and possibly even the rest of the world in the grips of either fascism or communism. One of them even has the Nazis dropping a nuclear bomb on London.
  • Eagleland: Max Seidelmann is a mixture between the two. He's a boastful gambler, a smoker and a very rich businessman, but he's willing to help people out.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Recovering all of the items and escaping the ship will avert World War I, the communist revolution, and World War II, with Frank retiring after a long and successful career to a world of peace.
  • Emergency Temporal Shift: The game begins with disgraced British secret agent Frank Carlson finding himself on the receiving end of a bombing run during the Blitz, and apparently escaping death by a freak accident that sends him hurtling back to April 14th 1912, where he has a second chance at the mission that ruined his life - assuming he hasn't literally died and been reincarnated as his younger self or something. Should you screw up the mission this time, you won't get any second chances - you'll just get killed in the Blitz... or a takeover by the Nazis, the Communists, or an atomic bombing.
  • Evil Gloating: Colonel Zeitel just can't resist a session of monologuing on top of the smokestack.
  • Everybody Smokes: Not even counting the Smoking Room area of the ship, pretty much 1/3 of the characters you meet seem to have a cigarette glued to their hands. Truth in Television, as smoking was far more common in the 1910's
  • Exposition Fairy: Leyland Trask, who is surprisingly not a Phony Psychic and is able to give you hints about where you should go next — providing you have an item to show him for a clue.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Aside from the Distant Prologue in 1942, the bulk of the game takes place on the very evening that the Titanic sank. After being thrown back in time, text on-screen notes that it is 9:30 PM on Sunday, April 14th, 1912 — which makes it just over two hours prior to when the ship struck an iceberg and began its fateful sinking (Carlson is noted to have spent the whole voyage up to that point in his cabin, awaiting orders). Even before the ship strikes the iceberg, Carlson goes retrieving the Rubaiyat, all the way down to the cargo hold to find the painting, swapping the fake necklace for the real one in Sasha's cabin, unravelling the mystery around Zeitel and Haderlitz, playing cards, meeting up in cafes on board, sending telegraphs, finding cufflinks, fencing, and more. Seemingly mere minutes, for instance, pass between you fencing with Haderlitz in the squash court to him suffering a High-Voltage Death in the Turkish Bath. This continues when after being knocked out right after the collision at 11:40 PM retrieving the notebook, Carlson awakens almost an hour and a half later, at 1:05 AM in the middle of the sinking, and still has loads to do before the last lifeboat leaves in under an hour at 2:00 AM.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Any male character not on a lifeboat by the end of the game calmly waits around the aft Boat Deck for the inevitable. The exception being Andrew Conkling, who panics and tries to buy his way onto a lifeboat, and gets shot and killed by Third Officer Morrow for his troubles.
  • Fade to White: The "Nuclear Germany" ending has this as the Nazis detonate a nuke over London and Frank is vaporized.
  • The Fashionista: Since it's the Titanic, first class is going to have a lot of, well ... class. But the winner has to be Beatrix Conkling with her garish pheasant hat and swirling blue silk.
  • Futureshadowing: This is the entire reason Leyland Seychum Trask exists.
  • Gambit Pileup: Vlad is trying to gather funds to finance the Black Hand's terrorist attacks on Austria, Sasha plans to do the same but keep the funds for himself, Colonel Zeitel is trying to acquire troop movement plans for the German High Command, Willie plans to use the list of the Bolshevik exiles he and Zeitel are encouraging and turn them in to the Russian secret police, Charles Lambeth is trying to get revenge on his wife for her affair with Sasha and settle his debt with Andrew Conkling, Andrew Conkling is attempting to retrieve a career-ruining letter from his former maid Shailagh Hacker, Shailagh is trying to keep her baby from being stolen by Beatrix Conkling because the latter is barren, her brother Jack is trying to get $5,000 from Andrew in exchange for the letter so he and Shailagh can get a new start in the United States, and on top of that are Frank Carlton and Penny Pringle trying to complete their mission from the British Secret Service, with Frank attempting to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: How Frank originally failed his mission. He remained in his cabin for the entire voyage, waiting for a message from his contact. But Penny wasn't able to locate him until the night before the sinking. By the time she sent her message, Frank had already left to meet Georgia.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The fight with Vlad in the boiler room is nothing but straight-up pugilism, at least until after knocking him out, when you try to head back through the boiler room and he bludgeons you with a Wrench Whack.
  • Good Shepherd: Reverend Edgar Trout, returning from a religious mission in Nyasaland. He refuses to leave the ship while there are women and children on board and as such, goes down with the ship dutifully consoling the doomed passengers until the very end. He also confesses to the player that he actually bought his ticket for the Titanic by siphoning funds from the mission in Nyasaland.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Averted, for poor Haderlitz.
  • Happily Adopted: What happens to Shailagh Hacker's baby if you give him to Beatrix Conkling.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sort of. If you talk to Beatrix Conkling for a second time after retrieving baby Eddie from her, she tells you that you did the right thing in returning him to his true mother.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Smethells, the steward, is the game's guide to everything about both your interface and the Titanic's layout.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the sinking, Jack Hacker reveals to you that he turned down a place in a lifeboat — offered to him by no less than Captain Smith!
  • Historical Fiction: Obviously, the plot of the game never happened in real life.
  • Historical Villain Downgrade: Adolf Hitler receives this, if you manage to recover the painting.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In the Nazi Takeover ending, Huey Long survives his attempted assassination and becomes the leader of an American Nazi Party.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: During the last chapter, Zeitel demands you hand over the painting in exchange for the antidote to save Georgia Lambeth.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: If Frank does not swap the fake diamonds for the real ones in Sacha's safe, he can use the map to teleport out of the cabin and avoid getting shot by him.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: For a colonel, Zeitel's a poor shot, as you may find out first-hand up in the smokestack. His aim improves considerably, however, if you refuse to trade the painting for the antidote to save Georgia.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • It isn't necessary for Frank to escape the ship with the necklace or the Rubaiyat, only that Vlad doesn't leave the ship with them. Therefore, it is possible for Frank to lose the Rubaiyat to Buick Rivera and still succeed, as the book historically went down with the ship.
    • It also isn't necessary for Frank to save Georgia's life, as she was already established to have died in the sinking.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Beatrix is on her way to an interior design job in some "cow town" called Los Angeles.
  • Killed Off for Real: Aside from everybody who went down with the ship, three people don't even get that far:
    • Willie von Haderlitz is electrocuted in an electric bath after Zeitel sabotaged it.
    • Sascha Barbicon is murdered by Vlad in the boiler rooms as the ship sinks.
    • Andrew Conkling is shot and killed by Officer Morrow for attempting to bribe and force his way onto a lifeboat during the sinking.
  • Kubrick Stare: Vlad Demonic's got one, and he never lets up on it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Reverend Edgar Troutt siphoned the funds from his mission to earn passage on the Titanic. Regardless of what happens, he sinks with the ship. He fully believes that God is now punishing him for his misdeeds.
    • Beatrix and Andrew Conkling for orchestrating a dastardly plot to conceive and steal an heir through their unwitting maid Shailagh, supplying poor quality steel for the Titanic's hull, which no doubt lead to it's easy puncture via the iceberg, and generally being cruel and unpleasant people who use their money and influence to try and get anything they want, finally have their karma catch up to them when, during the sinking, Andrew is shot and killed for attempting to bribe and force his way onto a lifeboat, leaving Beatrix (who had earlier stolen Shalaigh's baby from her, giving it back up only when threatened with the letter's publication) without a baby and without a rich, influential husband to get her way through.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Buick Riviera is a character taken from Cyberflix's previous game Dust: A Tale of the Wired West. He says you look familiar and asks if he's met you before. One possible response is "Yes, we met at the Hard Drive Saloon". From an in-universe perspective, this makes no sense since Dust was set in 1882 (30 years earlier) and involved a completely different protagonist. The implication is that he recognizes the player and therefore may be aware of his status as a character in a video game.
  • MacGuffin: First the Rubaiyat, then the painting, then the notebook become this. Another item, the necklace, at first looks like a side-quest, but is absolutely vital in obtaining.
    • Neither the Rubaiyat nor the necklace need to leave the ship. Either can however be used to play a high-stakes game with Buick Riviera for the La Morte tarot card. The best ending requires you to obtain the painting, the notebook, the Rubaiyat, and the real necklace — or at least keep the last two out of the villains' hands.
  • Matryoshka Object: Sacha keeps Georgia's real necklace inside a Russian nested doll locked within his safe.
  • Maybe Ever After: One of the stokers (talking with any of them brings up the same person) implies that he's in or pursuing a relationship with Shailagh Hacker, but the game endings make no mention of whether he survived the sinking and got together with her.note 
  • The Mole: Willie von Haderlitz, for Tsarist Russia. When his boss Zeitel finds out, it doesn't end well for him.
  • Motor Mouth: "But my dear it's Daisy Cashmore, don't you remember me, I simply must tell you the latest news about-OH can't talk there's the Gorse-Jones waddling away, ta-ra dear!"
  • Mrs. Exposition: Penny Pringle, your contact onboard the Titanic, relays you information on what your current objectives are.
  • Multiple Endings: There are a number of endings, all beheld to a somewhat dizzying amount of the variables;
    • Among the Perished: Fail to leave the ship when it finally sinks. Frank drowns along with the rest of the unfortunate souls on-board, and the game returns to main menu.
    • Historical: Vlad leaves with Rubaiyat and/or Diamonds, Painting and Notebook are lost. With the sale of the valuables, the Black Hand movement is funded and assasinates Archduke Ferdinand. World War I breaks out. The painting is lost to sea, and without the notebook the Russian Revolution continues. Both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia form, and the timeline continues as it did before; World War II begins. Frank laments that things stayed exactly the same, and dies when his house is bombed in the Blitz.
    • Soviet Takeover: Vlad gets Black Hand Funding, leave with Painting but without Notebook. Black Hand funded, World War I happens. The painting is saved and becomes treasured, leaving to its creator - Adolf Hitler - to a fruitful career in the trade. The Germans are beaten in WWI, but without Hitler to lead them, the Nazi Party fizzles out. Lenin establishes communism in Russia, and without the Germans to contest it, it spreads across Europe, eventually overtaking England. Frank is executed in his house by Soviets.
      • Soviet Takeover (Alternate): Same, but Vlad leaves without either type of funding. Same result, though in this case World War I never happens and the German Empire collapses on its own.
    • Communist Germany Takeover: Vlad gets Black Hand funding, leave with both Painting and Notebook. World War 1 happens, but Hitler remains a painter. The notebook makes it to the Tsar and the Russian Revolution is crushed. After World War I, communists take root in Germany instead. They rebuild and manage to take over Europe in the name of Communism, England included. Frank is executed in his house by Communist attackers.
    • Nazi Takeover: Leave ship with Notebook but not painting. Regardless of whether or not World War I happens, the Soviet Revolution is halted and the Tsars are allowed to prosper. When Nazi Germany is formed, they are no match and fall to them, as does the rest of the world. Britain surrenders in 1942 and falls under Nazi rule. Frank is executed in his apartment by Nazi stormtroopers.
    • Nazi Conquest: Vlad leaves without Black Hand funding, both Painting and Notebook are lost. World War I is averted, and the Russian Revolution is quashed. The Western Powers enjoy an odd peace, and thus grow complacent. The Nazis spring up and, completely unapposed, soar ahead in terms of technology and warfare, nuclear armamants included. A World War breaks out, and nukes are unleashed upon Europe. Frank is obliterated in his home by such a nuclear strike. Considered the worst ending.
    • Mission Acomplished: Vlad leaves without Black Hand funding, leave with both Painting and Notebook. World War I is averted, Russian Revolution is stopped. With the Great War, Soviets and Nazis removed from history, World War II never happens and the world is treated to a golden age of prosperity and non-aggression. Frank retires from the Secret Service, free to live a happy life in a world at total peace, though not without musing just what might have happened had he failed a second time. Obviously the best ending.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Vlad Demonic.
  • No Swastikas: In the German release, references to Adolf Hitler were removed. This proved difficult as Hitler turns out to be a crucial plot point, and several of the endings involve the Nazis conquering Europe.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: There are three instances in which Frank can be shot on board the ship, at which point the game goes to the main menu and the player will need to restart at their last save point.
    • He can be shot by Vlad if he tries to walk out of the boiler room with the Rubaiyat without putting it in another coal chute.
    • He can be shot by Sacha if he tries to walk out of his cabin without swapping the real necklace for the fakes in his safe.
    • He can be shot by Zeitel if he refuses to give him the painting for the antidote during the sinking.
  • NPC Roadblock: The three unnamed crewmen will bar Frank's access to the bridge, the engine room, and the cargo hold unless he gains permission to enter those areas. During the sinking, they seal off the lower decks as the ship starts to flood.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Third Officer Morrow, a veteran of the Second Boer War and one of the nicest folks on the ship, right to the very end.
  • One Degree of Separation: Zeitel, Carlson's target, is working with Sascha Barbicon, who was having an affair with Georgia Lambeth, who was previously Carlson's lover before marrying Charles Lambeth. Charles owes Andrew Conkling money. Conkling employs Carlson to track down and retrieve a letter from his former maid Shailagh Hacker, who is travelling with her brother Jack, who takes care of a painting that von Haderlitz, Zeitel's travelling partner, stole from the cargo hold (if the player doesn't get there first).
  • Poison and Cure Gambit: Zeitel will reveal he poisoned Lady Georgia and offers to trade Carlson the antidote for the painting.
  • Red Herring:
    • Despite being quite a prevalent storyline, what happens to Shailagh Hacker's baby has absolutely no effect on what ending you get, other than a small note of what happens to the baby in the ending. However, if you don't have the painting at that point, Jack Hacker will have it, and trade you it for getting the baby back.
    • The prayer card from the Reverend Edgar Trout is only useful at one point: to get a picture from Eric Burns about Willie being up on the last smokestack, hiding his notebook. However, since you need to learn about it from Max to actually go there, it's a useless quest.
    • Carlson's secondary target, the troop movement plans. If the painting survives the sinking, Carlson will mention that the plans hidden within it would prove useless anyway because they were scrapped to cut costs shortly afterwards. The true significance of the item lies in the painting itself, as saving it results in Adolf Hitler becoming an artist instead of a dictator.
  • Richard Nixon, the Used Car Salesman: If you escape with the painting, it's revealed that it was actually made by Adolf Hitler. Being the only artifact of significance to survive the sinking, it makes him a world-famous artist instead of a bitter fascist dictator.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Fatally averted with Andrew Conkling, who tries to bribe his way onto one of the lifeboats.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Your entire objective basically, and also the best ending of the game.
  • Shout-Out: If you meet Max Seidelmann on the A-Deck promenade before going to see Penny in the gymnasium, he'll sarcastically say "It's a night, all right. A regular night to remember."
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Frank Carlson was an actual passenger on the Titanic, but he was not a secret agent. He actually never made it onto the ship due to a delay, but his name is still in the passenger register.
    • There actually was a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam aboard the Titanic. It wasn't "priceless," but still a very expensive special edition of the English translation decorated with gems on the leather-bound cover. It still remains lost to this day.
    • The final sinking animation was so detailed (given the graphical limitations of mid-1990s home computers) and so faithful to actual accounts of the sinking that clips from it were used in several documentaries about the Titanic.
    • Willi tells Zeitel that his telegram didn't get sent because there's a backlog. On April 13, the wireless set broke down and Operators Phillips and Bride spent several hours repairing it. This resulted in a severe backlog of messages that they were trying to clear on the night of the sinking.
    • Somewhat averted by a few errors concerning the layout of the ship, such as most of the first class public rooms in the game actually being borrowed from the Titanic's sister ship Olympic, or the fact that the control room seen in the stern did not exist. Also, the real ship's Third Officer was named Pitman, not Morrow, and survived the sinking. But considering everything else it got right, it's forgivable.
  • Sinking Ship Scenario: The last part of the game is set around trying to escape the doomed ship with all the required macguffins.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The "Nuclear Germany" ending has Nazi Germany managing to create an atomic bomb early (the late 1930s to be exact). It's also implied they've also had the means to create a bomber that can carry it and attack targets at long range, Britain included.
  • Sword Fight: At one point, you get to fence with Willie von Haderlitz.
  • Take Your Time: Played straight; until the last part of the game, time doesn't progress unless you trigger specific events. You can develop photographs, follow the trail of a mysterious letter, and even befriend a stoker, but none of this will change how you finish your main quest, except for the fact that if you take too long to reach the painting, Haderlitz will have taken it out of its frame and given it to Jack Hacker.
  • Timed Mission: In the last part of the game, you have until 2:00am to find all of the items you've been looking for, and escape the sinking Titanic upon a lifeboat. If you don't reach a boat by then, you will be left behind to eventually drown with the ship itself and everyone else still on board.
    • The sinking portion of the game is not actually Real Time. Time advances as the player moves around the ship, meaning every motion they make must count.
    • Not only is this rather realistic as the last lifeboat from the actual Titanic was launched around 2:00am, but also, like in the game, it took several minutes for the ship itself to actually sink after that. Just like in real life, you will drown with the ship at 2:10am. Yes, the game actually gives you full control of yourself to try and run all over the ship while waiting for your inevitable fate.
    • The sinking sequence is interspersed with short 'time is passing' cutscenes, showing that the locations of key items (whether you obtained them or not) are now inaccessible.
    • A minor one occurs before the sinking. After being told to get the painting by Penny, Frank has roughly ten minutes to get into the cargo hold before it's reclaimed.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You don't need to find and rescue Shailagh Hacker's baby or save Georgia Lambeth. But if you can get more people off this ship, why shouldn't you?
  • Wrench Whack: After knocking out Zeitel and getting the notebook, you go down the funnel only to come face-to-face with Vlad, who regained consciousness. He immediately hits you with a very large wrench, and then takes the notebook. You get knocked out and wake up back in your cabin.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • Generally averted with this game, except for the fact that no matter what you do, you will never be able to prevent the Titanic from sinking. Returning Morrow's binoculars to him will draw out a comment that he hopes Fleet has another pair up in the crow's nest. Even if you go into the bridge and turn the wheel yourself, the most that you'll do is get kicked out and the ship being put back on course.
    • This is also true for Andrew Conkling. No matter what he does, he's always doomed to die; either by being shot in the last hours or by being trapped aboard the Titanic when all the boats are gone.


Video Example(s):


Communist Germany.

In this scenario, it's the German Communists who rise to power in post-WWI Germany instead of the Nazis. Like in our world, however, the German communists decide to begin their own conquest of Europe, with the protagonist being executed by them once they conquer Britain.

How well does it match the trope?

3.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CommieNazis

Media sources: