(Click for Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of the series.)
The next portal in the Travel Center was set to the Valley of the Kings, a 1920s Egyptian dig wherein Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tut.
First, however, let me show a picture of the Service area of the Travel Center, below ground. This is no doubt where the magic happens, and, as such, is off-limits to ordinary travelers. Indeed, a close look will show the defense mechanism - an alligator (or perhaps a crocodile, as I'm none too clear on the difference and did not stay long enough to ask the creature that kind of personal question) - and the consequences of encountering the defense mechanism - note the safari hat in the foreground. Poor bloke.
At any rate, I walked through the appropriate portal to find myself in the Valley of the Kings. A friendly gentleman at an orientation tent provided me with a Journal (similar to the one in Life on the Nile) with which I might record my memories of my journey. The wind blew sand everywhere.
Again, various mini-games provide entertainment and information about the setting. One such game involves collecting photographs of scenic vistas, such as the one depicted below. (That's actually my photo, but the in-game camera provides a similar shot.) In the right-hand corner is a hot-air balloon. Ride the balloon and get audio commentary. (This feature was not working during my visit (or perhaps just not on my machine).)
I encountered several of Howard Carter's men, moving a large find out of one of the tombs. King Tut is not the only royal entombed in the area, and Mr. Carter's team has excavated others already, with still more merely marked off for further work. None of these is open to the casual explorer, however. These gentlemen were happy to provide me a few lines' worth of information before returning to their duties.
Another mini-game involves taking a trusty pickaxe and trying one's hand at excavation. Several sites are marked with the orange flag depicted below. A successful "dig" (using the "crouch" command, or C on the keyboard) will yield an antique object, or a trading card. An unsuccessful dig will yield nothing, or a sarcastic remark from the sand itself.
I rest in Mr. Carter's tent. (No, he wasn't there, you nosy people! I'm completely clothed, as you can see, the archeologists aren't my type, and, in any event, Heritage Key does not have those kinds of poseballs! Sometimes a nap is just a nap.) Another mini-game involves finding six lost pages from Howard Carter's Journal.
At long last, it was time to descend into the tomb! The stairs descend into the chamber below. Click on various objects to get information on them.
The next room is the burial chamber, with brightly-colored walls providing the story of King Tut's passage into the next world. There's a quiz about the depictions on the walls. No Gentleman's C on this test, though: all questions need to be answered correctly to win a prize!
Many of the valuable objects have been removed from the tomb itself, and are available for viewing in the nearby museum...which will be the subject of the next entry in this series.