What we have here is a pretty comprehensive guide to help you on your way to solving the mystery that is Starship Titanic. We've outlined how to achieve certain objectives, indicated where you can find certain items and information, and given a brief resume of the characters. Once you've got your 1st Class upgrade it's up to you...
Your Lovely Home
Click on your Start button and select Programs/Starship Titanic/Play Starship Titanic. You will find yourself in Your Lovely Home, the first puzzle in the game (ie How To Start The Game - gettit?). If you move your cursor around the screen, you will see it change into different directional arrows. Clicking with the left arrow will move you left, etc. This is how you navigate throughout most of the game -simple point-and-click. Hint: to navigate more quickly, hold the shift key down as you click through the game. This will skip the animated transitions and page you through from view to view.
Turn around to face the computer on the desk. Click on the CD-ROM drive. Click-and-drag the top CD (with the Starship Titanic logo on it) into the drive. It will close and trigger the prologue of the game, in which you meet Fentible the DoorBot. Fentible will introduce himself and take you aboard. You're in good hands, so just do as he says.
The PET (Personal Electronic Thing)
Among other things, Fentible will hand you your PET, and show you how to use it for character interaction (CHAT-O-MAT mode) and inventory handling (PERSONAL BAGGAGE mode). The other modes, moving down the list of icons along the right, are: REMOTE THINGUMMY, which houses specific controls for different devices you'll encounter throughout the game; DESIGNER ROOM NUMBERS, with which you can store and recall specific locations throughout the ship; and REAL LIFE, which includes your basic Load, Save and Sound options and Exit controls.
Generally speaking, the PET is context-sensitive, and will page to the appropriate mode at the appropriate time. However, you can always switch modes manually (ie to summon a Bot and ask a question) by clicking on the appropriate mode icon at any time.
The Embarkation Lobby
Fentible will let you off into the Moonlit Embarkation Lobby. The ship is basically in stand-by mode, having vanished into hyperspace before it could pick up any passengers. You are the first. Navigate to the right until you face the 'plinth' - a pedestal with a big button on it, reading "WELCOME TO THE STARSHIP TITANIC. PLEASE PRESS THE BUTTON FOR OPENING CREDITS". Press the button for opening credits. You are returned to a fully activated Embarkation Lobby. Go over to the desk and click on the bell. You will meet Marsinta, the DeskBot. Talk to her - she'll check you in and give you your room. Stay and chat if you like.
Marsinta has given you a Super Galactic Traveler Class state room - a fancy name for 3rd Class designed to make you feel better about being in steerage. Note that the DESIGNER ROOM NUMBERS mode of your PET shows the specific location of your assigned room, including class (3rd), floor number, elevator number, and room number.
Getting your 2nd Class upgrade
The Top of the Well
Exit the Embarkation Lobby through the big door to the left of the DeskBot. You'll be in the Top of the Well. Step forward and turn left so that you're facing a rotunda of immense marble columns. Take one step forward and:
- Turn LEFT if your room is on Elevators 1 or 2
- Turn RIGHT if your room is on Elevators 3 or 4
Move two steps forward, moving around the Well, and turn toward the centre of the Well depending on which side you're on. If you keep turning, you'll see that you're facing a pair of elevators. Step forward so that you're directly facing one of them. If you click to the DESIGNER ROOM NUMBERS mode of your PET. and click the 'chevron' code on the right, it will identify your current location and the number of the elevator you're facing.
Navigate until you're facing the correct elevator, then click the REMOTE THINGUMMY mode of the PET. then click on the icon resembling the elevator, then on the button to 'call' the elevator. You'll be brought inside.
Once there, turn to the left to face Nobby, the LiftBot. Tell him what floor you want to go to and he'll take you there: "my room", "floor 38", "38. please", "38" or several other variations will all work. Stay and chat if you like.
Super Galactic Traveller Class
Each SGT floor has 18 different rooms on it. They're stacked six across and three high, and numbered in ascending order from left to right, as follows:
- Bottom level: rooms 1-6
- Middle level: rooms 7-12
- Top level: rooms 13-18
For example, if your assigned room number is 15, it's on the top level, third from the left.
(If you're staying in rooms 1-6, you can just go straight through the appropriate door marked SGT.) However, if you need to get to the middle or top level, you will have to take the appropriate 'mini-lift'. To do this, navigate to face the appropriate door (you can use the DESIGNER ROOM NUMBER mode to identify where you are in the starship), then turn right. First click on the cylindrical column which is jutting out from the wall. This will allow you to enter the mini-lift. Then click on the appropriate button to take you to the middle or top level.
The SGT puzzle
Enter your room. You will hear a message advising you to turn to channel 3 on the TV for a prize. How to get to the TV? Your room is so small that it's modular, and only certain combinations of furnishings can be accessed at any given time. The object here is to get the bed open with enough under it to support your weight so that you can climb on it to access the TV (which is peeking out in the upper left).
Notice that the PET has changed to REMOTE THINGUMMY mode, in this case providing controls for your SGT state room. Click on different items and then the switch to the right to toggle them open or closed. Solution:
- Deploy personal maintenance hub
- Deploy executive horizontal work surface
- Deploy fully recumbent relaxation device
- Inflate fully recumbent relaxation device
Now click forward to climb onto the bed, and again to zoom in on the TV. Select the TV on the PET to activate its controls. Click the switch to turn it on, then the up arrow twice to find channel 3. You'll get the 'WINNER' message, telling you to get the magazine from the Succ-U-Bus in the lobby.
Climb off the bed and exit the room. (Take the mini-lift down to floor level if necessary.) Turn right and head to the end of the lobby, until you're facing a tinted glass cylinder. This is a Succ-U-Bus. These pneumatic tube delivery systems are located in every area of the ship. You can use them to send and receive game objects to and from specific locations.
Click on the glass to activate the Succ-U-Bus. It will slide open and he'll turn on. Chat with him if you like. (Note: The Succ-U-Bus is voiced by none other than Douglas Adams.) Switch the PET to REMOTE THINGUMMY mode and click on the Succ-U-Bus icon. The SEND and RECEIVE buttons will appear. Click on RECEIVE and he'll spit out a canister.
The in-flight magazine
Click on the canister to reveal the magazine and drag it to your PET. Exit the room and return to the elevator. Call it with your PET, and ask Nobby to take you to the Top of the Well. There, exit and retrace your steps back to the Embarkation Lobby. Click on Marsinta's bell to activate her. Hand her the magazine and she'll upgrade you to 2nd Class. Stay and chat if you like. Aside from your new 2nd Class state room, you now have access to:
- The Sculpture Chamber
- The Creators' Chamber
- The Bar
- The Music Room
- The Promenade Deck
Getting your 1st class upgrade
The Sculpture Chamber
Exit the Embarkation Lobby to the Top of the Well, turn left again and navigate all the way around to the other end. Turn left and head up the stairs and through the door. You should see an enormous computer cable in the middle of the room. This is the Sculpture Chamber.
The Bots' Cellpoint settings
The Sculpture Chamber contains representative sculptures of each of the main Bots, each with levers on it which control the Bots' cellpoint - or behavioural - settings. When talking to the Bots in CHAT-O-MAT mode, you'll notice that the three crescent dials on the left-hand side of the PET flicker and fluctuate, and sometimes shift dramatically. These are the cellpoint indicators - kind of like mood rings for the Bots. When there's a dramatic shift, that particular Bot has dropped a cellpoint setting and changed behaviours -eg Fentible has fallen into 'forgetfulness' mode.
The DeskBot sculpture
Turn right and find Marsinta's sculpture (the third on that side). Click to zoom in on it. There are two levers - click on the lever on the left to crank it. Step away, then navigate back to the Embarkation Lobby. Activate Marsinta. You may recall that she wasn't exactly hospitable to you when you first checked in, but now you ought to notice a major shift in her mood (from 'discretion' to 'pleasantness'). Want an upgrade to 1st Class? All you have to do is ask: "Can I have an upgrade?" or similar and she'll give it to you. Aside from your new 1st Class state room, you now have access to:
- The 1st class Restaurant
- The 1st class Canal
- The Arboretum
Right, so that's more than enough help to send you on your way. Good luck exploring the rest of the ship.
The robots on board the Starship Titanic are not ordinary bots, they're genuine 'personality transfer' robots, the result of deep and very costly brain scans designed to produce Bots that behave like people (without the unpleasant bits).
Fentible The Doorbot
Long, long ago, Fentible's personality was a senior partner in a law firm. Amiable, charming and trustworthy, he was perfect material to be copied into the DoorBot - apart from the occasional bouts of forgetfulness and the rather surprising mood swings!
Krace The Bellbot
When Starlight Travel bought Krage's personality, they couldn't have made a bigger mistake. You're only supposed to have your brain scanned once, but his sneaky real-life counterpart has found a way to do it once a week, so that he can use the money to finance all sorts of dodgy habits. Krage's idea of heaven would be driving an open-top down an ocean highway - surfboard on the back, BabeBot in the front, six-pack in the cooler, and one of those romantic lime-green sunsets to look forward to!
Fortillian Bantoburn O'perfluous The Barbot
Fortillian's personality has run bars all over the galaxy, but like most members of the Blarghish race he remains stubbornly and romantically Blarghish - one day he's going to return home to Blarghland and buy a little pub out on the stormy West Coast. Most of the time he's charming and funny - the perfect barman. Catch him in the wrong mood, however, and he'll either talk you into an early grave or beat you to death with sarcasm, satire or just plain insults. But then isn't that what barmen are for?
Nobby The Liftbot
Like thousands of lift operatives the galaxy over, Nobby was once a soldier. He's no longer sure which war he fought in (he's seen so many action movies he gets confused), but he knows he did because he came home without an arm. Nobby's had every illness in the book and is determined to let you know the details. Traveling with Nobby is torture unless you have a deep interest in military history or the secret workings of the body.
Marsinta Drewbish The Deskbot
Normally it takes years to teach prospective desk clerks that unnerving, shriveling "who is this worm that desires to stay in my hotel" expression. Marsinta was born with it. She can hear a mini-bar being raided at a thousand yards. If she caught you at checkout with a complimentary shampoo, you'd be body searched and tortured 'til you admitted all the other offences. Persuade her that you're actually rather important, however, and she'll purr, go into fawning, ingratiating overload and start mumbling phrases such as: "How may I make your sojourn exquisite?", "A Platinum upgrade is not good enough for you" and "I am unworthy to check you in, oh honorable passenger".
Shorbut Sweet The Succ-U-Bus
Normally, you get paid when you donate your personality - the 'better' the personality, the more money you get. When Shorbut offered up his, they looked at it for a couple of minutes then told him not to worry, they'd take it away for free. Shorbut's always worked in muck and he's always worked in the bowels of planets. Being a Succ-U-Bus is a promotion. But it hasn't gone to his head -he hates his work, he hates life, he hates being disturbed. He does like sleep and chickens, but nobody knows why.
Download Starship Titanic
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Beware, Adventure Game, For I Am death incarnate. I am your greatest enemy and your most passionate lover. I am the slayer of mediocrity and the champion of the great. I am your most strident critic and I smell inferiority at a hundred paces. Be good or be dead; there is no middle ground.
I'll admit that I'd been looking forward to Starship Titanic for a long time. I'd followed its development from an early stage, partly because I'm something of a Douglas Adams fan, but mostly because, as a consumer of 'good' adventure games, I'd been looking for something of real quality for longer than I care to mention and this held the most promise. Am I, then, a happy bunny? I couldn't be happier if I'd just been voted Most Shaggable Rabbit by Doe's Weekly.
A few issues ago, Zork: The Grand Inquisitor gave hope to my blackened heart. Here, finally, was an adventure game that tried to take the essential elements of the classic textadventure and reinvent them for the nineties. And mostly it worked. Starship Titanic does much the same thing, but thanks to a few bright innovations here and there it manages to take it one step further: we've got a storyline that is ever present but, vitally, never the sole focus of the action (a la oh so many interactive movies); locations that are rich in detail but are not tied down to the current swathe of on-screen action; characters that have a wealth of depth, but which you are left to discover for yourself (rather than foisted on you upfront); and, most importantly of all, puzzles that are very well-designed and perfectly integrated into the game.
That last point is important. Too many adventures of late have taken the route that goes: create the storyline, devise all the characters and locations, then throw in the puzzles in a gratuitous fashion in an effort to make it seem more like a game than an interactive storybook. Starship Titanic isn't like this - it has puzzles that are born of the inherent storyline. They never feel as though they've been gratuitously added, but instead as though they are the most natural progression of your present situation - a sign of a quality writer at work.
Speaking of which, so is this much-heralded unique speech interface: when you meet a character, you type in what you want to say and they respond accordingly. That's 'type'. With your keyboard. In plain English. It takes a little getting used to, but you soon get into the swing of things, and the sense of freedom this affords you is immeasurable. Plus the characters are so well-written that talking to them rarely becomes a chore. The whole thing is designed as though conversation is a puzzle in itself - you need information from a character, and you have to work out what to say to get it from him.
Another nice touch is the fact that movement between scenes takes place as quick, blurred jumps, instead of painstakingly slow rendered sequences. Concerns have been expressed about the movement interface, the somewhat arbitrary nature of the directional arrows, but whether or not this bothers you comes down to personal taste. Personally I prefer it to the more annoying 360-degree interface seen in the Zork titles. So there.
Call yourself objective?
There are negative points to be made, but to be perfectly honest they're mostly so damned petty that if I actually told you what they were, I'd look bad, instead of the game. It doesn't really have many actual flaws. Instead you can see elements that, while being perfectly fine as they stand, could possibly be improved further. The unique dialogue system, for example, occasionally shows its limitations - although this is perfectly understandable given what the developers are trying to do. At least it never breaks the atmosphere, and you still feel as though you can say and ask anything throughout (which indeed you can).
The next step for the developers is obviously some kind of advanced object interface. At present it's more or less like everyone else's: you pick up an object and your cursor becomes an iconic representation of it, which you use by clicking on other items. It works fine (and, thanks to the quality of the puzzles, you don't really notice its limitations), but it could probably be taken a step further, giving you just as much freedom with objects as the developers have given you with speech.
As you've no doubt noticed by now (and the above points notwithstanding), Starship Titanic has got a score of 91 and, consequently, a Classic rating. There are a few reasons for this. It creates an atmosphere that's totally absorbing, it's an adventure game that's actually made me sit down and think (something that previously hasn't happened for quite a while), it's genuinely funny (again, something that's been long-missing) and it has first-rate presentation (which, I'm discovering, is more important than I thought).
But mostly I've decided to award Starship Titanic a Classic rating because of one thing: simply that it's turned around to a moribund software industry and said: "You want to just sit there and chase each other's tails? Fine. We're going to do things our way." And the result is a piece of software that not only shatters several long-held illusions about what's possible in this genre, but innovates and is filled with everything that's right about adventure gaming. Other developers take note: this is the shape of things to come.