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FMV: when games weren’t very scary or suspenseful

I have never played 1996’s PC full-motion video nightmare Ripper, but I totally would have, had I only known Scott Cohen from the “10th Kingdom” television miniseries stars in the game! (Also: Karen Allen and John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Walken, the late Ossie Davis, Burgess Meredith in his final fucking role, serial creep David Patrick Kelly, and of course, Paul Giamatti. What?)

Speaking of Toonstruck—I know we actually weren’t, I’m just changing the subject—I love that, beginning in 1993, Tim Curry and Mark Hamill apparently both decided to each try outdoing the other at Being in the Most Video Games Ever.

Anyway. Rumor has it Ripper is pretty OK, and God knows I love Gabriel Knight II, along with everybody. So now I am trying to think of other suspense/horror FMV PC games. There’s Tim Curry’s Frankenstein, the Phantasmagoria games (the sequel is supposedly SO AMAZING and trashy), and… And… How many games am I forgetting?

8 responses to “FMV: when games weren’t very scary or suspenseful” »

  1. elle p. says:

    Also featuring John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco, The Sopranos) as Spanky the evidence clerk and Richard Bright (Al Neri in The Godfather trilogy) as forensic photographer “Cold” Karl Stasiak.

  2. Brian says:

    Hmm… I can think of tons of FMV games, but not that many horror ones that weren’t already mentioned. Except for Night Trap and The 7th Guest.

    Since you brought up FMV games, I’ll take this opportunity to mention a little game called “Double Switch.” This game is notable because it has Debbie Harry and Corey Haim (!!!) in it with music by Thomas Dolby. I’ve never played it but dude, Corey Haim. Awesome.

  3. Brian says:

    Oh snap! There was another one called “Harvester.” I never played it myself but I recall seeing articles and advertisements for it in Computer Gaming World back in the day. I believe it was supposed to be pretty gruesome so it’s definitely worth checking out, probably.

    • jenn says:

      Oh, rock. Looks like Harvester has the super-duper digitally-captured hero, kind of like Dark Seed II. Which, itself, nearly qualifies as a B-movie horror game, except it just isn’t film-clippy enough, maybe.

      • corbenfrost says:

        I’m kind of ashamed to admit that I actually still have both Harvester and Phantasmagoria 2, which wasn’t gorier then the first but Tim Curry was really over the top in it. Did you ever read any of the Gabriel Knight books?

        Also, Abandonia should just do the whole old Epic Mega Games catalogue, most of those games were really ahead of their time.

      • Brian says:

        You’re probably right. I never played it myself but I’m pretty sure they ran out of funding or something so they couldn’t release the super-ambitious title that they had planned. It was SUPPOSED to be scary/gory though. That’s cool. And there’s video.

        Hmm… I was looking around earlier and I saw something about a game called “Black Dahlia” which I had completely forgotten about. I didn’t play that one either, but it has Dennis Hopper and Teri Garr. That must count for something. From the minimal research I’ve done, I have found that it is both stupid and gory. Sounds like a winner!

  4. Jenn Frank says:

    I can’t believe I forgot Under a Killing Moon!

    Plus, here’s another: Urban Runner.

    I remember it came out nearly the same time as the Sierra remake of Lode Runner—confusing! Urban Runner was actually by French dev team Coktel Vision, who were also the masterminds behind Gobliiins, Woodruff and the Schnibble, and the inimitable Lost in Time (which has cheesy moments but is nonetheless a classy, classy game).

  5. Hanford says:

    LucasArts’ Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, and Rebel Assault II both had copious amounts of FMV in them, although you wouldn’t really call JK a FMV game, there’s no denying that Rebel Assault II was. And I proudly say that I worked on both of them (behind the scenes, of course)!

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