1993 isometric horror
-themed video game
published by Strategic Simulations, Inc.
but made by Event Horizon Software Inc. (now better known as DreamForge Intertainment, Inc. - ack!)
, re-using the engine (for the last time) from their relatively atmosphereless 1992 dungeon romp The Summoning
The plot of the game is jam-packed with a mishmash of only the finest horror cliches - saving the family from their zombified ken, hunting down which of the townspeople is the werewolf, appeasing the ghost of the unjustly-hanged man at the crossroads, a living hedge maze, ending the misery of the victim of transformation, herbalism, true names and of course Gypsy fortune tellers. This game has it all - pulled off by the same gang who went on to do Sanitarium, so you know they developed their award-winningly moody chops here! If the elements don't sound comfortingly familiar, perhaps this just isn't the genre for you.
The player controls the actions (and early hypertext-y conversations) of an American pilot in the '30s, downed in a remote and inaccessible cursed Eastern European valley when (blecch!) his plane's rotors get gummed up in a flock of kamikaze bats (sent, as revealed in a cut-scene, by the evil master of the valley, the vampire Kairn, who doesn't appreciate trespassers intruding upon his demesne.)
Little does Kairn realise that in indulging his obligatory arbitrary evilosity, he seals his own doom - as the player fulfils, one by one, conditions set forth in a (kind-of-poetic-but-not-really, weirdly-punctuated - in short, 15-year-old level writing for a 15-year-old gaming audience) convenient ancient prophecy acting as a sort of walkthrough over the course of the game:
From the ever dark sky shall he descend in a bird of steel
Salvation for those who have been unrightously damned
He shall deny the part he is destined to play.
Until he find the bloodied tool most foul.
He must free a man cursed for curiosity's sake.
A youth in madness he shall willingly heal.
Dispel one dead but forced to serve.
The hanged man's grief he must unveil
Seven lost souls have favours to ask
Once appeased he shall be allowed to pass
He shall find and slay the hound that haunts the night
Claiming a purse of silver to serve his needs
A hidden place he must pry from one quite mad
And speak to evil incarnate the darklord's bane
He shall turn aside the vampire's charms
And stand strong against claw and fang
Then he must make his own most holy attack
And the imprisoned light must he set free
A true name must be spoken for evil's power to wane
He cannot falter not even once for it means his death
If he denies the darklord's his place of rest
The veil of darkness shall be lifted
And the evil reign of terror shall at last come to an end.