Clive Barker's Undying

aka: Bu Si zhi Ling
Moby ID: 3457
Windows Specs
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 2/29 9:56 PM )

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

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

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)

Great game, hampered by performance

The Good
The story line is fantastic, but who would expect anything less than something overseen by Clive Barker. From my understanding, the story was already worked out before Clive came on board, but I do know that he was responsible for redesigning the main character, Patrick, as well as providing the voice of one of the villains and designing some of the monsters.

The game starts off very strong, you are quickly pulled into the mystery of the Covenant family and their curse. The atmosphere is creepy and stifling - you feel like you can't escape the horrors that lurk in the Covenant mansion.

The game is powered by the Unreal Tournament engine, contrary to a previous review of this game which stated it was a quake 3 engine. It has been heavily modified to handle the shadows and characters and it really shows. The level design is, for the most part quite good and the monsters are unique and well designed.

I found the music and sound to be fantastic. No complaints here, I often listen to the soundtrack just to get into the mood!

The Bad
There was no cooperative multi player, something I always look for in a single player title. However I do think that Undying plays just fine alone, in fact it probably increases the fear and tension throughout the game.

I did not like the UT powered engine. The game struggles in many areas to perform, and brought my beefy machine to it's knees in many situations (single digit framerates). Also, the sound often popped/crackled, which for me destroyed a lot of the mood created.

I also was quite disappointed by the last 1/3 of the game, it moved away from the mansion setting and moved towards some bizarre areas, which I was not too impressed with. Lastly, the ending was vague and I found the story to be inadequately explained. I like open endings but this ending was so open the earth could have fallen through it.

Lastly I did not like the frustrating slowness of the save/load mechanism. It took too long and became a great hindrance to my enjoyment. I read that the game was being developed for a release on the PS2 (which was canned) - due to memory restrictions, the game has an increased amount of 'loading' screens, which gets quite annoying after a while and breaks the tempo. While I understand why they did this, it still is annoying and unrequired for the PC version.

The Bottom Line
A good title, worth your time and money and is guaranteed to scare your pants off in many parts. There are some great elements to this game, so don't let my negative comments discourage you!

Windows · by neko_ (5) · 2002

Nearly 10 years later and still one of the best.

The Good
EA did a lot of work on this game. There are a multitude of little details that create an immersive atmosphere. Like Clive Barker himself, The developers derived a lot from established fantasy and mythology. The sad, sordid tales of the Covenant family add to the storyline as you see how each member descended into madness. The monsters were unique and stood out from the usual FPS fodder.

The sound was perfect. The sound of loading your gun, to the ethereal call to scrye hidden scenes, it completes the game unlike many before or after.

The graphics were amazing, considering that it used the now considerably dated UT engine. Especially remarkable was the detailed models, nearly photo realistic in some scenes.

Game play was intense and kept you on raw nerves.

Music was sparse and didn't interfere with the game play. It was an eclectic mix of classical and world beats.

The game really rewards exploration by hiding goodies everywhere. And occasionally, you'll get a glimpse of someone's macabre sense of humor.



The Bad
First off, No freakin' sequel. The game ending was wide open. The inventory required some quick juggling to keep alive in tight battles. In an attempt to balance the weapons out, you'll find out that in battles with mixed creatures, you're going to do more retreating than attacking.

The Bottom Line
A thinking person's FPS. Better than Doom 3 with a fraction of the hardware requirements.

Windows · by Scott Monster (986) · 2006

Not bad, but not great either

The Good
- The FPS gameplay was based on the Unreal Tournament game engine; suffice to say it works pretty well. The horror themed graphics and textures are good enough and help create an atmosphere.

  • The music and sound effects are sharp. The voice acting is okay.

  • The game difficulty is more than acceptable; it's possible to beat it even if you play on the highest skill. It has some tense fights.

  • The plot is hooking. There is an intriguing story which get unraveled at a decent pace while maintaining the gamer's interest. The four (or maybe five) Covenant siblings are distinctive personages with a dark backstory. The quests to hunt each sibling have their own perils, puzzles and monsters. The enemies are also distinctive and could require to think in different strategies.

  • You get some cool weapons, both conventional and mystical; some weapons have different modes and modified ammo available. You also get some very cool original spells, with aggressive or defensive power; the magical energy, or "Mana", unlike other games alike, regenerates itself, so you won't need to worry about getting magic flasks (although you can get items to boost your Mana and improve your spells).

    The Bad
    - The uninspired level design can make the game get old and linear. The unevenness of the quests makes it seem deformed (the last quests feel rushed). Also, the puzzle solving aspect gets tiresome (I'm sick of the usual "get the key" solution).

  • The difficulty is not consistent. Some levels, particularly at the beginning of the game, can be really hard to pass, while others, some in which you even get to fight bosses, offer little challenge. Besides, at some point in the game, and from then on, they started making the typical mistake of providing the player a ridiculous and excessive amount of ammo and health items. Some enemies (like the monastery monks for example) are unrealistically tough.

  • Unfortunately it has AI glitches. While the enemies are diverse, most of them are quite stupid and can get stuck unrealistically.

  • Some plot points are poorly explained. The ending leaves you confused and wanting to know more.

    The Bottom Line
    If you like horror themed games and FPS, you should check this out.

Windows · by Czar Husk Qi (27) · 2010

[ 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

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Clive Barker's Jericho
Released 2007 on Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Quern: Undying Thoughts
Released 2016 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh
Undying
Released 2021 on Windows
NecroBouncer
Released 2022 on Windows, Macintosh
Clive Barker's Jericho (Special Edition)
Released 2007 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Eternal Sonata
Released 2007 on Xbox 360, 2008 on PlayStation 3
Death or Treat
Released 2023 on Windows, Macintosh, Xbox One...
Clive Barker's Nightbreed: The Interactive Movie
Released 1990 on DOS, Amiga, Atari ST

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

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

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.