The Black Mirror
|The Black Mirror|
|Engine||AGDS (Advanced Graphic Development System)|
The Black Mirror is a third-person point-and-click horror adventure game developed in 2003 by Future Games, a Czech company. Its original name is Posel Smrti (Czech: Death's Messenger). The game features 150 locations and 5 hours of spoken dialogue. Two sequels, Black Mirror II and Black Mirror III, were released in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
The game was in development since early 2000. The development team consisted of 5 persons. The original release date was scheduled for the second half of 2002. In the end the game was released in March 2003.
Black Mirror is the name of the ancestral manor of the Gordon family located in England. Samuel Gordon is forced to return there after 12 years absence following the death of his grandfather, William Gordon. Despite occurring under mysterious circumstances, William's death is considered a suicide by everyone except for Samuel. Plagued by sudden nightmares and excruciating headaches, Samuel is determined to find the true causes of his grandfather's death. The exact cause of the death was the fall out of a window. Soon, strange and unexpected deaths occur. Samuel's investigation reveals that his grandfather has interests in the "world of darkness". The quests of the game lead to "Dark Mirror", a portal to an unknown world. Elements of black magic are obvious at the final chapter. The "Dark Mirror" is depicted as a book on a pentagram. Samuel must use five keys on each of the five corners. He also sheds his skin with a knife, in order to open the portal, pouring some blood on the book.
The game ends when Samuel finds out that he is the killer responsible for all the deaths. Because of Gordon's curse he suffers from Schizophrenia and is convinced that the only way to stop the curse is to kill himself. He commits suicide with words that he can undone his sins.
The game is divided into 6 chapters:
- Chapter I: Return of the Future
- Chapter II: Back to the Light
- Chapter III: Hidden Legacy
- Chapter IV: Forgotten Bound
- Chapter V: Confession of the Truth
- Chapter VI: Look Through the Mirror
The game's reception has been mixed. While most critics praised its dark atmosphere - created mostly by meticulously drawn backgrounds, music, ambiance and realistic animation and sound effects - the quality of the English voice-overs was unsatisfying to many. Other points of criticism include the game's rigid linear structure, pixel hunting elements, plot holes and inconsistencies (acts later revealed to have been committed by certain characters were not possible given their location at the time) and most especially the game's ending.
German-based Cranberry Production developed a sequel, Black Mirror II, in 2009. It takes place in the 1990s, twelve years after the original game. When solitary Darren Michaels befriends the beautiful Angelina Morgan, he has no idea what the fates hold in store for him. The alluring Angelina has also attracted the eye of several others; and when she suddenly disappears, Darren finds himself questioning what has happened to her while he is haunted by a series of torturous and ever-intensifying nightmares. Darren’s search for his missing friend and his own sanity take him on a chilling expedition from his small New England town to Willow Creek, England - and the reigning evil of Black Mirror Castle.
Darren’s journey will immerse him in the dark secrets and turbulent history of the castle’s ill-fated Gordon Family. Legend has it that the Gordon’s were haunted by an ancient curse that ultimately led to their demise more than a decade earlier. Will Darren be able overcome these demons and find Angelina? Will Darren’s search lead him to redemption or the hell of insanity? Or will he become the curse’s next victim?
A second and final sequel by Cranberry Production, Black Mirror III, was released in 2011. The story connects with the end of Black Mirror 2, and promises a deep, mysterious story, including two playable characters.
After his escape into the woods, Darren Michaels, one of the two main characters of both Black Mirror 2 and 3, stands with a burning torch in his hand, and turns to look back at the blaze engulfing Black Mirror Castle. Confusion reigns...
A short time later, he barely reacts as the handcuffs are closed on his wrists. The police have arrested Darren as their main suspect, and subject him to extensive questioning. But Darren is numb to the events occurring around him, and he withdraws into a deep emptiness.
After three weeks of detention - and tormented by sleepless nights, nightmare-like visions, and the chilling specter of murder and death - Darren is set free. Darren is now alone. He must try to find out what has happened, and lift the veil on his clouded past. What did he really see with those jet black eyes, what does the nightmare mean? Who is the mysterious person who posted bail and set him free? What dark force lies behind the tangled web of riddles, mysterious secrets and entwined relationships?
- Buday, Pavol. "Posel Smrti Interview s Unknown Identity". Sector.sk. Retrieved 30 July 2014.