The 7th Guest
Description official descriptions
The 7th Guest is a puzzle-adventure game which takes place inside an abandoned mansion. Venture into the 22 rooms of the spooky mansion, solve over 20 mind-bending puzzles to unravel a tale of revenge and horror that took place in the 1930s.
The owner of the mansion was Henry Stauf, a famous maker of children's toys. Once a homeless drifter and thief, influenced by a vision in a dream, Henry invented a wondrous doll, so incredibly life-like that it sold like wildfire. Stauf's toys became popular overnight bringing fame and fortune and changing his rags to riches. But things took a tragic turn when owners of the doll became infected with a fierce and deadly virus. None of those children recovered.
After this turn of events Stauf secluded himself inside his estate, stopped making his toys and never came into contact with the outside world for a long time. Something very strange happened when six people receive an invitation to a party at the mansion. By solving the riddles inside Stauf's "fun house", you'll delve into the past to learn what happened to them, and the mysterious 7th guest, on that fateful night.
The game is played in first person perspective with a point-and-click interface featuring horror-themed animated cursors (skeletons, bulging-eye skulls etc.). It is one of the first games to be released on the then-new CD-Rom media. The graphics are fully rendered in SVGA, and real actors and actresses bring the story to life during numerous full-motion video cut scenes. The visuals are accompanied by an original, orchestrated musical score.
To finish the game, you must solve the puzzles in Stauf's manor; each solved puzzle will unlock new rooms or new movie sequences to watch. The puzzles are quite varied; there's the classic "eight queens puzzle", another puzzle where you need to compose a sentence by rearranging letters, and others. If you get stuck, you can visit the library; a book within will give you hints on the puzzle. If the hints aren't enough, the puzzle will solve itself automatically once you consult the book enough times.
Some later, limited releases of the game came with a separate video that included a "behind the scenes" look at the making of the game and interviews with the developers.
- האורח השביעי - Hebrew spelling
Credits (DOS version)
131 People (120 developers, 11 thanks) · View all
|Game Concept and Design|
|Script Written by|
|Produced by (Trilobyte)|
|Executive in Charge of Production||
|Produced by (Virgin)|
|Music Composed and Produced by|
|Lead Programmer (Trilobyte)|
|QA Manager (Virgin)|
|Quality Assurance Team|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 72% (based on 40 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 150 ratings with 10 reviews)
'The 7the Guest' is an interesting history lesson, and a fascinating glimpse into what seemed to be the future, 1994-style. Coming out at a time when the fast-moving polygons of 'Alone in the Dark' were a novelty for the PC, '7th' used breathtaking, fully-rendered backdrops which your viewpoint swept between, as you navigated a haunted house. At the time, it seemed magical, and the fact that the 'game' is essentially a series of complex logical puzzles strung together took a while to filter through. After an ecstatic critical reception, the game fell so far in people's eyes that the sequel (the '11th Guest') was virtually booed off the stage. Of the 'Interactive CDROM game' genre it spawned, 'Myst' and 'Riven' became huge freak hits, but that was about it. Nowadays it's quite nostalgic, but not actually much fun. In its favour, it's still quite atmospheric.
Bad things? Once you accept its nature, it's technically competent, although the acting is diabolical.
The Bottom Line
Odd early history lesson, and primary cause of 'Interactive CDROM' mania.
DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2001
The 7th Guest was amazing for its day. It may not have been the first multimedia title, but it defined the term and set the standard for many years. High-resolution video (albeit letterboxed), rich MIDI music score, and lavishly-detailed rendered scenes simply hadn't existed before 7th Guest--or if they did, certainly not all in the same title. (And certainly not working on a single-speed CDROM drive on a 386!)
7th Guest contained a system where you could bypass a puzzle if it was too hard. But doing so got you an "alternate" ending that wasn't as enjoyable as the original ending. To the victor go the spoils...
People tend to be more vocal about what is wrong with a game than what is right. Sadly, I'm no exception. Don't get me wrong: The 7th Guest is a great title that people owe it to themselves to play... it's just that there are some things that could have been improved that were completely unrelated to the fact that it was a first-generation product:
- The acting. I don't know if Trilobyte was either short on cash, inexperienced, or simply didn't have a large cache of talent to pool from, but it shows.
- Insanely impossible puzzles. Just when you think you've got them all figured out, the microscope puzzle hits you. Based on the Ataxx/Othello game variant, this puzzle has the difficultly dialed way up. While that puzzle isn't required to finish the game, the Knights puzzle is. The Knights puzzle, I have concluded, is unsolvable by human intellects.
- Navigation. You are forced to watch the movement from location to location. It is completely possible, technologically, to simply include a full final frame of the animation and just jump there.
The Bottom Line
A must-play. You owe it to yourself to play the title that defined the 'multimedia' industry for years to come.
DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 2000
revolutionary graphics; heralding a new era in gaming history
puzzles can be stupid and boring at times
The Bottom Line
A must play; if only for historic reasons
DOS · by GeorgeGreco78 (12) · 2023
|Genre||Cantillon (68434)||Jun 12th, 2020|
|Henry Stauf is back...||Daniel Saner (3467)||Dec 4th, 2011|
|A site to follow to get this game running on Vista||Alaka (99722)||May 30th, 2009|
|Error Unknown Asset Type - when playing the game||Gerri James||Nov 18th, 2007|
|HELP!!!||Lindsey Johnson||Sep 19th, 2007|
1001 Video Games
The 7th Guest appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The overall budget for this game was more than one million dollars (a lot for a game on that times) and it was the first game on the history that comes with 2 CD-ROMs. Also one of the first ones on CD-ROM format at all.
Limited versions of The 7th Guest were bundled with a 13 minute video titled "The Making Of The Seventh Guest", which included interviews with the founders of Trilobyte and supporting developers/writers/directors. The 7th Guest was so ahead of its time that, during the closing credits, one of the sound designers predicts that "in months, we will see an explosion of CDROM technology that may change the way games are distributed--all games will come this way." How right he was (although it took about two years, not a couple of months).
The 7th Guest has 2 different endings. The ending you see depends on if you cheat your way through the game (using the book in the library to solve the puzzles).
The 7th Guest was pioneering in its day; it had SVGA/VESA motion video and a fully-rendered game world that you could navigate through (with some limitations). It side-stepped technological limitations of the day by allowing all of this to take place on a single-speed CDROM drive and a 386.
All rendered rooms in The 7th Guest were built and rendered with 3D Studio for DOS.
The limited edition version of the game came in a book-style box with a lovely poem inside.
Playing the game on my German CD-i system surprisingly revealed that the whole game has been localized in Speech and Text for the German market and the CD-i game system.
Matthew Costello was already an established horror writer in 1992, which is why the team turned to him to write the story and dialog.
The Microscope puzzle in the game is actually a game of Spot (as in the former 7-up mascot) for the NES set to the highest difficulty level. Spot for the NES was one of the previous games created by the group that made The 7th Guest.
The second disk contains about half an hour worth of music, both from the game and two or three original songs.
Nintendo paid Virgin a million dollars up front for the rights to this game to help showcase their Super Nintendo CD-ROM system. What Super Nintendo CD-ROM system you ask? Exactly. Sometimes it sucks to be Nintendo.
Digging a bit deeper, rumour has it they knew at the time it would never be served up on one of their systems but just wanted to squat the property to spoil the chances of its ever turning up as a Sega console exclusive. Sure, it looks like a spiteful waste of money on the surface, but which company is still active as a hardware vendor? Sometimes it sucks to be Sega.
The screenwriter of the game, Matthew Costello, has also written a novel to go with the game, which was released by Prima (ISBN 0761500863). The book, which works out the game's story in more detail, can still be found in some online stores.
Trilobyte released a patch to run the game in Windows 9X/NT systems - however, the company's website vanished years ago, and the file is very difficult to find.
The Zaphod Beeblebrox cheat code that is mentioned in the Tips & Tricks section refers to a fictional character in the humorous books The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
The game's actors were filmed on a blue screen and placed into the game's render environments. Due to an error in the filming process, however, the filmed characters were found to have a ghostly aura around them. The game makers worked around this problem by changing the story to make all the characters ghosts.
The Official strategy guide for the game included the full pre-shooting script for the game. Innumerable changes were made during production due to various limitations (and a decision midway through to cut most of the blood and violence). Had the game been made according to the original plans, it would have been far scarier.
The Fat Man
If you tend to travel a lot, you might have been to "TGI Fridays"... A friend of The Fat Man did the interiors of the hotels and added some real portraits of The Fat Man - pretending, they are pretty old...
He booked two women from the hairdressing salon on the other side of his studio to sing on the red book-part of the soundtrack.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#2 Worst Back Story of All Time
- Electronic Entertainment
- March 1994 – Editors' Choice Awards: Breakthrough Game
Issue #4 - #23 in the Top 100 Video Games of All-Time list
- Issue 12/1999 - #74 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
Additional information contributed by Alan Chan, Big John WV, Cabeza2000, Chris Martin, Daniel Saner, [Foxhack](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,33543/), [Mickey Gabel](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,584/), [Pseudo_Intellectual](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,49363/), [Sciere](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,30979/), [silent_driver](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,62819/), [tarion](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,15660/), [Tomer Gabel](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,60/) and [WizardX](http://www.mobygames.com/user/sheet/userSheetId,1444/)
Related Sites +
7th Guest Setup for Windows XP
A humorous review on PC Gamer
A huge, special article about Trilobyte's origin, work and eventual demise. An excellent read.
Let's Play The 7th Guest
Malorie's playthrough of the game on the Let's Play Archive
Playing Old Adventure Games: Part 6
An article at Adventure Lantern that provides a history of Trilobyte, Inc., a brief overview of the game, and instructions on installing and running the game under Windows XP (December, 2007).
supports the DOS and Windows versions under Macintosh, Windows and other platforms.
The 7th Guest - FAQs & Guides
Several walkthroughs & link to UHS hint file.
Fan site with in-game screenshots, mouse cursors, links to purchase legitimate copies of the game, and more.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Trixter.
Game added September 19th, 1999. Last modified August 31st, 2023.