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INHERIT THE EARTH: Quest for the Orb

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

Rif and RheneNow this is something that we wish more developers would do. Wyrmkeep Entertainment has taken one of the great old adventure games (from 1994) and put it on a CD, updating everything so that it runs easily and well under Windows.  Inherit the Earth is an old-style classic adventure, an utterly charming game, and now thanks to them a whole new generation of gamers can enjoy it!

The time is the future, and humanity has long since disappeared. The animals have inherited the earth, and they ponder what happened, preserving their heritage in 'A Story of the Morph'.

We see the sky, we see the land, we see the water
And we wonder, Are we the only ones?
Long before we came to exist, the Humans ruled the Earth.
They made marvelous things, and moved whole mountains.
They knew the secret of Flight, the secret of Happiness,
And other secrets beyond our imaging.

The Humans also knew the secret of Life,
And they used it to give us the four great Gifts:
Thinking minds, feeling hearts, speaking mouths, and reaching hands.
We are their children.

They taught us how to use our hands, and how to speak.
They showed us the joy of using our minds.
They loved us, and, when we were ready,
They surely would have given us the secret of Happiness.

Now we see the sky, the land, and the water we are heir to,
And we wonder, Why did they leave?
Do they live still, and whence? In the stars?
We wonder, Was their fate good, or evil...
And will we also share the same fate one day?

Prince's CastleYes they are called 'Morphs', and as the game begins we understand why. For the once familiar animals that we know and love have indeed been metamorphosed. Now they walk on two legs, think, feel, speak, and manipulate objects. They wear clothes, and have formed a very human-like tribal society... one that builds villages and conducts business!

When we join them, Rif the Fox has just won the Silver Medallion: 2nd Place in the Puzzle Contest at the county fair. But before he has time to celebrate his success, he is accused of stealing the precious 'Orb of Storms', an ancient human artifact that predicted the weather for this agriculturally-based Morph society. He talks fast, and convinces the authorities to let him see if he can find the Orb before they force him to stand trial for the theft. But he only has a short time to recover it, and his beloved is being held hostage until he returns. So he must hurry...

Tycho Northpaw, Astronomer & MapmakerThis is a 2D, 3rd Person, point & click game, with an inventory, a labeled map, optional subtitles, and unlimited saves. The interface is simple and easy to use, but there is a printable manual on the CD if you feel you need it. Sound and music volume can be adjusted, and the game will pause itself automatically if the screen is left unattended.

The graphics occupy better than 2/3 of the screen, with your action buttons (walk, talk to, pick up, etc) and inventory located below. Conversation options temporarily appear there also, and they often include a scroll bar, so make sure that you don't miss an important topic.

The early graphics are simple, but detailed, bright and colorful... and even the water moves! And the light background music is perfect: much of it with plucked string instruments and an Elizabethan sound (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now). But it is the many characters that really make this game. They are absolutely wonderful, and they run the gamut of the animal kingdom. Let Sleeping Dogs LieYou will not only meet foxes, but also boars, elks, rats, hares, dogs, cats, ferrets, wolves, a mole, a ram, a bear and a raccoon. They all have different human-like personality traits, and the voice acting is excellent. Some are friendly and nice, while others are greedy, distrusting or just plain mean. Humor is delightfully sprinkled throughout the game with some great one liners, and even one old Abbott and Costello routine. And some of the dialogue is downright hilarious: make sure that you talk to the Bear at the fair!

You meet all of these characters as you explore the land in your search for the Orb. Questioning them provides you with the clues that you need in order to know where to go and what to do next. But as you soon discover, solving the mystery of what really happened to the Orb, and what you can do about it, won't be all that easy. You must visit the Sanctuary, the Forest, the Village, the Castle, and the Caves, solving puzzles as you go, before you can even reach the Wild Lands. And once there you will find a whole new set of places to explore and problems to be solved.

Strip PokerThis game was originally created during the heyday of adventure gaming, and so it is loaded with the kind of puzzles that were so popular then. Solving them is not too difficult, since abundant clues are provided. But finding your way through some of the places can present quite a challenge. And you must remember that just because something didn't work the first time, doesn't mean it won't. So if children are playing this game, they may need an adult's help at times.

The mystery of the stolen Orb is gradually solved as you progress. But what is revealed about the greater mystery, the one surrounding the Morphs' creation, is even more intriguing. And with our greater understanding, we can smile at their interpretation of the truth... but many of their conjectures, hopes and fears are disturbingly similar to some of our own.

It's an unusual story and a great little game, definitely one that the whole family can enjoy. We loved it, and hated to see it end. Whether you're nostalgically revisiting it or just playing it for the first time, it's a real 'blast from the past'... and one that you should not miss. Thanks, Wyrmkeep!

Sunset on Forever Mountain
Full View Screenshot

Originally developed (1994) for DOS and Mac by  The Dreamers Guild  and published by  New World Computing.  Re-released (2003) for Windows and (2004) for Mac and Linux by  The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Company.

Rated:   NR   for Not Rated (would probably be rated E for Everyone)

Minimum System Requirements:  DOS (1994 Original Release)  Windows (2003 Re-release)   MAC (1994 Release)   Linux

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

"Hints" available here!

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  December 2003
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