The 7th Guest – DOS PC Game Review

Friday, June 1st, 2012

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Kicking off FMV Month on LGR is The 7th Guest! The game that jump-started the full motion video fad of the 90’s and turned Trilobyte into a powerhouse developer almost overnight.


13 comments on “The 7th Guest – DOS PC Game Review

  1. Trixter says:

    Please tell me that Star Trek: BORG is in your list somewhere. In terms of FMV games, it probably had the highest budget and production values (it was made while Voyager and DS9 were on the air, and uses Paramount sets, props, costumes, actors, and even writer and director), so it’s actually not that bad to play.

  2. LadyVampiress says:

    I remember playing this game 🙂 and The 11th Hour..

  3. Gemini says:

    I never even saw gameplay of this game until now and yet for some reason, I was expecting something more creepy than it actually looked. *shrugs*
    MegaRace is still my favourite FMV game, but since I’ve never actually played that many FMV games in the first place I’m curious to see what others you’ve got on the agenda! ; )

    • Trixter says:

      Neither MegaRace nor 7th Guest are really FMV games. They have FMV in them, but the FMV serves as either the background to something else interactive, or as a transition from one area to the next. In a true FMV game, the video itself is what you’re interacting with. That’s why I suggested something like ST:Borg. Other traditional FMV games might be Dragon’s Lair or Burn:Cycle.

      • Gemini says:

        Pretty sure MegaRace qualifies since the only times in the entire game when there is no FMV playing at all is the car selection menu and the high score table. FMV is playing 99% of the time!
        I guess it really depends on how you classify an “FMV” game. To me, any game that primarily consists of pre-rendered FMV sequences, regardless of how much interaction there is, would qualify.
        Genre definitions is a surprisingly touchy subject in general though. I mean geeze, someone once got absolutely enraged at me because I called Daggerfall an Action/RPG. o_o;

      • Agreed. I gave my definition in another comment here, but it more or less aligns with yours. If the game contains streaming FMV as a predominant element that can’t be avoided to complete the game, it’s an FMV game to me.

      • I thought this might come up 🙂 It sounds like you’re describing the Interactive Movie genre, which T7G of course does not fall under. What I am looking at this month are games that make heavy use of FMV, enough so that the video footage is central to playing the game. In other words, not just games with FMV cutscenes. T7G is an adventure game with puzzles, but without the streaming FMV for the mansion and actors, the game wouldn’t be playable. I suppose even The Neverhood might fall into FMV gaming under this broad definition.

  4. Trixter says:

    A hard line for an FMV game is where the FMV can’t be removed and the game is still playable. You could remove the video from both T7G and Megarace and both would still be playable. This is not the case for something like A Fork In The Tale or Burn:Cycle or ST:Borg, because you have to make decisions based on the video you just watched.

    • Well, I never made the argument for MegaRace being an FMV game… (although it’s debatable which is why I didn’t choose it for this month; similar to Road Rash, which some consider an FMV game and I don’t.) But I simply do not see how FMV could be removed from T7G, as the full motion video allows you to both get around the house and to hear the story/dialogue, the latter of which is required for getting information for solving some of the puzzles (the cake puzzle for instance). Sure, one could remove these video elements and replace them with only static images or text, but you could say the same with any interactive movie and its video elements as well. I mean, why have FMV at all if it can be done with bit-mapped graphics or even just text?

      If an FMV game is defined by what can be taken out of it, then I don’t think the “FMV game” term should exist at all, and instead we should call them something else based on what genre is left (adventure puzzle game, shooter, interactive fiction, etc). In other words, I think this entire argument is kind of pointless if you want to go the pedantic route, since it describes a vague technical aspect rather than any real genre… it’s like the term RPG. I don’t think it’s a valid term since any game is a game where you play a role, but I still use it and people know what you mean when you say it. Similarly for FMV games, and because it’s such an accepted term I didn’t make a big deal about it at the beginning of the month.

  5. Guido says:

    Back in 1996 my dad bought me my first PC. With it, it came the 7th guest (and Megarace). Maybe it’s because I was little but this game really scared me back then. I must confess I only resolved a couple puzzles (cake, maze and chess) but I still think this was a great game for its time, even if it hasn’t endured the test of time. Anyway, just trying to share some nostalgia here ^^. Thanks for the review!

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