Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh


A year after being released from the mental hospital, Curtis Craig works at Wyntech, a pharmaceutical company where his late father used to work. He has been able to build a somewhat normal life, owning an apartment, having an open relationship with the attractive co-worker Jocilyn, good friendship with the openly homosexual Trevor, and cherishing his pet rat, Blob. One day, Curtis starts having hallucinations about his mother having committed suicide by hanging and begins experiencing things which aren't actually there. As a result, Curtis is beginning to question his own sanity. Then the gruesome murders begin... The first victim is the jerk among the employees, someone which Curtis considered murdering himself, but did he?

Who is that obscure bloodied man only Curtis seems to notice on the crime scene and where does that mysterious voice come from that keeps haunting him? As the hallucinations become more frequent and gruesome, and Curtis becomes the prime suspect of the killings, he decides to seek counseling with psychologist Dr. Harburg. As the sessions progress, Curtis remembers more and more of his awful childhood, how his mother used to torture him and how a secret Wyntech project, named the Threshold Project, and his father are all connected with each other. Whatever the Threshold project was, it was shut down 20 years ago and now seems to be reactivated. Following a trail of hallucinations, blood, sex and murder victims, Curtis discovers he is not who he always thought he was.

Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh was written and designed by Lorelei Shannon and directed by Andy Hoyos. Though it is the second part of the Phantasmagoria series, it has no connection whatsoever with Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria. This FMV game, starring Paul Morgan Stetler in the lead role of Curtis Craig, is Sierra's most explicit game, featuring blood and gore, nudity and sex and strong language. As a result it was also released in a whole slew of different censored versions and banned in Singapore and Australia. In addition to the gore, this game also stands out for its enormous amount of Easter eggs, so many in fact that an Easter egg point system exists in the game.

Being one of the last FMV games by Sierra, it was mostly filmed on real locations and large film sets to enhance camera motion and add to the realism. In addition make-up artists, special effects, fake body parts and a fully created monstrous creature make the gore very realistic. The game uses a rewritten version of Sierra's SCI32 game engine in order to support the Duck movie format, which plays 16-bit colors under the windows environment (versus 8-bit colors in the first Phantasmagoria which uses RBT files). Puzzle of Flesh can however also be played under DOS through the use of CLU files which convert the DUK movies to 8-bit colors. After the release of the US version, French and German re-dubbed versions were also made. Unfortunately with the gradual fall of the FMV video games and the lower sales of Phantasmagoria 2 (Phantasmagoria 1 was Sierra's first million unit seller), Puzzle of Flesh is the last of the series.

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External links

- Phantasmagoria 2 at SierraHelp
- Phantasmagoria 2 at MobyGames
- Phantasmagoria 2 at Wikipedia