Dark Earth

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Humbaba
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Dark Earth

Post by Humbaba »

Every now and then you stumble across a game that time and mankind forgot, a hidden gem or at the very least a diamond in the rough. After all, the gaming industry is not a meritocracy and a game's success does not necessarily correlate with its quality or vice versa.

Anyway, this is Dark Earth, a game made by the French that was forgotten for good reason because boy let me tell you, this thing is booooooooring. Big thanks to @rusty_shackleford though for providing a playable version of the game.

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I do not know what Dark Earth is exactly. It's not an rpg, you don't play a role. It's not an action game, despite what the game's underdeveloped combat would have you believe. It's also not a puzzler because there is exactly one puzzle in the entire game. I suppose it's some sort of point and click adventure game that pretends to be something else.

Really, I struggle to write anything about Dark Earth, because there is so little to it. It's very short for one, lasting only maybe 6 hours. There is very little gameplay to speak of, combat encounters are rare and unengaging and as stated previously there are no puzzles that need solving. The moment to moment gameplay involves running around and finding things to give to people. Dark Earth is obtuse on purpose like many games of the time in hopes of padding the game's length. I don't play ball like that and used a walkthrough. This game doesn't tell you shit and just expects you to backtrack through everything without much indication of what to do next.

Critics of the time noted the game's atmosphere and story. The atmosphere is alright, I guess. I like pre rendered backgrounds as much as the next guy but there are very few locations (maybe like 12 in total and you keep backtracking through em) and most of them are some shade of gray or brown or the occasional yellow. They're not very impressive, even for the time. Riven released the same year and blows Dark Earth out of the water.

So let's recap the story. It is very boring. The game takes place in the "Stallite" (some sort of city or whatever) of Sparta in a post apocalyptic version of Earth's future. People worship the sun and outside the Stallite are the "Darklands" where all the monsters live. You play as Guardian of Fire (a soldier) named Arkhan, who is called up one day to guard a door in the sun temple. Suddenly there's a commotion from the other side of that door. Arkhan goes in to investigate and sees some weirdos killing the sun priests.

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Look how happy he is

You manage to kill one asshole, the other one spritzes you with AIDS juice and from then on out you're "contaminated". This means that you're turning into a monster if you don't find a cure. That's what some dude named Thanandar tells you anyway after you wake up in the hospital. You spend the next few hours running around the place, eventually uncovering a half baked conspiracy involving your boss, Thanandar himself and this guy to overthrow the Stallite and cover it in DARKNESS(c) or some bullshit:

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Fat

Ultimately, all your friends die, you find a secret tomb that contains the cure and that's it. The final battle is you pulling two levers.

Uh, what else... Um yeah, you can turn into a funny looking monster.

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There he is

No really, that's all there is to say about Dark Earth. It's a big nothingburger. There's nothing to do, nothing to experience, no replayability, just nothing. You just listen to people talk a lot. Nothing of this game will stick with me. Not recommended.

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-Humbaba
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rusty_shackleford
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

Admin's note:
Humbaba is kinda stupid.

For context, he cheated:
I don't play ball like that and used a walkthrough.
Last edited by rusty_shackleford on December 30th, 2023, 21:41, edited 1 time in total.
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maidenhaver
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Post by maidenhaver »

Humbaba wrote: December 30th, 2023, 21:21
It's very short for one, lasting only maybe 6 hours.
I'm in.
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Humbaba
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Post by Humbaba »

Author's note:
I'm actually highly intelligent.
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Humbaba
Posts: 908
Joined: Jun 2, '23
Location: Lost Circassia

Post by Humbaba »

rusty_shackleford wrote: December 30th, 2023, 21:22
For context, he cheated:
t. Rusty Retardford, not having played the game himself and thinking there are any complex logic puzzles to solve.





-Humbaba
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