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Video Game / Hugo's House of Horrors

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A short adventure game from 1990. You play Hugo in a quest to rescue your girlfriend from a house inhabited by monsters. Followed up by two sequels, Whodunnit? and Jungle of Doom, and the basic premise was retooled as a Wolfenstein 3D clone called Nitemare 3D in 1994.

There's also a film called Hugo that has nothing to do with the games.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adventure Game
  • Amateur Sleuth: Penelope.
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  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Within two minutes, Hugo goes missing in Whodunit? and Penelope takes over as the player character for the next 98% of the game.
  • Angry Guard Dog: there's one in the first game. It's not pleasant to look at, and if it catches you, it eats you (or so you're told: Hugo just kind of falls over).
  • Arc Number: 333 is the solution to the combination lock in the first game and part of the phone number to dial in the second. Trying it on a safe later in the second game will just result in the game mocking you for thinking that would work again.
  • Ascended Extra: Penelope in the second game.
  • Behind the Black: A puzzle to cross an impassible chasm is to walk along the pixel-sized ledge that is not described in the room description, and not visible on-screen.
  • Bound and Gagged: Penelope in the first game, though this is more of an Informed Attribute since we only ever see her shadow.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The second last obstacle in the game is an old man that asks you six trivia questions, with five of the questions being based on various period TV shows and movies. The last question is "Did you register the shareware?!"
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  • Cutting the Knot: In Hugo 2, you encounter the old man again and it looks like he's going to be asking you a bunch of stupid questions again. Instead, Penelope just knocks him out and continues on.
  • Damsel in Distress: Penelope in the first and third games.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Hugo in the second game.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Try throwing those matches across the bridge in the second game.
    • Or kissing the French Maid.
    • Try typing "fuck" in the first.
    • You can also kiss the girl who finds Penelope at the beginning of the third game.
  • Excuse Plot: The entire first game. Penelope has been kidnapped! By...someone. And taken to a house! For...some reason. Save her!
  • Funetik Aksent: The French Maid in the second game.
  • Happily Married Hugo and Penelope from the end of the first game, onward.
  • Henpecked Husband: Hugo, once he marries Penelope.
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  • Heroes Want Redheads
  • Jungle Japes: The third game takes place there, where you must save Penelope from a poisonous demise.
  • Let's Play: Pushing Up Roses and her companion Paw Dugan tackle this adventure with innuendos all around!
    • There's also a hilarious one by Yahtzee Croshaw and his partner (not gay) Gabriel.
      • It's not with Gabriel; it's with a chimp that's been trained to imitate speech. But it certainly sounds like Gabriel, doesn't it?
  • Locked Door: A couple.
  • Mad Scientist: in the first game. His apparent goal is to use his machine to people.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In the third game, the South American jungle has elephants, hyenas, and suspiciously African-looking natives.
    • Amusingly enough, the game acknowledges the misplaced elephant, claiming it just escaped from a zoo.
  • Monster Mash: Several monsters appear in the first game, most of which are having dinner.
  • Red Herring: Lampshaded every time.
    • In the second game, the final bits of evidence are red herrings based on Cliches. You instead have to locate the character without the cliché motive.
  • Off with His Head!: If the butler from the first game approaches you while you're wearing the monster mask, he'll give you a pork chop. Let him catch you without it on, and you'll get this kind of chop instead.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Of a sort. The exterior of the titular house is borrowed from a common "haunted house" stock image.
  • Paper Key-Retrieval Trick: In Hugo 2, the character you control encounter the locked door in a hallway but can't open it. It is opened in the finale, where Hugo puts the newspaper under the door and pushes the pencil through the keyhole to unlock the door, where you meet with a character in the hallway.
  • Schmuck Bait: When you pick up the whistle in the first game, the game asks, "I wonder what the whistle does?" But if you blow it right away and go into the next room, you get killed by the dog. However, the whistle actually does have an important, positive use in the game.
  • Shout-Out: The old man in the basement/cave asks you several questions relating to The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Thankfully if you never saw them, then the help text will tell you the answers.
    • The opening theme music is a mishmash of both the "Dragnet March" and the synthesizer lick from Boz Scaggs' "Lido Shuffle."
    • The killer dog is accompanied by a brief clip of "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?".
    • In the sequel Hugo's girlfriend Penelope saves The Doctor from a Dalek, confusing the hell out of a lot of stateside players who weren't familiar with British programming (the BBC America channel wouldn't exist for another seven years after the game, so Doctor Who was very much a niche fandom in the U.S. until then). In fact, a few strategy guides written at the time treat it as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Typically for its genre and era, experimenting with items has a very high probability of resulting in death.
  • Twist Ending: The murder in the second game? That was actually Hugo's uncle and cousin rehearsing a play where they play the victim and killer, respectively.
  • The Unseen: Penelope is only seen as a silhouette in the first game, but gets an actual sprite in the second and third games.
  • Unwinnable by Design: In the second game, woe betide you if you get those matches wet when they accidentally drop into the water. The solution is to drop the matches, pick them up, drop them again, pick them up again...
    • It is possible to get across the bridge without dropping the matches, if you walk across the bridge very carefully.
  • We Were Rehearsing a Play: In the second game, when describing a certain event.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask: Parodied:
    ->open bolt
    Please say "undo bolt".


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