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The Thing is a survival horror game from the year 2002. It acts as a sequel to the 1982 film The Thing.
The video game contains examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Blake's superior officer Colonel Whitely is voiced by William B. Davis. Turns out later in the game that in fact Whitely is in charge of the covert military project trying to analyze and exploit the Thing that Blake ends up fighting as well. The bastard...
Blake: Game Over, Whitely...
- Air Vent Passageway: At one point, Blake acquires access to another room by walking hunched through a four-foot-wide air duct.
- Black Dude Dies First:
- To an extent. Larsen, the Norwegian medic is the first character assimilated.
- Carter is the first marine to be outed as a Thing.
- Boss Arena Idiocy: The final boss just -happens- to be placed in an area where there are flammable barrels all around, and for some reason, when you shoot them, they shoot fire inwardly towards the thing instead of exploding.
- The Cameo: John Carpenter contributes his likeness to the character of Dr. Faraday, and MacReady, alive and well, shows up to help you fight the final boss.
- Canon Immigrant: The video game version officially follows the events after the film ended, and reveals what happened to Childs and RJ MacReady... Childs died of exposure, and RJ survived.
- Continuity Nod: There are several through the game: In the introductory tutorial level, which takes place at the remains of Outpost 31, Blake and his team can find the tape recorder MacReady used in the movie and play back his audio journal. You also get to explore the Norwegian outpost, and the UFO makes an appearance as well.
- Game Breaker: In the third boss fight (which is a giant thing-tentacle hanging from the ceiling) there is seemingly no safe place for you to hide without getting hit by the boss creature, forcing you to keep moving around to dodge its attacks. There's actually a very easy way to prevent this however: stand literally right against it. Due to some fault in the programming it can reach anywhere in the room, except a foot or so in front of it.
- Gunship Rescue: Happens in the final level.
- The Immune: It's mentioned that Blake has an unusual resistance to Thing infection, which greatly interests the scientists studying the creature. This also explains how Blake doesn't turn into the Thing despite all the bites and ooze he ends up taking over the course of the game.
- Kill It with Fire: This is averted with the Spiderhead Things and Exposed Things as they can be permanently killed with conventional firearms. The larger Things including the Bosses play this trope straight but can also be finished off with high explosives as a nod to how MacReady killed the Blair Thing at the end of the film..
- Plot Hole:
- The first two squad mates you receive after encountering the Thing turn out to be infected, but neither of them attack you when you're alone with them, and if you give them the blood test before the scripted event that turns them into things, it shows that they're human.
- The game also never explains how Macready survived in the cold for three months (the timeframe between the end of the film, and the beginning of the game), and how he managed to get a flyable helicopter. One possibility is that that he was captured by Gen Inc. and held as a potential test subject, only to eventually escape, and steal a helicopter. However, this could count as Fridge Horror, as one fan theory states that Macready is actually a Thing that's flying to the mainland, and helped Blake defeat the Whitely Thing, so as to divert suspicion away from itself. It would explain why Macready survived for so long in the arctic climate, and Childs did not.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The video game featured "After Me" by Saliva.
- Redshirt Army: Your squad members can - and will - die, or turn out to be Things.
- That One Level: One stage late in the game has you going down a seemingly endless staircase. Sounds easy enough...except there are automatic turrets on every level (that can take up to five grenade hits to destroy), scalding steam vents, seemingly endless streams of scuttling creatures that pop out of dead bodies (and attack you from front and behind), and the medic, your only hope of surviving the stage, turns into a monster at random points. If you don't have enough health packs on you, or enough firepower, it's impossible to get through the stage.
- The Virus: The covert military group researching (and trying to weaponize) the Thing actually classified it as the Cloud Virus, which could be Fridge Brilliance since actual viruses reproduce in a manner somewhat similar to the Thing - namely infiltrating a cell and then hijacking the machinery of said host cell to produce more copies of itself, render the cell difficult to detect by the immune system, and so on.
- The Medic: Several appear.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After meeting Pierce early on, the two of you join forces, and leave a room, ending the level. In the next level, Pierce has gotten separated from Blake, and is never heard from again.
- This was partially spoiled in the game teaser: The level after that you'll come across an isolated watchtower early on. Inside Blake will find Pierce waiting with a gun to his own head, who tells Blake he's been infected. Afterwards Pierce proceeds to take things to a logical conclusion. Oddly enough the Thing doesn't immediately take over to try and stop the suicide.