Phantasmagoria (Windows)


Emulation: WMvare Player


First game to use a live action as on screen avatar.

Phantasmagoria game

Gameplay video

Original trailer

Phantasmagoria windowa
Picture from manual
Magazine commercial - PC gamer (1995)
Magazine review - PC gamer (1996)

1) Game industry and software technology had not yet reached the point where an effective and frightening computer game could be made. As a result, Williams (creator of the game) decided to wait until CD-ROMs were faster and could handle real actors, which she believed was crucial for a horror game because she felt the player had to be able to empathize with the character to fear for them.
2) Hoyos (art director for Phantasmagoria) drew particular inspiration from the films of Tim Burton, and he particularly tried to emulate the lighting, sets and "imaginative edge" of Batman (1989). The films Alien (1979) and Hellraiser (1987) were additional influences.
3) Victoria Morsell, who plays Adrienne, and David Homb, who plays Don, started dating a week after they began filming together. The picture that sits on the night stand in the character's bedroom found a new home in the couple's living room after the game was finished.
4) Malcolm was portrayed by veteran actor Douglas Seale, who had previously performed voice work, including the role of the Sultan in the animated film Aladdin (1992)
5) All filming was done entirely in front of a blue screen, and the digitized information was later loaded into the Silicon Graphics computers, which synchronize the relative motion of computer-generated, three-dimensional background.
6) Such items as tables, chairs, doors or stairs that the actors appear to interact with are in fact constructed objects painted blue to match the blue screen, and were occasionally challenging for the actors to work with.
7) Ultimately, all of the scenes filmed for Phantasmagoria were used in the final game. While some were edited for length and pacing, none were cut altogether.
8) Computer Gaming World writer Arinn Dembo said the game "achieved a new height of realism and beauty in a computer game" and was "an important technological leap, and represents a step forward for the whole industry".
9) CompUSA and other retailers refused to carry it,  and it was banned altogether in Australia.
The German version of the game was banned in Germany on March 31st, 1998.
10) In addition to the graphic gore and violence, the "rape" scene (hero still in pants) in Phantasmagoria drew particular attention and objections from the game's critics.One major newspaper claimed Phantasmagoria "makes a game of sexual violence". Multiple parents' groups, religious organizations community action committees and special interest groups called for a boycott, and sent letters to the Sierra offices in droves voicing objections to the game
Game was spotlighted in U.S. Senate hearings debating regulation of content in the computer software industry.and there was talk that it could re-ignite the debate in Congress over whether to impose federally-mandated ratings on computer software that stores would be required to enforce.
11) The office of Bob Thompkins, Adrianne's sleazy real estate agent, is decorated with posters of girls from another Sierra adventure game, Leisure Suit Larry 6.
12) According to the game designer Roberta Williams, the game is inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.

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