Have you played… Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy)?

Freeze! (hahaha because it's set in a supernaturally freezing winter)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Let’s play a little game: how much of Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy for US folk) do you remember? I remember:

  • Mopping up blood
  • Having sex in a dirty old train
  • Mixing antibiotics with alcohol and dying alone in my flat

Aside from it being a 12 year old game, it’s hard to remember the adventures of blando man Lucas Fahrenheit, because apart from the cracker opening it was all utterly insane. There was a supernatural cult, possession, magic flying baddies, weird visions, old ladies with witch-like powers, all set in a modern-day United States and arranged in an mostly insensible way. Here is a small excerpt from the plot (taken from Wikipedia):

“Lucas’s ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Harper, is eventually kidnapped by the man who approached Lucas in the diner, a Mayan Oracle, in an attempt to draw Lucas out. In his efforts to save Tiffany, both she and himself are killed. However, he is subsequently brought back to life by a group of AIs called the “Purple Clan”, one of whom was disguised as Agatha’s ghost.”

A popular joke about the antagonist of the game is that he is a manifestation of the internet. He flies, dodges bullets and punches very hard. Which is an absurd proposition compared to what a real manifestation of the internet would actually look like – a giant blob of pornographic flesh called “lol” who constantly yells out where he is and what he’s doing.

You can get Indigoheit as a HD remaster these days, if you want to remember more of it. Myself, I’m content with the memory of dying from a medical misadventure.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I quite liked the beginning, as I think most people did. You start the game in a dire situation, and you have all kinds of ways to react… and the world (seems to) react around what you do! It’s pretty great.

    But then it kicks all that aside and turns into a big old pile of nonsense, as described. In fact I’m pretty sure the Purple Clan is actually the internet or something. By the end it’s all DBZ and flying fightan gaems.

    Really made me miss the (comparatively) sane opening, where you’re just a guy who woke up having committed a crime, and you are trying to keep it together and not get caught.

    • hijuisuis says:

      The beginning is divine. It had the best elements of early twin peaks and serious crime thriller. I am confident it will inspire someone to make a full game like this one day.

      • Fnord73 says:

        Well, both … and. As one with a serious grounding in conspiracy theories, I for one found the second movement when the life of the protagonist seriously flies of the track even better than the opening. That scene in the office landscape, or the “cuddling at home, hey, what the fuck happened to the three dimensions???” bossfight was pretty awesome. I lost it around the space where the … tibetan tulpas came in, though. Its a really weird little masterpiece.

    • Buggery says:

      The first fifteen minutes to half an hour are perfect. Worth playing for that alone, but absolutely no further.

      • varangian says:

        I’m so glad you’ve said that as it means I’ve played the best part of it. I recall the initial cover up section being pretty engaging but then there was a bit where giant spectral lice(?) appeared in an office. Even more terrifying were the QTE’s that came with them. I suck at those, particularly ones designed for consoles and badly adapted for the PC. Failed every time, and before I’d summoned up the energy to try again I’d built myself a new PC and the game got left behind.

  2. rabidwombat says:

    I was excited about and played this when it came out. I remember the blood-mopping, and the lack of toplessness in the shower (yay United States), and a QTE to punch out some man-sized insect creatures at work. Mayan oracle roller coaster nonsense.
    The best scene in the whole game was that intro, with the blood-mopping.

  3. Kingseeker Camargo says:

    The intro with the murder at the diner was trailered and demoed to hell and back, and it showed a lot of promise. Then the actual game came out and, right at the point in which the protagonist got into his murdering trance, there was a brief flash of a robed guy surrounded by candles; and that’s where the game lost me. I felt like a bucket of ice had been emptied on my head, mumbled something like “Oh, so that is what’s happening”, and all my expectations crashed down in a second.

    I was right, but still the game managed to fall even lower than I anticipated, down to the crazy war of Teletubbies-inspired clans.

    • Fnord73 says:

      And my question right back is: Since when have computergames *not*been around Teletubbies in a clan war. I thought some of the later liminal business excellent, like little acid flashbacks for real (in the game).

  4. Hans says:

    Oh you didn’t just have sex in a dirty abandoned subway car, you were also a magically reanimated corpse at that point.

    • Ghostwise says:

      In such a situation, and if you happen to be a man, I found that being a stiff actually helps.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        I think this remains the weirdest/ickiest scene I’ve encountered in a commercial video game – not in the sense that it’s that bad, exactly, but in the sense that any other publisher, any other producer, would have said “What is this? You can’t do this. You can’t make the protagonists commit necrophilia.”

        • Addie says:

          Presumably a sufficiently-talented writer would be able to pull it off, as it were – certainly many serious authors have explored topics even more taboo. However, having our serious-detective character, over whom we’ve previously had full control over, be forced to jump into bed with the corpse of a guy who she’s only just met, is not that. And they’re in the claustrophobic darkness, previously established as her greatest fear, and she’s up for sexytimes. And there’s a QTE in the middle of it, unless that was the other dreadful sex scene. Oh dear.

          • Unclepauly says:

            “Press F to HhWHAT?!”

          • Hans says:

            That part was kind of believable because as far as they knew the world was ending the next day so “last night alive sex” is a pretty normal reaction, but they ruined it by throwing in her saying “I love you!” during. Really? You went immediately from “OK I now believe that you are not a murderer and will stop trying to arrest you now” to “I love you!” on their first hook up? That’s ridiculous.

    • Janichsan says:

      A freezingly cold magically reanimated corpse…

      • Kingseeker Camargo says:

        All that, during a worldwide climatic phenomenon under which the oceans had frozen over. That’s probably the most baffling scene in the entire game, it always intrigued me how could anyone possibly bear getting undressed in such conditions, let alone having sexytiems.

        • Hans says:

          Well the world was supposed to end the next day so might as well!

  5. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    I almost felt sorry for whoever had to write the “Journal” entries that tried desperately to stitch together the ridiculous mess of the plot.

    If, after each new scene started, you took the time to open it and read a good amount of text, you sometimes got a somewhat plausible (though still inane) explanation about how the previous scenes tied into it. Otherwise you were left on your own to figure out why you had magical internet powers and the whole world was now living in a subway tunnel.

  6. Masked Dave says:

    It was like half way through making the game the Producer had watched the Matrix for the first time and got carried away.

  7. shinkshank says:

    I would say that the definitive way to experience this is to not play it at all, but to watch the Best Friends LP. It’s hilarious, and it helps get past the many dull, unexciting parts of the game. I can still see playing it though, if you’re real into it.

    Omikron, on the other hand, is unforgivably bad, and anyone who defends that game is _actually_ insane.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I enjoyed the stated premise of Omikron, that if you died, the next NPC to touch your body would be the one you controlled. I think that happens exactly one time in the game.

      The rest is just really bad controls and half-assed shooters and oh god it’s so bad.

      The setting was neat…ish, and the core concept had some potential, but it was so lackluster and sluggish and miserable overall.

      I still try to play it every now and then. It doesn’t get better with age.

    • FreshHands says:

      UNtrUe, mAGgot!

      OMIcROn iS ONE oF mY aLl-tIme favOURItes COnceRNinG SeTtinG & aTMOsphERe. AnD tO tHIs dAY I pEtITIOn tHE GREAT AZATOTH foR a sEquel.

      maybe with a tiny tiny improvement in the gaming department

    • phrozen64 says:

      I never beat Omikron. The final boss was bullshit, and I even watched a playthrough of how to beat it, but the last phase is just cheap as fuck.

  8. tomimt says:

    I think I stopped playing somewhere around when there was an invasion of insects at an office. The game had turned eye rolling bad long before that, but that was the point where I decided to stop it.

    The beginning is solid though. There was a decent amount of variations you could do with the situation. Too bad the rest of the game didn’t follow up the solid premise.

    • Fnord73 says:

      Lol. Thats the point in the game where you are supposed to take some psychoactive drugs and continue playing.

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I remember instantdeaths and quick time events.
    Finished it but wasn’t impressed or else I would remember.

  10. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    Ah yes, the last time David Cage actually made something resembling a video game instead of an interactive film.

    All jokes aside, it strikes me as funny that this game is remembered for being insane while Asura’s Wrath (which did most of the same over-the-top sillybuggers) was praised for being a playable anime with even more QTEs. I get that the plot falls apart halfway through, but there’s a certain The Room-like earnestness to the whole affair.

    • Xocrates says:

      The thing is that Asura’s Wrath is insane from the start, so people accept its insanity – it’s the stated premise.

      Meanwhile this game has the protagonist going all Neo in the middle of the game for little to no reason. It breaks the previously established “rules” with little build up or justification, which is why it feels “insane” in a way the Asura’s Wrath doesn’t – it’s insane because no sane person would think it’s good storytelling.

      Granted, there is enjoyment in that insanity, but the comparison with the intentionally insane Asura’s Wrath feels odd.

    • zaldar1978 says:

      I mean being earnest doesn’t make a bad movie/game good. The room is terrible and crazy and a stain on civilization.

  11. Freud says:

    I enjoyed it at the start but then as the story went on the more absurd it got. In the end it was like the fiction of a 15 year old boy.

  12. Laurentius says:

    I played only demo. I got to bathroom scene and game forced me to mop up the blood by wiggiling mouse around. It was supersingly hard not to fail. For me it was a disaster in game design, like I mop the floor, I know what this action cosist of and game did not transfer any of this, it was utterly pointless and stupid. For me it is a dead end of video games design, translating simply and every day activities known to everyone for some elusive controler schemes to achive what? Meh.

    PS. Strangeness of that sequence and later other outworldly antics of David Cage actually got me thinking that it may be actually that David Cage never had a mop in his hands.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Dead end game design that spawned better games. Doesnt compute

    • MattM says:

      That’s a good point. Unless you are making a game like Viscera Cleanup Detail, mopping a floor in a video game should never be harder than doing it in real life.

  13. flojomojo says:

    Aspyr (the company that ported Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire to Mac and mobile) did an iOS port of this. I wish I had played it before it went away in the iOS11 purge of non-64-bit apps.

    • Jalan says:

      They’re essentially the ones responsible for the game currently being available anywhere at all now (with the exception of GOG, which I think never managed to get the remaster).

  14. EvilMonkeyPL says:

    I saw someone sum it up on twitter perfectly, and it went somewhat like that:
    It’s a game where a female detective has sex with a flying dead man she was investigating. The dead man is fighting the Internet disguised as an elderly lady on a wheelchair.

    • Hans says:

      I think I actually played it precisely because they wrote a similar summary of it here a few years back when the remaster came out

  15. gsilver says:

    I played the intro of the game recently, and that’s all I really cared to play.

    I beat it back in the day, and after the big confrontation at the office (which I liked, even if it was starting to get silly), there’s a bad stealth section, a flashback with bad forced stealth mechanics, and then back in present day, the story just gets really, really dumb.
    If I push any further (and I probably won’t) I’ll probably stop at the flashback.

  16. Kamestos says:

    It was fun to find all the ways the characters could die or lose by being depressed.

  17. Turkey says:

    Hi, my name is David Cage.

    What you are about to experience is no mere post, but something else entirely. With just a computer and a keyboard, I am able to impress my thoughts and imagination on the fabric of your soul.

    It might seem confusing at first, But don’t worry. I will provide you with all the tools you’ll need and guide you through my labyrinth of words.

    Now, please follow this sentence. The show is about to start…

  18. Jabberwock says:

    I have read the article, then the comments… Oh.

    Am I the only person in this world who liked the game? Maybe I am superweird inside and just behave plain so nobody notices? Ha!

    For some reason the game made me care about the characters more than most other games did. Especially the final scene with Tyler…

    • Fnord73 says:

      No! Me and a mate smoked weed and laughed our arses off during that game many years ago on my PS2. Its amazing!

    • Hans says:

      I liked it. It has a lot of flaws but I couldn’t help but smile at the batshit insane plot.

    • Shazbut says:

      I really liked it. I like David Cage’s games a lot. I even like the QTEs. Come at me, world.

      The plot doesn’t stay at all sensible but the strengths of the game far outweigh this.

    • LeDoudou says:

      For a reason I can’t explain, I came to really care about the characters and their stories. Though I had a hard time with some of the QTEs – and with the plot too -, I must confess that I actually liked this game.

  19. malkav11 says:

    Still David Cage’s best game. Not saying -loads-, mind you. But Fahrenheit, even though it never quite pays off that awesome intro, could conceivably have been a really solid experience if it hadn’t so clearly run out of money and skipped straight to the gonzo endgame instead of, you know, setting any of that crap up. Whereas Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls fail in increasingly spectacular ways without any such excuse.

    • KenTWOu says:

      I would argue that Beyond: Two Souls could have been a huge success if its story was told in chronological order.

    • zaldar1978 says:

      Heavy Rain was a masterpiece I don’t understand any of the criticism that has been heaped on it…

  20. Frank says:

    A terrible, terribly told story with ugly but expensive graphics and a smattering of QTEs. If you’d asked me then, I’d’ve put long odds on such a developer making it this long.

  21. WJonathan says:

    Brings to mind an imbecilic Game Informer article, written in full serious Games Journalism style, pronouncing David Cage as a “Master Storyteller.” And popping into my head: “You people have never played a single one of his games, have you?!?”

  22. phrozen64 says:

    I really disliked the flashback scene where the protagonist is a little boy who sneaks into the military base. The stealth in that game is garbage and having to repeat it multiple times almost made me give up playing, but I was curious how it would end.

    • Shazbut says:

      Same actually. That was where I nearly gave up. There are two flashbacks as well, right?

    • April March says:

      I remember failing that scene, but you only get a hit to your ‘stability’ and get to keep playing. Don’t you?

  23. TheSplund says:

    I remember finishing it and, despite its dive from the glorious heights of the start, I did enjoy it overall though those damn QTEs pissed me right off (I used some form of Trainer to get past them)

  24. Shazbut says:

    The thing about the opening is that you do your best to help the suspect escape, and then after that you’re playing the cops investigating the scene. So it’s a bit difficult to want to do a good job as the cops! You don’t know if you’re going to be making the game harder for yourself, and since you know the guy is innocent there’s a disconnect between what the game wants you to and what you want to do. Not that it really matters in the end, but maybe that’s why Heavy Rain…[SPOILER]

  25. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Even if you don’t care about the QTE, their implementation was horrible: the got in the way of what was happening in the screen. They could just left a blank screen for that matter.

    • April March says:

      The worst part was when you had to win a QTE for one of your characters to understand what the coroner was talking about. I could either listen to what he was saying and understand it, but fail the QTE and have my character come across as dumb as a brick; or win the QTE and have no idea of what as said, then have my character explain what I could have understood very slowly. We couldn’t both feel smart, I had to choose.

  26. zaldar1978 says:

    wait what…I just read a little bit more of the plot synopsis and I mean I love the plot of metal gear but man wow this just seems terribly crazy. I really need to see a good playthrough of this now from someone…I wonder if I can get giant bomb to play it…

  27. April March says:

    I did play it! Like everyone else, I loved the beginning. Unlike everyone else, I also liked the ending – it just didn’t follow the beginning. I want a game that follows true on the beginning’s promise, but I also want a completely crazy game that makes the ending make sense… or at least tonally follow from the beginning of the game.

    The bizarre sex scene was bizarre, but what I found even more bizarre was how the main character could get back with his girlfriend. They had apparently just broken up, but there’s no reason why they had done so and if you try not to get back with her the game almost makes a record scratch. Their relationship plays out exactly like a children’s movie where the divorced parents get back together. It is intensely creepy, and I had the sensation that David Cage didn’t know how adult people had relationships – and given that I had never even kissed anyone when I played it, that was something.

    However, there’s also that policeman who remains to this day the best representation of a gamer in media that I’ve seen. Every time I see a gamer, whether their portrayal is meant to be positive or negative, they are this completely obsessed idiot that thinks only about gaming and only has other skills because they are tangentially related to games. Conversely, that character liked games, he has memorabilia about games, he even recognizes a particularly video-gamey section as being particularly video-gamey, but he also has a job and a girlfriend and those are more important to him, as it should be to a healthy adult.