Ok, it was a NES game that— GAAAAAH! Pastel blue Frankenstein just jumped out of the closet!
Ahem, let me try that again. Dr. Chaos was an early platformer for the NES, developed by Marionette and released by FCI. It stars Michael Chaos, whose Mad Scientist brother has been performing experiments with portals to other dimensions. Not having heard from his brother for some time, Michael heads to his house armed with a knife.
Gameplay consists of exploring the house, entering its rooms and searching closets and walls, looking for stashes of guns and ammunition, as well as secret passages to other parts of the house, and gateways... elsewhere.
This game is notable for being one of the first genuinely scare-inducing video games. Although the eight-bit sprites are not objectively very frightening, every door or window you open has a chance of disgorging a very tough mini-boss that puts a slow effect on you and will quickly murder you if you don't have a gun and some bullets: weapons hidden behind those very doors you are now opening in a constant state of dread anticipation.
Tropes used in this game:
- Chain Reaction Destruction: Surprisingly, it's not lethal for the final boss.
- Distressed Dude: You know who this title character is.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: It's kind of surprising this game got past Nintendo's heavy-handed early censorship, what with the blood-soaked title screen and box art◊.
- Guide Dang It!: The first-person portions give very little indication of what to do besides opening various drawers and cabinets to find items. Until you enter one very specific (yet nondescript) window and go through the platformer section inside to acquire the tracking device hidden there, you can't start the main quest of assembling a laser weapon.
- Mad Scientist: Well, obviously. Interestingly enough, he not only isn't the villain, he's the one you have to rescue.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Really? Dr. Chaos?
- Also counts as Awesome Mc Coolname, since he's not a villain and the main character is his brother, Michael Chaos.
- Shout-Out: The whole plot seems to be derived from H.P. Lovecraft stories.
- Some of the monster designs and set pieces in the game appear to have been based on the 80's horror flick House, as noted by Hardcore Gaming 101. It's tough to tell whether these were deliberate homages or artifacts of an attempt to make a licensed game based on the movie, but either way, the similarities are uncanny.