Nightmare Creatures is a survival horror video game released for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in 1997, and Nintendo 64 in 1998 as a North America exclusive. It was developed by Kalisto Entertainment and published by Activision.
The story behind Nightmare Creatures draws upon gothic horror elements of the 19th century. The story begins in 1666, when a devil-worshipping cult called the Brotherhood of Hecate were conducting sinister experiments in London so as to take over the city, and then the world. The Brotherhood tried to develop an elixir that would endow them with superhuman powers. However, rather than creating their intended superhumans, their experiments created only grotesque monsters. When they decided to use these creatures as an army of conquest, one of their number, Samuel Pepys, set their headquarters on fire, resulting in the First Great Fire of London.
The game takes place in 1834 when London falls victim to several evil occurrences. Monster sightings are reported along with news of people mutating into ungodly creatures, and that the dead are waking from their graves and walking amongst the living. All of London is in a panic and vulnerable to the schemes of Adam Crowley, a mad scientist and occultist enlisting the help of the Brotherhood.
A book is dropped off at the home of Ignatius Blackward, a priest and occult expert. He finds it is the lost diary of Samuel Pepys, which contains the Brotherhood's research. Knowing he needs help, Ignatius sends the diary to a renowned American immunologist named Dr. Jean Franciscus of New Orleans, who shows up with his daughter Nadia. The doctor is murdered and the book stolen. At the funeral, Ignatius and Nadia are approached by a man who gives them a note reading: "Know about Adam Crowley, Brotherhood of Hecate --- HVHJ." Ignatius and Nadia head out to an address listed on the note, hoping to seek out Crowley and to neutralize the monsters.
A servant of God, Ignatius travels the world to fight all forms of evil. From his many travels he has managed to acquire several exceptional skills, such as being an expert linguist, knowledge in Kabbalist writing as well as occult and shaman rituals as well as an expert with the Bo-Staff. Ignatius is called back to London by a parish in Chelsea who are desperate for his aid in solving the disappearance of certain members of the parish.
Dr. Jean Franciscus
A historian and an expert on secret societies, Dr. Jean Franciscus, with his daughter Nadia, crosses the Atlantic. Arriving in London, he meets up with Ignatius and begins his inquiries. One morning Ignatius has a vision, and is taken by a sudden desire to go see Jean at his hotel. He finds the doctor fatally wounded, in his last breath manages to say: "Murder. Adam Crowley. The Brotherhood of He... the journal is gone."
Returning from her meeting, Nadia finds Ignatius knelt over the body of her father. When she demands an explanation, Ignatius repeats the last words of Jean to her. Nadia promises to avenge the death of her father by finding his killer, Adam Crowley, and defeating the Brotherhood of Hecate.
An old alchemist, and the newest leader of the Brotherhood of Hecate. Having discovered the manuscript of Samuel Pepys, Crowley wished to use the powerful secret known to man: Magic, to which he will be able to create a superior breed of beings in order to dominate the world. In his pursuit for world domination he attracted the interest and gained the support of several businessmen, bankers, doctors and other members eminent in the society to finance and participate in his malevolent schemes. However the society did not foresee that Crowley would create monsters out of his project, and therefore tried to stop him, only the society was caught in a grip of fear by Crowley's power, until the secretary of the Brotherhood known as Henry Victor Holy Jail decides to take action into his own hands. Henry takes Samuel Pepys' manuscript and drops it off, outside Ignatius' door and later leaves a message for Nadia. Adam Crowley is the assassin of Dr. Jean Franciscus and Ignatius and Nadia need to find Crowley in order to bring an end to his plans, otherwise London will become hunting ground for the Nightmare Creatures.
Secondary weapons such as pistols, mines, fire bombs, and magic spells can be used in addition to each character's primary weapon. The game features an optional adrenaline bar which causes health to be lost if it runs out, and players are forced to continuously seek out and win battles to keep the adrenaline bar full.
While the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows ports were essentially the same, the Nintendo 64 version saw a handful of minor changes. Given the limited storage capacity of the N64's cartridge system, all full-motion videos were removed. Brief segments of scrolling text are used at the game's start and following each level to advance the plot. The platforming elements were made much easier in the N64 version, and the health-depleting adrenaline meter could also be turned off in the options menu, allowing players to explore the environments at a more leisurely pace. According to IGN, control-wise "everything does feel improved over the PlayStation version." Also graphically, the N64 version of Nightmare Creatures looked more crisp, clear and detailed than the PlayStation version, without the pixelization and texture-warping.
On 8 December 2000, a film adaptation based on the game was announced, but never got into production.
- "X-COM: Interceptor". PC Gamer (Vol. 5 No. 7): p. 18. July 1998.
- Casamassina, Matt. "Nightmare Creatures". IGN. Retrieved 17 March 2013.