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Adam Randall ventures to a haunted house in order to investigate the mysterious circumstances around his father's death. As he enters, however, the doors locks behind him and he is forced to journey throughout the entire house while looking for answers as well as means of escaping it. Along the way he meets up with the psychic woman Rebecca Trevisard who provides Adam with guidance as they work together in trying to escape. Adam soon discovers the house contains portals to several different universes, and that he is the Chosen One who must prevent the final apocalypic battle between the forces of good and evil.
The game has over 40 hours of content and includes many different universes to travel, and has a plot which involves multiple sides fighting for their own causes. The beginning gives the idea of Adam being against demonic forces, but later on player finds himself caught in much deeper plot between different forces, where demons play only one role.
Realms of the Haunting features first-person shooter and point-and-click adventure gameplay elements. The game takes place in a 3-dimensional world, in which the player explores locations and battle demons from a first-person perspective. At the same time, the game features a floating cursor with which to interact with the game world, such as to examine objects or pick up items. Like most point-and-click adventures, the game features many inventory-based puzzles.
Like many CD-ROM based games of the late 1990s, Realms of the Haunting features extensive use of full-motion video cutscenes, which utilize live-action actors.
The side of good
- Adam Randall - The game's protagonist. The enstranged son of a village priest, Adam receives a note from his late father which leads him to the abandoned mansion in which the game takes place. Adam soon discovers that he is the Chosen One, and must fulfill his destiny of preventing the resurrection of the Power of Satan, which would trigger Armageddon.
- Rebecca Trevisard - A young English psychic who Adam meets inside the house. Claiming to be an associate of Adam's late father, Rebecca quickly becomes his traveling companion and assists him in unlocking the mysteries of the house.
- Aelf - A knight of God who died in battle many years ago, Aelf's ghost appears throughout the game to provide advice and assistance to Adam. He is revealed to be an incarnation of the archangel Michael, and the nemesis of the demon Belial.
- Raphael - The guardian of the Tower, an interdimensional pathway that connects the different worlds of the multiverse. He is played by the same actor who portrays Aelf, and the game comments that the two characters are linked, although the plot never goes into specifics.
- Hawk - An angel who, like Aelf and Raphael, provides assistance to Adam in his quest. Hawk is meant to serve as the host to the Power of God during Armageddon, during which he is to battle Gaul, the vessel for the Power of Satan.
The side of evil
- Claude Florentine - The main antagonist of the game. Florentine is a French magician, several hundred years old, who is attempting to resurrect the Power of Satan and bring about the end of the world.
- Belial - Another major antagonist, Belial is a demon, one so powerful that in mythology he has often been confused with the Power of Satan itself. Belial pursues Adam throughout the story, attempting to seize Adam's power for himself so he can use it to bring about the end of the world. Once the trusted familiar of Florentine, Belial is now actively working against Florentine as the two compete for the favor of their master, the devil.
- Gaul - A gaunt man in a black suit, who carries a deck of playing cards around with him whenever he goes. Gaul is the "anti-Christ", who is meant to serve as the vessel for the Power of Satan during Armageddon.
- The Dodger - An evil apart from the Power of Satan. The Dodger was once a summoned monster controlled by Florentine, but somehow gained a will of its own and went rogue. It now roams the Tower, and has somehow managed to merge with the Eire, the evil force that roams the Tower in search of victims to consume. The Dodger appears at the very end of the game, serving as a final obstacle to Adam's escape from the mansion.
- David Tuomi as Adam Randall
- Emma Powell as Rebecca Trevisard
- David Learner as Belial
- Dave Roberts as Aelf, Raphael
- Marc Finn as Claude Florentine
- Kim Durham as Gaul
- Mark Byron as Hawk
- Roger Franke as Pelador
- Gerry Hinks as Charles Randall
- Mark Bedford as Undead 5
- Terry Malone as Undead 1
- Chris Briggs as Undead 3
- Lee Bedford as Undead 2
- Neil South as Undead 4
- Keith Dando as Taxi Driver, Doctor
- Big Al - Additional Voices
- Corey Johnson - Additional Voices
- Rob Rackstraw - Additional Voices
Notably, David Learner, who portrayed Belial, is better known for his role as Marvin the paranoid android from the BBC series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and also as Pickle in the cult children's TV program Knightmare.