Chronomaster

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Chronomaster
Chronomaster cover
Developer(s) DreamForge Intertainment
Publisher(s) IntraCorp and Capstone Software
Designer(s) Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
Engine  ?
Platform(s) DOS
Release date(s) 20 December 1995
Genre(s) Adventure game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD (1)

Chronomaster is a computer DOS-based adventure game developed by DreamForge Intertainment and published by IntraCorp on 20 December 1995. Its main plot was written by novelist Roger Zelazny and was his last known work, as he died during the development of the game.

Chronomaster narrates the story of Rene Korda (voiced by Ron Perlman), a retired and formerly renowned designer of "pocket universes" — self-contained worlds developed according to the tastes of the person who finances their construction. Korda is hired by a representative of the "Terran Regional government" to restore two pocket universes from a state of "temporal stasis" and to find out who is responsible for the situation.

Generally speaking, each pocket universe contains a single solar system with anywhere from one to several worlds Korda can visit. Each world requires Korda to travel to magnetic North and use a "resonance tracer" to locate the universe's "world key". The world key (each protected by a unique puzzle) stops or starts the universe's temporal flow. Each pocket universe has a unique feel to it, reflecting the personality and interests of its owner. Verdry for example, owned by a woman known for creating a philosophical movement centered around nonsense and unreality, contains a world shaped and colored like an Easter egg. The laws of physics are bent and broken, and the puzzles tend to be either nonsensical, or possess a very twisted and backwards form of logic.

In order to move within pocket universes in which time is stagnant, Korda employs "bottled time", a container which when opened provides him with a field in which times flows normally. Bottled time may also be used to activate objects and trigger ongoing events which were halted by the temporal stasis. He also counts on the help of a versatile context-sensitive tool which makes available different functions to him, depending on the pocket universe he visits. During his journey Korda is accompanied by his personal digital assistant (PDA) Jester (voiced by Lolita Davidovich), a flying blue spherical robot who provides more comic relief than help with gameplay. Korda is eventually joined by Milo, (voiced by Brent Spiner) a former student of Korda's and the sole survivor of a horrific pirate attack on his homeworld.

Chronomaster makes heavy use of CG cutscenes. Chronomaster possesses a degree of non-linearity in that many tasks exist which are unnecessary to complete the game, and puzzles frequently have two possible solutions.

Running Chronomaster on today's operating systems and machines requires the use of a DOS emulator such as Dosbox.

Chronomaster was adapted to novel form in 1996, closely following the game's plot and coauthored by Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold. The novel is entitled "Chronomaster" and is 360 pages long, ISBN 0-7615-0422-2.

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