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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (CD Version) Update Information
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Professor Aronnax, his faithful servant, Conseil, and the Canadian harpooner, Ned Land, begin an extremely hazardous voyage to rid the seas of a little-known and terrifying sea monster. However, the "monster" turns out to be the giant submarine, Nautilus, commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo, by whom they are soon held captive.

So begins not only one of the great adventure classics by Jules Verne, the "Father of Science Fiction", but also a truly fantastic voyage from the lost city of Atlantis to the South Pole.

The disc features dramatic narration, word definitions, animation, music, sound effects and a reading comprehension quiz. The program's main menu has options for reading the story, taking a quiz or exiting back to the Finder. Selecting the Read Story option takes you to a screen where there are buttons for accessing each of the book's sixteen chapters as well as a special animated page. Unlike the original, colour illustrations adorn each of this version's 178 pages. There are also 450 words in the story, identified by a different color, that carry definitions. Clicking on any of these words displays a dialogue box containing a concise definition, and the computer reads aloud both the word and definition.

A control panel at the bottom of each page contains buttons for moving forward or back a page, reading aloud the current page or entire story, adjusting the volume, moving to a specific page number, returning to the chapter menu or exiting the story. Selecting the Fish option from the chapter menu takes you into something the publisher calls a 'living page'. The screen consists of an animated underwater scene in which you control a diver swimming among four different species of fish: Lionfish, Sargassum Frogfish, Vermillion Seabass and a Blue-Spotted Ribbontail Ray. The mouse controls the diver's direction and when the diver comes close to a fish, and the mouse button is depressed, an enlarged picture of the fish appears accompanied by four icons: Nomenclature, Physical Description, Habitat, and Natural Selection. Each button displays information such as the fish's proper name, habitat, physical description, diet, defensive mechanisms and camouflage techniques. This 'living page' is well done and very much in keeping with the discovery and exploration themes in the story.

Choosing the Quiz from the main menu displays the sixteen chapter icons. Each chapter has four multiple choice reading comprehension questions, each with four choices of A, B, C or D. There is immediate verbal feedback after answering each question telling you if you answered correctly or incorrectly and a total appears when the four questions have been answered. All of the questions are clearly worded and are sufficient for assessing basic reading comprehension.


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