ObsCure Wiki
256px-Obscure cover
Developer: Hydravision Entertainment
Publisher: Playlogic
Engine: Renderware
Released: October 1, 2004 (PS2, Xbox)
2005 (PC)
Genre: Survival horror
Third-person shooter
Science fiction
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
Ratings: ESRB: Mature (M)
Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox
Media: 1 DVD Rom, Digital, 5 CD Roms
Input: System Joypads

ObsCure is a survival horror game developed by Hydravision Entertainment and published by DreamCatcher Interactive for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on October 1, 2004 in Europe, and April 6, 2005 in North America. It was later published by Ubisoft in China and by MC2-Microids in other territories. The Microsoft Windows port was released in 2005.

The story focuses on five senior high students of a private high school, Leafmore High, who stumble upon a laboratory where experiments are being done on the selected individuals of the student body. Their mission is to rescue a missing friend Kenny, warn the school, save their teachers, and get out alive. The exact date for when the game is set is unknown, but it occurs in late 2003 sometime after September 17th according to the School Newspaper. Additionally, a flyer in the gym mentions a school match on September 16th and 17th.

The game received a sequel, ObsCure II.


Kenny Matthews, a jock and popular school basketball player, stays late in the school gym to shoot some hoops. Ashley Thompson, his girlfriend, calls him and diverts his attention from the mysterious figure running off with his gym bag. Kenny pursues the thief and is led behind an iron gate leading to an old mansion. In the basement, he finds a secret passageway that leads to an underground corridor. He discovers glass cases with plants and other experimental subjects. He opens a seal locked door at the end of the hall to find Dan, a student who has been used as a guinea pig for the experiments and locked in the underground lab. Kenny convinces Dan to leave with him, but they are attacked by a giant mutated creature. Dan gives his life to allow Kenny to escape. Hurrying up the ladder at the end of the corridor, Kenny is locked in by the mysterious figure.

The next day, Ashley informs Kenny's sister Shannon Matthews that he stood her up the other night. Shannon says that Kenny didn't come home either. Both girls concur that Kenny must be in trouble and they need to find a way to aide him. They visit Josh Carter, the school videographer and would-be detective, to ask him if he knows of Kenny's whereabouts. He does not, but suggests that they stay after school to look for him.

Our Three

Shannon, Ashley and Josh during their search.

After everyone has left and all the doors are locked, they begin their investigation. They encounter the monsters and find their biology teacher Walden who smashes a window, revealing the monsters are weak to sunlight. Walden claims he knows nothing about what's going on and implores the teens to go find principal Herbert Friedman. Walden then leaves after vaguely claiming he has "something to do".

At Walden's suggestion, they go looking for the principal at his office in the classroom wing of the school. They find Stan Jones, the school stoner and slack student, if he knows where Kenny is. He does not, but upon hearing Kenny's missing, decides to join them in their search. In the Friedman's office, they discover that he has a twin brother Leonard Friedman. They also find a note informing the janitor that principal Friedman is in his office at the school library.


Mr. Garrison's mangled body.

Upon meeting him in the library, the four inform Herbert Friedman of the monsters plaguing the campus and of Kenny's disappearance. He then informs them that he will find Kenny and that they should leave immediately. He tells them to speak with Mr. Garrison, the school janitor, to let them out. When they visit the janitor, he has been ripped apart and is in a bloody heap on the floor. One of the students takes the liberty of watching security tapes in his office. Through VHS tapes they learn that Friedman took Kenny's bag and lured him into a secret passageway in the basement behind the school and locked him in there. They also find out that someone else was there last night investigating, and that he got chased away by the monsters, and that he accidentally let them out of the basement, which explains why they roam around the school building. On the second VHS tape, they see Kenny still alive and decide to rescue him. They also spot Elisabeth Lucy Wickson, the school nurse, pleading for help as she is trapped in the nurse's office.

They travel through the cafeteria wing to get to her and get some answers. When they find Nurse Wickson, she appears to be out of her mind. However, in her mindless babble, she reveals that Herbert has been doing something "unsafe". The students use a handwheel they found in infirmary to access a hidden door in the administration block, which is now in complete ruins. They learn that there are secret basements hidden underneath the school and figure out that that's where Kenny must be. They encounter Walden again, frantically searching for Friedman. They inform him that they've seen Friedman in the library and that they need a key to the auditorium. Walden gives them the key and runs out.


The Queen boss.

In the school amphitheater, they find class pictures spanning decades on the wall. In each one, principal Friedman appears to be the same age. They fire up the theater screen and watch the tape that's inside the player. It reveals the Friedman brothers doing tests on human subjects and the subjects mutating into monsters. It also shows Leonard Friedman injecting himself and watching the skin on his face rapidly changing into something grotesque. The students defeat a monster known as the Queen, then use the ladder under an elevator shaft to access the basements. While climbing down the ladder, the elevator falls, and if the player forgot to use the safety mechanism on the elevator, the elevator will fatally crush whoever is in player 2 spot.

While in the basement, the students encounter the second phase of students transforming into ArbolTrebol, who are much tougher and stronger that the regular Evolved Infected. They fight through and manage to reach the prison where Kenny is being held. Upon walking in, principal Friedman unleashes a toxin, rendering them all unconscious. When they wake, the surviving students are all in behind bars. One of them discovers a metal hook left in their cell by the back wall and hands it to Kenny, who reaches the circuit breaker and pulls on the cords, unlocking the cell doors. Kenny then informs them that they have been injected with a serum, and if they are exposed to light for too long, they will mutate. Kenny suggest to meet up with Ms. Wickson, believing she can help them out. They use a big pair of bolt cutters to retrieve their items and weapons. The students then fight their way to the surface and back to campus.


Ms. Wickson before dying.

They find Ms. Wickson all bloody and beaten up (presumably by Mr Walden). The students once again ask Ms. Wickson for help, telling her they've been infected. On her dying breath, she reveals to them that there is an antidote that can save them and that it's hidden inside Friedman's secret lab, which can be accessed through the garden entrance of the basements. Having no other leads, the students decide to cut down all big padlocks on the schoolground with the bolt cutters they stole. They reach the dorms, which have been abandoned for decades as there were rumors of people disappearing there. While there, they recover a safe with Alan Gardener's diary and library office key inside.

In the diary, Alan reveals that Herbert had a twin brother named Leonard Friedman who went missing. He reveals that Leonard and Ms. Wickson were married and that the two, along with Herbert, were at least one hundred years old. The Friedman brothers managed to make themselves immortal and immune to aging after experimenting with a flower they brought back from Africa, Mortifilia. They kidnapped and tested the serum on the students. Watching a film reel earlier in the game showed that Leonard tried testing the serum on himself, but he got horribly mutated. Alan points the students to the direction of Friedman's lab, revealing that it's behind a big door in the basement that can be opened by finding four statues with hidden mechanisms on them that can be used to open the door. Alan attempted to find out what was behind the door, before he himself became a guinea pig of the school headmaster (confirmed by a note found earlier in the game).

With the new acquired key, the students break into Friedman's hidden office and retrieve one of the statues needed to open the big door and reels wheel they decide to go look at. On their way back to the courtyard, they encounter Mr. Walden again. They tell him that there is an antidote to the infection and when they show him the map to the basement, Mr. Walden becomes crazy, coughs up a huge amount of spores, revealing he is long infected. In a crazed state, Mr. Walden takes off with the basement map and locks the students in the library. However, they quickly find their way out.

After watching the reels wheel, they find a code, that they use on a gate in northwest part of the school to enter the gardens behind the school. The path leads them to the same house that Kenny encountered the previous night. They enter the basement through there and use the statues they've collected to open up the big door. Walden is there in time to see the big door open and enters it. He threatens Herbert Friedman who is holding a briefcase containing the antidote, with a gun. Friedman refuses to give it to him, claiming Walden is too infected to be cured. Walden, clearly losing his mind, shoots Friedman in the chest and takes his briefcase. Just after he injects himself with the antidote, he is impaled by a horribly mutated Leonard Friedman. Leonard then tosses Walden's body around the room before slamming it onto the door.

The survivors arrive to the scene just in time to see Herbert die from his chest wound. This enrages Leonard, who decides to punish the students severely. The students, however, shoot Leonard's roots holding the roof and acting as support beams. By destroying some of the roots, the roof begins to collapse, crushing Leonard and making the way for students to reach the ground floor. It is revealed that Leonard was situated right beneath the gym. The survivors inject themselves with the antidote, but then Leonard is revealed to be still alive. The students continue to defend themselves long enough for the sunlight to completely burn Leonard's skin and organs off, leaving behind only a skeleton. With his death, the roots dry out and the students are finally safe.


For the Leafmore Survivors

The five survivors in the Good Ending.

ObsCure features two ending versions, the "good" and the "bad" ending.

  • Good Ending: This ending is only obtainable if all five surviving students survive. While Kenny and Ashley make up, and Josh and Shannon take a breather, Stan recovers the briefcase. While bending down to get it, the Walden monster rises above to attack. Stan jumps back and pierces its head with a bullet.
  • Bad Ending: This ending is always obtained if at least one student dies. The currently-playing character walks away in the gym after injecting themselves with the cure. A short scene shows a funeral happening for the victims of Leafmore. However, the coffin suddenly emits a dark cloud of smoke, suggesting their corpse is infected with the virus and could infect it to the funeral attenders.



The playable characters (left to right): Shannon Matthews, Kenny Matthews, Stan Jones, Ashley Thompson, Josh Carter

Playable characters

  • Josh Carter (voiced by Sam Riegel) - A shy and reserved reporter for the school paper. He can tell if there's anything left to do in an area, such as items to pick up, or locations that advance the storyline. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny.
  • Stanley Jones (voiced by Scott Haze) - A stoner and a slack student at the school, good friends with Josh and Kenny. The only problems that he had in school is being a thief and hacker in computers. He is able to crack locks easier. With more skill, he can break into rooms as well. First received when entering the bottom left building on the map.
  • Kenny Matthews (voiced by Liam O'Brien) - He is the varsity athlete, and Shannon's older brother, who is blessed with quick speed and a powerful punch. First received at the beginning.
  • Shannon Matthews (voiced by Stephanie Sheh) - Kenny's smart younger sister. Shannon dresses provocatively to take the focus away from her intelligence. She provides tips on puzzles and heals other's wounds for them. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny. She is able to heal 20% more with a normal health item.
  • Ashley Thompson (voiced by Tara Platt) - She is a cheerleader, and is also Kenny's girlfriend. She has the ability to rapid-fire a pistol, and deals more damage with most weapons. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny.
  • Dan - A student that was held in a prison and is playable when Kenny saves him, however he cannot help the player for long as he immediately gets killed when escaping a mutated experiment. He will appear again in the game clips as a fully mutated experiment.

Non-player characters

  • Professor Walden: A biology teacher of Leafmore High. He appears several times; sometimes offering help, other times obstructing the main characters in a frantic manner. The player later discovers this is due to him recently obtaining knowledge of his employer's actions.
  • Ms. Elisabeth Lucy Wickson: The nurse of Leafmore High. There is more to her than there appears to be. Apparently, she has seemingly been involved in the Friedman plans to some extent. She later helps the survivors out by telling them where the cure is and she dies.
  • Herbert Friedman: The principal of Leafmore High. A former scientist and co-founder of Leafmore High. Herbert and his brother Leonard discovered a plant in their expeditions that had a possibility to regenerate cells indefinitely. Lacking the proper funds and test subjects, they instead found a school and perform secret experiments in a lab beneath it. A rash of student disappearances start. He is over 100 years old.
  • Leonard Friedman: The twin of Herbert and cofounder of Leafmore High. He is the first person to be mutated by the spores of the plant he and his brother discovered, as is shown in a reel of film recovered by the students. His brother then seeks to find a cure for him through experimentation. Herbert's last words to Leonard are "Leonard, forgive me... I almost found the formula. I almost did it..."
  • Mr. Garrison: The school janitor of Leafmore High who was apparently an ex-police officer. He locks the player into a room at the beginning without realizing he or she is there and later on has an interesting run-in with some monsters. Later on in the game when you go into the janitor's room, you will find Mr. Garrison ripped open on the floor. He does not survive the events of ObsCure.


620499-copyrighter obscure screenshot 137

Shannon Matthews and Ashley Thompson fighting a monster.

ObsCure plays like many survival horror games, requiring player to find items and weapons, and defeat monsters. The game's monsters are deathly allergic to sunlight, so during the daytime part of the game, players may smash windows to let in the sunlight and kill enemies quickly. Additionally, flashlights are available to weaken monsters.

ObsCure also allows players to combine items, for example taping a flashlight to any firearm, though this requires Adhesive Tape to be found.

ObsCure gives players the ability to control and switch between any of five playable characters on the fly. Given that he or she will be playing in pairs of characters, the other characters will be computer-controlled A.I., or a second player can join in and take over for the computer at any time. The game has a two-player cooperative mode that allows the player to complete the campaign with a friend. However, it can only has built-in local co-op requiring players to share the same screen, though it can be played online via Steam Remote Play.

The five playable students all share unique abilities and perks to help survive. None of them are necessary to complete the game. Each character can perform the same physical acts even if it takes some characters longer and/or more effort than others.

ObsCure is rather unique in that the game will continue even after a student is killed, meaning it has "perma death". This makes finishing the rest of the game more difficult.

At certain points in the game, the cast will have a "meeting spot" where the player can change their characters. This also acts as a fast travel.

The game has a number of modes for different difficulties and unlockables.

Cutscene variations

The game features different cutscenes depending on who the currently-playing student is.

Regional differences

The game has a number of regional and version differences.


The game's soundtrack has 24 tracks, written and produced by Olivier Derivière.

  1. Main Titles
  2. Empty School
  3. Something Hidden
  4. First Ones
  5. Blowing Up a Wall
  6. Being Surrounded
  7. Herbert Friedman
  8. Who is Herbert?
  9. Wickson, the Nurse
  10. Infested Place
  11. Give Us Eternity
  12. The First Queen
  13. Pure Suite
  14. Wickson and Leonard
  15. The Second Queen
  16. Gardener's Story
  17. Herbert's Secret Office
  18. Old Movie
  19. Friedman's Place
  20. Finding Leo
  21. Final Fight
  22. Leonard's Death
  23. Death
  24. End Titles

ObsCure also contains tracks performed by bands. The opening video features "Still Waiting" by Sum 41 and "Don't Think the Way They Do" and "Baby's Come Back" by Span, though they were removed in the Steam version.

In the German version, there were many songs from Sportfreunde Stiller.

The Spanish version features the song Supersonica performed by Dawholeenchilada for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game.

The French version of the game features the song Cinglés performed by Enhancer for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game.


Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com C[4]
Game Informer 6/10[5]
GameSpot 6.4/10[6]
GameSpy 3/5[7]
GamesTM 5/10[8]
IGN 7.6/10[9]
Play Magazine 7.5/10[10]

Upon release, ObsCure received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with many reviews around the 6/10 score. However, many critics praised the co op component. The general atmosphere and music was well-received, as well as how enemies react to light.

While players found the lore behind the monsters and events interesting, some players felt the characterization of the main teen cast were on the bland side and that they were rather "static" in character development, lacking compelling emotional moments. Many of the character interactions and cutscenes are kept short, often with the teens acting confused and encountering a teacher who proceeds to walk away half a minute later. The ending may also feel short and abrupt to video games of today, with the ending cutscene not really touching upon on Leafmore High's fate. The developers recognized this and decided to make ObsCure II more linear and feature more dialogue and banter between the cast, as well as provide closure on Leafmore.

In recent times, ObsCure has received much higher reception by players, especially survival horror enthusiasts, with an 8.8 on Metacritic user rating. Many of these players consider the game an obscure cult classic. The game also received "overwhelmingly positive" reviews on Steam.


  • The story was inspired by the 1998 film The Faculty, a movie where students discover their teachers are aliens. One of the main characters is also named Stan, though it is unknown if it was a direct reference.

External links



Kenny MatthewsShannon MatthewsJosh CarterAshley ThompsonStan Jones
Herbert FriedmanDenny WaldenElisabeth WicksonMr. GarrisonDanAlan Gardener
BiterInfected StudentEvolved InfectedCrawler FlyCrabArbolTrebolQueenLeonard Friedman
Automatic PistolBaseball BatMetal BarOld ShotgunOld PistolRevolverTwo Barrel ShotgunFlashlightLaserMorgenstern BatLaser GunLight Grenade
Leafmore High (CafeteriaHerbert's OfficeGymnasium)
ItemsSecrets and Unlockables