The Blackwell Legacy

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The Blackwell Legacy
Developer(s)Wadjet Eye Games
Publisher(s)Wadjet Eye Games
Designer(s)Dave Gilbert[1]
Composer(s)Peter Gresser[2]
SeriesBlackwell
EngineAdventure Game Studio
Platform(s)
Release
  • Microsoft Windows
  • December 23, 2006[3]
  • iOS
  • July 10, 2014[4]
  • Linux, macOS, Android
  • September 23, 2014[5]
Genre(s)Adventure game
Mode(s)Single-player

The Blackwell Legacy is a graphic adventure video game developed by Wadjet Eye Games for the Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS and Android. It is the first part of the Blackwell series and follows Rosangela Blackwell, a young freelance writer living a solitary life in New York City. She experiences headaches throughout the day and it culminates in a ghost named Joey Mallone making an appearance in her apartment. It is revealed that Rosa is a medium like her aunt and that her job is to help ghosts that are stuck in the real world move on.

Gameplay[edit]

The Blackwell Legacy is a point-and-click adventure, where the player can interact with objects and characters of interest by clicking on them. A left click interacts with objects and people, and directs Rosa where to go, while right clicking allows examination of items.[6] There is an inventory that houses all of your items, whatever oddities you collect during your adventure. Rosa carries along a notepad, where she writes down any important names or keywords.[7] While trying to figure out connections between certain people or objects, two terms can be combined. That often gives the players a clue as to what to do next.[8] The game is designed in the way that fully voice acted dialogue and characterization play a big part in the narrative.[9]

Plot[edit]

Rosangela 'Rosa' Blackwell, an introverted book review columnist for the Village Eye newspaper, finds her way back home blocked by a teenager acting as doorman (given the original doorman is at a labor strike) after returning from scattering the ashes of her late aunt, Lauren Blackwell, at Queensboro Bridge. This forces Rosa to meet her elder next-door neighbor Nishanti Sharma, to ask her to confirm to the doorman Rosa actually lives in the building. Moments later, she's contacted by Dr. Quentin, from the Bellevue Hospital, whom arranges a meeting with her, informing of her aunt's previous mental disorder condition, as well as Rosa's grandmother Patricia, warning Rosa could have the same effects hereditarily. Rosa also reads the Blackwell family letters previously in hospital possession, depicting both women's gradual breakdowns and isolationist behaviors at the same time they interact with a non-existing person both call "Joey". Afterwards, she's assigned by the Village Eye to act as a reporter in the suicide of a New York University student, JoAnn Sherman, as all other reporters are covering the labor strike.

Despite barely getting information on the suicide case, Rosa manages to write and send her news, but her ever-increasing headache, originally believed to be stress-induced, intensifies to the point she nearly passes out, until a ghostly figure of a business suit wearing man appears before her, making her pass out. Awakening and seeing the ghost again, Rosa attempts denying it, fearing for her sanity, but the ghost, whom Rosa identifies as "Joey", manages to convince her he is real, and she is not insane. The ghost presents himself as Joey Mallone, the Blackwell family's spirit guide, and explains that Rosa is a medium, meaning she can communicate with other ghosts, and thus must help them pass on to the afterlife by making them become self-aware and on terms with their deaths. When Rosa tries asking Joey to go away, he explains he's irremediably attached to her, and thus cannot go very far from her. Joey also explains the apparent rejection of both Patricia and Lauren in their medium roles, explaining their mental breakdown.

Joey asks Rosa to take him to Washington Square Park, where Rosa first met Nishanti and also had her first headache, where they discover a ghost by the dog park, matching the exact appearance of one of JoAnn's friends, haunting the place. As Joey is unable to convince the ghost on her condition, Rosa starts an investigation on JoAnn and her friends, one whom also suicided herself and another whom is admitted in Bellevue. Rosa discovers JoAnn and her friends have attempted playing with an ouija board, accidentally summoning a restless ghost called the "Deacon", which led JoAnn and her friend, Alli Montego, to take their own lives. Rosa takes Nishanti's pet Boston Terrier Moti to the dog park to convince Alli's ghost, whom once aspired to be a veterinary, on her condition, allowing her to pass on. As a final request, Alli asks Rosa to keep an eye on the remaining girl involved, Susan Lee.

Breaking into the Bellevue Hospital to watch over her, Rosa and Joey intercept the "Deacon", revealed to be the ghost of a priest whom fell from grace and into alcoholism after his wife passed away, and constantly harassed both JoAnn, Allie and Susan when he was released, begging to be saved from his condemnation in Hell. Joey and Rosa forcingly convince the Deacon to give in and allow himself to resign to his fate, until Rosa and the Deacon come face to face with a demon, blocking the way to the afterlife unless the Deacon accepts the punishment for his sins. Through hints the demon ends up giving, Rosa realizes the Deacon's flask is the source of all sins and thus destroys it, redeeming the Deacon's soul and finally granting him passage to eternal rest.

With the case finally closed, Rosa and Joey return to rest, with Joey revealing to Rosa that Lauren rejected her role to take care of Rosa after her parents died in a car crash. Intended in honoring both her aunt and grandmother she barely knew, Rosa embraces her medium duty.

Development[edit]

The game runs under the Adventure Game Studio engine. Due to technical issues, it has remained a Windows-only title at the beginning, even though the runtime itself has been ported to Linux and Mac OS X already.[3] Ian Schlaepfer was a designer of the characters art, while Chris Femo and Tom Scary did the backgrounds.[10], which include some of the New York cityscapes, like the Bellevue Hospital, the Queensboro Bridge, and more.[11]

The project originally began as Bestowers of Eternity, and was released as free-to-play in 2003. Subsequently, it was decided for the project to be extended and redone into a proper commercial product, which ultimately became The Blackwell Legacy.[12][13]

Reception[edit]

Upon its release, The Blackwell Legacy was met with "generally favourable" reviews from critics for the Microsoft Windows, with an aggregate score of 80% on Metacritic.[14]

It was nominated for 4 AGS Awards in 2006 and won the award for Best Character Art.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, John (June 12, 2015). "The 25 Best Adventure Games Ever Made: Point, Click, Agree". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Tait, Alexander (June 26, 2007). "The Blackwell Legacy". Just Adventure. Archived from the original on August 9, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Ancheta, Justin (September 3, 2012). "Crossing Over: The Blackwell Series". Inside Mac Games. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Blackwells 1-3 now available on the App Store". Wadjet Eye Games. July 10, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "Blackwells 1-3 are part of the Humble Bundle with Android". Wadjet Eye Games. September 23, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Medina, Victoria (January 27, 2012). "Review: The Blackwell series". Destructoid. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  7. ^ Bell, Erin (November 2, 2007). "The Blackwell Legacy Review". Gamezebo. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Sanchez, David (May 4, 2012). "The Blackwell Legacy Review". Gamezone. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  9. ^ Brown, Mark (July 10, 2014). "Blackwell 1: Legacy". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  10. ^ Cebulski, Bryan (October 17, 2016). "Blackwell Legacy, The". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Graham, Mervyn (September 11, 2012). "The Blackwell Legacy". Adventure Classic Gaming. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Rose, Mike (April 4, 2014). "As Blackwell comes to an end, what's next for Wadjet Eye?". Gamasutra. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Harboe, Gunnar (January 27, 2007). "The Blackwell Legacy". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Blackwell Legacy for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Blackwell Legacy, The". Adventure Game Studio. Retrieved May 14, 2019.

External links[edit]