The Outsider


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Rating: 4.2/5 (141 votes)
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DoraThe OutsiderIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times... wait, wait, hang on... that's wrong. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I... mmm, no, closer, but still not quite right. Ah! It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and dissolution; the putrid dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation... There we go! The Outsider is a short point-and-click horror game by bcdefg123 and based on a short story of the same name by none other than good ol' Howard Phillips Lovecraft. You find yourself lost and alone somewhere in a dark, unfriendly environment and think only of escaping and finding your way back to civilization... but are you ready for what waits for you there? Just click on the screen to interact, and click on an item in your inventory to "equip" it, then anywhere on the screen to try to use it. Some items can be combined, so click on different things in your inventory to see what you can create.

If you're anticipating the thing that goes bump in the night leaping out at you and going YARRRRR while the music goes SCREEEEE, well... don't. The Outsider, despite some wonderfully creepy atmosphere thanks to the gloomy-yet-lovely artwork of Aigis and J-qb, to say nothing of some smartly chosen music tracks, The Outsider is largely a sedate experience. There are actually a few places where you might be expecting a jump-scare simply because it seems like the logical spot to stick one, but when nothing materialises, you'll either feel relief... or disappointment. While Lovecraft's work is admittedly a lot more vague than most authors of horror (everything is always terrifying, but unknowable and indescribable), The Outsider still feels like it might have benefited by less shadows and more fangs. Of course, considering the game was made in just three days for the Newgrounds Game Jam 5 (theme of "literature"), it's still a remarkably well designed little package of heebie-jeebies.

The Outsider will probably take you less than ten minutes to play, but if you're a fan of Lovecraft it's well worth the trip. It's not particularly difficult, with items and their use typically being extremely obvious and only one number puzzle to speak of, but since Lovecraft's strength has always been in his dreamlike narrative, maybe it's for the best that the gameplay doesn't get in the way. You can actually read the original short story here if you're of a mind, though I don't recommend doing so until you've played the game to avoid ye olde spoilers. Whatever your opinion on Lovecraft as a writer, there's no denying the huge effect he had on literature, and this little offering serves as a great snack in his memory.

Play The Outsider

Walkthrough Guide


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The Outsider Walkthrough

General Knowledge

  • The circles at the bottom of the screen are the inventory spaces.

  • Items can be combined by first clicking an item to select it, then clicking a second item to attempt a combination.

  • Clicking musical note in the middle of the inventory mutes the music.

  • Click the speaker icon below the music note mutes all game sound.

  • To travel between scenes, click the black directional arrows on the top, bottom, left, or right sides of the screen.

The Outsider

  • Click the title to begin.

  • Click the back arrow to step into the cave.

  • Take the stick lying on the ground to add it to your inventory.

  • Click the back arrow to return to the forest.

  • Click the forward arrow to travel to the bridge.

  • Click the forward arrow again to zoom in to the door puzzle.

  • To open the door, enter the combination by typing the correct numbers in the three spaces.

  • We'll call the first digit X, the second Y, and the third Z.

  • With the hints provided on the left side we know that:

    • X=2Z

    • Y is a prime number.

    • And X+Y+Z=9.

    • Using the substitution method, that means 2Z+Y+Z=9, or 3Z+Y=9.

    • The prime numbers lower 9 are 1, 3, 5, and 7.

    • The only solution for the equation that doesn't end in a fraction is Y=3.

    • 3Z+3=9.

    • 3Z=6.

    • Z=2

    • Thus, X=4; Y=3; Z=2

    • The combination is 4-3-2.

    • Click the "Check" button to submit your solution

  • Click the forward arrow to move into the treehouse.

  • Take the rope on the ground to add it to your inventory.

  • Click the right arrow to go into the dark room.

  • Take the cleaver on the table next to the candle.

    • Use the cleaver on the stick in your inventory.

  • Click the back arrow to leave the dark room.

  • Click the forward arrow to go into the library.

  • Use the sharpened stick in your inventory on the board atop the right bookcase.

  • Click the back arrow to leave the library.

  • Use the wooden board from your inventory on the gap in the stairway.

  • Click the upper arrow twice to ascend the stairs.

  • Use the stick from your inventory on the lock in the door.

  • Click the forward arrow to move into the castle.

  • Click the second box on the left side to reveal a book.

  • Click the fourth box on the right side to receive the matchbox.

  • Take the brick at the bottom of the stairs in front of the door.

    • Attach the brick to the rope in your inventory.

  • Leave the castle by clicking the back arrow three times, then click the right arrow to return to the dark room.

  • Use the matchbox from your inventory on the candlestick.

  • Take the key from the skeleton's hand.

  • Leave the dark room and climb back up the stairs to return to the castle.

  • Use the Key from your inventory on the locked door.

  • Click the forward arrow to travel to the graveyard.

  • Take the shovel leaning against the right tree.

  • Leave the graveyard and click the back button 7 times to return to the forest.

  • Use the shovel from your inventory on the hole in the ground to receive another piece of rope.

    • Attach the second piece of rope to the combined brick and rope in your inventory.

  • Return to the graveyard.

  • Use the tethered brick from your inventory on the gate.

  • Click the forward arrow to reach the path.

  • Click the window to look inside the house.

The End

15 Comments

The Outsider Walkthrough

General Knowledge

  • The circles at the bottom of the screen are the inventory spaces.

  • Items can be combined by first clicking an item to select it, then clicking a second item to attempt a combination.

  • Clicking musical note in the middle of the inventory mutes the music.

  • Click the speaker icon below the music note mutes all game sound.

  • To travel between scenes, click the black directional arrows on the top, bottom, left, or right sides of the screen.

The Outsider

  • Click the title to begin.

  • Click the back arrow to step into the cave.

  • Take the stick lying on the ground to add it to your inventory.

  • Click the back arrow to return to the forest.

  • Click the forward arrow to travel to the bridge.

  • Click the forward arrow again to zoom in to the door puzzle.

  • To open the door, enter the combination by typing the correct numbers in the three spaces.

  • We'll call the first digit X, the second Y, and the third Z.

  • With the hints provided on the left side we know that:

    • X=2Z

    • Y is a prime number.

    • And X+Y+Z=9.

    • Using the substitution method, that means 2Z+Y+Z=9, or 3Z+Y=9.

    • The prime numbers lower 9 are 1, 3, 5, and 7.

    • The only solution for the equation that doesn't end in a fraction is Y=3.

    • 3Z+3=9.

    • 3Z=6.

    • Z=2

    • Thus, X=4; Y=3; Z=2

    • The combination is 4-3-2.

    • Click the "Check" button to submit your solution

  • Click the forward arrow to move into the treehouse.

  • Take the rope on the ground to add it to your inventory.

  • Click the right arrow to go into the dark room.

  • Take the cleaver on the table next to the candle.

    • Use the cleaver on the stick in your inventory.

  • Click the back arrow to leave the dark room.

  • Click the forward arrow to go into the library.

  • Use the sharpened stick in your inventory on the board atop the right bookcase.

  • Click the back arrow to leave the library.

  • Use the wooden board from your inventory on the gap in the stairway.

  • Click the upper arrow twice to ascend the stairs.

  • Use the stick from your inventory on the lock in the door.

  • Click the forward arrow to move into the castle.

  • Click the second box on the left side to reveal a book.

  • Click the fourth box on the right side to receive the matchbox.

  • Take the brick at the bottom of the stairs in front of the door.

    • Attach the brick to the rope in your inventory.

  • Leave the castle by clicking the back arrow three times, then click the right arrow to return to the dark room.

  • Use the matchbox from your inventory on the candlestick.

  • Take the key from the skeleton's hand.

  • Leave the dark room and climb back up the stairs to return to the castle.

  • Use the Key from your inventory on the locked door.

  • Click the forward arrow to travel to the graveyard.

  • Take the shovel leaning against the right tree.

  • Leave the graveyard and click the back button 7 times to return to the forest.

  • Use the shovel from your inventory on the hole in the ground to receive another piece of rope.

    • Attach the second piece of rope to the combined brick and rope in your inventory.

  • Return to the graveyard.

  • Use the tethered brick from your inventory on the gate.

  • Click the forward arrow to reach the path.

  • Click the window to look inside the house.

The End

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Anonymous June 22, 2011 2:22 PM

The slow fading transition is somewhat annoying, but it's a good game almost like Morbid.
In the end your journey and past life makes sense.

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ahh Lilium brings back memories of elfen lied...

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Um, yeah I would actually recommend the reverse...? Read the original story before playing the game.

Because as awesome and fantastic as a flash game may be... the story is a better experience in the end. If you're "spoiling" anything, it's the original work... not the flash-game based on it.

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mr1black Author Profile Page June 22, 2011 6:17 PM

Elfen lied! Thank you! The melody was so familiar, but couldn't pinpoint it precise.
Not having control of appearance and disappearance of text window is most major problem to me. Give a break to non-native speakers, we can only read so fast..

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I can't seem to get past "Loading..." neither here nor at Newgrounds. I've allowed scripts and disabled AdBlock. I'm using Firefox 3.6.18 on Ubuntu (Lucid).

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And I'm stupid. :-P It didn't occur to me to try pressing the big rainbow button that said "Play." I was paying too much attention to the little swirly circle next to "Loading..." and not seeing a progress bar fill.

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iceebear Author Profile Page June 23, 2011 4:56 AM

could not get the numbers to enter on the door. So i did not get very far.. Any suggestions. I did check my numbers lock and everything else i could think of including reload the game. Thanks.

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Anonymous June 23, 2011 7:25 AM

try deleting the zero before entering solution

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polpotpie Author Profile Page June 23, 2011 9:06 AM

Two words: too (many) words. Reading is for books, clicks is for gaming :)

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@Trinn: 2 is a prime number. 1 is not.

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MurphMan Author Profile Page June 24, 2011 11:12 AM

The slow transistions made it a chore to keep travelling back and forth, especially from the last screen to the first and back to the last; other than that I have no major criticisms of this little treat.

Well, aside from a dismay at knowing the ending of it beforehand. I think that it was played well in the game, but the impact is something that I can't accurately judge because I already knew what to expect as this is one of my favorite Lovecraft tales.

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LuckyDee Author Profile Page July 5, 2011 3:09 PM

Too bad it's not much more than a 'snack' indeed. It's too short and straightforward to really be considered a game, and - although I'm an avid reader - the way the excerpts from the story are incorporated into it don't do it justice.

What it does do very well is capture the atmosphere of the Lovecraft stories in general, both in sight and in sound. Having grown up on Stephen King, I don't really consider Lovecraft to be a horror writer (compared to clowns eating little children or nurses wielding axes, say), believing the term doesn't do the subtlety and suspense in his work justice. It's these aspects that the game carries out very well; it's the feeling of having to brace yourself for what's coming next to have yourself happily delivered into anticlimax.

Take this skill and either brush up on your gaming experience/inspiration, or take a sharper turn towards interactive art. This piece sadly falls smack dead in the middle of both worlds.

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LuckyDee Author Profile Page July 5, 2011 3:14 PM

Kudos for having me brush up on my prime numbers though... who would have thought '1' wasn't allowed to join the party...

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I didn't find it creepy or scary.

The ending was really sad, I wasn't expecting that :( reminded me of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
I really want to read the original story now

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