Lighthouse: The Dark Being
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.
- מגדלור - היצור האפל - Hebrew spelling
Credits (DOS version)
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Average score: 69% (based on 24 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 7 reviews)
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.
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 (43092) · 2018
I agree with most, the music is superb.. the graphics were great especially the cut scenes! I loved the magical box for some reason! I thought it was extra special!
The voices were ok.. for the baby, the creature... the girl in the life-support machine, and the way she twitched was cool (you gotta have a few twitches twitches to be what she' s been through, right???), but the NO voice was very impersonal for the writer whom you become.. didn't have inner thoughts, much less a voice! the professor's voice was nice, but when you finally see him toward the end of the game, he looks shockingly nothing like a inventor type... his voice did NOT fit his looks! I was looking for more of an Einstein, or Mark Twain look (looks like a pro-wrestler, or basketball player!), very disappointed in this character! then he just tells you to go home! where's the celebration-- the cake and ice cream!:(! after all you saved their lives!
The Bottom Line
Get one if you don't mind doing things over and over until you find a clue to a future, or past puzzle! and I'm sort of glad I have one in my collection! but I did purchase it at Savers for a whole dollar!:o! (saw one ad on the net for $16.95??), it took me 3 weeks to get through it, and I drastically needed help in 2 critical places, where little information is given! the newer version(s), and the down loading patches allow lighting up the cursor when over a critical place, but that's all I could tell any patches did for the game!
Windows · by jeri dakota (2) · 2002
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.
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
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.
Game added September 6, 1999. Last modified January 23, 2024.