Amstrad Computer User1st March 1988
Published in Amstrad Computer User #40
Passengers On The Wind 2
In our August 1987 issue we looked at Passengers On The Wind, a French program (translated into English) from software house Infogrames.
Based on a very popular French comic strip created by Francois Bourgeon, the story to date is long and involved.
The action takes place about the time of the French Revolution and revolves around the mistaken identity of a young French heiress. Infogrames has now released Passengers On The Wind 2, which continues the long-running saga.
The instructions for the first instalment had a reasonable introduction explaining the background to the story. Sadly Passengers On The Wind 2 has hardly any explanation at all, and assumes that the player has already completed the first part. To say that the player could be a little confused at the start is definitely an understatement.
Who are all these characters you meet? What is their relationship to one another and what is their reason for being where they are? On the other hand, many of us have started playing adventures with even less information, so perhaps we should not grumble too much.
Just remember that Isa is the lost heiress and that Hoel, Mary and St Quentin are all on the side of the angels. All the other characters are either neutral or wearing black stetsons. Firstly you must help Isa stay alive and finally help solve the clues to her identity.
The game is best controlled with a joystick (the keyboard may be used instead) and no text entry is required. Moving the cursor over a part of the screen and pressing the fire button starts the next sequence of action.
The main scene appears across the top of the screen, one window below this displaying a picture of who is talking and a second the text. The graphics are really superb, with the opening picture of each episode (there are seven) being overlaid with smaller cameos as different people and actions are bought into play.
Different people present may be selected to talk, and the order in which you get their responses may affect the course of the story.
Several times in each episode, a character will have the choice of making one of several statements. These are the real deciders as to what will happen next. There are also occasions, other than the opening sequence of each episode, when you have to place the cursor over the main picture to initiate a special action.
This business of clicking on the main graphics screen is really diabolical as there is no certain way of knowing where or when you have to do it.
In the first episode you must click on the trigger of a gun to make it fire. At other times you must pick up a gun that is dropped, get a character to fire a gun, open a slave's collar, open an envelope, select a character to respond and several other slightly more obvious choices...
Although the story may seem complex and the path tortuous Passengers On The Wind 2 is something that has to be experienced to be enjoyed. It is not easy, but the rewards are great. Just save at the beginning of each episode so that you do not have to start all over again if you make a mistake.
We have had several "book adventures" that rely on multiple choice questions to determine the outcome, but Passengers On The Wind 2 and its successors must surely be the way to go...