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Illbleed (イ\ルブリード) is a Survival-Horror video game developed and published by Crazy Games (formerly known as Climax Graphics) in Japan (but published by AIA in the US) for the Sega Dreamcast. It was released in Japan on March 29, 2001 and later in North America on April 16, 2001. Despite being financially unsuccessful, this game received a worldwide cult following for its notable combination of nonlinear gameplay elements (e.g. trap detection) and bizarre B-movie style comedy horror theme, dialogue and voice acting.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The opening scene in Illbleed starts with the main protagonist, Eriko Christy, giving a speech for a 18th annual speech contest. She talks about her troubled childhood in which her father, who was a horror theme park designer, tested out all his new traps and props on her until she was six years old, when her mother left him. At age seven, Eriko only watched many different horror movies and then later, at high school, she created the "Horror Movie Research Club" with her as the club president. All of Eriko's friends are members of the club (with the exception of Jorg, whom they meet much later in the game).

After Eriko's speech, Eriko, Kevin, and Randy meet outside to discuss Eriko's speech. In the middle of their conversation, Michel excitedly runs up to them holding invitations to "Illbleed" received as a Petco promotion, rumored to be the most exclusive horror theme park to date. The invitations also state that the first ones to clear all the traps and exit alive will be rewarded with $100,000,000.

They beg Eriko to go with them, but Eriko remains unimpressed and is certain that the park is just a hoax with cheap props and scares. Smitten with the idea of victory, Kevin, Michel, and Randy all set out for Illbleed and leave Eriko with her ticket.

Three days pass without word from her friends, thus Eriko decides to head to Illbleed in search of them. She enters the park and this is where the game starts. As Eriko progresses through each level, she can successfully rescue her friends and meets Jorg in the fifth stage of the game (Jorg doesn't appear on the character selection screen because he is not one of Eriko's friends but in the killerman stage he is taken away on a cart by a zombie showing the player that he needs to be rescued).

After the levels are all completed, Eriko is forced to venture into the "Michael Reynolds' Horror Museum." She fights one of three bosses that Michael Reynolds, the creator of Illbleed and the main antagonist, has set up for them in order to complete the game. The number of friends saved will determine the ending of the game.

If all three friends and Jorg are saved, the best ending consists of Eriko and friends (except Jorg) at a beach enjoying themselves and trying to decide what to do with their prize money. Eriko suddenly states that she is going back to Illbleed and tells them not to follow, despite their enthusiasm to return with her.

If Eriko fails to rescue a friend, the bad ending comes with the camera scrolling through the park, Eriko speaking in the background (who now sounds older) saying she got the prize money, but lost her friend(s) in the process, saying she would give up the money to bring back her friends,(even though there is a visitor bank that the player can use to revive any of Eriko's friends he/she failed to rescue) the screen ends with the camera closing up on a grave of her dead friend.

If the player finishes the game a second time, and does not save anyone, (including Jorg which means the player won't get the bonus cash in the killerman stage) the true ending is shown. Eriko finds out that the mastermind behind Illbleed, Michael Reynolds, is actually her father. Reynolds reveals that his true intention is solely to scare Eriko after being unable to do so when she turned six. A fight ensues with Eriko emerging as the victor and commenting on how Reynolds "destroyed himself" and "scared the living hell out of her".

After the credits roll, a picture shows Kevin and Eriko embracing with Kevin announcing that he is taking over as club president as Eriko has become a very timid person after her second visit to Illbleed and refuses to visit another horror house. He further explains that she needs protection now and that he would be the one to provide it. The game ends with a close-up of an invitation ticket to "The Arcade" which has a similar layout and appearance to the Illbleed invitations as seen in the opening scene.

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