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Video Game / Nosferatu

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Nosferatu is an overlooked action-platformer, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on October 1995 (October 1994 in Japan). Having nothing to do with the similarly-named 1922 movie, it nonetheless involves a creature of the night — a vampire — by the name of Nosferatu. One fateful night, a woman named Erin becomes his latest victim as the vampire takes her away to make her his undead bride, prompting her husband, Kyle, to ride to his castle to rescue her from his clutches... before it's too late.

The game can be described as "Prince of Persia meets Castlevania," having similar gameplay and controls to the former and the gothic horror theme of the latter, as well as having a vampire as its main antagonist. Kyle must venture through the eponymous vampire's castle equipped with nothing but his fists and legs for a variety of punches and kicks, from a basic four-punch combo to moves such as slide-kicks and roundhouse kicks. And much like Prince of Persia, the player must navigate the treacherous environments with the same vein of platforming, with puzzles to solve and traps to avoid.

Not to be confused with 2003's Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi.

Tropes appearing in this game:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie: If the player finishes the game after dying at least eight times, Kyle reunites with his love after defeating Nosferatu... and is then bit by her in their embrace.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Badass Normal: Kyle rushes off to save his beloved and fight the supernatural with absolutely nothing more than his wits and strength; he brings or acquires absolutely no weaponry.
  • Big Bad: The vampire, Nosferatu, is the main antagonist.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Crosses over with Translation Train Wreck: The intro and outro are screwed up like some convoluted, jumbled up, mangled storyline (which is no doubt the game was developed in Japan).
  • Booby Trap: Aside from the enemies, Kyle must also deal with the numerous traps in the level, like wall spikes, ceiling spikes, buzzsaws, flame traps, pitfalls, and more. Also some of them are instant kills.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Should the player die at least eight times before finishing the game, Nosferatu will bite Erin before Kyle reaches either. After defeating the vampire, Kyle reunites with her as he normally would, but is bit by her as they embrace, accompanied with bleak text.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Japanese version of the game has limited continues (or credits, as it calls them).
  • The Dreaded: The intro establishes Nosferatu as this, being feared by the villagers.
  • Dual Boss: The second boss fight is against two apes wearing vests.
  • Flame Spewer Obstacle: Head statues regularly shoot out damaging flames.
  • Flight: Nosferatu uses this in his boss fight. He can do it in both his human and giant bat forms.
  • Game Over: The Game Over screen shows a monochrome photograph of Kyle and Erin, happy together, also showing how many continues the player has left on the Japanese version. There is more to the screen than it might seem: in an easily-missed touch of subtlety, the photograph is slightly altered if the player has died at least eight times, showing Erin having grown fangs and a more distorted brow, to signal the inevitability of the bad ending.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Nosferatu does not really have any personality and is just there to be the villain.
  • Golem: The fifth boss is a rock golem who can shoot spiked fists at you.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Kyle lacks any sort of weapons or means of defending himself. The result is beating the shit out of monsters and abominations with his fists and leap kicks. Of course, that's easier said than done against the supernatural, but When All You Have Is a Hammer…
  • Guide Dang It!: Opening a chest to collect what's inside is obvious enough. What isn't obvious is that you can collect multiple things from one chest by tapping up until there's nothing yielded.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Kyle punches and kicks his way through the obstacles, never picking up any weapon.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests can be found everywhere in the game.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Should the player choose not to continue on the Game Over screen, a short scene plays showing Nosferatu preparing to bite Erin and make her his.
    • Developer's Foresight: Said scene will not play, however, if the player chooses to quit after dying at least eight times, since she's already been bitten by then.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has three variations of a good ending, with text altered by what difficulty the game was beaten on. There is also a bad ending that takes place after defeating Nosferatu if you die too many times.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The first boss is a purple-skinned man armed with a Battle Boomerang who morphs into a werewolf after taking enough damage.
  • Pressure Plate: Some floor plates in this game have to be stood on to open doorways.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The text in the Japanese version of the bad ending makes note of the fact that Erin's eyes were a 'shadowy crimson'.
  • Riding into the Sunset: At the ending. The good ending, that is.
  • Saw Blades of Death: The game features saw blades that move back and forth along its path.
  • Spikes of Doom: There are two types: The ones that move up and down along the ground and the ones found in any surface that periodically protract and retract. Both spikes are very sharper and pointy.
  • Victory Pose: Kyle does this after every boss fight, except the last one.
  • Video Game Sliding: The player can slide which is crucial for getting past the closing doors and low clearance areas.
  • You Are Too Late: If you die at least eight times before reaching Nosferatu, killing him won't matter - he'll have already bitten Erin, and she'll come for Kyle next.