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Phantasmagoria

by Niggurath

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Original Thread: It's not a trick, Adrienne! It's an illusion! Let's Play Phantasmagoria

If you liked this LP, you might also like Necrovision by Niggurath, Singularity by Niggurath and Fire Warrior by Niggurath

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Introduction


Please try to keep spoilers at a minimal, especially be considerate of those that aren't knowing what true horrors lie in wait for the future.
Released in the summer of 1995, the PC title Phantasmagoria was a ground breaking title not only for Sierra On-line (Sierra mostly having been known for it's much more comedic or fantasy based Quest series games; Phantasmagoria was only the second title to reach into really 'adult' territory being beaten by a year by Gabriel Knight) but also for computer games as a whole with it's dramatic usage of full motion video and actors (Phantasmagoria is stated as being the first video game title to use a completely FMV modeled avatar for the player's control). But outside the technical spectacle of the game, the plot itself was also something revolutionary for the time with it's gruesome scenes of murder, sexuality, and strong thematic elements. The controversy it managed to accrue, such as being banned outright in Australia and not being carried by Wal-Mart, were second only to the praise it received at the time of it's release. Though by today's standards this game is considered pretty humorous and archaic, Roberta Williams (co-founder of Sierra and writer/game developer for Phantasmagoria) felt this to be one of her strongest works among many very popular titles.

Set in the present day along a quaint, small fishing village, Donald Gordon and Adrienne Delaney have just bought a rather bizarre mansion for an extremely low price. The mansion itself is a sprawling curiosity with towers, garden, and oddities throughout every room; the owner of the mansion, a magician by the name of Zoltan Carnovasch, apparently had very eccentric tastes and living arrangements which still show in the interior design and decoration of every room. But the loving couple of Don and Adrienne have just moved into the house as the game starts and have no idea of the terror that looms ahead for them in the coming 7 days as the player takes control of Adrienne through the different chapters to unravel the mystery of what happened to Zoltan. So sit back as we venture forth through the house to uncover the terror waiting for us.



Adrienne Delaney (played by the softcore porn actress Victoria Morsell) is a semi famous mystery novelist who has recently moved into the Carnovasch estate to gain renewed inspiration for her next novel, but does the house indeed have more inspiration than she can handle? Actress Victoria Morsell spent months in front of a bluescreen filming the hundreds of actions players could direct her character to perform, while the script she was working off of was easily over 500 pages long. Adrienne is seen as a affirmative, loving woman in the start of the game but will see be able to keep that demeanor together as the game progresses?


Donald Gordon (played by Z grade actor David Homb) is a successful photo journalist and loving husband to Adrienne. He's agreed to move out to the quiet seaside town to help his wife gain inspiration and to work on his own photography in the mean time. He is quite ignorant of what lies in store and assumes his wife jumpiness is just due to the old, drafty house or from moving in general. But if that were the case it really wouldn't make for a very interesting game now would it? Mostly Don will be seen via the different cinematics but prepare to see his real acting chops once the first chapter is over and the real terror begins.


Zoltan Carnovasch (played by the quite prolific bit-part actor Robert Miano) was a prominent illusionist around the turn of the 20th century. Unhappy with his ability to ever be able to truly perform real magic, he decides to obtain a book that will supposedly bestow magical powers upon the user but at a dreadful cost. The mansion that Adrienne and Don have moved into was the Carnovasch estate and full of reminders regarding Zoltan, but is it merely memories of Carno and his many wives that remain in the house....or is it something more? Also his entire wardrobe consisted of either top hats, cloaks, and spiffy open robes that lured in his five wives.


Robert Thompkins (played by sleazy actor Geof Prysirr) is the town's resident real estate agent and groper. Though he is more or less a minor character we are still required to talk to him quite a bit (though he doesn't seem to apt in giving us any real information or help regarding the Carnovasch estate).


Harv (played by softcore porn grandpa Hoke Howell) the general store owner and slow moving old guy ready to spin half a tale about the creepy local legends, Harv really has no point in the game past this chapter. I only felt inclined to mention him since he has appeared pretty regularly in softcore porn flicks as any number of grandpa characters to women that inevitably have to don bikinis to save a drive-in/hotel/golf course/farm.


Lou Ann (played by the actually competent Stella Stevens) is the resident antiques dealer and know it all regarding ancient town lore (or at least the gossipy bits). She rather pleasant and amiable, but really a lot of what she has to say is merely hearsay for right now and it doesn't really help Adrienne anymore than the little she already knows. She at least though is pleasant conversation and considering the small population of the town, any voice is a pleasant voice.


Harriet and Cyrus (played by V. Joy Lee and Steven W. Bailey) are two adorable, huggable, and down right carefree vagrants that Adrienne finds stalking about her property. Now since they both only seem partially dangerous and/or mentally unhinged she decides not to call the police or dole out her own brand of vigilant justice; instead their comedic and lighthearted antics bring a silver lining to an otherwise disturbing week of events. Sadly though they don't come without a price as they are actually mind numbing to deal with and Harriet is apparently  psychic  mostly to help the plot along. Hopefully they'll get murdered I suppose but we might not be so lucky.



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Images
(Carno's Family Tree)
Carno Scrapbook: (Page 1)(Page 2)(Page 3)(Page 4)(Page 5)
Meet Carno's Wives: (Leonora)(Regina)(Victoria)(Hortencia)

Music


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