Genre:graphic animated adventure
Lead Artist: Kenn Nishiuye
Executive Producer:Ted Markley
286/16 MHz or better; 12 megabytes of Hard Disk Space; 575 K of active RAM out of 640 K RAM;
VGA/MCGA; high density floppy drive (3.5 or 5.25 inch).
Sound: Roland, Ad Lib, Sound Blaster, Covox, Pro Audio Spectrum.
Recommended: 386/20 MHz or better, mouse, runs better on 486DX33MHz
In 1992, Microprose attempted to widen their audience to include the Animated Graphic Adventure gamers. Rex Nebular, Dragonsphere, and Return of the Phantom were released as a part of the effort to establish this new product line. Rex Nebular was the first graphic adventure game ever produced by Microprose, which was released right on the heels of the first Microprose role-playing adventure game, Darklands. While Darklands was marred by bugs which persisted until the Gold Edition, version 8 of the game was released, Rex Nebular was a quality project that ran without a hitch on the machines of its day.
The Microprose graphic animated adventure games had excellent graphics, plot, puzzles, and characterization, but never caught on with the public and the Microprose graphic animated adventure group was dropped from the microprose lineup. The game was produced with the Microprose Adventure Development (MADS) game system, and from a special animated game division of Microprose. Later all of the graphic adventure group were laid off by Microprose, when the game's did not sell. The greatest tragedy of the whole system is that these games were excellent.
A priceless vase is lost on a distant planet that doesn't exist! An irate colonel wants the vase back! And only one man is exprienced enough. . .skilled enough. . .And foolish enough to retrieve it! Rex Nebular. . .interstellar adventurer and bungling bachelor extraordinaire!
In the most far-out animated graphic adventure ever to land on store shelves, Rex Nebular will have you journeying through strange locations to unravel the myriad of puzzles and mysteries on Terra Androgena. . .a plaent populated entirely by bizarre alien women! A multituede of puzzles to unlock! Unprecedented, state-of-the-art graphics to astound even the most experienced animated graphic adventure players! All-new MADS (MicroProse Adventure Development System) interface lets players control specific actions of Rex Nebular!
Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender. MicroProse enters the animated graphics adventure arena with a bang with this bawdy, irreverent outer space action farce. Interstellar super stud Rex Nebular is marooned on a world populated entirely by women. Can he escape? More importantly, does he want to? State-of-the-art graphics and animation dazzle your senses while outrageous humor tickles your funny bone. For IBM-PC/compatibles.
Welcome to the outrageous universe of Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender, MicroProse's off-the-wall entry into the animated graphics adventure gaming (AGA) genre.
"When we began this project, we thought we could contribute something significant to this genre," said Rex Nebular producer and game designer Matt Gruson. "Some games were strong technologically but weak in content and design. Others were the opposite. We planned to produce an AGA that would be strong on all counts. I think we've done that."
Rex Nebular, Gruson pointed out, boasts the most impressive graphics technology ever developed for a computer game. "We are absolutely pushing the state-of-the-art in image processing and animation," he said. "We're almost intimidated by how advanced Rex is, because our next game is going to have to live up to it."
One area in which these spectacular animation techniques are seen is during human movement, where Gruson and his team designed and coded their own video processing tools to create an animation process similar to rotoscoping, "but much more advanced." Characters in Rex Nebular move with uncanny realism and even reach for objects in realistic fashion. Most AGAs simply have selected objects disappear from view.
For the game's dazzling visual style, Gruson recruited Kenn Nishiuye, a highly-regarded artist in and out of computer gaming, as Art Director. Nishiuye's work can be seen in many popular Sierra AGAs. "Kenn was amazed at the power of our animation tools. He had to re-learn what he could and could not do. Because our artists can perform tasks that once required programmers, they have more control over their work. The results are spectacular."
Despite all the technology, Gruson knew that Rex Nebular must also be fun and challenging. The story is filled with puzzles and brain-teasers that reward intelligent and logical thinking. Multiple skill levels keep the game challenging for players of varying intuitive powers, and "naughty" and "nice" modes let players dictate how far the humor will go. A streamlined interface makes entering commands easy and comprehensive.
"There's no struggle to figure out how to tell the game what you want to do," Gruson said. "Along with a standard list of commands and actions, each object you encounter has its own specific list of verbs." Other innovations include an auto-resurrect mode which returns a recently killed character to the point in the game just prior to the moment of death.
The game also automatically saves your progress at the end of a session and allows you to resume there on the next play. "The only time that you need to save are at decision points, places where you may want to return to see the results of a different course of action," Gruson explained.
Rex Nebular will be released initially for IBM-PC/compatibles. Tentative machine requirements include 640K of RAM, 575K of free memory, and about 10MB of hard disk space for the entire game. 1 MB of RAM will be needed to hear the game's digitized speech. All major sound cards are supported. The game will also be structured to take full advantage of any machine enhancements a player might have, such as extended memory, video RAM, graphics accelerators, etc.