A series of independent Adventure Games created by one Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games, which features supernatural mystery solving and a unconventional inventory system.The main characters are the introverted unwilling medium, Rosangela Blackwell, and her family's guide to the world beyond, Joey Mallone, a ghost with a Mysterious Past. And together they must help the restless and bodiless souls of New York to move on to the next plane of existence, which is rarely an easy task.The series is technically a Continuity Reboot of a planned series of freeware games called Bestowers of Eternity, of which only part one was released.Games in the series so far:
The Blackwell Legacy (2006)
Blackwell Unbound (2007)
The Blackwell Convergence (2009)
Blackwell Deception (2011)
Blackwell Epiphany (Currently in development, early 2014)
Acceptable Targets: invoked Being New Yorkers, Joey and Rosa are not huge fans of New Jersey.
Rosa: I'm wet, I'm filthy... and I'm in New Jersey.
And I Must Scream: Ghosts that have left the earthly plane but are unable to enter the next world somehow, remain stuck in the space between planes for the rest of eternity. This is the fate of Madeline, the Countess' former spirit guide, and happens to Joey as well before he manages to return to Earth with Madeline's help.
Artistic License - Geography: All shots of New York are accurate or at least mostly accurate to the era they're shown in, except one. In Unbound, the saxophone playing ghost is playing in a spot where the skyline of Manhattan is visible when it should not be. In the commentary, both the designer and the artist comment on it and claim artistic license that it looks nicer.
Art Shift: The graphic design changes quite a bit from game to game. Dave Gilbert has called it a Running Gag on the commentary track, and that told he especially likes the idea of giving the portal to the Realm of Infinity a new interpretation in every game.
But Now I Must Go: Getting a ghost to this point is the entire purpose of the Medium profession.
But Thou Must: A medium who is cut off from their spirit guide or refuses to perform the task laid before them, will eventually go mad.
Can't Hold Her Liquor: In the Blackwell Convergence, when you try to leave the Park Gallery after visiting it for the first time, Nishanti urges Rosa to stay for the party. If she complies, a slightly different set of dialogue will play out throughout the game that implies that Rosa got very drunk that night at the gallery.
Chekhov's Skill: Picking a locked door with a paper clip in Blackwell Convergence.
If you use the paperclip from the beginning of the game to lockpick Frank Lyons' apartment door, however, the paperclip immediately breaks, making the solution to unlocking the door in the diner near the end of the game a double subversion.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Rosa shows shades of this in Deception when Joey puts the mack on Jamie. Ostensibly, this was to get Jamie to realize she was dead, but there's no denying Joey enjoyed it.
The Conspiracy: Gavin hints that there's a greater organization at work apart from him, and if The Stinger at the end of Deception is any indication, people in power may be involved.
Dead to Begin With: The ghosts Rosangela encounters, obviously, most of which she has to make aware of that fact before they can move on.
Definitely Just a Cold: In the Blackwell Deception, Jeremy thinks he just came down with the flu when, in fact, he's dead and haunting his apartment.
Doomed by Canon: When Joey says that it's a bad idea for Lauren to get back in touch with her brother, he means it. This shifts the ending from Bittersweet closer to Downer.
Dreaming of Things to Come: The dreams Lauren recorded on her dictophone in Blackwell Unbound refer to events in the previous game (which takes place around thirty years later). One or two of these dreams foreshadow a few twists in the Blackwell Convergence and some others could possibly allude to events to be revealed in later games.
Flight: Joey can levitate high off the ground if he wishes. He rarely exploits this ability, however, since he has to stay within thirty feet of his medium at all times.
Easily Forgiven: OK, Gavin is one hell of a smooth talker. And the mind control implications do help. Still, Joey forgives Rosangela way too easily after what she tried to do to him in Deception. Read: eternity in nothingness, alone.
Then again, the verbal thrashing Joey gives to Rosa in an effort to have her break away from Gavin's control seems a little deserved.
The Ghost/No Name Given: Grandpa Blackwell. He is mentioned here and there, but he hasn't made an on-screen appearance or even been named in any of the games. Lauren is about to say his name at one point, but temperately interrupts herself for an unrelated reason, and the screen fades to black before the audience hears it.
Ghost Amnesia: Most ghosts don't realize they're dead, and have to be reminded before they can move on.
Ghostly Goals: Even ghosts who DO know they've died sometimes refuse to pass before they've accomplished something specific.
Jacob Marley Apparel: Not limited to the clothes. If a ghost was specially attached to an object while s/he lived, s/he will carry around a ghostly version of it. Sometimes the objects are still somewhat functional, such as saxophones, guns, and phones.
The Deacon's bottle (which he keeps drinking from despite being empty) hits closer to the Trope Namer, as it literally contains his past sins according to the devil.
Mythology Gag: Gavin and his superiors refers to Rosa as a "Bestower of eternity", a reference to the original freeware game the series is based on.
No Social Skills: Rosa, especially in the first game. She refuses to approach Nashanti while she's playing her flute in public, and her dialogue choices throughout often end up as a choice between "mean", "passive-aggressive", or "awkward/tell an awkward joke."
NPC Amnesia: In the first game Rosa can repeatedly give different false names to a security guard, and come up with a half-baked excuses as to why she gave him a wrong name last time.
Offscreen Teleportation: In the commentary of Unbound, the designer and the artist joke that this is probably the only way Lauren could get around New York so fast in one night. That, or a jetpack.
Oral Fixation: Lauren Blackwell is a hardcore chain smoker to the point where she does not only have an ashtray in every room, but also for all of her everyday activities that require two hands. She's also often in denial about her habit. She often claims that the cigarette she's currently on is her "last one of the night".
"During this game, Lauren smoked 38 cigarettes."
Ouija Board: They actually work. According to Joey, the results are aways bad.
Police Are Useless: Naturally, when deaths start involving ghosts. It gets lampshaded a bit by Joey in Convergence when Rosa isn't charged with the murder of an artist despite the fact that she and the murdered were the only ones visibly present at the time. Also, Lauren apparently gets off scot-free for killing the Countess.
Psychic Powers: Mediums don't get any of the flashy abilities associated with some psychics, but they can interact with ghosts in ways that are impossible for most people. And some have other kinds of powers.
Sanity Has Advantages: This being an adventure game series, out-thinking the neurotic spiritual (or spiritually neurotic) villains is what earns the Blackwell mediums their victories in every game thus far.
Shout Out: Rosa publishes her exploits as fiction, just like a certain writer from New Orleans. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out so well for her, since there's not much of a market for Ghost stories.
Taught by Experience: Joey, Lauren, and Rosa. Dialogue with another spirit guide (the only one besides Joey you ever encounter) suggests that, normally, mediums and spirit guides get a formal education from more experienced people, living and dead. Without a teacher and with nothing but instinct to go on, Joey has apparently developed some... unconventional talents as a spirit guide.
Unfinished Business: Ghosts who died in the middle of some activity may need to have that activity wrapped up before they'll notice how dead they are.
Updated Re-release: Deception had an update in 2013 where the character portraits was changed to a more realistic style over the original comic-style portraits to fit more with the other games in the series.
The Verse: This series and The Shivah share some elements. Rosangela contacted Rabbi Zelig, presumably for an obituary. Sam Durkin makes appearances in Unbound and Convergence and is slated to return in Epiphany. Sharming Fashion is mentioned in Convergence. Both games have spam e-mails by Tomo. Then in Deception it turns out that Rajshree Lauder contacted Rosa to see if her husband's ghost was still around.
Also, Rosangela's neighbor Nishanthi and Rajshree share the same maiden name, Sharma. And in The Shivah, in the pub there's a certain redhead talking to someone who "isn't there".
Who You Gonna Call?: Rosangela decides to set up this sort of business at the end of Convergence and continues it in Deception, complete with business cards.
Why We Can't Have Nice Things: A real-life example. On Halloween 2013, Wadjet Eye Games did a special free giveaway of one of the Blackwell games to encourage people to buy their games. Even though several goofs on behalf of their download fulfillment partner BMT Micro were rectified for the most part, a large amount of the freely-distributed codes were still found to be hoarded (through spambots and IP blockers) for resale, forcing WEG to abort the giveaway and have Valve delete all still-unused Steam keys, possibly including several that were gained legitimately.