(Acid Gold, 1998)
By Alexander Tait
This game, also known as Area D, is a little-known budget
title released and developed in Germany. The game is a
traditional point-and-click, inventory-based puzzle adventure.
A feature I liked was the ability to click on the map at
certain points to immediately be transported to them. It
plays straight from the disk, which slowed loading times
(I sometimes waiting two seconds for a voice-over to play and
accidentally clicked through it several times!). The graphics
are pretty (similar to Queensryche's Promised Land adventure),
though far outdated for 1998. The animations have a very homemade,
cardboard cutout appearance also. The video sequences are fuzzy
and pixelated, though they are easy enough to watch. Sometimes
they were in full-screen view but at other times in a tiny box in
the middle of the screen for no apparent reason. The game,
thankfully, was in English, though this brings up other issues
of lip-synching and cultural differences in interaction. Despite
numerous flaws, I enjoyed the first half of this game, with its
Jurassic Park-derived theme, but the plot did not develop
through the game and I found myself wondering why I was even
on the island. Oh well, it helped to pass three hours on a Saturday ...
The game starts without introduction to the story--it merely
flashes up images of what is in store in the game! Later, it
becomes apparent that you have been sent to rescue people from
Danger Island (reason not given). You start in a clearing.
A pterodactyl flies overhead. You begin with a map and a compass.
Move forward until you reach some discarded tools.
Amongst the broken equipment, collect the raft. Turn around
and walk back until you reach a flower patch. When able, turn
left and walk into the camp.
Amongst the trashed camp, find and collect a winch, a steel cable, and a
specially treated (fire-resistant) tarpaulin. Turn around and go forward until
you reach the lava stream.
Use the tarpaulin on the lava stream and cross to the other side. Go straight
until you are charged by a dinosaur.
Just as you are about to be killed, the dinosaur is shot by a ranger called
Hilland (who you are apparently supposed to be saving). This allows an
opportunity for some fine acting by both actors. Off-putting just seeing the back
of your character's head, isn't it? The ranger refuses to leave the island but
gives you a handgun. Then he leaves, never to be seen again in the story. Turn
around. When you reach the crossroad, turn left. When able to go right, do so and
you will reach a bridge.
The bridge is down and in need of repair. Turn left. Use the winch (and steel
cable, automatically) on the bridge. It is now repaired. Cross the bridge, and
you are threatened by a triceratops.
As soon as the triceratops moves toward you, either run straight ahead, avoiding
it, or use your handgun to scare it off. Either way, move ahead until you can go
right. Progress forward until the screen shrinks to a tiny square in the middle
of the screen. The image is a body of water with stepping stones in it.
There may be a couple of ways across the water. The following worked for me:
Straight, left, straight, left, straight (X2), right (X2), straight (X2), left,
straight (X2), right (X2), straight. On the other side of the water, go straight
ahead to reach the river.
Use the raft to cross the river. On the other side, you reach a compound.
You no longer have your map. Turn right. When able, turn left to enter the
At your left is a door (locked). At right, there is a garage with two jeeps in
it. Go to the garage.
Get in the jeep. Pick up the key on the floor. Attempting to use the jeep reveals
that the jeep is out of fuel. Return to the locked door.
Use the key to unlock the door. Go in the building.
Turn to the left and progress to the office at the end of the hall (on the right).
This room holds many clues. Examine the chart on the wall. Note the first five
amino acid pairs are: C-G, U-A, G-C, A-U, U-A. Collect the paper on the desk--it
holds a solution to a puzzle. Open the drawer of the desk. Take the lighter and
the aerosol can. Light the lighter and combine it with the aerosol to make a
flame-thrower. Use the computer. Make the five amino acid pairs as above. You
read a letter, which gives you a little more background to the story. Return to
the entrance. This time take the right corridor.
This corridor is guarded by a giant metallic-looking mosquito. Use the flame-
thrower on the mosquito and walk down to the locked cabinet at the end of the
Using the piece of paper with the code to solve the lock combination. If the
horizontal axis is A-B-C-D and the vertical axis is 1-2-3-4, click on the buttons
in this order: C3, B2, A2, B4, D3, C1. The cabinet opens revealing a rifle. Take
the rifle and return to the entrance.
Turn left once. Go to the penned area.
A dinosaur is in the pen. When able, use the rifle to scare it off. Enter the
pen. Find and take the fuel can. Return to the garage.
Use the fuel can on the jeep. Enter the jeep and start it. A cutscene plays of
There are three choices along the drive. At the first choice, choose the straight
arrow at the left side of the screen. At the second choice, go straight ahead. At
the final choice, turn right. Failure at any of these steps results in you being
killed by a tyrannosaurus rex. You end up at a medieval-looking tower.
Immediately upon arriving, you are attacked by the T-rex. Use the rifle to shoot
it. Then enter the tower. Turn immediately to the right. A snapshot on the wall
holds the key to switching on the lights in this dark place. It shows four rows
of three colored sockets for fuses (red, green, blue, green). The color-coded
fuses are placed in the third, first, third, and second sockets respectively.
Turn right and open the fuse box. Pick up the fuses and use them as noted above.
The lights come on. Take the first door on the right--a laboratory.
Collect the gas bottle. Exit the room. The second door on the left is an office.
Collect the passcard from the desk. Exit the room and continue to the end of the
End of the Corridor
At the end of the corridor, a cutscene plays in which you meet Susan (a
researcher?). She gives you some gene samples. Attempting to enter the last door
on the right triggers another cutscene. This door is inaccessible due to gas.
Take the stairs up (through the third door on the right of the corridor.
At the top of the stairs you are attacked by yet another dinosaur. At the end of
the cutscene, turn right twice and then move forward. Another cutscene plays,
with Susan killing the dinosaur. Go in to the next room.
Go to the locked box on the wall. Turn the dial left until you hear a distinct
click, then right until you hear the click, and then left again until it clicks
and opens. You automatically take the key. Go back downstairs. Turn right and
enter the elevator cage.
Once in the elevator, turn right. Open the power box. Turn the adjustable joints
to allow power to reach all lights. Clicking start each time you make a change
will make it easier. The lights need to be lit in this order: orange, red,
yellow, green, orange, green. Go up in the elevator to the second floor.
Exit the elevator and walk down the corridor. Climb the stairs until you can go
no higher. Another level is evident, but it is blocked by rubble. Approach the
middle cell door on this level. Use the key to open it. Enter the control room.
Use the passcard on the machine. The gas is removed from the downstairs room.
Return to the room downstairs (now degassed).
Take the bottle of alcohol. Return to the blocked area upstairs.
Place the gas bottle on the rubble. Smash the alcohol bottle on the gas bottle.
Light the alcohol with the lighter. An explosion occurs clearing the rubble. You
are then allowed to climb the sitars to exit the tower to an awaiting helicopter.
There is no closing scene except a message to say that it is "to be continued."
One must ask the question: why? Yet another game with a thoroughly disappointing
ending, though perhaps in keeping with the game's overall standard!