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Video Game / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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There were many attempts to bring Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to the gaming world, only two of which hewed close to the book's plot. The first one was a Text Adventure for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. It was faithful to the novel for the most part, though it went for a focus on Jekyll, as with most adaptations. The player assumed control of Dr. Jekyll as he made a potion to transform into the devious Mr. Hyde, and from there the player could choose whether to free Jekyll from his alter-ego for good or leave him to be condemned in Hyde's place. The best ending is acquired by saving Jekyll.

The next game, and by far the most infamous, is the 1988 NES game Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which combined a confusing Excuse Plot with Everything Trying to Kill You and Never the Selves Shall Meet. This features Jekyll as a man trying to get to his wedding with Miss Millicent, only to be attacked by everything and everyone in town for no good reason. Upon becoming too stressed, he'll turn into Hyde and navigate the World of Demons, but should Hyde get farther along in his path than Jekyll, both will be incinerated by lightning. The game is notable for being one of the first games the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed, and would later be adapted into a fake trailer by James Rolfe.


Following that was a PC action-adventure game titled Jekyll and Hyde released in 2001 for Windows 95 and 98, where Jekyll's daughter Laurie had been kidnapped by a vampiric cult, forcing him to turn into Hyde and retrieve mystical objects for them. Then there was a 2010 PC game released for Windows also titled Jekyll and Hyde, which dealt with Jekyll attempting to find a cure for the plague and instead unleashing Hyde, then battling an evil cult. Finally, there was a game released for DS, iPhone, and PC called The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which puts the player in the shoes of Inspector Newcomen, a minor character from the book, as they attempted to solve the Carew murder case once and for all.


These games contain examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    ZX Spectrum game 
  • Bastard Bastard: The ZX Spectrum game references Utterson's initial belief in the novel that Hyde is Jekyll's son by having you tell him he is to avoid suspicion.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Telling Hyde to do something out-of-character in the ZX Spectrum game results in "Hyde ignores you," while most other non-actions have "Hyde is puzzled" as a response.
  • Brits Love Tea: One of the first actions in the ZX Spectrum game is to prepare and drink tea before Jekyll falls asleep.
  • Card Games: One section of the ZX Spectrum game requires you to play pontoon/blackjack and win at least 50 shillings.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the ZX Spectrum game, botching the interrogation with Inspector Newcomen can result in him asking why Utterson would lie to the police. You can tell him he's in league with Hyde, causing the inspector to admonish Jekyll for lying.
    • In the same game, the player can have Jekyll go to Gaunt Street and Soho via cab early on, but Utterson isn't at home and Soho is so unappealing Jekyll doesn't bother stepping out. Neither location is required until later, and Hyde goes to Soho automatically.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The ZX Spectrum game requires Hyde to wear a hat to shadow his face; failing to do so has him scare everyone at the pontoon table and get kicked out.
  • Golden Ending: The ZX Spectrum game's best ending is achieved by redeeming Jekyll and ridding the world of Hyde's evil.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The ZX Spectrum game has Jekyll plagued by nightmares whenever he sleeps, even before he turns into Hyde.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: In the ZX Spectrum game, if you don't stop the maid from taking Jekyll's alcohol or Lanyon from using the salt as table salt, you can't make the potion to turn into Hyde and the game ends.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted, as the police will easily catch Hyde if you're not fast enough and don't know what to do exactly. Inspector Newcomen is also dismissive if you attempt to lie to him and claim Utterson's in league with Hyde.
  • Railroading: The ZX Spectrum game has a mild form of this, as while it's possible to lose or mess up Hyde's sequences, he'll refuse to go to certain areas or respond to certain commands at times.
    Game: Hyde doesn't want to go back that way.
  • Ramp Jump: The ZX Spectrum game has Jekyll in a train during a nightmare, but the rail is out. If the train is going fast enough, he'll make the jump to the other side. If it's not, he dies.
  • Timed Mission: Several segments of the ZX Spectrum game are timed, whether by turn count or by seconds.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The ZX Spectrum game, like most text adventure games, is built on trial and error; failing to do things at certain points can render the game unwinnable.

    NES game 
  • Adaptational Heroism: Maybe. While Hyde is still evil, he spends time fighting off demons rather than attacking the townspeople or causing mayhem.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's manual is necessary for beating the game, as nothing in-game tells you how to play.
  • Animals Hate Him: Every animal in London is out to get Jekyll, from dogs and cats to birds, spiders, and bees.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The birds defecate large brown poop instead of small white poop.
  • Auto Scrolling: Hyde's levels automatically scroll to the left.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Defied. If Hyde gets further than Jekyll, he instantly dies.
  • Bee Afraid: One enemy in the rural levels is a bee. Notably, it's the only enemy in the game that Jekyll can kill.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Hyde getting past Jekyll means evil wins out over good, and the powers that be will incinerate him with lightning should it happen.
  • Born Unlucky: If the player pays close attention, none of the townspeople, with the exceptions of Billy Pones the slingshot kid and probably the Bomb Maniac, are actually trying to impede Jekyll. The gravediggers and hunters are just doing their jobs and Jekyll just happens to get caught in the crossfire, the opera lady Elena McCowen is just trying to practice her singing, and the other townspeople will walk right past Jekyll without harming him as long as the Bomb Maniac isn't onscreen. When the Bomb Maniac is present, the townspeople run away in a frantic attempt to get away from the Bomb Maniac, causing them to run into Jekyll and hurt him. Even Luna the cat is rather peaceful, usually only becoming violent when the bombs explode near her and startle her (though she can also go crazy at random when reaching either end of the screen). Jekyll isn't being attacked on purpose, he's just very unlucky.
  • Brats with Slingshots: One enemy Jekyll encounters is a kid with a slingshot. According to the manual, his name's Billy Pones and he has a crush on Jekyll's fiancee. He's the only enemy in the Jekyll levels who has a clear motivation for his antagonism.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Jekyll can bribe the opera singer to stop singing with coins.
  • Cane Fu: Jekyll's only weapon is a cane, but it can only kill bees and put out bomb fuses for some reason. Attacking other enemies with it will only provoke them to hit back.
  • Canon Foreigner: Aside from Jekyll and Hyde, no one in the game is from the book.
  • Cartoon Bomb: The Bomb Maniac leaves these lying about.
  • Cats Are Mean: A cat named Luna will attack Jekyll if provoked.
  • Demonic Possession: Apparently, the whole town is possessed by a demon named Letule, as killing it as Hyde makes the everyone stop attacking Jekyll.
  • Difficulty by Region: The English version of the game replaced two of the three town stages from Hōma ga Toki with recycled versions of other stages. These stages were most likely cut out due to their suggestive content rather than their actual difficulty, though their removal does affect the game's difficulty, since there's no other way to restore Jekyll's stress gauge.
  • Dreadful Musician: One enemy is an opera singer whose singing is so bad it hurts you.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Hyde plays reversed levels of Jekyll's, and their position on the maps is a big part of gameplay.
  • Early Game Hell: The first stage is the most difficult to clear if you turn into Hyde, as there's no buffers between levels to act as a safety net, and the auto-scrolling means that becoming Hyde early you won't have enough time to defeat enemies before lightning strikes. Once Jekyll puts distance between himself and Hyde it's still hard and unfair, but more manageable.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The game is legendary for it, as everything in London is a threat to Jekyll.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The nefarious Mr. Hyde is pitted against even worse demons.
  • Final Boss: Jekyll doesn't have a boss fight at all, but Hyde fights a red version of the Letule enemy at the end of level 6.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The game is filled with so many frustrating mechanics that it seems deliberately designed to annoy the player. Jekyll's cane subverts the usual video game weapon in that it works against you more often than not, and is only there as a Video Game Cruelty Punishment that goes against the usual video game conventions of rewarding violence. He also walks very slow, as if the developer wanted you to feel his frustration and tempt you into transforming into Hyde to play something resembling a regular game, but going too far into his section gets you struck by lightning as another Video Game Cruelty Punishment. However, you need Hyde to reach the end, or else you don't get the true ending, as if suppressing that rage is bad. Even if The Angry Video Game Nerd was joking with his psychological analysis of the game at the end of his re-review, a lot of it is pretty on point, even if it doesn't necessarily make the game any more fun to play for most people.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game is almost impossible to play correctly without the manual, as you seemingly die for no reason as Hyde after advancing far enough.
  • Heart Beatdown: An enemy exclusive to the Japanese version is a woman who attacks Jekyll with hearts.
  • Helpless Good Side: While Hyde can actively fight back against the demons, Jekyll can only dodge things, pay citizens to leave him alone, put out bomb fuses, or kill bees.
  • Identical Stranger: One enemy exclusive to the Japanese version is a woman who attacks Jekyll with hearts for looking exactly like her lost love.
  • In Name Only: Aside from Jekyll and Hyde as characters, the game has nothing to do with the book or its adaptations.
  • King Mook: The boss is a red colored, more powerful version of the Letule monsters fought throughout the Hyde sections.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: The boss Letule is red, contrasting with the weaker, green Letule enemies
  • Luck-Based Mission: What enemies spawn where is completely randomized; if Hyde is unlucky he may not fight enough enemies to turn back into Jekyll before dying.
  • Mad Bomber: The Bomb Maniac, who randomly leaves bombs lying about, is one of these.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has two endings. One of them is reached by simply getting to the church as Jekyll before Hyde. It just shows the church and the word "END" appears while the wedding march plays. A second ending is earned by reaching Level 6 as Jekyll and then proceeding to the end as Hyde. Hyde then fights a boss at the church, and, upon beating it, turns back into Jekyll. Jekyll's able to reach the church unhindered and an extended cutscene of the wedding plays. "END" appears when the screen fades out after bride and groom kiss. However, after waiting a while, the music will abruptly stop and the sound effect for the bomb is played. When the bomb "explodes", lightning flashes, the word "END" appears reversed, and Mr. Hyde appears as a red silhouette with what appears to be a giant cross embedded into his back.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Hyde dies instantly if he's on the same tile as Jekyll or gets farther than he did.
  • Nintendo Hard: Between the confusing, chaotic gameplay and the lack of a life or password system, this is one of the hardest games on the NES even after you know what to do.
  • Palette Swap: The final boss is a red version of the green Letule demon.
  • Precocious Crush: According to the manual, Billy Pones attacks Jekyll because he has a crush on his fiancee. Also he is the only townsperson to have any kind of motivation.
  • Sanity Meter: Dr. Jekyll's stress meter increases as he takes hits from passersby. Once the meter is full, he turns into Mr. Hyde and must kill a certain amount of enemies before reaching Jekyll's location, or else death by lightning strike ensues.
  • A Sinister Clue: While Jekyll's levels scroll to the right, Hyde's levels scroll left.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: An enemy exclusive to the Japanese version is a mermaid who attacks by singing.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: The Bomb Maniac plants bombs at your feet.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: One of the hardest enemies to avoid in London is the Bomb Maniac, who plants a bomb at your feet. The bombs have a very large hitbox, and sometimes the explosion will knock you back into it, taking off a lot of your life bar. They can drain your entire stress meter in one attack.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Hyde can fall into water and die instantly when traveling over a bridge.
  • Throw a Barrel at It: The alleys of London have barrels rolling down the streets at Jekyll.
  • Toilet Humour: One enemy type is a bird that attacks with its droppings.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Hitting citizens with your cane fills your stress meter. Hitting the opera lady in particular instantly turns you into Hyde.
  • Waddling Head: Played for horror in Hyde's levels, as the most common enemy is a brain with legs.
  • Wedding Finale: The good ending of the NES version shows Dr. Jekyll and Miss Millicent getting married, and getting to the occasion on time was the former's goal. The normal ending only shows the church.

    Both PC games 


  • Adaptational Heroism: Both PC games have Hyde working alongside Jekyll for a greater good.
  • Animation Bump: Both PC games have detailed cutscene art but lesser graphics elsewhere. Levels with electricity, rain, or fire also ramp up production values briefly.
  • Canon Foreigner: Aside from Jekyll and Hyde, no one in either PC game is from the book.
  • Dead Man Writing:
    • In the 2001 game, Jekyll's notes are written as a diary, as he believes he'll be dead soon and wishes to explain how everything happened.
    • In the 2010 game, Lord Grayshire scattered his diary around the underground before dying.
  • Distressed Damsel: The 2001 game has Jekyll's daughter, Laurie, while the 2010 game has his lover, Ann.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Hyde is pitted against evil cults in both games.
  • Guide Dang It!: Both PC games' final levels are very non-intuitive as to what to do. The 2001 one has a confusing maze layout where you must break three pillars in three different rooms, then get the book to meet the final boss. The 2010 game has a very hard solar system puzzle that boils down to trial and error and multiple endings with no obvious way to get them.
  • In Name Only: Aside from Jekyll and Hyde as characters, neither PC game has anything to do with the book or its adaptations.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Like most adventure game protagonists, Jekyll will add just about anything to his inventory whether it'd be useful or not.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The final bosses of both PC games are initially sealed away, and Jekyll is either forced into helping unleash them or tricked into it.
  • Pixel Hunt: Both PC games require you to investigate your surroundings to find clues, leading into this.
  • The Quiet One: Hyde rarely speaks in either game, catching some players offguard when he does.

The 2001 game

  • Cane Fu: The 2001 PC game gives Jekyll a cane as a weapon.
  • Easy Level Trick: In the 2001 game, if you encounter the final boss, leave the room and come back, he'll be gone and the rocks will respawn, letting you beat the game with little to no effort.
  • Face of a Thug: In the 2001 game, Jekyll's model looks like he ran into a brick wall several times. Hyde is even uglier.
  • Falling Damage: The 2001 game has Jekyll take falling damage from anything above his height, leading to possible death by leaping off a cabinet.
  • Fetch Quest: In the 2001 game, Jekyll is forced to retrieve a mystical book and three pieces of a medallion for a cult in exchange for Laurie.
  • Forced into Evil: In the 2001 game Jekyll is forced to murder people and collect deadly artifacts for a cult because his daughter Laurie is endangered.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The 2001 game is riddled with them, including persistent crashes in the second level that can prevent you from progressing at all unless you run it in NT 4.0 compatibility with visuals disabled.
  • Hero of Another Story: Late in the 2001 game, Jekyll runs into a church sect that fights vampires, led by a preacher with a shotgun.
  • It's Up to You: In the 2001 game, despite the NPCs' informed skill in hunting down vampires, Jekyll finds them dead and it's up to him to save the day.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Most level-entering cutscenes in the 2001 game pan around the room for 10 to 15 seconds before giving you control.
  • The Lost Lenore: Jekyll had an unnamed wife in the 2001 PC game; after her death, his daughter Laurie was all he had.
  • Mercy Kill: In the 2001 game, the priest performs one on Howard Moran, who suffered from an incomplete vampire bite and is in pure agony.
  • Obvious Beta: The 2001 PC game is not polished at all, featuring wonky hit boxes, clipping, and collision detection, and hitting yourself with your own weapons.
  • Opium Den: The 2001 game's second level takes place in one of these.
  • Papa Wolf: The 2001 PC game has Jekyll become so desperate to get Laurie back he'll willingly turn into Hyde.
  • Run, Don't Walk: In the 2001 game, playing with a controller or joystick sets the default movement to run, while on a keyboard you walk by default and have to hold Shift to run.
  • A Sinister Clue: In the 2001 game, Jekyll attacks with his right hand while Hyde attacks with his left.
  • Tank Controls: In the 2001 PC game Jekyll and Hyde control like a tank, making walking around difficult.
  • A Winner Is You: The 2001 game ends on a ten-second cutscene of Hyde rescuing Laurie and Jekyll swinging her in his arms as they're on a boat to America.
  • Womb Level: The 2001 game's finale has shades of this, particularly the vampires' larder, dormitory, and worship room, which are full of blood, bodies, fleshy-looking textures, and the sense that the level is breathing.

The 2010 game

  • Bittersweet Ending: In the 2010 game, choosing the world over Ann results in her death. While the world is saved, Jekyll loses himself to Hyde completely and disappears.
  • Downer Ending: In the 2010 game, choosing Ann over the world results in the villains calling down Kronos and ruling the world. Jekyll and Ann embrace as a meteor strikes, killing them both.
  • Helpless Good Side: In the 2010 game Hyde taunts Jekyll about this, calling him weak and indecisive.
  • Just Add Water: The 2010 PC game has Jekyll's potions mixed with only a few ingredients. His very first one is literally just powder and water.
  • Multiple Endings: The 2010 game has two endings depending on whether you choose to save Ann or the world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the 2010 game, Jekyll's curiosity and inability to leave the Tome of Stars alone puts the entire world in danger, as he does the cult's dirty work for them without even knowing it. The villains lampshade how fortunate his escapades are.
  • Sissy Villain: Rufus in the 2010 game is fashionable, prissy, content to take hostages instead of fight, and has a silly name.
  • Spiritual Successor: The 2010 game is one for the 2001 game. It features much better graphics and a more streamlined story, but retains the Jekyll and Hyde aspects, them fighting a cult, Hyde being faster, stronger, and more durable than Jekyll, and the ability to mix potions.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: The main villain of the 2010 game has the decidedly unthreatening name Rufus.

    DS game 
  • Ascended Extra: Inspector Newcomen is a minor character in the book and is often left out of adaptations, but is the viewpoint character in the DS game.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The DS game lets you name the inspector whatever you want.
  • Mini Game Game: The DS game is full of puzzles and mini-games separated by story.
  • Pixel Hunt: The DS game requires you to investigate your surroundings to find clues, leading into this.