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Nocturne is a survival-horror game released in 1999, made by Terminal Reality (those folks behind Blood Rayne).

Set in the 1920s to the 1930s, Spookhouse is a government-funded organization, started by Teddy Roosevelt, which deals with the occult and monsters, such as vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein's monster-esque mobsters, and dark rituals performed in caverns under small towns. It happens. You play as the mysterious Stranger, a man who likes no one, but hates monsters. Joining him are:

  • Colonel Hapscomb – A former colonel in the Army, Hapscomb is the vice director of the Spookhouse. He gives you the missions. Also, he's hook-handed and wears an eyepatch!
  • Svetlana Lupescu – A sexy half-vampire with whom Stranger has varying degrees of tension, due to her half-monster nature. However, she is a strong and very capable agent, which has earned her a place as one of the top operatives of Spookhouse.
  • Khen Rigzin – A wise old man who was a Tibetan monk. He teaches Martial Arts to the Spookhouse members.
  • Moloch - A demon rejected by both heaven and hell, who helped Spookhouse with a mission, though his reasons were to destroy the demon who had cast him out of Hell centuries before. He takes the human form of a Gentleman Adventurer, but he can change into a giant demon whenever needed.
  • Scat Dazzle – A voodoo expert possessed by Baron Samedi. Whenever Scat dies, the Baron can be summoned to revive him. Scat has died a lot.
  • Hiram Mottra - Medic and man of documents, Hiram is a nervous and husky fellow who can sense people's aggression, especially if it's toward him.
  • Elspeth "Doc" Holliday - Sexy and a bit of a snark, she's Spookhouse's top scientist, supplying Stranger with weapons and ammo to face anything. She likes testing her new equipment in the field.
  • Vicenzo "Icepick" Gasparro – An undercover agent who was once an enforcer for a Mafia family, he was "sold" to a mad scientist, where he was turned into a giant, lumbering stitched-together zombie. Despite this, Vicenzo remains a nice fellow, with a bit of a temper.

Cutting edge and beautiful for its time, Nocturne made use of dramatic camera angles in each area, though this was more fashion than function. It also made great use of ambient sounds for its time, along with various sinister public domain tracks.


Not to be confused with Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, though this game is why the game is known as "Lucifer's Call" in Europe.


Tropes

  • Action Girl: Svetlana to a T. Doc Holliday, too, but that's off-screen and in the semi-sequel.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Icepick wouldn't exactly wish his situation on anyone.
  • All There in the Manual: The official site gives some background info on the characters, monsters, and even an official timeline.
  • Badass: Sharp-dressed, gravely voiced Stranger.
  • Dhampyr: Svetlana is one of these, causing a bit of tension between her and Stranger. It does work in her favor, though, when she's been hypnotized by Count Voicu: Her half-vampire nature makes her strong enough to shake it off in the end.
  • Child Prodigy: Holliday started her career AT ELEVEN.
  • The Chosen One: According to the official site, Stranger was born under "impossibly strict, specified circumstances", kidnapped as a baby, and raised by crazy strict monster hunters.
    • Scat Dazzle was marked as a special boy, raised pretty much solely to be occupied by Baron Samedi. Despite his reluctance, this has worked out in his favor.
  • Complete Monster: Hamilton Killian. Monster hater, torturer of your friends, and also he traps you in underground, bloodsoaked catacomb/labyrinths. Also, that succubus? He's torturing it and keeping it as a sex slave.
  • Cut Short: The game ends on one hell of a painful (and fairly horrific) cliffhanger. The guys at Terminal Reality still want to do a proper sequel to address this, but it will surely have to wait until after they sever ties with Majesco [1]
  • Deadpan Snarker: Stranger has a go at most everyone, and Doc Holliday loves to snark right back.
  • Exposition Fairy: Colonel Hapscomb and Holliday.
  • Expy: Funfact: Rayne of Blood Rayne fame was originally supposed to be Svetlana, but this was scrapped. Still, Svet is basically a nicer, longer-haired Rayne.
  • Foe Yay: The... ehem, tension between Svetlana and Stranger is really thick.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Svetlana is a sweet, friendly person when not slaughtering things for the sake of justice.
  • Genocide Backfire: In 1924 the Stranger exterminated a tribe of wild werewolves. Years later, the Alpha male of the pack comes back to have his revenge.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Scat Dazzle. The Stranger's annoyed tone after resurrecting Scat implies that it happens quite a bit.
  • Henpecked Husband: Pa in Act 2.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: There's one in act two, by the name of Dixie Buttercup.
  • Implacable Man: Smiley, the toughest Frankenmobster ever created. He comes back after being bisected by an elephant gun, then he's burned to a crisp and reappears again; he dies only after plunging in a vat of boiling/acid resurrection chemicals.
  • Informed Ability: According to the official site, Icepick is a sadistic, unpredictable machine. In game, he's actually quite polite and even earns Stranger's sympathy, and you eventually see him palling around with Svetlana.
    • Haystack is a secondary character you can meet in the gym of the Spookhouse HQ. Word of God says he's a boxer so powerful he can kill supernatural monsters with his fists, and a little help from specially crafted gloves.
  • Kill It with Fire: The mobster-zombies in act III are extremely flammable. Also, the only way to keep skeletons down.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Hamilton Killian's mansion. Every other room contains a trap, some monsters, or both.
  • Narm: The voice acting is generally standard for the time, but Stranger calling Svetlana a "crazy bitch" is probably the top example.
  • Noodle Incident: When Baron Samedi is called to the corpse of Scat Dazzle, he ironically salutes the Stranger, adding that he knows a lot of things about his past. The Stranger rebukes him, telling to drink, smoke and please go fuck himself. This is the deepest (and only) mention of the Stranger's youth.
    • Sometimes, the Spookhouse agents will drop a line about Horucides, a mix of genocides and scorched earth operations that could totally eradicate a group of monsters. It seems that the Stranger participated eagerly in this operations.
  • Older Than They Look: Holliday's hair is starting to grey a bit at the temples. She's 26.
  • Rule of Cool: ZOMBIE. MOBSTERS! MADE BY THE MAD DOCTOR LOATHRING. COMMISSIONED BY AL CAPONE!
    • The game could be defined as Resident Evil + 1930 pulp books + a sprinkle of humour + liberal amounts of Cool

Notes

  1. In fact, Word of God says this game is Terminal Reality's real baby, and they created Bloodrayne just to give Majesco a brand they could keep in case their partnership ends.
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