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Embark on a voyage of discovery with James Cameron's Titanic Explorer. This  3-CD set will immerse you in one of the most memorable events of the 20th century through original blueprints, stunning photographs, news and film footage. Riveting first-person accounts from actual Titanic survivors bring the terrible tragedy of this great vessel to life. This comprehensive account includes a special narrated introduction by the Academy Award winning director, writer and producer of "Titanic", James Cameron.

    Easy-to-use interface lets you control graphics, narration and sound.
    View the disaster sequence from the initial impact with the iceberg to the crash on the ocean floor.
    Tour the ship as she appeared on her maiden voyage.
    Contains unabridged official 192 U.S. Senate investigation transcripts and the official British investigation report summary.
    Historically accurate events illustrating the ship's final hours.
~ from the back of the box

It's been a little over 25 years since Titanic dominated the box office, and earlier this month its new owners at Disney took it upon themselves to re-release it in theatres (including a back-breaking 4DX version!). It's an all-time classic for a reason, but back then it was a behemoth. Titanic media was everywhere, including this movie tie-in CD-ROM by Fox Interactive; James Cameron's Titanic Explorer.

The three CDs that came in this package are stuffed with perhaps one of the most comprehensive collection of information and media on the subject ever put together, yet funnily enough the making of the movie itself gets little mention. At its core, it is a movie documentary spread across three chapters; The Ship of Dreams detailing the run up towards its maiden voyage, Tragedy Strikes offering up harrowing accounts of that fateful day, and The Legend Comes to Light commenting on all what's happened since. While understandably compressed and grainy to fit on the 3 CDs, it is still a handsomely produced documentary that I don't believe has reappeared anywhere else. It even has the express involvement of James Cameron himself offering his insight at key moments while the bulk of the production is narrated by veteran voice actor Jim Ward.

Playing back these video sequences is a little clunky. It has been split into chapters which can be selected from a drop down menu, but you have to hold then release over your chosen subheading to select it. Every time I wanted to do this, I always tended to just click taking me back to the beginning with no means to try again until the video had taken a short (yet still annoying) moment to fully load. An operational quirk to be sure, but one that requires time to become accustomed to.

You can examine the Titanic's complete schematics (left)
before exploring the halls of the vessel yourself (right).

During select scenes, you may notice some links will appear at the bottom of the screen. These will take you to related media such as floor plans, photographs or other interesting tidbits. You can easily get lost in the insane amount of information of even the minutest significance. It's the product's greatest asset, but once you veer away from the documentary there's no way to continue on where you left off. You'll need to navigate to the beginning of the chapter (assuming you remember which one it was) and watch it again. Other similar CD-ROMs at the time could do this so I suspect the developers at CircumStance Design (who by the looks of it mostly produced web pages and enhanced CD-ROMS for music CDs) simply overlooked it.

Beyond the video playback, everything else is an absorbing delight. I've already mentioned some of the information at hand, but browsing the Passenger, Crew and even Dog List can bring forth some startling first and second-hand accounts. Top of the must-see list is the Virtual Tour. You can explore almost the entirety of the infamous vessel in 360° nodes. Most utilise sets from the movie, but well-made computer graphics have provided some seamless panoramas. Once you're done, head off to Volume 2 to witness it all get destroyed in a rather clinical re-creation of its sinking.

The handy help page details the user interface (left).
The passenger and crew list. Highlight the text to make it legible (right).

Running the program on today's computers is perfectly doable, though it requires a few hoops to jump through. The most obvious of which is QuickTime, but as someone who has pretty much every video codec under the sun installed, that was no real issue (I recommend getting K-Lite codec pack - see the relevant point on this part of the FAQ). It also requires a specific font to be installed called Arial for Titanic. As implemented in Titanic Explorer, it doesn't 100% work on modern systems. There were times where I would have to highlight text in order for it to be legible, but at least you can actually read it.

The last technical issue of note is the use of CDs. While the Collection Chamber package will automatically mount the ISOs to their own drive - and the program will read from all of them - as soon as you select another volume it will automatically eject (read: unmount) the current CD. This means that once you've left a volume, you cannot go back to it. I found no way to get around it. I even attempted to merge the three disc into a single DVD to no avail. As before, it will read all of the data from here, but it will auto-eject whenever you want to swap. Regardless, if you play each volume in three separate gaming sessions, you will not come across this issue and it's not like re-launching the game is a massive hindrance anyway, just a little annoying.

Despite these technical hiccups, James Cameron's Titanic Explorer is a stunningly comprehensive package. As a movie buff, I would've perhaps liked a fourth disc with an interactive take on the making of the movie, but what's here is more than enough to captivate Titanic enthusiasts and historians alike. The advertised "deleted scenes" are hard to spot scattered throughout the documentary and aren't as revelatory in the Age of YouTube, but it is regardless a truly exhaustive and engrossing package.

To download the PC game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber runs on modern systems in 640x480 compatibility mode. Arial for Titanic font and QuickTime (all included) required. Manual included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.
  01.03.2023 - Version 2 - Now runs fully from hard drive for CD-less play.
                                          Removed IMG Drive Portable and the CD ISOs.
                                          Enabled 'Full Sound Mixing Mode' for better audio.

File Size: 1.17 Gb.  Install Size: 1.50 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


James Cameron's Titanic Explorer is © Fox Interactive
Titanic (the movie) is © Twentieth Century Fox
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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  1. I've had this program for years, and have gotten it to run in PCEM and Sheepshaver. There is an option to do what is called a Power User Installation. Per the Readme File on Disc 1, you can copy the Data folders to the program folder. Once complete, you won't need to swap discs, and you can easily switch back and forth between each section. The Readme file on Disc 1 has the instructions on how to do it.

    1. It's funny. I tried merging the data to be read from the CD, but not from the hard drive. I didn't think of that, let alone it would be mentioned in the readme. If I can get it working like that, it might be update time.

  2. And one other minor item, the Readme file has a personal introduction by James Cameron himself about the program.

    1. It's the same intro as in the manual. It was perhaps because of this that I didn't take much notice of the rest of the document.

  3. Doesn't seem to be working for me. I get a message saying it can't be fully installed because it can't create the uninstall file

    1. Have you downloaded all of the files? Did they download properly? If you chose to download as a zip file, did you unzip them first? Maybe the inclusion of IMGDrive or Quicktime requires the installer to be run as Admin. I've just done a test and it is working my end.

    2. OK I figured out the problem. Seems It wouldn't work being sent to my external hard drive but to my regular hard drive it works just fine

  4. Do I need to download the 'Arial for Titanic' font before running the software? I tried searching for said font online, but could find no such thing :(

    1. It should auto-install through the custom installer. The font will be found in the install directory too just in case.