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Dust: A Tale of the Wired West

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Release date(s)  United States 1995
Developer  CyberFlix
Mode  Single-player video game
Initial release date  1995
Genre  Adventure game
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Platforms  Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems, IBM PC compatible
Publishers  GTE Interactive Media, BMG Interactive
Similar  CyberFlix games, Adventure games

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Dust: A Tale Of The Wired West is an American computer game made for the PC and the Macintosh. It was released on June 30, 1995 and was produced by Cyberflix and published by GTE Entertainment.

Contents

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The game is a point and click adventure game in which the player, playing a character called The Stranger, travels around a virtual old western desert town in the New Mexico desert in 1882. In addition to the main gameplay, there are several minigames in Dust, including blackjack and poker games where the player can choose to play honestly or cheat, and a shooting range helps prepare the player for a later segment of the game.

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The characters encountered in Dust are rendered by way of photographs of professional actors given limited animation in sync with dialogue. A later game produced by the same company, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, uses the same technique and contains several references to Dust, including a reappearance of the character Buick Riviera. Dust: A Tale of the Wired West: The Official Strategy Guide (Prima Publishing, 1995) was written by Steve Schwartz in cooperation with Cyberflix.

Dust: A Tale of the Wired West httpsiytimgcomvinwEMUTm99Ahqdefaultjpg

Story

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Set in 1882, the game starts with the Stranger playing cards with The Kid in an unknown town in the American West. The Stranger discovers that The Kid is cheating, and The Kid draws his gun. The Stranger stabs him with an ornate dagger and runs out of the saloon. In the early morning hours, the Stranger finds himself in the town of Diamondback, New Mexico, a desert town. He is treated with suspicion.

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After getting a new pair of boots along with a pistol with bullets, The Stranger has to save Help, a Chinese storekeeper, whose store is about to be burnt down by Cobb and Dale Belcher. Both are motivated to drive out Help having been influenced by the recent signing of the Chinese Exclusion Act by Chester A. Arthur. The Stranger stops the Belchers, wins over the support of much of the town, and is made the town sheriff. In doing so, however, he attracts the attention of The Kid, who travels to Diamondback.

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Sonoma, one of the few remaining members of the Yunni Tribe, asks The Stranger to recover five sacred objects belonging to her tribe, in exchange for helping him find the legendary Devil's Breath gold mine. Other tasks for the Stranger include helping Nate Troter, a local rancher, treat his melancholia and stopping bounty hunters from killing Mez, a local poker player.

Eventually The Kid arrives, sending in gunmen ahead of him to kill The Sheriff. He eliminates all of them and kills The Kid in the duel that follows. The Sheriff then returns the Yunni Objects to Sonoma. Keeping her word, she helps The Sheriff gain access to the Devil's Breath gold mine that's hidden under the town's abandoned schoolhouse.

In the mine he encounters a mysterious Guardian who reveals that The Sheriff is destined to help restore the Yunni tribe. He also reveals The Sheriff is Ahote, a member of the Yunni tribe who was separated from them at birth. The guardian tasks him with one final puzzle while also urging him to remove the box that appears. Early Spanish colonists massacred much of the Yunni Tribe to obtain the box. After solving the puzzle to reveal that the box is filled with treasure, Ahote is held a gunpoint by Radisson Bloodstone-Hayes, a wealthy aristocrat who seeks to take the treasure for his own personal gain. Making use of ancient Yunni technology, he kills Radisson.

Upon leaving the mine with the treasure, Ahote finds the town gathered to meet him. He is offered five choices on what to do with the treasure. The game's five endings depend on what choice the player picks. Ahote can go into the ranching business with Nate Trotter, go into the lead business with Mayor Macintosh, run away with Marie Macintosh to live in opulence, leave town with the treasure or give the treasure to Sonoma to help rebuild the Yunni tribe.

Reception

Reviewing the Macintosh version, a critic for Next Generation summarized that "Dust fulfills all the requirements for a successful adventure: largely nonlinear, multiple solutions to problems, multiple story endings, no hand holding (yes, you can die), and a strong but not constricting plotline." He said that the characters having only their mouths animated looks "hokey" but is an acceptable sacrifice for more dialogue and gameplay (since presenting all the dialogue in full motion video would have been impossible due to space constraints). Additionally praising the fully 3D environment and the realtime interactions between characters, he gave the game four out of five stars.

References

Dust: A Tale of the Wired West Wikipedia


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