You'll vomit with excitement! You'll puke with pleasure! You'll shit with fear!Illbleed
— Advertisement for Illbleed
is an obscure, tongue-in-cheek Survival Horror
game for the Sega Dreamcast
that parodies American horror B-movies. It follows a group of horror movie aficionados (borderline Emotionless Girl
Eriko Christy, wannabe psychic Michel Waters, average Joe
Kevin Kertsman, and dim-witted Boisterous Bruiser
and slasher-movie fan Randy Fairbanks) who receive guest passes to Illbleed, a horror amusement park built by reclusive movie director Michael Reynolds, who has filled his park with six terrifying attractions based on his movies, and promised to give one hundred million dollars to anyone who makes it through all six attractions without chickening out. Kevin, Michel, and Randy are gung-ho, but Eriko smells Hype Backlash
in the making and opts out... until her friends fail to come back from their trip to Illbleed, and she's forced to investigate...
Players control Eriko as she travels through the six attractions trying to rescue her friends, facing foes ranging from the horrifying (like the vengeful, flamethrower-toting Gale Banballow in "Homerun of Death") to the ridiculous (the "Cake from Hell" in "Killer Department Store"). Each of the six stages is laden with traps that can harm Eriko, release monsters, or will just attempt to scare her to death. Fortunately, you have a special "horror monitor" that allows you to detect and tag traps (though use of the horror monitor is limited by your character's "adrenaline" level).
A very thorough Let's Play
can be found here
. Gameinformer's blind Super Replay can be found here
This game contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Eriko's father put her through scare tests on an incredibly consistent basis when she was five. Though, if the picture after the credits is to be believed, and some of the dialogue, there was a time he cared for her.
- All There in the Manual: Other than Eriko (who is actually given a bit more backstory in the manual), the backstories of the other characters aren't explored in the game at all.
- The manual also explains the origin of Dummyman and some of the enemies in the game, along with adding a bit more backstory to the attractions in the game (With the exception of Reynold's Museum).
- Bittersweet Ending: In the second playthrough of the game, Eriko mentions, at the endgame, that, because of Michael Reynolds, her father, she lost her sense of fear, and wanted to get that back. After her dad finally manages to scare her, he ends up dying. Eriko says that he may have finally scared her, but he lost himself in the process. The end credits even change from "Time to get Ill" to a more somber version of the main menu theme to the game.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The wall between the characters and the attractions themselves is broken once every level. You beat one of the (animatronic) bosses by killing its operator (who may or may not be animatronic himself). In another level you enter the boss arena only to meet a pair of maintenance workers who are repairing it. Also, there's an entire level based around the murders of several park employees, ostensibly by the villain of that level's attraction. The player is a potential suspect, and the game suggests that your "abnormality," as evidenced by purchasing Illbleed, is what drove you to commit the murder.
- Brick Joke: Fall-Down Bear appears in the first level when you defuse the TV trap there. Another TV-related trap in Killer Department Store features him again, if you don't defuse the trap. Axes can make him fall down too.
- Butter Face: The pistol packin' female enemies in stage 2 and 6 are quite comely from the neck down, but their faces have been bloodily torn off.
- Call Forward: There's a cardboard cut-out of Cork in the toy section of Cashman's Department Store.
- The Cameo: Dogs Bowser appears in the toy store being advertised and as a corpse in "Killerman".
- Clothing Damage: If, during a New Game+, you fail to save an unlockable character then Eriko's clothing gets damaged. If you don't save any of them then she winds up completely naked, which is in fact necessary in order to get the True Ending.
- Creepy Doll: Cutey Mary.
- Crapsack World: So we're talking about some crazy horror movie director who makes an entire theme park dedicated to basically killing people. How does he not get put in jail? Furthermore, events later in the game seem to point towards the fact no one is at all against the concept of the theme park, let alone the number of people who die there...
- Not to mention that, according to Jorg, "more than a hundred visitors die in this park every day," as well as Illbleed's "morgue" in the Killerman level which appears to be one giant pit the size of a warehouse filled with what appears to be rotting bodies.
- You can bring people back to life by paying 75,000 for a SURGICAL OPERATION to restore them to life, good as new. Not paying to bring the people back to life shows just how much they care.
- The Ditz: Randy; it's made even worse if you fail to find his brain before turning him back from being a woodpuppet.
- Could classify as Body Horror, but adds as a gameplay bonus. He's got fewer points to deactivate traps, making him ideal for a Self-Imposed Challenge. His dialog is also turned into hilarious gibberish.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Played with in the "Killerman" event. Midway through, you're asked to finger a suspect for the role of Killerman (if you're right, you win more money). Besides the proper suspects you've encountered, the choices for who may be the murderous Killerman includes... Killerman, and the player. The latter is explained that playing Illbleed drove you insane and made you go on a killing spree.
- Engrish: From the Revenge of the Queen Worm stage, there are billboard advertisements for fake movies. Most of their taglines are in poorly-written English, including such gems as "GODDLA: Size is problem."
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: One of the generic "mook" monsters is the Monkillers, creepy ape-like goblins.
- Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Everything. If it's in the level it can probably come to life and menace you.
- Eyes Always Shut: Randy. Subverted if you don't return his brain.
- Fanservice: If the player lets Eriko's friends die, her clothes get ripped to the point of nudity. Also one scene in the second level may count depending on what character the player chose.
- Fan Disservice: Getting Eriko's friends killed so you can get her nude skin. Seriously. Also her father during the final boss fight comments on how much she's grown.
- The aforementioned Faceless Girl enemies.
- Final Boss: In the "bad" and "good" endings, you get to choose one final boss from a list of three. They are listed here in order of difficulty:
- Dollarchura, the boss of "Killer Department Store" that you originally defeated by stealing his controls and making him jump into walls until he died.
- OHNOMAN (yes, in all caps), a headless fellow with jaunty striped pants who attacks you with a pair of sickles.
- Bullstinger, a mutated and more powerful version of an enemy from one of Crazy Games/Climax Graphics's earlier Dreamcast games, Blue Stinger.
- And in the "true" ending, you have to fight Eriko's deranged father, Michael Reynolds, first as a giant zombie head that randomly rises from and submerges into a giant pool of gray liquid and shoots rainbows out of the cut in his head, and again as a bat-winged, demon-faced, wiggly-arm-tentacled brain that emerges from the giant zombie head after you kill it.
- Five-Man Band: The main characters and Jorg.
- Fright Deathtrap: All the levels are positively covered in traps. They are not immediately fatal with each one varying in how scary it is, but running into too many in a row will cause your character to die of a heart attack. To prevent their layout from being too predictable, each trap is not guaranteed to be active/inactive during a run of a level.
- Gainax Ending: The "true" ending.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Eriko's "fearlessness" translates into her being the only character to recover immediately upon knockdown, while all other characters need a Shock Bracer to do that. She doesn't recover immediately at the start of the Final Boss fight, a sign that she's gotten her fear back.
- Gimmick Level: Every level past the first seems to have a gimmick: There are no traps in Level 2, Level 3 has a long section where your character becomes a Woodpuppet, Level 4 has traps that can steal money and a series of minigames, Level 5 has a whodunit-style mystery, and Level 6... Well, Level 6 just has to be seen to be believed.
- Guide Dang It: "Homerun Of Death" starts off in a small area enclosed by a brick wall, where the only way out is via a dilapidated gate that has a trap you must get hit by to proceed. The seemly-featureless brick wall has some traps of its own, but most players' first instinct is to immediately go through the gate into the Hotel's front yard. These traps are in such an obscure location that even Supergreatfriend managed to miss them despite showcasing all other traps in the entire game.
- Hub Level: Contains shops, entrances to the various levels, and a graveyard with a tutorial and some free items.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: It's never explained what Eriko's dad really is, but he's clearly not human.
- Insult Backfire:
Eriko: How dare you! You're a maniac. Out of your mind!
Michael Reynolds: Aha, music to my ears!
- Informed Ability: Eriko is said to have no sense of fear, but that just means she isn't disabled by monster ambushes; she can die of fright from traps just as easily as any other playable character.
- Jorg is supposed to be an ace reporter and sleuth, even though players will likely be poking holes in his Bat Deduction the entire time he's trying to unravel the mystery at hand (e.g. Former gymnast or not, no regular human can leap 60 feet in the air, dude).
- Invincible Minor Minion: The zombies in "Killerman," who are, it's suggested, not part of the attraction, but the real deal.
- Joke Character: Brainless Randy lacks any adrenaline needed to mark possible traps. Bear in mind that Randy's adrenaline count will drop to zero each time you rescue him without getting his brain, so any adrenal upgrades you may have bought for him will go to waste.
- Jump Scare: And they aren't limited to just scaring.
- Kill It with Fire: Gale Banballow in "Home Run of Death." He's horribly burned, and lugs around a flamethrower with an attached tank of fuel.
- This is also the prescribed method of killing Rachel, The Queen Worm.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The sixth level is filled with these, from main hero Cork Inda being a cross between Woody from Toy Story and Indiana Jones from the boss, Zodick the Hellhog, being an obvious Shout-Out to Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Loners Are Freaks: Exaggerated in the opening to "Woodpuppets."
1\He was presumed lost in the wilderness or eaten by a bear. No one cared because he was a loner anyway.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Eriko's dad is Michael Reynolds, the mad genius behind Illbleed.
- Mad Artist: Michael Reynolds.
- Mascot Mook: The Crash Test Dummies and their leader, Dummyman
- Mind Screw: Remember how strange and confusing Panic! was? Well, Illbleed makes it look as clear and sensible as the "DO NOT EAT" directions on a silica packet. No kidding, this game technically qualifies as Dada art.
- The "Killerman" stage and the final "boss" of stage 1, as far as in-game examples go. Did you really go backstage, stop a possessed Killerman costume and tangle with real zombies, or was it All Part of the Show? Were you meant to find Banballow's operator and kill him? If not, why did you need his ID card to open the Goal pathway, and why was there a metal spring jutting out from his severed neck?
- Money Spider: Cashman. Sorry, couldn't resist the joke.
- Monster Town: The hub world has atleast three characters, who consistantly try to kill you in the attractions, tending to shops.
- Multiple Endings:
- True Ending: Eriko defeats the owner of Illbleed , Michael Reynolds.
- Good Ending: Eriko and her friends go on vacation to a tropical island but she decides to go back to tie up some loose ends.
- Bad Ending: Eriko wins the $100 million Illbleed challenge but lives the rest of her life in regret for losing all of her friends.
- New Game+: Playing the game a second time through allows you to keep all your upgrades and unlock the True Ending by letting all of Eriko's friends die.
- Nipple and Dimed: Nude Eriko has only shredded scraps of strategically-placed underwear covering her naughty bits and keeping the game at a respectable M rating.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The Morgue in Stage 5 has no background music in the Japanese version, leaving it up to your HUD's pulse meter to provide a Heartbeat Soundtrack instead.
- Off the Rails: "Killerman" is set up as a murder mystery in New York, but then the attraction fails to start, leaving the player character to find out that somebody has adopted the Killerman identity and is killing staff members of Illbleed, and the player character and Jorg have to figure out who it is, while fighting off enemies from previous and later attractions.
- Offscreen Teleportation: In true horror-movie style, any enemies pursuing you in a level segment will pull this off so they can pop out and ambush you from around corners. It's especially obvious with Mr. Banballow, who can round a corner to your left, suddenly start coming around the right corner when you try to run away, and then be back to closing in from the left again once you turn back around.
- One-Winged Angel: The True Ending's final boss Michael Reynolds when, after being defeated as a giant zombie head, transforms into a demonic tentacled brain with bat wings.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Eriko's lack of any sense of fear translates in gameplay to her instantly recovering when ambushed by a monster whereas all her friends will helplessly crawl along the ground for varying lengths of time before standing back up to fight. When she first sees the true final boss, she is knocked down and stays down for longer than any other character, indicating that for the first time in years, she's utterly terrified of what she's seeing.
- Recurring Boss: Dummyman takes a swing at you every now and again.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Gale Banballow again.
- Sanity Meter: Your adrenaline meter, in a few ways. It's used to work the Horror Monitor, which marks traps and items. It's refilled by defusing traps and killing monsters; basically, proving to yourself that the frightening things can be overcome restores your will to go on.
- Scare Chord: One accompanies every "scare" effect.
- Sequel Hook: The True Ending has one, involving another horror land called "The Arcade", which, if you look closely, not only bears a suspicious resemblance to the Illbleed tickets, but also has Michael Reynolds' name on it...
- Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Dangerous as they are, the denizens of Illbleed aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree, and pose nearly as much a threat to themselves as they do to you. The lone exception to this are the Killer Worms, which becomes very frustrating when you're forced to fight three of them simultaneously in Stage 4.
- Shaped Like Itself: In stage five, one of the possible suspects for the Killerman murders is... well, Killerman. It's considered the correct answer, if only by virtue of every other answer being unambiguously wrong.
- Shout-Out: Cork from "Toy Hunter" looks like a cross between Woody from Toy Story and Indiana Jones, with William Riker's beard thrown in for good measure. His robotic companion, Potedon, also has the same markings and color scheme as Buzz Lightyear's chest, buttons and all.
- Also, the boss of the next-to-last level is a demonic Sonic the Hedgehog, complete with rings. Sometimes he'll even do Sonic's old "uh-uh-uh" finger waggle.
- "The Revenge of Queen Worm" seems to be a big shout out to Tremors, due to worms being able to detect you if you're on dirt.
- Killerman is a violent riff on Pepsiman, the old Japanese mascot for Pepsi Cola.
- Stripperiffic: On a second playthrough, do not save any of Eriko's friends. As Eriko advances through each stage, she loses progressively more clothing with each one. By the time she hits the "true" final stage, she's dressed in bandages and extremely tattered undergarments.
- Related to the plot, disturbingly enough - the game's announcer is so turned on by her that he jumps down and starts the final battle. Which is made a lot worse when it's revealed that he's her freaking father. Oh, Illbleed.
- And then there's Sexy Doll in Toy Hunter who is clad in a tiny bikini and has a major case of Camel Toe on top of it all.
- Stylistic Suck: Give the general tone of the game, it's arguable that things like the less-than-stellar voice acting and occasional spot of Engrish were deliberte.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option/Violation of Common Sense: In "Woodpuppets", you encounter the area where people are turned into the eponymous creatures. You have to jump in and become a Woodpuppet to progress in the level.
- Surreal Horror/Surreal Humor: What the game basically runs on, though it relies on the latter more than it does the former.
- Together in Death: Non-romantically, but Old David and his pet worm Rachel can be seen as this. A strange mixture of creepy, darkly amusing and sad.
- Too Awesome to Use: Averted - your inventory is emptied at the end of every level, so you have no reason to sit on your items.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
"Here's your favorite Sexydoll. She'll comfort you!"
- True Final Boss: With an accompanying Gainax Ending.
- Tyop on the Cover: Woodpuppets is misspelled as Woodpupppets on the sign in front of its entrance.
- Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Twice in the game, the player character comes across a boss that's literally invulnerable, then remembers that he or she is in a theme park, defeating them by going into the control room and disabling them from there.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Randy is somehow still alive despite the fact that he lost his brain. You can turn him back to normal by putting his brain back in... or DON'T and have him with you as a living, walking vegetable for the rest of the game. Complete with incomprehensible dialogue for additional comedic effect.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Rescuing your friends is OPTIONAL which will get you the bad ending if you intentionally leave them behind.
- We All Live in America: On top of the Japanese love of Personality Blood Types, the store prices in the "Killer Department Store" level look like they simply swapped out the yen figures for dollars, leading to the sight of burgers that cost $2,000. (Even then, $20 for a burger is highway robbery by American standards... still unheard of in Japan, but slightly less ridiculous.)
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Potedon's VA seems to have been going for The Ahnold with his accent, but it ends up sounding more like an Austrian doing an impression of a guy from Brooklyn. Who's mocking a Bostonian. And just got back from the dentist. The accent's kind of hard to pin down, is the point.
- When Trees Attack: Well, it would have if the animatronics hadn't broken down before the boss fight. You still end up fighting the tree.
- Who Even Needs a Brain?: Randy got turned into a Type I brainless human in the Woodpuppets attraction.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While all the male characters have normal colored hair, Eriko and Michel have purple and green hair respectively. The only one who breaks the trend is Eriko's Dad in the true ending who has blue hair.