"Oh Nigel, what have you done? Oh God! What have we done?"
A series of Point-and-Click adventure games that fall squarely in the horror genre, created by Jonathan Boakes.The first game, Dark Fall: The Journal, was released in 2004. It takes place at Dowerton, an abandoned West Country train station and hotel. The player character's brother is attempting to renovate it into a bed and breakfast. It turns out that the train station has a Dark and Troubled Past involving many mysterious disappearances over the years and apparent paranormal activity. Your character receives a panicked message on your answering machine, leading you to hitch on out to the train station in the wee hours to investigate the matter. When you arrive, no one is there...at least no one besides a child's disembodied voice. Against your better judgement, you begin exploring this eerie place.Positive Word-Of-Mouth got this small, independent production the attention of The Adventure Company and the game enjoyed a wider release, which in-turn led to two sequels (Dark Fall: Light's Out and Dark Fall: Lost Souls) and a spin-off game (The Lost Crown).In Lights Out, you play as a cartographer who was sent out to an isolated lighthouse on an island off the coast of Britain to find out what happened to its keepers. As before, the people you are looking for have literally vanished, and the process of trying to find out transpired takes you on a (creepy) journey through time, through thousands of years of the island's history.In Lost Souls, you play as an Inspector who, five years before, tried and failed to discover what happened to a missing girl from Dowerton named Amy. You have returned to Dowerton to try to... find her? Save her? Settle the questions in your mind? Your reasons for being there are obscure, as is the truth about what happened five years ago. You'll gradually learn the awful truth as you play your way through Dowerton Station; if you played The Journal, you'll recognize the place, but just barely. It's...really gone downhill.
These games contain examples of:
Abusive Parents: Benjamin Parker's father sent him to the Cartography Academy, when he only wanted to be an artist.
Accidental Misnaming: Probably due to poor spellchecking, two characters - James Woolf and Gerard Magnus have their names written in different ways throughout the game. The Director's Cut fixes the latter by spelling out his full name as "Magnus, Gerard Griel."
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The versions of Gloria Grable, Andrew Verney, and Matilda Fly in Lost Souls are a lot more angsty than the ones in The Journal. More of an adaptation-effect than a sequel, due to the first game's cosmic retcon ending.
Adaptation Expansion: The Director's Cut of Lights Out has different versions of the journals and books within the time zones, some with added ominous music; more ghosts can be seen around the lighthouse and interactive prompts can be used to talk to them rather than simply waiting for a response, and a few of the puzzles are made easier. The D.E.O.S. Launch Room actually has a useful purpose, too.
However, some Adaptation Distillation is also present, as some of the time passages have been removed, there is only one pair of Ghost-Hunting Goggles rather than two, and Polly does not mention the Dowerton Experiment in her journal, probably due to the Cosmic Retcon. James Woolf is also made a little too more prominent in 1912.
AFGNCAAP: Some details of your character in The Journal are implied (rough age, last name, etc..), but most of his or her identity is left vague. The nameless Inspector of Lost Souls has a voice and history, but you have to work fairly hard to learn about the latter. Averted in Lights Out, where your character's identity is about the only thing you can be certain of at the start.
All Just a Dream: The entirety of Dark Fall: Lost Souls might just be a hallucination brought on by mixing vodka and medication.
Anachronism Stew: Parker finds a computer disk in 1912, examines a necklace of computer parts in the 2090 B.C. encampment, wears a viewing headset from 2004 in all four eras, and uses a lantern from his own time to explore the 2090 research station.
The Chew Toy: Polly White. In each of the first two games she ends up investigating events way above her pay grade with the backing of Hadden Industries... only for the player to make the incidents she was investigating never happen by the end of the game. In the former, at least, it saved her from death and eternal torment in the process. In the latter... not so much.
Clear My Name: An implied objective in Light's Out, although the scenario doesn't make a big deal out of it.
Cloudcuckoolander: The only reason Andrew seems even more calm and level-headed than Timothy is that, unlike Timothy, he seems to have no idea what's going on; the lucky bastard.
Condensation Clue: Made a bit trickier because you have to restore the hotel's hot water before you can detect this one.
Cosmic Retcon: All three games feature this, although it's only implied by Malakai's remarks at the end of Lights Out. In Lost Souls, evidence that the Inspector's actions saved Gloria and Matilda turns up within minutes of him intervening in their history.
Doing in the Wizard : The second game initially hints that the cause of the disappearances and strange temporal phenomenon is another monster like in the first game... only for it to turn out that they are the result of a psychotic AI-controlled space probe — which was trapped in the distant past in a teleportation accident — trying to manipulate events so it can return home.
Foreshadowing: Room 2-A in the first game has a pair of scissors stuck in one wall. When you reach that same room in Lost Souls, there's DOZENS of those things on that wall.
Gainax Ending: Both of the possible endings in Lost Souls. The "happy ending" has the Inspector successfully revived but failed in his mission to return Amy; the other is absolutely horrifying. Both, however, are crazy and fit this trope to a T.
You, in one ending of Lost Souls. Great job unleashing that supernatural horror, inspector.
No Ontological Inertia: [[spoiler:The final cinematic vaguely suggests that defeating the Dark Fall undid everything it ever did over the centuries. Some of the ghosts even spell it out:
Timothy Pike: "Things don't have to turn out as they did; You'll find out what I mean soon. Bye.
Matilda Fly: "I can feel the change!"]]
Lights Out confirms this, as Timothy Pike evidently grew up to be an author.
Ironically, because the Retcon erases the Dowerton station's scary reputation as a place where people vanish, the version seen in Dark Fall: Lost Souls is a lot more run-down and ruined, as vandals and junkies didn't avoid the place.
Nothing Is Scarier: The third floor of the hotel. You will need a change of pants after the first visit.
Occult Detective: Polly and Nigel. The player character is forced to act as one during the game.
The Voiceless: Neither the architect's sibling from The Journal nor the cartographer from Lights Out ever speaks aloud, even when it would be sensible and beneficial to do so. The Inspector does talk, but for some reason his voice actor is listed as a "?" in the credits.
In-universe examples are featured in museum exhibits from Light's Out. The culprit in the lighthouse disappearances is widely believed to have been your character, but the suspect vanished so the complete truth never came out.