The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure

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The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure
Lost Crown cover.jpg
Developer(s)Darkling Room
Shadow Tor Studios (Special effects)
Publisher(s)Got Game Entertainment (U.S.)
Akella (Russia, ex-USSR)
Mamba Games (UK and Europe as of September 2009)
Iceberg Interactive
Designer(s)Jonathan Boakes
EngineMade with Wintermute Engine
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release
  • NA: March 3, 2008
  • EU: July 18, 2008
Genre(s)Third & First-person adventure
Mode(s)Single player

The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure is a British graphic adventure video game released in 2008. The Lost Crown is the third full title to be written and developed by Jonathan Boakes, author of Dark Fall: The Journal and Dark Fall 2: Lights Out. The screenplay follows the adventure of Nigel Danvers, as he experiences the paranormal in his quest to find the fabled Lost Crown of Anglia. The game was followed by The Last Crown: Midnight Horror[1] and The Last Crown: Blackenrock.

Plot[edit]

Vividly set in the fictional harbour town of Saxton in The Fens of eastern England, The Lost Crown follows the adventures of two young ghost-hunters, Nigel Danvers and Lucy Reubans. Nigel has fled London, following the theft of several documents from his employer, The Hadden Corporation. The documents contain proof of Hadden’s involvement in experiments with paranormal forces, and the existence of ‘chasm ghosts’. Two Hadden agents, Mr. Hare and Mr. Crow are dispatched to capture Danvers and return the stolen documents.

Nigel takes refuge in Saxton, where he meets local psychology student, Lucy Reubans. Together they set out to solve local mysteries, study paranormal activity and discover the whereabouts of a legendary Anglo-Saxon crown, thought to be buried somewhere in the vicinity around town. Nigel’s presence in the town does not go unnoticed. There are those, alive and dead, that do not wish the crown to be disturbed.[2]

Development[edit]

The Lost Crown was written by Jonathan Boakes, between 2005 and late 2007. The story is an exploration of the ‘classic ghost story’, featuring references to many ghost stories read by the author in childhood. Most notably, M. R. James A Warning to the Curious features many influential elements; the seaside setting, the legend of the lost Anglo-Saxon Crown, a greedy archaeologist and the presence of a ghostly guardian, sworn to protect the whereabouts of the crown, even after death.[3]

Other literary influences include J.L.Carr’s A Month in the Country,[citation needed] which features a lonely protagonist camped out in a rural country church, left alone to uncover a secret over the course of an apparently endless, hot summer.

Boakes also joined a group of ‘modern day ghost-hunters’ in order to research the game, following on from paranormal experiments seen in Dark Fall and Dark Fall 2. Known as This Haunted Land, the group are based in Cornwall, England, and share a passion for the paranormal and the use of technology used during investigations. Many of the results gleaned from those experiments have made their way into the game, such as the use of E.M.F meters, Nite-Vision cameras and E.V.P[4]

Many of the scenes were created from photography made in real places in Cornwall, notably the fishing towns of Looe and Polperro.

Gameplay[edit]

Presented in both first and third-person perspectives, The Lost Crown is a point-and-click game, featuring puzzles, conversations and inventory based interaction. The gamer follows the adventure of Nigel Danvers, as he wanders the harbour town of Saxton and the surrounding countryside, armed with a small arsenal of ghost-hunting gadgets. Eventually, after uncovering and exorcising several ghosts, Nigel discovers the whereabouts of a long lost Anglo-Saxon crown; thought to have crowned the king of the region, Ganwulf, back in the sixth century AD.[5]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic71/100[6]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Adventure Gamers3.5/5 stars[7]
GameZone7/10[8]
IGN7/10[9]
PC Format63%[10]
PC Gamer (UK)54%[11]
PC Gamer (US)68%[12]
PC Zone54%[13]

The game received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[6]

Diehard GameFAN awarded the game its "Best PC game of 2008" award as well as its "Adventure Game of the Year" and "Best Story" awards.[14]

Fan reception[edit]

The visual appearance of the game is highly unusual. Many locations are based on ‘real’ places, located near the author’s home in Cornwall. The harbour town of Polperro features the most; photographed, augmented and presented as game screens, complete with weather effects and a realistic ambient score. Many of the locations are in black and white, with vivid patches of colour. Many gamers have noted that they dream in this way, leading many to believe the adventure is based within one persons mind, most likely being the mind of the lead character, Nigel Danvers. Nigel’s arrival, at the start of play, is on board an old-fashioned steam train, "The Sleepwalker".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Last Crown: Blackenrock" Official Website
  2. ^ "The Lost Crown" Official Website
  3. ^ Darkling Room (April 6, 2014). "Jonathan Boakes: Biography". Darkling Room.
  4. ^ "This Haunted Land: Ghost-hunters & the Paranormal World". This Haunted Land.
  5. ^ The Lost crown US Game Manual
  6. ^ a b "The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Dante Kleinberg (March 31, 2008). "The Lost Crown: A Ghost-hunting Adventure review". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Steven Hopper (March 24, 2008). "The Lost Crown: A Ghosthunting Adventure [sic] - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Charles Oneyett (March 24, 2008). "The Lost Crown Review". IGN. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure". PC Format (218): 114. October 2008.
  11. ^ "The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure". PC Gamer UK: 88. December 2008.
  12. ^ "The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure". PC Gamer: 71. June 2008.
  13. ^ "PC Review: The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure". PC Zone: 77. November 2008.
  14. ^ Alexander Lucard (January 7, 2009). "Diehard GameFAN's 2008 Gaming Awards". Diehard GameFAN. Retrieved January 24, 2009.

External links[edit]