In Short: it's a point-and-click adventure game in the vein of King's Quest. It was made by Al Lowe, the fella responsible for the Leisure Suit Larry games. It's a totally G-rated game! Yeah, I know, right?
Al Lowe claims he wrote up the idea for Torin's Passage in 1994 after watching Mrs. Doubtfire with his daughter. He noted that the audience laughed in two different pitches: "high little giggles when the kids laughed at the slapstick parts of the film, and deep knowing guffaws when the adults caught something that they knew the kids wouldn't get." Inspired, he set out to make a game he could play with his 11-year-old.
It was developed and released by Sierra On-Line on October 31st, 1995 for MS-DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Mac. The game was fairly well-received and was planned to be the first in a series of five. Unfortunately, with the downturn of the market and the departure of Sierra's founder, Ken Williams, the sequels never came to fruition. The Lead Animator, Jim Murphy, went on to work for Pixar, and the Lead Background Artist, Bruce Sharp, went on to work for Microsoft.
Screenshot LP. I'll be playing through the game, clicking on things, solving puzzles, showing off the story--I don't intend to go for a 999 point run. I will try and point out Easter Eggs and other assorted fun facts whenever I come across them.
FEEDBACK & PARTICIPATION:
Feedback is good, even the negative stuff. I need it to improve!
If I miss something, feel free to point it out. Also, I've never played King's Quest or Leisure Suit Larry, so if there's something relevant that pops up, please share.
I'm assuming a vast majority of people don't even know what this game is. If you do, please don't spoil it. Anything revealed in the promo trailer is fine (i.e., the existence of a blue monster called "Dreep") but please don't spoil anything beyond that. We will get to it in due time.
WHERE CAN I PLAY IT?:
Good luck finding a disc, though it's probably not terribly difficult or expensive. The easiest method is to go to Good Old Games and buy it. It's only $5.99 and it runs off of DOSBox.
Table of Contents
- 01. Prologue - A Sinister Plot
- 02. Prologue - Meet Torin
- 03. The Lands Above - Thanks, Emperor Palpatine!
- 04. The Lands Above - Preparations (Gameplay Explained)
- 05. The Lands Above - Crystal City Gates
- 06. The Lands Above - On second thought, let's not go to Crystal City. It is a silly place.
- 07. The Lands Above - Land's End
- 08. The Land's Above - Torin, Friend To The Elderly
- 09. The Lands Above - Torin, Friend To Olympic Hopefuls
- 10. The Lands Above - Peat Moss And Phenocrysts
- 11. Escarpa - Interlude 1
- 12. Escarpa - Torins Always Land On Their Head
- 13. Escarpa - The Bitternuts
- 14. Escarpa - In The Court Of The Escarpan King
- 15. Escarpa - Vultures, Odalisques, And Freelance Police
- 16. Escarpa - Tying Up Loose Ends
- 17. Pergola - Interlude 2
- 18. Pergola - Gulliver's Passage
- 19. Pergola - What is it with Pergolans and bondage?
- 20. Pergola - PYF Awkward, Ugly, and Gross: Escarpan Edition
- 21. Asthenia - Interlude 3
- 22. Asthenia - Liquid Hot Magma
- 23. Asthenia - Finding Easter Eggs To Distract Ourselves From Boredom
- 24. Tenebrous - Interlude 4
- 25. Tenebrous - Get Sexy And Break The 4th Wall
- 26. Tenebrous - Torin, Alone
- 27. Tenebrous - THE PUN-POCALYPSE
- 28. Tenebrous - There's No Business Like Show Business
- 29. Tenebrous - Everything's Illegal In Tenebrous
- 30. Null Void - Flight Via Bagpipe
- 31. Null Void - A Sudden Exposition Dump
- 32. Torin's Passage II - Bopping Your Boogle
The Lands Above
Game TrailerThis thing is so wonderfully nineties!
The earnest, hard-working, honest, brave, compassionate, well-meaning, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, heroic protagonist. He's meant to be a cross between Luke Skywalker and Disney's Aladdin. Torin has spent all his life growing up in The Lands Above in Fahrman Valley with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fahrman. He has a restless spirit, though, and longs to be the hero of a great adventure.
Owns a pouch that clearly has 6-dimensional properties--it can hold any pretty much any sized object of any weight without slowing down its carrier.
Your buddy Boogle
A strange purple cat-dog-monkey creature? He's the cute animal side-kick meant for children to identify with. Think The Black Cauldron's Gurgi, or Aladdin's Abu. Torin found him as a child and they've been inseparable ever since. Boogle has the ability to shape-shift into anything he wants. He also speaks in a gibberish tongue that only Torin can understand.
In-game, Boogle will either wander freely around the screen or hang out inside of Torin's pouch.
The evil sorceress Lycentia
An evil sorceress who resides in The Lands Below. For unknown reasons, she kidnaps Torin's parents and seals them away inside of green crystals. Our heroes are spurred on by her crimes to travel to The Lands Below, confront her, and free Mr. and Mrs. Fahrman.
She was banished to The Lands Below for committing treason to the kingdom. An ostracizing collar was fastened around her neck; if she ever returned to The Lands Above, it would tighten around her neck and suffocate her.
Her able-assistant Dreep
A massive hairy blue monster. Works for Lycentia, running errands and guarding her lair. A bumbling giant, but very strong physically.
The diabolical Pecand
An evil, wicked, double-crossing schemer of a man. He's basically the mustache-twirling villain of the game. Spends the majority of the game in the background, manipulating people from the shadows. He is the Emperor Palpatine to Lycentia's Darth Vader.
The lovely Leenah
In a world where beautiful is short, squat, and hairy, Leenah is a social outcast. Often described by those who know her as having a "nice personality" or "polite" or "kind to her parents"--not every Escarpan can be beautiful. Conveniently enough, her physicality makes her look exactly like someone from The Land's Above. She's meant to be the strong, smart, and beautiful heroine.
Also, she's a princess.
The planet which the game takes place on. It lacks a molten core and instead consists of many layers nested inside one another. Each "planet" has its own unique ecosystems, inhabitants, and weather patterns. Giant crystals riddle Strata and have all sorts of uses. Long ago, special crystals called phenocrysts were used to travel between planetary layers. However, they've been sealed for years and so contact between layers is non-existent.
The Lands Above
The outermost layer of the planet. It has the distinction of having the least interesting name. Surface temperature is moderate and comfortable. Short-sleeves can be worn all year-round. Buildings don't have windows in order to allow breezes to travel through. It is covered with streams, lakes, and forests. The inhabitants are very similar to humans.
The Lands Below
The catch-all term to refer to every layer of Strata below The Lands Above. The existence of The Lands Below is common knowledge, but no one from The Lands Above has ever been there. It's generally agreed that everyone in The Lands Below are strange, foreboding, unfriendly, quarrelsome warmongers.
The first of the inner worlds. Has a dry climate with little water and can only support desert-like plants. Dwellings are built directly into the caverns in the vertical cliffs that characterize the region. Escarpans are a dour people, who are short, hairy, ugly, and overweight.
Pergola is a dark, dimly lit jungle-light reason. Artificial light is a necessity. It's very damp with lots of running water flowing everywhere. Dropping cliffs, large ferns, cliffsides, moss, jungle vines--all that good stuff. The Purpletin population are a small people with purple skin. They only stand about eight inches tall.
Though Strata doesn't have a molten core, it does have a molten layer. Asthenia is all lava rivers and stone. It's a dark cavernous place. Magma is the principle light source. Asthenians were a fun-loving people who likes games above all else, even with regards to their military applications. They were muscular, compact, and had thick skin that was resistant to magma. Unfortunately, some unknown event occurred after the phenocrysts were sealed shut and the Asthenias have gone extinct.
A literal dark zone. Basically a cave interior. Rocky, metallic, and dry. What little natural light is filtered down through crystals that protrude through the surface of Strata. As a result of the lack of light and water, plant life is a scare and treasured commodity in Tenebrous. The inhabitants are near albinos. They're a tall, thin, weak people with big heads and blondish-white hair. They love dropping one-liners and puns, and have a sarcastic response for everything, probably to compensate for their depressing environment.
The Null Void
The very core of the planet. It's an uninhabited void. This hollow creates a "gravity null" that makes it "behave" like outer space. As gravity is pulling equally in every direction, you float as if there were no gravity at all (I don't even know). Air exists this deep so space suits and breathing apparatuses aren't necessary. It's basically a vast open cave, with the only light coming from the various intersecting crystals that begin there.