Brain Dead 13
|Brain Dead 13|
|Platform(s)||MS-DOS, Windows, Apple Macintosh, CD-i, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Jaguar CD, Saturn, PlayStation, iOS|
|Genre(s)||Action Interactive Movie|
Brain Dead 13 is an Interactive movie game produced by Canadian studio ReadySoft that was released for MS-DOS in 1995 and later ported to consoles in 1996. Unlike Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, which began as laserdiscs, it was released for PCs and game consoles only.
On October 8, 2010, Brain Dead 13 was ported to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch via the App Store, and later upgraded to Version 1.1 on December 1, which added support for iOS 3.0 and 4.2 and fixed various bugs.
Lance, a young computer expert, is called to fix a computer at a scary, dilapidated castle. After repairing a large super-computer, Lance learns that his client, the disembodied brain of Dr. Nero Neurosis, has a diabolical plan to take over the world. He quickly finds himself in trouble, being chased around the castle by Dr. Nero Neurosis's psychotic servant Fritz.
The player must guide Lance through the castle in order to defeat Dr. Neurosis and escape with his life.
The game consists entirely of quick time events. During gameplay exploration is freer than in most previous interactive games, with most rooms linked to crossroads. This leaves the route for finding the Brain Chamber up to the player.
Even crossroads are done as quick time events. Failure to choose a path as soon as he reaches a crossroads and to use the other actions as well as choosing the dangerous path results in the game displaying the failure scenes, in which Lance is killed by Fritz or by his other enemies or obstacles or he falls to his doom. The death scenes are often rather violent, but over-the-top in their cartoony approach. However, the player has infinite lives, and after the death sequence, there is a revival sequence, where Lance revives in ways that depend on which scene he was killed in.
- Lance Galahad is a young computer expert and a human player character. He has long red hair covered by a baseball cap and is an avid video game junkie. He also has a bit of a smart mouth. Lance is voiced by Riccardo Durante.
- Dr. Nero Neurosis is a mad doctor, now a disembodied brain, whose villainous goal is to rule the world. He sends Fritz off to kill Lance at the beginning of the game, so that the reason is because of insulting him by calling him "average" (though he was planning to kill Lance from the beginning anyway simply to avoid paying for his repair job). Voiced by Dave Quesnelle.
- Fritz is a hunchbacked little imp with hooks for hands who carries an array of his deadly gadgets that he uses to kill Lance. His apparent lack of brains doesn't prevent him from being a lethal adversary. Lance is pursued by him throughout the game. He is Dr. Neurosis' "pet" and diligently follows all orders given to him. He is voiced by Joe Giampapa, though Fritz doesn't speak in any languages at all, but only in grunts and gibberish.
- Vivi is a curvaceous, vampiric vixen with a Southern belle accent who runs a "funeral salon". It is generally an excuse for her to dismember or suck the blood of unwary or unwilling patrons, like Lance. Voiced by June Brown.
- Moose is a big, dumb, Frankenstein's Monster-like giant, who spouts various sports phrases and wields a baseball bat and a football. Moose is encountered as one of the seven "boss" sequences. Voiced by Blayne Burnside.
- Evil Left Iris and Evil Right Iris are two sister witches who, in their own separate room, try to have Lance "for dinner".
Lance also comes across many other creatures (like man-eating vines, a giant centipede, the Yeti, the Slasher, the marionette, the librarian, the gator cook, etc.) out to kill him in the various dungeons, cellars, rooms, hallways and labyrinth garden in the castle.
The PC, Saturn, and Jaguar CD versions were compressed onto a single CD, and as a result have considerably lower video quality than the 3DO and PlayStation versions, which each include two CDs. The CD-i version, even though on single disc, uses DVC (digital video cartridge) for high quality MPEG compression and better video quality. The iOS port (which does not require any CDs) has higher video resolution than any of the six earlier versions.
The first disc of the 3DO version comes in two different releases: the original, which is labeled simply "Disc 1", and a version labeled "Disc 1 (v1.1)". The v1.1 disc fixes a bug which sometimes causes the game to crash during Vivi's funeral salon in the original release. The first run of the PlayStation version freezes during startup, making it completely unplayable; as with the 3DO Disc 1, it was succeeded by a working version of the game. The iOS port also upgraded from Version 1.0 to Version 1.1, which fixed various bugs, on December 1, 2010.
European and Japanese releases of the game were given a highly selective dubbing which retains all non-verbal voice acting from the original actors, even when it appears in the same clip with verbal voice acting. For instance, in the original intro sequence Lance says "Wah ha ha! I'm game!" In the Japanese version "I'm game!" is dubbed over with a Japanese translation, but the original voice actor's laughter is retained.
In the iOS port the screen turns black for a split second after making a move in certain scenes when Lance looks around, or after failing to make a choice. Also, button icons appear on the corners of the touch screen in an L-shape, with the "Menu" icon on the top left corner, the directional arrow icon on the bottom left, and the circular action button icon on the bottom right; the player can change or toggle the button icons any which way or size via "Settings", as well as turning the audio or visual move guide (which allows the player to quickly press an appropriate button as soon as it lights up in certain areas, making things easier) on or off. However, the icons vanish during death scenes and resurrection scenes, depriving the player of the ability to pause the game during death scenes or to skip resurrection scenes like in the MS-DOS original or all other game console versions.
The video game was met with some average to mixed to unfavorable reviews. The 3DO and Saturn versions received "mixed or average reviews", while the PC version received "unfavorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings; the latter was based on a sole review from GameSpot's Jeffery Adam Young, who said that the game is "a skillfully animated cartoon that is almost entirely unplayable and fails completely as an interactive experience." The Sega Saturn version did not fare much better for Hugh Sterbakov of the same gaming website, who said it "makes no improvement in a decade-old genre that never managed to bring its interactive excitement up to the level of its visuals." Next Generation also found the FMV quick-time event genre to be aging and unenjoyable. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly lauded the game as one of the best of the FMV quick-time event games, thanks to its non-linear gameplay and forgiving difficulty (in that it does not require split-second timing and gives the player unlimited continues). They particularly praised the 3DO version's high quality video and quick loading times, and said the game's one flaw is that it has no replay value. A review in GamePro, in contrast, said the game "is nowhere near as good as Dragon's Lair or Space Ace" and that the 3DO version feels like an unfinished game due to its glitches and control, though they concurred on the high quality of the video.
Electronic Gaming Monthly's review team razed the Saturn version for its low quality FMV, which they found compared extremely poorly to both the 3DO version of the game and to FMV in other Saturn games. Shawn Smith pointed out that the video is the main reason people play quick-time event FMV games, making the poor quality a fatal flaw. Some of the team also complained that the game itself is simply mindless trial-and-error. GamePro's Doctor Devon similarly said that "the trial and error required to figure out button combinations is far too laborious for the mild comedic payoff that results." He also noted the poor video compression of the Saturn version, which he scored a 1 out of 5 in both control and funfactor, and a 2.5 in graphics and sound. In Japan, Famitsu gave the PlayStation version a score of 22 out of 40.
- BrainDead 13 game's manual (3DO)
- "Buyers Beware". GamePro. No. 99. IDG. December 1996. p. 26.
- "App Store - BrainDead13". App Store (iOS). Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Brain Dead 13 for 3DO". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Brain Dead 13 for Saturn". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Brain Dead 13 for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- BrainDead 13 (3DO) at AllGame
- BrainDead 13 (PS) at AllGame
- BrainDead 13 (JAG) at AllGame
- "Review Crew: Braindead 13". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 81. Sendai Publishing. April 1996. p. 36.
- "Review Crew: Braindead 13". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. p. 86.
- "ブレインデッド13 [PS]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2018-07-26. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
- "Brain Dead 13 Review". Game Informer. No. 37. FuncoLand. May 1996. p. 56. Archived from the original on 1997-11-20. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- The Terror (November 1996). "Brain Dead 13 Review". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 1997-06-06. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- Young, Jeffery Adam (1996-05-01). "Brain Dead 13 Review (PC)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- Sterbakov, Hugh (1996-12-01). "Brain Dead 13 Review (SAT)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Every PlayStation Game Played, Reviewed, and Rated". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 57.
- "Quick Hits: Braindead 13". GamePro. No. 94. IDG. July 1996. p. 78.
- "ProReview Saturn: BrainDead 13". GamePro. No. 100. IDG. January 1997. p. 116.