From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Torin's Passage is a graphic adventure game
developed and released by Sierra On-Line, designed by Al Lowe. The game holds the
distinction of being a family friendly game by Lowe, designer of
the adult-oriented Leisure Suit Larry series of
The player interacts with Torin and the in-game environments
using a point-and-click interface. Placing the
cursor over certain "hot spots" in the environment allows him to
move around, examine things and pick up items. There is also an
inventory system used to access the items Torin collects during the
course of the game. The player can switch to Boogle as well,
although he is mainly used to morph into various items. The items
he can morph into replace the items in Torin's inventory. Any item
can be viewed as a 3-D model by using the item viewer. The game has
a variety of puzzles, from puzzles involving item collection to sliding puzzles.
Points are given after solving puzzles. A
hint system is included as an in-game feature, and the player can
ask for hints after certain time intervals, at the cost of game
points. The specific time interval can be set as an in-game option.
The hint system can also be turned off entirely.
The protagonist of the game is Torin, the son of a farming
family on the planet of Strata. An evil sorceress named Lycentia captures his family
with a magic spell and he embarks on a quest to find her and free
his parents. He travels to the "lands below" to worlds beneath the
surface of the nested planet, through colossus crystal columns
called phenocysts. These phenocysts transfer life-giving sunlight
to the lower worlds and people too with "Aerodski" powder. He is
aided by a purple cat-like creature
called Boogle, who is able to change itself into a variety of
- He is the prince of The Lands Above, but he doesn't know about
his origin. Having been "kidnapped" by his nanny, who tried to save him from an evil
warlock, he is later found by farmers, who adopt him. While growing up, Torin finds a
mysterious creature that can change its shape and turn into
different objects. Torin calls the creature “Boogle” and becomes
friends with him. After the mysterious disappearance of his
"parents" one evening, an hooded old traveler tells him about the
evil sorceress Lycentia,
who has captured them. Torin then travels through all five worlds
of Strata, having different adventures. In Pergola, he falls in
love with Leenah, the missing princess of the second inner world,
Escarpa. She had been trapped by the diminutive natives of Pergola,
the Purpletins. Torin saves Leenah and himself, but they then soon
parted: Leenah returns to Escarpa, Torin goes on to Asthenia. When
he reaches the Null Void after Tenebrous and meets with Lycentia,
he learns her secret: she's his nanny, and was arrested for
kidnapping by mistake. After being ostracized to the lands below,
she became evil from the experience and later helped further the
machinations of Torin’s uncle, Pecand (the murderer of Torin's true
parents and the old traveler Torin meets at the game's beginning).
Torin also learns he was his home world's prince and would become
the next king. Torin frees Lycentia from the magic golden
ostracizing collar that
prevented her from returning to the Lands Above and Lycentia helps
Torin to defeat Pecand. With Pecend vanquished, they return to
Lands Above with Torin’s foster parents and Boogle, who was earlier
kidnapped by Lycentia’s sidekick, Dreep.
- He is a shape shifting animal from the Lands Above, named by
Torin as his pet and companion. Purple and cat-like, Boogle can
mimic different things and creatures to help out Torin on his
quest. He gets briefly separated from Torin on Tenebrous but is
later rescued after Torin and Lycentia defeated Pecand.
- She plays the role of the main villain of the game until the
truth was revealed. While babysitting Torin, she "kidnapped" him to
save from the evil magician Pecand, who killed Torin's parents.
Upon her return, her intentions were misinterpreted and she was
sent to the lands below in exile. The judges put a magic golden collar on her to stop her from
returning to The Lands Above (the collar would choke her if she
tried to do so, and was so tight it nearly did anyway). Years in
exile, she becomes a sorceress]and Pecand fools her, promising to
get rid of her collar and making her his all]. Using a magical whirlwind, she kidnaps
Torin's "parents". With the help of Pecand, Lycentia watches Torin
with the intention of killing him in order to fulfill her deal with
Pecand. When Torin arrives to the fifth inner world, Tenebrous, she
orders Dreep, a blue animal she created, to follow him. Torin finds
her in the Null Void and she tries to kill him. Her collar begins
to squeeze around her neck and Lycentia falls unconscious. Torin
touches the collar and it cracks opens, releasing Lycentia from its
grip. Lycentia awakens and realizes Torin is actually the prince
that she tried to save long ago. She becomes good again and helps
Torin in stopping Pecend for good. After that, she frees all her
victims from the crystals that they were trapped in. She returns
back to The Lands Above along with Torin, Boogle and Torin's foster
- He is the king's spiteful brother and Torin's uncle. Using dark
magic, he kills the king and queen in their sleep, but Lycentia
saves baby Torin before the magic could do the same. Years later,
Pecand tried to manipulate her into helping him become the highest
judge in the land and eventually the king. It was Pecand's plan to
use Torin's adoptive parents as a "bait" for Torin. Then disguised
as an old traveler, Pecand "helped" Torin by telling him that
Lycentia was the one to blame. He then warned Lycentia of Torin's
quest to find her. When Torin reached the Null Void, Lycentia tried
to murder him, but Torin was able to free her from the collar and
thus, from Pecand's influence. Lycentia became good and Pecand
tried to kill Torin himself. Using a magic book, Torin threw him
into the cauldron of lava, but
Pecand survived. It was not lava, but a supper bowl for Dreep (blue
monster, Lycentia's sidekick and pet). Pecand attacked Torin again,
but Lycentia froze him into a crystal prison as her other victims
were. He fell into the Null Void within his prison and was assumed
never seen again.
- "Duck": He is a voice/sound recorder at the amphitheater in
Tenebrous. He loves and collects rare voices. He had actually known
Lycentia because he recorded her voice years ago before she was
exiled. Torin, being from the Lands Above offered a recording of
his own voice in exchange for Lycentia's recording.
- Dreep: He is a massive creature of Lycentia. He does some work
for her as a henchman, a minion or a guard to her lair. He captures
Boogle in Tenebrous but Lycentia wanted him to go after Torin
actually. Torin outsmarted Dreep easily to enter Lycentia's lair in
the Null Void.
- Bags Bunny: He is a very talkative pink furry rabbit. He
recently quit his awful job with his drunken ex-partner and needs
to find a new one. Torin helps Bags find a fancy new top hat to
live in and hired to Zippy.
- Guard house guard: An old man in the service of guarding the
entrance to the Lands Below in the Lands Above. Senile and a bit
cooky, he waited for over 10 years for his replacement to take over
his position. Torin manages to serve the guard his "final meal" to
get access to the phenocryst's entrance.
- King Rupert and Queen Di :They are the royal rulers of
Escarpa. When Torin arrive in Escarpa, they asks him to keep an eye
for their daughter, Leenah (King Rupert anyways). In the few
conservations that Torin had talked with them, Di regularly talks
under her breath her true feelings and rephrases them in rhyme
comparsions when asked to repeat herself by Rupert.
- Leenah: She is the princess of Escarpa, having gone missing
when Torin was searching for Lycentia. Torin finds and recuses her
in Pergola, then helped her to return to Escarpa before continuing
on to Asthenia. Leenah, in comparison to the other Escarpians is
aesthetically different; taller, slighter and having hair on only
her head and had always felt like the "ugly duckling" as she
described herself. Despite appearances, she is a nice and
respectable person to everyone, even the Escarpians kept trying to
match Torin up with Leenah due to sharing the same appearances. It
could be possible that Leenah originally came from the Lands Above
and she was adopted by King Rupert and Queen Di at an early age,
but this wasn't proven.
- Slim and Slime: A pair of snails in the Lands Above. They are
wisecracking buddies that are also Olympic Slimers. They help out
Torin with getting some slug bait after he does them a favor. Their
favorite catch phrase is "eye five".
- "Sunflower" and "Oak Tree": They are sentient plants that can
speak and feel much like people do. The Sunflower is a bit uppity
but helps Torin out for a favor to save her plant friends. The Oak
Tree is very sensitive and cries a lot about his past dramas but
provide Torin with some sticky sap for solving a pest problem.
- The Bitternuts: A greyish Escarpian family whose lives are
portray as a black and white family sitcom show, Mrs. and Mr.
Bitternut and Bobby. Torin gets to have their tile after giving
them an invitation to the Royal Ball.
- Trype and Viscera: They are a two-head vulture in Escarpa. They
have opposite personalities; Trype is rude and negative and Viscera
is polite and positive. While Viscera is willing to let Torin pass
through their nest, Trype wouldn't and they can't go anywhere
- Veder: An Escarpian philosopher that Torin briefly meets. Torin
helps him out by giving him a soft pillow for a tile in
- Sam and Max: They are two skunks in Escarpa. Torin needed to
pass through their den, but the skunks were territorial. Torin
manages to outsmart them later on.
- The Purpletins: The tiny purple villagers of Pergola that lives
in a tribal society. They briefly had Torin and Leenah held
captived but Torin gained their cooperation to access the
phenocryst columns to Escarpa and Asthenia.
- Tenebrous' Officer and Judge: They are the law authority of
Tenebrous. Torin gets arrested by the Officer for crashing down
hard on a bed of plants, due to plants being very scarce on
Tenebrous. Torin was left off with a warning from the Judge but
gets arrested for impersonating a singer, then gets exile to the
Null Void, wanting to go after Lycentia there.
- Zippy the Blind Magician: He is a blind magician that Torin
meets at the amphitheater in Tenebrous. He's having a hard time
coming up with a good magic trick to perform. Torin helps Zippy to
hire Bags Bunny and get new props in exchange for a magic
Al Lowe states on his official website that he wrote Torin's
Passage in 1994 after seeing the film Mrs.
Doubtfire with his daughter. He states that while watching
the film, he realized that audience was laughing in two different
pitches: "high little giggles when the kids laughed at the slapstick parts of the
film, and deep knowing guffaws when the adults caught something
that they knew the kids wouldn't get." Lowe thought, "Why isn't
there a computer game that my 9-year-old daughter and I could play
that works like that?"
Lowe's daughter would take a small role in the development of the
game, designing the maze puzzle seen late in the game.
The game's developers included a variety of easter
eggs in the game. Some of the more obvious ones occur near the
end of the game. Several characters make cameo
appearances at the same time, including Darth Vader, Yoda and Taylor from the original Planet of the
Apes film. Hotaru Tomoe, also known as "Sailor
Saturn" from Sailor
Moon also makes an appearance. While the other characters
were placed in there by the game's background artists, Hotaru was
placed in the game by Bryan Wilkinson, an art tech working on the
game. There are also various references made to Torin's
Passage in a subsequent Al Lowe release, Leisure Suit
Larry 7: Love for Sail!.
The final version also contains some unused content.
Some members of the development team who worked on Torin's
Passage went on to work for notable companies. Lead Animator
Jim Murphy went on to work for Pixar and Lead Background Artist Bruce Sharp went
on to work for Microsoft.
The game was intended to be the first in a series similar to
Quest, but the declining popularity of adventure games put
a stop to such plans.
Torin's Passage was designed to be suitable for
children, which surprised many of the fans of its designer, who was
known for making rather "adult" games. In an interview Al Lowe
stated: "I think many people misunderstood Torin's Passage,
however. It was designed for a parent to share with a child,
because I wanted a game that Megan (my then 11-year-old daughter)
and I could play together."
Critical reaction to the game is mixed, GameSpot's Jeffrey Adam Young gave the game a
7.0 out of 10, a "Good" rating. Young lauded it as an adventure
game for players of all ages, although he commented that younger
children and novice adventure game players might find some of the
puzzles challenging. Young also noted that although the game is
child-friendly, some of Lowe's characteristic toilet humor
remains in the narrative.
The adventure video game website Adventure Gamers published a less
glowing review in 2003 though, calling the game "A promising fairy
tale that just never breaks through the wall of mediocrity."
- ^ a
Wood, Claire. "Adventure Gamers: Torin's
Passage review". http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,221. Retrieved September 25,
- ^ "Torin's Passage at
GameBoomers". http://www.gameboomers.com/reviews/Tt/Torinsbysyd.htm. Retrieved September 24,
- ^ a
"Torin's Passage at Al Lowe's Humor Site". http://www.allowe.com/Torin/index.htm. Retrieved September 24,
- ^ "Game Trivia for Torin's
Passage". MobyGames. http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/torins-passage/trivia. Retrieved September 24,
- ^ "Torin's Passage Unofficial
site: Easter Eggs". http://www25.brinkster.com/akril/Torin/EasterEggs.html. Retrieved September 25,
- ^ "Torin's Passage Unofficial
site: Mysteries". http://www25.brinkster.com/akril/Torin/Mysteries.html. Retrieved
- ^ "Game Credits for Torin's
Passage". MobyGames. http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/torins-passage/credits. Retrieved September 24,
- ^ "verbosity - Leisure Time with
Al Lowe". http://verbosity.wiw.org/issue7/allowe.html. Retrieved September 24,
- ^ Young, Jeffrey Adam. "Torin's Passage review".
GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/torinspassage/review.html. Retrieved September 24,