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Float like an Egyptian....

Not all of Tess's guests became hideous undead aberrations: some became restless spirits cursed to relive their final moments for all eternity. As you explore the Conway Estate you'll come across blue apparitions of Tess indicating where an important scene took place. Walk up to it and watch the ghosts of Tess and her friends reenact past conversations. Sometimes they give you interesting tidbits about the people that died in the mansion; sometimes they give you clues that help you in your quest.

The ghosts are the most innovative part of Killing Time by far: rather than interrupt the gameplay with a cutscene to develop the plot, Killing Time's cutscenes play out inside the game world. Seen it already? Just walk away and it vanishes. Miss an important detail? You can always go watch it again. By not pulling you out of the game world to tell the story, this feature really adds to the haunted house atmosphere and makes Killing Time truly unique in a genre full of copycats. And it's most refreshing in this age where videogames feature more movies to watch than levels to play.

Keep grinning like that and I'll boot you over the fence.
Fred grimaces in disgust as Daphne drains her third martini.

The actors are great -- much better than your standard fare from the FMV-era, though still delightfully melodramatic (they had to be, what with the low resolutions of the period). Everyone in the cast is memorable for the right reasons (i.e. not because they're laughably bad). Robert is a textbook butler. Byron is a superb sniveling scientist. Duncan acts so big for being so small-time it's easy to hate him. Tess Conway is particularly diabolical and a true femme fatale.

In the early 1930s, Tess Conway and her guests vanished without a trace...right in the middle of a wild party on the Conways' island estate. Shortly before that fateful summer's evening, a local gossip columnist -- often a guest at the estate -- jotted down her unvarnished impressions for an article she was going to write entitled, "Tess's Set: The Beautiful, The Fascinating, and The Dangerous."



Age 29, born in Boston. Well educated, sharp-tongued, bright, vain, impulsive, gorgeous. Sole heir to the huge Conway fortune. Treats her imported cigarettes with more respect than her many male suitors. Lately has become interested in the occult and ancient Egypt. Loves throwing parties; hates growing old. Musicians, flappers, archaeologists, and the occasional criminal are always welcome in her house -- so long as they play by her rules.


Early 30's, reportedly born in Baltimore. Shallow, street-wise bootlegger. Dashing, overly confident, always scheming -- greedy to a fault. Wherever he goes, he brings gangsters, gamblers, and trouble. Wants Tess's money. Wants her prestige. Wants her love. Imagines he can win it all with charm. Flirts with Tess's friend Lydia for practice. Suspicious of Tess's bookish friend, Byron. Thug sidekick, Mike, is his only real friend in this ocean of high society -- but he'd sacrifice Mike in a second if he got in the way of his plans.


Age 28, born in Boston. Spent her entire childhood in Tess's shadow. Went to Radcliffe with Tess, met Byron in Cambridge. Sexy, but not as clever as Tess. Drinks too much. Prone to flashes of anger. Likes to be the center of attention -- usually is when Tess isn't in the room. Trying to woo Duncan away from Tess. Treats Robert, the Conway butler, like a favorite uncle. Treats Byron like a brother. Makes fun of Mike -- flirts with him only for practice.


Age 33, but looks older. A New Yorker of German descent. Summered in Berlin as a boy. Amiable, but nervous. Paranoid, stuffy, isolated. Considers Robert the only other gentleman on the island. Met Tess and Lydia while studying ancient archaeology at Harvard. Loves Tess from a distance. Knows he can't have her. Covets her collection of ancient artifacts, but offers his expertise in Egyptology to try and win Tess's affections. Afraid and jealous of Duncan. Can't understand what Tess sees in him. Tries to impress Lydia with his intellect, but she finds him boring and innocuous.


Age 7, born in Newport Beach, Rhode Island. Tess's niece. Cute, precocious, and in love with the old English riddles she learned from her grandmother. Everyone likes her. Everyone tends to forget she's present, so she knows a lot about the Conway Estate and its mysterious grounds.


Age 34? (acts younger). Hails from Baltimore. Hired by Duncan as a security man. "Guards" the estate and its precious art -- or is it contraband he's protecting? Loyal to Duncan, thinks he'll be a ticket to riches. Considers Tess a classy dame, but is thrown off by her smarts. Kind toward Angela. Hates Robert. Thinks Byron is a wimp. Wouldn't mind putting Lydia in a compromising situation.



Age 56, born in Northampton, England. Been the butler at the Conway Estate forever. Helped raise Tess as a child. Upright, reserved, knows everything about the estate's residents, guests, history. Cross with Tess for bringing a dark crowd to the island. Enjoys Lydia's company -- covers for her when she's tipsy. Considers Byron practically a member of the family and shares a mutual high regard for him. Doesn't trust Duncan. Dislikes Mike, considers him unnecessary since the estate never needed guarding before!


Killing Time is property of Studio 3DO.

Website managed by Mike MacDee (at yahoo dot com).