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Video Game / Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller

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Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller is a Point and Click Adventure Game released in 1994 by GameTek and developed by Take-Two Interactive. It was available for DOS, Mac, and 3DO. The game was notable for being one of the first CD-ROM-only games to use speech with hi-res graphics, and has been described as very similar to BloodNet. Dennis Hopper, Grace Jones, and Stephanie Seymour are among the voice actors who lend their voices to characters in the game. Seymour herself also appears on screen at one point, while Hopper and Jones appear via computer animated representations.

The story is told through a variety of partial screen FMV's. The game is set in a dystopian 2095, and the U.S. is now a brutal theocratic dictatorship called the "Hand of God." Unlike regimes of the past, this government doesn't just claim to send sinners to hell; they can prove they have done it.

In this third-person perspective environment, players pick between Gideon Eshanti and Rachel Braque, two loyal police officers (and lovers), agents of a new law enforcement agency created by the theocracy: Artificial Reality Containment, or ARC, a Cultural Revolution like organization that enforces a ban on cybernetic technology in general and Virtual Reality in particular.

The story begins one night when they find they have been declared enemies of the state and go on the run from the very government they worked for. Thus begins a quest to uncover the secrets behind the theocracy's reign of terror, one that will lead them from the corridors of power in 2095 Washington, D.C. to the very depths of Hell. Along the way they recruit allies from the criminal underworld and run errands for the demons that now populate it.

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Grace Jones as the cyborg dictator, Solene Solux.
    Gideon: Hell, you know, we kill Solux, they might finally find out what sex that character is.
    Rachel: Oh, there's a good reason to do it!
  • Anticlimax: At the end of the game, Gideon or Rachel (one of them will have died before this point) confronts Solene Solux and takes care of them with a few barehanded melee strikes before going into the Hell control center and activating the Hell crash bug.
  • Catchphrase: The game isn't shy about swearing, but Gideon is fond of "Judas Priest!" as an Unusual Euphemism.
  • Emotion Eater: A gang that you can have dealings with as part of a sidequest has a racket where they "strip-mine" fear from the minds of mental patients and sell it on the black market like a drug.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a Cyberpunk Thriller, about Hell.
  • Going Through the Motions: The game's repertoire of character gestures is exhausted early... And often.
  • Hell on Earth
  • I Am Who?: Gideon and Rachel are actually former Citizens' Freedom Front members, who were caught by the Hand of God and given complete mindwipes and extensive cosmetic surgery to transform them into completely different people; some were even turned into sleeper agents... Including Rachel. This is the cause of the game's invisible time limit — after the limit is up, the suggestions planted in Rachel's mind cause her to kill CFF leader Erin Burr.
  • Mysterious Informant: "Deepthroat."
  • Novelization: Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller by Chet Williamson.
  • Obvious Beta: Some sections have serious errors that can leave players stuck. For instance, going by info in the subtitles instead of the spoken dialogue makes one puzzle unsolvable.
  • Psychopomp: A device by that name fulfils its namesake's role of guiding people to the afterlife.
  • The Reveal: Hell is completely fake, created by the Hand of God using advanced virtual reality technology — virtual reality technology being one of the first things the Hand banned when it came to power.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Each member of the Deadly 7 represents one. Their counterparts, the Clean Machine, represent the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Interestingly, some of them on both side are... a little overzealous regarding their virtues, and both will give you problems.
  • Technology Marches On: An android brags about his "400 megahertz of processing power."
  • Uterine Replicator: The Fecund 5088 birthing unit — a bald female cybernetic head and torso — offers her prenatal charges "soothing sounds and music," "comforting visual displays," and "direct projection of parents' voices into fetal chamber." She's also "programmed to respond to doubts you may have about the moral dilemmas some find inherent in [her] existence."
  • Working with the Ex: A hologram of Gideon's deceased ex, Cynna, joins the party. Rachel responds with a Hurricane of Euphemisms:
    Rachel: Wait a minute. Gideon, you never mentioned that you two were...
    Cynna: Involved? Friendly? Acquainted? Pals? Buddies? Amigos? Familiar with the beast with two backs? Just good friends? Scream in the night, rock around the clock, what do you know here comes the daylight kind of friends?
    Rachel: ...Right. He never mentioned that.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Said of Hell.
    "The burning is in the mind, but that makes it no less real."