For over eighty years the wreck of the Titanic has rested
in the bottom of the North Atlantic. She was an immense
vessel on an ill-fated maiden voyage when she was struck
by an iceberg and sunk, killing most of the passengers
and crew who were on her at the time. She was carrying
enough gold and jewelry to make whoever would mount
a salvage operation phenomenally rich, but until now,
the technology and money to mount such an operation
have not been available. You are the captain of the
first vessel to undertake an attempt at raising the
Titanic and reaping the rewards.
day, you may make one visit to the wreck in the TSI,
the world's most advanced undersea exploration device.
The TSI is equipped with a camera (capable of taking
six photos per visit), a robot arm which can pick up
objects (up to four of which may be carried), oxygen
to last for several hours, and communication facilities
which allow two-way contact with the ship for resurfacing
or sending details of objects to the laboratories for
examination (or even to the accountant so they may be
sold). Selling objects and getting good press reports
are both essential to help along the finance.
on board the mothership, the screen displays a calendar
(with the current day marked) and five icons. The first
of these is the dive icon which may only be used once
per day. Second is the finance icon, used to confer
with the sponsors, the accountant, and to check the
costs and funds available. Next is the press icon where
conferences may be held throughout the game. An icon
depicting a crescent moon is used to move time forwards
by one day and to give your crew a full night's rest.
A new date will then be displayed on the calendar. Lastly,
there is a disk icon allowing up to twenty six games
to be saved on either disk or cassette.
in the press room, a series of monitor screens display
the faces of reporters from various international publications.
One by one, journalists ask a wide variety of questions
(and occasionally make accusations) about your mission.
By using the joystick, you select answers to their questions
from several possible replies. If there are any photos
from the last dive, these may be shown to the press.
They may ask to put reporters on board the ship or for
an exclusive interview. You are free to deal with such
requests as you see fit, but it's important to keep
the press reasonably happy.
the finance room, moving the joystick allows you to
select a desk, a telephone or a safe. Selecting the
desk reveals how much any necessary repairs cost and
how long they take to complete. Continual pressing of
the fire button provides information pertaining to how
much money is due at the end of the week (from each
sponsor). Selecting the safe displays the current bank
balance. The way the bank operates means no action is
taken on overdrafts until the end of the week, so if
enough money is coming in, you may go overdrawn during
the week. If the telephone is selected, one of a series
of photos is highlighted. Each photo shows the face
of one of the sponsors. The joystick is positioned on
the photo of the required sponsor and following a press
of the fire button, you are either told that the sponsor
is unavailable or his face appears on a monitor and
he tells you whether or not he will give you any money
and if he does, how much.
the dive option lakes you to the main part of the game.
A screen showing a view of the wreck is displayed along
with a cursor. The cursor may be positioned over one
of five entry points into the vessel. When the desired
entry point has been confirmed, the TSI sinks to that
location. One of the most original features of the game
is the camera through which you can see your surroundings.
A picture similar to that of light intensifier cameras
is generated, pixels swirling everywhere. Rooms may
then be explored in a fashion similar to that of Mercenary.
If a doorway is darker than the surroundings, it may
he entered by centering it on the screen and pressing
fire. If it is shown in outline only, entering it should
still be possible with precise positioning, but during
the course of the review, no-one managed to do this.
It the door has a lock on it, then some other means
of entry must be found. Another way of moving is possible
by watching the colour of up and down arrows on your
display. If either light up green, it is possible to
go to another deck in that direction by pressing the
plus or minus key.
TSI is fitted with a robot arm. This may be used to
pick up certain objects, which are then displayed in
the hold. However, objects may be fitted to walls or
may just be too heavy to carry. The arm is damaged if
an attempt is made to pick up certain objects and remains
unusable until the TSI returns for repairs. The arm
is useful for more than picking up objects for the hold.
Once some objects are being carried, up to two of them
may be selected and brought back out on the arm. If
the TSI is in the room at which it last entered the
wreck, pressing L sends the objects back to the
lab for examination. Pressing the £ key sends
them to the accountant (who sells them and reports to
you in the finance room). Finally, any object in the
grip of the arm may be photographed. A camera is displayed
at the top right of the screen along with part of a
roll of film. A photo is taken by pressing the F
key upon which the camera flashes and one of the spaces
on the roll turns from black to red. Once all six spaces
have turned to red, the film has been used up for that
screenshot was not in the original review]
features of the control panel include a sonar screen
to keep track relative to buoys launched at your discretion.
They are useful for navigation through the rooms but
not essential. Then there is a scanner with which you
can check the rough nature of the next room. Again,
useful but not necessary. Depth and power levels are
constantly displayed to the left of two large, yellow
oxygen tanks. These turn slowly to red as the air supply
is no time limit to the game so long as the money keeps
coming in. The eventual aim is to find where eight flotation
bags have been situated and to activate them, raising
the ship by doing so. The automatic vessel that positioned
the bags was faulty and their positions are not known.
According to the instructions, most of the rooms are
in their approximate positions in the real vessel and
almost all the objects were on the ship's manifest.
There are a lot of puzzles to solve and people to please
before success is likely. Raise the Titanic tries
to be authentic in approach and a note in the instructions
points out that whilst this game may seem in bad taste
to some, it is dedicated to the bravery of those who
died in the tragedy.