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Sunday, August 4, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Tech Reviews

''Star Trek Klingon: The Ultimate Interactive Adventure''

Chicago Tribune

"Star Trek Klingon: The Ultimate Interactive Adventure" Simon & Schuster Interactive (800) 983-5333 Windows, Macintosh $69.95

qlm tera'ngan! tlhlngan Hol Dajatlh'a'

That's pronounced khlum tehr-AHn-gun! TLIngan khol da-jatl-AH.

Translation: Attention, Earther! Do you speak Klingon?

Set your phasers to kill and transport yourself to a place where few humans have gone before: the heart, mind and soul of a Klingon. "Star Trek Klingon: The Ultimate Interactive Adventure" is a new three-CD video game that will have you speaking and thinking like the Starfleet Federation's darkest enemy.

Even folks who aren't big "Star Trek" fans know Klingon is a language made up for the TV series, so it may seem a little strange to invest so much energy in a fantasy world. But you don't have to be a Trekker to get in to this game.

"Star Trek Klingon" challenges you and changes you like few other games. What other game forces you to learn the fastest-growing artificial language in the world? In this galaxy? Perhaps in this universe?

According to the Klingon Language Institute (http://www.kli.org), Klingon is spoken among small groups of people in more than 30 countries. The U.S.-based institute, founded in 1992, is a collection of linguists, Trekkers and the merely curious who study Klingon and are translating Shakespeare and the Bible into Klingon.

"Star Trek Klingon" is an engrossing two-part game with more than 90 minutes of video that fill your screen. First, there's the simulation, where you are a young Klingon at a party to celebrate your Rite of Ascension, a symbolic test of attaining adulthood. Then there's the Language Lab, where you gain the skills you'll need to survive the simulation.

Visit the Language Lab first, where you will learn to actually speak Klingon. Click on Klingon words and characters and hear them pronounced. Point to English words and hear their Klingon translation. Hook up your PC's microphone to your sound card and pronounce the Klingon words on screen. Before long, you'll be annoying your friends with the latest phrase you've learned in your new, harsh-sounding, guttural language.

In the game, you will face a decision that will test your knowledge of Klingon words and culture: Pick a certain box or choose a certain path. Guess right, and you'll advance. Guess wrong, and you no longer are the guest of honor. Wait too long to choose, and the simulation will end.

The Klingon language was created by academic linguist Mark Okrand, whom Paramount Pictures tapped to devise the Klingon and Vulcan dialogues for the motion picture "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Okrand expanded the language for "Star Trek Klingon," which is based on several of his books, including "The Klingon Dictionary," "Conversational Klingon" and "Power Klingon." Okrand is on hand in "Star Trek Klingon" to help you turn your k's to "kh's." He'll have you sounding like a Klingon in no time.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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