The Labyrinth of Time
|The Labyrinth of Time|
|Developer(s)||Terra Nova Development
The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. (re-release)
The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. (re-release)
|Designer(s)||Bradley W. Schenck (Game designer and art)
Michal Todorovic (Game programmer)
Joe Pearce (additional programming)
|Release||DOS, Amiga CD32, Mac OS
June 1, 1993
Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
December 7, 2004
November 14, 2009
The Labyrinth of Time is a graphic adventure computer game created by Terra Nova Development, a two-man team composed of Bradley W. Schenck and Michal Todorovic. Intended to be the first in a series of games, The Labyrinth of Time was less successful than similar graphic adventures released around the same time, such as The 7th Guest and Myst. It is the sole game produced by Terra Nova Development. In the years after its release, The Labyrinth of Time was published on more recent platforms by The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. in collaboration with the original developers.
The story of The Labyrinth of Time is loosely based on Greek mythology. The game begins during player's commute home from work. While aboard the subway, the player and their train car are suddenly sucked into an alternate dimension. An illusion in the form of the mythological character Daedalus explains that King Minos has forced him to oversee the construction of a labyrinth that spans the space-time continuum. Upon its construction, King Minos will invade and conquer all times and places with his supernatural powers. Daedalus pleads for the player to find a way to destroy the labyrinth before Minos can complete his conquest.
In-game terminals and journal entries reveal the extent of Minos's power. As explained by the lone archivist on a lunar library, a figure identifying himself as the king appeared simultaneously to all world governments in all time periods, seizing control of their militaries and erasing all written history. Minos's new abilities seem to extend beyond time travel; the scene of the king's tomb strongly implies that he rose from the grave.
The labyrinth that the player explores spans many time periods and locations. Despite their incongruity, each area is thematically connected by the story of Martin Garret, a professor intrigued with discovering the tomb of the unnamed Sorcerer-King at a far-off ziggurat near Uxmal. Desperado Mad Dog Maddigan, the one man who knew the location of the Sorcerer-King's treasure chamber, was buried in the Western town of Revolver Springs, California, along with a map to the ziggurat's chamber. Revolver Springs, however, was destroyed in a fire on May 1, 1882, leaving the location of his grave a mystery. Garret was about to begin his second expedition to the ziggurat, but suffered from anxiety after losing his lucky shirt in a previous dig.
When the player finds the ziggurat, they can retrieve the shirt. They are also able to go back in time to Revolver Springs and pick up a newspaper explaining that the local graves were relocated to make way for a railroad extension project. The player leaves both for Garret to receive, changing history. With the encouragement and new information, Garret locates Mad Dog Maddigan and completes his expedition. Among the treasures brought back from the Sorcerer-King's tomb, Garret discovers a talisman that was reputedly used to destroy buildings.
The player must operate three levers in the ziggurat to reach the center of the labyrinth and take, among other items, the talisman to destroy its keystone. After dispelling an illusory Minotaur guarding the Maze Center, the player breaks the maze's keystone. This causes the labyrinth to unfurl at the seams. Daedalus appears in person to offer thanks for his freedom, then leaves to ensure King Minos can do no more harm. He leaves the player floating in an area that does not exist in time or space.
The game ends with a teaser for a sequel, The Labyrinth II: Lost in the Land of Dreams. The sequel was never produced.
On December 7, 2004, The Labyrinth of Time was re-released by The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, AmigaOS, and Linux. The new versions of the game restored some audio quality and added a breadcrumbs feature for navigating mazes, as well as porting the original code to Simple DirectMedia Layer. The Amiga version was released as freeware and can be downloaded from Aminet and its mirrors or as an .iso from the official site.
Computer Gaming World's Charles Ardai in 1993 admitted that expecting The Labyrinth of Time to not have a maze was unrealistic. He stated, however, that although "pretend[ing] to be a piece of interactive fiction", it was "almost nothing but mazes, linked end ot end in a complex, irritating chain". Ardai criticized the "relentless stylish visuals" as "eye-candy and boring eye-candy at that", with no way to distinguish between the few objects necessary for gameplay and the many non-interactive ones. He advised Electronic Arts to "dismantle The Labyrinth of Time and sell it cut-rate for clip art".
- "The Labyrinth of Time Manual". wyrmkeep.com. The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
- "Labyrinth of Time - PC - GameSpy". gamespy.com. GameSpy. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. Announces the Release of The Labyrinth of Time". wyrmkeep.com. The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "The Labyrinth of Time for the iPhone/iPod". thelabyrinthoftime.com. The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
- "Screenshots from The Labyrinth of Time". Retrieved May 18, 2008.
- Ardai, Charles (December 1993). "Through The Corridors Of Time". Computer Gaming World. pp. 192,193. Retrieved 29 March 2016.