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"Can you hear the whispers, Jeremiah? Even another continent isn't far enough. Remember, I tried to go as well. I still heard them, even in Asian dens and German gutters. I figured it out, it's inside ... It won't be long until you cross the threshold, brother."—Aaron Covenant.
Set in the 1920s, Patrick Galloway is a paranormal investigator who has been exiled from his native Ireland for unknown reasons. He receives a letter from an old war buddy, Jeremiah Covenant, who saved his life during the First World War. The Covenant estate has been terrorized by frightening and deadly paranormal events, caused by a family curse that claimed the rest of his siblings, and Jeremiah's ailing health makes him helpless to stop it. Owing a life debt to his old friend, Patrick breaks his exile and returns to Ireland.
Except ... the Covenant siblings aren't quite dead, and they're not happy about Patrick sticking his nose into "family affairs." The Covenant siblings were cursed many years ago when they childishly performed an ancient occult ritual at the nearby Standing Stones, dooming them to madness and death only to be resurrected as nightmarish abominations. Now they seek to awaken the evil being known as the Undying King so he can reclaim his dominion over the earth.
But the awakening of such occult forces has also drawn Patrick's nemesis, Otto Keisinger, who wants to use the Covenant estate for his own ends. Before Patrick can end the terrors of the Undying curse, he's going to have to square off with Keisinger once and for all.
This game contains examples of the following:
- Always Chaotic Evil: Trsanti, a sort of pirate/gypsy hybrid. Patrick's journals show that he relishes slaughtering as many of them as he can.
- Ancient Tomb: Mausoleums, catacombs, crypts and the Tomb of the Undying King.
- And I Must Scream: Aaron was chained up and eaten alive by rats, with his jaw removed so he couldn't scream.
- All There in the Manual: The game comes with Jeremiah's journal, where he explains how the Covenants were cursed and how they all met their untimely end.
- A lot of plot details were cut from the game because of time constraints near the end. This is why the ending is rather confusing and incomplete. The basic mechanics behind the curse are as follows - The Undying King is basically an Eldritch Abomination and the Celtic human sacrifice was essentially a seal to keep said Undying King locked away. When Jeremiah took his siblings to the Standing Stones Island and read from the book, he undid that old seal and recreated it in a specific way... the siblings became a living seal, both corrupted and rendered effectively immortal by the power of the Undying King.
- Another Dimension: Oneiros and Eternal Autumn, both magical realms either controlled or created by Keisinger and Bethany.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Patrick doesn't believe in magic. But he uses magic all the time, and owns a magical stone.
- Badass Normal: He may have some magical powers, but Patrick is more-or-less a normal man fighting evil undead siblings, powerful archmages and all sorts of demonic beings.
- Batman Gambit: Jeremiah already became an undead years ago, and only called upon Patrick so he could kill off his siblings and Keisinger so nothing could stand in his way for his double-cross.
- Black Sheep: Even without the curse, Ambrose was a hellion that eventually joined up with pirates and even killed himself rather than be arrested by the police.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: It's hinted that the Covenant family has a dark history involving untimely deaths, creating all sorts of bloody rumors.
- Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Lizbeth is dressed in a shredded white gown heavily stained with blood.
- Breather Level: The Monastery. Non-threatening human enemies MUCH less dangerous than the fast, monstrous Howlers AND tons of health and ammo? Ahhhhh....
- By the way... What's the reason for ammo for modern weapons in a medieval monastery?
- Buried Alive: An ancient warrior is buried alive at the Standing Stones to seal the Undying King. Also, Lizzbeth.
- Came Back Wrong: Those brought back by the undying curse are twisted shadows of their former selves.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Bethany studied under various mages to learn all she could from them and then dropped them as soon as they were no longer useful. She finally met her end when Keisinger betrayed her before she got the chance.
- Corrupt Church: The monastery that discovers the Scythe of the Celt, thanks to The Corruption.
- The Corruption: The undying curse. Not to mention just being near the Scythe of the Celt can cause someone to descend into bloodlust and madness.
- Creator Cameo: Ambrose Covenant's voiced by none other than Clive Barker himself.
- Creepy Child: All of the Covenant children once they were cursed. A particular mention goes to Lizbeth, who bit her nanny and licked her lips afterward.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ambrose Covenant, of all people.
Father always said "self-reflection is the key to enlightenment." Allow me to reflect on this day. How could I have saved my father from a slow, painful death? I could have hit him harder.
- Demonic Invaders
- Determinator: Let's face it: Patrick pretty much IS this trope. Let's see here: Survive World War One? Check. Survive at least decades of conflict with Otto Keisinger? Check. Get through Irish customs unnoticed in order to fulfill a life debt? Check. Fight through wave after wave of unspeakable abominations that have racked up quite the kill count? Check. Handle the Artifact of Doom with fairly marginal damage? Check. Kill off the undead and superhuman Covenant siblings one by one? Check. Go into HELL to defeat Keisinger? Check. Survive Jeremiah's betrayal? Check. Take down the Eldritch Abomination that helped cause this godforsaken train wreck in the first place? Check. Basically, by the end, he is pretty much surviving more-or-less because it seems like he can't bloody DIE.
- Deus Ex Machina: Played with in the giant hellhound that makes it possible for you to defeat Ambrose. It seems like it comes out of nowhere, but read Patrick's journal and he'll mention that if you use the Gel'ziabar stone too much; you know, the one Ambrose just stole and is using against you; a "strange dog-like beast" might show up to menace you.
- Disposable Woman: The maids pretty much exist to get killed by Howlers. The male servants seem a bit better at living.
- Eldritch Abomination: the Undying King, plus many of the creatures in Oneiros.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Lizbeth kept the animated corpse of her mother in her lair, seated at a dining table and presumably "keeping her company."
- Evil All Along: Jeremiah Covenant.
- Evil Makeover: And how.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: One of the manor's towers has an unearthly purple halo stretching into the sky, marking the portal to Oneiros.
- Fan Disservice: Lizbeth is wearing nothing but a barely-there torn dress, complete with Gainaxing, but she's so horrifying it's not even remotely attractive. This is driven home when you use the scrye on one of her pretty portraits.
- Freudian Excuse: It is pretty clear that whatever the siblings did at the Standing Stones is responsible for a LOT of their behavior (especially what they did after they died).
- Green Rocks: The Gel'ziabar stone.
- Haunted Castle: The Covenant Manor.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Clive Barker himself provides the voice of Ambrose Covenant.
- Implacable Man: The Covenant siblings cannot be killed by any mortal weapon, only with the Scythe of the Celt. Even then, Lizbeth's head snarls and spits at Patrick before he lights it on fire and throws it off a cliff.
- Let's Play - Vexation does a LP of this game along with supplementary journals and backstory.
- Meaningful Name: The Covenant family, of course.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: First Patrick discovers that, by using the Scythe, he's been unwittingly collecting the souls of the Covenant siblings for Jeremiah. When he tries to fix that by killing Jeremiah at the Standing Stones, he creates the necessary sacrifice to bring forth the Undying King. Oops.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The entire Covenant family.
- Nothing but Skulls: The Skull Storm spell pulls human skulls out of the earth and launches them like explosive missiles.
- Off with His Head: The only way to destroy the undead Covenants, and it has to be done with a certain weapon at that. This is also one of only two ways to make a skeleton stay down for good, the other being Revive Kills Zombie.
- Ominous Latin Chanting
- The Other Marty: The game's original premise had the hero as a tattooed, muscle-bound shaman versed in the ancient arts. When Clive Barker came aboard, the first thing he had the development team do was overhaul the hero into Irish paranormal investigator Patrick Galloway, wisely deciding that an everyman hero would work much better for the story (not to mention the Author Appeal factor). The hero's original design didn't go to waste, however: he can be seen as the Trsanti shaman wielding the Gel'ziabar Stone in the flashback cutscene.
- Paranormal Investigation: Patrick's current profession although, despite possessing the Gel'ziabar Stone and knowing some magic, he's rarely come across anything that couldn't be explained by mundane causes. Until now.
- Parental Obliviousness: Joseph Covenant has no idea what has befallen his children until Jeremiah finally breaks down and confesses. Even though he tries hard to find some way to break the curse, he ultimately fails.
- Place of Power: The Standing Stones
- Portal Pool: The method for traveling between the past and present versions of the monastery.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Much of the soundtrack was first used in Trespasser.
- Revive Kills Zombie: This is literally the only way to kill the Skeleton Monks, until you get the Scythe and are able to decapitate them.
- Reviving Enemy: The skeletons. Using the Tibetan War Canon sometimes prevents them getting up and invoke instantly destroys them (although it uses a lot of mana). The scythe puts a perminent end to them.
- Sanity Slippage: Journal entries show that this was inevitable for the Covenant siblings.
- "Can you hear the whispers, Jeremiah?"
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Undying King. who was actually the LID on the can, opening the door to the rest of the series. Unfortunately, this well done game bombed monstrously, so the series never materialized...
- See-Thru Specs: Using the Scrye magic allows Patrick to see or hear the past, reveal hidden truths or creepy foreshadowing.
- Self-Made Orphan: Ambrose beats his father to death with a pool cue, tired of him meddling in his affairs.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Patrick's former profession as a soldier left him with some psychological scars, the Gel'ziabar Stone, and a life debt owed to Jeremiah Covenant.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: "You know what Jeremiah? You talk too much." * slices off his head*
- Also tossing Lizbeth's burning head off a thousand foot cliff in the middle of her ranting.
Lizbeth: "The family will be reuniteeeeeeedddddddddd!"
Patrick: "Yeh were sayin'?"
- Sibling Rivalry: The twins Aaron and Bethany, who were bitter rivals. Bethany won.
- Skeptic No Longer: Patrick started his career as an Occult Detective trying to "debunk folklore and mysticism." Presumably he stopped trying to disprove the supernatural at the latest by some point between obtaining the clearly magical Gel'ziabar stone and gaining a German wizard as an archrival.
- Spooky Painting: Just scrye a few of the paintings. Like the one at the top of the page...
- The Starscream: Jeremiah plotted to use Gel'ziabar stone to drain energy from the Undying King and become a god himself.
- Time Travel: Patrick travels back to the monastery of the past for a Fetch Quest.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: What started the curse.
- Too Dumb to Live: There are still servants working at the Covenant Manor, despite the fact that many have died from demonic beasts. One guy finally decides he's had enough and leaves, only to get killed at the front gate.
- Also Jeremiah, who mocked and shoved Patrick around, the very same man who killed all of his other siblings.
- And who is at that very moment holding the only weapon that can destroy him.
- Assuming, of course, that the corruption of the Undying King isn't More Than Mind Control.
- Hey guys, you know what sounds like fun? Let's read a ritual out of this weird occult book near some creepy standing stones. Nothing could possibly go wrong!
- Also Jeremiah, who mocked and shoved Patrick around, the very same man who killed all of his other siblings.
- Torture Cellar: Bethany has one connecting from her bedroom.
- The Undead: The Covenant siblings are trapped in a constant state of undying, not living but never dead.
- Unwitting Pawn: Patrick Galloway.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Throwing motolov cocktails on humans will make them run around screaming until they die. The player can also amplify the Invoke magic which causes human enemies to kill themselves against their will.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Yes, the remaining servants are doomed. No, that doesn't mean it's okay for you to shoot them.
- World War One: A part of Patrick's and Jeremiah's backstory. The jury is still out (probably forever) on Keisinger (while he certainly doesn't sound it, his name is German, his aristocratic title - if not self-awarded - makes him likely to come from Germany, and he certainly is old enough to have joined).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Jeremiah planned to sacrifice Patrick to awaken the Undying King now that he had unknowingly done all his dirty work.