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Anachronox is a 3D, third-person, computer role-playing game produced by Tom Hall and the Ion Storm games studio and released in 2001. The game is built on a heavily modified version of the Quake II Engine, considerably rewritten to add improvements such as a wider color palette and more complex character animations (including facial expressions).
Development took roughly three and a half years, and the development team was able to finish only about half of the game, which ends on a major cliffhanger. The story was to be completed in the sequel, tentatively titled Anachronox Prime, but the sequel was never made. However, the game nonetheless developed a cult following, largely due to its off-beat, humorous storyline, and was notable for the quality of its music and is considered by fans to have one of the best game soundtracks. In response to favorable input about the game's story, Jake Strider Hughes (the game's cinematic director and producer) independently spliced together the game's cutscenes into an award-winning machinima movie.
Gameplay was notably influenced by console RPGs such as Chrono Trigger, one of Tom Hall's favorite video games, although character statistics and item collection have been simplified and the emphasis is on exploration and story-telling rather than RPG-style character building. The player plays the part of Sylvester "Sly Boots" Bucelli, a down-and-out detective in the slums of an alien world called Anachronox. This world sits inside a giant, hollow sphere called Sender One, which is the center of the galaxy's network of space-lanes. Recruited against his will to investigate a mystery concerning the very nature of the universe, Sly travels throughout the galaxy, meeting many characters along the way, some of whom can join the player's party.