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Video Game / Dracula Unleashed

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Behold the Full Motion Video horror!

Dracula Unleashed was a Full Motion Video game developed by ICOM Simulations and released in 1993. It acts as a sequel to the story Dracula, taking place several years after the book's events. You play as Alexander Morris, a brother of Quincey Morris, who comes to London to find out about Quincey's death and wed his sweetheart Annisette Bowen.

However, strange murders soon start happening around town and Alexander realizes it's linked to his brother's death. Now he must get to the bottom of what's going on before his friends and loved ones are put in danger.

The game was pretty much trial and error, as you were required to move around the city under a strict time limit and visit different areas to gain information while in others you needed certain items on hand to move on. Failure to have such at a crucial moment would lead into death. To say the least, this is one of those games where you really have to pay attention. Still, it helps that the acting (like pretty much all FMV games) was very hammy.


Was re-released in 2002 as a DVD game with updated visuals and special features.

The game provides the following tropes:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Alfred Horner, the owner of the Goldacre & Horner Bookstore.
  • And Show It to You: Dracula does this to Alexander in one of the game's deaths, ripping out his heart.
  • Arc Words: "There is life after life."
  • Artifact of Doom: The amulet Dracula possesses has metamorphic properties and can restore people to life.
  • Bedlam House: An asylum is a recurring area in the game, most notably where Renfield (who is weirdly still alive) resides. As you might expect for the era, none of the subjects are handled with care; this is the place where Alexander gets a blackjack, given to him by one of the orderlies to incapacitate any rowdy patients.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At one point Alexander is amused by the Bloofer Lady who grabs him in a Choke Hold and lefts him off his feet. Luckily Van Helsing happened to be nearby and wards her off with a cross, making her drop Alexander and flee.
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  • The Cameo: She doesn't appear in the story proper, but Lucy from the original novel is namedropped in a newspaper late into the game, having apparently taken out a personal ad.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Alexander has at least three of these through the story, serving as warnings of the vampire threat he's facing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Every item you pick up during the story, but the most important one is when Alexander comes across a napkin with an odd drawing on it drawn by Devlin beforehand. We later find out this was his blueprint to his plan to kill Dracula via a room full of crosses. Alexander uses it himself after Devlin is killed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Dr. Briarcliffe at the university is very... odd. When asked about a gold coin, he bites it and quips about how it's not a chocolate one.
  • Continuity Snarl: If this is suppose to go on from the book, it kinda forgets that Renfield didn't survive the events of it since Dracula killed him in the novel. Yet he's alive and still insane here.
  • Credits Gag: The final screen of the credits contains the disclaimer "Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or undead is purely coincidental."
  • Cross-Melting Aura: Mina has a priest bless a crucifix for Alexander, but using it on Dracula has no effect as he simply bends it backwards in Alex's hand. But that doesn't mean crosses don't work at all on him; you just need more. A lot more.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Dracula turns out to have been Arthur the whole time in the game, having killed the real Arthur and his wife months ago (he re-animated Regina's body using a spell) and taken his place to get close to and take revenge on those that stopped him before. Near the end of the game, there are actually subtle hints that that the Holmwoods are a little off.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Being at the end of the year, there are Christmas decorations all over the place.
  • The Ditz: Regina Holmwood, who is seen commenting on another man's wife's beauty despite having never seen her before. It's a subtle hint that she's not the true Regina.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Alexander has one dream where he sees Anisette on the streets at night. When he calls out to her, she turns to him revealing she's now pale-faced, has unkempt hair, an almost zombie-ish expression and most importantly, blood spilling out of her mouth. She then promptly turns into a wolf and attacks him, which causes him to wake up.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: Time can be advanced in 15 minute increments via Alexander's pocketwatch, though this isn't recommended since you might overshoot important events.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The discussion of how one of the Hades Club members' wife died. It's mentioned she was taking a trip through Europe near Borgo Pass when her carriage had an accident and she was killed. Of course, those who know Dracula lore, know that's where Dracula's castle lies. So it's implied that after Dracula resurrected and on his way back to London, he attacked the carriage, murdered the driver, kidnapped, drained, and turned the man's wife into a vampire. Bringing her with him to act as the new Bloofer Lady.
    • At the beginning of the game Arthur Holmwood looks at Alexander's neck with barely concealed interest, indicating that he's actually Dracula in disguise.
    • At one point Alexander has a dream in which an undead Anisette, Juliet, and Regina appear as Dracula's new Vampire's Harem. Later in the game, Juliet gets turned into a vampire, Anisette can potentially become one (leading to a Game Over), and Regina turns out to be a hollowed out corpse being puppeted by Dracula's magic.
  • Full Motion Video: The game is presented in this fashion outside of events like writing in the diary or riding around London by carriage.
  • Guide Dang It!: Pretty much the only way to get through the game without tearing your hair out.
  • Have a Nice Death: The Game Over screen has a picture of your grave and a bat with blood on its lip hanging from a tree over it. This is either Alexander, now a bloodthirsty vampire himself, or of course just Dracula mocking you.
  • Hiss Before Fleeing: Similar to Lucy, when Van Helsing waves a cross at the now vampirized Juliet. She hisses, drops Devlin whom she was feeding on and flees back to her coffin.
  • History Repeats: This game is basically a retread of the original Dracula story, with Juliet being Lucy, Annisette being Mina, and Alexander being Jonathan.
  • Holy Burns Evil: But of course, being a Dracula story. Early on, it's important to have Alexander acquire a cross necklace from the Harkers to give to Annisette, or she will be turned into a vampire on the very first day, and it comes up again during interactions with Lucy. Then in the ending, Dracula is defeated in a room full of crosses.
  • How We Got Here: Interestingly, you cannot replicate the scene, as Quincey's grave isn't a location at any point.
  • Idiot Ball: A lot of instances in the game seems to grant Alexander the Idiot Ball as he doesn't seem to put two and two together between cutscenes and journal entry writing, making him seem more like an idiot.
  • Idiot Hero:
    • Among many other examples, Alfred Horner threatens Alexander's life when he asks about books on vampires and he doesn't put that together with the fact that he had vials of blood in the last part.
      Alexander: Unbelievable! Alfred Horner actually threatened my life today. I want to find out what his secret is, but I mustn't take his words lightly.
    • Alexander has his moments, most notably when he bungles up the simple task of guarding Juliet and Annisette by falling asleep and letting Dracula get to them. Though in that case it's implied Dracula used his power to cause him to go to sleep (You can see the mist under the door as he's looking after them). It's also implied this happened to others, since Van Helsing also chews them out for falling asleep.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Devlin when he kidnaps Annisette, having gone mad with grief after Juliet is turned and killed.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Dracula meets his end (again) when one of the support beams in the room he's in breaks off and impales him through the heart.
  • It's Up to You: Even after meeting Prof. Van Helsing and becoming Quincey's replacement in the group, Alexander does nearly all of the leg work, and he's also the only one to confront Dracula in the end.
  • Jerkass: All of the Hades Club members treat Alexander like dirt on account of being American, although Devlin Goldacre is the worst about it.
    Devlin: (after learning Morris had learned of his bookstore) Yes. Why does that interest you? Been doing some reading in the faint hopes of becoming cultured?
  • Large Ham:
  • Let's Play: One can be found here. Another, by the Retsupurae team, can be found here.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Devlin, whose was pretty much a prick at the start of the game. Once his love Juliet falls victim to Dracula and is staked, he pretty much goes off the deep end, kidnapping Annisette to bait Dracula to him.
  • The Many Deaths of You: You can get arrested, attacked by a crazy man, faint from exhaustion, or of course, get bitten by a vampire.
  • Multiple Endings: Really just variations of the same ending, but depending on your actions, either all of your friends can come out alive, only a couple survive, or just Alexander and Annisette are the only survivors.
  • Nintendo Hard: You have very strict time limits on being present for certain events, and if you neglect to bring the correct item to the correct event, you're locked into a game over, even if a day or two passes in-game first.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: At one point, Alexander and Van Helsing go to visit Reinfield for information, and being the madman he is, he goes to attack the latter. You need an item to beat him back before he kills the professor. If he succeeds, you have to restart from the last checkpoint, as Helsing needs to be alive for later.
  • Off with His Head!: Doctor Briarcliffe's severed head is left for Alexander when Dracula learns that he was researching the amulet.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The carriage drivers' accents seems to slip from exaggerated Cockney to American, Irish and goodness knows what else.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They apparently can shape-shift (though implied to be an illusion covering them) and use magic spells.
  • Please Wake Up: In the game over screen, Helsing urges the player to try again.
  • Power Floats: Only seen with Juliet when she's turned into a vampire. When Devlin mourns her in her crypt after she's buried, Juliet appears before him and glides across the floor rather than walk when approching him. Once Alexander, Johnathan and Van Helsing ward her back, they reach her coffin just in time to see her lowering herself back into it from the air.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Alexander has many of these through the course of the game, foreshadowing his later encounters with the undead.
  • Psychic Link: Mina still retains her psychic connection to Dracula from the original novel, although the images she sees of him are much hazier than before. At the least, she's able to describe him as "different from before, but familiar. He seems close to us. VERY close."
  • Red Herring: The white piece of cloth. If you follow its plotline to its conclusion, all it does is implicate Leopold Stransikowski's dead wife of being the Bloofer Lady, which isn't helpful at all.
  • Second Love: Regina to Arthur as Lucy was Arthur's first love in the book before Dracula turned her and she had to be killed.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Juliet tries to pull this on Harker and Alexander — quickly shapeshifting into their wife and fiancee, respectively — in a last-ditch effort to save herself. Funnily enough, while Harker is thrown off but quickly sees the through the guise, Alexander almost falls for it despite her transforming in front of them, at least until Helsing stops him.
  • Shout-Out: The first batch of newspaper clippings Alexander puts in his journal includes a story of a dead accountant named Oswald Mason, whose murder was solved by Sherlock Holmes, a very clear nod to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective series of FMV games, specifically the third installment.
  • Smoky Gentlemen's Club: The Hades Club, which Arthur Holmwood sponsors Alexander into. The other club members don't take terribly kindly to him, mostly on account of his being American.
  • Staking the Loved One: The hunters when they confront Juliet after she rises as a vampire.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the course of the game, you visit a bookstore whose owner is slightly creepy, though helpful. However, at one point during a visit, Alexander asks about any books on vampires to which said owner responds with a thinly veiled threat.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Very. Granted its not hard to tell what you need bring in certain areas but finding said items and where to go at certain times can be very annoying.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Goes hand in hand with Guide Dang It, there are a few parts of the game where you're meant to be at a specific area at the right time to show you a clue for an important part later. However the game doesn't let you know it till too late and you get a game over but don't know why.
  • Useless Item: Quite a few, although only Annisette's portrait and the Lord Byron book qualify from a story standpoint, as others are used in cutscenes and then deposited in Alexander's inventory with no further use.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: When the heroes first inspect Juliet after she falls ill, the bite marks show her skin was practically ripped into.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Seems to be a common trait of vampires in this game.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The carriage drivers seem to have a Cockney, Irish and Bostonian accent all at once.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: An example pulled by the heroes late in the game when they finally confront Dracula; even if he shapeshifts into a wolf to escape, two people have a gun aimed at him for a full 10 seconds, and neither of them fires even once.
  • Woman in White: Dracula's brides all wear a form of white gowns when seen. Juliet's especially sticks out as the most notable.
  • You Are Too Late:
    • In a few of the endings, should you go to too many areas past the appointed time or without an item. One features Alexander running into Annisette dressed in a heavy gown before she reveals her fangs. Playing through the game proper to the climax reveals she's wearing the same clothes while still human, meaning if you get the ending where she's walking in them at night, Drac's already gotten to her and made her into a vampire.
    • In the game's story, there's no way you can save Juliet. Dracula will claim her and make her into a vampire, forcing Alexander and the others to kill her undead form.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the start of the game there a bit about a Bloofer Lady and one of the members of a club Alexander goes to that linked to her. They disappear halfway through the game and are never mentioned again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Van Helsing reads Alexander the riot act when he falls asleep guarding Annisette and Juliet, allowing Dracula to get inside, kill Juliet and start claiming Annisette.