- Deep Fear
Deep Fear Developer(s) Sega Publisher(s) Sega Platform(s) Sega Saturn Release date(s)
- JP July 16, 1998
- PAL October, 1998
Genre(s) Survival horror Mode(s) Single player Media/distribution 2xCD-ROM
It borrows many aspects from Capcom's Resident Evil such as the use of first-aid sprays as the player's sole healing item and a significant dependency on firearms. But the game offered many unique gameplay features such as buttons that allow the player to use items in real-time and the ability to walk and run while armed.
Much like Resident Evil, the game is notorious for its comically sub-par voice acting and nonsensical dialogue. The music was composed by Kenji Kawai. The creatures and characters were designed by Manga artist Yasushi Nirasawa.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Big Table areas
- 4 Characters
- 4.1 Base occupants
- 4.2 Base visitors
- 4.3 Animals
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Partly inspired by the films Leviathan and The Abyss, Deep Fear takes place 300 meters under the Pacific Ocean in a naval fueling and research facility known as the Big Table (SSB-01). Players assume the role of John Mayor, an ex-Navy SEAL who resigned and joined forces with a civilian rescue group known as the ERS (Emergency Rescue Services). The ERS is one of many civilian corporations that, according to the Big Table's history, was offered space at the facility in order to aid the Navy in a severe budget cut.
A small UFO descends from space and lands near the Big Table. The Sea Fox, a considerably small but fast nuclear submarine, is dispatched to collect the object and refuel at the Big Table. Shortly after the refueling, however, the Sea Fox crashes into a separable portion of the base known as the Navy Area, which serves as the base's fueling and top secret research facility.
Neglecting the high security level of the Navy Area, the base commander calls in a SEAL team as the primary rescue enforcement, but sends the ERS into the area so they can extract an important doctor from the area and re-connect the area to the base.
From here, the presence of hostile mutants cause trouble throughout the base as human beings—living or undead—begin to transform into grotesque creatures that are fueled by one goal: to kill.
The controls were similar to, yet somewhat advanced from Resident Evil. Players moved John through pre-rendered rooms of the base shown in fixed camera angles using a permanent 3D control scheme. Players had full control of the Options which allowed them to turn on or off certain on-screen indicators such as an oxygen counter, health meter and bullet count. Once armed, players could move freely using the D-pad and could even run while aiming a firearm. The game fully utilized the Saturn's six-button controller, allowing players to have instant access to a map screen as well as real-time use of grenades and health items that could be used without having to go into the inventory screen.
Additional Gameplay Features
Oxygen: Because the setting takes place underwater and due to certain circumstances in the base, the base's oxygen supply will deplete over time. So one point of survival includes the function of refilling low oxygenated areas as to avoid choking to death. In addition to this, the limited oxygen levels will deplete faster once a firearm is overused in rooms which lack proper oxygen levels.
The oxygen in certain areas can be replenished through yellow oxygen boxes known as Air Systems (AS) located in different rooms of each area. Each AS allows the player the ability to save an unlimited number of times as well as the ability to refill the player's Regulator once acquired. There is an option to view how much oxygen is left in an area, but often a red emergency light helps indicate how low the oxygen is to the player with the number-option off (it's also indicated on the player's map with rooms colored red).
A97 Oxygen Grenades: Harmless grenades used to replenish low oxygenated rooms or hallways.
Regulator: In case the player is not near an AS or lack Oxygen Grenades, they can equip a regulator (once acquired) which will allow them to breathe both in low oxygen areas and flooded areas (it's also worth mentioning that each door to each room in the base features two doors and a vacuum system between them; this ensures that a flooded room will not leak outside the room once flooded).
Combat: Because of the protagonist's prior combat experience as a SEAL, he is comfortable using and is familiar with all sorts of firearms. With this in mind, the player automatically locks on to nearby enemies once the 'arm' button is pushed, as well as being able to move freely once armed (any high or low enemies are automatically aimed at). In addition to these, there is an option that allows players to switch manually between multiple targets.
Weapon Storage: Due to the base's record lack of weapon usage, the player is allowed access to an over stocked supply of ammunition for a number of different weapons located in the Weapons Storage rooms. However, security is still maintained and only certain weapons can be accessed by important individuals in the base. Therefore, all non-standard firearms are accessed in the game once the player collects the appropriate Weapon Storeroom Passcards.
Big Table areas
The Big Table is a considerably massive base that has a number of levels and houses a number of Naval and civilian areas. Based near the edge of Mariana Trench off the coast of Guam, the Big Table serves a number of purposes with its areas.
- CCD (Central Control Deck): This is the area that is responsible for contacting the surface as well as multiple parts of the base via wireless PA. This is also where the Base Commander and designer live temporarily as well as a meeting room. Additionally, the ERS are stationed on the top floor of the area, right above one of the base's two emergency pools for submersibles to enter.
- Apartment Area: The living quarters for staff, workers and soldiers on the base, the Apartment Area houses a large number people on the third floor including the Docking Area foreman with an assortment of bunks.
Below this are the washing and laundry rooms as well as a small diner and entertainment/media room (where the player can watch any Digital Video Tapes found), and below this is a fast food restaurant, the base's first-aid station and a small recreational park.
- DN Area: A small area of the Big Table that is rented out by the Dynamic Network company, a company that specializes in varied communication levels. They also specialize in maintenance and hire special deep-sea divers and anti-pressure diving wear in order to make repairs to communication machines.
- Junk Area: A small, but necessary area of the base that incinerates all forms of garbage including hazardous waste materials.
- MI Area: A well proportioned part of the base which is rented by the Medical Industry for innumerous chemical experiments and research.
- Sea Farm Area: An agricultural company which specializes in breeding animals for deep underwater levels, complete with its own breeding pool and small pasture.
This area can lead to the separate Energy Unit Area via Sea-Bed Tunnel, the only true underground area of the base.
- Docking: The part of the base that allows access to the Navy and Air Unit Areas.
- Navy Area: A top secret part of the base that serves mostly as a refueling station for submarines, but currently houses a small research and record station. It is the sole part of the base that can be moved away from and reconnected to the bottom of the base.
- Air Unit Area: The Big Table's main source for oxygen, accessible to workers via gondola lift only.
- Energy Unit Area: The Big Table's main source for electricity, accessible either on foot or underwater through the outer Connection Park.
- Connection Park: A small warehouse used solely for storing explosive materials; stationed outside in the water between the base and Energy Unit Area for security reasons.
The protagonist of the story, John is a responsible and caring individual who, though quiet at times, is identified as a very agreeable person. As he was a SEAL Team 6 member, he is strictly disciplined and is used to taking orders despite the odds.
Since his resignation, he was administered in the ERS from his need to help and his prior combat experiences, though he tries to avoid recognizing the latter. He can be grievous to an extent as he sees every death a tragedy and is hard to let go of the past.
John begins the game with a cold, which is revealed to be what prevents him from transforming into a mutant over the course of the game.
The only other ERS member on the Big Table, Mookie is an energetic and compliant young man, though his sense of excitement often gets the better of him. He has a well established experience with submersibles which landed him in the pilot seat of the ERS submersible 'Little Shark.' As a newcomer to the ERS, he is currently being trained under John's easy-going tutorage. He was the first of the two ERS members to be admissioned at the Big Table, so he is more familiar with the areas of the base than John is. He is also a big fan of the New York Yankees and is never hesitant to inform others of his appreciation.
A passionate young lady from California who has an appreciation for animals. She works part-time as a Freelance Photogragpher, but her best work consists of underwater photography. She also has a certain knowledge of breeding various animals, particularly dolphins, and she is very responsible, all of which landed her in the Sea Farm company as a caretaker.
However, after being stationed at the Big Table, she finds her job boring as there is nowhere for her to go and have fun. Eventually her ennui is fought back when John arrives at the base and she tries to spend as much time as she can with him.
A dutiful and calm man, Commander Clancy (as he's best known around the base) is very responsible of his position at the Big Table. He ensures that all accident reports are made and will do anything necessary to prevent further accidents. He is very authoritative and can be stressed easily.
Supposedly hailing from Alsace-Lorraine, Dubois is a remarkably accomplished individual; he was a top graduate of his MIT class and is an expert in computer designs and architecture.
He was eventually hired by the Navy back in the nineties to design both the Sea Fox and every component of the Big Table, both of which he is emmensly proud of. Much like his origin, there is a particular duality to his personality: due to his accomplishments, he can be awfully conceited with his work and is very eccentric.
On the other hand however, he is amazingly helpful and is a compliant man willing to do anything he can to save others.
The lead researcher of the MI Area, Gena is a stoic woman who dedicates herself to her research. Though she seems apathetic and a little cold at times, she has a few soft spots in her that prove that she is humane and cares about others. As a biologist, she is seldom fearful of the unknown and is quick to observe and study what others won't.
The Docking Area Foreman, Danny takes every ounce of responsibility for his area. He can be very stubborn and expecting, but is otherwise well appreciated around the base, especially around his fellow maintenance and construction workers. He seems often relaxed and unnerved by bad news, though it's thought that's all he expects.
A professional deep-sea diver hired by the Dynamic Network company and stationed in her own room in the DN Area. Anna is a very independent woman and is as strong physically as she is mentally. Though she's been known to intimidate others with her rigid build and tough outlook on life, she is a very open person and is often playful.
Base visitors are characters who appear in the storyline, though most of them are not regular base occupants.
Captain of the Sea Fox; he tends to be a private man as there's not much known about him.
An executive for the Shirahata Heavy Industries Corporation in Japan. He was sent to the Big Table in order to retrieve Monitor Data on the company's anti-pressure diving equipment. He is somewhat witty despite being a dedicated business man.
A Colonel for the SEALs who is the leader of the additional rescue forces that Clancy called in after the initial accident. Few people know him on the inside as his exterior is blunt and strict enough that he has gained the nickname of 'Iron-Fist' over time.
In addition to the human characters, there are a few animals which serve a number of purposes on the base:
A bottle-nosed dolphin used for underwater breeding purposes in the Sea Farm. Despite being the only dolphin in the breeding pool, Andrew is very friendly and loves company. He happens to be Sharon's prized dolphin as she has taken plenty of underwater photographs of him.
A dysfunctional and aggressive chimpanzee who seems to be closely associated with Gena as she is the only person he is passionate with. Although Gena cares for Anthony, she tends to be overly lenient with him and lets him do as he pleases.
An explorative little bulldog who roams the Apartment Area of the Big Table. He can be very gluttonous despite his fit physique and is often sociable. He is very dependent on his loving owner Anna as he will run to her room if he's frightened.
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