The Let's Play Archive

Alone in the Dark

by Qotile Swirl

Part 3: Epilogue: Over There

A short prologue, a short chapter, and now shortest of all, the epilogue.

After the two French pre-release articles, I wanted to include the first mention in an American magazine of Alone in the Dark. This tiny blurb is it. Don't worry, after the game was released, Computer Gaming World gave it a much more in-depth look.

"Over There"
Computer Gaming World, October, 1992
By Paul Rigby

Screams in the Dark is not the bedtime realization that you've failed to renew your CGW subscription but, rather, the new Cthulhu-based game from Infogrames. Slated for a pre-Christmas release on the IBM, Screams reminds me of an Eternam or even an Out of This World-type product as the game world is totally polygon driven with a variety of interesting and movie-like camera angles. An arcade/adventure with a difference, Screams is based in the old manor house, Derceto, where the resident owner, a painter, has committed suicide. The player chooses one of two characters to find out if the suicide was really the cause of death. The after-dark roaming of the Cthulhu-like monsters and demons are likely to convince the player otherwise. The game includes object-oriented puzzles interspersed with arcade sub-games.

Me - I'm not going to italicize all of my remarks. The article is over, everything below this point is me:

Arcade sub-games? You mean shooting the painting? It's interesting to see that, even the month before its release, the final name had still yet to be settled upon. It's no surprise that the in-game menus stuck to the working title rather than try to keep up with all the revisions. That isn't entirely true, they were changed during the whole Call of Cthulhu debacle. We'll look a bit more into that as the LP progresses.

Eternam was also made by Infogrames. It's a comedic adventure game with a first-person 2.5D overworld reminiscent of Drakkhen, which the 2.5D engine was largely taken from. The 2D engine used for the majority of the game would later be reused for Shadow of the Comet. In all honesty, Eternam has nothing whatsoever to do with Alone in the Dark and I don't know why Rigby brought it up.

Now, Out of This World, that's a better comparison. Out of This World (or Another World, as it was known in most markets) was produced by a different French company, Delphine Software, and was published in the US by Interplay, who also handled the North American release of Alone in the Dark. Out of This World was created by Eric Chahi, who had been greatly impressed by the fluid animation of Dragon's Lair and wanted to make something like that, but that didn't require laserdisc storage. What he invented was vector animation.

Amid all the craziness of the last chapter's epilogue, one true thing that was stressed was how ditching sprites in favor of polygons allowed for seamless transitions from one pose to another. For an example, look at Emily when she pulls out a knife or drops a book. What Alone in the Dark did for polygons in 3D, Out of This World had already done for polygons in 2D.

That article didn't even have any pictures. As a consolation, accept this nearby Sound Blaster ad: