Something very strange is happening. Bizarre weather patterns and an increasing rate of natural disasters are disrupting life worldwide. As scientists struggle to explain the events, some claim that the end of the world is nigh...
Back in the adventure-game late era of the mid-1990s, Revolution were riding high on the critical and commercial success of Broken Sword and its sequel. Little did fans of the series know at the time that The Smoking Mirror would be the last they would see of the characters for more than six years. Revolution saw the release of the new generation of consoles in the early 2000s as the ideal time to bring the series up to date - and into the third dimension. At a cost of £2 million, The Sleeping Dragon represented a hundredfold increase in budget from Revolution's first game, Lure of the Temptress, around ten years before.
Charles Cecil, the series' director, famously claimed during the game's development that 'point and click adventures are dead' - a justification for the game's shift to a direct-control interface in order to better suit console controllers. Despite being the highest-placed game of the series on Metacritic, TSD is generally regarded as the low-point of the series by its long-term fans. It's by no means a bad game - the intelligent charm of the writing is as strong as ever and the team did a decent job of translating the art style of the 2D games. It does suffer from a major overdependence on crate-pushing puzzles and the slightly more mystically-biased story created some consternation among fans, but I feel it's worthy of the rest of the series - if I didn't, I wouldn't be here doing this!
Videos, in accordance with my usual modus operandi, will be posted twice per week, on Saturday and Wednesday evenings, UK time. I reserve the right to change these timings in the event of an emergency, as ever.
Characters and Items of Importance
George Stobbart (Rolf Saxon) - After his burgeoning relationship with Nico, in his own words, 'didn't work out', George has focused on his work as a patent lawyer. An unusual request from a scientist working in the depths of the Congolese jungle, unknown to George, is merely the beginning of another great adventure.
Nico Collard (Sarah Crook) - Gaining her third voice actor in as many games, Nico's journalistic career has fallen into something of a slump following the events of The Smoking Mirror. The latest in a long line of apparent bum assignments tasks her with interviewing a hacker about the end of the world.
Harry Gilligan - An Australian pilot and self-described bushman, Harry is hired by George to fly out to the Congo and meet Cholmondeley. Has no apparent problem with heavy drinking during flights.
Dudley Cholmondeley - A reclusive scientist living and working in a small cave in the Congo, who claims to have invented a machine which can produce infinite energy.
Vernon Blier - A French hacker hired by an unknown agency with the task of decoding the Voynich manuscript. Also, in no way an utter stereotype. No, sir.
The Voynich Manuscript - A medieval book of around 240 pages, the Voynich manuscript is written in an unknown script and language by an unknown author. Famous for its large, unusual illustrations and the bizzare way in which its apparent text is represented, it is often described as the most mysterious manuscript in existence. As a result of its impenetrability, theories as to its content range from herbology or biology to portents regarding the end of the world.