Video Game: Dementium: The Ward
A Survival Horror
game for the Nintendo DS portable system. You play as William Redmoor, a man accused of murdering his wife and subsequently condemned to an insane asylum run by the mysterious Doctor. One night, after experiencing a disturbing nightmare, Redmoor awakens to find the asylum deserted, blood covering much of the area, and the PA system droning about an emergency. It doesn't take long to realize that something has gone very, very
wrong, and soon enough Redmoor is forced to fight for his life as legions of zombies and other monstrosities have invaded the asylum.
A sequel was released in 2010. Having completed his very unpleasant brain surgery, Redmoor is transferred to The Doctor's main facility, Bright Dawn Treatment Center, to undergo "Phase 2" of his "treatment". Just as before, however, Bright Dawn becomes overrun with nightmarish demons, and once again Redmoor must struggle to finally
get some answers from the Doctor, and escape with his life.
A HD update of the second game was released for PCs through Steam
in December 2013. The basic engine and gameplay are the same, but the visuals have been noticeably upgraded (including replacing all the FMV movies with high-quality pre-rendered ones). Overall, the look is of a good-looking Playstation 2 game with current-gen lighting effects. There are also more notes scattered around expanding certain aspects of the story, and the Colossus boss fight has been updated to feature a corridor filled with deathtraps instead of a simple block maze.
This game provides examples of:
- Abandoned Hospital Awakening
- All Just a Dream: The first game turns out to have been a hallucination brought on by Redmoor's brain surgery.
- Apocalyptic Log: About halfway through the first game, you come across several journal entries detailing the writer's increasing worry over the Doctor's methods and the "experiments" he conducts.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Zombies can be instantly killed by striking their exposed heart.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: One possible interpretation of the first game.
- Big Bad: The Doctor.
- Bigger Bad: Dementium II indicates that the Doctor is just the host being used by Malatesta to break into the physical world.
- Boom, Headshot: Averted. You can shoot the zombies' heads off, but it doesn't slow them down.
- Bottomless Magazines: Rather than implement reloading animations, the first game gives this ability to each weapon.
- Checkpoint Starvation: The games use a save game system similar to the old Resident Evil games, where you can only save in certain rooms. There's an average of about 40 minutes of gameplay between each save point, although you can always backtrack and save at a previous save point since enemies generally don't respawn.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Subverted. Beheading a zombie does just as much damage as a regular attack. hitting the heart, on the other hand...
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Doctor's Big Bad personality is dressed in black, whereas his "saner half" is dressed in white.
- Creepy Child: Amanda
- Cruel Twist Ending
- Cult: In the HD version of Dementium II, several notes can be found that clarify that the town where the psych hospital is located has a religious sect that worships some supernatural force tied to the various monsters. The Doctor and Chaplain are hinted to be members of this sect. Noteably, they are apparently not a Religion of Evil and (with the exception of the Doctor) view the monster outbreak as a bad thing.
- Deadly Doctor: The Doctor
- Difficulty By Region: The game is obvious designed with the DS controls in mind. On the PC version, with the much more responsive controls of a mouse and keyboard, the game becomes noticeably easier than intended. Although, some of the later encounters do still present a fair challenge due to having to face many enemies at once.
- Eldritch Abomination: The final boss of the second game, Malatesta is clearly this. The Colossus is a bit of a milder example.
- Expy: The Cleaver is very similar to Pyramid Head.
- Gainax Ending
- Gone Horribly Right: Redmoor's brain surgery sets him on the path to recovery, but also caused the monsters from his hallucination to be released into the real world.
- Heroic Mime: Averted. William does comment on items and weapons he finds, albeit only in text form (it is a DS game, after all).
- Hyper Space Arsenal: YOU'RE WEARING A FUCKING HOSPITAL GOWN!
- Invincible Minor Minion: Two different types of ghosts/wraiths and swarms of flies appear in the second game. They cannot be harmed in any way and must be avoided by running away.
- Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower weapon in the second game makes this possible, and Reanimators are particularly vulnerable.
- Madness Mantra: GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE
- Mad Scientist: The Doctor has traits of this.
- Mind Screw: When you're not fighting for your life, you're wondering what the hell is going on.
- Moral Guardians: The Japanese Association of Psychiatric Hospitals opposed the game because it supposedly encouraged violence against psychiatric patients.
- Nail 'Em: The second game has a nail gun.
- Or Was It a Dream?: Immediately after the fact that all of this is a dream is revealed, not only is the Doctor shown to be real, but he says that this was only "Phase 1"...
- The sequel takes it a step further. Early on, the Doctor's "sane half" reveals that the monsters Redmoor fought in the first game were "in his head" (which explains the hallucination), and were inadvertently released into the real world by Redmoor's brain surgery.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Freaks, the most common enemies in both games, are often mistaken for zombies. They are not zombies
- Psychic Powers: The Doctor is shown to possess some in the first game's final battle.
- Psychological Horror: Oh, yes
- Redshirt Army: The Bright Dawn Security Guards in the sequel. Whether its against you or the monsters, they tend not to last very long. Late in the game, you come across some more powerful guards with assault rifles, but even some of them end up getting chumped by a giant demon in a cutscene.
- Sequel Hook: The Doctor mentions a "phase 2" in the ending.
- The sequel ends with Redmoor seeing the Doctor in his own mirror reflection, only for the reflection to come to life and drag him into the mirror.
- Split Personality: The sequel reveals that the Doctor has two personalities: The insane Big Bad of the series, and a remorseful, guilt-ridden "saner half".
- Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Particularly before the final boss of the first game, who is preceded by a room with stockpiles of pills and just about every type of ammunition there is.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Done literally in the second game's Gainax Ending. As he's about to escape the hospital, Redmoor passes by a mirror and sees his reflection, realizing that he is the Doctor. And then he's suddenly tackled by a leech. Smash to Black.
- What actually happens is the Doctor tries to pull this, dragging William through the mirror once he gets close enough
- Tragic Monster: In Dementium II, William's dead wife has become a Wendigo Witch because of the supposed murder of their daughter, Amanda.
- Unique Enemy: In the second game, there are only 5 security guards with assault rifles in the entire game, all of them appearing in the same general area. This makes sense, assault rifles are hardly standard issue at a psych hospital; these guys were the rare few guards who were hardcore enough to survive the outbreak and get tooled up enough to stand a decent chance again any monster that might come at them. You butcher them all.
- Unstable Equilibrium: There is no limit to the amount of ammo and healing items you can carry. So, if you play carefully and horde items in the earlier areas, the later areas can be a lot easier. In fact on the PC version it's possible to get through most of the game using melee weapons only and healing for free at save mirrors, due to the more responsive controls making melee combat much easier.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: In the second game, 4 of the 5 bosses are readily beatable with what you're given immediately prior to the boss fight. The final boss, however, can only be harmed with ranged attacks, and the game gives you very little ammo and no healing items for the 40 minutes leading up to that point. If you didn't save up enough ammo and at least a few healing items over the course of the game to fight the final boss, you can be stuck at the end. The relic boomerang doesn't use up ammo, but is an absolutely awful weapon to use against the final boss.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Doctor's "saner half" has one brief scene at the beginning of Dementium II, and then disappears for the rest of the game.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: In the second game it's revealed that all of the monsters came from William's mind., although the collectible notes indicate the mental hospital has had a history of paranormal occurrences going back at least a couple hundred years. William was just the catalyst for the latest outbreak.