The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes

aka: Los archivos secretos de Sherlock Holmes: el caso del escalpelo mellado, The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel
Moby ID: 3441
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel is a verb-based point-and-click graphic adventure game.

London, 1888. Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous private investigator, and his faithful companion Dr. Watson are called to the scene of a gruesome crime: a young actress has been murdered in an alley behind her theatre. Not surprisingly, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Lestrade is clueless. Was it the work of the Ripper? Sherlock Holmes is not so sure -- the circumstantial evidence indicates a much more intricate crime. The shrewd detective begins the hunt.

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes is a classical crime story with two protagonists. In the role of Sherlock Holmes, you travel through London in search of clues. Interesting locations are gradually added to a city map. Your most important source of information are dialogues with suspects, witnesses, and other people – and with Dr. Watson, who will readily comment on the situation. When talking to persons, you may choose one of several lines that seems most appropriate. Watson notes down all conversations in his journal, where you can access them if needed. True to the novels, Holmes will solve many puzzles through sharp observations and thorough searches of every location (thus discovering clues and deducing connections) as well as clever interrogations.

Readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories will recognize many acquaintances, from Lestrade to Miss Hudson, from Inspector Gregson to Toby the hound. The game's introduction, cutscenes, and ending feature digitized speech.

Spellings

  • תעלומת שרלוק הולמס - Hebrew spelling
  • 福尔摩斯:开膛手杰克 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 福爾摩斯探案 - Traditional Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

40 People (36 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Game Design
Software Design and Programming
  • Mythos Software
Original Story
Producer
Senior Assistant Producer
Music
Technical Director
Art Direction
Voice Characterization
Graphic Design and Animation
  • Mythos Software
Lead Tester
Playtesters
Sound
Product Manager
Additional Sound
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 23 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 50 ratings with 3 reviews)

Captures the spirit nicely.

The Good
Considering that most Sherlock Holmes adaptations on TV or in the movies are rather bad, The Lost Files has earned special praise for capturing the spirit of the stories. Eccentric genius Holmes and his decent companion Watson come to life in a pleasingly credible way that will fascinate even players who haven’t read a single line of the novels; those who did will find their imagination visualised, and discover countless details and allusions. The game has found its ideal setting in 19th century London -- cold and foggy, yet distinguished, well-mannered, a world in which even the criminals are gentlemen.
If you’re not acquainted with the methods of Sherlock Holmes, you’ll find the deductive conversations and scientific methods of the master detective to be an interesting alternative to the common whodunits. Very nice is the possibility to pick up several trails separately and see where they lead to; if one trail seems to be a dead-end, you can choose to investigate other clues first until you gain new insights. Don’t be afraid, though: at its core, The Lost Files is a fairly straight-forward adventure game as you’re used to. Still, it cleverly conceals its flaws beneath a excellent atmosphere and opulent graphics and sounds so that you will rarely notice them.

The Bad
As said before, The Lost Files does not revolutionise the genre in terms of puzzles or plot. Few tasks exceed the common “Go there, find that” style, but equally few are boring or annoying. The standard verb interface, although convenient, is a slightly troublesome when it comes to inventory management. Also, you shouldn’t stop playing the game for too long, or you’ll risk forgetting details of the tortuous plot. All in all, these are but minor flaws that are easily outweighed by the high-quality design.

The Bottom Line
There are few crime story games out there, and even less good ones. The Lost Files is a thoroughly solid, atmospherically dense adventure. Worthwhile for anyone interested in an entertaining hunt for clues; a must for Sherlock Holmes fans.

DOS · by -Chris (7755) · 2001

A Strong and Solid Adventure.

The Good
This is a strong and solid adventure -- the type of game that garnered point-and-click fans. The graphics and sound must have been astonishing for its day. Perspective motion, orthographic projection, digitized speech, and attention to detail must have floored audiences back in the day. I'm impressed by the game's use of music. Each "area" has its own tune, but the tune eventually stops. It's a nice balance between a stoic no-music game, and worse, a game that plays the same tune over, and over, and over, and over, and .... In fact, it's all the more impressive when you consider that this game was released about the same time as "Secret Of Monkey Island". To be sure, it would be hard to tell which is the better game, but I think this game clearly has the more impressive sound and graphics. Pretty admirable when a game goes against Lucas Arts... and wins!

But the real question is, what does the game hold for us -- adventurers who live in the era of OpenGL and Direct-X?

The game, although tremendously dated by now, easily stands on its own two feet. The puzzles are logical. There is very little pixel-hunting (which seemed to be a staple of adventure games back in the early 1990's). The plot was fairly intricate, even by today's standards.

The mood and setting were done very well for a game of the time. Production quality is sky-high. The voice acting (while sparse), in my opinion, outshines some modern games like Syberia and Longest Journey. Too bad there isn't more of it.

Also, the game is non-linear. There are many threads that run in tandem. Astonishingly, I'd say this game is much more non-linear than, say, Syberia.

Lastly, the length of the game is admirable. It's long, but the designers knew where to stop. Just the right length.

The Bad
If you put the game into context, there's very little not to like. I suppose one might object to some of the puzzles as being "do this, talk to that, now go there". This game would be characterized as for beginning to intermediate adventurers

However, the type of logic puzzles present are wide and varied. There game strikes an extraordinary balance. Truly a sign of a very well designed game.

And that's the worst thing I can say about this game. :-)

The Bottom Line
The game was not hyper-original or a trend setting marvel for its day. As mentioned, it's a contemporary of the first Monkey Island game. The interface and game mechanics will be very familiar and intuitive to anyone who grew up on the LucasArts SCUMM based games or the early Leisure Suit Larry games.

DOS · by null-geodesic (106) · 2008

Cheer for Sherlock Holmes

The Good
Good Puzzle. Logical clues and solutions. Animation was fantastic on that period of time.

Nice sound effect, nice voice effect.

The Bad
Who said I don't like the game?

I VERY VERY LIKE IT!!!!

The Bottom Line
I can't really express it with English. What I can say..........

I........L~O~V~E )))))))))))))))))) THIS GAME!!!!

By the way, I really miss this game. Can anyone help me to find the game with CD version that work in Windows platform????

DOS · by x y (1) · 2005

Trivia

Sequel

The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes is the first part of a series of adventure games called “Electronic Arts Interactive Stories”. Holmes’ last line in this adventure is “There is a master criminal who thinks he is already more than a match for me.” Although this could simply be an allusion to Holmes’ arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty, it more likely a suggestion of the sequel. There is one other “Lost File” of the famous English detective, the sequel The Case of the Rose Tattoo, which is quite different in style, using video-captured characters and rendered backgrounds.

Voice acting

The Disk version and CD-Rom version of The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes are exactly the same. Voice-overs are included in the intro, the cut scene at St Pancras Station and the last scene. The 3DO-version is a full talkie, and instead of the painted portraits video-actors are shown.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1993 – #3 Best Adventure in 1992
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1993– #2 Best Adventure in 1992

Information also contributed by -Chris

Analytics

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The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes
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The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
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Related Sites +

  • Game Nostalgia Page
    A site where you can find almost any information about this game: the making of this game, tech specs, full credit with shots of the design team, reviews, game's features, all videos and musics, shots of every location of the game, goodies, saved games, and even a demo of the game.
  • Hints for Serrated Scalpel
    These hints won't spoil the game for you, like walkthroughs tend to do, but will help you solve it yourself.
  • The Sherlock Holmes Museum
    Official Homepage of the 221B Baker Street Museum.
  • The Sherlock Holmes Society
    Home of the London-based society of serious Sherlock Holmes fans.
  • The Sherlockian
    Lots of useful online resources about the famous detective.
  • Windows XP Setup
    Yes you can play Serrated Scalpel on your Windows XP machine .. with a little tweaking and advice from Inferno.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3441
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Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by -Chris.

3DO added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: Roger Wilco, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, lobo rojo, Crawly, CaesarZX, Barbarian_bros, Patrick Bregger, Tien Thuy Le Nguyen, jan donkers.

Game added April 4, 2001. Last modified January 21, 2024.