Total Eclipse, Amiga

The third Freescape game, Total Eclipse, was released on 8-bit home computers first (ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad CPC), and later appeared on 16-bit machines, including this excellent Amiga conversion, published by Domark in 1989.

What 16-bit Total Eclipse does is: increase the frame rate, and therefore the immersiveness. You are no longer fighting the slowness of the game and are free to go about your explorations more quickly, and this does make a huge difference to the gameplay. There are also more colours on-screen, and also the inclusion of spheres, so the 3D environments also look more interesting than on 8-bit machines.

But let’s not get carried away here. This is the early days of 3D gaming, and Total Eclipse is a very simple first-person action adventure with rudimentary puzzles and graphics. The basic idea is to explore the interior of a pyramid, looking for Ankhs to open doors, water to fill up your canteen (or ‘jar’ as the game depicts), treasures to increase your points tally, and – ultimately – the tomb of the Sun God Re, which resides in the apex of the pyramid, and which you must destroy.

The pyramid is riddled with traps, though. You can die by falling too far; by being crushed by falling stones; by poison dart, and also by heart attack. The ‘eclipse’ aspect of the storyline also acts like a time limit – when it happens, the world ends. So you’ve got to get a move on.

Total Eclipse is still interesting to play now and is one of the best of its kind on the Amiga.

More: Total Eclipse on Wikipedia

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