Alone in the Dark (video game)

Alone in the Dark (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Alone in the Dark

developer = Infogrames
publisher = Infogrames (Europe)
Interplay (North America)
designer = Frédérick Raynal
Franck de Girolami
engine =
released =PC

genre = Survival horror, Action Adventure
modes = Single player
ratings = vgratings|ESRB=T
platforms = PC, Mac OS, 3DO, RISC OS
media = four 3.5" floppy discs, 1 CD-ROM
requirements =16 MHz Processor, 640K RAM, 5 MB free hard drive space
input = Keyboard

"Alone in the Dark" is a 1992 survival horror game developed by Infogrames. The game has spawned several sequels, as part of the "Alone in the Dark" series, and was one of the first survival horror games, after the 1989 Capcom game, "Sweet Home". "Alone in the Dark" set the standard for later survival horror games such as "Resident Evil" and "Silent Hill". "X-Play" rated the game as the tenth scariest game of all time. [“The Scariest Games Of All Time Episode,” X-Play 6111 (10/25/2006):]

This game is known to take place in the same continuity as Infogrames's slightly later game "Shadow of the Comet", as a book located in the game makes explicit reference to elements of "Shadow of the Comet"'s backstory.


In 1925, Jeremy Hartwood, a noted artist and the owner of the Louisiana mansion Derceto, has committed suicide by hanging himself. His death appears suspicious yet seems to surprise no-one, for Derceto is widely reputed to be haunted by an evil power. The case is quickly dealt with by the police and soon forgotten by the public. The player assumes the role of either Edward Carnby, a private detective who is sent to find a piano in the loft for an antique dealer, or Emily Hartwood, who is Jeremy's niece and is also interested in finding the piano because she believes a secret drawer in it has a note in which Jeremy explains his suicide. The player, either as Carnby or Hartwood, goes to the mansion to investigate. As the player enters the house, the doors mysteriously slam shut behind him or her. Reluctantly, he or she continues up to the attic. In that room, the action begins.

Seconds after the game allows the player to take control of their character, monsters will make their first attack. The player must then progress back down through the house, fighting off various creatures and other hazards in the house, including a whole staff of staggering zombies and various monsters (not all of which can be killed), booby-traps and arcane books, in order to solve the mystery of Derceto and find a way out.

olution to the mystery

It is eventually revealed through documents found throughout the game that the house was built by an occultist pirate named Ezechiel Pregzt, and beneath the house are caverns that were used for dark rituals and other occult doings. The overall goal of these rituals was to increase his fortunes and unnaturally extend his life. Pregzt's original body was incapacitated after he was shot and Derceto was burned down by encamped Union soldiers during the U.S. Civil War. However, Pregzt's spirit lived on within his dried-up corpse, and had been placed by his servants in an old tree in the caverns underneath Derceto (which is, as Pregzt explains in one of many books lying around the house, an alternate name for Astarte or Shub-Niggurath). It would be possible for him to regenerate himself, though that requires a living body. Jeremy Hartwood committed suicide to prevent being used for this purpose; so the villain now focuses his energies on the player. The player journeys into the caverns, fights off the last of Pregzt's minions and finally destroys Pregzt by setting the tree on fire with an oil lamp. The caverns start to shake and destroy themselves, but the player escapes and finally makes it out of the house just as the sun rises.


Players are given the option of choosing between a male or female character (Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood), and are then trapped inside the haunted mansion of Derceto after dark. The player character starts in the attic (the place of Jeremy's suicide by hanging), having ascended to the top of the mansion without incident, and is then tasked with exploring the mansion in order to find a way out while avoiding, outsmarting or defeating various supernatural enemies including slave zombies, giant bipedal rat-like creatures, and other even more bizarre foes. Though starting with no weapons except fists and feet, the player character can find weapons appropriate to an old mansion, such as firearms, kitchen knives, and swords.

However, combat only plays a partial role in the gameplay. For example, the total number of slave zombies throughout the entire game is only about a dozen, and many opponents can be beaten by solving a particular puzzle rather than a straight fight - indeed, a significant number of opponents cannot be killed. Much of the game involves exploration and puzzle-solving, and searching the house for clues to advance the story and learn more about what happened before the player arrived.

The story is revealed to the player through an extensive series of books and notes found throughout the game, and is heavily influenced by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. The occult tomes found in the mansion's library include the Necronomicon and De Vermis Mysteriis, both taken from Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Other mythos references include books that feature the narrated history of Lord Boleskine, a direct reference to another Infogrames Cthulhu Mythos-based game, "Shadow of the Comet", and the last name of player character Edward Carnby, a reference to John Carnby, a character in the mythos tale "Return of the Sorcerer" by Clark Ashton Smith. Several of the supernatural opponents are recognisable creatures from the Mythos, including Deep Ones, Nightgaunts and a Chthonian.

Interesting facts

* "AitD" was the first 3D survival horror game ever, and became an archetype for other survival-horror-themed action-adventure games.
* First game with 3D characters and interpolated animations.
* One of the first games to check the speed of the CPU to compute the speed of the game. Most other games would use a fixed delay in their main loop and would display all sprites or frames of the characters animations, running very differently on computers of different power.
* Originally "AitD" was supposed to be a 2D game. Frédérick Raynal felt the time of 3D games had come after he ported "Alpha Waves" to DOS. He created a 3D library and a prototype of the first room of the game and showed it to the Infogrames leads, persuading them to give him the project and to create a 3D game.


The game was followed by several sequels:
*"Alone in the Dark 2" (1993)
*"Alone in the Dark 3" (1994)
*"" (2001)
*"Alone in the Dark" (2008)

The first game is generally considered superior to the first two sequels, for having non-linear gameplay throughout (the second and third games are entirely linear), greater emphasis on story, survival and investigation as opposed to combat, and for its use of the Cthulhu Mythos - the other games do not reference the Mythos directly, and contain no characters or creatures from it except in references to the first game.Fact|date=June 2007

ee also

*"Prisoner of Ice"
*"Resident Evil"
*"Shadow of the Comet"
*"Silent Hill"


External links

*imdb title|0302250|Alone in the Dark
* [] Alone in the Dark 1 mirror

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