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Console: Sega Saturn
Year: 1996
RFG ID #: U-060-S-00560-A
Part #: T-8106H
UPC: 021481820482
Developer: Warp
Publisher: Acclaim
T (ESRB): Animated Blood and Gore , Animated Violence

Genre: Adventure
Sub-genre: Survival Horror
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: CD-ROM x2
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Collection Stats:

  • 144 of 7580 collectors (1.8%) have this game in their collection
  • 5 of 7580 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 2 of 7580 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

D is a horror puzzle game developed by WARP and published by Acclaim. It was originally created and released on the 3DO, but given the system's less than stellar sales record, the game was ported over to the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and DOS in the Western markets. Acclaim insisted on porting it over to the other consoles themselves, and localizing it for the international market. In Japan, the Saturn release was a smash hit, debuting at the top of the sales chart. This port was also successful on the sales charts in the West, despite that console's lukewarm reception. Sadly, Sony did not manufacture enough copies to even satisfy pre-order demands for the Playstation release, and few were ever produced. As a result, the Saturn version is the easiest to find in the US. There's not too much difference in price between the two, although the Saturn version averages out to be cheaper. The 3DO version stands up as the hardest to find and most expensive release.

D's development is a wonderful tale in and of itself; Kenji Eno went to extreme lengths to keep the real story of the game hidden (even from his coworkers) in an attempt to sort of cheat his way into a publishing deal. He made the game appear more like it was a clean cut adventure title with high quality graphics, not unlike its predecessor, Myst. Since Kenji Eno personally visited manufacturers in the USA to switch out his clean version from the real version, he also bypassed any possibility of censorship.

Even today, the horror imagery and well-detailed art design and environments (for the time) stand out among its peers in the genre. While Resident Evil (released after this game) would rely on bad voice acting and jump scares, D does an excellent job of instilling a creepy atmosphere around the player and the young woman you control, portrayed by WARP's digital actress, Laura Harris. One interesting way that this atmosphere was achieved was through a design choice that forces the player to sit and play the game; there is no saving or pausing. You have two hours of real time to finish the game from start to ending. That may seem like a short time, but I ended up being about ten minutes shy of beating it when I first played; the second time was a charm.

One of the reasons you might get stuck and take a bit longer to finish could be due to the game's puzzle design. D is quite reminiscent of point and click adventure games, but given its short length, most of these puzzles lack the depth and difficulty of some similar PC adventure games. The exploration and movement work well for being limited to a controller. However, the game's movement design is odd in that some rooms have paths that go all over the place. One example of this is in one of the bedrooms. You'll step inside the room and look at a painting. You can only walk towards this painting at first, but later, you will need to get onto a table to the right of the painting. To get to the table from the painting, you have to turn left, walk to the other door, turn and step to the bed, turn to the left again, and then step forward to the table. You can't just turn right when you're already standing next to the table.

In retrospect, D certainly feels aged, and compared to other horror games, its quite tame. As you play you'll find that the atmosphere is where the real tension lies, and there are some creepy images and unexplained phenomena throughout this mansion where Laura finds herself. The occasional desecrated corpse catches her by surprise, and a wall of spikes early in the game might be only real jump scare in the game. D's most successful contribution to the video game industry is that it influenced later titles in terms of presentation. The game's unexpected success in all markets is simultaneously a beginning and an end to its genre, as slower, FMV puzzle games were nearing their twilight. D's future influence lies in its tight artistic designs, well produced visuals, and its use of sound to create a setting and experience that will stick with the player. D is aided by its length; since the game is so short, everything that happens gets stuck in your mind. You'll rarely find yourself scratching your chin trying to remember something, like you might do in a long-winded RPG or another horror game.

If you have about $20-40 burning up your pocket or Paypal balance and you want a good, creepy experience that doesn't require a long term commitment, then D is a fantastic purchase.

SirPsycho's Review


Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sega Saturn E S D Acclaim 1995 Adventure
Sega Saturn BE, FR, IT, NL, ES, GB S D Acclaim 1995 Adventure
Sega Saturn J S D no Shokutaku Acclaim 1995 Adventure
Sega Saturn J S D no Shokutaku [Sega Saturn Collection] Acclaim 1997 Adventure
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