For my latest trip into the scariest parts of the Internet Archive, I played Demon’s Tomb — The Awakening (1989, Silhouette Software).
One thing that I instantly liked about Demon’s Tomb was the opening screen, which lists all of the special features that come with this game:
I appreciated that this game comes with a “pretend to be working” mode. Sometimes, when a game is uploaded into the Internet Archive, it loses some of its features. (For instance, do not even try to save a game if you are playing it in the archive.) While playing Demon’s Tomb, I decided to see if the pretend to be working mode still worked.
This was the game, before I pressed F2.
After I pressed F2.
After I pressed F2 again.
The game itself is an Infocom-style text adventure. You start the game as Edward Lytton, a British archeologist who is exploring a burial mound that has been uncovered on the moors. Do not get too attached to Edward. At the start of the game, he is trapped in the tomb and you are told that he only has a few turns left to live. Before Edward dies, you can hide some of his possessions around the tomb so that they can be found later.
This is important to do because, after Edward dies, the game becomes about his son, Richard. Richard arrives at the tomb to search for his father and he discovers that opening of the tomb has unleashed an ancient demon. In order to defeat the demon and escape from the burial mound himself, Richard is going to need to find the things that Edward has hidden in the tomb. If you did not hide those things while you were Edward, you will not be able to find them once you become Richard.
This is a challenging but rewarding game and the only real way to solve it is through trial and error. Try something and, if it doesn’t work, do the opposite the next time you play. Or you can just go on google and search for a walkthrough, like I shamefully did once I realized that I was never going to be able to figure this game out on my own.
Demon’s Tomb is largely text-based but it does give you the option to press F1 and see pictures of what is being described. For example:
And my favorite:
If you are looking for a retro adventure game, I highly recommend Demon’s Tomb. It’s a shame that they don’t make them like this anymore.