Video Game: Last Half of Darkness
A series of PC horror adventure games from WRF Studios. Themes of voodoo and vampirism, spooky swamps, assorted creepy-crawlies, ruins, and dilapidated mansions are common to all games in the series, set in a "Black World" of gypsy curses and malignant shadow-spirits.
Most games in the series are traditional Myst
-style point-and-click, whereas the original 1991 version is a picture-enhanced text-based scenario, and Society of the Serpent Moon
employs a 3-D avatar protagonist. In a throwback to the early days of PC gaming, Last Half of Darkness
CD-packs incorporate printed supplements that are necessary to decode in-game clues.
Entries in the series include:
- Last Half of Darkness (1991)
- Shadows of the Servants (2005)
- Beyond the Spirit's Eye (2008)
- Tomb of Zojir (2010)
- Society of the Serpent Moon (2011)
Tropes used include:
- And Show It to You: Happens to you in the 1991 original if you piss off the dark figure with the ax.
- Badass Longcoat: Billy.
- Bat Scare: Several examples in the games, often involving cockroaches.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Tia's wish for revenge only made things worse for Shadowcrest.
- The Big Easy: Servants is set in a mansion at the edge of a creepy "Black World"-infested New Orleans.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A finger severed from one of Marcos's victims.
- Creepy Cemetery: Several in the various games.
- Creepy Child: The little boy (?) in the Mardi Gras devil-costume.
- Creepy Crows: Several, including one that steals the Eye from the old swamp witch in Tomb.
- Dem Bones: The Guardians in Spirit's Eye and Tomb.
- Driven to Suicide: Marcos tried to hang himself when he realized what he'd become but Tia's wish made the rope break.
- Empty Piles of Clothing: All that's left of Sashia's entourage of masked undead women.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Madame Ze instigated the horror in Shadowcrest so she could claim the Eye of Acareous and take control of its protecting spirits, but Tia sics the Guardians on her instead.
- Fortune Teller: Two gypsy mystics provide clues in Tomb, and an automaton fortune-teller in a coin-operated booth does so in Servants and Spirit's Eye.
- From Beyond The Fourth Wall: The DVD editions use in-case supplemental documents as part of the scenario, and the later games even use markings on the disk itself as one of their clues.
- Also, Shadows of the Servants's Mind Screw ending reveals that Mira "summoned" the protagonist and others to the mansion by putting the video game on the market.
- Ghost Town: Shadowcrest, the town from Spirit's Eye, is almost totally deserted, for good reason.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Guardians and the old witch.
- Haunted House: Plenty
- Hot Gypsy Woman: The younger fortune-teller in Tomb.
- Interactive Fiction: The 1991 original is a hybrid of text-based and point-and-click, with a menu to select commands.
- Intrepid Reporter: Wendy in Society got herself kidnapped while investigating a story.
- Looks Like Orlok: Marcos from Spirit's Eye
- MacGuffin: The Eye of Acareous
- Magic Antidote: You whip one up to treat yourself for snakebite in Tomb, and Billy finds some already-made in Society.
- The Man Behind the Man: Madame Ze set Marcos up to find the Eye of Acareous and unleash the curse, then tricks you into retrieving it so she can claim control over the Guardians.
- Mouth Stitched Shut: Tia manifests like this in Spirit's Eye.
- Neck Lift: Sashia does it to Billy via telekinesis when he confronts her in Society.
- Orifice Evacuation: In the opening cinematic for Society, the shadow of a snake emerging from the mouth of a female figure is seen.
- Our Vampires Are Different: There's a monkey infected with vampirism in Shadows of the Servants. In Society, Sashia is said to be "a witch, a vampire, and a snake" all in one.
- Point-and-Click Game
- Prophet Eyes: Tia's eyes are pure white. Madame Ze's are white in Spirit's Eye; in Tomb, the improving graphics show that hers have pale blue sclera around white irises.
- Raising the Steaks: A skeletal fish snaps at you from the fountain in Spirit's Eye.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tomb plays it straight with the wolf, but subverts it with the elderly gypsy. The junkyard dog and vipers in Serpent Moon also. Also Wendy at the end.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Plenty of snakes, especially in Society.
- Rollercoaster Mine: Averted; the mine cart ride in Spirit's Eye isn't particularly fast, although it is creepy.
- Scary Scorpions: There's one in the young swamp witch's house in Tomb.
- Schmuck Bait: "Come closer..."
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The thieves who stole the gemstones from the Tomb of Zojir unleashed some pretty nasty supernatural threats into the world.
- Spiders Are Scary
- The Starscream: In Society, Bruce works for Sashia, but has been collecting the means to destroy her behind her back.
- Stolen Good, Returned Better: In Servants, a dark creature snatches the seemingly-useless voodoo doll from your inventory. The doll turns up later in another room, and you can now remove its head to extract a key from inside.
- Sundial Waypoint: Moon dial, actually.
- Swallow the Key: In Servants, the doctor swallowed the key to a strongbox before she died. You can't open the box containing the ashes from her cremation, but can put it in the fireplace so everything except the key will be destroyed.
- Swamps Are Evil
- The Walls Have Eyes: A creepy box with an animated eye on each side appears in Spirit's Eye, as does a weird trinket of finger-bones surrounding an animated eye. In Tomb, there's a ring with a living eye in the middle.