|Publisher: Sega, Digital Pictures|
|Developer: Digital Pictures|
|System(s): Sega Mega-CD, Sega Mega-CD 32X|
|Number of players: 1|
After five teenage girls go mysteriously missing at a sleepover at Mr. and Mrs. Martin's house, the "Sega Control Attack Team" (SCAT, although later referred to as "Special Control Attack Team") arrive to find out what happened. As a new wave of girls enter the house for a sleepover (one being undercover SCAT agent, Kelly (Keli Medd in the manual)), the player ("control") is tasked with monitoring each of the eight rooms and trapping "Augers", vamperic beings which prey on women's blood.
The traps are protected with access codes which can be changed by any of the people inside the house, forcing the player to listen in to conversations. Likewise, trapping the wrong people will result in a game over.
switches between selected rooms, triggers a trap (when the indicated sensor bar suggests something is within range) and changes the colour of the access code (between blue, red, green, orange, purple and yellow). shows the layout of the house.
Night Trap consists entirely of full motion videos, meaning for the most part, gameplay is restricted to moving between rooms and pressing buttons. As the footage is always played in a certain order, this also means the same tactics can be applied in every playthrough. After about 25 minutes the game ends (although more than 90 minutes of footage exists across the two CD-ROMs).
There are 95 enemies in total to capture.
Night Trap was initially produced for the Control-Vision (codenamed NEMO), an unreleased console by Hasbro which relied on VHS tapes instead of ROM cartridges. Hasbro abandoned the console fearing its high retail price, and sold the rights to the game to Digital Pictures in 1991, which set about producing a Mega-CD version. The footage was originally recorded during a three-week period in 1987 in Culver City, California, under the working title of Scene of the Crime. The game reportedly cost $1.5 million to produce.
Digital Pictures shot extra footage for the introduction sequence, wherein references to Sega products are made (and which were removed in later non-Sega releases for obvious reasons).
As with Sewer Shark and later Prize Fighter, Night Trap uses a system in which four video streams are streamed off a disc at any one time, allowing for transitions between choices without the need for intrusive disc access times. This is achieved through a proprietary video codec developed by Digital Pictures, although a side effect is noticeably low resolution footage (in addition to the already present colour loss).
Footage of Tom Zito demonstrating early Scene of the Crime footage to Hasbro executives in December 1986 was included as a hidden bonus in the Mega-CD version of the game.
Night Trap stands as one of the most controversial video games of all time, with its existence, alongside Mortal Kombat, Doom and Lethal Enforcers, eventually leading to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in North America to regulate video games for the general public.
However, while the aforementioned games earned their status through their presentation of graphic violence (and in Lethal Enforcers's case, shipping with a physical gun), Night Trap lacks violent content, with Augers simply being pushed or dropped into holes in the walls or floors of the house. In many cases, blood is not extracted by biting as is common with vampires, but is instead extracted with a machine, designed specifically to look unrealistic and mitigate possible controversy.
Likewise it was misconstrued for having sexual content, as in many scenes partially dressed girls are chased by Augers around the house. However, no nudity of any kind is shown at any point. Lisa's death, which occurs in a bathroom while wearing a nightgown is an often cited scene, but like all deaths in Night Trap, features no physical violence or nudity, just the screaming girl being led out of the room. Likewise the player is not directly responsible for any deaths, though can choose to drop Kelly down a hole at the end of the game.
Night Trap was the first game to be given an MA-17 rating by Sega's Videogame Rating Council, although it is not thought any versions of the game were explicitly labeled as such. Some retailers chose to add their own notices for "violent" content, or indeed not stock the game at all due to the controversy.
Due to the problems Night Trap and violent video game content was causing in the US, Sega of America temporarily banned sales of the game in January 1994. When the product re-emerged in 1995 (with an ESRB "M" rating), it was given new cover art (which would be retained in other releases of the game), as the original, depicting a blonde-haired woman in a bakini, was also proving controversial for retailers. The game itself was not changed.
Press coverage of Night Trap is said to have led to a greater interest in the game than was otherwise expected, leading to increased sales and numerous other FMV games being released for the next few years.
To mitigate controversy in the UK, Sega voluntarily referred Night Trap to the British Board of Film Classification, where it received a 15. This did not stop complaints, such as mother of three Jacqueline Nicholls organising a protest after her 9, 11 and 12-year old children witnessed scenes of the game on a shopping trip. Her local MP Tony Marlow subsequently wrote to the Home Secretary and Trading Standards, although no further action is believed to have been taken.
The game was completely banned from sale in Germany.
Despite the controversy caused by its existence, sales of Night Trap were strong enough for Digital Pictures to port the game to other systems, starting with the 3DO in late 1993 before releasing versions for IBM PC and Macintosh computers in 1994. It was also released as one of six Mega-CD 32X games.
The events and characters depicted in this photoplay are fictious. Any similarity to actual persons living, dead, or undead, is pureley coincidental.
Ownership of this interactive U-Direct™ motion picture is protected by copyright, trademark, patent and other applicable laws. Any unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition of this interactive U-Direct™ motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability.
Night Trap™ is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc.
U-Direct is a trademark of Digital Pictures, Inc.
Portions © 1992 Sega
© 1992 Digital Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|