DescriptionLife & Death
is a game which casts you as a doctor in a hospital. Your job is to diagnose patients and administer appropriate therapies, or even perform surgery when necessary.
To diagnose a patient, you have to press on his or her abdomen, to see which portions of the stomach cause pain. Basing on this knowledge, you can choose a therapy for him (observation, medication or referring to another specialist) or administer a X-Ray or ultrasound scan to get more information about his illness.
In some cases, surgery will be necessary. You're the surgeon and you have to perform the operation very carefully, adhering strictly to the procedures, preserving hygiene, and maintaining care when cutting up the patient.
Should you mistakenly administer the wrong therapy, or kill your patient at the operating table, you're kicked into the medical school, where you're given hints as to what you've done wrong.
- "Life & Death: You are the Surgeon!" -- Tag-lined title
- "Life and Death" -- Amiga/DOS title screen title
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The game came with extremely realistic materials. It included an internal memo and pathology course, both typed with a dactylo, photocopied and then stapled by hand. And if you looked under the bottom cardboard in the box, you could find a real pair of surgical gloves and a surgery mask!
References to the Game
At the end of the fourth episode in the anime about otaku lifestyle Genshiken
(1st season, 2004), when Saki asks her boyfriend Kousaka "What was your first time like?", he misunderstands the question and, being an otaku, starts naming the first anime series and games he tried. Among the games he first played, Life & Death
is mentioned, alongside Ultima
(without specifying which one) and The Manhole
. Regarding Life & Death
Kousaka adds: "I don't even know how many people I killed in that". Usually however, both in the anime and the original manga, all the titles of popular entertainment products are altered to avoid copyright problems (e.g. The Chanp of Fighters 95 instead of The King of Fighters '95
, Berserker instead of the popular manga Berserk
). Other notable exceptions to this are the Puyo Puyo
and Guilty Gear
The simulation is actually quite strict: Deviate a hair too much from the proper incision technique, and you'll find your license revoked or your physician alter-ego kicked back to medical school. This was done intentionally to emphasize the importance of the topic.
This game had a few digital sounds that came out of the PC Speaker, which was quite uncommon back then, and led to compatibility problems on certain machines.