I remember when this came out, my alcoholic dad would hog the Mac all night, toiling away on Obelisk, hunched over and cackling to himself. When he'd eventually pass out in a heap of sweat, tears and puke, I'd finally get my turn and boy was it worth the wait. Does this version have an ending with Screebus-X? Apparently when you completed the original game Screebus-X would guide you through a portal into another dimension, only it wasn't just part of the gameplay, what it promised was literally a portal into another dimension, for real. When its validity was questioned there was a class action lawsuit and a searing takedown in Consumer Reports, anyone remember this?
A downloadable game and book for Windows and macOS
Obelisks are made from stacks of stones. These obelisks are markers of territories where tribute must be paid to enter. At the end of time the tallest obelisk will rule what is left of the world.
Copyright 1989, Amplexxus / 2021 W. Wiggins
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TLDR; Hell yeah, Obelisk! Is this Obelisk?
Liskheads rejoice! I literally flipped out when I saw this game on here. My friends and I were so into this game as kids. My dad helped me build a computer so I could play it at home. Been looking for an emulator for years!
It's good, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like there's stuff missing in this version. I think Google Fiber is part of the problem. There's always a bit of a let down when you go back and play a nostalgic game, but this game is weirdly vacant. My friends and I based SO much of our identity on this game. We jammed to 8-bit Rammstein because of this game, we had so many inside jokes about marjoram oil and the wand of slanderousness, we role played the Realm of 9 Stones in the cafeteria despite being pelted with stale bread rolls by the popular kids, we never shut up about astral projection...I still refer to places I do or don't vibe with as peaceful or ominous land. You needed insulated mitts to play without getting burned by the hot joystick, so I taught myself how to sew and was able to quit babysitting because I made pretty decent money selling StickMitts and cloaks to friends and at Dragon's Lair in Austin. The game was a true classic. Right? This version is barely lukewarm.
Maybe I've become to jaded with age, but I feel so empty playing this now. Or maybe I just feel confused.
Obelisk!!!! When I was 10, my dad came home from the pawn shop one Tuesday afternoon, bringing home our first computer- a faded Mac Plus with a box full of bootleg disks. Mixed in with the MacWrites and CricketDraws and the 28 disks for Manhole was a black 3.5 with the word “OBELISK” written in black sharpie. Hardcore. At sleepovers, it was 7 kids crammed around a 9” b&w screen, taking turns finding gold, drinking potions, slicing monsters, exploring the realms. I was the first one on my block to defeat the Jade King. So yeah, I know this game okay (the only thing I loved more was Banzai!). Obelisk was a formative part of my childhood. Needless to say, this version is a major letdown. There is SO much from the original missing. Where are the Cloud Dragons? Nope. Or the Quartz Wunderlust Giants? Gone. The Blue Spore Demons? As if they never were. When I found the Fog Helmet of Self-Gratification, I didn’t even feel self-gratified. Also left out is the rapidly flashing opening photosensitivity seizure warning card with the midi-Rammstein cover playing under it. And when I finished level 43, the CIA recruitment page didn’t pop up, let alone try and connect my modem with their secret phone number. I still can recite the 3 hour long credits, but that’s cut out too. Lame. Whatever. If the author posts the sequel, I’ll shell out another $2 tho.
i had spinal surgery in the late fall of 1990 after being hit by a garbage truck riding my bike home from school.
after a grueling 72 hour surgery and several weeks stay in the hospital, i was released, taken home and put into the bed i was to be trapped in for the next few months. the summer of my 13th year was not to be spent in the sun, going to the community pool with friends and eating ice cream in the dairy queen parking lot; it was to be alone, unable to escape the four walls around me...until i was introduced to obelisk.
my uncle ray worked at the amiga store in the local mall. knowing that my nintendo, as well as most things of value in our household, were sold off in order to help cover the cost of my incredibly costly surgery, he was able to snag me a very expensive floor model of the amiga 500 and a copy of the game. as he set up the machine he assured me that my summer wasn't going to be as bad as i had dreaded.
i was enthralled immediately. i was lost in the world and the hours flew by as i explored the amazing landscape and got to know some of it's denizens. i quickly forgot about the world i was missing outside, spending all of my time in this new land.
several days in, i was tasked by kantartha, the old crone, to retrieve the amulet of gestortion, so that i could enter the portal of the 9 stones. she explained that i would have to take a job from migtax, the kindly old shopkeeper, who would give me the amulet after i gained his trust.
i went to his shop and after speaking with him for some time, was offered a job helping around the store. it wasn't exactly made clear, but after accepting the job i realized this was to be done in real time, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with weekends off. i figured this wouldn't take too long, and began my first day, cheerfully sweeping floors and stocking items (excellent game mechanics on both). it was on this day that i met gelfenia, the comely daughter of migtax. she was shy, but we slowly began getting to know each other and were soon comfortable and chatting like we had known each other for years.
days passed and i came to enjoy the satisfaction of a hard days work as well as getting to become closer to gelfenia and soon the days were flying by.
i even found myself in the store on my days off, enjoying the company of the old man and his daughter.
this had become the whole game for me, the outside world was now just a blur.
i had been working in the store for 3 months when i finally gathered the courage to ask gelfenia to marry me to which she replied with an enthusiastic yes. migtax was so overcome with happiness and pride, he gifted me the amulet i had sought after. after several more hours of celebrating, i turned off the game, exhausted, my head rushing with thoughts of would it would be like when gelfenia and i entered the portal of the nine stones, hand in hand.
i was abruptly awakened the next morning by uncle ray, who had been fired from the amiga store and had to return the console. i screamed in protest, but there was nothing that could be done... obelisk was gone. my life was gone.
when i found out the new version was imminent, i immediately quit my job and cleared my schedule in anticipation. i was ready to relive that magic summer and finally find out what would come next.
as soon as the game loaded i quickly set off for migtaxs' shop, anticipating my reunion with gelfenia and the possibilities that might follow.
as i travelled, i slowly started to notice the world didn't enrapture me as much as it had all those years ago, but i chalked that up to being older and more used to polished gameswith outrageous budgets.
you can imagine my dismay as i approached the shop that i had spent blissful months in that was now just a wall with migtaxs' name and a crude door lazily drawn on to it. i saw the old man first and gave a hearty hello. "my son sold our floor and left.” was his reponse. i tried to ask about gelfenia, "my son sold our floor and left", he answered again. "migtax! what happened to the shop? where is gelfenia?" i implored. again i was treated with the same response, "my son sold our floor and left”.
it was then i saw gelfenia approaching, smiling and as lovely as i had remembered. i was hopeful, but knew in my heart what was to come next.
i cried out to her, she calmly walked to me and said, "my son sold-“
i turned the game off, and i won't be turning it back on.
you have ruined my childhood mr. wiggins. worse than a broken spine did.
you have taken what was an incredibly joyful video game experience and turned into a heartbreaking loss that will take me some time to recover from. damn you for what you have done.
i hope this game bankrupts you and that you die in a house fire.
SHAME. WTF is this?? I guess somebody wrote a fat check to license the 'Obelisk' name we all remember fondly but the magic of the original is sorely lacking. If I remember correctly the old one used to let you pay off your character's debts by scanning in objects from the real world with this special wand accessory you could buy. The game would assess the actual value of things so I ended up stealing from my parents and breaking into cars around the neighborhood to collect stuff and level up. "Gooooood", the game would say, when I brought it an expensive watch or a small exotic animal. "This is good. You are good." No one has ever given me validation like that before or since. Anyway this version sucks.
Thanks to everyone who has played and posted, I hear your concerns, but I assure you that this is in fact the original 1989 adventure game classic that you remember. Some of the archivists that I consulted with have suggested that the experimental mutliplayer option that Amplexxus added towards the end of the game's distribution run might have something to do with the discrepancies you have pointed out. Another expert I spoke to suggested that the game as designed was never meant to be played so much later than its release date, leaving it in an altered state. Regardless, Thank you all for sharing your memories.
i had high hopes for a remake of the CLASSIC and absolute rare relic that was the original game. but man, this new version had lost its core...
Oh this is so fun. I remember my parents digging out their old computer when I was a kid and there were a few games to try. This one and Ultima were the only good ones they had!
I wish I could remember how to get to the enchanted bear. He was my favorite part, but I can't find his cave now.
I grew up in rural Montana (not far from the Amplexxus compound) and Obelisk was actually the first video game I ever played. It was an installation at our local Pizza Hut for years, and I believe ours was the "original" version, as well as the only arcade cabinet version in existence. It was shaped like an actual obelisk and used to beta test new features & levels. The version I grew up with featured physical "punishments" geared to whipping poor players into shape -- a blast of foul smelling wind to the face, extremely high decibel klaxons, joysticks that would heat up to the point of mildly burning your skin, it even featured a retractable syringe that would inject your thigh with a clear liquid. Needless to say, we got good fast. This newer version is pretty watered down if you ask me, and I will be avoiding it. Two (scarred) thumbs down.
Where are the wizards. There used to be wizards now there aren't wizards where are the fucking wizards.
This is not the original game I don't know what happened but this isn't it
And one guy had like a grapple gun, may have been the same guy. Not sure
Hey I played this back in the day and there was a little guy you could unlock who could carry more blocks where is that i don't see him
My older brother played the original Atari 2600 port. At that point though no one else was playing Atari games anymore, so he got bored of it half way through. I tried to pick up where he left off, but never finished it since my brother went to college and took his Atari with him. This remake feels different somehow. I was finally able to finish it but it never really matched my nostalgia for the original.
I remember playing this on a Mac SE at the school lab. It was kind of an underground thing like MacJesus.
WOW, I remember seeing this on the shelves at Egghead (suburban DC, not sure if a national chain?) and obsessing over it. It just seemed so dense and weird. No clue what it actually played like, really eager to give it a shot.
A buddy of mine had the original, back when we were kids- I remember spending hours poring over the runes, trying to translate things just so. In a hidden room, you could enter the secret runic phrase to unlock something pretty mindblowing-- no spoilers ;) Unfortunately, the whole wizard's tower area seems to have been cut from the re-release. Oh well. I'll always have my memories.
Ostensibly this is a remake of the excellent 1989 game, though tweaked for a modern audience. While your first play through will likely match the experience of the original, attempts to balance the game have removed some of the more interesting strategies and quirks that experienced players would rely on.
For example, by not limiting the daily visits to an obelisk, the developers have completely removed the workaround via the dark and light zones, techniques that skilled players would spend many late hours practicing.
The core of the game mechanics are all here, but I question if it has the longevity of the original masterpiece, though it's an improvement on the rushed C64 port.
Also missing are the sunglasses, which weren't integral to the solution, but revealed the hidden 3D elements of the game which in my experience added weeks of replay value.
I'm not trying to diss this production - it remains a brilliant game, and without the decision to trade on the Obelisk name then my review might have been entirely glowing.
Recommended, especially if you haven't played the much loved original.