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Information Anthology

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This information ceased to be updated as at 1/1/98.

**** CONTENTS ****

A: .... News
B: .... Welcome
C: .... Introduction
D: .... Basic Information
E: .... Disclaimer
F: .... Sample Reviews
G: .... Previews
H: .... Credits


A      A
* NEWS *
A      A

ONLY 8Mb RAM.  Despite what Sierra might say, this game
needs 12Mb as an absolute minimum for both the Win95 and DOS
installation options.  On a brighter note, a 486dx2-66 PC
rather than a 486dx4-100 is sufficient to play the game at a
reasonable speed (perhaps 10 frames per second and more)
under DOS.

* Due to a current lack of consumer interest, plans to
produce a version of Phantasmagoria 2 for the Macintosh have
been shelved.  Sierra has stated that porting their SCI
coded games from PC to the Macintosh takes a considerable
amount of time and effort that is simply not worth their
while if they believe such a move will not be profitable.

B         B
B         B

Phantasmagoria 2 has been released and is currently
available in stores and via mail order worldwide! 

Requirements for the Windows 95 version include at least a
486dx4-100 CPU, 12Mb RAM and 4x cd-rom drive.  The "DOS
version" (included as an installation option in the newer
copies of this game or created using a downloadable patch
file) will run on a 486dx2-66, 12Mb RAM, and a 2x cd-rom

Phantasmagoria 2 comes on five cd-rom disks but promises
somewhat more gameplay than its seven cd predecessor (around
twenty hours).  There is one cd per chapter and you are
allowed a total of twenty saved games that may be saved at
almost every point and overwritten if you desire.  Overall
difficulty is somewhat greater than the original
Phantasmagoria but experienced gamers may still find it too
easy for their liking.  Everyone should note that the
overall production values have improved and the game is
quite entertaining and memorable.

A permanently censored version that blocks access to all
three of the sex scenes (but no violent scenes) and
automatically replaces them with "less intense" versions
has been produced for the benefit of conservative retailers
and censorship authorities.  You can notice this fact by
reading the RSAC (Recreational Software Advisory Council)
rating for nudity/sex on the front cover of the game box.
If it says "3", then that is the censored version.  The
uncensored version has a rating of "4" for this form of
content.  All censorable scenes in Phantasmagoria 2 are
depicted and fully explained on:

Australian residents who want to play this game but are
unwilling to order it from overseas should be aware that,
after three long months of needless bureaucratic "red tape",
the permanently censored version of Phantasmagoria 2 has
been passed by the government Office of Film and Literature
Classification (censors/OFLC) with an MA15+ rating and is
available on local game store shelves now.  There is no way
the uncensored version would have been passed (all forms of
sex and nudity are banned in games sold in Australia), so
this is undoubtedly a somewhat better situation than
occurred with the original Phantasmagoria that was only
released in one version which was banned altogether.

The OFLC and Phantasmagoria 2 distributor Metro Games call
the passing of this game a "landmark case" that will set the
upper limit for permitted computer games in Australia for
some time to come.  I however consider this disgraceful
because to ban all non-violent, non-explicit,
non-exploitative, merely simulated depictions of sexual
activity from computer games - when such depictions may be
readily accessed with little or no controversy by minors and
adults alike in all other forms of media - shows the
complete and utter contempt in which computer gamers are
held by the ignorant and stubborn powers that be in

This also makes an utter mockery of the Government's wish to
ban most depictions of *violence* in the entertainment
media.  Their real agenda is surely to impose a regime of
authoritarian, undemocratic censorship on whatever media
they feel they can oppress with minimal public backlash.
All the more reason for Australian gamers to protest!
Please consult the Censorship Issues section of my Review of
Phantasmagoria Memorial Web Subsite at:
for further details. 

Now...back to the game itself...

* For hints and testimonials, please consult:

Usenet newsgroups such as:


C              C
C              C

This informational HTML page was compiled by
Anthony Larme - larme@hotmail.com  and
https://anthonylarme.tripod.com/phantas/ -
for the purpose of explaining Sierra's adventure
game "Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh", released in
late (22-25?) November 1996 on 5 cd-rom disks.

Phantasmagoria 2 is an original contribution to the horror
genre of computer gaming, containing none of the actors
(with the exception of V. Joy "Harriet" Lee), characters, or
plot elements present in its popular though controversial
predecessor - Roberta Williams' "Phantasmagoria" - that was
released on 24 August 1995 and has sold well over one
million copies worldwide in the past couple of years.  Even
the designer is a different person - Lorelei Shannon of
"King's Quest 7" and "Phantasmagoria: Official Sierra
Insiders' Guide" fame.

Previews are presented below in reverse chronological order
of their original date of publication.  All sources are
referenced as comprehensively as possible.  The opinions of
these sources are not necessarily identical to my own and
are presented "as is".  In fact, I take issue with many of
the criticisms they occasionally level against
Phantasmagoria 1.  Please buy the appropriate magazine
and/or visit the appropriate Website for pictures and
further information.

All filming for the four and a half hours of full motion
video included in the game was done in and around the
Seattle area (Washington State - USA) rather than at the
Californian studio where the first Phantasmagoria game was
shot.  That studio is now in the hands of a group of
ex-Sierra employees: American Interactive Pictures -

Full motion video production is very costly - even for an
entertainment software company as large as Sierra.
Costs had to be cut somewhere, thus video production was
transferred closer to the company's corporate headquarters
and cheaper local talent and technicians were hired.  In
fact, Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh is probably the
last full motion video game to be released by Sierra for
some time.

But all this does not mean that the environment, acting,
sound, and visual effects of Phantasmagoria 2 are in any
way inferior to those of its predecessor - quite the
opposite in fact.  Sierra has learned a lot from the
mistakes made in the original Phantasmagoria and has put
much time and effort into improving the technologies it uses
in its leading games.

Phantasmagoria 2 was shot with Digital Betacam and uses Duck
TrueMotion video compression technology similar to that used
in Activision's secret agent adventure game "SpyCraft".  All
movies use 16-bit colour (under Windows 95) and run at an
amazing 15 frames per second (on a powerful Pentium).  The
only real drawback is that they are *interlaced*!  Audio is
almost cd quality - 16 bit mono with a 22KHz sampling rate.

Overall, Phantasmagoria 2 (P2) looks like a promising title
that addresses most of the criticisms (fair and unfair) that
were directed at its predecessor - providing a decent amount
of gameplay while pushing Full Motion Video (FMV) technology
to its limits.  But don't just take my word for it, please
read what is presented below and take steps to find out more
for yourself....

D                   D
D                   D

   * Executive Producer - Ken Williams 
   * Producer - Matthew Thornton, Tammy Dargan
   * Director - Andy Hoyos

[ Note by Anthony Larme:  In the first Phantasmagoria
game, Andy Hoyos held these important positions:

- Co-Story Creator
- Art Director
- Co-Game Director
- 3-D Environment Designer ]

   * Designer/Writer - Lorelei Shannon
   * Composer - Gary Spinrad
   * Editor - Wes Plate
   * Make-up/SFX - Robert Standlee

- Lead character "Curtis Craig" is played by Paul
Morgan Stetler, a veteran of many local Seattle
productions.  Phantasmagoria 2 is his first cd-rom

* Minimum System Requirements for
Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh for Windows 95 -

OS - Windows 95
CPU - IBM 486dx4-100+ PC, compatibles.  (Pentium 75+
RAM - 12Mb.
CD-ROM - Quad speed.  (a 2x cd-rom drive may suffice)
Hard Disk Space - 10Mb (bare minimum installation)
Display - SVGA 640x480 at 256 colours.  Optional
          DirectX v.3 driver installation available.
          Phantasmagoria 2 runs best in 16-bit colour
Sound Card - Windows compatible sound card with DAC.
Additional - Mouse and keyboard.

*  I once tested Phantasmagoria 2 under Win95 on a
486dx2-66 PC with 20Mb RAM, Quad speed cd-rom, and with
DirectX v.5 enabled.  It ran without crashing, but the audio
frequently repeated itself and frame rates were in the order
of only 5fps.  Most computer gamers would find such slow
speeds intolerable.  Under DOS however, the frame rate
increased to around 10-15fps and the sound did not repeat
itself, but the movies used only 8-bit rather than 16-bit
colour.  Ignore the minimum CPU requirement at your own
* Phantasmagoria 2 does not use MIDI music.  The computer
games industry trend is to abandon MIDI anyway in favour of
DAC due to the need for increased music flexibility and
creativity.  Besides, most people still do not (and probably
never will) possess a sound card equipped with wavetable
synthesis that is needed for MIDI to sound the way the
composers intended.

* RE: DOS VERSION OF PHANTASMAGORIA 2 - The minimum system
requirements differ from the Win95 version.  In my
experience, a 486dx2-66 computer with at least a double spin
cd-rom drive and 12Mb RAM will do.  Under DOS, it runs only
in 256 colour mode and its saved games are incompatible with
its Win95 counterpart.  The "DOS version" comes as
both a one megabyte downloadable patch file to the Win95 only
version and as a separate installation option in some newer
copies of this game.  The first release of Phantasmagoria 2
did not include a DOS installation option.

* Versions of Phantasmagoria 2 in French and German (using
local voice actors who dub the lines of the original actors)
have been released.

* Publisher Prima Development has released a strategy guide
for this game at a price of US$19.99.  Look for it in the
stores now.  At this point, it looks as if Phantasmagoria 2
will only have one strategy guide written for it - unlike
its predecessor which has two.  Be warned that, unlike the
Phantasmagoria 1 strategy guides that you can read about on:
the Phantasmagoria 2 strategy guide contains very little in
the way of behind the scenes information.  It is mainly just
a huge illustrated walkthrough.  People who would like to
know what went on behind the scenes should visit:

E            E
E            E


[ From: Sierra ]

Since the announcement of Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of
Flesh, Sierra has received a number of letters from
people who are alarmed that the game might present a
stereotyped portrayal of mental illness, professional
therapists, and psychiatric treatment facilities, thereby
making light of the situation endured by the mentally ill
and casting aspersions upon our country's mental health

This fear has apparently been based on our advertisements
for the game, since we have not yet released a demo or beta
version of A Puzzle of Flesh.  However, as tempting as it
might be to give the letter-writers a ration of flak for
complaining about something they haven't actually seen,
their concern is a valid one, since the mentally ill have
been very unfairly portrayed for many years in movies,
television, and literature.  And since we are particularly
proud of this game's psychological horror aspect, we would
like to address these concerns openly.

The fear of insanity is one of mankind's most intimate and
personal terrors.  Even the loss of a limb, blindness, or
deafness can not possibly compare to the tragedy of losing
that part of you which defines your reason, mind, or
personality.  And there are few horrors greater than the
possibility that it might be happening to you.  This is why
so many heroes of literature and film have questioned their
own sanity... because it is a fear that lies within us all.
This game is not about the asylum that Curtis was released
from a year ago, and it's not about the abuse that he
suffered at the hands of the callous and morally corrupt
staff of that asylum.  The problem of doctors and orderlies
who take advantage of mental patients is nothing new to film
(an example that springs to mind is Terminator 2), but
that's not the subject of this game.  Instead, A Puzzle of
Flesh is about the terrible things that happen a year after
Curtis's release... in the ordinary world of office cubicles,
restaurants, apartment buildings, and nightclubs... and
about Curtis's fear and the hideous feeling that he might be
losing his hard-won sanity.  And there is no more
appropriate subject for a horror story than that.

Lorelei Shannon, the author of Phantasmagoria 2, wanted
us to post this open letter to everyone who may have
concerns about the upcoming game:

* An Open Letter from Lorelei Shannon *

I understand that certain mental health organizations feel
that A Puzzle of Flesh is in some way making light of mental
illness.  This is in no way the case.  The character of
Curtis is a well-rounded human being; one aspect of his
character has to do with his illness.  He is not "crazy";
mental illness does not define him.

There is mental illness in my own family.  It has affected
people whom I love.  I would never mock such a thing.
People have also commented that our portrayal of therapy is
overly simplistic.  This is true.  Games, like movies and
television, are a time-compressed art form.  We simply
didn't have the time or space to do the profession justice.
However, I think that what we have is pretty damn good.

Finally, the mental hospital in the game is a corrupt,
privately-run facility, and in no way reflects actual,
state-of-the-art mental health care.  It is a fictional
"nightmare" place.  (This is, after all, a horror game!)
I think anyone who actually plays this game from start to
finish will realise that the portrayal of mental illness
in the story is much more complete and sensitive than they
will find in most other horror stories.  Rather than using
a "crazed psycho" character, like so many other genre
stories do, we have attempted to explore the characters as
human beings.

I would strongly suggest that anyone with concerns about our
portrayal of mental illness should reserve judgment until
the game is released and he or she can play it and see the
complete picture.


Lorelei Shannon, Designer.

F                F
F                F

[Some of these links may no longer be valid.  New
reviews of Phantasmagoria 2 appear on the Internet
and in computer games magazines on a regular basis.
Be sure to watch out for them.  Also, search for
new reviews using popular Web search engines.]

1)  http://www.gameslice.com/review/phantas.html

If you want examples of the user interface and a
short movie clip of a scene from the game, then
this is the place to go.

2)  http://www3.sympatico.ca/philip.jong/phantasmagoriaii.htm

Here you will find a helpful analysis of almost every
aspect of Phantasmagoria 2.

3)  http://www.gamespot.com/adventure/phant2/

The most unfavourable review of P2 written so far - 3/10 !

4)  http://www.gamesmania.com/english/reviews/new/ph2/ph2.htm

A relatively favourable review.  Fairly critical of P1.

5)  http://www.ogr.com/reviews/phantasmagoria2.shtml

A mediocre review.

6)  http://www.gamesdomain.co.uk/gdreview/zones/reviews/pc/dec96/ph2.html

Another favourable review - contains a few screenshots.

G          G
G          G


Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh * Horror
Sierra's "Interaction"
Holiday Issue 1996
Author Unknown


CONTROVERSY WAS WAITING for Phantasmagoria when it hit the
market in 1995.  A horror game specifically designed to
appeal to the mass market of adult PC gamers, Phantasmagoria 
featured violence and adult themes that shook to its core
the established modern horror genre.  While hardly extreme
when compared with the standards of modern films, it broke
the rules of what had been "acceptable" in the polite
society of computer games.  It also challenged head-on the
stereotype that computer games were strictly kid stuff.

IN AN UNPRECEDENTED move, Phantas was the first major game
ever to receive the "Mature Audiences Only" from the
Software Ratings Board, instantly giving it notoriety.  As
gamers delved into the game they came across the graphic
horror scenes and sexual violence, thus calling for an
immediate boycott by parents' groups and religious
organizations.  Major retailers refused to carry the game
and it was even banned by the governments of three

OUTSIDE THE CORE computer gaming press--which reviewed the
product positively, using words like "groundbreaking" and
"intense"--there were less tolerant major newspapers that
claimed Phantasmagoria wallowed in gratuitous blood and
gore.  One even suggested that Phantas "makes a game of
sexual violence."

PHANTASMAGORIA WAS EVEN spotlighted in Senate hearings
calling for further regulation of content in the computer
software industry.  Letters from community actions
committees and special interest groups rolled into our
offices in droves.

WITH ALL THE condemnation and accusations, bans and
boycotts, outrage and controversy, Phantasmagoria quickly
set industry sales records and became Sierra's biggest
selling game to date.

THE SERIES CONTINUES with the recent release of
Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh.  While Phantasmagoria
established the standard for computer horror games, Phantas
2 explores new venues as it deals with fragile minds,
corrupt corporate politics, and the mysteries beyond the
realm of consciousness.  Sure to generate as much more
controversy, Phantasmagoria 2 is just as compelling and
engrossing as the original.  Count on it to be the biggest
selling horror game of 1997.



From the opening electroshock treatment, to the dark and
psychologically twisted end-play, Phantas II is a horrifying
and gripping tale.  Unlike other horror experiences, which
take place in haunted houses or unrealistic nightmare
dreamscapes, this story plays out in modern office cubicles,
seedy singles bars and the cramped apartments that provide
the backdrop for modern urban life.  The disturbing
experience is made all the more real through extensive use
of Hollywood quality cinematic production and special


WARNING:  Due to some high scenes of intense violence and
sexual content, Phantasmagoria 2 is intended for Adults.
Sierra encourages parents to take a look at the game before
providing it to children under the age of 17.  Though
players are offered two modes of play -- MORE INTENSE and
LESS INTENSE -- those options are intended to meet the needs
with those with weak stomachs so that they can enjoy the
depth of the story without all of the blood and gore.  The
LESS INTENSE option allows you to control access to more
explicit scenes.

Available Winter
Order Direct:  1-800-757-7077



Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh
Eric Twelker
Midnight Publishing's "G+"
Website: ftp://ftp.midnight.com.au/pub/

The horror continues...

Meet Curtis Craig.  Curtis is a quiet young man with a
steady job and a lovely girlfriend.  Reforming his life
after an unpleasant visit to a mental hospital, Curtis's
only wish is to live a normal, healthy, and happy life.

But someone or something seems to have other plans.  Strange
events, inexplicable and terrifying, begin to happen around
him.  Photographs bleed.  Rats speak.  His computer develops
a viscous mind of  its own.  Then the Hecatomb, a horrible,
inhuman entity, appears to Curtis and unveils unbearable
childhood memories long suppressed.  When friends and
co-workers begin to mysteriously and violently perish,
Curtis begins to doubt his own sanity and the very fabric of

As the second instalment in Sierra's horror anthology, A
Puzzle of Flesh, offers a completely original story of
psychological horror, madness, murder, and the blackest
depths of the human soul.  Filmed nearly entirely on sets
and location with a cast of over 30 professional actors, and
utilising a brilliant original game interface, A Puzzle of
Flesh brings the most immersive and interactive experience
ever to player's computer screens.  Over 30 hours of
challenging, thought-provoking and truly terrifying gameplay
will entice players through the twisted story.

Like the first title in the anthology, A Puzzle of Flesh 
offers a rating toggle switch for enhanced password
protection.  Featuring a new editing system that replaces
mature scenes with re-edited censored versions, A Puzzle of
Flesh will appeal to fans of classic, graphic horror films
and books as well as the more thrill-loving, yet "squeamish"
game player.



Excerpts from
Sierra's "Interaction"
Autumn 1996
Lorelei Shannon 

* You'll uncover things too horrible to believe.  Things
that strain the imagination and stretch the fabric of

* I want to dive into the deepest, coldest, blackest part of
the human psyche, and drag you down with me.

* If this game gives you nightmares, don't come wining to
me!  You've been officially warned.

* Am I suggesting that you just might be playing a psychotic
murderer in this game?  Damn straight!

So, I can't wait for you to play.  I've spent nearly two
years in the darkened world of "A Puzzle of Flesh", and now
I'm anxious to let the beast out of the cage.  It's been
chewing on my mind all of this time, and now it would really
like a juicy bite of yours.  Do you dare?  Well...do you?



Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of the Flesh (Sierra)
Doug Radcliffe
Online Gaming Review
Website: http://www.ogr.com/

The original Phantasmagoria was one of the most hyped
adventure games of all time.  Players anticipated a huge
adventure with a gripping horror storyline which pushed the
envelope in terms of sex and violence in a mainstream PC
game.  However, upon release, the 7-CD gargantuan wasn't
quite as long as players hoped, nor was it all that
difficult.  Plus, despite being banned in numerous countries
and not sold by some software outlets, Phantasmagoria really
wasn't that horrific.

Phantasmagoria was probably a victim of its own overflowing
hype.  Adventurers complained about everything imaginable,
from the weak "single-mouse click" interface to the fact
that everyone wore the same clothes for the entire "
week-long" game.  Perhaps if it was released without so
much fanfare, players wouldn't have scrutinised it so much.
Sierra hopes to change players minds about the name
Phantasmagoria with the release of Phantasmagoria 2: A
Puzzle of Flesh.

First of all, Phantasmagoria 2 isn't a continuation of the
first game's storyline.  We won't see Adrienne again, and
no, Don hasn't risen from the dead.  This "sequel" is a
whole new game, with all new characters and a new story.

You play Curtis Craig.  A young man just one year out of a
mental hospital.  He has a normal job and a great
girlfriend, Jocilyn.  Just as his life has begun to be
normal again, strange things start happening.  He begins
hallucinating.  Or is he?  Photographs are bleeding and rats
are speaking, Curtis is plagued by nightmares which are
becoming waking realities.  He beings to investigate his
past and his childhood.  That is when things really begin to
get weird.  He sinks further into the dark, bottomless pit.
It's the very low when he meets Therese, a co-worker who
draws him into an underground world of sex and pain.  Oh
and, that is when the murders begin.

Gone is the computer-rendered environments, Phantasmagoria 2
uses real sets and real actors (hopefully good actors).
Phantasmagoria 2 will be all-video.  I know what you are
thinking, here comes the latest attempt at an interactive
movie.  But, designers are promising a ton of gameplay to go
along with the hours and hours of video.  Whereas most gamers
whizzed through the original Phantasmagoria in about 8 to 10
hours, designers are estimating around 25 hours to finish the
sequel which should please most adventure fans.

As most adventure games, Phantasmagoria 2 will boast some of
the usual tools of the trade.  The game will be filled with
puzzles and the player will carry the usual fare of
inventory objects to use in solving them.  Designers promise
more complex and more difficult puzzles than the original
game.  The player will also engage in conversation with many 
of the bizarre characters in the Phantasmagoria 2 world.
Like Gabriel Knight 2, all the conversations will be
recorded in case you need to refresh your memory.

Lorelei Shannon, writer of Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of the
Flesh, says the sequel will be "scarier, creeper, and
bloodier than its forebear."  With a truly unusual storyline
and the promise of better, harder, and longer gameplay,
Phantasmagoria 2 might do what the original couldn't: Be a
hit with all adventure fans.

Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of the Flesh will ship on 5-CDs
and should hit store shelves around November.




Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh
Chris Hudak
Website: http://www.gamespot.com/previews/phantas2/ 

A Puzzle of Flesh will be Sierra's attempt to follow-up and
surpass its first (and, some contend, rather wobbly) crack
at the interactive-movie, horror-game experience.  The
original Phantasmagoria (written by the ubiquitous Roberta
Williams) was arguably a nervy step for the normally
reserved Sierra: a big, hyped, honkin' 7-CD
interactive horror adventure filled with very attractive
environments, big-budget production, full-motion video,
suggestive themes, startling forays into violence, and some
of the most god-awful acting this side of the porno industry.

Hailed as stunning, and chilling by some of the more
Milquetoast computer-related pubs, Phantasmagoria left the
serious gaming public feeling more lukewarm than chilled as
such; the game careened from not-particularly-engaging
rounds of point/click activity to flat-out gore, the end
payoff just didn't justify the CD Harlem Shuffle one had to
endure, and the horrific elements were fairly pedestrian.  A
Puzzle of Flesh seems aimed at changing a lot of that.

Designed by Sierra's Lorelei Shannon (whose office door
plaque claims that every day is Halloween) and comparable to
the original in terms of interface, this second episode of
the Phantasmagoria universe plows closer to the heart of
horror in the oh-so-sophisticated '90s - the unravelling of
one's personal reality.  Curtis Craig, our game protagonist,
is a quiet guy: reliable, steady job, girlfriend, the whole
nine yards.  Looking at him, you never think him only a year
out of the nut hatch.  All Curtis wants is to live a normal,
happy life - but some thing seems to have other plans for
him.  His reality starts to get squishy at the edges.
Photographs bleed.  Rats speak.  His computer develops a
vicious mind of its own (perhaps it's running Windows).
Then the Hecatomb, an inhuman entity, appears to Curtis,
speaking of his warped childhood, his worst fears, his most
unbearable memories.  Curtis begins to fumble for reality as
if it were a bar of soap in the shower; very soon, the water
turns red as peers and friends begin having very nasty and
terminal accidents.

If it can be supposed - and it has been - that Roberta
Williams has read too many horror works of the conventional
sort, then Lorelei Shannon may have recently been on a
steady diet of Clive Barker.  One of the hooks of A Puzzle
of Flesh is not so much its gameplay but its psychological
maturity.  As the player begins to explore the darkened
lower levels of Curtis's shadowy company, WynTech, the lines
between just what the player must confront begin to
seriously blur.  The bowels of the company building become
the black corridors of the protagonist's mind, and he
discovers a rip into another world - a secret buried in his
own heart.  Will these lofty themes translate into
especially clever and intuition-driven gameplay?  We don't
know yet.  But by all indications, Sierra is gearing up to
get very serious indeed with its high-profile horror title.



Phantasmagoria Returns Drenched in Sex, Blood
and Murder
Cindy Yans

Phantasmagoria - The mere word strikes terror in the hearts
of adventure gamers everywhere.  Either you were actually
terrorised by the original version and spent more than a day
or so playing in a dark room, or you are horrified at the
thought of having to spend big bucks for yet another
misconceived pile of wishy-wash.  The wait, however, is
almost over - Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh is on the
scene, and we'll see where the bloodbath lies.

- An outpatient's garden of delights

So long, asylum, he's out - one year and counting.  He's
traded in that straitjacket for a straight jacket, or at the
very least a spiffy tee shirt.  After a long history of
trauma, Curtis Craig (played by Paul Stetler) is ready to
face the world again - whole and hardy - until the
inexplicable starts happening.  Talking rats, bleeding
photos - these are not the products of a rational mind.  A
computer with a vicious mind of its own (well, that's a lot
more feasible, especially if you're running OS2).  But
Curtis is cracking, that's for sure.

The delicate mind that had found its rightful place goes
haywire once again.....

***  Find out *much* more at:

http://www.cdmag.com/   -   Phantasmagoria 2 Preview.

Preview includes backstage insights from Sierra's Cindy



Excerpt from:
"Sex and Violence '96:  More, But Is It Better?"
Keith Ferrel
PC Games August 1996 pp. 42-45
Website: http://www.pcgamesmag.com/

Sometimes, it's what happens to characters that's the point.
Sierra hopes to lure players of last year's
Phantasmagoria, one of the first games to really up the ante
in terms of sex and violence, to the even sexier and more
violent Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh.

"This one has more in every way," says senior product
manager Dale Christensen.  "We've taken the 'yuck' factor
through the top."  That means gore, gore, and more gore in
the new horror game.  There's also plenty of sex,
particularly of the S&M variety.

Christensen is upfront about the goals for the second
Phantasmagoria.  "This is the most graphic non-porn game
yet," he says.  The more graphic, perhaps, for the fact that
it's an all-video production, storyboarded like a movie and
shot like a movie.  There's every reason to believe that the
increased explicitness will result in bigger sales.  "In the
first Phantasmagoria, the sex and violence helped create the
controversy, and controversy is good for business,"
Christensen believes.  "But if you took all the sex and
violence out of it, it would still be the same game."

That's not true in A Puzzle of Flesh.  The story itself - a
dark, psychic horror tale - is drenched in violent
overtones.  The lure, and the danger, of losing control,
propel players into the story.  How they handle that dark
attraction determines the flow of the plot, and may well
tell players something about themselves.  As with the best
horror stories, A Puzzle of Flesh points out that the
darkest terrors are those that dwell within all of us.  Of
course, Christensen doesn't deny the marketing potential
offered by our very human fascination with matters of dark
sexuality.  "It's a great way to sell things," he says.



"Phantasmagoria 2:  Sierra"
PC Gamer August 1996 pp. 63-64
Website: http://www.pcgamer.com/ 

- In a Nutshell :-  Tons of blood, sex and violence in the
sequel to the original Phantasmagoria.  Same full-motion
video technology, new actors and story.

-  The Creators Speak :-  "Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of
Flesh offers a completely original story of psychological
horror, madness, murder, and the blackest depths of the
human soul," says Sierra's Rebecca Buxton.  A line on the
back of the box says it all: "You'll be wallowing in death
like a pig in puke."

-  Potential :-  The horror genre of computer gaming hasn't
been fully explored before.  With Sierra's graphically
superior game engine that incorporates FMV into an
interactive game adventure, you know they're going to do a
good job scaring the heck out of many players.

-  Pitfalls :-  Not everyone is going to be inclined to play
a game that features so much blood and violence.  There's a
good chance that some retail software stores won't carry the
title because of its content.

-  The Verdict :-  Phantasmagoria 2 will have some great
video and a lot of gruesome scenes.  For fans of horror, you
can bet it'll be a winner.  However, keep the kids away if
you want them to ever sleep again.

-  Yes, It's True :-  Monique Parent, one of the stars of
Phantas 2, will be featured on Playboy's "Rising Stars"
program this summer.



"Phantasmagoria:  A Puzzle of Flesh"
Steve Klett
PC Games July 1996
Website: http://www.pcgamesmag.com/

Whether you liked Phantasmagoria or hated it--there seemed
to be little middle ground--you'd have to agree that
Sierra's horror adventure game broke new ground when it
debuted last summer.

Not only did it fill a staggering seven CD-ROMs, but it
featured stunning computer-generated backgrounds with some
of the smoothest video-based characters ever seen in a
computer game.  In addition, its classic gothic storyline
was far more sophisticated than that of your average
adventure game.

While few could complain about the game's technical merits
(except that the main character wore the same clothes
throughout the game's week long time period), gameplay was
surprisingly short and easy, and not scary enough.

Sierra is hoping to fix these problems with the second title
in the Phantasmagoria series, A Puzzle of Flesh.  PC Games
hopped a puddle-jumper up to rainy Seattle to get the
exclusive lowdown from the game's designer, Lorelei Shannon.

The first thing we learned was that A Puzzle of Flesh is not
a sequel, but a brand-new game with a new story and new
characters.  "Think of it more as an episode of Tales From
the Crypt--another episode in a scary series," says Shannon.

Scarier, Creepier, And Bloodier -

Shannon, who wrote A Puzzle of Flesh's story (and,
ironically, has authored some children's games in addition
to horror stories), promises that A Puzzle of Flesh will be
scarier, creepier, and bloodier than its forebear.  "It will
be a lot more psychologically frightening," she says.  "The
first one was almost a tribute to 1960s horror--you know, a
possessed husband in a big haunted house."  Sierra is
billing A Puzzle of Flesh as a "psychological horror story
of madness, murder, and the blackest depths of the human

Players assume the role of Curtis Craig, a quiet, seemingly
normal young man with a steady job and a steady girlfriend.
(We'll all miss the attractive Victoria Morsell, who played
Adrienne in the original.)  Curtis has spent some time in a
mental hospital, but that's all behind him now. He just
wants a normal, happy life.

Don't count on it.  Before long, rats start speaking to him,
photographs appear to bleed, and his computer develops a
vicious mind of its own.  When a mysterious evil being
called the Hecatomb appears to Curtis, evoking his tormented
childhood, his darkest fears, and his most painful memories,
he begins to doubt both his sanity and reality itself.

Unwilling to return to the mental institution and the
sadistic doctor who delighted in torturing him, Curtis
enlists his best friend Trevor in an attempt to understand
what's happening.

As Curtis delves into his family history, he unearths more
questions than answers, and finds some ugly family secrets.
His mother abused him relentlessly when he was a small
child, and eventually hanged herself.  Immediately
afterward, his father died in a strange, brutal accident
that was never explained.  Curtis begins to suspect that the
pharmaceutical firm he works for, WynTech, is behind

Meanwhile, Curtis continues to be plagued by visions and the
Hecatomb.  He grows distant from his girlfriend, and is
seduced by Therese, a co-worker with a hankering for
downtown S&M clubs.  Before long, murders--incredibly brutal
murders--start to happen, and Curtis is fingered as the
prime suspect.

Desperate and pursued by madness, Curtis explores the bowels
of WynTech, where he discovers another world and a bizarre
secret (which, of course, we're not going to reveal).

According to Shannon, the biggest twist is that players
won't know until the very end of the game whether they're
the ones committing the murders.  "It's really very
disturbing, [and] when you're done playing, you're going to
be left saying, `Ewwwwwwww,'" says Shannon.

All Video, All the Time -

The intriguing story certainly sounds ripe with potential
for surprises and frightening moments.  But the big question
is, "What's the gameplay like?"

Well, it's going to be different.  The first thing
Phantasmagoria fans will notice is that the original's
computer-rendered artwork is gone.  A Puzzle of Flesh is
shot entirely in video, using real sets and real actors.
That's right--except for the last scene, which is
computer-rendered, it's an all-video game.  That's a
development sure to raise doubts in the minds of gamers wary
of virtually unplayable all-video games such as Johnny
Mnemonic and Fox Hunt.

Shooting was still in progress when we visited the set in
April, so we couldn't actually play anything.  Sierra seems
very aware of the playability issues surrounding all-video
games, and seems to be making every effort to ensure a
quality playing experience.  "A Puzzle of Flesh is a
story-driven game," says Shannon, "but above all, it's a
game, not a movie.  The majority of video-based games have
been built around a movie; this one is being built around
a script with real sets, which should help a lot.''

Puzzles and Inventories -

So should the emphasis on puzzles, which should be clear
from the name alone.  The game's 200-page script is riddled
with puzzles that Sierra hopes will present more of a
challenge to gamers than those in the original
Phantasmagoria.  While difficult, the new puzzles will be as
logical as possible given the bizarre storyline.

A Puzzle of Flesh will feature a classic adventure-game 
inventory system in which you'll carry around the items you
find until you've used them in the proper place and time.
In order to open a bolted toolbox, for instance, you'll
need to find a hammer and chisel first.  Once you use them,
the hammer and chisel will be gone from your inventory.

The conversation scheme is also based on your inventory.
You grab an item from your inventory, click on a character
to bring up the subject, and then listen to what the
character has to say.  (The game automatically records
every conversation, so you can listen to them as many times
as you like.)

The game's interface will be mouse-driven and shown mostly
through a third-person perspective, which lends the game a
voyeuristic atmosphere.  To go somewhere or open something,
you just click and it's done.  No more endlessly walking
back and forth to revisit important locales, an unfortunate
hallmark of many of Sierra's classic adventure games.
You'll be able to click through movies if you want, but
Shannon cautions against doing this the first time through,
as there will be few "throwaway scenes."

You'll also be able to save at any point in the game, and
there will be multiple save slots as well.  You won't
encounter the possibility of death until the final stages 
of the game, and when you do die (and you will), you'll
have the option of restarting at your last save or right
before your death.

Even though A Puzzle of Flesh will ship on only five or
six CDs, it should last far longer than Phantasmagoria.
Many experienced adventure gamers finished the original game
in as few as 8 to 10 hours, meaning there wasn't much bang
for the buck.  Shannon estimates A Puzzle of Flesh will take
a minimum of 20 to 25 hours to complete, which she hopes is
an acceptable compromise.  "I don't think hard-core players
will be totally happy with this game either," she
acknowledges, "but it's definitely going to be harder than
the first."

Controversial Content -

When Phantasmagoria first came out, its adult content
generated quite a stir.  (In fact, it's a testament to the
game's popularity that after being banned by stores such as
Wal-Mart, it still managed to sell more than 300,000
copies.)  The original included a fairly innocent
love-making scene with partial nudity, as well as a
disturbing scene in which the main character was raped by a

Even so, there wasn't as much adult-themed material as the
game's title and hype suggested.  That shouldn't be a
problem this time around.  Dismemberment, exploding heads,
cleavers, bondage, good old-fashioned sex--they're all
there, in spades.  Shannon is quick to note, however, that
there is no sexual violence in the new game. "There's quite
a bit of sex and quite a bit of violence, but they never
match up," she says.

Despite a healthy helping of blood, the game's violence
remains somewhat muted, just as it was in the original game.
The camera doesn't linger on the gore; you'll get a quick,
shocking glimpse of murders as they happen, and then it's on
to the next scene.

The sexual situations are the same way.  During our visit, 
we viewed one of the sex scenes, a tasteful tryst between
Curtis and his girlfriend, Jocilyn (played by Monique
Parent, who will be featured this summer in Playboy's Rising
Stars video).  It's R-rated material, nothing more.
Nevertheless, despite a parental toggle that censors most
of the suggestive content, Shannon recommends that kids
under the age of 17 not play the game.

A Promising Puzzle -

A Puzzle of Flesh looks to have all the right ingredients to
be an entertaining, challenging, and sufficiently twisted
experience for adventure gamers with a love for a good
horror story.  It's hard to forget, though, that the
majority of all-video games have looked good while in
production, then failed dismally when actually released.
We won't know for sure if this is one that will make the
difficult formula work until the game hits store shelves in
October.  But we're looking forward to finding out.

-- Descriptions of / Captions from the accompanying
game screenshots :-

**A giant claw reaches down to grab a woman**
"Horrible visions, such as this claw that looks like
it's about to have Detective Allie for lunch, aren't
just reserved for Curtis's dreams."

**Curtis and Jocilyn kiss in the hall**
"Curtis and his girlfriend, Jocilyn, enjoy a quiet
moment in one of the game's few warm-fuzzy scenes."

**Curtis in the background looks shocked at an image
of his mother hanged**
"Curtis's mother hanged herself when he was a small
boy.  As you can see, her death still haunts him."

**Lightning bolts shoot from Curtis's eyes**
"Sierra hopes A Puzzle of Flesh's ending is as
shocking as its special effects."

**View from behind, as Curtis faces Trevor**
"With the help of his friend Trevor, Curtis
investigates his family history in hopes of
discovering the source of his mental troubles."

**First in a 3-photo series; Curtis looks up at
beautiful Therese**
"Curtis thought Therese looked like the nice,
all-American girl next door."

**Next photo; Boy, did she change!  Therese is in
a black-leather bra with a whip**
"But he was wrong!"

**Last photo; Curtis looks back at Therese in photo
two, looking panicked**
"Looks like poor Curtis has bitten off more than he
can chew..."

**Curtis struggles in his straight jacket**
"Is Curtis really crazy?  Does he belong in a
straitjacket?  You'll have to play the game to find

**Dead zombie guy, very bloody, carries a hammer**
"The Hecatomb has many frightening forms.  Here he
plays a character from his favorite movie, Night of
the Living Dead."

**Dead zombie guy knocks someone's head off with
hammer. Very bloody.**
"And it's a home run!"

**Man tears himself in half, with fire inside**
"Cover picture!"




* SOURCE UNKNOWN - July 1996:

SIERRA's Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh is the
follow up to the 1995 hit adventure game Phantasmagoria.
As part of Sierra's horror anthology, this second iteration
is NOT a continuation of the Don and Adrienne story.
Rather, it's a psychological horror story of madness, murder
and the blackest depths of the human soul.  Designed by
Lorelei Shannon, this twisted and disturbing adventure has
nothing to do with haunted houses, and is definitely aimed
at a grown up audience!  100% full-motion video filmed on
sets and locations provides the gaming environment; the only
3D rendering will be for the spectacular special effects.
Gameplay will be logical but challenging as players attempt
to understand the devastating events unfolding around them. 



Sierra's Website

A psychological horror story of madness, murder, and the
blackest depths of the human soul ...
(available Fall of 1996)

Curtis Craig is a quiet young man.  He has a steady job
working for the WynTech Corporation.  He has a lovely
girlfriend, Jocilyn.  He's been out of the mental hospital
for exactly one year.  All Curtis wants is to live a normal,
happy life, but something seems to have other plans.

Strange events, inexplicable and terrifying, begin to happen
all around him.  Photographs bleed.  Rats speak.  His
computer develops a vicious mind of its own.  Curtis begins
to doubt his own sanity, and the very fabric of reality.

Curtis can't bear the thought that he's losing his mind
again.  The idea of returning to the asylum, and to the
sadistic doctor who seemed to delight in torturing him...
Curtis decides he would rather do anything, anything at all,
to prevent that.  With the help if his best friend Trevor,
Curtis investigates his own family history, hoping to find a
clue that will let him understand what's happening.
Instead, he unearths more mysteries, and a closetful of
bloody skeletons.

Curtis's sleep is plagued by horrible nightmares which blend
into his waking reality.

Curtis feels like he is losing himself, sinking further into
his own private hell.  He grows distant from Jocilyn, his
gentle girlfriend.  He is drawn into a web of sex and sweat
and pain by Therese, a co-worker with a secret life in the
darkness of downtown S&M clubs.

Then ... the murders begin.



Excerpt from
Sierra's "Interaction"
Summer 1996
Christa Philips

Phantasmagoria II: A Puzzle of Flesh
Rated M - Mature
Available Oct. '96 - $54.95
Win95 CD

The original Phantasmagoria still tops the bestseller charts
almost a year after its release and has become the biggest
selling Sierra game in history.  Now a unique addition joins
this horror series.  For the more than one million fans that
have already finished the original, it's time for a new
challenge.  This one is...


What if you woke up one day and started seeing things? 
Disturbing things like bleeding photographs, talking rats,
and creatures that are simply too horrible to describe?
How tightly would you grip your sanity?

What if your friends and co-workers began dying in bizarre,
grotesque ways, setting off frightening memories of your
tortured childhood and the mysterious deaths of both
parents?  Would you start to think you were losing your

Maybe you are.  Or worse, maybe you aren't.  At least you
know your name: Curtis Craig.  Welcome to Phantasmagoria
II: A Puzzle of Flesh.  It's been a year since you were
released from the mental hospital where you were subjected
to sadistic 'treatments' at the hands of the attending
doctor.  As you feel your sanity start to slip away, you
don't know which would be worse-to live with the terrible
visions or return to the hospital.  Psychological horror is
the theme of Phantasmagoria II: A Puzzle of Flesh.  This
modern horror story explores sanity, reality, and the
darkest reaches of the human mind through a nightmare of
urban cafes, corporate cubicles, and sadistic nightclubs.

A Puzzle of Flesh is the sequel to the phenomenally
successful Phantasmagoria, Sierra's best-selling computer
game.  The original Phantasmagoria proved that interactive
multimedia had enough guts to make mature stories possible.
A Puzzle of Flesh explores this genre with the cruel touch
of a razor-sharp scalpel, uncovering more horrors and
deep-seated fears in a way that both entices you and scares
the living daylights out of you.  Phantasmagoria II carries
on the tradition of horror with a completely new story,
setting, and cast of characters.  While the first Phantas
was a gothic horror tale of a haunted house and demonic
possession, its evil was an external one that could be
fought face to face.  This story deals with the internal
horrors of severe schizophrenia as horrible visions,
tormenting voices and unspeakable evil overtake the mind
of an ordinary office worker - you.  As the second
installment in the Phantasmagoria horror series will prove,
some of the creepiest places on Earth are large corporations.

The location is WynTech Chemical Company, a large
conglomerate with some pretty serious problems hiding
beneath its polished, congenial surface.  Its motto:
"WynTech. Because nature isn't always right."

In this high-tech, corporate stronghold of locked doors and
secret files, more than just skeletons are concealed in the
creepy, sealed-up basement rooms.  Twenty years ago, your
father worked on a top secret WynTech project called
Threshold.  He died under very suspicious circumstances, and
Threshold was filed away to be forgotten.  Until now.  What
is the Threshold project, and what exactly do you have to do
with it?  Playing as Curtis you have two choices-uncover the
truth or lose everything (including your life) as you fall
back into a bottomless pit of madness.



Excerpt from
Sierra's "Interaction"
Summer 1996
Christa Philips


Designer: Lorelei Shannon

Few people in life are as willingly weird as Lorelei
Shannon, Rats, bats, and other vermin hold a special spot in
Lorelei's heart, and her "Gross Fact of the Week" is the
most eagerly awaited e-mail in the Sierra offices each week.
As designer of the upcoming Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of
Flesh, Lorelei's background as a published horror writer,
make her uniquely suited for the task at hand.

"I love horror in all forms.  I especially like
psychological horror movies like 'Jacob's Ladder,' and
wanted to bring across that kind of paranoid, or very
frightening, very real kind of horror...  I really admire
Clive Barker for his extreme gritty realism.  I'm not going
as blatantly gory as he gets.. it's a little much for most
audiences.  I think it's incredible easy to make someone
sick but it's very hard to scare them.  It's a cheap cop-out
to just make them spew."

Special FX: Robert Standlee

The first thing you notice about Robert Standlee's work room
on the Puzzle of Flesh set is a big container filled to the
top with a vile-looking sticky red substance.  But fake
blood is not what Standlee is about.

Although his finished products look like things you'd find 
in Hannibal Lector's lunch-box, Robert Standlee is an
artist.  An accomplished sculptor whose work is shown in art
galleries, he uses materials such as foam latex and urethane
to create realistic objects, creatures and body parts.

As a determined teenager, Standlee knocked on doors in
Hollywood offering to clean brushes and sweep floors in
exchange for the opportunity to work as an apprentice to
the special make-up effects artists.

These days he is an effects master in his own right,
creating the monstrous Hecatomb and all of the special
effects props and make-up for the filming of Phantasmagoria
II.  So come October, when you're sitting down to play A
Puzzle of Flesh, be prepared to come face to face with the
realistic and horrific artistry of Robert Standlee.



Happy Puppy
Website: http://www.happypuppy.com/ 

Scaring Up a Sequel -

Title: Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh 
Publisher: Sierra 
Developer: Sierra
System Requirements: (for PC) 486/33,
2xCD-ROM, 8Mb RAM, Windows 3.1 or better, SVGA
Genre: Adventure 
Age Rating: Not Available 

* [System Requirements have changed considerably] *

Preview by James Stevens 

Sierra is taking a bold step with the sequel to
Phantasmagoria.  Rather than continue on with the same group
of characters, Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh will have
new characters and a completely new story while still
keeping the overall sense and feel of the original game.

A Puzzle of Flesh tells the story of Curtis Craig, released
from a mental  hospital exactly one year ago.  Now, recent
events are making Curtis doubt his sanity once again.
Photographs have started bleeding, rats have  spoken to him
and he was visited by the Hecatomb, a terrible, inhuman
entity who forces Curtis to bring back a number of painful
memories.  Curtis cannot stand the idea of losing his mind
again, so he tries everything  he can to make sure he is
still sane, including breaking into the offices of his new
employers.  Then the murders start, and Curtis finds himself
caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Phantasmagoria 2 will feature a number of location shots and
was filmed in general on live sets meaning a better level of
quality in terms of the video.  An on-line hint system has
been included as well for the convenience of many gamers
[this feature has not been included in the release version].

H         H
H         H


* This HTML page was compiled by Anthony Larme.
Sections A-D, F, and H are copyright Anthony Larme
1998 and Sections E and G remain the copyright
property of their respective owners.  P2info.html
was not produced for any sort of commercial gain
and is intended for informational purposes only.

- Email Anthony Larme at :-

- Phantasmagoria 2 Overview Memorial Web Subsite :-

- Review of Phantasmagoria Memorial Web Subsite :-


* Special Thanks to  :-

i)     Andy Bellatti
E-mail:  bellatti@impsat1.com.ar

ii)    T. D. Burapavong
E-mail:  tdb@nr.infi.net
URL:  https://members.tripod.com/~tdb/

iii)   Jess Canada
E-mail:  jesscanada@mcn.net

iv)    Kara Johnson
E-mail:  kjohnson@ncinter.net

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