Download Dark Earth (Windows)

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Dark Earth

Windows - 1997

Year 1997
Platform Windows
Released in Canada, Germany, United States (1997)
Poland (2002)
Genre Action
Theme Post-Apocalyptic, Survival Horror
Publisher MicroProse Ltd., MicroProse Software, Inc.
Developer Kalisto Entertainment SA
Perspectives 3rd-Person, Cinematic camera
4.48 / 5 - 40 votes

Description of Dark Earth

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One of the few action/adventure games that truly succeeded in appealing to fans of both camps, Krisalis' highly underrated Dark Earth is a great game that makes up for the short length with captivating artwork, a smooth interface that works well for both combat and adventure, and a very interesting and unique sci-fi/fantasy combination storyline.

Games Domain puts it well in the thorough review of this underdog: "Dark Earth, the world's first 'realtime' adventure, attempts to redefine the genre by replacing killer puzzles with arcade-like combat sequences. On one hand, this decision has created a far more open-ended game and has eliminated the frustration typically associated with hard puzzles. On the other hand, it makes the game somewhat short -- fully exploring this game is the work of days, not weeks. Fortunately, the story and setting are both excellent, and the combat system is fairly entertaining as well. All in all, the game is great fun while it lasts, and its appeal depends more upon your taste in storylines than preferred game style.

350 years in the future, the world has become completely unrecognizable following an encounter with a swarm of rogue meteorites. Centuries of sun-obscuring clouds have thrown the land into a perpetual icy twilight, leaving little more than strange, twisted creatures to roam the land. Dark Earth begins in the Stallite Sparta where Arkhan, member of the city militia, lives out a fairly routine existence. Not long into the game, fate places him in the midst of an assassination attempt -- a plot he is able to foil only at great personal cost: in saving the ruler of his city, he finds himself exposed to an insidious poison. With the venom consuming both mind and body, Arkhan must search Sparta for a cure even as he slowly transforms into a creature of darkness. Along the way, his newly acquired monstrous powers will come in handy as he works also to stop an evil plan to extinguish the source of the Stallite's light.

It cannot be overemphasised how well the graphics bring to life the detailed setting of this adventure. I've played games with higher technical standards (resolution, animation, colour depth, etc.) but precious few which can match Dark Earth's overall artistic quality. Throughout the game, backgrounds, objects and characters blend smoothly together to create scenes which are unique and strangely beautiful. The visuals have something of a Renaissance / Middle-eastern feel to them, depicting as they do a society somewhere between medieval times and an industrial age. Gadgetry, seemingly borrowed from the notes of Da Vinci, shares scenes with the bladed weapons of antiquity and scattered artefacts from 'before'. More so than many games, this conveys well the look and feel of a truly foreign culture; and gives curious players plenty of incentive to explore their surroundings.

Dark Earth is something of a rarity among adventures: a story based game. There aren't all that many puzzles here, and those you discover aren't particularly difficult. Dialogue, the occasional cut-scene, and a bit of combat must instead carry the game. Keeping with an emphasis on storyline, many of the sub-quests and scenes in Dark Earth are optional. With the exception of a few 'main-quest' segments, it is entirely up to the player to decide where to go, what to investigate, and ultimately, how the story unfolds.

Kalisto calls their creation a 'realtime' adventure, and in a way, this is exactly what it is. For one thing, time is the game's basic limiting factor and resource. Arkhan's poison works constantly, and will eventually cause you to lose the game. As a resource, time helps you survive battles. By drawing upon your monstrous side, you can achieve special attacks and regeneration -- at the cost of aggravating the poison and reducing your remaining gametime. In this way, combat becomes something of a puzzle, and damage avoidance an important skill to cultivate. It also rewards players who take the time to explore their surroundings: healing items can reduce your dependence upon the costly regeneration ability.

Further enhancing the 'realtime' concept, various events seem keyed to an internal clock. In this game, it's entirely possible to miss things simply by failing to be in the right place at the right time. My usual strategy for timed adventures is to save the game, carefully explore, then reload using my ill-gotten knowledge to meet objectives quickly. In this game, however, you can save progress only in specific locations, resulting in some fairly extensive 'scouting missions'.

Dark Earthwas a lot of fun, and I count myself lucky to have been given a chance to review it. Were it not for its lack of serious puzzles (and the ending), I would have considered awarding a GDR Silver. Its brevity makes it a difficult title to recommend; but, longevity tends to be a problem with adventures, and not every game is as entertaining or replayable as this one.

Fans (who aren't completely set on puzzles) should strongly consider this game -- the detailed setting and original artwork alone probably make it worth its price. For others, this is the rare adventure who's story sells the package, and probably has sufficiently universal appeal to warrant purchase at bargain-bin prices."

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

VGVeteran50 2023-08-30 -1 point

Hey SAKRAM, that is the FIRST thing i thought when i saw that person lying on the bed, I take it you're not a fan of sex in gaming? you must really hate Dragon Age, Mass Effect or the Classic God Of War? YOU worthless f--k. loh not lol.

inteltium 2022-11-22 2 points

For anyone having a hard time trying to get this to work, just use this instead:

Sakram 2022-08-15 -2 points

the one commenting as "DLCATALIN": sad, pathetic, worthless f-k.

skob 2022-05-08 1 point

this game is an absolutely master piece of adventure/action games

dlcatalin 2022-01-31 -14 points

Is that a sex slave ? Does this game have sex slaves ?

Mattman 2022-01-24 1 point

Thank you. This was one of my earliest gaming memories.

Kai 2021-10-09 4 points

Forgot to say: To install the patch from Peixoto's tool, just drag the files form the unpacked patch folder into the game folder and override.

Kai 2021-10-09 13 points

Here's how to install it on Windows 10 and other modern systems:
1) Download just the ISO version, you don't need any of the other downloads here (besides the manual).
2) Unpack it and mount each of the two CDs as a different drive, by using a tool like WinCDEmu on the .cue files (right-click).
3) Important from here on: If your desktop scaling is over 100%, you will get problems. Set your scaling to 100% or use a resolution that automatically has 100% with your monitor. See here:
4) Download and use Peixoto's patch:
That tool has a tab for Dark Earth, which describes precisely how to install the game and the included patch. Follow that.
From then on, you always launch the game through Peixoto's tool, and you have to set the font scaling to 100% before launching the game, as described above (otherwise you will only see a fraction of the game screen).

MrGamer 2021-06-03 21 points

Underrated, static camera ingenuity, a fantastic adventurous story and great puzzle solutions.

RuThaN 2021-02-17 -29 points

Overrated, static camera nightmare, bad adventure like story and puzzle solutions.

pc gamer83 2020-11-16 2 points

wonderful game a must play

pukebag 2019-09-01 -1 point

It keeps saying that I already have the game installed. Guess what.....I DON'T!!!!

BIJAN AMIRI 2019-08-04 2 points

really impressive and nostalgic game for me.six month i was engaged to live and path through was interesting that when i found the way to enter the dark land by jumping into the river instead of passing the bridge!.thanks for making this great game.the best gameplay experience with strange,dreamy places and complicated characters.never forget it.

NUTS OF RAMBO 2019-05-24 -1 point

so. in order to get this game working in windows 10 u need to download virtual box. install windows xp. find the crack wich is not in this file. its in this page create an iso of the crack files with imgburn. and copy paste those files into the game root directory. your wellcome. this game is worth it.

lucaster 2019-03-31 4 points

This game is such a gem, thank you so much for preserving it!

Eme 2019-01-30 0 point

Não estou conseguindo estalar no WIN 2008....pode me ajudar;;;;

Geras 2019-01-30 1 point

Lovethe game

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Download Dark Earth

We may have multiple downloads for few games when different versions are available. Also, we try to upload manuals and extra documentation when possible. If you have additional files to contribute or have the game in another language, please contact us!

Windows Version

DownloadISO Version English version 1.1 GB DownloadISO Version French version 883 MB ManualEnglish version 27 MB

Game Extras

Various files to help you run Dark Earth, apply patches, fixes, maps or miscellaneous utilities.

NocdUniversal fix that combines the functions of patch 1.1 and NoCD.
How to use: make a full installation, copy the Datas, dialog and sc folders from both disks to the game directory, as well as the Cd1.chk and Cd2.chk files, and then unpack the NoCD itself English version 612 KB
PatchPatch v1.1 for the game.
Adds support for Windows 2K / XP and allows you to keep the disk in any drive. English version 615 KB

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