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Enigma
EG Cover
Developer(s): Omega Force
Publisher(s): Koei
Release Date: Flag of Japan: April 2, 1998
Genre: Adventure
Game Modes: Single player
Ratings: None
Platform(s): PlayStation

Enigma (エニグマ) is a third-person adventure title that borrows heavily from early Resident Evil installments while incorporating 3D fighting elements. It is one of the first games developed by Omega Force.

Tatsuya Yazaki served as the producer and Kazuta Imamura was the game's director. Kageki Shimodo wrote the original story.

PlotEdit

In 1920, a time when historical explorations and discoveries took the world by storm, there persisted rumors of a legend known as the Holy Land. Eight years ago, an archaeologist named Eisuke Yamagata led an expedition team in Antarctica to find this fabled land only to mysteriously vanish. This incident, while treated as nothing out of the ordinary by the public, motivated other explorers to unearth the legend themselves. Three individuals, guided by their own issues and beliefs, become unwittingly involved in the search for the Holy Land's secrets.

GameplayEdit

Players must select one of three different characters to begin the game. Exploration takes place in a pre-rendered environment where finding items, collecting documents and solving puzzles become commonplace. Navigating already-explored areas is made easy by toggling the map screen.

When facing a monster, characters can switch to their fighting stance by holding L1 or L2. While in this stance, it is possible to attack by tapping Square, Circle, or Tri; each attack button yields a distinct motion and may be used together to perform different combos. X allows the player to cast magic if equipped with a Secret Stone. Spells consume the magic gauge which slowly replenishes as time passes. Blocking requires the player to hold R1 or R2 while locking unto an enemy is done by tapping the directional button.

Stage progression for each playable character is fixed, though interaction scenes with NPCs allow players to make one of two choices that alter the story's outcome. A favorable choice yields free items as well as new insights to flesh out the cast. Conversation dialogues can be toggled on and off with the start button.

Saving is done by stepping on blue-colored symbols found in key point areas or clearing chapters. Upon completing a stage, players may be rewarded with items based on the number of enemies killed. Their progress after finishing the game is ranked by the amount of hours accumulated; if they score high enough, a secret code will be revealed.

CharactersEdit

  • Akira Yamagata
  • Thomas Lindow
  • Catherine Edward
  • Zhang Bijin (張壁金, onyomi: Cho Hekikin) - Voiced by Eiji Maruyama. A wise hermit living in rural Henan, Zhang guides Akira to the ancient manor he originally discovered ten years ago. He was once a prominent archaeologist whose report on monster fossils and the Holy Land stained his reputation in academic circles. Formerly acquainted with Eisuke, he is more than happy to help the player should they profess their faith in the former's findings.
  • Robert Lindow (ロバート・リンドー) - Voiced by Yoshitada Otsuka. Current head of the Lindow family and Thomas's older half-brother. In contrast to his more outgoing sibling, Robert is fully dedicated to restoring the family name by whatever means necessary. He hopes to accomplish this by verifying the existence of the Holy Land mentioned in his father's journal, though his decision to hide it from Thomas more than tests their brotherhood.
  • Hera Solex (ヘラ・ソレックス) - Voiced by Yoko Soumi. A woman with an air of sophistication and mystery, Hera comes from a line of Egyptian priests who have guarded the secrets of the Holy Land for centuries. Resigned to fulfill her familial duty, she initially comes off as cryptic and suspicious to the protagonists, yet her sincere efforts to help their investigation wins them over. She and Thomas share an uneasy alliance due to her grudge against the Lindows, though this animosity gradually subsides as the story progresses.
  • William Edward (ウィリアム・エドワード) - Voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura. Catherine's father and patriarch of the Edward family, a noble lineage with ties to the British Empire. He is a loving parent to Catherine, yet his growing obsession with the Star Stone disturbs her greatly.
  • Aristopha Fulbright (アリストファ・フルブライト) - Voiced by Kenichi Sakaguchi. An enigmatic researcher from Greece whose interest in the Holy Land leads him to travel the world alongside the protagonists. Although Fulbright's knowledge of the Secret Stones makes him an invaluable asset, it also raises suspicion towards his true nature. Doubts about him intensify when he disappears right after Catherine's kidnapping. In truth, he is actually an automaton created as a prototype for the Holy Land's head judge. Originally programmed to guard the secrets of the ancients, Fulbright blended in with modern society and came to appreciate human bonds.
  • Eisuke Yamagata (山県 英介, Yamagata Eisuke) - Voiced by Kouichi Kitamura. A Japanese archaeologist who specializes in anthropology, he is Akira's father who went missing during an expedition in Antarctica. His research on human evolution allowed him to discover several findings related to the Holy Land. While skeptics jeered him for his outrageous claims, Eisuke pressed on and managed to locate the Holy Land's neglected capital. However, the expedition team's presence caused the monsters there to awaken, resulting in numerous deaths. The remaining survivors including Eisuke were trapped and soon died from sickness and malnutrition.
  • Judges (審判者) - A mysterious group of beings who appear before the protagonists as hostile enemies, they are in fact automatons designed to govern the Holy Land and defend it from invaders. Although the judges were bestowed with supernatural powers, their creators sealed them in fear that they would eventually go rogue. When the seal wore off, the reawakened judges witnessed mankind's recent atrocities and deemed them unworthy of survival. They enacted a plan to eradicate humanity by using the Secret Stones to regain their full strength and build an army of monsters.
    • Moon Judge - Guardian of the Moon Stone, he is draped in black robes and attacks his foes with wind magic. Moves the slowest among the judges.
    • Star Judge - Guardian of the Star Stone, his appearance is that of an old man wielding a trident. He has dominance over water and is the fastest among the judges.
    • Sun Judge - Guardian of the Sun Stone, she takes the form of a valkyrie holding a spear and shield. This judge can produce flames and is the most likely to retaliate when attacked.
    • Head Judge - Voiced by Kenichi Sakaguchi. As leader of the fearsome judges, he bears an uncanny resemblance to Fulbright and is strong enough to manifest in corporeal form without resting. Unlike his compassionate counterpart, the Head Judge has no love for humans and only wants to purge their existence. He has the ability to control lightning and create illusions.
Glossary
  • Secret Stones (秘石) - Three magic stones that represent the celestial bodies of the universe. Because of their unique properties, they are sought after by the protagonists and judges throughout the story. Their powers only work within places linked to the Holy Land. In the game, players are limited to earning two of three stones with the other being taken by a judge.
  • Holy Land (聖地) - The Holy Land is a term used to describe an ancient civilization filled with wondrous secrets. It also refers to locations where vestiges of this civilization are found.
  • Ancients (古代人) - A term used to describe the former inhabitants of the Holy Land. Though the people possessed knowledge and technology beyond human understanding, a majority of them died from unknown causes, leaving only monsters to defend the city in their absence. Those who survived were forced to hide their identities by integrating with local cultures.

StagesEdit

  • China - This level takes place in an abandoned manor at Beijing; the building itself was once inhabited by a madman who desired eternal life. Its puzzle layout varies depending on the player's chosen character. The facility underneath it houses the Moon Stone.
  • India - The ruins of the Ajanta Caves are filled with numerous statues and dried-up pools. Though a portion of the stage is dark and cavernous, most of the monsters inside only frequent at illuminated rooms. Deep within the ruins lies the Star Stone and a monster storage facility. It is implied that the monster capsules were built there to take advantage of the stone's life-giving powers.
  • Egypt - A level where narrow corridors and hidden passages are commonly found. A private expedition team from America had already excavated the ruins before meeting their untimely demise due to a cave-in. A shrine dedicated to the Egyptian god Amun-Ra hides the entrance to a secret facility where the Sun Stone is held.
  • Greece - Within this stage is a multi-layered labyrinth with doors that open by positioning certain artifacts in their proper place. Some of the rooms are filled with monsters inspired by Greek mythology. Underneath the labyrinth is a monster dissection facility.
  • America - Hidden beneath the Niagara Falls, this area is a maze of stalagmites and pits. The level's key gimmick is the perpendicular device used to raise the drawbridges connecting the central room. Its hidden facility contains information on the judges and a time-space transporter that sends individuals to the Holy Land in Antarctica.
  • Antarctica - The true location of the Holy Land, its exterior rooms are laden with ice-based puzzles that lead the way to the inner city. A thorough investigation is essential to open all of the secret rooms. Above the city is a floating island where the judges reside.

Cheat CodeEdit

  • Players can dress up as a mummy by highlighting a character at the selection screen and simultaneously pressing L1, R1, Tri, Circle, and ↑.

Related MediaEdit

A guidebook was published by KOEI during the game's release.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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