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Heart of China is a 1991 adventure computer game made by Dynamix. The game features the exploits of pilot Jake "Lucky" Masters as he tries to rescue nurse Kate Lomax from a ruthless warlord. The story and characters are similar to Indiana Jones.

PlotEdit

In 1930s, Hong Kong, struggling former World War I fighter pilot Jake "Lucky" Masters is recruited by rich businessman E.A. Lomax for a dangerous mission. Lomax's daughter Nurse Kate Lomax, has been kidnapped by ruthless warlord Li Deng and imprisoned in Deng's Chengdu fortress. Lucky must rescue nurse Kate but to do so, he must enlist the help of a mysterious ninja named Zhao Chi. Each day Lucky has not rescued Kate, his reward money decreases by $20,000.

After sneaking into Deng's fortress, Lucky and Chi snatch Kate and escape. Unfortunately, Kate is bitten by a snake during the rescue and the only medicine that can save her is in Kathmandu, Nepal. After further adventures in Nepal and Istanbul, the trio makes its way to Paris. For the best outcome, Jake and Kate must fall in love during the journey.

ProductionEdit

The game was developed on the proprietary Dynamix Game Development System that was first used in Rise of the Dragon. The artwork used a mixture of digitized photos of live actors and hand painted sets. The game supported VGA resolution in 256 colors. Because of tight production budgets, Dynamix had to recruit the cast of actors from the company's own employees and even their families.[1]

GameplayEdit

There are several possible endings to the game and many ways to die. Certain choices can delay the team (diminishing the reward given in the epilogue), and portions of the game can be played from Jake's, Chi's, or Kate's perspectives. There are two optional arcade-style action sequences.

ReceptionEdit

UK magazine ACE gave the game 910 out of 1000 points, calling it "a significant breakthrough in the interactive storytelling genre" and stating that unlike contemporary games such as Rise of the Dragon and Space Quest IV it does not just have excellent graphics and sound, but also a proper narrative storyline. Incidentally, the reviewer also mentions the story's similarity to that of the Tom Selleck film High Road to China.[2]

The game was reviewed in 1991 in Dragon #176 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.[3]

ReferencesEdit

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