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Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria

MobyRank MobyScore
Windows
66
3.5
Macintosh
54
3.7
SEGA Saturn
...
3.5
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Description

A writer named Adrienne Delaney has just moved into an old mansion with her photographer husband Donald. Shortly after moving in, Adrienne begins to experience horrifying nightmares and have odd encounters inside the creepy old abode. Furthermore, the house is having a severe effect on her husband, changing him for the worse. Adrienne must discover the secret of the house before the unknown force consumes her husband, and unravel the terrible events that have happened in the past.

Phantasmagoria is an adventure game that places heavy emphasis on full motion video for exposition and cutscenes at various junctures to advance the storyline. Adrienne is represented as a digitized character roaming around pre-rendered settings in the house. She inspects various rooms, finds items, adds them to her inventory, finds places to use the items, and triggers advancements in the plot.

Puzzle-solving element is present, though reduced compared to most other adventure games made by Sierra. There are seven chapters in the game, as well as a status screen that tracks the player's progress within the chapter. If the player happens to get stuck in the game, a talking skull icon who identifies himself as the hintkeeper can supply the player with hints on request. It is possible to start playing the game from any chapter.

Screenshots

Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria SEGA Saturn Intro. Don taking pictures of his newly-acquired property.
Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria DOS Good dog!
Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria SEGA Saturn Tell my fortune? Can you check my coat while you're at it?
Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria DOS Laying down in the bed only to be subjected to a nightmare sequence

Alternate Titles

  • "幽魂 1" -- Taiwanese spelling
  • "Phantasmagoria de Roberta Williams" -- Brazilian title
  • "Phantasm" -- Japanese Saturn title
  • "ファンタズム" -- Japanese spelling
  • "로베르타 윌리엄즈의 판타스마고리아" -- Korean spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Full of flaws, but atmospheric and overall very impressive DOS אולג 小奥 (169544)
The stereotype of an interactive movie - much more movie than interactive. DOS Mumm-Ra (382)
One of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had Windows hikari_no_tsubasa (11)
One of Sierras best and a great FMV! Windows Alex Misiti (100)
A Campy Movie Adventure Windows swaaye (34)
Bad game, interesting interactive b-horror movie DOS tomimt (339)
A horror game or a horrible game? DOS Icarus Lytton (23)
Quite horrible, really. DOS Tomer Gabel (4388)
Technical Marvel, Gaming Disaster Windows Game22 (42)
A memorable Horror Story, that has stuck in my mind since 1995. Windows Eric Ridenour (2)

The Press Says

All Game Guide Macintosh 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Game Revolution Windows Sep 01, 1996 B+ 83
PC Games (Germany) Windows Oct, 1995 79 out of 100 79
Puntaeclicca.it Windows Aug, 2000 7 out of 10 70
PC Player (Germany) DOS Sep, 1995 68 out of 100 68
PC Player (Germany) Windows 3.x Sep, 1995 68 out of 100 68
Just Games Retro Windows Oct 20, 2006 51 out of 100 51
Power Play Windows Oct, 1995 46 out of 100 46
Just Adventure Macintosh 1996 C- 42
High Score Macintosh Oct, 1996 2 out of 5 40

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Trivia

Absinthe

In the bar on the first floor there is a bottle of absinthe. As the game progresses, the bottle goes from full to nearly empty before it is removed from the bar altogether. Someone is drinking it.

Actors

Victoria Morsell, who plays Adrienne, and David Homb, who plays Don, started dating a week after they began filming together. The picture that sits on the night stand in the character's bedroom found a new home in the couple's living room after the game was finished.

Opening Theme

The opening theme for the game is called Consumite Furore, which translates to "Expend Your Rage," and was written by Mark Seibert based on an English text by Roberta Williams. The words in English and Latin are, respectively :

Come into this talisman || O Spirit of Darkness || Mighty Asteroth, I command you || And fill this stone with your rage || Fill it with your sulphurous powers|| Expend your angers on it || Those powers I will assume || I command you.

Venite in fascinum || O spiritus tenebrarum || Magne Asterothe, te iubeo || Et implete hunc lapidem vestro furore || Implete eum viribus sulfuratis vestris || Consumite eum iris vestris || Istas vires adsumem || Iubeo te.

Development

The game was finished by the latter part of 1994, and was ready for release, however Sierra chose to call back some of the cast and crew members for two additional sessions of filming. Filming initially took an additional month and, three months later, was resumed for another couple of weeks.

References

  • The original title for the game was going to be Scary Tales but the name was changed to its current title during production. There is a directory for temporary files that the game installs called SCARY in honor of the early title.
  • The office of Bob Thompkins, Adrianne's sleazy real estate agent, is decorated with posters of girls from another Sierra adventure game, Leisure Suit Larry 6.

Release(s)

  • Due to strict censorship policies, Phantasmagoria was banned in Australia.
  • The German version of the game was banned in Germany on March 31st, 1998.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1996 – Biggest Disappointment in 1995
Information also contributed by MrBucket, phlux, Straw Hubert and Zovni.

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by roushimsx (696), MAT (73509), Derrick 'Knight' Steele (2156) and Jeanne (75620)