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Bermuda Syndrome (Windows 3.1)

Bermuda Syndrome Windows 3.1
Genre: Action
Perspective: Side view
Visual: Fixed / flip-screen
Gameplay: Platform, Puzzle elements
Published by: BMG Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Century Interactive
Released: 1996
Platform: Windows 3.1

During the Second World War, a huge number of people went missing. According to the developers of Century Interactive, many of them were simply eaten. No, not aborigines in German form, but ordinary dinosaurs living on an unnamed land, where the poor fellows were somehow mysteriously brought from time to time. Yes, it all looks like the notes of a soldier who has gone crazy on nerves. But Jack Thompson - a pilot who saw the legendary Diplodocus with his own eyes - is still in a sober mind. And he is not going to part with him. Bermuda Syndrome starts as a real adventure film: an urgent call for a squadron of bombers, a fight in the air with enemy fighters and an emergency landing somewhere in the Amazon jungle.

However, the forced landing saved more than one human life, as the wing of a diving plane cut off the head of the very real dinosaur, which was just about to eat by a young woman tied to wooden posts suspiciously similar to a sacrificial altar. The monster fell to the ground like a lifeless carcass, and the bomber rammed the ground and fell to pieces. The pilot of the plane managed to eject in time and now hung on a tree, safe and sound, trying to cut the lines of the parachute stuck in the branches. A couple of seconds - and the pilot, cutting the lines with a dagger, falls into the nearest bushes almost without any damage to himself.

At first, Bermuda Syndrome appears to be just a run-of-the-mill Prince of Persia wannabe. But the follower of the Immortal Prince, as it turned out, does not copy the progenitor of platform arcades at all. On the contrary, he uses only the time-tested obstacle course mechanics, where the hero easily climbs to dizzying heights, nimbly jumps from platform to platform, at the last moment hangs on a ledge hanging over a hot lake of gurgling lava, dives to the very depth of an underground lake and on his last gasp floats to the surface. Jack, in addition, shoots prehistoric monsters, travels between teleports leading to the bowels of the earth, and shamelessly flirts with his guide.

A pump-action shotgun and a knife are all you have to fight your way through the jungle with. And without a guide, an unplanned excursion may be too short. To end his days in the mouth of a bloodthirsty creature, Jack does not smile at all. And here it is necessary to remember the girl who clearly needs help. Leading a casual conversation with the rescued native Natalie, Thompson makes snide remarks about what happened to him. The dialogues seem to be written for the most semi-fantastic melodrama like Another World, albeit worn down to holes. And the stately bomber pilot most of all resembles Indiana Jones, a little rejuvenated and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jack and Natalie can even develop a warm relationship that develops in the course of the plot.

Well, a couple! A savage woman who piously believes in the pagan rites of her people, and who grew up in a civilized society as an airplane pilot of an independent country. Thorough elaboration of characters, coupled with impeccable plastic movements of heroes like Oddworld, can be called a really rare phenomenon. And all this is set against the lush green background of the painstakingly drawn dense jungle. Relic trees by century-old giants formed a natural labyrinth, where the most ancient creatures came to life. Legendary dinosaurs, who dominated the planet for hundreds of millions of years, now walk right before our eyes, break trees, peacefully drink water from a forest reservoir, hunt and sort things out with their relatives. The graphics, recreating all this splendor and pulling on Jurassic Park with a much more modest budget, clearly worked equally talented comrades.

The amazing storytelling of the much later PoP series unfolds in Bermuda Syndrome in all its panoramic glory. Incidentally, "cinematic" platformers, flaunting frame-by-frame processing of the picture, have already met before. For example, Flashback: The Quest for Identity. The two beauties have even more in common: apart from visual and genre affinity, the main characters are remotely similar to each other. In addition, everyone miraculously escaped by ejection from a flying vehicle shot down by the spiteful critics at the very beginning of the game. But, despite the undoubted similarity with the eminent creations in the gaming industry, Bermuda Syndrome remains an independent and damn charismatic game, far from the sore arcade "jumpers".