DescriptionJeremy Hartwood has committed suicide in his Louisiana mansion, Derceto. You take the role of either Edward Carnby, a private investigator, or Emily Hartwood, Jeremy's niece, and investigate the suspicious death. The three-floor mansion is reputed to be haunted by its eccentric past owner. Very quickly, you realise that it is. Warped rats, zombies and giant worms are among the foes who are after you, and you must somehow escape.
Alone in the Dark is an action-adventure survival horror game. The action is displayed from a number of fixed viewpoints. The backgrounds are 2D painted images, while the player character, all items and monsters are rendered as 3D models.
To escape the mansion, you'll have to solve a number of puzzles. They usually involve finding an item and using it in a proper place. Apart from items necessary for the puzzles, you can also find books and documents that can be read, healing items which can be consumed to restore hit points, and weapons.
Weapons come in handy, since Derceto is full of various monsters. Some monsters can be killed with weapons, but others are either impossible to kill or require a bit of thinking to take down. Note also that you have limited amounts of ammunition, so you have to use firearms carefully.
- "鬼屋魔影" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
- "Screams in the Dark" -- Working title
- "In the Dark" -- Working title
- "Call of Cthulhu: Doom of Derceto" -- Working title
- "AITD" -- Common abbreviation
Part of the Following Groups
- Alone in the Dark series
- Games made into movies
- Inspiration: Author - H. P. Lovecraft
- Setting: Interwar
- Theme: Haunted house
|Resident who?||DOS||Cor 13 (172557)|
|Truly a remarkable game||DOS||Zovni (9334)|
|The original and best.||3DO||Melvin Raeynes (26)|
|An excellent classic game. Period.||DOS||Yeba (60)|
|The grand-daddy of survival horror||DOS||Alan Chan (3479)|
|A landmark arcade adventure which started the survival horror genre.||DOS||Sycada (175)|
|Horror, Cthulhiana and great fun||DOS||Christian Svindseth (2)|
|What can I say? A game genre in itself!||DOS||James1 (240)|
|The grand-daddy of survival horror - it's just not very scary.||DOS||RussS (781)|
|The House the Lovecraft Built||DOS||Terrence Bosky (5232)|
The Press Says
|Top Secret||DOS||Mar, 1993||5 out of 5||100|
|Consoles Plus||3DO||Sep, 1994||91 out of 100||91|
|Game Players||DOS||Mar, 1993||90|
|Adventure Europe||DOS||Mar 10, 2006||88 out of 100||88|
|The DOS Spirit||DOS||Mar 03, 2006||5 out of 6||83|
|Adventure Classic Gaming||DOS||Nov 02, 1997||4 out of 5||80|
|JeuxVideoPC.com||DOS||Apr 19, 2005||14 out of 20||70|
|All Game Guide||Macintosh||1998||70|
|Joystick (French)||Macintosh||Jul, 1995||70 out of 100||70|
|Topic||# Posts||Last Post|
|Crime doesn't pay||28||Daniel Saner (2593)
Nov 08, 2011
1001 Video GamesAlone in the Dark appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
BudgetAlone in the Dark was made with a budget of US $400,000.
Christmas CD re-releaseThere was a Christmas CD re-release with all the patches and Jack in the Dark.
DevelopmentAccording to the French book La saga des Jeux Videos, by Daniel Ichbiah, the original title would have been In the Dark. The idea came from the Infogrames' PDG, Bruno Bonnell, and one of his collaborators, Eric Motet. The player would have been constantly in the dark, having only 3 matches he could use to progress.
Frederic Raynal, an Infogrames coder who was working on a 3D engine in his free time, tried to integrate the project very soon, but he didn't succeeded in convincing Eric Motet. He then finished his 3D engine and made a demo with an Infogrames artist Didier Chanfray. The result was shown to the managers in 1991 and it was judged so good Raynal became the project leader.
After a first attempt by the team itself, the scenario was written by Hubert Chardot, an independent writer who had worked for the 20th Century Fox and was a real Lovecraft fan. The definitive version was finished in only 3 afternoons, the whole team participating. Chaosium, judging it was unfaithful to Lovecraft's work, refused to validate it, thus losing any right to perceive royalties on it. It's also at this moment that the definitive title was chosen.
Last but not least.. when the project was in its early stage, Frederic Raynal met Yael Barroz, an Infogrames artist which integrated the team. They married very soon.
More details can be found in the book already mentioned; this is just a partial summary.
Inspiration to other gamesBesides the obvious sequels, this game also "inspired" two other Infogrames Cthulu games, Shadow of the Comet and Prisoner of Ice. Two books in the game refer to Lord Boleskine and his ill-fated expedition to Illsmouth, which was later used as the basis for Shadow of the Comet's plot. Another book refers to the Prisoners of Ice who are featured in the Infogrames game of the same name.
This game is widely reported as being the inspiration for the Resident Evil series for both its graphical innovation and "survival horror" plot. But in terms of the graphic engine, a similar approach was used in Cruise for a Corpse.
InspirationThe story was inspired by a supposedly true event. A man by the name of Edward Carnby spent a night in an old house by the name of Decerto to prove that it wasn't haunted. The following morning it is reported that Carnby used a pay phone to call someone called Gloria Allen and according to a witness he looked like "he'd been fighting 'gators all night."
Virtual DreamsBefore its release, Infogrames announced that Alone in the Dark would be the first in a new series of games; The "Virtual Dreams" series. Each game would have a totally different plot and setting, but they would all use the same engine. The original Alone in the Dark box (at least, in Europe) had different cover art, and featured the "Virtual Dreams" title. The game was later re-issued in its current box design, and there was no further mention, from Infogrames, of the "Virtual Dreams" series.
- Computer Gaming World
- February 1996 (Issue #139) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #88 on the 150 Best Games of All Time list
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #14 Best Way To Die In Computer Gaming (being dragged into the underworld and sacrificed after)
- Vol.3, Iss. 1 - Best 3DO Action/Adventure Game of the Year in 1994
- Game Informer
- October 2005 (issue #136) - one of the Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #34 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
Related Web Sites
- Postmortem Video - How the game was crafted (A video featuring Alone in the Dark designer Frédérick Raynal discussing in depth the creation of Alone in the Dark on it's twentieth anniversary. Video is about an hour long, taken on March 9, 2012 at GDC 2012. Content starts at time index 13:32 in the video.)