Description official descriptions
Ripper is an interactive FMV adventure that is played out in the New York of 2040. Brutal killings reminiscent of Jack the Ripper soon get personal and you, crime reporter Jake Quinlan, must solve the mystery.
The game plays much like other Take 2 Interactive works, such as Black Dahlia. Solve puzzles and react quickly in combat settings to survive. There are 4 possible endings, and 3 hours of video footage.
- 凶兆 - Chinese spelling (traditional)
Credits (DOS version)
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|Detective Vincent Magnotta|
|Hamilton & Covington Wofford|
|Dr. Clare Burton|
|Sergeant Lou Brannon|
|Dr. Bud Cable|
|Dr. Karl Stasiak|
|Professor Lillian Bech|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 71% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)
Even 7 years later I can still remember the hubris-induced ads... "Scarier than Phantasmagoria... gorier than the 11th hour!"... Ripper had laid down the gauntlet. One competitor was from the masters of the adventure genre; the other was from the father of the mass market CD-game. So did the game meet to the challenge its advertisers put forth? It's actually a mute question... since what makes ripper memorable is neither it's chills or gore... but it's intelligence.
Now what do I mean by intelligence? Well, since it's a graphic adventure, let's start by what most will consider the sole reason for indulging in the genre... the story. And this is the sole aspect in which Ripper shines without question. Yes, cyberpunk --or to be more broad, dark-sci-fi-- is usually nothing more than film-noir with some new gadgets thrown in to appear fresh and original and at it's worse, is a case of teenage angst taken to an embarrassing degree... Ripper manages to do two incredible feats 1). Create a story that can only exist in a cyberpunk setting --decking, cyberspace, thinking of the human brain in terms of advanced coding... etc. these are not just atmosphere but are essential to the story and method of madness of the future Rippper. 2) Make believable characters out of this setting... these are not cardboard cutouts for a writers vision of a future gone wrong, but well developed three dimensional characters with motivations very close to our own: passion, greed, the will to power... these are what motivate the characters in the game.
But the writing is only one portion to consider when something falls under the dreaded label of "interactive movie"... so cinematically, how does it hold up?
Quite well I must say. Whereas Phantasmagoria was too busy trying to guise itself under quintessential adventure games trappings (and thus felt more like a porno production without the money shots) and the 11th hour tried to lose itself in the cinematic aspect (and ended up feeling like Twin Peeks without any of the aspects that made it good like... oh, you know, humor, passion, and that indescribable Lynch feeling that there is a method to the madness beyond the bizarre)... you won't mistake the cinematic aspect of Ripper as anything you'll see on the television, but it exists in conjunction with the game world and creates a cohesive experience. Yeah, the movie aspect rarely moves beyond Talking heads... but it's talking heads with good writing, and the most part good acting (Walken and Allen are forgiven for the sub-par performance for the fact that they had roughly a day and half each to perform a lot of dialogue... with only a teleprompter as their director).
But this is a game, yes? How does it play? Well it is an odd mixture of non-sequitor 7th guest type puzzles, mixed with more traditional real world problem solving skills (like breaking through a voice activated door) and the occasional, and disappointing, arcade sequences. Overall the gampeplay receives high marks for it's adjustibilaty (both combat and puzzles can be switched between an easy\medium\difficult setting at any time during the game) and for the fact that it demands real attention and thought from the player... making it feel like you've earned your progress through the game.
One of the high selling points of the game is the four different endings depending on who the game randomly selects as the killer should provide a high amount of replayability... it really doesn't. For two reasons... one is that all the endings are essentially the same, save for the fact that the villain's name is different in Jake's half-assed epilogue (and to add insult to injury, they use a recycled shot from the game's intro for his observations), not to mention there is really only one suspect who manages to tie together all the loose ends in the story... second is the fact that there is not new gameplay in any variation of the story. All the same puzzles all lead to a slightly different ending.
And since I feel I have already overstated most of the game I guess I should hurry up... about half the puzzles in the game have a tangential connection to the narrative at best... and are just out of place the rest of the time. Not to mention one or two puzzles feel like they necessitate a P.H.D to solve. And while I have no problem with including action elements into an adventure game (unlike other fans of the genre), the arcade elements are godawfull at best...
And you can't skip the travelling animations... what were they thinking?
The Bottom Line
A step-forward for intelligent, mature (not just because of the gratuitous swearing... though it helps)narrative games... is only held back from greatness due to some oversights on the design side (but should anyone be surprised? They have 11 people credited as designer... must be a record of some kind). At this point, buy only if you have a historical interest in the narrative potential of games.
DOS · by Chris Woodard (3) · 2009
If at the command prompt you accidentally type RIPER (one P) instead of RIPPER (two P's), instead of going into the game you are greeted with a movie of a rotting apple!
The game features music from the Blue Oyster Cult.
Your CD-Rom drive may not be recognized if it is not designated as Drive D.
In addition, it appears that Ripper was not made as a Windows "native" game. While it will run within a DOS window when started in Windows, problems with stuttering sound and lagging graphics are common. The game plays best from the DOS prompt using a Boot Disk.
Related Sites +
Hints for Ripper
Question and answer type hints lead you to the full solutions
Karen Allen's Ripper Page
More information and links about <i>Ripper</i> on a page by Karen Allen, one of the actresses in the game.
Playing Ripper in Windows XP
Inferno tells you exactly how to install and set up Ripper for your Windows XP computer
Step by step guide
- MobyGames ID: 3198
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by j. jones.
Game added January 30th, 2001. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.