Video Game: Dracula Unleashed

Behold the Full Motion Video horror!

Dracula Unleashed was a Full Motion Video game developed by ICOM Simulations and released in 1993. It acts as a sequel to the story Dracula (obviously) taking place several years after the book's events. You play as Alexander Morris, a relative of Quincy Morris, who comes to London to find out about Quincy's death and wed his sweetheart Annisette Brown.

However, strange murders soon start happening around town and Alexender realizes it's linked to his brother's death. Now he must get to the bottom of what's going on before his friends and loved ones are put in danger.

The game was pretty much trial and error, as you were required to move around the city under a strict time limit and visit different areas to gain information while in others you needed certain items on hand to move on. Failure to have such at a crucial moment would lead into death. Say the least, this is one of those games where you really have to pay attention. Still, it helps that the acting (like pretty much all FMV games) was very hammy.

Was re-released in 2002 as a DVD game with updated visuals and special features.

The game provides the following tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gun: Well, pretty much all items you pick up during the story. But the most important one is when Alexander comes across a napkin with a odd drawing on it drawn by Devlin before hand. We later find out this was his plan to subdue Dracula. Alexander uses it himself after Devlin is killed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Dr. Briarcliffe at the university is very... odd. When asked about a gold coin, he bites it and quips about how it's not a chocolate one.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Dracula turns out to have been Arthur the whole time in the game, having killed the real Arthur and his wife months ago (he re-animated Regina's body using a spell) and taken his place to get close to and take revenge on those that stopped him before. Near the end of the game, there are actually subtle hints that that the Holmwoods are a little off.
  • Diary: Totally optional, but the player can have Alexander write about every significant happening. If he writes after visiting the newsstand, he will also include newspaper clippings.
  • The Ditz: Regina Holmwood, who is seen commenting on another man's wife's beauty despite having never seen her before. It's a subtle hint that she's not the true Regina.
  • Foreshadowing: The discussion of how one of the Hades Club members' wife died. It's mentioned she was taking a trip through Europe near Borgo Pass when her carriage had an accident and she was killed. Of course, those who know Dracula lore, know that's where Dracula's castle lies. So it's implied that after Dracula resurrected and on his way back to London, he attacked the carriage, murdered the driver, kidnapped, drained, and turned the man's wife into a vampire. Bringing her with him to act as the new Bloofer Lady.
  • Guide Dang It: Pretty much the only way to get through the game without tearing your hair out.
  • Have a Nice Death: The Game Over screen has a picture of your grave and a bat with blood on its lip hanging from a tree over it. This is either Alexander now a bloodthirsty vampire himself or of course just Dracula mocking you.
  • History Repeats: This game is basically a retread of the original Dracula story, with Juliet being Lucy, Annisette being Mina, and Alexander being Jonathan.
  • How We Got Here: Interestingly, you cannot replicate the scene, as Quincey's grave isn't a location at any point.
  • Idiot Ball: When Alexander first writes to Father Janos and receives the Bowie knife as a response, he explicitly says "Quincey" to himself, and goes even further on that note when he tears Jonathan Harker a new one in his office. If you then choose to write Father Janos a new telegram, he asks in the message, "What is the significance of the knife?" Uhh...
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Dracula meets his end (again) when one of the support beams in the room he's in breaks off and impales him through the heart.
  • It's Up to You: Even after meeting Prof. Van Helsing and becoming Quincey's replacement in the group, Alexander does nearly all of the leg work, and he's also the only one to confront Dracula in the end.
  • Jerkass: Devlin.
  • Large Ham: Dracula during your confrontation.
  • Let's Play: One can be found here.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Devlin, whose was pretty much a prick at the start of the game. Once his love Juliet falls victim to Dracula and is staked, he pretty much goes off the deep end, kidnapping Annisette to bait Dracula to him.
  • The Many Deaths of You: You can get arrested, attacked by a crazy man, faint from exhaustion, or of course, get bitten by a vampire.
  • Multiple Endings: Really just variations of the same ending, but depending on your actions, either all of your friends can come out alive, only a couple survive, or just Alexander and Annisette are the only survivors.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: At one point, Alexander and Helsing go to visit Reinfield for information, and being the madman he is, he goes to attack the latter. You need an item to beat him back before he kills the professor. If he succeeds, you have to restart from the last checkpoint, as Helsing needs to be alive for later.
  • Off with His Head!: Doctor Briarcliffe.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They apparently can shape-shift (though implied to be an illusion covering them) and use magic spells.
  • Please Wake Up: In the game over screen, Helsing urges the player to try again.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Alexander has many of these through the course of the game, foreshadowing his later encounters with the undead.
  • Red Herring: The white piece of cloth. If you follow its plotline to its conclusion, all it does is implicate Leopold Stransikowski's dead wife of being the Bloofer Lady, which isn't helpful at all.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: One of your friends turned vampire, Juliet, tries to pull this on the heroes in a last-ditch effort to save herself.
    • Made funnier because Alexander falls for it until Van Helsing snaps him out.
  • Shout-Out: The first batch of newspaper clippings Alexander puts in his journal includes a story of a dead accountant named Oswald Mason, whose murder was solved by Sherlock Holmes, a very clear nod to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective series of FMV games, specifically the third installment.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the course of the game, you visit a bookstore whose owner is slightly creepy, though helpful. However, at one point during a visit, Alexander asks about any books on vampires to which said owner responds with a thinly veiled threat.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Goes hand in hand with Guide Dang It, there are a few parts of the game where you're meant to be at a specific area at the right time to show you a clue for an important part later. However the game doesn't let you know it till too late and you get a game over but don't know why.
  • Useless Item: Quite a few, although only Annisette's portrait and the Lord Byron book qualify from a story standpoint.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: When the heroes first inspect Juliet after she falls ill, the bite marks show her skin was practically ripped into.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Seems to be a common trait of vampires in this game.
  • You Are Too Late:
    • In a few of the endings, should you go to too many areas past the appointed time or without a item. One of such that features Alexander running into Annisette dressed in a heavy gown before she reveals her fangs. Playing through the game proper to the climax reveals she's wearing the same clothes while still human. Meaning if you get the ending where she's walking in them at night, Drac's already gotten to her and made her into a vampire.
    • In the game's story, there's no way you can save Juliet. Dracula will claim her and make her into a vampire, forcing Alexander and the others to kill her undead form.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the start of the game there a bit about a Bloofer Lady and one of the members of a club Alexander goes to that linked to her. They disappear halfway through the game and are never mentioned again.
    • It's possible they're just meant as brief callbacks to the original book (where Lucy was the "bloofer lady" according to the village kids).
    • If that's the case, then who was that woman who had neck lifted Alexander in the middle of the game?