Phantasmagoria (1995)

Video Game  |  Adventure, Horror  |  August 1995 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 410 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

A young successful author and her photographer husband buy a stunning and mysterious mansion on the outskirts of small town New England to find inspiration to continue her writing. What she... See full summary »

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Title: Phantasmagoria (Video Game 1995)

Phantasmagoria (Video Game 1995) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Morsell ...
Adrienne Delaney
David Homb ...
Donald 'Don' Gordon
...
Zoltan 'Carno' Carnovasch
Taylor Bernard ...
Marie O'Dowd Carnovasch
...
Cyrus
V. Joy Lee ...
Harriet
...
Lou Ann
...
Harv
...
Malcolm
Devon Myers ...
Young Malcolm
Lilyan Chauvin ...
Ethel
Christine Armond ...
Hortencia Gomez Carnovasch
Holley Chant ...
Victoria Valmont Carnovasch
Geof Prysirr ...
Robert 'Bob' Thompkins - Real estate agent
Wanda Smith ...
Regina Puccietti Carnovasch
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Storyline

A young successful author and her photographer husband buy a stunning and mysterious mansion on the outskirts of small town New England to find inspiration to continue her writing. What she finds instead is the maddening horrors of its previous owner. Will she survive it? Written by cadetgonzo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Pray It's Only A Nightmare

Genres:

Adventure | Horror

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Adrienne walks down a road in the town area, in one of the shots you can see game designer Roberta Williams making a cameo appearance as another town person walking in the opposite direction. See more »

Goofs

When Adrienne exits the general store, the Open/Close sign shows that the store is actually closed when it is open. See more »

Quotes

[Adrienne touches the mirror in the dining room which triggers a vision of Carno with his second wife, Victoria. Victoria sits at the dining table, drunk, with a bottle of wine and a half drunk wine glass, when Carno enters and steps behind her]
Victoria Valmont Carnovasch: Well, well, look who's here! The great Carno!
[Carno begins to stroke Victoria's hair, which Victoria brashly pushes away. Carno roughly stands Victoria up. Victoria grabs her drink and throws the remaining wine in Carno's face]
Victoria Valmont Carnovasch: Here's to you!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Todd's Pop Song Reviews: Rihanna's S&M (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Consumite Furore
Written by Mark Seibert
Performed by Mark Seibert
The CSUF Concert Choir conducted by Dr. Gary Unruh
Recorded at Maximus
Engineered by Jeff Hall
See more »

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User Reviews

Click here to be spooked
6 August 1999 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria was widely hyped as "the scariest and most frightening computer game ever devised". Well, I have a thing or two to comment about the media's hype towards this game and Mrs Williams' alleged writing talent.

There is little to be said of the plot. Considering the sheer amount of gaping plot holes and lacking characterisation, it's easily apparent that the story took second place to the opportunity to show off some video effects.

Unfortunately, not even video effects can save this one. Doing an etheral horror movie on a computer game budget can only result in one thing: that the audience either walks off in disgust at the cheapness, or laughs their ass off.

The latter turned out to be my experience with this product, as Mrs Williams' horrible dialogue and no-brainer story unfolded before my eyes. You'll have to look closely to spot any originality -- perhaps Mrs Williams was a little *too* inspired by such classics as The Shining and the CD-ROM classic The 7th Guest. Both the haunted mansion theme and the recurring spook images are nothing new, and are certainly not revitalized in this story.

Another gripe I have with the game is the length of it. While it comes on 7 CD's, there is little to be done in any of the locations of the game, save for clicking on a few hotspots and being "rewarded" with robot sequences of Adrienne opening various things or testing out furniture. It is not until late in the game that the "rewards" actually begin to be able to live up to what the game box states--mainly by providing actual FMV sequences of Carno's wives being murdered. But even here, the design team skimped out by providing the movies in low-key quality, obscuring much of the gory detail--which, be fair, is necessary in a horror product. (The same problem afflicted a similar title, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within, where not only were the FMV sequences in low resolution, but the option to turn off the alternate scan lines was also missing.) Interactivity seemingly wasn't the order of the day, and I would estimate that any experienced adventure game player could play the game from start to finish within a time span of a couple of hours. I realize Mrs Williams intended the game to be accessible to adventure game newbies--but, honestly, if she was targeting newbies (who mainly occupy the adolescent age group), why go for the horror genre?

It is not until you pop in the final CD that the game actually lets up and starts going a little wild. There is one scene in particular, during the chase scene, in which Adrienne's flesh is shown being ripped off her skull. (Incidentally, the manual writers thought it prudent to mention in the readme file that Adrienne was going to be chased by Don in the 7th chapter--giving away a major plot point beforehand. Hello?)

If anything, Phantasmagoria is good for a few laughs. If you're spooked by this game, then may I suggest you stick with Williams' more famous line of games, the King's Quest series? At least in this series, she doesn't need writing talents.


4 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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