Video Game: The Thing

The Thing is a survival horror game from the year 2002. It acts as a sequel to the film The Thing (1982).

After communications have been lost with Antarctic U.S. Outpost 31, a team of special forces is sent in to investigate. John Blake is the leader of one of the two units, and finds the Outpost destroyed and deserted, with the frozen body of Childs and a recording by R.J. MacReady offering little insight into what happened. When the second unit encounters more aliens at the Norwegian camp and gets decimated, Blake heads over and finds himself forced into a fight to stop the Things from spreading further.

The video game contains examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: At one point, Blake acquires access to another room by walking hunched through a four-foot-wide air duct.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The final boss just so happens to be placed in an area where there are flammable barrels all around, and for some reason, when you shoot them, they shoot fire inwardly towards the thing instead of exploding.
  • The Cameo: John Carpenter contributes his likeness to the character of Dr. Faraday, and MacReady, alive and well, shows up to help you fight the final boss.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The first two squad mates you receive after encountering the Thing turn out to be infected, but neither of them attack you when you're alone with them, and if you give them the blood test before the scripted event that turns them into Things, it shows that they're human. In fact, the "tests" only seem to work when scripted to, and teammates can reveal themselves as Things when you hit certain plot flags even if you've just tested them and confirmed they were human. This is mostly so the game can get you alone whenever it requires you to be alone.
  • Canon Immigrant: The video game version officially follows the events after the film ended, and reveals what happened to Childs and RJ MacReady... Childs died of exposure, and RJ survived.
  • Continuity Nod: There are several through the game: In the introductory tutorial level, which takes place at the remains of Outpost 31, Blake and his team can find the tape recorder MacReady used in the movie and play back his audio journal. You also get to explore the Norwegian outpost, and the UFO makes an appearance as well.
  • Creator Cameo: John Carpenter supplies the voice and likeness of Dr. Sean Faraday.
  • Gunship Rescue: R.J. MacReady returns in a helicopter in the final level to help out Blake against the giant Colonel Whitely-Thing.
  • The Immune: It's mentioned that Blake has an unusual resistance to Thing infection, which greatly interests the scientists studying the creature. This also explains how Blake doesn't turn into the Thing despite all the bites and ooze he ends up taking over the course of the game.
  • Kill It with Fire: This is averted with the Spiderhead Things and Exposed Things as they can be permanently killed with conventional firearms. The larger Things including the Bosses play this trope straight but can also be finished off with high explosives as a nod to how MacReady killed the Blair Thing at the end of the film..
  • Plot Hole: The game never explains how MacReady survived in the cold for three months (the timeframe between the end of the film, and the beginning of the game), and how he managed to get a flyable helicopter. One possibility is that he was captured by Gen Inc. and held as a potential test subject, only to eventually escape, and steal a helicopter. A much darker interpretation is that MacReady's actually a Thing by this point.
  • Recycled Title: Despite being a sequel and not a direct adaptation of the film, this game uses the exact same name as the movie. Possibly justified, since it is in a different medium.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The video game featured "After Me" by Saliva.
  • Redshirt Army: Your squad members can - and will - die, or turn out to be Things.
  • Stress Vomit: Your teammates do this, a lot, usually in response to gory visuals. You can even get them to go in stereo if you're really good!
  • The Virus: The covert military group researching (and trying to weaponize) the Thing actually classified it as the Cloud Virus, which could be Fridge Brilliance since actual viruses reproduce in a manner somewhat similar to the Thing - namely infiltrating a cell and then hijacking the machinery of said host cell to produce more copies of itself, render the cell difficult to detect by the immune system, and so on.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Paranoia Fuel affects your squadmates: they don't know that you're not the Thing, and you don't know that they're not the Thing, not for sure. You can use the blood test kits to verify if your teammates are human, but more importantly, you can use the kits to show them that you're human. If you don't, and they get paranoid and freaked out enough, they will try to kill you.
  • They Look Like Us Now: Par for the course, it is based on the film. However, you get a blood test kit, consisting of a syringe gun that introduces a chemical that reacts to the blood by releasing heat. If the syringe breaks, the test subject drops the disguise. If not, they relax a little. However, certain enemies transform during scripted events, even if you test them beforehand and they're declared "clean".