Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

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Matchstick
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Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby Matchstick » July 23rd, 2021, 2:12 pm

I'm amazed at how much this title seems to be getting lost in time, as few people I talk to about gaming anymore are even aware that it exists. Yes, I know it's not much of a "game," but for any of us who remember the excitement surrounding the advent of PC CD-ROM technology, T7G was a landmark title, really showing what the new tech was capable of.

(Then, you know, Myst came along and blew it out of the water, but that's a story for another day)

I felt like everyone who had a PC at a certain point in time either had Myst or T7G, and that purple box with the spooky haunted house on the front was a fixture at any sort of computer store for years. I also loved that it came with a soundtrack CD. I always figured that the second disc in the set was simply the soundtrack, but it turns out that it's also needed to finish the game, as the final puzzle was bumped to Disc 2! Took me years to figure it out, which says it all about how far I got when I first played it.

I've always liked haunted house style games, such as this, Alone in the Dark, and the first Resident Evil. My wife has tracklighting in her studio, with a series of [stuffed] crows perched on top of them - just like the art studio from the first RE. She loves the staircase and design of the main entryway in T7G, and it's one of the few single player games that we enjoy playing together. We'll usually fire it up around Halloween and see how far we can get before we either get stuck, it gets too late, or our G3 Power Macintosh stops reading the game disc - whichever comes first :P

Aside from the studio lights, we've had plenty of ideas for projects from these sorts of games over the years. I studied stained glass in college, and have wanted to re-create the front door to T7G's mansion at some point down the line. Years ago, I did re-create the puzzle cake in real life, serving it at a Halloween party I hosted. Nobody got the reference. My wife has wanted to make it again - and better - so we'll probably try again this year. If anyone knows where we can find a set of those spooky eyeball plates, please let us know!

Image

I think what's hurt this game's popularity is that it never got much of a console release. Aside from the CD-I, it's always been a PC-based title. I would *love* to see a re-release on modern consoles, much like recent remasters of Night Trap and Double Switch. I'm aware that there is a sort of 25th Anniversary Edition out there, but again, it's for PCs.

Would this game have been more popular if it had gotten a Sega-CD or PlayStation release back in the day? I can only wonder.

Myself, I can't think of the early days of CD-ROM gaming without immediately thinking of this one. Do any of you guys have fond memories of T7G, as well?
Last edited by Matchstick on July 25th, 2021, 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ActRaiser
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Re: Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby ActRaiser » July 23rd, 2021, 2:32 pm

Is this the one with the scene of a baby being strangled? Yeah, that kind of weirded me out. Plus, the puzzles were way too hard for my little brain to solve. Now, after 2-3 minutes of trying I'd go to the FAQs or Youtube to see how to solve the puzzles versus trying to figure it out myself.

I remember the production values were top notch but like you said the puzzles were a bit too hard for me to make much progress before I quit on it.

Luigi & Peach
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Re: Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby Luigi & Peach » July 23rd, 2021, 8:54 pm

I was about 13 or 14 when my parents got this game for me. I remember managing to solve all the puzzles myself accept for that can puzzle. I found a solution book for that one (I don't remember YouTube being around at the time and the internet was very... different). I tried to install this game on an XP computer a few years back using the original CD, but I couldn't get the sound to work. The game may be weak by today's standards, but I really enjoyed it back then.

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Matchstick
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Re: Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby Matchstick » July 24th, 2021, 12:35 pm

ActRaiser wrote:Is this the one with the scene of a baby being strangled?

...Yikes! I had forgotten all about that scene! But, you're right, it's in there, and it's pretty disturbing.

For context, the storyline revolves around the villainous Stauf, a toymaker who has amassed great wealth by selling his toys and dolls to every child in town. But the dolls, especially, bring death to the children who own them. In this particular scene, a flashback shows a crying infant in bed next to its Stauf doll. The doll reaches over and puts its hand over the child's mouth until it stops moving... and turns blue.

This was back before there was a rating system in place for games, though I'm not sure if this game garnered as much attention as Night Trap or Mortal Kombat. I see where the 25th Anniversary Edition on Steam is now rated Teen, with a warning about "General Mature Content." Hmmm. Though there is a lack of blood and excessively graphic violence in the game, I don't think a true Mature rating would be inappropriate in this case.

The opening scene from this game also shows an elderly woman being beaten to death by Stauf, who then proceeds to rob her. Sounds pretty intense, but if there's one thing this game is known for, it's the bad acting and effects used in its cutscenes. Maybe the watchdog groups overlooked this one back in the day because it all looked so hokey?

Luigi & Peach wrote:that can puzzle

Yesssss. It's memorable for all the wrong reasons! I did like how Stauf would taunt you as you attempted to solve it - "I don't think you CAN do this!" I use that line on my wife any time she asks me to help open a jar of pasta sauce, or pry open a can of paint. Gets her every time.

It's one of several word puzzles throughout the game. I couldn't solve it without a guide, and the solution did involve certain vocabulary words that ten-year-old me hadn't quite learned about yet!

I did like the puzzle variety, though the fact that there was something for everyone meant that you were bound to get stuck at some point. Most word puzzles, matching games, mazes - I could handle those. When it came to the chess puzzles, though... nope! They were always a huge roadblock when I was younger. Nowadays, that's usually when I pass the game over to the wife, who proceeds to solve them with ease. I know my limits :lol:

Luigi & Peach
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Re: Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby Luigi & Peach » July 25th, 2021, 11:00 am

Much like Herschie's posts, thinking back to this game really takes me back to 1995. I got the game for Christmas of 1995, but my Dad was unable to install it prior to my leaving to visit my grandparents in Florida a week later. It was my first time on a plane and my first and only time in Florida where I spent almost the entire time in the retirement community of Sun City, but my 15 year old Freshman self was pumped to drive my grandparents golf cart everywhere (even if I had to study for midterms while I was there). By the time I got back a week later my Dad finally had the game installed. The other big part of 1995 to a Clevelander was the Indians first appearance in the World Series in 41 years. The entire city was abuzz with Tribe Fever. Even though my video game playing is non-existent these days I still love how hearing of a game takes me back to those days. The mid to late 90s was great for computer games too! Sorry Herschie, no pot in this story. :)

goldenband
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Re: Any other fans of The 7th Guest?

Postby goldenband » July 25th, 2021, 7:04 pm

There's apparently a nasty bug in some versions of the CD-i port that will cause the game to crash at the cake puzzle! Details here:

https://retrostuff.org/2017/02/12/the-7 ... uzzle-bug/

Apparently if you have a newer-model CD-i with a built-in DVC (digital video cart), and are playing version 1 of the game, it'll crash. The solution is either to play the updated release (v2), or to play version 1 on a CD-i with a DVC that uses the older VMPEG chipset.


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