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The 7th Guest

aka: 7th Guest for Windows 95, The, Guest, T7G
DOS Specs [ all ]

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.

Spellings

  • האורח השביעי - Hebrew spelling

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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)
Assistant Programmer
Tools Programmer
Lead Artist
Art Director
3D Modelers
QA Manager (Virgin)
Quality Assurance Team
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 40 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 150 ratings with 10 reviews)

One bat! Hahahahahaha!

The Good
'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.

The Bad
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

Technologically groundbreaking, but mentally frustrating.

The Good
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...

The Bad
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

The Good
revolutionary graphics; heralding a new era in gaming history

The Bad
puzzles can be stupid and boring at times

The Bottom Line
A must play; if only for historic reasons

DOS · by GeorgeGreco78 (12) · 2023

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
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

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The 7th Guest appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Budget

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.

CD-ROM

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).

Endings

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).

Engine

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.

Limited Edition

The limited edition version of the game came in a book-style box with a lovely poem inside.

Localization

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

Matthew Costello was already an established horror writer in 1992, which is why the team turned to him to write the story and dialog.

Microscope Puzzle

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.

Music

The second disk contains about half an hour worth of music, both from the game and two or three original songs.

Nintendo

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.

Novel

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.

Patch

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.

However, you can find the file at ComputerHope.com! http://www.computerhope.com/download/games.htm

References

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.

Story

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

George "The Fat Man" Alistair Sanger, the composer of the game's soundtrack has his picture in the game. You can view it here: http://www.fatman.com/t7gphoto.htm

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.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#2 Worst Back Story of All Time
  • Electronic Entertainment
    • March 1994 – Editors' Choice Awards: Breakthrough Game
  • FLUX
  • Issue #4 - #23 in the Top 100 Video Games of All-Time list

  • GameStar (Germany)

    • 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 Games

The 7th Circle
Released 2018 on Windows
7th Sector
Released 2019 on Windows, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The 7th Guest: Infection
Released 2011 on iPad
The 7th Guest: Remastered
Released 2015 on Android
The 7th Guest (Special Edition)
Released 1993 on DOS
The 7th Guest / The 11th Hour
Released 1997 on Windows, Macintosh, Linux
PGA Tour 96
Released 1995 on DOS, PlayStation, Windows
Amazing Poker Squares
Released 1998 on Windows

Related Sites +

  • 7th Guest Setup for Windows XP
    Inferno's guide
  • Crap Shoot
    A humorous review on PC Gamer
  • GameSpot
    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).
  • ScummVM
    supports the DOS and Windows versions under Macintosh, Windows and other platforms.
  • The 7th Guest - FAQs & Guides
    Several walkthroughs & link to UHS hint file.
  • The Dollhouse
    Fan site with in-game screenshots, mouse cursors, links to purchase legitimate copies of the game, and more.

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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

iPhone, iPad added by Techademus. CD-i added by Corn Popper. Linux added by Sciere. Macintosh added by Terok Nor. Windows added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: xroox, Tomer Gabel, Jeanne, Cabeza2000, Echidna Boy, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), Crawly, Zeppin, Macs Black, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, Harmony♡.

Game added September 19th, 1999. Last modified August 31st, 2023.