Sanity used a 3D engine to create a top-down view similar to gauntlet. Instead of weapons, the main character used various "psychic" abilities, both offensive and defensive. The abilities were represented by individual "cards"; the game shipped with a poster showing over 100 individual ability "cards".
"Booster Pack" Expansion
Sanity:Aiken's Artifact had the option to purchase/download add-on various "booster packs" from Monolith's website to unlock additional in-game ability cards, a concept inspired by Collectible Card Games such as Magic:The Gathering. Free "booster packs" were also included with various game magazine CD-ROMs shortly after the release of the game.
Several decades before the game starts, a world - renowned genetic engineer named Doctor Joan Aiken discovered a way to utilise the unused portion of the human brain via a serum. The serum would give the user psychic abilities, or "talents", which could manipulate the world around them, for example levitating or shooting a bolt of lightning. Talents were split into collections called totems, and each Psionic specialised in the use of one totem, others even founding their own. Aiken became the founder of the Science totem.
However, the adult mind was too advanced to allow manipulation of the brain, so the serum would have to be injected in utero. To resolve this problem Aiken started the "Children of Tomorrow" project, where the children who could use Talents (nicknamed "psionics") would be raised in the labs. The first two to undergo this process were named Cain, who founded the Fire totem, and Abel, who founded the Storm totem.
Excessive use of Talents could lead to insanity, so a police - like force of advanced Psionics was created known as the DNPC. Cain joined the DNPC, and Abel took up a life of crime. Another generation of Children of Tomorrow were bred, who founded the Truth totem.
When the game starts, Cain has just been suspended from the DNPC following an incident with Priscilla Divine, leader of the Eye of Ra (a radical organisation who wish to destroy the CoT project for ethical reasons) and founder of the Sun totem. He is eventually recruited back and tasked with infiltrating the Eye of Ra, who have been operating under the guise of a psychic hotline, and apprehend Divine.
After breaking into the building and crashing the electricity grid, Cain receives an anonymous phone call telling him to terminate Divine at all costs. He refuses, but is forced to do so when she attacks him on the roof of the building. Before her death she proclaims, "it doesn't matter anyway. We're all dead. Golgotham will destroy us all!". He returns to the DNPC to find that they are protecting another CoT, Bobby (no reason is given for this, but Bobby claims that it's because he has exceptional psionic powers). Abel breaks in and tries to kidnap Bobby, but Cain manages to hold him off until the DNPC arrive and use Talent - suppressors, forcing him to flee.
Cain is later told that a shipment of Aiken's test serum from when the labs tried to make the serum suitable for adults was stolen. The magician Adrian Starr, founder of the Illusion totem, is a suspect, and Cain is instructed to visit and question him. After being forced to go through a deadly ride called the Deathtrap and participate in a life - or - death quiz show, Cain discovers that Adrian is in fact innocent. Whilst there Cain is visited by Golgotham, who summons some of the Eye of Ra's demon Psionic guards.
With the only lead exhausted, Cain is instructed to see Aiken herself at the lab, where he is visited by Golgotham again. After fighting the Eye of Ra guards and Starr's showgirls he enters the lab disguised as a tour group member. After sneaking off and being attacked by droids he meets Aiken.
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