Claymazing: ScummVM Now Supports The Neverhood

By Alice O'Connor on July 25th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

He's not a real person.

While Doug TenNapel’s claymation adventure game Armikrog wriggles and writhes in its Kickstarted chrysalis, you might fancy another crack at The Neverhood, the game Armikrog is meant to be a “spiritual successor” to. “Oh but that’s from far back in 1996!” you cry. “Surely it’d be far too much of a bother to get working on a modern PC?” You talk kinda funny, you know. But it’s fine. ScummVM has you covered, as it can now run The Neverhood. If you can somehow find a copy of it somewhere.

The adventure game emulator’s annual update arrived on Monday, also bringing support for Larry Niven ‘em up Return to Ringworld, perv ‘em up Voyeur, spooky mystery Mortville Manor, and the not-old Chivalry Is Not Dead.

ScummVM, if you haven’t heard, is an open-source tool for playing old adventure games on modern systems. Unlike DOSBox and other operating system emulators, it emulates 2D adventure game engines, processing their data and script files. (Look, it’s not the perfect technical explanation, but it works.) The project started with support for LucasArts games using the SCUMM system but now covers over 200 games, from Monkey Island and Police Quest to Dr. Seuss’s ABC and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.

ScummVM 1.7.0 is up for download in the usual place. The full changelog’s over here.

I never played The Neverhood myself, but heard good things from chums. The claymation is lovely, for starters. I vaguely recall PC Gamer once offered it as a subscription bonus, and I choose Command & Conquer: Red Alert instead.

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40 Comments »

  1. MadTinkerer says:

    I STILL HAVE MY CD AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Maddux says:

      Me too!

    • notha says:

      funny story. i was attending a double fine art party a couple years ago and randomly decided to bring my copy of the neverhood as something to be signed since i didnt have any actual double fine stuff around and just thought they’d get a laugh out of signing a really old game.

      when i finally did take out the jewel case to get it signed, the guy behind me in line gasped and yelled “I worked on that!” we opened up the little booklet and sure enough there was his name in the credits. So I ended up having HIM sign it! it was so very coincidental, walking around with an old game, only to run into one of the devs of it.

    • Premium User Badge maninahat says:

      My brother’s got the rarer still PS1 platformer game based off of it. So neeeeerh!

      • SavageTech says:

        You mean Skullmonkeys? I don’t think it’s that rare; I’ve seen it in plenty of used PS1 bins and you can get it for ~$23 on Amazon. A used copy of The Neverhood will run you about ~$38 though.

    • SavageTech says:

      Me too! This is awesome news, I never finished it because I got hopelessly stuck and couldn’t find any strategy guides for the game. Now the game will be putty in my hands.

    • Vorrin says:

      Heh, I still sing the bloody neverhood song in idle distracted moments :D

  2. Synesthesia says:

    I think this game might have made me an animator.

  3. Golden Pantaloons says:

    Still a contender for best videogame soundtrack.

    • Jalan says:

      Indeed. Terry Taylor is an all-around awesome musician.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Contender? It’s a winner, hands down. There’s no contest there at all.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      On the western front? already won back in the days.

      Eastern side is a bit of a harder challenge. I might be biased, but i’m still pretty sure that japanese developers put FAR more effort into this sort of stuff.

      I’m generalizing, off course, and it would be easy to prove me wrong by mentioning modern stuff like Transistor. But still, i think my point holds some sense at least when it comes to the AAA industry.

  4. Premium User Badge Cinek says:

    “I never played The Neverhood myself, but heard good things from chums.” – oh come on! Seriously?! It’s like… never playing Star Craft, or Half Life, or… Mario!

  5. IC says:

    I actually remember that PCG gave this much-hyped adventure a terrible review back when it was first released.

  6. Greggh says:

    Everytime somebody writes the words “Police” and “Quest” together, an automatic hyperlink should be created redirecting to this wonderful piece by Richard Cobbett:

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/06/25/saturday-crapshoot-police-quest/

    (FROM 2011! Oh My God feels like I read it yesterday.)

  7. InternetBatman says:

    This game started my love hate relationship with adventure games. I love the concepts and atmospheres behind many of them, but frequently hate the puzzles.

    • Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

      Yeah, while The Neverhood had wonderful atmosphere, setting, design, animation, music and characters, the puzzles were… well, crap. I don’t recall them being especially hard, just annoying.

      • SavageTech says:

        Agreed, although I’d blame a lot of the puzzle issues on the lack of dialogue and general alienness of the world/visuals. If you didn’t understand what the puzzle was getting at (conceptually or visually) you couldn’t talk to people to get more ideas/information like you could in most adventure games.

  8. SRTie4k says:

    I played it not too long ago, and from what I remember it was an EXTREMELY short game, nevertheless a very good one.

  9. djbriandamage says:

    spoiler – the third burp lasts over 90 seconds

  10. markside says:

    First game I ever owned. Looking at the box now, it appears my dad imported it from Ireland,

  11. G_Man_007 says:

    Why am I getting a Duckman feel from this?

  12. Premium User Badge yhancik says:

    On a side note, Mortevielle! I never figured it out but have fond memories of it. And the voices!

  13. Premium User Badge maninahat says:

    Best bible game ever.

  14. Spacewalk says:

    ” If you can somehow find a copy of it somewhere.”

    You mean in the back of the drawer because we all own this, don’t we?

  15. Phasma Felis says:

    That trailer is from a startlingly different age.

  16. Yglorba says:

    I actually own a copy of the Neverhood.

    Here’s the weird thing: I found it. Lying the street. In a sealed, unopened, shrink-wrapped box.

    In 2010.

    No I have no idea how it got there.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      That trailer was a blast from the past. I remember watching that several times on a demo disk back when we still had Windows 98, or something.

  17. Premium User Badge Jackablade says:

    They just released a couple of soundtrack demos to the Armikrog backers this morning, written by original musicians on Neverhood and Skull Monkeys, Terry Taylor and Rob Watson. It’s a bit less weird and ramshackle, sounding a bit like Ennio Morricone in space, but still has some of the distinct, catoonish vocalisation that made the soundtracks to those games so damn brilliant.

    Brilliant like this:

  18. Dawngreeter says:

    This article started the latest iteration of my (on average) annual Neverhood soundtrack fixation period. So, thanks for that. I’ll try listening to something else a month from now.

  19. Shazbut says:

    I think one of the RPS guys gave it a score of 20% back in the day

  20. AyeBraine says:

    Funny how in Russia, it was SUPER popular. In its pirated cloak, of course – most often localized by pirates with differing degree of insanity, talent and/or negligence. So now thousands of people wait for Armikrog with bated breath, swarming the communities – and hundreds of thousands simply haven’t heard of the “sequel” yet (but every time I mention it in a company of aquaintances, I get “Wow, a sequel to Neverhoodd?! THE Neverhood?”). I, personally, am involved in the official localization! Yay!

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