It is the end of the Prohibition, and the beginning of the Great Depression in the United States of America. The Stranger is a mysterious operative of a secret organization known as "Spookhouse", founded by President Theodore Roosevelt to combat supernatural creatures. He investigates four cases, which can be played in any order and involve teaming up with a half-vampire to retrieve a powerful artifact from a castle in Germany, liberating a Wild West town from a zombie assault, fighting reanimated mobsters created by the mafia boss Al Capone in Chicago, and solving the mystery of a house with deadly traps.
Nocturne is an action game with survival horror elements. The game features 3D characters and pre-rendered backgrounds with fixed camera angles. The Stranger mostly fights with firearms, and has to confront monsters and mythological creatures. The player can opt to aim manually, or choose the auto-aim option from the menu.
The picture on Nocturne's Box is an overexposed photograph. There was a time when people thought that overexposed photos were proof of ghosts and otherworldly spirits.
Nocturne was going to be ported to the Sega Dreamcast. The console's early death killed the port as well.
The three Blair Witch Project games use Nocturne's engine. In fact this was announced by the developers well in advance. That's why we see the characters from the "Spookhouse" again in Blair Witch Project 1. In Terminal Reality's later game Bloodrayne, the character of Svetlana Lupescu was originally going to be the protagonist, before Rayne was introduced.
Much of the music heard in Nocturne is also heard in the background of various episodes of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Like any good game with horror element this one has its fair share of horror references. The mobster-monsters are akin to Frankenstein. The vampires are from Dracula. There are also many references to H.P. Lovecraft, Doc Holiday went to Miskatonic University. And the mission in which The Stranger faces an Elder God.
Ever wondered what Nocturne means? It's "a pensive, lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)". It has got nothing to do with noctural or nightly activities.
In 2002, a television series based on Nocturne was in development by Collision Entertainment. As of 2012, it seems the project was cancelled. Their website description of the project was:
When Teddy Roosevelt's 1898 hunting expedition in Cuba exposes him to a werewolf, he later founds "The Spookhouse", a secret research facility to covertly investigate the supernatural. Decades later, FDR orders Chicago secret service agent and unsung Untouchable Tabby Kildaire to find the Spookhouse and shut it down. Tabby reluctantly agrees, beginning a journey more dark and disturbing than any case he's ever investigated and to his horror, learns that monsters are real. Based on the video game by Terminal Reality and G.O.D.