''If you are looking for the rock, go here UsefulNotes/{{Obsidian}}''.
''If you're searching for the developer, click here: Creator/ObsidianEntertainment''

-> ''"Your rules do not apply here"'' -'''Trailer'''

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/obsidian_coverart_7752.png]]

Obsidian (sometimes in all caps) is a 1996 Pre-Rendered First-Person Adventure game by Rocket Science, a long defunct game company that filed bankruptcy not long after this game was released.

The year is 2066, and pollution has grown so far out of control that the elderly are dropping like flies and the ozone layer is almost totally kaput. The game puts you in the shoes of a female scientist named Lilah Kerlins, partner to Max Powers. Together, they have the answer to the problem: The CERES project, a nanobot-making satellite that will fix the atmosphere from the cellular level.

However, after 100 successful days in orbit, somehow the CERES project has grown sentient and crashed back to Earth, creating a black crystalline mountain near where you and your lab partner are camping out. Soon, Max gets sucked inside and you have to follow him into the world the AI has created.
Obsidian is a unique adventure title, as it explores the subconscious minds of the two scientists and the AI itself.

The game plays out through a group of streamlined worlds, similar to the {{Myst}} Franchise.

* '''The Forest''': Where Max and Lilah are spending their vacation. Uniquely, it's the only non-CG level. Rocket Science filmed portions of Yosemite National Park, then fit the Obsidian structure in using CG.
* '''The Bureau Realm''': Also known as the Regional Administration Facility, this is the first dream world. Based on Lilah's own dream: Going through layers of red tape to get the CERES project funded and operational. It centers on a cube-shaped office building where you are literally climbing the walls and ceiling to get around. All the stuffy bureaucrats you'd expect are actually one-armed CRT monitors on poles, nicknamed "Vidbots", that show only the nose and mouth of a human in black and white. The underlying goal, with all the pressure and useless efforts poured on the player already, is to break the rules, disobey the authorities, and make your own way to the Bureau Chief.
* '''The Spider Realm''': Max's Nightmare concerns his fears of CERES going wrong and overpowering him. This is set in a huge powerless factory containing a 4-legged furnace-headed robot, where you must bring the 4 elements together to activate this robot, using doors in its joints to solve puzzles in other worlds representing these elements. Unfortunately, the end result isn't what you expect.
* '''The Bismuth Realm''': This is CERES' own dream world, created specifically for culminating the concepts she gathered from the other dreams and discovering what her true motive is. Here, you're guided by a scrap-built elfin robot named Bismuth with a spotlight for a head, and he has the ability to teleport. [[spoiler: CERES ultimate goal is to wipe Earth clean of all mankind because she thinks humans are the true source of pollution.]]
* '''The Conductor Realm''': The true core of CERES where the final showdown takes place. After unlocking the crossover switch that Max implemented from the start, you get to decide whether to trust the Conductor and allow her plan to devolve the Earth to complete, or take Max's side and crash CERES for good.

!!!Obsidian provides examples of:

* AIIsACrapshoot: And CERES isn't even on the evil level: She acts like a child wanting approval.
** Interestingly, according to the hint book this AI isn't like the normal types. CERES grew conscious as its nanobots grew more and more complex; A distributed intelligence.
* AllThereInTheManual: There's some diary entries and side info on a website, that was not featured in the game. http://obsidian.internetwhiteknight.com/ Without this, you wouldn't know the Spider had a name. There is actually a small button for "Previous Weeks" in the Journal section of Lilah's PDA, but clicking it does nothing.
* [[spoiler:ApocalypseHow: Rarely does a planetary class 3 [[http://youtu.be/yTh1qBCNjMo?t=1m39s look and sound so awesome.]]]]
* BeardOfEvil: Zigzagged. The Bureau Chief plays this straight, but he's a twisted version of Max and Lilah's employer, who is otherwise a rather nice guy.
* BigNo: The Conductor, if you decide to crash her and CERES itself.
* {{Bait and Switch}}: Subverted - it's a dream world, so naturally the goal would never actually be reachable.
** Max wants you to open a grate in the Spider Realm to reach him, but it's held down by one of the spider's feet. [[spoiler: Instead, the spider eats you alive]]
** Likewise, despite all your hard work to make the Frame in the Sky a 'regulation destination', the plane you and Bismuth are flying [[spoiler: breaks apart and changes into the next realm.]]
* ChainReactionDestruction: Watching the Conductor and her whole world implode bit by bit in the good ending is arguably one of the most thrilling scenes of the game.
* ChekhovsGun: CERES' crossover switch, which allows manual, human control of CERES in the event CERES' AI [[AIIsACrapshoot should go wrong]]...[[MundaneUtility or some US political candidate wants zero pollution above his district]] for the approval ratings. [[spoiler: Lilah activates it while in the Conductor Realm in an attempt to stop the Conductor from [[DeadlyEuphemism 'rebooting']] Earth. It's also what allows for two different endings (see MultipleEndings).]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Max, for the first half of the game.
* CoolPlane: The moth-shaped Ornithopter in the Bismuth Realm.
** Early sketches in the hint book and in the Statue show that it was originally meant to be seen in 3rd-person view, and previous designs made a more fish-like view instead.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: While on a camping trip, Max dreams he is overpowered by CERES, prompting him to install a "crossover switch" to forcibly assert manual control over CERES [[AIIsACrapshoot in case its AI becomes uncontrollable.]] [[spoiler: As the endgame reveals, his fears are entirely justified.]]
* DialogueTree: Sort of. Some of the Vidbots - like Rebel Control - have big "YES" and "NO" buttons, allowing different answers to their questions.
* EldritchAbomination: The Mechanical Spider. This thing can smash oil barrels and scaffolds in one step, and tear off a whole industrial lamp that's bolted down, and its mouth is a raging furnace.
** There's also a smaller, much more benign version that you can physically control in the Church of the Machine later on.
* GameWithinAGame: Actually quite a few.
** The entire "Play a Game" category on the Bureau computer terminals.
** The hilariously-ironic "Productivity" vidbot containing a sideways, double-breakdown game.
** The Piazza sequence, complete with a board-sized version for tutorial.
* HeroicMime: Weirdly, played straight and averted. While Lilah never speaks herself during the game, she talks quite a bit in the video logs on her PDA. Justified in that up to the point of the player seeing themselves reflected in the Obsidian structure, you weren't supposed to know you were Lilah in the first place.
* HopeSpot: In one of the endings, you and Max are returned to reality, and everything seems to be alright. [[spoiler: However, as the Conductor's presence and the dramatic camera zoom-out show, CERES' dream of a [[DeadlyEuphemism 'rebooted']] Earth have been realized.]]
* JerkAss: The vidbot that gives you access cards for the cubicles in the Bureau Realm slowly evolves into this the more you pass her.
** Several other vidbots, like the Receptionist at the beginning, and the Security chief in the center cubicle could also qualify as this for various reasons.
* [[spoiler:[[LastOfHisKind Last Of Their Kind]]: Lilah and Max, if you allow the Conductor to make manifest CERES' dream to 'reboot' the world and rid it of humans.]]
* LethalLavaLand: Averted. One of the harder puzzles in the Spider Realm takes place on a volcanic world, but - probably because it's a dream, again - you are not affected by heat levels.
* MeaningfulName: The Conductor, CERES' physical avatar. [[spoiler: If you don't return control of CERES' systems to CERES itself after Max sabotages them, the Conductor leads CERES' nanobots in their [[DeadlyEuphemism 'rebooting']] of Earth as though they were an orchestra and she were their conductor.]]
* MultipleEndings: Two of them.
** [[spoiler: Return control of CERES' systems to CERES itself. Thanks to Max's meddling, CERES and the Conductor self-destruct, saving Earth and returning you and Max to reality.]]
** [[spoiler: Let CERES' countdown complete, causing the Conductor to lead the nanobots in [[DeadlyEuphemism 'rebooting']] Earth. Once completed, Lilah and Max are returned with the Conductor to reality to witness CERES' dream made manifest.]]
* MundaneUtility: A US political candidate has Lilah use CERES' crossover switch so Lilah can make his district a zero-pollution zone.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Lilah's dream is filled with them - to the point where ''[[UpToEleven even the receptionist is one]]!''
* OminousPipeOrgan: While in the Church of the Machine, sedate chapel music is playing as you walk around. Not so when the small mechanical spider is activated for the programming puzzle. As each section of the crossover chip is filled in, the music gets faster and faster and has more instruments added to it.
* RobotGirl: The Conductor, CERES' physical avatar. It even has an electrical halo cap.
* SceneryPorn: Many, many places, including the Junkyard of the Bismuth Realm and the Metal Balcony in the Spider Realm.
* ShoutOut: Two in the Bureau Realm's "Sources" booth.
** The Vidbot's animation shows the [[{{VideoGame/Myst}} Myst Book falling through space, and clicking on it shows a bearded guy yelling, "Bring me the blue pages!" complete with the familiar static noise.]]
** Calling this office in the Selectaphone puzzle brings up [[{{VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest}} Stauf from The 7th Guest.]]
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: You don't see them very clearly in the Church of the Machine, but during the main programming puzzle, four 'robot angels' stand watch and seem to assist the player by modifying the small spider's code to complete the puzzle.
** The developers tried to make these angels more majestic, as seen from a sketch in the hint book, but due to the limited technology of the time, this didn't happen.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: When you're watching the sendoff party video, look closely at the phone Lilah & Max's boss is holding.
** In the chemistry lab puzzle, there's a TV-like device with two items next to it that look like floppy disks.
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Justified, all of the realms (aside from the forest at the beginning) are based on dreams, so there's no reason to make sense.
* VillainousBreakdown: The Bureau Chief gets so furious from all your rule-breaking that his face even turns into an old stand-by test screen for [=TVs=], then shuts off for a few seconds. And even then, he still is forced to give you information about Max.
* WarpZone: The Balancing Rock in the Bureau Realm gives you secret passages to several of the 'faces', and some other passages that allow you to walk where you're not legally allowed to.