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South American cover art
Nightmare Circus is a platform video game developed by Funcom and published by Tec Toy for the Sega Genesis video game console. The game was released in Brazil in 1996, and eventually in North America via the Sega Channel in December 1996.
The Nightmare Circus story plot starts with a circus that was held out in the Arizona desert. On opening night, the circus was set ablaze and burned completely to the ground by its shady and villainous operator, the Jester, who intended to cash in on an insurance policy. Afterwards, the Jester was convicted for the deaths of the fire victims, but before he was executed, the Jester warned that the souls of the victims would be forever tormented. Many years later, a Native American man named Raven who had lost relatives to the fire goes to investigate the site where the circus was held, and where strange happenings have been reported. Night comes, and suddenly there appears via the psi-energy of the Jester a ghostly apparition of the destroyed circus.
In the game, Raven must go through multiple levels of the circus environment using various fighting moves to destroy enemies. The game has a normal one-player mode, but it also features a cooperative two-player mode, a one-on-one duel mode where a player can fight against a second player or an enemy character, and a mode where one player controls Raven and the second player controls the generation of the enemies in the game.
The game has a "Tweak" mode which allows a player to adjust numerous game variables such as the gravity, the speed of objects, and the appearance of enemies. The soundtrack was composed by Jim Hedges, Kurt Harland Larsen,[clarification needed] and Andy Armer.
USA magazine Next Generation commented that the game had a lot more detail than many other platform games, but that its potential significance was reduced since the Sega Genesis was starting to be supplanted by other consoles. The game's intended North American release in late 1995 was indeed cancelled, though it later appeared in that region for the Sega Channel.
- "GAME". The Sydney Morning Herald (via Newspapers.com). October 15, 1995. p. 84. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- "Nightmare Circus". Next Generation. Future Publishing: 157–158. December 1995. ISSN 1078-9693.