[[quoteright:252:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Phantasmagoria_Coverart_1790.png]]

->''"Women were swooning in the aisles at the gory realism of his spectacles. For the uninitiated, Carno's shows are not for the faint of heart as they feature occult images, the black arts, torture devices, bodily amputations; of course, all accompanied by a generous dose of screams, shrieks, howls--and frightening organ music. Those of you up to thrills and chills won't want to miss this!"''
-->-- Review (in-universe) of Carno's Phantasmagoria Show

''Phantasmagoria'' is a 1995 horror-themed adventure game developed by Creator/{{Sierra}} and written by Roberta Williams, better known for the ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' and ''VideoGame/LauraBow'' series. Made at the height of the FullMotionVideo boom in gaming, the game utilizes bluescreen technology to combine real actors with computer-rendered backgrounds. To this day Roberta claims this to be her best work, and it shows, given the long development period.

The story, which borrows quite heavily from ''Film/TheShining'' as well as the works of EdgarAllanPoe, is as follows: Famous writer Adrienne Delaney and her photographer husband Don Gordon move into a large, fancy mansion, built and previously owned by an eccentric magician by the name of Zoltan "Carno" Carnovasch. While snooping around her new home, Adrienne discovers a mysterious box in a sealed-off chamber in Carno's study and, to make a short story even shorter, [[CuriosityIsACrapshoot unwittingly unleashes]] [[SealedEvilInACan something mysterious and ominous]] that later [[DemonicPossession turns out to be a demon.]]

Not too long after the event, Adrienne's normally amiable husband starts acting uncharasteristically irritable and irrational, growing increasingly violent and picking up new [[TheAlcoholic bad habits]]. Over the course of seven days, extensive research and some very vivid paranormal visions lead Adrienne to uncover the mansion's dark history and the gruesome truth behind the suspicious deaths of Carno and his numerous wives.

While ''Phantasmagoria'' suffers from many of the problems common to FMV games, mainly less-than-stellar acting and somewhat limited gameplay, it is widely regarded as one of the better games to come out of the fad. Unlike oh so many other FMV titles, it actually manages to feel like a game you play instead of a half-arsed interactive movie, and the story, while not the most original piece of fiction, is well-constructed. Nevertheless, it became a hot seller and ended up becoming the best selling Sierra game of all time.

An InNameOnly sequel, ''[[VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria 2}} Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh]]'', was released in 1996. Aside from the full motion video and gruesome death scenes, the games have little in common in terms of setting and atmosphere, and the storylines have only a very loose connection.
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!!This game provides examples of:

* AndCallHimGeorge: Cyrus accidentally kills Adrienne's beloved cat Spazz. At least, that's what she believes, given that she saw Cyrus messing with him before. It's entirely possible that Don [[KickTheDog Kicked the Dog]] and did the kitty in, himself.
* AxeCrazy: A natural result of the demonic possession.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Adrienne successfully defeats Carno and lifts the curse, but Don had to be killed in order to do so. She's also left in a near-catatonic state, no doubt emotionally scarred for life. Though as seen in the sequel, she does eventually get her book published.]]
* TheBluebeard: Carno, as a result of a demonic possession.
* BloodMagic: Adrienne needs to spill some drops of her blood on Carno's talisman to enact the ritual to exorcise the Demon.
* ChekhovsGun: The snowman ornament. [[spoiler:Though not quite to the extent one might expect; it's not enough to snap Don out of his possessed state for real, only to buy Adrienne enough time to do him in.]]
** Don asks Adrienne early on for some drain cleaner to help with his darkroom project; she buys him some the next day and it's never spoken of again. [[spoiler:She uses it later on the fully-possessed Don to '''burn the hell out of his face''' and save her own skin.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Adrienne mentions early that she took Latin classes in college, [[spoiler:which lets her read Carno's spellbook to send the demon back whence it came.]]
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: Adrienne learns the hard way that walled-off rooms in old creepy mansions with dark pasts are usually walled-off for a good reason. [[spoiler: By the end, she's the only one left in the house, not counting the adjacent town.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: Yes, this game was created by the designer of ''Franchise/KingsQuest'' and ''VideoGame/MixedUpMotherGoose''.
* DeathByIrony: How Carno murders each of his wives.
* DemonicPossession: Don and Carno.
* DrugsAreBad: After Don becomes possessed but before Adrienne has discovered this, she finds out that a bottle of absinthe in the foyer's wet bar is starting to decrease in amount day by day; likewise, Carno's cigarette holder is suddenly missing one. This ''could'' also count as MistakenForJunkie, but Adrienne never calls him on any possible drinking or drug problems.
** The disappearance of Carno's cigarettes are a particularly confusing example of this, if it was meant to be an example at all. Don is clearly shown smoking at breakfast before he gets possessed.
* DumbMuscle: Harriet's dimwitted but strong son, Cyrus.
* EyeScream: Carno kills Victoria by [[spoiler:smashing her face eye-first onto a wine bottle.]]
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[spoiler:There is no way to save Don; you ''must'' kill him to finish the game. Given the multiple paths in the final level players assumed for a long time there was some way to save him for a better ending- even calling Sierra only to be told the DownerEnding is the only ending.]]
* ForceFeeding: Regina's death. [[NauseaFuel Eww]].
** Arguably Hortencia's death [[spoiler:if you count having trowelfuls of dirt being shoveled into your mouth as "feeding".]]
* ForeShadowing: Adrienne's nightmare in the opening, the fortune teller fortunes, and Harriet's tarot card session.
** You also get scrambled warnings [[spoiler:presumably from the ghosts of Carno and/or his wives]] if you check your laptop each chapter [[spoiler:until Don destroys it.]]
* FortuneTeller: There is a mechanical fortune teller in the entrance hall, Adrienne may receive one fortune each chapter all with a case of ForeShadowing.
* {{Gorn}}: One of Phantasmagoria's main selling points, and a cause of controversy back when it was first released. It's up there with the ''VideoGame/{{Manhunter}}'' series as one of Sierra's most goriest games ever.
* HappilyMarried: We get one whole chapter of Don and Adrienne acting like a perfectly average couple before everything goes to hell.
* HarmfulToMinors: As a child, Malcolm was the sole witness to the deaths of Carno, Marie, and Gaston.
* HauntedHouse: The Carnovasch Estate, where most of the game is set.
* HeManWomanHater: The demon essentially transforms the men it possesses into misogynistic, abusive husbands.
* HeroicBSOD: Adrienne in the ending, so very hard.
** ThousandYardStare
* HintSystem: The Hintkeeper.
* HolyBurnsEvil: A blessed object is required in the final ritual. This can either be a titanium crucifix or a set of rosary beads, depending on your actions.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: Adrienne's final encounter with Don after the chase scene.
* ImAHumanitarian: Sort of. Early on in the game, Adrienne has an option to help herself to a drink from one of the wine casks in the cellar. [[spoiler:In a later chapter, a vision implies that Victoria's body was stashed in said cask.]]
** [[spoiler: Regina's death could also apply. We don't ''know'' that Carno was feeding her meat in sauces...]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:Carno and Don.]]
* InfantImmortality: Averted with Carno's daughter Sofia, age 2.
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:Gaston and Marie try to get rid of Carno by sabotaging a stunt of his which involves him getting set on fire. They only succeed in putting him in the hospital, however...]]
* JerkassHasAPoint: In Chapter Two, Adrienne and Don find evidence that there have been vagrants living in their barn. Don flies into a rage, messing up their belongings and threatening them with bodily harm if he catches them. This is apparently supposed to be an example of how drastically his NiceGuy personality has changed, but although his reaction is over the top, most people wouldn't react any better to the discovery of uninvited guests on their property.
* LargeHam: Don gets hammier and hammier as the game progresses and his mental state deteriorates. Carno's got quite a flare for the dramatic as well. Overacting must be a symptom of the demonic possession or something.
* LaughingMad: Don during the final chapter. So much. ''[[AnnoyingLaugh So frigging much]]''.
* LimitedWardrobe: Despite the game being seven discs in length and about three days in-game, Adrienne only ever wears that damn orangey-pink sweater and black jeans.
** According to one of the magazine articles put out by Sierra, the jeans were not originally part of her costume. The actress wore them in on the first day of filming and the producer decided they were perfect. The actress states that, being already somewhat worn, they were held together by duct tape by the end of shooting.
* MagiciansAreWizards: Carno, a stage magician by profession, also dabbled in the dark arts in his spare time.
* MeaningfulName: Hortencia, she loves to garden and has an ironic death there.
* MercyKill
* MostWritersAreWriters: Adrienne is an in-universe best selling novelist, especially known for a book called ''Blue Moon Rising''.
* NeckSnap: Carne kills Lenora by [[spoiler:having her head cranked 360 degrees by some sort of machine.]]
** Justified as [[spoiler: the head twister is a Magic illusion that some magicians use. It's just that in this case there was no trick.]]
* OminousLatinChanting: "Consumite... '''FUROO-RE!'''"
* PaperKeyRetrievalTrick: An optional way to get into the mansion's attic. Without the paper, just whip out your fireplace poker to get the key.
* PeekABooCorpse: The bodies of [[spoiler:Mike, Harriet, and Cyrus]] can be stumbled upon during the chase scene in the final chapter.
* PendulumOfDeath: In the past, Marie conspired with her lover, Gaston, to kill her Bluebeard husband Carno by sabotaging the equipment for his most infamous and dangerous escapology trick, in which Carno dons a burning hood and escapes from bonds on a throne equipped with an overhead pendulous axe. The sabotage leaves Carno horribly burned and disfigured, but he survives and viciously attacks Marie and Gaston. After killing Marie by beheading her with the same pendulous throne, Carno is killed by Gaston just before he succumbs to his own wounds. In the present, Don (who is possessed by a demon) captures Adrienne and straps her into the pendulous throne, but she distracts him long enough to free herself from the throne and trigger the pendulum, which impales and kills Don.
* RapeAsDrama: Chapter 4's intro cutscene. Don walks in on Adrienne in the bathroom and starts making loving advances on her, which eventually leads to him pinning her in the corner of the room and violently forcing himself on her. After the deed is done, she collapses to the floor sobbing, and he looks around as if confused to what just happened before leaving the room. [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment It's never brought up again.]]
** According to [[WordOfGod Roberta Williams]], this scene is a turning point in the story. Before, Adrienne didn't find Don's behavior especially weird. This rape is the moment where she finally realizes there's something ''really'' wrong happening.
** In the Japan-only UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn port, the whole scene is cut, skipping to Adrienne sitting in bed, sobbing.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Don's darkroom. It's locked throughout most of the game until, in the final chapter, Adrienne finds the door ajar... [[spoiler:And she finds a StalkerShrine inside.]]
** In a less room-y example, in some chapters, Adrienne can find her laptop opened now and then with insane text littering the screen. In the next-to-last chapter, it's completely destroyed.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Demon.
* SideQuest: Lou the antiques dealer in town has an interest in cameo brooches which Adrienne can help her indulge in, but it's not required to complete the game.
* SmallTowns: The coastal town of Nipawomsett, where you'll probably spend one quarter of the entire game.
* {{Spinventory}}: Leads to a GuideDangIt moment if you don't realize that examined items can also be interacted with; [[spoiler:you have to push a button on the back of the black onyx figurine's head to reveal it to be a letter opener.]]
* SpookyPainting: After they've moved in, Adrienne finds a mostly blank canvas propped up inside the mansion's conservatory. At first, there's only a few peculiar brush strokes on its surface. Every day that follows, if she examines it again, a few more strokes have been added, and the accompanying music grows a bit more foreboding. On the final day, the painting is finished, and it's revealed to be a portrait of the Demon.
* StakingTheLovedOne: [[spoiler:Adrienne kills Don with Carno's bladed pendulum prop to save herself. This has the added effect of manifesting the Demon.]]
* TarotTroubles: Harriet can do a tarot reading for Adrienne if given the deck of cards. She draws The Fool, The Lovers, Justice, Strength, The Hanged Man, The Tower, The Devil, and Death. Yes, somehow, Adrienne managed to draw all Major Arcana cards; Harriet's interpretation of the cards also fudges some of their meanings.
* TearsOfBlood: In the opening to chapter 5, Adrienne is sleeping peacefully (in her normal clothes, no less) until blood seeps out of her eyes, then she wakes up.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Harriet horks up a green soupy mass which turns out to be Carno's specter. Ick.
* YourCheatingHeart: Marie, Carno's last wife, had a lover named Gaston, and conspired with him to kill her husband when she found out Carno was a murderer.
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