Azrael's Tear

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Azrael's Tear
Box Cover Art
Developer(s) Intelligent Games
Publisher(s) Mindscape
Designer(s) Ken Haywood, Richard Guy
Programmer(s) Martin Fermor
Composer(s) Kerry Minnear, Ray Shulman
Platform(s) MS-DOS
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
CPU 486DX 66Mhz, Pentium 90MHz recommended
Sound Sound Blaster or compatible card
Display 1MB, VESA compliant

Azrael's Tear is a 1996 first-person adventure game published by Mindscape and developed by Intelligent Games.


Taking place in 2012, the player assumes the role of a futuristic grave robber/archaeologist called a "raptor", who has come to explore a recently opened cavern in Scotland rumoured to contain the Holy Grail.


Ken Haywood produced the original concept for the game and worked with Intelligent Games's own Richard Guy on the final design. The original design called for a Myst-style pre-rendered environment. As development progressed, the team switched to real-time 3D. The game features music written by Ray Shulman and Kerry Minnear, both former members of Gentle Giant.


Review scores
Just AdventureA-[3]
Next Generation3/5 stars[4]
PC GamesA[5]

Both GameSpot and Next Generation commented that the control interface is highly counterintuitive, especially the inverted cursor movement, and cannot be changed.[2][4] GameSpot reviewer Tal Blevins opined that the game is otherwise well-worth playing, citing the atmospheric music, entertaining story, and good integration of the puzzles into the plot. He was particularly pleased with the graphic design, remarking that "the game is steeped in shadow that hides a subtle richness; it may take several game sessions for you to truly appreciate the brilliant artistic design included."[2] The Next Generation reviewer agreed that the story is gripping but was somewhat less impressed, summarizing, "Azrael's Tear brings adventure, high-resolution graphics, and a smattering of action to what is essentially a Myst clone, adding a little life - just a little - to a genre that sorely needs it."[4] Nicholas Petreley of InfoWorld wrote, "Azrael's Tear is not a crowd-pleaser, and I'm grateful for it. It is for those people who like to lose themselves in an entirely different world. If you're among that camp, prepare to enter the world of Azrael's Tear and rarely come up for air."[6]

In a 2002 retrospective review for Just Adventure, Michael Necasek commented, "The story of Azrael's Tear revolves around props far from unusual in adventure games: the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar, secret conspiracies to rule the world. These all are almost clichés. But like other good games (Gabriel Knight 3 comes to mind), Azrael's Tear manages to explain them with unexpected twists."[3]

Azrael's Tear was not a commercial success. However, project leader Matthew Stibbe said in a presentation on the history of games that it is the only game he produced that got fan mail.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Blevins, Tal (November 5, 1996). "Azrael's Tear - GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Necasek, Michael (April 9, 2002). "Throwback Thursday: Azrael's Tear". Just Adventure. Retrieved 7 January 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c "Azrael's Tear". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 182. 
  5. ^ Olafson, Peter (July 1996). "Azrael's Tear". PC Games. Archived from the original on October 18, 1996. 
  6. ^ Petreley, Nicholas (November 25, 1996). "Down to the Wire; The Mystique of the Holy Grail is a powerful Nemesis to doing work". InfoWorld. 18 (48): 82. 
  7. ^ Stibbe, Matthew. "Historian". Matthew Stibbe's Home Page. Archived from the original on October 19, 2007. 

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