King Tut has nothing on Matt DuPlessie.
Egyptian tombs have been scary and mysterious places for — well — a few thousand years.
Now, the former Attleboro High School valedictorian has dusted off that ancient venue with high-tech and interactive twists, and it's only a few steps from the Landmark Center in Boston's Fenway.
DuPlessie, a 1995 AHS graduate who went on to earn a mechanical engineering degree from MIT, has created special effects environments for the likes of Disney and Universal Studios.
His latest creation is TOMB, a life-sized adventure game that might even stump Indiana Jones. Players who fail at the game, " die," DuPlessie says.
Groups of five to 15 " amateur archaeologists" follow a costumed guide through dark passageways and chambers in search of clues to Pharaoh's riddles. Every physical and verbal response sends them down a different path.
" The riddles that a group goes through are like a live-action video game," said DuPlessie, 27.
Players who solve enough riddles find out how TOMB ends. Those who don't find themselves walking down a long dark hallway toward a " cone of light" — and end up in the gift shop.
" Not everybody lives," DuPlessie said. " You can `die' in the spirit of the game."
DuPlessie said the program is unique because it meshes elements from video games, theme parks, haunted houses and museums.
And it packs all the sound and visual effects of a full-blown movie set.
DuPlessie pulled TOMB together after designing and building sets for Disney, Universal Studios and others in the entertainment industry for more than two years.
Projects he worked on include the " Extreme Deep" show at the Museum of Science in Boston and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Florida.
DuPlessie said he organized investors for TOMB after returning to Massachusetts, where he earned a master's in business administration from Harvard Business School. The project cost in " the upper six figures," he said.
The Egyptian theme made sense, he said, because it is very popular in other media.
" If you look at movie theaters or video games, a new movie or video game comes out every six months," DuPlessie said.
Laser lights, fog, computer-controlled special effects and booming multi-channel sound will make patrons feel like they're inside a movie or playing a video game, he said.
Except, players will have a say in how it ends.
" This is not a typical Disney thing, where it all happens whether you're there or not," DuPlessie said.
" You are pushing on the walls. You're trying to move pieces around. It's as if you're inside of the game."
TOMB is not a Halloween attraction, although the opening coincides with the season.
DuPlessie and his investors have leased TOMB's home for 12-18 months and will have it open year-round.
The game is at 186 Brookline Ave.
TOMB was scheduled to open on Friday. However, DuPlessie said he learned Wednesday that an electrical contractor failed to file a permit.
The opening will be delayed about one week, DuPlessie said.
" These things happen. That's how it goes," he said.
©2004 The Sun Chronicle