'''''Phantasmagoria''''' is a 1995 horror-themed adventure game developed by 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 MagnumOpus, 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.

An InNameOnly sequel, ''[[{{Phantasmagoria2}} 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 are not connected.
!!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 lifts the curse, but Don had to be killed in order to do so.]]
* TheBluebeard: Carno, as a result of a demonic possession.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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:Given that there are multiple paths to take, especially in Chapter 7, players might naturally assume there's a way to save Don. There isn't.]]
* 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.
** The french website jeuxvideo.com recently voted ''Phantasmagoria'' the goriest video game 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.
* 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...]]
* 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, 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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 oynx 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.