Caves Of Fear CD
Developer: Atari
Publisher: Atari
State of completion: Complete - CD exists and was saved from destruction by Glenn and an anonymous friend in San Jose who rescued it from a dumpster. CD only runs on a development system!
Genre: Interactive Movie.
Also planned or released for: Other GameFilms were planned, one GameFilm (American Hero) was filmed for lots of money but never turned into a Jaguar GameFilm. A release of American Hero for PC may be possible.
Notes: Game is not listed in the Atari Dealer Price List Q3/1995.

Caves Of Fear is not a game but a technology demo showing a new interactive movie format called GameFilm. Caves Of Fear is about 10 minutes long and was shot by Atari and then turned into the demo. GameFilm was invented by David Schwartz while working for Atari. David and Atari hold patent #5,607,356 for this invention, the title is "Interactive game film" and the abstract reads:

An interactive game film includes, on a video disk, data arranged in clips representing video film segments, each clip having a lead-in segment, a body segment, a loop segment, and a lead-out segment. Each clip matches at least one other, so that when the clips are played in series, the splice is seamless. The clips are displayed by a driver in response to instructions from a game control program unique to a particular game. The game control program provides an interface, in the form of visible or audible subtitles containing keywords, between a player and the driver, whereby the player can, at decision points in the game, control which film clip is displayed next.

Check out the full length description at the US Patent & Trademark Office (search for number 5,607,356).

Up until the Jaguar came out, all movie based games used a standard two path possible concept. You either picked the correct sequence and continued or you died and had to start over (i.e. - Dragon's Lair, Night Trap, Sewer Shark). Plus there were very noticeable pauses between scenes or decision points. GameFilm expanded on this by giving more decision possibilities (more interactive) and using memory buffering techniques to eliminate pauses and make the game more streamlined. There is also a subliminal voice (low talking male voice in the background) that queues to various decisions you can make along with text messages appearing at the bottom of the screen of what Jack is thinking of doing. The decisions available have various score weight in the game and will later determine your final score and rating.

The storyline of Caves Of Fear is as follows:
You follow a CIA secret agent on a mission in Uruguay. His name is Jack Armstrong. The movie starts out in a run down hotel where you link up with another agent. A brief conversation starts between Jack and the agent. The agent has a floppy disk with information on it about a white supremacist group that is bent on taking over the world. This agent has gasoline poured over himself and pulls a gun out and puts it to his head. He briefly explains that he doesn't have long to live and that's its up to Jack to complete the mission. Jack tries to stop him but he blows his brains out. Jack then lights a match and sets him on fire.

On the way out, Jack gets jumped by two thugs. One holds him and the other beats him unconscious. Jack later wakes up in a hospital somewhere. A blond colored hair nurse comes in and checks his clip board. She then notices he's awake. She offers Jack some drugs to make him feel good.

This is where you can start making decisions in the game by pressing the A button...

Decision 1: Go for the door.
Door opens and two guards appear. Jack asks them to take him to their boss.

Decision 2: Fight with the nurse.
Jack gets in a good fight with the nurse. You can either kill her by choking her to death or render her unconscious. From there Jack heads to the door and the guards appear. Jack then gets gunned down by automatic weapons and is killed. Sometimes I think you can also end up being taken to see the boss...but don't recall if I was able to kill her and still continue.

Story continues with you walking down a hall way with the guards on both sides of you. Guards are giving you a hard time about the beauty work someone did on your face. You see various barrels of chemicals, people in chem suits, smoke and steam throughout the hall way.

Again, a few decisions to make here:

Decision 1: Make a break for it
Jack takes a opportunity to over power the guards. Grabs a fire extinguisher and nails both in the head and blinds one with the extinguisher. Then makes a run for it. At this point the game ends and gives you a rating based on the actions you took and a score.

Decision 2: Cooperate
Jack is taken to a lab where there's a doctor examining a body. This is where you learn about this white supremacist organization and their plans to use chemical weapons to purify the race. The game then ends giving you a rating and score.

Glenn has run across several different rating and score endings.

There was another GameFilm that was going to be made for the Jaguar called American Hero. The movie was done. It cost Atari a lot to have it made. But a Jaguar version was never made. The film was written and directed by a David Brandes. There could be a possibility of a PC version if there was a market for it.

Today David Schwartz, the creator of Jaguar GameFilm, is the CEO of Imaginon (www.imaginon.com) and their Internet TV service (www.imon.com). David Brandes was the writer/director for the film American Hero (that was filmed but never made into a Jaguar GameFilm; possibility may exist for a PC release if enough interest). Scott Walters helped with the necessary CD boot program (developer system required) to make this game and technology discovery possible.

(from email conversation with Glenn Bruner)

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