Pegasus Prime

Review by Orb

Pegasus Prime is an anomaly as far as adventure games go. Firstly, it was designed and released for Macintosh, Apple Pippin, and the Japanese version of Sony Playstation. Secondly, and more interestingly, it is actually an updated version of an earlier release, the original Journeyman Project. Is it a different story? Well, no. Does it play differently? Well ... yes. Is it worth it to the Mac gamer who's already paid for and played the first JP? Let's take a look.

The story starts in 2318, in the skyborne city of Caldoris. Humanity has unified and is about to be accepted into the Symbiotry of Peaceful Beings, an invitation offered by aliens called the Cyrollians. At the same time, a time travel machine has been invented, which, by its sheer power to alter the course of historical events, threatens Caldoris's entrance into the Symbiotry. You play the game as Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the Temporal Protectorate, a government agency established to protect this technology from falling into the wrong hands. The time travel machine itself is called "Pegasus." (Get it? "Pegasus" Prime?) The player's job, as Gage, is to stop a terrorist that's behind a series of rips in time. Fans of the series definitely know this beat; it's a good old-fashioned Golden Age of Science Fiction style of story.

One of the things added to Pegasus by the designers is some seriously fun cinematic sequences, traveling around in a sub and flying through the air in a spaceship—really, they have a bit of the feel of a Disneyland ride to them. The look and texture of the game has been redesigned, taking some of the more cartoonish elements out and adding more of the style of visual science fiction that's become popularized with the advent of the Star Wars series—lots of used-looking equipment and photorealistic areas that have a very human feel to them—none of that 2001 sterility, if you please. There is more depth to the design, added rooms, characters, puzzles—you name it. And it's packed onto four CDs, quite a bit more than the original, which came on a single disk.

Ambient sounds of Gage (you) creaking around in his rubbery suit are fabulous, all the way down to the rubber soles of his boots. The music, however, in many places is a weak point of the game, sounding suspiciously as though it were lifted from a Chuck Norris movie, although the music in the Mars Colony sequences was nicely spacey.

This is not a simple game. Although gameplay is very nonlinear, you do have a specific set of tasks to perform. And although in some instances you are given a straight puzzle to get through, in many more you are playing with objects that very much revolve around the texture of the story itself.

The game is designed with a couple of different hint systems, both delivered by a very serious-looking female talking head that's basically Agent 5's onboard AI. Firstly, there is a warning given if the player moves to an area of the game where Gage will be caught by other people or a robot or two. So it's easy enough, using this system, to navigate the sometimes honeycomb-like halls of the various sites transported to during gameplay.

There are also two modes of gameplay, Adventure, for the hard-core player, and Walkthrough, where the player is given a series of hints when requested, then a solve during some of the more complex parts of the game where timing is of the essence. A wonderful device for the novice, as many of the game sequences are timed. And yes indeedy, PP has something almost unheard-of in adventure gaming, a timed maze! But don't be put off by this, it's very doable, and the game thoughtfully comes with an onscreen mapping device that keeps the player from getting too turned around.

Okay, but is it different enough from the original JP, you ask? Most definitely. Some irritating things have been eliminated, such as an access code the player needs to get rolling that's in the game docs, not the game. Puzzles have been moved around a bit and some added, some inventory is moved to different locations and additional actions need to be done with what's there, and some additional environments to explore and use inventory with. And of course there's the incredible recrafted graphic design and added cinematic sequences, nothing short of amazing in comparison to the original game. It kept me, as a "previously done the original JP player" thoroughly enthralled. The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: Presto Studios
Publisher: Bandai Digital Entertainment
Release Date: June 1997

Available for: Macintosh

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System Requirements

Power Mac
System 7.5 or higher
16 MB RAM, 8 MB free
5 MB free hard drive space
4X ROM drive or faster
Thousands of colors

Where to Find It

Check the Game TZ

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