Black Dahlia (video game)

Black Dahlia is an interactive movie point-and-click adventure game that was released on February 25, 1998 by Take-Two Interactive.

Black Dahlia
Black Dahlia Coverart.png
Developer(s)Take-Two Interactive
Designer(s)Steve Glasstetter
Programmer(s)Greg Brown
  • Jack Snyder
  • Mike Snyder
  • James H. Dargie
Writer(s)Patrick Freeman
Composer(s)Michael Bross
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Genre(s)Interactive movie, Point-and-click adventure

The story, while fictional, is inspired by the real life Cleveland Torso Murderer and the infamous murder of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles.

This interactive movie point-and-click adventure game ties Elizabeth Short's murder to Nazis and occult rituals which the player has to investigate. The game featured two major Hollywood actors, Dennis Hopper and Teri Garr.


Agent Pearson is the newest member of the COI, and is somewhat dejected to find the job not as glamorous as he was initially told. After being given a case where a local munitions manufacturer was invited to join the Brotherhood of Thule, an American branch of the Thule society, Pearson is puzzled by the apparent connections with Nazi occultism. Along the way he encounters Agent Winslow, apparently a bumbling Federal agent who is more concerned with his press appearance than solving cases.

After making a connection between the Brotherhood of Thule and the Cleveland torso murders, Pearson leads a local detective to the butchers lair after finding bizarre Gaelic documents left by his predecessor regarding a ritual involving Odin and a gemstone called the Black Dahlia, which is a key instrument that can render a ritual user the ability to control dreams.

Years later, Pearson is a member of the OSI, and recovers the Dahlia from a Nazi bunker, but it is quickly snatched away and then sold on the black market by a corrupt quartermaster. Following the Dahlia, Pearson again encounters Winslow, a Nazi SS operative following the final orders of Hitler to perform the Dahlia ritual.

Pearson pursues Winslow across the USA, finally cornering him in a California home, where Winslow has just completed the final ritual murders regarding the Dahlia. After tearing out his own eye and performing the remainder of the ritual, the player has one choice with his pistol. If he shoots Winslow or hesitates, Winslow stabs himself, and possesses Pearson, becoming an American version of Hitler, and able to control large portions of the populace through their dreams. If Pearson destroys the Dahlia, Winslow dies and Pearson is blamed for the locals spree of killings, though he is overjoyed and content with having stopped the Nazi plot to take over the world.


Aggregate score
Review scores
CGSP     [7]
CGW     [3]
Next Generation     [4]
PC Gamer (US)87%[5]
PC PowerPlay82%[8]
PC Zone79/100[6]
PC GamesB-[9]

Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "The game seems as if it were made to sell hint books, and those who play without one are likely to end up bashing the computer in frustration."[4]

The game received an average score of 72.00% at GameRankings, based on an aggregate of 9 reviews.[2]

Black Dahlia was a nominee for CNET Gamecenter's 1998 "Adventure Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Grim Fandango. The editors wrote, "With its endless secret doors, encoded messages, locked boxes, and a little gunplay, Black Dahlia did not disappoint."[10]

In 2011, Adventure Gamers named Black Dahlia the 63rd-best adventure game ever released.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "News for February 25, 1998". Online Gaming Review. February 25, 1998. Archived from the original on December 4, 2000. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
    "February 25, 1998: "...a plethora of new titles should be hitting stores today, including...Black Dahlia..."
  2. ^ a b "Black Dahlia". GameRankings. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  3. ^ Scorpia (July 1998). "Black and Blue". Computer Gaming World (168): 154, 157.
  4. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 44. Imagine Media. August 1998. p. 98.
  5. ^ Poole, Stephen (July 1998). "Black Dahlia". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on March 8, 2000. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  6. ^ Rose, Paul (May 1998). "Reviews; Black Dahlia". PC Zone (63): 86.
  7. ^ Royal, Tim (April 2, 1998). "Black Dahlia". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on March 24, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Wildgoose, David (May 1998). "Review; Black Dahlia". PC PowerPlay (24): 86, 87.
  9. ^ Morris, Daniel (August 3, 1998). "Black Dahlia Review". PC Games. Archived from the original on September 1, 1999. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  10. ^ The Gamecenter Editors (January 29, 1999). "The CNET Awards for 1998". CNET Gamecenter. Archived from the original on December 16, 2000. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  11. ^ AG Staff (December 30, 2011). "Top 100 All-Time Adventure Games". Adventure Gamers. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2019.

External linksEdit