The many stupid, pointless, and unforgiving deaths of Shadowgate

In 1989, the classic point-and-click adventure Shadowgate debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Shadowgate was notorious for mercilessly killing players at every turn. Thanks to the internet, you can watch every death scene without actually playing this insanely frustrating game.

The closest analogy to ICOM's Shadowgate I can think of is a choose-your-adventure novel in which the reader falls into a pit every three pages. The game relished killing the player for totally banal reasons. You pick up the book! Death by trapdoor. You open the coffin! Death by slime. You walk on the bridge! Death by weighing too much. I'm pretty Shadowgate was the first game in history to make snarky comments about the player's weight.

Anyway, here's Karrochan83's zippy compilation of most of the Shadowgate deaths. Who knew that hitting the mirror with a hammer would suck you out into deep space?

Also, here all the deaths from Shadowgate's sister game, The Uninvited. This 1991 NES title took place inside a haunted house. You were consumed by zombies. A lot.

The creator of The Uninvited compilations, JadePharaoh, also has the full sequence of Shadowgate deaths. Y'know, if you really need to watch the scene in which your player swims in a fountain full of acid.

Illustration for article titled The many stupid, pointless, and unforgiving deaths of Shadowgate

Finally, here's Jason Scott's awesome Zork stained glass window. It's too sweet not to post.

[Window via Jason Scott's Flickr by way of Makezine]



I remember asking some older knowledgeable gamers for help on a couple spots (I think how to non brute force the levers [doh, it's on the stairs, really?], and the rickety bridge) in Shadowgate at the 1989 Nintendo Powerfest.

I never did figure out the 3 pieces of evidence for the end of Deja Vu though.