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Clive Barker's Undying

aka: Bu Si zhi Ling
Moby ID: 3457
Windows Specs
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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.

Spellings

  • Клайв Баркер. Проклятые - Russian spelling
  • 不死之灵 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

141 People (103 developers, 38 thanks) · View all

Lead Animation
Animation Team
Art Director
Lead Artist
Technical Art Director
Art Team
Lead Design
Design team
Producer
Associate Producer
Lead Sound Designer
Assistant Sound Designer
Music
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 43 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 112 ratings with 17 reviews)

the best game i ever played

The Good
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.

The Bad
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

Good. 'Nuff said?

The Good
Hard as it is for me to single out anything spectacular about this game, there must be some reason why I played it so rigourously all the way to the end. I normally don't blitz on games at all in that way. I did with Max Payne, but I don't know what kept my attention on that one either.

It's probably because both games are incredibly easy to get into, fun, and not especially challenging. Undying grabs your attention pretty early on, and even though the control system leaves something to be desired, keeps you playing without much of a hitch. All the elements of a solid game are here: the graphics are good, the sound is good, the story is good, the gameplay is good, and the length is good. Nothing special, just good.

The animation though, is very good. The enemies really move nicely, especially the howlers and skeletons. There is also a fair amount of variety in the enemies I think, but some people admittingly don't think there is. Also, this game has brought back the tradition of boss creatures to fight, which deserves much thanks in my opinion. The spells are good. The weapons are ok. That's it really. Sometimes you get whisked off to a totally different environment for no real reason other than to provide a change, but that's ok because every FPS does that. Half-Life did it. System Shock 2 did it. I don't mind.

The Bad
Still, this game, even in an optimised condition, is never going to be like Valve's trailblazing debut. It's an FPS, it's a good FPS, but it doesn't try anything different. There's nothing to make Undying stand out from the crowd other than the addition of bosses and the funky 'scrye' spell. Serious Sam stands out by being so wonderfully excessive, but that's one of the few around that do. But anyway, it's unfair to compare every shooter to Half-Life. So on with the more niggling complaints: Firstly, the story gives off a slightly false impression. The stage is set for something deep and mystifying: Your war-buddy calls you to his house to unravel the secrets contained within the Standing Stones (which his father spent most of his life trying to figure out), and to find out about the curse that has plagued his family, what has become of his siblings, and what all these monsters are doing here. I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone who is thinking of buying this game but you find out very little. It turns out the plot doesn't really mean anything anyway, and it never moves on until the end like so many other games.

Secondly, why are all the bosses so easy? I admit I played this game on 'easy' because I'm a wuss, but I rarely got hit anyway so it didn't matter. The first boss is easy, the second is ridiculously easy. There are more but they're not really worth saying much about. In fact, one of the normal enemies I found tougher than any of the bosses in the game. The whole game is still not hard though. At one point I was carrying 60 health packs. The bosses aren't much fun to play again either because they...oh I don't have the room to describe it. All I can say is that ideally, bosses should have the pressure on you ALL the time. Metal Gear Solid 2 did it right when I played it. In that game I fought a guy on a rooftop who seemed to be constantly coming up with ideas of how to kill me, and who would actually try to corner me. Fighting bosses should be like fighting a guy in a boxing ring. It should be that intense.

Thirdly, why are there doors that jam for no reason at all and prevent your access? I've never known a house to have so many. I suspect the reason is probably because...

Fourthly, the game loads every time you go into a new area. Other than annoying you, this makes navigation of big places very difficult.

Fifthly, the sound in this game is good. But what makes it nowhere near System Shock's league is that many of the sounds aren't real. You can hear howlers when there aren't any around, they're just in the general vicinity. It's scripted sound and it doesn't work because it doesn't tell you anything. All FPS developers take note: ambient sound is at it's most tense and frightening when it is from real activity. What makes SS2 a work of genius is that when you hear a monkey, you KNOW there is a monkey near you for certain, and the volume and direction of the sound will tell you where it is. That's when you panic because you know the speakers aren't lying. So even when it's silent you're filling you're pants because you sit there praying you won't hear anything. Ocassionally SS2 does use music and sounds to heighten the tension. The moment you enter the cargo bays where currently dormant but evil robots are pressed against the sides of a very thin corridor which you must walk down, and you hear that soft hum and tiny rush of air sound, every hair stands up on the back of your neck. That is how it should be done. Less sound, more meaning.

Sixthly, the thought that servants would continue to work in a house where people are being eaten alive is laughable, let alone that they should be as nonchalant as ever about it.

The Bottom Line
A good game. It has faults sure, but it's still fun. Few of the faults are major, they just stop the game from being a really good regular game like Medal of Honour, instead of a good regular game. (Stop me if I'm confusing you ;O)) Either way, the game would never have been anything other than regular. Easily it's biggest fault is that it doesn't try hard enough.

Windows · by Shazbut (163) · 2003

Great FPS, but lacks value.

The Good
Undying is a great shooter, packed with a great pace, and lots of imagination. The levels and enemies are original and truly scary, and they are all rendered via the Quake3 engine, which means they all look impressive too.

At it's worst, Undying is merely a decent, plot-based shooter. But at it's best Undying is a truly scary experience. I have never in any other shooter experienced the kind of terror that this game provides, which comes in the form of "jack in the box" scares as well as some clever creature and level designs. More than once I found myself screaming as a howler sneaked on me from behind, or as I frantically tried to shoot a pack of enemies that dodged all my attacks. And this is were Undying nails it, when it puts you in desperate nerve-wrecking situations, thus you find yourself in some situations clearly out of survival-horror titles, were you find that you are outnumbered, outmatched, and out of ammo, and where you just have to hold on to your hat and run for it!

I haven't felt a feeling of desperation like this in a game for a looong time, but as always, it is so nerve-wrecking that sometimes you have to take a break from it, and sometimes you need to work up the courage to face the game again. This is, of course, excellent. Nothing deserves my admiration more than a game that doesn't pull it's punches, and Undying goes at it with gusto.

The Bad
Even though the entire interface, menus and music, etc. are all specially themed for the game, I found the in-game interface to be quite off the mark. In game, you have a series of brightly-colored "user friendly" icons representing your spells, weapons, etc. and... well, it sort of kills the mood sometimes! I don't understand how this ended up as this since the other menus and screens in the game are very moody and inspired.

But well, that's minor nagging really, the thing that really kills this game is the lack of value. One can't help but feel a "Now what?" sense of emptiness after finishing the game. Sure, it's a great experience, with a good storyline, and great moments, but it's totally linear, and though that could also be said of Half-Life, that game had multiplayer and user-made mods support. Undying has nothing! Not even alternate game modes, (a thing which has helped other horror games, like Resident Evil, extend their longevity) so in all I can't really see how EA expects one to dish so much cash for a game that has so little to offer.

The Bottom Line
Undying is an excellent horror plot-based shooter. It deserves all of my praises and recommendations, but I'm not sure if it deserves my cash. Other games offer much more extensive and lasting experiences for the same price. EA figured that since they were the only horror-oriented fps in town, they could get away with doing a half-assed effort, and well... let's just hope you learned the lesson EA, because I would really like a fully-loaded Undying 2, or even an Undying "Gold" or GOTY update.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

[ View all 17 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Spoiler-ish screenshots? Giu's Brain (503) Dec 30, 2012

Trivia

Cancelled sequel

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.

Family portrait

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.

Music

  • 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."

Player character

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.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – Best Sound of the Year

Information also contributed by ClydeFrog, Scott Monster and Terrence Bosky

Analytics

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Eternal Sonata
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Clive Barker's Jericho (Special Edition)
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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
  • Scary Creatures
    An Apple Games article about the Mac version of Clive Barker's Undying, with commentary provided by Aspyr's President Michael Rogers (August, 2001).
  • Standing Stones
    Fan site for Undying, with editing support. Currently running a contest (with prizes) for the best original map.
  • Standing Stones
    Undying fansite with walkthrough, cheats, maps and more.
  • Standing Stones
    An extensive Clive Barker's Undying fan site containing walkthrough, game guide, editing tools, community maps and more...

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 3457
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matthew Bailey.

Macintosh added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Alan Chan, Unicorn Lynx, Aapo Koivuniemi, Benjamin Slade, Apogee IV, AdminBB, Zeppin, Klaster_1, oct, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 25, 2001. Last modified January 27, 2024.