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File:250px-Nightshade NES Coverart 2957.jpg

 Crime feeds upon itself like rats fighting over cheese.

Nightshade Part 1: The Claws of Sutekh, more commonly known simply as Nightshade, is a game for the NES released in 1991 -- the very end of that system's life. For plenty of reasons, the game was not successful and faded into obscurity. Yet, in recent years (thanks to internet and particularly The Happy Video Game Nerd), it has became something of a Cult Classic.

The game chronicles the rise of Badass Normal vigilante "Nightshade". Armed with only a hat and trenchcoat, some shades (at night), and his fists, he's out to clean up crime-ridden Metro City, now swarming with gangsters since the death of its former super-hero, Vortex. Nightshade's main priority is trying to track down the Diabolical Mastermind who's controlling them, Sutekh.

Very tongue in cheek and only taking itself seriously when necessary, Nightshade combines two very different kind of game-play: Point-and-click adventure with a (rather unpolished) fighting system. Don't be fooled though, Nightshade is really, really hard. You'll die, many times, which leads to something particularly original in the game: Your continues play out in the form of Death Traps that you have to escape from. If you manage to escape, you get to live for another day, if you don't... well. This doesn't mean you have infinite continues though; after a few traps, you'll be placed in an inescapable one.

Seeing how obscure this game is, it's no surprise that the franchise never got to Nightshade part 2. Luckily, it has spawned the Spiritual Successor SNES game Shadowrun.

There is a very interesting article in the Might Have Been column on GameSetWatch trying to explain why this game flopped. Give it a look if you can.

Not to be confused with Play Station 2 game called Nightshade (2003 video game).

Tropes used in Nightshade include:

 "Durr, no entry, sir. Or madam."

 Sutekh: Farewell, Lampshade!

Nightshade: NIGHTSHADE!!

Sutekh: Oh, sorry.

 "Oh, so you need it in writing? Well, it's a D-O-G."

  • Four Is Death: The city is held by a tetralogy of crime lords who report directly to Sutekh: King Rat, Goliath, Lord Muck, and the Ninja Mistress.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Scattering food for animals is key to winning, and will save your bacon in one instance.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Sutekh's real identity is Waldo Schmeer.
  • Game Over Man: Sutekh. "Metro City is mine!"
  • Gang of Hats: British gents in in bowler hats, mutant rats, bald thugs, and all-female ninjas.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Sandleford telling you to "bug off."
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Nightshade doesn't have any gadgets, or powers -- just his fists.
    • The English gents insist on fighting by Queensberry Rules.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: Your goal is to enter Sutekh's hideout by collecting five scarabs. A secondary objective is to find four Egyptian artifacts before Sutekh steals them.
  • Grimy Water: The sewer has rivers of toxic waste for you to avoid.
  • Guide Dang It
  • He Knows Too Much: Sandleford is evidently in deep trouble, as he's holed up on the edge of town with a ninja practicing punches outside his door.
  • Heal Thyself: There is only one first-aid kit, so be careful with it.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Nightshade positively melts whenever you examine dogs (even if they're trying to kill him). He does not get along with cats.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Everyone is pretty rude to Nightshade, at least in the beginning. You need to earn "Popularity" by performing heroic deeds.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: The least effective method of healing, but at least it's there.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When you examine the old lady NPCs, Nightshade waxes poetic about old people being the "pillars of society. It's people like this I wage my war on crime for. And you can't even see the glue."
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: A modest example would be Goliath's penthouse. There's no way in, so Nightshade must leap onto the elevator and climb the sides of the building to the roof.
  • Joe Sent Me: Make friends with the nut vendor and he'll refer you to his brother, who guards the back door to a club.

 "Goodness gracious! You look like the sort of person who's recently spoken to my brother! Why don't you go through this back door?"

 "If there's one thing I hate, it's anarchic squirrels."

 "I hate it when that happens."

 "Nightshade had a long and meaningful conversation with the rat. Both feel they have been enriched by the experience."

  • A Spot of Tea: Confronting Lord Muck in the Pyramid Club. "Oh dear, this always happens at tea time."
  • Stillborn Franchise: The "Part One" and subtitle imply that this was meant to be part of a larger franchise, though it could be yet another gag.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Justified Trope for being an actual human femur. A Dinosaur Doggie Bone can be taken from the mounted dinosaur at the museum.
  • Spooky Painting: A portrait of some random guy whose expression changes each time you see it. The sequence goes from "happy" to "The Scream".
  • Surprise Creepy: Vortex's corpse is still chained up in the sewers. It's amazing that Nintendo didn't catch this one.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Nightshade pledges to carry on where Vortex failed. For some reason, Vortex foresaw this and left behind numerous hints and power-ups.
  • Thememobile: Vortex's car. (Sadly, you can't drive it.)
  • Tin Tyrant: Sutekh.
  • Tradesnark: Protecting the streets from The Cloying Grasp of Evil™.
    • "Sutekh: Beware the Staff of Ra. (Ominous Warnings Ltd.)"
  • Trouble Entendre: The clothing store girl offers to read Nightshade's horoscope: "You will assaulted by a ninja with, like, incredible dress sense."
    • Likewise, the waitress warn against going into the back room, or else "breakages may occur."
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "It's just a horribly beweaponed girl in a skin-tight martial arts costume. Nothing unusual."
  • Valley Girl: In a clever reversal, all of the dimwitted blondes in this game are actually ninjas.

 "Oh wow! It's like, so totally awesome to be, like, relating with you at this moment."

 Nightshade: Not so fast, you twisted fiend!


 "Go forth, young Nightcart!"

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