Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True

Déjà Vu is a point-and-click adventure game that draws inspiration from "noir" detective novels that were popular in the 1940s.


Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True (also referred to as Deja Vu, without the accent marks) was originally released in 1985 for the Macintosh, but was later ported to MS-DOS in 1987, and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. The game is a point-and-click adventure game in a 1940s detective style. Déjà Vu was developed by ICOM Simulations, Inc. and published by MindScape as a MacVenture game (other games included Shadowgate and Uninvited). Déjà Vu was also ported to the Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy Color, PocketPC, and Windows.

The game was relatively well-received, winning the Best Entertainment Product in 1986 from Software Publishers Association, and helping to inspire other adventure games such as LucasArts' Maniac Mansion. The game also had a sequel, titled Déjà Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas.


Ace's boxer history comes in handy.
Ace's boxer history comes in handy.

Déjà Vu's gameplay is traditional point-and-click gameplay. As with many point-and-click adventure games, Déjà Vu has many puzzles that require the usage of items previously picked up. The game plays out as a mystery story, starring a detective named Theodore "Ace" Harding. There are "enemies" around the streets of Chicago.

Muggers can randomly stop Ace and attack him, but Ace can attack first. Naturally, there are other ways to "die," such as the police (as Ace was framed), and a mysterious old acquaintance with a grudge. Another feature in the game is a taxi cab, which Ace can use to visit certain locations that he has gathered the address of.

Throughout the game, Ace's mental condition can change (as he was drugged). After obtaining the antidote, however, this stops happening. Flashbacks also serve as a source to help Ace learn more about what happened before he lost his memory.


Ace has many flashbacks.
Ace has many flashbacks.

The game begins in Chicago during December of 1941 with a man (the protagonist) awaking in a bathroom stall, with no memory of who he is, why he is there, or what is going on. After some research, he finds that his name is Theodore "Ace" Harding, a retired boxer turned private detective. The building he is in is "Joe's Bar," and Ace finds many mysterious things within the bar, including a dead body in the upstairs room. Ace finds out that he is to be framed for the murder of that man.

After more research in Joe's Bar, Ace finds a room hidden away containing a chair with straps to strap down a victim, and several mysterious medical instruments, vials, and syringes. When Ace discovers a needle mark on his arm, it becomes apparent that he was drugged and that explains his memory loss. Ace later learns of the the people who are trying to frame him, tracks them down, and anonymously turns them into the police (thus clearing his reputation).