%% Lines that are commented out like this are Zero-Context Examples.
%% They do not adequately explain why and how they are examples.
%% Do not un-comment them unless you can give context.

[[caption-width-right:350:Sanity will be in [[SanitySlippage short supply]]]]

->''Now, at my end, I can fully see. My last case opened in me a fear, a real fear. A fear of myself; of what I am, and what I've always been. All that I was is now lost. Hope? Purpose? Pleasure? All meaningless. I now walk in the shadows between worlds, and it is there that I have finally glimpsed what lives in the dark corners of the earth...''

''Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth'' is a horror/adventure video game based on the Franchise/CthulhuMythos, specifically ''Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth'' and ''Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime''. It is the last title developed by the now-defunct Headfirst Productions, and was published by Bethesda Softworks in the year 2005.

Players take on the role of Jack Walters, a police detective with a reputation for seemingly impossible insight into difficult cases, in 1920's Massachusetts. At the start of the game, the Boston Police Department has arrived at an old manor at the edge of the city to investigate alleged crimes of a resident cult called the Brotherhood of Yith. The cult is armed with rifles, and refuses to allow the police into the manor. They demand that Jack Walters be sent in to speak with them.

Walters arrives, but a shootout occurs anyway. Taking cover, Walters accidentally locks himself inside the manor. What he finds inside is [[GoMadFromTheRevelation quite disturbing.]] Skip ahead a few years, and Walters has lost his memory of what exactly happened inside, and the events afterwards. It turns out that whatever happened inside the manor gave him a SplitPersonality, and his new identity had taken over his body for half a decade, resulting in him getting incarcerated in Arkham sanatorium. Though he is eventually declared sane and released, Walters is obviously no longer fit to be in the police force, and is now trying to make a living as a private investigator, actually investigating what he did himself during his period of amnesia between cases for other clients.

His latest job, after business has slumped somewhat, is to find a missing grocer in the town of Innsmouth.

It turns out that the missing person case and his amnesia are connected, and he ends up on a batshit-insane quest to both rescue the grocer from creepy cultists and discover what happened to him at the Brotherhood of Yith.

Except for a few seconds at the start of the game, the entire experience takes place in first-person, from the viewpoint of Jack Walters. There is also no {{HUD}} at all, nor are any icons or prompts overlaid onto the MainWindow at any time. Walters's health, and mental state, can be measured by the blurriness of his vision, whether or not he is limping, the shallowness of his breathing, the blood on his eyelids, and so forth. Objects that can be interacted with (usually) glow softly.

Sadly the game's engine has not aged well. There are a lot of compatibility issues which were only compounded by the studio going bankrupt shortly after release meaning there's no official bug fix patches, though a couple of dedicated fans have tried their hands at some. Still ''Dark Corners of the Earth'' is considered by some critics to be an excellent, if not ''the best'', SurvivalHorror video game at the time of release.

Not to be confused with the tabletop game ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''. Now available for 9.99 USD on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}, so no need to KeepCirculatingTheTapes.

!!This video game provides examples of:

* HundredPercentCompletion: Gathering all collectible intel items as well as performing all optional actions is required to get the extended ending that actually explains what the hell was going on with Jack the whole time. That's just ''one'' requirement, though. You also need to score an "A" rank in the game by finishing quickly, not using too many saves, and overall playing exceptionally well. Or you can just watch it on Youtube. There is an unofficial fan-made patch [[http://sucklead.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/DCoTEPatch.zip here]] that removes some of the limitations, so one can actually take time to enjoy the game and still get the best ending.
* ActionBasedMission: Contrasting with the usually intended stealth gameplay, Jack is forced to fight during sequences like the warship level or some portions of the last level, which both involve to move through hordes of Deep Ones.
* AdaptationalBadass: In the source material, ''Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth'', the main character was a college student who visited Innsmouth on a whim. He was chased out of town in much the same manner as Jack before passing out from horror upon seeing a Deep One in person. He still brought death to the Deep Ones and dismantled the Marsh family's empire, but only by virtue of telling the authorities who then did all the real work. Compare that to Jack, who is MUCH more hands on.
* AdaptationalHeroism: Downplayed with Obed Marsh. In the original story Obed was implied to have been a CardCarryingVillain who summoned the Deep Ones to Innsmouth purely out of {{Greed}} and who was willing to give them whatever they wanted in exchange for their gold. His journals in the game make him out to be more of a WellIntentionedExtremist, who only summoned the Deep Ones in order to save his dying city and then had to keep working with them because breaking the deal meant they would slaughter his people. His descendants are still just as evil as they ever were, though.
* TheAlcoholic: Zadok Allen reprises his role from the short story as the town drunk of Innsmouth who, for a gift of some liquor, tells the protagonist about the town's history. Needless to say, he has his reasons for being drunk all the time.
* AllThereInTheManual: You will have a much easier time understanding the plot, if you've read Creator/HPLovecraft's "Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth" and "Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime". Then again, the sense of waking horror and discovery is far stronger for those who are less Lovecraft savvy. It works well on both levels.
* AlwaysABiggerFish: The cultists, and possibly Dagon and Mother Hydra too, are scared of what lurks in the tunnels beneath the underwater temple, namely [[spoiler: The Flying Polyps]]
* AnyoneCanDie: Once the action kicks in. [[spoiler:Not only can anyone die, everyone ''does'' die, except for a few of your FBI buddies.]]
* ApocalypticLog: [[spoiler:A number of lore entries are written from the perspective of people who are about to die. Also, the events of the game itself are this: the last recollections of Jack Walters explaining why he killed himself in the asylum.]]
%% * ArtificialAtmosphericActions
* ArtificialStupidity: You can shoot {{Mooks}} with a shotgun and their friends across the street won't even notice. Indeed, at times you can shoot the {{Mooks}} themselves and if they do not see Jack they will ignore that they have been shot and carry on with whatever they were doing.
* AttackOfTheMonsterAppendage: During your first trip in the sewers you can get a quick glance of the [[spoiler: Shoggoth's tentacles]] coming out of a well. [[spoiler: You'll get to see him more closely later in the Refinery level.]]
* BadassCrew: Literally, the sailors of the Coast Guard Cutter ''Urania.'' They are all well-armed and when Deep Ones attack the ship the sailors may end up killing more of them than you do. [[spoiler: They get overwhelmed eventually, and then all die when the ship sinks.]]
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible:
** The Innsmouth townspeople, under orders from the Order of Dagon.
** Averted with Zadok and Rebecca. Though they advise you to leave as quickly as you can, they let you in on a bit of information regarding the town.
* BedlamHouse: The creepy asylum Jack spent the years from 1916 to 1922 in. Most of it seems to be Jack's own hallucinations, but it's implied the asylum itself wasn't too wonderful either.
* BeingWatched: The player may notice those things on the roofs are ''not'' gargoyles.
* {{BFG}}:
** The naval destroyer's guns that serve to [[spoiler: put down Father Dagon and his priests]].
** Also, an [[spoiler: [[RagnarokProofing aeons-old]] electrical gun with an inexhaustible power source, courtesy of The Great Race of Yith. It's the only thing that can harm Flying Polyps, and clever use of it kills Mother Hydra]].
* BigBadDuumvirate: Dagon and Hydra, who are the father and mother, respectively, of the Deep One race and their gods/monarchs.
* BigDamnHeroes: A midgame example. Just as Jack's fellow escapees are shot and their car ran off the road, Mackey's agents appear guns blazing and rescue Jack (whether this improves his situation is another story).
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Jack kills himself in the asylum, unable to cope with the terrifying truths both about the universe and himself he has discovered, but Mother Hydra has been killed, and Dagon and his order has been crippled, perhaps permanently, and ruining the Deep Ones foothold on land.]] Not quite LovecraftLite, but downright upbeat for the end of a CosmicHorrorStory.
* BodyHorror: Implied but not actually shown, aside from increasingly deformed versions of Innsmouth's populace. There's also the cultist being kept in a state of perpetual dying, with his organs removed from his body and kept functioning in the machines around him.
* BookEnds: The [[spoiler:final cutscene]] is the same as the first, only with the [[spoiler:visions of the dead little girl added and Jack dying while doctors try to save him.]]
* ButThouMust: Early on in the game, there is no way to advance the plot except by [[spoiler:unleashing a Deep One that murders a little girl, the guilt of which plagues the protagonist throughout the rest of the story]].
* {{Cap}}: An inventory cap of 10 bandages, 5 sutures, 5 splints, and 2 antivenom. Ammunition is also capped, and entries that are at the cap are shown in green.
%% * CaptainObvious: Jack, sometimes.
* CassandraTruth: Jack is a downplayed example. While the authorities do accept his help they refuse to acknowledge his full psychic abilities. A lot of BI agents, marines, and sailors end up dying because they won't listen to the man when he tells them trouble is coming.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "I'm not in the business of making requests, Mr. Walters." is one for J. Edgar Hoover.
* ChasedByAngryNatives: Jack, [[spoiler:Burnham and Ruth]] as they try to escape from Innsmouth.
* ClawingAtOwnThroat: The suicide sequence seems to imply that the player character strangles himself.
* ConspiracyKitchenSink: Or, more accurately, Lovecraftian Kitchen Sink. Most of the most famous of H.P.'s creations are featured at one point or another in this game, and even woven into one another rather cleverly.
* ContinuityLockout: Those unfamiliar with Lovecraft's work will probably find the reveal that [[spoiler:Jack is part Yith and has the body-swapping ability to go with it]] somewhat confusing.
* ControllableHelplessness: The 'interrogation' of Jack by Hoover isn't a cutscene but an actual playable sequence during which the player is tied on a bed and can only move Jack's head.
* TheCorruption: Almost ''everyone'' in Innsmouth. It's mentioned that half the population is ''really'' corrupted while the other half is just too afraid to do anything about it. So with the corrupted roaming the streets looking for you and the more normal people hiding indoors, it's more like everyone from Innsmouth ''you meet''.
%% * CrapsackWorld: The game.
* CreepyChild: Ramona, who draws pictures of destruction, death, and monsters. [[spoiler:She's half-Deep One, and she's receiving visions of horror in her dreams.]]
%% * ClimaxBoss: Dagon
* DeadlyRotaryFan: At one point, you have to flee into the sewers, but the way is blocked by a sharp fan. You have to break one of the blades to slow it down and open a passage and even then you'll get chopped (but not always killed) if you're hit.
* DevilInPlainSight: It's blatantly obvious that there is something very [[IncrediblyLamePun fishy]] about the people of Innsmouth. It's an interesting example, though, as the in-game human characters actually ''do'' notice... they just don't have any legal basis to do anything about it. [[spoiler: At first...]]
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Almost literally. [[spoiler:Knocking out Dagon with the main gun of a United States Coast Guard cutter, and electrocuting Hydra with a Yithian Lightning Cannon.]]
* DiegeticInterface: You have no {{HUD}} and no way to track your ammunition besides your inventory. You measure your health by the intensity of colors and how Jack moves or aims; colors bleed out as Jack's health gets lower and broken legs make him start limping, while a broken arm makes his aim waver. [[spoiler: The Yithian Energy Weapon also has a charge indicator, consisting of four triangular lights, which activate as you are preparing the charged shot, going from the "stock" side to the "barrel".]]
* DirtyCoward: The Urania sailor who [[spoiler: locks Jack out on the ship's deck]].
* DrivenToSuicide: Jack, if his SanityMeter gets too low. [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding And at the end of the game too]].]]
* DullSurprise: Jack always talks in the same tone of voice. Even when insanity kicks in.
* EasingIntoTheAdventure: Subverted. The first segments of the game, touring Innsmouth and trying to find out what happened to the young grocer whose disappearance you're investigating, are very lightly paced. However, crap hits the fan ''fast'' [[spoiler:when night falls and the people of Innsmouth chase Jack out of town trying to kill him.]]
* EldritchAbomination: Cthulhu. The Shoggoth, Star Spawn of Cthulhu and the Flying Polyps are smaller versions of this.
* ElectricTorture: Used during Jack's [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique 'interrogation']].
* EleventhHourSuperpower:
** The Yithian Lightning Gun. It has unlimited range, the highest damage of any gun in the game, unlimited ammo, and the ability to charge. The only downsides are the lack of iron sights and relatively slow firing rate, which can be compensated for with some practice, and finally (and obviously), it's obtained ridiculously late in the game.
** Jack's ability to [[spoiler:switch minds with a Deep One]] in order to access out-of-reach switches to [[spoiler:help kill Hydra.]]
* EnemyWithin: A particularly creepy example, as we don't know who the EnemyWithin is or what it wants until the very end.
* EnterSolutionHere:
** Concerning safes, you're prevented from using them if your character didn't see the means to learn the combination.
** For other puzzles where you need to open a door (e.g. bowing to the deity of the order), you can enter the combination directly without looking at the actual puzzle.
* EverythingFades: Killed enemies turn transparent and disappear right after their death animation plays out.
* EvilMakesYouUgly: You can easily distinguish helpful Innsmouthians from others. Hint: the fish-faced ones are bad.
* FakeDifficulty: In the form of TrialAndErrorGameplay and the restriction on saving your progress. To many this ruined an otherwise fun first person horror game.
* FBIAgent: Well, technically BI Agents as the Bureau hasn't been federalized yet, and J. Edgar Hoover himself.
* TheFettered: Jack Walters won't steal gold from [[spoiler:the Marsh family's Vault]], despite their many attempts on his life.
* FilmNoir: Add one-part CosmicHorrorStory and two parts {{Cult}}, stir well, and you've got ''Dark Corners.''
* FishPeople: The Deep Ones, and many of the citizens of Innsmouth are half this and {{Half Human|Hybrid}}.
%% * FlashbackNightmare
* {{FPS}}: Towards the end of the game, it turns more and more {{FPS}}-y.
* GameBreakingBug: The infamous [[http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1716005 cannon scope]] bug which renders targets on the reef invisible, thus making the game impossible to complete without a guide on how to blindly shoot all the targets. Made worse by the fact that the bug wasn't oficially patched, and it took months to release a fan patch that fixes the problem.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: When armed with a crowbar and a shotgun, Mr. Walters feels the compelled to use a key to open flimsy wooden doors, even after seeing both enemies and friendly [=NPCs=] bust through doors with improvised weapons and himself shooting (some) locks easily.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The penultimate boss is a pair of Flying Polyps that seem to come out of nowhere. Since his way was blocked in Y'ha-nthlei, Jack took a route through an adjacent cavern system that connected to one of the cavernous Vaults where the Yithians had locked up their old enemies. [[spoiler: Actually subverted, though. The ending cinematic reveals sending Jack to kill the Polyps was the Yithians' goal the whole time, the fight against the Deep Ones was just how they got him there.]]
* GoldenEnding: Getting 100% on your file simply nets an extended version of the standard ending. [[spoiler:Interesting in that it really isn't any more upbeat than the regular ending. Jack still kills himself in the Asylum, but this time before he does he receives his full memories first, realizing that he was basically being used by the Great Race of Yith - the entire game was actually just set up so that he could encounter and kill the Flying Polyps living in the Deep Ones' cavern.]]
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: In this mythos, this sort of thing is pretty much required. [[spoiler:Subverted in the GoldenEnding. Jack didn't go mad from the revelation. He went mad because his memories of the Yith planet began to return to him and his human brain was not physically capable of handling them.]]
* GrandTheftMe: How the hero originally ended up in an asylum. [[spoiler:The Yith swapped his brain with one of their own so that they could teach him and prepare him for his mission.]]
* GreaterScopeVillain: Cthulhu, of course. He never appears in person, but multiple scenes hint that he is involved with everything going on. One of his spawn also appears as a kind of miniboss that can only be killed with a flamethrower.
* GreenAroundTheGills: You may get this while on the navy boat, due to the [[InterfaceScrew rolling sea]]. [[spoiler: Also a feature for the Spawn of Dagon, in the literal sense.]]
* HalfHumanHybrid:
** The citizens of Innsmouth are half-Deep One.
** [[spoiler:Jack. His father was a Yith {{Body Surf}}ing in a human host. On a metaphysical level, Jack's soul is half-Yith, and it's implied the cult at the beginning make some alterations to his body to make him physically part Yith as well, which is why he can use the Lightning Gun.]]
* HardboiledDetective: Subverted. Although Jack keeps put the typical Private Eye schtick, when things get heavy, even he isn't immune to {{sanity slippage}}. But given the kind of things he has to deal with, [[GoMadFromTheRevelation this is justifiably so ]]
* HearingVoices: Happens to Jack when his sanity is low.
* HellHotel: Jack has to stay in one in Innsmouth. Goes as well as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4swZGSVwmGo&feature=PlayList&p=4BBEACE3E4B5873A&index=11 you might expect]].
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: J. Edgar Hoover, in one of his few fictional appearances with no transvestite jokes.
* HumanMomNonhumanDad:
** {{Inverted}}. Ramona's father is human and her mother is a deep one... [[{{Squick}} don't think too much about it]]!
** Played straight by [[spoiler:Jack. His father's consciousness was taken over by a Yith while his mother was normal. Ultimately, he is neither human nor Yith.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: Jack is capable of toting -- at once -- six guns, a knife, a crowbar, and a large eldritch tome, among other things, without any sort of visible container. None of it affects his move speed, although movement speed ''is'' affected by what weapon you have readied -- even if that weapon is currently holstered -- leading to realizing that you move more slowly with a put-away Thompson SMG than you do with a put-away pistol.
* IAmYourFather: [[spoiler:In his flashback to his time on the Yith's planet, Jack meets the alien who is his actual father.]]
* IdiotBall: Yes, Jack. Sleep in the hotel where [[spoiler:you found body parts in the manager's office and read his journal SPECIFICALLY SAYING HE TORTURED AND KILLED THREE PEOPLE!]] I'm sure only good things will come of that.
* ImmuneToBullets: The Bosses, as well as one of the Beloved of Cthulhu that appears briefly at the beginning of "The Esoteric Order Of Dagon". It can be killed with a conveniently placed [[KillItWithFire flamethrower]], while the bosses (such as Dagon and Hydra) usually require some unique level specific thing (like a ship's main gun or [[spoiler: the Yithian Lightning Gun]]).
* ImpendingDoomPOV: As Jack is being stalked by various monsters and gets psychic visions of them following him.
* ImprovisedWeapon: The [[CrowbarCombatant crowbar]].
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler: Averted. Poor little Ramona...]]
* InterfaceScrew: Madness will blur your vision, slow down your perception of time, make you hear things, make you deaf, make the screen go all wavy... the SanitySlippage effects alone do more to make the game scary than all the Franchise/CthulhuMythos beasties put together.
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: [[spoiler: The cult at the beginning, Jack's time in the asylum, his mission to Innsmouth... all of this was set up by the Great Race of Yith to put him in the right place at the right time so he could kill two imprisoned Flying Polyps which were about to break free. In the end, while the Yith did help him on his quest, they do not cure his psyche, instead leaving him to die in a mental institution.]]
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique - Used by J. Edgar Hoover on Jack to force him to "cooperate".
* {{Jerkass}}: Hoover; he's got a mission to clean out Innsmouth and he doesn't care how many people get hurt as long as the job gets done. Of course, you're more expendable than he is...
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:The only non-historical named characters to survive the events of the game are Agent Mackey, Jacob Marsh (who is only arrested), and Dr. Eric Hardstrom (the doctor of the asylum). Everyone else, including Jack himself, die horribly at some point]]. Attempting to kill or letting [[spoiler:Hoover]] die triggers a NonstandardGameOver.
* KrakenAndLeviathan: Not only the antagonists are Cthulhu's cultists, but the underwater beings [[spoiler: Dagon and Hydra]] are two of the bosses (the latter being the FinalBoss).
* LostSuperweapon: The Yithian lightning gun, more powerful than any other weapon on Earth, was left in a cave at the bottom of the sea for you to find.
* LovecraftCountry: Most of the game (except the Prologue in Boston) is set in and around Innsmouth.
%% * MadwomanInTheAttic: The [[spoiler: Waite's house.]]
* MercyKill:
** Some genetic experiment in the Marshes' lab asks for this, and you can give it to him with your rifle.
** Also, Hoover does this to one of his agents who had encountered the shoggoth and been half-melted by its acid.
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot: The case of a missing grocer reveals some very disturbing secrets.
* MonogenderMonsters: Averted with the Deep Ones once they finally attack in force. About half of them are clearly more feminine than the other half, though still quite ugly and monstrous.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast:
** Anyone called Marsh, and more than that, ''Waite''. Anyone who's read Lovecraft's ''Literature/TheThingOnTheDoorstep'' is going to be running twice as fast as everyone else.
** "You ever hear of a thing called a 'shoggoth?'"
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Jack investigates the door to [[spoiler: Mrs. Waite's 'room' in the attic, causing 'her' to break down the door and run downstairs to rip her little daughter to shreds. Mr. Waite eventually slits his own throat from grief the day before he's about to be hanged for being framed as his daughter's murderer. Good one, Jack.]]
* NonMammalMammaries:
** [[spoiler: Hydra, queen and "Mother" of the Deep Ones, has two pairs of breasts. Could be justified, as Deep Ones can interbreed with humans, and therefore must presumably share some genetic material.]]
** [[spoiler: Some of the standard Deep Ones appear to have them as well.]]
* OptionalStealth: As soon as you get your hands on the weapons, you can still complete some puzzles in the stealthy way, but is much easier (and satisfying) to just whip out guns and crowbar and kill all those fishmen around.
* PersonalSpaceInvader: Flesh-eating starfish like to leap out at you and stick to your face if you get too close.
* PrecisionFStrike: Upon regaining consciousness in the bottom of a factory, Jack sees the formless brown acidic mass of the dreaded shoggoth flowing into the room and pretty much taking up the entire (very large) area. His response is a whispered, quavering "Oh...''fuck''..."
* PrimalFear: It's implied Jack is afraid of heights, as looking down from a high place is one way to lose sanity.
* PsychicPowers:
** Jack is hinted to have these throughout the game, and has [[ShakyPOVCam visions]] of monsters following him. [[spoiler: It's explained that Jack's father was mind-switched with a Yithian moments before Jack was conceived, giving him a bit of the alien's mind-projection abilities. These are used at the end of the game to take control of Hydra's Deep Ones]].
** The Deep Ones priests and a few of the cultists also have powers, including Robert Marsh, who has telekinesis, telepathy, the power to shoot energy balls, and some sort of attack that resembles a [[Franchise/StarWars force push]]. Hydra also uses hers to shield Y'ha-nthlei from [[spoiler: an attacking sub]].
** When Jack's sanity is low, he will sometimes hear [[spoiler: his Yithian "father" call to him, or urge him on]]. In one instance he even directly references Jack's powers:
-->"Use your gift, Jack."
* PuzzleBoss:
** You can't directly hurt the shoggoth. It's the size of a small house, and it's a NighInvulnerable, formless, no-organs-or-weak-points blob monster made out of acid, so a pistol would be useless. Fortunately, both times you face it, it's in an area full of industrial machines that you can use to hurt it. [[spoiler:First, you have an electric prod hooked to the vat that it's in, and later you cause a natural gas explosion to put it down for good.]]
** Hydra. [[spoiler: You need to mind-control Deep Ones and use them to open water pipes in to Hydra's chamber so that you can use the Lightning Gun on them to electrocute her.]]
* ReligionOfEvil: The Esoteric Order of Dagon. They worship an EldritchAbomination who plans to wage war against the surface world.
* RespawningEnemies: In the refinery, the various workers reappear at different locations.
%% * SanitySlippage
* SanityMeter: Looking at too many scary images in the game makes Jack start to hallucinate, panic, and eventually go insane in a NonstandardGameOver or [[DrivenToSuicide commit suicide]].
* SavePoint: Areas marked with the Flaming Eye sigil allow you to save. They also drive away enemies, which will avert their eyes and run away..
* ShakyPOVCam: Jack's visions of monsters following him.
* ShootOutTheLock: You'll occasionally have to destroy padlocks in order to open doors.
* SickeningCrunch: If you walk around with a broken leg, a sickening ''crack'' is heard with every step.
%% * SplitPersonality
%% ** SplitPersonalityTakeover
* SoundtrackDissonance: The music in the opening [[spoiler:and ending]] is an upbeat, swinging tune... played in an insane asylum while a man tries to hang himself.
* StandardFPSGuns
** The Knife: A bowie knife and a crowbar.
** The Pistol: An [=M1911=] semi automatic.
** The Revolver: An M1917 Revolver.
** The Shotgun: A double barrel shotgun.
** The Marksmans Gun / The Sniper Rifle: A Springfield bolt action rifle.
** The Automatic Gun: A Tommy Gun with a drum magazine .
** [[spoiler: The Lightning Gun / {{BFG}}: The Yithian Lightning Cannon]].
* StealthBasedMission: The Attack Of The Fishmen and Jailbreak chapters, since Jack is unarmed and [[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou everyone in town is trying to kill you]].
* SteamVentObstacle: Several. They are damaging and can cause interface screw if they are releasing toxic gas; they are part of a puzzle in one location where they need to be turned on in the correct order.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: Sure, take a nap in Innsmouth's hotel, which is managed by a man who you know butchered at least one previous customer, and who you can hear plotting to murder you immediately before and after you check in. [[TemptingFate What could possibly go wrong?]] At least Jack has enough sense to make damn sure he's bolted the door and blocked the doors to adjacent rooms before nodding off.
* SuperDrowningSkills: {{Justified|Trope}}, as all the deep waters in the game are cold (the game occurred in winter on the [[LovecraftCountry New England]] coast) and stormy seas.
%% * SurvivalHorror: Waste too many bullets or medical supplies and you will regret it.
* TacticalSuicideBoss: Dagon has the greatest chance of inflicting damage to Jack when he attacks from the side of the ship. He can only be attacked himself when he comes up over the bow, putting him directly in the firing line of the main gun. Dagon's decision to attack from the bow is mostly random, but has a report that it can be manipulated by being in the right location.
* TapOnTheHead: Jack seems to be particularly susceptible to getting knocked out and - of course - losing all his weapons in the process.
* TitleDrop: "I now walk in the shadow between worlds... and it is there I have finally glimpsed upon what lives in the dark corners of the earth."
* TooDumbToLive:
** Half of the marines assigned to help you infiltrate the Esoteric Order of Dagon die because they stopped to beat up a group of cowering hostiles, while on ''breaking ice.''
** [[spoiler: When the waves start hitting the Urania, Officer Winter calls out for the crew to take cover. The player is the only other person to do so; everyone else on deck is killed. What's more, more crewmen will occasionally spawn and run out to the deck only to die.]]
** [[spoiler: The last crewman you see alive on the Urania locks you out on the deck and welds the door shut. You, the one who's fought through countless Deep Ones and the only one with weapons, and while a Deep One approaches from behind.]]
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth: [[spoiler: At one point you must recover a hammer from a room containing a Beloved that won't let you in alive. You have to put a special blue flower in its food bucket in order to kill it and access the room.]]
* TownWithADarkSecret: The UrExample, Innsmouth, especially thanks to the aforementioned corruption.
* UnexpectedShmupLevel: Of a sort. You begin your escape from Innsmouth with Burnham driving a pickup while you hang on in the back and shoot at cultists.
* TheUnfought: Cthulhu. You do ''hear'' his [[TitleDrop calls]], though, and it's easily one of the creepiest moments in the game.
* TheUnseen: Esther Marsh. On top of being one of the vicious Marsh siblings and part-Deep One, she's a MadScientist, and you do at least get to see some of her handiwork in the form of mutated plants...and an incapacitated Deep One in agony and begging you for death.
* UnusableEnemyEquipment: Enemies drop neither ammunition nor weaponry, not even when it would be ''really'' helpful, such as taking a weapon when you have nothing but a crowbar, or [[spoiler: maybe taking Sebastian Marsh's revolver in the battle against Robert Marsh.]]
* UnwinnableByDesign: A few times near the end, which is especially unpredictable since in most of the game it's impossible to do a mistake during the riddles. But it isn't as frustrating as it seems, because at these moments it is impossible to reach a savepoint.
** [[spoiler:On the ship, restarting the engine requires you to find a blowtorch, turn a specific wheel, fix a pipe with the blowtorch, then turn another specific wheel. [[NonstandardGameOver Not turning the right wheel will cause the boat to explode and kill the player]].]]
** [[spoiler:On the Devil's Reef, a door near of the exit of the level must be reached within a timer. To launch it, you have to put a jewel in a mechanism, run to the other door and put a red crystal in the opened claw in front of the door; when timer expires, the claws close; if the red crystal is put in the claws the door opens, if not nothing happens. The first difficulty is that the timer can only be triggered one time. The second is that near the launching mechanism there is claws like the ones you have to reach; the ones near the launching mechanism hold a green crystal and opens too when you put the jewel in the timer's mechanism. The green crystal can be picked up by the player but if it isn't in the claws when the timer expires the door won't open.]]
* UnwinnableByMistake:
** The final timed escaped sequence is almost impossible to complete on the PC version without using a trainer, as a programming oversight results in your movement speed being slower on the PC version. This is actually a bug related to the screen resolution you are using. The higher your resolution is set to, the slower Jack moves. If you have a large monitor and try putting the game to something like 1400x900 so the screen is not stretched and blurry, you will move about as fast as chilled honey. This is fixable though, if you choose something like 800x600. The bug is claimed to be fixed in the UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} version, although some users [[http://steamcommunity.com/app/22340/discussions/0/620703493318662270/ experienced the issue]].
** A rather infamous glitch exists in the PC version where during the [[spoiler: attack on the Coast Guard cutter]], some mages that you have to shoot with a cannon and the reef they stand are invisible. (They do generate, but the game doesn't render that far out.) There is no real indication as to why this occurs and it only occurs on some copies of the PC game. Unfortunately, the only way around it is to download the save game file of a person who does not have this glitch, or use a trainer program. The bug does exist in the Steam version.
* VocalDissonance: Jack's narrations are always delivered in the same FilmNoir inspired monotone no matter what else if going on around him. This can get especially weird if he happens to be in the middle of a massive psychotic breakdown and otherwise sobbing and muttering incoherently to himself.
* WalkItOff / HealThyself: Both, at once. Various parts of Jack's body can be injured and can be treated with medical supplies. He will slowly heal over time but it's not safe to try this if you're in the middle of a firefight.
* WolverinePublicity: Cthulhu himself does not appear in the game, despite it being called ''Call of Cthulhu''. Several statues of him are featured, he is referenced numerous times, and one of his "chosen" is even fought, but Cthulhu himself is never seen in the flesh. Some thought that it made it [[NothingIsScarier scarier]] and gave the lesser known Great Old Ones Dagon and Hydra some recognition, while others were very disappointed that he wasn't in the game. Of course, if Cthulhu deigned to show his big noodly face anywhere in the game, there wouldn't really be much of a game, as Jack's options would be ''INSTANT DEATH'' or ''GIBBERING INSANITY, FOLLOWED BY DEATH''.
** Even ''looking'' at a certain statue of Cthulhu will drain your sanity, though. So it's possible that Cthulhu does make a cameo of sorts.
* WrittenByTheWinners This trope is directly acknowledged in the obtainable Letter from [[spoiler: Sebastian Marsh.]]