The era of FMV games was marked by a lot of things: shoddy gameplay, low quality (often interlaced) video, dodgy acting, and constant disk swapping. But there was a time when the gaming industry looked to FMV as the future, and threw an metric shitload of money behind FMV games.
Most didn’t pan out. But it did result in some of – at the time – most expensive games ever made. One such effort in Australia was The Dame Was Loaded, which you can buy again today for a schooner.
Available only through Good Old Games, The Dame Was Loaded was a ’40s detective noir story from the same studio responsible for Shadowrun, Krush, Kill ‘n’ Destroy, Aussie Rules Footy and the NES Back to the Future games.
The Dame Was Loaded was substantially different. Originally released in Australia in 1995 before launching internationally a year later, the game plays out like a point-and-click adventure, not too different from Phantasmagoria or the Tex Murphy games.
There were had 9 possible endings and about an hour of FMV scenes all-up, not including the non-FMV gameplay.
As an added bonus, GOG’s version of TDWL works on Linux. The whole thing runs is automatically configured to run through DOSBox, which is fantastic because getting some of those old games going manually (especially anything that was built around Windows 3.11) can be a right pain in the arse.
All that aside, The Dame Was Loaded is an interesting trip back in time. I’ve seen some references saying that it was the most expensive multimedia project in Australia for its time, although I’ve not seen any reference at the time of writing as to how much exactly the project cost.
A Mac version for The Dame Was Loaded is still coming. Until then, just under $8 will get you a piece of Aussie gaming history.