A 1986 Adventure Game
by ICOM Simulations
for Apple Macintosh
, later ported to the NES
among other systems. Known for its Nightmare Fuel
involving The Many Deaths of You
The setting is a remote, sinister mansion, into which you and your sibling note
stumble after escaping the wreck of your car. Satanic rites have turned the home into a magnet for occult evil, and you'll need to exorcise the heart of that evil before it takes root in one or both of your minds.Or you could just call a tow truck.
What's that, your sibling went looking for a telephone and never came back? Well. Guess you're on your own, then.
This game provides examples of:
- Animals Hate You: At the center of The Maze, unlocking a cage releases a hawk, a snake, and a cat. You're then given a choice as to what to do with them. Three out of four of your options lead to getting the crap mauled out of you.
- Also the guard dogs outside the chapel and the giant spider under the chapel.
- Angry Guard Dog: Two of 'em, guarding the church. Very, very mean dogs.
- Apocalyptic Log: Diaries relate Dracan's fall to The Dark Side.
- Artifact of Death: The ruby.
- Awesome but Impractical: There's a large, wicked looking battleaxe that you can pick up very early on. Too bad the only thing it's good for is killing YOURSELF (Justified somewhat, as the house is full of ghosts). You'll later use it to break open a particularly stubborn cookie jar. And the axe breaks in the process.
- Bedsheet Ghost: The narrator says that one "looks like the classic spectre".
- Bottomless Pits: You need to deposit the Big Bad into one of these to be rid of him. And quickly, or he'll be the one to do the depositing.
- Bowdlerise: As was then commonplace, Nintendo had a few things watered down for the NES conversion: crosses, pentagrams, and the number 666 were omitted, and a ghost that on other platforms carried its head in one hand wore an intact head on its shoulders. (A preview screenshot in Nintendo Power showed the original ghost.)
- Butterface: The Scarlett O'Hara lookalike.
- Chekhov's Gun: Subverted. There are three rifles hanging on the wall, but there's no key to open the gun rack.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: A strange example: You can defeat a single zombie by using the power of the pendant, but the pendant won't work on a whole horde of zombies. At the same time, you can't escape the lone zombies, yet you can escape the zombie hordes by simply ignoring them. Of course, newer players wouldn't know to do this.
- The Corruption: A malignant force is gradually seeping into you and driving you insane, making the whole game a Timed Mission. Except in the NES version, where this only happens if you pick up the ruby.
- Creator Cameo: In the About box, the developers' heads rise from graves Whac-A-Mole style and "dance" to Beethoven's Fifth.
- A special acknowledgment is also written into an item description:
It looks like a still reproduced from F.W. Murnau's film, "Nosferatu."
There seems to be a familiar face in the background. On closer examination it appears to be Dave Feldman, whose wit and insight was a valuable asset in the creation of "Uninvited."
- Cute Ghost Girl: Seems like this from the back...
- The Day The Music Lied: The pleasant tune while meeting the Scarlett O'Hara lookalike.
- Deadpan Snarker: The game itself. Especially regarding the giant spider and the coffin.
- Demonic Possession: What's become of your sibling by the time you reunite.
- Distressed Dude / Damsel in Distress: Your main reason for braving the hellhouse is to locate your sibling.
- Drowning Pit: The bathroom quickly turns into one, if you're silly enough to leave the water running. Though this turns out to be the only way to get into the final room.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The very first thing you need to do in the game is get the hell out of your wrecked car. You have three turns or so, before it goes boom.
- Exploring the Evil Lair: The entire game.
- Face-Revealing Turn: Scarlett O'Hara.
- False Reassurance: "Thank you for coming back for me, my love. You will be mine forever..." She's dead, and you will be too in a moment.
- Forbidden Fruit: The greenhouse contains the most literal example.
- Game Over Man: A skull.
- Gender Flip: The Kemco/Seika NES port changes your younger brother into an older sister. Since the port was originally Japanese, maybe they figured saving an older sister would appeal more to that market?
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Unlike Shadowgate, this game likes SHOWING you just what it is that's biting and gnawing and ripping your flesh off. You don't see the damage it does to the player, but the descriptions make it sound gruesome.
- Ghost Butler / Point of No Return: The front door, of course, refuses to let you out once you're inside. So does another door, when you trigger the endgame. There's still another self-sealing door upstairs, that proves a little more fatal if you're silly enough to use it.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The red tomato-monster thing that you need to uncage the hawk for. Even the narrative text gives up trying to make sense of the event.
- Giant Spider: Amusingly enough (and in perhaps the only example in the entire MacVenture series), the game warns you multiple times that leaping into the den of the resident Giant Spider will probably be a bad idea. Ignoring the warnings leads to your being eaten, prefaced by the humorously patronizing message "Well, what do you know; it's a giant spider."
- Also, if you unlock the secret passageway in the laboratory and head north, you encounter the same giant spider in the den that can only be stopped by Stillini.
- Guide Dang It: Three separate instances:
- How to deal with the ghost servant upstairs. (You need to spray the railing with Spider Cider, take the anesthetized spider with you, and scare off the ghost by dropping it in front of him. There are clues mentioning the late servant, but not even the vaguest suggestion that he has arachnophobia.)
- What the hell keeps killing you for no apparent reason. (It's the ruby.) This issue only comes up in the NES version.
- At the very end, when the door slams behind you, how to reach your sibling in the room above the bathroom. (Flood the bathtub, and keep "using" the light fixture until it comes free.)
- Haunted House: Where the player has to go in to save his sibling. Good luck!
- Hollywood Acid: The servant ghost kills you by engulfing you into his "misty form", which covers you in a thick, sticky goo that turns out to be acid that not only hurts like hell, but turns you into a "lifeless lump of flesh".
- Jacob Marley Apparel: The ghost servant appears like this if you turn on the light.
- The Many Deaths of You
- The Maze: Hidden in the chapel is a rather large maze filled with zombies.
- Moon Logic Puzzle: Seriously, how would you know that a ghost servant would be afraid of spiders?
- Nintendo Hard
- Nobody Poops: Lampshaded.
This bathroom is cold and dark. There is no toilet. Whoever lived here really did have a mysterious way of doing things.
- Oh, Crap
- Old Dark House
- Press Start To Game Over: You start the game in a car that's about to explode.
- Rapid Aging: Eating a piece of fruit in the greenhouse will suddenly cause you to age a year for every second. Game over!
- Red Herring: And HOW! Pretty much 80% of all the items you find throughout the mansion can be picked up, attempted to be interacted with, and are completely unnecessary to proceed in the game, though they'll clutter up your inventory (you can hold anything you find, but having to turn the notebook pages to find a specific item becomes tedious) and, if you aren't using a guide, you won't even know which ones to throw away once you find a place to do so.
- One of them (the ruby) will kill you if you carry it with you for too long.
- Of the six spells you find in the game, you'll only ever need five, and each only in one occasion (DollDoll for the gypsy doll, Thundede for the dogs, O Sesame for the statue head, Telemaze for exiting the maze, and Stillini for the Giant Spider (optional); at least in the NES version).
- Rouge Angles of Satin: "It stares at you malisciously."
- Schmuck Bait: Two of them. The prison cell at the top of the ladder, and the giant spider in the tunnel. A lesser known one is that you can crawl inside the coffin in the maze (often accidentally by going east) and die.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Dracan is, fortunately, buried within several tons of ice. Unfortunately, you need to get him out of there in order to actually kill him.
- Shout-Out: You can find the graves of both Déjà Vu protagonist Ace Harding and Shadowgate Big Bad Talimar in the maze. The phonograph also plays a (horribly off-key) tune from Shadowgate.
- When you open one of the doors on the first floor hallway, you encounter a Southern Belle that is dressed like Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. And when you pour the No Ghost onto the belle, she melts away and a message says, "You now feel like Dorothy (and her little dog, too)" (in any version excluding the NES version).
- One to Indiana Jones when you meet the guard dogs: "Why did it have to be dogs?"
- "Whoa!! This is like a scene from a 'Living Dead' film."
- Southern Belle: Ha... hahahaha...
- Spiritual Successor: The Flash game Malstrum's Mansion is a Deliberately Monochrome pastiche of the Mac version.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Like Déjà Vu and Shadowgate, this game has a few rather obtuse solutions that the player would never figure out without a few game overs.
- Verbed Title
- Verb This!: In the NES version:
"Drink this!" you say, as you splash the water on the spirit!
- Why Did It Have to Be Dogs?
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Dracan.
- Yandere: A possible explanation for the Southern Belle's actions.
Your quest is over.note