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Video Game / Night Trap

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"Night Trap! Watch out behind you!"

Use the traps, Control!

Night Trap is an Interactive Movie game by Digital Pictures. It was created (well, filmed) in 1987 and was originally intended to be released on Hasbro's videotape-based game console, the NEMO. However, the NEMO was never released, and the game debuted in 1992 on the Sega CD. In 1994, it arrived on the Sega 32X, Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, IBM Personal Computer, and Apple Macintosh. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, it was released on PlayStation 4 and Steam on August 15, 2017 (with the Xbox One version set to be released at a later time), complete with a limited physical run which mimics the Sega CD box art; this version includes the prototype game Scene of the Crime which led into Night Trap's development. These rereleases were handled by VFX company Flash Film Works, current owners of the Digital Pictures game library and Screaming Villains.

You are a member of a special task force (S.C.A.T.: Sega/Special Control Attack Team) currently investigating a missing persons case. A number of teenage students have mysteriously vanished after entering a suburban lakeside winery house belonging to the Martin family. The Martins claim that the girls left safely, and refuse to allow the police to search the property. However, a reconnaissance by S.C.A.T. uncovers an elaborate security system with almost every room equipped with cameras and booby traps designed to capture intruders.

An undercover S.C.A.T. agent named Kelly Medd (played by Dana Plato) has managed to infiltrate the house by arranging a sleepover with the Martins' teenage daughter and four other friends. Furthermore, you have hacked into the security system and gained control over the house's cameras and traps. When the house is suddenly invaded by a band of black-clothed stalkers, it falls to you to use the traps and protect the girls while investigating the secret of the Martin household.

The game is mostly known for the undue controversy that it caused upon release. It is no exaggeration to call it the reason games have age classifications and content ratings; it and Mortal Kombat are the primary games that inspired the creation of the ESRB. It has also made several "Worst Games Ever" lists (which is funny in hindsight, considering upon its release it received a fair amount of critical acclaim for its use of full-motion video and multiple-playthrough approach to gameplay). Due to this controversy, then-Nintendo of America Chairman declared that Night Trap would never appear on any Nintendo system; however, in April 2018 it was announced that the game would be coming to the Nintendo Switch in similar fashion to the PS4 release.

Some of the former staff who were involved in the game had suggested the possibility of a sequel in the future.

Followed by a Spiritual Successor titled Double Switch in 1993.

This game contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil:
    • The Martins seem like nice enough folks, and the reason people are going missing is because they run a charity wherein they provide blood for augers, though this gets people killed.
    • Weird Eddie describes the augers as this, saying that their draining people of blood is Nothing Personal and just the only way they can live.
  • All for Nothing: In the official Re-Cut, SCAT's efforts ultimately end up pointless, as The Bad Guy Wins.
  • All Up to You: The entire premise of the game is like this. Instead of the SCAT Team breaking into the Martin’s house to arrest them they rely on you to trap any of the Bad Guys before any of the Girls get drained of their blood by the Augers. Then you have to save Kelly herself from getting bitten by the Martins themselves. Partially justified in the beginning since they have Kelly undercover and they don’t intervene until they get the okay signal from her to come into the house and maybe also evidence. And totally justified at the end because the rest of the SCAT team gets killed when they confront the Martins, leaving only you to be the one to rescue Kelly from the Vampire Family.
  • Almost Kiss: During the first few minutes, Victor and Sheila Martin go in for a very vampiric looking kiss, but are interrupted by Sarah announcing the arrival of the teenagers.
  • Animal Testing: Of the Ambiguous type, discussed and parodied: In the second part of the bathroom, Megan criticizes Lisa for trying to prime herself with her makeup, telling her that scientists should use cosmetic testing with her makeup on rats "before they let people like [her] play with it". Megan then demonstrates by pretending her hand is a rat facing torture by cosmetic testing, all the while using her squeaky mouse voice, as a way to mock Lisa.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Danny, Lisa's brother. Lampshaded, the only reason Danny is even at this sleepover party in the first place is because Lisa's mom made her take Danny along.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The 2017 edition removes the credits from all the game over sequences and instead gives you the option to retry if you lose. After you saved Lisa, where Disc 1 would end before you started Disc 2 in the 1990s console versions, the 2017 edition saves your progress on the midway checkpoint before the game continues on, so you can now return to that checkpoint if you lose. One example is that if you fail to save Cindy, the game continues on as normal, but only for a few minutes. If this happened in the 1990s console versions, you were screwed and would get a bad ending; but if you failed to save her in the 2017 edition, then you might as well either trap Megan or let her get killed in order to save yourself any further embarrassment of a Downer Ending. There's also the addition of having the camera icons update in real-time as opposed to you having to constantly flip between cameras hoping you'll find something.
  • Axe Before Entering: While Kelly reveals herself as a S.C.A.T. member to her friends in the bedroom, the two augers approach the bedroom door, and one of them pulls out a short ax and begins hacking at the door in hopes that it will open.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In the official Re-Cut, the Augers kill all of the teens and Victor drains Kelly, meaning that SCAT's efforts were All for Nothing and that the murders will almost certainly continue.
  • Big "NO!": Kelly will do this all the time every time you fail to save her or you trap her (especially in the part when you fail to trap Victor). Sarah will scream it out twice when you trap her at the end of the game.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: In the Boss Rush noted below, despite being well aware that someone has control over the house's cameras and traps and is using the system against them, the Martins will very obviously blunder directly into their own traps in their zeal to capture Kelly (or gloat), allowing the player to nab them each in turn. The only one with an excuse is Shiela, who didn't know about the trap that caught her.
  • Boss Rush: The climax of the game. You have to beat each of the remaining Martins in order: first, when Victor Martin, Sheila Martin, and Sarah Martin corner Kelly in the bedroom, Sheila comes the closest to catching Kelly, so you first have to trap Sheila with a bed that catapults her out the window (which was not originally intended for her; apparently Victor was going to give that trap to his wife as a "surprise"); Kelly will then manage to make it past Victor and Sarah, but Victor chases her. Second, when Victor chases Kelly into the bathroom, you have to activate a wall trap that gets rid of Victor, but that still leaves Sarah. Sarah will cut Kelly off outside in the hallway, so you have to drop Sarah down a pit and then all the Martins are gone and you've won the game. If you miss even one of the three Martins in this sequence, Kelly will escape at first, but then whichever Martin you missed first will show up with a crowd of augers to drain Kelly and you'll lose.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Combined with Black Comedy: In the second part of the driveway, Jeff and Tony meet up with Weird Eddie for a scare:
    Jeff: [waves] Hi, Eddie! Bye, Eddie!
    Tony: Hey, nice of you to drop by, Eddie!
    Jeff: Oh, and let us know when you wanna die, Eddie! [Eddie gets frightened and runs off from the scene]
  • Casual Danger Dialog: The times you fail to save Kelly from the baddies, she berates you as if you just spilled wine on the carpet rather than her life being at stake.
  • Conveniently Timed Distraction: As events occur concurrently, one set of enemies will appear and move about a room slowly while another might suddenly show up after and hurriedly blunder into position to be trapped prior to the first, making multiple groups of Augers wandering at once effectively this trope. It's especially bad in instances when it seems like all attention should be dedicated to keeping a group of girls safe, when in actuality you're supposed to briefly switch over to trap the Augers in another room first.
  • Damsel in Distress: All the girls are in danger of getting killed by the augers, and it's up to you to keep them safe from harm.
  • Discreet Dining Disposal: When Ashley offers the girls' homemade crushed Oreos and ice cream to Jeff and Sarah, they become a little disgusted by it that they have to quietly dispose of it in the sink before telling the girls that the ice cream was "delicious". Justified in that Jeff and Sarah are vampires who have no interest in human food.
  • Distressed Dude: In the never-before-seen extra footage added to the remaster, you have to save Danny from being drained by the augers in the downstairs hallway, or else it's Game Over.
  • Double Unlock: You have to beat the game once to unlock Theater mode in the 2017 version. Then you have to play through the game again several times, watching at least a second of all the possible scenes (including various game overs) to unlock them for casual viewing.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: "Weird Eddie" dresses up like an Auger in order to infiltrate the mansion and make sure Kelly and her friends are doing alright. Be careful that you don't trap him, though...
  • Dwindling Party: The number of NPC girls (and little boy in the 25th Anniversary Edition) that you have to rescue from the Augers starts to go down one by one after you save each one; there are four normal girls, Danny, and Kelly at the beginning of the game, but then after you rescue each guest from the Augers, they leave the house and you don’t see them again for the rest of the game. Eventually Kelly is the only one left.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Provided that you play perfectly and trap all of the bad guys and the Martin Family without trapping any of the good guys, if for some reason you decide to trap Kelly, this is the likely ending since it seems the Martin Family killed the SCAT team and by trapping the Martins and Kelly, no one is alive at the end of the game.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Mr. Martin, who tries to come off as a charming gentleman.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Cindy gets a makeover when she is turned into a vampire. She wears a white dress with transparent blouse and loses the ponytail she previously had.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The events of the game take place over the course of half an hour.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The player has the option of doing this. If you get the perfect ending, you can decide to kill Kelly with a trap for... the meter turning red.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: "Weird Eddie", one of the Martins' neighbors, invented a laser gun in order to combat them and the augers. Interestingly, the SCAT team has real guns, though it's still not particularly violent. (The augers only seem to emit sparks even when shot with real guns and the Martins, being vampires, are immune to bullets.)
  • The Family That Slays Together: It's pretty obvious that the Martin family is a bunch of vampires (and Jeff and Sarah's cousin Tony is one of them as well), which may explain why many teenage girls have vanished without a trace.
  • Fanservice: Lisa primping herself in the bathroom while wearing a nightgown is one of the most well-known scenes in the game, and the fact that it contains a girl-threatening auger capture means you have to watch it for a while, otherwise you get a game over.
  • Featureless Protagonist: No details are given about who Control is, since the idea is that you are Control. The closest hints are throwaway lines in the game overs that they are a kid.
  • Final Girl: Kelly is the last girl left after all of the other girls have left after you rescue the others from the Augers, and unlike the usual final girl, she is still helpless against the Augers and the Martins and it is up to you to rescue her before they drain her of all of her blood.
  • Fun with Acronyms: SCAT. It was probably meant to be a play on the "go away" definition of the word rather than the "excrement" version.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: A surprisingly literal example. Due to the live feed nature of the video, and only being able to focus on one room at a time, playing a perfect run denies you the full story as augers are often wandering around away from the girls and/or the Martins. Kelly will address the cameras as if she expects you to be focusing on her all the time. At least in the 2017 edition you can still see the story going on in other room icons while you're trapping Augers, but you still can't unlock more story scenes in Theater mode until you at least highlight one of the room icons for them.
  • Genki Girl: Megan is the most excitable of the girls, leading the lip-synching of the theme song during the party.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Sarah (if you're fast enough to see her in the bedroom at the start of the game) and Tony. All of the other vampires have them as well, but only when they show their fangs.
  • Gratuitous French: Mr. Martin says a couple of these phrases, natch.
  • Guide Dang It!: The split-second room changes the game requires from you are nearly impossible without playing the game multiple times or having a comprehensive walk-through. Even veterans who have played the 1992 game or its other 1990s console versions before while playing the 2017 edition (and going for a perfect run) will suddenly get treated to a Game Over scene of Danny getting captured and drained of blood in the downstairs hallway (which wasn't there in the previous console versions before) and realize that they missed an extra Auger to trap! Guide Dang It, indeed.
  • Happily Married: Besides one small disagreement towards the beginning of the game, Sheila and Victor Martin act nothing but lovey-dovey in their relationship, to the point where they even put off answering Simms’s questions in favor of complimenting each other.
  • Have a Nice Death: Letting Tony capture Kelly will cause him to drag her down to the basement, where he'll immediately find out the cables connecting your controller to the house. He will then inform Jeff offscreen. Jeff will then personally tell you how much you messed up before sending you down one of the traps. A similar event will happen if you allow Cindy to die, as she will be turned into a vampire by Jeff and tell him about the override cables, which will prompt him to give access of the control to his parents. Victor and Sheila will then send you down a trap.
    • And in yet another similar event exclusive to the 2017 edition, letting in too many Augers in the second half of the game will cause one of them to discover the override cable in the back hallway and alert Victor and Sheila there when they return; Victor will scare off the Aug before removing the cable and regaining control, and he and Sheila will switch you in from all the remaining rooms you were in before, and they will briefly greet you before sending you down the trap to your doom.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: S.C.A.T. member Collins goes to investigate the winery as a Jamaican tourist in a funny blue baseball cap, with a tropical white shirt with sun and wave labels on it, and capri pants (no camera, though, although he does have a notepad).
  • Here We Go Again!: Megan says this when Danny tries warning the girls again in the kitchen about the Augers, as she knows that she's heard that warning that she ignored before, in the living room.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The Special Features Collection has the actors doing some of them. One of the scenes even has Debra Parks (Lisa) telling the "auger" stuntmen to act all scary while they're prepping up for the "controversial" bathroom scene.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If you play the game right, the Martin family will be caught by the very traps they've been capturing teenagers in.
  • Hope Spot:
    • If you miss either Victor and/or Shelia during the Boss Rush and defeat Sarah, Kelly will initially appear to escape, but then whichever Martin you missed first will show up with a crowd of augers to drain Kelly.
    • The official Re-Cut included with the Updated Re-release takes it up to eleven, as even though all three of the Martins are trapped, Victor is revealed to still be alive and drains Kelly anyway.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In the kitchen, you can see one of the two girls (Cindy) try to take a bite out of a popsicle before doing a Spit Take in disgust and saying that it tastes like blood. They eventually discover what the popsicle is actually made of...
  • I Kiss Your Hand: When Kelly introduces herself to the Martin family and says, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Martin," Victor says, "Please, call me Victor," as he takes her hand and kisses it in a greeting. Cindy describes this manner as, "So charming!"
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: S.C.A.T. managed to install a tap into the surveillance and trap system of the Martin home. It involves a very large, visible cable hanging down from a window in one of the hallways.
  • Interface Spoiler: In the 1990s, the Sega CD version and the other four console versions had the room icons that were static images, and you could only see what was going on in one room by selecting it. In the 2017 remaster, the room icons now have dynamic, real-time thumbnails, meaning that if you see movement in one room while being in another, you know that something's going on. For example, you can watch the girls rock out in the living room and impress Sarah, while you witness the Augers kidnap S.C.A.T. member Jason and drain his blood in the downstairs hallway before taking him to the basement without even going to said hallway! (One Defunct Games review described the moving icons as feeling like you're watching a livestream event of the game itself.) Beating the game to unlock Theater Mode counts after you've gotten the most spoileriffic scenes.
  • Jive Turkey: Collins, the sole black member of SCAT. He pretends to be a Jamaican who's lost his boat as a cover story so he can ask everyone in the house (including SCAT's field agent Kelly) if they're doing all right. When he talks like himself, he sounds relatively normal.
  • Kaizo Trap: Failing to trap a few Augers menacing Cindy leads to Jeff stepping out to rescue her, and then turn her into a vampire. Gameplay continues for several minutes as normal otherwise until right before the climax, at which point control is ripped away from you and you're suddenly killed.
  • Large Ham:
    • The guy playing Lt. Simms is deadly serious and is not above disconnecting your controller if you screw up or don't start the game fast enough.
    • Also, Mr. Martin. ("THE WALL TRAP! AAAAAAAAAAAH!")
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When played on PS4, your controller's backlight reflects the trap access code currently in use.
  • Leitmotif: The Augers have one, everytime they come on screen.
  • Made of Iron: Many people get their blood extracted from their necks by Augers and faint or die easily... but not Lisa! Ever the Screaming Woman, she seems to be very tough when fighting off against them. In her Game Over scene, even when her blood is extracted from her, she refuses to stay dead while the Augers are dragging her into the secret passage behind the mirror, all the while she is still screaming to the very end.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Any time the trap access code is changed, the result is randomized. It always starts at Blue, though.
  • Magical Security Cam: The normally stationary security cameras suddenly zoom in or out and sometimes even move to cover new angles whenever something is happening in a room. At times the video could be coming from a camera physically located at the same place as where the normally static image originates, but many times the change in video feed would require physically moving the camera.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The Martins' house was built full of traps and hidden cameras in order to contain and kill helpless kids. S.C.A.T. hacks the system and takes control of it to save the kids and trap the Martins and the augers.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Kelly tells her friends in the bedroom that the cameras and traps may be the work of vampires, Megan sees the bedroom door being broken in by Augers and lets out a panicked "Oooohhhhhhh....!" The other girls look around and then scream in panic as the Augers break in and attempt to capture Ashley and drain her blood.
  • Meaningful Name: The creatures are called "augers"; an auger is a hollow drill used to take core samples of any surface. The augers use a trocar device which drills through a person's skin and suck out their blood.
  • Menace Decay: Night Trap shocked the nation in the 1990s (or at least the more busybody members of the U.S. Congress, anyway). In 2017, the game was re-released for the PS4 and Steam (with the Xbox One version soon to follow)... and rated "T" for Teen, with BETTER quality video than any previous version.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: In the "controversial" bathroom scene, when Lisa hears an auger in the shower, she thinks the auger is Megan in a "scary costume" and opens the shower door in an attempt to get it out; but when it starts coming for her, she gets an "Oh, Crap!" look and tries to escape but is cornered by two more augers... and that could be the end of her if not for the floor trap near the shower that the auger is getting on (provided that you have the correct access code color to activate the trap and save her in time).
    • Inverted if you try to catch one of the "augers" on one occasion... without even knowing that the "auger" is actually Weird Eddie in disguise.
  • Multiple Endings: There are several ways the game could end, including the Game Over sequences:
    • Letting too many augers roam around the house, both in the beginning of the game and before disc 1 ends, will cause Simms to interrupt your broadcast and kick you off the mission. Failing to rescue Danny (PS4/XONE remaster only), his sister Lisa, Ashley, or Megan will result in this too, albeit with different messages.
    • Failing to rescue Cindy causes Jeff to make Cindy a vampire. Cindy will tell Jeff about the override cables, which prompts him to regain access of the house. Victor and Sheila override your control and send you through a death trap.
    • Failing to rescue Kelly when Tony approaches her will result in him dragging her down to the basement, where he discovers your controls and informs Jeff about it offscreen. Jeff overrides your control and tells you off before sending you through a death trap.
      • In the 25th Anniversary Edition, letting in too many Augers in the second half of the game will result in one of them discovering the override cable and alerting Victor and Sheila when they return. Victor will then override your control by removing the cable and switching you back in from all the remaining rooms you were in before, and he and Sheila will then tell you off on this before sending you through a death trap.
    • Failing to rescue Kelly from the Martins in the last sequence of the game will result in her being captured by the augers and bitten by whoever you first failed to capture. All endings including the one where Kelly gets trapped, ends with Kelly's soul falling into the abyss.
    • The normal ending, which you'll get if you complete all critical saves/captures while missing some augers, has Kelly congratulating you, but believing you can do better with practice. As she leaves, there's a parting shot of an auger appearing behind her. Thankfully, Kelly just leaves and survives off-screen.
    • The perfect ending has Kelly praising you and hoping to work with you again. As she leaves, she walks over the trap you used to capture Sarah and jokes about you trapping her. In a Cruel Twist Ending, you actually can pull a Face–Heel Turn on her and capture her.
      • Although the end credits were shown after all the Game Over scenes and both the normal and perfect endings back in the 1990s console versions (which was quite common with a lot of Sega CD FMV games back then), the 2017 edition limits the credits to only the normal and perfect endings, and instead gives you the option to either retry or quit after each Game Over sequence.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In Disc 1, you can see Kelly and Cindy taking off their shirts and baring their midriffs after a party. In fact, they will remain in this way for the rest of the game. (Actually, Kelly and all the girls sans Lisa are baring their midriffs throughout the game.)
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • The original Sega CD release had one right at the beginning, the player can lose the game by simply not doing anything during the opening cutscene.
    • You can trap the SCAT agent doing recon upstairs. If you do so, Simms will immediately disconnect you.
    • A few times in scenes where the good guys are grappling with the augers or Martins, they'll struggle into range of a trap, which you'll be permitted to trigger; doing so results in this. The one exception is trapping Kelly, which is treated as an alternate version of the perfect ending.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Toward the end of Disc 1 when you save Lisa, and at the beginning of Disc 2, her kid brother Danny tries warning the girls about the basement with the control buttons and the traps, and about the Augers attacking him, but the girls don't believe him and shoo him out. They eventually discover that Danny's right.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the official Re-Cut, even though all three of the Martins are trapped, Victor is revealed to still be around and drains Kelly anyway.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lisa gets this reaction in the bathroom when she sees two more Augers approaching her after mistaking the third one for Megan, and realizes that they're about to drain her blood.
    • In the 2017 edition, if you let the Auger tackle Danny for the laser gun while another Auger puts the blood extractor device behind his neck, he quickly turns around to see the device clamp itself on his throat, and he gets this "Oh, Crap!" look as the device turns on while trying to free himself, knowing that its drill will soon bore itself into his throat and its vacuum will drain his blood...
  • The One Guy: Danny is the only male guest in the weekend slumber party consisting of the otherwise five teenage girls. Justified in that he's Lisa's kid brother, whose mother made Lisa take him along for the party at the Martins. This is even more so in the 2017 edition, when he has to be protected from the Augers just like every other guest (although no one even mentioned that he also has to be saved from the Augs in the first place).
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires can teleport, make their eyes glow, have super strength, are unharmed by bullets, and can shoot lightning from their hands. Other vampires are created by completely draining a mortal of blood. However, if not enough blood is taken, an auger is created. Augers look like limping burglars due to the fact that they cover themselves completely in black clothing because their skin falls off of their bones due to their hunger.
  • Papa Wolf: Lt. Simms is very protective of the girls and Danny, and he will not go easy on you if you let them get killed.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Lisa wears her pink blouse and skirt, indicating her rich vanity. She wears white a little later on toward the end of Disc 1.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The official Re-Cut removes most of the fourth wall breaks as, since it's a movie, there isn't anything for the viewer to interact with.
  • Press Start to Game Over: It's possible to get a Game Over during the intro simply by doing nothing. This was actually quite common with a lot of Sega CD FMV games back then. The 2017 version removes this entirely.
  • Product Placement:
    • In the second part of the Kitchen area, some of the items on the grocery bags and boxes Ashley, Cindy and Lisa are holding include Life Cereal, Oreo Cookies, Ritz Crackers, Green Giant Vegetables, Fritos Corn Chips, and Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream. In the third part, you can even see Danny sneak in and take a bite of an Oreo cookie before attempting to open the wine cellar door.
    • The opening to the Control-Vision and remastered games has the S.C.A.T. agents drink Pepsi during the mission briefing.
  • Ray Gun: Weird Eddy makes these to use as weapons against the augers.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: S.C.A.T. member Swanson plays it straight very late in the game. Also, Kelly wears a blue sports bra hidden under her revealing blue-striped white shirt, along with her blue jeans, to show that she's an Action Girl who's not like her other girl friends who wear dresses and are in danger of getting drained by the augers (Megan, however, averts this trope, since she wears a crop top and pants, yet she is in danger). Of course, she ends up being the one who needs your help to get rid of Tony and the Martin family toward the end of the game. Oh, and Sarah averts this as well, since she wears a white dress and yet can still pack a powerful bite.
  • Re-Cut: The physical release of the 20th Anniversary Edition came with a VHS that edited the game's cutscenes into a film. It removes most of the interactive elements and, befitting the game's cheesy horror film tone, nearly everyone who can die in the game does and The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Red Shirt: A few SCAT agents (not Kelly) try to scout out and infiltrate the house, and they're summarily captured and killed by the augers. There's no way to save them. Swanson can fall under this, too, but you can save her from being strangled by Jeff if you activate the bookcase trap on him... assuming that he gets her out of the way of said trap.
  • Retraux: 25th Anniversary Edition lets you choose between upscaled versions of the Sega CD, 3DO, and MS-DOS interfaces. Even better is that developer, Tyler Hogle, took the game's three deleted Game Over scenes from backup VHS tapes, recropped them to widescreen, and modified them to to fit on the respective interfaces so it would look like the entire game is being played uncut on any 1990s console version.
  • Rich Bitch: Lisa, though she's more vain than bitchy.
  • Rule of Funny: At one point in the upstairs hallway, you can see the Augers give each other a high five, as if they think the coast is clear.
  • Silent Treatment: In the 2017 edition, if you fail to save Danny, Lt. Simms briefly appears on the top-right corner of the CRT's screen and gives you the silent treatment as punishment by refusing to speak to you (he just has no words to describe your failure in causing the Death of a Child) before pulling a quick SCAT System Disconnect on you, resulting in a Game Over. (Probably Justified, as the filmmakers probably didn't film any scene where he chides you for failing to save Danny.)
  • Sociopathic Hero: You can choose to get the perfect ending just so you trap Kelly in the end.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The DOS port opts to spell Kelly's name as "Kelli."
  • Stalker with a Crush: Jeff to Cindy over the course of the game. If you fail to save her, he'll convert her to a vampire.
  • Stock Footage: A few auger capture scenes are recycled to pad out the game's length. Also, Danny's eventual escape from the house is a straight duplication of his earlier scene being menaced by them, even in the 2017 version which reinstates his possible death scene (once you've saved him, of course).
  • Sunglasses at Night: Tony wears sunglasses at nighttime, until he takes them off in the last part of the game.
  • Surprise Slide Staircase: The game uses this as a trap.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Victor Martin tends to call his female victims "Sweet little Plums". If he says it during gameplay, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a bad ending.
  • The '80s: While the game was released in 1992, the video was filmed in 1987 and it shows. Oh, and 80's hair.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: The 25th Anniversary Edition seems to use this disclaimer as a Shout-Out to the music video for Michael Jackson's Thriller: "The events and characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living, dead, or undead, is purely coincidental."
  • Title Theme Tune: The characters lipsync to it at one point. The 2017 rerelease includes a free download for it on their website.
  • Token Good Teammate: Subverted, Tony helps out the heroines once, and only because Ashley coincidentally happens to look like his former girlfriend. After that, and after Kelly ignores his warnings to not investigate any further, Tony will attempt to capture Kelly just like any of the Martins, and will succeed if you don't use a trap on him.
  • Token Minority: SCAT has both a token black guy and a token woman (if you don't count Kelly).
  • Too Dumb to Live: If you let Jeff strangle Swanson before Kelly escapes, he will try to go through the secret passageway by the bookcase door... only to discover too late that he has opened the wrong side of the door and gets captured by his own trap.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Tony has a locket with a picture of his former girlfriend named Madeline (who looks just like Ashley, one of the girls at the sleepover) in it. We never find out what happened to her, though the Japanese dub translates, "[We] could never be" into, "She's already dead" ("Kanojo da mō shinderu"; かのじょだもう死んでいる).
  • Transhuman Treachery: Cindy, if you let Jeff bite her. She actually seems quite happy to be part of the walking undead. If you let Tony capture Kelly, it's implied this happens as well, as Tony learns of the override from her.
  • Trap Door: One of the possible traps you can use on the augers; other traps include catapulting the augers out the window, for example.
  • True Blue Femininity: Kelly wears a blue sports bra hidden under her revealing blue-striped white shirt, along with her blue jeans, indicating that she's a mature S.C.A.T. member posing as a teenager.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's left ambiguous if Lt. Simms survives the climax. Since you do not get a perfect ending if you trap him, it's very possible he was simply knocked out like Swanson (provided you stop her from being strangled). It's also unclear whether Deke survives. He is thrown through a window by Victor, but it's unclear if this killed him or merely left him incapacitated.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: The first time the trap access code is changed, it takes Tony and Jeff several seconds to get to the console to do so after being instructed by Mrs. Martin, so you need to trap one auger while remaining on Blue before changing to the new color.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You have the opportunity to trap Kelly in the perfect ending.
    • Various unlockables and achievements in the 2017 version are tied to letting each of the girls (and Danny) get killed or trapped. You can also trap a few S.C.A.T. members for an achievement, although you normally get a Game Over for doing so.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't know what happens to the girls or Danny after they escape the house. Some of them are last seen being chased by augers too, making things a bit concerning... The worst case has to be Weird Eddie, who dresses up as an auger, goes into the house with Danny, goes into a room that cannot be seen on the security cameras...and than disappears for the rest of the game. Since you need to avoid trapping him in order to get a perfect run in the re-release, it can be assumed that as long as you don't trap him, he survives, but it's anyone's guess what happens to him after he goes into the room. The same goes for SCAT member Charlie, who is last seen chasing after some augers after going upstairs. Again, you must avoid trapping him to get a perfect ending, so it can be assumed that he survives, but we don't know why he seems to suddenly disappear from the house after this.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Martins run a charity to provide blood for augers. That would be a noble goal, except they're murdering innocent teenagers to do so.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: You get this from Simms if you fail to save the girls early on, followed by a game over. (If you fail to save Danny in the 25th Anniversary Edition, however, the only reaction you'll get from Simms is a Silent Treatment instead.)
    Simms: Megan is dead. And yes, you could have saved her. You were responsible for her life, and you screwed up. There's a lot going on in this house! Too bad you're not going to be around to see any more of it. Breaking contact.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Much like Simms, Kelly will call you out if you fail to save the girls, or if you choose not to not capture the Martins, leading to them capturing her.
    Kelly: Whose side are you on anyway?
  • What Were You Thinking?: Lt. Simms chides you with this line if you fail to save Ashley:
    Simms: What were you thinking?! You were hired to protect these girls and you just let Ashley die! You're fired! Breaking contact.
    • If you trap Kelly she will be furious with you before she falls.
    Kelly: No, please! Aw...I can't believe you'd do this to me after EVERYTHING we've been through! [falls through trap]
  • Wine Is Classy: The Martin family lives in a winery estate, so it's no surprise that Victor can be seen holding A Glass of Chianti and toasting to everyone's health. Of course, there is red in the wine, which is a bit more sinister and resembles blood, thus giving out a hint that the Martins are vampires.
  • A Winner Is You: All you get for winning the game is Kelly congratulating you on your success. However, if you get a perfect game (all bad guys captured, all innocents saved), you can trap her right afterward.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the 2017 edition, when the Augers corner teenaged boy Danny for the second and final time, they will not hesitate to capture him and drain him of blood if you don't do something.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: The girls think that Sarah wants them to have a party, so Megan turns on the radio, rocks out (and lip-synchs) to the theme tune, and manages to apparently impress Sarah, unaware that she and her family are a family of vampires.
  • "You!" Exclamation: In the Bedroom, during the time when Tony warns Ashley to leave the house while he exposes his vampiric image, she screams, and Kelly bursts in with a pistol pointed at him:
    Tony: [gets surprised and ticked off] YOU?!?! STAY OUT OF THIS!!!
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: During the Martins' Dénouement with SCAT in the living room, when Victor and Sheila discuss about how the Augers are essentially toothless vampires, SCAT member Collins becomes confused and says, "Vampires?! You've gotta be jivin' me!"
  • You're Insane!: When Tony tells Kelly that she leaves him no other choice but to kill her because she ignored his warnings not to investigate any further, Kelly says she doesn't understand, then tells you, "This is crazy!"; he talks back to her, saying that you wouldn't stand in his way, before turning toward you and taunting you with, "Would you?", then proceeds to drag her away.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: When Kelly threatens to shoot Tony for bullying Ashley in the bedroom, he teleports himself out of harm's way, then grabs her gun and says, "Did you really think that this stupid little toy could protect you?!", foreshadowing the fact that vampires like the Martins are immune to bullets.
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: Tony makes it clear early on that he isn’t interested in helping the Martins collect blood anymore, and attempts to warn Ashley of what’s going on before Kelly interrupts.