Azrael's Tear



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Among all the existing myths, one particularly fascinated mankind more than others. Its unceasing quest led by valiant knights as told in the literature of the 12th and 13th century, made of the Holy Grail a legendary treasure. The history says the Holy Grail was the cup that Jesus Christ used at the Last Supper, and in which Joseph of Arimathea collected Jesus Christ's blood at his crucifixion. According to the medieval legend, the Holy Grail would not only heal wounds, but also give the ultimate gift, immortality. In Azrael's Tear, the new action/adventure game developed by London-based Intelligent Games, you will be sent to the Temple of Aeternis in search of the Holy Grail to bring it back to the outside world.

Protected by the Guardians in a vast underground castle, the Holy Grail is hidden somewhere deep beneath the surface and is surrounded by terrifying and dark mysteries. The Temple of Aeternis awaits you with its traps and dangers, and only the wise and strong will succeed in stealing the Grail from its Guardians. In an ancient prophecy of the Temple, it is written that one day a Thief will come and take the Grail away from Aeternis. Will it be you? Will you have what it takes to solve the intriguing and sophisticated puzzles, and make your way through daring and perilous ordeals? The answer, of course, only depends of you, but it would be a pity to miss this stunning adventure game.

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The world of Azrael's Tear lies beyond all imagination. As you enter the Temple and discover the first life forms, you suddenly wonder where have you landed. Small reptilians from prehistoric eras run through the corridor where you arrived, and even though you quickly find out they are of no danger to you, you shiver with the idea of your next encounter.

Azrael's Tear allows a complete interaction with the surrounding 3D environment through its interface. Your head-up display supplies you with vital information using environmental and life form scans that indicate potential dangers to avoid at all costs, as well as general data about your current location. The interface lets you look up and down up to 60 degrees vertically and turn around with 360 degrees of freedom. The exploration plays a major part in the game as you must discover and collect clues step by step that will unravel the mystery that wraps Aeternis. Furthermore, access to other levels of the castle is protected by subtle, yet difficult, puzzles that you will have to solve. However, the solution to some puzzles is not unique when compared to previous adventure games. This obviously frees the player from getting stuck too many times during the game, but the apparent facility is just an illusion, as other solutions will often call for more dangers placing you in perilous actions where you may risk your life.

The dialogues between you and the characters of Aeternis, should you stay alive at the issue of the conversation, will provide you with essential elements to understand what happened to Aeternis during the past centuries. But as ironically mentioned above, engaging a conversation may be hazardous. While some may answer your questions, others may react violently and suddenly attack you if you say something wrong. The documents you will find throughout the Temple, either lying on the ground or meticulously hidden, will help you in replying, and at the same time, will provide you with further explanations. In general, dialogues use a multiple-choice system that allows you to choose among a series of possible questions and answers. In case of sudden attack, you can try to escape or respond to the attack using your weapon, but this isn't always possible.

With only two weapons in the game, a standard gun and an elephant gun, the second being used only once, combats are quite limited. Most of the characters have swords with only a small minority having guns and are potentially dangerous. However, close combats will generally be unfavorable to you as you don't wear plated armor like the knights. For this reason, should you need to kill somebody in the game, it is better to keep a certain distance between you and your adversary. Pressing the space bar will enter you into combat mode in which you must move the red target sign and click to shoot. Contrary to Doom-like games, you don't have unlimited ammunition in Azrael's Tear, and in case you run out, you will be at the mercy of anything dangerous such as scorpions.

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Both characters and living creatures in Azrael's Tear are made of 3D fully-textured polygons that are real-time animated with SVGA graphics. Although there was no motion-capture involved in the making, their movements are fluid and look very realistic, especially those of the monstrous saurien. The most impressive is definitely the realism of the textures that were used for the environment and animated creatures. The scenes are visually spectacular, and it is clear that the developers' choice to use high-resolution graphics was judicious.

For some users however, the high-resolution graphics can drastically slow down the game play. To counter this effect, there are four possible graphic modes that change the level of detail without leaving the SVGA resolution. When you move your character, the program will automatically switch to a lower level of definition to maintain the game speed, while when you are stationery, it will go back to a higher resolution to preserve the best possible graphics.

The graphics of Azrael's Tear are not the only element that draws you into the game. As you progress in the story and venture deeper into the Temple, you discover gigantic rooms in which it seems it would take an eternity to cross it. This has for effect to make you feel ridiculously small and vulnerable to any predator, and largely contributes to the unique atmosphere of the game. One particular room, the Execution Room, is very impressive. When you take the lift to the upper levels, the view you will have while moving up will quite simply keep take your breath away for a moment. You actually feel as if you were underground, and not watching your monitor screen! This coupled with the eery and obscure atmosphere of the game largely contribute to the immersion feeling that you are overwhelmed with from the first minute of the game.

The soundtrack and especially the sound effects are the last elements that overtop the whole thing. From one room to another the effect can be totally different. For example, the sound of dropping water in a large cave will emphasize on its size while the deep sound of hammering from a large creature will accentuate the feeling of an imminent danger. The crystal clear quality of both sounds and voices during the game is a tremendous benefit for the player, but what is even better is the directional sound. With this feature, when a sound comes from the left, and if the player turns left, the sound will become louder exactly as in the real life.


The plot of Azrael's Tear is what every other adventure game should be like: complex, intriguing and innovative. Additionally, the game features beautiful graphics, ultra-realistic sound effects and an excellent game play. It is in fact hard to think of a better game!

Written by Frederick Claude

Click here for screen shots.
Click here to download the demo.

System Requirements:

486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
Hard drive required with 20Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster, Pro, 16 and AWE32; Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum; Gravis UltraSound; Ensoniq Soundscape; Roland RAP-10; General Midi devices supported.


Intelligent Games Ltd.,
Kiln House,
210 New Kings Road,
London, SW6 4NZ.


In North America:

88 Rowland Way,
Novato, CA 94945.

Technical Support:415-897-9900
Fax Support:415-897-2747

Web site: Mindscape

In Europe:

In UK:

Mindscape International Ltd.,
Priority House,
Charles Avenue, Maltings Park,
Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9PQ.

Technical Support:(+44)-(0)1444-239600
Fax Support:(+44)-(0)1444-248996

Web site: Mindscape UK

In France:

Mindscape France,
74D Rue de Paris,
36069 Rennes Cedex.

Technical Support:(+33)-9987-5887
Fax Support:(+33)-9987-5888

In Germany:

Mindscape Germany,
Zeppelinstrasse 321,
45470 Muelheim A.D. Ruhr.

Technical Support:(+49)-208-9924100
Fax Support:(+49)-208-9924129



For more information about the Holy Grail, visit the following sites:

Allegories of the Holy Grail
The Holy Grail

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