A little disclaimer in the manual for Brain Dead 13 set the pace for the rest of the game. You are given unlimited lives and will probably need all of them to survive Brain Dead 13. For those that do not know about Brain Dead 13, it is a Full Motion Video Game (FMV) in the style of Dragon’s Lair which was in the style of animated movies. Brain Dead 13 puts you in, somewhat, control of Lance who is a young computer expert who is making a house call to a dilapidated castle- at night. Nothing can go wrong with this scenario, right?
Well, this is a game after all. The genius doctor, Dr. Deurosis who has a brain but no body, is planning on taking over the world. The whole idea behind Brain Dead 13 is to give players a lot more interaction with the ongoing cartoon. This was a problem that affected nearly every other FMV game that has been made- lack of interaction. Brain Dead 13 pulls another idea from Dragon’s Lair in having some scenes mirrored so it is no always a left or right move to complete a room.
There is also the whole shorter scenes between inputs from the player. This makes it seem more interactive to the player as most scenes play out in less than 20 to 30 seconds of animation. Most are 5 to 10 seconds before you are required to make another selection within the limited time frame given per choice. Gamers of today may recognize the interactive points as “Quick Time Events”- you are severely limited on time to complete a button press or sequence.
Brain Dead 13 hit plenty of platforms. The PC, Saturn and Atari Jaguar CD versions all were fit onto a single CD-ROM. This compression results in a severe drop in video quality. The CD-I, 3DO and Playstation versions all fit onto two CD-ROM’s which gave greater detail to the animation (I played the 3DO version at release and other versions later). Brain Dead 13 has also been released on iTunes and features the best video quality of all available versions so far. There is no known Android port in the works, unfortunately.