In this school, they teach you things you never wanted to know about.
Something strange is going on at Leafmore High. Students are disappearing, teachers are acting oddly... When Kenny Matthews, a varsity athlete, makes an horrific discovery under the school, four of his friends — his cheerleader girlfriend Ashley Thompson, school reporter Josh Carter, stoner friend Stanley "Stan" Jones, and little sister Shannon — join him in investigating what exactly the hell is happening. However, they quickly find themselves locked in the school overnight, and now there're things roaming the halls...Essentially Resident EvilIN HIGH SCHOOL!, ObsCure is a survival horror game by Hydravision Entertainment released in 2004 in Europe and 2005 everywhere else. One of its most notable features was its two-player cooperative mode. Instead of exploring the haunted halls alone, the teens were Genre Savvy enough to stick together in pairs, with the player selecting who to take along as a partner. Said partner was either controlled by the game's AI or a second player. Each of the heroes had a unique skill to make parts of the game easier — Kenny could outrun his classmates, Ashley had a rapid-fire ability and could deal greater damage with most weapons, Josh could detect if there was anything left to do in a room, Stan could pick locks more quickly than the other four and detect if there were any nearby locks he could crack, and Shannon offered puzzle tips and was the best at healing others.However, none of these skills were ever required to advance the plot... mainly because all of them could be easilyKilled Off for Real at any time. Losing somebody didn't instantly equal a Game Over; you could continue without them so long as you had somebody left to play as.Another part of the game's charm was its campiness. Styled after the post-modern, Genre Savvy teen horror movies of the late '90s (such as Scream 1996 and especially The Faculty), the game was flush with corny, Totally Radical dialogue and characters written as broad caricatures of teen movie heroes and villains. It even featured the song "Still Waiting" by Sum 41 as its theme song, as a nod to such films' "hip" soundtracks.The sequel, ObsCure II (known in America as ObsCure: The Aftermath), takes place two years after the events at Leafmore. Shannon and Kenny are attending the nearby Fallcreek University, while Stan dropped out and is working as a pizza delivery boy. Stan and Kenny have to take medication to stave off the aftereffects of what happened at Leafmore, while Shannon has managed to adapt on her own... something she frequently snipes at the boys about.Unfortunately, there's a new recreational drug that's become trendy among the students, one that's made from a strange-looking flower that keeps appearing all over the campus. Naturally, it isn't long before the survivors of Leafmore High, along with a small group of other students, find themselves facing hordes of mutants and struggling to stop the contagion from spreading too far.Unlike the first game, the partners (and deaths) for each section of the game are decided automatically as part of the plot, and each hero's skills are actually required to navigate past the various puzzles and obstacles. The original heroes suffer heavily from Not As You Know Them, and the game becomes a parade of Cruel And Unusual Deaths.A reboot of the series in the works, due to come out on PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and Play Station Network. Unlike the first two games, the ObsCure reboot is a side-scrolling 2.5D action game with a far more cartoonish style. It was originally supposed to come out in 2012 with the title ObsCure D, but that version (meant to be an interquel to the other two games) was scrapped after Hydravision closed its doors and reformed as Mighty Rocket Studio. Information and images can be found here and here.
Action Girl: Ashley is the most adept at combat out of the five characters in the first game, with her special ability being a "rapid-fire" attack that allows her to get off two shots or swings in rapid succession. Shannon can also hold her own if one is desperate (i.e. if she's one of the last characters left), though her abilities make her more of a support character best left at the gathering site.
Downer Ending: And how! All the new characters introduced in the game suffer terrible and brutal ends, and Corey, the sole one of the new ones to make it to the very end... shoots himself in the head after being unable to deal with Mei's death, his car's destruction, and feeling no hope for him left. Shannon and Stan surviving does nothing to soothe the pain, as it seems the two have their work cut out for them in the next game. Sweet Jesus....
Fission Mailed: Danhas to die and Kennycan't escape the school basement during the Action Prologue, even though the game makes it look like you're supposed to fight off the enemies and escape the basement.
Frickin' Laser Beams: A laser beam weapon can be found near the end of the game. It is powerful as all get out, but has limited juice and no extra batteries. A laser with unlimited battery life (albeit with a cooldown period like the flashlights) can be unlocked during a New Game Plus.
Guns Do Not Work That Way: The most powerful shotgun in the first game appears to be some kind of hybrid of a double-barrel shotgun and a pump-action shotgun that in real life could not exist as a functional weapon.
Love Makes You Evil: The Big Bad of the first game, Principal Herbert Friedman, is kidnapping and experimenting on students in order to find a cure for his brother Leonard's illness.
Madwoman in the Attic: Principal Friedman's grotesquely mutated brother is hidden in the school basement.
Male Gaze: It's a good thing the girls can't tell where Josh points his camera.
Multiple Endings: The original game has two, with the deciding factor being whether all five characters survive to the end or not. The sequel only has one, though.
New Game Plus: Special Mode in the first game, which gives the characters alternate costumes and puts two new weapons into the game: the Morgenstern bat (a spiked club that does as much damage as the revolver) replacing the baseball bat, and a pistol with a laser beam weapon attached replacing the flashlight-equipped pistol found in Friedman's safe.
Revolvers Are Just Better: The revolver is one of the most powerful weapons in the first game, standing far ahead of the three semi-automatics available, and bested only by the double-barrel shotgun and the laser. Its description even refers to it as "a powerful revolver".
Two-Teacher School: The biology teacher, Denny Walden, is the only teacher shown running around the school (besides Friedman, for obvious reasons). Keeping in mind that most of this game takes place after school hours, there are no other teachers present during the opening scenes where school is in session. Just who's teaching these kids anyway?
On an ironic note, the only teacher present in the sequel is also a biology teacher.
Universal Ammunition: The first game has only three types of ammunition: pistol bullets, shotgun shells, and the laser's batteries. It makes sense for the shotguns (which are all presumably 12 gauge) and the laser (for which there is no extra ammo available), but the same pistol bullets are fired out of everything from an old pocket pistol to a Hand Cannon revolver.
Weakened By The Light: Zig-zagged. Light causes those infected with the mortifilia spores to start to mutate. A small amount of light triggers enough mutations to turn them into monsters, while a greater amount kills them, the mutations working like a fast-acting cancer. In gameplay terms, this means that direct sunlight and other high-intensity light sources (such as flashbangs, flare guns, and the lights in the cafeteria) kill the monsters almost instantly, and flashlights help weaken them.
We All Live in America: While the games are set in the United States, they were made by a French developer, and it appears that they were basing their impressions of Anglophone society more on the UK than the US. Metric measurements are frequently used in place of American Customary Measurements, dates are rendered in the form of "DD/MM" rather than the "MM/DD" format used in the US, British spellings are employed frequently, and a notice makes reference to the "Ministry of Health" (the US' equivalent is the Department of Health and Human Services). On top of that, one of the calendars still has the French names for the months of the year (octobre, janvier, avril). If it weren't for the American flag in the gymnasium and the brief reference to Friedman being born in Iowa, one might guess that the game took place in Quebec rather than the US.
Zombie Infectee: The main characters all get infected by Friedman about halfway through the game; the rest of the game has them looking for the antidote before the sun rises and triggers mutations. Mr. Walden was also infected earlier on, and by the end of the game is too far gone to safely use the antidote.
Badass Crew/Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They all fit neatly into every cliched category you can think of and still manage to be friends on some level. Then they find melee weapons and firearms. Cue the drug induced, one-liner filled chaos.
Berserk Button: Don't mess with Corey's car or you'll never hear the end of it
Book Dumb: Stan. It's implied that he shouldn't have graduated high school, and judging by what he's like in the second game, there's a chance that he dropped out altogether. Not that it matters by the sequel, mind you.
Stan: 'Stan Jones. Average: F'
Shannon: 'Shannon Matthews. A+' And look where it has gotten us.
Better to Die than Be Killed: Corey blows his brains out before the final boss battle. You can't blame the kid, given that he's lost his girlfriend, his car and any chance at a normal life.
Bolivian Army Ending: In the end, only Shannon and Stan are left alive, and they're facing down a massive cloud of black spores, with the implication that they're about to face Kenny's monstrous spawn.
Chainsaw Good: Subverted. The chainsaw is not used as a weapon, but only for cutting through obstacles, and it requires battery power to run. Played straight with Jedidiah, who impales Sven with his chainsaw and tries to do the same to you when you fight him and Leonard.
Mood Whiplash: No matter how horrible things get, the characters never stop making quips. It's like they get over their trauma almost instantly. It fits, seeing as how this is basically a teen slasher flick in video game form.
Not As You Know Them: Shannon, Stan and Kenny all have darker personalities as a result of their experiences.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the game. It's hard to tell how much of an impact its supposed to have on the game though, considering that Amy groans occasionally but shows no other signs of having gone through a traumatic experience. One would think she'd be freaking out when Kenny appears, or at least be more twitchy around the male members of the cast. Also, depending on your interpretation of the ending, her pregnancy literally spawns a possible sequel or hands out justice to the final antagonist.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Mei spends the first half of the game trying to track down her twin sister Jun and save her. When she finally tracks her down, the game lets you control Jun's escape attempts, only to have her brutally killed seconds after yanking that control away. Things go downhill from there.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After surviving the events of the first game, Kenny gets killed in the sequel — in the most drawn-out, painful way possible, involving Body Horror and a Face Heel Turn. Oh, and the other two heroes who don't return are eventually implied to have been horribly killed off-screen.
The Big Guy: Sven and Kenny have the ability to move large objects the others can't.
Unskilled, but Strong/Weak, but Skilled: Each member of the cast falls into one of these. The bruiser characters don't do much of anything besides push and hit things, and they can withstand more damage. The weaker characters can do some pretty cool things, from hacking to puzzle solving to aura sucking.
None of them seem to struggle with guns or chainsaws though. Gun Slinging 101 must be a requirement in college.note What? Too Soon?
Atleast semi-justified with Ashley in the first game, as her file states she went through self-defense training prior to the events of the game.
Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: One of the early levels has you sneaking into a frat house party, which is soon followed by you fighting your way out.
Was Once a Man: Kenny, after refusing to take his meds, turns into a giant, mutated freak with an enormous arm/mouth on his back that he uses to spit balls of spores.