The Haunted Mansion (video game)
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|The Haunted Mansion|
PAL region cover art
|Developer(s)||High Voltage Software|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, Survival Horror|
The Haunted Mansion is an action-adventure video game released in 2003 by High Voltage Software. The game is based on the ride and the movie of the same name. High Voltage Software was scheduled to release a port of The Haunted Mansion for the Game Boy Advance, but its released was canceled and blocked by Nintendo; the game, while in a finished state, was never released to retail stores.
A Renaissance influenced nineteenth century mansion located in a bayou nearby New Orleans, Louisiana was a happy home to a family (presumably the Gracey family) until evil forces known as the Order of Shadows, led by Atticus Thorn has terrorized the mansion including the family, causing them to abandon the home and he forced all the resident ghosts of the mansion to serve his wills.
On October 17, 1879, after the Civil War, a young man named Ezekiel Halloway, nicknamed "Zeke", who is apparently searching for a job, is misled by a newspaper advertisement about being a caretaker for the mansion. Making the decision to take the job, he journeys to the mansion only to faint upon arrival when he is greeted by six friendly ghosts, who are Atticus Thorn's slaves. Awakening, a spirit in a crystal ball named Madame Leota informs him that Atticus Thorn has trapped 999 souls in the mansion as part of his attempt to take over the Afterlife and should be sent into the Depths of the Afterdeath. She also informs him on how to use the Beacon of Souls, a magic lantern that fires bolts of light to fight off evil spirits. Leota also says that the Beacon is used to destroy the evil for good.
Zeke agrees to help them, and is given the weapon. He travels around the mansion, freeing shriveled ghosts and collecting legendary Soul Gems, the items that power up the Beacon, from the friendly ghosts. After fighting dozens of enemies, Zeke eventually gains a pirate's ring that unlocks a passageway to the Vault of Shadows, Atticus Thorn's secret lair behind a painting in the Foyer.
Atticus reveals his plan to take over both the Afterlife and the Land of the Living, and he steals the Beacon of Souls from Zeke. Zeke faces off against Thorn's true form, a giant, worm-like creature. After Atticus dies, Zeke emerges victorious and is thanked by the friendly ghosts. The Haunted Mansion is finally returned to light, and the 999 spirits are set free and move on to heaven. Zeke is employed as caretaker of the estate, and continues to live in harmony with the remaining ghosts along with Madame Leota. He then pursues his dream as a writer and a recognized author under Leota's guidance later on.
- Ezekiel Halloway - nicknamed Zeke. The player character, he is an unmarried dreamer who pursues to become a writer. Dee Bradley Baker provided the voice of Zeke.
- Madame Leota - Imprisonment in her crystal ball by evil powers of Atticus Thorn and the Order of Shadows. She aids Zeke throughout his mission.
- Friendly Ghosts
- The Duelist's Ghost- The first of the group Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a soul gem in the game room after Zeke completes the level. Death by Duel in the Wild West.
- The Organist's Ghost - One of the six friendly ghosts and the second of the group Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a soul gem in the ballroom after Zeke completes the level. Unlike the organist in the ride, the character does not have a hat and is shown to be a short-tempered and rude person but also appreciates Zeke's effort to restore the mansion and thanks the latter for setting him and the other friendly ghosts as well as imprisoned spirits free. Crushed by Organ in Ballroom.
- The Beheaded Knight's Ghost - One of the six friendly ghosts and the third of the group whom Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a soul gem in the pantry after Zeke completes the level. The character retains a similarity to the decapitated knight in the ride, with the exception of a British accent and his decapitation during the Renaissance was done by guillotine instead of an executioner's axe.
- The Opera Singer's Ghost - The first female member of the six friendly ghosts and the fourth of the group whom Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a soul gem in the sun room after Zeke completes the level. Death by "bringing the house down" - literally- at a concert
- The Old Lady's Ghost - The second female of the six friendly ghosts and the fifth of the group Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a soul gem in the parlor after Zeke gets his 999th soul. Death by Poisoned Tea in the Parlor
- The Pirate's Ghost - One of the six friendly ghosts and the last of the group Zeke meets. He gives Zeke a pirate ring in the attic after Zeke completes the level. Death by Crew turning against him in the Seven Seas during a hurricane.
- Atticus Thorn - The main antagonist. He seeks to destroy everything and contains supernatural powers of which he uses to turn each room in the mansion into dark supernatural puzzles in which Zeke can undo by turning on the lights. Corey Burton provided the voice of Thorn
Atticus Thorn imprisoned many souls and turned them into mindless, memory-less minions. Several varieties are listed below.
- Evil Spirits - Zeke encounters these in every room and they easily shrivel up and hide when the lights are turned on. Seen first in the Great Hall. Evil spirits are easy to take down and do minimal damage, however they always show up in great numbers.
- Spiders - These small, purple-and-white spiders cause not much harm and can be easily squished if Zeke steps on them. Seen first in the Foyer.
- Giant Spiders - These spiders are larger than Zeke, orange and black, and are seen throughout the entire mansion, although not as often as the smaller ones. They also shoot strong webs to take Zeke in and bite him, causing much harm. Seen first crawling outside a window in the Conservatory. Fought first in the Game Room.
- Banshees - Upon entering the Downstairs Hallway, Zeke sees a beautiful ghost with long brown hair covering her face and a faded pink dress. She floats around the corner and then disappears. Zeke then goes into the Kitchen hoping she'd be there and she is. She calls his name and then floats up to him, emitting an bloodcurdling scream to go with her "Scream" face. Zeke encounters these in almost every room following the Kitchen and is encountered in the hallways after a certain amount of levels. After she is defeated, she gives one final scream and vanishes. Seen first in Kitchen.
- Skeleton Warriors - In the Graveyard, they raise up from underground and attack Zeke. They also have bone weapons known as Bone-erangs (pun of boomerang) that they throw at him and they shield themselves with their coffin doors. Zeke sees them throughout the mansion since. Seen first in Graveyard.
- Gargoyles and their sidekicks - In the Mausoleum Battle, Zeke must defeat them. Every time the Gargoyles punch the ground with their fists, they release monkey skeletons that try to attack Zeke. He encounters them in a few rooms after. Seen first in Mausoleum.
- Knight Armors - After Zeke turns on the lights in the Trophy Room, a suit of armor comes to life and attacks him. They scream and grunt loudly while trying to impale Zeke with their axes at every chance they get. They show up in almost every room after and chase him in the hallways. Seen first in Trophy Room.
- Dark Reapers - When the chase scene in the closet of the Children's Room is over, Zeke feels safe only to be ambushed by a similar creature to that of the Grim Reaper, which destroys the closet door and attacks. The Dark Reapers make a weird noise when first seen and every subsequent reappearance after turning invisible. They are fought in a few rooms after the Children's Room is cleared, including the Attic, where Zeke gets his 999th soul. Seen first in the Great Hall after Zeke breaks down the barrier and walks through the door. It is also seen floating in mid-air outside the windows of the Winter Garden after the lights are turned on. Fought first in Children's Room.
- Atticus Thorn's Worms - The creatures that emerge from the villain's cloak everytime he is encountered. First found in Ballroom.
- Atticus Thorn Insect Form - The final enemy. The creature can breathe fireballs from its mouth and bite Zeke if he is within close proximity. The giant gem on its chest, which can send out a flash that depletes the player's life, serves as the weak point in the final battle.
- Great Hall: The starting room and the training area. The light switch is easily accessed. The only enemies here are the evil spirits. A fireplace conceals the room of Madame Leota which can be accessed by activating a bat-like knob.
- Foyer: There are two staircases leading to the light switch that collapse when Zeke steps on them and the only route is through a painting. The small spiders are the enemies first introduced here. A grandfather clock for saving game progress is located here.
- Conservatory: Zeke must activate a piano and climb on books which magically function as staircases to activate the cello and violin in the balconies to gain access to the switch. The Tome of Shadows Volume I can be read here.
- Game Room: Zeke must defeat a giant spider which is the main enemy and pocket balls in a pool table to gain access the switch. The Duelist' Ghost, who gives Zeke his first weapon upgrade, is introduced.
- Downstairs Hallway: Zeke encounters here a Banshee girl and nailed doors with clawed hands. A second grandfather clock for saving game progress is located here.
- Kitchen: After defeating the banshee ghost which is the enemy introduced in this level, Zeke must make a trail of wine to the fireplace in order to bring light.
- Maid’s Room: The room acts like a maze with walls that move and create a limited view and Zeke must find 4 doors leading to the switch. The Tome of Shadows Volume II can be read here.
- Dining Room: The light switch is easy to access to here, but when Zeke activates it, the candles in the chandelier start floating around the room and Zeke must chase them to bring light. Once he has all of them lit, he should jump to the lowered chandelier to light up the room.
- Ballroom: When the organ sends strong wind to hold Zeke back, he uses spider webs snared by giant spiders to progress to the organ where the switch is just behind. After Zeke makes the final giant spider slam the instrument to stop playing and switches on the lights, Atticus Thorn is introduced and fought for the first time. The . The Organist's ghost, who gives a second beacon upgrade, is introduced here.
- Winter Garden: Zeke avoids the falling floors here to get the water fountains to the proper gratings.
- Graveyard: Zeke must activate the singing busts to raise the mausoleum and crypts and light up the area. The skeleton warriors are the enemies first introduced here.
- Mausoleum: Zeke must battle the Gargoyles and sidekicks in 3 minutes. The Tome of Shadows Volume III can be read here.
- Pantry: In this room, a portal begins the next battle. This is the second encounter with Atticus Thorn. The Beheaded Knight's ghost, who gives Zeke a third upgrade, is introduced here.
- Upstairs Hallway: The next hallway in the game. It is either accessed in the Foyer or in the Downstairs Hallway. A third grandfather clock for saving game progress is located here.
- Study Room: Zeke must step on the round carpets to make the furniture (bookshelves, desks, chairs, etc.) lead to the light switch which is above the cupboard. The Tome of Shadows Volume IV can be read here.
- Toy Room: Zeke must walk by using the ball to get the switch which is inside the toy box.
- Trophy Room: The fireballs thrown by the fireplace that Zeke must shield himself with shields are used to light up the room. It can be used to defeat some enemies if they appear. The Knight Armor ghosts are the enemies first introduced here.
- Sun Room: Zeke must arrange the mirrors to make light and Atticus Thorn is fought for the third time. The Opera Singer's ghost, who gives Zeke the fourth upgrade is here.
- Sitting Room: Zeke must chase the light switch to its place.
- Museum: Zeke must make it through a chessboard like game without walking in front of a knight. The Tome of Shadows Volume V can be read here.
- Children’s Room: Zeke must survive while being helped by Madame Leota in the chase in the closet. The enemy first introduced here is the Dark Reaper.
- Parlor: Zeke must step on the circular carpets to arrange the walls leading to the switch. Atticus Thorn is fought for the fourth time in this room. The Old Lady's ghost, who gives the final beacon upgrade, is introduced here.
- Gallery: Zeke must change the evil paintings to good, by walking past them, to turn the lights on.
- Observatory: Zeke must jump from every obstacle to gain access to the light switch.
- Attic: The enemies introduced in all levels are finally fought here. The cranks Zeke turns brings light to the room. The Pirate's ghost who is introduced here gives Zeke a pirate ring which is the key to the Vault of Shadows. The Tome of Shadows Volume VI can be read here.
- The Stretching room: This serves as the entrance to the Vault of Shadows. The only enemies here are Atticus's worms.
- The Vault of Shadows: The final level of the game. Zeke must defeat Atticus Thorn twice who is a gigantic insect like creature.
The game received "average" reviews on all platforms according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave the PlayStation 2 version a score of three sevens and one eight for a total of 29 out of 40.
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