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Wednesday, September 5, 2001
ECTS: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Info and Screenshots
9:40 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

For some time now many fans of Douglas Adams have been looking forward to re-entering his complex, bizarre fictional world via a computer game. The last time this was attempted was in an Infocom text-adventure in the 80's. Since then Douglas set up a company called The Digital Village which amongst other projects created Starship Titanic, an adventure game aimed at creating an involving humourous world complete with some bizarre characters with some elements of AI that lead to some rather interesting conversations! TDV has evolved into Phase 3 Studios and they have been working on a new title known as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 3D, a third-person adventure towel-em up!

The game starts with a situation that all fans of the books will be familiar with: the hapless Arthur Dent attempting to cope with the realization that his house is being knocked down by the local council, rapidly followed by the greater ordeal of the earth being destroyed by the Vogons to make way for an intergalactic bypass. From this starting point the player takes on the role of Arthur, travelling throughout the Universe meeting a variety of strange aliens who may help or thwart his efforts to save all known life from being destroyed by an invading force of robots, the Krikkit.

Rather than directly following the plot of the books, the game will take characters that many readers will be familiar such as Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin the Paranoid Android and uses them to create an entirely new adventure. Travelling through the squalid surroundings of a Vogon Constructor Fleet spaceship, the swamplands of Squornshellous Zeta, the splendour of the fabled Heart-Of-Gold with it's Infinite-Improbability Drive and the legendary planet constructing depths of Magrathea, Arthur must battle with aliens, solve puzzles and of course, talk with annoying lifts!

The main weapon which Arthur uses is his towel, a vital piece of equipment for all hitchhikers, without one you'll never be known by your counterparts as a hoopy frood. Your standard towel will never be enough to beat the Krikkit robots, so Arthur must persuade the Towlin Monks that he is enlightened enough to gain use of the sacred golden towel. This is achieved in the quasi-buddhist manner of passing through the trials of Courage, Strength, Agility, Intelligence and Skill. When you're totally lost, there's always the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy itself to use for reference, and maybe to find a decent party and knock back a few Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters. A good cup of tea on the other hand may be a little more difficult to find!

Unfortunately no actual game code was available at ECTS so we can't go into too many game specifics. You can be sure that this won't be your run of the mill third-person adventure shooter though. Hopefully we'll have access to the game itself in the not too distant future, so you can expect a full preview. In the mean time maybe you should read the books! What we can tell you is that the game will work on OS 9 as well as having full support for OS X and is currently scheduled for release by Pan Interactive in the first quarter of next year.

HHGTG Image Gallery
Phase 3 Studios Project Page
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 3D

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