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Alone in the Dark (1992)

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Alone in the Dark
Developer Infogrames
Arrow Micro-Techs Corp (PC-98, FM Towns)
Krisalis (3DO)
Kung-Fu Factory (iOS)
Publisher Infogrames
Designer Frédérick Raynal
Didier Chanfray
Franck Manzetti
Released 1992 (DOS)
December 10, 1993 (PC-98, FM Towns)
October 21, 1993 (3DO)
1994 (Mac)
August 31, 2014 (iOS)
Genre Survival Horror
Modes Single Player
Ports DOS
FM Towns

Alone in the Dark (shortened to AitD) is a survival horror game released by Infogrames in 1992 for PC. In 1994 a port was made for 3DO by Krisalis Entertainment and published by Interplay Entertainment.

Alone in the Dark is one of the first Survival Horror games and one of the first games to utilize 3D models superimposed on pre-rendered backgrounds. The game was awarded the title of 'First 3D survival-horror videogame' by Guinness World Records.


Gameplay revolves around combat and puzzle solving within Derceto Manor. The player can choose to assume the role of either Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood.

The player collects items around the mansion to solve puzzles and interact with their environments by selecting actions in the menu.


It is the year 1923. The owner of the Louisiana mansion Derceto, Jeremy Hartwood, died a few days ago. The police report, filed after a cursory investigation, concluded that the well-known artist had taken his own life. His devoted butler confirmed that Hartwood had been suffering from considerable mental depression for some months. He had placed even more strain on his already delicate health by translating the many ancient manuscripts contained in Derceto's extensive library. He also suffered from insomnia and the few hours of sleep he had were troubled by particularly disturbing nightmares. He appeared to be convinced of a mysterious presence in the old house.

Derceto is now empty. Rumors abound of a curse or of an evil power dwelling within its walls. Such stories are not uncommon with houses like Derceto, especially in this particular area. For some days now, however, a cloud of doubt has hung over your mind...

What are those strange lights inside the house during nightfall? What could account for the eerie noises to be heard each time you approach? Why did Jeremy commit suicide? What compels you towards the house? What is Derceto‘s terrible secret?


Depending on which character is chosen, a small backstory is provided before the introduction.

Edward Carnby

On my door, a dull brass plate says "Private detective". The few friends I have call me Carnby; the others call me the Reptile. I don't care to think what my banker calls me. These days, I leave my letters unopened; bills and threats to send in the receivers just ruin my day. When an antique dealer called Gloria Allen contacted me, I slipped into my best shirt, holstered my .38, and got to her shop as fast as I could. I was expecting something sordid: blackmail probably. Boy, was I wrong! What I was asked to do was visit a property called Derceto and find a piano in the loft. It was an old piano, with secret drawers; the kind people who buy stuff in antique stores go crazy over. The Derceto house is supposed to be piled high with classy junk: furniture, books, paintings. It looked like whoever owned Derceto was about to get cleaned out. I was going to bring up the subject of money when Gloria Allen handed me $150 and a key. I kept myself from grinning at the thought of my banker's surprise. He doesn't like his victims getting away. I looked over a copy of the police report. The former owner of Derceto, a guy called J. Hartwood, had hanged himself in the loft. The coroner concluded it was a clear-cut case of suicide. I promised Gloria Allen I'd give the place a look-over. My report will be ready in a couple of days. I've been reading up on the history of the old house; it's the kind of place ghosts run away from in terror. Grisly murders, curses, lunacy... Luckily, devil-worship makes me smile, so this is my idea of a paid vacation.

Emily Hartwood

The attorney's letter came as a deep shock to me. My uncle Jeremy had died by his own hand! The coroner's report was unequivocal: he hanged himself in the loft. My initial surprise and distress past, I considered the news; it seemed clear that Derceto had exercised a thoroughly morbid influence on my uncle's mind. That creaking old mansion, with its unusual tales, its secret library door, the ancient upstairs clock, all those occult books that my uncle could not resist reading, in spite of his fragile nerves... Fate had pointed its finger. Derceto had trapped its prey. Mr. MacCarfey, the family lawyer, suggested selling the old house; I immediately opposed the idea. My duty is clear: I must go to Derceto. I tremble at the thought of those dark corridors, those brooding portraits. Yet I am convinced that uncle Jeremy left a note, a letter of some kind, explaining his fateful decision. I remember his voice saying, "Look at the piano, Emily... Look harder." Maybe the secret drawer will yield up an explanation. I have the feeling things will not be so simple. Life is a mystery, containing more mysteries. Jeremy taught me that much. Now is the time to confront the mysteries. Derceto is waiting for me. I pray that my fear is nothing more that the fruit of my imagination. Nothing will ever persuade me that my uncle was insane. But why did he, according to the police report, block the loft window with the old wardrobe?

Seconds after the presentation and introduction cutscene, the game allows the player to take control of their character. Monsters will make their first attack, the player must then progress through the house, fighting off various creatures and other hazards in the house, including a whole staff of staggering zombies and various monsters, booby-traps and arcane books, in order to solve the mystery of Derceto and find a way out.




  • A remake for Alone in the Dark was in development, however it was cancelled.


Realized & Directed by

Frédérick Raynal

First Assistant

Franck De Girolami

Production designer

Yaël Barroz
Jean-Mare Toroella

Modeling 3D & Animation

Didier Chanfray

Screen Play

Hubert Chardot
Franck Manzetti

Product Manager

Oliver Robin

Original Music & SFx

Philippe Vachey
Mixed by Sequence Coda

Best Boys

Frédérique Bourgin
Lionel Frappé
Serge Plagnol

Special Thanks To:

Bruno Bonnell
Bernard Montibert
Eric Mottot
Veronique Salmeron
H.P. Lovecraft

Box art Gallery

Sources and References

Alone in the Dark I

Dark Maze
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