Clive Barker's Undying
Description official descriptions
There always was a curse upon the Covenant family which killed them all either with a painful disease or drove them into madness. At the end of the 19th century the father of the current generation of Covenants reopens their old but abandoned mansion and thereby uncovers strange standing stones on an nearby island. Possessed by this discovery, he locked himself up in the library and wanted to uncover the meaning of those stones. Out of curiosity, in 1899 his three sons and two daughters stole a book about the stones out of his library, went to the island and conducted a dark and powerful ritual which marked the beginning of the end. During the following 20 years almost every member of the family either turned mad and killed themselves or died from something else.
Now it is the year 1923 and the very last member of the family, Jeremiah Covenant, lies on his deathbed with cancer in his body but he is not alone in his house. The spirits of his brothers and sisters haunt the house, strange events happen and evil creatures stroll through the mansion. In a final attempt to not only lift the family curse but also to put his fellow ancestors to rest, he calls upon Patrick Galloway. Patrick was part of his squad in the first great war and after a fierce battle against creatures, they had never seen before, he had specialised in abolishing such powers from the earth.
You take control over Patrick and walk around like in every other first person-shooter through the several locations of the game ranging from the mansion itself over other earthly locations to Oneiros and Eternal autumn, which are other plains of existence. On your way you uncover the mysteries of the family by reading books and papers which lie around the mansion or by talking to the few people still alive on the island.
Also reading might help you understand what is happening here, it won't help you survive against all the strange creatures that hide in the shadows and attack you without asking. It's also impossible to defeat the ancestral spirits without some serious firepower, so besides your trusty revolver, you'll also find several other weapons during the course of the game like Molotov cocktails, your lovely shotgun or a freeze gun shaped like a dragon head. Since you are fighting the paranormal, you also have access to several spells which allow you to see enemies before they see you, revive the dead or shoot Ectoplasm. Since you hold all your weapons in the left hand and you cast your spells with the right hand, it is possible to use both at any time.
As the name suggests, Clive Barker, the maker of the Hellraiser movies, had great influence in the making of the whole game. He also wrote the background story.
- Клайв Баркер. Проклятые - Russian spelling
- 不死之灵 - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Windows version)
141 People (103 developers, 38 thanks) · View all
|Technical Art Director|
|Lead Sound Designer|
|Assistant Sound Designer|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 84% (based on 43 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 112 ratings with 17 reviews)
This is the hardest part, figuring out where to start. Undying had me by the balls within moments of starting it up, and didnt really let up until way later near the ending during a rare dull stretch. The storyline, crafted in part by Clive i've-quit-doing-horror Barker, centers on a family decimated by a curse unwittingly unleashed on them by one of the children, and its subsequent demise. The player joins the last surviving member of the family, Jeremiah Covenant, as he attempts to gather up the threads of his ruined family and make sense of it all, and finally to put a stop to the curse. Jeremiah is sickly and dying, and the player, taking the part of an old war buddy who has had more than a slight run-in with the occult, offers to repay a wartime favor by searching the Covenant estate for clues. Shortly after his arrival however, he learns that a rival from his youth is also present at the manor, and seriously messed up stuff start happening.
The plot basically takes you chasing down the spirits of Jeremiahs siblings as they go after his life. You learn the way the family unravelled and you trace the evil that has tainted their blood back to the very source. During the game you visit some truly interesting locales; EA must have paid their level designers way too much for this one. The Covenant estate, complete with lighthouses, pirate caves, cathedrals and underground tombs is amazingly detailed, and the other two dimensions you visit truly feel.. different. It's hard to explain, but whoever came up with these ideas, EA best not fire them. The gameplay however is fairly basic. The plot can be seen as a simple reason for the player to shoot his various guns and things at a varied list of monsters in lots of different locales, as well as use some spells to blow up stuff and solve some puzzles while looking for the occational switch or key. Mind you, i'm not complaining. Hell no.
Some feel the gameplay was overly simplistic for the subject matter, or rather, that that quality of the subject matter was too good for a shooter. To me however, Undying represents what any action fps should strive for; total game world immersion that doesnt catch onto annoying quirks of game logic, lets you simply play the game and poses you with a storyline that doesn't make you feel like an idiot. Undying is relentless, frightening, intriguing, moving and at times, astonishingly impressive.
Impressive. Undying was the first game in a very long time to make my jaw drop. There are certain key moments to the game that really made my day. To this date i still have saves right before these points so i can show my friends. Some moments are technically impressive, others are just impressive in their brilliance. Here are some highlights:
A well filled with water. When an incantation is invoked an Abyss-style water tentacle forms a bridge between two platforms. I have never seen water behave like this in any other game.
Invisible floors. In the demon dimension of Oneiros, certain parts of the game force you to take leaps of faith over yawning chasms to segments of floor that materialise out of thin air. This needs to be seen.
A certain spell you'll use quite heavily is the Scrye spell, a spell letting you take a glimpse beyond time and space, or rather at what is, what was, and what can be. The game uses this spell to show you some truly grisly things. At the very beginning, scrying at a lamp post will show you a man hung, rats drinking from the pool of blood gathering at his feet. Other places paintings on the walls will take on a demonic quality: A man in a chair appears surrounded by hungry demons, a horse on green hills becomes a horse on dying burning fields in twilight. A moment that really struck out for me was scrying a statue, having the statue tear his chest open and display his beating heart, begging you to kill it. Savage stuff.
The moon door. Seeing the reflection of a run down cathedral in a pool of water change to its image hundreds of years earlier, in full splendor. Again this needs to be seen. I couldnt believeit.
One of the siblings is a mad painter. Upon uncovering his barnyard studio, he gives you a demonstration of his skills. He paints an image on a wall in front of you. Slowly you realise its a picture of you - with a huge tentacled demon behind you. You turn around, and there it is. The game sets you up in ways that can be truly chilling.
The tomb. As you crawl through cramped dusty fogged corridors, with the rattling of bones all around you, visibility is near none. And somewhere in far distance you hear deranged singing, coming closer and closer. This is one of the defining moments of the game for me.
The design team behind Undying have every ounce of my respect. What they have done with the setting is truly amazing. Clive Barker needs proper credit for the aspect of the game he really touched on, and that's character and monster design. This guy should be on EA's permanent payroll. What he's done here is magic. The many creatures you encounter in the game are truly menacing. Not one of them made me laugh, which is rare for a horror game. Blood drinking cloaked and tentacled sorcerors, horned head eating half-men, waving squid faced cthulhu-style assassins that literally come out of shadows.. This is gold. Another thing well worth noting is the death sequences. Every time you die the camera pulls back to give you a full view of the offending monster giving you the coup de grace. Some of these animations are truly gruesome and often i found myself deliberately dying just to see them all.
I think one of the truly crowning aspects of the game is the sound. There isn't much else to say than point out the fact that next to the Thief and System shock games, no other game i've played has even nearly touched on the brilliance of Undying. The voice acting is bearable to brilliant, the music is always fantastic (Bill Brown working his magic), and the creature effects are mindboggling. Apparently the sound of a certain creature slithering was a mixture of a vacuum cleaner and a banana being peeled or something. Another cue on the ingenuity of these people.
Sadly, there are problems, although i never thought they were PROBLEMS in the first place, merely issues that could have been adressed to enhance the experience. The story loses its drive at times, particularly when the player leaves the manor and the previous wealth of visual cues and hints at the family demise give way to weird alien constructions and landscapes. Oneiros and Eternal autumn, both realms featuring heavily near the end of the game, are fairly straightforward shooting segments, and its been noted that these segments lifts the veil from the players eyes somewhat and belie the actual simplicty of the gameplay. A while after this revelation, the gameplay can seem rather samey, although, i must say, i truly enjoyed just drinking in the atmosphere of it all.
Another issue, strangely enough for a single player game, is related to game balance. At a certain point in the game you acquire a melee weapon known as the scythe of the celts, and from there on there is little reason to use any other weapon. This is a weapon that kills most things in one or two strikes, and actually heals you. The pure strength of the thing is pretty depressive, considering the varied and interesting weaponry you can get your hands on.
A third niggle has to to with the final boss fight of the game. Suffice to say, i thought the game could have been a little cleverer here rather than just pit you against a huge monster that takes a ton of damage. The other boss fights had been superb events, and the last fight simply came off as slightly... Lame. The ending however, chillingly, left room for a sequel. However, now we know there will be none. I'm going to lament this fact for a very long time, as Undying represents some of the best horror FPS action i have ever seen, and probably ever will.
The Bottom Line
A fast paced, deeply disturbing trek through the true heart of hard core horror fiction. Dreadfully impressive, and downright intimidating in it's amount of polish.
Windows · by Andreas SJ (21) · 2003
The most worth mentioning feature of the game was the stunning story line.As you play the game you feel that you are part of some great mystery which only you can unfold.In my view this game can be converted into a successful hollywood movie.The second most astounding feature is its great graphics & thus great graphics which is one feature every gamer looks forward to.There is no need to describe the sound effects of the game as it has won numerous awards for its marvellous sound effects which can produce shivers down the back of even the bravest of gamers sometimes.Overall you will find this game the most horror of all games released so far including the horror games released for other consoles.If you have not played this game yet then you have missed a great gaming experience in my view.Thanks.
There are two features of the game which are not upto the mark of excellence in my view. Firstly, the surruondings are not quite interactable that is, I mean to say that you cannot braek a glass window or move a chair.Secondly , the end is not upto expectations.The final boss in the game looks kind of funny .You expect to see a horrible grand looking final boss after seeing through a number of creatures that can create your worst nightmare and in the end you get to meet something you cannot describe.
The Bottom Line
In my view this is an excellent game in almost all respects.The graphics ,the sound ,the story are all brilliant and I think every gamer who loves horror ,action ,adventure or fantasy games should give it a try.
Windows · by ehtasham ahmad (2) · 2003
There are so many good things about this game that they can not be all mentioned here - but I'll try. First of all, the graphics are outstanding. The view is clear and landscape shows all the way to the horizon line. Enemies look great and move realistically. Then sound... voice talent is way better than in most other games, and sound fx are great. The game balance is great, and two-hand combat system works well - one hand for weapons and another for magic.
But the thing I like the most is the atmosphere and storyline. It had real writer this time and you can see that. The storyline is just awesome, better than in any other FPS. And the atmosphere... sometimes this game is really scary, and always eerie and dark. I still see dreams about blood dripping from floor and making stains to the roof. And the best thing, with one spell, you can see events of the past - those visions are one of the greatest things in the game.
Well, there are a few annoying jumping "puzzles" to beat. Also in the end the gameplay mostly becomes boring, just cast shield, swing the scythe, repeat... And the system requirement is pretty high.
The Bottom Line
Great shooter with awesome storyline and atmosphere. If you liked Half-Life, you'll love this!
Windows · by Aapo Koivuniemi (41) · 2001
|Spoiler-ish screenshots?||Giu's Brain (501)||Dec 30th, 2012|
The game had an open ending because the developers were already planning a sequel. Unfortunately, the sequel was canceled because of poor sales of the game.
A family portrait of the Covenants is displayed in several rooms of the estate (and on the box, and in the advertisements...). While it is a striking picture, it is also impossible according to the time lines presented in the documentation and story. The picture shows Jeremiah seated in his post-war infirmed state. Jeremiah did not return from the war until after Lizbeth's death and Aaron's disappearance.
- A good deal of the music files used in Undying are actually recycled directly from Dreamworks Interactive's previous game, Trespasser. For example, the music that plays during the boss battle with Ambrose in Undying also plays during your first meeting with a T-Rex in Trespasser. The music which plays during Undying's final battle is taken from the Town level of Trespasser when you find two T-Rexs fighting each other.
- In the main theme song, you'll hear the choir sing "Spiro Spero, Spiro Scio." In latin, that roughly translates to "hope to breath, Hope to understand."
Originally, the hero of the game was supposed to be Magnus Wolfram, a large, creepy-looking man with a bald, tattooed head. When he was introduced to the project, Clive Barker suggested that the team develop a more human, identifable protagonist (which led to the creation of Patrick Galloway).
Magnus' character model still exists in the game, however. It's used for the creepy Trsanti shaman that Galloway fights in the game's opening cinematic.
In an E! Online interview, Barker actually said (about the main character):
Make him somebody I want to sleep with. (...) What we had before was this kind of big fellow with all these tattoos, but there wasn't any charisma there. I think we needed somebody who the player was going to want to be...It would be like having Regis Philbin playing Indiana Jones.
- 2001 – Best Sound of the Year
Related Sites +
Bill Brown - Music Composer
Listen to streaming and downloadable MP3 music tracks from this title at the composer's official site.
Clive Barker's - Undying Fan Page and Walkthru
Undying walkthrough, FAQ and enemy descriptions
An Apple Games article about the Mac version of <em>Clive Barker's Undying</em>, with commentary provided by Aspyr's President Michael Rogers (August, 2001).
Fan site for Undying, with editing support. Currently running a contest (with prizes) for the best original map.
Undying fansite with walkthrough, cheats, maps and more.
An extensive Clive Barker's Undying fan site containing walkthrough, game guide, editing tools, community maps and more...
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Matthew Bailey.
Macintosh added by Corn Popper.
Game added March 25th, 2001. Last modified October 15th, 2023.