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Video Game: Escape from Horrorland

"Ya know, Horrorland may SEEM like a scary, foreboding place... BECAUSE IT IS!!!"

Escape From Horrorland is a 1996 computer game based on the Goosebumps book "One Day at Horrorland". It was one of the first games made by Dreamworks Interactive.Set as a sort-of sequel to the book, you are the friend of Lizzie, a bossy young girl who was babysitting her brother, Luke, and his friend, Clay, for the night. Suddenly cosmic forces transport all of you into a bizarre place called Horrorland. You need to rescue Luke and Clay and then escape from Horrorland.

Rather infamous among children of the 1990s for being scary in a variety of ways. It used a combination of 3D graphics, miniature sets, live-action video, and animated puppets to create a pretty impressive setting.

Not to be confused with the 2008 Goosebumps game Horrorland for the Nintendo DS and Wii.

See also Attack Of The Mutant, another PC Goosebumps game released in 1997.


This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: As this Let's Play points out, the Horrorland of the original novel was simply meant to be an evil theme park. The game expands it into a nightmarish realm full of monster towns, ancient pyramids and vampire castles, full of monsters drawn from all over the universe.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Luke
  • Baleful Polymorph: Lizzie, who is captured and transformed into some kind of creepy worm-thing. In the process of curing her, you can accidentally give her a worse form.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to all the protogonists (though not the player) near the end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Inevitable. Either you defeat the big bad but let Lizzie and Luke's parents turn into monsters, or you save the parents but the big bad survives and moves into Lizzie and Luke's house.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Luke and Clay, and Lizzie to an extent.
  • Circus of Fear: the whole place is a messed up amusement park.
  • Claustrophobia: Two unavoidable instances of this. One is where you are crawling through incredibly cramped wooden tunnels while being chased by a mummy at high speed directly behind you, and it is very easy to get lost in the tunnels. The other time is when you have to shut yourself inside a coffin and use it as a boat down a sewer, while spiders enter the coffin and try to bite you.
  • Combat Tentacles: The giant evil octopus that grabs Clay and tries to strangle him.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Lizzie gets captured twice, but is still one of the bravest of the characters and is the one devising and setting all the traps and leading the way in the game.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Even more so than in Attack of the Mutant, which shows its protagonist's clearly white hands and shows her/him in costume at the end. The player character in Horrorland is never shown at all, leaving her/his gender, race and age completely up to the player. All that is known is that s/he is a kid, is Lizzie's friend and is "good at chemistry".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The coins and the cards. What do they accomplish? Nothing, really.
  • Here We Go Again: Considering this is considered a sequel of the book, its not surprising. Lizzie even outright says it once you arrive in Horrorland.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: After Lizzie is unknowingly turned into a jack o'lantern, "Um.. let me put it this way, you know how Dad always likes to call you pumpkin?
  • Large Ham: Madison Storm "WHO STOLE ALL MY CHOCOLATE?!" Along with the video tour guide lady.
  • Let's Play: Done here. And here. Here's another.
  • Locked in a Freezer: After Lizzie suddenly goes missing soon after the two of you land in Werewolf Village, you find her in the butcher shop, locked inside the freezer, covered in frost and too numb with cold and fear to panic.
  • Madness Mantra: The scarecrow.
  • Monster Town: Horrorland. Werewolf Village and Vampire Village in particular.
  • Mummy: The mummy that attacks/stalks you in the valley of the lost kings.
  • Nice Hat: When you are in Dracula's castle, you wear a jester costume as a disguise, complete with the stupid hat, Luke enjoys laughing at it and playing with the bells. You can even click on the bells to make them jingle.
  • One Hundred Per Cent Completion: Infamously, this is practically (if not completely) impossible. The game has 777 tokens scattered throughout Horrorland and keeps track of how many the player has collected. Most of these are located in the underground tunnels, which can be tough (especially for the target audience) but are not impossible. What makes getting a perfect score difficult is that you lose tokens every time you sustain damage. Once you lose a token it is Gone Forever, and there are certain instances where getting hurt is very difficult to avoid:
    • After springing a trap for the werewolf, the wolf lashes out at you while dangling from a rope. The rate at which it hits you is random and incredibly fast, and the slow turning speed means that it's not easy to turn around and grab the item from the werewolf before it hits you, and if you get hit you have to load from before the lengthy chase scene.
    • During the fight with the Mummy, you have to burn him with a torch to force him across the room towards a pillar. Once again, the turning speed makes it difficult to grab the torch before the Mummy hits you, and to make matters worse the Mummy can put out the torch and force you to do it again. This is also preceded by a lengthy chase scene.
    • When Dracula is chasing you through the tunnels under his castle there are lots of tokens to collect, all of which must be clicked on in the time that it takes him to catch up with you. It is unclear whether this is even possible due to (once again) the slow turning time.
    • The coffin minigame features spiders descending towards you at a lightning fast speed, and you have to click on all of them before they hit you.
  • Parents in Distress: Revealed when you enter the final level.
  • Pungeon Master: Pretty much everything that comes out of Luke's mouth is a terrible pun, usually at the expense of his sister or best friend.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: When you explore the tunnels, the tunnels are 3D, and the monsters that chase you are 2D sprites. Polygons are only used in those segments.
  • Third-Person Person: Stump
  • Unwinnable by Design: Averted. There's really no way you can lose. The only thing that happens when you get damaged is that you lose coins, and those aren't really used for anything.
  • Wolf Man


Enchanted SceptersPoint-and-Click GameVideo Game
EragonLicensed GameE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Attack Of The MutantCreator/Dream WorksJurassic Park: Trespasser

alternative title(s): Escape From Horrorland
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