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The Legend of Lotus Spring
(Dreamcatcher Interactive/Women Wise)

A Review by Annemarie   30. Juli 2000

Am Altar
At the altar

I would like to start this review with the purpose not making to much words but instead let many screenshots speak for themselves. By letting act the wonderful pictures on yourself, you can get the best impression of the game.

Here you are told the story - based on true events - of the young chinese emperor Xian Feng and his truelove Lotus Spring. Xian Feng is descended from a Manchu-family. Because his ancestors feared a mixture of races they had forbidden by law marriage between the Manchu and the Han. This makes it impossible for Xian Feng to marry a Han-woman like Lotus Spring, not to mention taking her as his empress to the Forbidden City. So Xian Feng nominates one of his concubines for empress, when she gave birth to a son and successor to the throne.

But he is living with his only and true love Lotus Spring in the "Garden of the Perfect Brightness" full of happiness und love to her - until the the jealous empress Cixi began to act on Lotus Spring's birthday. She presumes on the very ancient law and exiled Lotus Spring to an island. After the destruction of the bridge that lead to the island - she has to spend the rest of her life in lonliness and apart from her lover in the "Garden of the Perfect Brightness".

One day when Lotus Spring disappeared without leaving a trace, Xian Feng went on a search to find her ...

Das Grab
The tomb

Das Geschenk des Pfaus
Present of the peacock

The gamer takes the roler of Xian Feng and explores the garden piece by piece, the buildings and locations, where Xian Feng and Lotus Spring were happy together. The diary of Lotus Spring serves as guide: when you open it, you find a page with an artistic drawing the other page is   still empty. By the item or place that is represented on this page you now have to find the right location and there get to know the story that took place here.

You can bring live to the story of Lotus Spring and Xian Feng (later in the game the story of Lotus Spring only) by clicking on certain items and/or make simple interactions with the six items, that you will collect in your inventory during the game: for example lighting candles with matches, finishing a needlework with a needle etc... You will be rewarded by wonderful animations, that will fill even daintiest eyes of gamers with enthusiasm!

If you have seen and managed everything at a certain location, the empty page in the diary will be filled with a poem or picture.  Clicking on this page let you read the corresponding information or you can listen to the  wonderfully told story if you click on the grammophone.

Especially if you have just struggled your way through countless documents (with neverending pages of most difficult English) in "The Forgotten - It Begins", you might appreciate this praiseworthy lecture-service in clear and intelligible English, that can even be understood if you haven't visited the adult college, "Advanced Course VII".

After listening to the narrative or diligently reading it, you might turn over to the diary's next page and follow the next drawing to the next location - until Xian Feng at the end of the day finally faces the end of the story ...

I want to tell you something about the background: the true event, our story is based on, happened in 1858 - in 1860 the original   "Garden of Perfect Brightness" was burned down - it was burning day after day until there was nothing left.

Women Wise perfomed the resurrection of the garden, its legends and of lifestyle at this time as a fabulous beautiful dream for us by the help of historians, original construction-maps, historical documents like diaries, paintings and photographies.

The game truly is more a dream than a typical adventure, where you have to find your way through difficult puzzles, keen combination or sometimes fast action-scenes! Well matching the dream-atmosphere of the game is also the fact that there is no conversation throughout the whole game, no tone passes the lips of Lotus Spring and Xian Feng - exactly like a dream!

And the game is an example, how beautiful a dream in 2D can be - in comparison with it "Time Machine" by Cryo with its innovative 3D-acceleration looks like a plastic toyland.

In addition the impressive music fits one hundred per cent into this dream and, though  there are only two repeatedly played melodious themes, you can hear those ear-candy during the whole game with pleasure.

Likewise the cursor is a clou: it's a little many-coloured china doll, which runs in the driven direction, rises the little arm when an interaction has to be done and comes to life in animations like playing ball sometimes.

 The only causes to criticise are some minor technical problems: As someone who doesn't know Quicktime, I didn't manage to turn on sound during the animations - they were beautiful but silent for me.

Besides even for my PC it took some time to get under way with the animations – some crashes occured (despite a P600!). And the last thing I want to mention that was getting on my nerves, because I'm always playing with many pauses: The game consists of 2 CD's - and when you are playing the second CD you always have to change from CD1 to CD2 after an interruption of the game!
Well - the game was made for women - and women have to be patient - or what???

Conclusion: If a rating as adventure game is possible at all, I would rate this game with 75 % (recommandable good game). You should not play it when you 1. don't like love stories 2. expect challenging puzzles, a certain portion of action or intelligent dialogues ...

I for myself just fall in love with this game ... as I said - look at the pictures!



Tausend Lichter am Lotusteich
Thousend lights at Lotus pond

Schaukel im Wind
Swing in the wind

Königlicher Seerosenteich
Royal pond of waterlilies

Kaiserliches Liebesmahl
Royal love feast

Die Magie des Lotusfisches
The magic of lotus-fish

Der Zauberfisch
The magic fish

Die Macht der Musik
Power of music

Das Opfer im Blumentempel
Sacrifice in the temple of flowers

Minimal system requirements:

  • Windows 95/98/NT100 MHz
  • Pentium/166 or better recommended
  • 16 MB RAM / 32 recommended
  • 10 MB hard disk
  • 4X CD-ROM-drive / 8X recommended
  • 640 x 480 colours Windows-compatible soundcard

Played on:

  • 600 MHz Pentium
  • 64 MB RAM

Copyright © Annemarie für Adventure-Archiv, 30. Juli 2000


Rating system:

  • 80% - 100%  excellent game, very recommandable
  • 70% - 79%    good game, recommandable
  • 60% - 69%    satisfactory, restricted recommendable
  • 50% - 59%    sufficient (not very recommendable)
  • 40% - 49%    rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only)
  • 0%  -  39%    worst (don't put your fingers on it)


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