The Dig

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The Dig
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The_Dig_cover.jpg
The Dig cover art

Developer(s) LucasArts
Publisher(s) LucasArts
Release date(s) 1995
Genre Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
Platform(s) PC, Mac

The Dig is a graphical adventure game developed and released by LucasArts in 1995. It was the 11th game to use the SCUMM adventure game engine.

Like LOOM and Full Throttle, The Dig is a more serious game, lacking the outright slapstick humor to be found in most of the LucasArts adventures (even, to a small extent, the Indiana Jones games). It is also the only one of the LucasArts adventures that fits in the science fiction genre. The plot begins with the standard science fiction cliché of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and a team sent to place explosive charges in order to divert its course. After the explosion, however, the team finds an alien artifact which beams them to an alien planet. Unfortunately, the area they arrive in seems to be utterly devoid of life and in an advanced state of decay...

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The_dig.png
The Dig running in ScummVM

The story is well-conceived and strongly developed, which is widely considered its best component; complaints are levelled at its serious atmosphere, occasionally frustrating puzzles, and over-reliance on dialogue. The game features a heavy emphasis on interaction and occasional conflict between the three stranded crew members, the commanding astronaut Boston Low determined to find the way to go home, the precocious and stubborn linguist Maggie Robbins, and the geologist Ludger Brink who seems to be sliding into a strange obsession. The game art is hand-drawn and animated, with a mixture of 3D and hand-drawn movie clips which present a rich and compelling environment.

The game was released only on CD-ROM for PC and Macintosh computers, with a full voiceover soundtrack and prerecorded music. It has a surprisingly heavy-hitting credit list for a computer game: The project leader was Sean Clark, it is based on a story idea by Steven Spielberg and has writing credits for Spielberg, the noted author Orson Scott Card (who wrote the dialogue), and the well-known Infocom interactive fiction author Brian Moriarty.

Alan Dean Foster also wrote a novel based on the game. This novel is not completely consistent with the game but it is interesting in that it presents the point of view of the aliens, which is nonexistent throughout the game.

Contents

Curiosities

Delay

A proto-version is said to have been released in diskettes in 1994 (without voice acting) but the game had a lot of bugs and was soon recalled from the stores. An early CD-ROM version was also released before the main 1995 version. Some screenshots published on-line show notable differences from the final version. Very few people are known to have it and it is difficult to find.

Movie

The Dig was idealized both as an episode of Amazing Stories and as a movie in different times, but Spielberg concluded that it would be very expensive and difficult. In 1996, the director did not disrespect the possibility to make it in the future but this is highly doubtful since as of 2005 nothing about it has been reported.

See also

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cs:The Dig

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