Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures in The Internet Archive #6: The Dark Half (1992, Capstone Software)

For my latest trip into the most horrific section of the Internet Archive, I played The Dark Half (1992, Capstone Software).

The Dark Half was released as a tie-in with the movie version of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. I have read that some people consider The Dark Half to be one of the worst games of all time.  If I can ever figure out how to get out of the cemetery, I will tell you if they are right.

You play writer Thad Beaumont, who used to write under the pen name of George Stark.  As a publicity stunt, Thad and his wife hold a mock funeral for George Stark in the local cemetery.  When the game starts, Thad has just discovered that someone has dug up George’s grave.

The game uses a standard point-and-click interface, the type that was once very popular but which seems clunky by today’s standards.  By clicking on right side of the screen, you can walk over the groundskeeper and have a conversation with him.

The groundskeeper does not have much to say about “them Yankees” but he will unlock the shed for you.  Going into the shed, you can get tools that I think will help you later in the game.  The problem is that they do not help you get out of the cemetery which is where I’m running into trouble.

As soon as you leave the shed, this happens:

At first, I thought that was George Stark killing Thad but, according to a walk-through that I found, that is actually George killing the reporter who was sent to cover his “burial.”

This scene is followed by this:

That is a blank screen.  Creepy music plays in the background while you get to stare at the blank screen and it just keeps on playing.  I have literally counted the minutes that I have spent staring at the screen and listening to the music before getting annoyed and ending the game.  The longest that I’ve gone is 8 minutes.  There is no text nor pictures, just the most droning and repetitive music imaginable.  Is this a glitch that only effects the Archive version of the game or did The Dark Half really come with an 8 minute-plus musical interlude?  I’m hoping that someone reading this post can tell me.  I would like to play the game but there’s only so much time that I can devote to staring at a blank screen.

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