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Video Game / Necronomicon

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Necronomicon (Full title: Digital Pinball: Necronomicon, デジタルビンボール ネクロノミコン) is a video pinball game by KAZe Co. Ltd., released for the Sega Saturn in 1996. It is a quasi-sequel to Last Gladiators.

The premise of the game is that the player is a monk who has discovered a Tome of Eldritch Lore, the infamous Necronomicon. The act of reading the book induces a series of maddening visions, but the monk presses on, trying to find the secret of the horror within its pages. This quest is represented by playing the three tables of the game:

  • "Arkham Asylum"
  • "Dreamlands"
  • "Cult of The Bloody Tongue"

The tables can be played separately, but there is also a "Realms" mode where the player goes through the tables in order, and can only advance to the next table by performing all of the Rounds on the current one.

As with KAZe's earlier digital pinball games, the tables are shown in a fixed three-quarters perspective, presented with a wicked gothic metal soundtrack, atmospheric high-resolution graphics, 60 FPS action, and an amazingly detailed physics engine. While the intricate tables stay realistic for the most part, Necronomicon differs slightly from earlier KAZe pinballs with elements that go beyond the cabinet boundaries.

The game was released exclusively in Japan; despite its relative scarcity, digital pinball fans consider this to be KAZe's best game ever, with some even calling it the best Digital Pinball Table on any platform.

Necronomicon demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Invoked throughout the game with its blistering rock soundtracks.
  • Cap: The scores max out at 999,999,999 points.
  • Classic Cheat Code/Secret Level: A secret fourth table is available by entering a code on the title page.
  • Combos: "Dreamlands" awards increasing bonuses for making consecutive ramp shots with the upper flipper.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The game is peppered with numerous deep and ominous voice clips.
  • Excuse Plot: Study a Tome of Eldritch Lore by playing pinball. Right...
  • Faceless Eye: The "Arkham Asylum" playfield features a deep red eye staring out from the middle of the playfield.
  • Human Sacrifice: One of the targets in "Cult of The Bloody Tongue".
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Hangman Hill and Salem's Road from "Arkham Asylum"
  • Lovecraft Lite: The game is arguably this, as it uses the Cthulhu Mythos for atmosphere, but omits the more horrific elements.
  • No Ending: The epilogue reveals that after finishing the Necronomicon, the monk closes the tome and puts it away.
  • One-Word Title
  • Player Versus Player: In addition to supporting alternating two-player games, Necronomicon allowed players to submit high scores to the KAZe website leaderboards.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Necronomicon, of course.
  • Solar and Lunar: The Solar Engine and Lunar Engine from "Cult of The Bloody Tongue" .
  • Special Guest: John Petrucci, guitarist for Dream Theater, contributed the music for the game's prologue and epilogue videos.
  • Spelling Bonus: All three tables use M-A-Z-E to award million-point bonuses.
    • "Dreamlands" spells W-I-S-D-O-M for a bonus up to 10 million.
    • "Arkham Asylum" and "Dreamlands" use M-A-D-N-E-S-S to start the sub-Wizard Mode.
    • "Cult of the Bloody Tongue" requires the player to spell A-W-A-K-E-T-H-E-M-A-C-H-I-N-E for the sub-Wizard Mode.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Last Gladiators.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: The contents of the Necronomicon and The Book of Names.
    • By extension, the game itself could qualify as this.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Necronomicon itself, as well as The Book of Names.
  • Wizard Mode: Each table has a sub-Wizard Mode and a main Wizard Mode available.
    • The sub-Wizard Mode is accessed by spelling a word on the table, such as MADNESS or AWAKETHEMACHINE. This starts a three-ball multiball, and making a key shot turns it into a seven-ball multiball round.
    • The Wizard Mode of each table is only available after completing the lesser Rounds of each table. This is a seven-ball multiball with all targets worth 200,000 multiplied by the number of balls in play. When three or fewer balls are left in play, it is possible to restart multiball with all seven balls by making a specific set of shots.