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Last Half of Darkness

DOS - 1989

Alt names LHOD, The Last Half of Darkness
Year 1989
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Adventure
Theme Haunted House, Horror, Puzzle elements
Publisher SoftLab Laboratories
Developer SoftLab Laboratories
Perspective 1st-Person
Dosbox support Supported on 0.72
4.06 / 5 - 18 votes

Description of Last Half of Darkness

One of the most obscure horror games ever made, SoftLab's Last Half of Darkness attracted a small following when the first part was released as freeware in 1991, and quickly spread over BBS (= Bulletin Board System.. a rudimentary precursor of the Internet, for those of you who are too young to remember ;)) and shareware ftp archives.

So what is memorable about a shareware adventure game that boasts only 16-color VGA graphics? The answer, as with all good horror games, is simple: a strong plot and sufficiently creepy atmosphere. While it won't make the next Stephen King bestseller, the game's premise is much better than your average horror flick. From the game manual: your aunt sure was a strange one. She was some sort of witch or something. A good witch though, practicing only good spells and magic. In fact, she was working on a potion just before she was killed. Now the secret will go to the grave with her... unless you can find the missing ingredients.... you, being her only living heir received news and came quickly to find out [that] she had plans for you to continue with her work. You [will] gain title to her estate and her fortune, [but] only if you continue with her studies in the field of magic.

Gameplay is standard point-and-click affair, click on verbs (examine, take, operate etc.) to interact with the game. Puzzles are logical, and will seem too easy to die-hard adventurers. A few (e.g. figuring out what each potion does, and finding the password to the computer) are more difficult than others, but they are overall not very taxing. What is most memorable about the game is the many horrific images, such as the dead girl in the closet and the hooded figure. These, combined with a decent plot and fair puzzles, make Last Half of Darkness one of the better shareware adventures that's worth a look. Thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

mattcut 2022-03-28 1 point

I played this game at about 18 years old when I graduated high school in 1990 and loved it - I was on BBS's since their inception in the late 70's and at the time playing this game I thought it waas incredible. I had a Tandy 386 and a telephone line... such a great memory that I searched it again just now in 2022

TheMortallyWounded 2020-11-12 0 point

+1 to Amanda for "eerie ambience"

I forgot all about this game until it was on LGR. I'm glad they had as much fun with it as 13-year-old Me did.

KC 2018-09-15 0 point

I am using Boxer on a Mac, and the game seems to work but the sound is all scrambled. There is a file that tells you about fixing the sound, but it is in DOS(?). It says things like "SAY (switches)/RXXX where xxx is a record rate from 0-209........" I do not understand what they are talking about or how I might go about executing this in Boxer on a Mac within a DOS game. Anyone got any ideas?

random 2016-08-16 1 point

I really enjoyed this game as a 11 year old. Totally agree with the creepiness factor. Thinking of some of the death scenes in the game still make me shiver!

admin 2016-04-19 1 point

@ZLAZZ: thanks for the tip, uploaded your screenshot

Zlazz 2016-04-18 0 point

Some parts of this game may skip past, depending on where you go and what you do. One of the highlights for the lads is to get the key from the kitchen and then go up the stairs from the entrance hall and use it to open the locked door on the right. Then go up the stairs and through the door ahead to find a naked girl in a hot-tub. You can ask her for anything before returning to the quest, but she won't wait around forever so to get to her quickly, it's Start/ House/ Door/ Kitchen/ Key/ Entrance Hall and up stairs/ Hallway/ Lock/ Stairs/ Attic/ (Open Door)/ Bathroom/ Angry Girl

Dave 2016-03-01 1 point

this is actually the vga version!
is not exactly the same as in the screenshots

Hulsie 2015-05-02 2 points DOS version

This is actually quite scary. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre.

Justin 2014-06-11 1 point DOS version

Thanks Amanda! I love games like this. Reminds me of Uninvited, or The 7th Guest :)

Amanda 2012-09-24 2 points DOS version

Warning: this is actually a pretty creepy game. Despite the primitive graphics, it manages to conjure an eerie sort of ambiance and keeps you jumping with a few genuinely scary pop-out scenes.

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