Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness

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Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness
Box cover of Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness
North American cover art
Developer(s) Tecmo
Publisher(s) Tecmo
Series Deception
Platform(s) PlayStation
  • NA: July 25, 1996
  • JP: July 26, 1996
  • EU: November 22, 1996
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing
Mode(s) Single player

Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness is a video game released by Tecmo in 1996 for the original PlayStation. Though usually referred to simply as "Deception", the game's official title is Tecmo's Deception.[1] Deception was released as Kokumeikan (刻命館) in Japan, and as Devil's Deception in Europe. The game is the first in the Deception series. It was a critical success, with reviewers particularly praising the originality of the game's concept.

Premise and gameplay[edit]

Deception is an action game with RPG elements, resembling the trap-em-up genre of games, such as Night Trap and Double Switch. The primary object of the game is to dispatch intruders through the positioning and activation of traps.[2]

The player takes on the role of an unjustly executed man, who pleads to the devil to spare his life at the moment of his demise. The devil (explicitly referred to as 'Satan' in the manual) grants his request, and gives him command over the 'Castle of the Damned'. Soon after taking control of the castle, many visitors soon find themselves drawn to the fortress: some for power, some for salvation, and some for something as simple as shelter.

The player has the option of either destroying intruders or letting them escape, with both choices carrying consequences: for example, the player may choose to either kill two parents, who are out to find a cure for their ailing daughter, or let them escape to inform others of the demonic presence invading the mansion. Additionally, killing intruders is sometimes the only way to proceed and gain more Magic Points (earned by taking the victims' souls) or gold (earned by killing the victims).[3]

Gameplay is carried out by a three-dimensional representation of the character, and traps can then be activated and setup within varied rooms of the castle and then created before each respective level. The story will take various paths depending on the choices the player makes.[2]

Traps include the Spikes of Pain (three spikes stab an invader), the Square of Confinement (a cage falls from the ceiling, caging an invader), a pit trap, and a magic claw that picks up an invader. All traps can be upgraded to something more powerful than the last. For example, the trap called Stomp causes a giant foot to fall from the ceiling and can be upgraded to the much stronger Poison Toe, and then to Fire Foot, the strongest trap in the game.

The player can also make use of various items and use the cadavers of captured invaders to create monsters.


Review scores
AllGame4.5/5 stars[4]
Game Informer6.5/10[6]
Next Generation3/5 stars[8]
Electronic Gaming MonthlyBest Original Concept[9]

The game was met with a generally positive reception upon release. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly focused on the game's originality, with Crispin Boyer referring to it as "perhaps the most innovative console RPG ever released".[5] Electronic Gaming Monthly later gave it their "Best Original Concept" award for 1996.[9] In GamePro, Art Angel scored it 5/5 for sound and 4.5/5 for graphics, control and fun factor. He praised the engaging story line, innovative gameplay, eerie and atmospheric sounds, and detailed graphics, concluding it to be an "excellent addition to the RPG market. It has something most other RPGs seem to have lost: originality."[10] A reviewer for Next Generation was critical of the fact that the player cannot attack victims directly, saying it made the gameplay "oddly passive", and also commented unfavorably on the slow pace and lack of multiple save slots. However, he praised the graphics and the originality of the concept, describing it as "one of the strangest and subtly disturbing games we've ever played."[8]


  1. ^ "We're Not Perfekt". GamePro. No. 101. IDG. February 1997. p. 20. In our review of Tecmo's Deception, we incorrectly stated the game's name was just Deception. GamePro regrets the error. 
  2. ^ a b "Tecmo's Deception". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 86. Ziff Davis. September 1996. p. 113. 
  3. ^ "Tecmo's Deception: Trespassers Will Be Executed". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. pp. 214–5. 
  4. ^ Marriott, Scott Alan. "Tecmo's Deception - Review". AllGame. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 89 (December 1996), page 94
  6. ^ "Tecmo's Deception: Invitation to Darkness". Game Informer. 1996. 
  7. ^ IGN staff (February 3, 1997). "Tecmo's Deception". IGN. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Deception". Next Generation. No. 24. Imagine Media. December 1996. p. 252. 
  9. ^ a b Electronic Gaming Monthly, issue 92 (March 1997), page 90
  10. ^ GamePro, issue 99 (December 1996), page 202

External links[edit]