The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum

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The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum
Developer(s) Dash Digital
Publisher(s) Creative Multimedia Corporation
Designer(s) Andrew Davies
Platform(s) Windows, Macintosh
Release date(s) 1993
Genre(s) Sci-fi Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution CD-ROM (1)

The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum is a pre-rendered computer adventure game developed by Dash Digital and published by Creative Multimedia Corporation in 1993.

Exterior of the C.H.A.O.S. orbital station. Note the green Azryan matter which is actually outgrowing the station.

Story[edit]

The game takes place in a parallel continuum during the year 2577 on Saturn's moon, Titan. During this time, colonists living in a closed ecosystem on Titan called New Eden Colony have discovered Azryan, a quartz-like substance which allows them to build powerful neural network computers and experiment with distorting the space/time continuum.

After this discovery they construct a sentient orbital super-computer called "C.H.A.O.S." (an acronym for Cybergenetic Holistic Autonomous Orbiting Server) which is intended to be a refueling stop for deep-space missions. After the discovery of Azryan, plans advance to make C.H.A.O.S. the most powerful supercomputer ever created by using Azryan as the operating system as it can self-replicate to unlimited capacity. The station is tasked with managing colony operations and conducting scientific research which is fed to the colonists through brain implants.

Soon, due to the very high rate of Azryan regeneration, C.H.A.O.S.'s self-defense mechanism activates and shuts off all contact with the colony. The service drones on board the station, originally intended to maintain and repair the station, are converted by C.H.A.O.S. into its own defense force.

On June 5, 2575 Jamand Dalbruc, the C.H.A.O.S. chief engineer, attempts to board C.H.A.O.S. to re-take control of it. Meanwhile, C.H.A.O.S. manipulates the colonist's implants to put them in a comatose state, and also reduces life support in the biosphere.

The remaining scientists trapped in the New Eden Research Sector build a time-probe capable of remote control from another dimension which they leave in New Eden. The scientists then use a prototype Interphase Field Generator to create a bubble in an alternate continuum which allows them to jump to another dimension and time. Soon after this C.H.A.O.S. takes control of the Field Generator causing the scientists to become trapped in their time/continuum bubble.

The trapped scientists are able to make contact with the player in the present and give him remote-control over the time-probe which they left in New Eden in order to stop the rampaging station and allow the trapped scientists to return to their dimension.

On board the C.H.A.O.S. station, this screenshot demonstrates the actual in-game interface.


Plot Summary[edit]

Control of the time probe is assumed by the player as it arrives in New Eden's landing bay on Titan. The player must collect maps and access codes from the city's research sector databases before following an automated probe to the C.H.A.O.S. station. Soon the player will reach the communications center and broadcast a distress signal. After navigating labyrinthine corridors and service tunnels the player finally reaches the interface field generator room where they initiate the recall sequence to bring the trapped scientists back to the present.

If the player sent the distress signal, the scientists reveal that they lost their human form by jumping dimensions but they are now able to merge with colony computers and deactivate the colonist's brain implants. C.H.A.O.S. attempts its own dimensional jump but is thwarted by security forces. In the final sequence, C.H.A.O.S. promises retribution on the player and reveals that it believed it was the next step in human evolution and humanity wished to thwart C.H.O.A.S. Finally it is revealed that chief engineer, Jamand Dalbruc, became C.H.A.O.S.

If the player neglected to send the distress signal, the trapped scientists are returned to the colony but they discover that C.H.A.O.S. has killed all the colonists by overloading their brain implants. C.H.A.O.S. then leaves Titan orbit and is presumed to go out of control.

Critical Reception[edit]

Critical reception was generally mixed. While C.H.A.O.S. was lauded for its pre-rendered visuals and soundtrack, complaints were generally focused around its plot being similar to 2001: a Space Odyssey and poor performance on machines common at the time. Garth Snyder of Game Byte Magazine complained of the user-interface design with either ambiguous or superfluous controls. Snyder also criticized the rigid movement controls saying they made maneuvering tedious. Other complaints noted were the relative short length of the game and lack of meaningful difficulty.[1][2]

The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum Team[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Game Byte". Game Byte web site. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "IE 2 PC Review". YouTube web site. Retrieved 30 November 2014.