Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh


Main menu

In the main menu, you can start a new game (it will also show the intro first), Continue a previous game, watch the intro (after which it returns back to the main menu), go to the Phantasmagoria webpage (no longer in existence, it currently redirects to the Activision webpage) get an internet product update (no longer functional) or quit.

Game interface

When you move your cursor around the game screen, it will highlight when you pass it over certain objects, areas or characters, which means you are able to interact with it. Click with the left mouse button and watch as something happens. In most cases this is a movie sequence, but sometimes you also get an instant close-up to an area, which for example contains an inventory item, or both. Sometimes the cursor will change into an arrow when passed over the screen. That means that there is an exit in the direction of that arrow. Left click the mouse button to make Curtis go in that direction. For example from Curtis bedroom (facing the mirror), there is an arrow to the left (for Curtis to go to his living room) and to the right (for Curtis to go to the front door).

As the game progresses, Curtis will pick up inventory items. These are all displayed below the game screen. You can use the inventory scroll arrows left and right to scroll through them. In order to use an inventory item on a person or object in the game screen, left-click the inventory item and the cursor will change into the inventory item. Bring the cursor to the object or person on the game screen and, if the cursor highlights, it means it can be used. Left-click to perform the interaction.

There are 4 icons in the corners of the game interface. At the top left is the video playback icon. At the top right is the control panel icon. At the bottom left is the map icon, and at the bottom right is the examine icon.

Examining inventory items

Sometimes an inventory item needs to be observed more closely, particularly letters, notes and books Curtis finds. In order to examine an inventory item, click on it and then click the cursor on the examine icon at the bottom right of the game interface.

If the item can be read, a magnifying glass will appear next to it. Click on it to read the inventory item. A large letter can also be scrolled up and down. In this screen, inventory items can also be combined, such as the hammer and screwdriver or certain alien objects on Dimension X. To do so, examine one of the objects you want to combine and use the other inventory item on it. Sometimes you can also interact with inventory items in this screen. For example you can open Curtis' wallet in the examine screen and remove his card key from it.

Game map

In order to instantly access the game map without leaving a building in the game, click on the map icon at the bottom left of the game interface.

Not all locations will be available at first. For example, you can only go to Dr. Harburg's office when you have first made an appointment with her over the phone, or you can only access the borderline after Therese invites you there. sometimes locations also are closed again, for example the Dreaming Tree restaurant is not open at all times.

Note also that the map icon is not always available. This is usually the case when Curtis has to accomplish certain tasks first. For example you can't leave Curtis apartment, through the map icon or physically through the front door, if he doesn't have his wallet on him. Also certain locations are too far from the map to reach the map directly, such as the lower levels of Wyntech or Dimension X. You have to physically get out of the lower levels of Wyntech to get to the map again.

The blue dot on the map is not on it in the game. I marked it, to indicate where the Easter Egg menu hotspot is. This hotspot only works when you access the game map by physically leaving a location in the game, so not by using the map icon shortcut. Click it rapidly about 10 times to enter the Easter Egg overview screen with the jolly Shivers music.

Video playback

Click the video playback icon at the top left of the game interface to access the video playback menu.

Through this menu you can select and play most videos you have encountered so far during game play. Use the chapter buttons to select a chapter (CD swap may be required) and select a video from the menu, using the slider bar if needed. To exit without watching a video, press the "continue" button. After watching the video, the game will proceed where you left off. Note that, if you used the SquirtTheCat Puzzle of Flesh installer, you can only review the videos of the chapter you are currently in.

Control Panel

Press the control panel icon at the top right of the game interface to access the control panel.

In this menu, you can press the loudspeaker to change the music and movie volumes (displayed above). To save a game, press the disk with the arrow pointing towards it. To restore a game, press the disk with the arrow pointing away from it. You can also delete saved positions within the save and restore menu. Press the question mark to get help on how the game interface works. Pressing the note icon will reveal the game credits, and pressing the Sierra logo icon will provide addresses and such for sales information, tech support and hint lines (no longer in service).

Press "quit game" to leave the game or "continue" to proceed where you left off. Pressing "cancel" will also bring you back to the game, but it will discard changes you made to the volume settings.