The Last Express

A Hitchcockian thriller set aboard the Orient Express on the eve of World War I, Jordan and Smoking Car Productions’ cult-classic 1997 real-time-rewinding adventure game The Last Express has now arrived on mobile devices.

About The Last Express

Update: The Last Express is now available for iOS and Android mobile devices from DotEmu. Download it from the iTunes App Store or Google Play, or watch the trailer here.

The original 1997 PC version remains available for download from DotEmu.com and gog.com.

The Last Express never made the jump to next-gen videogame consoles like its predecessor, Prince of Persia — but though its 1990s PC graphics and technology may be antiquated, its story, characters, and design have stood the test of time and have won the loyalty of an exceptionally passionate and committed fan base. The Last Express is different from any other game I’ve done. It’s an achievement I’m especially proud of, and one that’s close to my heart.

Published by Brøderbund in 1997 (and in Japan by Softbank) on three CD-ROM disks, The Last Express was an immersive adventure game that put the player on board the Orient Express in July 1914, crossing Europe on the eve of World War I. It pushed the boundaries of interactive narrative in ways that no other game has done before or since.

In the Smoking Car

For me, making this game was a life-changing experience. It was my first time starting and running a company. In four years, Smoking Car Productions grew to 60 people; babies were born, friendships were forged. We spent our last nickel on the game, and closed our doors shortly after it shipped, so it probably wasn’t the smartest career move for most of us; but it was an adventure that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Production Notes

To create the art nouveau-inspired animation for The Last Express, we developed — and patented — a digital rotoscoping process to transform live-action footage into hand-drawn animation. Since then, a similar technique has been used in TV commercials and feature films such as Philip K. Dick’s “A Scanner Darkly.”

To make our portrayal of the 1914 Orient Express as historically accurate as possible, the Smoking Car team tracked down the original pre-war blueprints, train timetables, and even the last remaining sleeping car, derelict and abandoned in an Athens trainyard. 3D modeler-artist Donald Grahame took hundreds of measurements and photographs to “restore” the virtual train to its original luxurious state, down to the hand-turned screws and embossed leather panels on the compartment doors.

Artistically and technically, it was an immensely ambitious undertaking, perhaps bordering on lunacy. It may be “the greatest game never played” — but I think we pulled it off.


On September 27, 2012, French developer DotEmu released a faithful and complete iOS version of The Last Express. The Android version was released on August 28, 2013.

138 Comments

  1. 10-3-2008

    Heard of it, never played it yet. Soon…

  2. 10-28-2008

    I’m one of the few who played it, great game. Definitely a classic, I think I still have a copy somewhere. It had great atmosphere and graphics, and good acting. I also liked the way that events would occur simultaneously and you could miss something if you weren’t in the right place at the right time. Well done!

  3. 10-28-2008

    I accidentally stumbled upon a copy at Target sometime in mid to late 1998. I still have the disks somewhere. Funny how much the rewinding play mechanic carried over into the newer Prince of Persia games…

  4. 10-31-2008

    I make everyone I can play the game with me. I’ve not encountered a single person – even people who profess ‘not to play video games’ – who doesn’t enjoy this.

    It has some unanswered questions though – Like the ring, the castle, etc.
    So Jordan Mechner really should make a sequel…

  5. 11-2-2008

    (I’m french, so please forgive the faults in the following…)
    You couldn’t imagine how pleased I am with the launch of Jordan’s blog. The Last Express stands amongst my very all-time favorites, and since the day I bought it, it took a really unique place in my heart.

    Before and after, I was delighted too with other Jordan’s works : the incredible maze in the first Prince of Persia, or the very last minutes of Sands of Time striked me in a thrilled enjoyable way…

    In this blog, Jordan talks about reviews spreading the web about The Last Express. I must admit I wrote one six years ago, where I could share the warm felling I felt about this unique game. Here’s the link of this review, if anyone wants to read it (all in French) : http://www.grospixels.com/site/lastxpres.php

    Thanks Jordan for all the pleasure you give us through your works… and I’m really aware to discover the very first pictures of the upcoming movie !

  6. 11-7-2008

    Merci, HappyGrumble, c’est tres gentil!

    • 2-13-2013

      Hi Jordan, great game. I’ve enjoyed it all of the many times I’ve played it and it is easily in my top 5, so thanks very much! I’m just having problems with running the game (the gog version) as it keeps deleting my save games. I was just wondering if you or any one else could post a link to a completed save game I could download (and then rewind to my current location). Thanks, Ben.

  7. 11-9-2008

    Absolutely the most intriguing game I’ve ever played! I remember being floored when I first realized that conversations and character interactions were taking place in the various train cars whether I was present for them or not! Totally immersive gaming experience, and I loved the strange mix of static and rotoscoped animation. Thank you for this, Jordan Mechner!

  8. 11-17-2008

    The Last Express is the BEST game I have ever played. Mr. Mechner, thank you for this truly intelligent masterpiece. I’ve never been a gamer, but The Last Express still has me hooked. It is the one game I go back to time and time again and I still find joy playing it. I am yet to find a more beautifully made game or comparable storyline with beautifully crafted characters. I continually search the web for mentions of a sequel… over a decade later there is still nothing that compares. I would take the sequel in any form (novel, movie, game, comic strip). I just can’t get these characters out of my mind and I’m dying to know what happened to them. There are so many unanswered questions in this game that any sort of sequel is just begging to be made. Thank you again for your sacrifices making this game. I am truly amazed that it was never fully appreciated as the epic it was.

    • 5-15-2009

      If you are interested in some games that are closer that good to the Last Express, I would recomend you Gabriel Knight series and the first Broken Sword. And The Longest Journey is also one of the best. These are also very very good games… those that I like the most together with The Last Express

      • 3-11-2010

        And naturally, “Fahrenheit” (aka Indigo Prophecy) and the brand-new “Heavy Rain” should also go to that list. :) Also consider “Black Dahlia”, an 8CD extravaganza with disappointing puzzles but a great storyline and quality acting (for the most part).

    • 3-4-2013

      I agree!! This is the BEST game ever made. I still have it. I will never get rid of it. Excuse me monsieur, but that is not your compartment!! I have the original box and everything mint! What a classic! What a collectors item. Greatest game of all time including back to the C64 days. Please make it for android!!!! Thanks Mr. Mechner for the best fun of my life. This game is a masterpiece and should win every award out there.

  9. 11-29-2008

    played the game the year it was released and loved it!

  10. 11-30-2008

    hello.
    my name is bahram 26 years old. civil eng from iran. i realy love your games. i have complete last express in 98 it was exelent. one of best games in the world. i love u. all iranian gamers love u for your prince of persia series.. thank u. have a good life. your persian fan bahram.

  11. 12-10-2008

    I just found out you blog. Now I have the chance to say a big THANK YOU for The Last Express. I’m one of the few lucky ones that could purchase the game 11 years ago, and it’s been since then always in my top 3 favorite games of all time. It’s the game I replayed most and each time I find things I didn’t hear or see before :)
    Cheers, and keep the good work!

  12. 12-23-2008

    The Last Express changed the way I looked at computer games when I first played it back in 2001- well past the game’s release, but nevertheless astounding.

    What always fascinates me about the game is the script. Jordan Mechner and Tomi Pierce’s knowledge of the pre-war period, and the dialogue in the game, are both remarkable. Will there be plans for a film adaptation?

  13. 12-24-2008

    I have played/finished The Last Express more than 40 times in those 11 years (got the original game on Christmas 1997, if I remember correctly, hopefully it was available here in the Czech Republic, I played demo before, which was great – I love the slideshow at the end, its use with the music is beautifully touching) and the game deeply influenced me in many ways (history, languages, inspiration…). I still play TLE time from time and enjoy it.
    I go on telling people about this gem and give copy to those who play comp game and they like it. Recently a friend of mine bought me The Last Express: The Official Strategy Guide, which is very enjoyable even for big fans who know the game very well. The info on every character and the interview with you and Toni Pierce are very interesting. I also love the soundtrack by Elia Cmiral and Sonata in A Major by César Franck (not to mention how great it is, that you used the great recording of Josef Suk on violin…).

    So many words, and I could go on and on, but it still cannot express how much the game means for me (and it is great to hear that I am not alone). Although I enjoyed lots of great adventure games (Atlantis, Broken Sword, Dust, Spycraft, Gabriel Knight), for me The Last Express is still above them and unique in its atmosphere, great story and characters, music and… everything.

    And it is also great to see on this website sketch and rotoscope photos of the game. If you could put here some more material in the future, it will be appreciated.

    THANK YOU and be well.
    Happy Christmas!

    Veronika

    P.S. The only thing I could not manage is getting to Mahmud Makhta´s compartment, though I read it is possible. But anyway I found the Easter Eggs very cute (I posted them on IMDB forum).

  14. 1-11-2009

    This is a brilliant game.

    I recently found an old copy of this and was able to play through half of it until a CD Cache error (on Mac OS 9) rendered game play impossible. I can not tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to play this game through to the end. Nevertheless, I am glad that I was able to catch a glimpse of your work.

    The Art Nouveau style is well done. Even without shadows under the animated characters, it is amazing how good this production looks.

    Thank you for your work. I hope to see something else like this in the future from you with regards to the depth of story telling, and art direction.

  15. 2-2-2009

    I first got a glimpse of Last Express back in ’97, played the demo and planned on buying the game next time I saw it. After awhile, the game started vanishing off of store shelves, and I never got a chance to play it till 2007 (when I bought it off ebay). I have finished “the Last Express” many times since then. It’s not perfect, nothing is, but it is the most magical, immersive game I have ever played. The characters were developed in such a way that I really cared about what happened to them, or what was going to happen to them.

    Percy has it right about a sequel. The first game begged for more, and watching the end left so many unanswered questions- but it wasn’t forced, it flowed naturaly… and thats where I believe there is amazing potential for a continuation of the storyline.

    But above all, I thank you Jordan for designing a truly amazing experience. It is unfortunate that “the last express” was not properly appreciated at it’s time.

  16. 4-7-2009

    To quote my review on Facebook’s ‘LivingSocial: Video Games’:

    “The best adventure game I’ve ever played! Perfect balance between mystery, practical puzzles, action, and story sequences. Additionally this game puts you in the “virtual world” of the last Orient Express by allowing you to move around freely, and independently of the time and the events taking place on the train. The acting is great, and all characters speak authentic native languages, with a total of more than a dozen languages spoken in the game. You can get so immersed in the adventure, that you totally forget it’s just a game. Only the ending will remind you that all of this is not real, with the help of a little overblown finale.”

    Loved it when I played it years ago, and love it still, with all my heart! This is what a real adventure game looks and feels like! Thank you, Jordan.

  17. 4-25-2009

    Dear Jordan! It’s so nice to find your website! I think that your Karateka was actually the first PC (well, it actually was Apple-II – one of the very few available in the then still Soviet Moscow in late 80ies) game I ever played, and I played all Princes of Persia ever since. They are the ones I have the fondest memories of. It was, however, only last year that I discovered GameTap with The Last Express on it. I was literally shaking after completing the game. It’s so poignant, no words can describe it. It is really the best game ever made – as it surpasses anything else not only in the original real-time gameplay, but also in emotional depth. The level of detail and style are unbelievable, and more – they capture the very Zeitgeist of the epoch, the grandeur before the gory fall. Franck’s Sonata is now my favorite piece of music – it is SO appropriate here! The changing map at the end of the game – what an image! The border lines ripping across the living body of Europe and across the living bodies of millions of people, all beginning with the flight of that out-of-a-Russian-legend Fire-bird! No other game could have reached so deeply, as no other game developer dared to touch matters so painful and so real, affecting you not only because you identify with the main hero, but because of something much larger. It is, I think, the only game that shocks you so much because you know how much pain and bloodshed and loss was to follow – in a way, it makes history real for you. No other game has ever even tried to try that. And it rang a very special bell for me, as I, being a Russian native speaker and a linguist, was able to understand every word they all say (except for Serbian, and then still I was able to get some bits, like “Tailerov priyatel”!) – and so admired the beautiful supply of accents (British detective vs. American Cath (he’s now my LiveJournal avatar), perfect “German-English” of Herr Schmidt and Fraulein Wolf, excellent “Russian-English” of Dolnikov – I used to speak that way myself once! – etc. etc. etc.). I am sure that nothing, not even the visual beauty of the modern games, can ever hope to surpass or even equal the level of artistry achieved in The Last Express – as you made sure everything fits together, the visual style, the language, the story, the feelings, the ending (no happy ends there, of course), the gameplay (you always have the feeling you’re going to lose something important – and ultimately you do lose everything, even after you’ve done everything you could, that’s fitting the story – and history – so well), and the emotional reach (for those, of course, who know history :-) ). The Last Express will forever remain the best game I ever played – it’s head and shoulders above everything else, and reaches way deeper. For it is the only game that is more than just a game. Thank you so much for it!

    Thank you very much for all you did for us the fans, for all the happy hours you so generously given us.

    All the best in all your endeavours, and looking forward to watching the movie,
    Ilya (originally from Moscow, Russia, now in Toronto)

  18. 5-15-2009

    Our friend Ilya Sverdlov and others on this page have already talked about everything why this game is what it is. Now I don’t know what to add… because it’s all so true. Moreover of all these things, there is also the best kiss in a computer game ever. So sad, so lovely, so true.

  19. 6-2-2009

    Ahh! If only any other game was done as brilliantly as this one. What I love about this game is that it’s a proper mix of open-endedness and adventure…

  20. 6-24-2009

    I write in German, because my english is bad. I hope you understand it ^^.
    Ich habe “The Last Express” 1997 gekauft und spiele es heute noch. Ich hab es bestimmt schon 50 mal durchgespielt. Die brilliante Grafik ist einfach ein Hochegnuss. Man fühlt sich als wenn man wirklich dabei wäre. Wenn man weiss wann man was zu tun hat, dann kann man auch mal “5 Minuten die Beine hochlegen” und die tolle atmospähre genießen. Vor allem bei dem Konzert (das im Spiel um 15:00 begonnen hat ^^ [Cesar Franck's Violin? Sonata]).
    Schade das das Spiel ein offenes Ende hat, und keine Fortsetzung kommt.

    Ein großes Lob an die Music producer im Spiel.

    Ich habe selten so eine feselnde Story in einem Spiel gesehn (gespielt).

  21. 6-24-2009

    Ach mir fällt noch was ein. Auch die Sprecher für die deutschsprachige Version sind wirklich gut ausgewählt. Bei manchen Szenen sogar besser (ausdrucksvoller)als in der englischen Version.

  22. 6-24-2009

    A huge thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to post here, for your wonderful and moving comments. I’ve passed them on to members of the Smoking Car team who also have really appreciated them. It means a lot to us. Und Sebastian: ja, ich verstehe!

  23. 7-8-2009

    I stumbled on this site by chance and I read with much involvement all the comments about one of the best games ever released, comments which I totally share. My heart-felt congratulations, Mr. Mechner.
    When they say that videogames are useless and do not teach anything, well, they didn’t play The Last Express for sure!
    I hope that someday there will be a sequel, I am too much curious to know, what Mr. Cath has done since then :)
    Thank you for everything!

  24. 7-30-2009

    Hello Jordan!

    I played a pirated version (sorry, I could not find a single copy… noone on Brazil ever heard about that game…), and I deleted it later, now I regret it (even finding the pirated version was hell hard :/)

    I would be thankfull if you managed to release it to either GOG.com or Steam… Adventure game lovers would love it, specially with both places releasing adventure games from Lucas Arts (I bought The Dig on Steam and I don’t regret it).

    Please, please, please, bother the Interplay guys to re-release it! Better yet if this time finally someone make marketing for it, or release on gog and steam that do the marketing for you (ie: place your game in front page).

  25. 8-14-2009

    I too think the time is right for a rerelease, with nostalgia-driven markets like WiiWare in the spotlight. Hunting down underappreciated games is actually a gamer niche of sorts. Also, I just want to play it again. A few years ago I lent it to my Spanish teacher and never saw the discs again.

  26. 8-26-2009

    Hi Jordan!

    I just wanted to say that i played (and finished) The Last Express for the first time today and adored it. Its just a shame that almost no one knows this piece of art, its now easily one of my all time favourite games. I just hope The Last Express rereleases in places like Steam and GOG, because i really want to buy it (sorry i played a copy, cant find the game anywhere).

    Thanks for making this fantastic game.

  27. 10-7-2009

    I only managed to play this game last year while working on a documentary about the evolution of the adventure genre. I didn’t get to finish it then, and wasn’t able to give it a bigger slot in the final draft of the piece because I didn’t have the technical means at that time for capturing a gameplay video from it(seeing as how it was mostly made up of videos itself causing color corruption on the recording every time something moved).
    It did get a brief mention as being a unique and presently overlooked game. I especially liked the attention to detail in recreating the train cars, I remember seeing a Making Of video about it on youtube.
    It was a nice game, and it will be featured on another show next week. The funny part is, I got the idea for the show when I started writing the second paragraph of this post.

  28. 10-29-2009

    hello ,

    Jordan Mechner ,

    your creat all game , i liked it !

    * POP 1 (1989)
    * POP 2
    * POP 3D
    * The Last Express
    * POP The Sands Of Time
    * POP WARRIOR WITHIN
    * POP The Two THRONES

    Also 10.0 / 10.0

  29. 11-25-2009

    I just finished this for the first time and — my God. I haven’t seen interactive storytelling this compelling and involving and just plain excellent ever before. It’s better than most historical fiction I’ve read. It’d make a fantastic movie, if the general American public weren’t so woefully historically uneducated.

    Last Express really, really needs to be rereleased, perhaps on the Wii platform as someone’s mentioned. Who holds the rights? Do you still have the original models and rotoscoping (so as to bump up the frame count, my only, tiny, complaint)

    Bravo to the Smoking Car team. This is a masterpiece and deserves much wider play than it got. I’m going to go buy a hat so I can take it off to you.

    I assume the mystery of the ring was meant to be explained in sequels, but, Mr. Mechner, perhaps you could fill us in?

  30. 12-3-2009

    The Last Express is such a great game, I have nothing but praise for it. I installed it on my Vista x64 machine this past Thanksgiving weekend and played through the game over the course of a few days with my girlfriend. She loved it too, and now we’re desperately trying to find adventure games we can play together because we had so much fun! Thanks for creating such an epic experience! The Last Express still holds up in 2009! :)

    • 2-4-2012

      Hello Michael Shumake, I bought this game a few years ago and played it on my Windows XP Toshiba laptop. I now have Vista HP and want to load it to play (hopefully without all the stops I had on my low RAM Toshiba) but I CAN’T.
      How did you load onto your Vista? Is there a downloadable fix?
      Thanks for any help!

      • 2-4-2012

        OOPS meant Windows 7 – and I see now that I could have scrolled down a bit more for the answer.

  31. 12-4-2009

    This is by far the best video game I’ve ever played and most likely will EVER play (and I’m quite a gamer). It was also my first video game, so I’m really proud of that too (I remember my dad picking it up at Target or something for a really cheap price).
    I’ve always wanted to see a remake of the game but I can’t possibly imagine an improvement over this one since it is already perfect.
    And I would kill for a movie, can you imagine Leo DiCaprio as Robert Cath? Maybe even Kate Winslet as Anna Wolff? Or heck, just shoot it with the original cast!
    Thanks you Jordan and the whole team for creating this EPIC game!

    PS: I play it every 1 or 2 years but now I can’y get the instalation to run on Windows 7 (64bit), any suggestions?)

    • 1-22-2010

      I was also unable to get it to install on Windows 7 x64, but I found that I was able just to copy the installed game folder from an older machine over to my new computer and it worked perfectly.

      • 1-27-2010

        Thanks, I’ll try that :D

      • 1-27-2010

        Worked like a charm, thanks agains :D

      • 6-6-2010

        and in the case that no older machine is at hand:
        1. create a new folder
        2. insert CD 1
        3. copy all files in DATA to the new folder
        4. copy expressw.exe, MFC42.DLL, MSVCRT.DLL from the WINDOWS folder to the new folder
        (“flat” copy, all files must be in the same directory)
        5. run expressw.exe

      • 9-19-2010

        Thank you so much, Necroyeti, that got the game running on Win 7 x64, I was despondent at not being able to play my favorite game.

        My copy of this game goes to the grave with me. Won’t sell for love or money.

        I also have the Prima guide, that’s pretty neat to read through. Played the game many times and still missed things the guide pointed out.

        Thank you, Jordan Mechner and crew!

      • 2-4-2012

        Thanks, this worked… but can one save the game this way?

  32. 12-10-2009

    How about open sourcing the whole project?

    I’m completely serious. I don’t know how much money it currently generates, although I’m pretty sure it’s not much. There may also be some licensed technologies in use, which would have to be replaced to bring it “up to date”, but that’s completely normal.

    Open sourcing would let much wider audience experience the game, and would also make it possible to do slightly better blending etc which would not change the game as such, but would bring it a bit more up to date.

  33. 12-21-2009

    Dear Jordan Mechner, I just found this website searching how to contact you about The Last Express.
    As a long time gamer, I think that The Last Express is the greatest adventure ever made and one of the best game out there…too bad almost nobody played it (I live in Italy…I had to order the game in Canada years ago).
    I searched for The Last Express web site after all these years (I play the game one time every year) after seeing the ‘old’ adventure genre rebirth on other platform, like the iPhone.
    Have you ever thought of porting The Last Express on the iPhone?
    I think it could do very well…similar adventures ‘remake’ project had been very succeful on the iPhone AppStore (Myst, Monkey Island…)….personally I would LOVE TLE on the iPhone.
    Did you ever consider it?
    Some adjustment obviously has to be made, but imho nothing really major…art and music could be untouched, the tap screen could be very well adapted to the game.

    In any case I would like to thank you for what I consider the best experience I ever had on videogaming.

    • 12-28-2009

      I would seriously buy an iPhone just to play The Last Express on it, I think its a REALLY good idea :)

    • 1-14-2010

      I think it’s a great idea too! We can see many old games now on the iPhone or the iPod, for example Revolution Software is porting Broken Sowrd – Shadow of the Templars on iPhone and iPod. It’s a good way to relaunch the game and to allow young generations to know it. It’s a great game and I’m sure a lot of people would still like it.

  34. 1-23-2010

    Like many of the others here, I would like to offer my thanks for what was without a doubt the most enjoyable and most profound gaming experience I’ve ever had. Not only have I played through the game at least twice a year since it came out, I’ve even bought copies to give away to my friends on a number of occasions to help expose others to such an experience.

    One thing I’ve never figured out though… when you first have a conversation with August Schmidt in the dining car, Robert knows his name even though Schmidt doesn’t introduce himself. Did I miss something? =) Of course, that’s entirely possible… even now after over a decade of playing the game, I’m still finding little bits of dialog that I’ve never encountered before.

    • 1-23-2010

      You are right, you can go there without knowing his name or you can go there after conducter tells you “Herr Schmidt is waiting for you in restaurant car…” Each possibility has the same conversation with you ending it with saying Schmidt’s name.
      Never thought about that :o)

  35. 1-23-2010

    How do I fight the guy with the knife when I go back to compartment #1 and he is in the room? Do I just out duck him? Nothing work, except dodging, then dying… Anyone? Thanks

    • 1-24-2010

      You dodge three times, and then you’ll see the icon change to a hand and you can grab the knife from him.

  36. 2-12-2010

    Love the game, broke one disk, fortunately the last one so I can still play most of it. I think I need to buy a new copy. It’s definitly your “Titanic” since, like James Cameron, you mostly make action and you branched out into dramatic – it even came out in 1997 too – what an interesting year for historical fiction entertainment from the immediately Pre-WWI era.

  37. 3-7-2010

    Interplay was one of the publishers of the game, and Interplay is one of the publishers most active on GOG.com. I think chances of the title appearing there are good! And when it does, it’s an instant buy for me.

  38. 3-7-2010

    This was truly a great game, I’ve been a fan of most games by the companies for a good number of years. I was one of the twenty or so people who actually went out to the store excitedly and bought it as soon as it came out, and not once it started dissapearing…

    I’ve been working on building a horror game similar to this style.
    It is titled “Taut” Although it will feature full freehanded artwork,
    and a storyboard system similar to “Clocktower” by Human Entertainment

  39. 4-14-2010

    OMG! A Last Express movie might finally be coming out! http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEc87jcjx91Vei

  40. 5-19-2010

    I, for one, am not excited about the movie; because it will give away the game for EVERYONE.

  41. 5-19-2010

    Hi, Jordan!

    I’m 27 now and it’s the most impressive game I’ve played in my entire life! It is a part of me, a part of my soul. Firstly the whole thing is perfect. The music, the graphics, the story – all details in ideal harmony. I’m Russian, so I can say that the Russian characters at least are completely credible (in other games they always speak with an accent and are nothing but stereotypes). Secondly the intense drama and the absense of happy ending (war separating Cath and Anna) – something that you don’t usually see in games. The ending makes a bridge to real life, kind of saying: the events that followed are not entertaining, they are damn serious. So the game suddenly gets extra depth in the very end (although it is also deep enough throughout).

    Last weekend I played the game with my brother, who is 2 years younger than the game. :) And it worked exactly the same way! It provoked a (positive) shock, then a lot of thinking, “what if” questions and sighs of admiration for all the details and all the work invested into it’s creation. So now there is one more guy getting goosebumps from the magnificent violin solo and having an emotional cocktail when he goes on his next train journey :) He is one of us! So the very best wishes from him!

    You and your team created a masterpiece of a global scale, not just an unusual game. Thank you so much!

  42. 6-8-2010

    The TLE is my favourite game. I hope with a movie in pre-production, that it gets remade and enlarged, hopefully by a decent studio, for the PS3 and other next gen consuls.

  43. 6-11-2010

    The Last Express is still my all time favourite game. It has a magic that no other game has. And that wonderful music!

    I would love to see a similar game made, set during WWll and again almost entirely on a train. Maybe with someone just like Robert Cath having to hide from the Gestapo.

    A good storyline and lots of interesting characters are essential to any adventure game, and TLE more than meets those requirements.

  44. 6-16-2010

    The best game i’ve ever played. The grafik is not good but the storry is extremely good that nothing other is important.

    Buy it if you can get it from everywhere. If not – thats bad

    ————
    Das beste spiel das ich jemals gespielt habe. Die grafik ist nicht die wucht aber die die Geschichte ist so extreme gut, das es das aufwiegt.

    Kaufts euch wenn ihr es bekommen könnt. Wenn nicht – schlecht!

  45. 6-21-2010

    I got this game when it came out in ’97. I was seventeen, and it made a HUGE impression on me. I’ve been fascinated with that era ever since! It remains one of my all time favorite games. Brilliant atmosphere, beautiful animation style that, in my opinion, still looks lovely some thirteen years later, and a wonderful story. I would love to see a film of this, or a sequel, or even a new version of the original game! Thanks for creating a defining icon of my youth!

  46. 8-3-2010

    Same feeling

    How many times did I play this game……..It’s for long time in the future too

    Really wonderful game
    from Japan

  47. 9-2-2010

    Jordan, this was probably the first game I played that really drew me in. I was a kid back then and no game has ever replicated the experience. I love adventures and played them all, and while many others have a special nostalgic place in my heart, none was as good and deep as this game.

    I know great things are usually unique, and that it is unpolite to ask for two gifts, but I really wish that someday you would take this game back and do something with it. I know the game never got the recognition it deserved, but I also know that there are thousands of other fans of the game out there hoping for the same. Not only people who played it back then, but also a new generation of fans who keep discovering this gem many years after its release.

    The game itself left the player wondering about a sequel(it was clearly set out to be a franchise), and your release of the red serpent script only worsened the situation.

    There are way too many good franchises abandoned to die by its creators. Hope you are not as mean as people like Jane Jensen!

    Cheers from Brazil, and thanks a lot for the entertainment brought by your games, most specially this one. Even if you never do anything about it!

    Sergio

    • 9-25-2010

      Well said!

  48. 9-26-2010

    I join the voices of those asking for another (similar game). Maybe have the next one in the Titanic?

    I first played in 1998 and it was and still is my favorite game of all time.

  49. 10-14-2010

    I loved this game so much.
    I still got my copy in my basement: box and Prima hint book in perfect condition. I’ll have to bring it out and play this again – I hope it runs on Windows 7 64-bit!

  50. 10-26-2010

    This is up there, along with Riven and Mother 3, on my list of best video games ever made. Got a “Good as New” copy over Amazon last year, been in love with it ever since.

  51. 10-26-2010

    Last Express should be re-released on the DS (and not a broken one like they did with myst) the stylus with fit the point-and-click game mechanic perfectly, plus it would introduce the game to a huge demographic.

  52. 12-8-2010

    I still have my boxed copy with the original CDs and the official Prima strategy guide. I finished the game years ago but still go back to it now and then.
    I’m running Windows 7 64-bit, but I just got TLE working on Dosbox so I’m very happy!

  53. 1-8-2011

    Please push for a rerelease of this game! It is one of my favorites of all time… I was 13 years old when I played it – a copy we borrowed from our public library. I was never able to find it to purchase and so would borrow it from the library over and over again – hoping to get one from eBay now but I’d love to run it natively on Snow Leopard!

    • 1-15-2011

      If you want to run in dosbox, you will currently need the CD version, as the dotemu.com release is missing EXPRESS.EXE (the dos executable).

      I managed to get the game running in dosbox on my Archos 7.0 tablet but the speed was too slow. We will have to wait for a genius whom I will not name here to finish reverse-engineering the game engine.

      Meanwhile, buy the game from dotemu.com or ebay, and soon enough you will be able to play on your android/iphone/linux machine..

      cheers :)

      • 1-18-2011

        On the other hand, why not work with these guys and make an official release for iphone/android? The games pretty much stink right now (excepting Angry Birds) and there isn’t much standing in the way of a crossplatform engine.

        It deserves to be sold and not pirated, and all that stands in the way is some AI, a bunch of testing, and an official appstore entry.

        Thinking to the future: how can such ‘interactive novels’ be realized at 1/10th the cost of TLE? To my mind, there seems to be ‘unexplored space’ to be settled by streamlining the graphics creation and focusing on the best screenplay / plots – possibly using established themes, authors and franchises as a base.

        I’m writing this because TLE gave something I find lacking in all other adventures – namely the sense of a dynamic world (albeit a limited one) where things happen with or without the player needing to trigger them. The only other game i’ve played that pulled this off was Star Control 2 by Toys For Bob – now playable as the open-source Ur Quan Masters. http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

        TLE appears to be unique achievement and I’d like to see that uniqueness end. Now that the technology is cheaper, this type of game can become a genre, not just an exceptional piece of gaming history. The real bottleneck seems to be people who can produce a plot that supports some degree of independent timelines and events. The marketing side can be almost-free, if the product isn’t another fart-app…

  54. 1-17-2011

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  55. 1-22-2011

    I’m glad I found this site!! I just pulled out my copy of “The Last Express,” after not having played it for quite a while, and couldn’t get it to work on win7. Now it does!

    I’ve owned it since the ’90s and have always loved it. The game is so well done! I’m sad that it wasn’t widely played — people really missed out!

  56. 2-7-2011

    My father got this game when it came out and I was a very young child. I still have great memories playing this game over the years, unfortunately my mac no longer runs classic and therefore this game. However I would still rate it to be one of the best games to ever be made and anyone who hasn’t tried it has missed something fantastic.

  57. 2-9-2011

    This game was a huge influence on me as a kid and is still one of my very favorite games — I played it fairly often on my old Dell until that gave up the ghost and I went Mac only a few years ago. Everything about it still delights me. I miss it very much! Any chance that Mac users will be able to download it? Also, since Myst has been translated to iPhone/iPad, is there a chance The Last Express could get the same treatment?

  58. 3-6-2011

    I stumbled across this page while googling and reading up on PoP…

    Perhaps I knew years ago that Jordan had done both, but that thought was lost to the sands of time. (bad pun intended, sorry. ;) )

    Anyways, seeing this page prompted me to pull down my copy of Last Express (still in its original 3 disc case, although missing the cover manual) from the shelf of favorite games over the years. I think its time to play this for the umpteenth time.

    These games I love, like Colonel’s Bequest before it. It immerses you like a movie….

  59. 3-17-2011

    When I was seven years old and my parents bought their first PC. It was the time when summer holidays started and my uncle gave me some pc games, including Thief and The Last Express.
    Well, I was pretty impressed by this 3CD-game, so I just tried it out and I loved it from the first minute. I don’t know how many times I played this game in these summer holidays, I stopped counting^^ First times, I always knocked on everyone’s doors just for fun and then every time got stabbed in Vienna, it took me a lot of time playing to realize that maybe it isn’t the best thing to knock on every door :D

    By the way, I hated history lessons in school at this age, I never knew when what where happened. Thanks to this game, I knew at least all the tme when World War One started^^

    I’m 18 now and still, I love to play this game and every time I play it, I discover something new :-)

    No doubt, The Last Express is the best game I’ve ever played.

    Lisa (Sorry for my bad English)

  60. 3-20-2011

    I got the game from GoG and am quite impressed so far. I encountered a nasty bug though. At 3pm the second day, sometimes the concert does not start and the game gets stuck – you can go into the private car then and see Kahina floating in the air. I talked with Kronos about the Firebird before but missed his conversation with Anna at lunch (1pm) which might be related.

    • 3-20-2011

      Oops! That shouldn’t happen. I thought we fixed all those kind of bugs back in 1997.

    • 3-23-2011

      Just for the record, the bug seemed to center on something off track with Anna – she didn’t even show up at lunch (giving the “Have a nice wait” to August an interesting new meaning ;-). Rewinding to the morning of the second day, then not disturbing her seemed to fix the problem.

      Concerning running the game on Linux or Mac: The version sold by GoG is the DOS version running in DOSBox. It is packaged using a Windows-based installer. You can install it on some Windows machine (or using Wine, on Linux at least), then transfer the unpacked files to whatever machine you want to play the game on, install DOSBox there, fix the dosboxTLE.conf file (remove the “.\” before “data” in the “MOUNT” line at the bottom of the file), then start the game via “dosbox -conf dosboxTLE.conf”.

      dotEmu seems to ship the Windows version of the game (only). I don’t know if that works on Linux or the Mac.

  61. 3-20-2011

    Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to post on this page. Your kind words about The Last Express mean a lot to me and the Smoking Car team who made the game.

    Thanks, too, for your encouragement to rerelease TLE on modern platforms. As you can see from the recent releases on GOG and DotEmu, we’re working on it!

  62. 4-14-2011

    I just bought it on GOG even though I already have my original copy back from 1997.

  63. 4-18-2011

    I remember finding a copy of the Last Express at my local library as a child. I think I fell in love with Art Nouveau as a style playing the game. I love the mystery and the graphics and the fire bird story, just everything about this game. I never got to complete the story but I loved trying. For years, I was unable to locate a copy and now, you have a website!! I’d love to see this game re-released for a Mac platform — please let us know if so. It’d be great to see more Adventure/RPG games like this set in a historical period come out in the future.

  64. 5-5-2011

    Jordan, is that a picture of you in with the trainmaster’s papers?

    Anyway, congratulations to you and your team on this amazing artistic achievement. And thanks for continuing to make it available for more and more people to experience. I for one only first found it on Gametap and then bought it on gog.com. And now I’m exposing it to friends of mine.

    For me, I think what’s really impressive is that you have this overtly unreal art style, but yet it’s probably the most immersive experience I’ve ever had in a game.

    As an aspiring game developer myself, this game makes me want to craft unique experiences for others.

    Also, the dancing scene with August Schmidt is terrific!

  65. 5-14-2011

    Absolutely my favourite game of all time. Clearly a work of love. There are few games a person can actually learn history from, and that are engaging, but this was one of the first to really succeed at being fun and educational. Many of today’s history-based games strive to find a balance between historical accuracy and gameplay, but few find it as well as Last Express did.

    Today I can walk around in Assassin’s Creed’s Crusade era Holy Land, or Renaissance Italy, or Grand Theft Auto’s version of the late 20th Century, or Mafia II’s 1940s New York, and these games do what they do very well, but the one game I always felt got the atmosphere right was Last Express, with its bittersweet retelling of the tale of the Firebird in the last days before the Great War. No game has ever come close to the emotions I felt while playing Jordan Mechner’s little-appreciated masterpiece of atmosphere, and of homage to the lost world of Edwardian Europe as it’s on the knife-edge of ruin.

    So here’s a big ‘Thank you’ from me for keeping me entertained and enlightened for… well, decades now. For ten years Last Express stayed on my various hard drives as I went from computer to computer. Maybe Jordan’s company did not succeed financially, but in failing, it created a tour de force that many of us revere with a loyalty that we hold for no other game.

    Right now I hear the faint ghost of a sound in my mind – is it the wheels of the Orient Express as it heads east towards the Balkans? Do I hear a whistle? The conductor’s voice – “Amstetten!” And that divine music! It was so good I bought the CD. I had to search eBay to find a copy, but I have it.

    I wish Last Express would have found its audience. I wish it would have spawned sequels galore. But it was not to be. Sometimes things just don’t work out as they should. C’est la vie, I suppose. Still, it seems a shame. Ah well, we who love the game and keep a copy for those days when we feel like getting back on the Orient Express – we’ll always have Paris (well, as long as I can get the game to work in my new computer, that is).

  66. 5-15-2011

    Does anyone have the article on Edge magazine (#224, feb. 2011) about The Last Express? I’d love to read it!

  67. 5-26-2011

    Best game I ever played bar non. But I have always been a mac user. I had even contemplated getting a PC just so I can play this game again. Please release an iphone or mac version of this game.
    The app store needs a game like this.

  68. 6-30-2011

    This game is just awesome. I remember playing it in 1999 or something when i was just 9 years old. I don’t know where I got this game from. I think my dad bought it. Problem was that I never finished this game because i always failed at the end of CD 2, I think (What a shame). That’s why I was searching the 3 CDs today and I gladly found it.
    I found this website because I also had the installation problem. It works perfectly now!
    I would appreciate it if there would be a OpenSource Project or a iPhone and/or Android version of this game.
    The game needs more appreciation because its atmosphere a story is unique.

    Greetings from a german TLE-Fan.

  69. 8-3-2011

    I played this when I was 17, I think I’ve played it once a year since then. I wish there were more games like this, so much better than mmorpgs or modern console games!

  70. 8-8-2011

    Hi Jordan!

    I have just written to GOG about a spanish version of TLE, and this got me thinking that maybe you could help them to make this happen ;) It would make me and a lot of people very very happy :)

    Besides that, thank you for all the happiness you delivered to me in my youth!

    (Just to keep you in context, the message to GOG):

    Hi, I was wondering If you could distribute the Spanish versión of this beautiful game as well.

    I signed up for this site with the sole intention of buying TLE Spanish version, just to find that you don’t have it :(

    I wish to buy the spanish version because I want to share this beautiful game with my family, and they don’t speak english.

    I know there is other site that does carry the Spanish version (among others), but I’m only interested in the GOG version because it uses dosbox and I plan running it on Linux (which I’ve read is possible).

    I’m very happy with your noble cause, reviving precious old games for new generations. Just please don’t forget about the rest of the world and their other languages ;)

    Thanks!
    -Gabriel

  71. 9-23-2011

    Hi Jordan!

    This sounds like a gimmick, but how about porting the Last Express to the iPad or any of the Android Tablets? It would be the perfect point and click adventure on that platform! I and anyone who has missed this gem of a game from so long ago can enjoy it again. Heck it could turn out into a best seller too,which it missed becoming the last time it went on sale in 1997( a serious crime in gaming history!). How about it?

  72. 9-24-2011

    Ive loved this game since I was introduced to it way back in like ’98. ive been a huge fan ever since. it would be really cool to see this game brought back to life as an app for Droid or ipod. a game that takes place in the past never gets old and what an epic way to bring it back.

  73. 9-26-2011

    I can’t count the hours upon hours I spent with this fantastic game. As a matter of fact, it was this game that made me in history – I can’t forget my fascination looking at the evolving European map from 1914 to the 1990s. How all the borders changed and how obscure territories popped up here and there..

    And to this day I’m still interested in knowing what some of the characters said, you know, the one that Cath didn’t understand and thus didn’t have subtitles (serbian, turkish..) And what’s the business in Jerusalem, what was Cath’s plans after arriving in Constantinople..

    Some 14 years later and this game is still tickling my curiosity, amazing..

  74. 10-19-2011

    It has been out of print for years and not available through iTunes, so this is the only way fans can enjoy this wonderful soundtrack:

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5SDMKON4

  75. 10-30-2011

    I just got this game on GoG. AGAIN! (I’d get it even sooner, had I known they released it there) I already had the original 3CD version ever since it came out, but I believe one can never get enough of The Last Express! :) I agree with all the wonderful comments on this page, and can’t stress enough just how great this game is. Whenever I was tasked of recommending a great adventure to somebody, The Last Express was always among the very first ones on my mind! Of course, it’s not for everybody, some people just can’t get into its graphic style, or its serious tone, or the ‘weird’ (yet quite fantastic) real-time system and non-linearity (I’ve played the game several times, and each time I’d find out something new that I’ve missed previously!), but honestly – it’s their loss! And WHAT a loss it is!

    As Ilya pointed out in his comment, it’s really amazing that the game is so culturally diverse! (and wonderfully acted) It really deepens the whole experience, hearing all these different accents and also completely different (native) languages at every step of the game. Though I actually COULD actually understand the Serbian passengers, cause, hey – I’m from Serbia! :) And I must say it’s always so weird hearing your own language in a foreign production! :D

    Anyway, as far the story goes, all I can say is… I cried. There, I admit it. I cried when I finished the game. The story moved me to such an extent that I just couldn’t help it, it was so emotional! And I was bummed out for the next several days. THAT’s how good the story is! (at least in my opinion) And any piece of art that manages to bring me to tears and makes me feel this way is a true MASTERPIECE in my book!

    So I would like to personally thank mr. Mechner and the whole Smoking Car team for creating this amazing gem of a game :)). And I seriously hope that those greedy corporate managers never stumble upon it and decide to do a remake, cause the game is perfect just the way it is (I think I’d just tweak the interface a bit, but apart from that…), and they would probably only completely mess it up and turn it into a full-3D first person shooter or something. And that would just be pure sacrilege!

    Anyway, once again – THANK YOU Jordan, and THANK YOU Smoking Car for this wonderful game!

  76. 12-11-2011

    I loved this game and I wish more games like it were available. I’m downloading it now – can’t wait to play it again!

  77. 1-1-2012

    Dear Mr. Mechner,

    I was one of the lucky few who bought this game when it came out. Few other works of art have moved me as deeply as the Last Express, and as I read the comments, my eyes began to tear up. I immediately felt the same upwelling of emotion as when I completed the game for the first time.

  78. 1-20-2012

    I loved this game when I first got it in 1997. I recently downloaded it again via GOG and my god, it’s wonderful (except for the killer bird-robot made of gold, which didn’t fit and actually kind of sucked…sorry.)

    The Last Express is very dated on PC/Console platform, but with a few control tweaks this game could be played on Android & iPhone phones and would immediately be one of the best games available. Have you seen the crap games for those platforms? This would be ideal.

    Please give The Last Express the second chance to shine that it so richly deserves!

  79. 1-23-2012

    Played thins years ago in Russia. Simply the best game I ever saw. A masterpiece. Thank you

  80. 2-21-2012

    Hey Jordan,

    thank you for this great game, already loved it back in ’97, when I was 13 and it’s still my favourite adventure among Broken Sword. Two things that are bothering me, though:

    1) Do you know who currently owns the rights for Elia’s Last Express music? I have the Intrada release, but the tracks fade into each other, stuff is missing and some tracks are incomplete. I would really like to see an expanded/complete release for this wonderful score and wondered, if that’s possible.

    2) I’d also like to know what survived from this production, couldn’t find a statement about this. Or in other words: is a remastered re-release possible with higher resolution, better sound quality etc.? In theory, I mean.

    Best regards from Germany,
    Marcus

  81. 5-29-2012

    Aloha Jordan!!
    I’m been watching Ur recent success via the Internet postings N of course pre bought tickets online 2 see the release of Prince of Persia… However I have 2 say that working with U n Ur Smoking Car Productions team N other programming N marketing people at Broderdund Software/ Red Orb Entertainment was the highlight of my former career in software marketing … As U my have guessed from my links info above I moved 2 the Big Island of Hawaii 12 years ago N there’s not much software related stuff going on here on the Big Island although Hollywood movies has several scenes in them from the Big Island of Hawaii ie: Jurrasic Park opening scenes… Kevin Costners Waterworld… We have the most incredible scenery here on the BI of Hawaii… The Last Express was the all time favorite game N marketing project I ever worked even compared 2 to Myst N Riven etc.. I so enjoyed working on The Last Express promo trailer “Behind The Screen” … do U remember who I am now? like Prince of Persia N Ur other games you truly were a visionary N created games N stories well before there time… I do think U should also re- release The Last Express n get out there 2 those around the world in the now very visual media oriented world that would love this game n send it Viral.. FYI do you have a version of The Last Express that you can send to me that I can play on iPad or MacBook??
    Aloha & Mahalo! Sorry 4 any typos.. Here I’m still Dyslexic )lol)?n in a hurry 2 send this befor they kick me out of Starbucks..
    Aloha & Mahalo N
    A Hui Ho ~Hawaiian translation 2 English is roughly>> Until we meet ( speak) again N blessings until then my friend.
    FYI Facebook Business page is still just getting going– I have lots of ideas 2 expanded it but have been very ill lately..so in my journal scrap book but not viral yet until I recover a bit more.
    -V V or — V S

  82. 7-13-2012

    Jordan,

    I have wanted to play The Last Express for a long time, but many games of that era are inaccessible to me due to the lack of subtitles. The Last Express comes so frustratingly close in that foreign languages are subtitled, but the English dialogue is not.

    Why would I want the English dialogue subtitled?

    Because I cannot hear the English dialgoue! I am Deaf. I have been waiting patiently for someone to release a fan made modification to the Last Express that enables or adds English subtitles, but this has not happened yet. There is a foreign language version from DotEmu, but it is unclear if there is a mode of play where all dialogue that the player is intended to understand is subtitled, including English. Perhaps you could answer this? I know that it is unrealistic to expect old code to be changed, unless source code is available to re-master the CDs and executables.

    So — this is the setup for a plea. Please, please, when you do the iPad and iPhone version of the Last Express, ensure that those of us who cannot hear — not just those who cannot understand English — can access and play this lovingly crafted game?

    Thanks!
    -Wes

    • 9-3-2012

      Wes, this is an excellent idea. In fact, the developer has looked into it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this feature will make it into the iOS release, but it’s at the very top of the list of new features I would want to add in an update given the opportunity. Thanks for suggesting it.

      • 9-28-2012

        I am also deaf and would like subtitles! :(

  83. 7-23-2012

    Last express looks exciting, buying it now!

  84. 8-17-2012

    Anything new on Last Express for iphone?
    Best game I ever played by the way.

    • 9-3-2012

      Thanks! We should know the release date soon… stay tuned!

  85. 9-22-2012

    Thank you so much for the game!

    I just wondering maybe you could use kickstarter to produce remake or sequel?!

    And im waiting for IOS and Steam release.

  86. 9-24-2012

    One of my absolute favourite games of all time. A shame Broderbound went bankrupt.

  87. 9-24-2012

    Oops, meant Smoking Car. :)

  88. 9-26-2012

    Hi Jordan

    I was just a kid (13 years old) when I played this game. Despite my age, I don’t have the oportunity to get my hands on any game like these since then. And believe me when I told you that I played a lot of adventure games on my 27 years old.

    I would suggest that initiate a project on Kickstarter or some similar product crowfunding to start a sequel or a prequel (Robert mystery ring, coff coff)

    Despite low sales the game has had in the past, it’s still great game. It’s obvious that the promotion and impact was not the same as today, with online advertising, social networking, etc..

    Harnessing the potential success of the iPhone game could be a good opportunity.

    Do not want to bore you with my suggestions. Just thank you and your excellent team Smoking Car making this fantastic game.

    Greetings from Spain

  89. 9-26-2012

    Jordan, everyone else has already posted what I feel about the game here very eloquently; so let me just say this.

    You are a gentleman and a scholar and a gaming legend. Best wishes to you and all the team. I hope the Last Express in these new re-releases finally receives the attention it’s always deserved and that you and the team get paid back in both lots of money and lots of good feelings from a new generation of players!

  90. 10-5-2012

    Hi, I support the idea of releasing The Last Express on Android. I think this game is perfectly suited for touchscreen devices.

    -An owner of Transformer TF300T (Ice Cream Sandwich)

  91. 10-6-2012

    I remember I first saw this game played in 1999 at a cousins house before a large Christmas party. I was a small child at the time, so I had no idea what the name was, what the characters were saying, or even that it was an adventure game. The thing that stuck with me, was how beautiful it was. I had heard and seen nothing of the game for the fallowing 13 years.

    About a week ago, I was reading about something on kotoku, when I noticed a story about a game “that was very difficult to bring to iOS”. Being the owner of an ipad, and always on the lookout for good games, I read the article. After hearing that the project was lead by the fellow who lead Prince of Persia, My interest was piqued. Then I saw a screenshot. Retrospectively, I don’t believe I read the rest of the review(which was glowing) rather, I went straight to the App Store.

    I finished it last night. Not only was it undoubtedly the best game I’ve ever played on iOS, it may well be the best game I have ever played. And that’s saying a lot.

    Perhaps it was the feeling of fulfillment I got from finally playing something I had all but given out hope on ever seeing again that caused me to love it so much, but I’d like to think it was more than that. Thank you for doing this. Thank you so, so much.

    • 10-6-2012

      I need to work on my proof reading lol.

  92. 10-11-2012

    Sequel! Kickstarter!

  93. 10-12-2012

    Hi Jordan,
    Thank you and the whole team for this brilliant game.
    Unfortunately for all of us fans out there that the company fell apart as it did.
    Any plans for doing a new adventure game project in the future?
    It would be a shame that you do not try again :) it does take a lot of talent and love to create something this good. Too bad that 15 years have passed and not many have succeded in even getting close to creating something like it.

    Completely agree with all the comments above. I am sure that you know it but it does not hurt to say it once more..You have touched many people all over the world and with this re-release hopefully you will reach many more. It remains the game that inspired me the most. It also made me realise that I would love nothing more than work in game industry being a part of creating something similar.

  94. 10-13-2012

    Hi Jordan

    There is a bug in the iphone version. Spoiler alert, stop reading here if you do not want to learn about the plot! The concert keeps playing until 6 pm when the train arrives in Vienna and it is game over. Nobody gets up and leaves from the concert. I have the firebird and the suitcase.

  95. 11-6-2012

    Hi Mr. Mechner:

    I learned of this game from your interview with Table Top. It’s a truly extraordinary game! In my opinion we need more titles like this one with fewer hours of carefully designed, compelling gameplay rather than the 60+ hours of inane quests and repeated tile sets that make up open world monstrosities such as Skyrim. I hope this game will get the recognition it deserves now that the iOS version is available.

    P.S. I thought the plot felt like The Maltese Falcon meets The Lady Vanishes. Did you draw inspiration from those movies?

    • 8-28-2013

      Thanks! “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Lady Vanishes” were definitely inspirations. Also “The Third Man.”

  96. 11-26-2012

    Hallo Jordan,
    Ich hab dir vor 3 Jahren schonmal geschrieben, und schön das du mich verstehst wenn ich deutsch schreibe :-) .

    Ich freue mich gerade, weil ich mir heute die Zeitschrift “Chip PowerPLAY” (Sonderheft) gekauft habe. Da ist nämlich die Vollversion des Spiels, spielbar für aktuelle PC´s, enthalten.
    Jetzt muss ich nichtmehr meinen alten PC anschließen.
    Das wollte ich nur mal gesagt haben. :-)

  97. 11-30-2012

    Bonjour!

    Fifteen years ago (minus three weeks), I bought a computer game for the first time: it was The Last Express.

    I’ve played many games since, but your game is still my favourite, as I suspect it always will be.

    Franck’s sonata is still my favourite piece
    of music, combinations of Robert Cath, Ana Wolf or Kahina are still the names I use the most when I have to pick a username online. Your game is almost part of my life more than it is part of the games I’ve played :)

    Many, many thanks to the Smoking Car team and everyone who participated in this legendary adventure.

    Greetings from Paris!

  98. 12-7-2012

    Hi Jordan!

    I recently bought the dot.emu version of The Last Express as part of the german magazine “CHIP Powerplay” (A 25th anniversary edition of a classic pc gaming magazine). I thought I would have a hard time getting the hang of the controls while missing important events on the train. But it was so incredible: after half an hour I had been sucked into the game and played 7 or 8 hours straight until I finally reached Constantinople. In my opinion the game has three very strong points:

    - The realtime story happening in several places at once, where you can only be in one place at a time, but you somehow always get a clue what you can do differently to advance the story. how did you do that? today game studios seem to have a hard time thinking of a sane linear story.
    - The atmosphere! this train lives and breathes and the voice acting (I can only speak for the german version) is outstanding! no awkward pseudo-accents but real (sounding) native speakers speaking their language.
    - Apart from the great story on the train, the game teaches the player about historical events
    through the characters backstories, newspapers etc.

    To make it short: I didn’t have so much fun with a game in a long time!

    Thank you and greetings from Germany,
    Stefan

  99. 12-19-2012

    I am so delighted to see a new Karateka turn up on Steam, and now The Last Express on iOS. (Trying hard to justify splashing out a few bucks when I get paid next!)

    The Last Express was a game I bought to run on my Power Computing Mac clone, and I dearly loved it. Games are regularly described as “immersive” these days, but this was one of the few that truly earned the title in my eyes. The sense of a train full of people who went on about their business as time progressed…this was a striking advance towards designing non-solipsistic, living game environments. The loving attention to detail–to everything from the diary entries of minor characters to the train cars themselves–was notable and deeply appreciated.

    Little details stick with me now, 15 years later–I can hardly think of the collapse of Austria-Hungary, for instance, without recalling the poignant ending where one earns a lovely award from a grateful empire…which passes from existence not long afterwards.

    And as for Karateka: so many happy memories, especially of playing it on a high school library computer at lunchtime, a group of boys sharing tips and advice but also competing to get farther into the game than the others. The first time beating the bird. The first time reaching the end. Various little flourishes, from the whimsical (the various ways to instantly die) to the utterly charming (the princess’ little leg kick…I mean the non-lethal one). I am sorry to tell you that we were playing a pirated copy; I suppose there’s no simple way to fix that now. (I did legitimately purchase all the other Jordan Mechner games I’ve played.)

    Oh, and I can’t forget the first two Prince of Persia games. I played the first on the Apple II, and later both titles on a Mac LC III. The hardcore dexterity gameplay was somehow more compelling and riveting than frustrating…the opposite of my experience these days. (Maybe it’s just that I’m older.) So fun, and so much atmosphere and detail packed into the few pixels available to work with at the time. Heck, I even fondly remember running the utility to compress the PoP II game files post-install (it didn’t take nearly as long as advertised, which was a relief). I know I’ve got a copy of Sands of Time somewhere–I never did finish that one–I should find it and fire it up over Christmas.

    Thank you for all the hours of joy and wonder and amusement, and here’s to more of the same in future.

  100. 12-25-2012

    15 years… On 24th December 1997 I found The Last Express under the Christmas tree. It was a gift I really wanted to be given after I have played demo for many times and read Czech reviews in magazines Score and Level. Although I got this beautiful original box with 3 CDs and manual on 24th, I could play the game the day after – on 25th, because my mom said: “You will play it tomorrow. It is too late now, you have to go to bed.” So the next day I played the full game for the first time on my comp and it was… well… I do not have to describe how amazing it was, because it has been mentioned many times in the comments above. Since then I have played TLE numerous times. Today I replayed it on my laptop, using the original CDs and it was wonderful. So – THANK YOU very much again, Jordan and everybody involved in creating such a special game that has been with me more than half of my life!

  101. 2-4-2013

    About 10 years ago I bought this obscure game for my wife(then girlfriend). Since it was essentially out of print it cost me $60. I’m glad to see it is available for download for much less than that, though I would buy it new for $60 again.

    P.S. ANDROID IS NEXT???

  102. 8-28-2013

    To the Last Express fans who have been asking and waiting patiently, I’m delighted to announce that YES, DotEmu has been quietly working on an Android version, and it’s out today on Google Play! Check it out at http://goo.gl/FtPL4b. And if you find any problems, please let us know!

  103. 9-20-2013

    I’d like to congratulate Jordan and the rest of the team on the wonderful accomplishment that is The Last Express. In all my years of gaming I have yet to come across a game that leaves such a strong impression in my heart and soul.

    Most games in the market today aim at one key accomplishment (be it visuals, gameplay or story) while leaving the rest unattended. The Last Express isn’t just competent in every area: it’s excellent and unique in ALL of them.

    The only game that has ever since made me feel a fraction of what I felt while playing The Last Express for the first time is the new Walking Dead videogame by Telltale. It lacks a gameplay completely (it’s more like an interactive movie) but I found myself emotionally involved with the characters in a way I had only experienced while playing The Last Express.

    In short, I can’t say how much I love this game and it’s characters but I hope to be able to show it one day. I’m studying to be a Comic Book artist and The Last Express has been a huge art lesson for me. I hope to be able to carry it’s “soul” into my future projects.

    For the time being, I recommend the game to everyone I come across who has an interest in gaming. It’s a pity that the best game of all time is not even a little famous and I hope the situation changes with the new digital release. It’d only be fair!

    • 9-26-2013

      Thanks, Nadina, that’s wonderful to hear and all we could have wished for! Best of luck with your studies and future endeavors.

  104. 10-8-2013

    I grew up in Epernay…

  105. 11-5-2013

    Hello Mr. Jordan,
    hello to all of you, TLE fans!

    It was 1997 when my father took me to a PC shop.
    The target was to buy an encyclopedia (you know, the Internet was not what it is today), but unfortunately (luckily?) that shop didn’t have one.
    So my father, who read the sadness in my face, decided to make me a little happier buying me this wonderful game. My first game. THE game!

    Since then I played it very hard, spoke about it at school with my friends, and getting information about it on the Internet.
    That was a pity I couldn’t understand English, that time…

    Some months ago I read somewhere that there is a little plan to produce a film adaptation of this game, I made some searches and finally found this site. And of course, I have not been able to resist: I installed TLE and played it again :)

    I’ve read some comments above and I agree with all of them: the game is an impressive masterpiece, noone else gives you the same level of experience. The art is incredible for a 90s game, details are perfect, the music is always appropriate and characters are really well described, with each of them having a story behind. And yes, they stay in your mind forever (I daily play Hearts with Anna Wolff, George Abbot and Tyler Whitney, with me being of course Robert Cath LOL)!

    So Mr. Jordan I would like to tell you a big, big, big
    * THANK YOU *
    You and the Smoking Car team have done a really great job!

    I hope there will be a movie one day, who knows?

    P.S.: I came across a bug that I would like to share with you, maybe in another post… I called it the “three Kahinas bug”, and apparently it does not allow you to finish the game.
    Maybe some of you can check if it appears on the iOS/Android version too.

    Bye bye and thanks again!

    • 11-26-2013

      Hi again :)
      I checked it out and found that no, the “three Kahinas bug” is not as dangerous as I thought: it does not stop you from finishing the game. Anyway, here is what it is.

      * The cause *
      ————-
      The main cause of the bug seems to be the real-time system itself. Let’s suppose you are in your compartment and open the Firebird, then make it sing: an “animated sequence” will start, that is a video sequence which you can skip by right-clicking the mouse. If you right-click, the game’s clock will advance accordingly, as if you hadn’t right-clicked, but all the other events “remain behind”, they don’t advance. The overall effect is that, by right-clicking, you can delay the behavior of the other passengers.

      Indeed, you could think: if I never right-click, the problem does not exist. Well no, the problem is still there: depending on what you do on the train, the animated sequences you hit, …, you can change the timings of some events.

      * The bug *
      ———–
      Now, the event we are interested in is the concert. The concert starts at 3pm, but because of the timing problem explained above, you cannot say exactly when it finishes. As a matter of fact, if you (during the concert) open the Firebird and make it sing lot of times, everytime skipping the animated sequence by right-clicking, you can delay the concert’s end for a consistent amount of time, thus increasing the probability to see this bug. As I already told, if you never right-click you *might* avoid the bug, but it’s not a certainty.

      When the concert finishes, Mr. Schmidt goes to congratulate Mrs. Wolff, then he comes back to his compartment. All depends on whether the 5pm has been reached or not when Schmidt closes his door: if so, you will incurr the “three Kahinas bug”.

      Starting from 5pm, indeed, the Kahina who goes up and down through the wagons is a Kahina which won’t threat you: she won’t point the gun over you, and she won’t request you to go back to Khronos to return the cash or the Firebird. Hers aim is just to steal the Firebird (and, curiously, not the cash bag), from your compartment or from the Tatiana’s one.
      This means you can’t go to Khronos, and you will finish CD2 with both the Firebird and the cash bag (if you managed to avoid the Firebird theft).

      * The consequences *
      ——————–
      Even if the cash bag will not be present in CD3, the conductor will guess it is, and won’t prepare your bed. You can’t do that either, so you will not be able to sleep.

      I thought this would have prevented you from disengage the Alexei’s bomb, but no, you can still do that. So the only problem this bug causes is that you can’t go sleeping and you can’t dream, thus you can’t assist to the Alexei murder.

      * The solution *
      —————-
      There are two possible solutions to this bug:

      a) If you are lucky, the concert will finish sooner, and when Schmidt enters his compartment the 5pm hasn’t been reached yet. The Kahina who goes up and down through the corridors will be the one who threats you, thus you will be able to return the cash back to Khronos.

      b) You can put the Firebird in whatever place you want except for your compartment or the Tatiana’s one, BEFORE the 5pm. In fact, if you keep the Firebird with yourself, or if you put it in the dog’s bed, when the 5pm will come the Kahina which goes through the wagons will be the one who threats you.

      Sorry for my long post, HTH.
      Bye bye!

  106. 1-15-2014

    This game is dying for a sequel of some sort, it was so unique in so many aspects.

    Jordan, do a kickstarter and your fans will do the rest! This is how the new Broken Sword came about too.

  107. 1-26-2014

    I feel very blessed to have been able to experience this game on iOS. As a native Serbian speaker living in Australia studying French, I adored this game not only for the narrative but for the sheer effort put into an excellent summary of pre-war tensions lacking much of the Western bias I experience here, and for the extreme detail put into all of the voice acting and scripts!

    My absolute favourite parts were listening in on the Serbs and their plotting, it was such a thrill to have such deeply thought out nuances within the game considering they were unsubtitled!

    I was born in 1995 so I would never have had the opportunity to play this game if not for the beautiful rerelease, I’m amazed that such a perfect adventure game was created so early in the evolution of video gaming. Thank you so much for taking the effort to create such an emotionally enthralling game, I feel I have a real connection to it!!

  108. 3-21-2014

    I have to say, Jordan. That the Last Express was the first video game as a kid I played on the PC and I never forgot it. It was always one of those games that I just connected with even years after.

    Major major kudos and I’d shell out a lot more money, now as an adult, for a kickstarter to follow more of Cath’s adventures. There’s so many things I wanted to know by the end!

    Thank you for such a brilliant game!

  109. 4-4-2014

    I discovered The Last Express two weeks ago and have been playing through it in DOSBox. Such a nuanced story and subtly deep characters. And the animation/sound! A true masterpiece.

  110. 6-20-2014

    I had an old copy of this for pc but lost it. I have just finished the ios version and I cannot tell you how happy I am that this game has been resurrected. It is an absolute masterpiece. I wish Jordan Mechner all the belated success he deserves and sincerely hope he isn’t done making games.
    Sequel please!!! What is Cath’s ring about? Did he ever see Anna again?

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