Free2Play: Mike Oldfield’s Tr3s Lunas and Maestro
Maestro and Tr3s Luna may be the most unusual games out there. Some have compared them to Myst… The games were created and programed by Mike Oldfield with a small staff. Mike Oldfield is the composer/multi-instrumentalist [aprox 30 instruments at Tubular Bells and close to 60 for Amarok] of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Omnadawn and other music.
His early success with Tubular Bells in 1973 gave him the financial freedom to pursue using computers in the recording process and making videos (himself) his love of making and flying model airplanes led to his getting fixed wing and rotary wing pilots licenses…
I read that Mike invested 25 million in the development of Tr3s Lunas and Maestro to build the virtual world HE wanted to explore. The games were originally released with music; one disc music one disc game, then were downloadable for a fee, but now are free.
Just for a short clip of his musicianship and the inane questions asked by TV interviewers…
Female ditz: You can HEAR the orchestration in that
MO: CAN you??
Tr3s Lunas description
In 2002, Mike Oldfield decided to expand his artistic horizons and create a computer game that used his music as a foundation. He named the project MusicVR and Tres Lunas is the first installment in this endeavor. Tres Lunas fuses Oldfield’s music with surrealistic images to create a sort of dream world for the player to wander through. The player can find and collect up to seven golden rings, but this is not really the goal. The real goal is simply to explore and discover. While playing, the player will encounter various creatures, people and objects. Some are helpful and some are a hindrance but none are dangerous or malicious.
Screenshot of Maestro showing statue on mountain
A silver statue stands on top of an icy mountain, overlooking the sea. From here we can see flocks of birds, a plane slowly crossing the blue sky and the lush green forest in the foothills. The music is peaceful and calming. My glider is floating on the breeze and Mike Oldfield is flying a spacecraft. “This is chillout 1,” he says.
He throws me a medal. I either need to find another 23 to complete the game or need to collect four Gravitars and bring them to the Gravitar pen. The ability for players to give away medals can prove decisive – if you try to enter the final level with 25 medals instead of 24, you’ll be sent to the start.
Winners – called Maestros – are rewarded with access to a room containing music only available there, which was described by early winner Fred as ‘upbeat, sad, energetic and restful’ on Mike Oldfield’s messageboard. While there can be only one Maestro per game, the Maestro can invite other players into the winner’s room.
It’s this spirit of cooperation and teamplay that sets this game apart from many others. There is a messaging facility so that players can help each other solve the puzzles, explore together or just use the game as an attractive chat environment. Mike is often on-hand to offer gentle hints and encouragement. If you want to play with a select group, you can use your computer as a private game server.
To be seen by other players, you have to pilot an avatar, such as a glider or plane. The controls can be frustrating at times and the inability to look around without moving is irritating, but there’s no pressure and time spent learning to fly is a good investment.
Screenshot of the maze
A mind-warping maze in Maestro
Apart from a dastardly maze, the puzzles aren’t easy to spot. The game is about exploring how you can interact with objects and the different environments available. It’s not a game for arcade addicts. Players who race through the worlds are likely to miss important details and skip some of the music and animation sequences.
The game is set on a spaceship which frames a variety of abstract worlds. We swam with the fishes, flew with the birds and danced with the jigsaw pieces. We watched an army of robots march past and met a lonely one-eyed man on a beach. As we flew around, music would catch our ear and help us to home in on new surprises.
For some people, the game will seem too safe. There’s no real danger, no violence and no explosions. Others will see the beauty of this and delight in the sights and sounds as they make new friends exploring Maestro.
Forum for Maestro, and Tr3s Lunas with guides, and help
Maps for Maestro
There are several maps available to help you find your way around Maestro. To see them, click the links below:
1. General map of the spaceship.
This is the most important map. It shows how to find your way around those bewildering passageways, how to get to the portals that take you to other worlds, and how many medals are needed to pass through each portal.
2. Map of the Hall of Tunnels.
This identifies the entrance to each of the tunnels and explains where they lead.
3. Map of Terrain (Dinosaur World).
Shows the main features of the landscape and the location of the three sets of acrobats.
[Provided by The Thin Man]
4. Map of the Hedge Maze in Terrain.
[Provided by The Thin Man]
5. Map of the seven portals in Castle World.
This shows where where they lead. [Based on info provided by Gary1eye]
6. Layout of the Ship exterior
[Provided by olracUK]
7. Map of the Tubular Bells Caverns.
This shows the main route through the caverns, the location of the collectible bells, and other significant places.
[Provided by a.r. schultz]
The learning curve is rather steep for both games learning the movements, it is suggested to spend several HOURS…
but they are unique and can be gotten off and on quickly if you want to DO something but are a bit out of sorts with your current game