Release Date: 1999-10-28
A obscure Japanese horror game, Dark Tales allows the player to experience three separate stories. Little is known about the actual game play, and details on the official site are scarce.
Forum member CronoLuminaire provides us with the following info:
The background of the game seems to be a sort of “Tales from the crypt” or “Alfred Hitchcock presents” show sort of thing. There are three “episodes” to choose from, and when you select one you are given a five minute or so introduction by a live action narrator person. ( I do not really know if it is five minutes or longer as it was in Japanese, which meant my friend and I could not understand it, which meant he wanted me to skip it… which I did )
I played through the entirety of one episode, whose title I do not remember.
It was about a lone detective hot on the trail of a serial killer. The most you see of this killer is a clownish mask and a hook type weapon . You see even less of the detective, mainly you just see his gun, held out in front as if you were holding it. I thought it was rather well done for what must have been a rather early release. You must follow the killer through an abandoned amusement park, perhaps the choice of location and “clothing” on the killer’s part are linked?
Now, the gameplay. Every so often you are presented with a choice. Before you make this choice a “chilling” voice says ( in english ) “DECIDE” ( That was one of my favorite parts of the game ^_^; ). Some of the decisions are simple choices of whether to go left or right at a fork, but this chapter has a couple of nifty action sequences in which you must dodge attacks from the killer, and also shoot back to try to bring the killer down. I thought it was pretty exciting. Especially considering you get 6 bullets through the entire chapter, and that is it. No reloads.
As I said, I played through to the end on this one, but I am certain that there are multiple endings because there were some pretty big choices that were made, choices that determined where I ultimately ended up.
The other “episode” I played was entitled “Ghost Writer” and seemed to be about a novelist or something who was not doing so well in the inspiration department… until he installed a new Word Processing program… It really is too bad that everything was in Japanese because this episode was much more story intensive… But I think I got the gist… he was getting calls from what I presume to be his publisher and assured said publisher that things would be fine. Meanwhile, the actual gameplay took place in crazy dream sequences. One interesting “DECIDE” I was faced with was pulling a book out of one of those claw games… interesting way to be inspired huh? ”