Lighthouse: The Dark Being

aka: Lighthouse: A Criatura das Trevas, Lighthouse: Das Dunkle Wesen, Lighthouse: Il Faro, Lighthouse: Las fuerzas de las tinieblas
Moby ID: 266
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Description official descriptions

In this game, the player controls a writer who had just moved into a cottage located on the coastal area of the state Oregon. Near the cottage is a lighthouse, inhabited by the eccentric Dr. Jeremiah Krick and his daughter Amanda. One day, glancing out of the window, the hero(ine) notices that the lighthouse has been struck by lightning. Dr. Krick has also left an unclear message on the answering machine, imploring the protagonist to come as soon as possible. Upon arriving at the lighthouse, the protagonist finds out that its inhabitants have been kidnapped by a mysterious being, and transported into a parallel universe. A strange new world must be explored, and its mysteries solved, in order to bring back Dr. Krick and his daughter...

Lighthouse: The Dark Being is a first-person adventure game conceived in the vein of Myst. Locations are represented as pre-rendered still screens. Interaction with the environment is performed with a simple single-cursor, point-and-click interface. Similarly to Myst, the puzzles are notable for their difficulty, and are logic- rather than inventory-based, consisting of careful observation, clue-gathering, and manipulation of the environments.

Spellings

  • מגדלור - היצור האפל - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

82 People (77 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 69% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 7 reviews)

Lighthouse: The Myst Clone

The Good
The year 1993 saw a puzzle-based adventure game called Myst released for every platform of the era, and other companies tried to capitalized on its success. One such company was Sierra, which released Lighthouse: The Dark Being to the public three years later. Now, I already played Sierra’s 1995 title Shivers, an adventure game that shares the same game mechanics as Lighthouse, but whereas Shivers has a horror setting, this game goes for fantasy.

You take control of a struggling writer who has bought a new apartment somewhere on the Oregon Coast. While exploring the countryside, you meet some interesting people, namely Dr. Jeremiah Krick and his baby daughter Amanda. Krick owns a lighthouse which happens to be five minutes away from you. One rainy night you receive a distress call from him, telling you that something has happened to her, and urges you to drive down to the lighthouse to investigate. There, something kidnaps Amanda and jumps through an open portal. You decide to follow it into a parallel world in an attempt to get Amanda back.

Like Myst, the game is presented in a first-person perspective. Like all Sierra games that were released around the same time, you control just one cursor which you use to navigate between scenes and interact with objects. It highlights when you hover over something that can be interacted with. Below the main part is the control panel (in the shape of the lighthouse), slots for four inventory items, and your purse. When you pick up a fifth item, you get to see a nice little animation of the last item you picked up being put inside it.

Much of the game is spent traveling between various locations and solving a series of obtuse puzzles. My favorite one has to be the sliding puzzle in Krick’s lighthouse. It is like the puzzle where you have to arrange the numbers one to fifteen in order from top to bottom, but in the game you have to arrange it in such a way that it resembles a bird, and the solution can be found early if you look hard enough.

In the earliest parts of the game, you can find Krick’s notes scattered around the lighthouse, giving you a background on the characters you will meet. Through notes, you find out about a creature known as “The Dark Being”, which happens to be the same one that kidnapped Amanda. As you explore the next location, you can see drawings of the Birdman, and read scrolls containing information about how this creature was corrupted and turned on its master. Then later you will meet Lyril, a paraplegic who goes around in this mechanical bubble, and through some effort, you learn about what happened to the Priests who perished, how their hunger for progress became their doom.

The highlight is the realism that the game has to offer. You drive a submarine to an abandoned building, and you control it just as you would do a real one. You set the navigation, activate pumps, fiddle with wheels, and open and close the hatch. If you don’t do that, you will never get anywhere with it. Likewise, the end of the game sees you negotiating a digger through mine shafts, where you have to drive it both backwards and forwards, change and repair tracks, go up and down platforms, and even dig earth.

The visuals are on par with Myst. The game’s outdoor scenes are just stunning, particularly where you are on this huge beach overlooking Martin’s Roost. The characters are well designed and have good animations. I like how the gorilla just smashes your bridge if you are going to use it to cross into the forge. Some objects present in a location can be seen in a close-up, and the way you get to see your character manipulate it with an inventory item reminds me a bit of Lost in Time.

The music is brilliantly composed by Victor Crews, who also did work for Sierra’s FMV-based games. The soundtrack blends in with where you are. For example, the submarine cave has this relaxing piece which happens to be my favorite. Intense music plays as you encounter one of the creatures you must get past. It is also neat that one piece of music dissolves into another as you make your way from scene to scene. Each piece is composed of short loops, but I am quite happy with this.

There are multiple ways you can play Lighthouse, and different endings you can experience. To get the best ending, the game relies on your skill at solving puzzles and assembling things, but you can complete the game without commandeering the sub or solving any puzzles, but you won’t achieve the best outcome. Because of these alternate routes, Lighthouse is worth playing again.

Lighthouse spans two CD-ROMs, and you have to swap between them when you arrive at a new location in the game. Although this is tedious, it is a much better experience than the disk-swapping in Phantasmagoria, where the game comes with a whopping seven CDs. Users of the GOG version or the SierraHelp installers have the added bonus of CD-less gameplay!

Numerous patches were released for the game, designed to make the game easier by adding visual clues to the tough puzzles. As well as this, help was available that will display some nifty artwork over a bunch of text, giving the players clues on what to do.

The Bad
I just got a bit confused with the navigation.

The Bottom Line
Lighthouse: The Dark Being received mediocre reviews but nothing but praise here on MobyGames. And no wonder why that is. The visuals are stunning and the soundtrack is excellent. This game begs you to replay it because there are multiple routes you can take and different endings you can experience. The highlight is navigating both the submarine and the driller, adding to the realism. It is such a shame that we will never see a sequel from the Bock/Brelsford duo.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2018

Dreadfull attempt at a Myst-like interactive movie

The Good
God,i found this game horrible.Sierra,a developer house with such a proud heritage in adventure games tried to fit in the "mostlymystlike" games with releases such as this and the unquestionably better "Shivers".Almost everything is flawed,form the rediculous inventory interface and almost non-logical puzzles.Even for a die hard Myst fan,this game's puzzles really were a pain in the neck.

The Bad
Everything was awful,someone should really talk to developer houses about how THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS BROTHERBOUND DID WITH MYST NOT EVEN IF THEIR NEW GAME IS BETTER THAT THE LATTER!!!!!!!!Sorry about the caps and all but i just really had to get it off my chest.

The Bottom Line
Well,the multiple cd's make good Frisbee practise...

Windows · by helm lehm (13) · 2000

Has a certain charm, but...

The Good
Wanted to try what's the difference between ordering a game from an online store, or directly from a developer. Surprise, surprise, Sierra even supported my country on their site, kudos for that, no doubt. Yeah, those were the times, paid $10 bucks for the game, and another $35 for the shipping, lol, only had the next day shipping option, lol. Still, the fact itself makes this game that more precious to me.

I'm totally in love with 3rd-person point-and-click graphic adventures, or at least there definitely was a time when I was, but couldn't stand any 1st-person one after my dreadful experience with Myst game. This game elevated my trust and lowered the fear, but it still proved this perspective makes the games that much harder.

The atmosphere was totally amazing, and the graphic was truly great. What few characters there were present left a solid impression and no need for any more. Ambient sound was cool, much on par with short themes they used for Gabriel Knight games. The game starts rather interesting and the whole setting was great. Then, of course, the fantasy takes the upper hand in all this and the more you progress, the less fun the game looks like, especially story-wise. From totally suspenseful and igniting plot to silly idiotic conclusion.

It's fantastic that game literally doesn't let you get stuck, there is solution to every doing, you can undo it one way or another, there are many ways to achieve same goals, although if you slip past the easy ones, you'll really have to think hard to find an alternate solution to your problem.

The Bad
Well, generally I never seek for things that I don't like in the game unless they present themselves up to the point of becoming frustrating and irritable. Since it's been a while, can't think of any except perhaps that this game, much alike many other 1-st person adventures, can be just as hard. And of course, to ruin such a fine story premise by going nowhere near brilliance is a real shame.

The Bottom Line
It has a fine covers ;) Probably one of the best looking design, right after ever so beautiful "Of Light and Darkness". For those who like 1st-person frame stepping adventures, this is no short of a delicacy, but I couldn't never understand how come such adventures can ever be so great until I played "Blackstone Chronicles".

Like certain Sierra's games from that period, game can be played under Windows' window which is great as you can do some stuff around, like browse online, then play a bit, then type something, then play again, and so on. Could be a bit more fun if the image wasn't consistent with its own resolution leaving black frame on higher ones than the one it's been using.

Windows · by MAT (240968) · 2012

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

Puzzles

There is a puzzle in Lighthouse that requires the player to open a safe by inputting the appropriate numbers via a combination dial. The deceivingly simple puzzle became such a plight to the players, that Sierra, the Developer, released the solution to the safe-combination puzzle on their web site. Honesty has never been so appreciated.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by RKL.

Windows 3.x added by MAT. Macintosh added by Belboz.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Rebound Boy, Jeanne, Ghost Pirate, D P, Albert Wesker, Duduzets, Patrick Bregger, Ingsoc.

Game added September 6, 1999. Last modified March 31, 2024.