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An Illustrated (Truncated) History of Horror Gaming [NSF56K]

EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
edited February 2008 in Games and Technology
HORROR GAME THREAD

Ok duders, let's talk a bit about scary games. This post can't possibly touch upon every aspect of every important horror game, it's merely here to throw some info around and hopefully spark some discussion. So please, don't be a tool and post somthing terribly clever like "No mention of Darks Arms in the OP? Phail". Also, I'm using imageshack for all of these images. Imageshack borks up sometimes, so if a significant amount of the images aren't loading for you, that's probably why. I've got them all cached so what the hell do I care. Speaking of images, don't hotlink any, just use Photobucket or Imageshack or something. And if you're gonna hotlink don't do it from mobygames because they don't let you and your image just says "Mobygames the definitive resource etc" and then we all laugh at you.

Moving on.

We've all heard the term "Survival Horror", and most of us know that the term itself was coined by the original Resident Evil (or BioHazard in moon-land). While Resident Evil may have brought survival horror into a much more mainstream light, it is the pioneer of Survival Horror in name only. Several game preceeded the first RE, and were themselves heavy influences on the RE series, and others in the genre. Come with me on an adventure in Horror gaming spanning many decades:

SWEET HOME [NES] - 1989

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One of the biggest influences on the original Resident Evil was an earlier Capcom game called Sweet Home. Released for the NES in 1989, Sweet Home had a tie in with a Japanese horror film with the same title. The film/movie tie ins were fairly extensive, as the producer on the game was an actor in the movie, and several locations in the movie were also replicated in-game.

While Sweet Home is more of an RPG than a technical Survival Horror game, it's settings and gameplay elements were heavily borrowed from by the original Resident Evil. There is a mansion, and a group of characters with different skills all trying to co-operate in order to find the way out. Lucky for us, it's perma-death mechanic did not find it's way into any of the games it inspired.

But to really get a grasp on some of the pioneers of horror gaming, we need to reach back even farther.

HAUNTED HOUSE [Atari 2600] - 1982

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See that square set of eyes? That's you. And you're trapped in a haunted house with nothing more than a magic scepter and some matches at your disposal. Your task is to find three pieces of an urn, that you can use to put the housemaster's ghost at rest so you can escape.

The house itself has four separate floors, and is filled with bats, giant spiders, and the old man's ghost itself. While the house is pitch black, your character can light a match (of which you have an infinite supply) to light up a small area around him. The enemies are right bastards, though, and will blow your match out if they get the chance.

As was standard with most 2600 games, there were multiple difficulty levels, with higher levels featuring random enemy and item placement. The simplicity of the game is evident in the identical room structure and relative lack of replay value, but it still stands as (arguably) the granddaddy of Survival Horror gameplay. Featuring a mansion, and a lone character who is outnumbered and outgunned, all the while trying to find the items required to escape, Haunted House on the 2600, while not being the first "horror" game released, definitely was the first to have these features that would later become mainstays in the genre.

Let's move forward a bit to Clock Tower.

CLOCK TOWER [SNES/PlayStation] - 1995/1997

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Originally released on the SNES in Japan, Clock Tower was later re-released on the PS1 a couple of years later. The main character is Jennifer, a 14 year old orphen who finds herself being adopted with two other girls by a rich old woman who lives in a castle with a giant clock tower. When they arrive at the castle, one of them leaves to find the old woman, and when she is gone for an unusual amnount of time you go after her to investigate. On the way out you hear a scream, and returning to the entrance you see that the lights are out and there is a little boy wielding a gigantic pair of scissors who wants nothing more than to see what your insides look like.

The game is a point-and-click, with a lot of emphasis on investigating pieces of the environment. The main character has both a health and a fear meter, and if her fear meter grows too high she will enter "Panic Mode". However, the interesting part comes from Bobby (the child with the scissors), who is otherwise known as "Scissorman", who likes to show up at inopportune times and chase the shit out of you. If your fear meter is particularly high, or if you are in panic mode, you might trip and fall while he is chasing you, and if he manages to attack you, you have to jam on your "Panic Button" to dodge his attacks. This technique of using the main character's amount of fear as a representation of their health in-game was later used by Fear Effect, and to some extent the Sanity system of Eternal Darkness.

Moving on to the more "modern" (3D) survival horror game, we'd be doing a disservice if we didn't touch upon Alone in the Dark.

ALONE IN THE DARK [PC, Mac, 3DO] - 1992

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Alone in the Dark was the first major Survival Horror game to feature both a male and a female selectable character, long before the RE series made it cool. The story revolves around a mysterious suicide in a Louisiana mansion, and the characters feel compelled to investigate. The dapper gentleman on the right is named Edward Carnby, a private dick, who was hired by an antique dealer to find a piano in the mansion (seriously), whereas the buxom lass on the left is Emily Hartwood, who's uncle commited suicide. She is also looking for the piano, with the hopes that a letter contained inside might lead to some clues about her uncle's suicide.

Alone in the Dark features many aspects that later became horror gaming staples. Namely the above mentioned male and female characters, 3D polygonal characters on top of pre-rendered backgrounds, the "attack stance", item-related puzzles (gold key etc), readable books, memos, and notes which detail the majority of the backstory, and severe item conservation. Basically, Alone in the Dark had become the blueprint for almost every survival horror game since it's release.

The game takes a heavy influence from Lovecraftian horror (and the Necronomicon and other books like it can be picked up throughout the house), and even features enemies in the game taken straight from descriptions from Lovecraft's books. Many of the enemies cannot be killed, and the character either has to run away, or stop them by solving a puzzle. The game never, ever gives you anywhere near enough ammunition or health items to make you feel secure, and as a result, the already vital aspect of exploration and item collecting becomes much more important through the relatively non-linear mansion.

One interesting note about the original Alone in the Dark was that it was included (with a number of other classic games) in it's entirety on a PC Gamer demo CD several years ago. I can't remember the exact one, but I do remember it also had the 100MB Daikatana Demo. If anyone has any info on where I could score one, please let me know.

Ok, now that we've laid the foundation, let's take a look at the series that took Survival Horror/Horro gameplay into the mainstream. Yes, it's Camcom's other cashcow, Resident Evil.

Resident Evil Series [Fucking Everything] 1996 - 2008

I'd hit character limit before I could detail every RE game in the series (there's like seventeen of the fucking things), so I'll only touch on the main ones.

Resident Evil - The original game launched for the PS1 in 1996, followed by ports to the Sega Saturn and PC later on. Mix one part Sweet Home and one part AitD, add a dash of terrible VA work, a cup of some of the creepiest writing ever seen in a game up until that point, throw in some laughably cheesy live action intro/outro scenes, and garnish with some of the cheapest/scariest "Boo!" scares ever seen (fuck those dogs, man).

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You play as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, both agents of Racoon City's S.T.A.R.S. unit (Special Tactics And Rescue Service), who are tasked with investigating a series of bizarre grisly murders in the woods surrounding the city. When a team helicopter crashes in the woods, you're sent to investigate, and are ambushed by vicious zombie dogs. Making your way to a mysterious mansion, the game begins. You find out that there has been a viral outbreak that turns humans and animals into zombies, and have to unravel the mystery behind the outbreak, along with escaping the mansion with your life.

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The original release in the US had to be censored due to strict laws at the time concerning tobacco use being advertised to children. This led to the death of Joe Camel, as well as the removal of a portion of the intro cutscene that featured main character Chris Redfield lighting a cigarette. Several scenes in the game featuring gore had to be cut or minimised, and the intro was changed from full-color to black and white to minimise the gore effects.

There is a strong debate as to whether the PS1 original or the Saturn port is the "Superior Version", with each one having relative merits and downfalls. Generally, the Saturn release has better textures and slightly cleaner 2D backgrounds, whereas the PS1 version has slightly better models and sound effects. The Saturn version also has a Battle Mode, new enemies (the Hunter-like Tick, a Gold Tyrant in Battle Mode, and a Zombie Wesker in Battle Mode), but has worse looking FMVs and problems displaying transparencies in-game.

Resident Evil 2 - The infection has spread from the mansion lab all thoughout Racoon City. Playing as either Leon Kennedy (a rookie cop reporting for his first day on the job), or Claire Redfield (a college student looking for her brother Chris), you meet up with the other character and make your way to the police station, hoping it will be safe. once inside, you find your way through the station and it's underground chambers, eventually making your way through the sewer to another Umbrella lab.

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Durrr
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Resident Evil 2 explores significantly more of the RE backstory, leading you to slowly find out just how sick and twisted the Umbrella corporation really is. The game shipped on two discs, each featuring two "scenarios", an A scenario and a B scenario for both characters. The regular A scenarios for each character have them separated by a burning car wreck, with each having to find their own way through the city to the police station. The B scenario for each character simply reverses the direction the car was facing before it wrecked, so the characters start the game on the opposite side they would normally start it on. This meant that once you beat Claire's A scenarion, you could play her B scenario, and the same for Leon. The B scenarios were more difficult, and featured a character called the Tyrant, or Mr. X , who was a bioweapon sent by Umbrella to eliminate anyone who might come into knowledge that could implicate them in the viral outbreak. The Tyrant will hunt you during certain portions of the game, a mechanic that was later used in Resident Evil 3 for Nemesis, a creature created to kill the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members so they couldn't disturb Umbrella's coverup of the Racoon City viral outbreak.

Resident Evil Outbreak - The first true online multiplayer Survival Horror game. While the original Outbreak and it's sequel had some fairly severe flaws (mainly, the games both emphasized teamwork, but made it extremely difficult to communicate with other members of your team), they are interesting in the fact that they each had a multitude of characers who each had special abilities that would come in handy during different situations. Also because one of 'em led you through a zoo filled with zombiefied animals.

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Look at that shit. A zombie elephant. How rad is that?

Resident Evil: Code Veronica - Released originally for the Sega Dreamcast, Code Veronica was the first game in the RE series to abandon pre-rendered backgrounds in exchange for fully 3D environments.

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Also notable for being the first RE game to be released as an exclusive on a non-Sony platform. A PS2 port was released featuring slightly reduced visuals and some extra features and cutscenes (sound familiar?) later on.

Resident Evil 4 - The RE that took all of the previous RE standbys and turned them on their ear. Removing the "tank controls" that had a love/hate effect on most players, and originally announced as a GameCube exclusive, RE4 was both a familiar RE experience and a breath of fresh air. Leon Kennedy, former puss extraordinaire in RE2 (of which RE4 is a sequel of sorts), is now a bona-fide government agent badass out to rescue the President's Daughter and bust a few zombie heads along the way.

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But they aren't zombies, they're cultists being mind-controlled by prehistoric parasitic worms. Whatever.

RE4 brought a new control scheme to the series, a new Sam Fisher style over the shoulder camera angle, and an emphasis on keeping Ashley (the President's Daughter) alive (to the decry of some gamers who felt that this mechanic turned too much of the game into an escort mission). It also moved from the familiar city/mansion/lab setpieces of previous games in the series and instead took place in a Spanish village and the mines and catacombs surrounding it. It also added Shen Mue style "QTE" sections, where you would have to hit a certain button at a certain instant in a cutscene to avoid damage.

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It also added crazy motherfuckers with flaming chainsaws who's sole joy in life is cutting off your head.

DINO CRISIS [PS1, DC] - 1999

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Dino Crisis was an interesting departure from standard survival horror at the time. Instead of fighting ghosts or zombies or creatures of the sort, you were pitted against dinosaurs. The game is also interesting from a technical standpoint, as it was the first survival horror game to take the standard pre-rendered environments and replace them with 3D ones. Also, the main character Regina could ready her weapon and walk at the same time, which meant that you were much more agile then main characters in other horror games. This was important, since the Dinosaurs you faced in the game were much quicker and more aggressive than your standard zombie.

The game tasks you with investigating a mysterious island, upon which experiments in an alternative energy source are taking place. once there, you notice that there are dinosaurs on the island. Dinosaurs generally eat people when they see them, and Dino Crisis is no different.

A sequel was released on the PS1 that reverted to the older pre-rendered environments, and had a more arcade-like feel to it. A second sequel was released but it sucks and is completely unrelated to the first two and the less said about it the better.

Silent Hill Series [PS1, PS2, PSP, PC] - 1999-2008

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Imagine the most fucked up shit you've ever seen in your entire life. That, in a nutshell, is Silent Hill. First game had to leave much of it's plot details rather vague, to get around SCEA's censorship policies on a few minor things like devil worship and child murder. No biggie. With each new game in the series, more and more of the town's backstory and influence is revealed. The most disturbing thing about the town of Silent Hill, though, is that the most gruesome aspects of it are generally a reflection of the main character.

Silent Hill 2 also features on of the most iconic characters in horror gameplay, Pyramid Head.

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How do you describe Pyramid Head? Well, he carries a giant cleaver and rapes other monsters. You see him, you run. Case closed.

The Silent Hill series is notable for taking a much more psychological approach to horror than previous horror games have done. The basis of the game's horror element isn't a giant corporation or simple deranged serial killer. It's the depravity that can occur between human beings, and the depths of despair that a person, under the right circumstances, can succumb to. While the location and effects of the town itself are purely fantasy, the interactions and motivations behind the characters are all too realistic, and that is where the game's true horror lies.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem [GC] - 2002

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Turning the GameCube's "kiddy" image upside down, Eternal Darkness used what the developers called "insanity effects". Taking cues from earlier games, ED uses a character's fear level (called a Sanity Meter in the game) can cause strange things to happen to your character the more it is depleted. Sanity Effects range from the mild (voices heard in the environment, other noises such as footsteps), to the median (paintings on the walls will suddenly change from serene to grotesque), to the extreme (your character's head will fall off, their body will explode, or the game will fake technical errors, such as the game freezing or deleting your saves).

Siren [PS2] - 2003

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The Japanese have a very distinct type of horror. Siren is an excellent example of this. It's basically Silent Hill, only it takes place in a rural Japanese village. A noteworthy feature of the game is that the multiple playable characters can all perform what the game calls Sightjacking, where you will be able to see through the eyes of the creatures who are near you. It's an interesting mechanic, but the controls for the game are abysmal, and while the story is creepy as hell, parts of the gameplay didn't resonate well with many gamers. It's very difficult compared to other horror games (with very sparse ammo and almost overwhelming opposition), but Siren is worth mentioning because it's distinct style has a way of scaring the shit out of you in a way you didn't even know you could be.

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Also, the game has some creepily accurate facial animation.

FATAL FRAME SERIES [PS2, Xbox] - 2001-2008

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God damn it. These games are responsible for more missed sleep than heroin. Another example of disctinly Japanese horror, the Fatal Frame series entails fighting ghosts, but not with magic or shotguns or at least a wooden plank, no, you get to use a camera. Called the Camera Obscura, it is the only way to exorcise a ghost, you take it's picture and then it is sealed in the film.

Imagine walking into a completely empty room, and looking around. You feel something strange, so you hold up your camera and take a look. You see a ghost right up there in your face that wants to kill you.

Yeah, that's Fatal Frame.

Fatal Frame 4 is in development for the Wii, and it looks to be just as disturbing as the first three.

THE SUFFERING [PS2, Xbox, PC] 2004

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The Suffering, and it's sequel (Ties that Bind) are more action games than pure horror games, but the original is still worth mentioning. The main character is a man named Torque, who is imprisoned for murdering his family. Torque claims that he blacked out and doesn't remember the murder. The game gives the player a multitude of moral choices throughout, which effect a sort of "morality meter", and ultimately determine the outcome of the game. Play through doing good acts, and you will discover that you were innocent after all. Play through commiting vile acts and you will discover that you killed your family with your bare hands.

All of the monsters in the game are all based on various means of execution.

ObsCure [PS2, PC] - 2005

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ObsCure got a bad rap. It didn't do very well in reviews, which is a shame, because it features one of the coolest approaches to survival horror ever concieved, co-op. You control one of five teenagers who find themselves trapped in their high school. Fending off enemies who turn out to be mutated students among other creatures, you have to unravel the mystery of what exactly is going on in your school, and hopefully excape.

Each student has a special ability that will make certain sections of the game a little easier. While every character can do everything, the characters who have a talent for something can do it quicker. The jock can run faster and punch harder than everyone else, the guy from the school newspaper is good at finding clues, and the stoner kid can pick locks and break into rooms, that sort of thing. The five students themselves also function as your "lives". If one dies, the game goes on (but this will be reflected upon by the other characters). If they all die, it's game over.

The AI will control the other character (there are always two of you), but a second player can "jump in" (Lego Star Wars style) at any time. The game makes a few changes to better fit in with the setting (you find energy drinks from vending machines instead of medkits to heal you, for example), and there is also a cool item combination aspect. See the chick in the first screenshot above? Yeah, that's a flashlight duct-taped to a gun.

There is a sequel that was released for the PC, PS2, and Wii in Europe that is planned to hit the US sometime in '08. It takes place a couple of years after the original game, with the original characters (in college now). Some retailers in Europe refuse to stock it because a main character in the second game commits suicide.

Einhander on
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Ok, we've poked around with some more traditional Survival Horror games, now let's take a look at some horror shooters.

    DOOM 3 [PC, Mac, Xbox] - 2004

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    Where Doom and Doom II were originally twitch shooters, Doom 3 took an entirely different approach. Taking place on Mars itself, Doom 3 tells the story of a newly transferred Marine, a mad scientist, and a metric shitload of demons. The base itself is vast, and dark. While some gamer lamented the overabundence of unlit areas in the game (MOER LIEK DARK 3 M I RITE?), Doom 3 at least excused this decision in the storyline itself (with so much power being rerouted to teleporter research there wasn't enough power left for lighting in most areas), and the decision to limit the player character to either a flashlight or their weapon, while seemingly ridiculous at first, definitely ratchets up the tension considerably. This is helped immensely by the Doom 3 Engine's incredible ability to handle lighting and shadows.

    Doom 3 relies on "boo!" scares quite a bit, and while this makes the first part of the game relatively nerve-wracking, it falls flat midway through the game, when you are expecting a monster to jump out of every doorway, and start to grow tired of "Monster Closets".

    The Xbox version features system link co-op for two players, which ratchets up the difficulty. Since several areas of the game were changed for co-op, sections that were automatically lit before are now dark, requiring one player to wield the flashlight while the other has a weapon. Doom 3 co-op is some of the most fun that can be had while playing a shooter. I remember times when my friend and I would split up in the game, and I would see him jump in fear and go "AHHHHHH" and then I'd see his player character run down the hallway toward mine being chased by demons.

    ALIEN RESURRECTION [PS1] - 2000

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    Alien Resurrection hit the PS1 almost three years after the movie had run it's course in theaters. It didn't do very well commercially, which is a shame, because it's actually pretty solid. The game is genuinly creepy, which is good. There are a lot of Half-Life style scripted events, and it's not unusual to hear a particualrly heated battle, and then come across the remains of whoever was fighting not long afterward. The game does a very good job of reminding you that you are next.

    Most people were put off by the controls (it was released during the transitional phase between single stick N64 or D-pad PS1 fps players having to accustom themselves to the dual analog stick setup that is now prevalent) and the difficulty, but if you ever see a copy in a bargain bin somewhere, Alien Resurrection is suitably scary, and it doesn't really follow the movie (which is a good thing). It also features some of the best graphics available on the PlayStation.

    System Shock II [PC] - 1999

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    Take Ultima Underworld. Throw it into the near future. Make it scary as fuck. That's System Shock II. The only game I have ever known to have a fan made patch released to actually remove an enemy from the game (a patch was released to remove spider enemies from the game so arachnophobic players could play). The game starts out as a standard issue shooter, but slowly and surely the horror factor kicks in. Seeing "ghosts" of the crew going about their duties or hearing the horror in their logs coupled with the grotesque enemies and the general feeling of dread all come together in a symphony of exquisite terror.

    If you have or aquire the game, the Shock Texture Upgrade Project (SHTUP) aims to upgrade/fix SS2's textures. There is a link on that page to the SS2 Rebirth mod as well.

    A Dreamcast port was announced, with several screens shown, but it was later cancelled.

    RAVENHOLM (Half Life 2) [PC, Xbox 360, PS3] - 2004

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    Sure, now we're reaching a little bit. Ravenholm is merely a section of Half Life 2, a game that isn't really scary in it's entirety. But there are parts of Ravenholm that are genuinly creepy as fuck. From the first time you see a howler to dropping into a room with a poison headcrab, Ravenholm keeps you on your toes. Sure, now most people can blitz through using only the gravity gun (there is even an achievement in the Xbox 360 version for doing so), but I'll always remember the first time I lit a zombie on fire in Ravenholm, when he screamed and reminded me that underneath that headcrab he was still alive.

    Einhander on
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    xWonderboyxxWonderboyx Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Nice thread. I'm too much of a pussy to play any of these games for more than 30 minutes at a time.

    xWonderboyx on
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    XBL - Follow Freeman
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    MrIamMeMrIamMe Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fuck, this is awesome, keep going!

    MrIamMe on
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    CarcharodontosaurusCarcharodontosaurus Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I tell you, if System Shock 2 isn't mentioned, I shall be so disappointed.

    So very, very disappointed.
    Insect.

    Carcharodontosaurus on
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    RoshinRoshin My backlog can be seen from space SwedenRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
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    The Legacy: Realm of Terror.
    This is an adventure/RPG computer game developed by Magnetic Scrolls and published by Microprose in 1993.

    The game starts with the premise that the main character has inherited a mansion which is haunted. Magic is real and plays a central role in the game, but it is set in the present day (that is, 1993) so you can expect to find modern items such as chainsaws, TV sets etc. The gameplay consists mainly of exploring the house by interacting with objects, characters, fighting monsters and solving puzzles, using the mouse as an input device.

    The game system resembles that of an RPG game, with stats that can be improved with progress and experience. When starting the game, the player can choose from a list of available characters that fit in with the story, or can change those characters stats to customize them.

    Unlike most RPG titles of the time, the player didn't have a party of characters but instead just one character. In the user's manual the developers remark that this decision was made with the idea that the player would have a greater feeling of isolation by having only one playable character rather than a party. The game interface has five windows that could be resized and moved in any way, thus making the interface customizable to suit individual player preferences.

    Source: Wikipedia.

    My take.
    This is a game for MS-DOS. I haven't played it in a long time, but I have fond memories of it. I remember it being a pretty difficult game and I was stuck on some sections for a long time. The difficulty created a strong sense of progress when you moved up a floor or got past an especially nasty location. It had an inventory system that resembled that of Resident Evil in a way. You couldn't carry everything around, so most players would find a "safe room" and store all the useful stuff in there. When you moved up a floor, you moved all the stuff to a new safe room, etc. You will find various monsters in the mansion, ghosts, zombies, plant monsters, etc. There is a strong Cthulhu vibe going on and there are a couple of other people in the mansion, 2 crazy relatives and a detective who is trapped on the second floor.

    This actually looked quite good to us old fogies back in the day, but you might not think so from looking at the screenshots. Some people have managed to run this through DOSbox, but not without difficulties. In all fairness, it was pretty difficult to get up and running back in 1993 as well.

    Screenshots:

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    Roshin on
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    PompaPompa Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    i have to say Resident Evil has a special place in my heart, but i figured that game has more 'shock' scares rather than Silent Hill's 'scary ass fucking chills to the bone that doesn't let you sleep'. it just had me on edge the whole time, like that room that was just a table and phone. im sure thats why i hate answering the phone these days.

    There has never been another game were i didnt want to continue through the game because i was just too scared.

    Pompa on
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    This is a great thread.

    Splatterhouse is a pretty big horror staple as well.

    I will also mention - The 7th Guest

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    This game revolutionized the puzzle genre by making it scary as shit. This is a puzzle game where you make your way through a mansion as an amnesiac completing horrible puzzles (like guiding a blood trail through a maze on a carpet) to find out both who you are and what happened there.
    wikipedia wrote:
    The story revolves around a man named Henry Stauf. Stauf was a no one; like so many during the Great Depression, he had no money, and became a simple drifter and thief. But one night, in the town of Harley-on-the-Hudson, he murdered a helpless woman on the way home from choir practice, beating her on the head with a hammer, so as to steal her purse. He was forced to sink even lower, truly a pathetic wretch. But, as he was sleeping later that night, he had a dream, a vision, of a doll so beautiful that he had to make it for himself. And he did, working without rest, until it was indistinguishable from the one in his dream. Afterwards, he went to a bar in town. The owner saw the doll and said his daughter would love it, and Stauf offered it to him. In return, the owner offered Stauf food and a place to stay.

    That night, Stauf had another vision, and another, and another, and continued to build these toys just as he saw them, continually selling them for a tidy profit. Soon enough, he was able to open up a shop, because every child in the town and outside of it wanted a Stauf toy. "A Stauf toy is a toy for life," they said, and "no two are alike." Stauf's toymaking empire reached its zenith, however, when a mysterious virus started killing the children. Doctors did all they could, but nothing could be done to save them. Meanwhile, Stauf, acting upon one last vision, built for himself a large mansion; a strange mansion, one that frightened people.

    He wasn't heard from again for quite some time, until one day, invitations were sent out to six individuals inviting them to stay at the Stauf mansion for the night, with the promise of granting them their hearts' greatest desire...

    Also, the 3d environments and live action cut scenes were pretty high-tech for the time.

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    Once you get a good ways into the game, you get to Stauf's bedroom. It's filled with creepy-ass dolls.

    Oh shit, they all turn to look at you and cry like little children.

    It scared the shit out of me as a kid.

    This is one of the best puzzle games I have ever played. I'd put it above Myst.

    TehSpectre on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    200px-Lurking_Horror_box_art.jpg

    No love for The Lurking Horror?

    Esh on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Esh on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Esh on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Someone should find and link the clock tower gif.

    PikaPuff on
    jCyyTSo.png
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    DusdaDusda is ashamed of this post SLC, UTRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    This thread is going places. I may have to hunt down a copy of Clock Tower and 7th Guest. Point and click horror is a genre I have never tried.

    I'm having trouble thinking of a game that hasn't already been covered. Yea, no dice.

    Dusda on
    and this sig. and this twitch stream.
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Seriously though, 7th Guest is probably my favorite puzzle game ever.

    If you enjoy it, the 11th Hour is its not as sucessful sequel.

    TehSpectre on
    9u72nmv0y64e.jpg
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Dudes don't just post the cover art and a wiki link, write up a paragraph or two on why the game was awesome. Or post something about a game already displayed.

    This is discussion duders.

    Also I'm almost done with the first two posts.

    Einhander on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Esh on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    Dudes don't just post the cover art and a wiki link, write up a paragraph or two on why the game was awesome. Or post something about a game already displayed.

    This is discussion duders.

    Also I'm almost done with the first two posts.

    I'm lazy. Deal with it. Would you rather I not post anything at all?

    Esh on
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    Dudes don't just post the cover art and a wiki link, write up a paragraph or two on why the game was awesome. Or post something about a game already displayed.

    This is discussion duders.

    Also I'm almost done with the first two posts.

    I beefed mine up with a pair of screen shots.

    TehSpectre on
    9u72nmv0y64e.jpg
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    Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth should be mentioned. It wasn't outright scary, as much as conveying that Lovecraftian creepiness. The portion of the game until the point where you get weapons is pretty nerve-wracking, as you feel ever so soft and squishy. The story is also pretty alien(what did you expect?), and personally I really liked it. It's a very atmospheric game. Having no HUD also helps the immersion.

    Edit: Added some pics and stuff...

    PCcallofcthullhacorners_box1.jpg

    Look at this bugger:
    s18337_xb_13.jpg
    Oh, and you can go nuts. It gives you funky effects:
    coc_xboxscrn_19.jpg

    Wiki plot synopsis:
    The game is effectively a re-imagining of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth"—though diverging from the story in several places, and featuring a different protagonist, several levels in the game mirror passages from the story.

    The game's protagonist is private detective Jack Walters, former police detective who is committed to a mental institution after a disturbing encounter during a raid in Boston. A few years later, he is released while still suffering from amnesia and schizophrenia and subsequently contacted to take up a missing persons case in the town of Innsmouth. Jack is sent to Innsmouth by Arthur Anderson, owner of the First National grocery store chain. Brian Burnham, the clerk running the Innsmouth location, is missing in what appears to be a robbery—by all appearances, Brian robbed his own store and fled. Jack takes the case only to find Innsmouth unfriendly, and that the town does not welcome First National or Brian for being "outsiders"—an attitude which quickly wins Jack enemies in the town.

    Over the course of the game, Jack slowly unravels the strange and terrible secrets behind Innsmouth, the Burnham case, and even the Boston incident that initially landed him in the asylum. In an environment filled with murderous cultists, deep-sea monsters, and alien horrors, Jack must try to survive and remain sane despite the horrors of the new case and his afflictions.

    Rhan9 on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream.

    Makes Shodan and HAL look well adjusted.

    No, I won't say anything else about it.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
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    CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Condemned: Criminal Origins [Xbox 360, PC] - 2006

    IAt39820.jpg

    One of the first next-gen horror games. Awesome. It manages to be scary by way of atmosphere and by your enemies being completely insane with rage. Once in a while it mixes in supernatural elements, but they are more of the "did I really just see that?" variety. It has a lot of mindfuckery in it, especially at the end, and it's never really explained fully. It's also one of the few horror games that manage to be successfully scary in spite of your character not being a frail, normal guy. You've pretty much got the exact same capabilities as your enemies, which makes for an interesting dynamic.

    The story deals with serial killers, so there's a lot of crime scenes with appropriately fucked up victims. It also has some very Half-Life-esque cutscenes where you lose control of your character, but still see through his point of view. Great game, and the sequel is coming out next month. It looks like it's better in pretty much every way, so I'm really excited about it. I should really go make a thread.

    Cherrn on
    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
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    HaikiraHaikira UKRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Very good thread, i love my horror games;-).

    Heres one i found very interesting, and cant wait for the sequel of.

    [Edited in more info]

    Penumbra 2007
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penumbra:_Overture
    penumbraboxartyk1.jpg

    I also personally enjoyed the "The Thing" game. The game had a lot of interesting ideas, primarily the fact you didn't know if you could trust team mates.

    The Thing 2002
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(video_game)
    The_Thing.jpg

    Haikira on
    steam_sig.png
    PSN:Hakira__
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    Someone should find and link the clock tower gif.

    here's all I could find of it. none of these are real, just made from the resources available.

    part 1:
    13.gif

    part 2:
    14.gif

    some re4 animation I found made on a DS like program:
    nobulletre43wm.gif

    PikaPuff on
    jCyyTSo.png
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Huh, I didn't know The Thing was both a sequel to the Carpenter movie as well as canon.

    That's cool.

    TehSpectre on
    9u72nmv0y64e.jpg
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    I've heard The Thing was really cool (something about how you had a limited amount of testing kits you could use to test your teammates, or you could test yourself in front of them to show you weren't infected and gain their confidence), but I heard that certain team members "Thing out" at certain points of the game no matter what, so you could test a guy and he'd come out clean, and then walk through a door and he'd mutate and try to eat your face.

    I still want to pick it up though. I've been on the lookout for a while, but the only copy I've seen recently in any nearby game stores was a PS2 copy that was beat to shit.

    Einhander on
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    CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The Thing had an awesome opening sequence, but it pretty much turned into Boring Shooter Mark 23674 after that. The testing thing doesn't make any sense, 'cause after you reach a certain invisible wall, your companion will turn into a monster no matter what, as you said. It just not a very fun game, and it doesn't get what what the movie is about at all. The interesting ideas, and there are a few, are never utilized properly. It's a shitty game. Avoid.

    Cherrn on
    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
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    ginguskahnginguskahn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Nice thread, needs F.E.A.R and Cold Fear added tho...

    ginguskahn on
    ginguskahn360.png
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    CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ginguskahn wrote: »
    Cold Fear

    Did anyone in the entire world even play this? I don't think I've heard anyone comment on it, ever.

    Cherrn on
    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    Cherrn wrote: »
    ginguskahn wrote: »
    Cold Fear

    Did anyone in the entire world even play this? I don't think I've heard anyone comment on it, ever.

    I think it came out like twenty minutes after RE4 did, so it's not surprising. It got pretty decent reviews, though. General concensus was that it was pretty much "Resident Evil 4 on a boat".

    Einhander on
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    Grammaton ClericGrammaton Cleric Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    "Will no one give my trip to Silent Hill the love it deserves?"
    silent_hill3_08.jpg

    As much as I absolutely love Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3 bests it in my eyes. SH3 has a great direct link to SH1, facial animation that is still incredible, lots of unlockable skins if you're into that kind of thing (I am), and the most intense "otherworld" in the series.

    Plus:
    Generally in the series; the main character will hear the alarm and "wake up" in the "otherworld". There is a scene in SH3 in a bathroom where you actually see the otherworld breakthrough into Heather's reality. The walls spider-vein, the walls fade to red and rust, and the room pulses with the coming evil. It's an awesome, awesome effect.

    Grammaton Cleric on
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    The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    bioshock1.jpg

    The only image I could find.

    The_Scarab on
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    PhonehandPhonehand Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    "Will no one give my trip to Silent Hill the love it deserves?"
    silent_hill3_08.jpg

    As much as I absolutely love Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3 bests it in my eyes. SH3 has a great direct link to SH1, facial animation that is still incredible, lots of unlockable skins if you're into that kind of thing (I am), and the most intense "otherworld" in the series.

    Plus:
    Generally in the series; the main character will hear the alarm and "wake up" in the "otherworld". There is a scene in SH3 in a bathroom where you actually see the otherworld breakthrough into Heather's reality. The walls spider-vein, the walls fade to red and rust, and the room pulses with the coming evil. It's an awesome, awesome effect.

    Still my favorite game ever. One of the most visually stunning games to date.

    Phonehand on
    pmdunk.jpg
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm still trying to track down copies of Silent Hill 3 and 4. I've yet to play them.

    Ever since the movie was released, it's been almost impossible to find copies of any of the Silent Hill series.

    Einhander on
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    Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Funny this thread should come up, because me and a friend are working on a Lets Play of System Shock 2 COOP

    Just having trouble with the COOP bit, game doesn't want to connect

    Metal Gear Solid 2 Demo on
    SteamID- Enders || SC2 ID - BurningCrome.721 || Blogging - Laputan Machine
    1385396-1.png
    Orikae! |RS| : why is everyone yelling 'enders is dead go'
    When I say pop it that means pop it
    heavy.gif
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    ginguskahnginguskahn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    Cherrn wrote: »
    ginguskahn wrote: »
    Cold Fear

    Did anyone in the entire world even play this? I don't think I've heard anyone comment on it, ever.

    I think it came out like twenty minutes after RE4 did, so it's not surprising. It got pretty decent reviews, though. General concensus was that it was pretty much "Resident Evil 4 on a boat".

    Yeah, I've not played it actually I just really want to. But its not Back Compat on the 360 and I loaned my Xbox out to a friend :( I Just finished RE2 on the cube, now on Nemisis, then I might do Remake and Code Veronica.

    ginguskahn on
    ginguskahn360.png
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    RizziRizzi Sydney, Australia.Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Rizzi on
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    It's my understanding that the RE ports (2/3/CV) on the cube are fairly rare. I've got a copy of the Cube version of RE2 that I picked up complete for $5 (I don't own a GameCube), but it's supposed to be pretty much a straight port of the PS1 version with cleaner models, unlike the N64 or Dreamcast ports which both had something added. The N64 version isn't worth it since there was a bunch of content removed, and the only thing added (the EX Files) can be read online.

    My ultimate goal is to get ahold of the Dreamcast version sometime, since it had all of the extras from RE2:Platinum on the PC, and is supposed to have the cleanest looking graphics as well. My PS1 copy is on loan right now, so I'm RE2-less for the time being.

    Einhander on
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    EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    D is a fucking terrible game.

    In my shelf of Saturn games my copy of D sits in between Shellshock and WWF: In Your House. It's like the hat trick of terrible games.

    Einhander on
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    RizziRizzi Sydney, Australia.Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I never said it was a good game. But like it or not, it's part of the history of horror gaming.

    Rizzi on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    It's my understanding that the RE ports (2/3/CV) on the cube are fairly rare. I've got a copy of the Cube version of RE2 that I picked up complete for $5 (I don't own a GameCube), but it's supposed to be pretty much a straight port of the PS1 version with cleaner models, unlike the N64 or Dreamcast ports which both had something added. The N64 version isn't worth it since there was a bunch of content removed, and the only thing added (the EX Files) can be read online.

    My ultimate goal is to get ahold of the Dreamcast version sometime, since it had all of the extras from RE2:Platinum on the PC, and is supposed to have the cleanest looking graphics as well. My PS1 copy is on loan right now, so I'm RE2-less for the time being.

    There is not a ton of content removed from RE2. In fact very little was taken out and there are more exclusives than just the EX Files. For one thing, it has bar none the best controls. It also has random item mode, gore control, blood coloring and a few minor things. The only thing really cut was one minor FMV where they replaced Ada for Claire.

    The Dreamcast version is still overall the best. I'd say graphically the GCN and Dreamcast are the best. GCN version sounds the best, N64 controls the best. N64 also loads the fastest. :P

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
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