KULT: The Temple of Flying Saucers

Tagged: Game

Videogame (1989; vt Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess in the US). ERE Informatique. Designed by "Arbeit von Spacekraft" (Johan Robson). Platforms: Amiga, AtariST, DOS.

In the future of The Temple of Flying Saucers, humanity has split into three distinct subspecies after a (presumably nuclear) apocalypse: the Psionically gifted Tuners, the physically mutated Protozorqs and the unaltered Normals. The player character, a Tuner, must rescue his girlfriend from the loathsome Protozorqs who have imprisoned her, a goal which he can most obviously pursue by using his Mutant powers to complete five ordeals and become the Protozorqs' Messenger of the New Solution. The gameplay is that of a graphical Adventure, displayed as a series of static images seen from the protagonist's point of view. As in the similarly designed B.A.T. (1990), this approach can induce a frustrating sense of limitation in the player. Visually, the game combines a striking sense of design with a deliberately trashy aesthetic, often evoking the images published in the French Comic-strip magazine Métal Hurlant (1975-1987).

Unusually for an Adventure, the plot has some multilinear elements (see Interactive Narrative), with more than one path leading to a single end. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the game, however, is its profusion of bizarre inventions, presented with much offbeat humour; the rationale for the Protozorqs' plan for global genocide is notable for its sheer incomprehensibility. The puzzles are well constructed, if fairly simple. In the final analysis, The Temple of Flying Saucers may not be a perfect game, but it is certainly a memorable one. In one unforgettable touch, the player character's love interest, a young Tuner who is "the essence of goodness, beauty and light", is known simply as Sci-Fi. [NT]

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