The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:
Fire Fairy - Egyptian Fire Fairy Assassin
In Ancient Egypt, ruled the Pharaohs - of King Tut, of Queen Bastet and Cleopatra. In Ancient Egypt, rose their Fire Gods - one Fire Phoenix, one Fire Tiger and Lava Serpent. Yet for their foes, of Empires Fall - Forged in Secret, did they make ... An Egyptian Fire Fairy Assassin, to slay their enemies - as they slept:
For King Tut had wrote ... That a Fire Fairy Assassin, would be skilled in the Art of Knife. He'd train her well, in Obsidian Knives - to cut his enemies, from throat to throat. For Queen Bastet had wrote ... That a Fire Fairy Assassin, would be skilled in the Art of Sneak. She'd train her well, in Paths of Cat - to creep in quite, from light to night. For Cleopatra had wrote ... That a Fire Fairy Assassin, would be skilled in the Art of Serpent. She'd train her well, in Paths of Venom - to pour in flirt, from mouth to heart. And so it was ... A Fire Fairy Assassin did they make, with traits of three! A Fire Fairy Assassin did they make, with wrath of three! A Fire Fairy Assassin did they make, with tempers three! But no Sarcophagus did they make, they chose instead - an Elemental Gate of Fire, to keep her in ... With Steps of Pharaoh, cast in Bronze. With Spears of Army, cast in Bronze. With Doors of Secret, cast in Bronze. They placed a Ward, one of each: Phoenix, Tiger, Serpent. They placed a Ward, one of each: Tut, Bastet and Cleopatra. And still - they fought her for control! In Wise of Three, they chose a Guardian - an Ancient Guardian, tweet thy Oldest of the Old: the Egyptian Owl :) For in Ancient Egypt, was it written ... Owls do walk, in Paths of Wisdom - they know Lore of Calm: the Paths of Fire. Owls do fly, in Paths of Darkness - they know Lore of Keep: the Hearts of Fire. Owls do rest, in Paths of Death - they know Lore of Guard: the Gates of Fire. And so it was ... For their Fire Fairy Assassin, would rest at ease - but grow in Power. For their Fire Fairy Assassin - would rest in peace, but grow in Fury. For their Fire Fairy Assassin - would stand and wait, but grow in Time. And so it was ... Until such time, that she be needed! Now such time ... For then did Ancient-Modern Egypt see - a Sight of Sights :) Egyptian Fire Gates, slowly open - hinging back, left and right. Egyptian Wards, slowly fade - red to black, God and Pharaoh. Egyptian Steps, slowly walked - bottom to top, Egyptian Portal! As after an eternity at rest, did their Egyptian Fire Fairy Assassin - awaken! She knew at once, which foes to slay. She knew at once, which paths to tread. She knew at once, which craft to use. For in Ancient Egypt, foes be plenty ... For King Tut, she slew a War Lord - Armoured Might, he knew no weakness. Her knives were quick, within his back. For Queen Bastet, she slew a Griffin - who answered not, to Queen of Cats. Her boots were stealth, within his liar. For Cleopatra, she slew a Scorpion - he who sunk, Thonis-Heracleion. Her poison was deadly, within his breath. For Pharaohs here, she slew of Warriors - impressive skill, in sword and axe. Her knives were quick, across their necks. For Pharaohs here, she slew of Princes - climbing up, threatened throne. Her boots were stealth, within their beds. For Fire Gods here, she slew of Deities - rising up, threatened worship. Her poison was deadly, within their fountains. And so it was ... For in Modern Egypt, foes be plenty ... For Pyramids here, she slew of Robbers - opening Tombs, threatened Fortune. Her knives were quick, across their chests. For Sphinxes here, she slew of Thieves - opening Heirlooms, threatened Bounty. Her boots were silent, across their floors. For Obelisks here, she slew of Raiders - deciphering Runes, threatened Underworld. Her poison was deadly, within their glasses. And so it was ... For this Fire Fairy Assassin walked within, the Paths of Samurai, and the Paths of Ninja. For this Fire Fairy Assassin walked within, the Paths of Woman, and the Paths of Deadly. For this Fire Fairy Assassin walked within, the Paths of Goddess, and the Paths of Immortal. For this Fire Fairy Assassin walked within, the Paths of Death, and the Paths of Life. As still she does today ... Locked within her Gates of Fire: Watchful Owl - Wards of Fire God, Wards of Pharaoh. Biding time - waiting stasis, waiting now! For an Egyptian - Day of Days :) When King Tut, of Queen Bastet and Cleopatra cry again - we need you!!! Arise!!!
Be Egyptian Queen. Be Empires Fight. A Fire Tiger - knows friend from foe. Be Egyptian Warrior. Be Egyptian Caste. A Fire Tiger - knows claw from claw. Be Egyptian Goddess. Be Egyptian Griffin. A Fire Tiger - knows tail from tail. Forever woven, in Egyptian Fire - a Fire Tiger, of Queen Bastet:
For Ancient Egypt knew for well, the importance - of a Battle-line ... In Queen Bastet, came Pharaoh Rule, who'd learnt her Art, of Military Might. In her Armies, walked her Foot-men - spear on spear, bow on bow. In her Legions, rode her Warriors - axe on axe, sword on sword. But in her Vanguard, burned her Tigers - claw on claw, roar on roar! For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military General ... In Paths of Royalty, her Tigers bred - in purest Fire, with hottest Heart. In Paths of Fearless, her Tigers walked - in foes of Many, with grins of Plenty. In Paths of Ferocity, her Tigers snarled - in fearsome Leap, with Battle Claws. In Paths of Anger, her Tigers raged - in whirling Tempest, with burning Sun. For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military Wise ... In Paths of Authority, her Tigers pranced - in thought of Regal, with Kingly Pose. In Paths of Courage, her Tigers danced - in heads held High, with rally Me. In Paths of Prowess, her Tigers led - in awesome Strength, with blatant Daring. In Paths of Valour, her Tigers reigned - in stunning Braveness, with thoughts so Bold. For Fire Tigers of Bastet, lived Military King! And yet: forget their Lineage - did they not ... They kissed the ground, that Queen Bastet - had walked upon. They licked the flame, that Queen Bastet - had cast upon. They purred the steps, that Queen Bastet - had hewn upon. For these Fire Tigers were (as of always), a symbol of the Power, of Queen Bastet! They knew their place ... Pets of hers that Fuelled the Fire! Pets of hers that Fought in Line! Pets of hers that Guarded her! And in return? Did Queen Bastet bestow within their Fire - an Immortal Soul :) And so it was ... That these Fire Tigers, got to rest when time for thought - residing in: The Valley of the Kings! On either side, Fire Tiger Guardians. On either side, Fire Tiger Sentinels. On either side, Fire Tigers Deadly. For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - knew at once, Pharaoh Fall. For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - helped Resurrect, Pharaoh Dead. And so it was ... Their watchful Eyes, knew Truth from Sin - did you slay in Battle, or did you cower? Their knowing Eyes, knew Honour from Lie - did you Guard him well, or stab in back? Their wisest Eyes, knew fact from fiction - did you Storm just few, or storm an army? For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - were Pure of Heart, and Foe of Many! Because in them, laid a Power - a Power of Fire, a Power of Fury! Because in them, laid a Might - a Might of Fight, a Might of Warrior! Because in them, laid a God - a God of War, a God of Carnage! And of their foes? Did Queen Bastet - simply smile :) As most would flee. As most would run. As most would die. And of those: that didn't? Well then ... A fight of fights! With fearsome Claws, rend for rend. With deadly Teeth, bite for bite. With powerful Paws, stomp for stomp. With flicking Tail, whip for whip. With burning Eyes, look for look. With snarling Jaws, scar for scar. And of those: that didn't fall? Well then ... Breath of Fire! Queen Bastet, knew for well - mountain foes, mountain grave. Queen Bastet, knew for well - countless enemy, countless dead. Queen Bastet, knew for well - endless tide, endless ash. For Queen Bastet, did bestow - upon her Tigers, Kiss of Pharaoh! An Immortal Kiss, Transcend through Time - never Age, never Old, never Die! And so it was ... That these Fire Tigers, walked between - World of Worlds. An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Heart - beat forever :) An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Name - known forever :) An Egyptian Underworld, where Tigers Form - last forever :) For these Fire Tigers of Bastet - answered only, Call of War ... Roar! Roar! Guard our Queen. Roar! Roar! Guard our Pharaoh. Roar! Roar! Guard our Goddess. Roar! Roar! Slay her foes ...
Be Egyptian King. Be Empires Rise. A Fire Phoenix - knows which is which. Be Egyptian Queen. Be Egyptian Conquer. A Fire Phoenix - knows whom is whom. Be Egyptian God. Be Egyptian Empire. A Fire Phoenix - knows guard of guard. Forever woven, in Egyptian Fire - a Fire Phoenix, of King Tut:
Empires rise. Empires fall. In Ancient Egypt, who would know? The Pharaoh of King Tut! For Paths of Life, and Paths of Dead, go hand-in-hand, with Pharaoh Rule. He built an Empire, in a Day - known Ancient Egypt, through Today. He built a Kingdom, in a Night - known Ancient Heaven, through Tonight. He built a God, in Paths of Death - known Ancient Deity, through this Time. For King Tut knew ... The Riddles of a Fire so Bright. The Spells of a Fire so High. The Wards of a Phoenix so Fiery! He cast his spell, one Dark Sky - in blends of Orange, and of Red. He sung his rhyme, one Dark Eve - in blends of Yellow, and of Gold. He made his magic, one Dark Night - in blends of Crimson, and of Ochre. And behold ... A Fearsome Guardian, had he made - to guard his Empire, and his Realm. A Screaming Sentinel, had he birthed - to guard his Kingdom, and his Fortune. A Secret Ward, had he forged - to guard his Lineage, and his Sarcophagus ... For King Tut knew, that once he fell ... Wars of Egypt, near and far - invading foes, squabbling generals. Wars of Rule, harsh and cruel - invading famine, bicker plenty. Wars of Gold, bronze and yellow - invading tarnish, squander others! And so it was ... Entombment, in his Mummy Wraps - resin dew, drape of cloth. Entombment, in his Sarcophagus - locked within, Wards on cask. Entombment, in his Pyramid - placed beneath, Temple shrine. Whilst outside - Vultures gather! Yet in youth, King Tut chose, that his Kingdom, be for him - not for them! King Tut pondered, whilst he thought, ways to Guard, ways to Keep! King Tut versed, in Egyptian Lore ... Egyptian Birds, with Power of Flight - thy feathered fiend, fly so high. Egyptian Hieroglyph, with Power of Word - thy Egyptian Falcon, and his Spirit. Egyptian Rune, with Power of Ward - thy Seeing Eye, of Watchfulness. But still to learn, King Tut did - Egyptian Phoenix, and his Hieroglyph ... It came to him, one Dark Night, in Dreams of Conquest, and of Conquer :) Egyptian Phoenix - Egyptian Guard - Egyptian Hieroglyph! He knew at once, which Ward to set, upon his Temple, in Sarcophagus! Ssshhh ... Not tell a Soul :) For only King Tut would know, just what it is, these Powers of Fire, imbued within - his Guardian Fire Phoenix ... Born of the Sun God Ra, his Fire Phoenix - bore Bright of Day, in Dark of Night. Born of the Sun God Heliopolis, his Fire Phoenix - bore Heat of Furnace, in Cave of Cosmos. Born of the Sun Gods Ra and Heliopolis, his Fire Phoenix - bore Molten Blade, in Darkest Pit! As he called, all of those, who'd come for him, and his Fortune of Gold! His Wards were set ... In his Pyramid of Ancient Egypt, though none would see. In his Temple of Worship, though none would know. In his Sarcophagus of Underworld, though none would guess. And so it was, for all of Time, and all of Legend! King Tut slept, beneath his Wards, beneath his Guardian Fire Phoenix - beneath his Egyptian Fire God :) But alas! It was not to be ... With rise of Dawn, came Warring Army. With rise of Day, came Greedy Men. With rise of Night, came Plunder Loot! His Fire Phoenix awoke! Burning Tree, Rise of Ash! Piercing Scream, Falcon Beak. Bennu! Bennu! Egyptian Bird - Shine so Bright :) Bennu! Bennu! Egyptian Falcon - Rise so Brilliantly :) Bennu! Bennu! Egyptian Fire Bird - Soul Reborn :) And so it was ... Did King Tut rise, and Burn the Sky, of those that Dared, to awaken him - from his Underworld! For in Death, had King Tut changed. He knew what then, just what it meant, this Fire Phoenix Hieroglyph :) For Guardian Fire Phoenix, Egyptian Fire God - had cast it's Spell, upon his Form. King Tut could fly! King Tut could soar! King Tut could hunt - all of those, that Dared to take, his precious Gold! Phoenix Fire, Phoenix Blazed, through his Foes - in his Empires of the Night :)
For twelve hundred years did Cleopatra's Spell last - a Spell to Lock her Egyptian City, within the Sands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Spell that Cleopatra cast - to Hide her Secrets, from the Scorpions, of these Ancient Lands. Yet upon the Temple of Amun - does Cleopatra still sit, Lost in her Memories, of what Once had been:
It was with an Ancient Enemy, that Cleopatra, sought to Fight. It was with the Goddess Wadjet, that the Pact had first been made - an Army of Lava Serpents, so that Cleopatra could Harvest, the Crystal-Gold (from the Depths of the Earth). Yet, Cleopatra could not have Foreseen, the price that she would pay, for Thonis-Heracleion's Streets of Gold: the Tide of the Hyksos - and of their Scorpion King. For countless years had Thonis-Heracleion served her well, as a Port, to unload Crystal-Gold, from the Lavas of Vesuvius, and of Thera. Yet, throughout those years, had Cleopatra, underestimated, the Cunning of the Scorpion. Countless Battles had proven them to be Formidable Warriors, with even their human-kin (the Hyksos) over-running several of her Temples! Yet, with her Wisdom, had she found a solution to the Threat of the Scorpion: by Killing Two Birds with One Stone - have her Lava Serpents erupt the Volcanoes, to free the Crystal-Gold, and bury the Scorpions in Ash! At last, could she concentrate on the building of Thonis-Heracleion ... Yet, in doing so, did she set-upon a Path, from which there was no return. For it was, as she strove for more Crystal-Gold, that her Lava Serpents dug deeper, within the Magma of the Earth, and Awoke that which would cause her Demise: a Scorpion God King - the like of which she had not seen before! It was upon the Island of Santorini, that he, first made himself known: in a Titanic Eruption, that destroyed the settlements of Thera - her precious Crystal-Gold (from there) was lost. Upon the Temple of Amun, had she stood, Energies Flowing from the Tips of her Fingers - even a Tsunami was no match for her, the Waters abated, from her Circle of Power. Then did she Grow Complacent - as she knew that she still had Vesuvius, and that her Egyptian Galleons, still ruled the Seas of the Mediterranean. For sometime still, did Thonis-Heracleion flourish ... The Crystal-Gold built her Temples strong. The Crystal-Gold built her Sarcophagus, to withstand the Sands of Time. The Crystal-Gold built her Statues, for others to marvel at, on the Streets of her City: an Egyptian Minx, an Egyptian Sphinx, an Egyptian Lion - an Egyptian Empire! Her Lava Serpents were winning - the Wars of the Sands: each Time the Scorpions advanced, did her Lava Serpents shift, the Sands undulating, in a Never Ending Earthquake, did the Scorpions Demise! She could Foresee it all - within her Pyramid of Conflict! Powerful indeed had Cleopatra become. Yet it was, from within the Earth, that her Demise would be ... Soon enough, did the Earth start to Tremble! First at Vesuvius: the Volcano began to Erupt - by itself ... It drew her Eyes, just for the Shortest of Time. Yet it was enough! As the Lava Serpents battled, to turn the Tide - Cleopatra found that Wadjet had gone quite ... Yet, upon her last meeting (with Wadjet), was it not Foretold that her Lava Serpents would be Triumphant! Second at Vesuvius: the Lava's continued to Flow. Her Lava Serpents continued to Battle. She stood upon the Temple of Amun, seeing her Galleons of War, she knew that she would be Victorious! Her Eyes fixed on the Mediterranean, the Waters calmed (at Once) - her Fleet sailed for Vesuvius. The Tide would be turned ... Third at Thonis-Heracleion: Did the Earth Start to Shake? Her Eyes in Surprise! What Magic was this? Thonis-Heracleion began to Sink! To Wadjet she called ... Yet, came an answer from the Deep: the Scorpion God King! What Treachery is this? The Cunning of a Scorpion! But it was too late ... A Plate of Earth had he Eaten through - as she Screamed: No, you will Not take My City! Energies Rushed Forth from the Tips of her Fingers ... Thonis-Heracleion locked in Time - Under the Sea, did Cleopatra, turn to Stone.
Warriors of the Sands, and Guardians of the Egyptians, Lava Serpents bring Vengeance to the Earth:
In the Foundries of Vesuvius, in the Bedrock of the Mountains - with the Persistence of the Endless, does a Lava Serpent sleep. In the Chambers of Thera, in the Magma of the Vents, with the Slumber of the Dormant, does a Lava Serpent lie. In the Enemies of Egypt, in the Pyramids of Conflict - with the Wisdoms of the Pharaoh, does a Lava Serpent wake. In the Eruptions of Primeval, in the Rush of the Lava - with the Movement of a Quake, does the Lava Serpent strike. In the Abyss of the Desolate, in the Carnage of the Crust - with the Aftermath of Onslaught, does a Lava Serpent revel. It's mission complete: a relic is born! I like the fact that this artwork captures the idea of a serpent that lives underground: as the serpent has been positioned between both Stalagmites and Stalactites - which in doing so, helps to suggest the presence of an Underground Cavern. The Cavern is not disjoint from the Lava Serpent (as you would expect), but has instead, been used to enhance the appeal of the serpent (through numerous artistic effects). First: the Stalagmites and Stalactites are used to pull you into the scene (by thought of their opposing directions - you tend to focus on the Lava Serpent). Second: the Stalagmites and Stalactites have been used as a way to add layering to the scene (as the Lava Serpent loops both under and over them - you tend to gain a perception of depth). Third: the rock ceiling/roof appears as though it's being held in place by the Golden Pillar (suggesting that the Cavern roof could collapse - as it is with the Wrath of the Earth). When these three effects/features are combined with the darker rock (towards the bottom-left of the artwork), I fall-under the impression that the Lava Serpent is sheltering (perhaps from the Storms of the Lava). I also approve of the use of colour within this artwork, especially the way in-which the Lava Serpents skin, appears to be connected with both the Element of Fire (the reds and yellows) and the Element of Earth (the greens). I also feel that the choice of colours was made (by the artist) to convey two further important concepts. First: there is the concept of size - as you realise that the Lava Serpents skin is repeated towards the top of the artwork (making me think of the existence of gigantic Lava Serpents). Second: there is the concept of belonging - as the Golden Pillar appears to be out of place (making me think of the Ancient Egyptians and their Engineering/Architecture Skills). I suspect that this artwork was painted in oils - as there's a fair amount of blending/transparency (on the Lava Serpents skin) and several raised/contrasting edges (especially around the black and red fans/frills). As such, it appears that the artist decided to break-up several uniform tones/areas, by employing the pointillism technique (in two places). The first: pointillism has been used on the darker rock (to suggest some-kind of underground algae). The second: pointillism has been used on the background (to suggest the concept of Inner Space - perhaps within the Centre of the Earth, where the Cavern is nothing but a Portal). Overall: I love the Conflict that occurs within this artwork. On the one side, there is the Elemental Powers of the Volcano (the reds of the serpent) together with the Savageness of the Earth (the Stalagmite and Stalactite teeth). Yet on the other side, there is the suggestion of such Powers being Tamed (by a Pillar of Egypt) and a connection with the Roots of the Trees (the greens of the serpent - and surrounding rock). I was also impressed by the variation of the pointillism technique, that's been used to paint/colour the Lava Serpents skin (as this is more akin to transparent dashes - as opposed to solid dots). Lava may be the primordial force of the Ancient Egyptians, yet when it comes to the control of their underground domains, Lava Serpents remain their weapon of choice!
When it comes to a Computer Game that blends a Haunted House, with a Spooky Storyline and numerous Puzzles (to challenge your mind), then I'd be hard pressed to name one better than this:
Lady in White - She faded away from me ... I like the fact that this is a game that's played best in the evening, as this is when it spooks you the most. Lady in White - She faded towards me ... I like the graphics found within this game, especially the Twisting Staircase that leads to the first floor of the Mansion. Lady in White - She passed between two doors ... I like the contrast in difficulty between the Puzzles in this game: some are simple (such as the Word Games), whilst others may cause you to tear your hair out (such as the Chess Games). Lady in White - Just where do you lead me? To the Crypt, I see ... The first puzzle left me hungry for more: two Skulls, two Tombstones, the rest is just Icing. The second puzzle came with a phobia at hand: eight points in a Star, seven Spiders to move. The third puzzle with an Eye to the Sky: the rivers of Mars - what phrase do you Spell? Shy Gypsy Slyly Spryly Tryst By My Crypt. What logic is that? The Sky is Ruddy Your Fate is Bloody! What riddle is that? My first real challenge came with the Maze in the basement - as I kept getting lost. It was only the Twisting Staircase that revealed the turns to make - a room upstairs with a map to the Maze: take the fifth on the right, then straight on, then turn to the right, ... Yet before, a Puzzle with a Grate, a simple solution did it seem, yet on my next turn, did I forget! When I first played this game (twenty-or-so years ago), I found myself amused by the icons/cursors: a throbbing Brain in a Skull (there's a Puzzle to be solved), Chattering Teeth (there's a Spooky Scene to view, such as plates and cutlery, that dance by themselves) and a Skeletal Hand (which both shows you the way, and bars your way). When I last played this game (earlier this week), I found myself jumping-for-joy: as I'd finally nailed the Piano Puzzle! It's with my new found Love of Music (including the learning of my Piano Notes/Chords over the past couple of years), that allowed me to breeze through the puzzle: B, B-Sharp, E-Flat, F ... Speaking of Pianos, there's two Spooky Scenes to watch (via the Drama Icon): a Skeleton that plays the Piano by itself (I just love that one!) and two hands by themselves, that play the Piano (I'd just faint at that one!). What's the hardest Puzzle in the game? I hear you say ... Well, for me, there's two (at least in the early/middle stages): one is Chess based and the other is Frustration based! After conquering the first Chess game (where you have to place eight Queens on a Chess Board), I encountered Bishop Chess: swap the position of four Black/White Bishops. Seems simple enough ... Hours later though - whilst I'd found a way to swap the middle pieces (fairly easily), the corner pieces caused me grief (what planet is this Puzzle from?!?). After conquering that (with some Magic in the middle), I then found out just how a virus multiples! Yes Gentle Reader - it's the Microscope Puzzle! This Puzzle tested my patience twenty years ago. This Puzzle tested my patience last weekend. This Puzzle tested my patience this week! Now I have a headache and I feel like I've caught the flu! Anyway ... I think I shall Flip a Coin and Turn some Cards! Ah, that's better - both solved (even with some head scratching). Now, one of my favourite (graphical) locations has to be the Altar/Chapel: as the room is decorated with the Swords and Shields of many a Knight (in Shining Armour). The puzzle itself? Mind your step - as every third step should be on Purple. You did get this far didn't you? Still stuck on the first Chess Puzzle? Here's a hint (assuming each row/column is labelled A to H from bottom-left), stick a Queen in (row-column): AB, BD, CF, DH, EC, FA, shhhhh - quite, that would be telling! Now, I found myself shivering at several Spooky Scenes within this game: hands that push out from a painting, soup that shapes itself into a face, and a mirror that shows a Lady in Green more than she bargained for (when she wishes to be young again). I also found several comical/defying reality Secret Passages, which both helped to save travel time, and add to it: there's one from the Library (the Fireplace) and there's one in the Games Room (the Billiards Table), but perhaps the oddest - is the one that's located on the Shelf! What room scared you the most? The Children's Nursery/Doll Room, especially when the Dolls Shadows danced! What about the control system? It's quite simple - just point and click with the mouse, although you need to be careful when clicking in puzzles (as too far to the left/right/bottom and you abort/restart the puzzle!). I also like the out-of-game controls: as there's an Egyptian Sphinx, which allows you to save your game and view which rooms you've solved puzzles in (via a coloured map) - all rendered as though it's on some Ancient Egyptian Papyrus (that also features two Egyptian Pyramids). Overall: I'm quite a fan of the Mansion that Henry Stauf built - as both the Mansion, and the Games/Puzzles, have been entertaining for over twenty years. Yes, some of the graphics may seem a little dated (by today's standards), but they don't seem to affect the quality of game play (at all). I still enjoy playing the puzzles (they are a good workout for my mind), and I still have several puzzles to solve (can you guess which ones?). At the very least, I have several dates with the Microscope over the next month or so (I will solve it!). The game is something of a masterpiece - as the Music, Puzzles, Ghosts and Video all combine to convey a decent storyline. It's not a fast game, and if you don't like puzzles, then it won't be for you. But, if you do like puzzles ... You do don't you? Then what are you waiting for? Afraid that the game won't run under Windows 7/8.1 64-bit? Well - it can! I used DOSBox. For example: mount c c: (slash) OLDGAMES, mount d d: (slash) -t cdrom ioctl, d: (after install - c: then cd t7g), t7g. If you don't fancy that, then there's a newer version (see relevant link below). Just one question remains - do you have a date with the Microscope to?