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Video Game / Last Half of Darkness

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A series of PC horror adventure games from WRF Studios. Themes of voodoo and vampirism, spooky swamps, assorted creepy-crawlies, ruins, and dilapidated mansions are common to all games in the series, set in a "Black World" of gypsy curses and malignant shadow-spirits.

Most games in the series are traditional Myst-style point-and-click, whereas the original 1989 version is a picture-enhanced text-based scenario, and Society of the Serpent Moon employs a 3-D avatar protagonist. In a throwback to the early days of PC gaming, Last Half of Darkness CD-packs incorporate printed supplements that are necessary to decode in-game clues.


Entries in the series include:

  • Last Half of Darkness (1989)
  • Last Half of Darkness II (1992)
  • Last Half of Darkness III (1993)
  • Shadows of the Servants (2005)
  • Beyond the Spirit's Eye (2008)
  • Tomb of Zojir (2010)
  • Society of the Serpent Moon (2011)

The last four games are now available as a bundle on Steam, modified to eliminate the need for printed supplements.

Tropes used include:

  • And Show It to You: Happens to you in the 1989 original if you piss off the dark figure with the ax.
  • Badass Longcoat: Billy Black.
  • Bat Scare: Several examples in the games, often involving cockroaches.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Tia's wish for revenge only made things worse for Shadowcrest.
  • The Big Easy: Servants is set in a mansion at the edge of a creepy "Black World"-infested New Orleans.
  • Body in a Breadbox: Billy finds a woman's corpse in a storage locker. You hallucinate finding one in a wardrobe in Tomb.
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  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: A finger severed from one of Marcos's victims.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Several in the various games.
  • Creepy Child: The little boy (?) in the Mardi Gras devil-costume.
  • Creepy Crows: Several, including one that steals the Eye from the old swamp witch in Tomb.
  • Dem Bones: The Guardians in Spirit's Eye and Tomb.
  • Driven to Suicide: Marcos tried to hang himself when he realized what he'd become but Tia's wish made the rope break.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: All that's left of Sashia's entourage of masked undead women.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: In Last Half of Darkness, death can happen in the following ways, each to the PC speaker rendition of a funeral march:
    • If you open a coffin, a zombie inside tears you apart.
    • If you annoy a hooded figure with an axe, he holds up your heart.
    • If you try to take a caretaker's lantern, he buries you in the hole he is digging.
    • If you open a filing cabinet, the result of one of your aunt's experiments (a huge snake) turns you into a human pincushion.
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    • If you try to sneak past a pair of ghost twin children, one of them stabs you to death, "enraged by the presence of an adult".
    • If you try to sneak past a huge dog, he rips your arm off.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Madame Ze instigated the horror in Shadowcrest so she could claim the Eye of Acareous and take control of its protecting spirits, but Tia sics the Guardians on her instead.
  • Fortune Teller: Two gypsy mystics provide clues in Tomb, and an automaton fortune-teller in a coin-operated booth does so in Servants and Spirit's Eye.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall:
    • The DVD editions use in-case supplemental documents as part of the scenario, and the later games even use markings on the disk itself as one of their clues.
    • Also, Shadows of the Servants's Mind Screw ending reveals that Mira "summoned" the protagonist and others to the mansion by putting the video game on the market.
  • Ghost Town: Shadowcrest, the town from Spirit's Eye, is almost totally deserted, for good reason.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Guardians and the old witch.
  • Have a Nice Death: Dying in the second game makes you hear a weird "Good-bye! Hahahahahahahaha!"
  • Haunted House: Plenty
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: The younger fortune-teller in Tomb.
  • Interactive Fiction: The 1989 original is a hybrid of text-based and point-and-click, with a menu to select commands.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Wendy in Society got herself kidnapped while investigating a story.
  • It Won't Turn Off: The faucets in Last Half of Darkness can be turned on, but attempting to turn them off gives the message "the water won't shut off".
  • Looks Like Orlok: Marcos from Spirit's Eye
  • MacGuffin: The Eye of Acareous
  • Magic Antidote: You whip one up to treat yourself for snakebite in Tomb, and Billy finds some already-made in Society.
  • Magical Romani: The young fortune-teller in Tomb dresses in stereotypical "gypsy" clothes, although it's never explicitly stated that she's Romani. Tia claims that the letter-tile puzzle from Spirit's Eye is a ritual device used by Romani magic-practitioners.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Madame Ze set Marcos up to find the Eye of Acareous and unleash the curse, then tricks you into retrieving it so she can claim control over the Guardians.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: Tia manifests like this in Spirit's Eye.
  • Neck Lift: Sashia does it to Billy via telekinesis when he confronts her in Society.
  • Orifice Evacuation: In the opening cinematic for Society, the shadow of a snake emerging from the mouth of a female figure is seen.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: There's a monkey infected with vampirism in Shadows of the Servants. In Society, Sashia is said to be "a witch, a vampire, and a snake" all in one.
  • Point-and-Click Game
  • Prophet Eyes: Tia's eyes are pure white. Madame Ze's are white in Spirit's Eye; in Tomb, the improving graphics show that hers have pale blue sclera around white irises.
  • Raising the Steaks: A skeletal fish snaps at you from the fountain in Spirit's Eye.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation: Billy from Society splices together some sound-clips from Wendy's laptop to fake a call from Bruce, drawing the bartender of the Blue Iguana away from his post.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tomb plays it straight with the wolf, but subverts it with the elderly gypsy. The junkyard dog and vipers in Serpent Moon also. Also Wendy at the end.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Plenty of snakes, especially in Society.
  • Rollercoaster Mine: Averted; the mine cart ride in Spirit's Eye isn't particularly fast, although it is creepy.
  • Scary Scorpions: There's one in the young swamp witch's house in Tomb.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Come closer..."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The thieves who stole the gemstones from the Tomb of Zojir unleashed some pretty nasty supernatural threats into the world.
  • Shell Game: Win three rounds of one in Servants to get a spooky hint from the man in the black hat.
  • Spiders Are Scary
  • The Starscream: In Society, Bruce works for Sashia, but has been collecting the means to destroy her behind her back.
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: In Servants, a dark creature snatches the seemingly-useless voodoo doll from your inventory. The doll turns up later in another room, and you can now remove its head to extract a key from inside.
  • Sundial Waypoint: Moon dial, actually.
  • Swallow the Key: In Servants, the doctor swallowed the key to a strongbox before she died. You can't open the box containing the ashes from her cremation, but can put it in the fireplace so everything except the key will be destroyed.
  • Swamps Are Evil
  • The Walls Have Eyes: A creepy box with an animated eye on each side appears in Spirit's Eye, as does a weird trinket of finger-bones surrounding an animated eye. In Tomb, there's a ring with a living eye in the middle.


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