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Video Game: Night Trap

Night Trap is an FMV game by Digital Pictures. It was created (well, filmed) in the mid-80s and was originally intended to be released on Hasbro's videotape-based game console, the NEMO. However, the NEMO was never released, and the game debuted in 1992 on the Sega CD. In 1994, it arrived on the Sega 32 X, 3DO, IBM PC, and Macintosh.

Groups of teenage girls have been disappearing after going to the house of the Martin family for a sleepover held by the family's daughter, Sarah. As a member of a special task force known as SCAT (Sega/Special Control Attack Team), you are given control of the house's unusual security system, which consists of cameras and traps placed in most of the rooms in the house, in order to help the field agent, Kelly (played by Dana Plato), protect the latest group of girls that have been invited over.

The game is mostly known for the undue controversy that it caused upon release, along with its less-than-stellar gameplay and cheesy acting. It has also made several "Worst Games Ever" lists.

Followed by a Spiritual Successor titled Double Switch in 1993.


This game contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The reason people are going missing is because the Martins run a charity wherein they provide blood for augers (see below). Since augers cannot drain their victims themselves without the help of some goofy looking devices.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Danny, Lisa's brother.
  • Attract Mode
  • Boss Rush: The climax of the game. You have to beat each of the remaining Martins in order: first, when Victor Martin, Sheila Martin and Sarah Martin corner Kelly in the bedroom, Sheila comes the closest to catching Kelly so you first have to trap Sheila with a bed that catapults her out the window (which was not originally intended for her; apparently Victor was going to give that trap to his wife as a "surprise"); Kelly will then manage to make it past Victor and Sarah, but Victor chases her. Second, when Victor chases Kelly into the bathroom, you have to activate a wall trap that gets rid of Victor, but that still leaves Sarah. Sarah will cut Kelly off outside in the hallway, so you have to drop Sarah down a pit and then all the Martins are gone and you've won the game. If you miss even one of the three Martins in this sequence, Kelly will escape at first but then whichever Martin you missed will show up with a crowd of augers to drain Kelly and you'll lose.
  • Damsels in Distress: All the girls are in danger of getting killed by the augers, and it's up to you to save them from harm.
  • Dummied Out: One of the Game Over scenes.
  • The Eighties: Painfully so, but not surprising, since the footage was shot during that time.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Mr. Martin, who tries to come off as a charming gentleman.
  • Face-Heel Turn: You, in the perfect ending. If you are so inclined.
    • Heck, you don't even have go that far. Just let one of the Martins escape during the final sequence and kick back and watch the fun. You get the same ending either way.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: "Weird Eddie", one of the Martins' neighbors, invented a laser gun in order to combat them and the augers. Interestingly, the SCAT team has real guns, though it's still not particularly violent. (The augers only seem to emit sparks even when shot with real guns and the Martins, being vampires, are immune to bullets.)
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Subverted.
  • Full Motion Video
  • Fun with Acronyms: SCAT. Talk about Unfortunate Names.
  • Genki Girl: Megan
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Sarah (if you're fast enough to see her in the bedroom at the start of the game) and Tony. All of the other vampires have them as well, but only when they show their fangs.
  • Gratuitous French: Mr. Martin says a couple of these phrases, natch.
  • Guide Dang It: The split-second room changes the game requires from you are nearly impossible without playing the game multiple times or having a comprehensive walk-through.
  • Have a Nice Death: Either you get berated by Simms for screwing up and kicked off the mission, or later in the game when the SCAT moves in and you fail, Jeff personally tells you how much you messed up before sending you down one of the traps.
  • Jive Turkey: The sole black member of SCAT. Yeah...
    • In his defense, the worst moment of this trope, when he pretends to be a Jamaican who's lost his boat, was just a cover story invented as a pretext so he could ask everyone in the house (including SCAT's field agent Kelly) if they're doing all right. When he talks like himself, he sounds relatively normal.
  • Kaizo Trap: It's possible to get a Game Over during the intro simply by doing nothing. This was actually quite common with a lot of Sega CD FMV games back then.
  • Large Ham: The guy playing Lt. Simms is deadly serious and is not above disconnecting your controller if you screw up or don't start the game fast enough.
    • Also, Mr. Martin ("THE WALL TRAP! AAAAAAAAAAAH!")
  • Malevolent Architecture: The Martins' house was built full of traps and hidden cameras in order to contain and kill helpless kids. S.C.A.T. hacks the system and takes control of it to save the kids and kill the Martins and their auger minions.
  • New Media Are Evil: This game is one of the reasons why the ESRB exists today. The game caused controversy and was pulled from store shelves due to its "violent content" and its gameplay being centered around "capturing and torturing young women." It's a good thing that none of the senators involved in the hearing actually played the game. Otherwise, they would have found out that none of these things happen and they would have had to rely more on the content in Mortal Kombat to get the ruling that they wanted.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires can teleport, make their eyes glow, have super strength, are unharmed by bullets, and can shoot lightning from their hands. Other vampires are created by completely draining a mortal of blood. However, if not enough blood is taken, an auger is created. Augers look like limping burglars due to the fact that they cover themselves completely in black clothing because their skin falls off of their bones due to their hunger.
  • Rich Bitch: Lisa, though she's more vain than bitchy.
  • Sociopathic Hero: You can choose to get the perfect ending just so you trap Kelly in the end.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Tony
  • Surprise Slide Staircase: The game uses this as a trap.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jeff to Cindy over the course of the game.
  • Title Theme Tune: The characters lipsync to it at one point.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Cindy if you let Jeff bite her. She actually seems quite happy to be part of the walking undead.
  • Token Good Teammate: Tony.
    • Subverted, Tony helps out the heroines once, and only because Ashley coincidentally happens to look like his former girlfriend. After that, and after Kelly ignores his warnings to not investigate any further, Tony will attempt to capture Kelly just like any of the Martins, and will succeed if you don't use a trap on Tony.
  • Token Minority: SCAT has both a token black guy and a token woman (if you don't count Kelly).
  • Tragic Keepsake: Tony has a locket with a picture of his former girlfriend (who looks just like Ashley, one of the girls at the sleepover) in it. We never find out what happened to her.
  • Trap Door: One of the possible traps you can use on the augers; other traps include catapulting the augers out the window, for example.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: You get this from Simms if you fail to save the girls early on, followed by a game over.
    Simms: Megan is dead. And yes, you could have saved her. You were responsible for her life, and you screwed up. There's a lot going on in this house, too bad you're not going to be around to see anymore of it. Breaking contact.
  • A Winner Is You: All you get for winning the game is Kelly congratulating you on your success. However, if you get a perfect game (all bad guys captured, all innocents saved), you get to trap her right afterward.