Nightcry is a Survival Horror game developed by Nude Maker games. The game is a Spiritual Successor to the original Clock Tower games (being directed by the director of the first two games also helps). Like its predecessor, the player characters do not have access to weapons. As such, the player must run and hide or else suffer shear death.
The game is set aboard a luxurious cruise liner called the Oceanus on August 18, 2016. This cruise begins from Venezia, Italy, making a stop at Southampton, England, then finally crossing the Atlantic en route for the Caribbean Islands.
The heroine and her friends are college students from North America that had fieldwork training in the Aegean islands, making their trip back on this cruise liner. However, a group of cultists sneaked on board.
As the ship sails across the deep blue ocean, a series of gruesome and mysterious murders begins to take place by a female creature called Scissorwalker, including those of the ship's crew. Soon the ocean liner is crippled and adrift at sea, and has become an inescapable death trap for the passengers.
As Monica, Rooney, and Leonard, passengers of the ship, the player is tasked with solving the murder mystery to ensure their own survival as well as the rest of the innocent passengers.
The game was released on March 29, 2016 for PC. The mobile version will be released in a later date.
The game provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: Certain details concerning the plot and the main cast's backstories are left out of the game and can only be read online.
- Alpha Bitch: Monica, Jessica, and Kelly all have shades of this but Monica is the most obvious.
- Ambiguously Evil: While the game overwhelmingly shows that there's something creepy going on with him, whether or not Eric is actually affiliated with the Cult is never actually made clear. It's strongly implied he's behind bad things happening to multiple characters - it's very likely he trapped Monica and captured Leonard, though Leonard's attacker could also have been Jerome wearing Colbie's jacket - but on a couple occasions he does things to help out the protagonists that seem counter to the Cult's goals. In fact, distrusting his help will get Rooney killed, if she doesn't take the medicine he gives, or takes the route through the vents that he doesn't suggest.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: You switch player characters between chapters.
- Body Horror: There's a lot of areas that have, or will, contain the handiwork of the Scissorwalker's killing spree. Special mention goes to Rooney finding Leonard, practically flayed everywhere except from the neck-up, in the infirmary room.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: While they serve as flashlights, and recharging stations double as save points, nobody can use their phones to actually call for help, and their ability to recieve calls naturally depends on what the plot requires.
- Chase Scene: Being a ClockTower successor, this is to be expected. You are very limited when it comes to fighting back against the Scissorwalker, and must rely on escaping and hiding to survive.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: If Rooney reaches the ballroom and is grabbed by Jerome, Monica saves her by clubbing him over the head.
- Creepy Child: Connie, a little girl dressed in white that shows up in particular moments on the ship. She seems to be from Rooney's past, but Monica also sees her as well.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Certain Dead Ends and bad endings just sort of happen, without an especially clear reason why. For example, if Leonard contacts the wrong radio frequency three times, he'll seem to be strangled(?) by some invisible entity or force which doesn't seem to appear at any other point in the game.
- Another would be if Rooney fails to turn off Leonard's life support. She finds him insensate in the ship's hospital in a liquid suspension, flayed down to the organs and begging for death. If she doesn't deactivate the machine keeping him alive, he somehow escapes the sealed container he's in as a head attached to an ambulatory spinal cord, and proceeds to wrap himself around Rooney, whispering into her ear as she trembles in near-catatonia. It's understandable that the game would punish you for refusing to grant a mercy kill, but there's no explanation as to how or why he does this.
- Dramatic Slip: If you aren't careful, your characters may trip and fall.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Leonard puts on one of the cult's stone masks to slip past a group of cultists.
- Eyepatch of Power: Rooney sports this in the Golden Ending after she intentionally tears her own eye out.
- Glass Eye: Vigo has one in a bunsen burner filled with water to keep it sterilized. One of the first puzzles in the game is to find a lighter or match so that he can light the burner. In Chapter 2, Leonard finds a similar boiling glass eye on the island, and can potentially send a text message to his students warning them to beware of someone with a glass eye; this lets Rooney know in Chapter 3 not to trust Vigo. On the path to the best ending, Rooney replaces one of her own eyes with the spare; it turns out to be somehow related to the ritual that created the Scissorwalker.
- Gold Digger: Monica is pretty blatant about being one. Later in the game you learn she's an orphan supporting a younger sister, and marrying a wealthy husband is essentially her only hope of being able to take care of her sister.
- Guide Dang It!:
- Like its predecessors, NightCry has a few spots where you're almost guaranteed to get locked out of the Golden Ending if you don't do some really unintuitive things. Probably most infamous is the fact that if you don't take some change out of a cash register in Chapter 1, put said change in a vending machine (where Monica just saw someone gorily killed, for bonus points) and then have the vending machine spit out a severed hand so you can take the wedding ring on it you will be unable to get a good ending and will have to start all over in order to finish the game. Especially since the dead end this causes doesn't crop up until halfway through Chapter 3, meaning you can play through almost the entire game without realizing it's impossible for you to get to the endgame.
- Some puzzles require you to use inventory items on objects that don't appear as interactable objects unless you're holding the item in your hand already, making them very easy to miss if you just scan the scene with your mouse pointer. The rope and hand of glory puzzles in Chapter 2 are particularly notable examples.
- Immune to Bullets: Kelly mentions that she noticed the Scissorwalker was unaffected by bullets when the ship's security team tried and failed to stop it.
- In the Hood: The Scissorwalker wears one, along with a face-obscuring mask.
- Multiple Endings: There numerous endings, but similar to Clock Tower most of them are just unique Game Overs.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Scissorwalker appears to be able to control machines remotely and teleport, except when they can't.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The game is set on August 18 2016, about 5 months after its release date (March 29 2016).
- Obviously Evil: Vigo Boradsov.
- Permanently Missable Content: Easily triggered, since you sometimes can't go back to areas even within the same act. While some non-standard game overs occur quickly after the player makes a wrong choice, the conditions that trigger some of them aren't noticed for a long time, and the player may save the game after they've doomed themselves. Monica failing to find Jessica's corpse guarantees everyone's death at the end of the second act (for no clear reason), and it's possible to miss an item in the first act that locks Rooney out of the best ending — i.e., the one where she lives.
- Press X to Not Die: If the Scissorwalker catches you during a chase segment, you have to click repeatedly in order to temporarily incapacitate it. However, this does use up a lot of the character's stamina and getting caught again without recovering will likely result in your death. There are also cutscenes that require your character to hold an icon over a moving reticle or else your character will be dealt a lethal blow.
- Schmuck Bait: Clicking on certain objects will immediately trigger a Scissorwalker attack. These are typically scenes of extreme carnage (the Scissorwalker seems to have the ability to manifest from pools of blood or large amounts of gore), or fairly obvious traps such as moving bushes from which laughter can be heard.
- Sequence Breaking: The game uses very simple event flags to arbitrarily kill you or trigger bad endings when you don't perform certain tasks exactly as it wants, but if you use an item like your phone in areas where these events flags would be tripped, you can skip some of them entirely.
- Shear Menace: Like its predecessor, the main characters are menaced by a antagonist wielding a large pair of scissors.
- Sole Survivor:
- The Many Deaths of You: The game actually has a record of all the possible deaths that you can get for the unfortunate protagonists. It even unlocks an achievement if it's a Dead End.
- The Unsolved Mystery: There is never a clear explanation of who Eric is, what the deal is with Jerome's faulty memory and face-heel at the end, or what Vigo and the cult were trying to achieve.
- Violation of Common Sense:
- Vigo, the owner of the ship, loves seeing people enjoying their cruise. So much so that he sits on his own in the bar in the lower-class area while a major party is going on elsewhere, waiting to boil his artificial eye to sterilize it (even though he has his own quarters and a dedicated infirmary on the ship with sterilization facilities), bemoaning that he has nothing to light a fire with while there is a box of matches 10 feet away and in clear view of the barman who is presumably employed by Vigo and can see exactly what he's trying to do. He also visibly has two working eyes in his head.
- Why was a dead member of the crew carrying three billiard balls? To remember the password to the Captain's Quarters!
- At one point during Rooney's chapter, Eric the crew member who was first seen chopping up fabric while rubbing an ominous bleeding wound on the back of his neck, seems to be one of the cultists given the ending to Leonard's chapter, and who she has been directly told not to trust gives her antibiotics. Never mind that she hasn't exhibited any symptoms or that taking them without seeing a doctor first might not be the best idea even if he was entirely trustworthy, because if you don't, she later drops dead almost instantly from blood poisoning.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- If Angie doesn't sacrifice herself to save Rooney from Scissorwalker (which only occurs if you flee into the store she's hiding in while being chased by Scissorwalker), then her fate remains unknown; her corpse is missing from the tableau of dead passengers in the final confrontation.
- The Golden Ending in which Rooney and Monica survive and are rescued leaves the fate of Jerome and Eric completely unaddressed; the former was merely knocked out during the final confrontation, and the latter simply disappears before the endgame happens.