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Video Game / 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is a first-person perspective adventure game released by Coktel Vision in 1988.

The game is based on an 1870 novel by Jules Verne.

On July 5th, 1867 the government decided to launch the famous ship the "Abraham Lincoln", which will leave on the trail of a sea monster. The great French professor Mr. Arronax will also take part in the expedition. The weeks passed without any sign of the monster's presence in the area, when, one day, 300 miles from the shores of Queen Charlotte's Island... three members of the expedition set out on board the Nautilus, a submarine navigated by Captain Nemo. The player takes Anorax's role to find out more.

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Most of the game is spent on the Nautilus, which consists of three rooms: the living room, the control room and the library. There the player can manipulate objects and talk to people to receive hints what to do next and the state of the Nautilus. With the map, he influences the route. Sometimes the player leaves the submarine to explore other locations, and respectively solves puzzles to receive more hints or to solve action sequences, e.g., fighting against a shark.

The game is played in real-time, which means the key to success is being in the right location at the right time. This also results in various possibilities to render the game unwinnable, and causes waiting times. For the same reason, the player also needs to watch Nemo's mood. If he angers Nemo, e.g., by manipulating the ship instruments, he locks the player into his room and valuable time passes. The game is played completely in point & click and has no function to save progress.

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This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Berserk Button: You do not want to press Captain Nemo's.
  • Nintendo Hard: Since you can't save the game, this increases the game's difficulty.
  • Press Start to Game Over: Clicking on the wrong spot in the first screen (at least in the DOS version) causes an instant game over:
    Unintentionally, I had caused a leak. In a few moments, the submarine had sunk. It was the end!
  • Unwinnable: If you're not careful, or you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, this may very well occur.

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