, 101 tweets, 24 min read Read on Twitter
Back in 1996, french singer Etienne Daho had an usual idea : to include a video game in his new CD album "Eden". Yep, you guessed it : here comes a twitter thread !
The CD was split in two partitions, one for the music, one for the game. This was called an “extra cd” or “enhanced cd”.
The game was developed by Cryo Interactive Entertainment. It was coded in assembly-language in a few months and was derived from Riverworld, which was in development at the time.
The team was composed of 5 programmers (including 4 demo makers) and 3 artists.
I was playing #HypnospaceOutlaw and deep in a 90s mood when @Ophelie_v told me about this game. Needless to say I was really eager to find it.
Turned out the game was nowhere to be found on the internet. I wasn’t even able to find its title! Only a few mentions here and there…
Thanks to one of the developers I managed to find it! And, thanks to DosBox, I’m planning to play it tonight! Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, here's the title screen!
Let's go!
I can choose between "Easy game", "read and spoken sentences (???)" and "Start". I'll go with "Start"
A mermaid greets me on a beach. Apparently I'm a child. Probably young Etienne Daho. The mermaid tells me she has a secret for me, but before that, I need to learn that the world is made of pleasures, emancipate from my conflicts and discover my true sensibility.
She's going to teach me about those pleasures through puzzles.
Understanding their meanings is up to me.
And we start with...Gluttony!
(the word isn't pejorative in french, you know, because we love food)
The mermaid left, and gave me a seashell in order to find her whenever I would have solved the first puzzle.
The controls (mouse to look, arrow keys to move) are pretty terrible, but that's probably because my computer is too fast for the game.
That's the very first time my computer is too fast for anything.
I found a school, but I can't get in.
Probably some kind of metaphor, like, "you can't expect to learn anything real in school"
Found my mom! Asked her about the riddle (is that cheating?). She told me to look for honey. Thanks mom! (the riddle was to find a human pleasure produced by animals)
Now she refuses to talk to me anymore. Rude.
(she told me where to find the honey but I wasn't listening because I was tweeting to you folks. Now I'm screwed.)
Now Emmanuel tells me to play music to the bee to avoid getting stung when collecting the honey. Thanks. Even if I'm not sure if telling kids to go bother a swarm of bees is good advice.
Soldiers now ? This is getting serious.
Ok this is getting pretty wild already
I found my aunt. Asked her how I could play some music:
"-It's easy. You juste need to find an instrument. Like a pickup for example. I think the soldiers nearby have one"
Am I really supposed to steal a military pickup to play music to some bees in order to steal their honey for a mermaid I saw on the beach ?
There's a map! I can teleport anywhere on the map! This is great! I wish more games allowed me to teleport anywhere on the map.
Wait...Apparently one of the soldiers is my father ?
He isn't friendlier than the other two...
(if you don't read french : turns out Etienne Daho's father was a military man who abandoned him when he was a kid)
Found the honey, found the pickup. Now what ?
("I found the pickup, but i don't know how to use it with the bees")
Could the word "pickup" be used for some kind of boombox?
I found something that COULD be a boombox (the red thing)
But there are not one but THREE pickup trucks on this island. This is confusing!
I'm a bit mad, but I must say this makes MUCH MORE sense
(I wonder if @OxyOxspring approves this technique)
That's me eating honey!
Sloth is next!
Up to this point I must say that even if I might sound like I'm making fun of this game I AM NOT. This is actually pretty great! I would have LOVED it at 8 when it came out, and well...I love it now.
uh oh
It's naptime. Everybody's sleeping in town (I can hear them snore) except this dancing lady who is ON FIRE
Ah! Here's another kid. My friend Fanfan. She tells me it's time to go to school, but I don't want to go to school! I need to find stuff for the mermaid (literally what I'm telling her). She accepts to cover for me if I find her a desert rose. Neat!
But I can't go in the desert because, you know, tornados.
A fisherman offered me some help (everybody's so nice with me 🥰). I found the desert rose and gave it to Fanfan. She told the teacher I was sick, and now I'm chilling in my rubber ring. TAKE THAT SCHOOL
Oh. my. god. Am I getting older ?
It looks like I'm getting older. I'm about to discover inebriation.
I'm starting to see very clearly where this game is going and I'm loving it.
You know how we often say that we should bring non-video game people to game development ? THIS is why!
I'm supposed to find "talking stones". I might as well start looking at the bar.
Soooo...I met this creepy guy who told me he could help me find the talking stones if I brought him some wine. Asked the barman for wine, but since I had no money, he asked me to find his camel (?). Found the camel. Found the wine. Brought it to the one-eyed guy, had a sip.
It's hard to see on the screenshots but I'm totally wasted. The screen is very wobbly. It actually makes me dizzy irl. Now I have to look for the talking stones.
(this is not a screenshot fail, the game is actually glitching)
pizza break 🍕
"There is only one rule with pleasures : no habits, only excess."
Can you guess what pleasure will be next ?
Yes, of course : Love.
This is probably the last one.
But I don't want this game to end 😭
Could it be...the one ?
Etienne is speechless
She wants me to bring her an apple. This is a little bit on the nose, but OK.
I take the "little bit" back.
("There's an apple tree north-west of the island, but beware, I think there are snakes in the area")
My father disappeared, my mother disappeared, my aunt disappeared, Fanfan disapeared...there's only Emmanuel left.
What about the pick-up you ask ?
Still there.
There's also a musician
...and this guy.
He's always there. Always watching. Since the beginning.
What's up with this guy?!
"I think there are snakes in the area ?" For fuck's sake! There are dozens of them! And they're HUGE! And their sound design is pretty scary!
I found a lighthouse. I would love to show you the whole building but...
Someone worked hard to model this lighthouse, and nobody will ever be able to see it. How sad is that ?
Anyway, here's the map view.
Anyway, back to the snakes. I need to find a way to get rid of them, and I've got an idea : If I could charm the bees with music, why not snakes ?
Nope. Can't pick up the "pick-up".
Duh...the musician!
Good boys!
I hope you're ready for whatever this game will throw at us.
("the lighthouse"! )
"I promised you a secret, you'll find it in the lighthouse, but don't forget that the the greatest pleasure isn't the one you take, but the one you give without expecting anything in return"
They're back!
My mother found my old teddybear, but I didn't want it because "I'm not a kid anymore", so she suggested to give it to someone who would enjoyed it.
Nobody want me to go in the lighthouse, my aunt and my sisters [because yeah, Fanfan and Mimi are my sisters by the way]) say it's too dangerous.
My mother too.
It's locked...
I gave my teddybear to a kid (he looks a lot like young Etienne by the way) and guess what ? The key was inside !
(Ok, I must confess I don't totally get that metaphor, but on the other hand, I'm not sure what the lighthouse is supposed to represent. I guess we'll see!)
So...the lighthouse is like...something you can't see as a child and can only see/undestand as an adult? After having tasted all the pleasures? The top of the lighthouse IS the secret ? Or is it the view from the lighthouse ?
Adulthood is the secret ? The key to adulthood lies deep inside your childhood ?
But you can only realize it after having tasted the pleasures ? Makes sense!
Anyway, let's give a big round of applause for these fine folks!
and thanks again @Ophelie_v for telling me about this game !
Seriously, this game is amazing! I thought it would be a funny weird little experience, but I certainly weren't expecting that !
It is SO wholesome. And not only in the story/dialogues/message, it is wholesome in the gameplay! The game actually wants you to succeed, everybody's giving you hints, there is an item ESPECIALLY made for hints (the seashell)
And once again : you can teleport anywhere on the map, FROM THE BEGINNING! The game isn't there to waste your time, it knows your time is precious! It's doing whatever it can to make your experience enjoyable!
(ok, except for the pick-up thing, the pick-up thing was confusing)
I feel that the game already had a hunch of what indie developpers are only realizing now (games should be friendlier)
I'm not saying this game was ahead of its time, I'm saying the game industry is pretty slow to get things, because inertia. The strength of this game probably was that Etienne Daho didn't know much about video games (and that the Cryo team was smart enough to go with it)
Oh yeah:
And the music is great.
This is getting a lot of retweets so I feel I need to add something : "hidden gems" like this one aren't really hidden. They're just ignored. This game seems weird and original to you? Wait to play what's being made in 2019 away from mainstream (and even indie mainstream)
They're not ahead of their time either. They are made for you. They are waiting for you. Don't wait 20+ years to give them some love 💕
BONUS (thans to @yxelle) : Etienne Daho's old website features preparatory drawings for the game (web.archive.org/web/1998070508…) ...
...And reveals the existence of an Etienne Daho MUD/MMO/Virtual Palace !
Will someone be able to make this one works ? web.archive.org/web/1998070508…
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Pierrec et Laureline
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!