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Project Eden is a sci-fi computer action-adventure game with puzzle elements, set in a futuristic city on an earthlike planet. You are charged with controlling a four-man (well, two men and two women) team to investigate problems in the Real Meat factory, a synthetic meat factory (Orwellian irony) that supplies the city. Inevitably, things get far worse as the team tries to rescue some technicians who were kidnapped from the factory.
While not as famous as Tomb Raider, this product of Core Design Ltd. tried to do something different. The game featured several unique features, including 'Regen points' that would respawn characters if they died and a weapon that slowed down time in a limited area. The team members could be controlled individually by the player or set to do simple tasks, like follow or defend themselves.
This game has absolutely nothing to do with Dirty Pair: The Movie (more commonly known as Project EDEN) or the Eden Project. Also not to be confused with Rez, a game that went by the codename "Project Eden".
A playthough can be seen on Youtube here.
This game provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Lucy and Minoko, sisters.
- Bag of Sharing: Used and averted, confusingly. Weapons and power cells are usable by any team member no matter how far apart they are, but keys and other miscellaneous puzzle-solving items aren't.
- Since UPA's equipment appears to be based on nanotechnology, this may be justified.
- Batman Gambit: Lucy decided she needed to transfer her mind into Minoko's body to survive, so she hacked into the UPA computers and falsified an order for Minoko's team to be assigned to the Real Meat kidnapping. Then she used the captured technicians as bait to lead the team toward the Eden Bunker.
- Body Horror: Humans and animals turning into hideous creatures right before your eyes is unpleasant as it sounds, worst examples are men bending backwards before they start changing.
- Brain Uploading: This happened to Lucy to keep her alive and she tried to download into a human body later.
- Cargo Cult: Shades of this among the Scavengers, who consider wreckage falling from the higher levels to be gifts from heaven.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: A rather tame version: 'Metal Heads' like Amber become more withdrawn and machine-like.
- Death Is Cheap: Characters are automatically respawned at your last regen point, you may even find yourself killing them to avoid a long walk.
- Deflector Shields: The team is protected by energy shields that are visible only when hit.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Eden Bunker, even before it was buried under vertical miles of city.
- Energy Absorption: The Extractor weapon.
- Enfante Terrible: The Lucy clones that begin to appear halfway through the game. And Lucy herself, of course.
- Everything Is Online: The only way Lucy could have hacked into the UPA.
- Fantastic Drug / Psycho Serum: Increased strength, some side effects.
- Hacking Minigame: Clicking on spinning disks at the right time within the time limit gets you the security combination.
- Human Popsicle: Minoko's father, trapped in a time dilation field by Lucy.
- Respawning Enemies: In later levels, replacement enemies will arrive from side passages and ceiling holes. Made less galling by the fact that your team also respawns. You can also set up teammates and a turret to serve as overwatch to hold off respawning areas while you explore the level.
- Samus Is a Girl: Sort of. Amber, despite her outside appearance, is a female cyborg.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Not the main plot itself but the still important subplot of finding the kidnapped technicians. You finally reach them not long before the end - and they mutate before your eyes, with no alternative than killing them.
- Shapeshifter Baggage: Several examples, but taken to the most absurd levels by the normal-sized rats that somehow transform into two metre long acid-spraying cybernetic monsters when your team gets close.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Used to gather a sample creature, abduct Minoko and as part of the regen system.
- Urban Segregation: The rich live at the top of very tall cities and conditions degrade the closer you get to ground level, to the point that you get primitive tribes cannibals and mutants near the bottom. This can even be seen in the opening sequence.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can't permanently damage you team, but you can make them suffer.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: "Control", your slightly overweight, gravelly-voiced superior who gets to watch from his comfortable office at the top of the city while you're plumbing the depths.
- We Can Rebuild Her: Amber suffered a horrific accident and was rebuilt as a combat cyborg, apparently at her request since "normal" human-cybernetic reconstruction was apparently available.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Lucy's father hooked her brain directly into the Eden Bunker's main computer in order to keep her alive as her body decayed from her hereditary degenerative disease. In hindsight, giving a 6-year old control over an entire underground base with the capacity to manufacture an army of cybernetic mutant workers might not have been the best idea in the world.