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If you ever wondered how Heaven and Hell look like, LucasArts's vision of the Afterlife might answer some of your interrogations with their new game so rightfully named "Afterlife". Far away from LucasArts's choice of predilection -- the adventure genre --, Afterlife's concept is based on what awaits living beings after they die, and puts you in charge of the organization a la 'Sim City 2000'. Chosen by the 'Powers That Be', you must control both Heaven and Hell, and make these two realms grow and prosper to welcome the SOULs (Stuff Of Unending Life) which have left the world of the living.

Whether you believe or not in the Afterlife, your religious sensibility will not be tested. LucasArts tried not to shock cultures and beliefs, by avoiding references to our world. Humans were thus replaced by EMBOs (Ethically Mature Biological Organisms) living on a planet far, far away from Earth, and it is a pure coincidence if they share with humans the same manichean approach of the Afterlife that reward or punish SOULs according to past actions. However, even in this distant world of another age, these two realms are still called Heaven and Hell, and populated with Angels and Demons. Hard to figure out another way to conceive the Afterlife, I presume. But far from this eternal philosophical debate, Afterlife is first of all, a humorous game in which you must take care of your SOULs, and make their new life as good or as bad as they deserve.

Your first task will be to build gates in both realms. Given three sizes of gates, you must choose which one will better serve your needs and, at the same time, be compatible with your financial resources. The more SOULs they allow to come in, the more they will cost you. Once the gate is built, you must lay out roads and start zoning. Strangely, even in the afterlife, nothing better than roads have been invented to go from one place to another. Therefore, the gates will only function when they are connected to a road, and soon, SOULs will begin to arrive in their new home. Depending which realm they have been routed to, SOULs will live in specific zones. There, they will be rewarded or punished for the particular virtue or sin they demonstrated during their entire life. Again, the inevitable allusion to the religion is clearly present with the seven deadly sins: Avarice, Envy, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth and Pride; and their counterparts, Charity, Contentment, Peacefulness, Chastity, Temperance, Diligence and Humility. A specific color has been attributed to each of these sins/virtues, like in Sim City where green was for housing, blue for commercial and yellow for the industry.

At first, fate zoning is easy. The only thing you must keep in mind is that SOULs don't go further than three squares from roads. Knowing this, you can start building several zones, and see how the buildings emerge from the ground. Slowly, the population of SOULs will grow in both realms, and structures will eventually evolve with the adequate actions. However, all this has a cost, and believe me, even in the Afterlife money rules. As you may have forgotten, buildings are not simply houses, but also places where SOULs are rewarded or punished. That's why dedicated workers will help you in your task. Subtly, these workers are called Angels in Heaven, and Demons in Hell.

This work force will soon become important, not only in cost but also by its increasing number. These workers need specific places to live, the Topias. Although they represent a consequent investment, they reduce the percentage of commuting workers which are paid more, thus making substantial savings in the long term. Another way to save money is to train your workers in Training Centers instead of importing them, and also control the percentage of SOULs accepted in them to avoid having stupid workers that would definitely reduce the efficiency of the fate zones in the future.

Jasper Wormsworth Aria Goodhalo
Jasper Wormsworth Aria Goodhalo

If you are not careful, it may happen that you don't have enough space for SOULs in some zones. A sign will immediately warn you when this problem occurs, and will indicate on the screen the color of the zone needed by SOULs. You can then create another zone, or try to make your building evolve using siphons. Placed next to rocks and connected to roads or buildings, the siphons will empower structures with energy, in a very similar way used in 'Sim City'.

When a structure becomes full, you have two alternatives: build a new one of the same size or bigger, or upgrade the ancient. This applies to Gates, Karma Stations Anchors, Topias, Training Centers, Ports, Limbos, etc. During the game, it might become difficult to locate which buildings or zones become full, deserted, or under bad or good influences. Several tools are provided to help you manage your realms. The Map View brings you all the necessary information to monitor various parameters: the balance between temporary and permanent inhabitants, efficiency of fate zones, vibes, capacity, zoning, traffic, karma structures and Ad Infinitum. The first parameter shows which proportion of SOULs are temporary or permanent in the zones. Temporary SOULs will go to another zone or reincarnate instead into a new body through the Karma stations, while permanent SOULs on the contrary, will stay forever in the buildings, unless they are destroyed. The efficiency of fate zoning is an essential parameter. As temporary SOULs need Production and permanent ones, Research and Development, you must find the right balance of activity for each building so that it matches the proportion of populations. As only the buildings, correctly balanced, will have a chance to evolve, this parameter should benefit of all your attention during the game. If you don't want to spend most of your time checking for unbalanced structures, you can always use the auto-balance option, but it is rather expensive. Vibes will indicate on the map which zones are under good influence in green, and under bad influence in red. However, what is considered good in Heaven, isn't in Hell. The buildings under bad influence are more likely to evolve in Hell, while it is the contrary in Heaven. Nevertheless, to avoid any confusion, green will symbolize evolutionary vibes and red, anti-evolutionary ones. The other parameters, capacity, zoning, traffic and Ad Infinitum respectively show how full the buildings are, the colors of fate zones, the road traffic, and the repartition of energy emitted by siphons. The last one, the karma structures, displays Karma Stations Anchors, tracks and portals, but won't provide you with any important information.

The Karma Stations Anchors allows temporary SOULs to reincarnate. To do this, you must place a Karma Station Anchor next to a road, and place a Karma Track from the Karma Station to a Karma Portal Anchor. The Karma Tracks will be represented in blue on the screen, and represent the shadows of the real track located in the space between the two realms. Among the other structures available in Afterlife, there are Ports, Banks, Special Buildings, Limbo Structures, Omnibolges and Love Domes. The Ports, like on Earth, allow SOULs to cross rivers. The Banks offer you the possibility to make a loan, but depending on the realm where the bank is located, the way you must pay the interest back calls for different risks. The Special Buildings are awarded by the 'Powers That Be', and help to avoid the nasty consequences of the Bad Things, some sort of disastrous catastrophes that occur sometimes throughout the game. The Limbo Structures are temporary structures to prevent SOULs from getting lost in a place that doesn't belong to any of the two realms. In the Limbos, SOULs are served with beer (sorry there are no divine drink like the Greek gods had in Olympus), but when there is no beer left in the structure, it explodes. Finally, Omnibolges and Love Domes are particular buildings that can contain up to one billion SOULs, and provide them with all their needs without any labor costs. These are only available when your population reaches a billion SOULs though!

In Afterlife, you can also influence the planet where EMBOs live. In the Planet View, you can decide to modify the level of technology, the level of sins and virtues, or the tenets, but don't forget that the more influence you wield, the more money you will pay.

The Graph View is a series of graphics to help you analyze the beliefs of your population, check your budget, evaluate labor costs, examine growth, etc. While they may be of certain interest, the Helpers will be more helpful as they provide you with more concise information. Jasper and Aria, the helpers, will always be available to give you advice, often tinted with a strong sense of humor. Moreover, they will offer you several tutorials with whom you will quickly advance in the basics of the game. If you usually don't like tutorials because they bore you to death, I strongly urge you to try them out this time. The duo of Jasper the Demon and Aria the Angel is extremely funny, and above all, a very humorous way to start the game.


Featuring exquisite 3D isometric graphics and an interface similar to Sim City 2000, Afterlife can only ravish sim fans. The unique humor of Jasper and Aria, and the transcendent soundtrack of the game are a definite plus that Sim City 2000 was missing. But whether you should choose one over the other is just a matter of inner SOUL.

Written by Frederick Claude

Click here for screen shots.

System Requirements:

486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
MS-DOS 6.00 or higher,
Hard drive required with 1Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
MSCDEX version 2.2 or higher,
256 color VGA or SVGA display (PCI or VLB recommended),
SoundBlaster 2.0, Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16, AWE32, Pro Audio Spectrum, Gravis UltraSound, Ensoniq Soundscape, and 100% compatibles,
Microsoft compatible mouse.

Windows 95 compatible.




LucasArts Entertainment Co.,
P.O. Box 10307,
San Rafael, CA 94912.

Technical support:415-507-4545
Fax support:415-507-0300
BBS support:415-507-0400

Hints: 1-900-740-5334 $.75 a minute
Order line: 1-800-98-LUCAS

Internet Support: LucasArts Technical Support
Web site: LucasArts


In North America:

See developers.

In Europe:

In UK:

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London W8 5RB

Technical Support:+44-(0)171-3682266
Fax Support:+44-(0)171-4682000
BBS Support:+44-(0)171-4682022

Internet Support: Virgin Interactive Entertainment UK Technical Support
Web site: Virgin Interactive Entertainment UK

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Technical Support:+33-(16)9908-9077
Fax Support:+33-(16)9908-8933

Web site: Ubi Soft

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