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The Lost Crown is an adventure game with horror elements. There are several acknowledged influences from the works of writers Montague Rhodes James (1862 - 1936) and Joseph Lloyd Ca:rr (1912 - 1994). The main setting is the fictional town of Saxton and its surrounding area, placed in the Fenlands of eastern England. The town settings are based on two actual towns of Cornwall: Looe and Polperro. Several of the landmarks outside the town, particulatly two Medieval churches, are based on actual locations in Cornwall.
The main character is Nigel Danvers. A former employee of the Hadden Corporation, Nigel fled after stealing classified documents from the company. He starts the game by leaving the train Sleepwalker, though rather confused on how he got there. There is only one other passenger Lucy Reubans. Originally aimless, Nigel soon finds a new mission in treasure-hunting, He searches for clues of the current whereabouts of an Anglosaxon crown. Its original owner was King Ganwulf, apparently one of the founders of Saxton. The Crown has been missing for centuries but seems to have had a long-term effect on the fates of the city and its residents.
Hadden Corporation seems to have some contacts in the city and Nigel is soon contacted by them. Assigned to do some ghost-hunting to get back in their good graces. In practice, this means investigating various mysteries and murders occuring throughout the long history of Saxton. Not to mention a number of ongoing crimes in modern-day Saxton. Various of the missions require Nigel working alone. Others team him up with Lucy, a college student visiting her family. They end the game as partners, apparently both hired by Hadden Corporation for future missions.
The ghosts encountered in the game range between decidedly human-looking entities, transparent apparitions and smoke-like wraiths. In disposition they can be friendly, mischievous or extremely threatening. Some require assistance, others provide information and a few are opponents. The living residents of Saxton have their own peculiarities. Nigel and Lucy act as if the year is 2007. But the general appearances, clothing or speech patterns of the other characters tend to point to older time periods. For some there are written or spolen hints of them being active in the 1950s, 1940s or even earlier. The anachronisms arguably making Saxton appear even more mysterious.