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The Journeyman Project

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This article is about the first computer game titled The Journeyman Project. For the entire series, see The Journeyman Project (series).
The Journeyman Project
Developer(s) Presto Studios
Publisher(s) Presto Studios
Sanctuary Woods
Bandai
Designer(s) David Flanagan
Release date (The Journeyman Project) 1993
(TJP Turbo) 1994
Genre Adventure game
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s)
Platform(s) Mac OS, Windows
Media CD-ROM (1)
Input Keyboard, Mouse[1]
System requirements PC
  • 33MHz 386DX or faster, Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later, 4MB RAM, Super VGA Color Monitor (256 colors), Sound Blaster or compatible sound card, CD-ROM Drive, Mouse[1]

Macintosh

  • Macintosh Color Computer, System 7.0 or later, 8MB of RAM, CD-ROM Drive, 13" Color Monitor or (256 colors), External speakers recommended[1]
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

The Journeyman Project is a time travel adventure computer game developed by Presto Studios.

Gameplay

The game features a first-person perspective, thus, the player sees what the protagonist is seeing. The screen displays a rectangle shaped visor (acting as a monocle for Agent 5). This user interface helped to reduce the movie size and maintain relatively high framerates on the slow hardware of the time. Movement controls are possible with four interface buttons located below the screen, but they can also be commanded with the arrow keys in the keyboard. The movements are forward, backward, turn right and turn left.

The gameplay is that of an adventure game, in which the player is presented with several clues and puzzles that must be solved in order to move on or finish the level. Much of what happens in the game results of the player's intuition and deductions, and if the assumptions turn out to be wrong, the path of the player will probably prove fatal.

Different items are found throughout the game, and can prove to be vital or, at least, helpful in the player's attempts to solve the problems and situations given. The most important of these items are the biochips. There are a total of 7 Bio-Chips:

Bio-Chip Function Found in
Interface Store present or load a previously saved game. Customized from game start.
Pegasus Link the traveler to the time machine Pegasus whenever he is inside</br>a time zone. Automatic recall for emergencies or completed tasks. Ready room.
Mapping Record a location that the Agent has stepped on. The location</br>appears on the display screen seen from above. Ready room.
Trace Scans residues left by a time traveler. Ares' central processor chamber. Near Mars.
Shield Prevents plasma rays from draining too much energy from an Agent. Mercury's central processor chamber. World Science Center, Sydney.
Retinal Simulates the Agent's retina, when analyzed by an eye scanner. Mercury's central processor chamber. World Science Center, Sydney.
Optical Memory Stores and plays previously recorded video files. All Prototypes' central processor chambers.

For speed purposes, a Bio-Chip panel is found below the screen, in which all collected Bio-Chips are stored. This avoids the player having to look for such chips in the inventory list, which takes longer.

Story

Background

In the year 2308, Earth was shaken after an alien ship arrived at the Airborne Metropolis of Caldoria Heights and delivered a message. It came from the Cyrollans who, after seeing that mankind was no longer a threat to itself, invited Earth to consider a proposal to join a Symbiotry of Peaceful Beings, where they would share knowledge and culture with the other alien races. After that, the ship departed, saying they would come back in ten years to receive Earth's response.

Caldoria Heights Apartments

The story starts in the year 2318. Temporal Protectorate Agent Number 5, a local resident of Caldoria is notified to arrive at work. Having a history of three previous late arrivals, he is threatened with termination. During his ventures to get early, he notices by glimpses that a Cyrollan ambassador has arrived with his ship to Caldoria and is fulfilling the promise made ten years ago.

Due to his late arrivals, Agent 5 is scheduled with a procedure review session, including theory, background information, and agent protocols. After the sessions are over, the Command Center's alarm flares up: a temporal rip has been detected.

File:Pegasus Time Tunnel.jpg
Proceeding with protocol, Agent 5 jumps to a prehistoric age, managing to avoid the temporal distortion wave that alters time, and retrieves a Historical Log disc, which contains a summary of all of the historical events in the history of the world, this being left unaltered by the wave for its uneventful temporal location. After returning to the present, the log disc is cross examined with the Temporal Protection Annex's log, and three distorted events (considered anachronisms) are found. After comparing the altered and unaltered versions of the events, the computer shows the probability of overall resolving the rip of each anachronism.

The first event, and most likely to resolve the situation (though not the earliest chronologically) is an alien spacecraft sighting by a Human Colony on planet Mars, where it originally was supposed to flee and not return, however, the distortion consisted of the spacecraft being shot down by an unknown attacker and the Colony being destroyed by an explosion.

The second event occurs in a rally in a World Science Center set in Sydney. The rally is formed to deliberate whether the alien message they received by the Cyrollans was either a friendly legitimate overture or a hostile facade. Although most of the scientists invited for the rally were inclined to the hostile theory, Dr. Enrique Castillo, opposing them, delivered an emotive and very moving speech, which turned the tide. This resulted in the Cyrollan's return to Caldoria in 2318. The anachronism in this time zone consists on the assassination of Dr. Castillo, before delivering his speech.

The third event dated back to the years of the unification talks around the globe. Gorbastan is one of the last countries to sign the unification treaty, and before the leaders agree to it, a terrorist faction opposing the move decides to take hostages (some of them American) in protest. In spite of this, Gorbastan still signs the treaty. The temporal distortion here occurs when, by an unknown reason, a nuclear missile is launched from a Norad VI station in the US targeted at the terrorists' location in Gorbastan. The missile self-destructed, yet it still was seen by other governments as a harsh scare tactic by the United States, and they would later pull back on the unification.

With this information, Agent 5 rides the Pegasus again and sets to resolve the anachronisms.

August 3rd, 2185, Morimoto Colony, Mars

File:Morimoto Mars Colony Shuttle Gantry.jpg
Agent 5 first makes a jump to this time zone, and lands at a shuttle gantry in the Morimoto Colony. Walking through the long aisle, he encounters a large menacing looking robot crossing by. After it sees him and photographs him with its camera eye, it resumes its path. Agent 5 follows the robot to a Maintenance Transport cart, which in turns leads him to the Colony Nuclear Reactor entrance. He sights the robot leaving the Reactor, and quickly gets off the way, after it demands him to do so. When the robot leaves, the agent then walks into the reactor's entrance. After approaching more closely to the reactor with the built in retractable platform, he discovers that a bomb has been placed in an access card slot and set to detonate. After disarming the explosive device circuitry, the bomb is deactivated and the Reactor, as well as the Colony, is spared from destruction.

Since the robot took the maintenance transport back to the colony, Agent 5 resumes his pursuit via the only way possible: entering a zone beyond the Colony with no life supports systems, he makes his way through a maze like aisle and manages to arrive to an Ore processing machine room (he survives the non breathable air by using an old oxygen mask he found earlier). This in fact leads him back to the Gantry. After walking through the aisle once again, he sights the robot and learns he has boarded a shuttle. Agent 5 quickly boards the last ship docked and gives chase through the Martian canyon of Coprates Minor, ending in an atmospheric launch tube that propels them both into space.

Agent 5's shuttle quickly gets on the other's tail. There he has two choices. By using weapons such as an energy damping beam (which drains a small percent of energy from a targeted ship) or a highly destructive graviton cannon, he can destroy the ship. However, he can also use a tractor beam (after the ship's energy is drained below 10%) to capture the shuttle. There, he gets a final look at the now almost completely deactivated robot and takes its installed Bio-Chips for himself. After that, the robot self-destructs. Either ways spare the alien spacecraft from being attacked.

By resolving the anachronism, the Pegasus Bio-Chip automatically pulls Agent 5 back to the Time Machine.

January 17th, 2310, Sydney Australia

With now two time zones left to go, Agent 5 jumps to the World Science Center rally. He lands in Elliot Sinclair's laboratory. He is confronted by yet another robot, who maliciously declares "I've been expecting you". The robot shoots a tranquilizer dart at Agent 5, almost incapacitating him. Then, the robot transforms his appearance to resemble a human bystander and leaves the weakened agent locked inside.

Before he can do anything else, the agent looks around the lab, desperately looking for a cure. In there he finds Dr. Sinclair's log, and learns about his original time bending discovery. He also learns that the robots he confronted (identified as Prototypes and named after Greco-Roman deities) were all constructed by him, as well as retrieving video logs depicting Sinclair's advances in developing the Biotech Interface (the monocle Agent 5 wears as part of his suit). After using a compound analyzer to scrutinize the tranquilizer dart he was shot with, Agent 5 then generates an antidote, by means of a Molecular Synthesizer. After eliminating the toxin from his bloodstream, he leaves the lab and searches for the Prototype.

Traveling around the Science Center, he finds the robot in the Electrical Access to the Auditorium, still disguised as a human, awaiting the previously announced Dr. Castillo with a laser rifle in hand. Agent 5 then has two alternatives to stop the assassination. One is by using a set of wire cutters to crack open a safety lock, which itself keeps a Fire Control System case closed. By running a test of the system, a sprinkler from the roof activates and sprays argon which interferes with the transformation of the robot to destabilize, causing it to revert to its robotic form and collapse. Another option is to yank off a high voltage cable and place it next to the metal rig in which the robot is standing. The metal conducts the electricity right to the robot's structure and it also collapses. After Agent 5 takes all Bio-Chips he doesn't have from the robot, it also self-destructs. This one leaves behind the dart gun which he fired upon Agent 5.

Again, Pegasus activates and takes the agent back to the present.

May 15th, 2112, Somewhere Near South America

The final event scheduled in the time machine, this time, Agent 5 lands in an unspecified chamber, inside Norad VI. There he meets the last (and probably most dangerous) of the Prototypes. This one diminishes him by stating: "You are no match for me, human, but I love a challenge". It proceeds to lock Agent 5 inside the chamber. Surviving the powerful sleeping gas let loose through the air ducts and ventilation system by using the oxygen mask's air filters, he exits the chamber, only to be confronted by the robot. It shoots three phaser rays at him and then enters the missile launch station. After taking a glimpse, at the station, Agent 5 sees the robot struggling to type the launch codes. Suddenly, a computer voice reveals that the Override Station, located on another sector, is currently unmanned (due to the gas knocking out all of the people present).

Agent 5 has to hurry to the Override Station, while passing by a submarine dock. In there, he finds that to enter, the pressure inside the chamber must be equal to the atmosphere and also a mechanical arm that loads a submarine when it is docked. After this, Agent 5 must make his way through the security door to enter the Override Station, that is, manage to fool a retinal ID scanner in order to enter. If he succeeds, he is able to take over and abort the missile launch. However, as he accesses the computer, the Prototype gladly announces it has just broken the codes and that the launch has initiated. Agent 5 must now deactivate the launch silo selected for the missile. Using a globe map and a track ball, he manages to deactivate the silo. However, the robot quickly chooses another silo, and so on and so forth, with time running out. After a series of consecutive silos being deactivated, a security override system deactivates all remaining silos, thus impeding the nuclear missile to be launched. This, in turn, triggers the robot's anger, who mumbles: "The only good human is a dead human".

Agent 5 then runs to confront the Prototype, and cross paths with him in the Submarine dock control room. The robot already inside, Agent 5 then has two options to stop the enraged robot. One is by increasing the pressure inside the dock, as a computer voice warned not to increase the level up to maximum, since some objects inside may implode. By doing this, the robot is deactivated. Another way to stop the robot is by activating the mechanical loading arm, which grabs hold of the Prototype and crashes him to the dividing window. Agent 5 takes the last Optical Memory Bio-Chip, and then the robot self-destructs.

By solving this final rip, the agent's job in time travel is finished. However, he still has to discover the source of the temporal rips in order to prevent them from occurring all over again.

Optical Memory Bio-Chips

File:Elliot Sinclair.jpg
Although the three Prototypes had different types of Bio-Chips, all of them shared one: The Optical Memory Bio-Chip. This kind of Chip contains previously recorded video that can be uploaded to a compatible device and be viewed for research purposes. The Chips found in the robots' memory all contained a video message recorded by its creator, Elliot Sinclair.

The videos can be seen at any time in the game, and it is important to see them, since they contain information about the origin of the temporal rips. They also serve to identify the different robots. The one in Mars is Ares, the one in the Science Center is called Mercury and the one in Norad VI is Poseidon.

In the video messages sent to each Prototype, Sinclair gives them specific instructions as to what to do in each Time Zone, and is hard evidence of his direct involvement in the anachronisms.

Although Sinclair's intentions are subtly mentioned in all of the videos, he explains them with more detail in his message to Poseidon. Apparently, he had convinced himself that the Cyrollans were actually a malevolent race of alien beings, set to destroy and enslave humanity. Incidentally, his own opinion greatly influenced the early views on the rally at Sydney, which in turn invigorated his grudge against Dr. Castillo with his speech, as he inconspicuously reveals during his instructions to Mercury.

It is in the message to Poseidon where Sinclair confesses his intentions to kill the Cyrollan delegate, if all of his envoys should fail, choosing the place with the best view in Caldoria and having a clean shot. Although he shows remorse, he also reveals his intentions to destroy Caldoria if everything backfires.

Caldoria Rooftop Observatory

After knowing this, Agent 5 has no option but to return to his apartment and figure out where could Sinclair be. After climbing off the Global Transporter that takes him back, he encounters the Caldoria Heights Apartment Information Booth. It is there where he sees the best view in Caldoria is in the apartment building rooftop observatory. He quickly takes elevator upstairs to the roof access, but stumbles to the door being closed. After noticing a card slot, Agent 5 takes the access card bomb found in the Reactor and places it in. The door explodes and reveals Elliot Sinclair holding a rifle and waiting for the Delegate to come out. After he sees Agent 5, he warns him to stay back. Using the stun gun left behind by Mercury, the agent stops Sinclair. After he falls unconscious, the end screen appears, showing a picture of Agent 5 taking Sinclair into custody.

The end lines of the description adjacent to the drawing reads: "You're well on your way for a promotion, but a Protectorate Agent's work is never done."

Development

File:Mars Maze JM1.png

The Journeyman Project was released in 1992 after 2 years of development. The game impressed the gaming press with its use of static high quality rendered graphics, stylist artwork and great immersive feeling with the help of digital audio. It suffered from performance problems and slow animations due to its early reliance on Macromedia Director. These problems were mostly overcome with the version 2.0 release that was retitled The Journeyman Project Turbo! and published by Sanctuary Woods in 1994.

Reception

The game was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon #196 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[2]

Releases and bug fixes

The game suffered from performance problems and slow animations due to its early reliance on Macromedia Director. These problems were mostly overcome with the version 2.0 release and retitled as The Journeyman Project Turbo! under the publisher Sanctuary Woods in 1994.

  • The Journeyman Project v1.0 - (1992) original self-published release for Macintosh
  • The Journeyman Project v1.1 - (1992) bug fixes
  • The Journeyman Project v1.2 - (1993) performance upgrade, fastest Mac version until TJP Turbo
  • The Journeyman Project MPC v1.0 - (1993) first release for Windows 3.1
  • The Journeyman Project Turbo - (1994) unified release for Mac and PC with major speed improvements
  • The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime - (1997) a complete remake of the original

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Journeyman Project TURBO - System Requirements. presto.tommyyune.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-10.
  2. Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (August 1993). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (196): 59–63. 

External links

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