This game puts you into the role of one of six camp counselors, who must protect themselves and the kids from the wrath of the Ax-Crazy Jason Voorhees. The gameplay consists of wandering from cabin to cabin, waiting for Jason to enter one so you can fight him. The game takes place within three days and Jason grows stronger with each passing day. Your ultimate goal is to survive and defeat Jason.
Your main weapon is a bunch of rocks which have a tough time hitting anything. The map screen makes getting lost and confused very easy. And Jason's mask is light blue for no reason.note In general, this game is not very well liked, though some people have derived some enjoyment after figuring out how to play it.
An action figure◊ based on Jason's appearance in the game has been made.
For the 2017 Friday the 13th game, go here. Incidentally, this game's version of Jason was added to it as free downloadable content on June 20, 2017.
This game provides examples of:
- Action Bar: Appears when you search the cabins.
- After Boss Recovery: Each time you defeat Jason, your surviving counselors are all brought back up to full health.
- An Axe to Grind: Jason's second weapon in this game. Also the third best weapon available for your counselors.
- Bat Out of Hell: Regular bats act as enemies.
- Blackout Basement: The cave. In a subversion, it's still easily navigable if you don't have the flashlight.note
- The Blank: The characters in-game are depicted without faces.
- Bonus Boss: Pamela Voorhees' floating head is an optional boss in the caves. She can kill you instantly, but she'll give up an item each time you defeat her: first a superior weapon, then her sweater, and finally the pitchfork.
- Bottomless Pits: Found everywhere in the caverns. It's instant death if a counselor falls in one, and characters that die do not come back.
- Competitive Balance: The counselors have specific strengths and weaknesses each. Running speed, jumping height, projectile speed, and rowing speed are affected.
- The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: One of the in-game hints tells you to light the fireplaces with the torch. You're actually supposed to light the fireplaces with the lighter in order to get the flashlight.
- Creepy Crows: There are red-eyed crows as enemies.
- Critical Annoyance: When Jason enters one of the cabins, an alarm starts ringing.
- Cut-and-Paste Environments: Each cabin is mapped out exactly the same between small and large varieties; only any items located inside are different.
- Disc-One Nuke: The torch, the second strongest weapon in the game, is terribly easy to find right from the start.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: Zombies are common enemies. According to the manual, they are Jason's past victims given new life in undeath.
- Event Flag: Finding notes in cabins would start a chain of finding other notes or possibly weapons if you go to the areas (vaguely) described.
- Eyes Always Shut: Crissy in her Character Portrait.
- Final Death: If one character dies, they're not coming back.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Six counselors total, three men (George, Mark and Paul) and three women (Laura, Debbie and Crissy). It even remains equal if you include the villains Jason and Pamela.
- Guide Dang It!: As an adventure game that initially looks like a platformer, the game's mechanics are deceptively complex and poorly explained, which is the primary reason for the game's infamy. A good video guide can be found here.
- Improvised Weapon: Infamously, each counselor's starting weapon are rocks that were lying on the path. Since they arc over almost everything, ducking when throwing them is must.
- Infinite Flashlight: The reward for lighting all the fireplaces. Only the counselor who lights the fireplaces gets it, so if Jason kills the counselor holding it, you'll have to light them all over again as someone else to get another.
- Infinity +1 Sword: The pitchfork, the best weapon in the game, is obtained by conquering the "Jason's Mom's Head" sidequest three times. Not only does it do as much damage as the Torch to Jason, it can kill any other enemy in its path with one shot.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: You and your friends are dead. Game Over.
- Jump Scare: As with the movies that inspired this game, Jason, accompanied with a Scare Chord, will sometimes attack you in the paths and disappear quickly.
- Knife Nut: Your first weapon upgrade is a knife. Just the fact it flies straight makes it a huge improvement over the rocks, which you often have to duck in order to hit zombies with.
- Last Chance Hit Point: Any vitamins you're carrying become this if an enemy depletes all your health; they kick in automatically, letting you go a little further.
- Life Meter: Each player character has one, as does Jason when he acts as a Boss Battle inside cabins.
- The Lost Woods: The forest, which leads to the cave where one can find the remains of Jason's mother Pamela.note
- Machete Mayhem: Jason's trademark weapon from the movies is his first weapon in the game. It is also one of the more powerful acquirable weapons, and one will drop for every 60 zombies you kill.
- The Maze: The forests and the cave, as you can't pinpoint your location on the map within them like in the regular campgrounds.
- Nintendo Hard: After you're managed to take Jason out a couple of times, he's really hard to hit and even harder to dodge. And so is his mom.
- Non Standard Game Over: Aside from the infamous "You and your friends are dead", there's an alternate Game Over sequence that occurs if Jason kills all the kids. You will get a screen saying, "Jason wiped out the kids. Game Over."
- Not Quite Dead: You'll be told this if you manage to kill Jason before the third day.
- Real-Time Weapon Change: The "Pass" command allows you to swap weapons with another counselor in the same cabin.
- Savage Wolves: Wolves dwell in the forest areas. There are also blue ones inhabiting the cave.
- Secret Path: There are some in the cave. You need the flashlight to see them, but you can enter them without it; just look for the crooked rocks along the path.
- Start Screen: The Final Chapter's poster cover is dropped before it.
- Summer Campy: The game is set in a summer camp besieged by zombies, Jason Voorhees and various other horrors.
- Survival Horror: This game was released in February of 1989, ten months before Sweet Home, the other Trope Maker of the genre, was released in December of the same year, which makes this game one of the very first Survival Horror games, and definitely the first one that has you keeping track of multiple party members. It's easy to get lost, you have a pile of pitiful weapons to work with, and you have to track down and defeat The Juggernaut before he kills everyone. Three times.
- Token Minority: Paul is the sole black guy in the game, as seen here.◊
- Turns Red: Jason gets gradually tougher as you fight him. So does his mother.
- Video-Game Lives: You have one life per character.
- Would Hurt a Child: Jason, just like in the movies. In this game, you have to protect the kids from Jason. If you don't show up quickly enough to his location, he starts killing them.
- Zip Mode: Is Jason attacking someone all the way across the map from you? Sprint into the nearest small cabin and hit Start so you can take command of a counselor closer to the threat. You can even have the victim him/herself fend off Jason this way.