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In the above screenshot you can see the player's character in Phantasmagoria 2, Curtis Craig, on the verge of experiencing the unknown - the reception of pain for the purposes of sexual pleasure - one aspect of what is otherwise known as sadomasochism (or S&M).
Playing a controversial computer game is also a step into the unknown. For some gamers, playing or watching many of the graphic simulated sexual or violent movie scenes contained within this entertainment product will unfortunately and perhaps unexpectedly inflict nothing but pain owing to their delicate sensibilities. For the others, who no doubt form the majority of players, the scenes explained below will cause no problems at any stage. After all, any good horror story is about passion - extremes of emotion - both positive and negative. The recipient of the story feels something for the characters and that creates the excitement and drive to continue on to the end of the tale. Some people can handle greater intensities of this feeling than others, and there are also some people out there who do not want others to get too excited about sexual and/or violent matters even within a fictitious context such as Phantasmagoria 2.
As a result of this divergence of opinion, Sierra has released different versions of this game that contain various levels of censorship. The most common version (USA - RSAC rating of "4" for nudity/sex) contains an internal censor feature that can optionally allow all or none of the "more intense" versions of the seven censorable incidents to appear on screen. Another version (USA - RSAC rating of "3" for nudity/sex that doubles as the Australian version) automatically censors the three sex scenes but allows the four censorable violent scenes to be optionally censored by the consumer. Yet other versions (from the UK) automatically censor two or four censorable violence scenes but allow the three censorable sex scenes to be optionally censored by the consumer. Thus, the idiosyncrasies of the various censorship regimes of certain countries and communities are catered for by the socially responsible game publisher.
This page presents all the censorable scenes that are contained within Phantasmagoria 2. They are divided into two simple subcategories - Sex and Violence - and each incident within each subcategory is presented in the order in which it appears in the game. All screenshots are at maximum explicitness and accurately represent all the seven censorable scenes. The explanations below each collection of screenshots fully divulge the context of the sequences from which they were taken. While Phantasmagoria 2 contains many more potentially controversial aspects than what is presented here (several adult themes such as homosexuality, coarse language, sexual references, and lesser degrees of physical and psychological violence), these extra incidents will not be discussed as they are not what alarms censorship officials worldwide the most, and they are not blocked by any form of internal censor feature. You may use this page to determine what incidents you missed owing to censorship or to assess for yourself what level of censorship you as a consumer would like to place on this game in accordance with the various degrees explained in the preceding paragraph.
Please do not use this page against the game or its players. The scenes described below are all entirely non-interactive and are little different than similar fictional scenes in mainstream movies or on television during the evening. All scenes depicted below were acted out by paid professional actors and were enhanced by special effects artists and film editors. Phantasmagoria 2 is a computer game that contains mature subject matter that was designed for a mature audience. Seeing that adults make up the majority of the computer gaming population, this is hardly surprising. Sierra is simply catering to the needs of its customers as does every financially successful commercial organisation.
During their after work meeting at the Dreaming Tree restaurant, Curtis agrees to his girlfriend and co-worker Jocilyn's proposal that she come home with him that evening. They enter Curtis's apartment and sit down on the couch in the living room. Jocilyn looks at Curtis in a strange way. Curtis asks Jocilyn what she's thinking about. Jocilyn declares her love for Curtis and they embrace. Assuming this sequence is uncensored, the scene changes to Curtis's bedroom and the incidents depicted in the collection of screenshots shown above take place.
Curtis, wearing nothing but his underwear, is shown kneeling behind Jocilyn on the bed. He helps her remove her shirt and bra, revealing her bare breasts. At some unseen point beforehand, Jocilyn has removed her jeans. She still wears her panties. Jocilyn and Curtis embrace. The pair fall back on the bed and Jocilyn ends up on top of Curtis. After a playful tug-of-war game involving a condom still enclosed in its foil wrapper, the camera cuts to a silhouette of Jocilyn deeply involved in making love to Curtis. Groaning noises can be heard. All sexual activity is entirely consensual and takes place against the backdrop of strong, intense music and special effects that imply a storm is occurring outside the apartment building.
Eventually, the scene dissolves to a point some time later where the still bare breasted Jocilyn is asleep next to Curtis. Curtis looks at her admiringly and then has a vision of himself pulling out some of Jocilyn's bloody intestines through her navel. Curtis wakes up with a start, but Jocilyn is gone. In censored mode, the navel incident is seen, but with less blood and no nudity.
Therese is a rival for Curtis's affections and another of his co-workers. Unlike Jocilyn however, she is only concerned with Curtis's sexual rather than romantic and sexual attentions. Therese makes a few passes at Curtis during working hours until Curtis finally agrees to join her at her favourite S&M nightclub - "The Borderline". Although Therese claims she doesn't care that Curtis is involved with another woman, she takes no chances and encourages him to drink an exotic beverage while they are sitting down in a secluded corner of the nightclub. The beverage clouds Curtis's mind and significantly increases his libido. When the effects of that drink plus a subsequent painful navel piercing combine, Curtis can control his latent urges no longer and picks up Therese and carries her into the Borderline's bathroom. Assuming this sequence is uncensored, the scene changes to the sink area of the bathroom and the incidents depicted in the collection of screenshots shown above take place.
As Curtis places Therese on the sink, the camera cuts to groin level. Therese parts her legs, revealing her panties. Curtis then proceeds to passionately kiss Therese's partially clothed breasts. His head moves lower and lower until it can no longer be seen. Groans are heard and Therese appears to enter a state of sexual pleasure. She is shown to suck suggestively on one of Curtis's fingers that he places in her mouth - implying what is supposed to be happening below the camera's view. Curtis then turns Therese around and she leans against the sink as Curtis once again has sex with her. According to the groans of pleasure from both participants and from the expression of pleasure on Therese's face, these incidents are consensual but very passionate. Once again, a suitable "sex theme" can be heard in the background. There is no nudity in this sexual sequence. After these incidents, Curtis goes home, falls into bed, examines his navel, and then faints. During a later psychiatric session, Curtis states that he and Therese were "at it like a couple of animals". In censored mode, the incidents in the Borderline's bathroom are cut.
A couple of days after his first sexual encounter with Therese, Curtis needs no further artificially induced encouragement to respond to his lustful co-worker's advances. He agrees to meet Therese at the Borderline once again for the same intimate purposes as their earlier encounter at that club. Curtis gains entry to a special room at the club called "The Pit" that is generally reserved for the most exotic of S&M activities. After examining some of the S&M equipment in the room, Curtis is surprised by Therese as she suddenly appears from behind a curtain. The pair embrace and the scene changes to a table like piece of furniture located in a prominent position in the room. Assuming this sequence is uncensored, the incidents depicted in the collection of screenshots shown above take place.
Therese sits atop her partner and occasionally leans over him as they have sex while appropriate music is played in the background. Both participants groan in this consensual incident that does not show any nudity. For a change, the faces of both participants can be clearly seen during the encounter, although Therese is shown the most as she arches her body with pleasure. After a while, some spectators appear and clap as if congratulating the performance of Curtis and/or Therese. Curtis is horrified and conveys a betrayed expression while Therese grins in mock embarrassment. The spectator scene is shown whether or not the game has been censored.
Curtis's least favourite co-worker is Bob Arnold. Bob has an abrasive personality and delights in pointing out the perceived shortcomings of others while completely ignoring his own. Shortly before his murder, Bob had harassed Curtis with verbal insults and had prevented him from gaining access to his own computer files. Curtis retaliated with angry looks, gestures, and words of his own, but did he seek further retribution? Perhaps with this in mind, Bob sits at Curtis's computer late at night and is about to press a key that will wipe the contents of his "foe's" hard drive, when he is disturbed by an assailant. In the moments that follow, Bob is viciously murdered.
Whether the murder sequence is censored or not, it is not seen immediately, but rather as Curtis returns to work the following day only to find that his workplace has turned into a crime scene. Bob's body lies "splattered all over Curtis's cubicle" as police officers and medical teams frantically swarm over the room. As Curtis reluctantly walks into this scene, he experiences flashbacks of what had occurred the previous night. If this sequence has been censored, the flashbacks are brief and inexplicit. If not, the incidents depicted in the collection of screenshots shown above are seen.
Bob is punched (shattering his glasses) and thrown against the wall of Curtis's cubicle. One of his hands is impaled to the wall. The passage of the impalement implement through the palm and its exit through the wall on the other side of the cubicle is clearly shown in slow motion. As Bob screams in agony, his killer picks up a staple gun and staples Bob's lips together. To conclude this sadistic slaying, the assailant picks up a knife and slits Bob's abdomen from neck to groin. This disturbing sequence contains some blood, but not as much as might be expected. At this point, no entrails are shown. At no point is any music played. All screams and assaults are heard clearly.
|After Curtis has experienced the highly disturbing flashbacks of his despised co-worker's death, he is questioned by the detective in charge of the murder investigation, Allie Powell. During the questioning, Curtis often looks behind Det. Powell and sees horrific visions of what appears to be an evil double of himself standing beside Bob's body. The double grins at Curtis evilly and occasionally (assuming these incidents are not censored) picks up some of Bob's entrails and appears to eat them. As a result, the fiend's face becomes bloody. As a final insult to human decency, the double's mouth opens at one point to reveal one of Bob's eyeballs held between its teeth. Curtis is consequently overcome with revulsion and cannot continue with the interview.|
Following their sexual encounter in "The Pit" at the Borderline nightclub, Therese and Curtis part company. Curtis returns home, collapses into bed, and examines a S&M mask he finds Therese has left on his bed from an earlier visit to his apartment while Therese remains at the club. Therese enters the bathroom where she had sex with Curtis a couple of days earlier and puts on makeup at the sink. At one point, she drops her lipstick container and detects a presence behind a curtain in a corner of the room. She calls out for the concealed person to identify themselves, apparently thinking that it is just someone playing a harmless prank. There is no response, so Therese walks over to the curtain and opens it. She screams and looks up in horror as if the sight before her is extremely tall and frightening. The camera cuts to a man and a woman listening to what is going on from just outside the bathroom door. The man grins as muffled thumps are heard from within, and then the pair simply walk away - no doubt believing that what is taking place inside is merely consensual and passionate S&M sexual activity that deserves some privacy. The reality, however, is quite different. Therese is being murdered by an unseen assailant with a similar degree of sadism to Bob Arnold's demise.
If this murder sequence is censored, Therese's death is complete within seconds. There is no blood, little screaming, and it is hard to tell what is going on. The observant player will notice that Therese is apparently suspended from the ceiling by a chain, but that is all. On the other hand, if this sequence is uncensored, the incidents depicted in the collection of screenshots shown above are seen.
Amid a frantic soundtrack, Therese's hands are tied with a chain and the remainder of the chain is thrown across some piping just below the ceiling. Therese is hoisted up so that she is suspended by her wrists and a green ball is thrust into her mouth to act as a makeshift gag. The camera cuts to the lower half of her legs that thrash about in her vain attempt to struggle free. It is too late however, because some cutting and tearing noises are heard and rivers of blood flow down Therese's legs. Her killer causes a nearby lamp to short-circuit and the electricity conducts through a metallic cord attached to the lamp across to Therese's blood drenched legs. She is electrocuted in her own blood and the green ball falls from her mouth as her lifeless body slumps downwards.
|At the end of the adventure, Curtis faces a variety of hostile situations in his mind that have been drawn from his deepest fears. In one instance, Curtis is confronted with the zombie forms of his three murdered male co-workers. Assuming this scene is not censored, zombie Tom pounds zombie Bob's head (which literally explodes with gore) with a sledgehammer as Curtis flees from the scene via a nearby elevator or looks on in horror just before he is killed himself. Tom Ravell, Curtis's supervisor, was killed by a blow to the head with the same sledgehammer. Surprisingly, the censorship for this incident is inactive if Curtis manages to escape the zombies.|
Download some of the music that accompanies this scene in Real Audio format - 39 Kb
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Phantasmagoria 1 Controversial Scenes
Computer Games Censorship Issues
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