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Humans and dolphins have been able to coexist peacefully for many years; through trust and understanding, the two species have learned to respect one another. However, an unknown force wishes to drive them apart. After receiving warning signs from the stars, humans investigated the intergalactic turmoil while dolphins were left on Earth and protected by a powerful Guardian.
The forces of evil proved too much for the Guardian — with the humans gone and dolphins tending to the planet, vile demons ripped through a fissure in time and space, decimating the protector. With the protector wounded, the Foe, a hostile and uncaring nemesis, was able to create a temporal vortex where he would rule supreme.
Little did the monstrous army know, the vortex contained a dolphin who was destined to save Earth and the fate of mankind. Blessed with rare and uncanny powers, Ecco must now explore the far reaches of time while searching for vital dolphin qualities. When the lone dolphin came to, he found himself in the past; an alternate time when dolphins were proving their intellectual prowess to mankind. Because of his sadistic tendencies, Foe decided to steal the dolphins' traits and therefore cripple any efforts for human/dolphin equality.
Incorporating third-person exploration and adventure elements in 3D underwater settings, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future was created from the science fiction writings of David Brin. Spanning alternate futures and realities, players will seek out the aquatic mammals' stolen abilities and save the dying, polluted world in which humans and dolphins once lived. With realistic underwater fauna, flora and underwater creatures inhabiting each world (rendered from actual National Geographic photographs), the settings involve the destruction of enemy forces and puzzle solving.
Before getting wrapped up in saving the world, you must navigate intricate mazes and complex underwater structures (laboratories included). Players will generally find various items usable in certain locations; once used in the correct areas, certain events will unfold and new portions of the world will become navigational.
Additionally, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future features AI programming for various animal behaviors, interaction with other critters, and communication purposes. The developers have also used dynamic lighting effects realistic to underwater settings and an ambient soundtrack reflecting the aquatic world. The game makes full use of the Virtual Memory Unit by saving options and game data.
Will you destroy the vile nemesis' plans for destruction and close the rift between humans and dolphins? The future is riding on your shoulders...or is that fins? ~ Matthew House, All Game Guide