Doctor Who has become a surprising emblem of Britishness. A time-travelling eccentric alien, who is quick-witted and utilises his pacifistic solutions to save the day for almost 60 years. The art of regeneration allowing the character to live on, although different, meaning generations of fans having their favourite incarnation, episode, or enemy. In 1997, B.B.C. Multimedia released a video game celebrating the legacy of the show, allowing the player to save the Timelord themselves, In Doctor Who Destiny of the Doctors.
That interdimensional villain, The Master, has held the previous incarnations of The Doctor captive. Hidden away on the planet Siralos. You play as The Graak, a blue squid-like entity that has picked up the challenge thrown down by The Master. You must traverse the TARDIS to find your way to the great divide, it is here that you can receive a riddle from the evil Time Lord, one that involves the Doctor’s previous adventures. Once you have done that task, you take on The Master in a challenge freeing that incarnation. The fate of the galaxy is in your hands… or whatever Graak calls them.
Controlling Graak is an intriguing experience. He has a similar health counter to E.T., that starts at 9999 and constantly ticks down, and there few chances for Graak to get them back. Actions such as colliding with enemies, running, or skipping directly to the challenge can deplete precious energy, requiring caution when navigating. You start in the TARDIS, which as fans know being an interdimensional time-travelling machine ergo not bound by physics. What seems like straightforward navigation, becomes an Escher-like labyrinth through a fully 3.D. rendering of the recognisable ship. While the Doctor’s iconic companions are not present, recognisable baddies roaming the halls more than compensate for their absence. Though you can quip a sonic screwdriver, and Dalektainum grenades to help you ward them off. The layout is different for each incarnation requiring concentrated navigation to reach the Great Divide. It is here that the player is tasked with solving a smaller riddle or fetching an object among other tasks. It is up to the player, to select which task they shall do, based on a selection of a floating symbol. Completion of which leads to the current incarnation’s ultimate challenge. Like the TARDIS, they are themed based on a famed exploit of the incarnation. Such as the Celestial Toybox from the First Doctor’s challenge, or Mars’s frozen depths for the Sixth. They provide a fun 3.D. trial that shows off the show’s most memorable moments.
There is also a written database of all Doctor Who encounters of the time, called the City of Thoughts, The Master also has his own, dedicated to the baddies. His is underwhelmingly called the Monster Database and while the internet was slowly becoming more a thing in 1997, I can see the appeal in the interactive virtual databases’ inclusion. Most actors of the show manage to return, and all give great performances. For example, you can pick up a radio to contact Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart for advice or listen to the likes of Sylvester McCoy or Tom Baker psychically guide you, it adds a lot to the experience.
It would be redundant to say that this is a necessary product for a Doctor Who fan, as exploring the topsy-turvy corridors of the TARDIS, fighting old foes, hearing the actors reprise their roles and the correlated tomes of the database, make the game more than worth it. Newer fans might also get some mileage out of the game despite the retcons the subsequent series have made. New or old, Destiny of the Doctors shows there might be more than thirteen lives left in The Doctor.
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