This section presents the actual mechanics of play for Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, how to move from place to place, and how to interact with the people you’ll meet.
Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is an intuitive, easy-to-play game, and you won’t need to remember long lists of key commands or to develop superhuman manual skills. A few moments of experimentation will show you everything you need to know.
What do you see?
After you click PLAY on the opening screen, you are given two options: GAME, to begin your mission on the Titanic, and TOUR, to tour the ship.
In both the TOUR and the GAME, there are two types of screens.
Each screen consists of two parts: the game play video screen and the Interaction Section below.
The Manoeuvring screen will always show a LIFE PRESERVER in the Interaction Section. Double-clicking on it gives you access to the Control Panel. Initially, your DIRECTION INDICATOR – a triangular arrow that may be red, green or yellow – shows up just above the LIFE PRESERVER, although it can be turned off in the Control Panel. Other items that may appear during the course of the GAME include a MAP, your BAG, your POCKET WATCH, and various additional items that you may acquire along the way. Anything you pick up or are given will appear initially on the left of the Interaction Section. Later you may transfer the item to your bag; in some cases the item is transferred automatically. During the TOUR, the Interaction Section will include the MAP, a SHIP symbol, and a HELP button. HELP may also be accessed through the Control Panel.
Double-clicking on the LIFE PRESERVER takes you to the Control Panel screen, where you can change a number of settings, access the HELP screen, or QUIT the game. When you are actually playing the game, as opposed to running the tour, you can also save games and open saved games. The screen is divided into three sections.
The left-hand panel gives you the following options at the click of the mouse: SAVE, OPEN, QUIT HELP, CREDITS and OK. After you have saved a game, accessed the help screen, clicked through the credits (which, by the way, have some interesting photographs of the Titanic and some of her passengers), or made any adjustments, you can click OK to return to your current scene.
The upper right-hand panel allows the player to change the movement keys and to turn the DIRECTION INDICATOR on or off. The default movement key settings are:
*Left Left-Arrow or “a”
*Forward Up-Arrow or “w”
*Right Right-Arrow or “d”
The arrow keys will always work. To change the letter keys, click either on the letter you wish to change or on the arrow next to it; the arrow will glow. Then simply type the new letter you wish to be associated with that direction.
If you wish, you may turn the DIRECTION INDICATOR off by clicking the lever.
The lower right-hand panel provides on-and-off switches for the theme music and for subtitles, and also a volume knob. Pressing the knob generates a foghorn sound at the current volume setting. Rotating the knob changes the volume. The volume can also be changed by Control-key sequences. Ctrl-0 to turn the sound off, and Ctrl-1 to Ctrl-9 for increasing volume.
The DIRECTION INDICATOR, a triangular arrow above the LIFE PRESERVER on the Manoeuvring screen, indicates by its colour whether movement in the forward direction is possible. A green arrow means you can move forward; a red arrow means you can’t. If you arrow is yellow, that means that you are facing a door and that forward movement may be possible. Click on the door; if the door is unlocked and you are able to go through, the door will open a crack and the DIRECTION INDICATOR will turn green. Otherwise, you will either hear a knock or a doorknob rattle.
The map is immediately available during the TOUR. During the GAME, Smethells comes into your stateroom and gives it to you. Clicking on the map displays a deck plan of the deck you are currently on, with a blinking red dot indicating your position. At this point you may click on a deck name (e.g. BOAT DECK or F-DECK) to display the plan of that deck. At any time, whether the deck displayed is the one you’re currently on or another one, you may click on one of the red areas on the map to jump to that area of the ship. If you don’t want to jump, click OK to return to your current location.
The SHIP symbol is present only during the TOUR. Clicking on SHIP displays a side view of the ship with access to up to ten locations, where fellow passengers or crew members are waiting to speak to you. It is a good idea to travel to each of these locations by clicking on the person’s face, and engage that individual in conversation. You may obtain some useful information that way.
At various times throughout the GAME, as well as during the TOUR, you will have the opportunity to converse with other passengers and with members of the crew. In some cases you can initiate the conversation by clicking on the person you wish to speak to; in some cases the conversation is forced upon you by your actions. When a conversation is initiated, the Interaction Section of the screen changes to provide you with a number of optional responses.
For example, when Smethells. The steward, asks, “Do you desire additional instructions?” two optional responses are displayed on the bottom portion of the screen.
*Yes, I could use some help
*No, I don’t need any help
Click on the response you wish to make. When the conversation is over, the Manoeuvring screen returns automatically.
Go there, do that
Essentially, the mouse is your hand in this game, while either the arrow keys or three letter keys that you designate for the purpose are your feet.
The cursor normally appears on the screen as an arrow. Move it over the various items appearing on the lower half of your Manoeuvring Screen and click to activate them. Among other things, you do this to open the map of the ship, to look inside your bag, or to check the time on your pocket watch. In some cases, you may need to click twice.
When you move the arrow cursor over an area or an object on the upper half of the Manoeuvring Screen that you can do something with – open it, pick it up, talk to it – it will change to a pointing hand. Click the mouse to complete the action.
Titanic: Adventure Out of Time provides audio cues matched to the action on the screen, so keep your ears open. If you click on a locked door to open it, for example, you’ll either hear yourself knock, or you’ll hear the frustrated rattle of the doorknob.
Getting about on the Titanic
Movement in Titanic: Adventure Out of Time is simple. Press the up arrow to move forward – either on the level, or up or down stairs – the right arrow to turn right, or the left arrow to turn left. Alternatively, you can set three other keys to perform the same function. The default setting is “a” for left, “w” for straight ahead, or “d” for right, though you can set other choices at the Control Panel Screen, as described above.
A second option for moving from place to place is the map jump, as described above. Open the map, find the appropriate deck, and then click on a red area to which you want to go. This is a great time saver, though it has the disadvantage of letting you avoid certain conversations with other passengers that you may need to hear.
Occasionally, you’ll need to climb a ladder – a real ladder; as opposed to the stairways aboard ships which sailors and others in the nautical know also call “ladders.” Move up until you are directly in front of the ladder. Click on it, then use the up arrow or key to move up the ladder. When you are facing a ladder going down, click on it to descend.
There are a number of actions you’ll need to take during your cruise aboard the Titanic. Generally, pointing and clicking on an object on the screen will either give you a close-up view where you might be able to manipulate the object you’re looking at, or it will perform an action – opening a door, turning on a light, throwing a switch, or whatever. When in doubt, experiment. Find the hotspots on the manoeuvre Screen, point and click, and watch what happens.
Some specific actions are listed below.
Pick it up: Many objects you encounter can be picked up and carried for later use. Simple point at the object on the screen and click. The object will disappear from the screen, and your bag will open and close to show that you’ve put it away.
Look in your bag: Once you pick it up in your stateroom, your valise appears at the bottom of the Manoeuvre Screen next to the life preserver at all times. To look inside, click on the bag. To remove an item, click on it where you see it inside the bag, then click OK, and it will appear next to the bag on the Manoeuvre Screen. To examine an object in your bag more closely, click on it, and then click on the magnifying glass in the lower right of the bag. You may see some fine details or clues that you missed before. You may be able to click on the magnified view more an even closer look.
Use an item: Occasionally an article you remove from your bag will appear next to the bag at the bottom of the Manoeuvre Screen, but you still need to use it. For example, to unlock your steamer trunk, remove the key from your bag, then click and drag the key until it is over the trunk on the screen. Releasing the mouse button will then open the trunk.
Manipulate an item: Sometimes you will need to manipulate an item on the screen. In some cases, you can simply point and click. Do this to attach battery cables on the Enigma machine, for example, or to advance the individual numbers on the Enigma machine’s four number wheels. In others, you will need to click and drag. This is necessary in order to attach the sound funnel to the Gramophone, or to hide the Rubaiyat. In the bomb puzzle, you need to adjust control knobs that point to different numbers. Click on the pointer, then on the number you want to set it to in order to complete this action.
Turn a knob, throw a lever: In some cases, you will need to rotate something on the screen – the frequency dial of a radio, for instance, or a steam valve. Move the cursor over the knob and the arrow changes to a pointing hand. Click again and hold the mouse button down, and the pointing hand changes to an open hand. Move the mouse to move the hand, and watch the dial or valve move on the screen. Do this to move levers that can be adjusted to different settings as well.
Fighting: If you find yourself in a fist fight with someone, aim at the face and click on the mouse to throw a punch, or aim low to throw a kick. If you need some practice to get the hang of this, go to the ship’s gymnasium where you’ll find a punching bag that will let you get into proper fighting trim.
Fencing: Fencing works like fighting, though it’s a bit more refine. Move the left or right arrow or letter keys to shift your guard to left or right. Use the up arrow or key to press forward, and click on the mouse to lunge. At the bottom of the screen, a series of lighted buttons tallies your score versus that of your opponent. In each round, you fight until one or the other of you scores five hits. After either winning or losing a round, you’ll have the opportunity for another.
The following keyboard commands may make you stay aboard the Titanic more pleasant.
*Esc – Skip the current animation
*Arrow keys – Control the player
*A, W, D – Same as above; use Control Panel to change
*Ctrl+0-Ctrl+9 – Set sound volume: Ctrl+9 is loudest
*Ctrl+Q – Quit the game and return to the main menu
*F1/F2 – Increase/decrease screen brightness
*F3/F4 – Increase/decrease screen redness
*F5/F6 – Increase/decrease screen greenness
*F7/F8 – Increase/decrease screen blueness
*F9 – Restore the screen to default settings
Some tips to remember while playing
Save often. If you’re having trouble with a particular puzzle or problem, it’s nice to be able to go back and try again just before the moment you got into trouble and not have to replay the last three hours of the game.
Check for hot spots. When you enter a room by moving the cursor around – places where the arrow changes to a pointing hand. Click on all such places and watch what happens.
Get to know the ship. Practice with the TOUR Option a lot, until you know your way around the ship. There will come a time when you’ll need to be very familiar with how to get from here to there, and quickly!
Of course, knowing your way around doesn’t guarantee you a seat on that last lifeboat!