by Marcus Mulkins
previewed on PC
A dark future is almost upon us!
I have to keep reminding myself that this story goes back to 1980. I mean, what do you think of when you hear of flying pyramids filled with Egyptian ‘gods’? For me, what springs to mind is the movie ‘Stargate’, and/or the TV series ‘Stargate One’. However, ‘Stargate’ more or less came into view in 1994. So, if the word ‘plagiarism’ comes to mind anytime while you’re reading this, just keep in mind what preceded what.
Nikopol is closely based on a French comic book, er, graphic novel series known as the Nikopol Trilogy: The Carnival of the Immortals, The Woman Trap, and Equator Cold, created by writer/artist Enki Bilal. Nikopol is a gaming version of the first book – so you can expect two more sequels to appear somewhere on the horizon. The developer is White Birds Productions, who are the same people that brought you Syberia I & II, Amerzone, and Paradise. Given those games as indicators, you can expect that this game will be well done in both graphics and mechanics (though the difficulty might be somewhat on the Easy side).
Our story begins…
[Start with the subsonics, something ominous.] It’s 2023. Paris, France. The man in control is – no ‘ands’, ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ about it – a fascist dictator named J. F. Choublanc. He’s a product of what happens when ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.’ Under his regime of iron-fisted control, Paris has sunk into decay. The once bright and colorful city is now dreary and decrepit.
Above Paris floats a flying pyramid. That’s right: a pyramid. In reality, it’s an interstellar spacecraft inhabited by Egyptian ‘gods’. Unlike Stargate, these aliens are on Earth because, well, they ran out of gas. They’ve been negotiating with Choublanc for what they need to fuel up their gas tank, but he’s been holding out for the secret to immortality. But not all of the alien Powers That Be can agree that trading away that information for a tank of gas is such a good idea. So, while the Powers That Be wheel-and-deal with Choublanc, a boatload of interstellar travellers is running around Paris seeing the sights. And most likely getting involved in all manner of mischief.
Retro tempus fugit thirty years. That would be 1993; keep that date in mind. A French draft dodger named Alcide Nikopol is caught, tried, and convicted by a military court. His sentence is to be placed in freeze sleep and packed aboard an orbiting prison ship where the passengers are all but forgotten. However, this particular prison ship experiences technical difficulty and makes the drop back to terra firma.
Nikopol survives, but because of his previous frozen condition, upon crash-landing, his leg has snapped. He is found by Horus, God of the Sky. Horus is not happy with the spaceship’s fearless leader, Seth, mainly because Horus thinks dickering away the secret of immortality is a bad idea. As a direct result of his disagreement with Seth, Horus is on the run, playing hide-and-go-seek with both the alien and human authorities. Horus repairs Nikopol’s leg, and as part of his unilateral deal, inhabits Alcide’s psyche as a mental hitch-hiker. When Nikopol revives, they set out in one body ‘going native’ with the idea of bringing down both Seth and Choublanc at the same time.