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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Waterworld: The Quest for Dry Land Waterworld
The Quest for Dry Land
Video game
Interplay Entertainment

On an Earth drowned by oceans, the inhabitants of an artificial atoll seek the fabled continent of Dry Land.


Story Summary


View the live action video scenes from the game at YouTube


Didja Know?


Waterworld: The Quest for Dry Land was a 1997 PC strategy video game released by Interplay Entertainment two years after the release of the movie Waterworld. It tells a prequel story to the movie, depicting a search for the fabled Dry Land by characters associated with the atoll visited by the Mariner at the beginning of the movie. Four atoll characters from the film appear here in video scenes specially shot for the game, portrayed by actors from the film. R.D. Call returns as the Enforcer, Zakes Mokae as the elder called Priam, Jack Kehler as the banker, and John Fleck plays Gregor (though Fleck played a different character in the film, the Smoker doctor; the original actor to play Gregor, Michael Jeter was not available at the time the game scenes were shot). The film's main character of the Mariner does not appear in the game, since the story takes place before he arrived at the atoll. The live action video segments of the game were directed by Michael Conti.


The player plays the role of the War Chief of the atoll, listening to the advice of the non-player characters and making decisions that advance the story of the game.


The story within the game has two possible outcomes, one where the atollers find Dry Land and one where they do not. For the sake of PopApostle's Waterworld chronology, it is assumed here that the atollers failed to find the fabled land since we will later see them find it at the end of the movie. However, notes on both endings will be presented below. Also, viewers might assume that the "Dry Land discovered" video in the game could be applied to the moment the Atollers (with the Mariner, Enola, and Helen) actually arrive at Dry Land at the end of the Waterworld movie.


In the game, it seems that Helen and Enola have not yet come to live at the atoll (as they are seen to have done in Waterworld).


Characters appearing or mentioned in this game



War Chief
















Didja Notice?


Gregor says that the myths of the creation of Waterworld state that the world was created in a deluge from a single drop of hydro in the beginning. But Gregor, as we shall see, is a scientist and inventor and he has a better idea of what really happened: an advanced worldwide human civilization once existed on continents of land, but our own success as a civilization brought about global warming that caused the polar ice caps to melt and overwhelm the landmasses long ago.


As Gregor delivers his monologue to the player, the shot of the Universal globe as the Earth with the continents being overwhelmed by the rising oceans, which was first presented at the beginning of Waterworld, is seen.


As the game opens, the player has been War Chief of the atoll for one year, defending the atoll from Smokers and Slavers and constantly trying to acquire needed supplies for the inhabitants.


One month is referred to as a "lunar".


Priam mentions that a drifter sailed past his scouting raft that morning. The image of the drifter and his raft appears to be the same deceitful drifter the Mariner will encounter in the opening act of Waterworld (in fact, the glimpse we get here of the drifter on his boat was stolen from the film!).


"Thirst" is referred to as "hydro-starve".


Atolls make use of desalination machines (as well as rain) for drinking water.


Cases of Smeat are seen in the Banker's office. Smeat is a fake brand of canned meat meant to suggest the real world Spam brand. Smeat prop cans are often seen in Hollywood film and television productions.


The skeleton of what appears to be a large shark is seen dangling from a hoist in the atoll.


A boat that appears to be the Mariner's trimaran is seen docked inside the atoll a few times in the game. In fact, the Mariner himself is seen (from behind and unidentified) during a shot in which a trimaran is entering the gates! This is all footage borrowed from Waterworld.


The atoll acquires a device called the Eye of God which is actually a navigation device of some type that communicates with an old satellite still in orbit. They are able to use it to gain information on the possible location of Dry Land. When the atoll's resident inventor is killed during a Smoker raid against them, the Atollers capture Gregor from another atoll to help them make use of the device.


Gasoline is referred to as "go-juice". The Smokers use it to fuel their motorized seacraft. Atollers often use it to make Molotov cocktails for defending the atoll. The Banker seems to use a dash of it as cologne!


The Banker uses the phrase "By Triton" as an epithet. Triton is the god of the sea in Greek mythology.


The Enforcer says a fleeing drifter told the atoll about the "Organo people" and warned them to stay away from them. The Waterworld script refers to the "bog" (where the dead are recycled) seen in the atoll as an "organo barge". Are the Organo people a tribe that seeks to kill rivals in order to recycle them in their own organo barge?


Priam is referred to as the leader of the atoll here, but that is not clear in Waterworld.


The story within the game has two possible outcomes, one where the atollers find Dry Land and one where they do not. For the sake of PopApostle's Waterworld chronology, it is assumed that the atollers failed to find the fabled land since we will see them later find it at the end of the movie. In the ending where the Atollers fail to find Dry Land, it is not clear why the fail to do so. They had coordinates from the so-called Eye of God satellite to tell them where to go, so why was it not there? Did they misread the coordinates? Are the coordinates inaccurate due to a change in the shape of the Earth? 


   In the ending where the Atollers do discover Dry Land, a plaque is seen, having been previously mounted in the soil, reading, "On this spot in 1953 Hillary and Norgay first set foot on Mount Everest." This shot is from a scene that was cut from the movie. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first two individuals in Western recordings to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In the real world, no such plaque has actually been installed.

    Mount Everest, on the border of China and Nepal, is considered to be the tallest mountain on Earth, at 29,028.9 feet above sea level. There is some controversy about the 1953 date of who reached the top of Everest first; the 1953 date accompanying Edmund Hillary's ascent is the first official Western recording of an ascent to the very top, but Nepalese natives (Sherpas) are said to have ascended any number of times prior.

Everest plaque


Memorable Dialog


a single drop of hydro.mp3

the dream of Dry Land and water's end.mp3

only time will tell.mp3 


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