Return of the Phantom

Moby ID: 2011
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

It is the present time (1993), and many people are about to enjoy the performance of the opera "Don Juan Triumphant" at the Palais Garnier. However, that piece of art will soon become covered with the blood of innocents, as the great ceiling chandelier crushes down on the crowd.

The player controls Raoul Montand, a detective who's been asked for help by his old friend Monsieur Brie, the manager of the Opera. Bringing Raoul to a crime scene, he leaves him in hope he'll find some clues and prevent this terror from happening again. Supposedly, the disaster was caused by a being known as the Phantom of the Opera, a mysterious creature who has been haunting the opera house since 1881. The detective is about to find out what secrets lie beneath the surface, looking for clues in the present time and traveling back to 1881.

Return of the Phantom is a third-person adventure game based on the book Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. The player interacts with the environment by selecting verb commands (Look, Talk, Take, Push, etc.) from a menu and combining them with objects to gather information, solve puzzles, and advance the story. Most of the events in the game take place inside the opera house, including the numerous tunnels and secret passages beneath it, which are supposedly the Phantom's residence. The CD version of the game adds voice-overs to the dialogues.

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Credits (DOS version)

57 People (51 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Designed by
Written by
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Lead Programmer
Technical Director
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Lead Artist
3-D Art
Rotoscope Modeling
[ full credits ]



Average score: 71% (based on 13 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings with 3 reviews)

An enjoyable if unspectacular adventure game.

The Good
Good sound/music/voice acting. The graphics are well done; the significant amount of walking you have to do (and watch onscreen) is actually a pleasure, since the movement animation is so smooth and realistic. The plot is not outstanding, but it does have an interesting - and quite modern - twist to it courtesy of author Raymond Benson. Good use of humor to lighten things up now and then. Fans of traditional adventures by Sierra and LucasArts will find this game pleasantly familiar in look and feel.

The Bad
Not really all that challenging or mysterious, and there is a positively god-awful maze puzzle you must complete near the game's end in order to win.

The Bottom Line
Those who want a short adventure that draws on classic mystery fiction in general or Phantom lore in particular need look no further than this game.

DOS · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2011

Good Adventure Gaming

The Good
"Return of the Phantom" (CD-ROM 1993) is a surprisingly fun point n' click, graphic adventure game. I use the word, “surprisingly” because it does not feature ground breaking graphics, sound effect or music. What makes this game fun to play is its engaging storyline and easy to use interface.
As a French inspector you have to solve the mystery surrounding the Phantom of the Opera. This masked man caused a performance of the famed play to shut down and at least one of the female cast members may be in danger. Your adventure will take you to various parts of the large theatre, including its underground caverns, with a nice little time traveling element added to the story. You start off in the year 1993, but as your investigation continues, you find yourself being sent back in time to the late nineteenth century.

The Bad
In comparison to the other graphic adventure games by Microprose, “Return of the Phantom” seems to be the shortest and easiest of the bunch. Only one or two puzzles near the end of the game are likely to cause anyone headaches and the number of different people and items to interact with is pretty small. While the musical score is nice, the other sound effects are strictly average. The voice acting is not horrible, but never really rises above B movie quality.

The Bottom Line
"Return of the Phantom" (1993) is a graphic adventure game with an engaging storyline set in a cool looking old play house. It will not tax the brains of most seasoned adventurers and its graphics and sound effects will not dazzle you. However, their is something undeniably fun about this old adventure game, which makes it worth playing. In terms of adult or objectionable content, the game is probably suitable for gamers ages 13+. It does not contain graphic violence or gore, but their is an real element of suspense. It is also implied that one of the theatre employees is gay.

DOS · by ETJB (428) · 2010

First person adventure from the third person perspective (did anybody got this?).

The Good
No, this is not some simulation of Phantom F4 or any other plane for that matter. In fact, there's no single plane in the game, cars yes, but not planes. So, what is it then, you ask? Well, it's an adventure which is just one of those inspired by the classics of the SCUMM and tried to create unique yet full of cliches atmosphere. Well, maybe I had some close encounters with some operas (as a building, not an act), or was weak on some high pitched female vocal in some of my previous lives, beats me, but I could always easily immerse myself into the events that breathed medievil and were full of classical mysteries. But one thing I never expected from such a simple detective-like story, a nicely adjusted set of twists. Traveling back in time, impersonating two somehow connected characters, being in love with two same women, connecting events from the past and the present, and meeting long time deceased people (ingame characters).

The game holds many elements and details on the same place, which increases do-what-you-want possibility, but decreases the exploration places (though that opera house is huge, it'll be long enough, don't you worry), and the fact that there'll be two timelines of playing on the same place will make everything twice as large, and add twice as more characters. Oh, and I didn't mention all those canals and secret hallways that exceed the borders of movement, now did I?

Now, there is a CD-ROM release of this game which consists of only one thing extra - voiceovers. I usually don't care how bad or good the voiceacting is, I just want to have some, and just when I think of some older games which also additionally added voiceovers (like Indy IV or Kyrandia), I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. The voice acting in this game is really okay, but the fact is that I wouldn't much mind if they'd be not, so I may not be the right one to listen on this account. The background music is really nice, and it nicely suspense the atmosphere even though most (if not all) of pieces are classical tunes.

But why would this game attract me so much, is it because of opera house? Because of voiceovers? Naaw, I don't think so. It was because of touching and interesting love story, which seemed so real, so natural, and although it didn't finish as expected (in order to save yourself, you had to die again, so... just don't try to understand), certain parts of the story left a nice memorable scar. Ya know, it doesn't take the hole game to be good in order for game to be good. Sometimes, it's simply enough to have a few memorable moments that may mark it as a part which you wouldn't wish you skipped.

The Bad
I took an oath that I'll never write anything against any game. No, just joking, the answer is actually much more simple, I don't have anything to write against this game. I can only add that I liked it even more because of such easy puzzles that if you finished some of LucasArts' games without peeking in some walkthrough, you could finish this one with your eyes closed. Man, what a great game indeed this is.

Additional note: it might've been much more mysterious and interesting if the phantom wouldn't end up unmasked. This somehow defeats the mystery itself.

The Bottom Line
There were two reasons I bought this game (which by the way didn't work swell as a floppy version, until I later got myself CD-ROM version with voiceovers), one is the price (for 3 bucks only) and the other was that I'm a sucker when it comes to operas (not listening to them, but just as a place of events). The game also perfectly fitted my beloved genre of 3rd-person point-and-click adventures with nice dialogues, some characters, and mysterious and loving story. The fact is, this game may be old, and it cannot be measured to some nowadays stuff, but it definitely raises up to the level of LucasArts classics, and basically surpases most of them (except Indy IV, of course, which is simply unsurpasable piece of magic). This is not the type of game that I (or anybody else for that matter) should recommend to someone, as it may is definitely not as appealing by any of the factors it carries, but to the certain people (or so I've got the impression while playing it, that most people would most likely enjoy Monkey Island or Full Throttle or Legend of Kyrandia that this MicroProse scrappy old title), and I can only say that this little game definitely surpassed everything I though it will not. For me it is a masterpiece, as for you... there's no other way but to try and hope to like the setting.

DOS · by MAT (238621) · 2012


Subject By Date
Creation of group [Fictional character: Phantom of the Opera] ZeTomes (36305) May 2nd, 2016


This game has been released under Microprose's Player's Choice. It can be found easily at any Kay-Bee Toystore for 2 dollars or less (No joking)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ben Jacobs.

Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: MAT.

Game added July 21st, 2000. Last modified October 16th, 2023.