A mystery/adventure point and click computer game by Big Fish Games, featuring hidden object hunts in addition to puzzles and collecting items for solving them. The plot centers around protagonist Sam Wilde, a reporter who, prior to the plot, had written an article about a mysterious killer that has been kidnapping young adults in the area, hoping to aid the police with his investigative prowess.
Cue a letter from the murderer (introducing himself as Oscar) that he’s kidnapped Sam’s love, Anna, and that Sam has to play his little game if he ever wants to see her again.
The plot is largely about exploring the mansion and grounds in which Oscar has set up his operations, trying to make sense of the clues Sam discovers about him and find a way to rescue Anna.
The Collector’s Edition, featuring a bonus chapter, and the original game can be found and bought on the Big Fish Website here.
"Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome" has examples of the following tropes:
- Bad Bad Acting: Anna, particularly in the “Marriage” skits that Oscar plays over the intercom. Justified because she’s terrified out of her mind.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In the bonus chapter, Oscar not only fulfills his ambitions of becoming a great work of art, but also frames Sam for his suicide and all of the previous murders.
- Damsel in Distress: Anna. Veers slightly into Damsel Out Of Distress as she tries to take opportunities to communicate with Sam despite her fear, and in the end is the one who saves him from Oscar’s taxidermy tube.
- Disproportionate Retribution: From Oscar, given to the people he "preserved", whenever he describes it as a punishment. He also threatens to kill Anna if Sam scratches his car.
- Doing It for the Art: Oscar will do anything to make a good work of art, including preserve himself as an exhibit.
- Foreshadowing: Oscar makes a big deal of talking about love with Sam—if he thinks Anna really is his true love, whether or not their relationship will work, that marriages are doomed to fail and that all love ultimately disappoints. This seems to imply relationship troubles in his past, but it’s actually because he plans on making Sam and Anna into his new “Lovers” exhibit.
- Freudian Excuse: Subverted. Oscar describes many incidents in his life that caused him pain, and the player can find a number of letters that appear to indicate a messy childhood and father issues. In the end, it’s revealed that he made everything up to mess with you.
- I Have Your Lover
- Jail Bake: One of the items Sam needs is baked in a cake. Oscar even lampshades it.
- Karmic Death: Of a sort. Oscar dies by being drowned and preserved just like he’s done to so many of the people he kidnapped…but that was exactly as he planned it.
- He also claims that he gave this to some of his exhibits.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Oscar, of course.
- Stealth Pun: The villain calls himself Oscar. Sam’s last name is Wilde.
- Taxidermy Is Creepy
- Unreliable Narrator: Oscar. But he's a serial killer, so what do you expect?