Alone in the Dark 2

aka: AITD2, Alone in the Dark: Jack is Back, Alone in the Dark: One-Eyed Jack's Revenge
Moby ID: 907
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

In Alone in the Dark 2, you take the role of detective Edward Carnby, one of the two main characters in the original Alone in the Dark. Carnby is now called upon to investigate a bootlegger named One Eyed Jack after an old detective colleague named Stryker attributes Jack to the kidnapping of young Grace Saunders. Stryker attempts to infiltrate Jack's dilapidated mansion of Hell's Kitchen and rescue the girl, only to disappear himself. That's where Carnby comes in.

Carnby soon learns that Jack and his gangsters are really 15th-century pirates who gained immortality after Jack joined forces with Elizabeth Jarret, a Voodoo witch. However, the dark magic which keeps them immortal also requires Jack and his crew to regularly make human sacrifices (which explains Grace's kidnapping).

Now Carnby must battle his way through Hell's Kitchen and Jack's army of Tommy-gun-wielding gangsters, searching for a way to break the spell and make them stay dead.

Alone in the Dark 2 is an action-adventure game, similar to the original Alone in the Dark. Like its predecessor, the game uses hybrid 2D-3D graphics. Completing the game requires you to solve a lot of puzzles while fighting zombie pirates along the way. Some enemies can be killed with the numerous weapons at your disposal, while others need to be defeated via trickery.

Apart from Edward Carnby, the game also includes a short section (two sections in the CD-ROM version) where you play as the little Grace Saunders. Grace obviously cannot fight, and thus the sections featuring her are all about fast reflexes and wits to evade and outsmart the enemies.

Spellings

  • アローン・イン・ザ・ダーク 2 - Japanese spelling
  • 鬼屋魔影2 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (DOS version)

35 People (27 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Produced by
Directed by
First Assistant
Screenplay
Production Design
Technical Assistant
Cutting
3D Modelling & Animations
Set Designers
Designers
Illustrations
Flashback
Roughman
Screenplay Adapted by
Original Score & Sound Effects
Additional Music
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 47 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 106 ratings with 8 reviews)

A brilliant sequel to a well-known classic

The Good
First of all, it includes a plot featuring BOTH gangsters and pirates for you to deal with on your mission to save Grace Sanders, a kidnapped girl. Now all you have to see is the introduction and you have a clear idea about what is going on, there isn't even any speech in the intro (except the quiet narration you can hear). All you see is a guy climbing across the windows of an old mansion and he just happens to make it into the right room where Grace lies captive. In the same intro, the same guy get STRANGLED by a PUPPET, now that is original and creepy. Soon after that, you step in the shoes of Carnby (the guy from the last game). After blowing down the front gate, you're ready to begin! The music is also excellent I believe as well as the creativity and effort that was put in this game.

The Bad
The game sadly relies on you to do a lot of guesswork. I mean, there is one part in the game where you have to combine a rope and hook (simple enough) then throw it an arm of a statue to open a door, now does that sound simple enough if you're under ten years old at that time. I mean, of course you have to scan your eyes across a photo, but kids aren't gonna have that patience.

The Bottom Line
Well despite a few flaws, Alone in the dark 2 is a great game. Just because the game has outdated graphics, doesn't mean this game is bad. In fact, a lot of people across the World Wide Web have stated this game a classic. It just proves that better graphics doesn't make a better game and that is no exception for this jewel.

DOS · by Arejarn (7353) · 2008

Bigger, harder, less scary.

The Good
This sequel is the 2nd in the fabulous Alone in the Dark series. First off the game is much, much longer than the original alone game. Based once again in and around an old mansion, this time around the environments are very diverse including a hedge maze, mansion and a pirate ship. The puzzles are for the most part very good and challenging. The music in the cd version is great and the books that you find in the game are read aloud by the supposed authors which is always highly entertaining. The story is fair but is told well through the books and cutscenes. Graphics are beautiful fluid 3d over 2d backgrounds which were amazing when released and still have a quirky charm to them. At one point in the game you get to control Grace, the little girl who Carnby is rescuing which helps break the game up and adds a new spin on the proceedings since she can't just beat a zombie up like Carnby.

The Bad
The combat has been upped tenfold in Alone 2 and this is particularly evident in the first section of the game where basically all you do is fight. Given the awkwardness of the combat, this can prove most frustrating to the uninitiated. The search function has been dropped in favour of a more simple arcade approach which I found to be a step back. Now it's simply a case of walking near an object to take it so skimming a room will likely get you everything in it. A total lack of horror also detracts from the experience. The original Alone was very creepy and had an eerie plot. The horror is all but gone here with the evil clown being the only vaguely eerie thing left. Some of the puzzles are so obscure they are near invisible, the worst offender being the ridiculous teddy bear under the fold out bed puzzle. If you've played through it you'll know what I'm talking about.

The Bottom Line
Alone in the Dark 2 is a bigger and better game in many ways than Alone in the Dark but falls a little short in terms of atmosphere and story.

DOS · by Sycada (177) · 2001

Great game marred by fatal flaws.

The Good
The MIDI music is truly exceptional; some of it borders on "composition". The voice acting, while cheesy at times, was overall extremely good, and definitely added to the game. Sound effects were phenomenal and very effectively utilized.

Camera action was novel for the time; kudos to the people who wrote the engine.

The puzzles were appropriate. Some were a bit outlandish (every adventure has a FEW...), but overall, this would be a good game for beginner-intermediate adventure lovers.

The Bad
The fighting was awful. The AI is simply too good and controls are too bad. Ammo is too scarce. The enemies are too lethal. The fighting aspect of the game is completely out of balance, and ruined what would otherwise be a top-notch adventure.

The graphics were weak for the time, considering that this game is a contemporary of Doom and System Shock. Even moreso when you consider it came out one year before Quake. Although the graphics weren't really up to snuff for its day, I don't think that's what the game designers really had in mind for this game anyway.

Movement could be wonky. The engine didn't always "register" the edge of a wall or corner correctly. This made moving around a little frustrating.

The Bottom Line
One thing this game got right all the way is mood. The whole game is about mood, and it was brilliantly done. The whole game is creepy. The people who wrote this game did so masterfully. The plot and scripting were brilliant. The music may be something you'd listen to on your CD player.

Unfortunately, the game is unplayable for two reasons.

First, as mentioned before, the fighting aspect is just ridiculous. Had they left out the fighting, this game might have been a classic.

Second, being a DOS game, you'll have trouble with it:

There are actions which cannot be performed unless you play this game under a DOS emulator like dosbox or dosemu under Linux, or use an application to slow down your CPU like "turbo". If you can't make Carnby run, you need to slow down your processor (or install Linux, which is always a good idea).

But even worse, the game will crash at various points if you try to play it under Windows. Various calls to routines to open certain files will fail with a "file not found" error. The "fix" is to either play the game under real DOS or a DOS emulator like dosemu.

Lastly, sound most likely won't work unless you're in real DOS or a DOS emulator or with an application like VDMS.

What the game has right, it has very right. And what the game has wrong, it has very wrong.

DOS · by null-geodesic (106) · 2005

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Controversy

In the UK, some moral guardians were shocked by Alone In The Dark 2's content. Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Burdis from South Yorkshire CID called for the game to be banned from sale to children, saying, "It's sick. It can terrify them, damage their thought processes and make them insecure for life." Prompted by this, the Sheffield Star newspaper ran the headline, "Ban Kids From This Computer Sickness".

(info sourced from: PC Format magazine)

Music

When Carnby dies, the haunting music that plays in the background is "Vesti la Giubba" from the opera "I Pagliacci".

Processor speed

In order to not give spoilers, I will try to talk very generally.

There are various actions you're supposed to do within the game that are now impossible. The problem is that they rely on special timing within the AITD2 code. Modern computers are so fast that the timing routines no longer work, and these actions are not doable by computers that use a processor faster than a Pentium II. Therefore, you can not finish the game on a modern computer without resorting to slowing down your processor.

There are various utilities you can obtain via Google to slow down your processor.

Datapoint: On an AMD 1.3GHz Athlon, I had to slow my CPU down to about 40% before the actions became doable. One of the very first puzzles in the game is one of the undoable ones, so you should know right away whether you'll be able to finish the game or not without slowing down your CPU.

Awards

  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1995 - Most Annoying Copy Protection in 1994

Information also contributed by Artful Gamer, null-geodesic

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  • MobyGames ID: 907
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Alan Chan.

PC-98, FM Towns added by Terok Nor. Macintosh added by Scaryfun. 3DO added by Indra was here. SEGA Saturn added by CheshireCat. PlayStation added by Matthew Bailey.

Additional contributors: xroox, Matthew Bailey, Brolin Empey, Unicorn Lynx, Alaka, Freeman, ケヴィン, Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 25, 2000. Last modified February 14, 2024.